BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Joan Vail Thorne (President/Founder) began her professional directing career at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. She was Assistant Director to Alan Schneider on various Broadway productions, and went on to direct independently at regional theatres across the country (The Alley, Asolo, DTC, Florida Stage, People's Light and Theatre). In New York, she directed for The Women’s Project, EST, the American Place Theatre, and the Jewish Repertory Theatre, among others. As a playwright, she wrote The Exact Center of the Universe, starring Frances Sternhagen (Women’s Project, Century Theatre), was librettist for three operas (Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Berkshire Opera, Virginia Arts Festival) and has written and directed two short films: Last Rites (PBS) shown on PBS, and Secrets (Cinemax). She has served on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Pace University, and the Playwrights Horizons Studio of New York University. She is a member of the ASCAP, SDC, the Dramatists Guild, the League of Professional Theatre Women, SDC, and Women’s Project.
Jann Leeming (Vice President) began her work as a advocate for female entrepreneurs, athletes, and artists in the 1980’s, when she was one of only a dozen women actively investing in high technology companies. She went on to found About Women, Inc, which consulted with Fortune 500 companies on how to more effectively market their products to women. She was the Owner and Vice President of Province Lake Golf, an 18-hole upscale golf course incorporating “Design Fairness” into its operations with the goal of attracting women and families to the game. She is the current Vice President of A Little Consulting, a “Design Fairness” consulting firm, and the Executive Director of the Royal Little Family Foundation which focuses on the performing arts, the environment, and education. She has been a frequent guest on NPR on the subject of women’s lives and purchasing habits and has served on the Board of Directors for Celebrity Series of Boston, Boston Ballet, WP Theater (chair for 8 years), Playwrights Horizons, and The Mint (chair for 3 years).
Amanda Feldman (Treasurer) is the Managing Director of Page 73 Productions. Previously has produced with En Garde Arts, The Foundry Theatre, The Play Company, and The Playwrights Realm. For five years she served as the General Manager of the Lark Play Development Center. Amanda founded Neighborhood Productions a company that worked with entrepreneurial theatre artists who sought to self-produce their work. She and was the Founding Managing Director of CollaborationTown, A Theatre Company, where she produced seven of the company’s world premieres. She is a WP Theatre Producers Lab Alum and she received her B.A. in Drama from Tufts University.
Ludovica Villar-Hauser (Secretary) is the Founder and Artistic Director of Parity Productions. Her credits include Off-Broadway premiere of Final Analysis by Otho Eskin at the Signature Theatre (Outstanding Direction at Midtown International Theatre Festival); the world premiere of Gregory Murphy’s The Countess, which ran for 634 performances Off-Broadway before moving to London’s West End; the Off-Broadway premiere of Leaves of Glass by English playwright Philip Ridley; As It Is In Heaven by Arlene Hutton at The Cherry Lane; Bold Girls by Rona Munro at 29th Street Rep; and the world premieres of A Dozen Perfect Moments, The Brightness of Heaven, Living Arrangements by Laura Pedersen; the world premiere of She Calls Me Firefly by Teresa Lotz at SoHo Playhouse, and, most recently, the world premiere of Charlie’s Waiting at Theaterlab by 2017 Parity Commission Winner, Mêlisa Annis. Villar-Hauser was the youngest woman to simultaneously produce and direct in London’s West End. Her Long Day’s Journey Into Night transferred after its initial run to a larger West End venue. She is a recipient of NYWA’s Galaxy Award, and has served on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women since 2009.
Helen Mills (Member-at-Large) invests and manages real estate in New York and Connecticut. She is the founder of Helen Mills Event Space and Theater, an event venue in New York City, and OFFOFFONLINE.COM, an off-off Broadway theater review website. She also is an active volunteer and board member of various civic and community organizations. In her free time, Helen enjoys gardening, travel and being with family and friends.
Nicole Martorana, Program Coordinator
(Pictured above: Jann Leeming, Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Joan Vail Thorne, Helen Mills, Amanda Feldman)