STAFF & LEADERSHIP
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
ARTISTIC ADVISORY COMMITTEE
JOHN CLINTON EISNER
Anne Hamburger (Founder and Artistic Director)
Anne Hamburger founded En Garde Arts in 1985. As its Artistic Director and Creative Producer, she is responsible for pioneering site-specific theatre in New York in the 80s and 90s, using its streets and historic landmarks as her stage. Hamburger produced the work of artists that are now internationally renowned: Anne Bogart, Charles L. Mee, Tina Landau, Jonathan Larson and Reza Abdoh, with large scale predominantly outdoor work. In 1999 she went on to launch and run Creative Entertainment a global division for Disney where she brought the finest theatre artists into the parks for the first time in their history. She then returned to NYC and re-launched En Garde Arts in 2014. In its second incarnation, En Garde is developing theatre that has social change at its core, assembling some of the finest most visionary artists working in the theatre today. En Garde’s producing structure is highly collaborative, encouraging artists to explore storytelling through music, movement, multimedia and site-specificity.
For her work, she has won 6 Obies, 2 Drama Desk Awards, an Outer Critics Circle Award, Lee Reynolds Award and the Exceptional Merit in Media Award from The National Political Women’s Caucus.
Anne is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women and is the recipient of an Exceptional Merit in Media Award from the National Political Women’s Caucus. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Yale School of Drama.
Heather Cohn (Executive Director)
Heather Cohn is is thrilled to be serving as the Executive Director of En Garde Arts, having previously been the Director of Development & Community Engagement. Her work with En Garde includes extensive fundraising, community engagement, board relations and artistic and fiscal planning. Heather was the Director of Development for Epic Theatre Ensemble for 4.5 years and prior to that worked with New York Theatre Workshop, The Pearl Theatre Company, and Theatre Communications Group.
Heather is also a co-founder and the Producing Director of Flux Theatre Ensemble, an off-off-Broadway company founded in 2006. With Flux, Heather has produced 27 full productions, including 16 world premieres. She is the director of nine Flux productions, with playwrights including Gus Schulenburg, Erin Browne, Kristen Palmer, Kevin R. Free, and Johnna Adams. She served as Assistant Director to Austin Pendleton on Johnna Adams’s Gidion’s Knot. She has also directed with companies including Rattlestick, Lark Play Development Center, Cherry Lane, the EstroGenius Festival, and Planet Connections.
She is a Board Member of the League of Professional Theatre Women (LPTW) and serves as co-chair on the Task Force for trans inclusion. She was a member of the Producers’ LAB with WP Theatre and is a graduate of Vassar College where she majored in Latin American Studies and spent time living in Cuba and Chile. Love to G and M.
Dorothy Dunn (Co-Chair)
Dorothy Dunn is a creative leader and catalyst, cultural producer, and educator. Working with the Smithsonian Institution, The Carnegie Corporation of New York, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Buckminster Fuller Institute, The Rubin Museum of Art, the Philip Johnson Glass House, and American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA), amongst others, Dorothy is recognized for launching organizations, cross-disciplinary programs, strategic partnerships, and products that promote positive engagement and stimulate creative leadership and action. She is currently launching dsgnfix, a free sharing and navigation app for the creative community.
Marianna Houston (Co-Chair)
Marianna Houston is a theater artist, social worker and humanitarian activist. She was the co-founder and Executive Director of the International Theatre and Literacy Project from 2005-2013 and was the founding Director of Education at Theatre Development Fund (tdf) in New York City from 1994 to 2011. Marianna received her Masters Degree in Social Work at Columbia University in May 2017. She is currently the Facilitator of Creative Expression Workshops at Osborne Association, Bronx Center, working with individuals who are formerly incarcerated.
Cynthia Argo (Co-Chair)
CYNTHIA ARGO is the Managing Partner and head of Business Development for Mosaic NYC. From overseeing production on Red Bull Music Festivals in NY to producing Spotify and Slack’s Investor Days to serving as the Managing Director of Harlem’s Apollo Theater, Cynthia has over 20 years of experience working in the arts, entertainment, and brand marketing spaces.
Prior to forming Mosaic NYC in 2020, she led production for seven years on the Red Bull Music Academy and Red Bull Music Festivals NY while serving as COO for Trevanna Entertainment, where she also produced multiple events for Spotify and Slack and oversaw the event execution of several large live video gaming events for Streetfighter, Super Smash Bros, and Starcraft II.
From 2006-2011, she was the Managing Director of Harlem’s Apollo Theater where she oversaw venue operations and institutional efforts around licensing and new business development. She worked with many artists including Jamie Foxx, Lenny Kravitz, Gladys Knight, Paul McCartney, John Legend, Aretha Franklin, and many others – often in partnership with such brands as Heineken and Coca-Cola. In 2009, Cynthia secured the world premiere of a new Broadway touring production of DREAMGIRLS, which eventually brought 50,000 new visitors to the Apollo.
Cynthia spent seven years as the General Manager of the 2700-seat Saenger Theatre in New Orleans, presenting touring Broadway shows, urban theatricals, and major concerts. Having begun her career as an arts administrator in New York with the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Cynthia has had the privilege of working with many of the most important contemporary artists of the 20th century, including Twyla Tharp, Philip Glass, Richard Foreman, Roger Guenveur Smith, Spalding Gray and Elizabeth Streb.
Cynthia lives in New York City with her teenage daughter and a rambunctious cockapoo. She spends her free time studying for her private pilot’s license.
Michael Schubert (President)
Michael Schubert is the Chief Innovation Officer worldwide for Ruder Finn, where he has created global campaigns for Novartis, Citi, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Mondelez, and other leading Fortune 500 companies. As a producer, composer, director, and digital designer, he has received recognition and accolades for his work by industry leaders, including: South by Southwest (SXSW); Technology, Entertainment, Design (TED); and the Webby Awards. Michael holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University and is a member of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA).
Maria Torres (Board Member)
MARIA TORRES is a world-renowned Director, Producer, Choreographer, Coach and Philanthropist whose contributions have led the way for Latinos and emerging artists in the arts. She is an active board member for the prestigious SDC and the League of Professional Theater Women where Maria serves as a consultant and advocate for artists. Additionally, Torres also serves as a committee member for the Callaway Awards. Her Film, TV, Music Videos and Primary Stage credits include recent projects such as the 7 times nominee of the 2019 Carbonell Awards as Director / Choreographer of the new musical Havana Music Hall, and Pasion (Immersive theater). Associate Choreographer for the Tony Award-nominated, Broadway & National Tour of the hit musical “On Your Feet, The life of Emilio and Gloria Estefan”; 6 times Tony Awards nominated
Broadway & National Tour of Swing! (Featured Performer & Specialty Choreographer); So You Think You Can Dance USA, Spain & Canada (Choreographer and winner of the Choreography medal award); Global smash hit “Bailamos” by Enrique Iglesias music video; Amazon’s The Tick (Choreographer); Currently the Choreographer of the CBS new show EVIL, AMC’s TV show Turn Washington’s Spies (Choreographer); Latin Billboard Awards (Grammy award winner Don Omar Telemundo – Creative Director & Choreographer); Off-Broadway productions of Four Guys Named Jose (Choreographer) (Nominated for a Lucille Lortel & Carbonell Awards), The multiple award-winning musical The Donkey Show (A.R.T.) (Choreographer), Mambo Kings (Lead Dancer & Associate Choreographer), and Celia: The Life & Times of Celia Cruz (Director & Choreographer); Don Omar’s “King of Kings” (USA Tour) (Co-Director & Choreographer); and Disney’s Golden Mickeys (International Tour) (Choreographer). Regional credits include Ovation Awards nominated for best choreography for Luis Valdez’s “Zoot Suit” @ The Mark Taper Forum (Choreographer); “Man Of La Mancha” @The 5th Avenue Theater, (Choreographer). Additional
choreographer & performer credits from feature to independent films include the global smash and 3 times Oscar Awards, 2 Golden Globes nominated film Disney’s Enchanted (Amy Adams & Patrick Dempsey), Grammy Award winner El Cantante (Jennifer Lopez & Marc Anthony) (Choreographer & Performer), Fugly (John Leguizamo & Rosie Perez) (Choreographer). Maria carries an impact across new media platforms whether its creating choreography interactively on Jordan Roth’s periscope Making Mondays, or she recently launched podcast “Hourglass: Time To Talk” offering insight into the professional performing arts industry while focusing on
connections to humanity and life. Maria is a philanthropist with a strong desire to encourage aspiring artists, and create connections between supporting organizations, cultivating a reliable network that will uplift, inspire and “pay it forward.” After years of teaching, mentoring and advocating, she Co-founded with her husband John O’Connor and award-winning actress and singer Vanessa Williams the Maria Torres Emerging Artists Foundation (MTEAF) also stands for Mentorship, Teaching, Education, Action, and Fellowship.
Joan D. Firestone (Board Member)
Joan D. Firestone is a familiar figure in New York’s cultural community and a fierce advocate for arts education. She has held executive and policy level positions in the for-profit, not-for profit, and government sectors, including: Assistant Director, New York State Council on the Arts under Kitty Carlisle Hart; Director of Economic Development and Cultural Adviser to the NYC Comptroller Alan Hevesi; Executive Director, Flushing Meadows Park Corporation; Special Adviser for the Arts to the Chancellor of the NYC Board of Education; President, Primary Design Galleries; and most recently, Executive Director of the award-winning storytelling organization The Moth. Joan is an independent theatre and events producer with credits for Off-Broadway productions. She has served as Chair of the Cherry Lane Theatre, championing its unique mentor project for emerging and mid-level playwrights; Vice President of Government Affairs for the New York Women’s Agenda; and Co-President of the League of Professional Theatre Women. She currently sits on the boards of The Moth and the Dramatists Guild Fund.
Ronald and Amy Guttman (Board Member)
Ronald and Amy Guttman have a shared passion for the arts and a great appreciation for the challenge and beauty of the creative endeavor. Together, they are the producers behind Highbrow, established to serve the arts as a contributor, nurturer, and advocate. Highbrow provides resources and encouragement to film and theatre production during the critical stages of development from concept to completion, and employs Ron’s breadth and depth of history in the entertainment industry as a celebrated stage and screen actor and theatrical and film producer. Ron also serves on the boards for Performa and Naked Angels and is a supporter of FilmAid.
Phyllis Lee (Board Member)
Phyllis Lee is an advocate, strategic communicator, negotiator and consensus builder. She has had a distinguished international career in diplomacy, with a focus on humanitarian issues. Currently, she is the executive director of a family foundation in the arts and an adjunct professor of political science. As an educator, linguist and former diplomat, she has seen the transformative power of theatre in deepening the empathy needed to achieve cross-cultural understanding and reconciliation.