ANDREW DEPRISCO, Trustee/President
Andrew founded Cabaret for Life in 1995 along with Fred Mayo and John and Carole Hessels. He has served as president of CFL since its inception and has produced and/or directed every major show including such favorites as Hairspray, Ragtime, Swinging on a Star, Cabaret Goes to Hollywood, A Century of Broadway, elegies for angels, punks and raging queens, and all three seasons of Gay and Be Glitter and Housewives of Monmouth County.
In 2005 Andrew was honored by the Volunteer Center of Monmouth County as “Volunteer of the Year” for his work with Cabaret for Life. Since 1995 Andrew has been the director of music liturgy for St. Gabriel’s Church in Marlboro. In 2010 he began producing musical at the Axelrod Performing Arts Center, some in conjunction with CFL. Working alongside director Jose de la Cuesta, he mounted successful productions of South Pacific, Oklahoma!, Cabaret, Damn Yankees, Titanic, and 42nd Street, the latter winning multiple Perry Awards from New Jersey Association of Community Theaters (NJACT). In 2012 he began directing theatre at Red Bank Catholic High School, and his production of the musical Into the Woods garnered 13 Basie nominations including wins for Best Director and Best Production of a Musical.
Andrew’s professional career in book publishing at T.F.H. Publications, Inc., in 1987, where he worked as an editor for ten years. While at T.F.H. he wrote a dozen books on dogs and cats, including the best-selling Choosing a Dog for Life. In 1998 he joined a new company Animalia as the editor-in-chief and created a line of two hundred dog-breed books for the European market, including titles in ten different languages. In 2005, Andrew began working for BowTie, Inc., as a vice-president of Kennel Club Books. His book Woof! A Gay Man’s Guide to Dogs (BowTie Press, 2007) won the Benjamin Franklin Award in 2008 for Best Gay/Lesbian Publication of the Year and was recognized with a New York Book Award. He currently lives in Interlaken with Robert White, his partner of 18 years, and their two Shiba Inus, Azuki and Chibi.
FELIX M. TRUEX, Trustee/Executive Vice President
One of the founding directors of CFL and a permanent trustee, Felix continues to serve as CFL’s executive vice president and has been involved musically since the organization’s inception. He has performed at the piano and served as music director for countless CFL productions over the years, including nine solo shows at McLoone’s Supper Club. Felix frequently contributes original songs and lyrics to CFL shows. He is a former member of the Shrewsbury Chorale and currently serves as a trustee of the South Street Players of Spring Lake. He also serves as the vice chairman of South Street Players, where he has been involved since 2008. He has been a frequent guest lecturer for vocal performance at Brookdale Community College and is the choir director and organist at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church in Spring Lake. Felix is a member of the American Society of Composers and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Manhattan Association of Clubs and Cabarets (MAC).
FRED MAYO, Trustee/Vice President
Fred is a founding board member and has been with Cabaret for Life since its inception in 1995. Fred has enjoyed in helping to bring talented people together in order to help those in need. Fred has costumed nearly all of CFL’s productions over the last eighteen years. Some of his favorites include Cabaret Goes to Hollywood, A Century of Broadway and Titanic. In addition to costuming Fred has the opportunity to work with CFL President Andrew DePrisco in producing and writing some of CFL’s shows. Fred is most proud of Housewives of Monmouth County, which allows him to come up with zany ideas and actually have performers do them, all for a good cause of course. When not working n CFL projects, Fred has been the costumer for Axelrod Arts Center and recently provided costumes for Damn Yankees, 42 Street and Cabaret. This past year Fred had the honor of working with CFL President Andrew DePrisco at Red Bank Catholic High school, providing costumes for Into the Woods, The Miss Firecracker Contest and Lucky Stiff. Fred received a Basie Award for Best Costume Design for Into the Woods in 2012. When not involved in theater is a retail management executive with Lord & Taylor.
A. BARBARA OWENS, Trustee/Treasurer
Barbara was invited to join the CFL Board in September 1999 and became a Permanent Trustee/Treasurer in 2001. She graduated from Pace University with a BBA in Accounting and Information Systems and from Seton Hall University with an MBA in Management & Industrial Relations. Barbara worked for Arthur Young & Company in NY (now Ernst & Young) as a Staff Accountant/Senior Auditor. She later joined Bell Laboratories as an Internal Auditor and retired from AT&T as a District Manager. Her group provided business and financial analysis support to the Software Development Organization of the Network Systems Division in AT&T. Barbara is currently Education Secretary at Hawkswood School, a school for special needs children, in Eatontown. Other former affiliations include: Treasurer & Finance Committee Chair for Family Based Services Assoc. of NJ; President, Montgomery Academy Board of Directors; Treasurer, Jack & Jill of America, Inc., Monmouth; Carnival Chair (5 years) for St. Gabriel’s Church, as well as Lector and Eucharistic Minister. In her youth, Barbara played the organ & piano for Our Lady of Victory Church in Brooklyn, sang in the choir, and taught piano to the students. She also sang in Equitable Life Insurance Company’s choir. Barbara is currently a choir member and one of the lead counters for collections at St. Gabriel’s Church. She is also Treasurer for SAM Investment Club.
GEORGE ROTH, Trustee/Secretary
George, a life-long resident of Monmouth County, has been enjoying Cabaret for Life in the audience since the very first shows which were performed at St. Anselem’s Church. After supervising food service in the early days of Cabaret, Andrew DePrisco asked George to join the Board of Directors in 1996. George now serves as a Trustee and Recording Secretary. Some of George’s favorite shows include Hairspray, Ragtime, Cabaret, and Titanic, where he made his Cabaret for Life stage debut with his fifteen second walk on as Benjamin Guggenheim.
Since receiving his Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management, George has worked for various hotels and restaurants throughout New Jersey, including the Sheraton Meadowlands Hotel & Conference Center, Westin Governor Morris, Sheraton Suites at Lincoln Harbor and the Clam Hut. When not working or volunteering, he can probably found on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, traveling to Europe with family and friends or visiting the happiest place on Earth.
George resides in Highlands and is looking forward to working with the talented and caring Cabaret for Life family for many years to come!
BONNIE CAROLAN, Trustee/Scholarship Chair
Bonnie, along with her three children and late husband John Rodriguez, has been a part of the CFL family since 1999. It all began innocently enough when her son Jesse was asked to dance in a summer production for CFL. There was also an opening for her youngest child Maggie in the ensemble…and so it began. Within weeks John began to volunteer designing and building the sets. Bonnie began to help with the costumes. Bonnie and her oldest daughter Annie even performed in Elegies, the only “straight” play produced by CFL. Bonnie and John both had background in the performing arts. The apples did not fall from the tree. It became truly a family affair. Bonnie and John became members of the board and the children performed in the shows. After John’s death in 2004 CFL and the Carolan-Rodriguez family established the John C. Rodriguez Scholarship. Over the last nine years we have awarded over $30,000 in monies to students graduating high school and pursuing an education in the arts. What started out as a way of teaching her children the importance of giving back to the community became a passion for Bonnie and her family.
LINDA LEPORE, Trustee/Gala Chair
Linda has been involved in both fundraising and the performing arts for over 40 years. Whether for the hospital auxiliary, PTA, or some other charitable, non-profit organization, Linda has always enjoyed her time helping others (including for her ten grandchildren!). As the office manager and subsequent owner of Movement Dance Academy in Eatontown, she was an active member of the dance community. It was at MDA, with her choreographer daughter Caroline Lepore Quattrochi, that she first became involved with Cabaret for Life, for which she currently serves as a trustee.
JUDY HATHAWAY, Trustee
Judy has been on the Board of CFL since 2007. During her 25 years at Hewlett-Packard, she managed several branch sales offices, led numerous project teams, and implemented many process improvements. As the first Executive Director of the Jersey Shore Jazz & Blues Foundation, Judy was instrumental in securing first-time grants, which enabled the foundation to continue their tradition of putting on the largest free music festival in the Northeast.
Judy’s firm – Meeting Professionals Expectations – specializes in helping companies and organizations find the best meeting site at the best rate. Her exceptional organizational and time management skills, along with her attention to customer service, allow Judy to exceed her clients’ expectations. Judy has her own travel business, Ambassador Events Travel LLC. This exciting business allows Judy to fulfill her passions of traveling, sharing the business opportunity with her husband, and having fun! She is also an Energy Life Coach, with the divine purpose to guide and support others in the evolution into their highest self. She helps in identifying the “blocks” keeping people from the life they desire, and guides them to remove the fears, blocks and patterns keeping them stuck, and to replace them with their intentions and habits that get the results desired.
Over the years, Judy has invested herself in helping local organizations, by giving time and energy to volunteering in her community. She is the Past President of the United Way of Central Jersey; Past Board Member and Vice President of the Piscataway Area Chamber of Commerce; Co-founder and past board member of the Employers Advisory Committee for the Transitional Employment Program and Employment Services for the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; Past Social Supervisor for the Monmouth Boat Club; Past President of the National Association of Women Business Owners-Central Jersey Chapter. In her work as volunteer fundraiser, Judy was the Restaurant and Winery Coordinator for the first seven years of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth County’s Gourmet Food and Wine Tasting. Judy also has served on the Red Bank Kaboom! Committee.
CINDY BUCK, Director
Cindy has enjoyed being a Cabaret for Life performer since 1999 when she appeared in A Century of Broadway. She has been featured in cabaret shows in NYC and has performed at Carnegie Hall. She had the distinct privilege of studying with the renowned composer/cabaret stylist, John Wallowitch, and was honored to debut one of his original songs, “A Christmas Journey,” during a performance in NYC. Cindy has been thrilled to present her one-woman shows, produced by CFL, at Tim McLoone’s Supper Club. She has recorded three albums. Her most recent one, “A Christmas Gift,” was a benefit for the Food Bank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. In addition to her cabaret singing, Cindy has been a cantor and church soloist for more than thirty years and has sung the national anthem at numerous professional sporting events. Cindy holds a BA in English and an MA in Education. She is an elementary school teacher, wife and mother. She has served as a Board member for the South Street Players, a central Jersey non-profit theater group and has participated as a parish council member at the Church of St. Anselm, Wayside. Cindy joined the CFL Board in 2009 and has loved working with this wonderful group of bright and energetic people, all of whom have become her dear friends! She resides in Oceanport with her husband, Brian.
TARA FEELEY, Director
Tara first came on the CFL scene after working with CFL performers in Old Bridge Theatre Guild productions, and at their insistence, auditioned for CFL early summer 1997. Since she was old enough to stand on a chair and call it a stage, Tara’s been singing and sharing her love of music with anyone who’ll listen! But it would be CFL to really introduce her to theatre and all the musical magic behind it! Her deep appreciation of great song classics as well as modern music, to include more pop music than most anyone else at CFL (we all would loose at Pop Music Trivia with Tara) has all helped shape her love of voice and performing.
That love of music has taken Tara on quite a diverse career path, one she’s been enjoying for close to 20 years! Tara got her degree in Communications-Radio Broadcasting at Brookdale Community College, and can still be heard on the air as an on-air personality (disc jockey) at 90.5 The Night. In addition to her radio career, Tara is also a full-time popular DJ around NJ specializing in Weddings for over 15 years. She owns and operates Tara Feeley Entertainment, providing DJ Entertainment, Master of Ceremonies, Coordination, Planning AND even Live Vocals to hundreds of Weddings and Private Events throughout New Jersey and the Tri-State area.
While balancing her full-time career as Wedding DJ and running her business, Tara is thrilled to add another dimension to just her performance side of CFL with being a part of the board. “It’s an honor to be able to share knowledge and bring talents that aid further in the success of what is truly an amazing organization that helps others who are suffering from disease…by producing musical theatre that entertains others who are not. We work hard at entertaining so we can give money to those who are working hard to just survive. That’s community, That’s CFL!” Tara resides in Tinton Falls, NJ with her fearless Schnauzer, Frankie.
RITA SHERMAN, Director
Rita first became involved with Cabaret for Life in 1999 when she “innocently” attended a CFL holiday show in which her nephew and niece were performing. Little did she realize that it would become a lifetime commitment. What started as being just regular
audience attendance at nearly all of the shows grew to a passion involving her husband Jeff and, eventually, the circle broadened to include many friends.
Rita first joined the CFL Board as a director in 2005 after the untimely death of her brother-in-law John Rodriguez. Along with his widow Bonnie, Rita and Jeff initiated the John C. Rodriguez Scholarship Fund. This fund, under the auspices of Cabaret for Life, has awarded over $30,000 to local students graduating from high school and pursuing an education in either the fine or performing arts.
Rita is a retired elementary school teacher with a career that has spanned over thirty years. She graduated from what is now known as Kean University (formerly Newark State Teacher’s College) with a B.A. degree in Early Childhood Education and extensive post-graduate credits. She has raised two grown children and is blessed with three grandchildren.
Rita took a hiatus from the board in 2010 due to personal and health issues that took precedence, but she continued to attend CFL shows and remained a Member. She is honored and thrilled to have returned to the Board. CFL is like an extended family and it feels like “coming home.”
DIANE WRAN-FARRIS, Director
Diane is a long-time resident of New Jersey, graduated from Glassboro State University, now known as Rowan University, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology. She later obtained a Master’s Degree in Education from Central Michigan University. Her love of education was evident throughout her career as an Admissions Counselor/Recruiter, Multicultural Career Development Program Coordinator, Mentor, and Advisor to several student organizations at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ, from which she retired in 2006, after over twenty years of service.
An actor and a singer for nearly two decades, Diane has performed in New Jersey, New York, and Washington, D.C. She has performed with Dunbar Repertory Theatre Company in To Be Young, Gifted and Black, God’s Trombones, Black Nativity, For Women Only and Good Black Don’t Crack. And at Brookdale Performing Arts Center productions of Anything Goes and The Vagina Monologues. She is also a principal actor with a walking history company called Local Commotion, which portrays the untold stories of women and the vital roles they have played in the making of American history.
Diane’s affiliation with Cabaret for Life began in 1995 with her musical theatre debut in The Best of Times. Since then she has performed in New Music, elegies…for angels, punks and raging queens, and Ragtime. In 2010, Diane was welcomed onto the CFL Board. She is honored to be a member and understands the goals of Cabaret for Life as it presents “theatre with a purpose” to raise funds for facilities and organizations that help people with life threatening diseases. She resides in Neptune, NJ with her husband Larry Farris.