Panelists Biographies

A POUND OF FLESH PANEL DISCUSSION DECEMBER 6TH & 13TH

December 6th:

Panelists include:

December 13th:

Panelists include:

No reservations needed, free admission.



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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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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Rabbi Mark Elber

Rabbi Mark Elber

Rabbi Mark Elber is the rabbi of temple Beth El in Fall River, Massachusetts. He is the author of The Everything Kabbalah Book. Mark is a published poet, songwriter, and translator of Israeli rock songs. He has been an artist-in- residence at The Millay Colony for the Arts, Blue Mountain, and The Arad Arts Project. Among his awards, Mark was the Beat Museum Poet of the Year in 2007. Mark is also a certified teacher of Jewish Meditation through Chochmat HaLev.

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Sidney Friedman

Sidney Friedman, PhD
Adjunct Professor in Theatre (Dramatic Literature and Directing) at Boston University College of Fine Arts

EDUCATION
AB, Princeton University; MA and PhD, University of Iowa. Additional training: American Conservatory Theatre, Southern Methodist University/International Stage Movement Institute, Lessac Institute for Voice and Speech, Alexander Technique with Marjorie Barstow.

“A former colleague wise-cracked, ‘A good student is one who never makes the same mistake once.’ He meant that we can learn from someone else’s experience. I want to share what has worked for me and for others in hopes of accelerating my students’ growth as artists.

In 2015-’16, Sidney Friedman enters his fiftieth year teaching theatre: from 1966 to ’81 at Washington University in St. Louis, from 1981 to the present at Boston University. Our School of Theatre’s spring 2016 production of Arthur Miller’s After the Fall will mark his 100th play directed, of which two-thirds have been university productions, one-third professional. His most recent projects include playing the role of Krapp in Samuel Beckett’s “Krapp’s Last Tape” and directing Margaret Edson’s Wit, Horton Foote’s The Traveling Lady, and Thornton Wilder’s The Skin of Our Teeth.

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Amarpreet Sawhney

Dr. Amarpreet Sawhney
President and CEO of Ocular Therapeutix, Inc.

Amarpreet Sawhney is the President and CEO of Ocular Therapeutix, Inc., a company focused on unmet needs in opthalmic drug delivery and Chairman of Augmenix, Inc. a private company focused on improving outcomes of radiotherapy. Dr. Sawhney is passionate about education, wildlife, and environmental causes, which he is involved in supporting through his family foundation. Dr. Sawhney has been recognized by several awards including being named the “Champions of Change” and “Outstanding American by Choice” awards by the White House.

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TomRyan

G. Thomas Ryan, KHS
Liturgy Coordinator, St Mary, Our Lady of the Isle Catholic Church, Nantucket MA

G. Thomas Ryan, KHS, a Catholic liturgist, has assisted several churches on Cape Cod and the Islands. He coordinated art and programming for new churches in Orleans, Plymouth and Sandwich. He assists at St. Mary’s on Nantucket (liturgy coordinator) and at the Community of Jesus in Orleans (Christian Education director). Living on Cape Cod for the past two decades, he has been a leader with the Cape Cod Council of Churches (and its human services programs) and with the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission (and its Immigrant Issues Working Group). He has had extensive involvement with cultural exchanges, welcoming immigrants in parishes, leading pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and assisting leaders of the Catholic Schools of Palestine.

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Tina Packer

Tina Packer

Tina Packer (actor/playwright) is the founding artistic director of Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, Massachusetts. She has directed most of Shakespeare’s plays, acted in seven of them and taught the whole canon one way or another at over thirty colleges in the U.S., including Harvard, M.I.T and NYU.

She has received the state of Massachusetts’s highest honor, The Commonwealth Award, and has six honorary degrees. During the mid-90’s, Tina conceived the idea for Women of Will, and subsequently received grants from the Guggenheim and Bunting fellowships to fund the project.

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Lee Mikeska Gardner

Lee Mikeska Gardner
Artistic Director of The Nora Theatre Company

Lee Mikeska Gardner begins her third year at The Nora, where she directed Her Aching heart, Grounded and Saving Kitty (with Jennifer Coolidge) and performed in Emilie: The Marquise de Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight, earning an Eliot Norton award for Lead Actress, Small Theatre. She also played Carla in the IRNE nominated Chosen Child at Boston Playwrights Theatre. Hailing from the Washington, D.C. region, Lee has an extensive background in the theatre arts, education and administration. Her work ranges from plays in development to the classics. She has helmed over twenty world premieres, three of which earned nominations for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play. Overall, her productions have received twenty-five Helen Hayes nominations.

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robert-trestan

Robert O. Trestan

Robert Trestan is the newly appointed director of the New England Regional Office of the ADL. Trestan has previously served as the ADL Eastern States Civil Rights Council. As ADL’s Eastern States Civil Rights Counsel, he provided legal guidance to six offices in the northeast United States in responding to hate crimes, extremist activities, legislation, discrimination complaints and church-state issues. Trestan also led the League’s Cyberhate Response Team and played a key leadership role in meeting and working with Internet industry executives in Silicon Valley and representing ADL to NGOs and governments abroad in the effort to find practical solutions to combat the scourge of hate on the Internet. Prior to joining ADL, Trestan served for more than a decade as Director of Civil Rights at the Boston Housing Authority and worked for four years as an Assistant Public Defender in Naples, Florida. Trestan holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts from Trent University.

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Greg Sorensen

Dr. Greg Sorensen
Former President and CEO of Siemens Healthcare North America

Greg Sorensen is a neuroradiologist, formerly a professor of radiology at Harvard Medical School /MGH, and until recently served as President and CEO of Siemens Healthcare North America. He is married to Kristiina Sorensen and they have three children ages 26 to 18. Active in his church community, he wishes he understood Shakespeare better and is looking forward to participating in the panel discussion.

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