Floria V. Lasky, Esq. (In Memoriam)
After representing Jerome Robbins for more than fifty years, Ms. Lasky continued to serve as executor of his estate, President of The Jerome Robbins Foundation and Trustee of The Robbins Rights Trust. She died in 2007. Ms. Lasky entered Hunter College when she was fourteen years old. She met Jerome Robbins shortly after graduating from New York University Law School, first in her class, when she was only twenty-one. Too young to be admitted to the New York Bar and, being Jewish and female, unable to get a job, she was finally hired by a small entertainment law firm run by someone who knew someone who knew her brother. At the same time, just blocks from her office in the opposite direction, Jerome Robbins had begun a revolution of his own with Fancy Free and On the Town. Over the half-century of their association, whether it was Broadway or ballet, Ms. Lasky became and remained Jerry’s lawyer and advisor, his steady counselor and his fiercest champion. It has been written of Ms. Lasky that she had a reputation for not being averse to engaging in battle in fact, rather doting on it. While such a phrase belies her warm care and devotion, her willingness to do battle on her clients behalf was absolute. In a feat of suasion that still evokes admiration (and vexation) throughout the theater, at Mr. Robbins request Ms. Lasky brought together the writers, lyricists, directors, designers and original producers of more than 10 Broadway productions and opened the stage door to Jerome Robbins Broadway. It won six Tony Awards in 1989. Ms. Lasky spent her entire professional career in the offices of that small entertainment law firm, Fitelson & Mayers, known later as Fitelson Lasky Aslan & Couture. She was instrumental in paving the way for such modern theater classics as Oklahoma!, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof, Carousel, Peter Pan, Grand Hotel, among many others. In addition to Jerome Robbins, her clients included such luminaries as Carson McCullers, Elia Kazan, Jule Styne, Frederick Loewe, Joshua Logan, Mary Martin, Tennessee Williams, Gypsy Rose Lee, Burl Ives and Leland Hayward. Her counsel and guidance were essential to the Theatre Guild and The Actor’s Studio. She lectured at Philip Burton Drama School, Rutgers Law School and New York University School of Law. She was the first Foundation chairman of Hunter College, received its President’s Medal in 1994 and was made a Doctor of Humane Letters in 1998. She also served as the President of the Frederick Loewe Foundation. Ms. Lasky was by turns beguiling and abrupt, demanding and generous, gentle when you least expected it, but always brilliant. Though she was the accidental entertainment lawyer her profound contributions to theater and ballet were no accident.
Allen Greenberg was a long time financial advisor to Mr. Robbins and is currently a Director of The Jerome Robbins Foundation and a Trustee of The Robbins Rights Trust. Mr. Greenberg is a co-founder and officer of PEF Services, an administrative service provider to private capital funds. Prior to his current endeavors, Mr. Greenberg was a co-founder and partner of Walden Partners and Walden Capital Partners, providing merchant and investment banking services. From 1987-1992 Mr. Greenberg was a co-founder and partner of an investment partnership that specialized in acquiring and managing a number of companies in manufacturing, distribution and service industries. From 1976-1987 Mr. Greenberg was with Touche Ross & Co., serving as a Tax Partner since 1984. Mr. Greenberg has served on many charitable and corporate boards. He currently serves as a board member of F.E.G.S and REMI Arts and is a board member and officer for the Foundation for Jewish Culture. Mr. Greenberg earned his B.S. and M.B.A. from New York University.
Daniel Stern (In Memoriam)
Daniel Stern, a Trustee of The Robbins Rights Trust and a director of The Jerome Robbins Foundation, was a long standing friend of Jerome Robbins. Robbins was best man at his wedding and a large part of his family life. Having received his undergraduate degree from Harvard and completing is MD at Albert Einstein Medical College, he later decided to specialize in psychiatric care and completed his residency at Columbia University. Dr. Stern was a world-renowned author and lecturer and for more than forty years worked in research and practice as well as in developmental psychology and psychodynamic psychotherapy. In his research he dedicated his time to the observation of infants and to clinical reconstruction of early experiences and his efforts in such contribute to currently existing developmental theories.
Dr. Stern was Professeur Honoraire in the Faculté de Psychologie, Université de Genève, Switzerland; Adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry, Cornell University Medical School – New York Hospital; and Lecturer at the Columbia University Center for Psychoanalysis. He is the author of six books, most of which have been translated into more than ten languages: The First Relationship: Infant and Mother (Harvard University Press, 1977); The Interpersonal World of the Infant: A View from Psychoanalysis and Developmental Psychology (Basic Books, 1985); The Journal of a Baby (Basic Books, 1990); The Motherhood Constellation: A Unifying View of Parent-Infant Psychotherapies (Basic Books, 1995); The Birth of a Mother (written with Nadia Bruschweiler-Stern, Basic Books, 1997) and The Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday Life (W.W. Norton and Odile Jacob, 2003). He is the author of several hundred journal articles and chapters. Dr. Stern has been awarded a Doctor Honoris Causa (Honorary Doctorate) at: The Universities of Copenhagen, Denmark; Padua, Italy; Mons Hinault, Belgium; Palermo, Italy; Aalborg, Denmark; and Stockholm University.
Dr. Stern was born August 16, 1934 in New York City and passed away November 12, 2012 in Geneva, Switzerland.
Christopher Pennington is Executive Director of The Robbins Rights Trust and a Director and Treasurer of The Jerome Robbins Foundation. He also serves on the board of Dance NYC, which bolsters the support structure for dance in the New York City metropolitan area and serves as a voice and guide for dance artists and managers, and the board of the Natalie Lunn Technical Theater Award of Bard College. Before being hired by Jerome Robbins to manage his home office, he held various positions in the publishing companies of R. R. Bowker and Random House.
Ellen Sorrin is Director of the George Balanchine Trust as well as Managing Director of the New York Choreographic Institute (an affiliate of New York City Ballet). Previously she was Director of Education and Director of Special Projects at New York City Ballet. She is president of The Hemsley Lighting Programs, a foundation dedicated to the transition of lighting design students from the academic to the professional world. She is also the author of Food Matters, a blog concerned with food and family traditions. She has produced NYCB in-house film tributes for New York City Ballet on George Balanchine, Tanaquil Le Clercq, Lincoln Kirstein and Jerome Robbins. She produced a short film for the CityArts series PBS affiliate WNET/Thirteen about costume maker Barbara Matera. In 1987, prior to coming to NYCB, she produced Dancing for Life, the New York dance community’s response to AIDS, directed by Jerome Robbins. Before working in the arts, she was a classroom teacher in the New York City Public School system for six years, heading up an alternative classroom in Brooklyn for the school district’s Drug Abuse Prevention Program, a concept that led to the creation of specialized charter schools to address the education of children who were served best in smaller classes with more attention to both academic and psychological needs.