2017-2018 Fellows

Meet the new LABA fellows that will be joining our exploration of WAR + PEACE for the 2017-2018 season:

Tal Beery (b. 1984) is an artist and educator. Beery is co-founder of Arts and Ecology, a multidisciplinary institute committed to research, art, and education on radical environmental themes. He is founding faculty at School of Apocalypse, examining the connections between creative practice and notions of survival. Beery is also a core member of Occupy Museums, opposing the economic and social injustices propagated by institutions of art and culture. His written work and interviews have appeared in numerous publications and his personal and collaborative works have been exhibited in museums and galleries in the US and Europe, including the Whitney Museum, The Brooklyn Museum, El Museo Del Barrio, and Momenta Art. Read more. 

Tal Gur is an Israeli-American composer, multi-instrumentalist and a music therapist. He was born in Israel and grew up in an Air Force base in the valley of Jezreel, where the sounds of combat aircrafts taking off the ground and the sights of fertile plains have influenced his curiosity to humankind and nature. The curiosity developed to an evolving force of expression that found its way mainly through music. He studied for a B.mus at the Jerusalem Academy for Music, majored in saxophone jazz performance. Over time Tal developed an identity as a soloist that fluidly plays different styles of jazz, folk, rock and balkan music and have performed, recorded and collaborated with various bands in Israel, Europe and the United States. Tal’s curiosity for music, human beings, relationships and psychology have brought him to pursue an M.A in music therapy from Bar-Ilan University and a post graduate training from NYU. He lives in Brooklyn with his partner and with his daughter and works in a school in Manhattan for children with autism. He released three albums as a composer; Air Portrait (2008), Basar Ve’Dam, (Flesh and Blood, 2011) and Under Contractions (2014). Read more. 

Amy Handelsman is a producer, writer and story executive, working in theater, film and television in Los Angeles and New York. She has developed and produced plays, movies, and cable and network films and series for Center Theatre Group, Showtime, Warner Bros., ABC, CBS, PBS, and Tri-Star. Handelsman has also served as a theater consultant for HBO’s U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen and the Hip-Hop Theater Festival in New York, and as a media consultant for the Foundation for Jewish Culture and Women in Film. She has worked with such diverse artists as August Wilson, Culture Clash, Don Cheadle, Patricia Marx, Erin Cressida Wilson, and Danny Hoch. A lifelong sports fan, Handelsman wrote about her boxing experiences for Playboy and is working on a documentary on baseball umpires. She served as the Executive Director of the United States Poker Federation and the United States Mind Sports Association and contributes to various boxing and poker sites. Handelsman teaches The Literature of Games and Forms of Drama at Stony Brook University and New York University, respectively (Fall 2017). She is a cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Read more. 

Jess Honovich is a playwright, screenwriter and educator from Southern New Jersey. Her work has been produced and workshopped by Dezart Performs, Longwood University, New York University, the Paw Paw Village Players, Festival51, Project Y, and the Pittsburgh Opera. She is a 2017 O’Neill National Playwrights Conference Finalist for her play Giant Slalom, a 2017 Heideman Award finalist for her play Hardware, a recipient of the Mary Marlin Fisher Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and a 2016 Theatre Masters winner for her short play No More Monsters, which had productions in Aspen and New York City and is published by Samuel French.  She holds a B.S. from New York University in Educational Theatre and a minor in Dramatic Literature and an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University.

Ishai Shapira Kalter (1986, Israel) received his MFA Hunter College, New York (2017) and his BFA from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design, Jerusalem (2013), from which he also studied at The Slade School of Fine Arts, London (2011). His first exhibitions and projects were hosted by venues such as YARAT Studios, AZ (2016), West Space, AU (2015), RawArt Gallery, IL (2015), The Helena Rubinstein Pavilion for Contemporary Art, IL (2014), MoBY Bat Yam Museums, IL (2013) among others. He has received several fellowships, grants and scholarships such as The Jean and Albert Nerken Scholarship Fund, The Rabinovich Foundation Grant and the Israel Lottery Council for Culture and Arts Grant. Read more.

Jon Adam Ross has performed his solo plays in over 90 cities around the globe. His newest endeavor is the ambitious In[heir]itance Project, a national series of devised plays inspired by sacred texts. Jon has performed at the Guthrie Theater (MN), Playhouse on the Square (TN), and in NYC where his stage credits include: a dog, a 2,000 year old bird, an elderly orthodox Jew, a spurned housewife, a horse, a British naval officer in 1700’s Jamaica, a goat, Jesus Christ, a lawyer, a hapless police chief, and a cyclops. Jon holds a BFA in Acting from NYU/Tisch.

Jacob Siegel is a writer and Army veteran living in the same Brooklyn neighborhood where he grew up, though it’s now known by a new name. He co-edited Fire and Forget: Short Stories from the Long War, published by Da Capo in 2012, a critically praised anthology of fiction by Iraq and Afghanistan veterans for which I contributed the lead story. After returning from Afghanistan in 2012 he joined The Daily Beast as a reporter covering war, national security, and digital culture. While there he was nominated for a national magazine award and reported from Baghdad the month after the initial ISIS assault on Mosul. In 2015 he left The Beast to work as a freelancer and have since published widely read essays in Tablet magazine, Politico, and  elsewhere.so in 2015 he was a co-instructor along with Kara Krauze for the inaugural semester of Voices from War, a free writing workshop for veterans held at the 14th St. Y. His journalism, essays and reviews have been published in The New York Times, Tablet, the magazine for the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Daily News, Politico, and numerous other publications. Read more. 

Yael Sloma was born in Tel Aviv suburbs in 1987.  Sloma is a video installation artist, who explores human narratives, identities and social structures. Sloma, now lives and works in New York and Baltimore, is an MFA candidate of Maryland Institute College of Art as a Fulbright fellow. Sloma graduated with honors the art department of Bezalel Academy of Art (Jerusalem) and exhibited in Museum Quartier (Vienna), Städelschule (Frankfurt), Rencontre d’Arles (Arles, France), Manofim (Jerusalem), and many more. Read more. 

Zohar Tirosh-Polk was born in Brazil to Israeli parents.  Zohar continues to explore the idea of home and the possibility of peace in her work. Her plays: Pieces, Land/Holy, Home/Front, The Zionists, Theo’s Dream, Waltz, and Six have been produced and developed at the The New Group, Magic Theatre, The Lincoln Center Theater’s Director’s Lab, New Repertory Theatre, The Cape Cod Theatre Project, The Jewish Plays Project, Rising Phoenix Rep, Silk Road Rising, the Lark Play Development Center, The Brick and HERE. Her English translation of Hanoch Levin’s play, Those Who Walk in the Dark is published in Wanderers and Other Israeli Plays by Seagull Books and her play, The Zionists will be published in the upcoming Semitic Commonwealth anthology. In 2012, she won the Jewish Plays Project’s new play competition for Six. She’s a recipient of the Foundation for Jewish Culture’s theatre grant and a commission from Highbrow Productions. Zohar has a B.A. in Literature and Writing from Columbia University and a Playwriting MFA from Brooklyn College under Mac Wellman and Erin Courtney. She lives in Brooklyn with her actor/producer husband and their two young children. Read more.

Brandon Woolf is a theater maker and a scholar of contemporary performance. Recently, he has worked at the Fulton Center, Uncanny Valley, NYUAD Arts Center, Barrow Group Theater, Dixon Place, the Connelly Theater, and the Kennedy Center. He is also the co-founder of two public performance ensembles – Shakespeare im Park Berlin and the UC Movement for Efficient Privatization [UCMeP]. Between 2010 and 2014, Shake im Park, our playfully (ir)reverent take on the Papp model, created site-specific performances that drew audiences to Berlin’s Görlitzer Park in order to rethink its dynamic spaces as sites of multi-lingual and inter-cultural performance, (post)dramatic experimentation, and participatory art. Between 2009 and 2011, UCMeP engaged performance as a tactical means of “creative protest” and mobilization against the austerity measures that beset public education in California. Currently, Brandon is developing projects that continue to probe theater’s possibilities as a social and civic practice, including: a devised investigation of the five pages in the Talmud that tackle the “Messiah” (at LABA); a biographical reimagining of Brecht’s Mother Courage as a site of the destruction of the American “home”; and an existential exploration and racial deconstruction of our “Golden Age” of television. Brandon received his Ph.D. in Performance Studies from UC Berkeley in 2014. He was a Fall Directing Fellow at the New York Drama League in 2015 as well as a “Next Stage” Artist-in-Residence there in 2017. In 2016, Brandon joined the English Department at NYU as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theater and currently serves as the Director of their Program in Dramatic Literature. Read more. 

Learn more about our previous fellows: