C.K. ALLEN (Dr. Kim/Alec, Jericho) Film: The Brotherhood (dir. Reneé Flemings) RUOK (dir. Jay Russell). National and regional TV and radio commercials (Paycom “The Old Way” and “The Business of Business” with Barbara Corcoran, Allstate "All Alone", New York Life "For Dad", Cialis “She Reminds”, Marie Callender's, ESPN, Publix, Ohio Lottery, and more), soaps and industrials. Some NY Theater credits include performances with the Workshop Theater: Scott C. Sickles’ Composure (dir. Fritz Brekeller); Laura Hirshberg’s Fish Food and Gary Giovannetti’s Palate Cleanser (dir. Leslie Kincaid Burby) and Tarragona (dir. Elyse Marden), Michael Lazan’s Save the Veal, Rich Orloff’s Couples (dir. David Gautschy - “–notable performance” -NY Times), Levy Lee Simon’s The Bow Wow Club (dir. Keith Greer). Other NYC theater: ManyTracks production of Sam Graber’s Shooter (dir. Katrin Hilbe), Retro Productions’ Good Boys and True (dir. DeLisa White) and The Tender Trap (dir. David Storck - “–the funniest five minutes on any stage in New York” TheFabMarquee.com), Algonquin Productions: Robin Rothstein’s Keeping Pace, Ken Javie’s Certain Souls. SAG-AFTRA.
HEATHER ARNSON (Director, F.I.R.E.) Selected: Roundabout Theatre Company’s Refocus Series and Roundabout Theatre Company’s Remote Series (Director Digital Production Creation); 2021 Writers Guild of America Awards Show, Broadway Inspirational Voices - A Season of Hope & Inspiration; TheatreWorks USA Connect the Dots: A Virtual Benefit; Sundogs with Jenn Gambatese and Jordan Bridges; AATE – Young Playwrights Series, and the digital staged reading of Jack Canfora’s Battleground States with NNR. Stage Directing: The Adult In The Room; Right Before I Go; Your Title Goes Here; The Permanent Night; Elizabeth: Almost By Chance A Woman; Wasp; The Whole Shebang; Beau: The New Musical (Assoc. Dir.); The Wolves (A.D., Lincoln Center). In development: Don’t Quote Me by Howard Emanuel; Wait For Her by Jenna Cox-Hadley (musical). A graduate of UCLA, Heather is the Creative Director of Broadway Virtual, the Artistic Director of The WDA, and recently launched her production company Yes And Productions. Yes And is currently producing an Untitled Docu-Series (Creator/Director) about the women on the business-side of Broadway with the esteemed Broadway Women’s Alliance. HeatherArnson.com
JEFFREY BEAN (NNR Board; Michael DiMaggio, P.I., Lines In The Dust; Chris, F.I.R.E.; Rob, STEP 9) recently appeared Off-Broadway in Dublin Carol directed by Ciarán O’Reilly at the Irish Repertory Theatre, receiving a 2020 Drama League Award nomination for Distinguished Performance. He also appeared Off-Broadway in The Thanksgiving Play directed by Moritz von Stuelpnagel (Playwrights Horizons) and About Alice, an adaptation by Calvin Trillin of his memoir of the same title, directed by Leonard Foglia (Theatre For A New Audience). On television he can be seen on “Billions,” “Lincoln Rhyme,” “The Blacklist,” “The Good Fight” and others. His Broadway credits include the revival of Amadeus directed by Sir Peter Hall and the revival of Bells Are Ringing directed by Tina Landau. After graduating from SMU’s Meadows School of The Arts in 1989, he began his professional acting career at Houston’s Alley Theatre where he was a Resident Company member for 24 seasons. At the Alley he performed in over a hundred productions, working with directors David Cromer, Pam McKinnon, Jackson Gay, Michael Wilson among others. Favorite highlights of his residency in Houston include playing Cyrano, creating the role of Isaak Babel in the world premiere of Rajiv Joseph's Describe the Night directed by Giovanna Sardelli, performing in Danton’s Death directed by Robert Wilson, and performing Salieri in Amadeus directed by Jonathan Moscone.
JULIA BLAUVELT (Playwright, F.I.R.E.) recently finished up her second year as an MFA candidate at NYU Tisch Rita and Burton Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing, where she was the recipient of the Oliver Stone Screenwriting Scholarship, the Dalio Family Foundation Scholarship, and a Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Scholarship. With a background in devised theatre, notable projects include creating and performing in Richard Schechner’s Imagining O (New York Times’ Critics Pick 2014) and Three (directed by Stephen Spinella, Winner of the 2016 Emerging Female Artist Grant through New York Society Library). Other writing projects include readings and workshops at HERE Arts Center, Culture Project, Dixon Place, United Solo Festival, and the Benchmark Theatre in Denver, CO. Her play F.I.R.E. was a semi-finalist for the 2020 New American Voices Festival at The Landing Theatre Company.
KIERRA BUNCH (Shauna, F.I.R.E.) was most recently seen in Court Theatre's production of King Hedley II (Jeff Nomination, Performer in Supporting Role), Windy City Playhouse’s production of Southern Gothic and Lookingglass Theatre Company’s production of Plantation!. She has worked with many other notable theater companies in Chicago including Urban Theater Company, Black Ensemble Theater and ETA Theater (Black Theater Alliance Award Nominations for Best New Actress and Best Performance in an Ensemble). She can currently be seen in a recurring role in the new sitcom, Southside on HBO Max. Television appearances include Shameless, Chicago Med and FOX's Empire. She was a series regular on the Emmy Award winning children's television show Green Screen Adventures. Representation: Paonessa Talent Agency.
JACK CANFORA (NNR Artistic Director; Playwright, Jericho, Adlai Stevenson Was Nominated For President...Twice; Playwright & Ari, STEP 9) is the winner of the 2016 Webby Award for Best Writing Online TV & Film for the pilot of a web series he co-wrote and co-created with Andrew Rein, The Small Time, www.thesmalltimeseries.com His Off Broadway plays include Poetic License, (59E59 Theaters), featuring Geraint Wyn-Davies, which was hailed by the Associated Press as “White-hot entertainment,” and Jericho, (59E59 Theaters, a New York Times’ “Critics’ Pick”), featuring Jill Eikenberry. Among his numerous regional productions are Place Setting (New Jersey Repertory), which was a finalist, along with plays by Teresa Rebeck, Elaine May and Edward Albee for Best Play, 2007, Newark Star Ledger, Tennessee Wiliams: A Life (w/ Harris Yulin) (Guild Hall), featuring Eli Wallach, Harris Yulin and Mercedes Ruehl and Jericho, (NNPN Rolling World Premiere: New Jersey Repertory Company, Phoenix Theatre, Florida Studio Theatre, UpstART theater, Colorado) His play Fellow Travelers was produced in 2018 at the Bay Street Theatre, directed by Michael Wilson and was optioned by the Shubert Organization for a Broadway production. In addition, Jack is the recipient of two Edgerton Playwriting Awards, for Jericho (2010) and The Source (2018), the latter of which played regionally in 2019. He has two children smarter than he is and lives in New York with his dog, Daisy, who’s better tempered than he is. Twitter: @jackcanfora
NATHANIEL P. CLARIDAD (Jazz, F.I.R.E.) Off-Broadway/NYC credits include Here Lies Love (The Public Theater), Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music (St. Ann's Warehouse), The Awesome 80’s Prom, and work with Red Bull Theater, Noor Theatre, NYShakespeare Exchange, NYMF, PS122, N.A.A.P. International: Laser Beak Man (Dead Puppet Society/Brisbane Festival & tour - Sydney Opera House, HOTA, & Melbourne Arts Centre), Taylor Mac’s…(The Forum, Melbourne Festival); National Tour: Alice (The Kennedy Center). Regional: The Kennedy Center, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Cape Fear Regional, Imagination Stage, Hangar Theatre, Barrington Stage. Directing credits include Weathervane Theatre, Out of the Box Theatrics, Southern Rep, The One Minute Play Festival, ShakesBEER, and The Drama League. MFA: University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill.
CYNTHIA COMSKY (NNR Board) has spent her adulthood supporting the arts. In her twenties, she owned and operated the Comsky Gallery in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills, which specialized in world wide contemporary art long before it became “collectable" - art created by artists with disabilities, and corporate art collections. She and her husband formed Comsky Group Productions, where she spent 28 years executive producing limited series, movies and developing projects for the big and small screen. An avid theatergoer, Cynthia has spent the past 13 years organizing staged readings, including “Second Sundays” at JAR; “Second Wednesdays,” “Playdate,” and The Ebell Playwright Prize at The Ebell Club of Los Angeles.
NILO CRUZ (Playwright, Two Sisters And A Piano) This Cuban-American playwright gained national prominence in 2003 when he won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for his play Anna in the Tropics, for which he also received a Tony Award nomination. The immigrant experience is a common theme in many of Cruz's plays and he has become known for his ability to successfully weave strains of magical realism and other literary traditions into his works. In addition to the Pulitzer, he has received numerous awards, including those from the Kennedy Center Fund, American Theatre Critics and the Humana Festival for New American Plays; as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. His plays include Dancing on Her Knees; A Park in Our House; Two Sisters and a Piano; A Bicycle Country; Hortensia and the Museum of Dreams; Lorca in a Green Dress; Beauty of the Father; Hurricane; and A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings, as well as translations of Doña Rosita the Spinster; The House of Bernarda Alba; Life Is a Dream; and ¡Ay, Carmela! His work has been seen at numerous theaters around the country including, among others, South Coast Rep, the Mark Taper Forum, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Washington D.C.’s Studio Theatre and New York’s Public Theater; and around the world in Canada, England, France, Australia, Germany, Belarus, Costa Rica, Colombia, Japan and Spain. As a lyricist, he is a frequent collaborator with composer Gabriela Lena Frank. He has written the libretti for The Conquest Requiem and The Santos Oratorio for Ms. Frank, and the text of orchestral songs, La Centinela y la paloma. Cruz also adapted Ann Patchett’s 2001 novel Bel Canto for the Lyric Opera of Chicago, with Peruvian composer Jimmy López and recently premiered the oratorio Dreamers by López at Cal Performance in Berkeley, California. Cruz, who received an M.F.A. from Brown University and an honorary doctorate degree from Whittier College, has twice previously served as a playwright-in-residence: In 2000, for the McCarter Theatre, in Princeton, N.J., and in 2001 for the New Theatre in Coral Gables, Florida, which commissioned Anna in the Tropics. Cruz has also taught drama at Yale, Brown and the University of Iowa. During the 2019/20 academic year, he was the Hearst Theater Lab Initiative Distinguished Visiting Playwright-in-Residence at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television. He is a member of the New Dramatists.
ELLA DERSHOWITZ (Penny, F.I.R.E.; Lindsay, STEP 9) Off-Broadway/NYC: Can You Forgive Her? (Vineyard Theater), Intimacy (The New Group), Card and Gift (Clubbed Thumb), Connected (59E59), On The Verge (Attic Theater), Three Musketeers 1941 (Project Y), A Splintered Soul (Theater Three). Bay Area: Actually (Aurora), The Wolves (Capital Stage), Sovereignty (Marin Theatre Company), The Siegel (City Lights), Thomas and Sally (Marin Theatre Company). Other regional: 4,000 Miles (Hudson Stage), You Will Remember Me (Hudson Stage), Visitors (MV Playhouse), The Screenwriter’s Daughter (MV Playhouse), Twelfth Night (Payomet). TV/Film: Phil Spector (HBO), The Affair (Showtime), Lie to Me (Fox), Knife Fight, Two-Bit Waltz, Addiction: A 60’s Love Story, I Am Michael, Pitching Tents. Training: Yale University and LAMDA.
JILL EIKENBERRY (NNR Board; Rachel, Jericho; Ann, STEP 9) Broadway – Moonchildren, All Over Town, Watch on The Rhine, Summer Brave and Onward Victoria. Off Broadway – Uncommon Women and Others, Eccentricities of A Nightingale, Save Grand Central, Life Under Water (Obie Award), Lemon Sky (Obie Award), A Picasso, Enter Laughing – the Musical, The Kid (Drama Desk nomination), Be A Good Little Widow, Jericho, An Evening at the Talk House, Fern Hill by Michael Tucker. Regional - The M Spot and Fern Hill - both by Michael Tucker, and multiple productions of Love Letters by A.R Gurney. Film – Between The Lines, Butch and Sundance, Arthur, Rich Kids, Hide in Plain Sight, The Manhattan Project, Something Borrowed, Young Adult with Charlize Theron, In Reality. TV – “L.A. Law” – 8 seasons – (5 Emmy nominations and 1 Golden Globe Award), “Chantilly Lace,” “An Inconvenient Woman,” “Judging Amy,” ”Law and Order,” “Body of Proof.”
KRISTIN FINGER (Graphic Artwork Design) is a Philadelphia-based Graphic Designer and Illustrator, with over 10 years of experience working in-studio and independently as a freelancer. Kristin has helped build brand identities and design promotional material for small businesses and theaters, and has created well-rounded illustration and advertising campaigns and digital products for corporate companies. Kristin received her BS in visual art and graphic design from the Art Institute of Philadelphia, received her Cosmetology license in the state of Pennsylvania after training at Empire Beauty School, and attended The American Academy of Dramatic Arts where she received an associates degree in the performing arts. Kristin currently works full time with Philadelphia’s Wilma Theater as their Visual Communications Manager, strengthening their brand identity and designing their marketing and promotional materials. kristinfinger.com
MELANYE FINISTER (NNR Board) is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist and holds a BFA in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University. She is a member of the People’s Light acting company since 1991 where she performed in nearly 50 plays. Favorite performances include, Berenice in Member of the Wedding, Paulina in The Winter’s Tale, Rose in Fences, Kate Keller in All My Sons and Faye in Skeleton Crew. In addition to acting at People’s Light she was a Resident Teaching Artist and later served as Director of Youth Summerstage. She also served as Director of Community Relations from 2003-2011. In 2013 Melanye became a Hothouse member at Wilma Theater, where she performed in several world premieres including Kate Tarker’s Dionysus Was Such A Nice Man and Paula Vogel’s Don Juan Comes Home From Iraq. She is winner of the 2018 Barrymore Award for Outstanding Leading Performance for Skeleton Crew and is a 2018 Ten Chimneys Lunt Fontanne Fellow. In addition, Melanye served on the boards for the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation (2007-2013) and PlayPenn (2013-2018).
ADRIANA GAVIRIA (Assistant Director/Virtual Technical Director & Consultant, Jericho, Two Sisters And A Piano, Lines in the Dust) is an actress, voice-over artist, writer, director, advocate and creative producer. She is Founding Member/Artistic Producer of The Sol Project, Producer of SolFest, and was Producer for LTC’s first Miami Regional Convening. She serves on the national advisory boards of 50 Playwrights Project, FIU Theatre Alumni and Parent Artist Advocacy League, and on the national steering committees for DRAMA and Latinx Theatre Commons, which was awarded the Peter Zeisler Memorial Award at the TCG National Conference in 2017. Adriana has performed at regional theaters across the nation—most notably Yale Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center, Arizona Theatre Company, Pasadena Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, Alabama Shakespeare Festival and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. In New York, she has worked with numerous theater companies including the Immigrants' Theatre Project at the Public Theater, the Lark, FringeNYC/Fringe NYC Encores Series at Classic Stage Company/Lion Theatre, Pregones/Puerto Rican Traveling Theater, Repertorio Español, Working Theater at the Abingdon, IATI, Atlantic Theatre Company and New York Stage & Film at Vassar. Television and film credits include “Person of Interest,” “Law & Order: CI,” “You and I, Always” and “Sueños.” She earned her BFA from Florida International University and her MFA from the Yale School of Drama. She is a member of The Actors Center, SAG-AFTRA and the Actors' Equity Association. Adriana embraces the human spirit and aims to empower, inspire and build community through her work. With her new arts initiative North Star Projects, she hopes to create a better world, one project at a time. adrianagaviria.com
LAURA GOURDINE (Rebecca, STEP 9), is a native New Yorker with a BA in History from Brown University and an MFA in Acting from the New School for Drama. Some of her credits include "Law and Order: SVU", A Midsummer Night's Dream (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Company), A Weird Bar in London (Old Vic Theatre, Old Vic/New Voices), and Stop the Virgens (Saint Ann's Warehouse). She's thrilled to make her New Normal Rep debut in this beautiful play. Welcome to Step 9.
ELEANOR HANDLEY (NNR Board; Beth, Jericho; Director, STEP 9) NYC: The Hard Problem (Lincoln Center) Jericho (59E59), Limonade Tous les Jours (Cell Theatre) and A Christmas Carol (Morgan Library). Regional includes Private Lives, Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, Blithe Spirit, Lend Me a Tenor, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Much Ado About Nothing, The Comedy of Errors (Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival); Time Stands Still, Witness for the Prosecution, Lost in Yonkers, Rumors (Bristol Riverside Theatre); and King Lear, The Three Musketeers, Troilus and Cressida, Twelfth Night (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). TV: “Unforgettable,” “Royal Pains,” “As the World Turns,” “Twelfth Night.”
LINDSAY JONES (Original Music and Sound Design, F.I.R.E.) Broadway: Slave Play, The Nap, Bronx Bombers, and A Time to Kill. Off Broadway: Privacy (The Public Theater), Bootycandy (Playwrights Horizons), Rx (Primary Stages), Top Secret (New York Theatre Workshop), and many others. International: Royal Shakespeare Company, Stratford Festival, many others. Regional: South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, Goodman, McCarter, Steppenwolf, Guthrie, Hartford Stage, Chicago Shakespeare, Woolly Mammoth, and others. Film scoring: The Brass Teapot (Magnolia Pictures) and the Academy Award–winning A Note of Triumph (HBO Films). Audio drama work includes A Streetcar Named Desire for Audible, and the award-winning weekly podcast for children The Imagination Neighborhood. Lindsay has received two Tony Award nominations for Best Score and Best Sound Design of a Play, seven Joseph Jefferson Awards and 24 nominations; two Ovation Awards and three nominations; and many others. www.lindsayjones.com
MELISSA JOYNER (NNR Board; Denitra Morgan, Lines In The Dust; The Woman, Adlai Stevenson Was Nominated For President...Twice; Chloe, STEP 9) Originally from North Carolina, Melissa holds an MFA in Acting from the New School for Drama. You may see her on the FX mini-series "Mrs. America", CBS Networks' “Blue Bloods,” “FBI” or “Madame Secretary,” and countless commercials. She is an Audelco Award Winner, Best Supporting Actress, for her performance as Betty McKay in Maids Door, written by Writers Guild Award winner and Emmy Award nominee Cheryl L. Davis; and directed by Jackie Alexander, Artistic Director of The North Carolina Black Repertory Company, producers of The National Black Theatre Festival. As a graduate of The New School for Drama she has studied under some of the most inspiring, respected & accomplished Playwrights, Directors, Actors and Singers in the industry.
MARIA GABRIELLA LANDERS (NNR Board) is an entrepreneur, operatic soprano, collage artist and celebrated party host. After Barnard College, she cofounded the CoOPERAtive, a New York City based nonprofit that provided performance opportunities to classical singers between formal studies and a professional career. She was a Gerda Lissner Vocal Competition winner, and fled to Italy to study Italian with her prize, never looking back. With her husband, she founded CIU Travel, a boutique Italian travel service that specializes in custom itineraries to Italy and Switzerland. She resides both in the Umbria region of Italy and New Haven, CT, where she is active in the Gateway Community College Foundation, the New Haven Scholarship Fund, and immigrant relocation services with JCARR. The Università per Stranieri in Perugia Italy named her an Ambassador of Italian Culture and she continues to concertize in the States and abroad. She is also an Ambassador of the International Friends of Verdi in Parma, Italy. She recently initiated Cantina Direct, an online retail site for Italian food products. She continues to be amazed by people who communicate dramatically via their speaking voices.
FLORENCIA LOZANO (Maria Celia, Two Sisters And A Piano) is an actor, writer and performance artist. Theatre includes: Rinse, Repeat (SIGNATURE), Devil of Choice (LABYyrinth), And She Would Stand Like This (Movement Theatre Co.), Winners (EST), Red Dog Howls (NYTW), "Lady Macduff" (Shakespeare in the Park), Placebo (Playwrights' Horizons), Privilege (Second Stage), Last Easter (MCC), “Where’s My Money?” (MTC/LAB), Dirty Story (LAB). TV includes: The Baker and the Beauty, Gossip Girl, Blue Bloods, Ugly Betty, Law and Order: SVU & CI, The Mysteries of Laura, Madame Secretary, Kevin Can Wait, The Blacklist and Enemy Within. She played “Claudia Messina” in Netflix's Narcos and “Tea Delgado” on ABC’s One Life to Live. Films include: Life After You (which she also co-wrote and produced), Amy Makes Three, Faraway Eyes, The Ministers, Perfect Stranger, and Veronika Decides To Die. Florencia is a member of EST and of the LAByrinth Theater Company where she is LAB’s literary manager. Her play: underneathmybed was produced at the Rattlestick Playwrights’ Theatre and won HOLA’s (Hispanic Organization of Latino Actors) Best New Play Award in 2010. Her play Busted was produced by Rising Phoenix at CINO nights and her new play Papilucho is currently in development. Florencia got her MFA at NYU’s Graduate Acting Program and her BA at Brown University where she studied Comparative Literature. She can currently be heard in the radio play of Romeo Y Julieta at The Public, directed by Saheem Ali, where she plays "Capulet", Julieta’s (Lupita Nyong’o)’s mother and father.
SALLY KLINGENSTEIN MARTELL (NNR Executive Producer) From 1994 – 2019 Sally was the Executive Director of The Klingenstein Third Generation Foundation, and continues to serve on the board of Klingenstein Philanthropies. In addition, she has served on the boards of the 92nd Street Y, Emma Willard School, The Town School, and Art Start. She earned her BA at Tulane University and MFA at Stony Brook University. She is now a full-time novelist.
MARSHA MASON (Director, Jericho) has received 4 Academy Awards nominations for her roles in the films The Goodbye Girl, Cinderella Liberty, Only When I Laugh and Chapter Two. She has been the recipient of 2 Golden Globe Awards for her film roles and an Emmy Award nomination for her role on “Frasier”. Her TV credits include “The Middle”, “The Good Wife”, “Madam Secretary” and “Grace & Frankie”. Broadway roles include Impressionism with Jeremy Irons, Steel Magnolias, The Night of the Iguana, The Good Doctor, King Richard III and Cactus Flower. Off-Broadway she co-starred in the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s Fire and Air at Classic Stage. Regionally she has starred in All’s Well That Ends Well at Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC, A Doll’s House at ACT in San Francisco, Arms and The Man at Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and Watch on the Rhine at Arena Stage in Washington, DC. She has directed Chapter Two and Steel Magnolias at the Bucks County Playhouse, the first female An Act of God with Paige Davis at the Arizona Theatre Company and the world premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Talisman Roses starring Amanda Plummer at the Tennessee Williams Festival in Provincetown, Mass. Marsha was Associate Director with Jack O’Brien for the Roundabout Theater’s production of All My Sons on Broadway. Last summer, Marsha starred in the Irish Repertory Theatre’s acclaimed production of Little Gem (2020 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play) and she most recently directed a reading of The Man Who Came to Dinner with Brooke Shields and Walter Bobbie at the Bucks County Playhouse and WP Theater in NYC. She also starred with Richard Dreyfuss in a streaming reading of “Letters to Noel Coward “ as a benefit for Bay Street Theater in Sag Harbor and with Brian Cox in a reading of Dear Liar to benefit Bucks County Playhouse. Marsha lives in Connecticut with her dog Tootsie.
AARON MATTESON (Hutch, F.I.R.E.) Aaron is very excited to be back in the world of F.I.R.E. after originating his role in the staged reading at Alchemical Studios in 2019. An alum of Sarah Lawrence College's theatre program and the Actors Theatre of Louisville's Acting Apprenticeship, Aaron's recent roles include Andrew in Becky Shaw at Centenary Stage Company and Daniel in Untitled Short Film About White People.
EDWARD T. MORRIS (Scenic and Projections Designer, F.I.R.E.) has designed for Shanghai Dramatic Arts Center, Yale Repertory Theatre, Martha Graham Dance Company, LaMama, The Barrow Group, Goodspeed Opera House, Roundabout Theatre Company, Atlantic Theater Company, Cherry Lane Theater, Opera Memphis, We Players, Magic Theatre, Interlochen Shakespeare Festival, University of Michigan, Princeton University, and Columbia University among many others. Edward designed the Halloween decorations for President Obama’s White House in 2015. Education: BFA, University of Michigan; MFA, Yale School of Drama. Member: United Scenic Artists Local #829 and Wingspace Theatrical Design. As a member of Wingspace he has curated panel discussions on: Gender Diversity in the Theatre, Production Management, Concert Design, Design Pedagogy, From Stage to Screen, Sustainable Model Making, and Breaking Down Class in the Theater. www.edwardtmorris.com
JASON O’CONNELL (Josh, Jericho) Off-Broadway credits include Richard Jones’s Judgment Day at Park Avenue Armory (with Luke Kirby and Harriet Harris), Harold Ryan in Happy Birthday, Wanda June (Wheelhouse/The Duke on 42nd St.), Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (Primary Stages), Bottom and Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Pearl), and Edward Ferrars in Sense and Sensibility and Trigorin in The Seagull (both with Bedlam). Jason recently played the title role in his own adaptation (with Brenda Withers) of Cyrano at Two River Theater and Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. He is the writer/performer of the solo shows The Dork Knight (Joe’s Pub, Primary Stages, The Abingdon, etc.) and Fat and Scant of Breath (The Wild Project, TADA, etc.), and he appeared in two pandemic-era productions at Syracuse Stage in 2020: Amadeus (as Salieri) and Talley’s Folly. Jason won the 2014 NYIT Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in Don Juan in Hell (also cited as one of the year’s best performances by The Wall Street Journal), has appeared on multiple episodes of NBC’s Law & Order franchise, and is a founding member of NYC theatre company The COOP. www.jason-oconnell.com
GARY PEREZ (Victor Manuel, Two Sisters And A Piano) is an Award-nominated film, TV, and stage actor and a founder of the Latino Actor's Base, now known as The LAByrinth Theatre Company in NYC. Gary's screen work includes recurring roles on hit shows - 13 Reasons Why (Netflix), The Blacklist (NBC), The Last Ship (TNT), Homeland (SHOWTIME) as well as The Sopranos, Oz (HBO), and many more. Gary most recently has Guested on 911 Lonestar, Prodigal Son (FOX), Tommy (CBS), Little America (APPLE-TV), and can be seen with John Leguizamo in the very important - Ava DuVernay-helmed NETFLIX miniseries - When They See Us. On stage, Gary has worked with Pulitzer Prize-winning writers including Nilo Cruz, John Patrick Shanley, Lynn Nottage, and Stephen Adly Guirgis. He has collaborated with multiple award-winning directors, including Anna D. Shapiro, Tony Taccone, Brian Kulick, and Jo Bonney, at national theaters, including Steppenwolf, Yale Rep, 2nd Stage, The McCarter, La Jolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, and the Public Theater. His portrayal of Cousin Julio in Stephen Guirgis' The Motherf**ker with the Hat directed by Anna D. Shapiro at Steppenwolf garnered him a JEFF award nomination and the honor to perform alongside Jimmy Smits and long time friend John Ortiz (a co-founder of Latino Actors Base).
NYGEL D. ROBINSON (Noel, F.I.R.E.) is a singer, actor, writer, and multi-instrumentalist based in New York City. Select musical theatre credits include Larry in the workshop and Lincoln Center concert version of ‘Beau: The Musical’, and Actor/Musician in ‘The All Night Strut’ (Milwaukee Rep). Nygel and Brian Quijada are the co-writers of the new musical ‘Mexodus’ which began development through New York Stage and Film in early 2020 and was featured in NYSAF’s 2021 Powerhouse summer season.
DAPHNE RUBIN-VEGA (Sofia, Two Sisters And A Piano) can next be seen playing 'Daniela' in the upcoming Warner Bros feature In The Heights directed by Jon Chu. During the early months of the pandemic, she shot the Netflix series Social Distance produced by Jenji Kohan and Tara Hermann, and Same Storm, the newest Peter Hedges film. Additional TV credits include Katy Keene (CW) and Tales Of The City (Netflix). A staple of the New York theatre community, Daphne earned a Tony nomination for her portrayal of ‘Mimi’ in the original cast of Rent and another for Anna In The Tropics. She recently starred in the musical Miss You Like Hell at The Public Theatre and in the one-woman show Empanada Loca, which was written for her. She helped adapt the play into the scripted podcast The Horror of Dolores Roach, which is currently in pre-production for Amazon TV. Additional theater credits include Broadway revivals of A Streetcar Named Desire, The Rocky Horror Picture Show and Les Mis; Two Sisters And A Piano and F*cking A at The Public; Romeo & Juliet at Classic Stage; and Jack Goes Boating opposite Philip Seymour Hoffman.
NICOLA SAFFREN (Narrator, STEP 9; Multiple Rehearsed Readings) is a New York based multi-disciplinary artist with a passion for acting, directing, poetry & the Alexander Technique. Select credits include: Theatre: Gruesome Playground Injuries (Playground Productions), Soul Doctor, The Producers (Segal Centre for the Performing Arts) Welcome to the Moon (ASM Performing Arts) Hypolytus & Alkestis, August Osage County, Much Ado About Nothing (Dawson Theatre). Direction: “Complacency” (Emanuelle Kami), “Did You Have Fun?” (Jack Mogi), Witness to a Devouring Monster (Lei Nico), It’ll Pass (Human Pincushion Productions). Nicola Saffren is a graduate of the William Esper Studio. nicolasaffren.com
NIKKOLE SALTER (Playwright, Lines In The Dust) Hailed by Variety as “thoroughly convincing”, this Los Angeles-born, OBIE Award-winning actress and writer arrived onto the professional scene with her co-authorship and co-performance (with Danai Gurira) of the Pulitzer Prize nominated play, In The Continuum (ITC). For its Off-Broadway run at Primary Stages and the Perry Street Theatre and for its US State Department and Bloomberg sponsored international tour, Ms. Salter received an OBIE Award, and the NY Outer Critics Circle's John Gassner Award for Best New American Play, the Seldes-Kanin fellowship from the Theatre Hall of Fame, and the Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations to name a few. Ms. Salter also received Helen Hayes and Black Theatre Alliance nominations for Best Actress for her performance. ITC, published by Samuel French, was pronounced - by New York Times, Newsday and New York Magazine - one of the best plays of 2005 and was featured in numerous esteemed media outlets including Essence Magazine, American Theatre Magazine, the Los Angeles Times and NPR’s Leonard Lopate Show. ITC has received over 20 productions across the world to date.
MICHAEL SATOW (Ethan, Jericho; Director, Adlai Stevenson Was Nominated For President...Twice; Prison Guard, STEP 9) Most recently onstage in the one-man show Every Brilliant Thing at Florida Rep (cut short by the pandemic), and thrilled to be returning to Jericho after the NNPN rolling world premiere at Florida Studio Theatre. Off-Broadway/NY Stage includes: A Better Place (The Duke) Final Analysis (Pershing Square Signature Center), Hot Season (Sheen Center), Raft of the Medusa (Secret Theatre), Look Upon Our Lowliness (HSA Theatre), Blacken the Bubble (Dixon Place), Merchant of Venice (Westbeth), Betwixt, Between, and BeTWAIN (The Crown), Hell For The Company (Bridge Theater) and numerous readings/workshops including MCC, NYTW, Joe's Pub, New Dramatists, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Director’s Company, The Lark and The Movement. Regional Stage includes: Time Stands Still, On Golden Pond (Bristol Riverside Theatre), Rumors, Betrayal (Theatre Workshop of Nantucket), Red (Vero Riverside Theatre), Hannah (Premiere Stages), Shipwrecked! (Capital Rep), Proof (Seacoast Rep), Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet - with Jeffrey Donovan and Pedro Pascal (Commonwealth Shakespeare Co.), and the world premieres of I Heart Kant (CoLab @ George Street Playhouse) and Charlotte the Destroyer (Boston Center For the Arts). TV: Recurring as Stark Schiff in “The Good Fight” (CBS), “Elementary,” “Instinct” (CBS), “Manhattan Love Story,” “All My Children” (ABC), “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” (HBO). Film: “Under Jakob’s Ladder” (with Jeff Stewart), “How To Break Up With Your Mother,” “Middle Ground,” “One Last Dream of America.” Web: “Website Story” (College Humor), “PX This,” “Conversations from the Afterlife,” “Yes We Candidate.” Numerous commercials and voiceovers. Weekly narrator at Curio. Graduate of Northeastern University and Maggie Flanigan Studio. - AEA, SAG-AFTRA. www.michaelsatow.com, @michaelsatow.
JOHN SCHAEFFLER (NNR Board) is the Executive Global Government Affairs Leader for GE Healthcare and serves on the Board of New Normal Rep. A newcomer to theatre production, John is excited to be in partnership with New Normal Rep, supporting its commitment to promote diversity and inclusion in the next wave of the performing arts and its artists.
BRIAN SHNIPPER (NNR Board; Resident Dramaturg) conceived and directed the world premiere of Standing On Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays (Coronet Theatre). It has since been performed in over 100 theatres around the world including the Minetta Lane Theatre in New York, ACT in San Francisco, La Jolla Playhouse, Trinity Rep and Syracuse Stage. Celebrities who have performed include Debra Messing, Zachary Quinto, Alfre Woodard, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Matthew Broderick, Kathy Najimi and Amy Brenneman to name a few. Off Broadway: NYTW, EST, Negro Ensemble Company and Samuel Beckett Theatre. Regional: U.S. premiere of Daniel MacIvor's The Best Brothers, Red, Opus and Bell, Book And Candle (Ensemble Theatre Company), The Road To Appomattox, Miracle On South Division Street (Colony Theatre), A View Of The Mountains (Pasadena Playhouse), ICU (Circle X Theatre starring Caroline Aaron), Trails (Broadway Rose), Voice Of Good Hope (Luna Stage starring Frankie Faison), Mala (CoHo Theatre), The world premiere of Wendy MacLeod’s Undescended, Say You Love Satan and All The Rage (Attic Theatre - Artistic Director 2008 - 2010). He served as Artistic Director for 12 Miles West Theatre Company in New Jersey (1998 - 2001) where some of his credits include the world premieres of Joyce Carol Oates’ Separated and Nagle Jackson’s Barney Downsized. Playwright: It's Not Unusual, Diary Of A Lost Boy adapted from Harry Kondoleon’s novel written with Connie Congdon, What You Don't Know, What I Learned In Kindergarten.
JIMMY SMITS (Lieutenant Portuondo, Two Sisters And A Piano) is a graduate of Brooklyn College's Center for the Performing Arts, CUNY and holds an MFA from Cornell University's Theatre Arts Program. Smits began his acting career in the New York theater and returns often. In December, 2012, he appeared in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s hit play Motherf**ker With The Hat at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. He performed on Broadway in the critically acclaimed hit God of Carnage (2009). Prior to that he starred in Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics which began at the McCarter Theatre and went on to Broadway. Other credits include the New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park presentations of Much Ado About Nothing (2004) and Twelfth Night (2002); Hamlet (Joe Papp, Director) and The Ballad of Soapy Smith (Public Theater Downtown); Ariano (George C. Wolfe, Director), Buck, Little Victories (The American Place/Playwrights Horizon); Regional: The Guys (Berkeley Repertory); Death and the Maiden (Mark Taper Forum); Othello (Colorado Shakespeare Festival); Native Speech (Center Stage), Loose Ends, Gemini (Hangar Theatre, Ithaca, NY); Smits will next be seen in the feature film version of In The Heights, directed by Jon Chu. Smits most recently starred in the NBC series Bluff City Law. Previous projects include How to Get Away With Murder, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, 24: Legacy, The Get Down and Sons of Anarchy, Dexter, for which he received his 12th Emmy nomination, PBS’ Latin Music USA, CANE, The West Wing, NYPD Blue (Golden Globe Award), and L.A. Law (Emmy Award). His film credits include Who We Are Now, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Mother and Child, Backyard, The Jane Austen Book Club, Star Wars: Episodes II & III, My Family/Mi Familia (IFP Spirit Award nomination), Old Gringo, Price of Glory, Switch, Running Scared, and The Believers.
RACHEL SPENCER HEWITT (Logo Design) is an Equity actor with an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. During her time there, she received the Pierre-André Salim Award, awarded to third-year students at the Yale School of Drama whose artistry, professionalism, collaborative energy, and commitment to the community have inspired their colleagues, and who show distinct promise of raising the standard of practice in the field. She is a Baker Duncan Scholar and received her BA in Drama from Trinity University in San Antonio. Credits include: Broadway: King Charles III; Off-Broadway: The Seagull directed by Max Stafford Clark, the New York premiere of A Civil War Christmas by Paula Vogel and directed by Tina Landau, and Peter and the Starcatcher at New York Theatre Workshop; Selected Regional: Shakespeare Theatre Company, Hartford Stage, Yale Repertory Theatre, Bay Street Theatre with director Michael Wilson; international theatre and feature films. www.rachelspencerhewitt.com
LISA ROSETTA STRUM (Dr. Beverly Long, Ed.D., Lines In The Dust), a Philadelphia native, is a director, educator, actress, playwright, producer, casting director, singer, and certified wedding officiant. She received an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle and has performed in regional theatres all across the country. Most recently she was one of the directors for the “All Hands On Deck” Virtual Reading Series with Project Y Theatre Company. She also directed Flyin’ West and For Colored Girls... at Five Towns College (Region 1 Kennedy Center Award Winning Production), and Fall for the Marathon 2019 One Act Play Festival with Ensemble Studio Theatre. She starred as Rose in Fences with the Rep at The University of Delaware and Virginia Rep. Lisa also starred in the Michigan Premiere of Dominique Morisseau’s Pipeline at the Detroit Public Theatre, and Sweat at People’s Light. Her solo play, She Gon' Learn premiered at the Emerging Artist Theatre Festival at TADA!, followed by sold out performances at the United Solo Festival on Theatre Row in NYC where the play received one of the festival's Best Solo Show awards. The show was also featured with The New Black Fest at the Lark and had a workshop production at Jersey City Theatre Center. As an actor, Lisa worked at Lincoln Center Theatre with Tony Award winning director Thomas Kail, appeared at Summer Stage, Signature Theatre, New Federal Theatre, Intiman Theatre, The Obie Award Winning 48 Hours in...Harlem, ACT and The Fifth Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Lisa also had a recurring role on Law & Order: SVU, co-starred on New Amsterdam, The Blacklist, and the television pilot Citizen Baines with James Cromwell from LA Confidential.
AWOYE TIMPO (Director, Lines In The Dust) is a director and producer based in Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been seen on stages around the country and in Scotland and South Africa. Her New York directing credits include The Loophole (Public Theater), In Old Age (New York Theatre Workshop), Carnaval (National Black Theatre), Good Grief (Vineyard Theatre and Audible) and The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater Company). Regionally she has directed Pipeline at the Studio Theatre, Paradise Blue at Long Wharf, Everybody Black at Actors Theatre of Louisville and School Girls Berkeley Rep. Awoye is the Founding Producer of CLASSIX, a series exploring plays by Black writers. theclassix.org
CAROL TODD (NNR Board; Jessica, Jericho; Danica, F.I.R.E.; Emily, STEP 9) Off-Broadway: Jericho (59E59); Between The Bars (HERE Arts Center); Intermission (The Clurman). NYC: To She Who Waits, A Marriage Proposal (ARTC); Ferguson, Making Peter Pope (30th Street Theatre). Selected Regional: Ants, Jericho, Place Setting, Apple, Whores (NJ Rep); The Song of Grendelyn, Whores (Writers Theatre of NJ); Top Girls, The Road to Mecca (Theatre Project); Rain (East Lynne Theatre Co.); The Importance of Being Earnest (Foundation Theatre); Voice of Good Hope (Luna Stage). Film: The Sounding, 20th Century Boys II, Tito, Blind Trust, Showers of Happiness. Selected TV: “High Maintenance” (HBO), “Sex&Drugs&Rock&Roll” (FX), “One Bad Choice” (MTV), "Un$uited" (Pilot). AEA, SAG-AFTRA www.caroltoddactress.com
LUKE H. WOODS (Production Stage Manager, F.I.R.E.) Luke is a freelance stage manager based in New York City. He is thrilled to make his New Normal Rep debut with this wonderful show. Luke is a proud graduate of UNC School of the Arts. Credits include: 2 Spring Seasons with American Ballet Theatre, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Mozart in Motion at Sacramento Ballet, the world premiere of Beau at the Adirondack Theatre Festival, work at Lincoln Center, The Public Theater, Musical Theatre Factory, and more. Special thanks to REW, JBB, SVP, BPW, MM, and countless others for their help getting me here.
DAVID C. WOOLARD (Costume Designer, F.I.R.E.) Selected Broadway: Dames at Sea, First Date, Lysistrata Jones, West Side Story, 33 Variations (Jane Fonda’s clothing), Dividing the Estate, The Farnsworth Invention, All Shook Up, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, The Who’s Tommy, Bells Are Ringing, Wait Until Dark, The Young Man From Atlanta, Damn Yankees, A Few Good Men. Selected Off-Broadway: The Old Friends, Orphans’ Home Cycle (Signature Theatre). Regional: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (La Jolla Playhouse), The Donkey Show (A.R.T.). Opera: Death and the Powers (Opera Monte Carlo); Cold Mountain (Santa Fe Opera premiere). Awards: Drama Desk Award, Henry Hewes Design Award (Orphans’ Home Cycle), 2001 Tony Nomination (The Rocky Horror Picture Show), 1993 Tony and Olivier Award nomination (The Who’s Tommy). www.davidcwoolard.com