Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Co/Lab Theater Group's Annual Benefit Co/Lab Live! to Honor Liz Plank and Jonathan Brenner in November

Co/Lab Theater Group's Annual Benefit Co/Lab Live! to Honor Liz Plank and Jonathan Brenner in November

CO/LAB Live! will feature performances by CO/LAB community members and actors.

CO/LAB Theater Group will present its annual benefit, CO/LAB Live!, on Sunday, November 13 at 4 PM ET in-person at the Helen Mills Event Space and Theater (137 W, 26th) and also streaming live online. Doors open at 4 PM and tickets are available now at

CO/LAB also announced its 2022 honorees Liz Plank, Community CO/LABorator of the Year, and Jonathan Brenner, Artistic CO/LABorator of the Year. The Community CO/LABorator of the Year honors contributions that mirror CO/LAB's mission in the world at large. A filmmaker, award-winning journalist, international bestselling author, and disability advocate, Liz has served as a volunteer supporting artist in CO/LAB classrooms since 2015. The Artistic CO/LABorator of the Year honors contributions that deepen the artistry of CO/LAB's work. A music director, arranger, pianist and composer, Jonathan has made many contributions to the music of CO/LAB over the years, including composing the CO/LAB theme song, and acting as music director for CO/LAB's yearly benefit concerts.

CO/LAB Live! will feature performances by CO/LAB community members and actors. Cocktail hour will begin at 4 PM and guests can remain unmasked as they eat and drink. Guests will be asked to be fully masked for the live performance and honoree speeches inside of the theater. Online guests are invited to a virtual pre-show reception starting at 5 PM.

Becky Leifman, CO/LAB's Executive Director said "In the last year, we've done a few in-person events, and we are so excited to bring back our in-person annual benefit for the first time since 2019. CO/LAB Live! is an amazing night that gives attendees a rare chance to see what happens in a CO/LAB classroom, and how our programs build community, foster creativity, and create spaces where all are welcome."


CO/LAB Theater Group is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries. CO/LAB offers individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts. Through their programming, they encourage actors to collaborate as an ensemble and discover their individual voices. CO/LAB creates a safe, judgment-free, and neuro-diverse environment that allows participants the opportunity to express themselves both in class and on stage.

CO/LAB was founded in 2011 by Laura Borgwardt, Becky Leifman, Arielle Lever, and Sarah Olbrantz. In the years since its creation, CO/LAB has partnered with over 30 organizations, developed dozens of original musicals and ensemble-created theatrical performances, and provided creative opportunities for thousands of actors with developmental disabilities. CO/LAB offers free weekly classes and low-cost single workshops through CO/LAB:core, with a curriculum structured to accommodate many types of learning styles. Through CO/LAB:connect, organizations in and around the NYC area can partner with CO/LAB for single workshops or longer-term residencies. They have created enriching programs with organizations such as City Access New York, Lincoln Center, TDF, and JCC Manhattan. Through the CO/LAB:leaders program, actors are trained to become artistic mentors, model positive leadership, and ambassadors for the organization. Finally, Sharing the Stage is a professional development program led by CO/LAB Teaching Artists and actors, for organizations interested in fostering more inclusive and equitable workplace practices.


Liz Plank is a filmmaker, award-winning journalist, international bestselling author and has been the executive producer and host of several critically acclaimed digital series at Vox Media and NBC News. Her most recent critically acclaimed book "For The Love of Men: a Vision for Mindful Masculinity" was featured in Vogue, Esquire, Playboy, ELLE Magazine, GQ, NPR, The Washington Post on Morning Joe and on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert. She co-hosts the Man Enough podcast with Justin Baldoni and Jamey Heath where they interview influential figures about their journey to manhood. She's the CEO of Liz Plank Productions and is a columnist for MSNBC and has been listed as one of Forbes' 30 Under 30, Mediaite's Most Influential in News Media, and Marie Claire's Most Powerful Women, and was named one of the World's Most Influential People in Gender Policy by Apolitical. Liz regularly appears on national and international television programs to provide a perspective on politics, gender issues, and reproductive rights, including The Today Show, The Daily Show, MSNBC, CNN, ABC News, Fusion, Al-Jazeera America and BBC World. Through her activism and creative approach to journalism, Liz has made it her mission to elevate the voices of those who are often not heard. Before becoming a journalist, Liz worked at a community center for people with disabilities and was a researcher and behavioral science consultant at the London School of Economics, from which she holds a master's degree in policy with an emphasis in global gender politics.

Jonathan Brenner is a New York based music director, arranger, pianist and composer. Current music arranger for Credits as Music Director / Conductor / Key 1 include: National tour: Cirque Music: Holiday Spectacular. Regional/NYC: Beauty & The Beast, Footloose, Mamma Mia, Cabaret, The Little Mermaid, Legally Blonde, Spring Awakening, and Hairspray at the Argyle Theatre, and Singin' In The Rain and Annie at the John W. Engeman Theatre. Additional Music Director credits include: NYMF; The Runaway Clone, Shelter; Readings: Fetching Water, Fluffy The Pine and Gun Show; Concerts; 54 Below Presents: Dame Julie Andrews. Music Director/Arranger for L'Oréal Paris gala performance of One Night Only, featuring Aretha Franklin. Producer, Composer and Music Supervisor for Jordan Roth's: The Birds & The BS. Composer(theatre): Sapien Sapien Sapien (NY Theatre Barn), A Fully Seasoned Life (Baby Crow Productions), and The Runaway Clone (NYMF). Composer(film/TV): The Filth (Toronto Film Festival). Educational: Vocal coach and accompanist at Pace University. Accompanist at The Manhattan School Of Music. Current Music Supervisor for Broadway Artists Alliance. Music arranger for The Broadway Collective. Pianist for the Broadway Sings concert series. Music Director/Arranger for Co/Lab Theatre Group annual benefit concerts at Rockwood Music Hall and Green Room 42. Additional charity work includes Gathered NYC: The Broadway Collective, The Easter Bonnet Competition (Minskoff Theatre), Music for Autism NYC, and Chickenshed NYC. BM, Composition & Theory, Boston University: College Of Fine Arts. For full bio and recordings visit:

More Hot Stories For You

December 5, 2022

Monet's Garden The Immersive Experience U.S. premiere in New York City has announced an extension by popular demand through February 26, 2022 at its Financial District venue located at 30 Wall Street in Manhattan.

December 3, 2022

HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr, the 24x Award-Winning, Internationally Acclaimed play, returning to NYC for the first time in 4 years, will run Friday, December 9th at 7:00 pm, Saturday, December 10th at 7:00 pm, Sunday, December 11th at 5:00 pm.

Photos: First Look At Marceline Hugot And Jeffrey Binder In  Truman Capote's A CHRISTMAS MEMORYPhotos: First Look At Marceline Hugot And Jeffrey Binder In Truman Capote's A CHRISTMAS MEMORY
December 2, 2022

See brand new production photos as The Whale Theater and Tectonic Theater Project present Truman Capote's A Christmas Memory at Hudson New York's Park Theater.

Photos: See André De Shields & More at UNSCRIPTED LIVE at City WineryPhotos: See André De Shields & More at UNSCRIPTED LIVE at City Winery
December 2, 2022

See photos of Tony, Emmy, and GRAMMY Award-winning performing artist André De Shields and more at The Loft at City Winery for 'Unscripted Live,' an interview series that spotlights the stories of legendary artists, their resilience, and their creative regeneration.

Suzan-Lori Parks' PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR to Return to The Public in April 2023Suzan-Lori Parks' PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR to Return to The Public in April 2023
December 2, 2022

After a truncated run as a result of several COVID-19 cases in the company, Suzan-Lori Parks’ theatrical concert PLAYS FOR THE PLAGUE YEAR will be returning for an engagement in The Public Theater's Joe’s Pub in April 2023.