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WHO WE ARE

John Chatterton (Executive Producer) came to the New York area to participate in theatre as a playwright (Frankenstein: The Musical Drama, Beyond the Veil) in 1993. To get producers to return his phone calls, he started oobr (“the off-off-broadway review”), the only publication devoted exclusively to  reviewing Off-Off-Broadway plays. When the Present Company started FringeNYC in 1998, an oobr reviewer said that “someone” should start a Midtown fringe festival. Of course no one did, so John started the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF), in 2000. It has grown steadily over 17 seasons. John (who sometimes styles himself as a “theatrical entrepreneur”) also started Where Eagles Dare rehearsal studios and theatres, which offered low-cost space to the Off-Off-Broadway world for 7 years. Out of Where Eagles Dare grew the Short Play Lab and the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival, now both incorporated into MITF. Rather than expand by adding more theatres, the MITF is expanding horizontally – by adding more seasons. Thus, there are now MITF: Summer (the traditional July – Aug. festival), as well as MITF: Spring and MITF: Fall, both of which are currently limited to short plays. But this fall John will be presenting a full-length musical, ADDING MACHINE, THE MUSICAL (from Elmer Rice’s play THE ADDING MACHINE) – Book and Lyrics by Fran Handman; music by Sheldon Gartner; directed by Jay Michaels, MITF press agent and marketing guru – as a toe in the water of doing full-lengths in the other seasons. He has also just finished a screenplay, working title HALF A LOAF, about the complications that arise when a married man “goes gay.” Finally, John is planning to expand his horizons by visiting the Far East this fall. He is always on the lookout for new opportunities that might fit under the umbrella of John Chatterton Presents, Inc.
Email: john.chatterton@gmail.com


Deborah Grimberg (Literary Manager). British playwright Deborah Grimberg received her MA in Drama and Dramatic Literature from UCSB and her MFA in Playwriting from The Actor’s Studio. Her play Cycling Past the Matterhorn has been produced at the New York International Theatre Festival, The Theatre Company, Detroit, Michigan, and Off-Broadway at the Harold Clurman Theatre starring Tony award winner and Oscar-nominated actress Shirley Knight. The Honey Makers, has been produced Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway and regionally. Her plays Static, Wrapped in Gold, Hellmouth, and Screaming Violet have been produced Off-Off-Broadway and regionally. Deborah was offered the James Michener writing fellowship from the University of Texas; she won The Ensemble Studio Theatre’s James Hammerstein Award for Emerging Playwright; and she was offered a Dasha Epstein Playwriting Fellowship. Cycling Past the Matterhorn and Screaming Violet both won the Sherrill C. Corwin and Metropolitan Theatre Award. In 2013, she received a grant that made possible her acceptance of an International Artist-in-Resident Award in Australia, where Cummins Theatre produced her play Hellmouth.
Email: deborah.mitf@gmail.com


Gerald vanHeerden (Artistic Director) Mr. vanHeerden is a graduate of The Boston Conservatory and an alumnus of Webster University Theater Arts Conservatory. He is an emerging, East Coast director of New Works. Gerald has a long and storied, career of experience in the NYC, Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway theater community, working with new plays and creative, musical theater endeavors as Artistic Director of Plays (MITF), Producer/Director (vMHF Theatricals) and Conceptualist/Director (SDC). As Artistic Director of Plays for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Mr. vanHeerden, helmed Break A Leg’s award winning production of Farm Hall in July 2014, where he is Resident Director and in February 2015 Dangerous Walk by Mathew Ethan Davis as Producer/Director at the Venus Theatre Festival. Stage Directors and Choreographers national and Broadway union (SDC) member.  2016: Caldwell’s Bomb (Producer/Director) by William Rogers at the Venus Theatre Festival, February 2016, Encore as Finalist and Nominated as Best Director, YOUR NAME ON MY LIPS, a new musical, (Director) Theater For The New City, March-2017: THE IMPERFECT HOUR…A new musical (Fall 2017) and a solo play based on the poetry of Tenessee William’s with Miller Lide, TENNESSEE REVISITED (Fall 2017). Website: www.geraldvanheerden.com.


JamibethJamibeth Margolis (Artistic Director For Musicals) is thrilled to be a part of MITF for another summer and is so pleased with the musical offerings this year. Jamibeth is an accomplished stage director and casting director with 20 years of professional experience working in NYC. Jamibeth cast some of the longest-running shows in Broadway history, including Les Misérables and Cats, and has directed plays, musicals, and operas at some of the most prestigious theatre companies around the United States. She is currently dedicated to casting and developing new works for the stage, including such shows as Warsaw (a new musical). Member: CSA, SDC. Ithaca College grad.

 


Mitf logoLaura Gagnon (Marketing, Box Office, and Accounting, Fixer Productions, Inc). Laura is currently theatre manager at the storied off Broadway venue Theatre 80 St. Marks in the East Village. As a longtime downtown resident, she has had the pleasure of serving as audience services manager for the Jean Cocteau Repertory at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre, operations manager at the Theatres at 45 Bleecker, and manager of both the Rodeo Bar (which featured live music 7 nights a week) and Life Café (of Rent fame). She is founder and president of Fixer Productions, an entertainment company providing planning and production services for theatre festivals, concerts, conventions and private events. www.fixerproductions.com


Mitf logoJay Michaels, a stage and film producer/director, educator, and entrepreneur in the marketing, promotion, and public relations fields, has maintained a career in the arts & entertainment industry since the late 70s. He founded JAY MICHAELS ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT supplying public relations services and production consultation to independent theater and film. Under this specialty, his credits include BROADWAY: Guys & Dolls (1992), Damn Yankees (1994) and The Vagina Monologues at Broadway's Town Hall; NATIONAL TOUR: Cats, Les Miserables, Oliver, Edwin Drood; RESIDENT THEATRE: Midtown International Theatre Festival (2014 – present; also serving as MITF associate producer in 2001); the 13th Street Repertory Theater (2015-present); The Bronx Opera (2006-2015); as well as individual productions in the Fringe, Planet Connections, Fresh Fruit Festival, Frigid Fest, New York New Works, and numerous independent companies. In 1998, he and Mary E. MiCari formed Genesis Repertory, a stage and film production company dedicated to educating through the arts. Mr. Michaels is a professor of communications at Kingsborough College and has lectured throughout the five boroughs.


Mitf logoTony Mann (Tech Director) is currently board operator for Tom Ferriter's Stageplays (most recent production: Florinda's Time); he also serves as stage manager for Almost Queen: The Ultimate Queen Tribute. He was technical director for the acclaimed 2013 production of Strawberry and Chocolate that was staged by International Studio Theater. He was camera operator and live video mixer for The Mark Kostabi Show, and also served as Mark's archivist, capturing the artists prolific output of paintings in digital, traditional film (35mm and 4x5) and Polaroid formats. Tony is Co-Author of the new book Lost Rockers, which is distributed by Random House. The book is about rediscovering great musicians. He is also an actor and musician, with credits including Rueben Amar’s multi-award winning film Swim Little Fish Swim, and collaborations as drummer with Ornette Coleman and Dee Dee Ramone. Currently he is performing with eclectic gypsy band Mad Juana and finishing an album with ethereal dark wave band The Lost Patrol. Tony co-founded Fixer Productions in 2014 to keep the lights on the stages that matter. www.fixerproductions.com