New York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center — Panel Discussion

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JANUARY 29 — 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM

As part of our Winter 2015 tour, Elements is pleased to be performing at the Bruno Walter Auditorium at the Library of the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

Scenes from Merchant of Venice will be followed by a panel discussion with:


Click here to watch the Panel Discussion live!

Rich McCoy

Rich McCoy
Author of Faith in Shakespeare

Richard McCoy is Distinguished Professor of English at Queens College and the Graduate Center, CUNY. He graduated from Stanford University and received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. He has written four books – Sir Philip Sidney: Rebellion in Arcadia (Rutgers, 1979), The Rites of Knighthood: The Literature and Politics of Elizabethan Chivalry (California, 1989), Alterations of State: Sacred Kingship in the English Reformation (Columbia, 2002), and Faith in Shakespeare (Oxford, 2013) as well as numerous articles on Renaissance poetry and Shakespeare’s plays. He has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the American Council for Learned Societies, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the Huntington Library. He is Chair of the Council of Scholars for New York’s Theatre for a New Audience and has served as a speaker and consultant for Shakespeare performances at Classic Stage Company, the Pearl Theater Company, Target Margin, the Public Theater, and the Shakespeare Society, as well as the Royal Shakespeare Company and Canada’s Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

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Rabbi Peter J Rubinstein

Rabbi Peter J. Rubinstein
Director of Jewish Community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life, 92Y

Peter J. Rubinstein is the Director of Jewish Community and the Bronfman Center for Jewish Life at the 92Y in New York City.  He is also the Rabbi Emeritus of Central Synagogue, a Reform congregation affiliated with the Union for Reform Judaism where he served as the Senior Rabbi for 23 years.  Prior to his position at Central Synagogue, Rabbi Rubinstein served as the Rabbi of Woodlands Community Temple in White Plains, New York and Peninsula Temple Beth El in San Mateo, California.

Rabbi Rubinstein graduated from Amherst College from which he received his Bachelor of Arts degree.  He was ordained by the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City, and he received a Master of Hebrew Letters degree with honors.  He then was the Herbert R. Bloch Memorial Fellow at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati and specialized in the history of the Jewish community during the second commonwealth. He received a Doctor of Divinity in 1994.

Rabbi Rubinstein has taught at Manhattanville College, Colgate University, San Jose State and the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion both in New York and Cincinnati.

In addition to his professional affiliations and responsibilities, Rabbi Rubinstein is a founder and Chair of the Rabbinic Council of the World Union for Progressive Judaism and member of the organization’s North American Advisory Board. He is Co-chair of the Partnership of Faith in New York City which includes the senior clergy of the city’s major congregations.  He also Founded and chairs the Rabbinic Vision Initiative aimed at the evolution of Reform Judaism in North America and he is a frequent lecturer on the evolution of synagogues and the role of a Rabbi now and in the future.  He is recognized as a leader in the changing face of the Jewish community and was ranked number 3 in Newsweek’s 2012 list of “America’s 50 Most Influential Rabbis” and number 5 in 2013.  He was named one of the 28 “2014 America’s Most Inspiring Rabbis” by The Jewish Daily Forward.

Rabbi Rubinstein also serves on the US Board of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, Auburn Theological Seminary in New York City and is the immediate past Chair of the Board.  He is on the Board of the New York Region of the American Jewish Committee.

His essays have been included in Restoring Faith by Forrest Church (2001), How Can I Find God (1997), (edited by James Martin) and Our Rabbis Taught (1990) and Shine by Star Jones (2006).

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David Van Biema

David Van Biema
Former Chief Religion Writer for TIME Magazine

David Van Biema is the former chief religion writer for TIME Magazine, for which he wrote 25 cover stories. He is the recipient of several awards for religion journalism. Prior to TIME, he was a senior writer at several other magazines. He is currently writing Speaking to God: A History and Cultural Interpretation of the Psalms for Simon & Schuster. He lives with his wife and son in New York.

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Fr Matt Malone

Fr. Matt Malone, S.J.
President and Editor in Chief
America Media

Father Matt Malone, S.J., is the 14th and youngest editor in chief of America magazine. He entered the Society of Jesus in 2002 and was ordained a priest in 2012. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and holds a M.A. from Fordham University; a Bachelor of Divinity from The University of London, and a Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology from the Catholic University of Louvain.

Prior to joining the Jesuits, Matt served as the founding deputy director of MassINC, an independent political think tank, and co-publisher of an award-winning review of politics, ideas and civic life. His writing has appeared in numerous national and international publications and his work and ideas have been featured in The New York Times and The Washington Post among others.

Father Malone is a member of the pastoral teams at the Parish of Saints John and Paul in Larchmont, N.Y., the Church of Saint Francis Xavier in Manhattan and the Cathedral of Saint Patrick.

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Danielle Dwyer, C.J.
Artistic Director, Elements Theatre Company

A founding member of Elements Theatre Company, Sr. Danielle Dwyer has either directed or performed in nearly seventy productions since the company’s inception. Classically trained but also skilled in contemporary drama, Sr. Danielle earned her Master of Arts Degree from England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the University of London. She also studied voice, acting, and writing with Joanna Weir at Central School of Speech and Drama (London, England); David Male of Cambridge University (Cambridge, England); and Shakespeare & Company (Lenox, MA); and studied Shakespeare at the Stella Adler Studio in New York City. Sr. Danielle’s directorial experience ranges from the timeless humanity of Shakespeare (Julius Caesar) and Chekhov (The Cherry Orchard) to the biting comedy of Oscar Wilde (Lady Windermere’s Fan) and Yasmina Reza (God of Carnage). The Barnstable Patriot recently noted,

“Under the able-handed direction of Sr. Danielle Dwyer this Julius Caesar soars with sight and sound. Dwyer is able to combine the intimacy of the columned setting, the sound of the slap of the sandals on the stone floor, the dance of burning torches, the rich acting and the beautifully composed music…into not just a play for the audience to view but more like the transport of actually being there.”

As an actress, Sr. Danielle has received comparable critical acclaim. Recent roles include Julius Caesar, Calpurnia; God of Carnage, Annette Raleigh; Pillars of the Community, Lona Hessel; Twelfth Night, Malvolio; The Cherry Orchard, Ranevskaya; Lady Windermere’s Fan, Mrs. Erlynne; The Lion in Winter, Eleanor; Doctor Faustus, Mephistopheles; Richard III, Queen Elizabeth; Everyman, Everyman; and Lettice and Lovage, Lettice Douffet. Sr. Danielle is also the author of several performance pieces, including short stories and plays, video scripts, poetic monologues, and narratives for worship and meditation.

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Jeff Robbins

Jeff Robbins
Former United States Delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland

In 1999 and then again in 2000, Jeff was appointed United States Delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. From 2001 to 2004 he served as President of the World Affairs Council of Boston, later called WorldBoston.

In 2010, Jeff received the American Jewish Committee’s Human Rights Award, and from 2012 to 2014 he served as Chairman of the New England Board of the Anti-Defamation League.

In 1997, Jeff was appointed Deputy Chief Counsel for the Minority of the US Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Special Investigation into campaign fundraising practices, in which capacity he represented the Democratic senators in connection with the full Committee’s investigation into fundraising during the 1996 presidential election. He also served as Chief Counsel for the Minority of the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, representing the Ranking Member and the Democratic senators in connection with the Subcommittee’s investigations into areas that included Medicare fraud and governmental waste and abuse.

Between 1987 and 1990, Jeff served as an Assistant US Attorney in the District of Massachusetts, focusing on civil fraud investigations and litigation against governmental contractors, physicians, and pharmacies. In 1989, he was appointed as the first Chief of the Asset Forfeiture Division of the US Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts, in which capacity he oversaw investigations and asset forfeiture cases involving narcotics and money laundering rings. He received commendations from the US Drug Enforcement Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the General Services Administration.

Jeff specializes in complex civil litigation, including litigation involving allegations of fraud, First Amendment issues, and claims of defamation.

He has represented a number of parties in connection with Congressional investigations, and has been appointed as Special Assistant Attorney General for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, representing the former Secretary of State of the Commonwealth in connection with Congressional redistricting and public records litigation.

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