17 Minutes Talkbacks

rserrellCommunity, Production

Talkback with Gays Against Guns

Sunday, February 9


Gays Against Guns NY is an inclusive direct action group of LGBTQ people and their allies committed to nonviolently breaking the gun industry's chain of death—investors, manufacturers, the NRA and politicians who block safer gun laws.We are New York-based but work with GAG chapters in other cities to ensure safety for all individuals, particularly vulnerable communities such as people of color, women, people who struggle with mental health issues, LGBTQ people and religious minorities. GAG condemns white supremacy, all instances of excessive force by police, and police militarization. 

Maryellen Novak
is an organizer for Gays Against Guns, and Rise and Resist. Since November 2016, Maryellen has developed and produced many actions such as marches, events, and rallies for topics such as gun control, and immigrant's rights. She has also participated in several civil disobedience actions throughout NYC and DC to amplify the need for more people to get involved in social justice issues. Maryellen works at Columbia University and has earned her MS in Negotiation and Conflict Resolution.

Jay W. Walker is an organizer, activist and member of the Gays Against Guns steering committee and several other Resistance Groups. He has conceived, produced and co-produced numerous fundraising events, public awareness campaigns, rallies and protests focusing on LGBTQ issues, HIV/AIDS (Jay is a longtime HIV survivor,) hate crimes and other issues over the last 20 years for groups such as The October 19th Coalition (founding member), Gay Men's Health Crisis (former Special Events Producer), Gays Against Guns (founding member, steering committee), Rise and Resist (founding member, Board of Directors,)  and Sing Out Louise (founding member.) Jay has also written articles for several publications, including POZ Magazine, New Now Next, and Strauss Publications. Professionally, Jay is the Director of  Development for Ironbound Community Corporation in Newark, NJ.

Talkback with Padraic Lillis, Diane Renaldo, and Adina Taubman

Moderator: Lee Brock
Saturday, January 25


Join us for a meaningful discussion about creating art that delves into difficult subjects like school shootings, and how activists in communities and organizations can partner with artists to work towards a common goal.


Padraic Lillis
For the past ten years Padraic has been dedicated to the development of new plays, artists, and companies. A few of the plays that he has worked on from inspiration to production are Lindsay Joy’s RISE AND FALL OF A TEENAGE CYBERQUEEN (Awarded NY IT Award for Outstanding Director and Outstanding Production), Lee Kaplan’s award winning solo show BULLY (awarded NY International Fringe Festival's Overall Excellence Award for Directing), Scott Hudson’s play SWEET STORM, and Adina Taubman’s award winning solo show A LINE IN THE SAND (a docudrama based on the school shootings at Columbine). As a playwright he has been produced nationally. His play TWO THIRDS HOME is published by Dramatists Play Services, his solo show HOW TO SURVIVE CRACK ADDICTION is published by Indie Theater Now, and LIGHTS UP ON THE FADE OUT was awarded top 10 plays of 2011 in L.A. He has taught his play development workshop since 2009, and is an adjunct professor with NYU’s Department of Dramatic Writing. He helped design and oversaw the education program for Labyrinth Theater Company. Padraic was awarded the Dayton Hudson Distinguished Artist Fellowship to be in residence at Carlton College. He is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a life long Yankee fan.

Diane Renaldo, Representative for Moms Demand Action 
Moms Demand Action is a grassroots movement of Americans fighting for public safety measures that can protect people from gun violence. Moms Demand Action was founded by Shannon Watts, a mother of five. The day after the Sandy Hook tragedy, Shannon started a Facebook group with the message that all Americans can and should do more to reduce gun violence. The online conversation turned into a movement of moms, dads, students, families, concerned citizens and survivors working together with our partners in the gun violence prevention movement to end this uniquely American crisis.Moms Demand Action has established a chapter in every state of the country and Washington, D.C. and, along with Mayors Against Illegal Guns, Students Demand Action and the Everytown Survivor Network, it is part of Everytown for Gun Safety, the largest gun violence prevention organization in the country with nearly 6 million supporters and more than 350,000 donors. https://momsdemandaction.org/

Adina Taubman
Adina Taubman is an actor, playwright, and the Artistic Director of Chrysalis Theatre Company. Most recently, Adina has created a new solo show, THE ROAD BACK, about mental health that she will be performing at The Edmonton Fringe Festival in Canada this summer and for a limited run this fall in New York. She has performed her award-winning solo show about the Columbine High School massacre, A LINE IN THE SAND, (directed by Padraic Lillis) in more than 12 theater festivals and in more than 20 high schools around the country. Adina has talkbacks with students about how to create a more compassionate school community. Productions with Chrysalis Theatre Company: “Barking Girl” by Susan Bernfield, “The Stop Gun Violence NOW Theater Festival,” and a staged reading of an original devised piece about depression and the mental health system, “Beauty in My Brokenness.” adinataubman.com