INDUSTRY PROFESSIONALS & MASTER TEACHERS
NTI brings master teachers and industry professionals into your classroom. Often you'll see the work of your faculty on Broadway, off-Broadway, at regional theaters, and on film and television in the same semester. You will spend 10 hours a day working with these professionals, building skills, expanding your range as an artist, making connections, and gaining valuable mentors.
BY THE NUMBERS
15 core faculty members work with you each week
75 teaching & guest artists teach throughout the semester
98% of faculty are currently working professionally
14 students on average per class
10 hours of instruction per day
95% practical-based classes
A haven for artistic development, the O'Neill welcomes professional artists and companies to work in-residence during the semester. Students have the opportunity to learn from these artists and see the first stages of new professional work.
Rachel Jett has been a faculty member at the National Theater Institute since 1998 and is an alum of the NTI, NTI-Advanced Directing, and Moscow Art Theatre Semesters. A 2006 Baryshnikov Fellow, she holds an MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts Musical Theater Writing Program and is the first American aspirant to Andrei Droznin, master teacher of movement at the Vakhtangov Theatre in Moscow, Russia.
Rachel is one of the few practitioners teaching his method of Russian movement in the United States. Named “One of 50 to Watch” by Dramatist Magazine, she is a lyricist/librettist and a former company member of the Helen Hayes Award-winning Stanislavsky Theater Studio and SYNETIC Theater in Washington, D.C. In 2014, she appeared in a short film written by Donna Di Novelli.
NMTI Artistic Associate
Scott received his MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program. With Nathan Christensen, he wrote Broadcast, workshopped at Playwrights Horizons, the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center’s National Musical Theater Conference, and 11th Hour Theatre Company. The two also wrote The Giver, a musical adaptation of Lois Lowry’s novel, seen at National Alliance for Musical Theatre, Theatreworks Palo Alto, The Village Theatre, College of the Canyons, and Pennsylvania’s Festival of the Arts.
Scott is a recipient of the Richard Rodgers Award, the Jonathan Larson Award, the Dramatist Guild Fellowship, and the Rhinebeck Writers Retreat. He was selected by Stephen Sondheim to receive the Garson/Kanin Award from the Theatre Hall of Fame. Scott has worked as a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Theatre’s Songwriting in the Schools Program and is a John Duffy Composer’s Institute fellow.
These artists often teach weekly classes throughout the semester.
Jeff Bowen wrote music and lyrics for and starred in [title of show] (OBIE Award). He wrote music and lyrics for Now. Here. This., Villians Tonight!, and theme songs for the web series “the [title of show] show” and “Squad ‘85.” His songs appear on Broadway Bares Openings and Over the Moon: The Broadway Lullaby Project. He developed TV sitcoms, designed Broadway show websites, and worked as a florist. A proud member of ASCAP, AEA, Writers Guild, Dramatists Guild and the National Audubon Society, he also serves on the advisory board of Unsung Musicals and Stetson University’s School of Music.
Co-Artistic Director, The Debate Society: THE LIGHT YEARS (Playwrights Horizons), JACUZZI (Ars Nova), BLOOD PLAY (Bushwick Starr), BUDDY COP 2 (Ontological), & 5 others. B'Way: WHAT THE CONSTITUTION MEANS TO ME Off-B'Way: THOM PAIN (Signature Theater), THE AMATEURS (Vineyard Theater), THE OPEN HOUSE (Signature Theater, Lortel Best Play, Obie Direction) Regional: THE WHISTLEBLOWER (Denver Center), THOM PAIN (Geffen Playhouse), LEGACY (Williamstown), BAD JEWS (Long Wharf), AN OPENING IN TIME (Hartford) International: TIMESHARE (Australia) Sundance Institute & Bill Foeller fellow
Michael Cadman trained at RADA and was a founding member of the National Youth Theatre. His screen appearances include Lindsay Anderson’s If…, Richard Lester’s How I Won the War and BBC’s Poldark & Cadfael. His stage work ranges from modern to classical, with stints in the New Shakespeare Company, Welsh National Theatre and RSC. As a writer, he’s had plays performed in Germany, the US and UK. His current work-in-progress, The Belle Sauvage, had readings at Cheltenham Rep and the O’Neill. In addition to having been NTI Artistic Director from '06-08, Michael teaches in Amsterdam, London, and NYC.
Will Detlefsen is a Bay Area-born New York-based freelance director and Artistic Director of Access Theater in Tribeca. Directing credits include: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams (NYU), The Brewery by Manning Jordan (Dixon Place), The Straights by T. Adamson (JACK), The Funfair by Simon Stephens (Cal Rep) Machinalia by Steph Del Rosso (JACK & Ubuntu Theatre Project), Blasted by Sarah Kane (Duo Theatre), Strange Men by Will Snider, Go. Please. Go. by Emily Feldman, Lear by Young Jean Lee, and Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams (UC San Diego). Assisting credits include: Trip Cullman, Chay Yew, Tyne Rafaeli, Tony Taccone, Des McAnuff, Alex Timbers and Rachel Chavkin. 2013 Drama League Fellow, 2017-2018 MTC Directing Fellow, 2018-2019 Playwrights Horizons Directing Fellow. 5th Cohort of the O'Neill National Directors Fellowship. SDC Associate. BFA: NYU Tisch. MFA in Directing: UC San Diego.
Donna Di Novelli
Donna DiNovelli has a writing career spanning film, opera, and theater. As co-writer of the feature film, Madeline’s Madeline (dir. Josephine Decker), she attended the 2018 Sundance Film Festival, The Berlinale and BAM's CineFest. She created text for The Good Swimmer, a Pop Requiem (music by Heidi Rodewald) which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music's Next Wave Festival in 2018. She penned an award-winning short film Stag available on iTunes. With Randall Eng, she premiered the opera Florida at UrbanArias. She has won fellowships from MacDowell Colony, UCross, and The Bellagio Center.
Craig MacArthur Dolezel is a NYC based teaching artist certified in the Fitzmaurice Voicework Technique. He has instructed at educational institutions such as Rutgers University, AMDA, NYU and HB Studios as a both a faculty member and guest instructor. Additionally, he is involved with voice/speech research projects and international teaching workshops. Recent performances include The world premiere of Marrow by Brian Quirk, in partnership with Spectrum Dance Company and Seattle Repertory, as well as the Irish National tour of Misterman by Enda Walsh.
Sarah Einspanier‘s plays include Lunch Bunch (Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks and Summerworks, upcoming with The Play Company and Clubbed Thumb in March and April 2020), House Plant (upcoming at New York Theatre Workshop's Next Door in Feb 2020), I LOVE SEAN (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow), The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project with Sheila Callaghan), and MADONNA col BAMBINO created with composer Deepali Gupta and director Caitlin Sullivan (Ars Nova’s ANT Fest and the New Ohio’s Ice Factory, curated by New Georges). Her work has also been developed and presented by Ars Nova’s Play Group, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, the New Georges Jam (co-leader), a New Georges Special Residency, and the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing Studio. She has been a resident at the Millay Colony, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Cape Cod Theatre Project (Noel Coward Foundation Writer in Residence), the National Theater Institute, and Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Horton Foote Scholar with Naomi Iizuka), and has participated in Erik Ehn’s annual Texas Silent Writing Retreat.
Acting & Voice
Alexander Gemignani is an actor, composer/lyricist, musical director, orchestrator, educator and artistic director. Selected B'way: Carousel (Enoch), Violet (Father), Chicago (Billy), Les Mis (Valjean), Sweeney Todd (Beadle), Assassins (Hinckley). Off-B'way: Avenue Q (Brian). Regional: Hamilton in Chicago (King George). Concerts: Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center. His solo show, All At Once, premiered at Kennedy Center. He music directed and orchestrated Ragtime at Tisch (NYU). He is a member of the Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, a U. of Mich. alum, and Artistic Director of NMTC.
Jessi Hill is a NYC-based director and teaching artist. She served as Associate Artistic Director of terraNOVA Collective where she co-created the Groundbreakers Playwrights Group and Groundworks new works program. She's currently Artistic Associate at Flying Carpet Theatre Co and Lit Director at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. An SDC Denham Fellowship recipient, Women's Project Lab alum, and New Georges Affiliated Artist, Jessi has taught at Yale, Juilliard, and others. Her work has been seen internationally in Edinburgh, London, New Zealand, Berlin, and Hamburg. MFA: Yale. Member SDC.
Microaggressions & Implicit Biases
Truth Hunter obtained her bachelor's degree in Critical Social Thought with an emphasis in Post-Colonial studies at Mount Holyoke College. She then went on to pursue a graduate degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs so that she could advocate for underrepresented college students. Truth is currently the Director of Race and Ethnicity Programs at Connecticut College and facilitates social justice workshops for colleges across the Northeast.
Intimacy Directors International
Stage Combat & Intimacy Direction
Intimacy Directors International (IDI) is a not for profit organization pioneering the best practices for theatrical intimacy, simulated sex and performance nudity for theatre, tv and film.
Judi-Lewis (she/her/hers) is an intimacy/fight director, variety performer, stunt performer, and teaching artist. As an actor, she has several regional and New York credits, including the title roles in Peter Pan, Sylvia, and Barefoot in the Park. Her work as a stunt performer has put her on the sets of Gotham, 30 Rock, Boardwalk Empire, Law & Order(s), and the feature films The Wolf of Wall St, Enchanted, and Across the Universe. Her fight/intimacy direction credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Classic Stage, NYC); Hatef**k, Our Dear Dead Drug Lord (world premieres,WP Theater); A Raisin in the Sun/A Human, of Sorts (Williamstown Theater Festival).
She is an original member of Kendall Cornell’s Clowns Ex Machina, a critically acclaimed, all woman clown troupe performing in New York City since 2005, creating special commissioned pieces for Cirque Du Soliel & La Mama Etc. She teaches stage combat, clown and Intimacy for the Stage at NYU Tisch, The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, HB Studios and National Theater Institute. Judi has over 15 years experience as a special events entertainer and producer. Most recently, Judi premiered Rock n’ Roll Mother Goose!, her rollicking one woman family show, at the NY Clown Theater Festival to rave reviews, and it continues to tour the US. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with husband Chris, daughter Elah and new pup Freckles. She is an Intimacy Director with Intimacy Directors International; she leads workshops in Intimacy for the Stage for actors and designers at the NTI, HB Studios, NYU Tisch and The American Musical & Dramatic Academy, NYC. Visit: www.judilewisockler.com
Mitchell McCoy is a Fight Director, Intimacy Choreographer with Intimacy Directors International, Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, actor, and Reiki Master based in New York. He has most recently assisted with the violence for Pretty Woman (Broadway),Therese Raquin (Broadway), Aladdin (Broadway), Aladdin (Japan), the first U.S. national tour of Newsies, and Cleveland Playhouse's Sherwood: The Adventures of Robinhood.
Aja is a Boston based lighting designer working in theater, opera, dance, and interdisciplinary immersive performances. As an alumni from the Johnny Carson School of Theater and Film (UNL) she graduated with a BFA in Theatrical Design and BA in Dance, later receiving her MFA in Lighting Design from Boston University. Aja has designed for companies such as the American Repertory Theatre, The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, Boston Center for the Arts, and the Boston Conservatory. Aja is Resident Lighting Designer and core collaborator for interdisciplinary, site-specific movement company, Nourishment (). She has also worked in production management with companies such as The Santa Fe Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts.
Dramaturgy & Script Analysis
Lexy is a proud alumna of the National Theater Institute (Fall ’10). She is a director, dramaturg and teaching artist who specializes in playwriting and new play development. She has taught with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Court Theatre, Steppenwolf for Young Adults and the National Theater Institute. She is a lead teacher for the Kennedy Center Playwright Discovery Program, working with students writing from the disability experience. She served as literary manager for the nationally recognized New Voices Young Playwright Festival featured by PBS in the 2017 Drama Arts Toolkit series. Her play Seep was produced by Actors Theatre of Louisville in the Professional Training Company’s Tens and received the Arts Louisville, Best Short Form Play Award for 2017. Lexy proudly served as a member of the Theatre Communications Group Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Cohort and a steward of the #PlayOurPart program, which provided voter registration for theater patrons. In 2018, Lexy was featured in American Theatre’s “Role Call: People to Watch”. As a dramaturg recent projects include Undesirables by Hansol Jung & Brian Quijada (NMTC ’19), untitled f*ck m*ss s**gon play by Kimber Lee (NPC ’19), DoubleThink by Hansol Jung (Grahamstown National Arts Festival, ’17). She also serves as the Resident Dramaturg for the National Puppetry Conference and the NMTC Incubator Initiative.
Forrest McClendon is a Tony Award nominee for his Broadway debut in The Scottsboro Boys, which he reprised in Philadelphia (Barrymore Award—Best Supporting Actor in a Musical) and London, and he is featured on the Off-Broadway and West End recordings. Forrest is a Lunt-Fontanne Fellow, and recently received a Barrymore Award nomination for his portrayal of Ira Aldridge—the first black actor to play Othello at Covent Garden—in Lolita Chakrabarti’s Red Velvet. Recent master classes: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Young Canadians of the Calgary Stampede, Hartt School.
G.W. "Skip" Mercier
G.W. "Skip" Mercier is a set, puppet, and costume designer who has designed over 370 shows. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a BA in Dramatic Art from UC Berkeley and then attended Yale where he was named Oenslager Scholar. Skip thrives by teaching undergraduate and graduate students, and by designing and collaborating with amazing writers, composers, directors, co-designers, artisans, and actors creating original work or making established shows seem new. Current projects: Bend It Like Beckham Toronto to B'Way; Ibsen in Chicago at Seattle Rep; The Wizard of Oz (story ballet world tour).
Kat Murphy is an artist and designer who lives and works in New London. A founding member and former Artist in Residence at Hygienic Art, she is a professional decorative painter and venetian plaster artist. She has collaborated on window display design, installation art, prop sculpture, and lighting design. She creates intricate, color-rich, multilayered surfaces with vibrant color. Studies include RISD, the International Institute Madrid, and a fellowship at Griffis & Orpheus Foundation, Bulgaria. She drafted for Sol LeWitt "Wall Drawing #1196" at the New Britain Museum of American Art.
Erin Ortman is an NYC-based director and teaching artist. Recent projects include the Time Out Critics pick One Thousand Nights and One Day at ART/NY, as well as the critically acclaimed production of Real at The Tank. She is currently developing new plays with OSF/Classic Stage, The Roundabout, The O’Neill, NoPassport, Vintage Theatricals and a suicide prevention piece which will tour the state of Montana. She spent years teaching directing and acting at NYU as well as NTI. BFA in Musical Theatre from CCM, MFA in Theatre from Sarah Lawrence, member of Lincoln Center Director’s Lab
Ren D. Santiago is an award-winning Fila-Rican playwright from Yonkers and Harlem. She wrote Something in the Balete Tree with support from Gingold Theatrical Groups, Clubbed Thumb and SPACE on Ryder Farm. She developed The Siblings Play at The Cherry Lane Theatre, Labyrinth Theater, MCC Theater, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Rattlestick Playwrights Theater. A member of Rising Phoenix Rep, former Artistic Producer and founding member of Middle Voice at Rattlestick, and an eternal member of The Baldwin Project, Ren is the proud recipient of the MCC Alumni Award and Rising Phoenix Rep’s Cornelia Street Award.
Charly Evon Simpson
Charly Evon Simpson is a playwright and TV writer. Her plays include Behind the Sheet, Jump, form of a girl unknown, it’s not a trip it’s a journey, and more. Her work has been seen and/or developed with Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, P73, The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Chautauqua Theater Company, Salt Lake Acting Company, and others. She is a recipient of the the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award, Lanford Wilson Award and was nominated for the John Gassner Award. Some of the commissions she has received include commissions from MTC/Sloan, Cleveland Playhouse, EST/Sloan, and one of the 2020 Elizabeth George Commissions through South Coast Repertory. Charly is currently a member of WP Theater’s 2018-2020 Lab and The New Georges Jam. She’s a former member of SPACE on Ryder Farm’s The Working Farm, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood, and Pipeline Theatre Company’s PlayLab. She received her BA from Brown University, a master’s in Women’s Studies from University of Oxford, New College, and her MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College.
Caitlin Sullivan is a New York based director and theater maker. Her recent work has been presented by Ars Nova, New Georges, New Ohio Theater, WP Theater, Danspace, Fuesebox Festival, the Drama League, On the Boards and Seattle Repertory Theatre. She is the Associate Director of HUNDRED DAYS and THE LUCKY ONES (by The Bengsons and Sarah Gancher, dir. Anne Kauffman) and was Resident Director for the HUNDRED DAYS tour. Before moving to New York, Caitlin co-founded Seattle's critically acclaimed Satori Group. As Artistic Director, she created and/or directed seven original works. She spent several summers as the Artistic Director of the Williams College Summer Theatre Lab, where she developed new work with Martyna Majok, The Bengsons, Mallery Avidon, Dipika Guha, and Caroline McGraw. In addition to Williams, she has worked as a teacher and/or director at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Rutgers University, Cornish College of the Arts, and the National Theater Institute. Born and raised in Boston (Dorchester!), MA, Caitlin is a graduate of Williams College, an alum of the Drama League Directors Project and Next Stage Artist Residency, a Clubbed Thumb 2019-2020 Directing Fellow, a member of the New Georges Jam and a New Georges Affiliate Artist.
Melisa Tien is a New York-based playwright, lyricist, and librettist. She is the author of the plays The Boyd Show, Best Life, Yellow Card, Red Card, Familium Vulgare, and Refrain. She is a co-author of the collaboratively written plays We Play for the Gods and Jackson Heights 3AM. Her musical Mary will have a workshop at New Dramatists in September 2019. Her play Best Life was selected to participate in the 2018 Bushwick Starr Reading Series. Her play Yellow Card, Red Card was presented as part of the Ice Factory Festival in 2017 at the New Ohio Theatre, and prior to that had a workshop production at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2016. In addition to being a resident playwright at New Dramatists, Melisa is a Lyricist in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellow in Playwriting/Screenwriting, a Walter E. Dakin Fellow at the Sewanee Writers' Conference, and a recipient of the Theater Masters Visionary Playwright Award. She has been a resident of the MacDowell Colony and the Millay Colony, and was a member of the 2010-2012 Women’s Project Lab. She's also been a nominee for the Weissberger Award and the Smith Prize. She has presented work at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Women Playwrights International Conference, and the National Asian American Theatre Conference and Festival. She teaches playwriting at SUNY Purchase, and has also taught at the National Theatre Institute, Center for Talented Youth, The 52nd Street Project, and Columbia University. She holds a BA from UCLA, an MFA from Columbia University, and a culinary diploma from the French Culinary Institute.
Raised in Northern California, Anne Tofflemire starred in the San Fran productions of Side by Side by Sondheim and Rap Master Ronnie. After being discovered by lyricist Sammy Cahn, she toured in Sammy Cahn: Words and Music. Other credits include Peter Pan, West Side Story, A Little Night Music, and Gypsy. Winner of the Bistro Award for Outstanding Vocalist, she appeared in NYC at Birdland, Firebird Café, Delmonico’s, and Eighty Eights, at the Plush Room in San Fran and the Gardenia in LA. Her CD is Let’s Face the Music. She teaches at Neighborhood Music School and Yale, as well as privately.
Marya Ursin is a dancer/mime/yogi/writer. She studied primarily with Merce Cunningham, trained in mime with Marcel Marceau, performed at BAM, DTW, Walker Arts Center, etc., and continues to train in ballet. As Artistic Director of Mystic Paper Beasts, she has performed in over 1000 venues--schools, colleges, museums, festivals, prisons--and is an artist under YAMa. She is Executive Director of Dragon’s Egg, which she dream-visioned. She assembles/directs performances based on texts e.g. The Inferno, Life is a Dream, Animal Farm. BA Art History, MA Integrative Health & Healing, LMT, RYT 500.
Josh Wilder is a playwright from Philadelphia. His work has been developed and produced across the country, including at NY Theatre Workshop, InterAct Theatre Company, National Playwrights Conference, Company One, and Milwaukee Rep. Commissions include Love’s Labour’s Lost for Oregon Shakespeare Festival and She A Gem for The Kennedy Center. Recipient of the Lorraine Hansberry Award, and an ASCAP Cole Porter Prize, Josh was a Jerome Fellow at The Playwrights’ Center; has been in residence at Royal Court Theatre; Sundance at Ucross; and served as Co-Artistic Director at Yale Cabaret. MFA: Yale.
Building a Character
Malik Work is a NYC based teaching artist-actor-writer-musician and a founding member of The Real Live Show, a groundbreaking jazz/hip hop conglomerate. He wrote and performed a one-man hip hop musical Verses@Work, for which he was nominated for Best Solo Performance at the AUDELCO Awards. His film of the same title was featured in the Harlem International Film Festival and won the International Spotlight Award at the LA Brazilian Film Festival. He’s done Off-Broadway, TV, radio, voice-over, commercials, as well as film. He teaches in NYC and beyond. He has a BA in theatre from Conn. College.
These artists teach classes throughout the semester.
Voice & Movement
These are some of the artists who you might work with.
Oberon K.A. Adjepong
Michael John LaChiusa
Roy Alexander Weise