West coast


Wendy Kout

Playwright / Producer

Wendy Kout is an award-winning writer/producer of stage, film, virtual screen, and television. SURVIVORS was commissioned by CenterStage Theatre of Rochester, New York, and has been touring schools and stages there since 2018. Recent productions of SURVIVORS toured schools in Philadelphia and Victoria, BC, Canada, and a West Coast tour launched in spring 2023. NEVER IS NOW, an iteration of SURVIVORS, had an acclaimed world premiere at Skylight Theatre Company in Los Angeles, in September 2019 and was also performed at the USC Fisher Museum, and the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles. Wendy’s film credits include Co-Writer and Co-Producer of Jacob the Baker, which will be released spring of 2023, and writing award-winning Dorfman in Love, starring Elliott Gould, Sara Rue, and Haaz Sleiman. Television credits include Creator and Co-Executive Producer of the Golden Globe and ASCAP award-winning ABC series Anything but Love, starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Richard Lewis. Wendy considers the writing and launching of SURVIVORS to be her greatest responsibility and her greatest honor.

Genie Benson

TEEV (Producer)

Genie Benson is the Executive Producer at TEEV. Founded in 1994, this full-service company produces concerts, conferences, festivals, galas, and live-stream events for organizations, universities, and cultural festivals throughout North America. Genie has worked on the productions of Israel 60 at the Kodak Theatre, Save a Child’s Heart galas at CSUN and UCLA, all local Los Angeles shows with TEEV artists, and built national tours for TEEV’s Israeli artists. Genie is also the Executive Director of Keshet Chaim Dance Ensemble, an Israeli contemporary dance company that tours the world breaking down barriers of difference through dance. The child of Holocaust survivors, Sidonia and Lewis Lax, Genie is an unassailable advocate for Holocaust Education and is determined to bring the play SURVIVORS to students everywhere.

Evie Abat


Evie Abat is a former doctoral-level psychotherapist turned actor turned writer/director/producer. As an actor, she has been seen on stages around LA in such productions as Bloodletting (Playwrights Arena), Othello (Griot Theatre), America Adjacent (Skylight Theatre), The Late Wedding (Son of Semele), Titus Andronicus (BoomStick Theater), and the world premiere of Never Is Now (Skylight Theatre), which was developed from the personal accounts, included in this production of Survivors. She has also appeared on hit shows, including The Morning Show and Loot, and in numerous award-winning shorts and features. She made her directorial debut in film last fall with a short she wrote and produced, called Dad’s Gone Wild, which is currently in post-production, and whose script has made official selection in several diversity script festivals. Her feature-length romcom script has also won and been named an official selection in writing festivals and is currently in pre-production for the Fall. She is proud to be directing the West Coast production of SURVIVORS. Evie thanks Wendy, Genie, Gary, and her actors for their trust and support!

Chrissy Bergeron

Stage Manager

Chrissy earned her BA in Drama/Communications from the U-Mass, Boston. Her career began on-stage in New York. She now calls Los Angeles her home and her on-camera credits include The Sound of Silence, For the Lonely, The Determined Heart; and series regular in The World According to Billy Potwin, opposite Kevin Sorbo and Barry Bostwick. Christine’s producing and directing credits include The Stooge, Dad’s Gone Wild We All Fall Down and 808. She is most proud of her film A Work of Heart; which she penned and produced and nominated for Best New Director (Out Of The Can Film Festival). Chrissy is also a wife, mother and teacher. When she’s not working, she gives back to the community and non-profit organizations such as Friends of Skid Row and Inner-City Filmmakers. She is honored to be part of Survivors.

Gary Grossman

Skylight Theatre Company (Consultant)

Gary Grossman is the Producing Artistic Director of Skylight Theatre Company, which is recognized as a “powerhouse of new play development” by the national Dramatist Magazine, and as “a leader in play development" by the Los Angeles Times. In just the last five years, two plays originating at Skylight have been performed off-Broadway: The Wrong Man (14 New York Award nominations), and Church & State (65+ productions nationally). Skylight and its artists have been recognized locally and nationally, including the prestigious Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association Citation for Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea. In 2019, Center Theatre Group remounted Skylight’s multiple award-winning production of Rotterdam at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as a part of Block Party. Gary is proud that Skylight Theatre Company was instrumental in the development of SURVIVORS by producing the play’s first staged reading, and in 2019, also producing an iteration of the play titled NEVER IS NOW.

Ralph Meranto

JCC CenterStage (Consultant) EAST COAST

CenterStage is the professional theatre program of the Rochester, NY Jewish Community Center. Producing Artistic Director Ralph Meranto commissioned SURVIVORS from Wendy Kout and has been at the forefront of new play development including Jason Odell Williams’ Church & State (off-Broadway 2017, OBA Nomination Best New Play), Division Street (2019), On the Market (2022), Kasha Davis’ There’s Always Time for a Cocktail (off-Broadway premiere 2015), Deb Margolin’s Imaging Madoff, Wendy Kout’s Naked in Encino, David Hein/Irene Sankoff’s My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Stephen Kaplan’s Tracy Jones (2022), and Joshua Hershfield’s musical RISE about Jewish resistance fighters. Ralph considers bringing SURVIVORS to school and community groups to be one of the most satisfying experiences of his life.

For more information about SURVIVORS contact artsforchange@gmail.com

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