Our Staff and Board Clare Solly (executive director), a confessed seltzer addict, is an assimilated New Yorker, having lived here for almost nine years. A writer/actress/singer Clare has been performing for over thirty years including a couple of Off-Broadway credits - although she's been storytelling for longer than that. Basically, at any time, she could burst into a story or song, and sometimes Shakespeare. She is extremely excited to be tapped to be part of The Bechdel Group's Leader Ladies, as she truly believes the world needs more meaty roles for women (as she seems to get cast most often in supporting male roles these days). Feel free to come to Bechdel and chat with her or visit her website.
Gina L. Grandi (founder and artistic director) worked in the San Francisco Unified School District for 13 years, teaching 4th grade, 5th grade, and high school Theater and Humanities. As a founding teacher of Metropolitan Arts and Technology HS, Gina designed and implemented the school-wide drama program; productions included After Juliet, Discontented Winter, and bi-annual student-devised work. After moving to New York, Gina served as the Program Director at Opening Act, a non-profit that provides free after-school theater programs for New York City’s most under-served high schools. She is currently a part of the Theatre and Dance Department at Appalachian State University, specializing in Educational Theatre. Other fancypants credits: Artistic Associate and Dramaturg for NYU's New Plays for Young Audiences series, editorial board of the peer reviewed journal Voices in Urban Education, curriculum consultant for Two River Theater, Doctorate in Educational Theatre from NYU.
M.J. Moneymaker (digital communications director and board member) is an artist/writer, analyst, learner, and U.S. Navy veteran. She works for OutRight telling LGBTIQ human rights stories using art, data, and copy for digital communications. She's worked on projects as a screenwriter; digital designer and producer; online advertiser; and marketer. M.J. has an MFA in Creative Writing and a BA in TV/Film Production. Previously, she worked as the Digital Contest Producer at WITNESS, as the Production Supervisor for NYC LGBT Community Center's TV Show, and for "Freeheld", the Academy Award Winner for Best Documentary Short Subject.
Patti Veconi (resident dramaturg) Patti Veconi is a Brooklyn-based music and drama teacher, director of youth theatre, and playwright. Her scripts are available through Eldridge Publishing in the US and Lazy Bee Scripts in the UK. Patti holds theatre degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University (BFA) and New York University (MA). Though her niche is writing in the adolescent voice, Patti’s short plays featuring older adults have also been produced in theatres around the country. (There’s just something about senior citizens and seventh graders.) She is also an avid vegetable gardener and award-winning quilter.
Gabrielle Gilliam (board member) Gabby is very, very busy and important.
What Our Members Are Saying
"What a fantastic evening in Kristine's Eggs on Ice reading!! Thank you so much y'all!!" ~ Thelma M. Reyes
"The casting was fantastic, and the light staging worked perfectly. The whole night was really helpful to me for continuing to develop the piece, especially the dramaturg-led talkback." ~ Francesca Pazniokas