New Artistic Director of the Puffin Cultual Forum

January 1, 2011

Dear Friends,

We are please to advise you that Merri Milwe, who for the past three years has been our drama workshop leader, has accepted the post as the Artistic Director of the Puffin Cultural Forum.


Perry and Gladys Rosenstein
President and Executive Director of the Puffin Foundation, Ltd.



The Puffin Foundation, Ltd., is pleased to announce the appointment of Merri Ann Milwe as Artistic Director of the Puffin Cultural Forum, a not-for-profit gallery and performance space located in Teaneck, NJ. Merri, a native of New Jersey, has been the Puffin’s drama workshop leader for the past three years. She received a BA in Performing Arts from Franconia College in New Hampshire and now resides in New York City. In her new position, she will be responsible for providing thoughtful, socially-relevant, and provocative arts programming at the Puffin in the form of art exhibitions, music, dance, theater, author interviews, workshops, film series, lectures, and dialogues. Merri has been an actor, stand-up comedienne, teacher, director, and playwright; she looks forward to using the many and varied skills and contacts she has developed over the years to further the Puffin Cultural Forum’s mission of ensuring that the arts not merely survive, but flourish at all levels of society. The Puffin Cultural Forum is located at 20 Puffin Way (formerly East Oakdene Ave., off Teaneck Rd.) in Teaneck. Call 201-836-3400 or visit

MERRI ANN MILWE was born in Glen Ridge, NJ, attended James Caldwell High School and, after her family moved to Florida, graduated from North Miami Beach High School; her love of theater began at age 13 when she took a bus to New York each week for a class at HB Studios. Merri graduated with a BA in Performing Arts and a minor in Psychology from Franconia College in New Hampshire. Her last year in college was spent in an outreach program at Roundabout Theatre in New York City; she has lived in NYC ever since. Merri transitioned into stand-up comedy during the Reagan years, working in Atlantic City resorts, at the Improv in NYC, at Comedy Cellar, and other venues. While taking a class for performers who write their own material, class members asked Merri if she would direct their work; this invitation ultimately led to a second career as a director.  In this capacity, she has been a guest director at Sarah Lawrence College, New York University, Yale University, and Tel Aviv University.  In addition, she has worked as a theatre group leader and teaching artist for Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Creative Alternatives of New York and Arts Horizons, teaching in public schools throughout New York and New Jersey and leading workshops at Mt. Sinai Hospital, the Bronx VA, homeless shelters, and senior centers.


In 2002, Merri was a board member of a resident acting company, Off World Theatre, that performed for several seasons at the Puffin Cultural Forum. Merri directed the Off World productions “1984” and “The Risks Worth Taking.” This association, in turn, led to Merri’s tenure as leader of a very successful Acting Workshop enjoyed by numerous budding Puffin actors during the past three years.  Merri will continue the workshop, culminating in a Spring 2011 performance, for at least the current season.


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