Deborah Roth, Founder and Managing Director
Deborah co-founded 4thU Artivists in 2009 as 4thU-VDay to organize productions of Eve Ensler’s work. In 2015, she became the organization’s Managing Director and expanded their performance selection. The owner of Spirited Living, Roth has spent 35+ years coaching, training and speaking in the for-profit and nonprofit sectors on an array of subjects including women’s empowerment and managing change. In her private practice, she works primarily with overwhelmed, under-nurtured women, guiding them through transition periods and helping them attract and sustain healthful, fulfilling relationships. An ordained Interfaith Minister, Deborah also creates unique, powerful ceremonies for a range of life’s passages and leads women’s spirituality programs. Deborah has appeared on The Daily Show and NBC’s Today Show and was featured in the New York Times, Village Voice, Utne magazine and others. She is the author of Circle of One: The Art of Becoming a SELF-Centered Woman and The Authentic Woman Playbook.
Erin Bigelow, Creative Director
Erin has been directing and producing benefit theater productions for over 17 years. She has been working with 4thU Artivists since 2009 when it launched as 4thU-VDay. Many of her credits have been directing the works of fellow artivist Eve Ensler including The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body and Emotional Creature. Some of Erin’s other theater credits include Clue: A Dinner Theater, The Princess Bride: A Dinner Theater, The Laramie Project, Laramie: 10 Years Later, and Better Left Unsaid. Erin has worked as a television director and is an active member of the Directors Guild of America. She currently spends her weekdays as the Deputy Head of Oath Studios! Erin’s passion is her work to end violence against all women and girls, because no one should have to live in fear.
Melissa Naple, Corporate Sponsor Liaison
Melissa Naple brings to 4thU Artivists her significant experience auditing and advising companies as a partner with Deloitte & Touche LLP. She serves as audit office leader for their New Jersey audit practice, the talent leader for the greater tristate commercial audit practice (approx. 750 people) and board council member. Previously, Naple held the position of the Chief of Staff for Deloitte & Touche LLP’s Chief Executive Officer, where she was responsible for national communications, practice initiatives, and management of the governance process for the leadership team. Committed to community service, Melissa has held several leadership positions within the Fourth Universalist Society as well as Concrete Safari and Cooperative Living Now.
Janet Ruth Young, Publicity Director
Janet Ruth Young is publicity director of 4thUArtivists and a communications writer at the Columbia School of Social Work. She comes to Fourth Universalist Society from the Gloucester (MA) Unitarian Universalist Church, where she chaired the social justice committee, managed social media, and developed programming for an underutilized theater space. In addition, Janet is a mental health advocate. Her three award-winning novels about teens dealing with mental illness (Things I Shouldn’t Think, My Beautiful Failure, and The Opposite of Music) were published by Simon & Schuster, and she has given talks or written materials for numerous mental health organizations.
Pangia Macri, Beneficiary Liaison
Pangia Macri is an artivist/singer/actress and historical documentary film maker, and member of SAG-AFTRA and NYWIFT, who has performed in theatre, film, opera — classic and contemporary — in the USA, Europe and Japan. She has written and directed Dinner-Opera and other theatrical events. Since their first season in 2009, she has been a member of 4thU Artivists, formally 4thU-Vday. In addition to performing in The Vagina Monologues, The Good Body, and Women of New York, and serving as Beneficiary Liaison, she has curated art exhibits, and has overseen, edited and designed production posters and flyers. Combining arts and activism, helping create a better world for women and girls, and bringing HerStories out of the shadows fuel her soul.
Members at Large
Original 4thU Artivist Rev. Lynn Bourbeau, SEP, has been contributing to the healing world since 1997 as a trauma therapist, healing intuitive, interfaith minister, spiritual counselor, and hospital chaplain. In addition to her private practice, she runs groups called “Calming Your Nervous System.” Following the devastating events of 9/11, she became involved with the Trauma Institute, training and supervising hundreds of healthcare professionals in a mind/body trauma model called Somatic Experiencing (SE) that releases trauma from the nervous system. As an interfaith minister, Lynn is also known for her creative and collaborate interfaith ceremonies including weddings, memorial services, baby blessings/namings, office blessings and divorce rituals.
Rev. Jill Bowden is an endorsed Community Minister of the Fourth Universalist Society in New York City. She holds degrees from Mercy College (BS in psychology), Long Island University (Master of Public Administration in health care), and Union Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity). She serves the free faith community as Director of Chaplaincy Services at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. Before that, she was Director of Pastoral Care at Winthrop-University Hospital in Mineola, NY. Previously a respiratory therapist and a health care administrator, Rev. Bowden’s background provided significant experience in bedside care and health systems leadership, growth and management.
A lifelong feminist, Matt Gilbert has been involved with every 4thU Artivist production from the early V-Day stagings of Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues and The Good Body to today’s independent performances. He began behind the scenes working on lights and sound, and then deepened his involvement by joining the Advisory Council. Recognizing that feminist issues are human issues, Matt understands how essential it is for men to be visible allies to women and the causes which concern them. He extends that philosophy to his professional life as a member of the science department at the prestigious St. Thomas Choir School, always reminding the young boys he teaches of the contributions women make to scientific progress.
Mary Anne Holliday
Artist Mary Anne Holliday studied Graphic Design at the University of Reading in England. She performed with The Moodies — a group started while she was a student — in England and Europe for several years. She moved to the United States, studied dance and voice, and danced professionally for the next ten years. Returning to the visual arts and her own painting career, she taught art at museum schools, grade schools, and in her own studio. She brought her talent in voice and dance to the role of Roza in Habitat — one of the three segments of 4thU Artivists’ spring 2017 production Body of Women — and to the ensemble production Women of New York, a comedy written by Turkish playwright Ege Maltepe.
Choreographer Melissa Riker is Artistic Director of Kinesis Project dance theatre, an NYC out-door, large-scale dance company. Her layered works for corporate and individual clients integrate her training as a classical dancer, martial artist, theatre choreographer and aerial performer. Ms. Riker is a 2016 and 2017 CUNY Dance Initiative Resident, an Artist in Residence at Nord Anglia International School in the East Village, and 2015 LMCC Community Arts Fund grantee. In addition to her contributions to 4thU Artivists, Riker is also the founding producer of Women in Motion, an organization dedicated to forwarding, celebrating and producing female choreographers.
Kaedy Fischer began her journey with 4th U Artivists with the production of her play that she directed, Breastimonials. Directing that show was such a wonderful experience that she remained involved with this wonderful group. Kaedy has truly enjoyed working with the cast and learning and growing with them. Kaedy, would like to thank Erin and Deb for for the love, support and believing in her and her co-director Adrienne. To those that have shattered the silence and to those who aren’t able to, thank you. For more info please check out Kaedy’s website at www.kaedyfischer.com and www.kfischerphotography.net