STAFF & BOARD
CLUBBED THUMB STAFF:
• Maria Striar (Producing Artistic Director, Founder) Maria helped found Clubbed Thumb in 1996, and has been on its staff since. Up until 2004 she directed and performed in many of the company’s shows. She still performs upon occasion with other downtown companies. Maria conceived and edited 2007’s Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays from Clubbed Thumb. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
• Sarah McLellan (Managing Director) Sarah served as Assistant Administrative Director of the Juilliard Drama Division, Senior Associate at the development consultant firm A. D. Hamingson & Associates, and Artistic and Management Programs Associate at Theatre Communications Group. She spent four years coordinating the Apprentice and Workshop programs at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, and was a participant in the Juilliard Professional Intern Program. She has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, where she focused on theater production and administration.
• Michael Bulger (Associate Artistic Director) Since moving to New York in 2011 Michael has worked for St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Public Thater, The Cherry Lane Theatre and others. Prior to that he worked for Center Theatre Group, and Brimmer Street Theatre Company in Los Angeles. He teaches Creative Producing at Playwrights Horizons Theater School / NYU where he is also a consulting producer on mainstage productions. He received his B.A. from Emerson College and a Masters in arts administration from Columbia University.
• Caroline Gart (Producing Fellow) has produced at New York Stage and Film, Vassar’s Powerhouse Theater, The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, PS 122’s COIL Festival, Abrons Arts Center, and The Public Theater. Recent projects include Harry & the Thief (The Habitat), Good Men Wanted (Arena Stage’s Kogod Cradle Series/Dixon Place), Toilet Fire (Abrons Arts Center, TONY Critics’ Pick), Songbird: A Tennessee Fiction (59E59, NYT Critics’ Pick), Summertime Rewrite (The Habitat), A Star Has Burnt My Eye (The Brick), Andrew Schneider’s YOUARENOWHERE (PS 122’s Coil Festival, 2015 Obie Award Winner), New Territory: Short Works In Progress (The Habitat). She is also creative producer of The Habitat Theater Company. // thehabitattheater.com.
• Ryan Gedrich (Producing Fellow)
• Patricia Taylor (Financial Services)
• Mary Sormeley (CPA)
• Maggie Hoffman (Graphic Designer)
CLUBBED THUMB ADVISORY BOARD:
- Dorothy Courtney (former Executive Director, Richstone)
- Kristin Marting (director; Executive Director, HERE)
- Wallace Shawn (playwright; actor)
- Paula Vogel (playwright; professor of playwriting, Yale University)
- Les Waters (director; Associate Artistic Director, Berkeley Rep)
- Mac Wellman (playwright; head of playwriting, Brooklyn College)
CLUBBED THUMB EXECUTIVE BOARD:
• Jill Goodson Bishop was born and raised in Manhattan. She is a resident of Manhattan and Santa Barbara, where she is one of the founding supporters of The Santa Barbara Dance Theatre, a sustaining trustee of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and a former board member of The Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum. She is actively involved with the students at The Music Academy of the West each summer providing a cellist with a named full tuition fellowship. For fifteen years she worked as a volunteer senior peer counselor at Santa Barbara’s Center for Successful Aging. When she and her husband, John, are in the city they see at least one play a day.
• John C. Bishop, Jr. (Vice-Chair) was born and raised in Wheat Ridge, Colorado, a western suburb of Denver. He is a resident of Manhattan and Santa Barbara where he is a private investor. He served on the Board of Trustees of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art from 2001-2008, chairing and serving on several committees during his tenure. He returned to the board in 2010 and is currently the Vice Chair. He is a past board member of the Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum, serving as president from 1992-94. He is a founding supporter of the Santa Barbara Dance Theatre based at U.C.S.B. Each summer he enjoys being a Compeer at the Music Academy of the West.
• Erin Courtney is a playwright living in Brooklyn. She teaches in the MFA playwriting program at Brooklyn College and is a co-founder of Brooklyn Writers Space. Ms. Courtney’s plays have been produced or developed by 13P ( A MAP OF VIRTUE) Clubbed Thumb (HONEY DROP, ALICE THE MAGNET, DEMON BABY, PRICKED, SUMMER PLAY, DOWNWINDERS), New York Stage and Film (QUIVER AND TWITCH), The Public Theater (DEMON BABY), The Flea (THE GREAT RECESSION,MOTHER’S COUCH), The Actors Theater of Louisville (OWLS), The Vineyard (QUIVER &TWITCH, ALICE THE MAGNET), and Soho Rep (BLACK CAT LOST). She has collaborated with Elizabeth Swados on the opera KASPAR HAUSER and is starting a new collaboration with her on the life of Isabelle Eberhardt. She has been a resident at the MacDowell colony, a recipient of a NYSCA grant and two MAP Fund grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. DEMON BABY is published in two anthologies; New Downtown Now, edited by Mac Wellman and Young Jean Lee and published by University of Minnesota Press, and Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays by Clubbed Thumb edited by Maria Striar and Erin Detrick and published by Playscripts, Inc. She is an affiliated artist with Clubbed Thumb and a member of the Obie award winning playwright collective -13P. MFA, Brooklyn College, 2003.BA, Brown University, 1990.
• Fred Dassori is Head of US Principal Rates Electronic Trading at Credit Suisse and Chief Executive Officer and President of Wake USA LLC, a joint venture between Credit Suisse and Tower Research Capital LLC. Fred joined Credit Suisse in 2004 in equity research and has held various roles in investment banking strategy, corporate development, and fixed income eCommerce. He has represented Credit Suisse in a range of external investments and industry initiatives. From 1999-2002, Fred led product development at Internet Learning Corp., an e-learning start-up in San Francisco and Singapore. Prior to that, Fred worked in motion picture production and development, based in Los Angeles. He received his B.A. from Yale University, an M.Phil. from the University of Cambridge, and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.
• Jason Ferguson is an award-winning writer, producer and creative director. He is currently a freelance creative director and writer, after full-time positions at R/GA (Ad Age 2015 Agency of the Year) and Big Spaceship (Ad Age 2015 A-List Agencies to Watch). Recent clients include Google, Samsung, SNL and Verizon. Jason was formerly a theatre producer and manager. His off-West End premiere of the musical Ragtime won the Offie Award and was a Time Out Best of 2011. Jason has worked on over a hundred productions ranging from West End and Broadway musicals to immersive theater in hidden tunnels beneath London’s Waterloo Station.
• Nina Hellman is an Obie Award-winning actress, living in Brooklyn. She has worked extensively in theatre, film, and television, and has a BFA in Theatre from NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing, where she studied in New York and Paris, France. Nina has served on the board of The Maple Street School, a cooperative pre-school in Prospect Lefferts Gardens Brooklyn as Co-Chair of The Classroom Support Committee. Nina is an affiliated artist of Clubbed Thumb. She performed in her first Clubbed Thumb production in1998. She is also an Associate Artist of The Civilians and Les Freres Courbusier.
• Arne Jokela (Treasurer) co-founded Clubbed Thumb with Meg MacCary, Maria Striar, and Jay Worthington in 1996. A native of San Diego, he attended Princeton University and the University of California at Berkeley. He has been the Chief Technology Officer of New York tech companies Charitybuzz, TuneCore, and Fotolog, and has held editorial and technical management positions at American Express Publishing, AOL, and Learn Technologies/Voyager Interactive.
• Pam MacKinnon (Chair) is an Obie Award winning freelance director based in New York City. She is a director of new American plays and a frequent interpreter of the plays of Edward Albee. Favorite recent productions include Bruce Norris’ Clybourne Park (Playwrights Horizons), Rachel Axler’s Smudge (Women’s Project), Bruce Norris’ The Unmentionables (Woolly Mammoth), Itamar Moses’ The Four of Us (MTC and Old Globe), Erin Courtney’s Alice the Magnet (Clubbed Thumb) as well as Edward Albee’s A Delicate Balance (Arena Stage), Peter and Jerry (Second Stage) and Occupant (Signature). She is a Clubbed Thumb Affiliated Artist and a Drama League alumna.
• Kyle Sarausky was born and raised in Laconia, New Hampshire, a small city located in the heart of New Hampshire in an area known as the Lakes Region. Growing up, he acted in a number of local plays and developed a passion for the arts. He is currently a resident of Manhattan where he is an advisor for mergers and acquisitions across many industries. He spent several years at both Accenture and Ernst & Young in a variety of management consulting roles before focusing on the Private Equity industry. In his spare time, he consults for start-up companies in their initial phases of formation and growth. Kyle is a graduate of Seton Hall University and holds a B.A. in Business Management and Entrepreneurial Studies.
• Josh Silverman is an entrepreneurial executive who has built and run some of the world’s most loved global consumer technology companies, at every stage from founder, to hyper-growth to massively scaled. He has successfully led companies across a range of industries, including Media, Marketplaces, Communications and Financial Services; based in both the US and Europe. Josh is most widely recognized for his success leading inflection points for Skype and American Express, as well as his earlier roles as Co-Founder/CEO of Evite, GM of European Classifieds at eBay, and CEO of Shopping.com.
• Maria Striar helped found Clubbed Thumb in 1996, and has been on its staff since. Up until 2004 she directed and performed in many of the company’s shows. She still performs upon occasion with other downtown companies. Maria conceived and edited 2007’s Funny, Strange, Provocative: Seven Plays from Clubbed Thumb. She received her B.A. from Brown University and her M.F.A. from the University of California, San Diego.
• David Tecson is a Creative Director and User Experience designer in the fields of film, television, and online media. He has served as president of Edgeworx, which did graphics and visual effects for projects such as Operation Homecoming, Herbie: Fully Loaded, Real Housewives of NY, The Kid Stays in the Picture, D.E.B.S., and Hedwig and the Angry Inch; Creative Director at CoSA, The Company of Science & Art where he helped develop the software After Effects; and has worked as a lighting and set designer for Mabou Mines. David is a graduate of Brown University and holds an M.B.A. from the NYU Stern School of Business.