David Winitsky (Founder) is the director of the Jewish Plays Project (www.jewishplaysproject.org), a collaborator with StorahTelling, and a PresenTense New York City Fellow. He has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, California Shakespeare Festival and Philadelphia Theatre Company. NYC: Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project). A Wonderful Flat Thing (14th St Y), Dominic D'Andrea's One Minute Play Festival, Brooke Berman's Until We Find Each Other (Midtown International),. Regional: Douglas Adam's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (What Exit?), and Javier Malpica's Our Dad is in Atlantis (Playwrights Theatre). MFA in Directing from Northwestern, BA in Mathematics from Cornell. Member: Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Emerging Artists Theatre. David is the proud husband of playwright and painter Elizabeth Samet, and father to Ezekiel and Alexander.
Joshua Benghiat (Resident Designer & Artistic Associate) Josh’s lighting design work includes theater, opera, concert halls, dance, and live events. Theatrical design and associate work includes Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regional including Center Theatre Group, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Alliance Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, McCarter Theatre, and Geva Theatre Center. Josh currently designs regularly for the Lincoln Center White Light Festival and is the lighting designer for The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is an Artistic Associate of the Jewish Plays Project, playing an active role in new play development, lending both dramaturgical and design support to new and emerging works. Faculty: Brooklyn College, & Yale School of Drama. A.B., University of Chicago; M.F.A., NYU Tisch School of the Arts. www.BenghiatLighting.com
Producer: Ilana Becker
Literary Associates: Arianne Barre-Stern, Samantha Harris, Daniel Wallach
Robert Sherman: Executive Director, Jewish Education Project (New York, NY)
Robert Sherman currently serves as the CEO of The Jewish Education Project. Prior to assuming that position in July 2007, he was the Executive Director of the Bureau of Jewish Education of San Francisco, the Peninsula, Marin and Sonoma Counties. Mr. Sherman has also been Headmaster of the San Diego Jewish Academy and the Maimonides Academy, two community Jewish Day Schools. Mr. Sherman was awarded his MA from the Jewish Theological Seminary and his BA from the American College in Jerusalem. He is married with three children.
Ari Roth: Artistic Director, Mosaic Theater (Washington, DC)
A producer, playwright, dramaturg, and educator, Ari founded Mosaic Theater Company in December, 2014 after serving as Artistic Director of Theater J for 18 years where he produced 129 productions, including 44 world premieres, and created the annual festivals “Voices From a Changing Middle East” and “Locally Grown: Community Supported Art”. As a playwright, his work includes The Born Guilty Cycle, commissioned and produced by Arena Stage, directed by Zelda Fichandler, and over 50 productions across the country; The Wolf in Peter, produced by Theater J, Jewish Theatre of the South; and fused as a diptych for Epic Theatre at Manhattan Theatre Club and CUNY; a prequel, Andy and The Shadows produced at Theater J, directed by Daniela Topol, and Reborn In Berlin, workshopped at The Orchard Project, (in progress). Other produced plays include Oh, The Innocents (directed by Joe Mantello at GeVa); Goodnight Irene; Life In Refusal; Love and Yearning in the Not for Profits; Still Waiting (companion to Waiting For Lefty), and a dozen one-acts. He is a two-time recipient of the Avery Hopwood Award from the University of Michigan where he has taught since 1988, currently for their “Michigan in Washington” program, as well as for Brandeis, NYU, and Carnegie Mellon Universities.
Randy Ellen Lutterman: Vice President of Arts and Culture, JCCA (New York, NY)
As Vice President, Arts and Culture for JCCs of North America, Randy provides support and leadership, communicating with JCCs across the continent about arts and culture programming, advising on content, growth of programs, and funding opportunities. Randy is also Director of JCC Maccabi ArtsFest, the sister program to the JCC Maccabi Games. Randy has a twenty year background in arts consulting, producing and developing new artists and new work. She is the Founding Director of SpringboardNYC at the American Theatre Wing, an award-winning college-to-career transition program for students starting their arts careers in New York City. She was the Executive Director for Musical Theatre Works, a NYC not-for-profit theatre, for 5 years, where she commissioned and developed dozens of new musical theatre pieces that went on to have future lives in regional, not-for-profit and commercial houses around the country. Randy also developed and produced MTW’s “A Class Act”, which received an Off-Broadway co-production with MTC, and then a Broadway run where it earned 5 Tony nominations including Best New Musical.
Professor Stacie Lents, Associate Professor, Fairleigh Dickinson University (Brooklyn, NY)
Stacie Lents is a professional playwright and actor, and directs the acting program and the Barn Theater at Fairleigh Dickinson. Her plays Fire Exit, Henry’s Law, a play about bullying, and Laugh Out Loud (cry quietly) are published by Playscripts, Inc. Henry's Law was included in Backstage.com’s list of 15 Must-Read Plays for Tweens and Teens. She wrote the book and lyrics for Daisy in Disguise, which ran off-Broadway through Vital Theatre Company with an original cast recording released during the run. Her play College Colors, originated at FDU, will open at Crossroads Theater in 2016. Stacie is also an actor who has performed regionally and in New York; she recently played Joan in 100 Years, and she performed her piece “Visiting Hours” at the Carter Studio Theatre at Lincoln Center as part of the 2013 A-T Children’s Benefit. She has performed at Florida Studio Theatre, The New Brunswick Theater Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New York’s Provincetown Playhouse, Hangar Theatre, Ohio Theatre, and Dreamcatcher Repertory, among others. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Actors’ Equity Association, SAG-AFTRA, and the artistic advisory board of the Jewish Plays Project. Stacie received her MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts and her BA in Theater from Yale University.
Dede Jacobs-Komisar: Giving Manger, Huntington Theater (Baltimore, MD)
DeDe Jacobs-Komisar attended Nishmat and Orot Israel College, has a B.A. from Goucher College and an MFA from Yale School of Drama. She has contributed to The-Toast.net, The Forward, Bridges: A Journal for Women, Jewschool, and The Baltimore Jewish Times. Dede is currently working on an essay anthology on teen spirituality. She is active in the Israeli-Palestinian religious peace movement and was founder and artistic director of BamatMabat, a social change theater company in Jerusalem, as well as JCC Theaterworks in New Haven, CT. She is currently Institutional Giving Manager at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, MA. DeDe lives in Sharon, MA, with her husband, Yaakov and two sons, Nani and Itai.
Elizabeth Samet: Vice-President, Destination Maternity (Philadelphia, PA)
For over 20 years Elizabeth Samet has been creating fearless, thoughtful, design-savvy solutions to push boundaries, dazzle clients and create award-winning work across print, digital and social platforms. She spent over 10 years working on various Proctor & Gamble accounts as a creative director at Saatchi & Saatchi X before moving in to the world of publishing where she held Sr. Creative positions with Time Inc, Hearst and Conde Nast including Creative Director at W Magazine. She joined Destination Maternity in January 2015 as Creative Director and now serves as the VP of Branding and PR.
Rabbi Joel Soffin, Retired Clergy, President Jewish Helping Hands (New York, NY)
Rabbi Joel Soffin served Temple Shalom in Succasunna, NJ for 27 years, after being ordained at Hebrew Union College. A life-long social activist, in retirement, he founded Jewish Helping Hands and is the Board Chair of MindLeaps, both supporting those in need around the world, from Israel to Rwanda, to Cambodia and beyond. For the past 11 years, he has taught Talmud to an eager group of learners. Rabbi Soffin attributes his passion for social action and all of Jewish life to his mother, Sarah Soffin, aleha hashalom, may she rest in peace. He has been married to Sandy for almost fifty years is the proud father of Jeremy and Aaron, and has 3 exceptional grandchildren. In his senior year of High School, he played the returning uncle in Our Town. It was the beginning and end of his acting career.