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Industry Star of the Month

Sam Levy, Director of Programming, Summer Play Festival

Sam Levy August 1, 2008 - Native Australian turned New Yorker Sam Levy always knew he would come back to a career in theatre. Upon graduating with an undergraduate degree in theatre, he worked first for the Australian government and then entered the corporate world after earning his MBA. ���You���re going to working at least forty-five or fifty years,��� he said. ���You can���t be doing something you don���t want to do.��� And with that attitude, Levy arrived in New York City, eager to immerse himself in the theatre scene. ���It���s nerve-wracking, changing careers���but you just have to do it!���

Levy got his feet wet when he filled in part-time for a colleague who had to leave her post at the Summer Play Festival just two weeks before it began. He enjoyed the work so much he was soon offered a position with SPF and dove right in, working full time with the festival ever since. His duties at SPF keep him working year round, reading over 1,000 play submissions, programming the festival, planning educational panels and producing the plays in the summer.

The Summer Play Festival, which began in 2004, is a unique fixture on the New York theatre scene. Not only does it aim to mount full productions of plays by newcomers to the New York playwriting scene, but it also produces the plays at no cost to the playwright. ���Many festivals charge an application fee, a marketing fee, a venue fee," said Levy. "Our goal is to take the worry out of getting your new play produced. We want the focus to be on the art.��� SPF also has two workshop programs based in Europe - one in London and one in Germany - aimed to give playwrights even more experience and knowledge by workshopping their plays with European artists and audiences.

Levy is also passionate about creating a dialogue between the stage and film. He believes that actors, writers, directors and production crews who traditionally work in theatre have much to offer to the television and film world - and visa versa. ���Television and theatre have so much to learn from each other.��� Indeed, he jokes that anyone who can excel with a theatre production sized budget would be a great asset on a film or television set.

As challenging as programming a play festival in New York City and workshops abroad can be, Levy is unfailingly confident in the power of theatre, especially in the power of New York-based theatre. ���New York theatre has such a powerful resonance around the world,��� he said, recalling how ���images of New York City evoke such powerful response from people���people desire to understand New York.��� This makes Levy���s work bringing new playwrights to the scene in New York and abroad all the more important.

Industry Star


Margarita Acevedo, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
John Battista, Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Tom Reidy, Madison Square Park
Steven Holtzman, Canal Creatures Productions

2012
Jennifer Lenihan, Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting
Lynne Meadow, Manhattan Theatre Club
Thomas O'Donnell, Local 817
Katy Finch, Brooklyn Workforce Innovations
Meredith Conti, Grand Central Terminal


2011
Gino Lucci, Picture Cars East
Habibah Ali-Love, OFTB
McCord Fitzsimmons, Former OFTB Intern
Lis Pearson, New York Public Library
Veronica Miles, EcoSet
Lisa Rubin, Hudson River Park Trust
Mari Jo Winkler, PGA Green
Michael Super, Coney Island, Parks and Recreational Manager
Caroline Stephenson, NYC Economic Development Corporation
Lisa Lucas, Tribeca Film Institute


2010
Harriet Taub, Material for the Arts
David Moy, OFTB
Fred Cerullo, Grand Central Partnership
Marge Feinberg, DOE
Nate Grove, Marinas
Frank Gribbon, FDNY
Jeffrey Sangrund, Brooklyn Bridge Park
Javonne Parker, Staten Island Ferry
Justin Green, Build It Green! NYC
Tom Ross, "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"
Eric Peterson, Randall's Island
Connie Fitzgerald, Department of Environmental Protection


2009
Joey Violante, Technicolor
Stephanie Argamaso, OFTB
Vito Turso, DSNY
Elizabeth Rapuano, Governor's Island
Estelle Cooper, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
Alvah Holmes, Former MOFTB Intern
Dana Kuznetzkoff, Line Producer
Eva Radke, Film Biz Recycling
Karen Meyerhoff, Guggenheim
Meredith Rothstein, Roseland Ballroom
Charlotte St. Martin, The Broadway League


2008
The Artists Company
Celina Sze, OFTB
Sharon Jensen, The Alliance for Inclusion in the Arts
Terence Gray, New York Television Festival
Sam Levy, Summer Play Festival
Wes French, General Services Administration
Tom Maiorano, Brooklyn Navy Yard
Joan Cooney, South Street Seaport
Jeannine Marotta, Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
Brooke Smy, Tishman Speyer
Elliott Kerman, Tax Credit Accountant


2007
Matthew Kania, Assistant Location Manager
Lieutenant Joe Lassen, Movie/TV Unit
In Memoriam - Nancy Littlefield
Ivory Henderson-Robb, Department of Transportation
Jack Powers, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Robin Forst, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center
Kitty Preston, CUNY Locations
Liz Carollo, Greenmarket
Donna Masly, Roosevelt Island Operating Corporation
Sean Jones, New York City Department of Corrections
Sheila Greene, NYCHA


2006
Ralph Musolino, Parks and Recreation
Rick Cotton, NBC Universal
Joe Fontao, Location Manager
Gretchen McGowan, HDNet Films/Open City Films
Tim Tompkins, Times Square Alliance
Erika Feldman, Theatre Row
Vin Lenza, Staten Island Development Corporation
Tristan Assent, "Made in NY" PA
Denise Motta, New York City Economic Development Corporation
Terry Lawler, New York Women in Film and Television
Monty Ross, 40 Acres and a Mule


2005
Pat White, Local 764
Michelle Byrd, Independent Feature Project
Matt Miller, AICP
Kyle McCarthy, MTA Metro-North
Jeannette Pinero, Department of Correction
Bambi Brook, Dawn Animal Agency
Andy Nagy, NYCHA
Juan Rosario, HPD
James J. Claffey, Jr., IATSE Local One
Mac Brown, Producer
Cheryl Hodge, VTU
Llewellyn Wells, Executive Producer
Lawrence Major, Parks and Recreation


2004
Ken Konfong, Economic Development Corporation
Whoopi Goldberg, Actress/Producer
Caroline Baron, FilmAid International
Thomas O'Donnell Sr., Local 817
Drew Jiritano, Special Effects Coordinator
Carla Rajj, Location Manager
Al Cerullo, Film Pilot
James Lauer, FDNY
Dan Mercado, Parks and Recreation
Rebecca Seale, DCAS
Alberteen Anderson, MTA
Joseph Ellis, NYPD
Peter Basich, DOT
Richie Silverman, NYPD