Board Of Directors

Board Members

 

SUSAN CHARLOTTE (Founding Artistic Director, Producer, Writer) is an award-winning playwright who is the recipient of the prestigious Joseph Kesselring Award.  A prolific writer, she has written ten full-lengths plays, forty one-acts and eight screenplays. Her plays have enjoyed productions throughout New York for over twenty years, including the recent world premiere called The Shoemaker which played to sold-out audiences. The play starred Danny Aiello and was directed by Antony Marsellis, who also worked on the film version, A Broken Sole, which was released theatrically in 2007. Other productions include the Off Broadway premieres of She’s of a Certain Age and Love Divided By/Times Three, which has an original score by four time Emmy Award winner, Billy Goldenberg. Additional film credits include: Come On, which premiered at the International Hamptons Film Festival and Love Divided By, (based on her play) which has an original score by Philip Glass and was chosen to open MoMA’s Titus II Theatre. Her TV credits include: CBS' “The Comedy Zone”, which starred Patty Duke and Paul Reiser and daytime series, “Loving" and "Guiding Light." Fascinated by the creative impulse, she wrote two acclaimed books, Creativity and Creativity In Film. She further explored this impulse in her work as a professor at Columbia University (where she received her MFA), New York University and in such non-traditional places as Riker's Island. She also founded a school for writers, Prism Playhouse and two theatre companies--Food For Thought Productions (winner of the NAC's Gold Medal in Drama) and the not-for-profit theatre, Cause Célèbre. She collaborated with theatre icon Peter Stone on her latest project entitled The Round Table.  Susan is a member of the Dramatists Guild and the WGA.

 

 

JOHN E. DONNELLY, ESQ. -- Bio coming soon!

 

 

JAMES A. LEBENTHAL -- Before turning over to his daughter Alexandra the reins of the Lebenthal family bond business, founded in 1925 by his mother and father, Jim Lebenthal ran the company with one half of his brain: the right half, the half creative ideas come from. Writing and starring in Lebenthal’s radio and TV commercials, he -- and then Alexandra – turned tax-free municipal bonds into household words and the name Lebenthal into a landmark on the business skyline of New York City. Jim is currently Chairman Emeritus of Lebenthal Holdings, LLC, parent company of Lebenthal Capital Markets, Lebenthal Asset Management, Lebenthal Wealth Advisors, and Lebenthal Family Office Services. Known for “popping out of sewers, standing in front of the Verrazano Bridge as if he owned it,” observed former Fed Chairman Paul A. Volcker, in the foreword to Jim’s Confessions of a Municipal Bond Salesman, “equating the bonds he sold to the city’s bridges, its water supply, and yes, its subways and sewers,” Jim at age 85 is devoting his marketing might and mane to educating the public in the role of tax free municipal bonds in turning the neglect of our aging infrastructure around. Jim, Dalton ’41 and Andover ’45, graduated Princeton in 1949 with a degree in Political Science. For the next 14 years, he covered the movies in Hollywood for Life Magazine, produced “Flash The Teenage Otter” for Walt Disney, produced his own Oscar-nominated short on the adventures of a tumbleweed, wrote advertising copy at Y& R and Ogilvy & Mather, and produced televignettes for NBC-TV’s Emmy Award winning Update, the Teenage News Program. In 1963 at age 35 Jim joined his and also the company’s Founding Mother, Sayra Lebenthal, putting tax-free municipal bonds within the reach and comprehension of the average individual investor -- in recognition of which, he has received the Public Securities Association’s Chairman’s Award, The Bond Market Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Federal of Municipal Analysts Achievement Award, and even the Carter Burden Center for the Aging Humanitarian Award. Jim is also the father of Claudia Lebenthal and James B. Lebenthal, Chief Executive Officer of Lebenthal Asset Management and Chief Investment Officer of Lebenthal Wealth Advisors. Their mother, Jacqueline Beymer Lebenthal, to whom Jim was married for 48 years, died four years ago at 79 after a long illness. Jim has remarried Betty Wright Landreth, formerly of Lake Forest, IL. They live in New York City.

 


MARIAN SELDES recently appeared at Primary Stages in Terrence McNally’s Dedication, or the Stuff of Dreams. Her many Broadway credits include 45 Seconds From Broadway, Deathtrap (Tony nomination), The Merchant, Equus, Father's Day (Tony nomination, Drama Desk Award), Before You Go, A Delicate Balance (Tony Award), Tiny Alice, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, A Gift of Time, The Wall, The Chalk Garden, Ondine, The High Ground, The Tower Beyond Tragedy, That Lady, Crime and Punishment, Medea. For Lincoln Center Theater, she has appeared in Dinner at Eight, Ring Round the Moon (Tony nominations) and Ivanov. Off-Broadway: Diff’rent, The Ginger Man (Obie), Isadora Duncan (Obie), Painting Churches (Outer Critics Circle Award), Richard II, Richard III, Mercy Street, Dear Liar, A Bright Room Called Day, Three Tall Women, The Torch-Bearers, The Butterfly Collection, The Play About the Baby, Helen, Play Yourself and Beckett/Albee. Williamstown Theatre Festival: The Royal Family, The Matchmaker, The Skin of our Teeth and the premiere of Dedication. She received the Obie Award for Sustained Achievement and was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame in 1996. She is the author of The Bright Lights: A Theatre Life and Time Together, a novel.


RICHARD WESLEY among the plays Mr. Wesley has written: The Black Terror (1971), Gettin It Together (1972), Strike Heaven on the Face (1973), The Sirens (1974), The Past is the Past (1974), The Mighty Gents (1977), the book for the musical, The Dream Team (1984), The Talented Tenth (1990) and the book for the musical, Heaven and the Homeboy (1998).  Produced films scripted by Mr. Wesley include: Uptown Saturday Night (1974) Let’s Do It Again (1975), Fast Forward (1984) and Native Son (1985).  Produced television movies scripted by Mr. Wesley include: "The House of Dries Drear" (PBS – 1984), "Murder Without Motive" (NBC – 1992), "Fearless" (Showtime – 1997), "Mandela and DeKlerk" (Showtime – 1998)  Currently, Mr. Wesley is Vice President of the Writers Guild of America, East, Inc, an associate professor at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he is presently the chair of the Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and a member of Selection Committee of the Newark Museum Black Film Festival (now in its 25th year).  Among awards earned by Mr. Wesley: The Drama Desk, the Audelco and the NAACP Image Award.


Director of Education and Outreach/Producer



MARY J. DAVIS is Director of Education and Outreach for both Food For Thought Productions and Cause Célèbre. With Cause Célèbre, she has produced Tennessee Williams' The Pretty Trap; Susan Charlotte's The Shoemaker and She’s of a Certain Age. She has also produced James Wesley's Unbroken Circle and Disaster! by Seth Rudetsky and Jack Plotnick. She is a pro bono lawyer for the ACLU. Education: BA (Education) from Arcadia University ; JD from Temple University School of Law; MA (Liberal Studies) from Villanova University.


Resident Directors



CHRISTOPHER HART began his theatrical career here in New York as a producer, Off Broadway, before being associated with the Tony nominated Song and Dance, by Andrew Lloyd Weber starring Bernadette Peters, and the Tony nominated Blood Knot, by Athol Fugard.  He moved to California to produce the TV series based on his father Moss Hart’s and George S. Kaufman’s classic comedy You Can't Take It With You, starring Harry Morgan.  While in LA he became artistic director of the Malibu Stage Company, and as a director his dozens of productions were nominated and won numerous awards, including Ovations, Robbies, Dramalogues, and LA Drama Critics Circle awards.  He directed regionally including The Geffen Playhouse, and several theaters in Chicago.  For television he directed for the HBO series, "Tales From The Crypt"  He is pleased to have recently returned home to New York with his beautiful wife, the Robbie Award winning Beth Taylor Hart, and daughter Emma.



ANTONY MARSELLIS continues to move between the worlds of theatre, film and television.  He has directed numerous plays around the city and country including Harold Pinter’s Night School, Samuel Beckett’s Krapps Last Tape and Happy Days, as well as the stage version of his critically acclaimed films, Men of Manhattan and A Broken Sole. He has had the privilege of collaborating on stage and screen with the finest of New York’s acting community including: Danny Aiello, Peter Bogdonovich, Len Cariou, Tyne Daly, Bob Dishy, Christine Ebersole, Penny Fuller, Judd Hirsch, Katharine Houghton, Judith Light, Tony Roberts, Marian Seldes, John Shea, Marilyn Sokol, Frances Sternhagen, Elaine Stritch, and Kathleen Turner. Other plays include: Susan Charlotte’s The Shoemaker, Tom Fontana’s This Is On Me, A.R. Gurney’s The Love Course, and Tennessee Williams’ The Pretty Trap.