July 18th, 2023

“I think the important part is that bringing our whole selves is actually what makes us better. It makes the field and makes the art better” - Roberta Pereira

In this special episode of “What’s Off?” A.R.T./New York Co-Executive Director Risa Shoup explores what it means to be a caregiver and to be cared for as a working theatre professional. Risa speaks with Tony nominee Amber Gray who has practical solutions about how to shift the culture of care on Broadway. Nonprofit theater leader Roberta Pereira talks about The Radical Parent Inclusion Project -  a partnership between PAAL and The Playwrights Realm -  and Lindsey & Michael Sag describe how they are operationalizing care for themselves and the organizations they lead. 

Join Risa as they weave together common themes of balance, flexibility, responsibility, and humility in this thoughtful exploration of what it means to care for someone, even yourself, within the historical context of a field that believes no matter what that “the show must go on.”



Amber Gray has originated roles in numerous productions over the years including: Persephone in Hadestown at New York Theatre Workshop, Edmonton's Citadel, London's National, and Broadway (Tony nomination, Grammy); Hélène in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812 at Ars Nova, Kazino, and Broadway (Theatre World Award); Laurey in Daniel Fish’s Oklahoma! at Bard SummerScape; and Zoe in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' An Octoroon at PS 122, Soho Rep, and TFANA (Obie).  Other theatre gems include Sam Gold's Macbeth on Broadway and Taylor Mac’s A 24 Decade History of Popular Music at New York Live Arts/Under the Radar and BRIC's Celebrate Brooklyn!  Gray is a company member of The TEAM and has co-developed and performed in their Mission Drift, Primer for a Failed Superpower, and the upcoming Reconstruction.  Check 'em out at Gray can always be found with radical performance community Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping.  Check 'em out at  Recent and Upcoming TV/Film: Ben Stiller's “Escape at Dannemora,” Barry Jenkins' “Underground Railroad,” Broadway cult favorites “Submissions Only” and "The Gilded Age," Gabe Braden's Where There’s Smoke, Mariama Diallo's Master, and The Arens' Heartworm. MFA: NYU.

Roberta Pereira is a Tony-nominated, Olivier Award-winning producer who has developed and produced plays, musicals, and event theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, in the West End, and on tour. She is currently the Executive Director of The Playwrights Realm, an Off-Broadway theater company devoted to supporting early-career playwrights. Roberta is a guest lecturer at Yale School of Drama and as a Latinx producer, has been a speaker on the topics of producing and inclusion in the arts in multiple forums, including BroadwayCon, NYU/Tisch, Syracuse University, Juilliard, and Commercial Theatre Institute. She was featured in Backstage’s “Broadway Future Power List”, American Theatre’s “Role Call – People to Watch”, and on Playbill for her work as co-founder of the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition. Roberta is a graduate of Yale School of Drama's Theater Management program and Wesleyan University. She is originally from Brazil and lives in New York City with her daughter.

Lindsey Sag (she/her) is Deputy General Manager at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, a cultural and civic cornerstone of New York City. She supervises a staff of General Managers who collectively support LCPA’s programs and licensed activity at the venues across campus, as well as liaise with the 11 resident arts organizations including The Metropolitan Opera, Film at Lincoln Center, and The Juilliard School. Lindsey is also responsible for management of the newly reopened David Geffen Hall, home of the New York Philharmonic. Prior to LCPA, Lindsey worked at Manhattan Theatre Club, a not-for-profit theatre company, for over 22 years, having served as General Manager, Associate General Manager, and Company Manager for Stage I and Stage II. During her time at MTC, she worked on such award-winning productions as DOUBT, CHOIR BOY, SKELETON CREW, and PRAYER FOR THE FRENCH REPUBLIC. Lindsey graduated with a B.F.A. in Performance from the University of Miami’s Conservatory for Drama.  She lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband Michael Sag and their three children.

Michael Sag (he/him/his), in his 6th season at WP, was most recently the general manager for Williamstown Theatre Festival’s 62nd season (2016) which included four world premieres (one of which, Martyna Majok’s Cost of Living, won the Pulitzer prize for Drama), one American premiere and two revivals.  Prior to that, Michael worked in commercial general management on and off Broadway since 2001 including production of: Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella, All The Way, Bullets Over Broadway, The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, Driving Miss Daisy, August: Osage County, The Producers, Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd, and Stomp.  In addition, from 2006 to 2009, Michael headed a representative office in Shanghai out of which several Asian touring projects were launched.  Michael is currently an adjunct professor at Montclair State University and serves as both the President of the Association for Non-Profit Theater Companies and of Congregation Shomrei Emunah in Montclair, NJ.

Risa Shoup (they/them/theirs) is a Co-Executive Director of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, a non-profit cultural services organization representing non-profit theaters throughout New York City and State. Risa has worked as an administrator, curator, and leader in the arts in New York City since 2005 focusing on the development of affordable artist workspace. They have extensive experience executing high-level public-private partnerships for project-based work focusing on the intrinsic and instrumental impact of the arts on community development. Risa is proud to have worked with some of New York City's most beloved cultural institutions including chashama, BRIC, The Invisible Dog, FABnyc, and Spaceworks. Risa was a consultant on CreateNYC, New York City’s first-ever cultural plan, developed in concert between a team of consultants led by Hester Street Collaborative and the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. They studied City and Regional Planning at Pratt Institute and are also on the boards of the Invisible Dog Art Center, Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts—NY, The New Majority, and the American LGBTQ+ Museum. They live in Brooklyn with their wife, daughter and cat.


Additional Links:

Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts

The Playwrights Realm

WP Theatre

For additional resources around caregiving, visit our valued partners at PAAL- Parent Artist Advocacy League for Performing Arts + Media, The National Network and Solutions-Generator for Caregiving in the Performing Arts + Media.

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