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Salon Radio 11-01-17: Miracle on 42nd Street; Heather Massie

November 1st, 2017

Salon Radio

podcast 8, release 11-01-17


For this episode’s Salon Radio Special Feature we are talking with Academy Award nominated director Alice Elliott and Academy Award nominated producer and editor Lisa Shreve about Miracle on 42nd Street, premiering in NYC on Nov. 11th, 2017 in Doc NYC film festival.

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This episode's Salon Solo {Radio} presents Heather Massie, writer, producer, & performer of the Award-Winning, Internationally-Acclaimed Solo Play HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr.


This episode is hosted by IWAS founder Heidi Russell, with Malini Singh McDonald presenting our guests. Salon Radio is rounded out with our Women in The Arts world bulletin highlighting news about women in all The Arts, from this week’s editor Barbara Sullivan, and our Salon Bulletin for upcoming week's happenings of Salonistas around the world. This podcast was recorded at our production partner Funkadelic Studios with sound engineer Jade Zabric.


Thank you to this month's sponsor: PREformances with Allison Charney




Salon Solo {Radio}: Heather Massie, writer, producer, & performer of the Award-Winning, Internationally-Acclaimed Solo Play HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr


Hedy Lamarr, glamorous siren of the silver screen, was more than the most beautiful woman in the world. She invented Frequency Hopping and Spread Spectrum Technology that make the world of wireless communication tick. From Austria to Hollywood, WWII, torpedoes, ecstasy, and intrigue to the very cell phone in your pocket, she was there!

HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr explores the life, inventions and person of Hedy Lamarr, Viennese-born Hollywood film star of the 1930s-1950s. Known as The Most Beautiful Woman in the World, Hedy Lamarr stored away knowledge of munitions while married to Austrian arms dealer, Fritz Mandl. She employed this knowledge to support the US Navy’s war effort during WWII by inventing The Secret Communication System with composer George Antheil, to make torpedoes more accurate. Also referred to as Frequency Hopping or Spread Spectrum Technology, her invention is used today in cell phones, WiFi, CDMA, GPS, Bluetooth and a myriad of other wireless systems.

Heather Massie is a NYC Actor and Writer. Originally from Virginia, Ms. Massie has always been fascinated by the sciences, especially Astronomy. She studied Astrophysics at the University of Virginia, and Theatre Arts at The Virginia Tech School of the Arts, graduating Summa Cum Laude. Ms. Massie has performed extensively regionally and nationally with: Mill Mountain Theatre, Allenberry Playhouse, Flat Rock Playhouse, Phoenix Theatre, Arizona Jewish Theatre Company, Nearly Naked Theatre, Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival, Southwest Shakespeare, Southern Appalachian Repertory Theatre, and Harrisburg Shakespeare Festival. NYC Theatre: Signature Theatre in readings of the plays Legends and Apples & Oranges by playwright Leslie Lee. She is a member of WorkShop Theater, Manhattan Theatre Works, NyLon Fusion Theatre, Firebone Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, and the Negro Ensemble Company. Other NYC Theatre: Theatre Row, LaMaMa, Metropolitan Playhouse, The Lamb’s Theatre, 45th St. Theatre, Manhattan Theatre Club, The Dramatists Guild, New Dramatists, The Actors Studio, and more. She received the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Supporting Actor and received three AriZoni Award Nominations. She served as a Cultural Envoy to Zimbabwe for the 2008 Intwasa Arts Festival, and worked in Ecuador and St. Petersburg, Russia. Ms. Massie collaborated for many years with the late Tony-Nominated playwright Mr. Leslie Lee, another scientist turned artist. She performed at LaMaMa in his plays The Book of Lambert, and Mina, about the life of painter-poet, Mina Loy; and in Mr. Lee’s musical Martin: A New American Musical with music and lyrics by Charles Strouse, with the Negro Ensemble Company. Upon Mr. Lee’s passing in 2014, Ms. Massie founded the Leslie Lee Legacy Foundation to foster the continued production of Mr. Lee’s writings. In an effort to join her love of science with her passion for theatre, Ms. Massie wrote and performs her solo show HEDY! The Life & Inventions of Hedy Lamarr. 

Artist Statement

“I have a great love of theatre and a great love of science. In third grade I decided I wanted to be an astronaut or an inventor, and I headed that way into university by studying astrophysics. As life has it, I ended up with a theatre degree. I feel that science and art are closely related as each seeks to answer the same questions. After moving into a life of performance, I have longed for a way to bring science into my work. I have also longed for a way to perform both nationally and internationally. To address these dreams, I determined to develop a solo play on a female in science. Hedy Lamarr has proven to be a perfect subject. A Hollywood screen siren is an aptly dramatic subject, and her unexpected scientific genius provides a delicious recipe for intrigue. I am on a mission to tell the world just how amazing and important Hedy Lamarr was. Through performance of the show, my goal is to inspire audiences to find ways each day to make the world a better place, and to encourage young women in pursuits of science and technology. I plan to develop a repertoire of three solo shows on women in science to bring to theatres, festivals, universities, libraries, museums, and cultural and scientific organizations throughout the United States and around the world.”  ~ Heather Massie

All Upcoming Performance Info: 

For Tax-Deductible Donations:

Show Facebook Page: 
Facebook Event Charm City Fringe: 
Twitter: @HeatherMMassie
Instagram: @HeatherMMassie


Upcoming Performances: 

2017 Charm City Fringe Festival - Baltimore, MD - November 9-12, 2017 - Downtown Cultural Arts Center - 401 N Howard St, Baltimore, MD Info:  Tickets $10 at: 

Special performance for the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum’s GOALS for Girls Program on the USS Intrepid - Dec 2017

Lecture Recording for NPR - WITF’s Mind Matters program for The Department of Aging - Fall, 2017

SaraSolo Festival Encore - Sarasota, FL - Jan/Feb 2018

Millersville University - Millersville, PA - April 2018

Inspirefest 2018 - Dublin, Ireland - June 2018




Salon Radio Special: Miracle on 42nd Street, with Academy Award nominated director, Alice Elliott and Academy Award nominated producer and editor Lisa Shreve -

premiering in NYC on Nov. 11th, 2017 at 1:30pm ET in Doc NYC film festival


A documentary about affordable housing for artists, the transformation of Times Square and the Manhattan Plaza housing complex on West 42nd Street in New York City.  Former residents include Alicia Keys, Larry David, Giancarlo Esposito, Donald Faison, Samuel L Jackson and Angela Lansbury who are all in the film.

What do Alicia Keys, Larry David, and Samuel L. Jackson have in common? Their lives were all positively impacted by the Manhattan Plaza buildings, which housed and helped nurture other prominent artists such as Terrence Howard, Angela Lansbury, Giancarlo Esposito, and Donald Faison, all of whom are featured in on-camera interviews in this hour-long documentary.

Narrated by acclaimed actor/writer Chazz Palminteri, Miracle on 42nd Street is the story of how a housing complex in New York City for people in the performing arts led to the revitalization of midtown Manhattan. This the first film to focus on the story of affordable housing for artists.

Starting with the background of the blighted Hell's Kitchen neighborhood and the building’s initial commercial failure in the mid-1970s, the story recounts how – in a moment of bold inspiration or maybe desperation - the buildings were “re-purposed” as subsidized housing for people who worked in the performing arts, becoming one of the first intentional, government supported, affordable housing for artist residences.

The social experiment was a resounding success in the lives of the tenants, and it led the way in the transformation of the midtown neighborhood, the Broadway theater district and local economy. The film makes a compelling case for the economic value of the arts and artists in America. The success of Manhattan Plaza has become a role model for similar experiments, which the film features, around the country, in places like Ajo, AZ, Providence, RI and Rahway, NJ.

This film is made possible in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ford Foundation.


For more information…

Miracle on 42nd Street:  

Social media: @miracleon42

Doc NYC Film Festival:



“Documentary storytelling is flourishing like never before – encompassing reportage, memoir, history, humor and more. DOC NYC celebrates this cultural phenomenon and encourages its new directions.”  -DOC NYC


SVA Theatre

DOC NYC also screens in the heart of Chelsea at the School of Visual Arts Theatre (on 333 West 23rd street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).

SVA is easily accessible by mass transit:

– C/E train to 23rd Street (at Eighth Avenue)

– 1 train to 23rd Street (at Seventh Avenue) – F or PATH (from New Jersey) (at Sixth Avenue) – Downtown M11 bus on Ninth Avenue – Uptown M20 bus on Eight Avenue – Crosstown M23 bus (stops at Eighth and Ninth Avenues)


Alice Elliott

Alice Elliott teaches documentary and television production at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and is a media diversity consultant for corporations and non-profits.  She is an Academy Award nominated documentary director of The Collector of Bedford Street, a short film that tells the story of her neighbor, Larry Selman.  Larry had an intellectual disability that gave him a low IQ.  However, he committed his life to raising money for others, even though he lived at the poverty level.  His passion for community involvement and philanthropy was a model of service leadership.  The International Kiwanis continues to use The Collector of Bedford Street to teach young Key Leaders all around the world.

A 2012 Guggenheim Fellow award recipient, she is working on completing a trilogy of short documentary films that, through compelling stories, change our perceptions of ability. Ms. Elliott also makes training films that use high quality visuals and people with disabilities telling their own stories. She directed the PBS Award winning documentary Body & Soul: Diana & Kathy, as part of the trilogy. The film is now being made into a musical.  She and Emmy Award winner Jason DaSilva are co-directing a feature film, The Dismantled.  After 8 years, she recently finished Miracle on 42nd Street, a documentary about affordable housing for artists for which she received a National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

Through her social media presence, she tweets regularly on topical disability news. Currently she is developing an app for Washington DC visitors on the history of disability rights, and looking at empathy and disability through VR (Virtual Reality).

Welcome Change is a small independent documentary production company owned by Academy Award® nominated director Alice Elliott. Since 1991, Welcome Change has been making films that focus on people with disabilities and communities that are reinventing themselves. Our mission is to lead social change by revealing the big stories hidden in the human heart.


Lisa Shreve

Emmy Award winning and Oscar nominated filmmaker Lisa Shreve has edited and produced over one hundred television documentaries, narrative films, newsmagazine segments, music videos and corporate films.

Lisa’s work has appeared on PBS, HBO, MTV, ABC, NBC, CBS as well as most of the major cable channels. She has worked with such figures as Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, John Stossel, Linda Ellerbee, Mike Wallace, Peter Jennings, Michael Bay, and Lisa Ling, among others.

A native of Philadelphia, Pa., Lisa moved to New York to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film from New York University School of the Arts (now Tisch School of the Arts) where Martin Scorcese was her professor. Prior to her career in television and films she acted in Off-Off Broadway theatre, worked as a still photographer and sang backup in “The Stilettos”, a seventies New York rock group.

Lisa is currently a producer/editor on “Miracle on 42nd Street”, an independent documentary scheduled for completion in 2017.


Artist Statement: Alice Elliott

“If I could choose phrases to summarize my artistic journey I would say embrace risk and welcome change.  My company is name Welcome Change to remind me of the importance of finding pleasure in change. Since I am not a scientist, studying chromosomes and theory, but an observer and messenger of the human heart, I communicate what I see and feel.  I make documentary films in the verite style.  I like to follow my subjects over long periods of time, usually from two to five years.  With an editor I distill many hours of footage down into layered, intense, story filled films.  Behind the camera I like being invisible. My films attempt to take the audience into a private or hidden, world, following story arcs that immerse the viewer in lives or places they would not ordinarily enter.

In documentary filmmaking I have found a perfect union between my artistic life and my politically active conscious.  From 1965 to 1995 I worked as a professional actress but always promised myself that when I became successful I would throw the prestige of my fame into solving world problems.  Although I worked constantly, I never felt I had achieved enough notoriety to make a dent in a social justice cause.  In 1995, when I discovered low cost, light weight cameras, and the intimacy of telling a story that might be missed in the mainstream media, I felt I had received permission to step into a more active role as a change maker.  My visual imagination was captured by the camera and I immersed myself into the lives of characters, much as I had done in preparing for acting roles.”

“My personal mission statement is: Leading change by revealing the hidden stories in the human heart.”


Artist Statement: Lisa Shreve

“I started out as an assistant editor at ABC News 20/20, a weekly segment show, so many diverse subjects were covered, from bios of entertainers to the most important world events. I found out early on that subjects that didn't seem that interesting at first turned out to educate and open my mind. So I look for work on projects that will be well produced with talented, good people whether they be documentaries, feature films, artistic or informative. 

I always say that my career in films has been like going to graduate school - I have gained a lot of general knowledge about subjects I would never have known anything about if I had not worked on films about those subjects. Filmmaking opens up the world to you if you let it. 

I have lived in Manhattan Plaza since the building opened in 1978 so “Miracle on 42nd Street” was a subject very close to my heart. It has been one of the greatest gifts of my life to live there so I brought a love for the place and a personal knowledge of the history to the project.  Over the course of the production I also learned much that I hadn’t known about the building’s history and present life, the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood and artists’ s housing. I got to know many residents and staff that I wasn’t acquainted with before. It is a little chancy working on a film about the place where you live - what if a lot of residents don’t like something in the film or are upset that they are not in it? I guess I’ll be finding out about that soon enough!”




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