Jane Goldenring '77
Jane Goldenring ’77 produced the upcoming Disney Channel original movie, Radio Rebel. It airs at 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 (7 p.m. Central). The film stars Debbie Ryan (Jessie) and was directed by Peter Howitt (Sliding Doors).
Radio Rebel, which is based on the book, Shrinking Violet by Danielle Joseph, tells the story of Tara, a shy 17-year-old, who has another identity: DJ Radio Rebel. As her popularity as a radio DJ skyrockets, Tara finds it harder to keep her alter ego a secret and learns to take her own advice and embrace who she is.
“The movie is a lot of fun and the young cast is terrific,” says Goldenring, who is president of Goldenring Productions. “There are three new songs that were composed for the movie that the band in it plays and Debby does a cover of ‘She’s Got The Beat’ that’s great. But I’m particularly proud of the message of the movie: that it’s okay to be different and have a distinctive voice—and how important it is to speak up and stand up for yourself and others.”
Una Aya Osato ’04
Performer, educator, and writer Una Aya Osato ’04, premieres LOL: The End, a three-person production (with her father and sister), at FRIGID NY Theater Festival in February.
In her Kickstarter blog, Osato describes the production as “a funny and physical look at natural and human-made disasters through the eyes of three clowns: a place where tragedy meets comedy meets stupid.”
The creator of several award winning one-woman shows, JapJAP, Recess, and Keep It Movin’, Osato has performed in theaters, classrooms, community organizations, prisons, and universities. Additionally, she has taught performing arts in elementary, middle, and high schools over the past decade.
In describing her choice of protagonists for LOL:The End, Osato says, “Clowns are unafraid to fail. They continually search for answers when others tell them there is no point in doing so. They immerse themselves in every emotion, unafraid of pain and tears, always searching for joy and laughter, creating new worlds wherever they go. Overwhelmed by the magnitude of destruction we live with, our family looked to clowns with the hope that by allowing the ‘idiot’ to interpret for us, that we would be better able to understand our relationship to disaster and find the ways that still remain to come out hopeful and laughing.”
For more information see: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/641143418/lol-the-end and http://www.frigidnewyork.info/VenueShows.aspx?id=2.
Joining Bill Rodgers (second from the right) at the Boston celebration this fall were (left to right) Michele Friedler P '15, Bill Friedler '78 and Ralph Rotman '78.
The Melanoma Foundation of New England, a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide support and build awareness surrounding melanoma, recently honored marathon legend Bill Rodgers ’70 for his contributions to the cause.
Additionally, Rodgers will be captain of the Melanoma Foundation’s “Running for Cover” team at the Boston Marathon on April,16, 2012, which is raising money to support the work of the foundation.
Greg Zlotnick ’86
The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) presented its sixth annual Emissary Award to Greg Zlotnick ’86, a longtime water leader whose involvement with the association spans more than a decade.
ACWA President Paul Kelley, says, “Greg Zlotnick is in a class by himself when it comes to sustained involvement and dedication over the years. We owe a debt of gratitude to Greg for his years of leadership and his unwavering support for ACWA and its statewide interests.”
Zlotnick recalls that his involvement in the issues surrounding water management in California was somewhat catalyzed by his CSS honors thesis, “Rivers of Controversy: California Water Politics, A Primer.” He hit upon the topic with important political and social ramifications partially so he could do research at home in California during the long semester break. Initially, his campus mentors questioned the importance of the subject, although ironically the next few years found New England states engaged in their own water controversies involving the Connecticut River.
Zlotnick served over 10 years as an elected member of the Board of the Santa Clara Valley Water District, Silicon Valley’s water management agency. He is a graduate of the University of California, Hastings College of Law, and a member of the California bar, chairs ACWA’s Groundwater Committee and will begin his 13th year on the ACWA Board of Directors in 2012. His long record of participation and leadership in ACWA also includes chairing the Water Management and Federal Affairs committese, and developing and implementing solutions to critical water management issues at the local, regional, statewide, and federal levels.
Most recently, Zlotnick led an effort by ACWA to produce a first-of-its kind policy document on groundwater management in California. Developed by a statewide task force over 18 months, “Sustainability from the Ground Up: Groundwater Management in California” provides an in-depth look at current groundwater management in California and recommendations to improve it throughout the state.
Nell Schaffer ’06 was selected to be a 2011-12 Capital Fellow in the Judicial Administration Fellowship. The Capital Fellows program is administered through the Center for California Studies at California State University Sacramento, and consists of four individual programs, one of which is the Judicial Administration Fellowship Program, with 10 Fellows, and which is co-sponsored by the Judicial Council of California.
Schaffer, an African American studies major at Wesleyan, received her law degree from UC Berkeley Law, Boalt Hall, in May of 2011.
As a law student, Schaffer worked in a legal clinic providing assistance to low-income self-represented litigants, served as a legal extern in the Prison Litigation Project at the Office of the Circuit Executive for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, participated in the Interfaith Restorative Justice Roundtable at San Quentin State Prison, and co-coordinated an alternative-to-suspension peer court at Berkeley High School.
As a Capital Fellow, she is placed in the Office of Governmental Affairs for the Administrative Office of the Courts, Judicial Council of California.
Director Jan Eliasberg discusses a scene from the "Greed" episode of N.C.I.S.-Los Angeles with actors (left to right) Sherman Augustus, Chris O'Donnell, and Todd Smith (aka LLCoolJ), which will air on Nov. 8 at 9 p.m. on CBS.
Jan Eliasberg ’74 of Aquinnah Films directs the episode of N.C.I.S.-Los Angeles that airs on Nov. 8 on CBS at 9 p.m. The episode, entitled “Greed,” marks the second time Eliasberg has been tapped to put her directorial perspective on the dramatic action series featuring a Naval Criminal Investigative squad working in conjunction with local Southern California law enforcement.
Eliasberg, a theater major at Wesleyan who earned her graduate degree in directing at the Yale School of Drama and studied in London, says that she enjoyed directing plays by Bertolt Brecht and Shakespeare for “the large-scale themes, examining where the tears are in the fabric of our society, who is fighting on the front lines, who is impacted by it, and why.
“Yes, there is violence,” she says, “In the culminating scenes of Hamlet, or Macbeth, or any Greek tragedy, because the stakes are so high. That was the component of theater that really interested me.”
She finds those same aspects in some of today’s most popular television series and savors the directorial challenge.
“Action is thematic story-telling at its richest, in a funny way. It’s not just the ‘flash and bash’ — the action — ultimately it’s about what is at stake and why. What story and character threads have woven together to culminate in that action scene, and how the power is going to shift from that moment on.”
“The secret to writing is knowing interesting people,” playwright Willy Holtzman ’74 told the Portland (Maine) Press Herald. His play, The Morini Strad, opened the 2011-12 season for the Portland Stage, receiving rave reviews. It is slated to open in New York City in March.
The “interesting person” he is refering to is his friend since Wesleyan days, Brian Skarstad ’73, now an artist who crafts high-end violins.
“Brian called me one day with this story,” Holtzman continues. Skarstad had received a request from an aging violinist, Erica Morini, asking him to help sell her Stradivarius. He found her to be unpleasant and demanding—and almost turned down the offer. He decided to accepted, though, and the play explores the themes of friendship, as well as the sacrifices one makes for art and for family, which engage the two characters over the course of the project.
Calling it a “perfect show,” critic Michael J. Tobin for the Portland Daily Sun, wrote: “The script by playwright Willy Holtzman is layered with sharp dialogue, surprising wit and thought provoking inspiration. He writes like a life coach who teaches us lessons about understanding and (dis)trust, reminding us of all the roads not taken and sacrifices made.”
Joy Anderson ’89
Joy Anderson ’89, the founder and president of Criterion Ventures, was selected for Fast Company’s 2011 list of “100 Most Creative People in Business.”
Criterion Ventures is a hybrid for-profit/non-profit firm consisting of Criterion Ventures and Criterion Institute. It identifies large-scale social and environmental problems and designs and implements collaborative ventures and projects that generate solutions to the problems.
A political science major at Wesleyan, Anderson was an teacher and administrator in Brooklyn, with professional leadership roles at the national level. She completed her her Ph.D. in American History from New York University in 2001. Since founding Criterion Ventures in 2002, she has led the firm to built a network of relationships; launch a series of companies; and accumulate significant knowledge around the intersection of business and social change. In 2006, with Tim Freundlich ’90 and Kevin Jones, she founded Good Capital, an asset management firm “seeking to move capital to good,” she explains.
Currently, Criterion’s work is focused on large field building initiatives that look at how to change the way markets function to bring about social and environmental change. Their major initiatives include “Women Effect Investments” — focused on directing investment dollars to benefit women and girls around the world, and “Church as an Economic Being,” which is looking at how the Christian church, in all of its expressions, is both an actor and implicated in the economy.
For more information, please see http://www.criterionventures.com/.
Paul Mason ’77
Award-winning TV news producer and documentarian Paul Mason ’77 was appointed president and CEO of Link TV, the U.S.-based global-affairs independent broadcaster. Mason, a 28-year veteran of ABC News, says his plan for Link TV includes digital news platforms in combination with independent global journalism.
In a video interview, Mason explains: “In some ways global news is covered like a sporting event, as opposed to actual lives that are lived…And I also ask: Since the earthquake in Japan, how often has an American news audience actually seen follow-up coverage about what has happened in Japan, and about of how lives are being lived…and about what people are doing to mitigate that disaster. Since the Arab Spring, how much have we seen about the nascent democracy in Egypt and hiccups that are coming along the way. The truth is, we actually don’t see that much of it. When something goes wrong, that coverage will pick up. That’s not good enough in our world. That’s not good enough information to help us make decisions in our own lives..Because the world has gotten smaller, news, information, little ripples that may happen far, far away—they have impact on our world.
“LinkTV provides a platform for voices around the world to actually explain their world in their own voice. In mainstream media, those voices are filtered.”
See this link for a video interview with him.
Art by Melissa Stern ’80
Life During Wartime, an exhibition by New York-based artist Melissa Stern ’80, opens Friday, Sept. 16, with a reception at the Barbara Archer Gallery in Atlanta, Ga.
A collection of new work by Stern, Life During Wartime explores 1940s America as seen from a contemporary vantage point, using collage materials from that era, as well original drawings. The exhibition continues through Oct. 29.
In an article for NY Arts, Stern wrote: “Images of the 1940s have long played a subtle but important role in my artwork. My father was a World War II veteran, along with most of the other fathers I knew, and the era infused my life as a child of the 1950s and 1960s.” She notes that the “optimism and the anxiety seem light years away, yet strangely familiar.”
See her website for further information about her work, including a video of her studio with works in progress.