All Out Arts / Fresh Fruit Festival – Founders & Honors

Carol PolcovarCarol Polcovar (Founding Artistic Director of the Fresh Fruit Festival, retired) Carol founded the Fresh Fruit Festival in 2002.  She is a poet – published in Partisan Review – with an MFA in poetry from Brooklyn College where she studied with John Ashbery.  Her anthology publications include DOWNTOWN POETS and BROOKLYN. She is also a playwright whose plays have been produced Off Broadway and in Italy; a director of more than thirty shows; a producer whose best know production Ray Fox’s musical Take It Easy ran for 103 Off-Broadway performances; and a teacher who has taught various subjects on grade levels from nursery school to post-graduate. Since the 1970’s Ms. Polcovar has been active in the LGBT and the Women’s Civil Rights Movement. She continues her artistic work and support for minority rights in her new home in Hawaii.
Liz086wLiz Thaler (Artistic Director 2014-2019) is a director, playwright, producer, and native New Yorker. In 2008 she founded In Extremis Theater Company, which brought her queer fairy tale The Peddler’s Tale to Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2010, and her feminist punk historical fanfiction play Courtney and Kathleen: A Riot Act to FringeNYC in 2011. She is a company member and sometimes-producer at Amios, which has produced a workshop of her BDSM rom-com Happy. She has also directed shows for ANT Fest (The President Plays, Part 1), The Flea (#serials) and IETC’s The Most Unkindest Cut series, which workshops bold new cuts of classic works (HMLT, A Midsummer Night’s Dream). She has been an assistant director at several professional theaters, including Soho Rep and Atlantic Theater Company. She is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, and received her graduate diploma in Directing from the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.

Dennis Corsi (Artistic Director 2020-2023) is currently an Associate Artistic Director at TOSOS, and the Director of New Works at Live & In Color, a creative incubator developing new plays and musicals celebrating diversity. Dennis is an alumnus of the Lincoln CenterDirectors’ Lab, Directors Lab West, and the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership program. He also works as a health coach, helping people revitalize their health and heal their relationship with food. Select directing credits: The Commedia Cinderella (Theatre Row – winner of Off Broadway Alliance Award), The Phillie Trilogy (Fresh Fruit Festival – winner Outstanding Production 2018), The Fierce Urgency of Now (Fresh Fruit Festival – winner Outstanding Production 2017), NELL DASH (Winterfest – winner Best Director), The Turing Test (Gallery Players), Siren’s Den (Gene Frankel), Junie B. Jones(Theatreworks USA), Dust and Ash (Samuel French OOB), and bare (Michigan State University).

Nick Curto (Founding President of All Out Arts)  has a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, where he was President of both The Drama Club and The Newman Club. He Co-Produced the first gay puppet show for the Fresh Fruit Festival with his partner Hal Rainbow, featuring a gay Black family and a straight White family and their children sharing a picnic in Central Park. Nick was a Fortune 500 corporate Art Director/Graphic Designer, and he designed, named and for 16 years fabricated the Festival’s “Fruitie Awards.”   As a co-founder and past president of The Equality Project – advocating progressive change on behalf of the LGBTQ Community to Fortune 500 companies, he designed the now internationally famous “Equal Logo” – made for the Equality Project’s first Press Conference at City Hall. He is also Co-Founder and Meetings Director of Disclosure Network New York (DNNY), which focuses on deep research into the total UFO dynamic as well as paranormal research, hosting Town Meetings, special events and Field Trips.
Past President, Vice President, & Outreach Chair of the Urantia Society of Greater New York; Founder of the Chemtrail Global Alert Network; Co-Founder, Friends of NYC Park Wildlife; and Founder/Concept Designer for Project Lemonade (Research organization to solve both the Globle Plastics & Homeless Crisis).
Nick also hosts several one-hour monthly “Nick Curto Presents” Podcasts: “THE URANTIA BOOK”; “THE DISCLOSURE NETWORK” and “THE REAL NEWS REVEALED.”  A life-long Peace/Human Rights/Animal Rights Activist, Nick Curto is a NY State officiant, a member of the UN Staff Recreation Council “Solus” – A health and well-being network.

In Memoriam

Harry Wieder (Board Member; Liaison to the Disabled Community) was killed while crossing a street in lower Manhattan. He had been active in the Disabled Community and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community for over twenty years. His dedication to the fight for the disabled, LGBT rights and the battle against AIDS won him honors from many community organizations. His unstoppable fight for disability rights earned him a featured profile in Jimmy Breslin’s column. He was a very active member of NYC Community Boards 2 & 3, and now has a street named after him in Lower Manhattan. He was a little person, with a towering presence in All Out Arts, and will be missed.

Keith Angora (Bruce Kessler) (Founding Board Member,)  had multitasked for the organization as performer: Fable, Finding the Wild Life Preserve, Judy’s Place; as playwright: At Sunset, Randolph, Coupons, The Brief Rages of GeeGee Schwartz; and as a director. His wit, wisdom, and ironic humor carried us through hard and good times.