Staff Additions and Transitions

January 25, 2018

Sofie Wasserman-Smith and Candis C. Jones
Sofie Wasserman-Smith and Candis C. Jones

As of January 2018, New Dramatists is delighted to announce the addition of two new members to our permanent staff. Sofie Wasserman-Smith, full-time Development Manager, and Candis C. Jones, part-time Playwrights’ Lab Manager, will support our fundraising efforts and artistic programming, respectively. The creation of these two positions was precipitated by the departure of Morgan Allen, Director of Finance and New Media, over the summer, followed by an elegant re-structuring by current staff: Christie Brown has taken over Morgan's responsibilities as the Director of Finance and manager of human resources; Tiffany Baran assumed Christie's previous role as the Director of Development; and Connie Hall, Artistic Programs Producer, now manages web-based communications. Welcome Sofie and Candis, two young women who bring artistry and professionalism to their respective positions!

Sofie Wasserman-Smith (Development Manager) is an artist and administrator whose hats include performing, directing, teaching, and dramaturgy. A lifelong theater-maker, she holds a BFA in Music Theatre with honors from the Hartt School for Music, Theatre, and Dance. Directly after graduation, she began an apprenticeship at New York City Children’s Theater, where she assisted in the Artistic Department. There, she investigated source material for new productions and helped spearhead their annual Young Playwrights for Change competition, including coordinating the reading of the finalists’ pieces held at Lincoln Center. She also assistant directed and dramaturged the world premieres of Young Charles Dickens and Wringer, respectively. Sofie worked as a teacher and director at Appel Farm Arts Camp for four years, where she held the title of Department Head of Theater and Creative Writing. Most recently, she worked in an administrative capacity at Target Margin Theater in Brooklyn, where she was assistant to artistic director David Herskovits during the company’s New York Times Critics’ Pick marathon production of Mourning Becomes Electra. Sofie considers her time as a New Dramatists intern to be one of her most meaningful educational and personal experiences, and she is honored and overjoyed to be returning permanently.

Candis C. Jones (Playwrights’ Lab Manager) is a theatre director and rising artistic leader. She has directed and developed work nationally and internationally at The National Black Theater, The Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival, Zanzibar International Film Festival, The New Harmony Project, The Hip-Hop Theater Festival (Hi-Arts), The Fire This Time Festival, Primary Stages, New York University, and Weeksville Heritage Center. Candis has assistant directed works by some of her most beloved playwrights including Tarell McCraney, Kirsten Childs, Luis Alfaro, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Candis has served on artistic leadership teams at Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Baton Rouge Hops Theater Festival, and most recently with The Public Theater's Mobile Shakespeare Unit. She is a proud Drama League alumna and a recipient of the inaugural Lilly Award for Emerging Directors. Candis holds a BFA in Directing from New York University. She is honored to support the beacons of our industry at New Dramatists.

Jocelyn Sawyer has served New Dramatists for many years as a freelance staff member, first as PlayTime coordinator, and later settling into administering the Princess Grace Award and Kleban Prize. With great admiration, we now say farewell to Jocelyn as she completes her master’s degree at Hunter College. New Dramatists has benefited tremendously from Jocelyn’s integrity and quiet commitment to service. She brought dedication, selflessness, and a keen sense of discernment to the administration of these awards. She will be greatly missed. The good news is Corey Ruzicano has been hired to take the reins from Jocelyn.


Corey Ruzicano is a theatre artist from the San Francisco Bay Area. While pursuing her BFA at Emerson College she went through the Creative Producing program under P. Carl and David Dower, and continues to write for HowlRound. She has completed apprenticeships at the Lark, the Orchard Project and the 52nd Street Project and is the Creative Projects Manager of Jeanine Tesori's studio, Siena Music and A BroaderWay, where she also teaches writing and leadership to young women. In New York she has assisted on productions with Encore's Off-Center, the New Group, Trusty Sidekick, Lincoln Center Education, NYMF, Dixon Place, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and Broadway's the Hudson Theatre. She is the Executive Producer of Words on White, an art and conversation initiative. With all her work, she seeks to empower voices and stories that encourage more empathic communities and a better understanding of one another.

STAGE MANAGEMENT as New Dramatists residents have increasingly programmed extended workshops in advance, two superstar former interns, A.P. Andrews and Tyler Christie have repeatedly answered our call to stage manage on an ad-hoc basis. They have proved themselves to be invaluable collaborators to our resident writers and have raised our standards of professionalism. As a result, we have formalized our ongoing relationship with A.P. and Tyler, who have been offered right of first refusal to stage manage all upcoming workshops supported by the Jerry A. Tishman Creativity Fund through the end of the season.


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