Ellen Sorrin, President
Ellen Sorrin is Director of the George Balanchine Trust as well as Managing Director of the New York Choreographic Institute (an affiliate of New York City Ballet). In addition, she is a member of the advisory committee of The Jerome Robbins Trust. She was, until June of 2004, the Director of Education at New York City Ballet. As Director of Special Projects from 1988-1996, she produced, on behalf of the Company, The American Music Festival (a 3 week festival of new ballets) in 1988; Ray Charles in Concert with New York City Ballet, a 1989 broadcast on Live from Lincoln Center; Balanchine in America (Serenade and Western Symphony) broadcast on Great Performances in 1989 and 1990; A Festival of Jerome Robbins’ Ballets in 1990; Accent on the Offbeat (documentary) filmed in 1993, and released on video by Sony Classical and broadcast on PBS in 1994; The Balanchine Celebration videotaped in June, 1993 and broadcast the same year on PBS; George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, a feature film released by Warner Bros. in 1994 and on home video in 1995; and The Diamond Project, a festival of world premieres featuring emerging and established choreographers, in 1992 and 1994. From 1981-84, she worked at Alan Wasser Associates, a Broadway general management firm.
She has free-lanced as a producer of special events, including Dancing for Life, a 1987 benefit for AIDS care, education and research, which combined the efforts of the New York dance community, directed by Jerome Robbins. In 1996, she produced and directed Barbara Matera: Costume Maker for City Arts on WNET/Thirteen in New York.
Mark Stanley, Vice President
Mark Stanley, Resident Lighting Designer for New York City Ballet, has designed over 200 premieres for their repertoire including Paul McCartney’s Ocean’s Kingdom. He has worked with choreographers around the world including Peter Martins, Susan Stroman, Christopher Wheeldon, Alexei Ratmansky, Justin Peck, William Forsythe, Kevin O’Day, Susan Marshall and Christopher d’Amboise, and many others.
His designs are in the repertoire of The Royal Danish Ballet, Royal Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet, San Francisco Ballet, Kevin O’Day-Ballett Nationaltheatre Mannheim, La Scala Ballet, Mariinsky Ballet, Norwegian National Opera & Ballet, Boston Ballet, Stuttgart Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Pilobolus Dance Theatre, Alvin Ailey Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet, and other ballet and dance companies in North American and Europe.
Mr. Stanley previously served as Resident Designer for the New York City Opera. His theatre work includes the Kennedy Center, Long Wharf Theater, Goodspeed Opera House, Ordway Music Theater, Paper Mill Playhouse, Maurice Sendak’s Night Kitchen children’s theatre and off-Broadway. His designs for George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker and Peter Martins’ Romeo and Juliet, among others, have been seen on Live from Lincoln Center and Great Performances.
Mr. Stanley heads the MFA Design and Production Programs as well as the Lighting Design Program at Boston University.
Alan Adelman, Secretary
Alan Adelman is best known as a lighting designer committed to the efforts of theater artists, producers, and archivists to translate existing stage works, as well as create new productions, specifically for television and film. Credits include over 75 shows spanning a twenty five year history with the “Great Performances” PBS series including seventeen “Dance in America” programs and eight “American Playhouse” original productions showcasing work by many of the most recognized playwrights, directors, choreographers and musical icons of our time. His television work has been honored with three Emmy Awards. He is the resident lighting designer/consultant for the “Live from Lincoln Center” series (over 50 shows) as well as designer for many other in-performance based television series including “Onstage at the Kennedy Center”, “In Performance at the White House”, and “Broadway Worldwide”. Feature film credits have included special lighting for Brian DePalma’s Carlito’s Way, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker (with New York City Ballet), Elmo In Grouchland and documentaries on Alvin Ailey and The Philadelphia Orchestra. Other stage and screen design work has included lighting for San Francisco Opera and Ballet, Miami City Ballet, Juilliard Opera, Washington Opera as well as numerous concert and special events both large and small with artists as diverse as Paul McCartney, The New York Philharmonic, P.Diddy, Reba McEntire, Eminem, The Rolling Stones, JayZ, Cirque du Soleil, Sting, Renee Fleming, San Francisco Symphony, Audra McDonald, The Boston Pops and multiple projects with Wynton Marsalis including the Peabody Award winning “Marsalis On Music” series from Tanglewood. He received his Master of Fine Arts in lighting design from the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1978.
Ken Billington - LIGHTING DESIGNER / PRINCIPAL, KEN BILLINGTON ASSOCIATES
Ken Billington is an international lighting designer working in theatre, television and architecture. Almost 100 Broadway designs include original production of Sweeney Todd and the current Chicago, which is the longest running American musical in history. Chicago has also been seen in over 20 countries all with the original lighting. His many touring productions both in the USA and Great Britain include such shows as Fiddler on the Roof, Annie, Disney’s High School Musical and High School Musical 2 among others. West End productions include the original Sweeney Todd, Chicago, High School Musical, The Drowsy Chaperone, What the Butler Saw, The Scottsboro Boys and White Christmas.
Spectaculars include The Radio City Music Hall Christmas Show for 27 years as well as the Las Vegas production show Jubilee! Many nightclub and concert acts for such stars as Shirley MacLanie, Liberace and Hugh Jackman. Also over one hundred opera productions worldwide including Porgy and Bess for Milan’s La Scalla, Madrid’s Theatro Real and Opera Bastillle
In Theme parks his work includes the original Fantasmic! at Disneyland California, Shamu Shows for Seaworld parks in Florida, California and Texas. He has lit many shows for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg Virginia, including the current London Rocks, and Celtic Fyre.
His architectural work can be seen in clubs and restaurants in the US and Asia and include such landmarks as New York’s Tavern on the Green and 54 Below.
Ken is the recipient of many awards including the Tony (Broadway), Luman (architecture), Ace (television) and LDI and USITT Lighting Designer of the Year. In 2015 he was inducted into the Theatre Hall of Fame.
Ken Tabachnick, Treasurer
Ken Tabachnick is the executive director of the Merce Cunningham Trust and a consultant associated with AEA Consulting. Previously, he oversaw higher education training programs as the Deputy Dean at the Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and as Dean of the School of the Arts, Purchase College, SUNY. Before turning to academia, Ken was the general manager for the New York City Ballet (NYCB), which he joined after heading his own legal practice focusing on intellectual property, licensing, and corporate matters for artists and arts related organizations. He began his career as a lighting designer working with clients such as the Bolshoi Ballet, Kirov Ballet, Paris Opera Ballet, Martha Graham Dance Company, Robert Wilson, Trisha Brown Company, Live from Lincoln Center, Robert Wilson, Karol Armitage, and Stephen Petronio, whose work he has been lighting for over 30 years. Tabachnick was also the resident lighting director at New York City Opera from 1986 to 1990. In past lives, he has also served as general counsel for Rising Tide Studios, was the corporate relations director and Gotham Awards producer for the Independent Feature Project, served as executive director of the Hamptons International Film Festival, and was the managing member of indieWIRE LLC, a news publisher focused on the independent film sector. Ken has just finished an almost ten-year period as a Trustee and officer of Dance/USA and is currently the vice-chair and a Trustee of Westbeth Artists’ Housing, in addition to serving as treasurer of the Hemsley Lighting Programs.
Philip S. Rosenberg - Lighting Designer
Philip Rosenberg moved to NYC in 1996. A Graduate of The University of Arizona, Philip spent his first 13 years in NY acting as Associate Lighting Designer on over 35 Broadway plays and musicals. Collaborators included: Ken Billington, Ken Posner, Hugh Vanstone, Paul Gallo, Peter Kaczorowski, Natasha Katz, Andrew Bridge, and Chris Parry. In 2009, Philip launched his own design career and has been working steadily ever since. Broadway credits include: A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, The Elephant Man, and It’s Only a Play. Regional theatre credits include: Kennedy Center, La Jolla Playhouse, Ford’s Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, The Old Globe, TheatreWorks, Hartford Stage, Huntington Theatre Company, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Manhattan School of Music, Portland Stage Company, TACT, Barrington Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Dorset Theatre Festival, Bay Street Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Two River Theatre Company, George Street Playhouse, and Westport Country Playhouse.
Philip joined the Hemsley Board of Directors in 2012. He is honored to join an organization that is so dedicated to helping young designers’ launch their careers.
Penny Jacobus is the current Lighting Director of New York City Ballet. She was hired as a Lighting Assistant for the New York City Opera in 1998 upon completion of the Internship and remained in that position until 2000 when she moved to New York City Ballet. Other projects have included assisting on Broadway shows, lighting dance tours in Europe, working as Lighting Supervisor for the Kirov Ballet in the USA as well as lighting smaller things around the area. She can be reached at PJacobus@nycballet.com and would be happy to answer any questions that Internship applicants may have. B.A. University of Wisconsin, Madison Ð 1995.
Al has been the Lighting Director of the world renowned Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater since 1998. Now in his 20th season with the famed dance company, he has produced the lighting for Ailey in virtually every major theater, performing arts center and opera house on the planet having toured to 48 states and over 60 countries including historically significant performances in Russia, China and South Africa. Al has had the opportunity to work directly with many important choreographers in the dance world including Judith Jamison, Robert Battle, Garth Fagan, Matthew Rushing, Ron Brown, George Faison, Mark Dendy, Trey McIntyre, Christopher Huggins, Hope Boykin, Osnel Delgado, Jeanguy Saintus and many others. He has designed 19 new works for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and 12 for Ailey II. Additionally, he has been responsible for maintaining the lighting for the significant Ailey repertory designed by many of the top lighting designers in the industry.
A huge believer in cross genre design, Al founded Arc3design, a lighting design group dedicated to merging his theatrical aesthetic into all areas of art, architecture, dance, live music, theater, broadcast, and live event production. Arc3design employees a team of talented designers and technical artists that support the creation and implementation of new projects worldwide. Arc3design creates the lighting for over 100 projects annually. Recent and current projects include architectural installations at New York Central Synagogue, new ballets for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Haiti’s Ayikodans and Cuba's Malpaso Dance Company, multiple State Dinners for The White House, Cedar Point's multimillion dollar light show Luminosity, a variety of shows for Holland America Cruise Lines, Madison Square Garden Sports Entertainment and brand events for Spotify, Google, Samsung, Intel, Dom Perignon and Lamborghini.
Al is a Board of Trustee member of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and was recently an Adjunct Faculty member at the University of Connecticut School of Fine Arts. He also serves as a Board of Directors member of the Gilbert Hemsley Lighting Programs. He has had the opportunity to speak to students at universities around the country, at the United States Institute for Theater Technology Conference (USITT), Live Design International (LDI) and the Stagecraft Institute of Las Vegas. Al was recently a keynote speaker at the Electronic Theater Controls CUE conference in Madison, WI. Al is a member of United Scenic Artists (USA-829) and the International Alliance for Theatrical Stage Employees (Local 635). He is a graduate of the North Carolina School of the Arts with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.
FORMER BOARD MEMBERS
John McGraw came to New York City in the fall of 1971 with a plan to start a small theatrical lighting rental company and to work on Broadway as an electrician. From 1971 to 1979 John worked on a number of Broadway shows as an electrician or master electrician; some of the productions included Voices, designed by Jo Mielziner; and Grease, designed by Karl Eigsti. Over 27 years the small lighting company, Production Arts Lighting, grew to over 100 employees with offices in Los Angeles, London, New York, and New Jersey. Production Arts provided rental and permanent installation services to a wide range of clients around the world. John was particularly known for his commitment to encouraging young lighting designers and for working with emerging dance and theatre companies. In 1998 the company was sold to Production Resource Group.
John served as the second President of the Theatrical Dealers Association, the industry trade association and precursor to ESTA. While chair of the Business Practices Committee he started the Dealer’s Business Survey to give dealers a tool to use in running their businesses more profitably. John also chaired or worked on several committees responsible for important milestones in the history of the association, including the evolution from the TDA to ESTA and the creation of the code of conduct for ESTA members. In 1998, the ESTA Board of Directors bestowed the Association’s highest honor on John, the Eva Swan Award for exceptional long-term commitment to the Association by an individual. John continues to be active on special projects for ESTA and the ESTA Board.
In 2004, USITT awarded a special citation to John for outstanding, innovative, and continuous service to the entertainment industry as a technician, union stagehand, co-founder of Production Arts Lighting, and President of ESTA.