At Home in Brooklyn
Co-author of Speak the Speech! Shakespeare’s Monologues Illuminated
Co-creator of Conversations with Shakespeare, NPR
Long-time lover of all things Shakespeare
Artistic Director • Curio/Fabian/Robin Starveling
Craig Bacon was trained and designated as a voice teacher by Master Teacher Kristin Linklater and also studied voice with Noah Pikes and Richard Armstrong, both founding members of the Roy Hart Theater Company. He also studied clown and buffoon with Philippe Gaulier and Lecoq movement technique with Norman Taylor. Craig is an Artistic Associate of the Mercury Theatre in Colchester, UK, where he staged Macbeth, The Tempest, The Crucible, and served as the voice and text director for four seasons. Craig currently teaches voice and text at the Actor’s Sudio MFA program at Pace University. He has held faculty appointments at SUNY Purchase, Columbia University, Fordham University, NYU (Atlantic Theater Company), National Theater Institute (US and UK), The Actors Centre (London), The Linklater Center, and Shakespeare & Co (Lenox, MA). In addition to his extensive vocal coaching in the UK, he has served as vocal coach for several productions in New York, including Anthem, which is currently running Off-Broadway at the Baryshnikov Center and The English Channel by Robert Brustein at the Abingdon Theater. At SUNY Purchase he directed The Winters Tale, By the Bog of Cats, and co-directed LAByrinth Theater Company’s One-Acts with Richard Crawford. Craig has also worked internationally as an actor, both in Europe and the US. Productions include The Tempest (Mercury Theatre, UK), Henry IV, pt. 1, Much Ado About Nothing, Merry Wives of Windsor (Shakespeare & Co.); Cymbaline, The Rover, Twelfth Night (Lincoln Center Inst.); One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest, Whose Afraid of Virginia Wolf, A Christmas Carol (American Drama Group, Europe); Kenneth Lonergan’s Borderlines, Off-Shore Wind w/William Hickey, Sunday’s Child w/Celeste Holm (HB Playwrights). Craig trained extensively with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, and Tina Packer.
Craig has had a life-long love affair with good food and wine. In Paris in the late 70’s he served as a valet at Residence of the American Ambassador, serving gourmet dinners to the likes François Mitterrand and Baron Philippe Rothschild. He also made sure that Miss Lillian Carter had her glass of bourbon in her room each night (she was on her way to work for the Peace Corps in Africa). She preferred it without ice.
Costume Design • Olivia/Hermia
Heather Boaz moved to New York from the Midwest at the age of 18 to study opera for six years. She has trained at the Manhattan School of Music and the Stella Adler Studios. Heather has performed and studied in Italy, France, and Austria. Favorite opera credits include Le Nozze di Figaro, Die Zauberflöte, and Summer and Smoke. Most recently, she has been seen in the New York premiere of the stage-noir Whodunnit, On the Rocks, and the summer-parody film, Wildlife (projected release Summer 2014). Currently she is pursuing a career in film and on the stage. Heather is thrilled to be a member of the New Place Players.
Floral Design & Company Mystic
As an Art Historian, I specialize in the history and symbolism of flower decoration. Working with Native American elders has enriched my deep connection with the plant and flower world. I love creating, magical environments that express the unique desires of my clients, with the abundance of nature and my talented crew. I have created environments for The White House, The National Gallery of Art, American Embassy Residences in Moscow and Paris and the British and Dutch Royal Families.
Matthew Cohn graduated from Dartmouth College in 2008, with a degree in Philosophy and Theater. Upon graduation, he returned to his native New York to pursue a career in acting. Recent New York credits include: The Reluctant Lesbian (New York International Fringe Festival); The Country Wife (Chernuchin Theatre); Henry V (Kill Mike, Use…); King Lear (National Black Theater of Harlem); Ms. Bovary (Augmented Seventh Theater Program); The Weird (Wake Up Marconi! Productions); Aliens Exist (Manhattan Repertory Theater). Regional: The Importance of Being Earnest (Northern Stage); Measure for Measure (Elm Shakespeare Company); Rhinoceros (The Mighty Theater); A Little Night Music, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Almost, Maine, and the world premier of A Legendary Romance, among many others (New London Barn Playhouse). He is Co-Founder and Managing Director of Vox Theater.
Richard Crawford studied with Jacques Lecoq, and also at Rose Bruford College, London. He is a founding member of the internationally-acclaimed New York physical theater ensemble The Flying Machine and is currently performing on Broadway in War Horse. He also played the lead in the off-Broadway hit show 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., NYC, and as the lead in La Jolla Playhouse's groundbreaking 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 Actor's Center, Marymount Manhattan, Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute, Michael Howard Studios, The Stella Adler Studio, and the University of Minnesota. He is currently on the faculty at SUNY Purchase.
Music Director • Feste/Cobweb/Snug (Lion)
Born in Caracas, Venezuela. Flavio has degrees from Boston University (M.M., Viola Performance) and Berklee College of Music (B.M., Music Synthesis). Flavio has worked as an actor and sound designer in theater, film, and dance. Some of his latest collaborations have been with the Hudson Warehouse, Accidental Movement, and Richard Boulanger (Berklee College of Music). With Dr. Boulanger, he was involved in helping with the proofreading of The Csound Book (M.I.T. Press) and providing a sample library for the OLPC Foundation. He has also worked as Stage Manager for the Pacific Beat Collective (TALA). Flavio remains active as a freelance teacher and violist. He teaches music and music technology at the Rudolf Steiner School in NY and the Institute of Audio Research. He has worked with various orchestras and ensembles, including the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, the Manhattan Camerata, the Distinguished Concerts International NY, and various others, performing at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), and Palacio de Bellas Artes (Mexico City), among others.
Hansen has been one of the premier caterers in the Philadelphia region for more than two decades, recognized for serving “food with heart” — delicious cuisine with personalized attention. A celebrated cookbook author, Chef Hansen has been featured in Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, Saveur, Philadelphia magazine, and countless other regional and national publications. In addition to producing extraordinary weddings, corporate events and affairs, Max Hansen owns and operates Max Hansen Kitchen which encompass all four of his brands: Max Hansen Caterer, Max Hansen Smoked Salmon, Max Hansen Carversville Grocery, and Max Hansen Firewood.
Sourcing delectable ingredients and preparing delicious food have been his life-long passion. Max has literally scoured the globe in his quest for remarkable ingredients, and you can find them at his Carversville gourmet grocery, which is an amazing resource for anyone looking for unparalleled ingredients and scrumptious prepared foods. The charming Bucks County, PA store also doubles as a U.S. Post Office. Max and his wife Andrea have procured an incredible selection of provisions from around the world, including: Dalmatia Fig Spreads created with figs hand-picked and sun-dried on wooden pallets by local farmers in Croatia; Aleppo pepper, a spice cultivated in southern Turkey, near the Syrian town of Aleppo, which is considered one of the culinary meccas of the Mediterranean; The “Eat This” line of artisanal jams and marmalades from Erwinna, PA, which made Oprah’s 2014 Favorite Things list; and Max’s house smoked salmon which has been featured in Food & Wine and Bon Appetit.
Hansen graduated from the New England Culinary Institute in 1983 but his love affair with food began as a child while working alongside his grandfather, tending vegetables and learning the art of canning and preserving. Max discovered that food prepared with love can have a profoundly positive impact on people and their experience of life. Another notable influence was famed chef Julia Child, a lifetime family friend. Max remembers when Paul & Julia Child announced their engagement to family and friends. Max’s grandparents were in the room at their summer home in Maine. The Hansens grew up celebrating festivities with Child’s family. At 16 the aspiring chef bought a leg of lamb and learned how to debone it by reading Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking. He saw the Childs a number of times over the years and actually cooked with Julia when he was in his late 20’s. His family lived all over the U.S., London and Turkey. It was in Turkey that he developed a love and appreciation for Middle Eastern cuisine.
While a student at Vassar College, Max worked summers at the Ocean Club on Martha’s Vineyard preparing meals for a veritable “who’s who” of celebrities and movers and shakers. Shortly after culinary school, he landed the Executive Sous Chef position at Memphis restaurant in Manhattan where he fed stars such as Stevie Wonder, Michael Jordan and Carly Simon. During his 30+ year culinary career, he also spent time in the south of France, cooking at the summer home of the U.S. ambassador to Russia; worked with cooking icons Michel Rostang (Hotel Plaza Athénée) and Thomas Keller (Rakel) in New York City; opened Bala Rouge in Bala Cynwyd, and taught other aspiring chefs at his alma mater. In 1998, Hansen returned to his roots in Bucks County and launched his successful catering business.
Hansen calls his culinary creations “upscale comfort food” -- very recognizable dishes with a twist. “It’s not about shock value,” he explains, “we hope our guests leave sated and satisfied with all the interesting flavors they’ve experienced.”
Max Hansen Carversville Grocery is located at 6208 Fleecydale Road in Carversville, PA. Learn more about Max Hansen Carversville Grocery by visiting www.maxscarversvillegrocery.com.
Stephanie LaVardera is an actor, voice-over artist and teaching artist based between NYC and Washington DC, where she received her MFA with the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting. Some of her favorite theater roles include Juliet in Romeo and Juliet (The Folger Shakespeare Theatre), Lolita in the world premiere of Zorro (Constellation Theatre Company), and the Third Witch and all of the little boy roles (!!) in Macbeth (Annapolis Shakespeare Company). She has also performed regionally with the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, and The New York State Theatre Institute, and in NYC with Theatre 167 and the LIC Secret Theatre. Stephanie also loves sharing her passion for theatre, acting, Shakespeare and voice and text work through teaching, and has worked as a teaching artist with Everyman Theatre (Baltimore), Imagination Stage (Bethesda, MD), and Maryland Shakespeare Company, getting kids all over the state of Maryland excited about Shakespeare! She is thrilled to be back in NYC and working with New Place Players!! Please visit her online at www.stephanielavardera.com.
Fight Choreographer • Sebastian/Lysander
Aaron is an actor because he believes that theater and film have a great power to change, enlighten, and enliven people. Aaron’s main goal is catharsis; whether it be his or yours. Along with a BFA in Acting from SUNY Purchase, Aaron has also attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts and Stephen F. Austin State University. Since graduating in 2011, Aaron has worked on two national tours with Aquila Theater Co. as Christian in Cyrano de Bergerac, Malcolm in Macbeth, and Gremio in The Taming of the Shrew. Other credits include Assistant Fight Choreographer for Newsies! The Musical, and puppeteering a life sized elephant (Harold) in Studio 42’s Miss Lilly Gets Boned.
Charlotte Mundy is a vocalist with exceptional stylistic range, known to produce “strikingly clear tones” (Oberon’s Grove) and “tart and gangly lines, well sung” (New York Times). Most recently she appeared in the Salt Bay Chamberfest performing a work for two sopranos and percussion by Swedish composer Karin Rehnqvist, and with New Chamber Ballet singing Morton Feldman’s Voice, Violin and Piano while simultaneously dancing a duet with ballerina Amber Neff. Other recent projects included singing in Cynthia Hopkins’ This Clement World at St. Ann’s Warehouse, in Howard Fishman’s The Mysterious Case of Connie Converse at Joe’s Pub, in the Qubit Nonference, and with ensembles such as The Yehudim, Roomful of Teeth, Ensemble sans maître, Contemporaneous, and TAK. She is one half of an electro-pop band called The Euphemisms with Rich Woodson. Mundy holds a Masters degree in Contemporary Performance from the Manhattan School of Music, where she studied with Lucy Shelton.
Co-director/Costume Design/Puppet Design • Antonio/Peter Quince
James is a NYC based actor, director, writer, puppet designer, and co-artistic director of Strangemen & Co. Acting credits include El Gato Con Botas (Tectonic Theatre Co.), On the Head of a Pin (Strangemen), Rhinoceros (UglyRhino Theatre Co.), Wanda’s Monster (Making Books Sing), Last…Judas Iscariot (SUNY Purchase). Directorial credits (puppet or otherwise) include: Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Studio42), All’s Well…(Collin Theatre Center), Free Delivery (Strangemen), The Little Mermaid (Glass Bandits), and The Woodsman (Ars Nova), which is slated for it’s off-Broadway remount this January at 59e59 Theatres!
Olivia Osol is a New York City based theatre artist from Boston. She received her BFA in acting from SUNY Purchase. She last played Maria in Twelfth Night with New Place Players, and is delighted to work with this talented company again, as Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream. She is also a member of The Astoria Block Players, and Strangemen & Co. She has continued her study of The Linklater technique with Craig Bacon, and had the pleasure of attending the 2015 one month intensive at Shakespeare & Company.
Jay Painter is an actor, improviser, musician, comedian, director, producer, clown, teaching artist and all around Renaissance man! Off Broadway: Agamemnon (with Olympia Dukakis), The Iliad (Lucille Lortel), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lincoln Center), Othello (Baruch PAC). National tours with Aquila Theatre Co.: A Comedy of Errors (as both Dromios), Hamlet (Gravedigger, Ghost, Lead Player), Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and The Iliad: Book One. Additional stage credits include tours of The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged), Midsummer with Shakespeare Santa Barbara, and work with numerous NYC theatre companies including the world premiere of Kimberly Pau’s BOMB SHELTER at the Gene Frankel Theatre for which he won a Planet Connections Best Actor Award. He regularly appears in film and television, most recently in a recurring role on National Geographic's BRAIN GAMES and in the award winning feature Birth Day from director Sonoko Ogata. Jay is also the co-founder and Artistic Director of the acclaimed comedy group Face Off Unlimited, producers of the hit Japanese game show BATSU!, among many other projects. Jay hails from the mountains of West Virginia where he earned a BA in Theatre (magna cum laude) from Davis and Elkins College and studied with mime master Reid Gilbert. He lives in Queens with his wife Courtnay and their new son Elliot.
Nikolett was born in Budapest, Hungary. When she was 6 years old, she started to play the piano and took classical piano lessons for eight years. She played the flute as well and was a member of several drama societies. She went to the Ferenc Erkel music school in Budapest (major in jazz vocal), and with two fellow guitar players she formed a band called Jazzstand. They played in small clubs in Budapest and performed at a well-known local Hungarian festival called Valley of Arts. Later on, she accepted an invitation from a drummer in 2008 to form a jazz quartet called Under Pressure. Since 1999, she played the lead role in a Hungarian musical for five years at the Margit Foldessy Drama Studio. Being in that Hungarian musical called Képzelt Riport Egy Amerikai Popfesztiválról (An Imaginary Report on an American Pop Festival), gave her the opportunity in 2007 to perform at the Sziget festival, one of the largest annual music festivals in Europe, with one of the most famous Hungarian singer-songwriters, Gabor Presser. In 2010, she joined the group Soulfood. Soon after that she moved to New York. She studied for a year at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and transferred to City College in 2011. Nikolett has formed an acoustic band in New York. They perform under her name and play Jazz and Hungarian tunes. The beauty and uniqueness of Hungarian rhythms and melodies make them easy to be merged with jazz and folkloric music.
Sir Andrew Aguecheek/Robin Goodfellow (Puck)/Philostrate
Hailing from North Carolina, Adam fell into theatre at an early age. He began studying at performing arts magnet schools, and later pursued his theatrical interests in the many community and professional theatres of the culturally rich Raleigh-Durham area. At the age of eighteen, he followed a childhood friend to Boston, MA to continue his studies at Emerson College, where he obtained a BFA in Acting. Since graduating, Adam has had many opportunities to work regionally and continue his studies at such institutions as Massachusetts’ Shakespeare & Company and New York City’s Linklater Center. He currently resides in Manhattan with his husband and a tiny cat named Rock Hudson. Favorite credits include Island (New York Shakespeare Exchange), To Kill a Mockingbird (Burning Coal Theatre), Elephants and Gold (Berkshire Fringe), Titus Andronicus (Bare Theatre), Hamlet, and As You Like It (Plimoth Players).
Ross entered the professional kitchen for the first time at the age of 14. Throughout his teen years, he worked at fine restaurants on Nantucket Island and Cape Cod, but truly became serious when he ventured into Manhattan, to work at Wayne Nish’s March Restaurant on East 58th Street. Upon graduating from the Culinary Institute of America, he accepted a full-time position at March. After completing one year there, Ross left the U.S. to work in Italy. This decision came as a recommendation from Lidia Bastianich of Felidia, where he had worked both as an intern during his time at the C.I.A., and later as her Sous Chef.
In Milan, Chef Ross worked at A.F.M. Banqueting, the city’s highest-end catering company, and cooked mostly for the fashion industry. Clients included Gucci, Armani, Versace, Prada, Fendi, Dolce & Gabana, Roberto Cavalli, and more. Mr. Posmentier worked at Al Ceppo in Rome and Cibreo in Florence. Ross then was invited to Seoul, Korea as guest Chef at Anna Bini, promoting and introducing traditional Italian cuisine, elevating the culinary level of this Trattoria. Next, the opportunity of a lifetime came along; to work as the second Chef in command at Townhouse Galleria, Europe’s first seven star luxury hotel. Upon returning to the U.S. Ross became a private Chef for a highly influential family in Greenwich, Connecticut.
For the past six years Mr. Posmentier has been the Senior Executive Chef of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Amenities Unit at the Weill Cornell Medical Center.
Molly Seidel is a NYC based designer and artist originally from Westchester, NY. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from Ithaca College. She was the resident costume designer for the The Play Group Theatre in White Plains for the past three years and is currently working as an assistant costume designer at The Juilliard School. Some past credits include: wardrobe at the Punchdrunk's immersive theatre production, Sleep No More, in New York City; The Importance of Being Earnest (White Plains Performing Arts Center), and A New Musical web-series roomcgoo.com.
Lauren Shannon is an actress and artist originally from Pittsburgh, PA. Trained by the best from Carnegie Mellon, Emerson College, Sedona Shakespeare, LASSAAD, UCB, Pittsburgh Playhouse, to name a few, she prefers to move through the world creatively, and with purpose. She has worked every odd job known to man to nourish her skills and whet her creative appetite and works within a practice of presence and compassion. You may have seen her as a BAT with The Flea, as Viola in New Place Players' Twelfth Night, in the films The Unidentified and Northeast. You may have seen her in the supermarket, the subway. You, perhaps, have not seen her at all. She is grateful for her gifts and grateful to be part of the birth of The New Place Players.
Select Off-Broadway: Cagney (York Theatre, Assistant Director/SDC Observer), Clinton The Musical (New World Stages, Assistant Director), Tail! Spin! (Assistant Director/Sub-ASM), Ethel Sings (Theatre Row, PSM), Here Lies Love (Public Theatre, PA), Murder for Two (New World Stages, PA), A Streetcar Named Desire (Carnegie Hall, PA) Select NYC: The Calico Buffalo (NYMF’15, PSM), Somewhere in Time (Lab, Assistant Director), Twelfth Night (New Place Players, PSM/Assistant Director), The Last Goodbye (Lab, PA), Dizzy Miss Lizzie’s Roadside Review: The Brontes (NYMF’13, PSM), Requiem for a Lost Girl (NYMF '12, PSM/AD), Blanche: The Bittersweet Life of a Wild Prairie Dame (NYMF’11, Capital Fringe'12, FringeNYC'12, PSM/AD). Proud member of AEA & SDC Associate.
Emilio Paul Tirado
Sir Toby/Nick Bottom
Drunk on power after receiving his BFA in Acting from SUNY Purchase, Emilio has done little to halt his wunderkind-like ascension to the top. He wowed audiences as ensemble member #2 at the Gene Frankel Theater. He changed the very meaning of the word "acting" with his pancreas shredding performance as "Fat Beardy Mexican" in a Cinco de Mayo Ad, run on Little Rock, AR Public Access, for literally days. Jokes aside, he's been seen at Playwrights Horizons, The Irish Repertory Theatre, The Gene Frankel (in a slightly more substantial role), Symphony Space, The LIC Secret Theater (Awarded Best Actor-Overall for the Un-Fringed Festival) and most recently as Sir Toby Belch in the New Place Players' production of Twelfth Night. A year ago he started his own small production company, The Astoria Block Players, dedicated to ludicrous comedy. He recently returned from Baltimore where he starred and produced the new web series Black Arrow Fly! coming 2015. Boo ya!...Also excited to join such a talented cast.
Sea Captain/Officer/Priest/Francis Flute (Thisby)
John Wahl is an Eagle Scout and a graduate of the University of Maryland where he has appeared in Everything in the Garden; The Coronation of the Walrus King; The Seagull; Am I Black Enough, Yet?; and American, African. Outside of the University, John has appeared at the Kennedy Center’s Theatre Lab in a Broadway cabaret for The Millennium Stage Presents series, as well as performing in a master class with Barbara Cook for the Kennedy Center’s donors. He also appeared as Mark Twain in the devised theatrical work The Measure of our Lives at the National Portrait Gallery, worked with the Pallas Theatre Collective on the Criss-Cross Cabaret and The Comedy of Mirrors at the Capital Fringe Festival, reprised his role in American, African at the Baltimore Museum of Art, and made his New York debut at the Gene Frankel Theatre in I Do Wonder. He is humbled to be working with such peerless performers and artists.