ARTISTS & STAFF
Photo Courtesy of Lara Jo Regan
Founder / Artistic Director
Born in Iran, raised in Worcester, England, Mehr Mansuri is the Founder / Artistic Director of the Children’s Theatre Company founded in Los Angeles in 1989 and in New York in 1999. Inspired by her family’s tumultuous departure from her native Iran, Ms. Mansuri’s vision of the Company is centered on an inclusive framework rooted in diversity education which includes race, ethnicity, class as well as religious tolerance.
Ms. Mansuri has implemented over 9 CTC chapters nationwide including Boston, MA, Chapel Hill, NC, Los Angeles CA, Peekskill, NY, Providence RI, Rockville MD, Washington DC, Santa Clarita, CA and Urbana IL - and soon again, in Cape-town South Africa. In addition to serving over 4000 children, the Company has made appearances on the Emmy winning series, Reading Rainbow, Sesame Street, as well as UNICEF concerts with Nelson Mandela, Harry Belafonte and James Earl Jones for Verizon Literacy Awards as well as on Good Morning America with consistently excellent reviews from the New York Times, Time Out and NY1 News. Most recently, Ms. Mansuri’s own storybook-turned-musical production of, Kunka Bunka and the Rotten Royal Rascals, received top reviews from the New York Times.
In the field of education, Ms. Mansuri has taught 6th Grade English at the Horace Mann School, and has been able to consolidate her background and experience in the theatre to train academic teachers, teaching artists, directors and producers regionally and nationwide, including over 15 private schools in the New York area including the Collegiate School, Trevor Day School, Hewitt School and Packer School.
PRODUCING & DIRECTING:
In addition to co-composing, producing and directing over 21 productions for the Children’s Theatre Company, Ms. Mansuri has coached young actors in preparation for roles in a variety feature films, television productions and commercials and most recently in the Oscar winning feature film, Precious: Based on a Novel by Sapphire, as well as Broadway productions of Fences with Denzel Washington, and Lion King on Broadway.
Mehr began her NYC career as an event producer for the Tony winning theater company the New Group under the direction of Scott Elliot and has directed plays at the John Houseman Theatre with Douglas Turner-Ward & Ernie Hudson, as well as James Earl Jones.
ACTING & AWARDS
Mehr Mansuri began her career in the U.S. as an actress, performing in over 40 productions from classical to contemporary, from off-broadway to west-coast theatre including various recurring roles on episodic television, soap operas, and films directed by Roger Coreman and MAD television's Michael MacDonald . She records for Penguin Books / audio-books and commercial voice-overs (including for Honda, Devry University, Knudsen Yogurt, Geo Prism). As a stage actress, Ms Mansuri has been recognized by the New York Times in critically acclaimed British Hits, Red Devils and Road as well as for the Drama Desk Winning theater company Ma-Yi Theater in the Caucasian Chalk Circle and Portrait of an Artist at the Vineyard Theater. She is the recipient of the Drama-logue Acting Award, the Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Choice Award.
Ms Mansuri holds degrees in Drama and English from the University of California, Irvine, where she studied with the internationally acclaimed author and theatre director, Robert Cohen as well as with the legendary director, Jerzey Growtowski.
JILL A. BOLSTRIDGE
Jill Bolstridge has been teaching Drama and directing children and youth in theatrical productions since 2001. She holds a MA in Theater from Long Island University, C.W. Post and a BA in Theatre & English Literature from Roger Williams University in Bristol, Rhode Island. A performer herself since the age of 6, Jill has always had a natural affinity toward working with young performers. Jill has served as the co-Artistic Director of The Children's Theatre Company in Manhattan since 2004, where she has directed more than 30 productions featuring children and youth ages 4-19. She has also written and/or co-adapted several CTC plays and musicals, including "The Bread and Butter Battle," "Horton the Elephant," "Nickel & Dimed," and "Power, Pride, and Protest." Jill has developed CTC material and led CTC teacher training, has implemented CTC programs and directed shows at several NYC public schools, and has launched and taught at the CTC chapters in Boston, Los Angeles, Peekskill, New York, and Valley Stream, Long Island. Prior to her work at CTC, Jill was an instructor and director at The Drama Training Institute in Newton, Massachusetts. She was head of the after-school drama program at the Reynold's Arts Magnet School in Bristol, Rhode Island for three years and has also taught drama and directed programs for The Coalition for Hispanic Family Services Arts & Literacy Program, Oasis Community Corporation, and Oasis Children's Services in Brooklyn, New York. Jill is currently the Middle School Drama Teacher and Director at Poly Prep Country Day School.
CORE ARTISTIC STAFF 2011-2012
Associate Director & Resident Choreographer
Alisha is a dancer, singer, actor, figure skater, and educator. She studied theater and performing arts at Sarah Lawren ce College. Currently, she is p art of 2 different dance companies; The IndoRican Multicul tural Dance Project and Jiva Performing Arts. She specializes in Bollywood and Bharartanatyam (Indian Classical) dance forms. Recently, Alisha has appeared in 'The Death of Don Juan' a modern opera by Elodie Lauten and 'Karma Road' a film by Mihir Pathak.
Tamara Geisler studied at the Professional Performing Arts School, British American Dramatic Academy and received a Bachelo rs' Degree in English and Theater from Columbia University. She has been acti ng from the age of eight, and has performed in off-off Broadway productions, at Columbia University and in London. As a teaching artist, Tamara has taught about Mexican culture and theater in various museums and public schools around the city.
Advanced Acting Coach & Director of Staff Training
Ms. Golmohammadi's background is a professional resident actress in one of the largest theatre company's in Sweden, The National Touring Company of Sweden and internationally in the International Theatre Company of Bratislava. She combined her acting and directing career with a BA in Theatre Arts, Pedagogy and Educational Drama from the University of Stockholm. With over 30 years of acting and directing experience, Ms. Golmohammadi specializes in theatre and drama as instruments for moral and ethical development. In 2002, she became the Artistic Director of the most innovative performing art schools in Stockholm, Sweden, Fryshuset School of the Performing Arts, where, in addition to teaching acting and directing, she created curriculum and course content for the theatre and drama department. Kristina inaugurated and maintained the only community theatre program in Sweden, cooperating with preschools and with residential housing for seniors. There she also created the “Diversity in acting program”, where young acting students work with professional deaf actors and learn how the acting process can be integrated to engage people with different physical circumstances. Kristina has also directed numerous plays, including The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Good Man from Sezuan, Three Sisters, The Seagull, Midsummer Night's Dream, Romeo and Juliet. Twelfth Night, Lapin Lapin, Trumpets and Raspberries, The Orestie, and Antigone. Now residing in New York, Kristina leads the Theater Education Department at the award winning Children's Theatre Company and is a guest director at the Scandinavian American Theatre Company.
This season, Carrie was thrilled to be joining the incredible team at The Children's Theater Company. She just returned to NYC after living in Mexico for a year, where she obtained a Diploma in Spanish as a Second Language, worked on theater projects in the community with children about peace and tolerance and performed in several plays. Carrie also lived in Austin, Texas last fall working in production and casting. Carrie worked on the set of Sesame Street for 7 seasons casting and coaching the children and also running acting workshops in NYC. She worked on Sesame Street Domestic Production, Elmo's World, Home videos, International Voice Overs, many outreach projects and also helped with Sesame Workshop's T he New Electric Company. She is a professional judge for The Cute Kid.com. Carrie has a BA in Theater from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has studied improvisation with The Upright Citizens Brigade and Second City. Carrie has performed across the globe including touring English as a Second Language Theater in Spain, The New York Fringe Festival and multiple original roles off-off Broadway. She has also worked with ETNY, being a presenter and bringing theater to ESL audiences here in NYC. She can also be seen regularly as an on-air host in both English and Spanish at Mt. Sinai Hospita l's Kidzone TV. Carrie loves CTC's mission for using theater for community building and ethical education and is very happy to be working so closely with Mehr.
Resident Composer / Music Director
Lory Lazarus is one of the resident- composers for CTC, and is the author of almost 350 songs. Almost everything Lory writes is about peace and unity, including his musical, "Attack of the Elvis Impersonators," about the spirit of Elvis returning to earth to unite mankind. Lory has written the CTC mini-Dr. Seuss musicals, "Yertle the Turtle" and "The Lorax," and is the writer of the hit song "One World," which has been receiving radio airplay throughout the United States. He wrote 23 songs for "Barney & Friends" on PBS, as well as the theme songs for "The Healthy Kids Show" (Family Channel) and "Hot Properties" (LifeTime Network). He also was a staff writer for the Cartoon Network's "Courage, the Cowardly Dog."
KARA AYN NAPOLITANO
In California, Kara Ayn directed musicals such as Joseph...Dreamcoat, Into the Woods, and Honk. In NYC she performed in the Best Playwrights Festival ( Writopia Lab) A Grimm Reality (Theat er 4 the people ), and the children's musical Captain Marbles and His Acting Squad (Bleeker St Theater). She co-founded the theater company Drift in Act Out, producing two theater festivals including her musical Life Recital. She teaches Speech Level Singing and TriYoga. KaraaAyn.com
Associate Director & Asst. Education Director
Nessa Norich is a performer, writer and director. Afte r receiving her B.A. in theater and anthropology from Barnard College she con tinued her studies in physical theater at the Jaques Lecoq International Theater School. At the end of her two years in Paris, nessa was hired to orchestrate the live entertainment at a 400-guest burlesque party at the Det NY Theater in Copenhagen. The success of this performance led to the creation of Quantum Bunkum a London-based collective. While in the UK, Nessa also performed in Janice Parker's 'Private Dancer,' a pieced that will be featured at the 2012 Cultural Olympiad Festival. Nessa has been commissioned to create site-specific performance art of the Lourve Museum in Paris, and the Whitechapel Gallery and thr Institute of Contemporary Art in London. She most recently co0wrote and performed in Dr. Apple's Last Lecture at the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe. Nessa currently resides in NYC, where she founded the Tremor Theater Collective which recently produced their first original piece, The Rub directed by Ms. Norich as the Magic Futureobx. She is thrilled to be a teaching artist at Children's Theater Company.
Production Manager & Resident Choreographer
Navell Redwine is no stranger to the world of ENTERTAINMEN T, choreography, directing, and producing, consistently working ove r the last 10 years, Navell has appeared in front of the camera and taken the reigns behind the camera, but ultimately h as taken most satisfaction and true fulfillment by working in the community and with the children and p arents which dwell within them. Navell Redwine has performed all over the country in concerts singing and dancing on MTV, VH1, Disney, performing at Lincoln Center and even Madison Square Garden to name a few. "I've been in New York for over a decade now, after leaving Detroit (where I'm from) I don't take for granted the gift I have been given and the many gifts that have been given to me by others, I feel it is my responsibility to pass it on and do so with a smile I LOVE THAT I DO..."
Resident Composer / Music Director
Frank Sanchez has written over ten musicals for
the Children’s Theater Company and is the composer for the upcoming original musical, If I Give My Heart To You. He is currentlyMusical Director at
Lehman College and has musical directed over 40 musical productions
throughout New York and Long Island including Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Gilbert & Sullivan Light Opera Company of Long Island; South
PaciSc, Li’l Abner, Pajama Game, Follies, Fiddler on the Roof, Guys & Dolls,Mel Brooks’ Producers, Grease, Peter Pan, Mary Poppins, and High School Musical. Frank has an MFA in Music and Weater from CW Post University in Long Island, where he is currently an adjunct Music Director.
Mirirai Sithole is a senior acting major from Framingham, MA currently in her final semester at Adelphi University. Previously she had directed This Property is Condemned by Tennessee Williams, was the Assistant Director for Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice in the fall of 2011, and will be directing Ziggy's Heart by Joel Doty for the American Globes Theatre's 18 th Annual NYC 15 Minute Play Festival in April. Some of her past credits at Adelphi include The Crucible, The Vagina Monologues, and Street Scene. She is so thankful to The Children's Theater Company for this opportunity to work and learn. "..To thine own self be true."
Associate Stage Manager
Mandy Blevins has taught and mentored young people since 1998 when she first taught drama and directed the play Cheaper by the Dozen to middle and high school students. Responsibilities with three companies included teaching and mentoring teen interns in stage management, her proficiency, and other aspects of the theatre including lighting, scenery building and costuming. Mandy loves working with young people and two highlights over her past theatre teaching experience include directing A Bad Day in Gopher's Breath for the Towel Institute and working with young interns with Children's Theatre Company on the plays The Lorax, The Sneetches, and R.E.S.P.E.C.T., the Musical History of Women (youth version). Mandy Blevins has stage managed theatre productions since 1997. Some of her favorite credits include: RAGS, Capital Playhouse, WA; and the world premier of Salute to Christmas Radio Days, Covered Bridge Theatre, MD. Past tour credits include the East Coast tour of R.E.S.P.E.C.T., The Musical History of Women and the United States tour of Pippi Longstocking. Mandy's most recent production was of 42nd Street with Star Players of Bristol County. She is thrilled to be back with Children's Theatre Company again.
Alison started studying and performing as a dancer at a young age. She is a teacher and choreographer at Step in the Right Direction in Red Bank, NJ where she teaches ballet, pointe and jazz for young students. Alison has performed for audiences as large as eighty thousand at Giants Stadium for Monday Night Football's "Clash of the Titans". Alison also worked with Artistic Director, Mehr Mansuri on the Equity / adult production of R.E.S.P.E.C.T. She continues to choreograph for the Children's Theatre Company for all age groups for both staged musicals as well as stand alone dance numbers from Hip Hop to modern to ethnic.
DEBRA LEE DACO (Vocal Coach / Recording Artist)
is a singer, musician, actress and dancer. She studied music and theatre
at Evangel University and the American Musical & Dramatic Academy in New York City. Theatre: The National Tour ofMiss Saigon (Kim u/s), the
American Premier ofWhere Elephants Weep (Miss Budweiser), Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey), As You Like It (Celia), and the USO Troupe of Metropolitan
New York (soloist/troupe).
Nathalie Dispagne, of Persian and Caribbean background, was born and raised in Paris, France. She's studied and trained many different dance styles, including: hip-hop, belly dancing, modern, jazz, salsa, contemporary, and African dance. She obtained her Bachelor's Degree of Art at the University of Paris and has taught hip-hop in various schools in Paris. Since she moved in United States, she had her certificate from Broadway Dance Center. Nathalie believes that dance is a wonderful means of expression, allowing a greater consciousness to evolve.
A New York Native Jeanine has taught school for fourteen years and currently teaches art in Mineola School District on Long Island. She is a sculptor, set designer, painterand senior stylists for major corporate events throughout the United States. She directs the theater program her school district while also dedicating a large amount of her time to CTC. Jeanine is a Graduate of Fashion Institute of Technology where she received her degree in Display and Exhibit Design, Queens College in Arts Education, and an M.A from CW Post. In her free time she enjoys cooking.
Associate Choral/Music Director
Since graduation Kim spent a short time teaching music in the New Jersey Public School System. Kim is one of the Praise and Worship Leaders, assistant choir director for the adult and youth choirs and private vocal coach at Brooklyn, New York's 24,000 member Christian Cultural Center led by the Reverend Dr. A.R. Bernard. To date Kim has traveled and ministered in Italy, Russia, Scotland, South Africa and the Bahamas. Kim has been blessed to sing alongside the world renowned Christian pianist Dino and Cheryl Kartsonakis at Carnegie Hall. Kim also conducted a special 100 voice women's choir for incumbent and current Mayor Michael Bloomberg.From childhood Kim has gone to musical schools and has not stopped since.
MICHAEL HARLEY (Vocal Coach / Recording Artist)
Michael Harley is fresh from the Kumble Theater stage at Long
Island University where he played the role of James “Thunder”
Early in Tony award winner, Ben Haney’s production of Dreamgirls.
Mr. Harley garnered the Alliance for Community Media
Award in 2005 for his work on the Queens Public access television show “Lifting Him Higher”. After graduating from the
High School of Performing Arts in New York City he served as
assistant director to the Brooklyn Boys Chorus under the direction
of James McCarthy. As part of The Rock Foundation
“reclaim our City’s Kids” program, Michael has been moderator
of discussions on racial tolerance at the United Nations. Michael
also served on the New York City David Dinkins Mayoral
Youth Advisory Council and was a member of New York Kids
MIKE KIRSCH (Vocal Coach / Recording Artist)
Mike Kirsch- Credits include numerous Regional Theatres, National Tours and Off-Broadway. Most recently was scene as Bobby in A Chorus Line at Pioneer Theatre Company. A few other favorite theatre credits include Cosmo in Singin’ in the Rain (National Tour and at several Regional Theatres) Disney’s Beauty And the Beast and 42nd Street at Walnut Street Theatre, Gypsy (L.A.) Westchester Broadway, Titanic (Roger Hitchens) at Maine State Music Theatre, The Producers (Kevin) at Pioneer Theatre Company, Ginger starring Donna McKechnie and Randy Skinner, Best Little Whore House in Texas starring Sally Struthers at the Ogunquit Playhouse and NBS (Off-Broadway) Check him out at MikeKirsch.org
LORESA LACENTA (Vocal Coach / Recording Artist)
Loresa attended the Youth Performing Arts School in her native Louisville, and graduated from the University of Louisville with a degree
in Anthropology. Credits Include: Miss Saigon, My Fair Lady -(Actors Weatre of Lousiville, Virginia Stage Company, and We Cleveland PlayHouse), Aida at Count Basie Regional Theatre, Joseph, Evita, and Big River. Off- Broadway/NYC: IMELDA: A NewMusical (Pan AsianRepertory
Weatre), NAATCO's The House of Bernarda Alba' (Chay Yew), 'Rocky Horror' with Neil Patrick Harris.
Choral Album Producer / Board of Advisors
Jack is a composer and producer whose prodigious talent and prolific output have placed him first in no less than three of tonight's award categories. Jack's list of credits goes on forever. He's scored music and themes for virtually every Canadian television network as well as many U.S. broadcasters and film producers. You've heard his music on Designer Guys, Due South, Goosebumps, Life And Times, CBC's The Journal and Fashion File.Jack Lenz has scored music for many well-known television series and movies, including most recently for Mel Gibson’s ICON FILMS: The Passion of Christ among several other films. For television most recently Mr. Lenz has scored for CBS and CTV's Due South, the series RoboCop and Doc, CBC's The National and Newsworld, as well as the international hit children's series Goosebumps. Lenz also composed the AT&T international theme song for the 1996 Olympics entitled, "It's All Within Your Reach". As a producer, Lenz has worked with Ravi Shankar, the duo Paul Gross & David Keeley and on Doug Cameron's Juno Award-winning album Mona and The Children. Currently, Lenz is scoring the film Men With Brooms, set for release in Canada in 2002, and scoring and producing Nanalan', a series of shorts featuring live-action puppets, for Nick Jr. and Canada's YTV. Jack is the triple winner of the most prestigious Canadian Broadcasting award for composers and has won their News & Sports Television Programming Music Award ; International Television Series Music Award and the Domestic Non-Animated Television Series Music Award.
Playwright / Organizational Management Consultant
While Dorothy Marcic is a professor at Vanderbilt University and the author of twelve books, including RESPECT: Women and Popular Music- it is her latest endeavor of RESPECT: the Musical Journey of Women that has taken the theatre by storm, garnering her top reviews from all major critics in Chicago where is currently running. Her other books include Understanding Management, Managing with the Wisdom of Love, and four titles with Golden Books. Many years ago Dr. Marcic worked on the TV show, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. She has traveled the U.S. and the world doing the one-woman show, The Musical History of Women, which has been well-received in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Holland, England and South Africa. She's appeared on C-SPAN, CMT, and Bravo Network. As a Fulbright Scholar, she taught at the Univ. of Economics in Prague, where she lived for four years. She is married to Dick Daft and has three daughters.
Associate Costume Designer
Denise began working with CTC during the Fall 2006 season. She has served as a costume design assistant on various shows at the Williamstown Theatre Festival '06 and most recently on Gutenberg! The Musical! (The Actor's Playhouse). Favorite costume design credits include Something More Pleasant (NYU), Wounds to the Face (Chashama) & The Animal Project (NYU). She has also designed hats for Far Away (NYU) and makeup/special effects for several projects including Marisol (Hudson Guild Theatre). A recent graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, Denise would like to extend a big 'thank you!' to everyone- friends, family, CTC parents & staff- involved in making the costumes happen!!
Mashid Mohadjerin received her MFA in photography from the Royal Academy for Arts in Belgium. She has been working as a freelance photographer since 2004.. Her work has been exhibited in Europe, US and one of her recent exhibitions is a traveling IOM group exhibition in Central Asia. She received the International Organization for Migration's Photo Award II place and is the finalist of the ITS#PHOTOweb competition.
Neda has a background in Psychology and Education and has completed a Masters in International Educational Development, from Teachers College, Columbia University. Her research has focused on family and community development, and chose the Children’s Theatre Company as the focus for her thesis. Neda joined CTC in 2006 as an ethics teacher and is currently working as an educational consultant.
ADAM SHAPIRO (Vocal Coach / Recording Artist)
caught the acting bug in kindergarten in Indianapolis when he performed in a class production of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Then two summers to the Interlochen Arts Academy in Northern Michigan, where he focused on acting and dance. Once in youth theatre he played Motel the Tailor in Fiddler on the Roof. Adam studied acting and dance at Ball State University, his
big break came when he auditioned for a community theatre production inMuncie. Enterprising and willing to go anywhere to act, Shapiro took a job in Pinocchio playing Geppetto for a touring national Children’s Theatre Company, and when he came back toNew York in Jewsical, the ChosenMusical, then a touring production of Henry and Mudge. Adam has recorded and performed musical theater all over the world and has been principal vocalist and coach at the Childrens Theatre Company for over 5 years.
Associate Vocal Coach / Music Director
Carmela Sinco enjoys a career as a collaborative pianist, composer and educator in the New York City area. As a pianist/music director, her repertoire includes opera, artsongs, music theatre, dance and has performed at festivals and recitals in Asia, Europe and the USA. As a composer, she has composed music for films and television series on PBS and CUNY TV as well as independent comedies. She has also been commissioned and premiered by musicians of the Tucson and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras. As an educator, she has taught from primary to high school to university levels in New York City and Hawaii. Her teaching includes music theory, choral, musical theater and aural training.
DR. SUSAN SOETART
Dr. Susan Soetaert is a tenure professor at Lehman College, Theater Department where she teaches and directs. She has produced costumes for hundreds of theatrical productions around the country andmost recently
designed the costumes for the Broadway and national tours of the Gathering, starring Hal Linden. For ten years, she served as resident designer at the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre, while freelancing for such companies as Ringling Brothers Circus, La Gran Scena Opera Co., Little Orchestra Society, Ice Theatre of New York and LaMama. Professor Soetaert
has designed costumes for, and consulted on, the construction of 28 theatrical productions.
NELLIE VISHNEVSKY (Associate Director)
Nellie Vishnevsky has been teaching and directing children's theatre in and around New York City for two years. Nellie's recent directing credits include: Farmer Rabbit, Children's Theatre Company, 2009; Alice in Wonderland, P.S. 261, 2009; Things Just Couldn't Get Worse, Brooklyn Children's Theatre, 2008; The Ugly Duckling, Boston Children's Theatre Company, 2008; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, P.S. 261, 2008; and more. Nellie is also a museum educator at the Paley Center for Media, where she teaches variety of subjects and workshops. Nellie holds Bachelor's degrees in Theatre and Broadcast Journalism, and is pursuing her Master's degree in Elementary Special Education at Brooklyn College through the NYC Teaching Fellowship.
Acting & Guest Artist
By 20, Shohreh Aghdashloo had achieved nationwide stardom in her native Iran. During the Islamic Revolution, she left for England, where her concern for social injustice led to a BA in International Relations. Her performance in 2003’s House of Sand and Fog earned her an Oscar nomination, as well as a Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award and a New York Film Critics Circle Award for Best Supporting Actress. In 2005, she played a long-running character on the Emmy winning series “24”. Shohreh’s film credits include House of Saddam, The Stoning of Soraya, American Dreamz, America So Beautiful, Surviving Paradise, X-Men 3, and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II. Shohreh won the 2009 Emmy for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the HBO Miniseries, House of Saddam.
Production Manager / Assistant Director
After graduating from Frank Sinatra School of the Arts as a vocal major, Celestina followed her interest in Musical Theatre to the Theatre for the New City where she performs anually in the Summer Street theatre program. Her performance credits include the Imaginary Invalid and Iphigenia with City
College of New York, Rescue Me and Henry Box Brown with the Children's Theatre Company, with whom she has been a member since her first year of high school. Celestina recently served as the Company Manager for the Long Island / Valley Stream Chapter of the Children's Theatre Company, where she assisted with every aspect of production management and community development. Celestina is currently a Mental Health Major at Kingsborough College.
Ethics Education Director
Natasha Bruss studied Human Rights and Political Science at Barnard College / Columbia University. She has worked extensively for CNN International and MTV. Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Natasha has lived in Northern China teaching English, and has traveled broadly throughout the world with the prestigious Maxwell School Dance Theatre Workshop as principal dancer. Natasha continues to provide training and workshops in personal and spiritual transformation through the Ruhi Institute and is currently the Junior Youth Coordinator of the Baha'i Community of New York.
JENNIFER BUSHINGER (Associate Director) has a BA in Theatre from Bloomsburg University. She’s worked regionally and nationally as a director, actor, teaching artist, costume designer, and stage manager. Acting Credits: Pavilion, Jungle Book, Roll of Punder-Hear, My Cry, Pride and Prejudice. Directing Credits Ancient History, Beyond Therapy, Just Be Frank. Trained in: Fight choreography, over six dialects, yoga, and martial arts.
Resident Composer / Choral Director
Eric Dozier's pursuit of global unity compelled him to found the One Human Family Music Workshop Ministry. Born in Bakewell, TN, Eric's passionate interest in music was apparent at an early age when his parents observed him playing a small plastic piano with a Memphis Slim recording. Recognizing that he was actually playing the correct notes, they immediately purchased a piano for their home, and by the age of six Eric was playing for the church choir. Eric continues to develop his gift, combining his unique style of jazz and gospel. Eric attended Duke University, majoring in Public Policy Studies with an emphasis on youth, race, poverty, and education. His mission is to create the opportunity of experiencing the image of a world united by a true spiritual, rather than mere political, peace and harmony.
Resident Choreographer / Community Development Consultant
Karida is currently performing with the legendary CirqueDu Soleil on Broadway in their brand newshow, Banana Schpiel. As a member of the legendary Radio City Rockettes, Karida made her broadway debut in the Rockettes tribute to Frank Sinatra: His Voice. His World. His Way. She has also performed in the critically acclaimed The Beat, which was featured at the Harare International Festival of Arts in Zimbabwe. She has danced with Universal Arts, and was a choreographer and a member of the script development team for the highly acclaimed play Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome. . Karida has ‘tap danced’ across Europe with the Broadway show, Black & Blue and was the principal dancer with the Northwest Afrikan American Ballet for three years.
Quilt Making, Collage Curator / Instructor
Award winning Clyde Deloris Herring is a vocalist, quilter and collage artist. Currently, she is an artist-inresidence at the Mount Vernon Public Library in Mount Vernon, NY. Ms Herring has been a Baha'i since 1972 and is the proud mother of two adult children. She loves guiding children along their own path of artist discovery and selfexpression. She noted that working with CTC keeps her innner child alive!!
Co-Founder / Art Director
Roya is a multi-media & photo installation artist. Recently, on Oprah Winfreys Martin Luther King TV Special, Oprah gave a full screen viewing of Royas book, Wishes in Black & White: Race Relations in America and entitled the show by the same name. Royas first book, HARMONY (Macmillan Publishers), is also a photographic homage across cultural boundaries. Roya is also the creator and illustrator of two children's cd rom interactive books: one teaching values & virtues and the other teaching Farsi to children. In 1998, Roya headed the Young Harlem Photographers project which won Second Place with the New York Times and has been a resident artist at Gallery X in New York City.
Andreea Mincic (Set Designer) just finished working on an Obie winning show at the Ohio Theater in Soho as well as on a co-production of LAByrinth Theater Company at the Tony Award winning Public Weater and for the Production School of the Americas, by Jose Rivera. Andreea is currently working as assistant scenic designer for twoperformances: Viva La Vida by Diane ShaXer at the Bay Stree Theatre in SagHarbor, and Blue Door by Tanya Barfeld at the critically acclaimed Playwrights Horizons in New York City. Andreea Mincic has been a scenic painter and lighting designer for theatre and contemporary dance in Europe and US, starting with her native, Romania. Andreea has an MFA from the University of Ohio.
Asst. Set designer/ Intern
Martin is a student of stage design at the University of Arts. He was trained as a painter for theatre at Hamburg State Opera. In his artistic expression, which he perceives as a construct in the form of different media, questions arise, which are reaching far beyond interpersonal level. Martin is from Berlin, Germany.
Associate Set Designer
Jung was born and raised in Korea. Her unique interest in space drove her to study sculpture and Scenic Design. She earned her Bachelor's Degree in Sculpture and Master's in Fine Arts in Environmental Design and Scenic Design. She worked as a Set Designer for Korea Broadcasting System for 3 years and worked at "Interior Company" for one year before moving to New York City.
Antonia Munoz Correal (Choreographer) is from Colombia. She received her BFA inContemporary Dance from the District University and has danced with various International dance companies and choreographers
from Switzerland to Mexico and throughout Colombia and Europe. Antonia won a Best Choreographer for her duet “Sonata for Two Soloists". She is currently attending the Martha Graham School in New York City.
Associate Engineer / Sound Designer
Jon is a freelance producer and recording engineer who works in and around NYC. He has worked with varying artists from Curtis Blow to the Harlem Boys Choir to Ron Carter. He is currently producing an operatic album to benefit the WTC disaster as well as a couple of tunes for an up and coming R&B artist. Children and the underlaying mission of CTC keeps him coming back to assist in whatever way he can to make CTC a success.
As a singer, Nicole Rue has extensive experience in both choreography and singing jazz, funk, rock, soul and R&B. Her music might be described as neo-jazz infused with soul and fused with pop. She started performing at 13, with the jazz chorus and gospel choir at her junior high school. She got her chance to sing a solo at Amherst College, where she sang with a 25 piece jazz ensemble. While in graduate school at the University of Michigan studying Comparative Literature, she started a band of her own, Bar Sugar, which became a small local success playing in coffee houses and at venues like the Blind Pig. Nicole choreographs heart-stopping hip-hop in a fusion of Brazilian and Capoeira.
Associate Vocal Coach / Choral Director
LOS ANGELES TIMES:
"Once in a while an entertainer comes along with such fine vocal abilities and stage presence, she literally stops the show. Singer / songwriter / actor / producer Lucy Shropshire is that kind of performer."
Like many fine singers, Lucy's musical roots were nurtured in church singing gospel and playing piano and organ for her church choir. After studying music and voice at the University of North Carolina- Chapel Hill, Lucy sang along the East Coast forming numerous bands and musical organizations. In 1981 Lucy relocated to the West Coast, performing in almost very mamajor performance venue in Reno, Las Vegas and surrounding areas. Lucy has sang with and for many celebrities which eventually won her the RENO AREA MUSIC AWARD AS BEST JAZZ VOCALIST. Her showrooms have included the Sands, the Stardust, the Golden Nugget and was a member of the production staff of the MGM GRAND where she was a performer and a vocal coach for a cast of over 70 performers.
Illustrator / Associate Art Director
Titus Thomas has illustrated for the critically acclaimed, "The Little Bill Show", on Nickelodeon Jr and Nickelodeon Online. He also serves as lead designer / illustrator for Varcity clothing, Zinka Clothing, Hollah.com,YSB magazine, Shadowbox Magazine, SONY college music, NYC Parks & Recreation, the upcoming opera entitled BRICOLAGE, and an upcoming animated film, "13" & the National Action Network. Titus's storyboards & character designs have used in short films entitled, "TAG", "FEATHER", "ESPORANZA" ,"MAD ABOUT HARRY"& " NAH, SON ".
Associate Music Director / Violin
Eric R. Salazar is a freelancer performer and educator in the NY tri State area. Appearances as soloist, recitalist, Tours with Panamamenian folk Ballet throught Latin America and the US. Major performances at Brooklyn college, Ohio State University, Chicago University Ethnomusicology Workshop. Mr. Salazar is an advocate of music education/performance and spends much of his time working on outreach programs to enhance the lives of those who would not otherwise have access to music.
Drumming / Percussion / Band
Naomi has played the drums, and various other percussion instruments for over 10 years and has toured extensively throughout Europe, Asia and the United States. She performs her eclectic selection of world culture music at various venues in all five boroughs.
Institute Coordinator / Community Development
Jen has a background in Child & Family Development and has a Masters in International Education Development from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a Bachelor of Science in Child & Family Development from Benedict College. In 1995 Jen co-founded Campaign Hit the Streets and Diversity Dance Workshop- a projects working with children and youth utilizing the performing arts to address various social issues. Jen also traveled with Diversity Dance Workshop in 1994, a performing arts group that addresses race unity, substance abuse, gender equality through the performing arts and classroom workshops. In 1996 Jen was honored by Columbia Fox TV Channel 5 for Service in the African American Community & the 1998 Child Development Major of the Year performing, to also include mentorship, community service and young women's development. Jen works at the institute of international education. Jen has a Masters in International Education Development.
CTC CHAPTER COORDINATORS
ANNA DE LA CRUZ (Los Angeles, CA CTC Chapter Coordinator / Artistic Director)
Ridvan Foxhall is a core teacher for the non-profit educational program Something Good in the World where she leads the Earth School - serving children ages 6-8 years. She has two children also attending Earth School, and she is also a home-schooling parent. Ridvan has a Bachelors Degree in Art and Photography with Honors from City University of NYC . She has worked as a graphic designer for over 12 years, and as the program director and administrator for New Era Elementary School in Nigeria. For over 15 years she has developed and taught virtues programs to children ages 4-15 and more recently, African dance, art and drama. Ridvan has taught and has participated in numerous teacher training seminars and workshops. Ridvan is currently engaged in training to become an occupational therapist, she is a certified Handwriting Without Tears instructor, and is the Chapter Coordinator of the Children’s Theater Company in Peekskill.
HELEN KATZ / HEIDI BAKER (Urbana / Champaign IL, CTC Chapter Coordinators / Artistic Directors
DR. HARMINDER KAUR (Rockville MD, Chapter Coordinator)
MARGIE MAHER (Providence RI, Chapter Coordinator)
ROBERT MCLAUGHLIN (Washington DC, Chapter Coordinator)
LEILA MILANI & MELISSA GREENE (Vienna VA, Co-Chapter Coordinators)
As an attorney, Leila has worked on the promotion and protection of human rights at the State Department, Congress, at the White House and at the UN. Leila was the director of a youth performing arts group for seven years, leading kids to perform dances and dramatic presentations about social issues. Currently, Leila is an independent consultant and works on a variety of initiatives dealing with international human rights issues. Leila's own training has been in dance, both modern and jazz. She believes that the arts are a critical medium for addressing important issues, and that through the arts children can develop intellectually, physically, and spiritually. She and Melissa Greene are the Artistic Directors of the Pulse Performing Arts Group in Northern Virginia. MELISSA GREENE is a recording Artist and Music Producer, Melissa Green has recently released her first full-length Bliss Green CD- Shine, Over the Moon, and Rain.
Boston MA, Chapter Coordinator
Dr. Somova Stout is a pediatrician deeply committed to improving the health of underserved communities through her work at the Cambridge Health Alliance. Dr. Stout earned her medical degree at the University of California, in Berkeley and San Francisco. She is an Instructor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, has several publications and has given numerous talks about empowerment of communities in need. In her free time, Dr. Stout volunteers as the Founder and Director of the Raising Peacemakers program, and as the Director of the Children's Theatre Company, Boston. She seeks to improve access to health care in underserved communities and empower children and parents to make a difference in their communities.