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Teri Black: Artistic Director
Before Teri embarked on her path to acting, she worked in several other fields as: Kindergarten Teacher, Planned Parenthood Counselor and Radio Talk Show Host (“Talk To Teri”) at WCRB in Boston. After the “bug” bit, she returned home to New York where she began appearing in plays, commercials, films, soaps and heard on voiceovers. Things were going along very well for a while until she broke her leg while on a winter vacation in New Mexico. Thus unable to even audition for The Man Who Came To Dinner and to keep her creative juices flowing, she began readings of plays in her apartment and BREAK A LEG PRODUCTIONS was born! She was mostly recently seen in the plays The Madwoman Of Chaillot and “Siege Of Leningrad”. Some of her film credits include: Small Time Crooks with Woody Allen and Easy Money with Rodney Dangerfield. Ms. Black is a member of SAG-AFTRA,AEA,NYWIFT (NY Women In Film and Television), Episcopal Actors Guild and League Of Professional Theatre Women. She also works as a Standardized Patient for Medical Schools and was a former liaison for the NYC Commission at the United Nations. Teri is married to the Physicist Brian Schwartz who is also her producing partner and innovator of BAL’s Reading Series “The Art Of Science”. www.actorteriblack.com.
Brian Schwartz: Associate Producer
Brian Schwartz is Professor of Physics at Brooklyn College and Director of the Science & the Arts Program and co-director of the New Media Lab at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY). His research is in materials sciences, networks, transportation simulation, financial engineering, science education using sports and the communication of science to the public. He has edited 9 books and published more than 125 articles in refereed journals. In 2009 he won the American Institute of Physics Andrew Gemant Award for “ingenious creativity in engaging the public with the history and cultural aspects of physics and for inventing ways to celebrate physics through such varied vehicles as plays, musicals, exhibitions, street fairs, cabaret, posters, and operas.”
Dr.. Schwartz was also the Principal Investigator on a major NSF outreach grant, Science as Performance. He works with scientists and artists and produces major public programs at the interface between science and theater, art, music and dance. With funding from the NSF and corporate and foundation support, he has worked with the Feminist Press at CUNY to develop new and novel books and a website to encourage science careers for women. He currently teaches a popular course on cosmology for non-science majors at Brooklyn College. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Miki Tran: Assistant to Artistic Director
Miki Tran is an actor from New Orleans now in New York City. Miki has performed on both film and stage most recently Tier5’s rendition of the Legend of Chalk Circle. He graduated from Xavier University with a undergrad in Computer Science. He is currently in his second year of acting school at the famous William Esper Studios.
Miki has a passion for new works especially those giving voice to marginalized communities. Miki is excited to take his experience and interests onto BAL and work with playwrights and artists in bringing more stories to life!
Valerie Adami: Resident Director
A native New Yorker, Ms. Adami worked in every area of the Biz including opera and musical theatre. She choreographed for the Amato, Bel Canto and Queens Opera, booked dayplayers on NY Soaps and was a successful voice-over actor. For over twenty-five years she was Director of the Weist-Barron Film & TV School, guiding actors and directing showcase programs. As an independent Casting Director she specialized in Commercial and Industrial projects for clients such as Sony, AT&T, Franklin Speir, Hamilton Standard and Parliament Cigarettes (Japan). She was an original member of the Industry performers group “LABORS OF LOVE”, a fundraiser for BCEFA. Valerie continues to teach commercial and audition courses and takes her course “Getting The Biz,ness” to various venues. She directs stage productions most notably for Break A Leg and The Gallery Players. Coming full circle Valerie joined SWArtists Agency to develop young talent and prepare them to successfully pursue their goals.
Peter Burford: Resident Director
Peter is a west-coast transplant to NYC. He attended Washington State University and worked extensively in Seattle theatre as a director, producer, designer, and sometimes actor. Companies include GreenStage Shakespeare Company (where he is still a board member), Theatre Paradox Productions, Theater Schmeater, and A Theatre Under the Influence. Notable productions: A Touch of the Poet, Betrayal, The Glass Menagerie, Henry V, War of the Worlds (playing Orson Welles), Equus, Titus Andronicus,The Racket, Macbeth, The Skin of Our Teeth, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfe?, and Night of the Iguana. Peter is also a software designer and currently the Director of IT at a startup financial services software company.
Elowyn Castle: Resident Director
Off-Broadway – The Norwegians – The Drilling Company; The Understanding for the Colleagues’ Theatre Company and Happy Birthday Wanda June and Much Ado About Nothing at the Equity Library Theatre. Assorted others: Kallie for the American Renaissance Theater Company; Following The Yellow Brick Road… Down The Rabbit Hole: Terri Campion’s one-woman show about a young girl growing up Catholic; and Love Play at La Mama. Several productions for the Snarks and the Amateur Comedy Club including: Play On, The Cemetery Club, Arms And The Man, Forty Carats, A Royal Mess, The Holly And The Ivy, Sabrina. For the Lighthouse Players including: Arsenic And Old Lace and Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. For the Deep Ellum Opera Theatre in Dallas she directed Birth/Day, a new musical by Neil Wolfe and Ron Troutman based on the Frankenstein story. Other credits include Two Gentlemen Of Verona and Othello for The National Shakespeare Company, and a production of Cowboy Mouth at the Dubrovnik Festival in Yugoslavia, and The Lady’s Not For Burning and Love Letters at the Hedgerow Theatre in Philadelphia. She is currently President of the Episcopal Actors’ Guild. AEA SAG-AFTRA SDC.
Kim Sharp: Resident Director
Kim Sharp served as Abingdon Theatre Company’s Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager for 16 years. He supports playwrights in developing scripts as a director and dramaturg. Mr. Sharp has directed numerous readings for Break A Leg, including The Madwoman of Chaillot, A Muslim In The Midst, and W=S (The Transistor Shock).
Gerald van Heerden: Resident Director
Mr. vanHeerden is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory and an alumnus of Webster University Theater Arts Conservatory. He is an emerging, East Coast director of New Works. Gerald has a long and storied, career of experience in the NYC, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theater community, working with new plays and creative, musical theater endeavors as Artistic Director of Plays (MITF), Producer/Director (vMHF Theatricals) and Conceptualist/Director (SDC). As Artistic Director of Plays for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Mr. vanHeerden, helmed Break A Leg Production’s award winning presentation of Farm Hall in July 2014, where he is Resident Director and in February 2015, Dangerous Walk by Mathew Ethan Davis as Producer/Director at the Venus Theatre Festival. Stage Directors and Choreographers national and Broadway union (SDC) member. 2016: Caldwell’s Bomb (Producer/Director) by William Rogers at the Venus Theatre Festival, February 2016, Encore as Finalist and Nominated as Best Director. Your Name On My Lips, a new musical, (Director) Theater For The New City, March-2017; A solo play of reminiscence, based on the poetry of Tennessee William’s with Miller Lide: Tennessee Revisited, A Concert Telling and Reading, September 2017 and The Imperfect Hour, a new musical (Coming Soon). www.geraldvanheerden.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annika Karody: Director of Development
Annika Karody is a musician, writer, and actor based in New York City. She graduated from UCLA in December of 2019 with a B.S. in Human Biology and Society, and a minor in English, and her short fiction, cultural criticism, and environmental journalism have been printed in a variety of publications. She most recently worked as an editorial assistant at Viking & Penguin Books, where she helped edit Rio Cortez’s National Book Award-nominated poetry collection Golden Ax, Barbie Latza Nadeau’s rave-reviewed work of journalism The Godmother, and Tim Murphy’s novel Speech Team, among others. She is deeply passionate about about writing that illuminates the historical roots of social inequity and speaks to their impact on contemporary society.
Jaye Hunt: Literary Manager
Jaye Hunt (they/them) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist who works to create equity onstage and backstage. They have developed new works with many brilliant queer and trans artists, including Sophie Sagan-Gutherz, with whom they were a finalist for the 2022-2023 Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. They were also a finalist for the 2022-2024 WP Lab. Their work with Jack Cummings III as an assistant director included David Greenspan’s one-man, six-hour Strange Interlude. They are also the Literary Manager of Parity Productions, a New York City theater company dedicated to empowering women, trans, and gender-expansive artists in theatre. www.jayehunt.com
Peter Blaxill: Artistic Consultant
Board of Directors
- Teri Black, President
- Brian Schwartz, Vice President
- Claire Altman, Secretary
- Valerie Adami-Julin
- Michelle Bascetta
- Peter Burford
- Elisa London
- Valerie Adami-Juhlin
- Teri Black
- Peter Burford
- Timothy Paul Jobe
- Eric Kuzmuck
- Susan Richard
- Elizabeth York