Gregg Mozgala Joins Queens Theatre Staff as Director of Inclusion
Mozgala is a Lortel-Award winning actor (Martyna Majok's Pulitzer Prize winning-play Cost of Living) who founded and serves as Artistic Director of The Apothetae, a theatre company dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the "Disabled Experience." He has served as a Disability Consultant for the Yale School of Drama, Disney Theatrical Group, Queens Theatre, The Lark, National Endowment for the Arts Office of Accessibility and The New York City Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities. He formerly served as a consultant to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Dance/NYC and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs on the development of New York City's first Cultural Plan.
In this newly created position which Queens Theatre established with support from Booth Ferris Foundation, Mozgala will lead the organization's Theatre For All (TFA) Initiative, a multi-pronged program to advance the inclusion of disabled people in the performing arts.
"Theatre For All has been a transformational project, and Gregg has been someone who I've talked to and learned from at every step of its development. He is a nationally recognized leader who has been an essential voice in the cultural sector's conversation around Disability. When we formed a TFA advisory committee two years ago, he was one of the first two members. I am thrilled that we have the opportunity to have him join the Queens Theatre staff. I know that with Gregg's dedicated leadership, Queens Theatre's work will be even more impactful," said Queens Theatre Executive Director Taryn Sacramone.
This past August, with support from New York Community Trust, Queens Theatre piloted a free training program specifically for early-career Deaf and disabled actors as part of Theatre For All. A diverse cohort of 20 student actors were selected through an open application process. The two-week program included workshops on acting and auditioning skills, and culminated in a showcase performance for industry professionals.
Queens Theatre brought together an excellent team of instructors, including Vincent D'Onofrio (Netflix's "Daredevil," "Jurassic Word," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Full Metal Jacket"), Brigid Brady (Actor/Singer/Teacher, Broadway: The Phantom of the Opera, "Gossip Girl"), Christine Bruno (Actor/Teaching Artist/ Consultant, member The Actors Studio, "Law & Order"), Pat Shay (Improviser and faculty member, The PIT), Stephen DeAngelis (Producer/Casting Director) and Liz Eckert (Actor and Designated Linklater Voice Teacher).
Mozgala believes such a program is long overdue. "If I could go back in time to the start of my career, I would want to be part of Theatre For All. Representation matters. Not only on the stage and screen, but in training environments like the one Queens Theatre has so painstakingly and passionately created," Mozgala said. "There is no other program like it in the country. Queens Theatre understands that truly inclusive theater is about reflecting the experience of ALL of us."
Queens Theatre also presented a Theatre For All Short Play Reading series. This program was made possible through generous support from the DCLA's new Disability Forward Fund. Plays on all subjects by writers with disabilities were considered, as well as plays by any writer which featured a character or characters with a physical or intellectual disability. Plays for the reading series were selected through a national submission process seeking diversity in genre, including comedy, drama, satire, etc. and were performed by an ensemble cast that included alums of the TFA training program.
Theatre For All will continue and expand in 2019. Currently, Mozgala is coordinating with City College Professor, Dr. Jan Valle to develop a case study, from the participants, teaching artists and advisors who helped develop the program to share findings with a wider audience. This case study, the first of its kind, will be disseminated with professionals and stakeholders working in Theatre training, education and the cultural sector at large. In addition to the second TFA Short Play Reading Series, QT is in the process of planning a convening to discuss issues at the nexus of Disability and Theatre, this coming fall.
Mozgala leads the Theatre For All Advisory Committee, which includes Mary Archbold, Brigid Brady, Christine Bruno, Sara Buffamanti, Evan T Cummings, David Harrell, Miranda Hoffner, Marilee Talkington, and Jan Valle.
With the Theatre For All Initiative, Queens Theatre seeks to continue its mission to reflect perspectives on immigration, race, ethnicity, culture, nationality, religion, sexuality and gender. Mr. Mozgala is working with Ms. Sacramone and a consulting team on the development and execution of Queens Theatre's first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan.
Mozgala has served as a Disability Consultant for the Yale School of Drama, Disney Theatrical Group, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Queens Theatre, The Lark, Roundabout Theatre Company, National Endowment for the Arts Office of Accessibility and The New York City Mayor's Office for People With Disabilities. He formerly served as a consultant to the New York Foundation for the Arts, Dance/NYC and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs on the development of New York City's first Cultural Plan.
Gregg is the founder and Artistic Director of The Apothetae, a theatre company dedicated to the production of works that explore and illuminate the, "Disabled Experience." Since 2012, The Apothetae has presented its work at The Public Theater, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, The Kennedy Center, The Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Queens Theatre, The Eugene O'Neil Theatre Center, Florida Studio Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis and Dixon Place. The company has received support from the Time Warner Foundation, The Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, The Mertz Gilmore Foundation, and the New York State Council on the Arts.
The Apothetae's full body of work goes far beyond the production of plays. The company also serves as a platform for a larger conversation around Disability that currently is not occurring within the cultural sector and society at large. In May 2015, The Apothetae and The Lark hosted the first ever national convening to discuss issues at the nexus of Disability and Theatre. A second convening was held in September 2017, and coincided with the official launch of The Apothetae and Lark Playwriting Fellowship. The Fellowship, the first of its kind, includes a two- year residency for a writer who identifies as Disabled, and also provides access to Lark and Apothetae resources, including artistic programs, rehearsal space and staff support.
As an actor, Gregg has been in various productions with The Public Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, La Mama ETC, Theater Breaking Through Barriers, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Kennedy Center. Gregg is a former member of the Obie award winning playwriting group, Youngblood, at The Ensemble Studio Theatre.
He is the subject and executive producer of the documentary, "Enter The Faun" that aired on the PBS' award winning series, "America Reframed." As part of outreach for the documentary, he heads the "Cerebral Posse." The Posse's aim is to empower people living with CP by dialoguing honestly and authentically with each other, and by bringing together unlikely collaborators in the medical and arts communities to join with them.
He has been invited to speak about the effects of cerebral palsy at various institutions across the country and around the globe including the Cerebral Palsy Alliance in Sydney, Australia, La Balet Valle+ in Valencia, Spain, the Wyss Institute For Biological Engineering at Harvard University, La Rabida Children's Hospital, Eastern Carolina University Medical School, Columbia University Medical School, the Hospital For Special Surgery, University of California at San Francisco Medical School and the Kennedy-Krieger Institute. Gregg has been keynote speaker at United Cerebral Palsy of Oregon and Southwest Washington and the New York City Arts In Education Roundtable.
Gregg received a Drama Desk nomination, an Outer Critics Circle nomination and Lucille Lortel Award for Best Featured Actor in the Pulitzer Prize winning-play, "Cost Of Living" by Martyna Majok. He was honored as a, "Champion Of Change" by The New York City Mayor's Office For People With Disabilities in 2017, and named a Kennedy Citizen Artist Fellow by The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2016.