The South Florida Theatre League
2015-2016 Executive Committee & Board
December 1, 2015
MIAMI, FL: The South Florida Theatre League has added a number of new faces to its 2015-2016 Board of Directors, and by doing so has increased its size as well its make-up – both important factors in making sure the organization reflects the multi-faceted and wide-spread community it serves.
The League, which is an “alliance of theatrical organizations and professionals dedicated to nurturing, promoting, and advocating for the growth and prestige of the South Florida theatre industry,” serves as the umbrella organization for over 80 theatres between Key West and Jupiter.
Carol Kassie, who joined the Board in 2012 and has served as chairman of the League’s Marketing Committee as well as on the executive committee as Recording Secretary, has taken on the presidency of the organization. Kent Wilson (joined 2013) will serve as Vice President, Michael Yawney (joined 2010) will act as Treasurer, and immediate past president Christopher Jahn (joined 2012) will continue to serve on the Board’s executive committee as Recording Secretary.
New board members are Mary Damiano, Carlos Garrido, Patricia Wakely Wolf, and Nicole Stodard. Returning members are Susan Dierenfeldt-Troy, Dr. Alma Kadragic, and Les Wharton.
The South Florida Theatre League provides support to its member theatres in a number of different ways, including advocacy, education promotion, and support.
The League’s Summer Theatre Fest has become an integral part of South Florida’s cultural landscape, offering audiences the opportunity to see theatre for free, participate in the development of new plays by South Florida playwrights – fledgling and well known, and discover and visit theatres they might not have considered attending had the opportunity not been presented.
The League also offers workshops for its members and its member theatres given by experts in their various fields. Audition workshops – musical and dramatic, are held, preliminary to the League’s Unified Auditions, during which member actors are able to present themselves to local producers and directors. A Critics Panel for member theatres has proven to be useful for both member theatres and the journalists who write about them. The League’s weekly eblast contains information about current and upcoming productions, as well as audition notices and other theatrical job opportunities. And The South Florida Theatre League’s prestigious Remy Awards, given to individuals who often go unrecognized but whose contributions to the region’s theatrical community are absolutely necessary for its survival will be awarded at the League’s gala holiday party, which will take place on Monday December 7th at Stache in downtown Ft. Lauderdale from 7:30 to 10:00.
For more information about the South Florida Theatre League, including a list of member theatres and their current and upcoming productions, visit: http://www.southfloridatheatre.com/ or contact Andie Arthur at: firstname.lastname@example.org or Carol Kassie at email@example.com .
South Florida Theatre League Executive Committee Bios:
Carol Kassie (President) has had a deep and abiding love for the arts, particularly theatre, since she was a small child and her parents presented her with an original Broadway cast recording of “My Fair Lady”. Armed with a degree in Theatre from Sir George Williams University (now Concordia University) in Montreal, Canada, she became …a librarian. She spent 30 years in Ottawa, Canada, raising two children with her husband, Ralph, working first as a librarian and then in the family’s Army/Navy business, all the while actively participating in many of the Ottawa Community’s cultural events. She served as president of the Ottawa Section of National Council of Jewish Women, as well as National Vice President of that organization. She also was a longstanding board member of the Ottawa Jewish Community Center, and eventually became the organization’s first female president. A move to South Florida in 2001 offered her an opportunity to return to her first love, theatre, and she jumped at the chance – she currently does freelance theatrical marketing, public relations, and audience growth and development for various local and national theatres, theatre companies, and cultural organizations. She served on the board of directors of the South Florida Theatre League as chairman of the Marketing Committee and on the executive committee as Recording Secretary before taking on the position of president.
Kent Wilson (Vice President) lives in a world that includes diverse theatrical involvement and proficiency in the medical software industry. He balances these biospheres by utilizing his understanding of human behavior cultivated at Southern New Hampshire University earning a B.A. in Forensic Psychology. Kent has served as president of the Southeastern Arts, Media, and Education Project, which produced plays, original films, and the publication of Amethyst,a journal of creative writing and visual arts. He is currently on the Ambassadors Council for the National New Play Network, a judge for the Carbonell Awards, and is a member of two South Florida theatre companies. Kent has a firm belief in the talented artists and craftspeople of South Florida as a brilliant regional artistic force. He is proud to support this community as a board member of the South Florida Theatre League. Through its workshops, forums, and more, the League positions itself as a cornerstone in the recognition of our community thereby fulfilling its mission to nurture, promote, and advocate for the growth and prestige of the South Florida theatre industry.
Christopher Jahn (Immediate Past President/Recording Secretary) began his South Florida theatrical career in 1986 when he joined the resident company of The Actors’ Repertory Company. For the next few years, he appeared at several theaters across Palm Beach County, and still works as an actor, dubbing movies and telenovellas for several studios. He quickly added set design to his resume, and eventually started to pursue a more technically oriented career at the Burt Reynolds Jupiter Dinner Theatre, and soon joined the stage management team at Florida Stage back when it was still The Theatre Club of the Palm Beaches. In 1994 he joined the staff of the Jupiter Theatre as Master Carpenter, becoming Technical Director for its final two productions in 1996. He joined the Actors’ Playhouse staff in 1998 as Associate Technical Director, and served as Production Manager from 2002 to 2008. It was during this period that he started the South Florida Theatre Scene, a blog dedicated to pulling together news articles and reviews of South Florida theatre production. For his work on the blog, he was presented with a Remy Award for Service. Since 2008, he has worked at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts as a Production Supervisor, coordinating the wide range of productions coming into the Amaturo Theater and the Abdo New River Room. He is immensely proud to be serving on the board of the South Florida Theater League.
Michael Yawney (Treasurer) is a director/playwright dedicated to creating work that is purely theatrical, expressing itself in an idiom that only possible in the context of live performance.
Yawney’s play Exile Jesus Starbucks debuted at Miami Light Project in 20015. He directed Rudi Goblen’s PET at Miami Light Project in 2013. He dramaturged and directed Heather Woodbury’s 12-hour stand-up novel As the Globe Warms, which was seen at Austin’s Vortex Rep, L.A.’s Redcat. Other recent productions include Juan C. Sanchez’s Catherine’s Wheel and Kenny Finkle’s A Thousand Years at FIU’s Alternative Summer Theater Festival, Noye’s Fludde, Amahl and the Night Visitors and Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale for Orchestra Miami, as well as Cardenio and The Liar for Florida International Univesity. Yawney was a fellow in Miami-Dade County’s Playwright Development Program 2010-2012. His play 1,000 Homosexual was developed in a residency at New York Stage and Film and premiered at the Arsht Center (which had commissioned the work) in 2008. He co-curated the international Iranian Theater Festival in New York in 2011, which presented his production of Assurbanipal Babilla’s Something Something Uber Alles.
His production of Assurbanipal Babilla’s Three Angels Dancing on a Needle was named Best Theatrical Production of 2007 by Miami New Times. This production went on to be named Best Foreign Language Production at the Brooklyn Brick Theater’s Pretentious Festival. Yawney has directed plays by Heather Woodbury, Honor Kane (Honor Malloy), Madeleine Olnek, Deb Margolin, Georg Osterman and this work has been seen at New York’s Public Theater, Dixon Place, BMI Musical Theater Workshop, HERE, Downtown Art Co. Ensemble Studio Theater, Indiana University, and the Pittsburgh Performance Art Festival. Yawney’s writing has appeared in Theater Week, Propaganda, Playgirl OutTraveler and OFF as well as in the book, Michael Chekhov: Critical Issues, Reflections, Dreams. He has a BFA from the Experimental Theater Wing of New York University and an MFA in Directing from Columbia University. He currently teaches theater at Florida International University.