Bios

HESTER STREET
Bios

Sharyn Rothstein (Playwright, Adapter)

Sharyn Rothstein is an award-winning playwright and television writer. Her plays and musicals have been produced around the country, as well as internationally. Her play By the Water was first produced by Manhattan Theater Club and Ars Nova and was the recipient of the American Theater Critics Association Francesca Primus Prize. Other plays include Tell Me I’m Not Crazy (Williamstown Theater Festival), All the Days (McCarter Theater Center) and Right to Be Forgotten (D.C.’s Arena Stage and Chicago’s Raven Theater). Her audio drama Deep Fake was recently released on Audible, and several of her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service. Sharyn is currently a writer and Co-Executive Producer on Orphan Black: Echoes, the spin-off of the sci-fi hit Orphan Black, soon to be on AMC. She was a writer/producer for the USA legal drama Suits for many years, and has developed shows for Apple, AMC and Bravo. Sharyn holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and a Masters in Public Health from Hunter College. She teaches television writing at NYU, and lives in Brooklyn.

Oliver Butler (Director)

Oliver Butler (he/him) is a theatre director who grew up in New England and is now based in Queens, NY. He directed the critically-acclaimed Broadway premiere of Heidi Schreck’s What the Constitution Means to Me (Best Play Tony Award Nomination, Obie Award Winner, Lucille Lortel Award Nomination, Drama League Award Nomination, Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination; and Drama Desk Award Nomination; Finalist for the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama), a film version of which is now streaming on Amazon Prime. He directed the off-Broadway premiere of A Bright New Boise by Sam Hunter at Signature Theatre Company. Other recent credits include: the NYC premiere of Will Eno’s GNIT at Theatre for a New Audience, the world premiere of Will Eno’s The Plot at Yale Repertory Theatre; the world premiere of Jordan Harrison’s The Amateurs at The Vineyard; the West Coast Premiere of Will Eno’s Thom Pain (based on nothing) starring Rainn Wilson at The Geffen Playhouse; and the triumphant return of Thom Pain (based on nothing) to New York starring Michael C. Hall at the Signature Theatre Company. Additional career highlights include: Itamar Moses’s The Whistleblower at Denver Center, Christopher Shinn’s An Opening in Time at Hartford Stage, Daniel Goldfarb’s Legacy at Williamstown Theatre Festival, the world premiere of Timeshare by Lally Katz at The Malthouse in Melbourne, and the world premiere of Will Eno’s The Open House (OBIE Award for Direction; Lortel Award, Best Play) at the Signature Theatre Company. He is a co-founder and co-artistic director of The Debate Society with whom he has directed 10 premieres in 15 years including The Light Years (Playwrights Horizons), Jacuzzi (Ars Nova), and Blood Play (Bushwick Starr). He is a Sundance Institute Fellow and a Bill Foeller Fellow (Williamstown). He’s a long-distance hiker who recently covered 500 miles on the Appalachian Trail and adventured near the Arctic circle in Hornstrandir Nature Reserve known as “The Iceland of Iceland.”

Joan Micklin Silver (Writer/Director of Original Film)

A trailblazing and fiercely independent filmmaker, Joan Micklin Silver created a body of work that was unprecedented for a female writer/director. Her debut feature, Hester Street, was an award-winning hit and was followed by such other classics as Between the Lines, Chilly Scenes of Winter and Crossing Delancy. That film, along with Hester Street and A Fish in the Bathtub constitute an informal trilogy about the Jewish experience in the United States.  Micklin Silver passed away in 2020 at the age of 85.

Joel Waggoner (Original Music)

Joel Waggoner is a singer/songwriter, composer, performer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, teacher, and comedian. He performed on Broadway: Be More Chill, School of Rock. Off-Bway: A Man of No Importance (CSC), Southern Comfort (Public Theater), The Joel Waggoner Experience (Joe’s Pub). TV: Only Murders in the Building S3, Original series: Wig Mediums on Broadstream. Joel & Julia’s Advent Carolndar featured on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and NPR. Vocal Arranger: Randy Rainbow, Joe Iconis “Album”, Broadway Bounty Hunter (Off-Bway Cast Recording.) MFA from NYU Tisch in Musical Theater Writing. “Unlikely Warrior”, “Gorgine” and “Stable Girl” all avail on music platforms. www.joelwaggoner.com @joelwaggoner @adventcarolndar

Michael Rabinowitz (Producer)

Michael Rabinowitz managed Broadway, Touring and International investments for the theater conglomerate, The John Gore Organization (otherwise known as Broadway Across America). The company is the leading developer, producer, distributor and marketer of Broadway theatre worldwide. Prior to Broadway Across America, Michael served as the Controller of The Public Theater during the development of notable Broadway transfers such as Fun Home and Hamilton. Michael was an artistic fellow with the McCarter Theater Center in Princeton, New Jersey, during their 2007/2008 season. Michael has produced independently including the theatrical title, Catch Me if You Can – The Musical on Broadway and The Mad 7 (as part of the JCC in Manhattan’s Art and Culture Center season). He is presently the Lead Producer and developing a stage adaptation of the 1975 film Hester Street and also serves as Treasurer and founding member of JQYouth, Inc., a not-for-profit organization that serving the mental health needs of LGBTQ youth
in-crisis.

Ira Deutchman (Co-Producer)

Ira Deutchman has been making, marketing and distributing films since 1975, having worked on over 150 films including some of the most successful independent films of all time. He was one of the founders of Cinecom and later created Fine Line Features—two companies that were created from scratch and, in their respective times, helped define the independent film business. He was also a co-founder of Emerging Pictures, the first digital projection network in the United States and a pioneer in delivering live cultural events into movie theaters. Currently Deutchman is an independent producer, and a consultant in marketing and distribution of independent films. He is also Professor Emeritus in the School of the Arts at Columbia University, where he has taught since 1987 and was the Chair of the Film Program from 2011-2015. In 2017, Deutchman was awarded the Spotlight Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sundance Art House Convergence for his service to independent film marketing and distribution.