Grace Laubacher is a scenic designer for theater and opera based in New York City. Her work has recently been seen at Bard Music Festival (Halka, 2017), Juilliard (La Finta Giardiniera, 2017; Die Zauberflöte, 2016), Pacific Symphony (Aida, 2017), Boston Baroque (Giulio Cesare, 2017), and Dixon Place (The Whole Truth/The Cask of Amontillado, 2016). In the past year she has also collaborated with Walt Disney Creative Entertainment, the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem, MA, and as an associate designer at the Roundabout and Huntington Theater Companies.
Named a “Young Designer to Watch” by Live Design Magazine in 2015, Grace creates spaces that participate in storytelling and transform in accordance with the narrative, tracing the spiritual and emotional journeys of the characters. Her work also encompasses immersive and site-specific installations, and a sculptural sensibility informs her approach to materials and space, resulting in surprising transformative landscapes.
Grace has worked as an associate and assistant set designer on and off-Broadway, regionally and internationally, with artists such as Derek McLane, Es Devlin, and Soutra Gilmour.
She has a regular collaborative partnership with director Mary Birnbaum and designer Anshuman Bhatia. With them, along with Moria Clinton and Adam Cates, she was a winner of the 2015 Robert L.B. Tobin Director Designer Showcase, sponsored by Opera America. She presented a design for Gertrude Stein and Virgil Thompsons “4 Saints in 3 Acts” at Opera Conference 2015 in Washington, D.C.
Grace holds an MA with Distinction from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, and a BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard College.
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
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.
NYC: The Woodsman (Ensemble), Macbeth (Ross/Porter), Home Movies. At Alabama Shakespeare Festival: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), A Christmas Carol (Ensemble, u/s Charles Dickens), Timon of Athens (Lucillius), The Taming of the Shrew (Nathaniel, u/s Lucentio/Biondello), Goodnight Moon (Clarabelle the Cow/Puppeteer). TV: "Hippyish." Film: "God's Pocket." Training: SUNY Purchase BFA Acting.
Katie Astra Barnhard
Katie Astra Barnhard (Stage Manager) Broadway: Fish In The Dark; If/Then. Off-Broadway: What We Wanted; Magdalen; Stalking the Bogeyman; Atomic: A New Musical; In a Bar of a Tokyo Hotel; How Deep Is the Ocean?. Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Rent; Magdalen; Romeo and Juliet. Assistant Production Manager and Stage Manger at Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture. Rehearsal Stage Manager for Actors Studio Drama School MFA Rep Seasons.
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 New Place Players.
Landon Boyter is a Kansas native and graduate of the BFA program at SUNY Purchase. He's thrilled to be joining New Place Players for the second time in their new production of The Tempest!
Jenny Burks is a New York City based actor, singer, and violin player with SW Artists talent agency. This spring she earned an M.F.A. in acting from the Actors Studio Drama School in NYC. While at ASDS, Jenny made her Off-Broadway debuts in Almost, Maine and Funny House of a Negro during the 2017 Repertory Season. Her other NYC credits include Sistas on Fire, Home is Sweet Sorrow, and Marishka Phillips' production of Their Eyes Were Watching God. Film credits include Montclair State University student film, “Undefined: A Muslim American Musical” and NY indie feature “Transformism.” Jenny also earned a BA in Drama and a BA in anthropology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. While in her home town of Ann Arbor, She performed in Little Shop of Horrors, Much Ado About Nothing, and The Merry Wives of Windsor.
Jeanne Cameron • Floral Design
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.
Guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter Juancho Herrera has carved a name for himself in the NYC Latin and world music scene. With an impressive career of more than 20 years as a frontman and sideman, Juancho has had the opportunity to perform at some of the most important venues in 37 countries in Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and the Americas, such as The Kennedy Center (Washington D.C.), Shibuya Koukaido (Tokyo), Centro Cultural Corpbanca (Caracas), Carnegie Hall, Blue Note (New York), Teatro Municipal (Santiago de Chile), among others.
He has been an essential part of groups lead by some of today’s top artists in jazz and world music, such as Claudia Acuña (Jazz), Marta Gomez (Folk Grammy Award Winner), Lila Downs, (Grammy Award winner), and Sofia Rei (South American Jazz).
Mr. Herrera has also performed and recorded with world class artists such as Mercedes Sosa (Argentina), The Chieftains (Ireland), Branford Marsalis (Jazz), Nestor Torres (Grammy Award winner), Ryuichi Sakamoto (Japanese Icon), Alejandro Sanz (Multi-Grammy Award winner), Idan Raichel (World Music), Aquiles Báez (Paquito D’ Rivera), Joe Vasconcellos (Chile), Johnny Pacheco (Salsa Icon), Haydee Milanés (Cuban Pop), Jenny Sheinman Quartet (Avant-garde Jazz, Bill Frisell), Francisco Pacheco (Un Solo Pueblo), and Zemog El Gallo Bueno (Mutant Salsa), among others.
Juancho has written music for short films, (Done by Oskar Landi 2009). His guitar work has been featured in several Off-Broadway plays and indie films such as The Indian Piece, and Vazhakku Enn 18/9.
Stephanie La Vardera
Stephanie La Vardera 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.
LaToya is a NYC based actor, credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Place Players), House/DIVIDED (BAM), The Octoroon (PS 122), The Epic of Sunjata (McCarter Theater), Quartermaines’ Terms (Williamstown), The Odyssey (Symphony Space), and Saturn Nights (Incubator Project).
Previously with New Group Players, Peter Quince in A Midsummer Night's Dream. Michael Lewis has also performed outside of New York in many regional theaters across this country and Europe. Favorite roles include Claudius, Pistol, Malcolm, Dogberry, Bassanio, Costard, the Shepherd's Son, Bottom, and the Fool. He also relished Quasimodo in Hunchback of Notre Dame, Tom in The Glass Menagerie, and Carson in the original cast of Horton Foote's Pulitzer-Prize winning Young Man From Atlanta. In NYC he has appeared at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Primary Stages, NY Theater Workshop, the Transport Group, the Vineyard, as well as featured acting roles at the Metropolitan Opera. Television and film work includes Blue Bloods, Unforgettable, Law and Order(s), 666 Park Avenue, Billions, The Detour, Broad City, and the feature films Darrow and Signs of Life.
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.
KATE MCMANUS is a New York City-based actor and singer, born and raised beneath the shadows of the Coloradan Rocky Mountains. She recently made her Off-Broadway debut as Sister James in John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning Doubt, a Parable (ASDS Repertory Theatre). She trained at the Actors Studio Drama School, where she received her MFA in Acting. She is now a working finalist at the Actors Studio. Other New York credits include A View From the Bridge (Catherine), Proof (Catherine), Tiger Tail (Baby Doll), Savage in Limbo (Linda) and Riff Raff (Billy “Torch” Murphy). Film roles include leads in One Take More (Hanging Lantern Productions), Free Wine (NYU), Acceptance (SVA) and Crossing Routes (SVA). Kate aspires every day to be a bit more like Captain America and Captain Kirk. She owes her family everything. Love and Green Light. www.katemcmanus.com
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.
James Ortiz • Contributing Director
James is a NYC based actor, director, writer, puppet designer, and co-artistic director of Strangemen & Co. Design/directorial credits (puppet or otherwise) include: The Tempest (DC Shakespeare), Sea Wife (Naked Angels), Mercury Fur (The New Group), King Lear (Delacorte Theatre in the Park), Ludic Proxy (Soho Rep.), King Lear (Theatre for a New Audience), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New Place Players), Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Studio 42), My Base and Scurvy Heart (Studio 42), An Intimate Evening with Typhoid Mary (Glass Bandits), and The Woodsman (Ars Nova, 59E59).
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.
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).
Off-Broadway: Ethel Sings – The Unsung Song of Ethel Rosenberg (Undercover Productions). Int'l: Central Avenue Breakdown (DIMF 2012, Daegu, South Korea); The Pirates of Penzance, The Mikado (New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players Int'l Tour 2013). NY: The Hills Are Alive! (Melodion Theatre); The Mikado (NYGASP at City Center); Wink, Animals Commit Suicide, Will Work For, P.S. Jones and the Frozen City (terraNOVA Collective); Broadway Bares XXIII-XIV, Broadway Backwards (BC/EFA); Hostos Center for Arts & Culture. Love and thanks to the Faces at home. For Beth. Proud member AEA, SMA.
Maria Argentina Souza is a New York City based actor originally from Columbus, IN. Maria holds a BFA from Purdue University and is a 2008 graduate of The Summer Professional Training Program at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey as an Acting Apprentice. She has since had the pleasure of performing across the United States. Maria originated the roles of Lucinda in The History of Cardenio with Hoosier Bard Productions as well as Lily Booker in the world premiere of Current Economic Conditions: A Comedy at The Phoenix Theatre both in Indianapolis, IN. Additional Regional credits include: Juliet (Romeo and Juliet), Antigone (The Theban Plays), Eliza Doolittle (Pygmalion), Liz (ReEntry), Adriana (The Comedy of Errors), Ophelia (Hamlet), and Libby (Blue Window). Maria thanks her outstanding family for their continued love and support. What a piece of work is man.
Benjamin Lee Stanford
Benjamin Lee Stanford is a New York City based actor and singer, originally from Melbourne, Australia. In 2015, eager to tackle the greatest performance challenges and opportunities available to him, Benjamin moved to the United States and began his Acting MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University.
Benjamin’s regional theatre credits in Australia have included the role of Lewis in Louis Nowra’s Cosi for the Kew Court House Arts Association, and Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest for the OTG Theatre Company. While studying at ASDS, under the direction of renowned acting teachers such as Susan Aston, Benjamin’s favourite educational theatre credits at ASDS have included The Seagull by Anton Chekhov (Konstantin), Orphans by Lyle Kessler (Phillip), Time Flies by David Ives (Sir David Attenborough) and Mourning Becomes Electra by Eugene O’Neill (Orin). In 2018, Benjamin will feature in the Actors Studio Drama School Repertory Season’s production of Marc Camoletti’s Boeing, Boeing in the role of Bernard.
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.
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.
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