about the stage network
STAGE is the first streaming network for premium content devoted to the world of theatre. Launching in 2018, the network will feature original scripted, variety and reality series, live theatre, documentaries, talk shows, concerts and Broadway shows, films, international theater and more. Offering free and subscription-based premium content, STAGE is dedicated to providing accessibility to this world for both theatre lovers and those just getting to know the magic of the stage. STAGE can also be found on Facebook (@watchstage), Twitter (@watchstage) and Instagram (@watchstage).
Rich Affannato (Chairman, CEO, Co-Founder) is responsible for developing new and existing Network content, implementing and maintaining its creative vision and direction, as well as managing and overseeing of production and operating budgets, executives, and STAGE staff. He also manages content acquisition, subscription oversight, licensing, sponsorships, investments, and corporate alliances.
Affannato has previously served in a similar capacity managing, developing, and overseeing commercial Broadway, Off-Broadway, Film, and Television productions, as well as International concert event management. He manages and operates Affannato Productions, LLC, a full service Production Company in New York City. Rich is a Tony® and Drama Desk Award-nominated producer, whose producing credits include the Kander and Ebb musical The Visit on Broadway starring Chita Rivera, Peter and the Starcatcher on Broadway (9 Tony nominations including Best Play, winning 5) and the First National Tour, ANN on Broadway (written by and starring Holland Taylor) at Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont Theatre, and the critically acclaimed New York production of SILENCE! The Musical (Winner-Off Broadway Alliance Award for Best Musical, Lucille Lortel nomination for Best Musical, Time Magazine's Top 10).
He also produced the show's Original Cast Album (available on Sh-K-Boom/ Ghostlight Records), which debuted at #12 on the Billboard Top Broadway Chart.
Jesse Kearney (COO, General Counsel, Co-Founder) is responsible for designing and implementing business strategies and goals for performance and growth. He oversees expansion activities, daily operations of the company and executives, and managing relationships with partners/sponsors. As General Counsel, Kearney manages licensing, publishing and music rights acquisitions, as well as provides counsel on strategic goals from a legal perspective. He also manages the daily operations and staff for STAGE.
Kearney’s previous experience as an attorney incudes business, media and entertainment law, providing legal counsel to clients in theater, film, television, music, and new media. He also counsels startups and entrepreneurs in forming and maintaining successful businesses. Kearney previously served as a business affairs associate at Samuel French, Inc. and an articles contributor to MusicRegulation.com.
Kearney earned his J.D. from New York Law School, and worked as a Post-Graduate Fellow with the Racial Justice Project at New York Law School. He received his MFA from New York University in the Musical Theater Writing Program, and his AB from Dartmouth College. Kearney is also an alumnus of the New Lawyers Institute of the New York City Bar Association.
He serves on the board of Prospect Theater Company and the New York Law School Alumni Association Board.
Bobby Traversa (Executive VP, Co-Founder) is responsible for Network content oversight, office management, staff management, and general operations. He also maintains the daily operations of subscription management.
In addition to STAGE, Traversa is the Managing Director of Broadway Theatre Lab, a program in which emerging artists work with stars of Broadway, Film and Television, implementing high volume workshops and master classes. In this capacity he is in charge of hiring teaching artists, overseeing the daily operations of the program, and creating and managing the curriculum and vision. As an audition repertoire coach, his clients have appeared regionally, in national tours, and on Broadway.
Traversa earned his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from AMDA College and Conservatory of the Performing Arts in Los Angeles where he also served as the Assistant to the Chair of Musical Theatre upon graduation. During his tenure at the institution he led a major library expansion project and was a key player in the transition from conservatory to accredited university.
Jenn Dumas (Executive Producer, Media/Operations)is responsible for managing the day to day operation of original film production and working with the rest of the team on licensing new and existing live and filmed theatrical content. This work includes creating and managing production budgets, finding and contracting production companies and crews, creating production schedules, and generally overseeing the work and communication among all aspects of production.
She began her theatrical career as a protégé of Norman Rothstein, where she was the New York company manager for the European productions of Hello, Dolly and Tango Pasion. She then managed the European Tour of the Tony Award winning production of Black and Blue.
On Broadway, Dumas was part of the management staffs for Ain’t Broadway Grand (Lunt Fontanne), Smokey Joe’s Café (Virginia Theatre) and The Sound of Music (Martin Beck). She also produced the hit Off-Broadway shows Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (Triad Theatre), Naked Boys Singing (Actors’ Playhouse) and the critically acclaimed Love, Janis (Village Theatre) through her company, Jennifer Dumas Productions.
Dumas has also produced at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, Symphony Space, the Hammerstein Ballroom, and Steiner Film Studios in Brooklyn. In addition, she company managed a season at City Center Encores! and served as the Executive Producer of the National Yiddish Theatre for 5 years.
Dumas also has experience working in regional theatre and produced in summer stock theatres around the country.
Alet Taylor (Chief Creative Officer) is responsible for transforming rough ideas and general concepts as she directs the creative team to project completion in conjunction with formulating long and short-term goals to further STAGE’s brand identity.
An accomplished bicoastal actress and writer, Taylor has worked in the entertainment business for 25 years, pausing only to give birth and raise three children.
Prior to relocating to New York, Taylor taught at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in Los Angeles, guiding students in their senior year through the process of writing for both stage and screen.
Taylor’s sketches have been featured in both Funny Or Die and the Manhattan Institute for Film. She has also freelanced as script doctor for her student's digital series.
Taylor holds a BA in Psychology from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.
Allyson Rice (Associate Director, Creative Development) is responsible for reviewing pitches, and working with writers and content creators to develop their projects for STAGE.
She spent over 15 years as a working actress on stage and in television in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago (while attending Northwestern University), including seven years as Connor Walsh on "As The World Turns." She then spent a decade running personal growth retreats around the country through her company, The Total Human.
In addition to STAGE, Rice is a writer, as well as runs her own business, Allyson Wonderland, offering multimedia art, an original line of women’s coloring books, jewelry and an inspirational card deck about creativity.