Cornerstone Theater Company

Staff

Paula Donnelly

Paula Donnelly
Director of Engagement

Paula Donnelly
Director of Engagement

Paula Donnelly
Paula Donnelly began working with Cornerstone in 1998 as a stage manager and joined Cornerstone's Ensemble in 2000. Community-collaborations she stage managed for Cornerstone include Los Biombos in Boyle Heights, AKA in Beverly Hills, For Here or To Go?, a city-wide bridge show, at the Mark Taper Forum, Peter Pan in Cleveland, and Crossings at St Vibiana's Cathedral in downtown Los Angeles. She also was the stage manager for Cornerstone Ensemble shows Foot/Mouth (produced in multiple malls around Southern California) and Erik Ehn's Mary Shelley's Santa Claus. As a stage manager she has worked with Taper, Too, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, PCPA TheaterFest and other regional theaters. In 2003 Paula became Cornerstone’s Institute Director, planning and producing the annual Institute Summer Residency and Intensives. As Director of Engagement, Paula teaches and shares Cornerstone’s methodology, works to strengthen community relationships post-production, and to contribute to the expansion of community-engagement practices in theater. She helps imagine and implement engagement values in all aspects of our work. Paula loves the state of California, her home city of Los Angeles and the many people and stories contained therein.

Michael John Garcés

Michael John Garcés
Artistic Director

Michael John Garcés
Artistic Director

Michael John Garcés
Michael has been a Cornerstone ensemble member since 2006.  Directing credits at the company include Native Nation (commissioned and presented by ASU Gammage) and Urban Rez by Larissa FastHorse; California: The Tempest by Alison Carey; Plumas Negras by Juliette Carrillo; Café Vida by Lisa Loomer; Making Paradise by Tom Jacobson, Shishir Kurup and Deborah Wicks La Puma; and What Happens Next by Naomi Iizuka (a La Jolla Playhouse "Without Walls" production in association with Cornerstone). Plays he has written for Cornerstone include Magic Fruit, the "bridge" project of the multi-year Hunger Cycle which brought together the many communities of the cycle; Consequence, out of story circles with students, teachers, administrators and parents in South Kern County; Los Illegals, created in residence with communities of day laborers and domestic workers; and The Forked Path, a collaboration with the Van der Hoeven Kliniek and Stut Theatre in the Netherlands, which was performed at the Net Even Anders Festival in Utrecht and The International Community Arts Festival in Rotterdam. Michael has developed and directed several works by Marc Bamuthi Joseph: the just and the blind, with composer Daniel Bernard Roumain (Carnegie Hall and The Kennedy Center), /peh-LO-tah/ a futbol freedom suite (premiere at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, subsequently at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago), red, black and GREEN: a blues, in collaboration with artist Theaster Gates (various venues including The Brooklyn Academy of Music and REDCAT), and the break/s (premiere at Humana Festival and The Walker Arts Center). Directing credits at other theaters include Seize the King by Will Power (The Alliance); Larissa FastHorse's The Thanksgiving Play (The Geffen Playhouse); The Royale by Marco Ramirez (Arizona Theatre Company); Epic by Ellen Struve (The Great Plains Theatre Commons); and Wrestling Jerusalem by Aaron Davidman (premiere at Intersection for the Arts; other productions include The Guthrie Theatre, Cleveland Public Theatre and Mosaic Theatre). His full-length plays include south (Great Plains Theatre Commons), THE WEB (needtheatre), points of departure and customs (INTAR Hispanic American Arts Center) and Acts of Mercy (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); as well as a solo performance, agua ardiente which ran Off-Broadway at The American Place Theatre as part of "Dreaming in Cuban"; and short plays include Las Llamadas and every step (24 Hour Plays: "Viral Monologues"); americanas (Mixed Blood Theatre - "DJ Latinidad's Latino Dance Party"), A Parable (Great Plains Theatre Commons), hymn in three parts (Chalk Rep), tostitos (EST Marathon of One-Act Plays), on edge and the ride (Humana Festival), and audiovideo (The Directors Project). He collaborated with composer Alexandra Vrebalov on the oratorio Stations, which received its premiere at the Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra and was also performed at the NOMUS Festival in Novi Sad, Serbia. Michael is a recipient of the 2020 Doris Duke Artist Award, the Princess Grace Statue, the Alan Schneider Director Award, the Rockwood Arts and Culture Fellowship, a TCG/New Generations Grant, the Non-Profit Excellence Award from the Center of Non-Profit Management, is a Southern California Leadership Network Fellow and a proud alumnus of New Dramatists. He serves as vice president of the executive board of SDC, the theatrical union for stage directors and choreographers.  

Andrew Horwitz

Andrew Horwitz
Social Enterprise Specialist

Andrew Horwitz
Social Enterprise Specialist

Andrew Horwitz
Andrew Horwitz is an accomplished cultural programmer, creative strategist and writer with over twenty years of experience in the for-profit and not-for-profit creative sectors. From 2010-2013 he worked as the Director of Public Programs for the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council where he curated The River to River Festival, a free, month-long multidisciplinary arts festival at sites throughout Lower Manhattan. Previously he worked as Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Foundation for Jewish Culture, Producer at Performance Space 122, and from 2007-2009, as co-curator of the PRELUDE Festival at the Martin E. Segal Theater Center at the Graduate Center at CUNY. Since moving to Los Angeles in 2016 he has served as V.P., Director of Programs at the Skirball Cultural Center where he produced the critically acclaimed, sold-out Performance Lab festival. A well-regarded critic as well as an administrator, Andrew is the founder of the website Culturebot.org and a 2014 recipient of the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for his project Ephemeral Objects: Art Criticism for the Post-Material World. More info at www.andyhorwitz.com

Bruce Lemon

Bruce Lemon
Associate Artistic Director

Bruce Lemon
Associate Artistic Director

Bruce Lemon

Bruce Lemon is a storyteller born and raised in Watts, CA. As a child, his father made him write stories and read them aloud in the hallway as punishment for lies and mischief. He’s still in trouble. Host of 89.3 KPCC In-Person’s UnheardLA. Associate Artistic Director/Ensemble with Cornerstone Theater Company. Artistic Director of Watts Village. Company member of Illyrian Players and Collaborative Artists Bloc . Actor, writer, director, producer, creative collaborator. Hobbies include: Holding a mirror up to America, rabble rousing, chasing dreams, working for the reimagining of his community, and listening to the kids. http://www.brucealemonjr.com/

Megan Wanlass

Megan Wanlass
Managing Director

Megan Wanlass
Managing Director

Megan Wanlass
Megan Wanlass most recently joined Cornerstone Theater Company as its Managing Director in January 2014.  Prior to moving to Los Angeles, Ms. Wanlass was the Executive Director of SITI Company in New York. In her tenure with SITI, Megan helped to create over 35 productions touring to 88 cities, 32 states and 19 countries.  She began working with Anne Bogart and SITI Company in 1995 during The Adding Machine at Actors Theatre of Louisville for the Modern Masters Festival.  She has an Arts Administration Certificate from New York University, attended the Executive Program for Non-Profit Leaders at Stanford University Business School, was a member of the Arts Leadership Institute Charter Class at Teachers College, Columbia University, participated in the National Arts Strategies Executive Leadership Program and holds a B.A. in Theater from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Megan currently serves on the board of Theatre Communications Group (TCG).