Hotel and Travel



What can we learn from and share across sectors i.e. museums and organizations who present in nontraditional spaces? What drives the development of new work in youth and family programming? How do artists, agents, presenters and educators work together to foster a vibrant and diverse ecosystem of programming for young people and families? How can we find the right balance between educational needs and opportunities while supporting artistic innovation and risk? This session addresses these questions and more.

Monique Martin
Director of Youth & Family Programming at CityParks Foundation/SummerStage
Lindsey Buller Maliekel
Director of Education / Public Engagement 
Ronald K Brown
Founder / Artistic Director of Evidence Dance Company
Petrushka Bazin Larsen
Vice President of Programs & Education, Brooklyn Children's Museum

Ashley Kellogg Fallon
PhD candidate in youth development at New York University

Workshop A:
Creating Quality: Using innovative process/rehearsal

Trusty Sidekick

Based in New York City, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company creates bold, original productions for young people and their families. Rooted firmly in the belief that kids deserve theater that ignites their imaginations and makes them think about the world in a new way, the company creates work that is multidisciplinary, and its ensemble of collaborators includes artists trained in physical theater, puppetry, music, dance, animation and video projection. Hailed by The New York Times for “blur[ring] the boundaries between the imagined and the real,” Trusty Sidekick often creates performances in unconventional spaces, including a settlement house in the Lower East Side, an island in New York Harbor, and a Revolutionary War-era battleground. Experimenting with new and exciting ways for audiences of all ages to interact with live performance, Trusty Sidekick redefines the theatrical experience for a new generation.

Workshop co-leader

Spencer Lott is a puppet artist, director and teaching artist living in Brooklyn and was recently named the Associate Artistic Director for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company. With Trusty Sidekick he has performed in Off the Map, , The Haunting of Ichabod Crane, The 7 and 1/2 Mysteries of Toulouse McLane, The Boy at the Edge of Everything and Up and Away. In addition to his work with Trusty Sidekick, he has performed or presented work at St. Ann’s Warehouse, LaMama, The New Ohio, BAM, STREB Action Lab, The Bushwick Star, Dixon Place, The Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta and more. His TV/film puppetry credits include America's Got Talent, Good Morning America and Sesame Street.

Workshop co-leader

Jamie Agnello, "who is a human, not a puppet...(NY Times)" is a theater artist, voice over artist, and puppeteer based in Brooklyn. She also serves as the Ensemble Development Manager for Trusty Sidekick Theater Company.  Trusty performance credits include Off the Map, Campfire, The Haunting of Ichabod Crane, The 7 1/2 Mysteries of Toulouse McLane, and Up and Away. She is also the playwright and co-creator of We Are All Tourists, a new interactive tour experience for young people and their families. She has also appeared at Dixon Place, LaMaMa, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The American Dance Institute, and the New York, Cincinnati, and Atlanta Fringe Festivals. MFA Poetry & MFA Theater from Sarah Lawrence College.

Workshop B:
Creating Quality: Working WITH youth

Michael Lopez-Saenz (Workshop leader)

Michael Lopez-Saenz is a lifelong theater artist and educator living and teaching in Boston. He has taught high school drama for over fifteen years. He lived as a working theater artist and teaching artist in New York for nine years, acting, directing, producing and playwriting on off-Broadway stages. His play Mobius was part of the New York International Fringe Festival, and he is the author of a book for young people titled The Thousand Natural Shocks. This book is currently in the works to become a film, as well as a play version which is being produced in the 2017-18 season of the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival.

Workshop C:
Creating Quality: Focusing on script

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce (Workshop co-leader)

Roxanne Schroeder-Arce is a scholar, artist and pedagogue. She is assistant professor and teaches theatre education in the Department of Theatre & Dance at the University of Texas at Austin and an affiliate in the Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies, the Department of Mexican American & Latina/o Studies and the Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. She is a Public Voices Fellow with the OpEd Project. Roxanne’s research interests include culturally responsive theatre education and Latino/a theatre for and with youth. She has published articles in journals such as Youth Theatre Journal, International Journal for Education and the Arts, Theatre Topics and Gestos. Roxanne’s bilingual plays Señora Tortuga, Legend of the Poinsettia, Sangre de un Ángel and Mariachi Girl are published by Dramatic Publishing and have been produced by various theatres and schools throughout the U.S. Roxanne also taught high school in Texas for several years and served as Artistic Director of Teatro Humanidad in Austin. She also formerly taught at California State University at Fresno and Emerson College. She received her MFA in Drama and Theatre for Youth from the University of Texas at Austin. Schroeder-Arce’s web site can be found at:

Laura Eason (Workshop co-leader)

Laura Eason is a Brooklyn-based screenwriter and playwright. She is best known for four seasons as a writer/producer on the Netflix drama, “House of Cards” (WGA nomination for outstanding writing in a drama series), her play Sex with Strangers (premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre, Chicago; New York premiere at Second Stage, upcoming at Hampstead Theatre, London) which was one most produced plays in the U.S. in ‘15-’16  and upcoming in ’16-’17, and her award-winning stage adaptations of classic literature for family audiences including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (commission and premiere at Hartford Stage and more than thirty productions around the U.S. including The New Victory Theater) and Around the World in 80 Days (commission and premiere at Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago and most recently in London at the St. James). Eason's feature debut commences filming this summer, produced and starring Sarah Jessica Parker. She is an ensemble member and the former Artistic Director of Lookingglass Theatre Company in Chicago (2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award), a Dramatists Guild and WGAE member and an alumna of the WP Playwright’s Lab.

SATURDAY Panelists

Mary Rose Lloyd (Panel Moderator)

New Victory Theater Director of Artistic Programming Mary Rose Lloyd is a curator of performing arts, recognized for her expertise in family and young audiences programming and for her support of new work across all disciplines. An accomplished speaker and frequent panelist and juror, Mary has been part of various international delegations for curatorial research and has served on assorted grant giving and funding panels. She is a former board member of TYA/USA and International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY) where she received the Mickey Miners Lifetime Achievement Award for her significant impact and contribution to the field of performing arts for young audiences.  Mary was selected to be a juror for the 37th Edition of the Festival Mondial du Cirque de Demain in Paris, has been an official respondent for the TYA division of the Southeastern Theater Conference (SETC) and serves on the Board of Directors of The Chocolate Factory Theater in New York. She has an MFA in Arts Management from the Yale School of Drama where she received the Morris Kaplan Award for Excellence in Arts Administration.  

Megan Alrutz (Panelist)

Dr. Megan Alrutz heads the Drama and Theatre for Youth and Communities area in the Department of Theatre and Dance at The University of Texas at Austin. She works nationally as a scholar, dramaturg, director, and teaching artist in theatre with and for youth. Before coming to UT in 2009, Megan led the MFA in Theatre for Young Audiences at the University of Central Florida. She earned a Ph.D. in Theatre (with an emphasis in Theatre for Youth) from Arizona State University, and a B.A. in Theatre from Rutgers University. Megan’s creative and scholarly work focuses on ethical representation and youth agency in applied theatre, as well as representational practices and feminist performance pedagogy in theatre with and for youth, theatre for the very young, and digital storytelling. Megan currently co-directs the Performing Justice Project (PJP) at UT, an applied performance program that invites young people to devise new work about identity-based inequities and stories from their lives. She also co-directs Patchwork Stories, an on-going community-engaged performance project in partnership with the University of Exeter. Megan has worked with nationally recognized companies such as Metro Theater, Arts on the Horizon, Orlando Rep, the Kennedy Center, and Seattle’s Children’s Theatre (currently developing Mo Willems’s Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed: A Rock Experience). Her research has been published in journals such as RiDE,Youth Theatre Journal, Teaching Artist Journal, Journal of Community Engagement and Scholarship, and TYA Today. Megan is the author ofDigital Storytelling, Applied Theatre & Youth: Performing Possibility (Routledge 2014)and the co-editor of Playing with Theory in Theatre Practice (Palgrave Macmillan 2011).

Adam Burke (Panelist)

Adam is the artistic director of the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte where every day he gets to do what he loves. Most recently he was the artistic director of the Scioto Society, producers of the outdoor drama Tecumseh.  Prior to that he served as the artistic director of the Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences, was an artistic associate at Childsplay Theatre in Tempe, AZ under the TCG New Generations fellowship program and was the director of theater programs at the Jewish Community Center in San Antonio, TX. During his tenure in Chicago, Adam worked at the Goodman, Steppenwolf, Chicago Shakespeare and Northlight Theatres and held the position of resident director at Open Eye Productions. He participated in the International Directing Symposium hosted by LaMama Theatre in Umbria, Italy, the National Advanced Stage Combat Workshop hosted by the Society of American Fight Directors, ASSITEJ’s One Theatre World and attended the ASSITEJ International Directing Symposium in Stuttgart, Germany. He is a recipient of the ASSITEJ/USA Ann Shaw Fellowship and of the Chicago Drama League International Research Grant.


Sobha Kavanakudiyil (Panelist)

Sobha Kavanakudiyil is a faculty member in The Graduate Program in Educational Theatre at The City College of New York.  She earned her B.A. in Communications from Fordham University and her M.A. in Educational Theatre from NYU.   After beginning her graduate degree at NYU, Sobha immersed herself in the field of arts education.  She currently serves as Vice Chair for The New York City Arts in Education Roundtable Board of Directors, National Programming Director for the AATE Board of Directors, and on the Board of Directors for the Association of Teaching Artists

She has been a Teaching Artist for The New Victory Theater in New York City where she conducted pre/post performance workshops, participated in residency programs, and led family workshops and teacher institutes.  Furthermore, she was also was a member of the innovative Teaching Artist Enrichment Team, a small contingent of artists who mentor new Teaching Artists and implement new ways of expanding the quality of the New Vic Education programs.

She also has been a Teaching Artist with The Educational Arts Team in Jersey City, NJ.  In school workshops that she created, developed and conducted include: Violence Prevention, Drug Prevention, and Integrating Drama with Literacy and Social Studies.  Camp Liberty is the Educational Arts Team's summer camp that has approximately 250 children and 35 summer staff that are hired and trained.  She has been part of the senior staff maintaining the day-to-day operations of the camp, as well as the Director of the Teen Mentor Program, where she worked daily with 13-15 year olds. Each summer she has also directed one of the camp plays that are produced.   Some of her plays that she adapted and directed are "How the Sun and Moon got up into the Sky," "The Myth of Osiris and Isis," "Ra-The Creation Story," "How Ganesh got his Elephant Ears," and this past summer's Irish Tale called, "Brave Margaret."

Sobha has also been an Adjunct Instructor for Hudson County Community College where she taught Acting and Speech, New York University's Educational Theatre Program and the Teaching & Learning Department where she taught Integrating the Arts and Dramatic Activities for K-6 Classroom, both at the undergraduate and graduate level.  She is also proud to have been an Adjunct Instructor for the CCNY Ed Theatre Program.   In addition to being an actress, all of the innovation she practices as a Faculty Member in the CCNY Ed Theatre Program and her strong commitment to quality and accessible arts education for all, Sobha is a member of TAG (Teaching Artist Group) co-chair for the Teaching Artist Affairs Committee for the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable; On the Board of Directors for Spellbound Theatre; A Member of the TIOS (local AATE chapter) planning committee; has been a presenter at conferences including:  NJEA Convention, AATE, Face to Face, NYU Applied Theatre and Pedagogy conferences; and NYU Teaching Artist Forum.  She also had a brief career in Television Broadcasting with an Emmy Nomination for Booking Producer of “Living Dangerously” a one hour Dateline NBC report back in 2000.

Jeremy "Boomer" Stacey (Panelist)

Jeremy "Boomer" Stacey is Creative Director of peasoup*Creative—a creative consultancy and artistic management group specializing in work for international performing arts for young audiences. Prior to this, Boomer served as Artistic Director of HarbourKIDS—Arts & Culture for Young People at Harbourfront Centre, Canada's leading contemporary arts centre, in Toronto, a position that evolved from his role as Artistic Director of the renowned Milk International Children's Festival of the Arts. He has also served as the Executive Director for the Durham West Arts Centre. He has been involved with IPAY since entering the field, serving on the Showcase Selection Committee since 2004, as a Board member since 2005, elected to the position of Vice President in 2006 and currently serving as Board President. Boomer is currently Vice-President of ASSITEJ—Canada. He is often asked to consult on festivals, special events and programming for young people as well as speaking on many international panels.

Janet Stanford (Panelist)

JANET STANFORD is a director and playwright who worked in regional, university, and social justice theatre before joining Imagination Stage in 1993. She created the programs that has transitioned the company from a community arts center to a nationally significant Theatre Arts Education Program and TYA company. In addition to commissioning more than 40 plays from top national and international playwrights, Janet has spearheaded initiatives such as the Bio Tech Trilogy for teens which examines the ethical issues surrounding genetic science; the Youth Speaks to Age Series that features Hip Hop, Anime, or Bollywood as a way to reflect the diversity or our region; The Washington Ballet collaborations on original dance theatre versions of classic titles; a four-show season of Theatre for the Very Young; and, most recently, Oyeme The Beautiful by Miriam Gonzales, a play which raises awareness and support for Central American refugee children who are seeking asylum in our community. Janet has twice been nominated for the Outstanding Director Helen Hayes Award, and her plays for children are published by Dramatic Publishing and Plays for Young Audiences. Janet travels frequently in search of new ideas and artistic partnerships for Imagination Stage. In summer 2017 she is delighted that INSIDE OUT, a TVY show that was created in collaboration with the UK’s Tell Tale Hearts will travel to Seoul, S. Korea and have the honor of being the first ever American theatre piece to be shown as a part of their annual TYA festival.

Conference Facilitators and framers:

Lindsey Buller Maliekel is the Director of Education / Public Engagement for the New Victory Theater (American for the Arts Education Award recipient, 2008) and oversees all programs and content for family audiences as well as the theater's youth development programs. She manages a roster of 50 teaching artists, as well as continuing to teach in the schools and family programs throughout the year. Prior to joining the New Victory Theater in 2004, she created and taught curriculums for the Creative Arts Team. As the Associate Director of Summer Theater Institute, she worked with youth from around the world to devise original theater. Lindsey has been a consultant, curriculum writer and Master Teaching Artist for such organizations as Girls Leadership Institute, TheatreWorks: Silicon Valley, and StageWrite.  She is also a Thesis Advisor for the first American Masters program in Applied Theatre at City University of New York. In 2014, under her oversight, the New Victory Usher Corps program won the National Arts and Humanities award, given by Michelle Obama for outstanding programs in creative youth development. She received her Masters degree from theGallatin School at New York University focusing on Theater as a Tool for Communication and Learning.

Renata Melillo Townsend, Assistant Director of Education / Public Engagement, manages the family engagement programs and content. In addition to her work at The New Victory, she is a member of Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, in residence at Lincoln Center Education. Her work as an actor and puppeteer has been seen on the stages of St. Anne's Warehouse, the Park Avenue Armory, and The High Line. Prior to joining The New Victory Theater in 2010, Ms. Townsend worked at Centerstage in Baltimore, Maryland. She has also been a consultant, puppetry coach, Teaching Artist and director for such organizations as The Professional Performing Arts School, The Doe Fund, Hour Children, and Barrington Stage Company. Ms. Townsend holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a Master of Arts in Applied Theater from The City University of New York, School of Professional Studies.

Courtney J. Boddie, New Victory Director of Education / School Engagement, oversees the New Victory Education Partnership program and professional development training in the performing arts for teachers.Ms. Boddie is currently President of the Board of Directors for the Association of Teaching Artists (ATA). Additionally, she serves on the Teaching Artist Committee and Diversity Task Force of the NYC Arts-in-Education Roundtable and is a member of the National Teaching Artist Collective in association with the National Guild for Community Arts Education. Prior to joining The New Victory Theater in 2003, Ms. Boddie was Program Associate for Empire State Partnerships (NYSCA) and a teaching artist for Roundabout Theatre Company. She received her Master’s degree from the Educational Theatre Graduate Program at New York University, where she is also adjunct faculty.

Adrienne Kapstein is a theater practitioner, educator and scholar. She specializes in the creation of innovative, interdisciplinary physical theater for children and families. Her work has been presented in the U.S., Scotland, Canada, Ireland and Romania. Highlights: Light, A Dark Comedy (New Victory LabWorks 2014-2015; Triskelion Arts' inaugural family programming 2016); Washeteria, Soho Rep’s first piece for family audiences and winner of CTFA’s Art of the Matter grant; Wanda’s Monster, a new musical with lyrics and music by Laurie Berkner (New York City Children’s Theater Company); Beast (Trusty Sidekick); Every Day Above Ground (PS 122), and Fathom (Ice Factory Festival; Winner Best Production, Dublin Fringe Festival 2004). Adrienne was the Associate Director of Movement and Horse Choreography on War Horse (Broadway, National Tour). Areas of scholarly research include creativity, collaboration, pedagogy of devising, and theater for the very young. Publications: A Portrait of Immersive Theater Companies and their Practices in TYA in book, Immersive Performance: Engaging the Audience (2017); Lights On: Sleep No More in Signals: Contemporary Performance Journal. Adrienne is an Associate Professor of Acting/Movement at Pace School of Performing Arts in the International Performance Ensemble program teaching collective creation and physical theater. University of Edinburgh, Ecole Jacques Lecoq and Brooklyn College (MFA Directing).

Louisa Thompson is a Scenic and Costume designer and a creator of theatrical work for young audiences.  As Lead Artist she created "Washeteria" a site-specific all-age event that featured the work of Cesar Alvarez, Charise Castro-Smith, and over 20 leading theatre artists.  In addition to the 16 years she has taught at Hunter College she has designed for a variety of theatres: Elevator Repair Service; The Public Theatre; Soho Repertory Theatre; The Play Company; Target Margin Theater; Clubbed Thumb; Rattlestick Playwrights Theater; Theatreworks USA; Playwrights Horizons; The Foundry Theater Company.  Regional credits: Berkeley Repertory Theatre, The Kirk Douglas Theater, Arden Theatre; Bard Summerscape, The McCarter Theatre, The Papermill Playhouse, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, La Jolla Playhouse; The Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis. Yale School of Drama (MFA) and Rhode Island School of Design (BFA).

David Montgomery is the director of The Program in Educational Theatre in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development at New York University (NYU). He is also the artistic director of the New Play for Young Audiences (NPYA) series at the Provincetown Playhouse, a project sponsored by the Program in Educational Theatre where three new plays by leading playwrights for young audiences are developed every summer. He has directed the NYU's Looking for Shakespeare (LFS) program, where High school students collaborated him and NYU graduate students to shape an original production of Shakespeare, and he has directed a variety of other theatre productions at NYU.  In 2012, Dr. Montgomery published Theatre for Change: Education, Social Action Therapy (Palgrave Macillan), co-written with Dr. Robert Landy, and he recently completed a chapter, 'Applied Theatre and Citizenship in the Puerto Rican Community: Artistic Citizenship in Practice,' for the book, The Handbook of Artistic Citizenship, published by Oxford University Press.