While the principles of great acting don't change, the realities of the film and TV business do - continuously. So actors and teachers who don't stay current are quickly left behind. As a student at NYCDA, you learn in a dynamic, intimate setting from faculty who are more than just knowledgeable and passionate mentors; they're also working professionals - pros who bring their up-to-the-minute knowledge, experience and connections to you in class, every day.
Overall direction flows from seven master teachers who work both as department heads and class instructors. They work closely with the adjunct faculty, whose expertise in specific disciplines transcends acting to include dance, directing, casting and producing. All are available to students, inside and outside the classroom, for personal advice and direction. Because part of our mission is to expose you to the diverse realities of our industry, we also regularly bring in accomplished guest instructors to give seminars. You will have opportunities to meet and learn from industry leaders, including directors, talent agents, casting directors, managers, producers and cinematographers, as well as actors. Recent guest lecturers have included Academy Award winners Alan Ball and Olympia Dukakis.
Director of Education
Richard Omar received his training at Hofstra University and from Uta Hagen and Bobby Lewis in NYC. New York theater credits include Dracula in Dance with Me, Harker (New York International Fringe Festival), Rick in the world premiere of Theresa Rebeck’s The First Day, Wes in the NYC premiere of Beth Henley’s Lost (Theatre 4), Richard Loeb in Never the Sinner (The Directors Company), Bunny in The Secret History (The Directors Company), Hastings in Richard III with Austin Pendleton, Sherwood in Fruit Bat Safari Camp with Sally Mayes and Julie Halston. Richard was featured in The Unofficial New York Yale Cabaret’s tribute to Wendy Wasserstein (Wendy’s Words) at the Laurie Beechman Theater. As a ballroom dancer, he appeared on film with Leslie Caron, Patrick Stewart and Jennifer Beals. He has taught at the New Actors Workshop for Mike Nichols and George Morrison, at SUNY Purchase and at Hofstra University.Back to Top
Jay R. Goldenberg
Associate Director of Education
Jay Goldenberg received his MFA in acting from New York University School of the Arts and has worked as an actor, teacher and director. Jay has coached on the sets of features, miniseries, sitcoms and daytime drama. Some of the projects he has worked on are Say Anything with John Cusack and Ione Skye, the miniseries Elvis and Me, the TV series Moonlighting with Bruce Willis and Cybill Shepherd and the daytime drama General Hospital. Some of his private clients have included Salma Hayek, Cybill Shepherd, Alicia Silverstone, Estelle Getty, Michael Chiklis, Charles Kimbrough, Beth Howland, Ione Skye, Mary Wilson, Eric Close, Allyce Beasley, Trevor St. John, Nicollette Sheridan and several other actors working as principals in both film and television.Back to Top
Received his MFA in Directing from NYU Film School, Tisch School of the Arts. Born on Prince Edward Island, Alan moved to New York City to pursue a career in the theater. After working professionally as an actor, Alan attended Columbia University, lived in Europe and then attended NYU, changing his focus to behind the camera as a director. While at NYU, Alan wrote and directed two short films, both of which have been shown at film festivals all over the world and have won him directing awards. Alan is currently in post-production on Chicken, a short film that serves as the thesis component of his master’s of fine arts degree from NYU.Back to Top
Amy Marcs received a BA in Theater from Rider University, and is a long time student of Fred Kareman. As an actress, Amy has appeared at many regional theaters across the country. Most recently she was seen as Gorgeous Teitelbaum in The School House Theater’s production of The Sisters Rosensweig. Other credits include featured roles in Gemini, Kingdom of Earth, The Star Spangled Girl and And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little. She has performed in the independent film The Waiting Game. Her voice can be heard on numerous national network television and radio commercials. She recently played the role of Peg the Pig in the animated feature film Impy’s Island.Back to Top
Barry McNabb earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance/Theater from the University of Oregon. His professional debut was for Bob Fosse as featured soloist and dance captain in Dancin’. Other highlights of his career include being an original Broadway cast member: The Phantom of the Opera and Me and My Girl; and director and/or choreographer: Broadway (Touch of a Poet, Easter Bonnet Competitions); Off
Broadway (Irish Rep, CSC, Lincoln Center, the Public, Circle Rep, etc.); international (Madrid, Barcelona, Seoul, Monte Carlo, etc.); regional (Pittsburgh Public, Geva, Alley, Seattle 5th, etc.). His work on television includes Late Night with Conan O’Brien (13 years), Saturday Night Live (five years), The Howard Stern Show (five years). Award: Premio (Spain). Nominations: NY Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Connecticut Critics Circle, MAC, Bistro, Barrymore, Emmy, etc...
Becky London earned her MFA in Acting from Yale School of Drama and her BA, magna cum laude, in English language and literature from Yale University. Television credits include Blue Bloods, all three Law & OrdersThird Watch, Quantum Leap, Guiding Light and All MyChildren. Films include United 93, Changing Lanes, El Camino,Never Forever and A Very Serious Person. Becky has workedon Broadway in Marlene and at Lincoln Center in Ubu. Off-Broadway credits include Isn’t It Romantic, Othello, Last of the Red Hot Lovers and Jewtopia. Regional work includes the Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, Trinity Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Provincetown Playhouse, Capital Rep, Portland Stage, Caldwell Playhouse and many others. Becky was a founding member of UNYYC, the Unofficial New York Yale Cabaret. In the company’s award-winning first season, she directed Separating the Men from the Bulls by Neal Lerner and Michael Heintzman, and in the second season she adapted and starred in Wendy’s Words, a tribute to the late Wendy Wasserstein.Back to Top
Ben Sander holds a BFA in Fashion Design from FIT and is the creator of Brini Maxwell, a domestic guru character featured in her own eponymous television show on the Style network. In addition to developing the character, he also executive produced the show, and produced an earlier version for local cable, which ran for five years. In 2004 Ben published Brini Maxwell’s Guide to Gracious Living and has since worked with NPR on a series of podcasts and made appearances on World News Now, The Conan O’Brien Show, the Oscar and Golden Globe pre-shows on E! and Style, Soap Talk and Tyra Banks among others. A devotee of mid-century culture and film, he writes articles about obscure films on his blog The Obscurity Factor and hosts screenings of select films at Chelsea Clearview Cinemas.Back to Top
Carol Kastendieck holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University and has studied under Stella Adler, Robert Benedetti, John Houseman, Sonia Moore and Ted Pugh. Carol has directed over 100 plays, musicals and operas around the country. Most recently she directed Austin Pendleton in Richard III at the New Perspectives Theatre Company and When the World Was Green for the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company’s Sam Shepard Festival, both in NYC. Carol has taught at Juilliard, Hofstra University, Carnegie Mellon University,Miami University and the Riverside Shakespeare Company School. Carol is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and of the Actors Equity AssociationBack to Top
David Title holds an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of Arts and a BA in theater from Hampshire College. He has worked professionally in theater, film and television but for the past six years has specialized in digital and web video production. David has developed and produced original shows for MySpace, Comedy Central, and many other online destination sites. His videos have been viewed millions of times around the world. David is currently a producer with Bravo Stage and Media as well as an independent corporate web video consultant.Back to Top
Donnie Mather holds a BFA in Theatre with minor in Dance from Western Kentucky University. He is an instructor of Suzuki & Viewpoints Training. He has taught at the Atlantic Acting School, NYU, Columbia University, Bard College, Fordham University, the New School, Hope College, Louisiana State University, University of Puerto Rico, and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Internationally, he has led workshops throughout South America in Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Florianopolis, Uberlândia , and at the Iberoamericano Theatre Festival of Bogota. He has over a dozen years experience in Suzuki and Viewpoints, training mostly with Anne Bogart and members of SITI Company as an Associate (2000-2007) as well as with Tina Landau and Mary Overlie. Mather has performed in Macbeth, Nicholas & Alexandra, Seven Deadly Sins, Lilith (SITI Company); I, Claudius (Theatre Askew); Antony & Cleopatra, Comedy of Errors, Merchant of Venice, and Two Gentlemen of Verona (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); and works by Charles Mee including Fetes de la Nuit (Dir. Kim Weild) and Trojan Women A Love Story (Dir. Tina Landau). Mather created A Show of Force (FringeNYC, Hope College, Hudson Guild, Manizales Theatre Festival). Mather is the founding artist of The Adaptations Project, performing in its inaugural production Kaddish (or The Key in the Window) based on the poetry of Allen Ginsberg.Back to Top
Eileen Connolly holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Minnesota, and a BA in Theatre and Dance from DeSales University. She is the founder and Artistic Director
of Wallis Knot Theatre, where she creates, designs anddirects original multimedia productions, includingLate to the Republique (NYCDA), Dance with Me,Harker (New York International Fringe Festival) andSeeing Andre Gide (New Actors Workshop). As an actress she has worked Off Broadway and at the Meadow Brook and Birmingham theatres in Detroit, the Royal George in Chicago and the Walnut Street Theatre and Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia. As a director, she was honored to assist Betty Comden and Adolph Green on their revival of A Doll’s Life (York Theatre). She recently created the movement and combat for Irish Repertory Theatre’s production of Beowulf. For the University of Vermont, she was commissioned to co-author an adaptation of Aristophanes’ The Birds and Don Marquis’ Archy and Mehitabel.
Ginger Eckert holds an MFA in Acting from Brown University/Trinity College. She is a New York based teacher of voice, speech, dialects and acting. Her teaching and training is rooted in experience with the work of Jones, Fitzmaurice, Skinner, Rodenburg, Berry, Alexander and Laban. Her dialect and voice coaching credits include Brotherhood (Showtime), Ripe Time, Trinity Repertory Company and many Shakespeare festivals,
independent projects and private students. She is on the faculty at NYU/Tisch, at Playwrights Horizons Theater School and Atlantic Acting School. She has also taught at Brown University, Rhode Island College, Stone Soup Theatre Arts & ACTeen. She has performed with The Public Theater, The Kennedy Center, Trinity Repertory Company,
Marin Theater Company, LaMama, Clubbed Thumb, Ars Nova, the Women’s Project and is a company member of the Guerrilla Shakespeare Project.
Janice Orlandi is a Movement and Period Style Specialist and certified teacher of the Williamson Technique and Period Styles, including Edwardian, Elizabethan and Restoration style. She is an Assistant Professor at the University of the Arts; Brind School of Performing Arts. She is certified in Michael Chekhov Technique, and has extensive training with Anne Bogart, Tina Landau, and SITI Company members in Viewpoints, Suzuki and Composition. She is currently writing a book on physical techniques and methods for the actor and cross training, "The Art of Transformation Crossing Pedagogy" ©. She is the Artistic Director of the Actors Movement Studio Conservatory. Her work as an educator, director, actress and movement coach has been seen at Williamstown Theater Festival; De Lindenberg Center, Netherlands; Odense State School, Denmark; Princeton Repertory Shakespeare Festival; Classic Stage Company; Circle Rep Lab, and other venues. She is certified to train teachers in the Williamson Technique, and was recently interviewed by American Theater Magazine (January 2011) on trends in Theater Education and Backstage on the physical approach to Shakespeare (March 2011).Back to Top
JoAnna Beckson earned her BA in Social Sciences from Temple University. She is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Acting Two Year Conservatory Program, where she was trained as an actress and teacher by Fred Kareman, William Esper and Sanford Meisner. She has served as Adjunct Professor at New York University’s School for Continuing and Professional Studies (Department of Film, TV, and Digital Design); and Graduate Film Department of Tisch School for the Arts/NYU for the past 13 years. Ms. Beckson is nationally known as an expert Acting Coach and teacher. Many of her students read like a Who’s Who in the world of Stand-Up and acting including Ray Romano, Dave Chapelle, Rob Bartlett (Broadway: Chicago, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweet Charity and How to Succeed in Business), Alana De LaGarza (Law & Order and CSI Miami) and Darren Aronofsky (director of the feature films Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain and Black Swan). Ms. Beckson is also on Disney Studio’s (Top 10) Acting Coaches list and (Top 20) Acting Coaches in NYC Actors Studio’s list. Her professional Acting Studio, J. Beckson Studio, has been active in NYC for 25 years.Back to Top
Joe Perce was the 1987 CLIO Award Winner as Best Male Actor in a Commercial (Pontiac’s Trans Am). He has appeared in dozens of commercials. Joe’s credits include
improvisational comedy with such groups as The First Amendment, Chicago City Limits, Comedy Mind Spill, and producing his own comedy troupe, Assorted Nuts. He was voted Best Improvisational Comic of 1989 by Backstage magazine and has been involved with such movies as Black Rain, The Hidden, Bum Rap, B-movie classic Don’t Mess with My Sister and the Sundance awardwinning short Kings Day Out. TV credits include the ABC pilot The Bodyguards with rappers Kid & Play, Law & Order, The Equalizer and appearances on Nickelodeon, MTV, Comedy Central, The David Susskind Show and ABC’s After-School Special.
John Tyrrell holds a BA in English from Marquette University and is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse, where he studied with Sanford Meisner. His Broadway credits include Equus, The Merchant and Stephen Porter’s production of The Miser. John appeared in the national company of The Elephant Man as well as regional theater: Bell Book and Candle (S.J.R.T.), You Touched Me (John Drew Theatre) and, most recently, Conversations with My Father at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. John has appeared on television in Loving and Guiding Light.Back to Top
Judith Searcy holds a BA in Speech/Theater from Appalachian State University and an MFA in Acting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She has continued her studies at NYU, Columbia and the University of London. Judith has written, directed and performed sketch comedy and improvisation for over 20 years in NYC and nationally in a variety of venues, including live and video projects for American Express, ESPN, Mercedes, British Airways and many others. She was a principal member of Chicago City Limits, New York’s longest-running comic revue, for 10 years, played the title role in the award winning comedy short Marge and has been featured on PBS, CBS, NBC’s Today show, NPR and Comedy Central.Back to Top
Kim Weild received her BFA from NYU –Tisch School of the Arts (University Honor’s Scholar) and her MFA in directing from Columbia University. She has trained extensively with Anne Bogart and SITI Co. and began teaching Viewpoints, the Suzuki Method of Actor Training and Composition in 1998. She has taught at Columbia University, Yale University, Barnard College, The O’Neill Center - NTI, Atlantic Theater School, Primary Stages, New Actors Workshop, National Theater Workshop of the Handicapped and ACES – ECA in New Haven. She is the founder and artistic director of WeildWorks an international collaborative arts collective. As a director some of her productions include: Fêtes de la Nuit (Drama Desk nomination, Unique Theatrical Experience, 7 NY Innovative Theatre Award Nominations), An Error of the Moon, Allen Ginsberg’s Kaddish, Safe Home, Charles Mee’s Big Love, Uncle Vanya, The Good Woman of Setzuan, My Fair Lady, Eccentricities of a Nightingale, Endgame, Safe Home, A Peddler’s Tale: Buttons, Guts and Bluetooth, Paradise Now, Free Range Thanksgiving, A Decade of Dreams: Celebrating the Music of the Young People’s Chorus of New York at Carnegie Hall. She served as
Associate Director to Michael Blakemore: Blithe Spirit, Deuce and Is He Dead? and Associate Director for Tina Landau: WIG OUT! at the Vineyard Theatre and Iphigenia 2.0 at The Signature Theater. She is a member of SDC, a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a Women’s Project Alumna, recipient of the William Foeller Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Lane Binkley received her Bachelor of Science in Literature from the Hunter College/CUNY. She also studied with Lee Strasberg, Wynn Handman and Michael Howard. She has been a working actress for 30 years and has performed extensively on both coasts. Her theatrical credits include working with director Alan Arkin and the late Ellis Rabb. Among her numerous guest appearances are City in Fear with Mickey Rourke and the original miniseries Roots. She performed for three years in a Los Angeles based improvisation group and has done hundreds of TV and radio commercials. Lane is a member of SAG, AFTRA and AEA.Back to Top
Maggie Surovell is a certified Fitzmaurice voice teacher with an MFA in Acting from the University of Georgia and a BA in Theater from Temple University. Maggie has performed Off Broadway at Cherry Lane Theatre, Saint Anne’s Warehouse and the Public Theater. Her original plays have been performed at Cherry Lane Theatre, The Brick and IRT Theater. She is a dialect and voice coach and has taught voice and speech in the graduate programs at Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, Yale School of Drama Summer Program, Sarah Lawrence College, Wagner College and the University of Georgia.Back to Top
Marcy McGuigan earned a BFA in Theater Arts at Penn State University and an MFA in Acting at the University of Michigan. She has taught at Adelphi University, the University of Michigan. New York credits include: Broadway: A Wonderful Life (Shubert Theatre); National Tour: 42nd Street, (Carbonell Award nomination); Off Broadway: Wendy’s Word – a Tribute to Wendy Wasserstein, (The Unofficial New York Yale Cabaret); Shanghai Moon (Drama Department); It’s Not My Fault (NY International Fringe Festival); Meet Me in St. Louis (Irish Rep); Box Office of the Damned (CSC); and Swingtime Canteen (The Blue Angel). Regional work includes the Westport County Playhouse, Walnut Street Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, The Asolo, Bay Street Theatre, Barrington Stage Company and Gateway Playhouse. Television/film credits include Grand Theft Auto IV, Ghost Stories, A Very Serious Person, The Centenarian, Truth and Beauty, The Today Show, Good Morning America and Late Night with Conan O’Brien.Back to Top
MARY ELAINE MONTI
Mary Elaine Monti’s received her Meisner training from William Esper. Mary Elaine’s career has been most diverse; from Shakespeare at Lincoln Center to guest roles on Law & Order to selling Lysol in a TV commercial. She leads a working actor’s life, with credits in film, theater, television, animation, improvisation and commercials, both on camera and voice-over.Back to Top
Maury Ginsberg holds a BA in Theater and Dance from Bard College. He is very active in theater, film and television. Most recent work includes the feature film Greta, starring opposite Hilary Duff and Ellen Burstyn, as well as Richard Loncraine’s My One and Only, starring Renée Zellweger and Kevin Bacon. Other films include 2007 Sundance winner Rocket Science, directed by Academy Award nominee Jeffrey Blitz; David Auburn’s The Girl in the Park with Sigourney Weaver; David Mamet’s Lansky with Richard Dreyfuss; and DreamWorks’ The Ring with Naomi Watts. Television includes recurring work on Law & Order, Friends and Two Guys and a Girl. Guest leads include Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Kidnapped, New Amsterdam, Without a Trace, Joan of Arcadia, NYPD Blue, Star Trek: Voyager, Just Shoot Me, Arli$$, Murder One and Melrose Place, among others. His theater credits include a 20-year working relationship with mentor and friend Olympia Dukakis. Shows with Olympia have included Mother Courage, The Seagull and The Cherry Orchard, to name a few.Back to Top
Mollie O’Mara She received her BFA in Acting from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. Mollie is a founding member of the critically acclaimed and award-winning downtown theater company Cucaracha, originated roles in over 35 productions while
directing and designing over 10, most notably Crowbar (The Old Victory Theater) on 42nd Street, which won theNew York Outer Critics Circle and OBIE awards. Also in
NYC she appeared in productions with the Public Theater, New Georges and Soho Rep. Mollie appeared in a recurring role on All My Children for over 13 years. Other
TV credits include One Life to Live,Another World, Guiding Light, Law & Order, The Jon Stewart Show and Help 911.Film includes work with Hal Hartley, Merchant Ivory,
Vestron and Sony.
Neal Lerner holds an MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama. His television guest appearances include Shake it Up, Lipstick Jungle, Reba, The War at Home, Ed, Frasier, all the Law & Orders, Ally McBeal, Seinfeld, Caroline in the City, NewsRadio, Married with Children, Murphy Brown, Cheers and a recurring role on All My Children. Film credits include My Idiot Brother (2011), Homewrecker (2010), Please Give (2010), The Visitor, Boiler Room, Batman Returns and Demolition Man. He performed Off Broadway in Stuff Happens (directed by Daniel Sullivan at the Public Theater), Julius Caesar (New York Shakespeare Festival), Fuddy Meers (MTC), Hurrah at Last (Roundabout Theatre Company) and Carol Churchill’s Serious Money (Public Theater) among others. Regional theaters include an acclaimed recent production of Social Security at Cape May Stage, and performances at Yale Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Actors Theatre of Louisville and George Street Playhouse.Back to Top
Quinn Cassavale earned her BFA in theater at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. After graduating, she studied extensively with Fred Kareman. Quinn is the Managing Director of The Schoolhouse Theater, an Equity theater in Northern Westchester. As an actress, she has appeared in many regional theaters, starred in several independent feature films as well as having worked on all the New York soaps. In addition, she has appeared in numerous national on camera commercials.Back to Top
Rawleigh Moreland received his BFA in Theatre from Valdosta State University and his MFA in Directing from University of Cincinnati. Rawleigh has worked extensively in New York City in theater, film, television and commercials. Theater credits include The Gingerbread House and Last Trace of the Dinosaurs (Playwrights Horizons), A Family of Five (Theatre for a New Audience) and Birdbath (West Side Arts). Regionally, he has performed at the Shakespeare Festival of Cincinnati, Showboat Majestic, Seven Stages, Theatrical Outfit, South Georgia Rep, Peanut Butter Children’s Theatre and The Lost Colony. Film and television credits include New York Stories, Mighty Aphrodite, Wolf, Another World, The Equalizer, Texas and Law & Order, to name a few. He has produced a SAG feature film for Suncrest Cinema. Rawleigh also works as a producer/director and session director for Stark Naked Productions and Dreamcatcher Casting.Back to Top
Ray Iannicelli is a veteran of some 40 Off-Off- and Off-Broadway productions. He has also played the provinces with On the Waterfront, Conversations with My Father, Boy Meets Girl and Breaking Legs. Ray has done practically all the New York TV shows, including Law & Order, Remember WENN (guest star) and Oz (recurring role). Some of his movies include The Yards, Rounders, Safe Men, Spike of Bensonhurst and Prizzi’s Honor. Ray has also shot over 75 commercials.Back to Top
Rich is an award-winning director, actor and acting coach. As a teenager, Rich appeared in movies, television, and over 25 commercials. After studying film at SVA Rich directed short films and produced commercials. Rich directed an independent feature film ‘Brooklyn Bound’ which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival and earned Rich the Emerging Filmmaker Award from the Starz Denver International Film Festival. After ‘Brooklyn Bound’ Rich began teaching and coaching actors in NYC and Norway. His acting clients are featured in ‘Rescue Me’, ‘ER’ ‘American Gangster’ ‘War of The Worlds’ and ‘Hotel Caesar’, Norway’s most popular television show. Lately Rich sold two feature-length screenplays to European production companies and is slated to direct a NY based independent feature titled ‘After Party’ in 2012.Back to Top
Rick Crom has been part of the New York entertainment community for over 25 years as a comedian, actor and songwriter. As a stand-up comic he’s appeared on Tough Crowd with Colin Quinn, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, MTV Comedy Half-Hour, Showtime and Comedy Central. He performs regularly in Manhattan, Las Vegas and Atlantic City. He’s appeared on Broadway in the musicals Urinetown, The Goodbye Girl and Footloose; Off Broadway in Merrily We Roll Along, Das Barbecue, Encore’s Fiorello, Li’l
Abner and Carnegie Hall’s Louisiana Purchase; on television in Ed, The Chris Rock Show, Chappelle’s Show; on film in Bad Dog and Caesar Salad. He is the composer/lyricist for several Off-Broadway and cabaret revues, including Oh Fine, RSVP, The Subject Was Neurosis and NEWSical, which ran at Studio 54 and garnered him two Drama Desk nominations for best lyrics and best revue.
Writer-director Robert Pietri graduated on a fellowship from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts graduate Master’s program in film. He is the recipient of many grants and was
selected by the Fox Searchlab, a development program for emerging writer-directors. He has several short films to his credit, including Flight to Savannah (Winner of the Carl Lerner Award – Best Film of Social Significance 2007). In addition to writing and directing, he has been working on other film- and media-related projects. His commercial clients include Pure Digital, Inc. and the City of New York. In 2004, he was associate producer for Conventioneers, which debuted at the 2005 Tribeca FilmFestival. The film won the John Cassavetes Award for best feature under $500K at the 2005 Independent Spirit Awards.
Ruth Nerken holds a BA in Theater from Yale University. She received her training from William Esper, and the American Conservatory Theatre. She has guest starred on Law & Order, Kate & Allie and Too Close for Comfort. She’s performed Off Broadway, in regional theatre and in the national touring company of Grease as Frenchy. Ruth also has appeared in over 200 television commercials. She has been a guest speaker at AFTRA, SAG and Yale University.Back to Top
Sara Buffamanti earned her MFA in Acting and Theater at Columbia University, where she studied under the tutelage of Kristin Linklater. Sara is an international performer who has worked in Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, Germany, Italyand Scotland. In New York City she has worked with The LITE Group, Vortex Theater Company, Target Margin Theater, Judson Church Theater, Electric Pear Productions, Alphabet Arts, the Metropolitan Opera and Mabou Mines and is currently working on The Verge with her company, Performance Lab 115, for the Ontological-Hysteric Incubator. Sara is the creator and solo performer of Eleanor alla Barre, a onewoman clown piece.Back to Top
Steve Perlmutter holds a BS in Speech from Northwestern University, and studied extensively with Fred Kareman and Larry Moss. Steve is an actor and acting instructor; he has performed at regional theatres throughout the country, including Philadelphia's famed Walnut Street Theatre. He has appeared in numerous radio and television commercials for products such as Nestea, Jell-O, Volvo, Norwest Bank, Bell South, Tony Roma's restaurants, and Staples. In addition to NYCDA, Steve currently teaches at Rutgers University and NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies.Back to Top
Suzanne Hevner holds a BFA in Musical Theater from Syracuse University. Her New York theater credits include the Tony-nominated Broadway revival of The Music Man, Balancing Act, Kiss Me Quickly Before the Lava Reaches the Village, The Trio (Ensemble Studio Theatre) and Chicago City Limits (comedy/improvisation). She was a founding member of the comedy group The Heartless Floozies, performing downtown at Moonworks, the Luna Lounge, Stella at the Fez and PSNBC. Regionally, she has worked at The Denver Center, Syracuse Stage, Lake Placid Center for the Arts and the Oklahoma Lyric. Film credits include Doubt, Broken Flowers, Meet Joe Black and Changing Lanes, and on television The Sopranos, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, and Stella (Comedy Central).Back to Top
Todd Barnes earned his BA from Middlebury College and his JD from Boston College Law School. Todd is a filmmaker whose films have screened in competition at Cannes, Sundance, London and other major film festivals worldwide. Todd serves as Producer of
Spare Key Productions, Inc., a full- service production company creating commercials, music videos and branded entertainment. Work by Spare Key has appeared on
Showtime, CBS, NBC, MTV and CMT, among others. He is licensed to practice law in New York and Connecticut but prefers cameras and editing suites.