Address: 417 West State/ MLK, Jr. St., Ithaca, NY 14850
Mailing Address: PO Box 429, Ithaca, NY 14851
Administrative Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00am - 6:00pm
Summer Office Hours: Monday-Friday 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Saturday by appointment via emily @ kitchentheatre.org
Rachel Lampert, Artistic Director
Stephen Nunley, Managing Director
Lesley Greene, Associate Producing Director
Jennifer Schilansky, Production Stage Manager
Brendan Komala, Technial Director
Michelle Blau,Arts Administration Fellow
Julia Poholek, Graphic Design & Marketing Fellow
Tasha Sinclair, Stage Management Fellow
Rachel Lampert has served as Artistic Director of Kitchen Theatre Company for twenty seasons. During her tenure, the theater has gone through several transitions. Under her leadership, the Kitchen emerged artistically, becoming a center for new and outside-the-box plays, a champion of women directors, and the producer of many works by artists of color. She was central to the organization and implementation of Kitchen Theatre Company's first-ever capital campaign that resulted in the acquisition of a permanent home for the theater. She is forever grateful to all the friends and supporters of the Kitchen who have contributed to this enormous effort to make great theater, give artists a place to work, and reflect the diversity and interests of our community.
Lampert is a playwright, director and choreographer. Her work at the Kitchen includes: Director: Peter and the Starcatcher (with Sara Lampert Hoover), Lonely Planet, Thin Walls, Venus in Fur, Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Opus, Broke-ology, Red Light Winter, The Mystery of Irma Vep, Mary's Wedding, Gutenberg! The Musical!, Secret Order, Last Train to Nibroc, The Glass Menagerie, The Price, Master Class, A Delicate Balance, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Swimming in the Shallows among many others. Playwright: Main Stage Musicals Book & Lyrics for Waiting for Spring, Bed No Breakfast, Comfort Food, Tony & the Soprano, The Angle of the Sun and Precious Nonsense. Main Stage Movement Pieces: In the Company of Dancers and Summers at Rock's Edge. Main Stage Non-musical plays: Count Me In; And, lately…; Losing Myself; The Trial; The Book Club; Frankenstein and The Soup Comes Last. Family Fare: I Have a Song to Sing O!, Scoot, Sizzle & Slide, The Mozart Mystery, The Odyssey parts 1 & 2, A December Suite, and A Christmas Carol, among others.
Over the years, Rachel has been active in the Ithaca arts community beyond the Kitchen, having directed and choreographed at the Hangar Theatre (director: Sweeney Todd, Falsettos, The Sisters Rosensweig; choreographer: 2007 production of Hair). Other collaborations include: Rounds for Orchestra with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, A Soldier's Tale with Ensemble X, and dance pieces with Music's Recreation. Her play Bet You Can't Catch It? was commissioned by AIDSWORK of Tompkins County as part of an educational program for teens and toured Central NY for three years.
Directing and theatrical choreography credits outside Ithaca include productions at Cal Rep, Arkansas Rep, Portland Stage Company, New York's Public Theatre, Mill Mountain Theatre and Hawaii Opera Theatre. Her concert dance works have been in the repertories of numerous dance companies in the U.S. and abroad. Her trip to China in 1997 to stage West Side Story resulted in her writing The Soup Comes Last, produced off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in Fall 2004. The Angle of the Sun (written by Lampert & Pressgrove) was selected by the New York Musical Theatre Festival to be presented in NYC in September 2007. Rachel is a 4-time recipient of NEA Choreography Fellowships and a CAP Individual Artist Grant. She received a SALT Award for Best Actress 2004. She attended Mount Holyoke College and has a BFA and MFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Raised in Brooklyn, she moved to Ithaca as a trailing spouse right behind her husband David Squires in 1995. They enjoy a wonderful house, two terrific dogs, and friends always visiting.
Rachel is stepping down at the end of the 2016-17 season. In her final season, she will direct Hand To God, Birds of East Africa and Sex With Strangers. "This has been an ever-engaging, always challenging and ultimate immensely satisfying job. I am looking forward to working with all the artists I will collaborate with this season, and I thank everyone: the public for their engagement and support, the staff for their indefatigable commitment, the board of directors, and the many friends who have been on the stage, behind-the-scenes, on email, on the other end of a late-night phone call, who contributed to making Kitchen Theatre Company a place where important conversations can happen."
Over the years, Stephen Nunley has lived in the following cities: Buffalo/Williamsville (ages 0-18), Troy, NY (18-23), Boston (23-29), and New York City (29-52), including time in Little Rock and Auckland NZ (1 year) during the NYC years, topping it off with Ithaca. Some of his job experiences over the years include (not necessarily in chronological order): coat checker at the Buffalo Museum of Science; financial management trainee at General Electric Silicon Products plant; waiter at Friendly's in Boston; 7th & 8th grade math teacher; arts counselor at Tanglewood; modern dancer; waiter at Devon House in NYC; waiter, floor manager and general manager at 18th & 8th restaurant in NYC; part-time bookkeeper; bagger at the Williamsville, NY A&P. As a dancer, he has performed and taught in: Belgium, New Zealand, Estonia, Latvia, Germany, Brazil, towns and cities from Maine to Hawaii… and Carnegie Hall. Since 2004 he has made his home in Ithaca, where he serves on the Strategic Tourism and Planning Board, is a member of the Ithaca Rotary Club, and sings second tenor in the Ithaca Gay Men's Chorus.
Associate Producing Director
Lesley Greene has been a big fan of Kitchen Theatre Company since soon after she happened to see a performance by Rachel Lampert & Dancers in 1997. She began to volunteer and work part-time at the theater in 1998 and has been a full-time staff member since 2003. Lesley studied physics, geology, and atmospheric science at Cornell University (and has three degrees to prove it). All that science training finally became useful in last season's Physics Fair, a musical she wrote with Lampert and performed at Kitchen Theatre Company in January 2015 and at the American Association of Physics Teachers meeting in Maryland last summer. Lesley's work at the Kitchen includes leading the marketing area, creating sound & projection designs (Mary's Wedding, The Brothers Size, The Whipping Man, Last Train to Nibroc, Speech and Debate, among others) composing music (Physics Fair, Park Play, Winter Tales, Emmett & Ella's Big Apple Escapade, and more), dancing and choreographing for Dance the Night Away, and acting in Family Fare productions. Lesley is a co-founder of Porchfest, a music festival held on the porches of the Fall Creek and Northside neighborhoods since 2007. Her husband is Robbert van Renesse – Ithaca's only ukulele-playing, unicycle-riding computer scientist – and they have great kids!
Production Stage Manager
Jennifer Schilansky has been the resident stage manager since 2012. Previous production favorites include: Peter and the Starcatcher, The Mountaintop, Paloma, Sunset Baby, Lonely Planet, Swimming in the Shallows, Slashes of Light, From White Plains, Cock, What I Thought I Knew, The Motherf**ker With the Hat, The Whipping Man and Brian Dykstra Selling Out. Prior to moving to Ithaca, she spent five years as the resident stage manager for Stageworks Theater in Hudson, NY. Credits for Stageworks include: The Divine Sister, The Amish Project, Imagining Madoff, Nowhere On The Border, Forbidden Broadway, Falling: A Wake, Souvenir and Gutenberg! The Musical! She has also stage managed for Half Moon Theater in Poughkeepsie and Bard College. As an actor, she performed the role of Killer as well as the Stage Manager for The Time Of Your Life at the Rhinebeck Performing Arts Center, Madeline Monroe in Tony & Tina's Wedding at Proctors in Schenectady, NY and numerous productions with Classics at the Point. A native of Catskill, NY, Jennifer holds a BA in Acting from Lycoming College in Williamsport, PA. Jen enjoys exploring the gorges of Ithaca with her sidekick and unofficial KTC mascot, Buddy, and her husband Eric.
Brendan Komala is joining the Kitchen for his seventh season of theater in downtown Ithaca after several years working on the Cornell campus. He has built sets for a number of groups including the Cornell's Department of Theatre, Film, and Dance, Steppenwolf Theatre, Next Theatre Company, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, and Breadline Theater Group, among others. He is happy to be joining KTC for another year of creative creations.
Arts Administration Fellow
Michelle Blau graduated from Ithaca College with a BA in Theatre Studies in May 2016. She previously stage
managed Ithaca College's Mainstage production of Anon(ymous) and has worked with companies such as
Shakespeare on the Sound, The Cherry and Opera Ithaca. She is thrilled to continue working in the field
of theater in the incredible town of Ithaca that she now calls home.
Marketing and Design Fellow
Julia Poholek is from Tampa, Florida. A recent college graduate, her studies were concentrated in Film and New Media. She is a former Programming Intern for WUSF Public Media, Tampa Bay's NPR station. For over two years, she was
the creator and host of The Sound House, a premiere rock and blues show on her college's radio station.
Julia has spent three summers as a backstage volunteer for Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival in Manchester,
Tennessee. She is greatly influenced by her parents, a jazz guitarist and an art teacher. She is a passionate fan
of visual media, and theater has long been a love and priority in her life. Julia is very excited to join the KTC and be a part of Ithaca's flourishing arts scene!
Stage Management Fellow
Tasha Sinclair is incredibly excited and grateful for the opportunity to be at Kitchen in the fall! She was born and raised in central Iowa and graduated from high school in 2009. Before this crazy, amazing world of theatre stole her heart, she was a nursing student. Since becoming involved with Stage Management, she hasn't looked back! What she loves about theater is the sense of community and watching a show come to life from the auditions all the way to live shows. Theater has always been like magic to her, and she feels very lucky to have found a place for herself in it. Tasha can't wait to see where this adventure takes her!