Saturday, July 25, 2009

new COItc company members (same people, shiny new titles)

As announced in an email to subscribers: COItc has grown to six core members --
Coordinating Director: Sergei Burbank
Director of Development: Jessica Hochman
Executive Director, Stage and Film: Adam Karsten
Managing Director, Film: Sara Wolkowitz
Managing Director, Stage: Leah Bonvissuto
Director, Readings/Young Artist Development: Marlene Clary
If you've been to more than one of our shows, you already know that this is familiar bunch. Pretty much everyone on this list has been working with us for months, in come cases dating all the way back to the halcyon days of 2007. I'll try to encourage them each to write something for the blog, and you'll be hearing more in the months to come about what they plan to do, but in the meantime, here's a sampling of what they've already done:

Jessica Hochman
For three years she worked as the assistant to the both the Executive anDevelopment Director for the Partnership for After School Education (PASE), a non-profit organization that networks New York City’s after school programs in order to create best practices in the field in order to set high standards for youth development in the after school hours. During this time, Jessica continued to work in the New York City theater community in various capacities as she had been since 2002. Her credits include a two year run as the light and sound coordinator for “The Belgian Summers Sketch Comedy Group”, a monthly sketch comedy show. For the Fringe Festival she was the light and sound coordinator for “The Great Subway Musical” and “Exploring Demetia.” Jessica has been apart of every Conflict of Interest production , as the assistant Stage Manager for the inaugural show “The Danish Mediations,” and as House Manager for “McReele” and “Timor Mortis.” This summer she was able to assume the position as Assistant Producer for two Festival showcases, “Wrestling the Alligator” (Planet Connections Festival) and “The Third Seat” (BoCoCa Arts Festival). Though she has been known to wander on stage from time to time, Jessica enjoys working off and backstage because there are so many unseen elements that are necessary for a show to run, and she finds this work quietly gratifying.

Adam Karsten
As a film director he directed the mid-range feature film, Other Than Emily (2009); wrote and directed the short, Shy of Serenity (Reel Time Film Festival-2008); the television pilot, Miss Swiss (Award Winner Indie Gathering Festival / Gloria Film Festival-2007); the documentary, Ed. L., (New York International Film Festival-2007); and the short, Bored of Education (New York International Film Festival-2006). He has produced and directed numerous corporate and documentary films including: Sprint-Cellphone, HydroTech Environmental, ThomasNet, AKRF, Inc., McKinsey & Co., California Closets, the national store advertising campaign for the Tweety jewelry line, and numerous other company demos throughout New York City and across the United States. As an independent stage director he directed the following original works: Wrestling The Alligator, at the Planet Connections Theater Festival (NYC); The Trouble With Doug with the New Artist's Festival at Goodspeed Opera House; The Danish Mediations (by Sergei Burbank) at the Access Theater (NYC); La Mambopera, at City University (NYC), I Gotta Crow at the Touhill Center in St. Louis; the reading of A True Story Based on Things That Never Actually Happened...And Some That Did, at the Abingdon Theater (NYC); and the premiere reading of Incomplete at the Matthew Corozine Studio Theater (NYC).He is also the Director of Musical Theater at Five Towns College where he directs several main-stage productions each year. He has directed additional New York City productions at the American Actors Theater (Happy Hour), Beckett Theater and Studio Theater (Serious), Sargent's Theater (Much Ado About Nothing), the Theater Studio (Snoop), and at Jimmy's 43, War Crimes (video direction), and the European tour of the musical, The James Bond Story. Graduate of Carnegie Mellon and Lincoln Center's Directors Lab.

Sara Wolkowitz
Sara is an independent filmmaker who has directed both documentary and narrative films. She is the co-founder (and director) of an all-women production company based in Brooklyn, Indecent Exposure Productions. Films she has directed include "Pretty Girl" produced for the 2008 South by Southwest Film Festival, and "Chords" which has been shown at a number of festivals including the 2008 Los Angles Womens' Film Festival and the 2008 Hawaii International Film Festival. While at Vassar ('05) she directed a documentary about the organization “City Year”, and her junior year she studied in Prague, Czech Republic, where she co-wrote, co-directed, and edited,"Kinderspiel," named "Best Film of the Year" at the Vassar Film Festival, and seen at a number of other festivals. Sara also has a background in the theater; this includes "Black Comedy" which she directed at Vassar College. In New York she stage managed and assistant directed two off-off Broadway shows with Woodshed Theater Collective. She also directed and co-created a one woman show "Eleanor Is Sibling Challenged" performed at the Magnet Theater. She also had a year and a half stint as the additional Child Wrangler for "Hairspray" on Broadway. Currently she’s directing a documentary, “The Acting Company: Still on the Road 2008-09”. She also just returned from a trip to Kenya filming for a prospective documentary about the organization LitWorld and its work in quality literacy education around the world.

Leah Bonvissuto
Leah Bonvissuto directed Stephen Belber's McReele and Sergei Burbank's The Third Seat, both for COItc. Past credits include Brecht's The Elephant Calf in the late night series at the Jean Cocteau Repertory and A Man's a Man at Mo Pitkins in FringeNYC, both with Giant Squid Productions. Leah graduated from NYU/Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. Selected credits include Sondheim's Assassins and A Little Night Music, Eden by Marina Shron at Chashama, Darian Dauchan's Texaco's Last Stand for the Ignite Festival at the Ohio Theater and Secrets Women Share and Out of Control, both for the Midtown International Theatre Festival. Her educational direction includes a production of Fiddler on the Roof with 200 middle schoolers and Cabaret and Anything Goes at Saint Peter's College. She directed Crother Spyglass and The Resistible Rise of Fatlinda Paloka as a double bill at Theater for the New City, George Bernard Shaw's The Philanderer at Theater Ten Ten and Monetizing Emma for the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Leah is a two-time member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab.

Marlene Clary
Marlene Clary is an actor, director, and soprano soloist; she has appeared in leading roles in summer stock, Off-Broadway and regional theaters. Marlene is an experienced choir and theater director though her many years of work at Berkeley Carroll School, where she has been honored with the Dexter D. Earle Award for Excellence in Teaching.

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