Next @ The Braid Arts Council Fellows

abbe-meryl-feder150x150ABBE MERYL FEDER (Producer) is thrilled to have taken a leadership role with JWT after performing as an actress in several productions. Born and raised in New York City, upon graduation from college Abbe returned there to train at American Academy of Dramatic Arts. A perpetual student of the arts and theatre, she is currently studying with Stephen Book. In addition to her roles with JWT, some credits include [film]: Sex Ed, Brahmin Bulls; and [TV] Las Vegas, Pushing Daisies, CSI:NY. She also served as director of operations at IKAR for five years and has been an active leader in the Jewish community since she was a teen. She is excited about contributing to JWT in an additional position, adding her energy to the leadership of JWT and collaborating with innovative talent.

MICHELLE ALTMAN graduated from Drake University with a BFA in theatre. Until recently she has been directing, producing, writing, and performing in Chicago, where she worked with ShPIel, New Lincoln, New Millennium Theatre Company, and the Home for Wayward Artists, and she was co-founder and artistic director of Chicago’s Vanguardian Theatre Collective. In Southern California she has worked in various capacities with International City Theatre, little fish, and now Jewish Women’s Theatre, and is excited to be a part of this arts community that shares stories in both old and new ways!

rachel-berney-needleman150x150-picRACHEL BERNEY NEEDLEMAN is a director, performer, and producer of classical and new works. Rachel has directed Gigi Bermingham in Cabaret Noel, as well as workshops and readings of new plays for the Blank and Skylight theatres and Theatricum Botanicum. She is also an affiliate member of Antaeus Theatre Company, where she directed Tennessee Williams’ one-acts in Ten by Tennessee for ClassicsFest and worked as assistant director and dramaturge (Cloud 9, Henry IV, Wedding Band, The Liar, and others).  She has appeared onstage at Antaeus, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Independent Opera Co., and Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera and also works as a voice actor. Rachel trained at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Washington University in St. Louis, where she was founding artistic director of a theatre troupe focusing on new plays and imaginative reinterpretations of the classics.

LISA CIRINCIONE is an actress and producer whose stage and screen credits include work in the US, the UK, and Italy. She produced and stars in the short film Porcupine alongside veteran character actor W. Earl Brown, which had its world premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival and has played on screens around the globe, including the prestigious Napa Valley Film Festival and USA Film Festival. She was recently cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming film and shot an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!  She can be seen in national commercials including a spot for Sky Italia with Sandra Oh and in the comedy web-series Mrs. Gary, for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the Los Angeles Web Festival. Lisa received LA Weekly and LA Drama Critic’s Circle nominations for the role of Catherine in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, at Pacific Resident Theatre. Lisa is a company member at Pacific Resident Theatre and the Road Theatre and is extremely proud to be an artist in residence with Jewish Women’s Theatre. Lisa received her BFA from USC and is fluent in Italian.

Al and I CoachellaAMIROSE EISENBACH is a writer and producer with an unwavering passion for the arts. She has over a decade of entertainment experience, having worked at Warner Bros., Fox Interactive Media, and most recently AMC Theatres editorial. While at AMC, she launched their independent film division, including a weekly Women in Film segment. In 2015, to help champion independent cinema even further, she founded Radiant J. Productions, which focuses on elevating more female voices, spreading consciousness, and giving aspiring artists the platform to pursue their dreams. Amirose deeply believes that art can make a positive difference in the world to unite, educate, and break down barriers. She’s traveled to 38 countries, and the way she views and creates art is greatly influenced by her respect for various cultures. RadiantJProductions.com

vanessa-espino150x150VANESSA ESPINO (Playwright) has been a theatre collaborator for more than ten years at the community, collegiate, and independent level. She received her undergraduate education at Cal State Fullerton University with an emphasis in playwriting and was a KCACTF regional finalist  for her original play Odilia, which was remounted for the Hollywood Fringe Festival and won the Hollywood Fringe Scholarship and Inkwell Playwrights Promise awards and received a Beyond Bechdel-Wallace Award nomination. Other recent plays include I Live in Your World, produced by CSUF Department of Theatre & Dance with NAMI and OCHCA at Grand Central Theatre in Santa Ana; and Choosing Us,* [asterisk part of title?] written in collaboration with Lino Martinez and Rain Valdez and commissioned for Evolve Theatre company, which premiered at the Long Beach Playhouse, Studio Theatre.

andrew-fromer150x150ANDREW FROMER is a Los Angeles native and grew up as an active member in the Jewish community through Stephen S. Wise Temple. He attended Windward School in Mar Vista, where his acting career began in plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew took a dive into filmmaking and has since branched into production by helping prepare for distribution two feature films he has acted in: AMP Creative’s Highway to Havasu (dir. Jeff Janke) and Mockingbird Pictures’ The Sweet Life (dir. Rob Spera). Andrew also edits, directs, and hosts his own podcast on the entertainment industry, SideKickBack Radio, which can be found at www.sidekickback.com. He is very excited to be on board for an exciting year with NEXT@theBraid.

sigi-gradwoh150x150lSIGI GRADWOHL is a Swiss-Israeli-American triple citizen and member of Theatre of NOTE. Favorite theater credits include her critically acclaimed role of Daphna in Bad Jews (co-executive producer), The Diary of Anne Frank (winner, Best Leading Actress) and Askance (winner, Scenie Award). TV: Girl Meets World and Jessie (Disney), The Middle (ABC), Chelsea Handler’s After Lately. FILM: James Franco’s Killing Animals, Spare Parts (Outfest Special Selection and winner of OutWest Film Festival). Sigi co-created the award-winning digital series Bad Nannies, SigNHil, and The Dating Chronicles and stars in the viral YouTube hit Girls Are Assholes. She loves to create for all mediums and recently wrote an article for the Huffington Post about attending 26 weddings in 24 months. www.sigigradwohl.com.

allyson-himelstein150x150ALLYSON HIMELSTEIN is the Career Services Advisor at USC’s Price School. Prior to returning to her home in Los Angeles, she worked in recruitment, higher education and hospitality in New York and New Hampshire. Allyson has her bachelor’s degree in Jewish Studies from Emory University and her Master’s in Clinical Social Work from Fordham University. Last year, she wrote her first piece for Jewish Women’s Theatre and was hooked ever since.

chelsea-lloyd150x150CHELSEA LONDON LLOYD is a USC graduate in film and television pursuing a comedic acting career. Recent credits include a pilot for Adult Swim, a Lifetime film, and a national billboard campaign for WAG. You’ll find her creating her own comedic shorts, performing improv and stand-up and being weird all over town. She is a graduate of the TENT Jewish Comedy program and Sinai Scholars. She is dating a Goldstein (aka the airplane episode of Broad City actually happened to her IRL #BirthrightLove #SoAwk #SoReal). In addition, her sassy, self-deprecating humor has made her a standout in viral videos on BuzzFeed and Funny or Die. The actress stars on Verizon’s new mobiseries Clevver Now, with 44 episodes under Defy Media + Verizon go90. Lloyd is represented by Abrams Artists, Commercial Talent, and Principal Entertainment. www.ChelseaLondonLloyd.com

gina-loring_150x150GINA LORING is a poet, singer/songwriter and has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry, BET’s Lyric Cafe, TVOne’s Verses and Flow and is in a lane of her own. As guest artist of the American Embassy, she has performed in Kuwait, Russia, West Africa, Denmark, Turkey, Greece, Ireland, England, France, Spain and Tunisia. Of African-American, Eastern European Jewish, and Muskogee Creek Native American descent, she is currently procuring a poetry workshop series focused on the teenage demographic of post-colonially marginalized indigenous communities throughout the world. A college professor by day, she holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles, and she volunteers with Inside Out Writers, facilitating writing workshops with incarcerated teens.

abigail-marks150x150ABIGAIL MARKS, a Los Angeles native, is delighted to be joining JWT this year. She holds an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre and a BA from George Washington University. A company member at the Antaeus Theatre, she was most recently seen in Cloud 9 and was nominated for an Ovation Award and won a Backstage Award for her work in Top Girls. She has performed on regional stages all over—A Noise Within, Studio Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Culture Project, and the Oval House, to name a few.  Abigail is also an acting and dialect coach and director. For more information: abigailmarks.com.

christian-prentice150x150CHRISTIAN PRENTICE is thrilled to be joining the Jewish Women’s Theatre family and the NEXT Arts Council. An avid supporter of the Los Angeles theatre community, both as a performer and a patron, he is excited to create new work for it. Previous collaboration venues include the Theatre @ Boston Court, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Son of Semele, the Echo Theatre Company, Circle X, and Interact Theatre Company. Before moving to Los Angeles, Christian worked professionally in Cleveland, where he earned his BA in theatre from Kent State University. Go to www.christianprentice.com for more info.

vicki-shairer_150x150VICKI SCHAIRER is a director for film and theatre and a television producer. She has directed several short films and is currently in development for a handful of new projects.  She works as a television producer with credits on shows for Amazon Prime, TLC, the History Channel, and Fullscreen. She worked as a theatre director, production manager, and arts administrator in the greater Boston area prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2014. Vicki directed dozens of projects for the Boston stage and collaborated closely with playwrights to develop new work through workshops and readings. She worked in the artistic department of the Huntington Theatre Company and co-founded the collaborative devised theatre ensemble Project: Project, for which she co-wrote and co-directed original plays. She received her undergraduate degree in physics and theatre from Brandeis University and completed the Summer Institute in Film Production at UCLA.

daphna-shull150x150DAPHNA SHULL was born and raised in Tampa, Florida, and received her bachelor’s degree in Media Production from Florida State University. After graduating in 2014, she packed up two suitcases and her dog and headed west to pursue a career in screenwriting. The arts have always been an integral part of Daphna’s life. From theater to film production to writing, each step has only further instilled the necessity to live a creative life. Currently, Daphna works as a teacher’s assistant at Pressman Academy in Los Angeles and runs an after-school screenwriting class there for 3rd- and 4th-grade students.