Tony Nominee Emily Skeggs Among Performers for Parity Productions' Annual Gala

Tony Nominee Emily Skeggs Among Performers for Parity Productions' Annual Gala

Parity Productions, New York's theatre company that ensures the hiring of at least 50 percent women and transgender artists (directors, designers, and playwrights) on each of their productions, has announced its lineup of performers and presenters for their October 25th annual gala - among them Tony nominee, Emily Skeggs and award-winning transgender actor, writer, and performer Becca Blackwell.

"We are thrilled to have such a diverse roster of performers for the gala and we are absolutely chomping at the bit to announce the two winners of our inaugural Parity Commission for Women and Transgender Playwrights. I think the industry will agree that we have selected two extraordinary playwrights as this year's winners. But, we are keeping the identities of the winners under wraps until the big event," says Parity Productions Founder and Artistic Director Ludovica Villar-Hauser. "Of course, given that we read all our submissions blind, we affectionately refer to them as scripts 159 and 304."

Parity Productions awards two commissions annually to women and transgender playwrights who have demonstrated a singular talent for storytelling. The selected playwrights receive $2,500 each. Says Villar-Hauser, "we put a tremendous amount of company resources into reading and making decisions based on who we believe to be the most promising playwrights with work that is in harmony with our artistic mission." Winners of the Annual Parity Commission for Women and Transgender Playwrights receive one "closed " reading (invitation only) and at least one public reading and/or developmental production of the commissioned work, with an option for a production.
The gala is being held at legendary venue The Cutting Room.

In addition to excerpts from submitted plays by the winning playwrights, a brief selection from the company's upcoming production She Calls Me Firefly by Teresa Lotz will be presented and actress and writer Romy Nordlinger will perform an excerpt from her Off-Broadway hit and Parity Production's co-production, Places (59 E. 59 and Edinburgh Fringe). Places is a biographical one-actor show about queer Broadway and Hollywood legend Alla Nazimova (co-produced with Yonder Window Theatre Company).

Musical performances by The Snowy Mountain Sisters, Eli Denby Wood, and Nandi Kayyy will also be part of the evening's festivities.

The host committee for the event includes Broadway producer Pat Addiss, philanthropist Henry Buhl, photographer Ashley Garrett, performer Mary Francina, performer/producer Sean Hudock, financial advisor Julie Sargent, and producer Joann Sickinger.

To buy tickets to the Parity Productions Annual Gala, go to


Teresa Lotz (Playwright, She Calls Me Firefly) Teresa Lotz is a playwright, composer, and musical theatre writer whose work includes ThreeTimesFast (book & music), Mommy's Little Princess (play), and The Awakening (music). MFA in Musical Theatre Writing, NYU. Visit for more information.

Romy Nordlinger (Performer/Playwright, Places) Places @ 59E59 & Edinburgh Fringe 2017. Some NYC acting: Clurman, Judson, Metropolitan, Beckett. Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Wilma, Emelin. Playwriting; Lipshtick @ NYFringe, Broadville @ MITF, The Feeling Part @ Playwrights Collective. Selected Film: A Separation, Law & Order, Gotham, Proud Member League of Professional Theatre Women, Playwrights Gallery, NY Madness. Audiobook Narrator of over 200 titles. Go to

Cusi Cram (Presenter) is a playwright, screenwriter, filmmaker, and performer. Her plays have been seen all over the country and her television writing has garnered her three Emmy nominations. Cusi directed her first film, Wild and Precious, through AFI's Directing Workshop for Women where it won The Adrienne Shelly and Nancy Mallone Awards. She is an Assistant Arts Professor Dramatic Writing Department at NYU.

Becca Blackwell (Presenter) is a NYC-based trans actor, performer, and writer. Existing between genders, and preferring the pronoun "they," Blackwell works collaboratively with playwrights and directors to expand our sense of personhood and the body through performance. Some of their collaborations have been with Young Jean Lee, Half Straddle, Jennifer Miller's Circus Amok, Richard Maxwell, ShaRon Hayes, Theater of the Two- Headed Calf and Lisa D'Amour. Becca is a recipient of the Doris Duke Impact Artist Award 2015 and recently wrote a solo show, They, Themself and Schmerm, that will be sneaking in performances in winter of 2017 in a town near you.

Emily Skeggs (Performer) In October, Emily wrapped on the upcoming TNT pilot of Snowpiercer, and can be seen in one of the lead roles in Desiree Akhavan's upcoming feature film The Miseducation of Cameron Post, based on the popular YA novel. Emily was nominated for duel Tony and Grammy Awards as the lead in Sam Gold's hit musical Fun Home on Broadway, all the while shooting a recurring role on Brannan Braga's series Salem and a lead role in Dustin Lance Black's ABC miniseries When We Rise, directed by Gus Van Sant.

Paula Ewin (Performer) Founding Member 29th Street Rep in NYC - 27 leading roles including OOBR Winner for Best Actress Visiting Oliver by Bill Nave. Directed by Ludovica Villar-Hauser in Bold Girls, The Brightness of Heaven, For Heaven's Sake and most recently, Cora Fry's Pillow Book. AEA SAG/AFTRA.

Sean Hudock (Performer) Select theatre: Sex with Strangers (Cleveland Play House; Cleveland Critics nom. Best Actor), nine seasons with Shakespeare Theatre NJ. Film includes Private Romeo (NY Times Critics' Pick; HBO Outfest Outstanding Actor), Powerless opposite Kelli Giddish, English (Gold Remi). Upcoming: The Chaperone by Julian Fellowes opposite Elizabeth McGovern for Masterpiece.

Emily Batsford (Performer) loves the Parity team! She is an actress, voice-over artist, and teaching artist. She is also a dog-mom extraordinaire. Proud member of AEA. @efcbatsford

Anna Frankl-Duval (Performer) Anna Frankl-Duval is a British actor, singer, and filmmaker based in NYC. Her first short film, If Only, has just premiered on the festival circuit. Anna continues to work on both sides of the Atlantic - some work includes: Subway Plays - This Is Not A Theatre Company (New York), The Curse Of Love - Bread and Roses Theatre (London), Definitely - Edinburgh Festival, Agamemnon:Redux - The Lab at Roger Smith (New York).

Elizabeth Jasicki (Performer) is very happy to be supporting Parity Productions as she played Alma Mahler in VHTDF's production of Final Analysis at the Signature Theatre. She has worked extensively in theatre (most notably Abigail's Party at The New Group with Jennifer Jason Leigh), TV and film (most recently the new indie Creative Control that ran for a month at the Landmark Sunshine). She has also recorded over 100 audiobooks and numerous voiceovers.

Jenna Lazar (Day-of-producer) Jenna is currently the ASM for The Mad Ones with Prospect Theatre Company. Other favorites: Death for Five Voices; Summer Shorts (seven seasons); The Drawer Boy; The Hummingbird's Tour; Order; Pimm's Mission; The Woolgatherer; Honor; 35mm; The Seafarer; The Mar Vista; A Hard Wall at High Speed; Sex Good, Money Bad; Twelfth Night; and Hamlet. Member AEA.

Eli Denby Wood (Musical Performer) - As a masculine-presenting person, Eli's mezzo-soprano range catches many by surprise. They have been writing music for 13 years and play a variety of stringed instruments, but mainly focus on the underrated ukulele. Look out for them playing house shows in and around Brooklyn.

Nandi Kayyy (Musical Performer) Nandi Kayyy is a Queer, Southern-born singer/songwriter based in Brooklyn, New York. Drawing inspiration from artists like Imani Omari, Aaliyah, & The Internet, while being guided by Neosoul ancestors like Erykah Badu, and Nandi Kayyy delivers a sound from where 90s R&b meets space.

Snowy Mountain Sisters (Musical Performer) The Snowy Mountain Sisters is an all-female bluegrass & country band, dedicated to bringing heart-pounding, toe-tapping music to NYC and beyond. The group was formed to create more opportunities for women to pick on their instruments, write music and kick tail on the stage!

About The Cutting Room: At its new location on East 32nd Street between Park and Madison, The Cutting Room builds on a decade of history that includes some of today's top performers - John Mayer, Lady Gaga, Sting, Sheryl Crow, and David Bowie are just some of the artists that have graced the stage of the Cutting Room at its previous location. Created by original owner Steve Walter (Berklee alumnus) and co-owner Chris Noth (Sex and the City, Law & Order, The Good Wife), the new Cutting Room continues the tradition of extraordinary performances and special moments, with a fresh new take on what a rock club & lounge should feel like. We are proud - and honored - to offer New York City a place to watch classy shows in a beautiful setting. Whether you're looking to catch a great night of live music or just cozy up to a 30-foot guitar and grab a drink, we're here for you.


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