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The Studio/New York is a theater training center whose goal is to provide talented, committed actors access to the kinds of resources that can make a real difference in their artistic growth.





FELIX IVANOV (Movement/Combat) Faculty: The Juilliard School, since 1996;  The North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA), 1991-1996; The Stanislavsky and Nemerovich-Danchenko Drama School of the Moscow Art Theatre, felix bios photo1985-1991; The Lunacharsky State Theatre University, 1989-1991; and The Gnesin College of Fine Arts (Puppet Theatre), Moscow, 1979-1981.  Visiting Instructor: The University of Texas at Austin, College of Fine Arts, 1990; The Academy of Fine Arts School of Drama, Maastricht, Holland, 1989.  As an actor, Felix has played in several Moscow Drama Theatres and toured the former Soviet Republics with folk and puppet theatre groups.  He has also worked as an actor and musician for Russian motion pictures and television, drama, and music albums and animated features. His choreography of stage movement, fighting, and dance in Russia has appeared in over three-hundred drama and puppet theatres and cinema and TV productions, including the Russian premiers of Jesus Christ Superstar and M. Butterfly.  He has choreographed stage fighting in New York for productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Othello, and Henry V.  Founder: The Wheel Theatre (Kaleso in Russian), Moscow, 1987; The American Wheel Theatre Company, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, 1992-1996.  B.A., The Stasov Musical School, Moscow Russia.  M.F.A., Moscow Drama School of the Vakhtangov Academy Theatre, Russia. 


JAYD MCCARTY (Scene Study) is an actor, director, teacher, and  private coach. He served for the three years as Director of Programs and Conservatories for The Actors Center where he placed actors in classes and workshops jayd bio pic for webwith some of the most respected names in theater and actor training: Olympia Dukakis, Dianne Weist, Lloyd Richards, and Chris Bayes, as well as teachers and directors from Moscow Art Theater, the Royal Shakespeare Company, Juilliard, Yale School of Drama, NYU, New Moscow Theatre, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts.  Jayd attributes the core of his teaching to the training he received from RonVan Lieu (Chair of Acting, Yale School of Drama), Lloyd Richards (former Artistic Director, Yale Repertory), and Earle Gister (former Chair of Acting, Yale School of Drama). Jayd spent two years with Mr. Gister as a teaching assistant before joining the faculty at The Actors Center in 2004. While at The Actors Center, Jayd also completed a three year mentorship with J. Michael Miller (founder of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts) in Actor Training & Development.  He also enjoys a career as a professional actor. Founder of The Studio / New York.


SITA MANI (Movement) was born in Germany to Indian parents and grew up in Thailand, Switzerland, and India.  She began her movement training early, studying Tae Kwon Doe in Bangkok.  She then began studying both sita bio picwestern dance and classical ballet in Bombay and worked professionally in India in theatre and music videos.  Her interests gravitated towards modern dance, which lead to her work with Uttara Coorlawalla and in Compagnie Choreographique De Renne. In 1990, Sita moved to New York City.  She completed the Certificate Program at the Alvin Ailey School and has spent the last ten years working with companies in New York, as well as with independent choreographers from India, Europe, South America, and the United States. In that time she has also studied other movement modalities, including Iyengar Yoga in Pune, India; Authentic Voice in London and New York; as well as Lucid Body, Alexander, Voice, and Feldenkrais.  Her unique, eclectic background has lead her to develop her own form of movement workshops which works to develop the "body-mind," giving performers a more refined physical awareness and emotional authenticity.  Sita has worked at all levels of training, ranging from the Yale School of Drama to kindergartens in the slums of Mumbai.  


BETH MCGUIRE (Voice & Speech) is currently on faculty at the Yale School of Drama, New York University Undergraduate Drama at Playwrights Horizons, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. She has been the beth bio picvocal/dialect coach for Manhattan Theatre Club's Second Stage, Playwrights Horizons, The Yale Repertory Theater, The Working Theatre, The Cape Playhouse, and The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Previously, Beth has taught voice, speech, acting, movement, and improvisation for Theatre for a New Audience, Brooklyn College, St. Francis College, The School for Film and Television, Weist Barron, The National Shakespeare Touring Company, and Rockland Community College.  She coaches corporate clients in dialect management, vocal production, and presentation skills. During the course of 25 years of professional acting, she has performed throughout the United States in classical and contemporary works on stage and for the camera.  Co-creator of KinesPhonetics™, a kinesthetic exploration of phonetics, Beth is also an Associate Teacher in Fitzmaurice Voicework. She is a member of VASTA (The Voice and Speech Trainers Association), EQUITY, SAG, and AFTRA.  She received an MFA in acting from Brandeis University and a BA from Oberlin College.

JANE NICHOLS (Clown) is an actress, director, and teacher of Physical Theatre, Clown, and Shakespeare. She has studied with Philippe Gaulier, Avner Eisenberg, Mike Kennard, Bolek Polivka, and Antonio Fava, and has been jane bio picassociated for over 20 years with Shakespeare & Co in Lenox, MA.  She was the Founder and Artistic Director of Crosswalk Theatre in Boston, and served for five years as Artistic Director of Children's programming for Shakespeare and Company. For seven years she taught at the Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at American Repertory Theatre, and at Harvard University where she directed Les Liaisons Dangereux, Feed the Monkey, Noises Off, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.  She has also taught at American Conservatory Theatre, Stella Adler Conservatory, Lyric Stage, Emerson College, Lesley College Graduate School, Simon's Rock College of Bard, University of Utah, and University of Washington. NYC directing: A Night at the Trojan Wall - a Clown version of the Iliad. Acting credits: Off-Broadway - En Garde Arts, New Georges and Soho Rep; Regional - Dallas Theatre Center, Portland Stage Company, Gloucester Stage, Shakespeare & Co, Lyric Stage, Nora Theatre, and Berkshire Public. Film and TV credits: School Ties, Heights, Law & Order SVU, Ed, America's Most Wanted, and Rachel's Dinner with Olympia Dukakis.  She is currently on the faculties of Shakespeare & Co, The Actors' Center, Yale School of Drama, and Juilliard.

LUCAS CALEB ROONEY (Clown) is proud member of The Studio faculty and also teaches at The Juilliard School, NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and the NYU Meisner Studio. In the past Mr. Rooney taught at The Actors Center; lucas bio picUniversity of San Diego; The Old Globe Theatre; The Public Theater Shakespeare Lab; Case Western University; California State University, Long Beach; and The University of Southern California. Lucas apprenticed Christopher Bayes in Clown and Physical Comedy, and received additional training with Phillippe Gaulier in London.  He received his MFA from the Old Globe Theatre's professional actor training program at University of San Diego. He credits most of who he is as an artist and actor to the years he spent in The Actors Center, studying with Chris Bayes, Ron Van Lieu, Per Brah, Frank Deal, Felix Ivanov, David Bridel, and Catherine Fitzmaurice. Lucas's clown show Creation had a successful run Off-Broadway at the Mint Theatre. On Broadway, Lucas played opposite Morgan Freeman and Frances McDormand in Mike Nichols's production of The Country Girl.  He was also strewn among the dead in Jack O'Brien's Henry IV at Lincoln Center. Other New York credits include Stuart in Yellow Face at the Pulbic Theater, Diggory in She Stoops to Conquer at the Irish Repertory Theater; Aaron in Mimesphobia at the Beckett Theatre, and understudying Father Flynn in Doubt at Manhattan Theatre Club. Regional credits include Charlie in Dirty Blonde at the Pittsburgh Public Theater and Trinculo in The Tempest at the Franklin Stage Company. At the Old Globe Theatre, Lucas played Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night, directed by Jack O'Brien; Bottom in Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Kyle Donnelly; Frank Lubeyin in All My Sons, directed by Rick Seer; and Thomas Killigrew in Complete Female Stage Beauty, directed by Mark Lamos. Currently Lucas can be seen in The Orphans' Home Cycle at The Signature Theatre Company.  In the spring Lucas will be playing Biff in Death of a Salesman at The Old Globe. 


FAY SIMPSON (Lucid Body) has been the Artistic Director and co-founder of Impact Theatre since its creation in 1990.  Informed by her work in the rehearsal room, the teaching studio and onstage over the last 20 years, Ms. fay bio picSimpson has developed a unique physical training method for the actor called The Lucid Body. She currently teaches this technique at Yale Drama School, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and Marymount Manhattan College.  Fay has taught movement for actors in training programs throughout the country and in the UK, exploring both solo and ensemble physical performance as well as the actor's physical response to Shakespearean texts at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The Stella Adler Conservatory, The Stone Street Studios, Colorado College, The University of the South, Sewanee, and The Globe International Centre in London.  With Impact Theatre, Ms. Simpson conceived, directed, and produced several original physical theatre productions at Manhattan Class Company: D-Train, Take Me Home, Degas' Little Dancer, and Research & Development. Other Off-Broadway and International productions include Raging Women and One Bad Man; Kurt's Wife: A Story of Lotte Lenya; The Marital Bliss of Francis & Maxine, Better, Triptych; and a solo performance piece entitled Trapped In Seven, for which she was honored with "Best Female Performer" in the Spotlight On awards of 2000.  In 1999, Ms. Simpson was awarded a Fox Foundation Fellowship, which enabled her to serve as an Assistant Director at the New Globe Theatre in London under the artistic directorship of Mark Rylance for the 1999 - 2000 London theatrical season, collaborating with Mr. Rylance on productions of Julius Caesar and Antony & Cleopatra. She was awarded a Tennessee Williams Fellowship from The University of the South, Sewanee, and has worked in collaboration with actor/director Joseph Siravo presenting Shakespeare works in development at the Cherry Lane Alternative Theatre and The Actors Center, NYC. Ms. Simpson is the recipient of the Amy and Eric Berger National Theatre Essay Award for development of her new book, The Lucid Body.  Fay Simpson received her B.F.A. in Theatre & Dance from Colorado College and her M.A. from NYU.


Charles Tuthill (Scene Study & On-Camera) has taught for the last ten years at the Atlantic Theater Company, The Actors Center, Purchase College Conservatory, Caymichael Patten Studios, and NYU. As an actor he has played charles bio picleading roles in New York at Manhattan Theater Club, Lincoln Center Directors LAB, Revelation Theater Company, Theater for a New Audience, Worth Street Theater, and the WPA. Regionally, he has appeared at Actors Theater of Louisville, Alliance Theater, Arena Stage, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Great Lakes Theater Festival, Repertory Theater of St Louis, Trinity Repertory, and the Williamstown Theater Festival. Film and Television credits include Law & Order, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, all the New York-based daytime dramas, and many short films including the Academy Award-Nominated Speed for Thespians based on Chekhov's The Bear. As a director, he has staged Picasso at the Lapin Agile and The Laramie Project for AMDA, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for Seaside Repertory Theater, and recently assisted Maria Aikten on Terrence Rattigan's Man and Boy starring David Suchet. His students have appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in many film and television shows including: The Village, Pirates of the Caribbean, Guess Who, MR3000, Center Stage, Miracle, CSI, The Shield, Nip/Tuck, Rescue Me, Sex and the City, The Sopranos, Unscripted, and all the Law & Orders


GRACE ZANDARSKI (Voice) has been teaching Fitzmaurice Voicework for several years in New York City at the  

recegrace bio picntly closed Actors Center and at Fordham University, and has also recently taught in Moscow. She is a lecturer at Yale School of Drama, and has previously taught at the American Repertory Theatre Institute at Harvard University, Fordham University, NYU's Cap 21, and Queens College. Recent coaching credits include the Off-Broadway production of Little Eyolf. Grace does private coaching and consulting with actors, broadcasters, and business people from a wide variety of disciplines. She is a working actor, recently starring in Tom Stoppard's Indian Ink at the Wilma Theater, for which she was nominated for an award.  MFA, American Conservatory Theatre; BA, Princeton University.








TRACY BERSELEY (Movement) has an MFA in directing from Syracuse University, with focus on international and cultural influences on an interdisciplinary theatre. New plays: Charles Mee's Trojan Women: A Love Story (Michael tracyHoward Conservatory), This Is Not a Pipe Dream (The Vineyard Theatre/Paddywack Players), Tibet: Through the Red Box (HERE Theatre, NYC); lamb of gods (Fringe NYC), 5. Wash your Bowl  (Teatro de la Culebra), The Awful Rowing Toward God and The Anatomy of Touch (Ontological Theatre), Rappaccini's Daughter (Octopus Ensemble/Jim Henson Festival), The House on Mango Street (Syracuse University). Other plays: Macbeth (Syracuse Stage), Antigone (Eidolon Arts; Princeton), The Lord of the Flies (McCarter Theatre First Stage Co.), remount of Daniel Fish's Twelfth Night (The Juilliard School), Much Ado About Nothing (Arcadia Shakespeare; Philadalphia), Blood Wedding (Provincetown Playhouse, NYU), Alice in Wonderland, Green Bird and Measure for Measure (Purchase Repertory Theatre), Bacchae (Loft Theatre). Musicals: Once on this Island (Storch Theatre, Syracuse University), Secret Garden (College Light Opera Co., Cape Cod). Operas: Cosi fan Tutte (New 42nd Street Theatre), The Long Christmas Dinner, (Lincoln Center Lab/ Juilliard). Choreography: Pericles (dir: Jesse Berger), Belles Stratagem, Perfect Wedding, Big Love, Jane Erye, and The Tempest (dir: Davis McCallum), Romeo & Juliet and Party Come Here (dir: Will Frears). Tracy teaches acting, movement, and dramatic writing at conservatories and studios in and out of New York City and at Princeton University, and is a Drama League Fellow.   


PER BRAHE (Mask/Michael Chekhov) has graduate degrees is in both Directing and Acting from the Denmark State Theatre School. He taught at Gitis in Moscow and at the International Summer School in Irkusk, Siberia, and was invited to be one of the Master Teachers at the Moscow Art Theatre's celebration of its 100th year anniversary. He is on the faculties at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, The National Theatre Institute, and the Bill Esper Studio as well as The Actors Center.  He has taught at the National Theatre Institute, Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, Purchase College, and William Esper Studio. Guest workshops at Yale University, Brandeis University, Actor's Studio, Boston College, Curry College, Fordham University, and the Performance Laboratory. International workshops at Zagreb Actors Studio, Croatia, University of Windsor, Ontario, Parcifal College, Sydney, Theater Mir, Irkutsk, Russia, Teatro La Abadia, Madrid. Founder and head of the Michael Chekhov Studio, Aarhus, Denmark 1991-1998.  Per has directed over 85 productions all over the world. 


ROB CLARE (Shakespeare) was educated at Oxford University, trained at the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD), London, and worked as an actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company, and such leading UK theatres as the Royal Erob bio picxchange Theatre (Manchester) and Compass, before becoming a Staff Director at the National Theatre, working primarily with Sir Peter Hall.  Becoming increasingly interested in differing approaches to Shakespeare, and especially the practical interpretation of Shakespearean verse, he returned to Oxford to complete a doctorate in the subject, and has subsequently become an internationally recognised specialist helping actors of all levels of experience to make Shakespeare's texts their own.  Although he has outstanding academic credentials, he maintains a pre-eminently practical profile, often referring to himself as 'a Shakespeare mechanic'.  He works regularly at the Actors Center, NYC, and at the Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC, as well as having taught and directed in some of the UK's leading drama schools, including establishing the MA Classical Acting course at CSSD, which he also led for its first three years.  Since resuming a freelance career he has taught and/or directed Shakespeare in Ireland, Germany, Australia and India, where he directed productions of A Midsummer Night's Dream, Julius Caesar and Romeo and Juliet.  For most of the past decade he also worked regularly as a specialist verse and text coach with the RSC's core acting ensemble, leading annual workshops and masterclasses, and working in and alongside rehearsals for recent productions of Richard III, Richard II, Henry IV Parts 1 and 2, Henry V and Hamlet.  The RSC also sponsored him to a special Research Fellowship at Warwick University, with a view to developing a practical guide to the interpretation of Shakespearean verse for actors and directors, a placement which directly resulted in this workshop series.  In the US he has also directed productions of Richard III (Idaho Shakespeare Festival), Twelfth Night (American Shakespeare Center, Staunton VA), Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 (Marin Shakespeare Company), and King Lear (Academy for Classical Acting, DC).  Forthcoming projects include productions for the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and the Tisch School of the Arts, at NYU.  As a verse and text specialist he worked alongside acclaimed director Tina Landau on her recent productions of The Tempest (Steppenwolf Theater, Chicago) and Antony and Cleopatra (Hartford Stage, CT).  He is currently based in New York.


RICHARD CRAWFORD (Neutral Mask) studied with Jacques Lecoq and at Rose Bruford College, London. He is a founding member of the internationally acclaimed New York physical theater ensemble The Flying Machine. He richard bio picalso played the lead in the off-Broadway hit Slava's Snowshow from 2004-2006 and has directed clown work for Cirque du Soleil.  He is an award-winning director whose projects have included a Commedia dell'Arte version of Petrushka at Carnegie Hall; The Bourgeois Gentlemen at the UMN/Guthrie; and Comedy of Errors at TheatreWorks, Colorado Springs. He also performed in the 2002 OBIE-winning [Sic] at Soho Rep and was the lead in La Jolla Playhouse's groundbreaking production of The Adding Machine in 2007.  Richard has been teaching for the past twelve years in London, Paris, Santiago, Montreal, and New York.  In the U.S., he has taught Neutral Mask, Commedia dell'Arte, and Lecoq Technique at NYU/Tisch, Yale School of Drama, Sarah Lawrence College, Bard College, The Actors Center, Marymount Manhattan, Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, Michael Howard Studios, and the University of Minnesota. He is currently on the faculty at SUNY Purchase.


KATE FORBES (Shakespeare) was the recipient of the 2009 Caloway Award and taught Acting Shakespeare for the Public Theater's summer Shakespeare Lab for four years. Kate kate bio pichas also taught Shakespeare at Fordham University and has lead master classes at the Yale School of Drama, the Atlantic Theater School, the Shakespeare Society, and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Last spring she taught text class for NYU 's Graduate Acting Program and directed Richard III there as well. She has taught Scene Study  (and Shakespeare) in past years for Playwrights Horizon Theater School. She received her MFA from NYU's Graduate Acting Program, and has continued her training in Shakespeare with Cecily Berry (Royal Shakespeare Company), Rob Clare, and John Barton.  As an actress, Kate has appeared on Broadway, winning an award for her debut as Lady Teazle in The School for Scandal playing opposite Tony Randall. Other Broadway credits: Inherit the Wind with George C. Scott and Charles Durning, Macbeth, and Sight Unseen. Her most recent Shakespeare credit was as Emilia in last year's  critically acclaimed Othello, produced in New York and Seattle by Theater for a New Audience. Other TFANA credits: Portia in The Merchant of Venice with F. Murray Abraham as Shylock in sold-out runs in New York and in England at the Royal Shakespeare Company and Helena in All's Well that Ends Well. Other favorite roles: Desdemona in Othello with Liev Schrieber, The Public; Janis Joplin in Love, Janis, the Village Theater; A Woman of No Importance, Yale Rep; The Price, Longwharf Theater; Night of the Iguana, The Guthrie Theater; and the premiere of Mac Wellman's Sincerity Forever at BTF; among many others.


RAGNAR FREIDANK (Michael Chekhov) is from Germany. He was trained as a mime and holds an MFA in Acting from the Conservatory of Music and Theatre in Hamburg. He received a scholarship from Villigst (Germany) to ragnar bio picstudy the Michael Chekhov Technique in New York City; his long-time teachers were Ted Pugh and Fern Sloan, who were both certified by Beatrice Straight, one of the few actors to receive certification by Michael Chekhov to teach his method. Ragnar has worked as an actor and director in Germany, and has performed in Budapest, London, Stockholm and New York.  He is facilitating The Open Class in New York City and teaching in the Graduate Acting Programs of Columbia University and The New School. Recently he directed the film Beautiful Hills of Brooklyn, starring Joanna Merlin, which opened at the Big Apple Film Festival at the Tribeca Cinemas. As a master teacher for MICHA (Michael Chekhov Association), he continues to teach at International Conferences in Europe and the U.S.. He taught for and co-directed MICHA's DVD series: Master Classes  in the Michael Chekhov Technique, published by Routledge in 2007.



DEBORAH KAMPMEIER (Acting) began her career in theater and film as an actress after training at the National Shakespeare Conservatory from 1983-85. She then met Michael Howard and began what became 13 years of deborah bio pictraining with him, during which time she became his teaching assistant and began her own classes at his studio.  In addition, she has taught acting in NYC for the past 25 years at such institutions as NYU, Stella Adler Studios, Playwrights Horizons, and The National Shakespeare Conservatory.  Deborah is the founder of Full Moon Films, a company dedicated to the development and production of films by and about women.  Deborah's second feature film, Hounddog, was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.  It won the top jury prize, Best of the Show, at the 2009 Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto and Best Feature at the 2008 Foyle Film Festival in Northern Ireland, and stars Dakota Fanning, Robin Wright Penn, Piper Lauri and David Morse.  Deborah's first feature film, Virgin, was nominated for two 2004 Independent Spirit Awards, the John Cassavetes Award (given to the best feature made for under $500,000), and the Best Female Lead for Elisabeth Moss's performance in the film. In addition, Kampmeier won Best Screenwriter at the 2003 Hamptons International Film Festival. Virgin also garnered Best Feature Film at the 2003 Female Eye Film Festival in Toronto, won Best Independent Spirit at the Santa Fe Film Festival, and Best Actress at the Sedona Film Festival.   


ILSE PFEIFER (Voice) is a vocal coach, movement specialist and body-worker. She has taught at the Atlantic Theater School, NYU Playwrights Horizon, The Actors Center, HB Studio, The Actors Movement Studio and as guest teacher ilse bio picat various Universities in the US and Berlin, Germany. Other teaching credits include the Fitzmaurice voicework certificate Teachers Training. She is currently teaching at the Atlantic Theater School, HB Studio, The Studio, as well as coaches privately in NYC.  Ilse was honored as a Pew Fellowships in the Arts Discipline Winner in Choreography & Dance-based Performance Art. She has danced with Zero Moving Dance Company, collaborated with filmmaker Glenn Holsten, Robert Polumbo, choreographer Kevin O'Day, with Dancers from the Pennsylvania Ballet and Rennie Harris Pure Movement Dance Company, DJ and Record Producer King Britt, George Evelyn - Nightmares on Wax and Radio International Artist Gregory Whitehead. She conceptualized and produced movement theater pieces, "I gaze at the prairie and see things"; a homage to Germany and specifically the Allgäu region of her heritage the grazing cow become metaphor and reflection on nature and how we use it. And "Mix"; an improvisation in mixing cultures and movement styles to find relationship and clashing differences. Both pieces where aired in part by WHYY-PBS in Philadelphia. She is currently in the process to collaborate on a movement - text embodied piece with American Artist, Architect and Poet Madeline Gins. Parallel to her artistic life, Ilse has had a long-standing deep curiosity and ongoing commitment to the study of the expressive energetic moving, sounding human body. In particular as it relates to the performing artist. Beyond her dance and physical theater training, she studied neuro-muscular retraining with Irene Dowd, Reiki, Shiatsu, Reflexology and Techniques of Mind-Body Therapy with Dr. Anodea Judith.Born in Germany she holds Graduate Diplomas from the Royal Academy of Dancing, Graduate Diplomas Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing, London. She is a certified Associate Teacher of the Fitzmaurice voicework.


Broadway: GHOST, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Off-Bway: Orphans' Home Cycle, BBAJ. Regional: Yale Rep, Hartford Stage, The Guthrie, Williamstown, Bay St. Bryce bryce collaborates regularly with Theater of War, a not-for-profit that performs Greek tragedy for American military audiences. His latest trips were to Japan and Guantanamo Bay.  Bryce is a proud recipient of the Annenberg Arts Fellowship for 2012-2013, and an even prouder graduate of the Yale School of Drama 2008. Co-founder of Zara Aina.


(Shakespeare) has over 30 years of professional experience as an actor, director, teacher and producer. After receiving his M.F.A. from the NYU Tisch School of the Arts Theatre Program, Mr. Siravo went on to Joe Siravo kitchenteach at the NYU Graduate Acting Department for 10 years in Voice, Speech and Text, with a primary focus on Shakespearean texts. Throughout that same time he was a founding member of New York Stage & Film. During the company's first 3 years, he directed Sam Shepard's SUICIDE IN Bb, appeared as an actor in FILTHY RICH, ONDINE and SELF-TORTURE & STRENUOUSE EXERCISE while coordinating its 'New Voices' program, presenting a total of 60 new plays in development. His directing credits range from the Greeks to Shakespeare and Samuel Beckett. He has directed productions of KING LEAR, MACBETH, JULIUS CAESAR, ROMEO & JULIET and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM. A Founding Member of Aviles Street Productions, he produced the independent feature film "Things that Hang from Trees," which received its world premiere at the South by Southwest Film Festival in Austin, its NY premiere at the New Directors/New Films Festival and its European premiere at the Troia International Film Festival in Portugal, where it was honored with the Golden Dolphin Award for 'Best American Independent Feature. As an actor, he has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway and regional theatre stages, on film and television in a wide variety of roles ranging from 'Mark Antony' in ANTONY & CLEOPATRA, 'Iago' in OTHELLO and 'Claudius' in HAMLET to the title role in SWEENEY TODD and 'Johnny Boy Soprano' on HBO's now legendary THE SOPRANOS. His Broadway credits include CONVERSATIONS WITH MY FATHER, THE BOYS FROM SYRACUSE and THE LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA at Lincoln Center. He is currently appearing in the First National Tour of JERSEY BOYS.






MARY CATHERINE BURKE (Guest Director) is a freelance director in New York City.  She has directed new plays at 59E59th, The New York Music Theatre Festival, EST's Octoberfest, Theatre for the New City, The Directors mary kate bio picCompany, The Zipper Theatre, Wings Theatre, The American Airlines Theatre, The Hypothetical Theatre Company, HERE, ARS NOVA, The Fringe Festival, NYU, Fordham, Westover, and Millbrook Playhouse. Her assistant-directing credits include: Fortune's Fool on Broadway directed by Arthur Penn; A Mother. A Daughter. And A Gun, starring Olympia Dukakis and directed by Jonathan Lynn;  A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at Goodspeed Opera House directed by Elinore Renfield; as well as shows at Second Stage, Hartford Stage, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Signature Theatre Company, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, has been a recipient of the Drama League Fall fellowship, and has recently been named Artistic Director of Millbrook Playhouse in Pennsylvania.  Member of SSDC.   


SHANA COOPER (Guest Director) is a founding member of New Theater House (nth) where she has directed The Whale Play by Victor I. Cazares (Amherst College Artists in Residence), What You Will, the Twelfth Night Parking Lot shana bio picProject (in collaboration with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival), and The Ghost Sonata (Yale School of Drama).  Other directing credits include productions at theHangar Theatre, Yale School of Drama, Willamette Repertory Theatre, Sonoma Repertory Theatre, Cal Shakes Student Company, Washington Shakespeare Festival, Magic Theatre's Young California Writer's Project, and the Off-Broadway remount of Virginia Stage Company's production of Art.  Shana served as the Associate Artistic Director of the California Shakespeare Theater (2000-2004), is the recipient of a Drama League Directing Fellowship, a TCG Observership Grant, and the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize in Directing (YSD).  MFA in Directing, Yale School of Drama.



MIKE DONAHUE (Guest Director) is a 2009 Drama League Director's Fellow.  Upcoming projects include: Stairs to the Roof for the A.R.T. Institute / Harvard as part of Diane Paulus's America: Boom, Bust, and Baseball series; Erica mike bio picLipez's Bully to You at the Walkerspace; the 2009 Drama League DirectorFest; A Precarious Stool for the NYU Graduate Actors' Freeplay Festival; and assisting Joe Haj and Tom Quittance on a six and a half hour adaptation of Nicholas Nickleby at PlayMakers Rep.  Recent credits include The Egg-Layers and Bully To You at Williamstown Theatre Festival, where Mike also assisted Dylan Baker on The Torch-Bearers.  Before that, Mike was a 2008/2009 Fulbright Scholar and Artist in Berlin.  He was also the recipient of the inaugural Director-Designer Showcase Award from Opera America for work on Osvaldo Golijov's Ainadamar (production concept featured in Opera America Magazine).  Mike directed the collaboratively developed solo piece Grey Gone, which toured New York, Connecticut, and Tennessee (where it received the 2009 Tennessee Williams Fellowship from University of the South).  For two seasons, Mike served as the Executive Producer/Artistic Director of the Yale Summer Cabaret (2007-2008), where he directed The Who's Tommy, God Is A DJ, The Bacchae, and the world premiere of Recess.  Other directing credits include: Peer Gynt, Titus Andronicus, Grace or the Art of Climbing, Bibles and Candy, Ways You Can Survive the World (Yale School of Drama); Electronic City and Brand (Yale Cabaret); The Oresteia, She Loves Me, The Physicists, Hedda Gabler, Tartuffe, and Closer (Harvard University).  In addition, Mike has assisted Anna Shapiro and Liz Diamond and worked four seasons at the St. Louis Muny (2001-2004) as assistant to the executive producer, and later, associate producer.  BA, Harvard University (recipient, Louis Sudler Prize for Artistic Excellence); MFA, Yale School of Drama.



ASHLIN HALFNIGHT (Guest Playwright) Ashlin's plays include Good Pictures (Outstanding New Play - Summer 2008 - Talkin' Broadway), God's Waiting Room (Best Play, 2005 NYFringe Festival), Diving Normal (Plays and ashlin bio picPlaywrights 2007), and Artifacts of Consequence.  He is a Fulbright Award winner and the recipient of a TCG Travel Grant, a Ludwig Volgelstein Artist Grant, and the Howard Stein Playwriting Fellowship. He was an artist in residence at the National Theater of Hungary in 2005/2006, a member of The Royal Court's (UK) New York Residency, and a member of MCC's Playwrights' Coalition. Ashlin received a BA from Harvard and an MFA from Columbia.  He is currently the Artistic Director of the award-winning theater company, Electric Pear Productions.  Also wrote: Good Pictures, premiered at The Arts Theater West End, London, produced by PW Productions.




JESSE JOU (Guest Director) His credits include Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom and The Betrothed (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater); Take on Me: Adoption, Addiction, and a-ha (New York International Fringe Festival); My Mom Across America (The Kitchen Theatre Co., Ithaca, NY); Estrella Cruz (The Junkyard Queen), Mask Ritual: Electra, Flowers and Other Stories, Language of Angels, and Passing (Yale Cabaret).  He served as Artistic Director of the 2010 season of the Yale Summer Cabaret and as the Staff Repertory Director of the 2010-2011 tour of the Acting Company.  MFA, Yale School of Drama.






SHIRA MILIKOWSKY (Guest Director) was the 2008 (and first-ever) Director-In-Residence at Ars Nova, where she has directed comedy shows, rock concerts, solo shows, and numerous short plays by some of New York's hottest shira bio picyoung writers. She received an MFA in directing from Columbia University, where she studied with Anne Bogart and Brian Kulick, and where her work concentrated on dark comedies and radical re-imaginings of classic plays. Her MFA Thesis play, The Golem, was an original work based on Jewish folklore that she devised collaboratively with the acting company and design team. Shira received the Boris Sagal Directing Fellowship from Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she developed a new musical, Big Money, by Kyle Jarrow and Nathan Leigh.  She is a 2009 resident artist with Mabou Mines, developing a new play based on the work and life of Joe Orton. Last winter she assistant directed the Tony-award winning Broadway revival of Hair. Shira is a Drama League Directing Fellow.  BA in Theater, Yale.



christopher oscar peña (Guest Playwright) is from California currently living in Harlem.  He has developed work at the Public Theater, NYU Graduate Acting, INTAR, the UCSB Summer Theatre Lab, Theatre C, The Studio/ New York, charles bio picthe Ontological Hysteric Incubator and the New York Theatre Workshop.  Current projects include the musical (e)vaporate: a screwed up reinvention of orpheus & eurydice in the form of a made-up love song with composer Parker Ferguson, the play the suicide tapes, and with director Chay Yew is working on developing his plays maelstrom and icarus burns.  He is also developing a new music based reimagining of life is a dream with composer/musician Kevin Joaquin Garcia and a new theater piece titled i wonder if it's possible to have a love affair that lasts forever? or things i found on craigs list with director Mike Donahue and musician Jake Rabinbach.  With Vayu O'Donnell, he is the creator of 80/20, a new series for the web launching this fall in which he will also be co-starring.  In 2010-2011, he will be in residence at the Playwrights Realm on fellowship.  He is currently working on commissions from The Studio/ New York, Theatre C, Diverse City Theater and Old Vic New Voices.  He received his B.A. in Dramatic Arts from UC Santa Barbara where he studied with Naomi Iizuka and holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.


ERIK PEARSON (Guest Director) has directed in New York for The Playwrights Realm, American Opera Projects, HERE, terraNOVA, The New York Theater Experiment, The Lark and NYU/Tisch, as well as regionally for The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Shakespeare Santa Cruz and BRAVA!  He was artistic director of The Quixote Project and co-artistic director of Rococo Risqué and Yale Cabaret.  Erik has designed projections in New York for STREB, American Opera Projects, as well as the new musical Heading East with B.D. Wong.  Regionally he has designed for The Magic, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Marin Theatre Company and Center Rep as well as Brandeis Theater Company, Moorehouse/Spellman College, and The University of California at Santa Cruz where he taught theatrical projection design. MFA: Yale School of Drama, directing.




KATE PINES (Guest Director) is currently the Associate Director of the Broadway revival of Godspell. A freelance director living in New York City, credits include the world premieres of The Urban Dictionary Plays (Ars Nova), Tess: A New Rock Opera (NYMF), Tom is Trying to Find Himself (The Flea), and Mudblossom by Ashlin Halfnight, (Walkerspace). Other New York credits include Spring Fling (F*It Club), Cigarettes and Chocolate by Anthony Minghella (Emergency Theatre Project), Songbird by Daniel Hartley (NYU), Total Fucking Blackness by Kyle Jarrow (Prospect) and The Sit-Down Show by Desiree Burch (MITF). Regionally, Kate has directed both world premieres and established work at Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Hangar Theatre, and Millbrook Playhouse. Kate has spent three summers at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, most recently directing the festival's annual Free Theatre production, an original musical called Camp Monster, by Sharyn Rothstein and Kris Kukul as well as the world premiere of the rock musical The Consequences by Kyle Jarrow and Nathan Leigh. As an assistant director Kate has worked with Bill Rauch, Scott Ellis, Gregory Mosher, Jo Bonney, Will Frears, and Daniel Goldstein and spent the fall of 2009 assisting Sarah Ruhl on John Doyle's staging of Ruhl's new adaptation of Three Sisters as well as the Broadway premiere of In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play). Kate has directed workshops and readings for EST/Youngblood, PTP/Atlantic 2, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Boomerang Theatre Company, and the Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre. She completed her MFA in directing at Carnegie Mellon University and her BA at Middlebury College, where she recently returned as a visiting instructor to direct Wendy Wasserstein's Uncommon Women and Others. Kate is the Associate Director of The Ride, and a Drama League Directing Fellow. 





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