June 2019 Newsletter


Meet the dedicated Board Members who share their wisdom, time and resources to lead Island City Stage!

Edward Hashek


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.

David Ratcliffe

Vice President

David has a 35-year career in trust wealth management services with Suntrust Bank, Merrill Lynch Trust Company and U.S. Trust (Bank of America Private Bank), focusing on estate and philanthropic planning for private wealth clients. He retired from financial services in 2017 and currently works at the Community Foundation of Broward as the Philanthropic Services Executive responsible for fostering relationships with attorneys, accountants, financial managers and planners. He is a graduate of Wake Forest University and holds the Certified Trust and Financial Advisor and Chartered Philanthropic Advisor in Philanthropy professional designations.

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.

Greg Lindeblom


Greg Lindeblom is a recently retired Associate Professor of Economics and Business at Broward College, where he taught for the past sixteen years.  Prior to that, he was engaged in a 24-year career in banking and finance that took him from Toronto to Portland, Oregon to San Francisco to New York City and finally back to Toronto.  He worked for 11 years on Wall Street in the foreign exchange and money markets.

Greg has a B.A. (Honours) in Political Science and Economics from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada.  He subsequently earned a M.A. in Economics from New School University in New York.

Greg has been a patron of Island City Stage since its inception and remembers the productions at Empire Stage.  In addition to Island City Stage, he and his husband, Michael, subscribe to New World Symphony, Seraphic Fire, Duncan Dance, and Florida Grand Opera.  A former long-time member of the board of the Broward Art Guild, where he served as President, Vice-President and Treasurer, he is delighted to join the Island City Stage board.

Thel Boyette

Board Director 

Thel was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. After attending North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, he moved to Rochester, New York for a residency in Anesthesiology at the University of Rochester. After completing the residency, he spent time on the faculty of the University of Rochester School of Medicine and in private practice in Rochester. He was Chief of Anesthesiology at Highland Hospital of Rochester for 18 years.  He was active in the New York State Society of Anesthesiology during this time and was President of the society in 2003.

Community involvement in Rochester included serving on the board of Community Health Network, a free-standing HIV treatment center and serving on the board of Sojourner House, a shelter for homeless women and their children.

Thel and David, his partner of 40 years and husband of seven years, divide their time between Fort Lauderdale and Canandaigua, in Western New York.

In Fort Lauderdale Thel has served on the board of the Stonewall National Library and Museum.

Thel has always enjoyed live theater, but since retirement has had much more time to pursue this interest.  Island City Stage allows him to give back in a small way to this community that has brought him so much joy.

Dr. Deborah L. Floyd

Board Director 

Deborah L. Floyd is a tenured professor of higher education leadership at Florida Atlantic University. Prior to moving to Florida 20 years ago, she served as a president, vice president, and dean in college and university settings in Texas, Iowa and Kentucky. She earned her doctoral degree from Virginia Tech with masters and bachelor’s degrees from Texas A. & M. University-Commerce.  Dr. Floyd enjoys beach walking, reformer Pilates, conversations with interesting people and the performing arts – especially, Island City Stage productions. She is honored to serve on the board of this delightful gem in our community.

P.J. Hitchins

Board Director 

PJ Hitchins is an attorney who has always had an interest in the arts.  She’s co-founder of Thou Art Woman and has always been involved with community and political organizations. She’s an avid theatre geek! She also writes reviews for lesbian fiction and is the current president of the GLLN (Gay and Lesbian Lawyer Network). She loves to surround herself with friends and family and her amazing dog Harley.

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 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.

Dan Katz

Board Director 

Dan grew up in South Florida and is an attorney turned teacher. He is in his 24th year with Broward County Schools and is a Magnet Coordinator, law teacher, media teacher at the college level and mindfulness coach at Fort Lauderdale High School and held the musical director position for the past 20 years. Dan is also a certified Life Coach. Dan is the owner of, which dedicates itself to mindfulness activities for the high school, college, and all students of life. You can see him speaking around Florida and his positive work with students has been featured on various news programs.

Howard Kurzweil

Board Director 

Howard is a retired tax and estate planning attorney. He gained his BBA with concentration in accounting from Emory University, his law degree from University of Florida, as well as a Masters in Tax Law from the University of Miami. Thereafter, he joined the largest tax boutique law firm on Brickell Avenue in Miami, serving as an associate attorney, until he was wooed away by Hayt, Hayt and Landau, a preeminent national  health care law firm where he was named partner shortly thereafter. He then left the firm and established his solo practice in tax law in Coral Gables, until moving to Fort Lauderdale in 2004,  where he located his office in the downtown area until he retired in December, 2012.

Howard is a Florida native, born and raised in Miami Beach. He loves to travel domestically as well as internationally, and very much enjoys reading in his spare time, and has greatly enjoyed local as well as Broadway theater productions, and frequents GablesStage, Zoetic Theater, FAU Experimental Theater, and had been a flex pass holder and supporter of Island City Stage for the  past eight years.

Howard has served on the Boards of Stonewall Museum and Archives; Our Fund Foundation; and Yes Institute in South Miami over the past several years prior to joining the Board of Island City Stage.

Niki Lopez

Board Director 

Niki Lopez is a Queer, Latinegras – interdisciplinary artist, curator and activist and graphic designer whose award-winning work has traveled as far as New York, California and New Orleans; and who has worked with such luminaries as CCH Pounder. “My representational work allows me to share and explore stories, symbols and concepts from ancient cultures and ideologies, as well as provoke thought as to the probability of life in other dimensions, multiple universes and galaxies, how they are all inter-connected with us here on planet earth”.

She is a core team member, pre-visualization artist and executive producer of the 1310 Bandits, an award-winning women-lead team of visionary filmmakers creating stories that advocate consciousness, diversity and social responsibility.

Mike Mullins

Board Director 

Mike is a sixth generation Floridian.  He grew up in rural Suwannee County in the northern part of the state.

Upon graduation from Florida State University, Mike worked on the staff of a member of the Florida Senate in Tallahassee.  He moved to Washington, DC to work on the staff of two members of Congress.  Mike left Capitol Hill to work for Cargill, a multinational food, agriculture and trading company.  He retired as Vice President for Corporate Affairs in 2016 and moved to Fort Lauderdale after years of commuting on weekends.

Mike serves on the vestry (board) of the Church and School of St. Mark the Evangelist, where he chairs the committee on the use and development of the campus.  He is active in dog rescue and has served on the board of a local no-kill shelter.

Mike and his husband Terry Gaw, have long been Island City Stage subscribers.  Mike is passionate about helping theater inspire the imaginations and dreams of young people.

Arlene Noriega

Board Director 

Arlene Noriega is a bilingual, licensed clinical psychologist in independent practice specializing in child, adolescent, and women’s mental health.  Dr. Noriega is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA) through Division 44. Dr. Noriega has extensive experience in leadership positions both in APA and with community nonprofit organizations.

Aside from other Board experiences for non-profit community organizations, for ten years, she has been the Lead Coordinator for a social networking group in Atlanta, “Fourth Tuesday,” the oldest lesbian/queer networking organization in Atlanta.  She has been a Lead Volunteer for Atlanta Pride since 2010 and in 2013 Dr. Noriega was a Grand Marshall of the Atlanta Pride Parade.

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.

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.

Ric Wanetik

Board Director 

Ric Wanetik is a highly respected theatre maven on both sides of the Atlantic. A Broadway producer, long-time marketing strategist and organizational management advisor, he is a passionate supporter and change advocate for educational institutions and performing arts organizations, here and abroad.

A Tony Award-nominated lead producer, Ric has produced both on and off-Broadway (Twilight: Los Angeles 1992, Marlene, Jolson and Company) and has invested in commercial theater productions for forty years. In that time, Ric has nurtured the development of new work by a wide array of performing artists, shepherding them and their creativity from initial idea to scripting, workshop, and ultimately full production. He has developed and produced work across a wide range of artistic aesthetics and a with broad spectrum of artists, from Anna Deavere Smith, Tony Randall, Pat Birch and Twyla Tharp to Reno, Tim Miller and Barney Simon.

Ric was the American advisor to the Royal Shakespeare Company for over a decade, leading the American side of their acclaimed 2011 Park Avenue Armory residency and was the RSC’s American representative for its Broadway production of Matilda The Musical, with responsibility for the RSC’s American investors in the show. Ric is the immediate past president of the board of the Royal Shakespeare Company America.

As a management and governance advisor, Ric has led organizational transitions of leadership for a range of institutions from The Ohio State University to the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain. He has coached trustees and presidents of universities, arts organizations, and cultural entities, both in crises and in the well-planned articulation of strategies for the future. He has led select Executive Searches in the Education and the Arts and helped voluntary boards implement new governance. He is known as a speaker and group facilitator, a creative problem solver, and an important leader in positive change management. An expert in public/private partnerships, Ric often advises elected officials on civic alliances. He has advised presidents, senators, mayors, and other elected officials, as well as the leadership of national foundations, public school districts, and a long list of universities, colleges, and education policy institutes, among them Harvard University, Kenyon College, and the Children’s Defense Fund. In Great Britain, he has worked with major theatre companies, among them the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain and theatre directors Sir Peter Hall, Trevor Nunn, Stephen Daldry, and Ian Rickson.

The first President of the Board of Trustees of the Wexner Center for the Arts at The Ohio State University, Ric served on the board for over a decade. He has served as a community advisor for the arts to the Columbus Foundation and has taught graduate seminars in Arts Management at The Ohio State University. In New York, Ric served as Acting Director of The Broadway League’s Commercial Theater Institute in 2006, and he has written curriculum in theater management and not for profit governance.

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.


Meet the staff of Island City Stage!


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.


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


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
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