Doug Wright’s play Quills premiered Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop. In 2000, Wright wrote the screenplay for the film version of Quills which starred Geoffrey Rush. Wright’s I Am My Own Wife was produced Off-Broadway by Playwrights Horizons in 2003. The subject of this one-person play, which starred Jefferson Mays, is the German transvestite Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. In 2006, Wright wrote the book for the musical Grey Gardens. He adapted the Disney’s film The Little Mermaid for the Broadway musical, which opened in 2007. In 2009, he was commissioned by the La Jolla Playhouse to adapt and direct Creditors by August Strindberg. In another La Jolla commission, he wrote the book for the musical Hands on a Hardbody, with the score by Amanda Green and Trey Anastasio. The musical had a brief run on Broadway in March and April 2013 after premiering at the La Jolla Playhouse in 2012. His most recent Broadway musical War Paint starred Patti LuPone and Christine Ebersole. For television, Wright worked on four pilots for producer Norman Lear and teleplays for Hallmark Entertainment and HBO. In film, Wright’s credits include screenplays for Fine Line Features, Fox Searchlight, and DreamWorks SKG. Mr. Wright lives in New York City with his partner, songwriter David Clement.
Jakob Holder has been the Executive Director of the Edward F. Albee Foundation since 2014 (previously the Executive Secretary since 2001). He is also a playwright whose plays have had productions and readings throughout the U.S., the U.K., in Helsinki and Rome. He is a two-time winner of the Last Frontier Theatre Conference Playlab Award and a three-time winner of the NAAA New Play Competition (London, UK). In 2009 he was selected to be the sole Cherry Lane Theatre Mentor Project playwright for his play HOUSEBREAKING. His full-program plays include: BEDTIME SOLOS; HOUSEBREAKING (Dramatists Play Service, 2012); REPEAT PLAY; GREEN SETTING SUN; THE SHOULDER; THE OPEN CIRCUIT; TO THE SEA IN A SIEVE; and THE AGATHA SHADOW. His short plays include: ONE SLIP; DARKTIME IN SKIPLAND; ERSATZ; FINDINGS; and SUMATRA MANDHELING, which was published in Post Road #18. He has led playwriting workshops for children in Alaska, teenagers in Florida, and adults in Finland. He is a 2002 Dramatists Guild Fellow, a 2003 Lark Theatre Fellow, a 2006 Oriveden Opisto Resident Artist, and a member of The Dramatists Guild.
Victoria Traube, Esq.
Victoria G. Traube is Executive Vice President/Business Affairs and General Counsel of Imagem USA, with responsibility for the business and legal affairs of Rodgers & Hammerstein, Boosey & Hawkes in New York, Imagem Music, the USA pop music division, and Imagem Production Music. She was previously Vice President and Head of New York Motion Picture and Theatre Business Affairs for International Creative Management, Inc., where she worked with Sam Cohn. Before that she was Senior Counsel and Director of Business Affairs for Home Box Office, Inc. and an associate at the New York law firm of Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison. She has taught an entertainment law seminar at Cardozo Law School and given lectures and seminars at Columbia Law School, Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, Wesleyan University, NYU, and the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Sports and Entertainment Industries, among others. She is a Trustee of The God Bless America Fund and Theatre Chair of the American Bar Association’s Forum on the Sports and Entertainment Industries. She served as chair of the Entertainment Law Committee of the Association of The Bar of The City of New York. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where she was a member of The Law Review, and Radcliffe College.
Beth E. Spickler, Esq.
Beth E. Spickler, Esq. is a trusts and estates attorney and is presently a Director and Managing Counsel for BNY Mellon, N.A.’s Wealth Management business in the tri-state area. Prior to joining BNY Mellon, she was in private practice with a New York boutique trusts and estates firm representing clients, including playwrights and artists, in all aspects of estate planning and trust administration matters.
Beth is a member of the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and serves on its Trusts and Estates Administration Committee. She previously served on the Estate and Gift Tax Committee of the New York City Bar Association. She received a B.S. from The University of Maryland in 1982 and a J.D. from Pace University School of Law in 1985.
Beth is admitted to practice law in the State of New York and before the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Eastern New York and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Treasurer, Executive Director
Ralph Sevush, Esq.
Ralph Sevush, Esq., is an entertainment attorney. He’s been with The Dramatists Guild of America since 1997, and their Co-Executive Director and general counsel since June 2005. After college (SUNY at Stony Brook, 1983), he began a career in the film industry with Cinema 5 films and New Line Cinema, working in motion picture marketing, distribution, and script development. After law school (Cardozo School of Law, 1991), he worked with Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Reiss Media Entertainment, International Media Investors and Sony Pictures.
Then, as Director of Business Affairs for Fremont Associates/Pachyderm Entertainment, he began his career in the Theater with the Broadway productions of BIG the Musical, Bill Irwin & David Shiner’s Fool Moon, Julia Sweeney’s God Said, 'HA!' and the off-Broadway & L.A. productions of Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life. Since coming to the Dramatists Guild, in addition to administering the organization and advising the Guild’s membership and its council, he has co-authored numerous amicus briefs, and provided expert testimony, in a range of cases affecting playwrights. He has also authored over 70 articles on the theater industry for The Dramatist magazine, as well as hosting seminars and workshops for writers. He founded The Dramatists Legal Defense Fund in 2012 to support the Guild’s efforts in defense of free speech and copyright protection.
David H. Faux, Esq.
David H. Faux is licensed to practice law in New York and New Jersey and focuses on Intellectual Property, Entertainment, Art, and Business/Commercial Law. He has served as Director of Business Affairs for the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. since 2007. Prior to becoming an attorney, Dave spent several years as a music journalist and, later, a publicist in the Northwest. He also worked as Marketing Director for a 3-D computer animation company, heading sales and representing graphic artists to potential clients. While living in Oregon, he was on the Board of Directors for the Community Center for the Performing Arts (a.k.a., the Woodsmen of the World—or “W.O.W.” Hall) and as an officer of the Lane County Literary Guild.
In addition to his Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School, he holds a Master of Science in social sciences from the University of Oregon and a Master of Arts from the University of California, Santa Barbara. As a Fulbright Scholar, he studied local, creative expressions of Buddhism in South Korea. His years in the music and fine arts industries as an entrepreneur, scholar, and international traveler inform his approach to the law, giving him an insight not achieved by most other lawyers.
Dave has served on a wide range of panels involving subjects from theater financing and theater contracts to stage-to-screen adaptations and obtaining underlying rights. He has lectured across the nation on the topic “Author as a CEO.” He has also chaired programs in boxing law and basics in fine arts and the law.
While Dave is a member of the Copyright Society of the United States of America, the New York City Bar Association, the Brooklyn Bar Association, and the New Jersey State Bar Association, he has been particularly active in the New York State Bar Association (“NYSBA”) in its Entertainment, Arts, and Sports Law Section (“EASL”). For EASL, he is the Eleventh District Representative, representing Queens. He also serves as EASL’s Alternate to House of Delegates in Albany, NY and is the co-chair for EASL’s Fashion Law Committee. Dave is a member of the Copyright and Trademark Committee, IP Law Committee, and the Phil Cowan/BMI Memorial Scholarship Committee. He also sits on the Executive Executive Committee that represents the business of Entertainment and Arts lawyers for NYSBA.
Associate Executive Director
Deborah Murad, Esq.
Deborah is an entertainment attorney serving as the Director of Business Affairs at the Dramatists Guild. In that capacity, she provides business advice to Guild members, reviews theatrical contracts, and educates Guild members on industry standards and key legal principles. Deborah’s research and focus is in the areas of contests/festivals guidelines, devised theater, and composer/librettist agreements in opera. She was the force behind the Guild’s recently released Best Practices for Festivals and Contests as well the Guild’s devised theater contracts templates and Resource Manual. She has served as a panelist and keynote speaker internationally at conferences and other events.
In addition to her work at the Guild, Deborah is the Associate Executive Director of the Dramatists Guild Copyright Management (www.thedgcm.com).
Prior to joining the Dramatists Guild, Deborah prepared estate documents with Volunteers of Legal Services, trained as a mediator with Safe Horizons, and was the Executive Director for the JCC Maccabi Arts Fest in Monmouth, NJ. When not working, Deborah enjoys performing and running her own New Jersey-based theater company.
Claudia Stuart received her M.F.A. in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College in 2010. She has worked in finance for several theatre companies in New York, from children’s theatre to international touring to Broadway. She is the founding executive director of Theatrical Gems, an award-winning nonprofit company that produces in New York and Pennsylvania. When not in the theatre, you will usually find her doing crossword puzzles and snuggling with her two cats and giant fluffy dog.
In addition to her work with the DLDF, Amy VonMacek is also the Executive Assistant to Business Affairs for the Dramatists Guild of America, the professional association of playwrights, composers, lyricists and librettists. Amy has been with the Guild for over seven years. In her time at the Guild, Amy has been published in the organization’s member magazine, The Dramatist, managed six elections of Dramatists Guild Council members, and supported a membership of over 7,000 strong. Amy received her paralegal certification from Pace University in 2014. Amy lives in the Bronx and is an avid theater-goer and knitter.
Kristin has been working as the Business Affairs Office Assistant at the Dramatists Guild since 2017. She graduated with honors from New York University with a B.A. in Media Studies and minor in Producing.