The Octopus Team

 
A creative producer recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development, Mara has produced over one hundred productions that have been seen on Broadway (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Miss Witherspoon, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the country (BAM, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and others) and internationally (London, South Africa). Plays she has developed and produced have received assorted Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucile Lortel, New York Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and have appeared a total of twelve times on American Theatre Magazine’s annual “Top 10 List of Most Frequently Produced Plays.” She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ (1995-2013) and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (1990-1995). She is currently a visiting faculty member for the CalArts MFA Producing program and for Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, and serves on the boards of Tofte Lake Center in Ely, MN and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.  She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Medical Anthropology. She founded Octopus Theatricals in 2013. photo credit T. Charles Erickson .  

A creative producer recognized as a field leader in new play and new musical development, Mara has produced over one hundred productions that have been seen on Broadway (Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, Translations, Anna in the Tropics, Electra), off-Broadway (Hadestown, Fiasco Theater’s Into The Woods, The Brother/Sister Plays, Miss Witherspoon, Crowns, The Laramie Project), at theaters and performing arts centers around the country (BAM, Center Theatre Group, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and others) and internationally (London, South Africa). Plays she has developed and produced have received assorted Tony, Obie, Drama Desk, Drama League, Lucile Lortel, New York Drama Critics and Outer Critics Circle Awards, and have appeared a total of twelve times on American Theatre Magazine’s annual “Top 10 List of Most Frequently Produced Plays.” She served as Producing Director at McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, NJ (1995-2013) and previously produced new play development programs and productions for Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles (1990-1995). She is currently a visiting faculty member for the CalArts MFA Producing program and for Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts, and serves on the boards of Tofte Lake Center in Ely, MN and the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.  She is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, with a degree in Medical Anthropology.

She founded Octopus Theatricals in 2013.

photo credit T. Charles Erickson

.

 

Mara Isaacs

Founder and Executive/Creative Producer

Ronee Penoi is the Creative Producer for the Welders Playwrights' Collective, winner of Washington DC's John Aniello Award for Best Emerging Theatre Company. She is the founder of Theatre from the District, an effort to support, advance and tour the work of talented generative artists in Washington, DC. Renee also works with the Consensus Building Institute to embed theater practices in their conflict resolution practice in the U.S. and Internationally. Previously, Ronee was the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she authored A Producing Theatre's Guide to Presenting.  For Woolly, she supported the revised production of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist. She was part of the inaugural class of New Play Producing Fellows at the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage. Ronee was Assistant Stage Manager for Anna Deavere Smith's national tour of Let Me Down Easy, and assisted Director Michael Greif during the pre-Broadway production of Next to Normal as well as directors Pam McKinnon (A Delicate Balance) and Molly Smith (A Legacy of Light). For The Shakespeare Theatre's 07-08 season, Ronee was the Artistic Fellow, working in casting and dramaturgy. She has been at work on a new musical about Carlisle Indian School titled Indian Stories, supported by the Creative Communities Fund at Cultural DC's Mead Theater Lab. She has been a Commons Producer and contributing writer for Howlround.com. Ronee has a BA in Music with Certificates in Theater and Vocal Performance from Princeton University.

Ronee Penoi is the Creative Producer for the Welders Playwrights' Collective, winner of Washington DC's John Aniello Award for Best Emerging Theatre Company. She is the founder of Theatre from the District, an effort to support, advance and tour the work of talented generative artists in Washington, DC. Renee also works with the Consensus Building Institute to embed theater practices in their conflict resolution practice in the U.S. and Internationally.

Previously, Ronee was the National New Play Network (NNPN) Producer-in-Residence at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, where she authored A Producing Theatre's Guide to Presenting.  For Woolly, she supported the revised production of Mike Daisey's The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs and Basil Twist's Arias with a Twist. She was part of the inaugural class of New Play Producing Fellows at the American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage. Ronee was Assistant Stage Manager for Anna Deavere Smith's national tour of Let Me Down Easy, and assisted Director Michael Greif during the pre-Broadway production of Next to Normal as well as directors Pam McKinnon (A Delicate Balance) and Molly Smith (A Legacy of Light). For The Shakespeare Theatre's 07-08 season, Ronee was the Artistic Fellow, working in casting and dramaturgy. She has been at work on a new musical about Carlisle Indian School titled Indian Stories, supported by the Creative Communities Fund at Cultural DC's Mead Theater Lab. She has been a Commons Producer and contributing writer for Howlround.com. Ronee has a BA in Music with Certificates in Theater and Vocal Performance from Princeton University.

Ronee Penoi

Associate Producer

Bryan is a Producer, Director, Company Manager and all around whatever you need-er.  He was the Assistant Director for the world premiere of the Tony winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the McCarter Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and on Broadway, and the Associate Director for the same production at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, Old Globe in San Diego and Huntington Theater Company.  His directing credits include Coriolanus (Great River Shakespeare Festival, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Match; Lit), Alien Sex Comedy (New Light Theater Project); As You Like It, Caroling Through the Woods (Theater Hikes – CO); Pretty, Smart, Poetic (Westport Country Playhouse); Henry V (Great River Shakespeare Festival-SYA) and Urinetown: The Musical in Dallas, TX.  In addition to Vanya and Sonia…, he has served as Assistant Director at several regional theaters including Westport Country Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Arena Stage, Goodman Theater, Dallas Theater Center and the 92Y in New York.  BFA - Southern Methodist University.

Bryan is a Producer, Director, Company Manager and all around whatever you need-er.  He was the Assistant Director for the world premiere of the Tony winning Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the McCarter Theater, Lincoln Center Theater and on Broadway, and the Associate Director for the same production at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, Old Globe in San Diego and Huntington Theater Company.  His directing credits include Coriolanus (Great River Shakespeare Festival, Taming of the Shrew, Macbeth (Match; Lit), Alien Sex Comedy (New Light Theater Project); As You Like ItCaroling Through the Woods (Theater Hikes – CO); Pretty, Smart, Poetic (Westport Country Playhouse); Henry V (Great River Shakespeare Festival-SYA) and Urinetown: The Musical in Dallas, TX.  In addition to Vanya and Sonia…, he has served as Assistant Director at several regional theaters including Westport Country Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Arena Stage, Goodman Theater, Dallas Theater Center and the 92Y in New York.  BFA - Southern Methodist University.

Bryan Hunt

Producing Associate

 
Salvatore Mannino is a creative producer, writer and director. Sal has worked with companies such as the CalArts Center for New Performance, Theatre for the New City, Workshop Theatre Company, and the Algonquin Theater Company. In New York, he founded the Rebirth Theatre Company, where he produced a series of concerts, readings, and developmental workshops. He has also worked regionally in states like New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Florida and Louisiana. Mannino has collaborated with INTAR Theatre's HPRL Program, and trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. Sal is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Theatre and Dance, and holds his MFA in Producing from the California Institute of the Arts. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, The Dramatist's Guild of America, The Playwrights' Center and he is also eligible for SAG-AFTRA membership. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Sal now resides in New York, NY.

Salvatore Mannino is a creative producer, writer and director. Sal has worked with companies such as the CalArts Center for New Performance, Theatre for the New City, Workshop Theatre Company, and the Algonquin Theater Company. In New York, he founded the Rebirth Theatre Company, where he produced a series of concerts, readings, and developmental workshops. He has also worked regionally in states like New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Florida and Louisiana. Mannino has collaborated with INTAR Theatre's HPRL Program, and trained with Anne Bogart and the SITI Company. Sal is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi's Department of Theatre and Dance, and holds his MFA in Producing from the California Institute of the Arts. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association, The Dramatist's Guild of America, The Playwrights' Center and he is also eligible for SAG-AFTRA membership. Originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, Sal now resides in New York, NY.

Salvatore Mannino

Producing Associate

Julia Glawe is a consultant for individual artists and companies, providing services including strategic planning, producing, fundraising and tour booking for clients including Intermusica, Carlos Acosta, Michael Clark Company, Sean Curran Company, Sadler's Wells, Carmen de Lavallade, and Scottish Ballet.  She previously served as Director of Booking for Pomegranate Arts in New York, working with a diverse group of artists including Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Lucinda Childs, Sankai Juku, and Taylor Mac. Prior to this, Julia was Senior Vice President and Director of the Dance Division at IMG Artists, overseeing a roster including the Bolshoi Ballet, Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company, Gallim Dance, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Lyon Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Pilobolus and others. She has also worked with organizations including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the Feld Ballet, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation.  She was a board member of Western Arts Alliance from 2001-2005 andreceived WAA's Jerry Willis Award for artistic excellence and distinguished leadership in2009. In 2013, Julia was named the founding Chair of WAA's CODA Council. Julia also co-chaired the Midwest Arts Conference in 2000, and the ISPA Congress in January 2011. Currently serving as an ISPA Board member and a member of its Finance Committee, she co-chaired the ISPA NY Congress again in January 2014.  Her undergraduate degrees in journalism and theatre arts / dance were received from Northern Illinois University, and Julia earned a MFA in performing arts management from Brooklyn College. 

Julia Glawe is a consultant for individual artists and companies, providing services including strategic planning, producing, fundraising and tour booking for clients including Intermusica, Carlos Acosta, Michael Clark Company, Sean Curran Company, Sadler's Wells, Carmen de Lavallade, and Scottish Ballet. 

She previously served as Director of Booking for Pomegranate Arts in New York, working with a diverse group of artists including Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Lucinda Childs, Sankai Juku, and Taylor Mac. Prior to this, Julia was Senior Vice President and Director of the Dance Division at IMG Artists, overseeing a roster including the Bolshoi Ballet, Bill T. Jones / Arnie Zane Dance Company, Gallim Dance, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, Lyon Opera Ballet, Nederlands Dans Theater, Pilobolus and others. She has also worked with organizations including Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, the Lar Lubovitch Dance Company, the Feld Ballet, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Twyla Tharp Dance Foundation. 

She was a board member of Western Arts Alliance from 2001-2005 andreceived WAA's Jerry Willis Award for artistic excellence and distinguished leadership in2009. In 2013, Julia was named the founding Chair of WAA's CODA Council. Julia also co-chaired the Midwest Arts Conference in 2000, and the ISPA Congress in January 2011. Currently serving as an ISPA Board member and a member of its Finance Committee, she co-chaired the ISPA NY Congress again in January 2014. 

Her undergraduate degrees in journalism and theatre arts / dance were received from Northern Illinois University, and Julia earned a MFA in performing arts management from Brooklyn College. 

Julia Glawe

Project Consultant

Erica Nagel is the Director of Education and Engagement at McCarter Theatre Center. She teaches courses in community-based performance and devising theatre with youth at Princeton University. Previously, Erica served as the Artistic Engagement Manager at McCarter, connecting literary, producing, and educational projects under the umbrella of audience and community engagement. Erica has also worked on the artistic staffs of Geva Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Premiere Stages, and as a freelance developmental dramaturg at theatres including Salvage Vanguard, HotCity Theatre, New Century Theatre, and the New Harmony Project. Erica’s work exploring the intersection of play development and community engagement has been published in the LMDA Review and the Journal Theatre Topics, and has been presented at conferences including Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, the International Conference on American Drama, and the Steinhardt Forum on Theatre for Young Audiences. Erica is a proud recipient of a 2005 LMDA Dramaturg-Driven grant to create Bare Mountains, a documentary theatre piece exploring the creation of the Palisades Interstate Park system through eminent domain in the 1920s and 30s. Other awards and honors include a George C. Mylonas Award, a Ludwig Vogelstein Individual Female Artist Grant and a TCG New Generations Future Leaders Grant Erica received her MFA in Performance as Public Practice (Theatre and Social Change) at the University of Texas-Austin, where she regularly wore cowgirl boots to rehearsal.

Erica Nagel is the Director of Education and Engagement at McCarter Theatre Center. She teaches courses in community-based performance and devising theatre with youth at Princeton University. Previously, Erica served as the Artistic Engagement Manager at McCarter, connecting literary, producing, and educational projects under the umbrella of audience and community engagement.

Erica has also worked on the artistic staffs of Geva Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and Premiere Stages, and as a freelance developmental dramaturg at theatres including Salvage Vanguard, HotCity Theatre, New Century Theatre, and the New Harmony Project. Erica’s work exploring the intersection of play development and community engagement has been published in the LMDA Review and the Journal Theatre Topics, and has been presented at conferences including Pedagogy and Theatre of the Oppressed, the International Conference on American Drama, and the Steinhardt Forum on Theatre for Young Audiences.

Erica is a proud recipient of a 2005 LMDA Dramaturg-Driven grant to create Bare Mountains, a documentary theatre piece exploring the creation of the Palisades Interstate Park system through eminent domain in the 1920s and 30s. Other awards and honors include a George C. Mylonas Award, a Ludwig Vogelstein Individual Female Artist Grant and a TCG New Generations Future Leaders Grant

Erica received her MFA in Performance as Public Practice (Theatre and Social Change) at the University of Texas-Austin, where she regularly wore cowgirl boots to rehearsal.

Erica Nagel

Project Consultant