Panelists’ Bios

Discussions | Panelists’ Bios

ANNIE BAKER’s (RE: (no subject)) full-length plays include The Flick (Playwrights Horizons, winner of the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and an Obie Award for Excellence in Playwriting, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations for Best Play), Circle Mirror Transformation (Playwrights Horizons, Obie Award for Best New American Play, Drama Desk nomination for Best Play), The Aliens (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Obie Award for Best New American Play), Body Awareness (Atlantic Theater Company, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle nominations for Best Play/Emerging Playwright), and an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya, for which she also designed the costumes (Soho Rep, Drama Desk nomination for Best Revival). Her work has also been produced in England, Australia, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Mexico, Latvia, Sweden and Russia. She is a Residency Five playwright at the Signature Theater and a member of New Dramatists, MCC’s Playwrights Coalition and EST. A published anthology of her work, The Vermont Plays, is available from TCG books.

SARAH BENSON (Performing New York City) has been the Artistic Director of Soho Rep since 2007. She co-curated the PRELUDE Festival with Frank Hentschker in 2005-6. Recent New York credits include: Lucas Hnath’s A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep); David Adjmi’s Elective Affinities, (site-specific) New Yorker & Time Out New York Best of 2011; Sarah Kane’s Blasted (Soho Rep) for which Benson received a Drama Desk nomination and OBIE award, The Lisps musical Futurity (A.R.T. & Walker Arts Center, upcoming New York) Polly Stenham’s That Face (Manhattan Theatre Club); Gregory Moss’ Orange, Hat & Grace (Soho Rep). Other credits include: Gregory Moss’ House of Gold (Woolly Mammoth) and Ajax (A.R.T.). She is currently developing Cesar Alvarez’s electronic musical The Universe is a Small Hat (Berkeley Rep Ground Floor) Upcoming: Richard Maxwell’s Samara, Basetrack (BAM’s Next Wave Festival). At Soho Rep, Benson has commissioned and produced work by artists including David Adjmi, Annie Baker, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Dan LeFranc, Thomas Bradshaw, Cynthia Hopkins, Jomama Jones, Young Jean Lee, John Jesurun, Nature Theatre of Oklahoma and Anne Washburn. This work has been recognized with seven OBIE awards, five Drama Desk nominations, and The New York Times Outstanding Playwriting Award. Benson moved to New York from London on a Fulbright for Theatre Direction. She has served as a mentor in the directing programs at NYU & Yale. She is editing the upcoming anthology: The Methuen Drama Book of New American Plays (summer 2013).

CLAIRE BISHOP (Performing New York City) is a British art historian and critic based in the PhD Program in Art History at CUNY Graduate Center, New York. Her books include Installation Art: A Critical History (2005) and Artificial Hells: Participatory Art and the Politics of Spectatorship (2012), for which she won the 2013 Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism. She is the editor of Participation (2006) and 1968-1989: Political Upheaval and Artistic Change (2010), and her curatorial projects include the performance exhibition Double Agent at the ICA, London (2008) and the PRELUDE.11 performance festival at CUNY Graduate Center (2011). She is a regular contributor to Artforum, and her next book, Radical Museology, or, What’s Contemporary in Museums of Contemporary Art?, will be published this fall.

For CALEB HAMMONS‘s (Performing New York City) and FRANK HENTSCHKER‘s (Performing New York City) bios, see our Team Bios page.

ANDREW HORWITZ (Performing New York City) is a writer, curator and producer based in NYC. He is the founder of Culturebot Arts & Media, Inc. and publisher of, a website devoted to critical conversations on arts and culture. As a curator he most recently helmed The River To River Festival for The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2011-2013). He has worked as Director of Strategic Partnerships for the Foundation for Jewish Culture, producer at Performance Space 122 and co-curator of PRELUDE. He has served on numerous grant panels and consulted for foundations and arts institutions. He has taught career development workshops at artist service organization The Field and continues to work with independent artists on new projects in all disciplines. Prior to becoming a full-time arts administrator in 2002, Andrew worked as an interactive producer and brand strategist at several global advertising agencies to support his work as a theater-maker, performer and freelance writer.

ADAM HOROWITZ (The Willing Participant) is a writer, educator, performer, and Co-Executive Director of Bowery Arts + Science. Adam has presented original theatrical work with ensembles across Europe and in South America and has written about performance and cultural agency for Theater Magazine. A graduate of Yale University and a 2009 Fulbright Scholar in Colombia, Adam has consulted on program development and community engagement with a variety of cultural organizations and social enterprises. He is a founding team member of The Future Project – a national initiative to reinvigorate and re-imagine public high schools. Currently an Artist Fellow with the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics at NYU, Adam lives in Brooklyn, and is barn-raising the United States Department of Arts and Culture.

BRANDEN JACOBS JENKINS‘s (RE: (no subject)) plays include Neighbors, Appropriate, and Gloria. His work has been or will be seen at the Signature Theater, the Vineyard Theater, the Public Theater, The HighTide Festival (UK), the Actor’s Theater of Louisville, Victory Gardens in Chicago, and the Woolly Mammoth in DC. He is a Lila Acheson Wallace fellow at the Juilliard School and a playwright-in-residence at the Signature. Recent honors include the Tennessee Williams Award, the Paula Vogel Award, and the Helen Merill Award for Emerging Playwrights.

MELANIE JOSEPH (The Willing Participant) is a theatre maker and founding Artistic Producer of The Foundry Theatre.

SIBYL KEMPSON’s (RE: (no subject)) plays have been presented in NYC, Minneapolis, Austin, Omaha, Gettysburg, Bonn, Germany and almost in Baltimore. Big Dance Theater’s production of her play Ich, Kürbisgeist opens on Hallowe’en at New York Live Arts (in case you missed it at the Chocolate Factory last year!), and there’ll be another production of it by the Red Eye Theater Company in Minneapolis around the same time. Other current collaborators include Elevator Repair Service, David Neumann/Advanced Beginner Group, Rude Mechs & Salvage Vanguard Theater, Royal Osiris Karaoke Ensemble and New York City Players. She is a 2013 McKnight National Residency and Commission Recipient, a MacDowell Colony Fellow, and a member of New Dramatists. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College. Her plays are published by 53rd State Press, PAJ, and PLAY: A Journal of Plays.

GAVIN KROEBER (The Willing Participant) is Founder and Director of the Studio for Social Production, a New York-based enterprise that works with artists and presenting organizations across the visual arts, performing arts, and urban fields to conceptualize and realize new art projects. His work focuses on the transformation of institutional and disciplinary forms and emphasizes performative, event-based, social, and site-specific practices. Kroeber is additionally co-founder of the event-based curatorial platform Experience Economies and was Producer at Creative Time from 2005 until 2010. He holds a BA in Literature-Theater from Reed College and a Masters in Design Studies from the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

For AARON LANDSMAN‘s (The Willing Participant) bio, visit his artist page.

DAVID LEVINE’s (Performing New York City) work encompasses performance, theatre, installation,and video. Dividing his time between NYC and Berlin, where he is Director of the Studio Program
at the European College of Liberal Arts. Levine has directed at the Atlantic Theater Company, the Vineyard Theater/NYC, and Primary Stages/NYC and has presented his performance projects at such international art spaces and surveys as MoMA, Documenta XII, Rohkunstbau, Town House Gallery/Cairo, HAU2/Berlin, PS122/NYC, the Watermill Center, and the Sundance Theater Lab. David’s work has been featured in The New York Times, Artforum, Theater, Art In America, Bomb, Cabinet, Theater Heute, Art Review, Die Zeit, Tdr, The Village Voice, Time Out, and The Believer, and he has received grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Kulturstiftung Des Bundes, and Etants Donnes/French Fund for Performance.

ROB MARCATO (Performing New York City) is currently Artistic Line Producer at Signature Theatre where he’s been since 2011. Prior to that, he was Producer at Soho Rep from 2007-2011, Co-curator of PRELUDE.11, Co-chair of the 2010/11 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Producing Associate at The Play Company, and Artistic Associate at P.S. 122.

MAX POSNER’s (RE: (no subject)) plays include The Thing About Air Travel, The Famished, Gun Logistics, Snore (and other sorts of breathing), and Judy. His plays have been staged and developed at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Page 73, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Soho Rep, Clubbed Thumb, The Hangar Theatre, Curious Theatre Company and Production Workshop. Max was the 2012 P73 Playwriting Fellow, a 2013 MacDowell Colony Fellow, and is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. He received the Weston Award for playwriting and the Heideman Award from Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. He is currently a member of Ars Nova’s Playgroup and is working on a commission for South Coast Rep. As an actor, he has appeared in Gregory Moss’ punkplay, Heiner Muller’s Hamletmachine and Wallace Shawn’s A Thought in Three Parts. He is a graduate of Brown University and is a Lila Acheson Wallace fellow at Juilliard. Max was born and raised in Denver and lives in Brooklyn.

MORGAN VON PRELLE PECELLI, PhD (Performing New York City) is currently the Vice President of Institutional Advancement at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Before joining LMCC in 2011, she served as Director of Development at Performance Space 122 (09-11), Co-curator (10 & 09) and Dramaturg (08) at the PRELUDE Festival, Artistic and Development Director for Emerging Artists at 3LD Art & Technology Center (07-08). She is on the Board of Directors of the Ontological-Hysteric Theater where she was the Managing and Programming Director from 04-06. In 2005, she started the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator, through which she curated and produced festivals and residencies (05 & 06). In 2010, she completed her PhD in Anthropology at Columbia University. The title of her dissertation was “Tendrils of Lost Time and the Self: An Aesthetic Anthropology of New York City’s “Post”-Avant-Garde”. Part art-historical document, part socio-cultural post-industrial anthropology, her dissertation took a critical look at the socio-economic conditions of a generation of artists coming of professional ‘age’ during the decade from 1999 to 2009, following in the wake of the American Avant-Garde theatrical and performance artists of the 1970s and 80s, and living at the aesthetic edges of New York City’s cultural life, urban landscapes, hybrid economies, and fragmented histories.

GEOFFREY JACKSON SCOTT (Performing New York City) is a social strategist specializing in connecting institutions and artists to their desired publics through the design and implementation of platforms that foster dialogue, interaction and participation. As Director of New Play Development at Victory Gardens Theater, he is responsible for leading all audience engagement and development initiatives from concept to implementation and all facets of the project development process from strategic planning to final production. He spent eight seasons at New York Theatre Workshop supporting the cultivation, development, and production of new work. From 2007-2009, Jackson Scott served as curator of the PRELUDE Festival. During his tenure, the festival expanded to more directly foster an environment in which artists and audiences could gather and engage with those issues and concerns that motivate contemporary creative work.

Throughout his career he has collaborated with institutions large and small and both emerging and established artists such as: Elevator Repair Service, UNIVERSES, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Edith Freni, Jordan Seavey, Thomas Bradshaw, Betty Shamieh, Matthew Lopez, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Christopher Oscar Peña, May Adrales, Andrew Ondrecjak, Julian Mesri, Judith Malina/The Living Theatre, Aaron Landsman, John Jesurun, Dan Safer/Witness Relocation, Phil Soltanoff/Mad Dog Experimental, National Theatre of the United States of America, David Levine, Richard Foreman and Marina Abramovic. He holds a BA in Theatre with a Concentration in Directing from Columbia College Chicago and an MA in Media Studies with a dual concentration in Technology and Society and Visual Culture and Cultural Studies from New York University. In the fall of 2013, Jackson Scott will be teaching a playwriting seminar at DePaul University.

TODD SHALOM (The Willing Participant) works with text, sound and image to re-contextualize the body in space using vocabulary of the everyday. He is the founder and director of Elastic City. In this role, Todd leads his own walks, collaborates with artists to lead joint walks, and works with artists in a variety of disciplines to adapt their expertise to the participatory walk format. He often collaborates with performance artist/director Niegel Smith. Together, they conceive and stage interactive performances in public and private environments.

Todd’s work has been presented by organizations such as Abrons Art Center, Creative Time, ISSUE Project Room, The Kitchen, The New Museum, P.S.122 and Printed Matter.

HELEN SHAW (Performing New York City) is a theater critic for Time Out New York, though her theater writing has also appeared in TheaterForum, Playbill, The Village Voice, American Theater, PAJ, The New York Sun and as the introduction for Mac Wellman’s latest collection of plays, The Difficulty of Crossing a Field. She has also dramaturged for Janos Szasz, Lear deBessonet, Martha Clarke and Simon McBurney, and she teaches theater studies at NYU.

NIEGEL SMITH (The Willing Participant) is a performance artist and theater director who sculpts social spaces into unique communal environments where we make new rituals, excavate our pasts and imagine future narratives. His walks have been produced by Elastic City, the PRELUDE Festival and PS 122 and his theater by The Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Summer Play Festival, New York Fringe Festival and the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. Niegel often collaborates with Todd Shalom. Together, they conceive and stage interactive performances in public and private environments.

Niegel is a graduate of Dartmouth College, the associate director of the Tony Award winning musical FELA! and has received grants and fellowships from Theater Communications Group, the Van Lier Fund and the Tucker Foundation. Before surviving high school in Detroit, he grew up in the North Carolina piedmont, fishing with his dad, shopping with his mom and inventing tall-tale fantasies with his two younger brothers.

ANNE WASHBURN (RE: (no subject))

Anne Washburn’s plays include Mr. Burns, The Internationalist/em>, A Devil at Noon, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, I Have Loved Strangers, The Ladies, The Small and a transadaptation of Euripides’ Orestes. Her work has been produced by 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, London’s Gate Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, NYC’s Soho Rep, DC’s Studio Theater, Two River Theater Company, NYC’s Vineyard and Woolly Mammoth. Awards include a Guggenheim, a NYFA Fellowship, a Time Warner Fellowship, Susan Smith Blackburn finalist, and residencies at MacDowell and Yaddo. She is an associated artist with The Civilians, Clubbed Thumb, New Georges, and is an alumna of New Dramatists and 13P. Currently commissioned by MTC, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, and Yale Rep.

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