National Board of Trustees

The Educational Theatre Foundation National Board of Trustees is comprised of prominent leaders across a diverse range of industries including entertainment, finance, hospitality, law, education, and nonprofit theatre, all with a common passion for theatre education.

Matt Conover, Chair

Matt Conover, Chair

Disney Parks Live Entertainment,
Vice President of Disneyland Entertainment

Anaheim, California

Matt Conover, Chair

Matt Conover, Chair

Matt Conover leads all production on the major live entertainment projects for Disney Parks and Disney Cruise Line ships around the world. His responsibilities include the music development team, the scenic and art design team, and the talent casting team, which casts all roles in the live entertainment productions at all Disney theme parks and cruise ships. Matt joined Disney in 1989 as a stage technician at Epcot and has served in several executive entertainment roles, including general manager of entertainment at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and director of planning and production for Walt Disney Entertainment, before transitioning in 2005 to lead the Disneyland Entertainment team as vice president. In 2012, Matt joined the global team at Walt Disney Imagineering – Creative Entertainment in his current role. Matt is a member of the board of directors for the Educational Theatre Association and the Educational Theatre Foundation. He is a B.F.A. graduate of SUNY College at Purchase, with a degree in theatre design and technology, with a concentration in lighting design.

Hunter Bell, Vice Chair 

Hunter Bell, Vice Chair 

Tony-nominated playwright

New York, New York

Hunter Bell, Vice Chair 

Hunter Bell, Vice Chair 

Hunter Bell is a writer based in New York City. His work has earned an Obie Award, a Drama League nomination, a GLAAD Media nomination, a Drama Desk, and a Tony nomination. Hunter is a graduate and distinguished alumnus of Webster University’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts, a member of the Dramatists Guild and the Writers Guild, a MacDowell Fellow, and a proud Georgia Thespian. He currently serves on the board of the Educational Theatre Association. Follow him at @huntbell.

James A. Miller, Treasurer

James A. Miller, Treasurer

Bartlett Wealth Management, Principal and Chairman

Cincinnati, Ohio

James A. Miller, Treasurer

James A. Miller, Treasurer

James A. Miller, CFA, is a principal and chairman of Bartlett & Co. He also serves as an investment advisor. He focuses his investment management practice on high net worth individuals and their families, as well as foundations and endowments. Jim is a Chartered Financial Analyst.

Jim received his M.B.A from the Harvard Business School and his B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan. He currently serves on the boards of the Contemporary Arts Center as a permanent board member, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cancer Support Community, Xavier University, and on the National Board of Governors of the American Jewish Committee. He is also a member of the University of Michigan Economics Department Advisory Council. Jim was named a Five Star Wealth Manager for the past seven years. He joined Bartlett & Co. in 1977 and has 41 years of investment experience.

Nancy Aborn Duffy, Secretary

Nancy Aborn Duffy, Secretary

Educator, Former Broadway Licensing Company Owner

New York, New York

Nancy Aborn Duffy, Secretary

Nancy Aborn Duffy, Secretary

Nancy Aborn Duffy is a former Broadway Licensing Company Owner and Educator in New York, NY. She is a National Board Member for the Educational Theatre Foundation.

Sarah Jane Arnegger

Sarah Jane Arnegger

iHeartRadio Broadway,
Director

New York, New York

Sarah Jane Arnegger

Sarah Jane Arnegger

Sarah Jane (“SJ”), a Florida Thespian, began working within the Broadway community in 2001 with positions at some of the most prestigious firms – Douglas & Kopelman, Disney Theatrical Group, Boneau/Bryan-Brown and The Karpel Group and in 2011, Sarah Jane joined the historic Broadway company Playbill to launch their education and community engagement program. Sarah Jane oversaw the day-to-day operations for Playbill’s main educational website PLAYBILLder and all special educational initiatives, which included the Junior Theatre Festival, International Thespian Festival, BroadwayCon, Broadway Teachers Workshop and partnerships with EdTA, NYC DOE, itheatrics, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Under Sarah Jane’s direction, PLAYBILLder grew their yearly circulation by 40% year-over-year with roughly 1.8 million educational Playbills distributed worldwide by the time she left the company in 2018. At iHeartRadio Broadway Sarah Jane oversees the growing streaming radio station and digital platform and serves as the on-camera host for the Mercedes-Benz Broadway Interview Lounge. Sarah Jane is a former professional opera singer and received her M.M. from New York University and B.A. from Marymount Manhattan College.

Alex Birsh

Alex Birsh

Playbill, Vice President and Chief Digital Officer

New York, New York

Krista Carson Elhai

Krista Carson Elhai

Theatre educator, EdTA Board of Directors

Claremont, California

Sean Cercone

Sean Cercone

President, Broadway Licensing

New York, New York

Mark Drum

Mark Drum

Actor, Arts Advocate, EdTA Volunteer

New York, New York

Coty Forno

Coty Forno

Executive Director, Mountain City Center for the Arts

Frostburg, Maryland

Kevin E. Fortson

Kevin E. Fortson

Warner Horizon Television, Executive Vice President of Production

Burbank, California

Kevin E. Fortson

Kevin E. Fortson

Kevin E. Fortson currently serves as senior vice president of production for Warner Horizon Television (WHTV), having been named to that post at the division’s founding in 2006.

One of the television industry’s fastest-growing companies, WHTV specializes in the creation and production of scripted series for the cable marketplace and primetime reality series for both network and cable. Kevin is responsible for all administrative and operational aspects of the corporate division and oversees all elements of physical production for the Warner Horizon’s series and pilots, including budgeting, scheduling and staffing. WHTV’s current scripted projects include: Netflix’s Fuller House and Longmire; the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) hit Queen Sugar; TNT’s Animal Kingdom; and People of Earth for TBS. Warner Horizon has also produced such past successful series as Pretty Little Liars, Rizzoli & Isles, and Dallas as well as pilots for multiple networks and streaming services, including Lifetime, A&E, TNT and Freeform, Netflix, Hulu, TV Land, and OWN. On WHTV’s non-scripted side, the mega-hit NBC series The Voice, the long-running ABC hit, The Bachelor and its sister properties The Bachelorette and Bachelor in Paradise, NBC’s Little Big Shots and an upcoming update of the classic relationship show Love Connection all fall under Kevin’s purview.

Prior to joining WHTV, Kevin served as senior vice president for studio operations at Warner Bros. Studio Facilities, a position to which he was named in 2004. In that capacity, he was charged with directing the operational activities for all in-house and independent television and feature film production on Warner Bros. Studios’ 110-acre lot and adjacent 32-acre ranch facility. This included scheduling for all 34 sound stages and numerous exterior sets as well as audience coordination, stage and back lot maintenance, and special projects.

Before working in operations, Kevin spent 12 years at Telepictures Productions, as senior vice president for production and administration, where he was responsible for overseeing the day-to-day production staffs for one of the industry’s most prolific producers of network, first-run syndicated and cable television series, including The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Rosie O’Donnell Show, The Bachelor, and Extra. During his tenure, he supervised the design and construction of the company’s Glendale, California, production and post-production facility. The 45,000-square-foot complex houses two sound stages, 30 digital editing suites, a newsroom, and production office space. This facility serves as the headquarters for the daily entertainment news program Extra, and it has housed numerous other productions during its years of operation.

Prior to joining Telepictures Productions, Kevin was with Investigative News Group for five years, lastly serving as vice president/chief operating officer/chief financial officer and executive in charge of production, overseeing Geraldo, The Geraldo Rivera Specials, and Now It Can Be Told. He left Investigative News Group in May 1992 for a brief stint as vice president of development and production at Genesis Entertainment, overseeing The Whoopi Goldberg Show, among other programs. Prior to that, he held positions at Metromedia, Fox and Group W Productions, where he supervised various productions and served for two years as executive in charge of production on Hour Magazine.

Kevin attended UCLA and is a 1983 graduate of California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a degree in specialized mass communication. He and his wife, Rikki, currently live in Calabasas, California, and are the parents of triplets Noah, Avery (Zel), and Khristian, all of whom are freshmen at various universities around the country.

Elwood Hopkins

Elwood Hopkins

Emerging Markets, Inc., President, Kresge Foundation, Presidential Scholar

Los Angeles, California

Tim Kashani

Tim Kashani

Apples and Oranges Arts and IT Mentors, Co-Founder

New York, New York

Tim Kashani

Tim Kashani

As co-founder of Apples and Oranges Studios and IT Mentors, Tim Kashani creates work environments where technology and the arts converge. His experience in the entertainment industry and expertise in tech start-ups through enterprise IT combine in a unique way to press against the boundaries of both worlds. Tim’s passion for storytelling through strategic innovation and the development of compelling stories with strong commercial viability align the studio’s mission. The Apples and Oranges Studios Accelerator, the studio’s latest project, integrates story development and distribution with emerging paradigms from the world of technology to create new musicals for theater, film, and virtual reality.

On the more traditional Broadway stage, Tim and his wife Pamela produced the Tony Award® winning musicals HairMemphis, and An American in Paris. For 25 years and counting Tim’s IT development company, IT Mentors, spans the globe seeking to improve companies’ capabilities through insightful tech development and innovative teaching techniques. Tim holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Information and Computer Sciences, a Master of Business Administration from the University of California at Irvine, and a M.F.A. Film Production with specialization in directing from Chapman University. In his youth, Tim compartmentalized his technical and artistic identities. Today, they are one.

Alvin Katz

Alvin Katz

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Partner

Chicago, Illinois

Alvin Katz

Alvin Katz

Alvin Katz is a partner in the Chicago office of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, a commercial law firm with offices throughout the United States. He specializes in corporate and real estate transactions. He is consistently ranked in the top tier of Chicago lawyers by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and is included in The Legal 500, Guide to the World’s Leading Real Estate Lawyers, Who’s Who in American Law, The Best Lawyers in America, Leading Lawyers in Illinois, and Illinois Super Lawyers.

Alvin has been active in not-for-profit theatre and arts in the Chicago area for the past 40 years. He is currently on the board of directors of TimeLine Theatre and previously served as a director of Victory Gardens Theatre, Body Politic Theatre, Wisdom Bridge Theatre, National Jewish Theatre, and Lawyers for the Creative Arts. In addition, he was a co-founder of the Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago’s first not-for-profit art gallery, and is a trustee of the Chicago Architecture Foundation and a member of the board of overseers of the Illinois Institute of Technology College of Architecture. Alvin received his B.A. from the University of Michigan with high distinction and honors in economics, and his J.D. from Stanford University Law School.

Gai Laing Jones

Gai Laing Jones

Veteran theatre educator, EdTA Board of Directors

Ojai, California

Gai Laing Jones

Gai Laing Jones

Gai Laing Jones is the founder of California Youth in Theatre, Theatre Sage, and Theatre Teachers Bootcamp.

She entered educational theatre by way of a small liberal arts college for women in Oklahoma that offered a specialized bachelor of arts degree in speech and drama. While teaching eighth grade English and theatre in Fullerton, California, she was the first woman to complete a master of arts degree in theatre at California State University, Fullerton. She taught theatre at El Dorado High School for 34 years. Upon her retirement, the black box theatre was named The Gai Jones Theater. She has served on the boards of the California Educational Theatre Association and Drama Teachers Association of Southern California. She is a former chapter director of the California Thespians and is proud to serve on the EdTA Board of Directors as vice president/president and co-chair of the EdTA Development Committee. She is the recipient of the EdTA President’s Award.

She is an adjunct assistant professor at California State University, East Bay. She writes theatre education books, directs and produces educational theatre productions, and serves as an arts provider and guest artist at various conferences. She is a SAG/AFTRA member.

Timothy Allen McDonald

Timothy Allen McDonald

iTheatrics, Founder and CEO

New York, New York

Timothy Allen McDonald

Timothy Allen McDonald

Timothy Allen McDonald is an award-winning musical theatre librettist and leading authority on musical theatre education. Librettist credits include: Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach, with Academy Award-winning songwriters Pasek and Paul; Jim Henson’s Emmet Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas, with Academy Award-winning songwriter Paul Williams and directed by Tony Award winner Christopher Gattelli; and Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka, with Academy Award-winning songwriter Leslie Bricusse.

Tim is the Founder and CEO of iTheatrics, which creates educational adaptations of musicals for MTI’s Broadway Junior Collection, Tams-Witmark’s Young Performer’s Editions, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Getting to Know Collection, and Samuel French’s 101 Collection. An estimated 36 million people attend performances of these musicals annually. iTheatrics has ongoing educational initiatives with New York City’s Department of Education and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and released the world’s first-ever musical theatre textbook in January 2017 with GIA Publications.

For more information, visit iTheatrics.com.

Megan Tulac Phillips

Megan Tulac Phillips

McKinsey & Company, Head of Marketing and Communications, Enterprise Agility

San Francisco, California

Craig Pospisil

Craig Pospisil

Dramatists Play Service, Vice President of Acquisitions and Director of Nonprofessional Rights

New York, New York

Craig Pospisil

Craig Pospisil

Dramatists Play Service is one of the premiere play publishing and licensing houses in the world, representing over 4000 plays.  Craig is the editor of DPS’ Outstanding Monologues, Volumes 1 & 2, the anthologies Outstanding Short Plays, Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4, and The Apartment Complex and Somewhere in America, two collections of previously unpublished short plays by William Inge. Craig is also an award-winning playwright and filmmaker. He’s the author of MONTHS ON END, THE DUNES, LIFE IS SHORT and SOMEWHERE IN BETWEEN among others.  His plays have been seen at Barrington Stage, Bay Street, Detroit Rep, Purple Rose Theatre, around the US, in dozens of countries, and translated into seven languages. He’s written over 60 short plays, including IT’S NOT YOU, DISSONANCE and THERE’S NO HERE HERE.  His film JANUARY was an official selection at the Adirondack, Bahamas, Berkshire, Big Apple, and Roma Cinema film festivals, among others.  A native New Yorker, Craig received an MFA from New York University’s Dramatic Writing Program.  He lives in New York with his wife, Bloomberg TV news anchor, Alix Steel and their daughter. www.CraigPospisil.com

John Prignano

John Prignano

Music Theatre International, COO and Director of Education and Development

New York, New York

Allison Rawlings

Allison Rawlings

NBC Entertainment, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications

Los Angeles, California

David Redman Scott

David Redman Scott

Disney Theatrical Group, Director of Theatrical Licensing

New York, New York

Abbie Van Nostrand

Abbie Van Nostrand

Concord Theatricals, Senior Vice President, Client Relations & Community Engagement

New York, New York

Mark Weinstein

Mark Weinstein

Hilton, Senior Vice President and Global Head of Customer Engagement, Loyalty and Partnerships

McLean, Virginia

Mark Weinstein

Mark Weinstein

Mark Weinstein serves as senior vice president and global head of customer engagement, loyalty, and partnerships at Hilton, the world’s most hospitable company, comprising more than 4,900 hotels across 14 world-class brands in 104 countries and territories.

In this role, Mark inspires customers to explore, experience, and fall in love with Hilton by creating innovative programs, products, and partnerships that drive engagement and accelerate commercial performance. He leads customer experience, strategic partnerships, CRM and personalization, and Hilton Honors, Hilton’s 61-plus million member strong, award-winning guest-loyalty program. Mark oversees Hilton’s global partnership strategy, curating a network of over 140 travel, financial services, music, entertainment, sports, and food and wine strategic partners and managing the Hilton Honors credit card programs.

Under Mark’s leadership, Hilton launched Music Happens Here—featuring once-in-a-lifetime exclusive experiences for Hilton Honors members and content created with partners Live Nation, The Recording Academy (the Grammys), and Spotify. At Hilton, Mark’s previous areas of responsibility included commercial services (marketing, sales, revenue/pricing, digital, and analytics) strategy. He also established and led the Global Marketing Project Management Center of Excellence. Mark joined Hilton Worldwide from MarketBridge, a sales and marketing strategy consulting firm and prior to that consulted for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

He graduated from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith of Business with degrees in finance and marketing.