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Stage directors and choreographers union announces results of 2023 executive board elections

In addition to new and re-elected appointments, Jonathan S. Cerullo and Nick Corley received the President’s Award for Extraordinary Service.

SDC first vice president Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Credit: Bruce Gilkas/Getty Images)

Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) have announced the results of their 2023 executive board elections. The union, which represents professional directors and choreographers working in theater throughout the U.S., announced its election results on Nov. 13 at SDC’s annual membership meeting. 

Melia Bensussen and Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson were re-elected to a second term for their respective positions of first vice president and secretary.

Tony-nominated choreographer Joshua Bergasse was newly elected third vice president.

Board members Desdemona Chiang, Joseph Haj, Tony winner Susan Stroman, Maria Torres and Tamilla Woodard were all re-elected to three-year terms.

New to the executive board are Shelley Butler, Jon Lawrence Rivera and Katie Spelman. Butler and Spelman were elected as at-large board members, while Rivera will serve as western regional representative.

They fill vacancies left by outgoing board members JoAnn M. Hunter, Anne Kauffman, Tony winner John Rando and Casey Stangl.

“The new and returning members announced today will serve the union well as we continue our work to unite, empower and protect professional stage directors and choreographers,” said SDC president Evan Yionoulis in a statement. “[They] are an extraordinary group of leaders.”

Additionally, Jonathan S. Cerullo and Nick Corley received the annual President’s Award for Extraordinary Service. They were honored for their advocacy on behalf of the Broadway Flea Market and Grand Auction, an annual event that raises money for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. Cerullo and Corley served as co-chairs of SDC’s planning committee for the flea market for the past 12 years. In 2023 alone, SDC’s flea market table raised $10,672.

“I cannot begin to tell you how overwhelmed and very honored I am to have received this award, but it’s for all of us,” Cerullo said. Cerullo further noted that since 2013, SDC has donated $145,110 not just to Broadway Cares but also the Entertainment Community Fund.

The full SDC executive board includes president Yionoulis, executive vice president Michael John Garcés, first vice president Santiago-Hudson, treasurer Dan Knechtges, secretary Bensussen, second vice president Haj, third vice president Bergasse and at-large board members Saheem Ali, Christopher Ashley, Jo Bonney, Butler, Donald Byrd, Rachel Chavkin, Chiang, Valerie Curtis-Newton, Liz Diamond, Justin Emeka, Lydia Fort, Leah C. Gardiner, Christopher Gattelli, Kathleen Marshall, Michael Mayer, Robert O’Hara, Annie-B Parson, Lisa Portes, Lonny Price, Rivera, Bartlett Sher, Spelman, Stroman, Seema Sueko, Torres, Woodard and Annie Yee.