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PRELUDE Festival 2023


Re-Inventing Institutions and Re-Generation

Anne Washburn, David Levine, Hillary Miller, Jayme Koszyn, and Rob Fields

7:30PM EST

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, 5th Avenue, New York, NY, USA

After The Time of COVID the New York theatre and performance landscape woke up in the daylight a new reality.

Theatres are experiencing a collapse of the subscription system, a loss of audiences, the closure of spaces and festivals. Do we need a renaissance to get back to where we were before — or do we need a revolution? What was wrong before? What do we need now? What can we do? What must we do? A panel with playwright Anne Washburn, theatre artist David Levine, scholar Hillary Miller, Jayme Koszyn, founder of Koszyn & Company, and Rob Fields.

Content / Trigger Description:

Anne Washburn is a playwright whose works include 10 out of 12, Antlia Pneumatica, Apparition, The Communist Dracula Pageant, A Devil At Noon, I Have Loved Strangers, The Internationalist, The Ladies, Little Bunny Foo Foo, Mr. Burns, Shipwreck, The Small, and transadaptations of Euripides' Orestes & Iphigenia in Aulis. Her work has premiered with 13P, Actors Theater of Louisville, the Almeida, American Repertory Theatre, Cherry Lane Theatre, Classic Stage Company, Clubbed Thumb, The Civilians, Dixon Place, Ensemble Studio Theater, The Folger, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep, Two River Theater Company, Vineyard Theater and Woolly Mammoth.

David Levine is an OBIE and Guggenheim-award winning theater director and visual artist. His work has been covered by Frieze, Artforum, The New York Times, and his writing has appeared in n+1, Theater, and Parkett. He is Professor of the Practice of Performance, Theater and Media at Harvard University, and the author, with Shonni Enelow, of A Discourse on Method, published by 53rd State Press. His holographic film, Dissolution, will debut at the Museum of the Moving Image in late October. He is also the author of Re-Public, a 2005 manifesto for the artistic, fiscal, and operational overhaul of the Public Theater, commissioned by the journal Theater.

Hillary Miller teaches twentieth and twenty-first century dramatic literature and performance in the English Department at Queens College (CUNY) where she serves as Assistant Director of the English M.A. program. She has published essays and reviews on numerous topics related to theatre post-World War II in the United States, including performance and urban space; racial, ethnic, and geographic inequalities in the arts; activist theatre traditions; and the politics of producing. She is the author of  Drop Dead: Performance in Crisis, 1970s New York (Northwestern University Press, 2016) and Playwrights on Television: Conversations with Dramatists (Routledge, 2020). She is currently researching a cultural history about the Greenwich Mews Theatre (1952-1973), one of the first professional theatres in New York to mount plays with integrated casts. She is an affiliate faculty member in the Theatre and Performance doctoral program at the Graduate Center (CUNY).

Jayme Koszyn’s directing work has been nominated for Helen Hayes Awards and her controversial production of Romeo and Juliet was featured in the book Women Direct Shakespeare.During her career she directed over 50 productions at theaters including the Huntington and Woolley Mammoth. She taught directing and dramaturgy for many years at Boston University, Boston College, and Brooklyn College. Following a decade as dramaturge at the Huntington—working with August Wilson, Kenny Leon, Eric Simonson, and Mary Zimmerman, among many others—serving as President of Literary Managers and Dramaturges of the Americas, and publishing “The Dramaturg and the Irrational” in the text book Dramaturgy in American Theater, Jayme was recruited by Harvey Lichtenstein and Joseph V. Melillo to create BAM's first-ever Department of Education and Humanities, where she worked with John Barton to co-produce “Playing Shakespeare, USA” among presenting major artists for the first time at BAM, including Mary Zimmerman and Rennie Harris. After BAM, Jayme founded Koszyn & Company as a way to help NYC nonprofits after 9/11. In addition to writing, with John Rockwell and Philip Lopate, the Theater Library award-winning book BAM: The Complete Works, her articles on fundraising have appeared in Crain's and other non-profit periodicals; the Koszyn & Company’s lecture series, “The Moral Meaning of the Pandemic,” which took place in 2020-2021, drew the country’s top fundraisers and theater artists. Koszyn & Company has, since its founding, yielded nearly half a billion dollars for its over 135 clients in many sectors of the non profit world, most specifically in the arts and higher education, and Jayme was named Crain’s New York Notable Consultant four years in a row. In 2022, she was nominated for Crain’s New York’s Powerful Women. Jayme is a member of SDC, the directors’ and choreographers’ union.

Rob Fields is a strategist who connects people, art, and ideas through marketing, cultural strategy, and art advising. He developed his approach to brand-building and marketing-informed leadership over a 30+ year career that includes leading cultural institutions, representing artists, producing events, doing PR, and working on account teams at several New York City marketing agencies and trade associations. He is the former director of the Sugar Hill Children’s Museum of Art & Storytelling. Prior to Sugar Hill, Rob was the president and executive director of Weeksville Heritage Center, and led that organization’s turnaround and secured its designation as the first new member of the NYC Cultural Institutions Group in over 20 years. From 2007-2017, Rob published Bold As Love, an online magazine that covered left-of-center music and culture. In 2011, he produced the NBI Festival, a TED-inspired celebration of the Black people and ideas that are driving culture forward. Over the course of his career, he’s been a marketer for big brands, cultural institutions, and indie artists; a cultural programmer; and has written about the connection between marketing, business, and contemporary culture for and the Huffington Post, among the several outlets where his work has been published. He can be reached at or @robfields on X, IG and Threads.

Photo credits:

David Levine. Photo courtesy of the panelist.

Hillary Miller. Photo courtesy of the panelist.

Rob Fields. Photo courtesy of Bridgett M. Davis.

Watch Recording

Explore more performances, talks and discussions at PRELUDE 2023

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