The Advisory Committee

Steven Chaikelson

Currently, Professor of Professional Practice, Theatre Division, School of the Arts, Columbia University; and since 1998 adjunct assistant professor and theatre management program coordinator for the Columbia University School of the Arts.

He has also managed and produced theatrical productions on and off Broadway and across the United States. His Broadway theatre management credits include Elaine Stritch At Liberty; George Gershwin Alone; A Moon for the Misbegotten; The Price; Death of a Salesman (Broadway and Showtime productions, starring Brian Dennehy); Fool Moon; Freak; and Julia Sweeney’s God Said Ha!.

Caroline Ducroq

Schooling in France, then at the NYU School of the Arts and with Kristin Linklater, Joe Chaikin and Peter Kass as a founding member of the Working Theatre company in NYC and performing, in New York and throughout the United States as well as directing workshops in prisons.

Since moving to Los Angeles producing and directing theatrical productions in Hollywood such as Moliere’s The Misanthrope receiving six nominations (winning five) from the NAACP Annual Theatre Awards. Also coach and adjunct Acting teacher At NYU TISCH film school and SUNY Purchase University

Neil Johnson

Assisting in the initiation of the Bard of Pittsburgh project, and prior to that managing Joan Rivers tours in the UK and Ireland. Recently head of the performing arts dept in one of Britain’s leading specialist music schools.

Previously, project manager for the BBC and the Tate Gallery working on educational and creative projects for Young People in the UK; and for several years producer and director pf the Faraday Science lectures on behalf of the Institution of Engineering & technology. Currently co-founder and director of Naxos Creative offering expressive arts and life skills courses in Greece.

Todd Kreidler

Writer, director, and co-founder of the August Wilson Monologue Competition, a national program aimed at integrating Wilson’s work into high school curricula. He began working with August Wilson during the 1999 world premiere of King Hedley II at Pittsburgh Public Theater and they worked together from then on in theatres around the country including Huntington Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Mark Taper Forum, Goodman Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Center Stage in Baltimore and The Kennedy Center.

On Broadway, he was Wilson’s dramaturge for Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean and Associate Director of the Tony Award winning revival of Fences in 2010. as well as working with August Wilson on the screenplay adaptation of Fences Together, they conceived How I Learned What I Learned, a solo show that Kreidler directed with August Wilson performing at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2003, and more recently at Off Broadway’s Signature Theatre and at Pittsburgh Public Theater. He wrote the musical fable Holler If Ya Hear Me, featuring the lyrics of Tupac Shakur that premiered on Broadway. His stage adaptation of the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner ran at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and premiered at True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta. He has written Apollo 11, The Immersive Live Show and is currently writing a musical with Nikki Sixx, based on Sixx’s music and memoir, The Heroin Diaries.

Kenny Leon

Co-founder and artistic director emeritus of True Colors Theatre Company, based in Atlanta and Washington. In 2004, directed A Raisin in the Sun on Broadway starring Sean Combs, Phylicia Rashad and Audra McDonald followed by the Broadway premiere of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. In 2007, directed August Wilson’s Radio Golf. In 2010, directed a revival of August Wilson’s Fences, with ten Tony Award nominations winning three: Best Revival of a Play, Best Lead Actor in a Play (Denzel Washington) and Best Lead Actress in a Play (Viola Davis).

He has also directed plays at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, the New York Shakespeare Festival, the Goodman Theatre in Chicago, and other venues. In 2014, he directed the Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun starring Denzel Washington and LaTanya Richardson Jackson and won a Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play.

Jonathan Meth

Curator / director and founder of The Fence an international network of playwrights, dramaturgs and theatre makers; Jonathan is also a post-graduate university lecturer, dramaturg, freelance workshop leader, theatre director and consultant.

Lecturer (0.4), since 2003 on the MA in Arts Administration and Cultural Policy at the Institute for Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship (ICCE) at Goldsmiths, University of London. Previously (2014-23) project dramaturg to Crossing The Line – a partnership of 6 leading European theatre companies touring professionally with learning disabled and autistic artists. Director of writernet (1994-2009) a UK based grass roots playwright development organisation, where he oversaw a range of black playwright development initiatives, Jonathan originally trained as a theatre director at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, advisor to Ambitious about Autism and has extensive board experience.

Euzhan Palcy

Born in Martinique, her films explore themes of race, gender, and politics, and the continuing effects of colonialism. Her first feature film Sugar Cane Alley (1983) won a Cesar award for best first film, as well as the Venice Film Festival Silver Lion.

She directed A Dry White Season (1989), and was the first black woman director of a film produced by a major Hollywood studio (MGM) and the only woman filmmaker to have directed Marlon Brando, whom she brought back to the screen after a gap of nine years and which garnered him an Oscar nomination. She has also produced a three-part documentary Aimé Césaire, A Voice For History about the famed Martinique poet, playwright and philosopher, Since 2013 she has been a member of the comité national pour la mémoire et l’histoire de l’esclavage (CNMHE).

Jack Viertel

Jack Viertel was the senior vice president of Jujamcyn Theaters, involved in dozens of productions including multiple Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winners, from City of Angels to Angels in America. He has also assisted six of August Wilson’s plays to Broadway as well as renaming the Jujamcyn theater on 245 West 52nd Street in his honour following the playwright’s death in 2005.

Jack Viertel was also the artistic director of New York City Center’s acclaimed Encores! series, overseeing sixty shows, for some of which he adapted the scripts. He was co-creator of Smokey Joe’s Cafe and creative consultant on shows such as 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. In 2023 he received the Bill Irwin Trailblazer award at the Savannah Rep Gala.

Alfre Woodard

American actress, producer, and political activist. She won her first Primetime Emmy Award in 1983 for her performance in Steven Bochko’s Hill Street Blues and had another Emmy-winning role in his pilot for L.A. Law. She has been nominated for an Academy Award and Grammy Award and 18 times for an Emmy Award (winning four) and has also won a Golden Globe Award and three Screen Actors Guild Awards.

In 2020, The New York Times ranked Woodard seventeenth on its list of “The 25 Greatest Actors of the 21st Century”; and Mark Kermode in his Five Star “Alfre Woodard quietly dazzles in this superb death row drama” review for Chinonye Chukwu’s Clemency in the Guardian also laments “Woodard is brilliantly measured and understated, a quality that rarely attracts Oscar attention”. She is a founder of Artists for a New South Africa, an organization devoted to advancing democracy and equality in that country; and a board member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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