Lab Advisors & Talent Base
The development process pivots on the quality and experience of LoNyLa's artistic directors, producers, membership and Velocity Lab’s talent base. LoNyLa members in the five hubs consist of well-trained (e.g., Yale College, Yale School of Drama, Juilliard School/Drama, New York University/Tisch School of the Arts, Cambridge University, Central School of Speech and Drama, and the Best School Called Life, etc.) and award-winning artists – actors, writers and directors – who bring decades of development experience to the table. By tapping into the skills of leading artists in multiple cities, a cross-cultural programme tends to unleash enormous creative energy.
Seasoned industry professionals in the three mediums – stage, film and television – will participate in the lab in an advisory capacity. These professionals will confer with Velocity Lab’s management on script submissions, the methodology, development process and the exposure of material during and after broadcast.
Velocity Lab Advisors thus far include:
Pun Bandhu is an award-winning actor and two time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer. He graduated with his MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and has appeared on Broadway, Off Broadway and at regional theaters across the country. Pun has started his own theatre company, a shorts film festival, and as a partner in ZenDog Productions, has produced two Tony Award-winning projects on Broadway, GlenGarry Glen Ross (Best Play Revival 2005) and Spring Awakening (Best Musical, 2007). Spring Awakening also won the Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, Outer Critics Circle Award and New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Musical, toured the US for two years and has been translated and seen in over 40 productions around the world. In addition to Broadway, ZenDog Productions has also been involved in productions in London, most recently with the first revival of Fiddler on the Roof. Pun was given the "Star of Asia" award by the Austin Asian American Chamber of Commerce and was honored at the New York Musical Theatre Festival Gala as one of "The Next Generation of Broadway Producers."
John David Coles
John David Coles is an award-winning director and producer known for evocative material with compelling performances. He has enjoyed success in features, television and theater while his production company, Talking Wall Pictures, has focused on the development of cutting-edge feature and television projects. His extensive work as an Executive Producer and Director spans numerous American television formats, including Unforgettable, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Cra$h & Burn, New Amsterdam and 3 lbs.
Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Cherry Lane Theatre, New York City. Off-Broadway Productions: The American Dream and The Sandbox, written and directed by Edward Albee starring Judith Ivey and George Bartenieff, (filmed by The American Masters, PBS and Lincoln Center Library), Bhutan by Daisy Foote, directed by Evan Yionoulis, (Outer Critic’s Circle Award Nomination), Dutchman by Amiri Baraka (a/k/a LeRoi Jones) directed by Bill Duke, starring Dule Hill, Happy Days by Samuel Beckett, directed by Joseph Chaikin, Saint Lucy’s Eyes by Bridgette Wimberly, directed by Billie Allen, starring Ruby Dee (3 AUDELCO Awards), Women on Fire by Irene O’Garden, starring Judith Ivey, directed by Mary Robinson (Dramatist Guild Award, Lucille Lortell Award Nomination, Drama Desk Award Nomination), Havana Is Waiting by Eduardo Machado, directed by Michael John Garces (Humana Festival Finalist), Black Humor written and performed by Lewis Black, directed by Mark Linn-Baker (Drama Desk Award Nomination), Hoodoo Love, by Katori Hall, directed by Lucie Tiberghien (winner AUDELCO Award, three nominations including the August Wilson Award for best new playwright), Jailbait by Deirdre O’Connor, The Lady With All The Answers by David Rambo, starring Judith Ivey (Outer Critics Circle, Lucille Lortell and Drama League Award Nominations). Open Heart written by and starring Robbie Benson, directed by Matt Williams, slag heap by Anton Dudley, directed by Michael Morris, starring Vincent Kartheiser, Huck and Holden by Rajiv Joseph, directed by Giovanna Sardelli. Directing Credits: Aria Da Capo by Edna St. Vincent Millay with F. Murray Abraham, Mercedes Ruhl, Austin Pendleton and Jay O. Sanders, for the Edna St. Vincent Millay Society, The American Dream by Edward Albee with F. Murray Abraham, Judith Ivey and Elizabeth Wilson, Dutchman by Amiri Baraka with Dule Hill, Urgent Fury by Allison Moore with Halley Feiffer, 16 Wounded by Eliam Kraiem with Martin Rayner and Arian Moayed. Co-Productions: Lascivious Something by Sheila Callaghan with Womens’ Project, The Ladies by Anne Washburn with Dixon Place, Bhutan in association with New York Stage And Film, Gun Club by Hunt Holman with Hypothetical Theater Company, The View From Here by Margaret Dulaney with the Lamb’s Theater, The Gravity of Honey, by Bruce E. Rodgers with Dublin Theater Festival, 15 Minutes, by Bathsheba Doran with Edinburgh Fringe Festival . Off-Off-Broadway: developed and produced the work of over 60 dramatists including Pulitzer winners Suzan-Lori Parks, Ward Just, and Margo Jefferson, as well as Christopher Shinn, Julia Cho, Allison Moore, Sheila Callaghan, Bathsheba Doran, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Courtney Baron, Rogelio Martinez, Sam Forman, David Adjmi, Gary Winter and Cusi Cram. COMMISSIONED PROJECTS: American Story by Charles Fuller, The Cook by Eduardo Machado, String of Pearls by Michelle Lowe, untitled play by Daisy Foote and a new musical by Anton Dudley. THEATER AFFILIATIONS: 1996 acquired and revitalized 179-seat Cherry Lane Theatre; 1997 founded Cherry Lane Alternative non-profit theater company; 1998 acquired, renovated and named 99-seat Jose Quintero Theatre, 1998 created 60-seat black-box Cherry Lane Studio theater, 2005-6 renovated Cherry Lane Theatre, 2009 invited by Westbeth Community Center board and founded the cherry pit, (formerly known as the Bank Street Theater). PROGRAMS CREATED: 1998 Cherry Lane Mentor Project (2008 OBIE AWARD WINNER) developed and produced 40 playwrights to date, 1/3 of the plays have moved to Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Regional venues; 1999 Tongues Reading Series, 2000 Celebrating Black Playwrights Program; 2001 Celebrating Women Playwrights Program; 2002 Cherry Lane Heritage Series; 2005 Cherry Pit Late-Nite Series; 2009 Solofest! NEW PLAY DEVELOPMENT: 12 seasons of Cherry Lane Mentor Project, 8 seasons Advisory Board, New Harmony Project, 3 seasons Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. PROFESSIONAL AFFILIATIONS, TRAINING: AEA, AFTRA, SAG, League of Professional Theater Women, League of Off-Broadway Theater Owners and Producers, 2009 Honoree of the National Organization of Italian-American Women. BFA Acting Scholarship University of Detroit, MFA Acting Scholarship Asolo Conservatory of Theater. Teachers/Mentors: Jose Quintero, Joseph Chaikin, Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Graciela Daniele, Anthony Quinn, Michael Cacoyannis and Charles Nelson Reilly. ACTING EXPERIENCE: Broadway, National Tours, Off-Broadway, Dublin fringe, regional theater, children’s theater, film and television. Most valued credits: Wife by Matt Williams and Mother by Matisse and Fred.
Margaret Glover graduated from the Yale School of Drama, where she worked with both emerging and established writers and directors, including Athol Fugard and August Wilson. After leaving drama school she worked in production off-Broadway and in regional theatres in and around New York. Since moving to the UK, she has worked as script editor and producer in television on several award-winning serials and single dramas, for both children’s and prime-time audiences. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Producing at the London Film School, where she oversees the development and production of the graduation films. Margaret also continues to consult and read for Creative England and other publicly funded organisations, as well as several independents in the UK and Europe. Her screenwriting credits include Shadows in the Sun with director David Rocksavage and Kisna with director Subhash Ghai.
As Vice President of Creative Development for Walt Disney Imagineering Creative Entertainment, Michael Jung is in charge of developing theatrical experiences for the Disney Theme Parks, Cruise Lines and Resorts around the world. Most recently, Michael launched the inaugural entertainment program for the Disney’s newest Cruise Ship, The Disney Fantasy. Jung spearheaded the creation of The American Idol Experience at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. Working closely with the creators of the hit television show, Michael and his team brought all of the energy and excitement of the show to theme park guests in the form of a live entertainment show. Michael was the principal Creative Director on "Finding Nemo - The Musical" at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, gathering together a stellar group of creative collaborators for a show that marked the first time a Pixar animated feature had been turned into a musical. He spearheaded the successful development and execution of the entertainment program for Hong Kong Disneyland and was the principal Creative Director on "The Lion King" and "Once Upon a Dream" parade, both for Disneyland Paris. He has been a key figure in driving the theatrical Blue Sky projects forward, integrating new artists into the Disney fold, crafting and shaping scripts, and spearheading the design concepts for Disney Parks’ theatrical productions. Michael has very successfully worked with the Parks' entertainment teams on a wide variety of projects including “Playhouse Disney” in both Anaheim and Orlando. Michael trained at the Children’s Theatre Conservatory in Minneapolis. He was appointed resident associate director at the Guthrie Theatre under the artistic direction of Garland Wright. Michael earned his MFA from the California Institute of the Arts in directing and locally has produced and directed at The Mark Taper Forum, The Tiffany Theatre, The Matrix, Actor’s Gang, West Coast Ensemble, Long Beach Playhouse and the Taper New Work Festival. In 1994 he joined the artistic staff of the Mark Taper Forum, where he spent five years coordinating the new play development programs and acting as associate producer for the New Work Festival. Michael has also branched into producing, writing and directing television. He was the co-producer for the ACE award winning series Intimate Portrait on Lifetime Television. Michael was born in Detroit, Michigan and is an MFA graduate of California Institute of the Arts. Michael now resides in Los Angeles.
Jack Lechner has been involved in the production and development of dozens of movies, including The Crying Game, Good Will Hunting, and The Full Monty. He was most recently an executive producer on Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys for the Sundance Channel, and on the Oscar-nominated Blue Valentine. He was an executive producer on the Oscar-winning documentary The Fog Of War; the Emmy-nominated Left Of The Dial for HBO; Parking Lot for Trio; and a number of documentaries for Showtime. He co-produced the pilot of the Emmy-winning AMC drama series Mad Men. His book Can’t Take My Eyes Off You: One Man, Seven Days, Twelve Televisions was published in 2000, and his picture book Mary Had A Little Lamp in 2008. He also wrote the lyrics for the off-Broadway musical The Kid, which won the 2011 Outer Critics Circle Award and five Drama Desk nominations. B.A., Film Studies, Yale University.
Founder and CEO of Esperanza Productions, Camillia manages the daily operations of Esperanza, including production, business legal affairs, and finance, while collaborating with writers and directors to help achieve their vision. She has a number of films in various stages of development including the horror/thriller Dark Desert Highway, and the suspense thriller, The Vow, which will be directed by Nestor Miranda (Harlem Hostel, Destination Unknown). She is also working with famed producer/director, Walter Salles (City of God, The Motorcycle Diaries) on a film by Oscar nominated writer, Jose Rivera, entitled Celestina. Monet has several short films on the festival circuit. She is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and continued studies in producing at UCLA film school.
Steven Tabakin is a New York-based producer with credits in independent feature film, television movies, documentaries, and live theater. He formed Tashtego Films with Margaret Whitton and Warren Spector, based on the the idea that great storytelling has the power to transform individuals and societies. He recently produced the film A Bird of the Air, which stars Rachel Nichols and Jackson Hurst and was directed by Margaret Whitton. Next up is the film, The Moment When, written and to be directed by James Lapine. He was George C. Wolfe’s Associate Producer at The Public Theater from 2003-2005, responsible for the development and production of many projects. In 2004 he produced Bob Balaban’s film adaptation of The Exonerated for Court TV, starring Brian Dennehy, Danny Glover, Delroy Lindo, Susan Sarandon, Aidan Quinn, and David Brown, Jr. From 1999-2003 he produced original drama programs for PBS, including A.R. Gurney’s Far East; Anna Deavere Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles; Beckett on Film (2002 Peabody Award); and live broadcasts of The Man Who Came to Dinner and The Women. Documentary credits include Tantalus: Behind the Mask; The Topdog Diaries; and Changing Stages, Richard Eyre’s six-part series on the theatre of the 20th Century. At The Public Theater from 1994-98 he worked on Bring in ‘Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk; The Wild Party; Saturn Returns; On the Town and many other shows.