Janet Langhart Cohen: Playwright & Director
is an Emmy-nominated journalist, author and playwright. Janet began her television career on CBS in Chicago. During her 25-year career, Mrs. Cohen has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC and BET; hosted ABC’s “Good Day in Boston;” covered special assignments for Entertainment Tonight; and produced several programs, including “On Capitol Hill with Janet Langhart.” As an overseas correspondent, she covered news in Europe, Africa and the Middle East.
Mrs. Cohen was also a mentee of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and was active during the Civil Rights Movement.
Throughout her career, Mrs. Cohen interviewed many major newsmakers and leaders of the 20th century. Among the prominent people she interviewed are President Bill Clinton, who acknowledged her during his last State of the Union address, President Jimmy Carter, Margaret Thatcher, Rosa Parks, Mel Gibson, Bill Cosby, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Denzel Washington, Dan Rather, Oprah Winfrey, Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters and Larry King as well as David Duke former head of the KKK.
Janet Langhart Cohen has also worked as a columnist for the Boston Herald, U.S. News and World Report and served as a spokeswoman for Avon Cosmetics. She has been a judge for the White House Fellows Program and served as a judge for the Miss America Organization an unprecedented 4 times.
Mrs. Cohen is the wife of former Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen. She was known as “First Lady of the Pentagon,” due to her active and visible public role to support the military and their families while her husband was in office.
She wrote her first book, a memoir entitled, From Rage to Reason: My Life in Two Americas in 2004. In 2007, she and her husband co-wrote Love in Black and White, a memoir about race, religion, romance and the bonds Langhart and Cohen share over similar life circumstances and backgrounds. She was also awarded with an Honorary Doctorate from Emmerson College.
Anne & Emmett is her latest effort as well as a book she and Bill Cohen edited:
Race and Reconciliation in America.
Talvin Wilks: Director
is a playwright, director and dramaturg. His plays include Tod, the boy, Tod, The Trial of Uncle S&M, Bread of Heaven, and An American Triptych. Directorial projects include the world premiere productions of Eyewitness Blues, by Mildred Ruiz and Steven Sapp, UDU by Sekou Sundiata, The Love Space Demands by Ntozake Shange, No Black Male Show/Pagan Operetta by Carl Hancock Rux, Banana Beer Bath by Lynn Nottage, the Obie Award/AUDELCO Award winning The Shaneequa Chronicles by Stephanie Berry, Relativity by Cassandra Medley (AUDELCO nomination for Best Director 2006) and On the Way to Timbuktu by Petronia Paley (AUDELCO nomination for Best Director 2008). He has served as co-writer/dramaturg for ten productions in Ping Chong’s ongoing series of Undesirable Elements, and dramaturg for four collaborations with the Bebe Miller Company, Necessary Beauty, Going to the Wall, the Bessie Award winning, Verge, and Landing/Place for which he received a 2006 Bessie Award for Dramaturgy. He is currently writing a book on black theatre, Testament: 40 Years of Black Theatre History in the Making, 1964-2004, and recently curated The Aunt Ester Cycle, a theatre festival at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, PA.
Nick Tochelli: Production Stage Manager
is a freelance stage manager based out of New York City. Off-Broadway Credits: Summer Stock NYC, Inventing Avi, Love Inc., Noon Day Sun, Romeo and Juliet, Henry V and The Spy. Tochelli is the Production Manager for the Drama Desk Award-winning Godlight Theatre Company. GTC Credits: Winkie, An Impending Rupture of the Belly, Grand Central Winter, 1984, Basketball Diaries and Slaughterhouse-Five.
Michael Murray: Costume Designer
is from Washington D.C. has studied at the Duke Ellington School for the Arts, Howard University, The Shakespeare Company. Michael has had the pleasure of working with such director/ choreographers Debbie Allan, Mike Malone, George Faison, Louis Johnson. Costume designers Judy Dearly, Paul Tazwell. Singers Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Holiday, Stephanie Mills. Television credits include HBO, Saturday Night Live, The Tonight show Jay Leno, The Grammy Awards, American Music Award, Euro MTV Music Award.
Maya Ciarrocchi: Multi-Media Designer
is a NYC based projection designer and video artist. Recent theatre credits include: Ghost Light (Oregon Shakespeare Festival) Throne of Blood (BAM); and Red Hot Patriot (Philadelphia Theater Company). Her work has been exhibited in numerous galleries both nationally and abroad and she has received residencies from the Kala Arts Institute (CA) and the Ucross Foundation (WY). She is the recipient a 2006 Bessie award for her video design in performance. Upcoming projects include a commissioned installation for New York Live Arts and a survey show at Artisphere in Arlington, VA. She is currently developing on a large-scale video installation centering on Mountain Top Removal mining practices in Appalachia.
Andrea Lynn Green: Anne Frank
is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz where she earned her B.A in Theatre Arts Performance. Her favorite roles include Lil’ Luz in Giant with The Public Theater, Lucy in Lucy at the Delaware Theatre Company, and Honoria in Rocket Science at Playwrights Horizons. Other roles include Little Sally (Urinetown), Mabel (The Pirates of Penzance), Emily (Our Town), Fool (King Lear) and Amy (Company).
Roger Grunwald: Otto Frank
is the playwright and solo performer in The Mitzvah, a new drama exploring the Jewish experience during the Holocaust. Grunwald is a founding ensemble member of the California Shakespeare Theater and a co-founder of New York’s Castillo Theatre, where he performed in more than 45 productions over 20-plus years. Recently Grunwald appeared in the Off Broadway premiere of Outside Inn at 59E59 Theaters in a role he originated in Pittsburgh and Stuttgart, Germany.
Charlie Hudson III: Emmett Till
has previously worked at theatre venues such as Yale Rep, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Irish Rep, Classic Stage Company, Crossroads Theater, Public Theater/NYSF, Trinity Rep and Williamstown Theatre Festival. He is a 2004 graduate of Alabama State University and a 2007 MFA graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium.
Kelly Taffe: Mamie
Credits include Broadway: Dividing The Estate. Off Broadway: Playboy of the West Indies; The African Company Presents Richard III (Public Theater), Por Knockers (Dance Theatre Workshop). Regional: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Guthrie, Alabama Shakespeare, Center Stage, Shakespeare Theatre, Fountain, City Theatre Company, Studio, Cincinnati Playhouse, Syracuse Stage, Milwaukee Rep, Theatreworks, Long Wharf, The Acting Company and Crossroads. TV and Film: The Chappelle Show, Flight of the Conchords, One Life to Live and Spinning into Butter. Taffe is the founder of the Harlem Drama Studio.