The NYCLU is a public-interest law firm that principally addresses issues involving challenges to a government law, policy or practice affecting the constitutional rights – that is, the civil liberties and civil rights – of a significant number of people arising in New York State. Find out how to get help with such an issue.
SUSAN BLACKWELL (host) is on a mission to free people’s creative self-expression. As a performer, writer and educator, she champions this cause around the world, on Broadway, off-Broadway, in classrooms and writing, and on TV, film, sound recordings and the Internet. Most notably, she created and played a character based on herself in the original Broadway musical [title of show], and the off-Broadway musical NOW. HERE. THIS. (original cast recordings available on Sh-K-Boom records). She created and hosts the freewheeling chat show Side by Side by Susan Blackwell on Broadway.com. As the founder of Susan Blackwell & Co, she partners with likeminded, compassionate artists and thought leaders to deliver inspiring entertainment and educational offerings aimed at freeing people’s creative self-expression. As an educator, she has empowered thousands of people to identify and slay the vampires that stop them from being free. www.susanblackwell.com #CreativeFreedomForAll.
DANIEL GOLDSTEIN (director) directed the 2011 Broadway revival of Godspell and has directed plays and musicals in New York and at prominent regional theaters nationwide, as well as the New National Theatre in Tokyo. Goldstein works with playwrights regionally and in New York to develop new projects. He is the co-author (with Michael Friedman) of The Song of Songs and Unknown Soldier, a musical commissioned by the Huntington Theatre Company, and the sole author of Winter Birds, Celebration and Artificial Fellow Traveler, a solo project about the 1959 American Exhibition in Moscow. He is proud of his work with the NYCLU, his wife Melissa Lee and their daughter Gracie.
GEORGIA STITT (musical director). Stitt’s work includes a half-dozen Broadway shows, including Avenue Q, Annie and Little Shop of Horrors; conducting projects for Encores!; and television and film projects America’s Got Talent (for producer Simon Cowell), Grease… (for Andrew Lloyd Webber), Clash of the Choirs (featuring Patti LaBelle, Nick Lachey, Michael Bolton, Kelli Rowland and Blake Shelton), and Disney/ABC TV’s Once Upon A Mattress, starring Tracey Ullman, Carol Burnett, Matthew Morrison and Zooey Deschanel. She is music supervisor on the upcoming film The Last Five Years (Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan) and has released three albums of original music, provided arrangements for the Boston Pops and Tanglewood (Stephen Sondheim 75th Anniversary Tribute) and is currently writing Samantha Spade: Ace Detective for the TADA Theatre Company. www.GeorgiaStitt.com
JEFFREY ALLEN is a freelance bassist, producer and songwriter living in New York City. He has recorded and toured extensively, with artists including Roseanne Cash, Five for Fighting, Duncan Sheik, Linda Eder, Joan Osborne, Billy Preston, David Garrett, Chantal Krevlazuk, Avril Lavigne and Train.
KATE BALDWIN Broadway: Finian's Rainbow (Tony Award nomination), The Full Monty, Thoroughly Modern Millie (original cast) and Wonderful Town. Tour: Irving Berlin's White Christmas (Betty Haynes). New York: Opening Doors at Zankel Hall, four Encores! Regional: The Women (Mary Haines) at San Diego's Old Globe, South Pacific (Nellie, Helen Hayes nomination) at Arena Stage, She Loves Me (Amalia, IRNE nomination) at Huntington Theatre and Williamstown Theatre Festival, Henry V (Katharine) at Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Concerts: Chicago Humanities Festival, NSO, PSO and the American Songbook Series. TV: Law & Order: SVU (guest star). PBS: Live from Lincoln Center: Stephen Sondheim's Passion. Recording: Let's See What Happens (PS Classics). Baldwin is a graduate of Northwestern University.
ERICH BERGEN Founding member of the NYCLU Broadway Stands Up For Freedom concert. Best known for his portrayal of Bob Gaudio in the original National Tour, Los Angeles and Las Vegas companies of Jersey Boys. Recent stage: Hero (Marriott Lincolnshire), Venice (Center Theater Group), The Temperamentals (Blank Theatre). TV: Gossip Girl, Joey Dakota, Person of Interest, Desperate Housewives, Franklin & Bash. Film: How Sweet It Is. Erich’s debut album The Vegas Sessions is available on iTunes and on Amazon. Follow Erich on twitter: @erichbergen and visit erichbergen.com.
KELLY LIZ BOLICK began her training in her home state, at North Carolina School of the Arts, and went on to earn her Bachelor of Science in Biology at UNC Chapel Hill. Since moving to New York, she has helped choreograph performances at New York Fashion Week; in Peru, she was associate choreographer for The Boy From Oz. She has performed in the Steps Faculty Performance with Richard Pierlon, Choreographer’s Canvas, and is proud to have been a part of the Volleygirls team for 4 years.
CHARL BROWN was nominated for a Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical for his performance as Smokey Robinson in Motown The Musical. He is native of a San Diego and an alum of the University of Southern California School of Theatre. Broadway: Jersey Boys (Barry Belson), Sister Act (Officer Eddie Souther, TJ, Ensemble). Off-Broadway: Walmartopia (Pearson/Lawrence, Dance Captain). Tours: Hair (Hud, European tour). Regional: Johnny Baseball (Tim Wyatt) American Repertory Theatre; Dreamgirls (Curtis Taylor Jr., San Diego Musical Theatre); The Wiz (Scarecrow U/S, Ensemble, La Jolla Playhouse); Ragtime (Coalhouse, Performance Riverside); Six Degrees of Separation (Paul, Long Beach Playhouse); Jesus Christ Superstar (Judas), A Chorus Line (Richie, Starlight Theater); Star Wars Trilogy 30 Minutes (Lando Calrissian, Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Television: America's Got Talent, Macy's 85th Thanksgiving Day Parade, The 63rd Annual Tony Awards and A Capitol Fourth.
TODD BUONOPANE is a New Yorker currently residing in L.A. Please forgive him. Broadway audiences may remember Todd from …Spelling Bee and Grease. Off-Broadway, he has played a dog, a cow, a waiter and an improviser. Regionally, he has played a series of best friends and sidekicks at the 5th Avenue, Goodspeed Opera, Papermill, Barrington Stage, Prince Music Theater and most recently in Sleepless in Seattle at the Pasadena Playhouse. On television, Todd is most recognizable as Jeffrey Weinerslav from 30 Rock. He has also guest starred on Grey’s Anatomy, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, The Black Donnellys and has appeared in a couple of pilots no one has ever seen.
GRACE CAPELESS made her Broadway debut in A Christmas Story: The Musical and was honored to play Young Audra in the Celebration of Broadway tribute to Audra MacDonald. Last season, Grace portrayed Young Celisse in Circle in the Square’s Godspell Cast of 2032, directed by Daniel Goldstein. Television credits include TLC’s The Next Great Baker (with Buddy the Cake Boss) and Oxygen Channel’s Untold Stories of Motherhood. Grace has performed at Joe’s Pub, The Broadway Comedy Club and 54 Below and can be heard on the soon-to-be-released album When I Grow Up: Broadway’s Next Generation. Other credits include Seussical the Musical, The Secret Garden, The Will Rogers Follies and The Nutcracker.
CLINTON CURTIS is a performer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and son of musicians and reggae hall owners who was raised between the islands of Key West and Jamaica. He is signed to indie record label 27 Sound and has released three full-length original albums, including the most recent, Curtis & Reinhard at The Pigeon Club, a collaboration with brother/sister duo Blaire and Gray Reinhard. Both the Clinton Curtis band and Curtis & Reinhard are staples of the New York City downtown and Northeast music scene. Additionally, Clinton and his band have been named cultural ambassadors by the US State Department. This winter they will spread the gospel of rock and roll throughout the Caribbean, Central and South America. ClintonCurtis.comCurtisReinhard.com
KEVIN GARCIA performs and records percussion with bands and MCs, on Broadway (Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) and off- (NYSF’s Love’s Labour’s Lost at the Delacorte), and with dance companies, including the Merce Cunningham Dance Foundation, Mark Morris, Paul Taylor and Harkness Dance. Television work includes MTV, VH1, Fuse, CBS, NBC and ABC; music festivals include Coachella, South by Southwest and numerous international gigs. In addition to drumming, Garcia writes for film and television; he graduated from Western Michigan University and attended the Lake Placid Institute and the Halewynstitchting Conservatory in Belgium. Kevin performs and records on drum set, hybrid kits, hand percussion, classical percussion, electronic instruments, sound creation/manipulation software, marimba, vibraphone, piano and anything that can be struck, shook, tapped, smacked, plucked, bowed or brushed.
JULIANE GODFREY returns to Volleygirls’ Ladyhawks for her New York Musical Theatre Festival debut after playing Katie in both the Theater Resources Unlimited reading and staged workshop. Past credits: Good News, The Great American Mousical, directed by Julie Andrews (Goodspeed); The Music Man (Zaneeta, Arena Stage); A Wonderful Life (Engeman), A Chorus Line (Maggie), Anything Goes (Erma, Woodstock Playhouse); 42nd Street (Peggy Sawyer) and the title role in Peter Pan. She earned her B.A. at UCLA's Ray Bolger Musical Theater program. Huge thanks to Neil, Monica, Jodie & Cassie at BBR, and the Volleygirls team (past and present) for their unending enthusiasm, love, and support, and for the chance to fulfill her dream of playing high school volleyball.
RANDY GRAFF Broadway: Fiddler… (Drama League nomination); A Class Act (Tony, Drama Desk nominations); City Of Angels (Tony, Drama Desk awards); Moon Over Buffalo, Laughter On The 23rd Floor, High Society, …Falsettos and the original company of Les Miserables (Helen Hayes nomination). Off-Broadway, Graff has starred at Primary Stages, Playwrights Horizons, Roundabout Theater, the Village Gate, and the Vineyard Theater as well as in City Center Encores!’ Damn Yankees and Do Re Mi. Regional work includes leading roles at the Hartford Stage, Kennedy Center, Old Globe, Williamstown and McCarter Theater. On television, Graff has appeared on Law and Order, Cashmere Mafia, Mad About You and the Tonight Show.
JULIE HALSTON is well-known to New York theatre audiences for her work with playwright and performer Charles Busch, as well as for her Broadway performances in Anything Goes, Hairspray, Gypsy and many more. Among her many awards and nominations, Halston most recently received a lifetime achievement award from the off-Broadway Theater Alliance. Her solo comedy show Classical Julie, which was extended six times at Birdland, will return in August. A veteran of Law and Order and more than a half-dozen films, she is forever grateful for appearing nightly around the world as Bitsy Von Muffling on Sex and the City.
GEORGI JAMES Broadway: Annie, Billy Elliot, Tale of Two Cities. Off-Broadway: Horton Foote’s The Orphans Home Cycle (Signature), Olive Hoover in Little Miss Sunshine (La Jolla), Small Alison in Jeanine Tesori and Lisa Kron’s Fun Home (Sundance). Grateful to Telsey & Co., James Lapine, Arielle Tepper Madover and the entire creative team. Love and thanks to teachers and Barry Kolker. Proud to be following in her mother’s footsteps, who played an orphan 30 years ago in Annie national tour.
ANDREW KEENAN-BOLGER Broadway: Newsies (Broadway.com audience award, Outer Critics Circle nomination); Mary Poppins, Seussical, Beauty and the Beast, A Christmas Carol. National tours: …Spelling Bee, The Grinch, Mary Poppins, Ragtime. Other theatre: Aladdin (5th Avenue/DIsney), Newsies (Papermill), TV/Film: Naked Brothers Band (Christophe/Nickelodeon), Marci X (Paramount Pictures), One Life to Live. Co-creator of the Broadway themed web series Submissions Only, Keenan-Bolger earned a BFA at the University of Michigan. Love to Celia & Maggie.
CELIA KEENAN-BOLGER Broadway: Peter And The Starcatcher (Tony nomination); The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Tony nomination, Drama Desk and Theatre World Awards) and Les Miserables (Drama Desk nomination). Off Broadway: Peter And The Starcatcher (Drama Desk nom.); A Small Fire, Saved (Playwrights Horizons); Bachelorette, Little Fish (Second Stage) and Juno (City Center Encores). Regional credits include Laura in The Glass Menagerie (American Repertory Theatre), Johanna in Sweeney Todd (Kennedy Center), Emily in Our Town (Intiman Theatre), Clara in The Light in the Piazza (Goodman Theatre) and concerts with Adam Guettel (Lincoln Center) and Audra McDonald, among others. TV: Law & Order, Heartland, The Education Of Max Bickford. Film: Mariachi Gringo. Celia is a graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Department.
JULIA KNITEL is a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan studying acting and musical Theatre. She made her Broadway debut at 16 in Bye Bye Birdie. Many, many thanks to the Volleygirls (and guys) for letting her utilize her height and play middle front.
LISA KRON is a playwright and performer whose plays include Fun Home, a musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel written with composer Jeanine Tesori (to premiere at the Public Theater this fall), The Ver••zon Play, In The Wake, Well, and 2.5 Minute Ride. She is a founding member of the Obie- and Bessie Award-winning theatre company The Five Lesbian Brothers, and as an actor performed most recently in the Foundry Theater’s production of Good Person of Szechwan, which will return to the Public Theater this fall.
TONY KUSHNER’s plays include A Bright Room Called Day; Angels in America, Parts One and Two; Slavs!; Homebody/Kabul; Caroline, or Change (with composer Jeanine Tesori); and The Intelligent Homosexual's Guide To Capitalism And Socialism With A Key To The Scriptures. Also with Ms Tesori, he wrote the libretto for the opera A Blizzard on Marblehead Neck. He has adapted and translated Pierre Corneille's The Illusion, S.Y. Ansky's The Dybbuk, Bertolt Brecht's The Good Person of Setzuan and Mother Courage and Her Children; and the English-language libretto for the opera Brundibár by Hans Krasa. He wrote the screenplays for Mike Nichols' film of Angels In America, and Steven Spielberg's Lincoln and Munich. His books include Brundibar, with illustrations by Maurice Sendak; The Art of Maurice Sendak, 1980 to the Present; and Wrestling With Zion: Progressive Jewish-American Responses to the Palestinian/Israeli Conflict, co-edited with Alisa Solomon. Kushner is the recipient of a 2012 National Medal of Arts (awarded by President Obama), a Pulitzer Prize, two Tony Awards, three Obie Awards, two Evening Standard Awards, an Olivier Award, an Emmy Award and an Oscar nomination, among other honors. In 2008, he was the first recipient of the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. He and his husband Mark Harris live in Manhattan.
ANDREW LIPPA wrote the music and words and performed the title role in I Am Harvey Milk, the original oratorio that premiered in June with Laura Benanti and the San Francisco Gay Mens’ Chorus. He also wrote music and lyrics for Big Fish, opening on Broadway in October; The Addams Family; and music for The Farnsworth Invention (Aaron Sorkin). Other musicals: The Wild Party (book/music/lyrics), A Little Princess (music), jon & jen (music/co-wrote book) and You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown (additional music/lyrics and arrangements). Mr. Lippa, who graduated from the University of Michigan, was music director for Kristin Chenoweth (the Met, Carnegie Hall) and has been nominated for a Tony and a Grammy. He has won Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle awards and the Gilman/Gonzalez-Falla Theater Foundation Award and ASCAP’s Richard Rodgers/New Horizons Award.
NELLIE MCKAY won a Theatre World Award for her Broadway debut as Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera. McKay has been seen onscreen in PS I Love You, and has written music for Rumor Has It (Rob Reiner) and Boardwalk Empire, Weeds, Grey’s Anatomy, NCIS, Privileged and Nurse Jackie. She has appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman, The View, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Live with Regis & Kelly and CBS Saturday Morning. Home Sweet Mobile Home is McKay’s latest album. McKay has published in The New York Times Book Review; she is currently starring in Old Hats with David Shiner and Bill Irwin.
GRACE MCLEAN is a singer, songwriter and actor who has released three EPs (two with the rock band Lily & James; a third, Make Me Breakfast, as Grace McLean and Them Apples). McLean has performed Grace McLean Lives… at The Flea Theater, Ars Nova and Joe's Pub and has appeared in Natasha, Pierre, & the Great Comet of 1812 (Kazino), Sleep No More, The Last Goodbye (Williamstown), From The Fire (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, MTM Best New Musical) and La MaMa Cantata (La MaMa, and internationally in Spoleto, Zagreb and Belgrade). McLean is currently composing music for a pop ballet inspired by 12th century German mystic Hildegard von Bingen. www.gracemclean.com
LAUREN MOLINA currently plays Megan in Nobody Loves You (Second Stage Theatre), for which she received a San Diego Critic’s nomination San Diego’s The Old Globe theatre. Broadway: Rock of Ages (Regina); Sweeney Todd (Johanna, dir. John Doyle). Off-Broadway: Marry Me a Little, Sweeney Todd, Next Thing You Know. Tour/Regional: Candide (Cunegonde, dir. Mary Zimmerman) Helen Hayes Award); Sweeney Todd (national tour, American Conservatory Theater); Ten Cents a Dance (Williamstown). Co-creator of the mockumentary webseries Rock of Ages Productions and the folk-pop comedy group The Skivvies. www.laurenmolina.com
RORY O’MALLEY starred on Broadway in The Book of Mormon (Tony, Drama Desk nominations) and is featured on the cast album. He made his Broadway debut in …Spelling Bee, created the role of Richie Cunningham in Happy Days The Musical, and is currently starring in Nobody Loves You at Second Stage. Film and television work includes Paramount Pictures’ Dreamgirls, Nurse Jackie, Law and Order: SVU and 1600 Penn. A 2003 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, Rory is a co-founder of “Broadway Impact,” a grassroots marriage-equality organization that is currently producing the play 8, conceived by Rory and edited from trial testimony by Oscar-winner Dustin Lance Black.
GERIANNE PEREZ graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied at CAP21 and Stonestreet Studios and was a member of the N’Harmonics a capella group. Prior to joining Volleygirls, Gerianne appeared in A Journey Outside the Wall (Mahassen), the NYU Reality Show (Soloist, Dance Captain), Marat-Sade (Four Singers, Charlotte Corday), Violet (Music Hall Singer) and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Silvia).
CATHERINE PORTER is a globe-trotting actress, singer and songwriter who has had the privilege of singing opposite Michael Crawford (in The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber, touring the UK, US, Japan and Australia) and Hugh Jackman and John Barrowman (as Betty Schaefer, Sunset Boulevard, Australia and London’s West End). She was a featured vocalist with The Brian May Band as part of Guns-N-Roses’ world tour. Broadway: Next to Normal (Diana Goodman); numerous Off-Broadway, regional and West End productions; two albums: Something Good and Gems for Ruby. www.catherineporter.com @cathporter on Twitter!
ALLISON JILL POSNER most recently played Jocelyn in both the NYC workshop and TRU reading of Volleygirls. Regional credits include Into the Woods (Little Red Ridinghood, Montclair MOC); Tick Tick Boom (Susan, Williamstown Theatre Festival) and Equus (Jill Mason, Hangar Theater). Workshops and readings include The Jamal Lullabies (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Factory Girls (Ars Nova, Joe's Pub), and JC2K (New York Musical Theatre Festival). M.S. Ed, Bank Street College of Education and B.A., Brown University. Allison is the lead singer of the Amazing Jellies band and is a voiceover artist for many ESL programs and audio books.
ZACHARY PRINCE was last seen in the Second Stage revival of The Last Five Years (Jamie u/s) directed by Jason Robert Brown. Broadway: On A Clear Day You Can See Forever, Baby It's You. Noted roles include: The Baker in Moisés Kaufman's Into The Woods at Kansas City Rep and Frankie Valli in the first National Tour of Jersey Boys. Concert appearances include performances with the Cincinnati Pops, Sun Valley Summer Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Prince earned his BFA at Carnegie Mellon University. www.zacharyprince.com
TONYA PINKINS One of Time Out New York’s 25 All Time Broadway Divas, Pinkins won a Tony award for Jelly's Last Jam and was nominated for Caroline or Change and Play On. Known to TV audiences for roles on 24, Army Wives and daytime dramasAll My Children and As the World Turns, Pinkins also appeared in the film Enchanted as Phoebe Banks. In addition to five cast recordings, she has released two solo albums, LIVE @JOE'S PUB and LIVE @JOE'S PUB TOO. Her Harold Arlen tribute sold out Jazz at Lincoln center and her Ethel Waters concert sold out 54 Below. Oprah named her “One of ten women in America who take your breath away.” @Tonyapinkins
ANTHONY RAPP created the role of Mark Cohen, from Rent's original workshop to Broadway, London and the feature film. On Broadway, he performed in Precious Sons (Outer Critics Circle Award, Drama Desk nomination), Six Degrees of Separation and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Regional projects include Little Shop of Horrors, his brother Adam's plays Nocturne and Gompers and the title roles in Henry V and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Among numerous film and television roles, Rapp was featured in Dazed and Confused, Six Degrees of Separation, A Beautiful Mind, The X-Files, Law & Order: SVU and Kidnapped. Rapp has also released a solo CD (Look Around), written a New York Times bestselling memoir and directed the South African premiere of Rent in Johannesburg.
KRYSTA RODRIGUEZ Broadway: Playing now in First Date, opposite Zachary Levi; The Addams Family (Wednesday), In the Heights, Spring Awakening, Good Vibrations and the revival of A Chorus Line. Other theatre credits include Bye Bye Birdie (Encores!), The Boy Friend (national tour, directed by Julie Andrews) and the title role in Gidget the Musical, directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Rodriguez is also known to television audiences as Ana on NBC's Smash.
LIANA STAMPUR is a singer/songwriter/teacher and the proud founding performer of NYCLU's Broadway Stands Up For Freedom! benefit concert. She is also a proud founder of ArtStrides, a 501c3 not-for-profit which provides access to arts-based programming to vulnerable communities, and is earning her Masters degree in Early Childhood Education at Bank Street. Thanks to DL and all the wonderful folks who have used their voices to stand up for freedom.
DANA STEINGOLD Broadway/National Tours: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Logainne). Off-Broadway/other New York: Volleygirls; The Visit (Ottile); Anyone Can Whistle (Baby Joan, City Center Encores!); Perez Hilton Saves the Universe (Culture Project); Spidermusical (Mint Theater Company). Regional: Into the Woods (Little Red Ridinghood, Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage); Calvin Berger (Bret, George Street Playhouse); Pregnancy Pact (Jeanelle, Weston Playhouse); Wind in the Willows (Two River Theater); Hairspray (Penny, North Carolina Theatre); High School Musical 2 (Kelsi, North Shore Music Theatre); Ordinary Days (Deb, ATF). Numerous readings/workshops. BFA from New York University.
ALLISON STRONG is a proud 2012 graduate of Montclair State University’s Musical Theatre Department. Broadway: Mamma Mia, Bye Bye Birdie. Metropolitan Opera: Carmen, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. After Volleygirls, Allison will participate in the Johnny Mercer Foundation Songwriter’s Project at Northwestern University. Her debut EP, Rewind, is aimed for a summer release.
SHAINA TAUB, composer-in-residence at Ars Nova, is currently appearing in Natasha & Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. She's also scoring a new musical for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and writing for Ars Nova and Walt Disney Imagineering. Shaina has traveled multiple continents as a vocalist and actor, including such U.S. venues as the Beacon Theater, Madison Square Garden and the Kennedy Center. She stood by for Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and was in Stop the Virgens at St. Ann's Warehouse and the Sydney Opera House. Shaina often works with the comedy group Political Subversities, is on the music theatre faculty at Pace University and is a University Scholar alumnus of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.