Women of the Arts 2019

Jessie Fahay is a real renaissance woman!

maxresdefault (3)Founding Executive Director, Jessie’s love for theatre, philanthropy, and ethical business practices.

She grew up with a love for viewing visceral theatre productions that move audiences along with the philosophy that “We are here to create and contribute. Not Compete.” -Robert Anthony.

Her accomplishments range from being a published author and playwright, attaining an MBA, and winning the New Jersey Governor’s award for one of her original written works. After graduating from Marymount Manhattan with a BA in Theatre and Production Management, she spent years acting in New York with numerous touring and not-for-profit theatre companies along with being cast in several television/film roles.

b8.jpgAt the helm of Ripple Effect Artists, Fahay – since 2009 – is a virtual one-woman band as lead-producer, webmaster, marketing executive, and more-than occasionally performing.

She is the author of the popular, “What Method? The Different Ways an Actor Can Train.”

But in the end, her main goal is to open the door to young and emerging artsiosts so they can create their own … Ripple Effect.

Ripple Effect Artists invite you to a special Earth Day celebration at the opulent Triad Theater on Easter night: EARTH DAY CABARET! Special event, Sunday evening, April 21, 2019 @ 6:00 – 7:30 pm at The Triad, 158 W 72nd St, New York City.

Special performances by notates from on and off Broadway: Dylan Adams, Jessie Fahay, Rance W Wright, and interfaith minister and artist, Sandra Bargman.

b38.jpgTell us about yourself as an artist?

As an artist, I am someone who is always up for challenging myself and leaving my comfort zone.  Transformation is what I find so important and moving in any artistry and I strive to have myself transform with every role I take on.  I also have done this as a writer and singer.  (Side note—making audiences laugh has always been quite important to me).  It is always about marrying mind, body, and voice to bring about technical excellence along with inner truth.   

Tell us about Ripple Effect?

b65.jpgI began this company along with Jessica Jennings after I participated in a weekend long course (at a place called Landmark Worldwide) and got that I wanted to create theatfr that made an impact along with theatre artists with whom I trust and love to collaborate.  I had no idea how to produce or begin a 501c3 or fundraise or anything!   And I just started and kept being willing to fail and kept stating where I wanted the company to go.   And now, 10 years and 10 shows, five concerts, many fundraising events, and two international teaching trips later (along with other programming), here we are!   I love that we create partnerships with Human Rights Leaders and have them speak at our shows.   It can and does in deed cause a Ripple Effect….

You’re a world traveler so share with us what are the theater arts from around the world.    

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Traveling and studying Theatre around that world hasn’t made a huge difference for myself as an actor/singer and for the company.   My studies in Russia at the Moscow Art Theater School taught me about cohesive ensemble and how to bring that to a company.   My Masters in the UK has shown me such practical and useful ways to bring body and vocal techniques to any performances along with really thorough text analysis.  In general, learning about as many cultures as possible while traveling is key to understanding how stories are put together and how historical/cultural context can shape every aspect of a script.  

Tell us about the cabaret?

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I am so excited for this cabaret!   These singers are fantastic and such professionals.  They are all singing poignant songs that will give the audience chills as well as make us think about this topic. 

Is Global warming a cause-celeb for you?

Global Warming is a major topic for me because it IS something we are dealing with right now.  The up-rise of disastrous storms cannot be ignored.  Many are dying and suffering due to the fact that we do not have infrastructure to support such disasters.  

It’s right in the middle of the holiday season … was that to give it more “spirituality?”    

Yes!   And to create a fun activity after Afternoon Easter celebrations. 

You are an author as well?

Yes!  My book is titled “What Method? The Different Ways an Actor Can Train.”   

CHECK OUT THE BOOK HERE

What’s next for the company … and for you, if they’re not connected.

I am out to enhance my own Acting career and hitting the audition circuit soon!   The company is producing 2071: The World We Will Leave Our Grandchildren”  in August at the Episcopal Actors Guild Theater.  

Here’s the BIG question … What’s it like being a woman running an arts company in NYC in the 21st century? 

At times it is quite inspiring because I have made some wonderful connections with other effective female producers and directors and have had them be my mentors.   Watching how they grew as business women through the 80s/90s and beyond has taught me fortitude and tenacity as well as the ability to make requests when needed and stand my ground when it comes to a specific vision.   

I still am sometimes spoken to as though I am not the “real deal” and at times I have to remind people of the fact that I have done my due diligence (and have an MBA).   I think this may be due to my age as well as my gender.  However, we are in an exciting time.  These last 10 years have proven that people of my generation (the older end of millennials who grew up in the 90s) can create startups and new businesses and new concepts FOR businesses at a young age.  Having a career that we design has become a priority.   I know many young women such as myself who have begun charities and businesses of their own and there are great resources for them.   It is a matter of charities and companies growing together and creating partnerships that will have all missions thrive.  In other words, we gotta stick together.

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Women in the Arts 2019

8OeQLO2OJake Lipman is an artistic director, producer, writer, director, actress, festival producer, intellectual, entrepreneur … and that’s just the top of the list.

Her current play, RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS by Craig Wright with share The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios with a festival of her own creation, SPRING PLUS 1 SOLO SHOW FESTIVAL. AND she will do the same again in the fall with her next powerful piece. 

Ms. Lipman’s company, Tongue in Cheek Theater, just like its founder, wears many artsistic hats, its works are designed to make you think, feel, and laugh. that last one is very important.

OPENING in MAY:
RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS by Craig Wright
The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios
244 West 54th Street. 
Eight performances, May 8-18 (Wed-Sat nights)
When accomplished advertising exec Waverly opens the door to her Minneapolis apartment on a warm September night, she’s aghast. How could she have forgotten her blind date, Andrew, would be picking her up? As she scrambles to get ready, a series of twists and unexpected guests waylay them on their night out. A thought-provoking comedy about a blind date with destiny.

in repertory with

SPRING PLUS 1 SOLO SHOW FESTIVAL
also at The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios
Two shows: May 12-13; (Sun & Mon nights)

Visit www.tictheater.com for more information and to buy tickets.

Jake Lipman received her Masters of Fine Arts from the Actors Studio Drama School at the New School and her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College. As an actor, she has toured nationally, appeared in New York and regional theater, TV, independent film, and voice-over work, in addition to producing, writing, and directing theater and film. In 2006, she formed Tongue in Cheek Theater Productions (TIC).

It’s been a while since we spoke to Jake and things have only gotten better. We’re thrilled to have her as one of the prominent women of the arts 2019.

Tell us about yourself as an artist?

I’ve been acting since I was 7, and it’s funny, the first role I ever played was a producer in a play called The Great American Musical Disaster. I wore reflective aviator shades and a white Miami Vice-like blazer. Many years and an MFA later, I would finally learn what a producer does, mostly by doing. And that’s what the word “producer” means to me – I get involved in anything and everything a piece requires. I love collaborating with other people, on casting, in the rehearsal room, workshopping new plays, directing, and yes, still acting.

Lipman & Co. in the celebrated office comedy, Relentlessly Pleasant

Tell us about your company? 
I graduated with an MFA in acting and thought: now what? The answer was to produce a play with a great role for me, and from there, I found my inner producing artistic director.

I founded Tongue in Cheek Theater Productions (www.tictheater.com) in 2006 to ensure I was always working on thought-provoking comedies. I’ve now produced 40 productions, acted onstage in many, directed a dozen, and written a few. I love the many different creative challenges each aspect of a production requires of me. And I get to work with the incredibly talented people of New York. It’s a great place to make indie theater happen.

8OeQLO2O.jpegSerious matters that evoke a chuckle? Very classical and rare today. Care to elaborate?

What’s that old adage that comedy is tragedy + time? That’s certainly been true for me, from writing a solo show about scattering my mother’s ashes in Ireland (Up a River) to writing and directing Relentlessly Pleasant about the challenges women face in the workplace. But mostly, I think people want to see something that engages them and surprises them. If I can make them laugh and then think about why they laughed, I’ve engaged my audience and done my job.

What is your creative process as a writer?

To be clear, I didn’t write my latest piece, Recent Tragic Events  — the very talented Craig Wright did! But I have written and produced several plays, including Relentlessly Pleasant (2018) and The Inn at Lake Devine (based on the novel by the same name).

My process is very structured – I create a master plan with deadlines for when I’ll have drafts and send them to readers for their input. This keeps me honest, and waking up early and drinking lots of coffee while I write. I love this period of getting up early and writing. I look forward to it, and frankly, I don’t even sleep particularly well, because I’m working out my next twist in my head and my brain won’t fully turn off to let me sleep.

Then, I workshop the piece and revise, and I love to hear it aloud. That really helps flush out what’s not working and helps me refine further.

But to answer the question a bit more succinctly: structure and lots of coffee.

Do you write with the intention of direction or acting – or both – in the play or is that an organic decision?

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I think of myself as an actor first and foremost, so I develop works for me in a key role. With The Inn at Lake Devine, the lead character is this feisty young woman from Massachusetts, and when I first read the book, I thought, that’s me! I am her! So that was the impetus for my reaching out to the novelist to adapt her book. I wanted to fully play out that role. With Relentlessly Pleasant, I wrote one of the leads for myself but very late in the process, my director had to back out due to a change in jobs, and I had to take a deep breath and direct it instead of act in it. That was a big, hard pill to swallow. But fortunately, my cast was so incredible, and their portrayal of every character so surpassed what I had envisioned, that I was able to enjoy the play coming together as a whole new thing. That was deeply satisfying.

Who do you write for… who is your audience?

My desired audience is my dad, or people like him. He’s this jovial, funny, smart guy in his seventies who sees a lot of movies, is reasonably well-informed and well-read, but not stuffy. He’s not into things that need to be explained or that are deliberately esoteric. If he gets one of my shows, I am confident that I’ve put forth work that is accessible, entertaining, and engaging.

What’s it like being a woman in the arts in the 21st century – post #MeToo, during Trump? 

Oy. I am of two minds. The first mind says, well, it’s scary and it sucks. But the second mind says, screw that, you never had to ask for permission to do the shows you do, you just did them. And you will continue to make your own work and opportunities. So I sometimes think the former, but mostly I try to live the latter.

What’s next for you?

A bunch of things! I am producing, directing, and acting in Recent Tragic Events, May 8-11 and 15-18, 2019 at The Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios (tickets are on sale at www.tictheater.com). The show is set over the course of a night when a man shows up for a blind date and ends up entrenched in the life of the woman he picks up. I’m curating my 15th Plus 1 Solo Show Festival of new works, which runs for 2 nights, May 12-13, 2019 during the dark nights of Recent Tragic Events. I showcase 3 new solo shows and a musical guest, and it’s always a great night of theater.

And, I’m helping a dear friend develop her solo show, Untransmittable, which will be showcased as a staged reading on May 14.

dSWBQ0qkAnd then, last but not least, I have adapted Relentlessly Pleasant into a TV pilot and am taking meetings to see about developing it further for a steaming service. It’s early days yet but I feel passionately about making a piece that centers around women at work and the comedy of power dynamics.