|Home Grown Bios|
KEYNOTE SPEAKER BARBARA LYNCH
James Beard Award-winner Barbara Lynch is regarded as one of Boston’s, and the country’s, leading chefs and restaurateurs. During her early twenties, Barbara worked under some of Boston’s greatest culinary talents including Chef Todd English, first at Michaela’s then at Olives and later Figs. After working with Todd for several years, Barbara traveled to Italy where she learned about Italian cuisine firsthand from local women. She returned to Boston and became the executive chef at Galleria Italiana, bringing national acclaim to the tiny trattoria when she captured Food & Wine’s “Ten Best New Chefs in America” award.
In 1998, Barbara opened a restaurant of her own, No. 9 Park, in Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. The restaurant immediately received rave reviews from publications around the country and was named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants in America” by Bon Appétit and “Best New Restaurant” by Food & Wine.
Barbara expanded her presence in Boston by opening two restaurants in the South End in 2003: B&G Oysters, serving exquisitely fresh oysters and New England classics, and The Butcher Shop, a wine bar and full service butcher shop. Barbara continued to grow her culinary empire by opening three unique concepts in succession: In 2005, Niche Catour, a catering company; Plum Produce in September 2006, and next door, Stir, a demonstration kitchen and cookbook store in 2007.
In fall 2008 Barbara launched two concepts in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood: Drink, a bar dedicated to the craft of the cocktail and Sportello (Italian for counter service), Barbara’s modern interpretation of a diner. Her catering company, 9 at Home (formerly Niche Catour), relocated to Fort Point in 2008 as well. In spring 2010 Barbara and her team opened the much anticipated third concept in Boston’s Fort Point neighborhood, Menton, a fine dining restaurant. Menton has received several accolades, including being named one of the best new restaurants of the year by Bon Appetit, Esquire, and GQ and a 4 star review from The Boston Globe’s restaurant critic Devra First.
Barbara's first cookbook, Stir: Mixing It Up in The Italian Tradition, was published by Houghton Mifflin in fall 2009 and immediately earned rave reviews from both the media and home cooks and received a prestigious Gourmand award for “Best Chef Cookbook” for the US.
As the CEO of Barbara Lynch Gruppo, Barbara oversees the operations of eight concepts and employs over 200 people. In addition to running her company, each year she dedicates time and resources to a number of philanthropic missions including the Crittenton Women’s Union, Common Threads, The Greater Boston Food Bank, Share our Strength, and several neighborhood organizations around the city of Boston.
RAFAEL JAEN (Costume Designer). Recent works include “God in America Part 1 & 2” (PBS/WGBH: American Experience), Boston Marriage & A Doll’s House (New Repertory Theatre), Light Up The Sky (Emerson Stage), Nicholas Nickleby (Lyric Stage) and Color of Rose (ArtsEmerson). His designs for Kiss Me Kate (Lyric Stage) and The Remarkable Rooming House of Mme Le Monde (BeauJest/ Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival) got 2010 IRNE nominations and Hubbie Awards for Best Costumes. Memberships include USA Chapter 829, and USITT where he chairs the Costume Commission’s Student Leadership Initiatives. In addition, he serves as the Design, Technologies & Management Co-Chair for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival --Region 1, North East. He has presented numerous workshops and adjudicated design-tech student work at USITT SW Winter Symposiums and multiple KCACTF Regions. He is a design-tech faculty at Emerson College and he is the recipient of a USITT ’08 Costume Technology Grant. His work has been featured in Live Design, TD & T and Sightlines. Mr. Jaen is the author of Developing and Maintaining a Design-Tech Portfolio (FOCAL Press). The 2nd edition will be published on November 2011. Web site: www.rafaeljaen.biz. Blog: http://fromthetailorstable.blogspot.com/
JARED BOWEN is an Emmy-winning reporter with WGBH-TV’s nightly news magazine program, Greater Boston with Emily Rooney. Jared’s coverage takes him from breaking news to politics to arts and culture. In his regular Center Stage segments, Jared covers the latest in the Boston area’s theater, art, music, dance and film scenes. He is a member of the Elliot Norton Awards Selection Committee recognizing achievement in Boston theater. He also serves on the Board of Governors for the Boston/New England Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In over a decade with WGBH, Jared has produced four news documentaries for Greater Boston and he produced the first three seasons of the station’s Eye on Education initiative. He’s won two New England Emmy awards for his arts reporting.
Jared began his career at Dateline NBC in New York and is a graduate of Emerson College where he also won several Associated Press Awards.
JOHN O’BRIEN is an original company member of Mill 6 and directed their first production, A Coarse Evening, back in 1998. Since then he has directed sixteen other productions for the company including the short-run Tent Meeting; the world premiere of The Trojan Whore written by Sean Michael Welch and last season's premiere of Bunbury: A Serious Play for Trivial People. He created the new play festival The T Plays which will be having its third production in August 2011. He has worked with many of Boston’s smaller theater companies including Industrial Theater, Whistler in the Dark, Rough & Tumble, The Theater Cooperative, Devanaughn Theater and New Broadway Theater. As a playwright his plays have been performed in Boston, New York, Cambridge, Provincetown and Ashland Oregon. His play If at First... has been published (in a collection of Boston Theater Marathon plays) by Smith and Kraus. He is a graduate of Fordham University, College at Lincoln Center. His next project is in May co-directing the New England premiere of The Monster Tales by Mary Jett Parsley.
MELINDA LOPEZ is a playwright and actress. SONIA FLEW won the Elliot Norton Award for “Best New Play”, and the IRNE (Independent Reviewers of New England) for “Best Play” and “Best Production”. It has been produced at the Huntington Theatre (dir. Nicholas Martin), Coconut Grove Playhouse, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Laguna Playhouse, the Summer Playwrights Festival, NY, the Milagro Theatre, the Steppenwolf Theatre and many others. It was also broadcast on NPR’s "The Play's The Thing!”
Other plays include GARY, (Steppenwolf First Look Repertory, Boston Playwrights Theatre.) ALEXANDROS, (Laguna Playhouse,) CAROLINE IN JERSEY, (Williamstown Theatre Festival,) GOD SMELLS LIKE A ROAST PIG (Women on Top Festival, Elliot Norton Award-- Outstanding Solo Performance,) MIDNIGHT SANDWICH/MEDIANOCHE, (Coconut Grove Playhouse), THE ORDER OF THINGS (CentaStage, Kennedy Center Fund for New Plays) HOW DO YOU SPELL HOPE? (Underground Railway Theatre.) Ms Lopez was the first recipient of the Charlotte Woolard Award, given by the Kennedy Center to a “promising new voice in American Theatre.”
Ms. Lopez is also an actress and has appeared in regional theatres across the country, and works in film and radio. She has served as a panel member for the National Endowment for the Arts, and has enjoyed residencies with Sundance, the Lark, the New York Theatre Workshop and Harvard University. She teaches theatre and performance at Wellesley College, and playwriting at Boston University. She makes her home in Boston.
MELIA BENSUSSEN is the recipient of an Obie Award for Outstanding Direction, and has directed across the country, as well as in Boston where she has resided for the last ten years. Favorite Boston collaborations include work with the Huntington Theatre, Merrimack Repertory, ArtsEmerson and the Actors Shakespeare Project. Her national work includes productions at the La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Class Company, Primary Stages, the Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), People’s Light and Theatre Company (where she received a Barrymore nomination for Best Direction) and many others. Melia was twice given Directing Awards by the Princess Grace Foundation, USA, including its top honor, the Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding is in its eighth printing by Theatre Communications Group. She is featured in Women Stage Directors Speak by Rebecca Daniels (McFarland and Co.), and in Nancy Taylor’s Women Direct Shakespeare (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press). Her essay on her ASP production of The Merchant of Venice will be published this year in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context by Brill Publishing. Melia is Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emerson.
A. NORA LONG is the Producing Associate at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, and an Artistic Director of New Exhibition Room. She is a founding member of the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston and occasionally teaches college and adult education classes in theatre. She has worked with several theatre companies in Boston as a writer, director, dramaturg and translator including the American Repertory Theatre, Mill 6, Whistler in the Dark and Another Country Productions. She received her MFA in Dramaturgy from the American Repertory Theatre/ Moscow Art Theatre School Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University and her BA from Sarah Lawrence College in Theatre and Italian. She is a proud Boston native.
ALLYN BURROWS is the artistic director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project and is currently directing Jon Lipsky’s “Living in Exile” for A.S.P.’s Winter Festival in Davis Square, running March 9th to 20th. He’s acted in several productions with the company including Henry the Fourth, Parts 1 and 2, Timon of Athens, All's Well That Ends Well, King Lear, Measure for Measure, and Richard III. He was an artistic associate and board member for Shakespeare & Company for many years and acted in numerous productions there including King John, Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V, Midsummer Night's Dream, and Love's Labors Lost . Recently in the Boston area he performed in productions of Shipwrecked at the Lyric Stage, The Seafarer at Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Five by Tenn at Speakeasy Stage, and will be playing the role of Alan Turing in Underground Theatre’s upcoming production of Breaking the Code. He was the 2006 Eliot Norton Award recipient for The Homecoming, King Lear, and Five by Tenn. Off-Broadway credits include Bug, Killer Joe, Louis Slotin Sonata, Closetland, The Widowing of Mrs Holroyd and has worked at a number of theatres around the country including Actors' Theatre of Louisville, The American Conservatory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, The Denver Center, and The Walnut St. Theatre. Television credits include Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, and Against the Law, and he could be seen recently in the films The Company Men and Julie & Julia.
ROBYN LINDEN received her BA in Theatre Studies from Emerson College and has since hit the pavement getting involved with the local theatre scene. Robyn works primarily with 11:11 Theatre Company as an actor, stage manager, director and Marketing Director. She is Vice President and Marketing Committee Chair of the Small Theatre Alliance of Boston, and does freelance marketing with several of Boston's small theatre companies. Stay connected with Robyn on Twitter @BirdinBoston, and follow her arts marketing blog at http://robynlinden.wordpress.com.
SCOTT SINCLAIR currently holds the position of Audience Service/Marketing Associate at SpeakEasy Stage Company. Scott has spearheaded SpeakEasy's presence in the social media world from the ground up. His newest creations are behind the scenes features that can be found at www.YouTube.com/SpeakEasyStage. Additionally Scott is a freelance director. Earlier this season, Scott made his professional directorial debut with the Boston premiere of the musical Striking 12 at SpeakEasy Stage Company. Locally he served as an assistant on Jerry Springer - The Opera and [title of show] at SpeakEasy Stage as well as Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill and Blithe Spirit at the Lyric Stage Company. He is a graduate of Emerson College with a BA in Arts Management and Directing. www.Scott-Sinclair.com.
SHAWN LACOUNT is a co-founder of Company One, Theatre Company in Residence at the Boston Center for the Arts. He has been making theatre in Boston, his hometown, for more than a decade. Recent directorial credits include the Boston premiere of Annie Baker's THE ALIENS, the world premiere of GRIMM (co-director), the Boston premiere of THE OVERWHELMING by JT Rogers (Elliot Norton Award nominee for Outstanding Drama, Fringe); the Boston premiere of Haruki Murakami’s AFTER THE QUAKE (Elliot Norton Award nominee for Outstanding Drama, Fringe); Stephen Sondheim’s ASSASSINS (IRNE nomination for Best Director and Best Musical); the Boston premiere of Noah Haidle’s MR. MARMALADE (Elliot Norton Award nominee for Outstanding Director/Outstanding Drama); the Boston premiere of AFTER ASHLEY by Gina Gionfriddo; and Anthony Burgess’ A CLOCKWORK ORANGE (featuring The Dresden Dolls). At the University of Massachusetts, Shawn directed THE PILLOWMAN by Martin McDonagh and Shakespeare’s PERICLES. Shawn holds an MA Ed in theatre Education from Clark University and an MFA in Directing from The University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He has taught acting and drama at the Boston Arts Academy, Huntington Theatre Company, Tufts University, Stage One, and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
DANIELLE LEEBER (Producing Artistic Director of Boston Actors Theater) has a BA in Theater/Dance, studied at the University of Derby, England, and just finished a Masters in Non-profit Management, specializing in Arts & Education from Northeastern University. She created Boston Actors Theater in the summer of 2004. The company's mission is to create high quality theater productions that support local artists while exposing audiences to issues effecting Massachusetts. As a director she has received acclaim for her productions of the Boston professional premiere of Mary Zimmerman's Metamorphoses, Criminal Hearts, new work Where Moments Hung Before, as well as many other productions and festivals. Through BAT she has developed and shaped new scripts to be produced for Boston audiences. As an actor she has toured the country, done summer stock, regional theater, and currently plays Mattie Howard in the web series Project Nephilim: Salvation, in production from Paracelsus Films. She is passionate about supporting local artists and the Boston community, hoping to continue indefinitely. www.BostonActorsTheater.com
DEBRA WISE is a founding member of Underground Railway Theater (URT), and has served as Artistic Director since 1998. She has been involved in the collaborative creation of over 30 new works, as performer, playwright, director, and/or dramaturge. Wise is also Artistic Co-Director of Catalyst Collaborative@MIT, an ongoing project between URT and MIT pairing theater artists and scientists in the creation and interpretation of plays about science. On URT’s stage, she most recently appeared on the CC@MIT production of Melinda Lopez’ From Orchids to Octopi – an evolutionary love story, and will be appearing in Breaking the Code this spring. Wise received a 2010 Best Actress IRNE nomination for her role as Sook in Capote’s A Christmas Memory, adapted for URT by Wes Savick. From ’97-’03, Ms. Wise co-directed the Women on Top Theater Festival of new works by New England women theater artists, in which she also won a ‘Top Ten’ citation for solo performance (Boston Globe). Wise has performed with other companies both in New York (the Public and the Ark, with Julie Taymor and Elizabeth Swados) and in Boston (most recently in Mamet’s A Boston Marriage at New Rep, and also at Speakeasy, Sugan, and with the Revels). She is Theater Specialist for the Art Works for Schools Program, a collaboration with Harvard’s Project Zero, teaching thinking in and through the arts and across the curriculum. In 2007-8, she led a residency at Tufts University entitled Theater and Active Citizenship, and has taught at MIT and Northeastern. She has led the development of URT’s reputation as a company specializing in performance for non-traditional venues, with commissions from the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Museum of Science, New Center for Arts and Culture, and Mary Baker Eddy Library. In 2001 Wise spearheaded Art InterACTions, a program using performance to engage family audiences in exploring visual art, which has played in the MFA, the ICA, and the streets of Cambridge in dialogue with works of public art.
MARY HUNTINGTON is the founding Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company, an award-winning organization that presents contemporary and modern classic theater, and oversees all aspects of production including casting, hiring, play selection, marketing, and budgeting. Throughout its history, The Nora has continued to receive critical acclaim for the high quality of its work, and the company’s repertoire includes several award-winners such as Death of a Salesman, Equus, Molly Sweeney, The Swan, and Betrayal.She is also one of the leaders in the development of Central Square Theater, a joint project of The Nora and Underground Railway Theater to establish, in collaboration with MIT and the City of Cambridge, a permanent theater facility for both companies in Cambridge, MA. Her work in this endeavor has included fundraising as well as participation in design of the space and in the creation of a new model of management that uses economies of scale to handle operations and provide new opportunities for artistic growth. Central Square Theater opened in July 2008.Before moving to the Boston area, Ms. Huntington lived in New York where she produced and performed in her own musical club act. Her acting work includes roles in Off-off Broadway, regional, and summer stock productions. She has also played many roles for The Nora. She earned an M.F.A. from Brandeis University in 1987, where she also served as an Artist-in-Residence, and trained in theater production at the Williamstown Theatre Festival and The Barn Theatre in Michigan. Ms. Huntington sits on the board of the Central Square Business Association and serves as the Treasurer of NEAT, the Producers’ Association of New England Area Theatres. She is a founding member and past president of the Theatre Community Benevolent Fund and currently serves on its board.
DANIEL BERGER-JONES is an avid advocate of Boston theatre and a self-proclaimed construction worker for the new Boston theatre scene. In 2007, he helped co-found Orfeo Group, which is dedicated to bringing high quality theatre to everyone, regardless of pocket depth.
JENNIFER JOHNSON is the Co-Director of The Charlestown Working Theater, where she develops and tours original performances and adaptations with her CWT colleagues and collaborators, presents the work of local, national, and international theatre artists, and with her colleagues has developed a unique educational curriculum based on ensemble building practices.
NEW TRENDS IN ARTS ADMINISTRATION
BARBARA LEWIS is currently the Director of the William Monroe Trotter Institute for the Study of Black History and Culture at the University of Massachusetts-Boston, where she is an Associate Professor in the Department of English. As a theatre historian, she has published on lynching and performance, minstrelsy, and the black arts movement of the sixties. As a playwright, her work has been presented at festivals and on professional stages nationally and internationally. As a Francophone scholar, she co-translated Faulkner, Mississippi by Edouard Glissant, which was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux (1999). From 2000 to 2002, she edited the journal Black Renaissance/ Renaissance Noire, published by the Institute of Afro-American Affairs at New York University. For over fifteen years, she covered the arts scene in New York, writing for Essence, the Amsterdam News, the Soho Weekly News, and Ms. Magazine. Dr. Lewis has taught at City College, Lehman, and New York University. Prior to being named Director of the Trotter Institute, she was Chair of the Department of Theatre at the University of Kentucky.
CHRIS LOWEY stumbled into the children's theatre world behind her daughter who was born singing, acting and dancing but now she can't imagine a life without it. She has been on the board of The Un-Common Theatre Company since 2002, was president for 4 1/2 years and is currently enjoying being Co-President. She has produced 15 shows with Un-Common and has met and worked with many talented kids from ages 5 - 21, directors, parents and tech crews. Chris's favorite part of working in youth theatre is watching kids (and adults) learn and grow from the wonderful process that is Children's Theatre.Chris was lucky enough to contact Steve Smith, then at Arlington Children's Theatre, when Un-Common was looking to produce "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 2005 as she noticed that ACT had successfully produced this show and she was hoping for some advice and prop and costume sharing. Steve and ACT were extremely generous with all of their resources and even sent a bus load of their kids to come see Un-Common's production. After that Steve and Chris met many times to network and eventually gave life to what is now CBACT.
DIANE R. CAREY-President, Boston Association of Cabaret Artists (BACA) Diane has been passionate about singing for as long as she can remember and has performed in a variety of musical genres. Presently, she blends jazz and cabaret stylings using material from the Great American Songbook and contemporary songwriters. Diane is a graduate of Framingham State College and Simmons College Executive Training Program. As president of BACA, Diane’s mission is to grow recognition of, and appreciation for, the art of cabaret in greater Boston.