Clare Solly (executive director), a confessed seltzer addict, is an assimilated New Yorker, having lived here for almost ten 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). She also does some fun work over at Company of Fools.Feel free to come to Bechdel workshops 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) 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) is very, very busy and important.
Mary Weaver (intern) was born an raised in Concord, North Carolina. She is a senior Theatre Education major with a minor in Non-Profit Organizations at Appalachian State University. She has a passion for making the arts more accessible for underserved youth and hopes to work for a big time arts education facility in the future. Ask her about how much she cried during Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
Sophie Zapf (intern) is a senior Theatre Education major from Southport, NC, with minors in English and Nonprofit Management at Appalachian State University. She hopes to one day work to provide theatre arts to communities and schools that are lacking it, because she has lived in those communities and schools and it was no fun at all. If you want to get on her good side bring her some coffee. Or ask about her cat. She loves talking about her cat
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