Thursday, June 27, 2013

Official Commencements

Over 250 attended The Culture Project Commemorative gala and naming ceremony for its newly christened Lynn Redgrave Theater in honor of the late Ms. Redgrave.
The 2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival officially commenced with its 81st Season Opening Gala on Saturday, June 15th. Attendance for the Gala was the highest since the Festival's 75th anniversary in 2007, and the evening raised a record-breaking $411,000 for the organization.

Honorary Co-Chairs for the Season Opening Gala included Artistic Director of Dance Theatre of Harlem Virginia Johnson and principal dancer with the New York City Ballet Wendy Whelan. Gala Co-Chairs were Jacob's Pillow Board President Mark Leavitt, Taryn Leavitt, Board Treasurer Christopher Jones, and Deb McAlister.
First Lady Diane Patrick and Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick backstage with Jacob's Pillow Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff, New York City Ballet star Wendy Whelan, soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company Lloyd Knight
An outdoor cocktail reception kicked off the event, along with an exclusive exhibit preview of two new exhibits: Shooting Stars, a series of behind-the-curtain photographs by dancers Wendy Whelan, Miguel Anaya, Amber Star Merkens, and others; and Dancers Among Us, Jordan Matter's celebration of dancers in everyday places.

Cocktails were followed by a Gala performance held in the historic Ted Shawn Theatre and featured a variety of extraordinary artists and choreographers, including a world premiere by resident choreographer for the Atlanta Ballet Helen Pickett, performed by the Ballet Program dancers of The School at Jacob's Pillow.
First Lady Diane Patrick and Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick backstage with 2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award Winner Michelle Dorrance
Wendy Whelan and Lloyd Knight of Martha Graham Dance Company performed as part of the program. Dancers from the Dance Theatre of Harlem presented the iconic Black Swan pas de deux. Tap dance powerhouse Michelle Dorrance rounded out this elite program with a performance featuring special musical guest and American Idol contestant Aaron Marcellus. Dorrance was also the recipient of the prestigious 2013 Jacob's Pillow Dance Award, which was presented to Dorrance by Executive and Artistic Director Ella Baff.

The Gala performance was followed by a three-course dinner by The Old Inn and Moore (a new catering collaborative between Peter Platt of The Old Inn On the Green and Megan Moore of Moore Fine Foods); a silent and live auction presented by two of the Gala Co-Chairs, Chris Jones and Mark Leavitt; and dancing under a soaring tent to The Colbys with Bev Rohlehr and DJ BFG.
Wendy Whelan and Lloyd Knight in Martha Graham's Canticle for Innocent Comedians (1952)
Michelle Dorrance
Jacob's Pillow is a National Historic Landmark, recipient of the National Medal of Arts, and home to America's longest-running international dance festival. The Festival includes more than 50 national and international dance companies and 350 free and ticketed performances, talks, tours, classes, exhibits, and events. The School at Jacob's Pillow, one of the most prestigious professional dance training centers in the U.S., encompasses the diverse disciplines of Ballet, Cultural Traditions, Contemporary, and Jazz/Musical Theatre Dance, as well as an Intern Program in various disciplines of arts administration, design, video, and production. On March 2, 2011, President Obama honored Jacob's Pillow with a National Medal of Arts, the highest arts award given by the U.S. government. Jacob's Pillow is the first dance-presenting organization to receive this prestigious award. For more information about this summer's Festival, performance schedules, and how to purchase tickets, visit
Bill Hastings, Jacob's Pillow Director of Education J.R. Glover, The School at Jacob's Pillow Jazz/Musical Theatre Program Director and choreographer of PIPPIN Chet Walker, Jacob's Pillow Board member Wendy McCain, and Jacob's Pillow Director of Preservation Norton Owen
Pillow supporters Lynne Leavitt and Aaron Leavitt with their son Mark Leavitt, Pillow Board Member and Gala Co-Chair
Rebecca Milikowsky and husband Nathan Milikowsky
Daughter of Board Member Sylvia Pope, Rosamond Pope-Meyer, and husband Jake Meyer with Laura Sinott and son of Sylvia Pope, Albert Pope
Jacob's Pillow Board member and Gala Co-Chair Christopher Jones with Jacob's Pillow Board Chair Joan Hunter
Filmmaker and video installation artist Liz Richards
Tim Eustis and Sarah Eustis
John Michael Schert, Ilter Ibrahimof, Alejandro Cerrudo, and Daniel Cappello
Martin Monas and wife, former New York City Ballet Dancer Teresa Reyes
Jacob's Pillow Board Chair Joan Hunter and Wendy Whelan
Claudia Perles with her son Joshua Perles
Perri Petricca, Gala Committee Member, and fiancée Michelle Thorpe
Amber Ju, Dustin Mauldin, and Anisa Keith
Jordan Matter and Dance Theatre of Harlem principal dancer Michaela DePrince
On June 14th, The 14th Annual "Play For Pink" Breast Cancer Golf Tournament, benefiting The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993, was held at Hampton Hills Golf & CC. Chaired by Jane Pontarelli for the 14th year, The tournament is the largest breast cancer golf tournament on Long Island.
Chairperson Jane Pontarelli and Joe Pontarelli
Stanley Pine, Jane Pontarelli, and Jack McGowan
Marla Novick, Linda Florin, and Kelly Gerber
Sheryl Schwartz
Andrea Schlossberg
Diana Ziv, Cindy Brahms, and Ann Haselkorn
Carol Visconti and Sandy Teitelbaum
Arlene and Alan Lazare
Brenda Axelrod, Patty Greenberg, Lisa Konsker, and Carol Visconti
Phyllis Berman, Andrea Schlossberg, and Paula Modell
Marianna Gunther
Monica Granillo
Jackie Glago and Isabella Katz
Jane Pontarelli, Steven Dann, and Debbie Polk
Arlene Mark, Amy Milch, Romana Grant, and Kay Ziplow
Missy Lubliner and Andrea Warshaw
Jane Pontarelli, Andrea Warshaw, and Wendy Federman
Judy Gilbert, Hedy Park, and Suzan Kremer
The 2013 Theatre Museum Awards for Excellence were held Monday night, June 3rd, at The Players Club. Honorees at Monday night's Ceremony included the Distinguished Service to the Theatre Award given, posthumously, to Helen Guditis and The Theatre Arts Education Award presented to Emerson College. The evening also included a special tribute to the Palace Theater in honor of its 100th anniversary. The Palace Tribute was a trip back in time to the vaudeville era.

The Theatre Museum honored its longtime President, Helen Guditis for her dedication and leadership of The Theatre Museum and her commitment to theater education and preservation. Stewart F. Lane, Chairman of the Theatre Museum, presented the award which was accepted by Helen's brother, Albert Guditis. Helen Guditis passed away in December 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Helen had a long and successful life in the theatre, at first as a performer and later as a teacher of speech and drama. In 1986, Guditis founded the "Broadway Theatre Institute", which would become "The Theatre Museum" in 2003.
James J. Heinze, Albert Guditis, and Stewart Lane
The Theatre Arts Education Award was given to Emerson College and accepted by Obie Award winning faculty member, Melia Bensussen. Emerson College owns more theater and performing space than any other institution in Boston and all spaces are available for their students' education. Emerson College is a diverse, and multifaceted degree-granting institution with campuses in Boston, Los Angeles and the Netherlands. Emerson College students study with professional artists in the theaters and performances spaces that include the newly renovated 600 seat Paramount Center and the 1200 seat Cutler Majestic Theater. These exciting theater pieces provide culturally enriching theater for the community while training the next generation of theater artists.
Joe Benincasa
Bonnie Comley
The Theatre Museum also paid tribute to the 100th Anniversary of the Palace Theatre. Presenters, performances and appearances included Joe Benincasa, Bonnie Comley, Joe Franklin, Will Jordon, Rod Kimball & Company, Leah Lane, Chris McDaniel, Ariela Pizza, Rebecca Joy Fletcher, Todd Robbins and Trav S.D. Vintage 1920s and '30s vaudeville film footage was provided by Ron Hutchinson and the Vitaphone Project.

The 2013 award ceremony was produced by Trav S.D. and Alyssa Renzi. The Awards Gala committee included: Olga and Vladimir Balaeskoul, Elie Hirschfeld and Sarah Schlesinger, Lauren and Joe Pizza, Cece Black, Rob Patton & Goldman Sachs, Olha Paluch & Citi National Bank, Jeffrey Matusow & J. P. Morgan, Benjamin Juarez & Boston University.
Stewart Lane and Bonnie Comley
Joe Pizza, Ariela Pizza, and Lauren Pizza
Stefano Brancato and Michael Goldfried
Stewart Lane and Joe Benincasa
Chris McDaniel
Ron Hutchinson
Marilyn Sokol
Rod Kimball and Andy Sapora
James Martindale and Diane Martindale
Benjamin Juarez, Stephanie Trodello, and Stewart Lane
Lauren and Joe Pizza
Clara Kukes and Olga Balaeskul
Trav S.D.
Leah Lane
Alyssi Renzi
James Comley and Virginia Comley
Frankie Lane and Lenny Lane
Joe Benincasa, Stewart Lane, and James J. Heinze
Joe Pizza and Joe Benincasa
Marilyn Sokol and Joe Franklin
Leah Lane
Stewart Lane
Melia Bensussen and Bonnie Comley
Albert Guditis
Alyssa Renzi
Melia Bensussen
Trav S.D.
Ariela Pizza
George Small
Todd Robbins
Rod Kimball and Andy Sapora
Franklin Bruno and Poor Baby Bree
Chris McDaniel
On Friday, June 7th, over 150 young professionals took a trip to the Children's Museum of the Arts (103 Charlton Street) for the Young Professionals Committee's 4th Annual Summer Benefit, Art'venture. Guests embarked on a grand tour of art-making activities, including screenprinting, stop-motion animation, clay sculpting, and more – all for a good cause.

Art'venture raised over $14,000, all of which supports Stripes, CMA's art program for families with children on the autism spectrum. Special thanks to event sponsor Squarespace. Delicious food and drinks provided by Brooklyn Brewery, Bruce Cost Ginger Ale, Macaron Paris, Organic Valley, Panca Restaurant, and Thai Pavilion. For more information about CMA and the Young Professionals Committee, please visit
Asya Gribov and Priya Pappu
Lori Feren, Li Jun Xian, and Jessica French
Katelyn Platz, Julieanne Alonzo, and Laura Arayata
Jen Kwok and Ricky Milburn
Back row: Asya Gribov, Grace Johnstone, Julieanne Alonzo, Li Jun Xian, Jessica French, Cassandra Kohilakis, John Murphy, and Emily Tella. Front row: Megan O'Brien and Lori Feren
Graham Bannon and Angela Chen
Susan Rubell and Samanthe Lobosco
Honey Brennan, Susan Rubell, Lola Pearl, and Darin Rubell
Guests screenprinting tote bags
Raffle winner Erin Bond
Raffle winner John Fewell
Alton Murray and Habiba Koroma
Guests enjoying the clay bar
Over 250 attended The Culture Project Commemorative gala and naming ceremony for its newly christened Lynn Redgrave Theater (formerly known as 45 Bleecker Street) in honor of the late Ms. Redgrave. Vanessa Redgrave, Liam Neeson and Ms. Redgrave's three children Annabel Clark, Ben Clark and Pema Clark served as Honorary Chairs of the Gala.

Kyra Sedgwick, Golden Globe® and Emmy Award®-winning star of stage, screen and television, hosted the evening for the theatre that shines an artistic spotlight on human rights issues, where both she and Ms. Redgrave performed in the New York production of The Exonerated.
Vanessa Redgrave
Vincent Warren, MIchael Ratner, and Vanessa Redgrave
Kyra Sedgwick
Other VIP Guests attending the 2013 Culture Project Gala included: Trudie Styler – Culture Project Board Member, Co-Founder of the Rainforest Foundation, Actress and Producer; Allan Buchman – Founder and Artistic Director of Culture Project; Vincent Warren – Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Michael Ratner – Attorney and President Emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights; Roger Rees – Tony Award-winning Actor, Playwright and Director; Kim Brizzolara – Feature Film and Documentary Producer; Loreen Arbus – President of the Loreen Arbus Foundation and Founder and Chair of Women Who Care; Jillian Crane – Gala Chair, Actress, Writer and President of CraneKahn; Alfred Kahn – Gala Chair, CEO of CraneKahn and Former CEO and Chairman of 4Kids Entertainment; Peter Tunney – Acclaimed Artist; Ibrahim AlHusseini – Gala Benefit Committee Member, Venture Capitalist and Philanthropist; Jill Brooke – Gala Benefit Committee Member, Playwright and Journalist; Steven Donziger and Laura Miller – Gala Benefit Committee Members, Partner at Donziger and Associates Law Firm and Activists; Robert Dunn – Gala Benefit Committee Member and President of the Synergos Institute; Jodie Evans – Gala Benefit Committee Member, Political Activist, Author and Documentary Film Producer; James Grant – Gala Benefit Committee Member, President and CEO of James Grant PR; Eva and Yoel Haller – Gala Benefit Committee Members and Philanthropists; Steve and Ruth Hendel – Gala Benefit Committee Members, Activists, Producers and Philanthropists; Lauren Embrey – Gala Benefit Committee Member, President and CEO of The Embrey Family Foundation and CEO of Embrey Interests, Ltd; Marc Kaplan – Gala Benefit Committee Member; Rick Miramontez – Gala Benefit Committee Member and President of OandM Co.; Rosemary Pritzker – Gala Benefit Committee Member, Photographer and Political Activist; Cornelia Ravenal and Mikael Sodersten – Gala Benefit Committee Members and Writer-Filmmakers; Nicole Reeber – Gala Benefit Committee Member; Bill Robinson – Gala Benefit Committee Member and Producer at James Patterson Entertainment; Melissa Spohler – Gala Benefit Committee Member and Co-Founder of Kirschenbaum and Spohler Jewelry; Sandy Tabatznik – Gala Benefit Committee Member and Creative Director at Lalela Project; Monica Winsor and Joshua Mailman – Gala Benefit Committee Members, Social Activists and Philanthropists and President of Sirius Business Corporation; Tom Wirtshafter – Gala Benefit Committee Member and Executive Director at Barrow Street Theatre; Cynthia Ryan – Philanthropist and Principal at The Schooner Foundation; Diana Rose – Founder and Chair of The Garrison Institute.
Allan Buchman
Auctioneer Jay Mandarino
Girl Be Heard
Culture Project is dedicated to addressing critical human rights issues by shining an artistic spotlight on injustice. By fostering innovative collaboration between human rights organizations and artists, it aims to inspire and impact public dialogue, encouraging democratic participation in the most urgent matters of our time.

The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.
Vanessa Redgrave, Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, and Trudie Styler
Lauren Embrey, Loreen Arbus, and Monica WInsor
Gala Chairs Alfred Kahn and Jillian Crane
Allan Buchman, Christine Ponz, Bill Robinson, and Amanda Quaid
Eva Haller with Steve and Ruth Hendel
Rhea Isaacs, John Farr, and Jill Brooke
Jade Ullmann, Hugh Evans, Tanyella Evans, Jodie Evans, Nadia Malik, Ibrahim AlHusseini, Gita Drury, Matt Palevski, Molly Sonsteng, Chelsea Brown, Sam Utne, and Jamie Abelson
Alfonso Montiel, Jade Natanya, Gita Drury, and Ibrahim AlHusseini
Lauren Embrey, Josh Mailman, and Monica Winsor
Nicole Reeber, John Farr, and Jill Brooke
Matt Flynn, Marcus Cammack, Carolyn Gitomer, James Grant, Robert Ballard, and Robert Frederick

Photographs by Rob Rich (Play for Pink, The Drama League Theater); Tina Lane (Jacob's Pillow); Yun Cee Ng (Art'venture).