The Creative Team of Noted Broadway Professionals

Playwright Roy Close

Roy M. Close, a native Minneapolitan, holds a BA in English from the University of Minnesota. His teachers included Allen Tate, John Berryman, and Charles Nolte. From 1971 to 1992 he worked as a performing arts critic (theater, classical music, and dance) and editor for The Minneapolis Star and Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

He is the author of Critical Conditions, a study of criticism in Minnesota, and more than a dozen plays, including the musical Lies, Lies, Lies and the short plays Zambezi Blue, A Postcard from the Corn Palace, Killing Mother, After Goldilocks, and Your Call Is Very Important to Us. He co-wrote A Brief Crack of Light with Bill Semans.

Close worked as a grant writer for Artspace Projects, a Minneapolis-based nonprofit real estate developer for the arts starting in 1999. He’s a retired director of Artspace and former President of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Fringe Festival.

Gareth Johnson London General Manager

Gareth Johnson has produced and managed productions for more than 30 years for an “A” list of clients, including Sir Michael Codron, The GradeLinnit Company, Playful Productions, Lee Menzies, Patrick Myles, Oliver King, and Guy Chapman. He started as an actor and stage manager in the 1970’s.

In 2023, general management included the continuing tour of The Lavender Hill Mob and the production of Mongol Khan at the London Coliseum. Also, he was General Manager (GM) for co-producers Maxwell Mitchell and Sandy Marshall; Oliver King of Wild Yak Productions and did project management for Playful Productions.

In 2022, Johnson re-started development projects put “on hold” during the pandemic, including Hay Fever⎯The Musical which was workshopped last year; Charley⎯The Musical for Pretpakhuis, given a rehearsed reading; and the development of Alliance.

Prior to the pandemic, he was General Manager with GradeLinnit Company of Man of La Mancha with Kelsey Grammer, Chess, Carousel, 42nd Street, and Sunset Boulevard with Glenn Close.
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Playwright & Producer Bill Semans

Most recently he wrote and produced the play A Brief Crack of Light (previous title Exit Strategy) to critical acclaim in both Minneapolis and Los Angeles. Bill founded the Cricket Theater in Minneapolis and was its producing director for 13 years.

He has produced and staged over 100 productions. Under his tenure the theater was nominated for a Tony Award as Best Regional Theater.

He also co-produced, directed and wrote the feature film, Herman USA. Bill co-produced the award-winning World War II documentary series, The American Hero. He also produced Fighter Aces of World War II, the 1988 Military Video of the Year, as well as Ladies Sing the Blues, nominated in 1989 as Best Long Form Music Video of the Year.

His World War II documentaries are being streamed on several channels both in the U.S. and internationally. 

Martin Platt (General Manager)

General Manager Martin Platt is integral to the Broadway production of A Brief Crack of Light. He has been a Director, Producer, and General Manager in the U.S., U.K., and Europe for over forty years. He was the founding Artistic Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, General Director of Birmingham Opera Theatre, and founding Artistic Director of Santa Fe Stages, an international Arts Festival. 

Platt’s career as a Producer and General Manager began in 1991, as co-director of Fifth Amendment Ltd, a UK based producing company. During 10 years with 5A, he produced over 50 theatre and dance productions, in London’s West End and on tour in the UK, Europe, and U.S. His most recent West End production was the Olivier-nominated Lend Me A Tenor The Musical.

On Broadway he produced Dames At Sea and the Tony Award winning play, Vanya And Sonia And Masha And Spike in 2013-14. Platt’s New York productions have included Ed Dixon’s Georgie, and the multi Off-Broadway award-winning productions of In The Continuum and an oak tree.

Michael Lindsay-Hogg (Director)

His Broadway credits include: The Normal Heart, Agnes of God (2 years on Broadway and two Tony Awards), and Tony Award nominated Whose Life is It Anyway. He also directed Boys of Winter and the original Off Broadway production of The Normal Heart. Agnes of God was also made into a film with Jane Fonda and Ann BancroftLindsay-Hogg started his career by directing films for British rock stars, including the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. He went on to direct  the award winning Brideshead Revisited and BBC Play for Today and Play of the Week. Michael also directed numerous domestic and international TV movies and feature films.

Lindsay-Hogg contributed film for Peter Jackson’s documentary The Beatles: Get Back and appears in it, directing their last live performance. He recently penned the memoir Luck and Circumstance. Also a painter, he’s exhibited his artwork internationally. 

Jean Ward (Attorney)

Jean Ward is one of New York’s best-known theater lawyers, with over 30 years’ experience representing producers, authors, film companies and other stage rights holders, not-for-profit theatre companies, theatre owners, creative personnel, and investors. She is recognized in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in America for Entertainment Law—Theatre and is listed as a “Super Lawyer” by SuperLawyers magazine.

Jean is a 6-time NYC Entertainment Lawyer of the Year. Shows that she’s represented include Chita Rivera: The Dancer’s Life, Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Five Guys Named Moe, and Miss Saigon.

Current projects include representing Anais Mitchell (Broadway’s Hadestown) and Asher Muldoon (upcoming musical adaptation of The Butcher Boy), the composers and lyricists of the upcoming stage adaptation of True Blood, the stage and upcoming film version of Cyrano, and the co-bookwriter/director of the upcoming Blues Brothers stage musical.

The "best three-hander' since Agnes of God," says Director Michael Lindsay Hogg.

Watch the video as Director Sir Michael Lindsay-Hogg tells the A Brief Crack of Light story and his thoughts on why this is a can’t miss opportunity.

"A Brief Crack of Light is roguish fun, uproariously funny, and a groundbreaking comedy to boot.”

John Townsend,