Event Details
  • May 17, 2016
    7:00 pm - 10:00 pm
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Theater & Community: Education, Outreach and Social Justice

The Playroom Theatre
151 W. 46th Street, 8th floor
Tuesday, May 17th, 7:30pm (networking 7pm) 

Panelists to include: Brooke Boertzel, director of education at New York City Children's Theater; Brent Buell, producing artistic director of Doing Life Productions and Founding Producer of Rhymes Over Beats; Rod Christensen, Director of Education with TADA! Youth Theater;  Van Dean, a commercial producer (Porgy and Bess, Cinderella) who has been working with the Sandy Hook/Newtown community since the tragic shooting to use the performing arts to raise funds and help empower the community; Annie Hamburger, executive producer of EnGarde Arts, an award-winning producer whose documentary theatre productions bring theatre to the uninitiated promoting community and conversation in New York and across the country; Katie McAllister, the Program Director of Inside Broadway, dedicated to introducing NYC school children to live theater; David Shookhoff, director of education Manhattan Theatre Club; and Emily Joy Weiner, co-artistic director of Houses on the Moon Theater Company.

The arts is one of the most powerful tools we have for influencing and molding our culture and social consciousness. Beyond entertainment and commerce, there is a whole world of ways theater can be used to impact society. If producing is your passion, consider broadening your reach and scope by engaging and helping your community and possibly improving lives. We will look at arts education programs that mold young audiences and artists, including opportunities for "teaching artists" ... collaborations with the social justice system for healing and helping integrate inmates back into society ... productions that engage audiences in conversations they might not otherwise have ... benefits and special events to raise awareness and support for social causes ... and more. Come let us inspire you to use your skills for the greater good. 

Doors open at 7:00pm for networking and refreshments, roundtable introductions of everyone in the room will start at 7:30pm - come prepared with your best one-minute summary of who you are, and what you need. Free for TRU members; $12 for non-members. (Or $10 in advance - see ticketing upper left.) Please call at least a day in advance (or much sooner) for reservations: 212/714-7628; or e-mail  TRUStaff1@gmail.com


    has worked as the Director of Education at New York City Children's Theater (formerly Making Books Sing) since 1997. The organization's mission is to promote literacy and social development in children through theater productions and arts and education programs. The NYCCT education department offers theater and songwriting residencies, interactive anti-bullying workshops, and original musical touring productions to students, grades PreK-6th, in all five boroughs of NYC. Brooke holds an MFA in Acting from the Actors Studio Drama School (New School University) and an MA in Educational Theatre from NYU. She is thrilled to be a member of the Roundtable Board, as well as serving on the Membership, Programs and Board Development Committees. 


    began working with TADA! Youth Theater in 2009. He is also the creator and writer of educational enrichment guides for Broadway and National touring shows including Billy Elliot, Driving Miss Daisy, Million Dollar Quartet, Lysistrata Jones, Tuck Everlasting, Kinky Boots, Les Misérables, Miss Saigon and others. Previous to TADA!, he worked as Director of Programming at One on One NYC/LA (a studio for professional actors seeking to build their careers) where he was responsible for all aspects of program development. Prior to living in New York City, Rod was the Senior Manager of Education at Canada’s prestigious Shaw Festival (the second largest repertory theater company in North America) where he developed numerous arts education programs and theatre-related workshops for school groups and adult audiences.  In terms of Rod’s past experience, he served as: elementary/high school teacher (music and drama); department head of a creative arts program for adults with developmental disabilities; and performer with the international, educational outreach program Up With People!  Rod holds a Master of Education, a Bachelor of Music in Education, and a diploma in business management and leadership skills.


    is a Tony¬ģ Award and Grammy¬ģ Award-winning producer of 13 Broadway musicals and plays (including¬†Jagged Little Pill,¬†Anastasia,¬†Rodgers and Hammerstein‚Äôs Cinderella,¬†The Gershwins‚Äô Porgy & Bess,¬†Big Fish, Catch Me If You Can, Evita, The Best Man, The Velocity of Autumn), 250+ musical theater-related recordings (including¬†Matilda,¬†The Color Purple,¬†Anastasia,¬†My Fair Lady,¬†If The Fates Allow: Hadestown Holiday Album,¬†The Lightning Thief), as well as numerous Broadway/National Tours, Off-Broadway musicals, concert events, a West End production, and a documentary film. Van is President and Co-Founder of Broadway Records and his philanthropic work includes being a producer of ‚ÄúBroadway For Orlando: What The World Needs Now is Love‚ÄĚ, Broadway United‚Äôs ‚ÄúWe Are The World‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúBroadway Kids Against Bullying: I Have a Voice‚ÄĚ, ‚ÄúFrom Broadway With Love‚ÄĚ benefit concerts for Sandy Hook, Orlando (Emmy Award winner for sound design) and Parkland as well his work with NewArts in Sandy Hook/Newtown, CT.


    has a long track record for spearheading cultural innovation and entrepreneurship. She is nationally recognized for a distinctive approach to producing where content, form, place, community and audience are all interwoven into the process. She founded and led En Garde Arts from 1985-1999, and re-launched the company in 2014. En Garde was a pioneering force in the field of site-specific theatre and is highly respected for presenting inventive productions in inspiring locations across New York City. En Garde Arts received six OBIEs, two Drama Desks and an Outer Critics Circle Special Award. Anne was recognized with the Edwin Booth and Lee Reynolds Awards for her work. In 2014, she received an Exception Merit in Media Award from the National Political Women’s Caucus. Anne became Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse in 1999. The Tony award- winning musicals Thoroughly Modern Millie and Spring Awakening began production under her tenure. A year later, she became an Executive Vice President at Disney and led the creative development and production of all the major stage shows for the parks worldwide. For the first time in Disney’s history, she brought in renowned theatrical artists to create Broadway caliber theatre. Many of the shows developed under her tenure are still running today. Anne is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women.  She graduated with an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.


    is the founder and Executive Director of Inside Broadway, a New York City based non-profit theatre company for youth now celebrating its 34th anniversary season. The organization was originally established in 1982 at the invitation of Bernard B. Jacobs, the late President of the Shubert Organization, Inc., as an effort to create a student ticket program for the Broadway musical Cats. Today, Inside Broadway develops and produces touring musical productions as well as a wide range of educational programs that allow students to interact with professionals in the field and experience theatre hands-on in the classroom. More than 30,000 students in 85 schools in all five boroughs participate each year in Inside Broadway’s Programs. He has worked extensively in the commercial concert and artist management fields, having served as a consultant to the Geneva Opera, Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Dusseldorf, The National Theater in Prague, Theatre des Westens in Berlin, Theatre Aachen and Gaudi Musicals, Cologne. He has also served such notable artists as Karl Richter, Carlos Montoya, Peter Nero and the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. He was an active participant in New York City community affairs for over 30 years as a member of Manhattan Community Planning Board #5 and served as its chairman. Mr. Presser is a member of The Broadway League, opera America, The Producers League of Theatre for Young Audiences, Inc. (PLOYTA); The New York City Arts in Education Round Table (AIE); Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York (A.R.T./New York).


    As education director of Manhattan Theatre Club since 1988, David Shookhoff has designed and implemented a range of programs that annually serve more than 4,000 students and hundreds of teachers and parents from approximately 60 schools in the New York City area and around the nation. A leader in the field of arts education, Mr. Shookhoff chairs the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, serves on the board of directors of the Center for Arts Education and Opus 118‚ÄĒHarlem Center for Music, has chaired the Arts-in-Education Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts and has been a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been a consultant to the Lincoln Center Institute, the Theatre Development Fund and many other arts organizations in New York and around the country. He has directed numerous theatre and opera productions at theatres in New York City and nationwide, and has taught acting and directing at Carnegie Mellon University, Sarah Lawrence College, Columbia University Teachers College, the University of Pennsylvania and the Mannes School of Music. Mr. Shookhoff holds a B.A. cum laude from Stanford University and an M.F.A. in Directing from the Yale School of Drama.


    is the Co-Artistic Director and Co-Founder of Houses on the Moon Theater Company. New York theater includes Othello at the West End Theater, Coming Through at the American Place Theatre, Tara’s Crossing at the Lower East Side Tenement Theater, Finding The Words at the Lucille Lortel, Henry V at the Bank Street Theater, An Epidog with Mabou Mines, and De Novo at 59E59th St. Theaters.  Selected regional theater includes The Crucible at Madison Repertory Theatre and Fefu And Her Friends and The Threepenny Opera at Williamstown Theater Festival. She was awarded the Craig Hardesty Best Female Actress award for her performance in Houses on the Moon’s pilot play, Building Houses on the Moon. She recently developed and toured a one-woman adaptation of William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying. She is currently directing Houses on the Moon’s new play in development, The Assignment, which will be premiering Off-Broadway next spring. Emily studied in NYC with Wynn Handman. She has also been working for the last many years with NYC public school students, teachers and parents designing and facilitating creative workshops using drama and drama therapy techniques to teach social/emotional skills.