TANYS TOUGH: THE POWER OF THEATRE
2020 Virtual Festival

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS
John Cariani
Mimi Kennedy
JOHN CARIANI is an actor and a playwright. He made his Broadway debut in the 2004 revival of Fiddler on the Roof and received an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination for his portrayal of Motel the Tailor. He originated the role of Nigel Bottom in the Broadway hit, Something Rotten! and received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for his performance. He also originated the role of Itzik in The Band’s Visit, winner of the 2018 Tony Award for Best Musical.

Most people know John from his role on NBC’s long-running drama, Law & Order, on which he played Forensics Tech Beck for five seasons. He also had recurring roles on CBS’ Numbers and on IFC’s The Onion News Network. As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, Almost, Maine, which premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004, opened Off-Broadway in 2006, and has since become one of the most popular plays in the United States and around the world – and is now a novel, published by Macmillan.

When Broadway is back – hopefully in 2021 – John will be appearing in Caroline, or Change.
MIMI KENNEDY has been a working actress for 50 years with a career that encompasses both stage and screen. This fall she begins production for her 8th season of MOM on CBS, playing Marjorie. MOM is the second Chuck Lorre sitcom for Kennedy. For five seasons she played Dharma’s Mom, Abby O’Neil, on Dharma & Greg.

Mimi’s first role was in the Rochester Community Players production of Agatha Christie’s Spider Web when she was twelve years old. Her mother Nancy often starred in productions and served as the President of the RCP board of directors. Mimi’s notable theatre credits include Last of the Red Hot Lovers, opposite Sid Caesar, and her role as Jan, one of the Pink Ladies, in the original Broadway production of Grease.

Her midlife memoir Taken to the Stage (Smith & Kraus, 1996) won praise from playwright Wendy Wasserstein as “one of the great theatrical memoirs.” Mimi’s film credits include In the LoopErin Brockovich, and Midnight in Paris. A complete list of her numerous television and film roles can be found on her IMDB page and her official website, www.mimi-kennedy.com.