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) is a lighting and projection designer for theater, opera, dance, and special events. His approach centers on collaborative story-telling and a belief that the performer is the most important part of the stage. Josh’s designs have spanned a wide range of styles and venues. Experience with musical theater includes ANNIE (Barter Theatre), A CHORUS LINE (Princeton Day School), and THE WILD PARTY (Columbia Stages). Plays have ranged from a psychologically intense JULIUS CAESAR (Princeton Day), to a touching and hyper-real OUR DAD IS IN ATLANTIS (Playwrights NJ), to the realistic comedy BEAU JEST (What Exit?). Scale has ranged from an engrossingly intimate SANTALAND DIARIES (What Exit?) to a DIALOGUES OF THE CARMELITES in the soaring Newark Cathedral Basilica (New York Opera Society). He have assisted in opera houses and LORT theaters around the country, but he is particularly proud to be associate designer for LOOKINGGLASS ALICE, having remounted the phenomenally engaging show nine times.
Literary Associates: Arianne Barre-Stern, Samantha Harris, Daniel Wallach
Carol Berman – Director of the Arts, JCC Metrowest
Carol is Manager of the Gaelen Center For The Arts at JCC MetroWest in West Orange, NJ and has been seen Off - Broadway in The News In Revue, Lady Be Good, Finale!, Some Summer Night, An Elephant Never Forgets and Bittersweet. She is also the Executive Director of New Jersey Arts Incubator at Oskar Schindler Performing Arts Center, a multi-disciplinary arts agency and teaches and lectures throughout the tri-state area.
Stacie Lents - Associate Professor of Theater, Fairleigh Dickinson University
Ms. Lents' professional acting credits include the new Jose Rivera play Boleros for the Disenchanted (Florida Studio Theatre), Bread and Butter, Recklessness (New York’s Provincetown Playhouse); Between the Lines (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Ikke, Ikke, Nye, Nye Nye (Ohio Theatre); As Bees in Honey Drown (Hangar Theatre); o you (Terra Firma Dance Theatre); Beau Jest and The Last Night of Ballyhoo (What Exit? Theatre Co.) as well as the upcoming film 7 to the Palace by Aasif Mandvi and Jonathan Bines. Stacie originated the one-woman play Six Hands by Eric H. Weinberger, both at Luna Stage in New Jersey and on tour to several other venues. She wrote the book and lyrics for Daisy in Disguise which ran off-Broadway through Vital Theatre Company last fall, with an original cast recording released during the run. Other writing credits include Tidal Waves in the Neighborhood and Laugh out Loud (cry quietly), a comedy about internet dating, which Peter Filichia of TheaterMania wrote “is the best comedy I’ve seen all year.” Previous to joining the theatre faculty at FDU, Stacie taught at Rutgers University. She has also taught for Roundabout Theatre Company, Northern Stage, The Yale Center for British Art, and Long Wharf Theatre, among others. She will be included in the 2010 edition of Who’s Who in America and is a member of both Actors’ Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild. Stacie received her MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts and her B.A. in Theatre from Yale University.
DeDe Jacobs-Komisar - Development Associate, Huntington Theater
Previously, Dede was Cultural Arts Manager at the Jewish Community Center of Greater New Haven and founder of the Center's resident theater company, JCC Theaterworks, which presented the JPP Annual Playwrighting Contest twice and produced workshops of JPP-associated works "He Who Laughs" by Ian Cohen and "I'm Not Like You" by Itta Chana Englander. Originally from Baltimore, DeDe has a B.A. from Goucher College and an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama, where she served as Associate Director of Marketing and Associate Producer of the Yale Institute for Music Theatre. She also produced/acted in/both "The Yiddish King Lear", "Vaska Vaska Glom", and "The Rocky Horror Show" at Yale Cabaret. Living in Israel from 2006-2009, DeDe worked for Laurie Heller and Associates, handling financial development for major Israeli non-profits, and was development assistant for Jerusalem Peacemakers. DeDe also co-founded BamatMabat, a Jerusalem social justice theater company, and the Jewish Theater Workshop, a shomer-Shabbat company in Baltimore. She has written for The Toast, Bridges: A Journal for Women, and The Forward. DeDe lives in Sharon, MA, with her husband Yaakov and sons Nani and Itai.
Randy Ellen Lutterman - JCCA, Vice President of Arts and Culture
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, and is responsible for the on-going development of the mission, vision and content for ArtsFest, and continues to innovate and grow the program so that it can be experienced by more Jewish teens across the continent. 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, and a strategic advisor on emerging artist programming. She created the program for Musical Theatre Works, a NYC not-for-profit theatre, where she was Executive Director for five years. At MTW, she co-created the Resident Writers/New Works Program, which 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.
Ari Roth - Artistic Director, Mosaic Theater
A producer, playwright, director and educator, Ari Roth founded Mosaic Theater Company of DC in December 2014 to create powerful, transformational, uncensored and socially relevant art. As artistic director of Theater J from 1997 to 2014, Roth built the fledgling theater into the largest and most respected Jewish theater in North America, while expanding its mission to incorporate the exploration of universal themes as well as the celebration of cultural heritage. Over the course of 18 seasons he produced more than 129 productions, including 44 world premieres, and created festivals such as Locally Grown: Community Supported Art and Voices From a Changing Middle East. In 2005, The New York Times called Theater J “the premiere theater for premieres” for Roth’s production of plays by Wendy Wasserstein, Richard Greenberg, Ariel Dorfman, Joyce Carole Oates and Robert Brustein. In 2008, Theater J was honored with the DC Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in an Artistic Discipline, and two years later Roth was named one of “The Forward 50” nationally prominent “men and women leading the American Jewish community into the 21st century.” Roth's plays have been nominated for five Helen Hayes Awards, including two for subsequent productions of his Born Guilty, originally commissioned and produced by Arena Stage in 1991 under the direction of Zelda Fichandler, and then produced at Theater J in repertory with its sequel, The Wolf In Peter, eleven years later. Roth is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts playwriting grants, four-time recipient of commissions from the Foundation for Jewish Culture and two-time recipient of the Avery Hopwood Award. He has taught at the University of Michigan since 1988, currently for their Michigan in Washington program.
Elizabeth Samet – Creative Director
Elizabeth began her design career working for the Broadway League on projects such as the TONY Awards and Broadway on Broadway. For the last ten years, she has created award-winning integrated marketing campaigns for clients ranging from Proctor & Gamble to Entertainment Weekly. She is also a painter, playwright and published essayist.