The American Theatre Wing is excited to invite you to Not Going Back to Normal – Moving Forward, the second in a series of frank and solutions-focused conversations about equity in the American Theatre.
Moving Forward will take a deep dive into the most recent Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) Visibility Report, which covers employment statistics by race for actors, playwrights, composers, librettists and directors for the 2017-18 season for all of Broadway and the 18 largest non-profit theatre companies in New York City.
Moderated by ATW trustee Binta Niambi Brown, the panel includes Pun Bandhu and Julienne Hanzelka Kim of AAPAC, Saheem Ali of The Public Theater, Rashad V. Chambers of the Industry Standard Group, and Stephanie Ybarra of Baltimore Center Stage. Panelists will discuss the report’s findings and talk about existing power structures in theater, sharing the challenges and opportunities to creating systemic change.
Binta Niambi Brown (Moderator)
Binta Niambi Brown is founder of omalilly projects, an artist management and production company. Most recently, she was Head of Business Affairs at Nice Work, and led Chance the Rapper’s record label & publishing operation as a member of his management team. Binta has also executive produced several projects, including “Friend Goals” by Tank & the Bangas, and is a co-producer of the new Mandela Musical. Binta separately manages GRAMMY Award winning producer and artist Peter CottonTale and several other emerging artists. Prior to her career in music, Binta was a highly regarded international corporate lawyer and human rights advocate. She sits on multiple boards, including the American Theatre Wing, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and Merit School of Music, and is Chairman and Cofounder of the Black Music Action Coalition. Binta is a 2020 Billboard Magazine Hip-Hop & RnB Power Player and 2020 Billboard Magazine Women In Music Executive.
Saheem is a proud immigrant from Kenya. He is the Associate Artistic Director/Resident Director of the Public Theater. Recent productions include Shipwreck (The Public, Woolly Mammoth), Richard II (The Public), Fires in The Mirror (Signature Theater), The Rolling Stone (Lincoln Center Theater), The New Englanders (MTC), Passage (Soho Rep), Fireflies (Atlantic Theater Company), Dangerous House (Williamstown Theater Festival), Sugar in Our Wounds (MTC), Tartuffe (Playmakers Rep), Where Storms Are Born (WTF), Twelfth Night (The Public), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane) and Dot (Detroit Public Theater). He has workshopped new plays at Playwrights Horizons, Playwrights Realm, MCC, New York Stage & Film, Page 73 and The Lark. He is a Usual Suspect at New York Theater Workshop, Sir John Gielgud SDCF Fellow and a Shubert Fellow.
Pun Bandhu is an award-winning actor who has acted on Broadway, Off Broadway and across the regions. He has guest starred on numerous TV shows including NCIS: New Orleans, FBI, Madam Secretary and recurs on Blue Bloods. He was recently seen as John Yoo in the film The (Torture) Report as well as Oscar-nominated films Michael Clayton, Burn After Reading, and Can You Ever Forgive Me? among others. Pun is a founding member of the Obie-winning Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) and is also an award-winning theatre and film producer through his production company, ZenDog Productions. He received his MFA from the Yale School of Drama. www.punbandhu.net
Rashad V. Chambers
Rashad V. Chambers is a Tony Award-nominated producer, talent manager and lawyer. A licensed attorney in New York and Connecticut, Rashad is the Founder and President of Esquire Entertainment. His Broadway producing credits include American Son, Ain’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of The Temptations, Betrayal and The Inheritance. Rashad also produced the world premiere of It Happened In Key West in London. His first feature film, True to the Heart, won four awards at the Long Island International Film Expo and was an official selection at the Big Apple Film Festival. In addition, his short film, Hunger, was an official selection at the Urban World Film Festival and Latino Film Market Festival. Rashad attended Morehouse College where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Administration. He also earned his JD and MBA degrees from The Ohio State University. www.esquireentertainment.com.
Julienne Hanzelka Kim
Julienne is a founding member of the Asian American Performers Action Coalition (AAPAC) where she is the co-chair and co-author of their annual report on race, The Visibility Report. As an actor, Julienne has performed widely on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally and abroad including work with Ma-Yi Theater, NAATCO, The Public, The Atlantic, Cherry Lane, Second Stage, The McCarter, the Kennedy Center, A.R.T., Two River Theater, The Wilma, Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Rep, the Edinburgh Int’l Festival and Singapore Rep. Her TV/Film credits include recurring roles on the upcoming Netflix series Hit and Run and NBC’s Manifest as well as guest star and recurring roles for Hulu, Showtime, CBS, USA Network, NBC, ABC and FX, as well as numerous films. She is a member of the Workshop Company at The Actors Center, the recipient of a 2020 Obie Award for her work with AAPAC, a Van Lier Literary Fellowship, The Ron Van Lieu Teaching Fellowship and holds an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program where she was a departmental fellow. She is currently on the faculty at NYU’s Graduate Film Program where she teaches acting.
Stephanie Ybarra began her tenure as Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage in 2018 after serving seven years as Director of Special Artistic Projects for The Public Theater in New York. Her career spans over two decades and includes roles at Dallas Children’s Theater, Dallas Theater Center, Yale Repertory Theater, Two River Theater Company, and Playwrights Realm. Recent awards and honors include the 2018 Nation Builder Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators as well as being counted among the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 2019 YBCA 100. She is on faculty at The Juilliard School and serves on the boards of The Make Believe Association and Citizen University. Stephanie holds an MFA from Yale School of Drama.