Jen Waldman (she/her) is the founder of JWS: NYC’s premiere acting training studio, and one of Broadway’s most sought-after acting coaches, Jen’s clients have appeared in nearly every Broadway musical in the last 15 years. She served as Artistic Director of the Hangar Theatre, as Theatre Chair of the National YoungArts Foundation, and received a Proclamation from the City of New York for her work in support of marriage equality. She has directed in theaters across the country, and began her theatrical career as a Broadway actor (Wicked & Titanic). Jen co-hosts The Long and the Short of It podcast, with listeners in over 100 countries. www.jws.community
Q. Smith returns to the Westport Country Playhouse, having performed in the 2008 Playhouse Gala. Q. is currently playing the role of Hannah and others in the Tony Award-winning musical (for Best Director) Come From Away. She has toured with the North American Broadway show A Night With Janis Joplin, playing the roles of Aretha Franklin and Nina Simone. Before Come From Away, Q. closed the Broadway production of Mary Poppins. She was the first African American to have a leading role in the history of Mary Poppins. Also on Broadway, Q. was in the first revival of Les Miserables, Off-Broadway performed the role of Mabel Washington and recorded the soundtrack for Fame: On 42nd Street. Other noted credits include Abyssinia: A Gospel Celebration with Wynton Marsalis at the Lincoln Center, Showboat in concert at the renowned Carnegie Hall, guest soloist for Hillary Clinton’s Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards at the Kennedy Center, and guest soloist Barack Obama’s inaugural ceremonies. She has shared the stage with Gladys Knight, Rita Coolidge, and Gary U.S. Bonds in Smokey Joe’s Café, as well as Ledesi and Loretta Devine, and has traveled the world with various productions including Central America, Germany, and the entire USA. She is a valued collaborator with the Transcendence Theatre Company (where she recorded the song “Live”). In addition to being an entertainer, Q. is a passionate educator, developing a curriculum entitled Rehabilitative and Restorative Art Conditioning which helps children with behavioral problems and learning disabilities retain their curriculum through the arts.
Goldie E. Patrick is a Detroit native and proud alumna of Howard University based in New York City. For over 20 years she has passionately worked in and built artistic collaborations in Black theater as a playwright, director, and producer. Her approach to theater-making lives at the intersection of her work as an artist, cultural worker, and educator. Currently the Director of programming at the Dramatist Guild Foundation, she is also the former founding executive director of FRESHH Inc Theatre Company for Black womxn and girls. Goldie is currently a candidate for her MFA in playwriting from Columbia University under the mentorship of David Henry Hwang and Lynn Nottage. She is also the inaugural Black Creation Playwright in residence at New Federal Theatre and Artist in residence at 651Arts. Directing credits include New Black Festival (Apollo Theatre), Project 892 (New York University–MFA program), The Halal Brothers (Columbia University), Foriwa (Hedgepig Ensemble & Classical Theatre of Harlem), REVELATIONS (Playing On-Air), Paradise Blue (Detroit Public Theatre), HERstory Love Forever, Hip Hop (John F. Kennedy Center), Jazzelle the Gazelle (Playing On-Air), and Blood at the Root (Howard University). Associate director credits include Between the World and Me (Apollo Theatre) and By the Way, Meet Vera Stark (Signature Theatre). www.goldiepatrick.com
Nelson T. Eusebio III, is a director, producer, and award-winning filmmaker. He is the associate artistic director at Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Nelson has directed and developed work at theaters throughout the country, including The Public Theater/NYSF, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, and The Old Globe. Nelson has been a resident artist at Ensemble Studio Theatre, Target Margin Theatre Institute, and Mabou Mines. He is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, LCT Directors Lab, and the Rhodopi International Theatre Collective. Nelson was a recipient of the 2009-11 NEA/TCG Career Development Program for Directors, and the Phil Killian Directing Fellowship at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a participant in the SPARK Leadership program. Training: B.A. in Drama from UC Irvine and an M.F.A. in Directing from the Yale School of Drama. He is a former U.S. Marine. More info at www.nelsoneusebio.com
Mark Shanahan, Script in Hand curator, was recently named Westport Country Playhouse incoming artistic director for 2023-24. He will assume the position in March 2024.
Shanahan is the writer/director of The New York Times Critics’ Pick “A Sherlock Carol” (Off-Broadway Alliance nomination, Best New Play 2021), playing two seasons in New York and annually at London’s Marylebone Theatre. He recently directed his own adaptation of “Agatha Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd,” in partnership with Agatha Christie Ltd., premiering this month at the Tony Award-winning Alley Theatre. He is the author of “A Merry Little Christmas Carol,” “See Monsters of the Deep,” the Off-Broadway and regional hit comedy “The Dingdong,” as well as numerous radio plays as creator of the White Heron Ghost Light series, featuring Christopher Plummer, Judith Ivey, Rhonda Ross, and other notables.
Shanahan has directed at stages around the country such as Alley Theatre, George Street Playhouse, Virginia Stage, Arkansas Rep, White Heron, Mile Square Theatre, Hudson Stage, Theatre Squared, Fulton Opera House, Weston Playhouse, Orlando Shakespeare Festival, Florida Rep, Penguin Rep, Merrimack Rep, The Cape Playhouse, and many more.
As an actor, he has appeared on and Off-Broadway (“The 39 Steps,” “Tryst,” “The Shaugraun,” and others) and at many celebrated regional theatres.
Shanahan has appeared on the Westport Country Playhouse stage as an actor in “Journey’s End” (2005) “David Copperfield,” directed by Joanne Woodward and Annie Keefe, (2005), “Sedition” (2007), “Tryst” (2008), and “Around the World in 80 Days” (2009) and numerous Script In Hand readings.
He is also the creator and curator of Westport Country Playhouse Radio Theater, in partnership with WSHU Public Radio, and served as writer/director of the Playhouse radio adaptation of “A Merry Little Christmas Carol,” and as director of scripts commissioned for the series. mark-shanahan.net.
Westport Country Playhouse: In the Heights, Man of La Mancha. Born and raised in Puerto Rico. Broadway: On Your Feet (Assoc.) Tony® nomination, Marquis Theater; Rocky (Assoc.) Tony® nomination, Winter Garden Theater; Guys & Dolls (Assoc.) Nederlander Theater. Others: Singing In The Rain (Olney Theatre Centre); Passing Through (Goodspeed); West Side Story (Maltz Jupiter Theater); Evita (Bay Street Theatre), In The Heights (Olney Theater, Helen Hayes Award, Broadway World Award); Newsies (Maltz Jupiter, Carbonell Award Nominee); Iggy, Ada, Rosie (TheaterWorks USA); Man Of La Mancha (Shakespeare Theater Company); Randy Newman’s Faust (City Center Encores); The Pirates of Penzance (Stratford Shakespeare Festival); White Noise (Royal George Theatre); My Fair Lady (J. Engeman Theater); Kiss Me, Kate (Maltz Jupiter); Brazil Brazil (New Victory Theater); Guys & Dolls (J. Engeman Theater); Paul Simon’s Capeman (Assoc.) Delacorte Theater; Amor Cubano, 88 Keys (Playlist Productions); Fortress Of Solitude (Assoc.) The Public Theater/Dallas Theater Center. Film: Chasing Papi, Across The Universe, The Producers, Annie. TV: “Diva Las Vegas,” “The Nikki Cox Show,” “Pop Stars,” “The Tony Awards,” “The Stephen Colbert Show,” “Good Morning America,” among others.