NATIONAL QUEER THEATER STAFF

Staff

Adam Odsess-Rubin (Artistic Director) is a director, playwright, actor, and teaching artist. At NQT, Odsess-Rubin directed his play DREAMers (NYU), based on interviews with undocumented LGBTQ youth in Queens, NY, for which he received the title ‘Emerging Playwright’ from Theater for the New City and Pint-Sized Plays at The Eagle NYC. He also wrote and directed Speechless (Theaterlab), a play exploring HIV narratives in 2018, to sold out audiences. He produced the Queer Village Reading Series and Criminal Queerness Festival.

 

Formerly the Education and Community Programs Fellow at the American Conservatory Theater, Odsess-Rubin is now Education Associate at New York Theatre Workshop. His work as an actor, director, and playwright has brought him to The Guthrie, BAM, The Civilians, Theater for the New City, A.C.T., New Conservatory Theater, Faultline Theater, and ArtsEmerson. He has also worked as a teaching artist with refugee youth, Israeli and Palestinian teenagers, and taught in juvenile halls. In 2016, Odsess-Rubin served as personal assistant to AIDS Memorial Quilt Founder Cleve Jones, a protégé of Harvey Milk.

 

He is the recipient of the Charles M. Gilbert Award for Sustained Excellence in the Arts, and received the 21st Century Educator Scholarship two years in a row from NYU. In 2017, he was nominated for Bay Area Theater Critics Circle and Theatre Bay Area awards. His writings on theater and activism have been published by Howlround and The Teaching Artist Journal. BA: UC Santa Cruz MA: NYU Steinhardt.

PJ Johnnie Jr. (Teaching Artist) is a teaching artist, film producer, director, and actor. Off-Broadway: As Much As I Can (Joe’s Pub). He has been the Community Programs Coordinator and lead teaching artist at National Queer Theater, where he leads acting classes at SAGE, New Alternatives, and Ali Forney Center. He holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the New School for Drama and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Grambling State University.

Marcus Crawford Guy (Teaching Artist) hails from Glasgow, Scotland, where he grew up performing nationwide in educational theatre performances and working with the BBC in educational film productions and Radio Plays. After graduating from the Dance School of Scotland’s Musical Theatre Course in 2010 with his Assoiate’s Diploma from the Trinity College of London, Marcus became the first every Scotsman to attend the Juilliard School’s Drama Division. Since attaining his BFA, Marcus has join SAG/AFTRA following appearances on AMC’s Turn: Washington’s Spies & ABC’s reboot of Get Christie Love. In the theatre, Marcus has worked with the Yangtze Repertory Theatre and Pan Asian Rep off Broadway, and appeared in the Little Orchestra Society’s production of Peter and the Wolf at BAM. Marcus is also interested in the development of new work, and the creation of his own and his short films Sprinkles and Making David Harper’s Actor Reel have enjoyed success in the festival circuit.

As a Teaching Artist, Marcus has worked across the country and around the world. Marcus is a long standing teaching artist and program facilitator with Broadway Musical Director Mary-Mitchell Campbell’s not-for-profit, Artists Striving to End Poverty. He has hosted workshops in Southern India at Shanti Bhavan Children’s project, in juvenile correction facilities, transitional housing units and safe spaces for vulnerable communities of young people. Marcus has also appeared as a guest artist and Irene Ryan selector at the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival. He is excited to be a part of the NQT team, delivering workshops to LGBTQIA+ elders at SAGE. @mcrawfordguy / www.marcuscrawfordguy.com

Timothy DuWhite (he/they) is a Black/queer poet, actor and activist based out of Brooklyn, NY.  His essays and poetry can be found in The Rumpus, The Root, Afropunk, Black Youth Project, The Grio, and elsewhere. In the summer of 2018, Timothy debuted his one-man show NEPTUNE as the headliner for Dixon Place's annual “Hot Festival.” Following rave reviews and sold-out performances, NEPTUNE was then restaged as the 2019 kick-off event for Brooklyn Museum’s acclaimed “1st Saturday" series. Timothy was named a “Black LGBTQ+ playwright you need to know” by TIMEOUT.com. He is an alumnus of the Public Theaters' #BARS program, brainchild of actors/writers Daveed Diggs and Rafael Casal. He is a current member of the Public Theaters' Emerging Writers Group 2020-2022 cohort. Timothy is the Senior Editor at RaceBaitr.com, Program Director at NY Writers Coalition, and is represented by A3 Artist Agency for Acting & Playwriting.

Kalonjee Gallimore (Artistic Engagement Intern) was born in Harlem, but raised in Atlanta, Georgia where he studied Musical Theatre at DeKalb School of the Arts. He is a junior at NYU Tisch pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre as well as a triple minor in Producing; Business of Entertainment, Media, & Technology; and Public Policy & Management at Stern School of Business. Kalonjee has performed in regional houses such as the Alliance Theatre, Out Front Theatre, Surflight Theatre, and Flat Rock Playhouse. He is happy to work with NQT as we develop intersectional socially engaging theatre. To learn more, visit Kalonjee.com!

Camille Witt (Artistic Engagement Intern) is a third-year student at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. At CWRU, she studies theatrical design and production as well as sociology. She is originally from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, where she trained and worked with Playmakers Repertory Company. Her technical theatre training and employment are diverse, including educational and professional experiences. Beyond the formal training she receives in her design/technology courses, she is actively involved in her program and is a leader in the student theater community at CWRU. She serves as President of the CWRU's premier short-form musical improv comedy troupe, IMPROVment, and is currently working alongside theater department faculty in coordinating community efforts to make the department more inclusive and diverse. 

Board of Directors

Charles Gershman is a Midwest-bred queer playwright/screenwriter. He is a Dramatists Guild Foundation Playwriting Fellow, a 2019 Chesley/Bumbalo Playwriting Award winner, and a 2019 Relentless Award Semifinalist. His award-winning play The Waiting Game premiered at 59E59 Theaters in February 2019. His play Free & Proud recently had an acclaimed run in the UK (Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre503), where it was nominated for the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Award and the SIT-Up Award and called ‘One of 10 must-see queer shows in town’ (Evening Standard). It is published by Oberon Books (UK).

In the DGF Fellows Program he has been developing an untitled new play about a modern family and their foster teen, with mentorship from Diana Son. Other plays are currently being developed with support from The New Group, the Flea Theater, and the Lark.

Charles earned an MFA in dramatic writing at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2018 and a BA in history at Columbia University. He has been a teaching artist at several colleges, including The New School’s Eugene Lang College, where two of his plays are regularly taught in an undergraduate playwriting class on adaptation.

Keith Butler brings nearly 20 years’ experience as a development professional with some of New York’s most prominent and diverse cultural and social service nonprofits. He is currently the Assistant Vice President, Institutional Advancement for the Museum of the City of New York. In this capacity, Keith oversees all aspects of the Museum’s development efforts in support of individual giving, and has direct responsibility for the generation of major gifts. Keith previously served as Director of Development for the James Beard Foundation, the signature culinary nonprofit and producer of the renowned James Beard Awards, overseeing the creation of a comprehensive fundraising strategy and organizational culture. Keith was Director of Institutional Partnerships for Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders (SAGE), overseeing both the major gifts and institutional giving portfolios for the organization (approximately $4.5 million annually). Additional nonprofit experience includes development roles and leadership with Film Forum, the Cunningham Dance Foundation (formerly the Merce Cunningham Dance Company), Dance Theatre Workshop, the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Inc. He has taught “Development in the Performing Arts” as part of NYU’s Master’s program in Performing Arts Administration, and served as the Fundraising Specialist for Dance Theatre Workshop’s Laboratory in Arts Management. Keith holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Voice Performance (cum laude) from Boston University and a Master of Arts degree in Performing Arts Administration from New York University.  

Morgan Dean is a queer writer, actor, activist, and model. Through their art and through visibility, Morgan hopes to show all communities what queer and non-binary can and does look like. In 2016, Morgan worked for the Hillary for America campaign and vowed after the election to always be proud and visible, even if the face of violence and danger. They continued their political work, helping coordinate social media for Jehmu for DNC and Sister District, as well as volunteering and protesting. In 2018, Morgan realized something was missing in their life. Previously devoted to Musical Theater, Morgan flipped their life around and pursued something they loved but always told themselves they could never do: playwriting. In the past year Morgan’s play THEM has had readings with Broad Views on Broadway, the Summer Fresh Festival, and No Man’s Land Theatre Co. THEM will have its first fully staged premier in September 2019 at The Tank, produced by Honey Dipped Productions. Morgan is a 2018-2019 Artist in Residence with Broad Views on Broadway and a proud member and social media coordinator for Ring of Keys. Morgan graduated with a BFA in Music Theatre, Summa Cum Laude and with Honors, from The Hartt School. Morgan resides in Woodside, Queens with their beautiful and neurotic black cat Ruby.

Stephen Shafer Mazow Managing Director at Z Space, is a writer, theater artist, fundraiser, and activist living in San Francisco and working in program development and strategic initiatives at the intersection of art, science, and social justice. Prior to joining Z Space, Shafer was Senior Grants Manager at the Exploratorium and Director of Institutional Giving and Strategy at American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.). He serves on the organizing committee for Bay Area Writer’s Resist, leads the trans and gender-non-conforming advocacy and empathy project IPFreely, and has helped to establish space-sharing initiatives for performing artists, community-based theater programs, and research and action initiatives to address gender equity in the non-profit theater field. Shafer holds a B.A. in English from Wellesley College and a M.F.A. in English and Creative Writing from Mills College. His work has appeared in the Berkeley Fiction Review, 580 Split, and the zines Found and Brood. In his early days in San Francisco, Shafer performed stand-up and sketch comedy throughout the Bay Area and was a founding member of the comedy troupe, This Side of Butch.

Leigh Fondakowski (playwright/director) was the head writer of The LaramieProject, co-writer of Laramie: Ten Years Later, and an Emmy Nominated co-screenwriter for the film adaptation of Laramie with HBO Films. Her other original plays include, I Think I Like Girls, The People's Temple, SPILL, and her current work-in-progress, Casa Cushman. Her plays have been produced under her direction atAmerican Theater Company, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Encore Theater, EnsembleStudio Theater, The Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Perseverance Theater, SwinePalace, TimeLine Theater, and Z Space Studio. Awards include The Glickman Award for Best New Play in the Bay Area (The People’s Temple); Bay Area Critics Circle nomination for Best Production (I Think I Like Girls); and a Jeff Nomination for BestChicago Production (SPILL). Leigh is a 2007 recipient of the NEA/TCG TheatreResidency Program for Playwrights, a 2009 MacDowell Colony fellow, and a 2018recipient of The National Endowment of the Arts Residency for Collaborative Teams at Yaddo. She held a Distinguished Visiting Chair at the University of Minnesota in 2010, and is the author of the creative non-fiction book, Stories from Jonestown, which she is currently adapting to film. She teaches and lectures around the country, including NewOrleans Center for Creative Arts, and has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 1995. Leigh was the recipient of a Next Stage Drama League Fellowship in 2018 and was a participant in the Orchard Project’s pilot theater development program Orchard Project Greenhouse.

Kevin Smith Kirkwood is an NYC based Actor/Singer/Dancer/Writer/Director/and Activist most recently seen on Katy Keene on the CW Network. Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, Kirkwood earned a B.A. in Fine Arts with a Music Concentration and a Theater Arts Minor from Fordham University. Kirkwood was a founding member of the outreach based Jaradoa Theater Company and has served as a teaching artist with non profits such as The Leadership Program and Art House Astoria. Kevin also served as Praise Leader and Choir Master at Community United Methodist Church in Jackson Heights since 2004. As an actor/performer Kirkwood made his Broadway debut in the The 25th Annual…Spelling Bee and also was an original company member for the entire Broadway run of the Tony Award winning musical Kinky Boots.  Other theater credits include National and European tours of Godspell, Grease, and Jesus Christ Superstar as well as numerous productions at regional theaters across the country. For two years, Kirkwood toured as a member of the political activist dragapella quartet, The Kinsey Sicks. And as a founding member of The Four Corners Project producing team, Kirkwood co-wrote/produced two off-broadway, queer themed musicals in Dial N for Negress and It’s Karate Kid! The Musical. The latter garnered Kirkwood a New York Innovative Theater Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor, while the show took home awards for Best Musical and Best Choreography. Kirkwood won a New Hampshire Theater Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Angel in RENT at the Weathervane Theater.  He also created and stars in the critically acclaimed and wildly popular solo show, Classic Whitney: Alive! which has played to sold out houses at Joe’s Pub, The Cutting Room, cruise ships around the world, and even a command performance at the diva’s estate. www.kevinsmithkirkwood.com  Art is power! 

Advisory Board

Andrea Prestinario (Board Chair) is an award-winning actress, singer, and activist who is NYC-based and Chicago-grown. Regional – Baltimore Center Stage: Fun Home (Alison); Weston Playhouse: Fun Home (Alison), Guys & Dolls (Sarah Brown); Asolo Rep: My Fair Lady (Eliza) dir. Frank Galati; A.C.T. San Francisco: 1776 (Martha) dir. Frank Galati; Paramount Theatre Aurora: RENT (Maureen), My Fair Lady (Eliza); Lyric Opera Chicago: Oklahoma! (Gertie) dir. Gary Griffin; Drury Lane Oakbrook: Gypsy (Louise), Curtains, Sugar, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers; Writers’ Theatre: Oh, Coward!; Boho Theatre Company: Side Show (Violet – Jeff Award, Leading Actress). Solo show – sMOkeyTOWN: The Songs of Smokey Robinson: Laurie Beechman, Mayne Stage Chicago, Feinstein’s/54 Below, Beverly Arts Center Chicago, Metropolis (Arlington Heights) Arts Center. Andrea is a graduate of The School at Steppenwolf and holds a BFA in Musical Theatre and Gender Studies from Ball State University. She is the Co-founder and Executive Director of Ring of Keys, a national network of queer women, trans, and gender non-conforming artists working in the musical theatre industry.
www.andreaprestinario.com     
@andreaprestinario

Linda S. Chapman has served as the associate Artistic Director at New York Theatre Workshop since 1995; Co-adapted Ann Bannon’s Lesbian classic, The Beebo Brinker Chronicles (GLAAD Media Award winner and nominated for a LAMBDA Literary Award) for the stage with playwright Kate Moira Ryan.  Co-writer/performer of OBIE Award winning Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with Lola Pashalinski; Associate member of The Wooster Group 1983-94 as Managing Director and performer; Founding Artistic Director of Sang-Froid, Ltd.; Co-founding producer of Dyke TV and DTV Productions.  Administrator at Theater For The New City; Member of Sonia Moore’s American Stanislavski Theatre;  Founding board president of Youth Arts NY - ICAN coalition member; Served on numerous funding, awards and advisory panels for the NEA, TCG, The Princess Grace Fnd., The Mellon Fnd., The Fox Fnd., The Drama League, CEC Arts/Link, and LMCC among others. Professional memberships include: The League of Professional Theater Women, Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, The National Theatre Conference, The Dramatists Guild.
Adam Rei Siegel is a producer on The Other Side (Co-Producer) and Beyond Babel (Associate Producer) as well as creating immersive brand activations for HBO, Oxygen, Club Cumming, Norwood, MATTE, Spiire and more. He was an Outreach Specialist for Dancers Responding to AIDS and Classical Action, both programs of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, and co-produces the Fire Island Dance Festival. He serves on the Board of Directors for New York Theater Barn. He is also a theater writer for W42ST Magazine and Broadway Roulette as well as a NextGen Advocate for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. 

Artistic Committee

Adam Ashraf El-Sayigh, Adam Odsess-Rubin, Amy Ackerman, Andi Lee Carter, Ariella Serur, Ashley Brockington, Ben M Jones, Dimitri Barcomi, Ellie Covan, Gaven Trinidad, James Arthur, Karen Eilbacher, Kelvyn Mitchell, Lauren Kathleen Bidwell,

Nada Al Mosa, Noor Hamdi, Renelle Wilson, Sam Hamashima, Sam Levine, Sarah Murdoch, Sasha Krapivkin, Sophia Aranda

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