Jonah Scott Mendelsohn
Actor and adapter
Jonah Scott Mendelsohn is an actor, singer, and writer based in New York City. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and studied at Vassar College and the O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford Connecticut.
His stage work spans new plays in New York City, and lead roles in regional theaters. Favorite roles include Stuart Gellman in Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change (Astoria Performing Arts Center, AUDELCO winning production for Best Revival of a Musical); Pete, a pregnant man, in Tumor by Sheila Callaghan; Paul in Company by Sondheim and Furth at the Philipstown Depot Theatre, and the killers in Shakespeare's Richard II with Walking the dog Theater in Hudson, NY.
His writing includes a variety of poetry, and two pieces for the stage: Jonah - a choreopoem, based on the biblical story, first presented at West End Synagogue; and A Mostly Perfect Education: Things They Don't Talk about at Commencement, a one-man show about his experiences as a Women's Study minor at Vassar College, which began development in Martin Moran's personal narrative workshop at the Barrow Group.
Shelley Wyant is a teacher, director and performer. During a trip to Bali in 1981, she began working with masks under the guidance of Idi Bagus Anom. She worked with Julliard’s Pierre Lefevre and in Paris with Jacques LeCoq. Ms Wyant has offered workshops and residencies in both neutral and character mask at universities and conservatories including Yale, Brown, Smith and is currently on the faculty of the MFA program at The New School for Drama in NYC and at NYU at Tisch in the New Studio on Broadway, Circle in the Square Theater School, Atlantic Theater Company Conservatory and the Terry Knickerbocker Studio.
In 1990, she founded MaskWork Unlimited performing critically acclaimed original works using masks music and giant puppets in the Hudson Valley, New York City and internationally. She holds an MFA in directing from Brooklyn College and a BA in theater from Brandeis University.
In 2010, Ms. Wyant went to Bucharest, Romania as a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar teaching neutral and character mask at The National University Of Theatre and Film I.L.Caragiale. In 2012 she taught at Concordia International School in Shanghai, China. . Also in 2010 Ms. Wyant began her association with Jana Sanskriti in West Bengal, India where with the support of the India China Institute directed Brecht’s The Good Person of Setzuan in 2019. She joined with the Campfire Project working on their production of The Tempest at Ritsona refugee camp in Greece summer 2018. She is proud to announce that her Fulbright Senior Specialist status has recently been reinstated and she hopes to continue to share her work worldwide.
Memoirist, poet, and gay rights activist Paul Monette was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and earned a BA at Yale University. He taught at Milton Academy and Pine Manor College before moving to Los Angeles with his longtime partner, Roger Horwitz, in 1977, where he became active in the city’s gay rights movement.
Frequently elegiac, Monette’s poems narrate the trauma and pain of the AIDS crisis. His poetry collections include West of Yesterday, East of Summer: New and Selected Poems 1973-1993 (1994), Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog (1988), and The Carpenter at the Asylum (1975). Monette is also the author of the memoirs Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) and Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992), which won the National Book Award. His novels include Halfway Home (1991) and Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll (1978).
Monette died at his home in Los Angeles of AIDS complications in 1995. The Monette-Horwitz Trust, which he and Horwitz founded, offers awards to individuals working to eradicate homophobia. Monette’s papers are archived at the University of California, Los Angeles, library.