Jennifer Pierro - Co-Founder & CEO/CFO

Jennifer Pierro is the Co-Founder & CEO/CFO at Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

Jennifer is an Italian American Actress/Voice-Over Artist and a proud member of AEA & SAG-AFTRA unions. She started her acting career at the age of 16 at the famous HB Studio in Greenwich Village NYC under the guidance of Jeanne Kaplan. Over the years she has performed in and around NYC doing Theatre, Film, TV & Voice-Overs.  She currently resides in NYC with her incredible partner/love of her life Ken Wolf and their amazing adorable little actress dog Roma Pierro-Wolf. 

For more information, please visit: www.jenniferpierro.com

 


Ken Wolf - Co-Founder & Artistic Director

Ken Wolf is the co-founder and artistic Director of Manhattan Rep and the author of over 20 plays. He has also directed over 50 productions including The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Three Sisters, Tales of Terror, Men, The Match Game and Ghost.  

As Artistic Director at Manhattan Repertory Theatre, he has produced over 1000 full length plays and over 800 short pieces.

As an actor, he has portrayed such roles as Mozart in Amadeus, Vershinin in The Three Sisters, and Biff in The Death of a Salesman.  

His One Man play The People in my Hips was hailed by Martin Denton of nytheatre.com as being “unlike any theatre piece I have ever seen.” And Lise Avery of Anything Goes!! Internationally Syndicated Radio said “THE PEOPLE IN MY HIPS is one of the most extraordinary pieces of theatre I have seen on or Off-Broadway in years. Mr. Wolf’s script is nearly flawless in its eloquence and is one of those rare pieces of work that reminds us of our common humanity. Mr. Wolf’s one-man performance is exquisite, inspiring, courageous and beautifully constructed.” Recently, he received rave reviews with the amazing 7lb Morkie Roma Pierro-Wolf, in his play DAD AND THE DOG, New York City’s first One Man One Dog show.  He is a passionate teacher and creative artist.

He lives with the incredible Jennifer Pierro and the adorable Roma Pierro-Wolf in Manhattan.


Matthew Hill - Theatre Master

Matthew is currently the Theatre Master at Manhattan Repertory Theatre. After graduating from SUNY Purchase College in 2009.  Matt started to work primarily in house management at a number of different theatres. Such as the Penguin Repertory Theatre in Stony Point, New York and at the Cultural Arts Center at SUNY Rockland Community College in Suffern, New York. As a writer, Matthew has also had the great pleasure of having worked at Manhattan Repertory Theatre this past year with his show, “Tales from Front of House” about all the crazy house management related stories that have happened over the years.


Richard Thomas Henle - Resident Playwright

and Manhattan Rep Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Richard Thomas Henle is a writer/director/actor that has written over 35 plays and film scripts, to date has completed 6 films, and since 2009 has done 27 plays at Manhattan Rep. Richard also a huge music fan has always found the "music" choices for his projects just as important as a character, in fact feels it is to be used as such.

Richard is looking forward to another great year of doing shows at Manhattan Repertory Theatre. He is looking to continue to touch on subjects important to him.  He has found the LIVE STAGE is like no other thing, which again traces back to his Musical roots and loves and idols, who champion the LIVE setting. Putting together a cast and doing rehearsals and doing a run of shows is the same to Richard as putting together a band and going on the road together, and that bond you have is a MUST for the outcome to be all it can be.

For more information on Richard Thomas Henle, please visit his FACEBOOK PAGE and also the "Lifelines Productions" Page for more info. 


Albert Repicci - Resident Playwright

This summer’s production of the dance/play, Once Upon a Rose, one of Repicci’s favorite and most sentimental creations, will mark his fifth performance series at Manhattan Repertory Theatre this year. He credits its success to his beautiful, talented and committed cast, technician and choreographer. His previous works include the two act Off Broadway production, Honor Bound, a touching and riveting drama which The Center of the Aisle hailed as, ”Smartly written and skillfully directed,”  while, Theatre Scene, claimed, “Its fast paced dialogue is engaging and crackles with the clash of idealistic youth versus jaded middle age.”  Talkin Broadway added, “Honor Bound, raises important ideas about trust, friendship, and of course, honor.” 

Other plays include, The Haberdasher, which Repicci also directed,  was performed in Jan 2015 in the short play competition at Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

Published works by Repicci also include a Christmas story, The Girl with the Red Scarf, Nantucket Musings, a book of light verse and a short overview history of the island, and the baseball memoir, Bringing Satch Home

As a special foreign correspondent for The Greenwich Times, Repiccireported on the Khmer Rouge genocide trials of Comrade Duch(the perpetrator of the killing fields), in Cambodia, and also on the Nazi war crime trial of Oskar Groening (guard at Auschwitz concentration camp),  in Luneburg, Germany.  He has also compiled a portfolio of silent films and produced the documentary, Dentistry in the Bush, as well as having worked as an associate producer on several Off Broadway and regional theatre productions.

 


Emma Roddy - Resident Director

Emma Roddy is a director and performer originally from New Braunfels, TX and moved to New York in July of 2015.. She has a BFA in Theatre Performance from Baylor University. She has directed two plays for Manhattan Repertory Theatre: The Interview by Joyce Alayon, which was a winner of the 10 Minute Play Contest in May 2016, and The Art of Drowning by Zach Jenkins, which was a finalist in July's One Act Competition. she has also directed for the Midtown International Theatre Festival, Riehl Productions NYC, and has assisted at Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Emma appeared on stage most recently in Old Library Theatre's (Fair Lawn, NJ) production of A Funny Thing Happened.... as Philia, and in The Dreaming directed by jordan Murphy. She loves developing and directing new plays and is very excited to create more works with Manhattan Repertory Theatre!

 


Afrika Brown - Resident Playwright

Playwright, poet and screenwriter Afrika Brown began her career as a journalist writing fashion, lifestyle and entertainment features.  In 2006, Brown published Sepia Sapphire, a collection of poetry.  In 2007, Brown’s weekly chapter series Diary of a Break Up was featured by Universitychic.com.  In 2009, she founded F.A.M.E. NYC Magazine.  In 2014, THE OUTING, Brown’s first one act play, was featured at Open Hydrant’s Urban Waves Festival, Manhattan Repertory Summer Shorts Festival and The Strawberry Festival.  In 2015 Brown’s new sio-political play STRANGE FRUIT REDUX exploded onto the off-off Broadway landscape making its world premiere at Manhattan Repertory Theatre‘s 10th Anniversary Event.  It returned to NYC in November 2015 participating in the Midtown International Theatre Festival.  In 2016, STRANGE FRUIT REDUX will embark on a tour playing festivals and theaters nationwide.  Just recently, Brown debuted SLOW BULLET, MY THREE LOVES at Manhattan Repertory Theatre.  Brown is proud to become a part of the MRT family as a Resident Playwright.


Sarah Congress - Resident Playwright

Sarah Congress is a recent graduate from the Dramatic Writing Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College. She spent a year working as the Literary Manager for the New Jersey Repertory Company before moving to New York City to pursue her playwriting career. 

Her playwriting credits include Portrait of Three Young People...Contemplating at Manhattan Rep., The Death Play...or What is Brad Doing in the Supply Room Closet? at Manhattan Rep, Master Matthew, at Manhattan Rep, Limbo Land, at The Asbury Park Art Tank, Strike! The Musical, at SUNY Purchase College, The Office of Admissions at SUNY Oneonta, at SUNY Purchase College, Boxes at George Mason University, and Brunon’s Bookery, at Arena Stage. She was fortunate enough to have her full-length play Master Matthewpublished on the indie theatre now website http://www.indietheaternow.com/Play/master-matthew.

Sarah facilitates Manhattan Rep's monthly Playwright's Halfway House, a free opportunity for playwrights to have their work read and developed in a constructive, supportive environment.

She is tremendously proud, delighted, and grateful to be a resident playwright at Manhattan Repertory Theatre.


Coni Koepfinger - Resident Playwright

Currently the creative director and host of two new media programs, DETERMINED WOMEN and AIRPLAY, Coni Koepfinger is an internationally published and produced playwright and librettist.  In addition to teaching composition, she is a contributing writer for the Center of Conscious Creativity LA and a board member of the International Center for Women Playwrights; on the Media Arts Advisory Board of the Lifeboat Foundation; a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Indie Theatre Now, New York Theatre Experience and the League of Professional Theatre Women.

Now working full time as a playwright with her creative partner Joe Izen, they are developing three major works: a fierce look at political corruption in the face of ancient mythology in The Eve of Beltane; Schoolhouse, a musical that steps beyond ordinary beats; and a futurevision of man and machine in Singularity: A Brave New Musical.  

Recent productions include:  Turbulence: the Madness of Art  commissioned by Mara Mills at the HVCCA; Garrett the Blue Giraffe at the Thespis Festival New York; her 1996 metadrama SideShow which played at Manhattan Repertory; and  Coffeehouse Magik in the NYC UNFRINGED FEST at The Secret Theatre. Her play Candledancing, The Voice of Julian of Norwich received “Best Score” for its musical tapestry and requiem by London composer Robert Hugill. And most recently, her futuristic dystopian full-length, Sleeping with Destiny made it to the semifinals in international competition while another play Get the Message was recently published in the international anthology Visions of the Future.

Her path has been carefully planned, her undergad in theatre led her to a Masters in Literary and Cultural Theatre at Carnegie Mellon, she was the artistic director of the first Women’s Theatre Company in Pittsburgh and has authorized an large body of work that was driven by her repulsion to senseless violence and absolute meaninglessness of hate. All of Koepfinger’s work examines the imaginary boundaries and artificial conditionings that move humanity away from the ability to love.

PUBLICATIONS

  • The Guardian, Mother /Daughter Monologues; ICWP Press Anthology. 2009.

  • Candledancing: The Voice of Julian of Norwich. Tate Publishing. 2009.

  • Formative Stages: A New Pedagogy for Creative Writing.

  • The  Hawaii International Conference on Arts and Humanities. 2006.

  • 8th National Symposium on Theater in Academe, Washington and Lee University. 2007.

  • Rudolph’s Big Secret, One-Act Children’s Play. DramaSource. 2002

  • Jack & the Talkback Beanstalk,  One-Act  Children’s Musical DramaSource. 2001

  • Staging Stories from Real Life. Breckenridge & Koepfinger. Penn State University. 2007.


Phil Way - Resident Playwright

PHIL WAY is a filmmaker, award-winning playwright, and occasional dabbler in poetry and prose.  His work has been produced at various venues in NYC including MRT, The Players Theatre, The PIT Loft, and the Theatre at St. Clements, as well as Old Library Theatre in Fair Lawn, NJ.  He graduated from Penn State University in 2001 with a degree in Film.  His  addiction to live theatre started with his first hit of acting when he was cast as Sir Henry in the Bedford County Players’ production of Hound of the Baskervilles in 1995.  Phil went on to enjoy over a decade of acting and directing shows with this talented theatre group in Bedford, PA.  Also, Phil spent two years as actor and assistant production manager at Mystery Dinner Playhouse in Virginia Beach, VA.  Currently residing in Brooklyn, Phil is always hard at work on the next production.


Joseph O'Malley - Resident Playwright

Joseph O'Malley is an actor, writer, director, and producer. He is the founder of Paper Ring Productions, a New York based production company aimed at fostering the work of young artists and producing new pieces as they arise, prioritizing the inspiration of the artist above all else. He founded the company following two years studying Drama at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, training at both the Stella Adler Studio of Acting as well as StoneStreet Studios for Film and TV.

His first two full-length plays, The Family Table, a dark relationship drama, and Game Night, a snarky opinion-comedy, premiered to packed audiences at The Manhattan Rep within four months of each other at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, respectively.

Joseph has appeared in numerous other New York theater productions, including several new plays by other young playwrights. He has also written/directed/produced/acted in a number of short films.

Joseph is a New York native, local to Greenwich Village.

Follow his work at PaperRingProductions.com.


Craig S. Campanaro - Resident Playwright

Craig S. Campanaro Writer/actor/director founded HIP STAGED Entertainment as a way to bring original theater to Westchester County starting with his original episodic comedy, The Hardware Diaries, Episodes 1-4 (eventualy taking them to Manhattan Repertory Theatre).  Other original pieces are a monologue entitled “Boo” (also performed at Manhattan Repertory Theatre), “A Show of a Different Variety” (a yearly show performed in Westchester) as well as “Prisoners of Love”, a romantic One Act comedy.

Craig’s school of hard knocks training include Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), People's Improv Theater (PIT), Gotham Writers, HB Studios and numerous Westchester Shakespearean productions where he learned the most important lesson in writing, acting and directing, “To thy own self be true."


 

The Vanessa Long Dance Company 

MRT's Resident Dance Company

The Vanessa Long Dance Company was founded by choreographer and stage director Vanessa Long, with the intent of raising awareness of social and political issues in the current world. Vanessa's extensive training and strong interest in current events lead her to start her own form of
activism in the way of a dance company. Vanessa has made an stunning career for herself, with her unique, angled style. She has choreograph several Off-Broadway shows, music videos,and films while in NYC. Vanessa's training lies both in theatre and dance, which leads her to often combine the two in her work.


Vanessa Long Dance Company charishes its audience, and strives to create works that can effect and relate to it's audience members. We believe that in order to see change in our world, we need to encourage conversations. Our pieces are highly theatrical and all tell a story that illustrates the problem set before us. We aim to create entertaining pieces that engage our audiences and modivate them to challenge the status quo.

VANESSA LONG
Vanessa Long began her journey into the arts when she was just five years old in a small town in Pennsylvania. When she was sixteen she receive an opportunity to begin teaching dance at a local studio. Through teaching she was able to start her choreography career, and she began choreographing pieces for national competitions and winning awards for her choreography. After high school she joined the Lenharts Dance Company and began attending West Chester University to pursue a degree in Theatre and Dance. While there she became a part of the UDC Dance Company. While attending West Chester she was also given the opportunity to begin directing.After graduating from college she moved to NYC to pursue her career in choreography and directing. While in NYC she was given the opportunity to choreograph "The Boogeyman Diaries of A Broken Home", "The Buttcracker", "And Baby Makes Three","Still on the Corner", and "Who's Afraid Of The Moon". She also founded and is the Artistic Director for her dance company the Vanessa Long Dance Company.


COMPANY MEMBERS:
Mechelle Armbruster, Maria Carla Spagna, Bryan Menjivar, Sarah Groginsky, Esther De LaCruz, Emilie Paap, Beth Laird, Joanna Farmer, DaJuan Harris, Emelie Hedvall, Kristen Stuart, Roseanna Bell, Kelly Vaghenas, Justin Heim, Liam Selby , Sam Dauphin, Steven Makropoulos, Tessa Anton


Lawrence F Schwabacher - Resident Playwright

Lawrence F Schwabacher thrives on the theater experience has been producing his plays on stage for over twenty years.   It all started with the performance of his play Friends back on June 11, 1993 @ New Actors’ Workshop NYC. He has written over 127 plays and 66 monologues to date.  Larry was a recipient of 2008 Literary Arts Award from Council of Arts & Humanities of Staten Island for Food For Thought, three short plays [Café Ole, Doing Lunch, & Cheese Doodle Fingers]. He was the theater coordinator for the Village Playwrights at the Wings Theater [12/2006-06/2008].  One of his ongoing projects is “Larry’s Women” a series of original female monologues has seen several performances. His plays have been in Turnip Festival, Swing, 2008 & Moon Glow 2012;  Love Creek Festival, Necklace 2009;  Samuel French FestivalAlways Us 2007;  Drop Your Shorts FestivalRendezvous 2000 and was a three time winner of The Strawberry One Act Festival at the Riant Theatre NYC, Swing 96, Hot Fudge Sundae 97, & Fifteen Minutes Until Places 98. Larry is a founding member of The Staten Island Playwright’s Collective [Established 2008]. He has also created and produced several benefits at Snug Harbor Culture Center Staten Island to raise AIDS awareness: Night of Voices 3yrs, Christmas in August, Tapestry [two performances] & Voices.  His most performed play as been Cheese Doodle Fingers to date.  His journey continues.


 

Arthur W. French III- Resident Playwright

Arthur W. French III has been writing plays since he was a teenager. His first play “Teens Today” was first produced at Maxwell Glanville’s American Community Theater. The play then was a finalist in the New York Annual Young Playwright’s Festival at the Circle Repertory Company. Mr. French’s works include “Circuit Breakers” which was a winner in the Samuel French One Act play Competition. His other play “Bitter Apples” was a winner in the Strawberry One Act Festival. Mr. French has studied Playwriting with Steve Carter, Leslie Lee, and Henry Miller


 

Phil Paradis - Resident Playwright

PHIL PARADIS (Playwright) Phil’s critically acclaimed Soldiers’ Christmas premiered last December on the 100th anniversary of the 1914 Christmas Truce at Northern Kentucky University. His play about Teddy Roosevelt and Stephen Crane set in 1890s New York was a Semi-Finalist in the Kentucky Theatre Association’s 2014 New Play Award Competition. Nineteen of his plays have been produced in NY, CA, KY, OH, RI, and WA. His one-act Footprints of the Polar Bear directed by Arnie Shayne won the Cincinnati Directors Competition. His Sunny Side, God Is a Ford Man, The Holey Swiss Duet, Breaking Gulf News, Daddy's Little Girl, and Powder Puff Heist were presented at Manhattan Rep in 2015. A member of the Dramatists Guild and Chicago Dramatists, Phil is working on a one-man play and screenplay about the life of author Stephen Crane. For more stuff see www.SoldiersChristmas.net    


John Ladd - Resident Playwright

John Ladd approaches “all things creative” with a sense of exploration and discovery.  Thus, like the “singular explorer of old,” he travels- for all intents and purposes- alone, save for an hand-picked crew- who go by “Bunny,” “Rabbit,” and “Black-Root”- with whom he shares his life and his journey.

His “guide” in the journey is his muse, who- without question- is the director of his creative life.  Accepting this- and to that end- John Ladd has come to understand the warning- “…never betray the muse…”

To date, his plays have been performed in a number of places- and and various circumstances- including Ken Wolf’s Manhattan Repertory Theatre, John Chatterton’s Short Play Lab, The Manhattan International Theatre Festival, The Belarusian Dream Theater, The Bad Theater Fest, Eric Leeb’s ActSense, and Marble Collegiate’s Puzzle Festival.

He works in the company of his coonhound buddy- Roma- who is always a source of wonder and surprise.


LIZA.jpg

Liza Lentini - Resident Playwright

Liza Lentini’s surrealistic drama Drowning in Euphoria received an extended Off-Broadway run at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre in 1999 where it was hailed by Showbusiness Weekly as “poignant and haunting…almost musical”. 
Other favorite productions include: The Euthanasist (Manhattan Rep), The Gentleman Caller(Women’s Project & Chicago Dramatists), Psychotic & Weird (but enough about me) (American Theatre of Actors, NYC & London), Life in Exodus (Milagro Theatre), Brain Children (Rubicon Theatre Project, Chicago) and The Low Road to Phoenix (Actor’s Workshop, Boston). 

Liza is the Creative Director of Elephant Ensemble Theater (www.elephanttheater.com), a company that brings children’s theatre to NYC hospitals, and has also written their inaugural production of Thumbelina: The Story of a Brave Little Girl.  Liza holds an MFA in Playwriting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.   For more information, please visit www.lizalentini.com.


 

Stephanie C. Lyons-Keeley and Wayne J. Keeley 

Resident Playwrights

 

Stephanie C. Lyons - Keeley

Stephanie is a journalist, writer, editor, and has had innumerable articles published in various newspapers and magazines. Together she and Wayne have penned countless entertainment projects which are in various stages of development. She has written, directed, and produced both full-length and one-act plays in Connecticut and New York. 

Stephanie has a Master of Arts in Counseling Psychology and is a former practicing psychotherapist. She currently is a professor of psychology at Western Connecticut State University and Naugatuck Valley Community College.

On a personal note, Stephanie is married to Wayne J. Keeley; she is mother to four children, Kylie, Chayce, Aidan, and Brady; and the stepmother to Wayne’s three. Stephanie enjoys time with family, cooking, baking, reading, and writing. She too, someday hopes to travel the world and expose the Brady Bunch-esque clan to a multitude of cultures and life experiences.

 

Wayne J. Keeley

Wayne is an Emmy-Award winning writer, producer, and director. He has produced many programs, documentaries, and public service announcements that have appeared on television, and have been distributed to schools, libraries, and home video. Wayne has written, directed and produced both full-length and one-act plays in Connecticut and New York.  He is a member of the Dramatist Guild.  He also is the author of many articles and the legal thriller, Mahogany Row.

Wayne also is an attorney with a LLM from NYU and a Juris Doctor from St. John’s Law. He currently is the director of the Children’s Advertising Review Unit for the Council of Better Business Bureaus. He has taught filmmaking and communications at Western Connecticut State University, Fordham University, Audrey Cohen College, Baruch College, and Bronx Community College. His full bio can be found on Wikipedia at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wayne_keeley.

On a personal note, Wayne is married to Stephanie; father to three children, Wyatt, Dylan, and Sarah; and the stepfather to Stephanie’s four. Wayne enjoys time with family, movies, books, and travel. Someday he wishes to see the world with his entire brood.

The first work co-written, co-produced, and co-directed by Stephanie and Wayne was the full-length play, “Waiting For The Sun” (formerly titled “Waiting On The Sun.”) Most recently, the duo’s one-act play “Commuters” was selected as a finalist in Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s Summer One Act Play Competition 2015.  They have written, produced, and directed two additional one-acts at Manhattan Repertory Theatre,  “Life As She Knows It” and "Heaven Sent."  

This Autumn, "Heaven Sent" won the $1000 grand prize for Best Play at Manhattan Rep's Fall One Act Play Competition 2015!

 


Roma Pierro-Wolf  - Shining Star of Manhattan Rep

Roma-Pierro Wolf just recently received rave reviews from Martin Denton of nytheatre.com for her performance in DAD AND THE DOG by Ken Wolf.

"But it is Roma Pierro-Wolf, a charismatic and utterly delightful furry white Morkie, who steals the show, without uttering a single word (or bark) onstage. Basically, all she needs to do is look out at the audience, or gaze adoringly into her co-stars eyes, or sink into a chair on her back demanding that her belly be scratched. She's got everyone in the house in the palm of her... paw. But do not think for one moment that Ms. Pierro-Wolf's presence in this rather bittersweet drama is a gimmick. She portrays Missy, who was the Wolf family's dog at the time of the events depicted in this play. And her characterization—and more to the point, her character—is spot-on in this piece."

Roma Pierro-Wolf was first seen on film in Hotels for Dogs and Beverly Hills Morkie where she performed as herself in multiple roles.  Known for her expressive voice and barking ability, she will soon be appearing in Conversations with Dog by Ken Wolf, (replacing Anthony J. Ribustellofrom The Sopranos) at Manhattan Rep and reprising her role as Missy in Dad and the Dog.  Roma studied at the American Academy of Dogmatic Arts andwill be soon be appearing at The White House in a Political farce with Obama’s Dog Bo.