Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Archive for the category “Administrator”

Jennifer Lane Bustance

JennyPlaywright, Arts Administrator
Astoria, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration? Travel! Nothing inspires me more than visiting a new city (favorites include Prague and Barcelona) but barring that, I love to park it for a few hours in the Drama Bookshop and read whatever is on their wall of Staff Recommended plays.

What’s your favorite movie: All About Eve Song from a Musical: “Finishing the Hat” from eSunday in the Park with George  Cocktail: I’ll take a glass of white wine over a cocktail any day. Book: Crime & Punishment, or Jane Eyre, or The Unbearable Lightness of Being or The End of the Affair or Revolutionary Road or… I could keep going (I love to read.)

What play or production changed your life? Mary Zimmerman’s Metamorphoses and the SoHo Rep production of Sarah Kane’s Blasted. But really, other theatre artists have changed my life much more dramatically than any individual production. Sarah Ruhl, Chuck Mee, Kelly Stuart, Lucy Thurber, Stuart Spencer — these remarkable writers are also wonderful mentors and teachers. They’re the ones who have changed my life.

I feel most like myself when I… am writing. Or, more accurately, I feel most like myself when I have just finished writing: in that moment when I am satisfied with the work, before the dark cloud of self-doubt has a chance to descend.

What is your best escape? Video games. I think I enjoy them because they tell me stories and offer me small, meaningless tasks to finish, so I feel like I’m engaged but it couldn’t possibly matter less whether or not I’m good at it or I finish at a certain time, etc.

What’s the one thing nobody knows about you? I don’t know how to admit this, I think it’s going to out me as a bad theatre nerd, but… I don’t like Chekhov. There. I’ve said it. It’s out there. Please don’t judge me too harshly.

Jennifer Lane’s work includes Harlowe (developed under the mentorship of Sarah Ruhl, winner of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum); and The Seer and the Witch (developed in the terraNOVA Groundbreakers Playwriting Group). Jenny is the Administrative Director for the LPTW and the Literary Manager for APAC. BA: Sarah Lawrence; MFA: Columbia University.

Marcina Zaccaria

Marcina ZaccariaWriter, Director, Administrator
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
I find that often I look toward painting as a source of inspiration. Lately, I have been interested by the Futurists. I recently became interested in the futurists who originated in Italy in the early 20th century, as I previously had some understanding of futurism with regard to Russian art. The Futurists loved speed, technology, and the industrial city. Futurism, as described by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, prides itself on throwing away the static and irrelevant concepts of the past and celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society.

I am quite metered and even keeled. When I see the blitz and buzz of futurism, I find a forward momentum. Futurism speaks to finding transformation in motion. Sculptures like Umberto Boccioni’s ‘Unique Forms of Continuity in Space’ are inspirational in terms of their analysis of movement and fluidity. How can I use that patterning to create interesting options for choreography? How can that movement immediately lend itself to thinking about how to direct a scene from a play?

I am just beginning to consider painting again, and I constantly ask myself to attempt that practice even though it is outside of my artistic discipline. I enjoy looking at the dynamics of movement and the expression of natural forms. I find it incredibly freeing. How do we use light and shadow to create the perception of forward momentum? How do we find vocabulary to critique the lines, curves, twists, and bends that can be found in futurist paintings?

I appreciate working on this on a two-dimension canvas, as it seems easy to create options in a choreographic rehearsal, particularly when a skilled scenic designer is nearby. When I become too reliant on what I already know, and when my thinking gets to be a bit static, I think it is quite liberating to test out these ideas. After all, futurism influenced art movements such as Art Deco, Constructivism, Surrealism, and Dada. Maybe, it’s where the next great idea is, and I think it’s worth looking.

Marcina Zaccaria is a director, administrator, and writer. She has directed at New Dramatists, Soho Rep, HERE, and DTW, and has been an administrator at Lincoln Center. A NY International Fringe Festival Adjudicator, her monologues are in “InterJACtions: Monologues from the Heart of Human Nature (Vol. II)”, available on

Anne Dunning

Anne Dunning, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPrincipal Associate, ARTS Action Research
Boston, Massachusetts & New York, New York USA

I couldn’t point to any particular theatre experience that changed my life, but I have had plenty of experiences that inspired and shaped me along the way.

I was fortunate to grow up in Toronto where Susan Douglas Rubes founded Young People’s Theatre in 1966 and where the Stratford Festival was less than two hours away. Throughout my childhood, I remember going to productions at both venues and being engaged, challenged and inspired by what I saw. I particularly remember a YPT production of The Miracle Worker that held me in thrall from beginning to end and those early experiences of Shakespeare at the Stratford Festival still remain with me.

Balancing my academic life as a committed science student, college brought a whole range of new theatre experiences – Albee and Ionesco productions presented by on-campus theatre groups, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, Improv Theatre Sports and big touring productions of Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera among others.

Leaving the world of science to embark in the world of culture, I pursued every opportunity to see theatre and dance and music productions of all kinds. As a young adult, I saw an array of Canada’s best from Robert LePage’s epic The Seven Streams of the River Ota to Daniel McIvor’s disturbing Monster to Tomson Highway’s haunting Dry Lips Oughta Move to Kapuskasing, alongside international productions presented every year at World Stage at Harbourfront Centre.

Most recently I am fortunate to be able to engage in theatre productions created and presented by the many talented colleagues with whom I work. From the heightened language productions of Red Bull Theater to the investigative theatre of The Civilians, from the amazing re-inventions of Elevator Repair Service to the inspiration of young people finding their voice in Our Time Theatre performances, from the delightful diversity of Here Art Center’s programs to the
charm of Clubbed Thumb’s original offerings, from the energy of Vampire Cowboys pop-culture hits to the boundary-pushing productions of Soho Rep and beyond. Happily, these days, I find myself right in the midst of the theatre that changes my life everyday.

Prior to joining the AAR team in 2004, Anne Dunning spent ten years in administration with the Danny Grossman Dance Company in Toronto. She was founding chair of the Canadian Dance Assembly, a trustee and chair of Dance/USA and sits on the George Cedric Metcalf Foundation’s Strategic Initiatives Advisory Committee.

Melba LaRose

Melba Larose, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenArtistic & Administrative Director of NY Artists Unlimited,

New York, New York USA

A relic of the Warhol days, ex-“Queen of off-off-Broadway,” and a legend in her own mind, Melba LaRose (yes, that’s her real name) escaped to the West Coast in the ’70s in a full-length black velvet coat, hot pants, floppy hat, and ripped fishnets — the strangest thing that ever got off the bus. After shaking off the glitter, it turned out that, contrary to popular dish, she wasn’t a drag queen after all. She was accepted into Lonny Chapman’s Group Theatre, where she explored more traditional roles than those written for her in NYC by Jackie Curtis, assisted by the inimitable Candy Darling. Lulled into a lobotomy by the ocean waves and insistently repetitive sunny days, she began writing and directing plays about the underground in NY and soon was on a plane back to Gotham. Now, ensconced in the world of providing professional theatre to under-served audiences (for 30 years), she writes, directs and sometimes acts in touring productions of the nonprofit company, NY Artists Unlimited. Not completely forgetting the wild theatre history of her youth, she created the International CringeFest, an annual escapade of irreverent, naughty, politically incorrect, politically satirical plays and musicals by up & coming and already arrived playwrights.

Favorite book: Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past;
Favorite movie: Death in Venice;
Favorite line from a play: “What the fuck for, dial one?!” (Lanford Wilson’s 4th of July)
Favorite pop-culture guilty pleasure: “Family Guy”;
Life-altering play: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (original production);
Favorite cocktails: poured them out 40 years ago after drinking a fleet of sailors under the table (I was a child prodigy);
still dream of: getting a MacArthur Genius Grant… or going to Hinckley, Ohio, to wait for the buzzards to return;
feel most like myself when I am at the ietm International Theatre Conference in a different country every six months;
best escape: obviously, travel (Travelers Anonymous is calling);
one thing nobody knows about me: I’m shy.

These days, I spend my life contemplating existential angst over the current crisis throughout the world, but especially as it affects the arts. The meds are not working.

Melba LaRose. Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who of American Women, Who’s Who in Executives & Professionals. Formerly with the NY Street Theatre Caravan. She has been married 25 years to Brazilian sculptor Elson de Faria

Marion Simon, nee Faggen

Marion Simon, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenAdministrator / Fundraiser
New York, New York USA

At age 90, my greatest inspiration comes from waking up and facing the day. I loved Providence but am happiest in NYC and grateful to LPTW for new colleagues and friends. My life in the theatre began in the ‘60’s with a production of Harold Pinter’s Caretaker, directed by my mentor, Adrian Hall, with Richard Kneeland, William Cain and J.Frank Lucas. I contacted then-Managing Director Donald Schoenbaum to see if I could be useful.

Favorite play and line:  Skin of Our Teeth, “Mrs. Anthrobus…it is girls like I who invented the alphabet.”

Marion Simon, nee Faggen. Professional Regional Theatre Administration; Trinity Repertory Company, Prov., R I. 1964-1989; ESL instructor, Brown University 1962-1964. Devoted wife, mother and nonprofit fundraiser.

Joyce Maio

Joyce Maio, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenPerforming Arts Administrator / Consultant, International Projects in the Arts
New York, New York USA

While working at The Laura Pels International Foundation, I was introduced to the distinguished Martha Coigney. Typical of Martha, she went straight to the point and rather than asking what I did, she wanted to know who I was. Overwhelmed by such a complex question, I started from the beginning:

My journey began in Paris, France, where I was born and raised by Jewish parents who had emigrated from Egypt during the 1950s’ civil war. By my mid-teens we moved to the United States. Integrating to North American culture was not an easy task for me.  I encountered cultural phobias, misunderstandings and unwarranted stereotypes. I had the great fortune early on to get drawn into Latin American literature and culture and traveled there extensively. I became an adopted “Latina” speaking fluent Spanish with a French accent.

The scope of my cultural umbrella widened and prompted me in later years to become an advocate, a cultural mender, a “cultural agitator” as Martha had called me. I dreamed of building bridges between cultures where none were available; to present another perspective, a voice from the “other”, from those left behind, those whose cultures and traditions are forbidden or misunderstood, or just forgotten.

As a woman with an artistic soul, I choose the arts as an expression, as the medium to expose the hidden or the vision with a different “face”. Sometimes I work on a cause, such as promoting women artists to become more visible. Other times, I help facilitate an art project, a play, a film, a book, that resonates bravery, exposes injustices and human foibles. Sometimes I foster cultural exchanges between the US and countries that were/are “off the map”. I also organize international art festivals and art events, empowering the human spirit to strive for communication across borders, for expressing its deepest fears and dreams, or just for preserving its tradition, its truth and heritage.

Perhaps, I am this “cultural agitator” and cannot remain still until we can all embrace, understand, respect and maybe, hopefully appreciate each other’s unique talent and vision to make this world a little more human.

Joyce Maio is a multi-lingual consultant who builds cross-cultural and international collaboration, developing, strategizing and managing projects in the performing arts; promotes contemporary expressions focusing on cultural exchanges. Co-Chair of the International Committee’s League of International Women in Theatre. Previous experiences: Laura Pels International Foundation, Queens Theatre in the Park, American Friends of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba

Harriet Slaughter

Harriet Slaughter, member of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Retired Arts Administrator, former Co- President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, 30th Anniversary Co-Chair
New York, New York USA

Always inspired by the work of other women and their accomplishments. I am currently working on the League’s Photographic Exhibition – Celebrating Our Legacy which opens at the New York Public Library on March 7th. I have been printing out the photos of the numerous women we have interviewed and each one in her own right deserves special recognition. Our recent Edith Meiser Oral History with Donna Murphy was a joyous evening of her recollections in the theatre. Thanks to funding from the New York State Council on the Arts and the Edith Meiser Foundation these tapings can continue. It’s so great to have our member Jackie Davis at the Library as a supporter of this endeavor and Betty Corwin who so diligently finds the women most suited to be interviewed.

Harriet Slaughter has been in the performing arts all of her life, first as a performer, then transitioning to Director of Labor Relations for the Broadway League. Since her retirement, she has been pursuing her creative journey through painting and writing poetry.

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