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Lisa Kenner Grissom

Writer/Director
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Originally from Boston with a bi-coastal sensibility, Lisa Kenner Grissom is an award-winning playwright/screenwriter who is known for creating multi-layered characters, mining humor in darkness, and finding moments of levity in discomfort—often through the lens of complex female-identifying characters. 

Since visiting Vilnius, Lithuania in 2019 and meeting
Fania Yocheles Brantsovsky, Lisa has embarked on several related projects. Captivated and inspired by her story of resistance, Lisa created the historical fiction TV pilot, FANIA IN THE FOREST, a Top 5 Finalist for the 2022 ScreenCraft Screenwriting FellowshipIn addition to embarking upon the documentary  FOLLOWING FANIA, Lisa is also the book writer of VILNA: A RESISTANCE STORY, a new musical about the Jewish resistance fighters from the Vilna ghetto.

 

Selected plays include: HERE COMS THE NIGHT (Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist), MOTHERLAND (Jewish Plays Project Finalist), and FOUR CHAMBERS (Recipient of The Jean Kennedy Smith Award, The Kennedy Center). She has been a finalist for the Ashland New Play Festival, The O’Neill, The Lark, Playwrights' Center, Princess Grace Fellowship, and Heideman Award. Lisa also wrote/produced the award-winning short film, TATTOO YOU, which has screened at film festivals across the U.S. and internationally. A two-time O’Neill Kennedy Center Fellow, Lisa’s work has been developed and produced across the country. 

Lisa has also worked for over a decade in the arts and culture space producing events, programs, and projects—both live and virtual—for the innovative nonprofit organizations Reboot and Yiddishkayt, among others.  lisakennergrissom.com

Noam Dromi

Executive Producer, Reboot Studios

Noam Dromi is the Managing Director and Executive Producer of Reboot Studios, the content arm of the arts-and-culture nonprofit Reboot. He is an Emmy® Award-winning veteran writer/producer, marketing executive and digital strategist, specializing in creative content, media production and brand development for entertainment companies, consumer brands and non-profits. The co-creator of the award winning Dolphin Tale franchise for Warner Bros/Alcon Entertainment, he won the first Primetime Emmy® for VR in 2015 for his work as Producer of the Sleepy Hollow Virtual Reality Experience with the Fox Broadcasting Company. He was nominated again in 2018 for his work as Executive Producer of the AMC digital series The Walking Dead: Red Machete. He is an active member of the WGA, PGA, and Television Academy and served as an adjunct screenwriting professor in the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University.

Clare Fester 

Associate Producer

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Clare Fester is the Program Director of Yiddishkayt, now known as The Topa Institute, and has coordinated its signature Eastern European travel immersion program, the Wallis Annenberg Helix Fellowship, since 2016.

 

An Annenberg Helix Fellow herself in 2013, she oversaw the annual program from start to finish, including recruitment, curriculum and itinerary development, international network cultivation, and program logistics. In addition, she co-managed the David Shneer New Yiddish Culture Grant to foster new creative work inspired by the Fellowship.

 

Clare studied at both Sydney and Monash Universities, and holds her MIS from Charles Sturt University, where she specialized in information access for marginalized communities in the United States.

Christa P. Whitney

Advisor

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Christa P. Whitney is an oral historian, photographer, and documentary filmmaker whose work focuses on language, culture, and identity. Christa holds a BA from Smith College in Comparative Literature and Dance, and is pursuing an MBA at the Isenberg School of Management.

 

She has spent the past dozen years traveling near and far in search of Yiddish stories as the director of the Yiddish Book Center’s Wexler Oral History Project, a growing collection of more than 1,000 in-depth video interviews about Yiddish language and culture.

 

Christa met Fania Brantsovsky as a student at the Vilnius Yiddish Institute’s summer program, and recorded an oral history with her in 2012. She has conducted additional fieldwork with Yiddish speakers in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Šiauliai, Lithuania.

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