Willie and Me is a new Broadway play,
for a new generation,
and for those who remember...
Emmett Kelly Sr., &
who want to be a kid again!
Jonathan Stuart Cerullo (Author & Director) has worked on Broadway as Choreography Consultant: Say Goodnight Gracie, Assistant Director and/or Choreo: Band In Berlin, Anna Karenina, The Three Musketeers, original Broadway cast: Legs Diamond, National Tour: CATS and Sweet Charity with Donna McKechnie. Also in New York, he was Choreographer for Big Apple Circus’ Carnivale! & Picturesque at Lincoln Center.
Off-Broadway Dir. and/or Choreo; 2016 Best Director Award Fictitious, Theater Now NY, NY Musical Festival (NYMF) 2015; Windywoo and Her Naughty Naughty Pets, NYMF 2009 Best of Fest, Choreographer; Under Fire, La Mama; Pins and Needles, Uta Hagen’s 50 Year Tribute, HB Studios and Equity Library Theatre.
TV: Created and Directed the Canada Royal Theatre, "Dear Mr. Gershwin", filmed for CBC TV, Choreo: "Great Performances Evening At Pops", Assistant Director: Donny Osmond's, "This Is The Moment", "Natalie Cole’s Christmas Special". Film: Associate Choreographer: "The First Wives Club", "The Stepford Wives", "The Cowboy Way". He also conceived, produced and directed the SDC Foundation's tribute video for the Mr. Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement in Theatre.
Regionally: Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Goodspeed, Arena Stage, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Uta Hagen's Dance Instructor in Six Dance Lessons; Geffen Playhouse, Theatre By The Sea, and North Shore Music Theatre.
He is a proud member of SDC, the Stage Director and Choreographers Society, Actors Equity Association, The Dramatist Guild, has served as Vice-Chair and Produced the 2016 SDC Foundation’s Callaway Award, as well as a nominator for the Lucille Lortel Awards. Jonathan also sits on the Associate Board of the NY Musical Festival and as an Artistic Advisor for the Musical Theatre Factory. For more information please visit his website at www.jsctheatricals.com
Steve Woodburn (Author & President of Spotlight Communications) grew up in Burbank, California amidst movie studios and movie stars. He majored in Theatre Arts in college then began a 20-year love affair on-air as a radio disc jockey, news anchor, traffic reporter and various management roles. In 1982 he landed in Atlanta, Georgia as General Manager and the on-air anchor of a syndicated traffic reporting company. Working from a studio, airplane, and helicopter, Steve kept track of Atlanta’s growing traffic morass on ten of the city’s top stations. It was there he met Stasia Kelly, Emmett’s oldest daughter, who was also in radio. In 1996, after the birth of their second son, Steve left broadcasting behind and transitioned full-time into the world of promotional marketing and promotional products. Today he is the Southeastern Regional Manager for a major manufacturer of a full line of promotional products.
Steve spent many years acting in college and local theatre productions including Night of the Iguana, The Fantasticks, Arsenic & Old Lace, The Six O’clock News, Stalag 17 and The 1940’s Radio Hour. Steve has also been featured in national TV commercials, industrial films, and print ads.
In 1998 Steve began work on “Willie and Me, In the Spotlight Again”, a theatrical play based on the life and times of Emmett Kelly, Sr., arguably America’s most iconic clown. The intent was to create a legacy piece for his sons to understand why Emmet and his character are still so beloved so many years after his passing. Steve and Jonathan began collaborating on the show 10 years ago.
Dana Meredith Lerner (Campaign and Social Media Manager) is a Tony-nominated producer and social media consultant. She made her Broadway producing debut this spring with Paula Vogel's Indecent. Her off-Broadway producing credits include Application Pending and Far From Canterbury as well as numerous concerts at Feinstein's/54 Below. She currently works at Broadway Across America and is a graduate of Cornell University. @officialDML
Jeff Williamson - Logo Designer - is a graphic artist and designer specializing in publications and event graphics. His many long-term client relationships include Big Apple Circus and the annual Earth Day event in New York City, which draws thousands of visitors each year. His digital art has appeared in client work and gallery shows.
Vanessa Wendt (Actress/Stage Manage & Associate Producer ) New York: Roaring Girl (Mistress Gallipot, Fight Captain), La Maupin: The Musical (Brigitte, Fight Captain – Fresh Fruit Festival), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Julia), Much Ado About Nothing (Beatrice), As You Like It (Duke Frederik/Corin), Windywoo and her Naughty, Naughty Pets (Princess Vicki/Ensemble; Workshop Reading), Pieces: The Musical (Dr. Carol – Workshop Reading), Julius Caesar (Brutus, Fight Captain), Orphan Train: The Musical (Rachel Pierce), The Taming of the Shrew (Katharina), Bourbon Street: A New Musical (Anne-Marie Laveau), Romeo & Juliet (Mercutio), Comedy of Errors (Adriana - Fringe 2014), Quest of the Hero (Princess Zelga - PCTF 2014), Sunday on the Rocks (Jessica), Under Fire (Ensemble – NYMF), The Big Orange Splot (Penelope Record); Chicago: Seussical (Sour Kangaroo), How To Succeed in Business….(Bud Frump), Little Women: The Musical (Marmee). Vanessa is also the Managing Director of The Fools and Kings Project. www.thefoolsandkingsproject.com
Josh Magid (Assistant to Producer) is excited to join the crew of Willie and Me as an Assistant to the Producer! Previously, Josh has worked as a Production Manager: Art of the Hustle directed by Jonathan Cerullo. Production Intern: Comedy of Errors produced by The Fools and Kings Project. Stage Manager: Cymbeline directed by Lisa LaGrande, Proof directed by Christina Ashby. He is looking forward to helping make Willie and Me a reality!
Joel W. Dien
1945 - 2017
It is with deep sadness we mourn the passing of our colleague Joel W. Dein.
Joel will always be in our hearts and his love is deeply embedded in this project.
Joel W. Dein, (Producer) was born in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn and raised in Kew Garden Hills, Queens, New York. During his long and diverse entertainment career, he has worked either onstage, backstage, in front of, or behind the cameras.
Early in life, Joel fell in love with theater and film, paying his dues as an actor in summer stock, a gofer on Broadway, a PA in film and an intern on television, honing his acting, directing and producing skills.
After graduating from the prestigious Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre and New York University, Joel joined the Army, and spent three years overseas coordinating and producing all Special Services theatrical and video productions in the Pacific. Upon his return stateside, Joel worked as an actor, casting director production coordinator and video and theatrical producer.
Joel always had a deep and abiding love of music, and in the late 1960’s, he became a professional folk-singer appearing at the Café Au Go-Go, Vanguard, Village Gate, Café Wha and the Bitter End.
He is a 35-year veteran ATPAM (Association of Theatrical Press Agents and Managers) Press Agent, who has represented more than twenty-five Broadway, and Off-Broadway shows and numerous national touring companies.
In 1997, Joel took a hiatus from Broadway and became the first and only Director of Communications and Executive-In-Charge-Of-Production for all film and video projects, for the Big Apple Circus. During his 18-year career at the Circus, Joel won an Emmy as Executive Producer for the WABC-TV special “A Night At The Big Apple Circus: A 25th Anniversary Special”
We are forever grateful for the work Joel put into this project and his passing is a reminder of how fragile life is and the need for us to cherish every moment.