LA STAGE Day is an annual collaborative convening for the performing arts community. This day-long event brings together artists, designers, arts leaders, administrators, students, vendors, and patrons to learn from each other and inspire one another.

The 2015 LA STAGE Day convening will be held on Saturday, May 16, and will be hosted by Cal State LA.


  • 9:00 AM – 9:30 AM: Registration & Coffee
  • 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM: Opening Session & Keynote Speaker, Ben Cameron
  • About Ben Cameron

    BenCameronIn 2006, Ben Cameron assumed his current position as program director for the arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation in New York, NY. In that capacity, he supervises a $15 million grants program focusing on organizations and artists in the theatre, contemporary dance, jazz and presenting fields. He also oversees an additional $50 million special allocation called the Doris Duke Performing Artist Initiative which began in 2012 and is a three-part program that will provide awards to more than 200 artists, as well as a range of dance companies, theaters and presenters.

    Previously, he served for more than eight years as the executive director of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization for the American nonprofit professional theater, significantly expanding its programs, membership base and grant-making activities. Prior roles include his work as senior program officer at the Dayton Hudson Foundation, manager of community relations for Target Stores (supervising its grant-making program) and four years at the National Endowment for the Arts, including two as director of its theater program. Cameron has addressed gatherings of arts communities in Dublin, Ireland; Sydney, Australia; Vancouver, Canada; Zwolle, Netherlands; London, England; Edinburgh, Scotland and Montreal, Canada, among other international sites, as well as national gatherings of the theatre, chamber music, dance and choral music fields in the United States.

    He has served on a number of nonprofit boards, including those of the national Arts and Business Council, American Arts Alliance and Grantmakers in the Arts. In addition to a Master of Fine Arts from the Yale School of Drama, he has received honorary degrees from DePaul University in Chicago and American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. In 2007, he was one of five recipients of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In addition to his not-for-profit work, he has lectured on theatre aboard both the Queen Victoria and Queen Mary 2 as an Oxford Lecturer on four separate cruises, has appeared during 13 different seasons as a panelist on the opera quiz feature on the Live from the Metropolitan radio broadcasts from New York, has twice ridden his bicycle from Minneapolis to Chicago to raise money for AIDS relief services and serves as a member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee.

  • 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM: Session Block 1
  • (MARKETING TRACK) Audiences Everywhere Workshop, Pt. 1, with Matt Lehrman

    Audiences Everywhere is far beyond a marketing workshop. Discover a whole-organization approach to understanding your audience – and using those insights to blow away conventional wisdom, energize new ways to advance your mission and inspire innovation at every level of your organization. The first 60 minutes introduces a powerful new framework for building audiences. The second two hours is filled with exercises and examples that will help you apply this paradigm to your organization.

    Matt LehrmanMatt Lehrman is an audience expert who helps arts & cultural organizations pursue artistic relevance & achieve financial sustainability. His expertise is in revealing a non-profit’s options and opportunities when viewed from the audience-side of its mission statement.

    (LEADERSHIP TRACK) 99-Seat Business Models Study Release & Key Findings, with Mark Doerr & Jenny Byrd

    LA STAGE Alliance and the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles (TPL-LA) will present a study conducted to examine the existing business models for theatre companies working in the 99-seat arena. This study was funded by The Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation and conducted by two consultants (MA candidates Alex Rast and James Li) from Claremont Graduate University’s Graduate School of Management. The research was acquired by examining Cultural Data Project (CDP) data, and through a series of interviews held with community leaders.

    LA STAGE and TPL-LA will present a series of case studies detailing how these businesses operate and highlight the various types of models the study has identified.

    mark-smallMARK DOERR, Technology Programs Manager for LA STAGE Alliance, is an actor, entrepreneur, foodie and golfer. In that order. Mark came to Los Angeles in 1994 when he co-founded the Oasis Theater Company where he worked as an actor, writer, director and producer. Originally from Detroit, Mark is a graduate of The Juilliard School and has studied Shakespeare in Oxford, Chekov in Moscow, and musical theatre in Ann Arbor. To keep a roof over his head, Mark has worked as a technology consultant to numerous startup businesses for the last two decades. In various roles he has been responsible for designing and creating CRM databases, building out network infrastructure and providing ongoing operational support, among other things. In 1998 he co-founded a private investigations firm in a bedroom in Pasadena with two friends. With a hand in everything from technology and HR, to operations and sales, Mark helped steer the company to its present position as a worldwide leader in IP investigations, acquisitions, and brand monitoring.

    Jenny Byrd PhotoJENNY BYRD is the Executive Director of Brimmer Street Theatre Company, an ensemble the specializes in new play development. She serves on the Leadership Council of the Theatrical Producers League of Los Angeles – Intimate, and co-chairs the TPLLA Research Committee. She holds an Executive Masters Degree in Arts Management from Claremont Graduate University.

    (ARTISTRY TRACK) Auditions & Casting: The Inside Scoop, with Andy Crocker and Meg Fister

    A myth-busting, confidence-building and rib-tickling interactive workshop from theatre casting professionals Andy Crocker (ComedySportz Los Angeles, formerly of Center Theatre Group) and Meg Fister (Center Theatre Group, formerly of Actors Theatre of Louisville).They’ll answer your burning questions, get you up on your feet to work your audition muscles, and triage your pictures/resumes if you would like. Let’s demystify casting together!

    Andy Crocker 2ANDY CROCKER has been helping cast projects for some of the top entertainment and performing arts organizations in Los Angeles since 2008. She has cast short films, commercials, television, new media, improv and reality projects and spent four seasons as Casting Associate at Center Theatre Group (Ahmanson Theatre, Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatres) shepherding talent for productions, workshops and readings. Currently, Andy is a busy bee, splitting her time between two exciting jobs: a freelance casting professional and the Artistic Associate / Resident Casting Director for ComedySportz Los Angeles. She holds a BA from UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television and is a proud member of the Casting Society of America.

    meg fisterMEG FISTER is the casting associate at Center Theatre Group. Prior to joining the CTG casting department, Meg was the artistic manager at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Some of her previous casting credits include The Price by Arthur Miller at the Mark Taper Forum, The Humana Festival of New American Plays: The Christian by Lucas Hnath, brownsville song (b side for Tray) by Kimber Lee, The Grown Ups by Jordan Harrison, Partners by Dorothy Fortenberry, and The Mountaintop by Katori Hall at Actors Theatre of Louisville. In 2010, she planned and organized a local immersion experience for playwrights from Chicago’s The Second City, which ultimately resulted in a full-length play centered on the city of Louisville, It Takes a ‘Ville. She holds a B.A. in art history from the University of Dayton.

  • 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM: Networking Break & Food Trucks
  • 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM: Session Block 2
  • (MARKETING TRACK) Audiences Everywhere Workshop, Pt. 2, with Matt Lehrman

    Audiences Everywhere is far beyond a marketing workshop. Discover a whole-organization approach to understanding your audience – and using those insights to blow away conventional wisdom, energize new ways to advance your mission and inspire innovation at every level of your organization. The first 60 minutes introduces a powerful new framework for building audiences. The second two hours is filled with exercises and examples that will help you apply this paradigm to your organization.

    Matt LehrmanMatt Lehrman is an audience expert who helps arts & cultural organizations pursue artistic relevance & achieve financial sustainability. His expertise is in revealing a non-profit’s options and opportunities when viewed from the audience-side of its mission statement.

    (LEADERSHIP TRACK) The Engaged Board Member: How To Be One, and How to Keep One, moderated by Paul Vandeventer with Kiki Ramos Gindler and Ben Cameron

    This panel of seasoned board members will share their experiences about why they serve on boards, what keeps them there and provide insight toward empowering organization leaders to deliver on mission and deepen their impact.

    (ARTISTRY TRACK) Physical Actor Training, with Theatre Movement Bazaar / Tina Kronis

    This introductory workshop is designed to enhance mind-body awareness, precision and the inner/outer athleticism of the actor. By coordinating movement, breath, voice and rhythm, the workshop develops the actor’s instinct and expressive body. Directions to Actors: Expect to work barefoot and bring water. Yoga mat recommended but not required. Please wear comfortable clothes and be ready to move and play!

    Tina KronisTINA KRONIS is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Theatre Movement Bazaar, an award-winning theatre company producing original works that merge dance, theatre, cinema, and heightened physicality to create uniquely provocative story telling. Kronis currently serves on the faculty of the Theatre School at California Institute for the Arts and Los Angeles City College Theatre Academy. She is currently directing TMB’s latest work, BIG SHOT: A.K.A. This Is Not The Godfather, a vaudevillian dance-theatre riff on the Godfather films and novel.
  • 1:45 PM – 2:15 PM: Networking Break & Food Trucks
  • 2:15 PM – 3:30 PM: Session Block 3
  • (MARKETING TRACK) Plugged In: Selling Tickets in the Digital Age, with Ashley Dunn Gatterdam

    Using research and case studies from arts organizations, this session will provide guidelines for evolving your organization in the digital age as well as actionable tips to focus and bolster your digital marketing. The session will explore best practices in social, web analytics, website strategy, digital advertising, search engine marketing and mobile. There will be take-aways for both digital novices as well as experienced practitioners.

    Ashley Dunn GutterdamASHLEY DUNN GATTERDAM joined Capacity Interactive as a Consultant in 2014 after serving in a variety of roles at non-profit arts organizations over the last 10 years. Most recently, she was the Associate Director of Marketing at Lincoln Center Theater, where she helped manage the digital and traditional media campaigns for up to eight Broadway and Off-Broadway productions a year. She also oversaw all digital marketing and audience development initiatives for LCT and LCT3, including the recent website redesign, and the launch of the LincTix program. She has also worked for Manhattan Theatre Club, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Creative Outlet Dance Theatre of Brooklyn and West Virginia Public Theater; and interned for The Kennedy Center while pursuing her B.A. in Drama at UC Irvine. Born and raised in Moreno Valley, she still misses the eternal sunshine of SoCal, even after a decade spent living on the East Coast.

    (LEADERSHIP TRACK) Engaging New and Diverse Audiences, a panel with Irvine Engagement Program Grantees

    Grantees of the James Irvine Foundation’s Engaging the Arts program, including The Pasadena Playhouse, 24th Street Theatre and others, will be sharing their approaches to audience engagement. Irvine’s Engaging the Arts fund is geared towards arts organizations with innovative ideas and readiness bold steps that will engage new and diverse populations.

    Ted RussellTED RUSSELL (Moderator) has served as an Arts Senior Program Officer at the James Irvine Foundation since 2005. Previously, Ted was Director of Marketing at Montalvo Arts Center, Audience Development Manager for the SF Symphony, Annual Fund Director at the La Jolla Playhouse, Managing Director of Malashock Dance & Company, and Director of the Jazz at the Wadsworth series at UCLA. In his Web 1.0 phase, Ted worked at, as Senior Manager of Online Marketing and for as Marketing Director.

    Elizabeth TobiasELIZABETH TOBIAS (Panelist) is an actor, director, producer, administrator, grant writer, teaching artist and mom. She holds a BA from UCLA’s undergraduate School of Theatre, Film and Television and a multiple subject teaching credential from UCLA’s Graduate School of Education. Elizabeth has been the School Programs Director at Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum since 2001, where she works with classroom teachers to create new curriculum and programs, aligns existing programs with Department of Education standards, and creates study guides for classroom and field trip programs. As Theatricum’s Grants Manager since 2013, Ms. Tobias writes and manages all organization grants including general operations, education and repertory. Most recently, Ms. Tobias has served as the Project Director for the Antelope Valley Theatre Program, Theatricum’s initiative funded through the James Irvine Foundation’s Exploring Engagement Fund. As AVTP Project Director, she was responsible for producing, managing and overseeing all aspects of the program including content, venues and community outreach.

    Jay McAdamsJAY McADAMS (Panelist) is Executive Director of LA’s 24th STreet Theatre. He is also a producer, having produced dozens of theatrical productions over the last 20 years and won LA Weekly’s 2011 Production of the Year Award. Jay is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and is a 2011 Leadership LA Fellow. Among his other leadership training is LA County Arts Commission’s Arts Leadership Initiative, the Annenberg Leadership Institute, and the prestigious Stanford University Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders, where Jay won a Center for Social Innovation Fellowship. Jay has also been selected by the US State Department to serve as a Cultural Envoy to El Salvador, where he has performed and taught on three Central American tours. Jay won the Innovation and Leadership Award from USC’s Rossier School of Education for his work in Arts Education.

    Seema SuekoSEEMA SUEKO (Panelist) is the Associate Artistic Director of The Pasadena Playhouse, a position she’s held since January 2014. Prior, she was the Executive Artistic Director of Mo`olelo Performing Arts Company, an Equity company she co-founded in San Diego, and Visiting Artistic Associate at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. Directing and acting credits include: The Pasadena Playhouse, Mo`olelo, The Old Globe, Yale Repertory, 5th Avenue Theatre, Indiana Repertory, San Diego Repertory, and Native Voices. As a playwright, she has been commissioned by Mixed Blood in Minneapolis and CENTERSTAGE in Baltimore. Seema was named by American Theatre magazine as one of 25 theatre artists nationwide who will have a significant impact on the field over the next quarter century. Born in Pakistan and raised in Hawaii, she holds an M.A. in International Relations from the University of Chicago.

    Sara Guerrero (Panelist)

    (ARTISTRY TRACK) Dialect Workshop, with Pamela Vanderway


    Pamela Vanderway3Pamela Vanderway is a professional dialect consultant whose client list includes Oscar, Tony and Emmy winners. She is currently on a mission to help actors get and keep more jobs, and to give directors and production companies the voice and dialect information they need to save money while turning out a superior product.
  • 3:30 PM – 4:00 PM: Networking Break & Food Trucks
    • 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Closing Session & Speakers