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.
These artists often teach weekly classes throughout the semester.
Musical Scene Study
Dr. Virginia (Ginny) Anderson is Associate Professor of Theater at Connecticut College. She has taught courses in a variety of aspects of theatre history including introduction to theatre, classical theatre history, modern and contemporary drama, women in theatre, African American theatre history, LGBTQ theatre history, Theatre for Young Audiences, theatre in the United States, and theatre and film of the AIDS epidemic. She has served in numerous capacities for the American Society for Theatre Research, the American Theatre and Drama Society, and the Theatre History Focus Group of the Association for Theatre in Higher Education.
Michael Bradford is a sixteen year member of the faculty and currently the Department Chair of Dramatic Arts at the University of Connecticut. He is also the Artistic Director of the Connecticut Repertory Theatre. He received his MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College CUNY. He has written numerous full-length and one-act plays produced at various venues in New York, including Off-Broadway at the American Place Theatre, the LARK Play Developmental Center, the Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Access and the NADA Theatre. Regionally, his work has premiered at eta Creative Arts Foundation, Inc. (Chicago, Il.), The Playhouse on Park Theatre (Hartford, Ct.), the HERE Art Center (NYC) and at A Contemporary Theatre (ACT) (Seattle, Wa.). Internationally his work has been produced at the Teatro Rita Montaner in Havana, Cuba and The Brixton East Theatre in London, UK. His workshops and readings include the Manhattan Theatre Club (NYC), The New Black Fest (NYC), Urban Stages (NYC) and Liminal Studios (London). Michael has led writing workshops at the Teatro Oficina Theatre Company, Guimareas, Portugal and the Univ. of Theatre, Tirgu-Mures, Romania. His residencies and fellowships include the Manhattan Theatre Club Playwright Fellowship, the LARK Developmental Theatre (NYC), the New York Stage and Film Company Residency at Vassar, NY, the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism Writing Fellowship, and a Research Scholar Fulbright in Granada, Spain.
His work is published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc., and can also be found in the anthology, “Seven More Different Plays”; edited by Mac Wellman. “Olives and Blood: and other plays,” is recently published by Dr. Cicero Press, New York, NY. Michael Directs regularly for the Connecticut repertory Theatre, to include Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel, Clifford Odets’ Waiting for Lefty, and the upcoming Our Country’s Good, by Timberlake Wertenbaker
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.
Tatyana-Marie Carlo (ella/she) is a proud Puerto Rican director from Miami FL who received her MFA in Directing from Brown University and her BFA in Acting from New World School of the Arts. As the former Artistic Director of Micro Theater Miami, Tatyana integrated English-language plays where previously all the plays were performed in Spanish. While leading the creation process of 15-minute plays in 20 X 8 shipping containers she was also able to establish Micro-theater for Kids which was never before seen in the United States. Soon after she became the Associate Director of Seminole Theatre, a performing arts center in Homestead FL. In her role she aided in the reopening of the theater after a 40-year closure. She has directed a diverse body of work including: Fade by Tanya Saracho, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot by Stephen Adly Guirgis, She Kills Monsters by Qui Nguyen, Real Women Have Curves by Josefina Lopez, References to Salvador Dali Make me Hot by Jose Rivera, Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris, and several bilingual adaptations of Shakespeare by Kufa Castro and Orlando Hernandez. Most recently she directed the virtual play Subliminal by Ren Dara Santiago. She has directed plays and/or taught at Brown University, SUNY Purchase, UNC Chapel Hill, New World School of the Arts, and Emerson College. 2019 Matt Harris Directing Fellow at Williamstown Theater Festival. 2021 Drama League Public Works Fellow. tatyanamariecarlo.com SDC
Victor Cervantes, Jr.
Victor Cervantes Jr. is a theatermaker, educator, and community organizer from Phoenix, AZ. Currently, he is the Producer for 2021 edition of The Pool, which will open at The New Ohio Theatre in November. Recently, he was the Creative Producer for The Homebound Project, a fundraiser for No Kid Hungry, which raised over $150K. He is the former Associate Producer at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater (Season 23 + 24), former Co-Artistic Producer of MiddleVoice at Rattlestick (2013 - 2018). He aims to support and uplift BIPOC+ Queer and Trans artists and stories to more visible platforms, and to reach communities that have been pushed to the margins. 1st-Generation College Graduate: BFA NYU/Tisch.
Richard Digby Day
Richard Digby Day was RADA’s first student of direction. He has been associated with NTI since 1982 and was its Director 1990-1998. In the UK he has been Director of five Regional Theatres and of the Open Air Theatre in London’s Regent’s Park. His work has been seen in the West End and he has directed in Canada, Denmark, Ireland and South Africa. He has taught and lectured in universities all over the USA. During his long career he has worked with many distinguished actors including Judi Dench and Ian McKellen. Shakespeare matters most to him and he has directed over 20 of the plays in a variety of productions.
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.
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.
David Dorfman has made movement-based dance theater since 1981 (MFA/Dance, Connecticut College). In 1987 he founded David Dorfman Dance in NYC to create politically and socially relevant work. David has been a professor since 2004 at Connecticut College where DDD is Company-in-Residence. Look for “(A)Way Out of My Body” at Skirball/NYU - April 22, 23. David choreographed Broadway's “Indecent,” and has received a 2019 USA Fellowship in Dance, a Guggenheim, 4 NEA Fellowships, a Bessie, and a Lucille Lortel. David has also co-created “Live Sax Acts”, with Dan Froot – neo-vaudeville serio-comic duets which have toured the world.
Sarah Einspanier’s plays include Lunch Bunch (upcoming some slash one day with PlayCo and Clubbed Thumb; last seen in Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks and Summerworks; New York Times and Time Out Critic’s Picks; in development for television with A24 and Scott Free), House Plant (New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door; ‘highbrow / brilliant’ in New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix; Lambda Literary Award Finalist), I LOVE SEAN (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow), The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project), 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), Doctor De Soto and Other Stories by William Steig conceived by Miranda Haymon and co-written with Miranda Haymon and Seonjae Kim with music by Ellen Winter (upcoming TheaterWorksUSA), and I forgot to tell you (The Brooklyn Rail, June 2021 Issue). Sarah's work has also been developed and presented by Ars Nova’s Play Group, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, the New Georges Jam, a New Georges Special Residency, and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Directing Studio. Sarah has been a resident at the Millay Colony, Cape Cod Theatre Project (Noel Coward Foundation Writer in Residence), SPACE on Ryder Farm, Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Horton Foote Scholar), and 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.
Griffith, a dance major at the College, is a performer with “Fuerza Bruta,” a theatre show that combines live music and acrobatic displays. She has toured with the company to South Korea, England and Peru, and has danced alongside pop star Usher, who performed with the company in 2012. She has also performed with the College’s company-in-residence, David Dorfman Dance, led by dance professor David Dorfman MFA ’81. Khadija Griffith ’11 performed as part of the ensemble in “The Wiz Live!” which aired Dec. 3 on NBC. The star-studded cast included Queen Latifah, Mary J. Blige, David Alan Grier, Ne-Yo, Elijah Kelley and Uzo Aduba. The production was directed by Kenny Leon and was adapted for television by Harvey Fierstein.
Kolton Harris is an artist, musician, director, facilitator, and creative visionary from Groton, CT. He has worked as an arts administrative leader in various capacities for the past several years, developing arts integration curriculum focused on social justice and youth development. As a creative director, he has directed new works of theater, interdisciplinary events and community-based programming. As a fierce advocate for the centrality of art to the human experience, he has continued to build bridges between arts and different sectors to demonstrate the universal necessity for creativity in all fields and experiences.
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 (www.thisisnourishment.com). 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.
Patrese D. McClain is a professional actor, creator, arts educator, and arts engagement strategist whose body of work spans over 10 years. As a regional theater and network television actress, she has worked with many theater companies including: the Goodman Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, and the Court Theatre...just to name a few. In addition to her Chicago credits, she’s been blessed with the opportunity to work in regional theaters all over the country. Patrese has also made the transition to television and film, guest starring on shows such as FX’s FARGO and NBC’s CHICAGO MED. Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Patrese grew up in a home that instilled the deep importance of education. After being awarded a scholarship to Howard University, Patrese left home to pursue a career in the arts. She then went on to receive her master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University as the 4th black woman to graduate from their prestigious program. Upon graduation, Patrese returned to Chicago in a full circle moment to begin her professional career. Since then, Patrese has carved a career that encompasses performance, arts education, and arts engagement. Her body of work reflects over a decade of performances, original work, innovative events, projects, and artistic programming that uplifts, promotes, and empowers the voices of girls and women. In addition to being an award-winning actress and founder of nfp Pure Art Education, she also works as a consultant, an independent contractor, a content creator, a guest artist, producer, and educator. She continues to be a collaborative partner with multiple colleges and universities, various arts organizations, and institutions. Former Education Director at Court Theatre, proud member of actor’s equity, SAG-AFTRA, company member with Collaboraction and resident artist at the Bronzeville Artist Lofts. Find additional credits and more information about her projects, classes, and workshops at patresedmcclain.com.
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.
David Adam Moore
Voice, Transmedia Storytelling
Internationally recognized for his work as an opera performer, creative technologist, director, theatrical designer, composer, and educator, David performs leading baritone roles for institutions including the Met, La Scala, Covent Garden, PBS, BBC, Arte, and Erato Records. He has presented multimedia works for The Guggenheim, Lyric Opera of Chicago, New Amsterdam Records, and National Sawdust. His projection design work has been featured in Lighting and Sound America Magazine, and his award-winning photography has been published by the Frankfurter Allgemeine and Boosey & Hawkes. Moore serves on the faculties of Mannes School of Music, National Theater Institute, and UC Davis, and on tech advisory boards for San Diego Opera and Austin Opera.
Jeff has worked professionally in the entertainment industry for over 15 years.
Recently, Jeff helped to build the new Theatrical Ventures & Ticketed Experiences division at RWS Entertainment Group in NYC; spearheading creative development and general management of immersive experiences, national tours, and Broadway bound productions. Jeff also assisted in the launch of Stream Stage Productions; a new live event streaming services start-up.
As Director/ Choreographer, his work ranges from new musical productions and workshops to international arena tours and corporate events. Select teaching artist work: Disney’s Broadway Magic Masterclasses, Passport to Broadway - China, and Broadway’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
Musical Theater Writing
Scott Murphy received his MFA from NYU’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program in 2004. With librettist Nathan Christensen, he wrote the musical 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, Pennsylvania’s Festival of the Arts, commissioned by TheatreWorksUSA. 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. As an educator, Scott served as a teaching artist for Lincoln Center Theater’s Songwriting in Schools Program from 2007 - 2015 and has taught songwriting workshops at schools and universities around the country, including Connecticut College, Columbia, Wesleyan, UW-Madison, and Sarah Lawrence College. He is currently a faculty member with the National Theater Institute, where he severed as NMTI Artistic Associate from 2016 - 2020.
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 O’Leary (she/her) teaches the Alexander Technique and is member of the American Society for the Alexander Technique (AmSAT). She trained in acting (BFA: DePaul University, MFA: University of Tennessee), is a member of Actors’ Equity and the National Alliance of Acting Teachers.
Erin primarily teaches actors in conservatory training and is interested in the integration of holistic wellness and imagination. In addition to NTI, Erin is a guest artist and rehearsal coach at Juilliard Drama Division. She is associate faculty at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York and teaches privately in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Kenneth Prestininzi wrote (he/him/his) IMPURE THOUGHTS (WITHOUT APOLOGY), inspired by the life story of Sor Juana, which was read at Repertorio Español, directed by Jose Zayas as part of the MetLife Nuestras Voces new play festival. He is also currently working on his two person musical, TOM VISITS HIS SISTER ROSE ONE LAST TIME and has received a commission from Trinity Rep. His play COOKIE PLAY premiered at Trap Door Theater in Chicago in January 2015 under the direction of his long time collaborator Kate Hendrickson. COOKIE PLAY is his fourth collaboration with Trap Door Theater and Ms. Hendrickson. Other premiered plays at Trap Door are BEHOLDER, AMERIKAFKA and CHASTE. BEHOLDER received a Joseph Jefferson Award for best new play 2008-2009. His play UGMO AND EENIE GO DOWN THE RUSKI HOLE received unanimous praise when performed in Boston, June 2014 and was restaged at Dixon Place, October 2015. His short play ARCHIVE was a winning entry in the Playground “Race Matters” festival, September, 2015. READING IN BED, a previous short play with Playground (1998), was also presented at the Lincoln Park Center/HOME Theatre festival in New York City and turned into a short film by Sandor Weiner and presented at film festivals. His play BIRTH BREATH BRIDE ELIZABETH was featured at The Next Thing Festival in Boston in 2013 and was invited by the Boston Mayor's office to appear at FirstNights on December 31, 2014. His plays have been seen in Brighton, Boston, Chicago, Edinburgh, Kalamazoo, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York City, Philadelphia, Prague, Providence, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. New York City’s Frank Theatre Company recently produced his play, LOVE IN THE SEVENTH KINGDOM OF WRATH. Wearing multiple performance and theatre hats, Ken is also a director of new plays and has a long collaboration history with Charlotte Meehan, Greg Moss and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb. He directed the premiere of Peter's play THE TOTALITARIANS in New Orleans and San Francisco. T.I.C. in San Francisco, and boom in its first workshop production at the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory where he was artistic director. He has also directed new plays by Andy Bragen, Jennifer Haley, Quiara Alegría Hudes, and Emily Young and revival productions of plays by Migdalia Cruz, Sarah Ruhl and Paula Vogel.
Currently making his Broadway debut on keyboards for Freestyle Love Supreme, New York City-based multi-instrumentalist, composer, producer, and music director James Rushin is often at work developing new shows and new bands. Most recently you could find him working on new shows Far From Canterbury and as Slappi/Bass Guitar in Eighth Grade President. James is also at home in his recording studio in Long Island City and on stage with Brianna Barnes. He has taught college courses at Point Park and New York University among others and toured around the world with improv groups Northcoast, Limboland, and Baby Wants Candy.
Ren Dara Santiago
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.
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.
Design for Stage and Film, Transmedia Storytelling
Victoria (Vita) Tzykun [tsee-‘koon] is a creative director and production designer for stage and film. She has designed for Lady Gaga, the Bolshoi Theater, PBS, Norwegian Opera, Direct TV, and Lyric Opera of Chicago among others. Her work was given a solo exhibition at the National Opera Center in NYC, and she was nominated for Designer of the Year by the International Opera Awards. Holding an MFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, Vita has given masterclasses at Carnegie Hall, SDSU, UMKC, Mannes, and Montclair State University. She serves on the faculties of UC Davis and the National Theater Institute and has served on advisory boards for the National Endowment for the Arts, San Diego Opera, and Austin Opera.
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.