Board of Directors

Staff/ Cast
June 2019 Newsletter



The goal of Island City Stage is to create quality theatrical experiences that focus on the LGBTQ community, but have a heart and soul that is truly universal.

The LGBT community is rich with history, with characters, with stories. And, at Island City Stage, it has found a place where a strong and vibrant voice is being given to those stories—ones of love and loss, of struggle and humor, of fear and courage.

Island City Stage was created by members of the Greater Fort Lauderdale LGBT community who saw a need for a local, professional theater that explored all aspects of the LGBT experience—accurately, creatively, and compassionately. And it was also important that the plays presented spoke to both LGBT individuals and heterosexuals. Plays that fostered interaction, understanding and acceptance of every individual’s unique perspective.

Founded in 2012, Island City Stage has gained the reputation of being a multi-award winning professional theater that provides stellar performances for those in the Greater Fort Lauderdale/Wilton Manors/Oakland Park communities. We specialize in developing new work in addition to featuring the works of playwrights who expose audiences to different voices and experiences. These works are brought to life on stage through the talents of professional artists, both union and non-union, whose credits include Broadway, Off Broadway, National Tours, major regional theatres, film and television.

Island City Stage is a place where you will laugh and cry and cheer. It’s a place to call our own—with plays to call our own. We look forward to seeing you when the curtain goes up!

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Angel Burgos


Angel Burgos is Executive Director of MBA Programs for the Chapman Graduate School of Business at Florida International University (FIU).  Prior to joining FIU, he managed graduate programs for the George Mason University, University of Maryland, and Johns Hopkins University.  He holds an MPA from Columbia University and BA from Hunter College.   Beyond the academic world, he served as a Congressional Fellow in the U.S. Senate and as a Fulbright Program Scholar in Germany.

Angel resides in Wilton Manors with his husband, David Jobin. They are thrilled to live in South Florida and support various cultural organizations that add to the vitality of “our” community.

Scott Clearwater

Vice President

Scott Clearwater has been a lawyer for over 30 years. He obtained a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Rochester and a JD from the College of William and Mary.  He has worked for law firms and corporations in Virginia, Washington, DC and New York City, practicing environmental law and managing a global Environmental, Health and Safety Department for Fortune 500 Corporations.  He is a member of the Virginia and DC Bars.

Scott has been an active supporter of theatrical organizations such as the Studio Theater in Washington, DC and The Actors’ Fund in New York City.

Following his retirement, Scott became a permanent resident of Fort Lauderdale, where he and his husband have owned homes for almost 20 years.  He is thrilled to continue his passion to support local theater and be a part of Island City Stage.

Timothy S. Hart


Mr. Hart is a CPA with over thirty years of vast accounting and finance experience including 10 years with KPMG, one the world’s largest international public accounting firms. Mr. Hart now runs a successful private practice that deals with all types of SEC matters; mergers and acquisitions; back and front office systems implementations; and various other accounting, finance and tax services.

Mr. Hart is an active participant in the community in which he lives. He is a Director and former chair of Oakland Park / Wilton Manors / Uptown Council of the Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce (formerly the OPWM Chamber of Commerce); director and former treasurer of the Dolphin Democrats; a board member of the Florida LGBT State Democratic Caucus; treasurer of the Island City Stage since inception, treasurer of the World Aids Museum; treasurer of Kids Playing for Kids; and

CPA for (and participant in) the SMART Ride, the second largest AIDS bike ride in the nation;

Mr. Hart holds bachelor’s degrees in Accountancy, Economics and Business Administration from Thomas More College, and has been a certified public accountant since 1984. Mr. Hart is married (36 years) and has two adult children. His oldest child is a graduate of the US Air Force Academy and is currently a surgeon at the University of Chicago. His youngest child is completing his education at Florida State University.

Jim Walker


Jim Walker is a senior loan officer for Florida Community Loan Fund which provides financing throughout Florida for non-profits that are serving low and moderate income communities.  He joined the Florida Community Loan Fund in 2010, bringing 25 years of community development finance and lending experience including structuring financings for multi-family housing, charter schools, community health clinics, and Historic and NMTC revitalization projects.  Jim has served on Capitol Hill working for Congressman Barney Frank, where he was responsible for budgeting, international finance and development issues. He also served as Director of International Finance for Fannie Mae and as a Managing Director of Enterprise Social Investment Corporation.

Larry Ferber

Board Director 

Larry Ferber spent thirty years in the TV business, earning numerous awards including three Emmy nominations. He served as Executive Producer on various shows including: Joan Rivers, Dennis Miller and Sally.  After retiring from TV, he was the Artistic Director of the Palm Beach Jewish Film Festival for several seasons. Under his management, revenue grew from $75,000 to $350,000.  He recently began his fifth season as the Artistic Director of the Living Room Theater at FAU.

Larry holds a Bachelor of Arts in Drama from Northeastern University in Boston. He’s divorced and “on the market!”

Andy Fishman

Board Director 

A native New Yorker, Andy has been a South Florida resident since 2004.  He received his Bachelors in Business Administration and Masters in Business Administration from the George Washington University.  After a successful career in marketing and advertising, Andy realized that it was time for a change and decided to take a leap of faith from the safety of a corporate career and follow his creative passions into the field of design.  Andy obtained his degree in Kitchen & Bath Design (Century College), and is now an NKBA accredited Kitchen & Bath Designer and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist.  He has enjoyed a successful career at Allied Kitchen & Bath for the past 12 years.

Andy’s design work has been published in Florida Décor, Boca Raton Design, City & Shore Magazine and the Gulfstream Lifestyle publications.  His work can also be seen on houzz.com, alliedkitchenandbath.com and andyfischman.com.

Andy’s passion for live theater goes back to childhood, having had the opportunity to attend many Broadway productions at an early age.  An avid theater goer and a patron of the arts in South Florida, Andy is honored to have been elected to the Board of Directors of Island City Stage in 2017, and looks forward to contributing to the growth of the company.

Mark Fox

Board Director 

Mark Fox, CHC CHPC currently serves as the Chief Compliance and Privacy Officer for the American College of Cardiology. Mark led the development of a comprehensive compliance program for the National Cardiovascular Data Registry, the largest cardiovascular data registry in the United States. Mark previously worked for MedCath as an Implementation Specialist overseeing the standardization of systems for Performance Improvement and Risk Management. He supported the opening of five heart specialty hospitals.  Mark is an Emergency Medical Technician by training and currently holds a certification in Healthcare Compliance and Healthcare Privacy Compliance.

Mark has served in multiple technical theatre roles over the course of the last 20 years. He previously was the Assistant Production Manager for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C. Mark also previously served on the Board of Directors of the Metropolitan Community Church of Northern Virginia where as Treasurer he successfully implemented a financial contingency plan that stabilized the financial standings of the organization. Mark currently lives in Wilton Manors.

Edward Hashek

Board Director 

Ed Hashek has worked in the IT Industry with a focus on financial technology services for the past 40+ years, including financial technology service companies associated with Marine Bank and M&I Bank in Milwaukee, WI.  He has managed various areas including network management, product management and Risk and Fraud vendor management.  Industry acquisitions resulted in working with FIS, a Jacksonville, FL based company and the world’s leader in technology products and services for the financial industry.

Ed has a BA degree in Computer Science from University of Wisconsin (Madison) and a MBA in Business IT from the University of Wisconsin (Milwaukee). Ed has a passion for community service and has been an active member of the Boards of the Milwaukee Art Museum, The Milwaukee Repertory Theater Company, and the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin. Currently, he is a Board member of the Community Foundation of Broward County as well as the Island City Stage.

Ed lives with his spouse John in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Rick Karlin

Board Director 

Rick is a playwright (Witches Among Us, Moving Day, Boy Meats Whirl, Spin Cycle and Seuss on the Loose), novelist (Show Biz Kids, Tales of the Second City, Death on the Rocks) and free-lance journalist (South Florida Gay News, Palette, Chicago Free Press, Gay Chicago Magazine, and OutTraveler.com). As a performer and emcee for charity events he is renowned for his quick wit and snappy repartee in his alter-ego, Charity Case.

In his previous (pre-FL) life he was a teacher for 30+ years. He has both a BA in Early Childhood Education and an MA in Gifted Education from Northeastern Illinois University, as well as an unfinished PHD, with his thesis topic focusing on LGBT youth. He was named one of Illinois Most Talented Teachers and ran the drama club at his school and wrote an original musical for his students to perform each year. He is currently spearheading the new Island City Stage Youth Drama Program.

Rick enjoys cooking and put himself through college by working as sous chef. He usually caters our opening night and donor appreciation parties where he enjoys matching the food to the theme of the play. He has a 42 year-old son (please tell him he looks too young to have a son that age) and lives in Fort Lauderdale with his husband of 25+ years, the noted poet and author, Gregg Shapiro.

Andy Rogow

Artistic Director

Andy Rogow is the founding Artistic Director of Island City Stage. Under his leadership ICS has garnered numerous awards and accolades including nine Carbonell Awards – two for Best Production of a Play. Aside from numerous ICS productions including the world premieres of “Daniel’s Husband” and “The Goldberg Variations”, he is best known for directing Steve Solomon’s “My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy” and its two sequels which have toured non-stop around the country since 2004. In addition he has directed at Broward Stage Door and was the director of the original production and tour of “Waist Watchers the Musical”. He was previously the Artistic Director at the Hollywood Playhouse where directed Sally Struthers in “Always, Patsy Cline” and Avi Hoffman in “Fiddler on the Roof”.

Andy has a BFA from NYU and an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.  He lives in Oakland Park with his husband Lloyd.

Lorenzo Robertson

Board Director 

Lorenzo Robertson currently is the Emerging Interventions Manager with The Pride Center at Equality Park. He has worked in the HIV prevention and education field for the past 15 years in various capacities.

Lorenzo previously worked for the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County as the Minority AIDS Coordinator and the Statewide MSM Coordinator and as the Executive Director with People of Color AIDS Coalition. He has worked in collaboration with the Florida Department of Health creating various initiatives for HIV prevention for MSM and as the Public Relations Director for Francis House. Lorenzo has worked with Black AIDS Institute as a consultant around issues for Black people and HIV.

Lorenzo is also a published author and poet of Detached and Eclectic Essence respectively. Lorenzo currently lives in Coral Springs with his husband, Derald.

Jeff Sacks

Board Director 

Jeff Sacks has had a 30+ year career in marketing at blue chip corporations that include Citibank, General Mills, Clairol and WebMD. His increasingly senior roles culminated in the last 10 years being spent as the Chief Marketing Officer at industry leaders Elsevier Health Sciences and Bloomberg BNA.   His unique background includes nearly 20 years in online marketing, database and analytics, social media and market research.

Jeff has a BA degree from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA, and an MBA from the Harvard Business School.  Jeff’s passion for theater started during his 20 years living in NYC, and it has always been his goal to get involved with an “off-off-Broadway” type venue that focuses on challenging, unique theatrical works, and Island City Stage fits the bill to a T.   Jeff is recently retired and lives with his husband John in Imperial Point, Fort Lauderdale.

Harvey Shapiro

Board Director 

Harvey Shapiro is a former State of Ohio Election Official, Law Professor, Magistrate, Law Director, and Prosecuting Attorney.  He graduated from Ohio University, Athens, Ohio, with a B.A. degree, and American University Law School, Washington D.C.

Since retiring to Florida, with his husband Michael Dager, Harvey has been active in the Arts and LGBTQ communities, serving presently as Grants Chairman for FAB! FUNDING ARTS BROWARD, as well as on the Board of Directors of the GAY MENS CHORUS OF SOUTH FLORIDA, and the BEARS OF SOUTH FLORIDA.

Harvey believes that our intention to do good, must be matched with using our time and treasures to robustly support local Arts and Cultural organizations and LGBTQ organizations advocating Equal Rights and Opportunities for all in a diverse society.

Barbara Simmonds

Board Director 

Barbara J. Simmonds, Ph.D., has been practicing in the field of Health/Rehabilitation Psychology and Adults and Aging for 25 years. In recent years, she has worked with the University of Miami’s ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) team, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. Experience in these fields naturally led to expertise in Grief Counseling since so many losses accrue to individuals in a health care setting.

Barbara worked as a civilian with the U.S. Army, addressing issues of substance abuse, family violence, and PTSD. In the past, she was Adjunct Faculty at Nova Southeastern, her alma mater, teaching graduate courses in Human Sexuality, Aging, Stress Management, and Grief Counseling.

Barbara enjoys working out, distance walking (including 3 half-marathons), music and theater. Volunteering is a also passion.
She is looking forward to a mutually gratifying experience with ICS.

Sue Wilder

Board Director 

Sue is a retired financial services industry executive.  Armed with a BA from City University of New York (CUNY),  Sue enjoyed a career that focused on managed products, marketing, sales, and product development.  Based on Wall Street in her native New York City, she travelled for her work throughout the United States.

Sue has been residing in South Florida for the past 15 years.  Her frequent visits to NYC feed her enjoyment of theater, particularly off and off-off Broadway.  In addition to theater, her favorite activities include movies, museums, book reviewing and rock and roll.  Sue volunteers and serves on the Fort Lauderdale based board of Our Fund Foundation.

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Artistic Director


ANDY ROGOW (Artistic Director) most recently directed and was involved in the creation of Waist Watchers, the Musical at the Plaza Theatre which had its premiere in 2007 at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and then toured nationally as well as playing extended runs in Atlanta and St. Louis. He is the founding Artistic Director of the Island City Stage in Ft. Lauderdale where he directed their recent production of Pig Tale. Under his leadership Island City Stage garnered a 2012 Silver Palm Award for Best New Theatre as well as a Best of 2012 choice of SFGN newspaper. He is well known as the director of Steve Solomon’s My Mother’s Italian, My Father’s Jewish and I’m in Therapy as well as its two sequels which have been touring the country continuously since 2004.

He earned his BFA from New York University and an MFA from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. During his tenure as Artistic Director of the Hollywood Playhouse in Hollywood, Florida he directed Sally Struthers and Dawn Wells in Always, Patsy Cline, the world premieres of The Comet’s Tale, Eye of the Beholder, Harry and Thelma in the Woods, and Beau Jest – The Musical  as well as directing and/or producing critically acclaimed and award-winning productions of The Fantasticks, Man of La Mancha, A Grand Night for Singing, Ruthless, Nunsense Amen starring Greg Louganis and Fiddler on the Roof starring Avi Hoffmanfor which he received a Carbonell Award nomination for Best Director.  Mr. Rogow is originally from Chicago and is a member of The Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and is a past President of the Theatre League of South Florida.  He currently serves as Chair of the Our Fund CEO Network Committee.


Associate Artistic Director


MICHAEL LEEDS (Associate Artistic Director): wrote and directed the B’way musical, Swinging On A Star that was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Musical. Off-B’way he directed and choreographed Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah – The Songs of Allan Sherman (starring Tovah Feldshu & Mary Testa), for which he was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Best Director and Best Choreographer. Other Off-B’way credits include directing and choreographingLypsinka – A Day In The Life, Showing Off (starring (Donna Murphy), and Hot Klezmer for AJT.

Mr. Leeds has directed for Playwrights Horizons, the York Theatre and the Goodspeed Opera House among others. His adaptation and production of Arthur Miller’s Playing For Timewon a Festival First at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival where it was where it was given its European premiere. He directed and choreographed A Little Night Music for the Houston Grand Opera starring Frederica Von Stade and Thomas Allen and 70, Girls, 70 for the York Theatre’s Musicals In Mufti series starring Jane Powell and Charlotte Rae. For film, he has choreographed End of Summer, starring Jacqueline Bisset and Peter Weller and co-wrote with Linda Yellen: The Simian Line, starring William Hurt, Lynn Redgrave, Tyne Daly and Harry Connick Jr., and The Last Film Festival (starring Dennis Hopper, Jacqueline Bisset, Leelee Sobieski & Chris Kattan).

Mr. Leeds rewrote and directed a new version of Cole Porter’s Red, Hot And Blue for the Goodspeed Opera and Paper Mill Playhouse. He also directed the Florida Grand Opera production of Marc Blitzstein’s Regina starring Lauren Flanigan. He directed the World Premiere of Henry Covery’s new play,The First Step at the New York International Fringe Festival.

For ten years Mr. Leeds co-directed, with Albert Stephenson, the Drama League’s annual benefit honoring Liza Minnelli, Kander & Ebb, Hal Prince, Rosie O’Donnell and Chita Rivera among others. As a songwriter, Mr. Leeds’ work has appeared Off-B’way in Martin Charnin’s Upstairs At O’Neals and the No Frills Revue, as well as on CBS’s The Comedy Zone. Mr. Leeds has also collaborated on Miracles, a musical he wrote with Joe Stein, with a score by Sheldon Harnick, Stephen Schwartz, David Shire and Marvin Hamlisch. He directed and choreographed Mating Habits of the Urban Mammal, a musical comedy he co-wrote with Peggy Gordon, Brian Lasser and Timothy Graphenreed for the Broward Stage Door Theatre in Coral Springs. Since coming to South Florida, he’s directed the inaugural season of Laffing Matterz at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the new Lisa Loeb musical, Camp Kappawanna for City Theatre, The First Stepand Last Call for Empire Stage, The Boys In The Band for Rising Action Theatre, A Little Night Music (Carbonell nom. Best Musical), The Glass MenagerieCome Blow Your Horn, Mack & Mabel (Carbonell Award Best Musical), Steel MagnoliasLast of the Red Hot LoversMy Fair LadyLend Me A TenorBeau Jest and The Light In The Piazza(Carbonell nom. Best Musical, Silver Palm Award for Direction) for the Broward Stage Door Theatre. As Associate Director of Island City Stage, The Twentieth Century Way(Carbonell nom. Best Ensemble), Body Awareness and the critically acclaimed The Timekeepers. For The Plaza Theatre, Driving Miss Daisy and Chapter Two.

Michael studied with renowned Acting Coach, Larry Moss for ten years.

Visit Michael Leeds’ Website

Managing Director


Managing Director, Martin Childers, comes to Island City Stage from Pikeville, Kentucky, where he has worked for the last 15 years as the Executive Director of one of Kentucky’s longest running professional theatres, Jenny Wiley Theatre originating in Prestonsburg, KY. Childers led the organization through 15 years of growth, increasing programming from three months to year round, overseeing housing construction for 36 actors, technicians and musicians, commissioning new works like the Feud Series and Ghost Stories, and negotiating and securing a new indoor facility in the city of Pikeville hosting year-round programming. Childers brings almost 20 years of fundraising and marketing experience to Island City Stage. “I am proud of the work I did in Eastern Kentucky but look forward to advancing the work of Island City Stage in South Florida.”  Childers can be reached at md@islandcitystage.org.

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April 2018

Island City Stage Announces 2018/19 Season

Island City Stage is excited to announce the 2018-2019 season! The mission of the theater is to create quality theatrical productions that focus on the LGBTQ experience but have a heart and soul that is truly universal. This will be Island City Stage’s 7th season.

“Buyer and Cellar” by Jonathan Tolins.  The hit off Broadway play makes its Broward debut.  Matthew Buffalo stars as Alex More who has a story to tell. A struggling actor in L.A., he takes a job as a “shopkeeper” in the nostalgic, Main Street-inspired basement of beloved megastar, Barbra Streisand. One day, the Lady Herself comes downstairs to play. It feels like real bonding in the basement, but will their relationship ever make it upstairs? BUYER & CELLAR is an outrageous comedy about the price of fame, the cost of things, and the oddest of odd jobs. Runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 2, 2018

“Bette and Barry: From Bathhouse to Broadway” by Michael Leeds. A World Premiere! – Imagine Bette Midler and Barry Manilow premiering their new club act in Wilton Manors! All those unforgettable songs, from “Wind Beneath My Wings” and “The Rose” to “I Write The Songs” and “Copacabana”, sung by two of the biggest pop stars in the world!  These two superstars haven’t performed together since the Continental Baths but now they’re back – or are they?  Tony Award nominee and Island City Stage Associate Artistic Director Michael Leeds imagines what an evening would be like if these two temperamental talents took to the stage together.  It’s an evening of fantasy, fireworks and fun and, of course, that music!  Could It Be Magic?  Come find out! Starring Carbonell Award-winner Mallory Newbrough and multiple Carbonell Award nominee Michael Ursua. Runs Jan. 10- Feb. 10, 2019

“FroWhite Plains” by Michael Perlman.  In an emotional Academy Awards acceptance speech, Dennis Sullivan publicly denounces Ethan Rice, the high school bully Dennis believes pushed his gay best friend Mitchell to suicide, and who, fifteen years later, inspired the screenplay that garnered the Oscar. As the speech rapidly escalates from internationally-televised to viral, a now more mature Ethan must confront what he did as a teenager. As the two men are thrust into the court of public opinion, their closest relationships begin to unravel. When old actions have unforgivable consequences, how can the world be expected to move forward, and does anyone ever outgrow who they were in high school? Runs Mar. 21- Apr. 21, 2019

“Veronica’s Position”: Love, politics and art intermingle in Rich Orloff’s star-spangled comedy set in Washington, D.C., 1990. When Veronica, a self-absorbed movie star in mid-life (think Liz Taylor) agrees to co-star in a revival of Hedda Gabler with her favorite ex-husband (think Richard Burton), both egos and calories get burned. The director (who is young, female and attractive) gets a better performance from Veronica’s ex-husband off-stage than on. Meanwhile, Veronica’s gay assistant falls in love with an old pal, a controversial photographic artist who has just been denounced by Veronica’s current flame, a powerful United States senator. When conflicts build between those she adores, the fervently apolitical Veronica is forced to take a position on the one subject she cares about – love.  Runs May 30- Jun. 30, 2019.


TBA – Another great play or Shorts Gone Wild 7 to be decided later in the season.

All productions will be presented at Island City Stage, 2304 N Dixie Hwy. Wilton Manors. For more information or to order tickets please go to islandcitystage.org or call 954-519-2533.

Our Front: A word from the Managing Director

Artistic Notes with Andy Rogow


Seriously!  The 2018/19 Season Flexpasses will be available soon!

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D’Verse Theater Alliance, is a program by Island City Stage committed to introducing young people to the power and beauty of the theater arts. It is committed to empowering youth, to support the insight and resilience of youth and provide them with a safe space for creative expression to tell their own stories.

Island City Stage is working with the Oakland Park Public Library to develop a drama group designed specifically for youth and their allies. The program, dubbed D’Verse Youth Theatre, will serve teens (up to age 18) and will meet at the Ethel M. Gordon Library.

Rick Karlin – Director

Rick Karlin is the D’Verse Youth Theatre Director. Rick has a B.A. in Education and an M.A in Gifted Education and was a public-school teacher for 30+ years, but theater has always been his passion. His first musical, “Spin Cycle” ran for three sold-out months in Chicago and was the first gay-themed musical reviewed by the mainstream press in Chicago. He has written five original musicals and 22 children’s plays.

“When I was teaching, my favorite part of the day was working with the after-school drama club,” says Karlin. “Seeing how kids can blossom and discover talents they didn’t know they had is one of the most exciting things I’ve ever experienced.  When I joined the board of Island City Stage, starting an educational outreach component was one of my top goals.”

In 2017, Karlin and designer (and Island City Stage board member) Peter Lovello volunteered their time and talent and ran a two-week drama camp at the Oakland Park Library. In two weeks, the students learned theater techniques and terminology, performed improv and rehearsed and performed an original short musical play, “Seuss on the Loose” written by Karlin.

That was followed by a three-month improv workshop in the Spring of 2018, also held at the Oakland Park Library.

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