PAPAYA is helmed by three key staff: Whit MacLaughlin, Artistic Director for Producing, Sebastienne Mundheim, Artistic Director for Engagment, and Jeremy “Boomer” Stacey. Collectively, this leadership team brings to bear over 40 years of experience in performing arts creation, presentation, and arts administration.
Whit MacLaughlin, PAPAYA Artistic Director for Producing is an OBIE and Barrymore Award-winning director of works for the stage. He has distinguished himself in Philadelphia at the helm of most of the Arden Theatre’s works for young audiences, including Charlotte’s Web, Cinderella, A Year with Frog and Toad, and Sideways Stories from Wayside School. His free-lance career extends to theatres around the country, including the Tony Award-winning Children's Theatre Company of Minneapolis. He continues to serve as Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories, where he has created 18 original works since 1996. He is a recipient of a 2002 Pew Charitable Trust Fellowship in Performance Art. His work has been presented at the Ontological Theatre, the Connelly Theatre, and PS 122 in NYC, at the Walker Art Center, the Warhol Museum, by commission at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, and at the Prague Quadrennial. He is on the Board of International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY). His love of work for young audiences has evolved steadily over the past twelve years as his twin daughters have grown up. Whit@papayalive.org
Sebastienne Mundheim, Artistic Director for Engagement, is an interdisciplinary performance-maker, installation artist, and educator and has been creating arts experiences for 25 years. Mundheim is known for synthesizing complex, sophisticated academic content into lyrical educational performances geared toward young audiences, appealing to people all ages. Her performance work integrates sculpture, puppets, storytelling, dance, and theater. Her performances and educational programming teach lessons and ask questions. Engagement, epiphany, and learning are at the core of her work. She received her BA/BFA from the University of Pennsylvania in 1990, and her EdM from Harvard in 2000. Sebastienne’s shows have been performed locally and internationally. Her work has been commissioned/presented by many institutions including: the University of Pennsylvania, Rosenbach Museum & Library, Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Barnes Foundation, the Kimmel Center for Performing Arts, the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival. SMundheim@papayalive.org
Jeremy “Boomer” Stacey, PAPAYA Artistic Director for Presenting has a wide range of experience in the field of international performing arts for young audiences. He is International Performing Arts for Youth’s founding Executive Director, continues to work on the board of ASSITEJ Canada and on the board of dance/theatre company Corpus (Toronto). Further work includes Artistic Director of the renowned Milk International Children’s Festival of the Arts at Harbourfront Centre in Toronto. When not on the road exploring for new work to present, Boomer lives in Toronto with his family which includes wife, boy, girl, dog & cat and the occasional visiting raccoon or opossum.
John Rollins, Executive VP and General Manager, Accolade & PAPAYA Board Chair
Thora Jacobson, Executive Director, Philadelphia Art Alliance & PAPAYA Board Member
Martin Cohen, Partner, The Cultural Planning Group & PAPAYA Board Treasurer
Sonya Aronowitz, PAPAYA Board Member, Senior Associate Director of Planned Giving, Bryn Mawr College
Jane Stojak, PAPAYA Board Member
W. Courtenay Wilson, PAPAYA Founder and Board Member
Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of the Theatre Communications Group
Mary Rose Lloyd, New Victory Theatre
Linda Hartzell, Seattle Children’s Theatre
Kim Peter Kovac, J.F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Jennifer M. Johnson, Marketing & Communications Jenny@PAPAYAlive.org
Philly PR Girl, Publicity & Social Media
P'unk Ave, Web Site Developement
Clifton Larson Allen, Accountant