The TheaterMakers Studio Faculty

Jill Rafson

Jill Rafson

Jill Rafson is the Associate Artistic Director for Roundabout Theatre Company, as well as the Artistic Producer for the Roundabout Underground program in support of emerging playwrights. In addition to developing dozens of new works for Roundabout, Jill has been a dramaturg for the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference, CollaborationTown, The Playwrights’ Center, Fault Line Theatre, and the Flea Theatre’s acclaimed 48-playwright epic reimagining of the Bible, The Mysteries. Jill has worked with The Broadway League, New York City Center, Local Theater Company, and ART/NY. She was a member of NYFA’s Emerging Arts Leaders program and has taught/lectured for the Commercial Theatre Institute, ESPA, Kenyon College, and others. Jill received her B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

Jack Viertel

Jack Viertel

Jack Viertel is the senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, which owns and operates five Broadway theaters. He has been involved in dozens of productions presented by Jujamcyn since 1987, including multiple Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winners, from City of Angels to Angels in America. He has also helped shepherd six of August Wilson’s plays to Broadway. He is the artistic director of New York City Center’s acclaimed Encores! series, which presents three musical productions every season. In that capacity he has overseen fifty shows, for some of which he adapted the scripts. He conceived the long-running Smokey Joe’s Cafe and the critically acclaimed After Midnight and has been a creative consultant on many shows, including Hairspray, A Christmas Story, and Dear Evan Hansen. He was the Mark Taper Forum’s dramaturg and the drama critic and arts editor of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and he has spent a decade teaching musical theater at the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.

Tyler Mount

Tyler Mount

Tyler Mount is a Tony-winning producer and one of the industry’s most noted social influencers. As the creator of The Tyler Mount Vlog, he has been seen by over three million people in 168 countries world-wide, and has served as an influencer for hundreds of Broadway productions and prestigious international brands. Featured by both The New York Times and Forbes Magazine, his series has featured such noted industry professionals including Gloria Estefan, Perez Hilton, Jerry Mitchell, Lin Manuel-Miranda, and Billy Porter. Currently the Senior Manager of Social Media at NBCUniversal, Tyler is an industry-leading expert in growing your social following and reaching your target audience. His work in the theatre community is far-reaching, serving as an influencer and spokesperson for such esteemed organizations as the Junior Theatre Festival, BroadwayCon, The Drama League, and The Tony, Grammy and Olivier Awards. Mount’s Broadway credits include: Hadestown, The Inheritance, Once On This Island, On Your Feet: The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan, An American in Paris, Viva Broadway: Gloria Estefan LIVE!, and The Cradle Will Rock starring Patti LuPone. Follow his Broadway journey all year long - @TylerGMount

Ken Cerniglia

Ken Cerniglia

Ken Cerniglia is dramaturg and literary manager for Disney Theatrical Group, where he has developed over fifty shows for professional, amateur, and school productions, including Freaky Friday, Aladdin, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Peter and the Starcatcher, Newsies, High School Musical, Tarzan, and The Little Mermaid. Recent freelance projects include Hadestown (New York Theatre Workshop), Bud, Not Buddy (Kennedy Center), Passion Trilogy (Fisher Ensemble), and Bridges (Berkeley Playhouse). Ken holds a PhD in drama from the University of Washington and is president of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.

Amber Iman

Amber Iman

Amber made her Broadway debut as the High Priestess of Soul, Nina Simone, in Soul Doctor, earning rave reviews and a nomination for the prestigious Clive Barnes Award. She then tackled the role of ‘Aldonza’ in Man of la Mancha at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC, receiving the Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence & a Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Musical. In Spring of 2016, Amber returned to Broadway in Shuffle Along, Or, The Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed. The show, nominated for 10 Tony Awards, was written and directed by George C. Wolfe, choreographed by Savion Glover, and boasted an all-star cast of Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Billy Porter, Joshua Henry, and Brandon Victor Dixon. Marking her first national tour, Amber played ‘Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds’ with the 11-time Tony Award winning smash hit Hamilton. She had a blast as ‘Cheryl’ in the star-studded, limited run of Little Shop of Horrors at the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts in Washington, DC. In February, she starred in Witness Uganda as ‘Joy’ at the Wallis Annenberg Performing Arts Center in Los Angeles, and is nominated for an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical . Most recently, Amber made her Two River Theatre Company debut as Luna C in “Oo-Bla-Dee”, by Golden Globe Winner Regina Taylor, and directed by 2x TONY Award winner, Ruben Santaigo-Hudson.

Mandy Gonzalez

Mandy Gonzalez

A Drama Desk and OBIE Award-winning actress. She is best known for her emotional portrayal of Nina Rosario in the original cast of Lin-Manuel Miranda's Tony Award-winning hit musical In the Heights, she also starred as Elphaba in Wicked (Broadway). TV/Film: "Madam Secretary," "Quantico," "Doubt," "The Good Wife," "White Collar," Viral, After, Man on a Ledge, and Across the Universe. Broadway: AIDA, Lennon, Dance of the Vampires. Mandy has performed with prestigious symphonies across the country and around the world.

Kenny Leon

Kenny Leon

KENNY LEON (Director) is a Tony Award winning Broadway and film director. His Broadway credits include the 2014 revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington(Tony Award Winner for Best Direction of a Play and Best Revival), The Mountaintop starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett, Stick Fly produced by Alicia Keys, August Wilson's Fences (which garnered ten Tony nominations and won three Tony Awards including Best Revival), the 2004 revival of A Raisin in the Sun with Sean P. Diddy Combs, Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf and the 2014 premiere of Holler if You Hear Me, a new musical created using the music of Tupac Shakur. Leon's recent film work includes "In My Dreams" for Hallmark Hall of Fame, "The Watsons go to Birmingham" for Walden Media and Hallmark, and the Sony and Lifetime TV adaptation of "Steel Magnolias". Leon is the recipient of numerous awards including the 2010 Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing by the Drama League of New York.

Telly Leung

Telly Leung

Telly was born and raised in New York City. He grew up in a traditional Chinese home in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. He is a proud alumni of New York's prestigious math & science specialized high school, Stuyvesant High School. After Stuyvesant, Telly was admitted to Carnegie Mellon University's School of Drama (CMU), where he received most of his formal training in acting, singing, and dance. It was also at CMU that Telly met fellow CMU-alum and KINKY BOOTS Tony-Award Winner, Billy Porter, who returned to his alma mater to direct the main stage production of Sondheim's COMPANY. After casting Telly as Bobby in "Company", Porter made a phone call to his colleagues who were involved in the upcoming Broadway revival of FLOWER DRUM SONG and landed Telly an audition. In the fall of 2002, Telly made his Broadway debut in the revival of 'Flower Drum Song", starring Lea Salonga, as a member of the ensemble and an understudy for Wang Ta.

David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang

David Henry Hwang’s stage works includes the plays M. Butterfly, Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child, The Dance and the Railroad, and FOB, as well as the Broadway musicals Elton John & Tim Rice’s Aida (co-author), Flower Drum Song(2002 revival) and Disney’s Tarzan. Hwang is a Tony Award winner and three-time nominee, a three-time OBIE Award winner, and a three-time Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He is also the most-produced living American opera librettist, whose works have been honored with two Grammy Awards, co-wrote the Gold Record Solo with the late pop icon Prince, and worked from 2015-2019 as a Writer/Consulting Producer for the Golden Globe-winning television series The Affair. He is currently writing the live-action musical feature film The Hunchback of Notre Dame for Disney Studios and a movie to star actress Gemma Chan. Hwang serves on the Board of the Lark Play Development Center, as Head of Playwriting at Columbia University School of the Arts, and as Chair of the American Theatre Wing, founder of the Tony Awards. M. Butterfly recently returned to Broadway in a revival directed by Julie Taymor, which marked Mr. Hwang’s eighth Broadway production. His newest work, Soft Power, a collaboration with composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home), premiered at Los Angeles’ Ahmanson Theatre, where it won six Ovation Awards. Its subsequent run at the Public Theatre in NYC received four Outer Critics Honors, eleven Drama Desk Nominations, a Grammy nomination for Best Musical Theatre Album, and was a finalist for the 2020 Pulitzer Prize in Drama.

Susan Stroman

Susan Stroman

A.R.T.: Debut. A five-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer, Stroman has been honored with Olivier, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortel, and a record five Astaire Awards. She made her Metropolitan Opera debut in 2014, directing and choreographing The Merry Widow. Most recently she directed and choreographed the new musical Little Dancer for the Kennedy Center. She directed and choreographed The Producers, winner of a record-making 12 Tony Awards including Best Direction and Best Choreography. Her direction and choreography for the critically acclaimed musical The Scottsboro Boys continues to garner praise, with her recent production in London’s West End winning the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. She co-created, directed, and choreographed the Tony Award-winning musical Contact for Lincoln Center Theater. Other Broadway credits include Bullets Over Broadway, Big Fish, Crazy for You, Show Boat, Oklahoma!, Young Frankenstein, The Frogs, The Music Man, Thou Shalt Not, and Steel Pier. Off-Broadway credits include The World Goes ‘Round, Flora the Red Menace, and Happiness. She has created ballets for New York City Ballet, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and Martha Graham Company. She is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Theater and a 2014 Inductee of the Theater Hall of Fame.

Mara Isaacs

Mara Isaacs

Mara Isaacs is a Tony® and Grammy® Award winning producer and founder of Octopus Theatricals, an independent production company dedicated to fostering an expansive range of compelling theatrical works for local, national, and international audiences. She has produced over 150 productions that have been seen on Broadway (Hadestown, The Inheritance, Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the US and the world (UK, Europe, Asia, Middle East, South America, South Africa, Canada). In 2019, she co-founded Sing It Again Records, winning a Grammy award with their first release, the Original Broadway Cast Recording of Hadestown. Current projects include Social! A Social Distance Dance Club (created by David Byrne, Steven Hoggett and Christine Jones); Theatre For One; Dreaming Zenzile by Somi Kakoma; Iphigenia by Wayne Shorter and Esperanza Spalding; Bill Irwin’s On Beckett; Activist Songbook by Byron Au Yong and Aaron Jafferis; And So We Walked by DeLanna Studi; and An Iliad starring Denis O’Hare. Mara is proud to produce the work of Phantom Limb Company, Song of the Goat Theatre and more, and serves as Artistic Advisor to Fiasco Theater. She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ for 18 seasons and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. www.octopustheatricals.com

Brian Moreland

Originally from California, Brian Moreland is a creative commercial producer based in New York City. Brian, has a passion for universal stories that blend marginalized people and topics with entertainment. Broadway credits include The Lifespan of a Fact with Daniel Radcliffe, Cherry Jones and Bobby Cannavale, Sea Wall/ A Life with Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Sturridge, and The Sound Inside with Mary-Louise Parker to name a few. In addition to Broadway, Brian has also produced virtual theatre productions including Charles Randolph-Wright’s Cuttin’ Up, starring Joe Morton, Blair Underwood and Tisha Campbell, and While We Breathe, a series of new works benefitting the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. While We Breathe featured work from Patina Miller, Tamara Tunie, Lee Edward Colston II, and Will Swenson. Upcoming producer projects include Keenan Scott II’s Thoughts of a Colored Man, directed by Steve H. Broadnax III and Blue starring Tony and Emmy winner Leslie Uggams, Emmy winner Lynn Whitfiled, and directed Tony winner Phylicia Rashad, which was originally slated to open at the Apollo on Mother’s Day this year. Brian is an active member of the Broadway community, volunteering his time for the Theatre Development Fund and serving on the Board of Governors at The Broadway League.

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