Meet The Candidates
Board of Directors
Darren Carfano – Darren Carfano has been active in the NYC tristate community theater space for almost fifteen years, including membership and participation at Bergen County Players, Leonia Players Guild, Curtain Call, and most recently Elmwood Playhouse. In addition to many onstage credits, he has produced two main stage productions and worked backstage in technical roles (crew, light/sound operation, stage managing, etc.)
Darren is a data and analytics professional, currently employed at Indeed for the past 4+ years. Prior to that, he has worked in community banking leading enterprise analytics, risk management, and marketing research. He is a co-chair emeritus of Indeed’s Pride organization, having directed a team of 25+ local leaders, and having coordinated LGBTQIA+ programming and outreach within Indeed’s footprint across North America. He was also a grassroots founder of Stamford (CT) Pride, the city’s first non-profit for the Stamford LGBTQIA+ community.
Darren currently resides in Greenwood Lake, NY and is actively involved with local animal rescue organizations. He is a CODA (child of Deaf adults) and is a staunch advocate for accessibility and inclusion.
Derek Tarson – I have been an Elmwood member since the 1980s and am now a life member of Elmwood. I was on the Elmwood Board of Directors from 1989 to 1991 and, more recently, from 2009 to 2017. I served as Treasurer of Elmwood from October 2010 to June 2017, and then followed in my mother’s footsteps as Business Manager of Elmwood until the bookkeeping responsibilities were turned over to our Operations Manager, Evelyn Russo. I still review the financial information and coordinate with Elmwood’s CPA to ensure that Elmwood’s non-profit financial filings are accurate.
I am co-chair, with Michael Edan, of the Workshop program. I run the Public Domain Players to arrange readings of classic plays. I have been on the Play Selection Committee, and three committees to examine and try to update Elmwood’s By-Laws. I have been actor, stage manager, and director – and, most recently, have co-produced two of the shows this season with Mimi Leahey. I am currently on the Finance Committee, and I have used my skills as an attorney to provide legal advice to the Elmwood Board, and look forward to continuing to do so.
Anyone who knows me (and most of you do) knows that I love Elmwood and I have served in many capacities (even more than I’ve listed here). I consider one of my strengths to be my ability to see both sides of an issue and to ensure that all voices are heard in working to reach a resolution. I feel fortunate in being part of the Elmwood family and hope to serve on the Board once more.
Elaine D’Addezio – Attending Lafayette College, I majored in American History with Minors in Art and English Literature with a concentration in Theater. (I started as a business major but so enjoyed switching to a liberal arts curriculum.) My first acting role was as a fencing Montague in “Romeo and Juliet” in my junior year and my first lead was Laureen in “Suicide in B Flat” for which I won the Best Supporting Actress Award my senior year.
Since I was three years old, I have been devoted to dancing, primarily ballet. For ten years, I taught ballet with the hopes of fostering the joy of performing as well as an appreciation of the art. An avid theater goer, I have enjoyed being in the audience for numerous community and professional theater shows.
I hold a Master’s Degree in Education for Elementary and Middle School English. While at Harding Township School, I had the pleasure of directing for four years the musicals for the Middle School.
For the last 12 years, I have been participating in community theater in over 30 productions. In addition to working at Elmwood Playhouse, I have enjoyed working at a wealth of theaters in New Jersey such as ACT IV, Bergen County Players, Dover Little Theater, Maplewood Strollers, Montclair Studio Players, Stony Hill Players, Summit Playhouse, Turning Leaf Diversity Theater, and Westfield Community Theater.
For the last five years, I have been focused on working exclusively at Elmwood and BCP… in my opinion, quality community theaters with the best people on stage and in the audiences.
I have been an assistant director, costume/make-up/hair designer, 50/50 seller, and have been a member of the Opening Night, Lifetime Member, and Gala committees. I was a Perry Reviewer for two years in association with my membership at the Westfield Community Theater. For three seasons, I was on the play selection committee for the Stony Hill Players located in Summit, NJ. One of my secret skills is being a fast reader.
So, I would like to offer my services for the Play Selection Committee. I would love to collaborate to select a dynamic season that excites our members to participate and entices audiences to attend. We have our challenges in a post-pandemic World; and I hope to be a part of this integral committee at Elmwood. Thank you for your consideration.
Mimi Leahey – My position about play selection is both consistent and evolving. Whether it’s six or five shows, the committee hopes to create a balanced season that will appeal to a broad audience, offer insights and entertainment, and address current social issues. To do that, we see plays, we read plays, we read reviews, we listen to what people love and dislike, and we especially pay attention to what our directors and members wish to put on stage. Other considerations are included when making selections: what are the production demands for each show? Do we have the personnel to meet them? What’s a good opener? How should we close the season? Is there enough comedy? Having a shorter season allows some breathing room for expanded workshops, new plays in development and other events that have been successful such as porch stories. A successful season, both artistically and financially, works when it can offer a range that attracts talent, allows creativity to flourish, and excites the audience with new ideas, or a new experience of a classic. That’s my aim.