Moderator: Arpita Mukherjee
Sarna Lapine (director) is currently working on a new musical, Exposure (Joe's Pub) as well as Monsoon Wedding (Berkeley Rep). Upcoming: Sunday in the Park With George (City Center), Buyer & Cellar (Bucks County Playhouse) and Photograph 51 (Umeda Arts Theater, Tokyo). For two-and-a-half years she served as Associate Director of The National Theatre’s War Horse (North America & Japan Tour). Sarna also directed a national tour of Lincoln Center Theater’s South Pacific and was resident director on the first national South Pacific tour. Broadway Associate & Assistant Director credits: Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, Sondheim on Sondheim, South Pacific, Awake and Sing!, and The Light in the Piazza. Sarna has developed and directed concert productions for the Boston Pops, the 92Y and Bucks County Playhouse, and has co-conceived and directed critically acclaimed cabaret shows for Paolo Szot (Café Carlyle), and the actress Emily Bergl, including Till I Get it Right (54Below), NY I Love You (Café Carlyle), and Kidding on the Square (The Oak Room), as well as Tales From the Jazz Age: An F. Scott Fitzgerald Songbook (Café Carlyle). Select directing credits: Tribes by Nina Raine (Montreal), Post-Op (Joe’s Pub & The Wild Project), Other Desert Cities (Theatre Aspen), Hope and Gravity by Michael Hollinger (Creede Repertory Theater), Sunday in the Park With George (Short North Stage), Waiting for Lefty by Clifford Odets, and The Year of Magical Thinking (Intiman Theatre). Sarna has directed readings at New Dramatists, BMI, Ars Nova, New York Theater Workshop, The LARK, Stella Adler, The Araca Group, Boomerang Theatre, and Dixon Place, among others. MFA Columbia University.
Natasha Sinha is a dramaturg and producer, focusing on new plays, musicals and devised work. She is the Associate Director of LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater, which exclusively produces premieres (including Pulitzer Prize–winning Disgraced by Ayad Akhtar, the Rude Mechs’ Stop Hitting Yourself, Dave Malloy’s Preludes, and War by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins). Natasha is a co-founder of the new collective Beehive Dramaturgy. She is also on the Advisory Boards of Musical Theatre Factory and SPACE on Ryder Farm. Prior to joining LCT3, she was the Associate Producer at Barrington Stage Company. In addition to freelancing as a dramaturg, past projects in NYC include Post-Op by Shakina, FEM (an evening of works-in-progress at JACK), Sam Salmond’s Stand Alone: Songs About and Written By Losers, and One More Sleep ‘Til Christmas. Natasha has served as a judge on various award committees, taught classes (New School for Drama, Primary Stages ESPA, Marymount College), read for Page 73 and NYMF, and worked in the literary departments of various theater agencies, Daryl Roth Theatre, and Lark Play Development Center. Graduate of Barnard College (Music, English).
Samara Weiss is a playwright from Southern California; her plays include AK-47 Sing-Along (HERE Arts Center), Lines in Code (3LD), and Dirt (Part 1) (HERE). She is the screenwriter for the animated short films Still and Feast in a Fallen City, as well as the Princess Grace Award-winning The Red Witch. Outside of New York, her work has been produced in Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis, and Hyderabad, India. She is a frequent collaborator with the Lucrece Project, an NYU Humanities Initiative Working Group which fuses scholarship and the arts. MFA Columbia; New Georges Affiliated Artist.
RACHEL SUSSMAN is a New York-based creative producer and Director of Programming and Artist Services for the New York Musical Festival (NYMF). She is also a co-founder of The MITTEN Lab, an emerging artist residency in her native Michigan. Rachel has previously worked with such companies as Second Stage Theatre, 321 Theatrical Management, RKO Stage, The Sundance Institute Theater Lab, and CREATE-Ireland in Dublin, Ireland. Independent producing credits include: The Woodsman (59E59/New World Stages), The Rug Dealer(WP's Pipeline Festival, 2016 Kilroys List), and Talk to me about Shame (FringeNYC). Her current projects include Don't You F**king Say a Word (59E59) and a musical about the American women's suffrage movement with Shaina Taub. Rachel is a 2014-2016 Women's Project Lab Time Warner Foundation Fellow and sits on the Artistic Advisory Board for Strangemen & Co. and The Musical Theatre Factory. Rachel is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute and a University Honors Scholar alumna of NYU Tisch. www.rachel-sussman.com
Rachel Abrams is a dramaturg and producer based in NYC. Rachel won the 2016 ATHE Dramaturgy Debut Panel competition for her work on Steubenville, a devised play about rape culture currently on tour. She also assisted the Director of Education on Allegiance (Broadway). Her other dramaturgy credits exemplify her interests in new and contemporary works, including Ms. Oriental, Night Moths on the Wing, Seven Guitars, and Kafala. Rachel’s producing credits include Icons/Idols (New Ohio Ice Factory Festival) and NYMF’s 2016 Women of Note concert. She has previously worked with Women’s Project Theater and Abrams Artists Agency, and is a proud Carnegie Mellon alumna and LMDA member. https://rabramsdramaturgy.wordpress.com/