NEXT @ The Braid Arts Council Fellows 2016-17

Creators of The Space Between

abbe-meryl-feder150x150ABBE MERYL FEDER (Producer) is thrilled to have taken a leadership role with JWT after performing as an actress in several productions. Born and raised in New York City, upon graduation from college Abbe returned there to train at American Academy of Dramatic Arts. A perpetual student of the arts and theatre, she is currently studying with Stephen Book. In addition to her roles with JWT, some credits include [film]: Sex Ed, Brahmin Bulls; and [TV] Las Vegas, Pushing Daisies, CSI:NY. She also served as director of operations at IKAR for five years and has been an active leader in the Jewish community since she was a teen. She is excited about contributing to JWT in an additional position, adding her energy to the leadership of JWT and collaborating with innovative talent.

LISA CIRINCIONE is an actress and producer whose stage and screen credits include work in the US, the UK, and Italy. She produced and stars in the short film Porcupine alongside veteran character actor W. Earl Brown, which had its world premiere at the Newport Beach Film Festival and has played on screens around the globe, including the prestigious Napa Valley Film Festival and USA Film Festival. She was recently cast in Francis Ford Coppola’s upcoming film and shot an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!  She can be seen in national commercials including a spot for Sky Italia with Sandra Oh and in the comedy web-series Mrs. Gary, for which she won Best Supporting Actress at the Los Angeles Web Festival. Lisa received LA Weekly and LA Drama Critic’s Circle nominations for the role of Catherine in Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge, at Pacific Resident Theatre. Lisa is a company member at Pacific Resident Theatre and the Road Theatre and is extremely proud to be an artist in residence with Jewish Women’s Theatre. Lisa received her BFA from USC and is fluent in Italian.

andrew-fromer150x150ANDREW FROMER is a Los Angeles native and grew up as an active member in the Jewish community through Stephen S. Wise Temple. He attended Windward School in Mar Vista, where his acting career began in plays and musicals. After completing his BFA in theater at UC Santa Barbara and an exciting year of living in Israel, Andrew took a dive into filmmaking and has since branched into production by helping prepare for distribution two feature films he has acted in: AMP Creative’s Highway to Havasu (dir. Jeff Janke) and Mockingbird Pictures’ The Sweet Life (dir. Rob Spera). Andrew also edits, directs, and hosts his own podcast on the entertainment industry, SideKickBack Radio, which can be found at He is very excited to be on board for an exciting year with NEXT@theBraid.

RACHEL BERNEY NEEDLEMAN (NEXT Director) is a director, performer, and producer of classical and new works. Rachel has directed Gigi Bermingham in Cabaret Noel, as well as workshops and readings of new plays for the Blank and Skylight theatres and Theatricum Botanicum. She is also an affiliate member of Antaeus Theatre Company, where she directed Tennessee Williams’ one-acts in Ten by Tennessee for ClassicsFest and worked as assistant director and dramaturge (Cloud 9, Henry IV, Wedding Band, The Liar, and others).  She has appeared onstage at Antaeus, Sierra Madre Playhouse, Independent Opera Co., and Los Angeles Metropolitan Opera and also works as a voice actor. Rachel trained at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford, the San Francisco Mime Troupe, and Washington University in St. Louis, where she was founding artistic director of a theatre troupe focusing on new plays and imaginative reinterpretations of the classics.

AMIROSE EISENBACH (NEXT Arts Council Fellow, Producer) is a writer and producer with over a decade of entertainment experience, having worked at Warner Bros., Fox Interactive Media, and most recently AMC Theatres editorial. While at AMC, she launched their independent film division, including a weekly Women in Film segment.

ABIGAIL MARKS (NEXT Director), a Los Angeles native, is delighted to be joining JWT this year. She holds an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at the Shakespeare Theatre and a BA from George Washington University. A company member at the Antaeus Theatre, she was most recently seen in Cloud 9 and was nominated for an Ovation Award and won a Backstage Award for her work in Top Girls. She has performed on regional stages all over—A Noise Within, Studio Theatre, the Shakespeare Theatre, the Culture Project, and the Oval House, to name a few.  Abigail is also an acting and dialect coach and director. For more information:

CHRISTIAN PRENTICE (NEXT Arts Council Fellow, Literary Manager) is both a performer and a theatre patron, who has worked at Theatre @ Boston Court, the Sierra Madre Playhouse, Son of Semele, the Echo Theatre Company, Circle X, and Interact Theatre Company. Before moving to Los Angeles, he worked professionally in Cleveland, where he earned his BA in theatre from Kent State University.

vicki-shairer_150x150VICKI SCHAIRER is a director for film and theatre and a television producer. She has directed several short films and is currently in development for a handful of new projects.  She works as a television producer with credits on shows for Amazon Prime, TLC, the History Channel, and Fullscreen. She worked as a theatre director, production manager, and arts administrator in the greater Boston area prior to moving to Los Angeles in 2014. Vicki directed dozens of projects for the Boston stage and collaborated closely with playwrights to develop new work through workshops and readings. She worked in the artistic department of the Huntington Theatre Company and co-founded the collaborative devised theatre ensemble Project: Project, for which she co-wrote and co-directed original plays. She received her undergraduate degree in physics and theatre from Brandeis University and completed the Summer Institute in Film Production at UCLA.

daphna-shull150x150DAPHNA SHULL is a two-time NEXT Arts Council Fellow, literary manager, and writer, born and raised in Tampa, Florida.  She received her bachelor’s degree in Media Production from Florida State University. After graduating in 2014, she headed west to pursue a career in screenwriting and the arts. Today, Daphna works as a museum educator for the Zimmer Children’s Museum and recently joined the JWT staff.

VANESSA ESPINO (Writer) graduated from Cal State Fullerton University with an emphasis in playwriting and was a KCACTF regional finalist for her original play Odilia, which was remounted for the Hollywood Fringe Festival and won the Hollywood Fringe Scholarship and Inkwell Playwrights Promise award. She has written several other well-received plays.

SIGI GRADWOHL (Writer) is a Swiss-Israeli-American actress, comedian, writer, and content creator and a proud member of this year’s Young Arts Council of JWT’s Next at The Braid. Sigi is a member of Theatre of NOTE. Favorite theater credits include her critically acclaimed role of Daphna in Bad JewsThe Diary of Anne Frank (Best Leading Actress) and Askance (Scenie Award). TV: Girl Meets World and Jessie (Disney), The Middle (ABC), Chelsea Handler’s After Lately. FILM: James Franco’s Killing Animals, Spare Parts (winner of OutWest Film Festival). Sigi co-created the award-winning digital series Bad Nannies, SigNHil, and The Dating Chronicles and stars in the viral YouTube hit Girls Are Assholes. She is grateful for the unwavering support of her family, friends, and community of artists here in Los Angeles.

CHELSEA LONDON LLOYD (NEXT Arts Council Fellow, Social Media & Marketing), a USC graduate, has been pursuing a comedic acting career. Recent credits include a pilot for Adult Swim, Lifetime film, and a national billboard campaign for WAG. She is a graduate of the TENT Jewish Comedy program and Sinai Scholars. In addition, her sassy, self-deprecating humor has made her a standout in viral videos on BuzzFeed and Funny or Die.

GINA LORING, (NEXT Arts Council Fellow, Literary Manager) a poet/singer/songwriter has appeared on HBO’s Def Poetry, BET’s Lyric Cafe, and TVOne’s Verses and Flow. As guest artist of the American Embassy, she has performed in Kuwait, Russia, West Africa, and Tunisia, among others. A college professor by day, she holds a BA from Spelman College and an MFA from Antioch University Los Angeles.