Our Artists

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Christopher Dierksen

 

Christopher Dierksen
Christopher Dierksen

Neighborhood: Astoria
Website: www.lunarenergyproductions.com

Christopher Diercksen specializes in developing and directing new plays. Directing Credits include: By Rights We Should Be Giants, by Nadia Sepsenwol and Tim Van Dyck; Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull translated by Graham Schmidt; The Henchmen by Bryce Norbitz; MASTODON JUAN by Katharine Sherman; Crawl For It by Joshua Conkel; Parabolas by Kelley Girod. As Literary Manager for Lunar Energy Productions, he runs MOONSHINE: a quarterly play development reading series: Seymour by Allison Volk, In Antarctica, Where It Is Very Warm by Jona Tarlin; Dreams Of The Penny Gods by Callie Kimball. Christopher trained at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and is a graduate of Albright College.

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Neighborhood: Astoria
Website: 
http://www.gregcicchino.com

I believe that the act of telling a story is a sacred event. Though mediums and technology may change, sharing a space and bearing witness to one another is one of the last touchstones that connect us to our primeval selves. I consider the directing of a piece to be a very specific charge – that of the “custodian of the narrative”.  I strive to deliver stories to the audience as purely as possible, as innovatively yet elegantly; whether that means with sweeping special effects or merely the tools of the human body. Whether small or grand, every moment is precious – and my aim is for a short while, for everyone in the space to feel it to be viscerally so. I want to tell epic tales with the subtlety of a motion and a glance. In a word, “big stories told simply.”

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Neighborhood: Sunnyside
Website: http://www.sevencollective.org/david-king

Off-Broadway: The Man Who Ate Michael Rockefeller, Black Angels Over Tuskegee, Come Back to Me (Cherry Lane). FringeNYC: Savage International, Choke City. Other NY credits include Caligula Maximus (La MaMa), Ghosts and Civil Sex (Hudson Guild), A Hatful of Rain (Chuch), Polaroid Stories (Orpheus), Man on the Street and Testiculations (New Media Rep), Antony & Cleopatra (Antony) and Pericles (Antiochus) at Aaron Davis Hall. David is a co-founder of The Seven Collective and member of AEA. He is grateful for those who contribute to the process.

Directing credits: Closer by Patrick Marber (The Seven Collective, Theaterlab), Gluttony by Ed Cardona Jr. (7 Days of Play Theatre Festival), Springtime by Maria Irene Fornes (CG Studio), Thunder in the Index by Phillip Hayes Dean (Staged reading, Theaterlab).

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Mrinalini Kamath
Mrinalini Kamath
Mrinalini Kamath

Neighborhood: Astoria
Website:  www.mkwriter.com

Mrinalini Kamath’s plays have been performed around the U.S. as well as Australia, the UK and India.  Her short plays have been included in several Smith and Kraus anthologies (including the recently released Best Ten Minute Plays of 2011).

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Nora Chau
Nora Chau
Nora Chau
Nora Chau

Neighborhood: Elmhurst
Website: http://norachau.com and prettypreciousunicorns.com

Nora Chau loves a good story. She is a member of the Ma-Yi Writer’s Lab, a former ABC/Disney Grant Recipient for New Talent in Screenwriting, an ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship finalist, and a Women’s Project Lab finalist. Her short plays have been published by Smith & Kraus and you can see her crazy web serial atprettypreciousunicorns.com. She is currently working on her first novel and attempting to write a graphic novel with her artist husband – that is, if he doesn’t kick her off the project.

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Dina Ann Comolli
Dina Ann Comolli
Dina Ann Comolli
Dina Ann Comolli

Neighborhood: Astoria
Websites: http://risingcityarts.com and http://dinaanncomolli.com

Dina is Founder and Executive Director of Rising City Arts, and Actress and twelve year veteran of New York City Teaching Artististry who specializes in developing innovative theater programming for youth. She holds an MFA in Acting from Harvard’s American Repertory Theater Program for Advanced Theater Training and a BA in Theater from DeSales University in Allentown, PA.  Dina has instructed with all ages in all areas from In-School Residencies to After School Classes, One on One Youth Counseling to Professional Development Workshops.
For the past two years, Dina has run operations for Rising City Arts and instructed classes with The Academy of Finance and Enterprise, The Queens Vocational and Technical School and The Queens Library. Previously, Dina spent two years at Dodge High School in the Bronx through the Counseling In Schools National Network (CSNN) where she served as a Youth Counselor, Drama Instructor and Literacy through the Arts In-Class Teaching Artist for the United Way’s AIDP Program. She was also on staff with City Lights Youth Theater for nine years as an Acting Teacher, Director and In-School Collaborating Artist. Once per year, Dina would run the Improvisation and Creative Scenes classes at the Queens Library through Arts to Grow. Past work includes residencies with The Creative Arts Team’s ELTA program (Pre K ~ 1st), Queens Theatre in the Park’s CASA program, Claire’s Creative Adventures on the Upper East Side and Acting Classes with The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has created and conducted Professional Development Workshops for The Weston Playhouse in Vermont, The American Place Theatre and Counseling In Schools. Dina loved her three years at PS/IS 123 in the Bronx where she was a post September 11th Crisis Counselor for Project Liberty.
As an Actress, Dina has been actively shooting commercials. Her Off-Broadway credits include Clare Boothe Luce in The Rise of Dorothy Hale and Lady Macbeth/Mere Ubu in The Polish Play. Also in New York: Persuasion (The Secret Theatre), Bella and The Pool Boy (NYC Fringe Fest). The Error of Their Ways (HERE), Days of Wine and Roses (Lion Theatre) and Edward Albee’s Everything in the Garden (The John Houseman Theatre), etc… Regional credits include work with The American Repertory Theatre, Summer Theater of New Canaan, Stonington Opera House, PA Shakespeare, Off World Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre, Baltimore Shakespeare, Boston Center for the Arts and Pirate Playhouse. Film: Flinch, True to the Heart, The Jam. TV: Fringe, Law and Order SVU, School Spirits, Wise Guys.

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Jennifer Lane
Jennifer Lane

Neighborhood: Astoria
Website: http://jennifer-lane.net

Jenny is an Astoria-based writer from Troy, Michigan. Her work has been presented at or developed by the terraNOVA Collective, Sightline Theatre Company, Artistic New Directions, IRT, The Bridge Theatre Company, the New Ohio Theatre, 3LD Art & Technology Center, the Gene Frankel Theatre, Theatre 54, Manhattan Shakespeare Theatre, The Washington Rogues, Gorilla Tango Theatre and Columbia Stages.

Her work includes Harlowe (developed under the mentorship of Sarah Ruhl, winner of the Alec Baldwin Fellowship at Singers Forum, and a finalist for the TS Eliot US/UK Exchange); Psychomachia (recipient of the Gatsby Grant); The Seer and the Witch (developed in the Groundbreakers Playwriting Group at terraNOVA); The Would-Be Room (performed in New York City, Chicago and Washington D.C.); Convergence; The Burning Brand; and Does Anyone Know Sarah Paisner? Her ten minute pieces A Fever in the Feast and Uriel’s Garden were both workshopped with Anne Bogart. Fever…, as well as another short play, PIN, was workshopped at Ensemble Studio Theatre in early 2011.

She is a graduate of Columbia University — where she was taught by such remarkable artists as Chuck Mee, Anne Bogart, Lucy Thurber, Sheila Callaghan and Kelly Stuart — and Sarah Lawrence College. Currently, Jenny is the Administrative Director for the League of Professional Theatre Women and the Literary Manager for the Astoria Performing Arts Center.

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Jordana Williams
Jordana Williams
Jordana Williams
Jordana Williams

Neighborhood: Astoria
Website: http://gideonth.com

JORDANA WILLIAMS is a theater director. Her latest project is THE PARTICULARS by Matthew MacKenzie at FringeNYC 2012. She most frequently directs plays by Mac Rogers, including SOVEREIGN, BLAST RADIUS, ADVANCE MAN, VIRAL (FringeNYC 2009 Outstanding Production of a Play, FringeNYC Encore Series, 2010 ITBA Oustanding Off-Off Broadway Show), HAIL SATAN (FringeNYC 2007), and three seaons with Vampire Cowboys’ episodic, genre-bending Saturday Night Saloon. Jordana has directed a number of strange and wonderful projects for such companies as Flux Theatre Ensemble, Boomerang Theatre Company, Piper McKenzie, GroundUP Productions, kef Productions, Impetuous Theater Group, The Brick Theater, The 24-Hour Plays and The One-Minute Play Festival. She is the lyricist of the musicals FLEET WEEK (Outstanding Musical- FringeNYC 2005), AIR GUITAR (FringeNYC 2006) and The First Annual St. Ignatius Chanukah Pageant (which she also directed), and a founding member of Gideon Productions.

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Ava Eisenson
Ava Eisenson

Neighborhood: Astoria

Ava Eisenson is a NYC-based actor.  Some favorite recent credits include: Jeff Stark’s The Dreary Coast and At the Finish by Nick Gandiello.  She is a founding member of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a guest artist with Superhero Clubhouse and Wide Eyed Productions, and a usual suspect with Woodshed Collective and Sightline Theatre.  She’s currently working with her Dad on his show about his life as a magician.  Ava holds her BFA from Boston University. She LOVES Astoria. More info: www.avaeisenson.com 

Ava was a featured in our Featured Artist series on our website.  Click here to read.

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Kristine M. Reyes
Kristine M. Reyes - Taken under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria Park
Kristine M. Reyes
Kristine M. Reyes – Taken under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria Park

Neighborhood: Astoria
Website: kristinemreyes.com

Kristine M. Reyes is a Filipina American playwright raised and based in New York City.  Her newest one-act play, Lola Luning’s First Steps, was commissioned by Women of Color Productions and produced during their Human Rights Theatre Project in June 2012 in New York City.  Her previous one-act plays Quarter Century Baby and Something Blue were produced as part of Diverse City Theater Company’s (DCT) Pearl Project: A Filipino-American Theater Festival at Theatre Row in NYC, July 2010.  In 2011, her 10-Minute play Ready, Aim…Fire! was first selected and produced by Primary Stages Einhorn School of Performing Arts’ (ESPA) Detention Series, and then again in The Asian American Women Playwrights Short Play Festival, co-presented by Actors’ Equity Association and Leviathan Lab.  She is a Playwright Associate at DCT where she was a First Draft Fellow in 2005 for her full-length play Queen for a Day.  Kristine is a Co-Director and Founding Member of the Leviathan Lab Asian American Women Writers Workshop, a 2012 Mary Louise Rockwell Scholar at ESPA at Primary Stages and a member of The Dramatists Guild.