INTAR Theatre Names Paul A. Slee Rodriguez To Head Up Strategic Partnerships And J. Julian Christopher To Run Unit 52
INTAR today announced the appointment of Paul A. Slee Rodriguez who will be heading up Strategic Partnerships for the organization, helping to design and implement strategies for organizational growth. He will be working with the staff and Board on expanding the scope and strength of the organization on multiple fronts including Board development, funding, programming, real estate - locally, nationally and internationally.
Also announced today was the appointment of longtime INTAR artist J. Julian Christopher as the Director of this year's UNIT52. UNIT52 is a company of actors who train one day a week, for four months, culminating with a public presentation of a new play in April. UNIT 52 members are developing this year's production, Julio Down by the Schoolyard, with Christopher and the director of the piece, Lou Moreno, INTAR's Artistic Director.
"This is a season for coming home to INTAR. I am thrilled to have Paul back at INTAR where he has always been an important member of our community. Paul's knowledge of the history of INTAR and our legacy in Hell's Kitchen will be a tremendous asset moving forward as we plan the next stages of INTAR. UNIT52 is about establishing community. The 6-year history of UNIT52 has fortified INTAR's community, and has helped to expand and reach new young artists. Julian returns to run UNIT52 for the second time, and he brings with him a new play which this year's UNIT52 members will have the joy to develop. It puts these young artists in the room to work with a talented and in-demand writer while keeping Julian close to INTAR," said Mr. Moreno.
Unit 52 was conceived six years ago when INTAR wanted to create a space for emerging actors of color to play, create community, and develop their talents. Driving this effort was the opportunity to expose young artists to INTAR's history and introduce them to the many artists that have gone through its doors. Each year, the training curriculum is determined by the needs and interests of the company in preparation for a public presentation of a play. It is a free program for participants, and they get paid a stipend for their work on the public presentation.
Unit 52 allows young actors to train one day a week, working with master teachers, theatre artists and special invited guests. Acceptance into this program is by interview and audition, and there is no fee to participate. This year's UNIT 52 members are: Chris Alfonso, Sergio Caetano, María Del Mar Fernández González , Daniela Gonzalez y Perez, Geovanny Guzman, Ricky Hernandez, Maria Renée Lavelle, Vasilios Leon, Jennifer Mesa, Camilla Perez, Luis Ponce, Edgar Toro, Ksenia Volynkina, and A. Serving Willinder.
Paul A. Slee Rodriguez most recently served as Executive Director of Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST). During his tenure the company was recognized with an Obie Award, a Special Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, and five Tony Award nominations. Paul previously served as Executive Director of New Dramatists, where he helped create grant, award and exchange programs for American Playwrights and supported the development of hundreds of new plays, and as Executive Director of INTAR, where he moved the company in 2005 to its current location at 500 West 52nd Street. A dual US-Colombian citizen born in Bogotá Colombia, he is an alumnus of McGill University and New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
J. Julian Christopher is a Queer, Puerto Rican and Dominican playwright. He holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. Acting credits include: TBA (by Carla Ching), Holiday Movies (directed by Liz Swados), and The Karaoke Show (directed by Diane Paulus). Playwriting awards include: The 2009 Public Theater Emerging Writers Group, the 2014 Best New Work Motif Award, the 2015 Queens Arts Council Grant, the 2017 & 2018 Pipeline Theatre Company PlayLab, the 2018 La Guardia Community College's LGBTQ History Project Grant, and the Class of 2025 New Dramatist Residency. He has workshopped his plays at LAByrinth Theater, TerraNova Collective, Fuse Theatre, and The Working Theatre. Productions include: Man Boobs (Pride Films & Plays, 2011), Nico was a Fashion Model (Counter-Productions Theatre Company, 2013), Animals Commit Suicide (First Floor Theater, 2015), and Locusts Have No King (INTAR, 2016). He was the book writer for Peril Forest, a musical written for the 24 Hour Musicals in May 2016 and for LatinXoxo - An Unrequited Serenata, a musical written for Venezuelen artist, Migguel Anggelo at Joe's Pub in 2019. Other plays include, Alligator Mouth, anOTHER, ¡OSO FABULOSO! & The Bear Backs, Bundle of Sticks, Julio Down by the Schoolyard,and Bruise & Thorn (2018 PlayPenn Conference). He is a co-producer and co-writer of the hit web series, Bulk- The Series, and an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Queensborough Community College.
For more information on all the programs at INTAR, visit INTAR on the web at www.intartheatre.org