On Tap

Kristi Zea and Karen Goodman

ON TAP is an independent documentary that explores the origins of tap through an in-depth profile of preeminent improvisational jazz tap dancer, Michela Marino Lerman, as she creates a new commission at The Joyce Theater, narrated by Anna Deavere Smith, with music by Grammy Award nominee Russell Hall. [more detail]

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Michela Marino Lerman
Michela Marino Lerman


On Tap is an independent documentary profiling the extraordinary improvisational jazz tap dancer, Michela Marino Lerman, who has come up through the ranks with the support of industry greats such as Gregory Hines, Wynton Marsalis and Quincy Jones. Michela has performed at venues and festivals worldwide, including the Newport Jazz Festival and Jazz at Lincoln Center. She is currently featured on a USPS postage stamp commemorating American tap.  

Most recently, Lerman has been commissioned to perform a one-week engagement at New York's famed Joyce Theater. On Tap follows Lerman’s creative process as she works on this important premiere. From rehearsals to opening night, it will offer an intimate window into the world of tap, while exploring the significance of the art form in American culture.

The filmmakers, Kristi Zea and Karen Goodman, are award winning independent filmmakers who have been directing, producing and designing documentary and feature films for more than three decades, including several works for PBS' American Masters series. 


Kristi Zea - Producer/Director

Kristi Zea has been in the contemporary film scene for over three decades and is acclaimed for her work as a Costume Designer, Production Designer, and Producer of major feature films. As Costume Designer, her work is seen in Alan Parker’s Fame (1980), James L. Brooks’Terms of Endearment (1983) and Larry Kasdan’s Silverado  (1985) among others. A small sampling of Kristi’s work as Production Designer includes Martin Scorsese’s films Goodfellas (Oscar Winner 1990) and The Departed  (Oscar Winner 2006); and Jonathan Demme’s films Married to the Mob (1988), Beloved (1998), Silence of the Lambs (Oscar Winner 1991) and Philadelphia  (Oscar Winner 1993). She was nominated for an Oscar in Production Design on Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road (2008). Zea was Producer on Oscar nominee As Good As It Gets (1997).  She also produced and directed American Master’s documentary Everybody Knows… Elizabeth Murray (2017). Zea most recently directed HBO’s Critic’s Choice double nominee Notes from the Field (2018) starring Anna Deavere Smith.



Karen Goodman - Producer/Director

Academy Award-winning filmmaker Karen Goodman has been making documentaries for four decades. Her films have garnered numerous awards including four Oscar nominations, several Emmys and NAACP Image Awards, and the Dupont-Columbia Award for Independent Programming. She has produced and directed films and series for national broadcast for HBO, PBS, MTV and National Geographic. Her work has been screened at film festivals worldwide from Sundance to St. Petersburg. Her award-winning films include the Oscar-winning documentary Strangers No More, a portrait of an inner-city school in Tel Aviv that is home to immigrant children from more than fifty nations and Emmy-winning three season HBO series Masterclass which paired world-renowned artists with aspiring teenagers in their disciplines.  Episodes featured masters including Bill T. Jones, Edward Albee, Patti Lupone, and Anna Deavere Smith. She is a longtime member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and served on its Documentary Executive Committee for many terms. 


Buster Brown giving pointers to young Michela
Buster Brown giving pointers to young Michela