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Staff Directory

M. Bevin O'Gara, Producing Artistic Director
Stephen Nunley, Managing Director
Lesley Greene, Associate Producing Director
Maura Cody, Director of Development
Jennifer Schilansky, Production Stage Manager
Brendan Komala
, Technical Director
Jewell Payne, Box Office Manager
Benno Ressa, Bar Manager
William Gfeller, Administrative Fellow & Office Manager
Zoë Golub-Sass, Artistic Fellow
Julia Pacheco-Cole, Marketing & Design Fellow
Loren Roth, Stage Management Fellow
Alice Goddard, "Next Steps" Front of House Trainee
Derek Maguire, "Next Steps" Front of House Trainee
Mitchell Wajda, Development Intern

M. Bevin O'Gara

M. Bevin O'Gara
Producing Artistic Director

Email: bevin@kitchentheatre.org

M. Bevin O'Gara (Producing Artistic Director) is excited to join the team here at the Kitchen Theatre Company and to get to know the Ithaca community. Bevin spent the last 15 years with the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Massachusetts most recently filling the role of Associate Producer. During her time there Bevin oversaw dozens of productions, workshops and readings and played an active role in realizing new work by writers such as Craig Lucas, Kirsten Greenidge, Melinda Lopez, Stephen Karam, Lydia Diamond and A. Rey Pamatmat.  She worked to create the first Huntington programing for the Robert's Studio Theatre with David Cromer’s production of Our Town, which won the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production in 2013.


As a director her credits include The Who and The What by Ayad Aktar,  Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge (Elliot Norton Award nomination for Best Production) and Becoming Cuba by Melinda Lopez at the Huntington Theatre Company; The Bridges of Madison County, appropriate, A Future Perfect, Tribes (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for Best Production), and Clybourne Park with SpeakEasy Stage Company;  Brahman/i, Chronicles of Kalki, You for Me for You, Love Person, and The Pain and the Itch with Company One Theatre; Phedre with Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Fast Company with the Lyric Stage Company, Marjorie Prime with the Nora Theatre Company, How Soft the Lining and Translations with Bad Habit Productions, Two Wives in India and Gary with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 2.5 Minute Ride with New Repertory Theatre, and Melancholy Play with Holland Productions.

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She has worked as the Artistic Associate at the New Repertory Theatre in Watertown, MA, where she started their second stage series called Downstairs at New Rep. Other companies include Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Actor’s Center of Australia and the Gaiety School in Dublin. Bevin has been a Guest Artist or Lecture at several Boston area schools including Harvard University, Emerson College, Brandeis University, Boston University, Tufts University, Boston College, Boston Conservatory and Northeastern University.


Bevin is the proud recipient of the Lois Roach Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Boston Theatre Community and was recognized by the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf for her commitment to D/deaf and hard of hearing artists. She holds a BFA from Boston University.  mbevinogara.com.


 

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Stephen Nunley

Stephen Nunley
Managing Director

Email: stephen@kitchentheatre.org

Over the years, Stephen Nunley (Managing Director) 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.

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Lesley Greene

Lesley Greene
Associate Producing Director

Email: lesley@kitchentheatre.org

Lesley Greene (Associate Producing Director) 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!

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Maura Cody

Maura Cody
Director of Development

Email: maura@kitchentheatre.org

Maura Cody (Director of Development) grew up in Ithaca and is delighted to be back in town and joining the KTC team. In the years since she left Ithaca, Maura has lived in Paris, Hong Kong, Princeton, and Los Angeles, as well as the hill station of Kodaikanal in Southern India. Most recently, Maura worked in development for a private high school in the Hudson Valley. Maura’s love of the stage began in high school, and has never stopped. Over the years she has acted in, written, and produced plays, stage managed, operated light and sound boards, and torn tickets for many productions. She was the recipient of the Francis LeMoyne Page Theater Award at Princeton University. Now, Maura’s work in development and her love of and passion for theatre are joining in her role as Director of Development for the Kitchen Theatre!

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Jennifer Schilansky

Jennifer Schilansky
Production Stage Manager

Email: jen@kitchentheatre.org

Jennifer Schilansky(Production Stage Manager) has been the resident stage manager since 2012. Previous production favorites include: Birds of East Africa, Hand to God, 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. This past summer, she was the Production Stage Manager for the Hangar Theatre's Dégagé.  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. 

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Brendan Komala

Brendan Komala
Technical Director

Email: brendan@kitchentheatre.org

Brendan Komala(Technical Director) has been building sets (and other things) for KTC ever since the transition to the "new" building, building every set but one in the last 8 years. A  transplant from the midwest where he worked primarily for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (and a variety of smaller Chicago area groups), he worked for Cornell on arriving in Ithaca and now enjoys the KTC family and looks forward to our new adventures for this season.

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Jewell Payne

Jewell Payne
Box Office Manager

Email: jewell@kitchentheatre.org

Jewell Payne (Box Office Manager) is a 20-year-old aspiring actress who is absolutely thrilled to be coming back for her 3rd year here at the Kitchen. Her introduction to the Kitchen Theatre was when she was 8 years old and was cast in the Kitchen’s production of Rebecca Returns. This show sparked her love of theatre and performing, and she has continued performing at various places around the community ever since. She has performed at the Hangar Theatre, Ithaca College, and throughout her middle and high school years at Boynton Middle School and Ithaca High, as well as participating in several shows with Ithaca’s Running to Places Theatre Company. She also once opened a concert for Diggy Simmons. Jewell is currently taking some time off of school to work and save up but plans to eventually attend a musical theatre BFA program. She would like to thank Stephen Nunley, Lesley Greene, Rachel Lampert and Bevin O'Gara for giving her this opportunity and for always believing in her. She thoroughly enjoys working with everyone here at the Kitchen Theatre. 

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Benno Ressa

Benno Ressa
Bar Manager

Email: benno@kitchentheatre.org

Benno Ressa (Bar Manager) is a vocal performance graduate from Chapman University, a student of the Bartender's Training Institute in Burbank, California and a previous bartender for the Los Angeles Music Center.  A recent transplant to Ithaca, Benno became the Kitchen Theatre bar manager and a performer for Fits and Starts as well as the Auburn Public Theatre. When he isn't bartending for the Kitchen, he's interning for Opera Ithaca.  

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Will Gfeller

William Gfeller
Administrative Fellow & Office Manager

William Gfeller (Administrative Fellow & Office Manager) is a Horseheads, New York native and a recent graduate from SUNY Geneseo, where he pursued a dual degree in Theatre and Media Studies. He has been actively involved in theatre since age 10 and has worked with Central City Opera, Finger Lakes Opera, and the Rochester Fringe Festival. On stage, William has appeared as Lady Bracknell in Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest and in the ensemble of Pasek and Paul’s Dogfight(among other roles) at SUNY Geneseo. In addition to his work on stage, he has directed several pieces with the SUNY Geneseo Department of Theatre, including a fully-staged production of Douglas Carter Beane’s The Little Dog Laughed and a studio production of Stephen Dietz’s Lonely Planet. In the future, William hopes to pursue graduate study in Dramaturgy and work as an artistic administrator for a nonprofit performing arts organization.

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Zoë Golub-Sass

Zoë Golub-Sass
Artistic Fellow

Email: zoe@kitchentheatre.org

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Zoë Golub-Sass (Artistic Fellow) makes her way to Ithaca by way of Boston, MA. Her directing credits include: R&J Redux (also Co-Adaptor, FringePVD), Twelfth Night(Leonard Bernstein Festival of the Creative Arts), and Macbeth (Brandeis Department of Theater Arts). She has served as the dramaturg on The Beard of Avon (Santa Cruz Shakespeare) and Dead Man’s Cell Phone (also Assistant Director, Brandeis Department of Theater Arts). Additional assisting credits include: Los Meadows(Boston Public Works), Mrs. Packard (Bridge Repertory Theater), A Doll’s House(Huntington Theatre Company), and Marjorie Prime (Central Square Theater). Zoë studied theater and English at Brandeis University.

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Julia Pacheco-Cole

Julia Pacheco-Cole
Marketing & Design Fellow

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Julia Pacheco-Cole (Marketing & Design Fellow) is a native of Newberry, South Carolina and a recent graduate of Cornell University where she earned her BFA in Fine Arts. At Cornell, she assisted in marketing and design for The Dyson Media Innovation Group, the Latino Living Center, and the Alpha Chapter of Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. She also completed freelance projects in photography and logo design for various campus partners and within the greater Ithaca community. She is thrilled to be spending another year here, seeing Ithaca from a different perspective and immersing herself in the world of theatre. 

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Loren Roth

Loren Roth
Stage Management Fellow

Email: loren@kitchentheatre.org

Loren Roth (Stage Management Fellow) is thrilled to be joining the Kitchen Theatre Company for the 2017-2018 season! She recently graduated from Clark University where she studied psychology, education, and theatre. At Clark, she worked as a stage manager, production manager, and props master on numerous productions. Favorite credits include: Heathers, The Drowsy Chaperone, and Reality Check.  This past summer she worked at Adirondack Theatre Festival where she stage managed The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and assistant stage managed Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat and The Boy in the Bathroom. She is excited to be moving to Ithaca and seeing all the area has to offer.

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Loren Roth

Mitchell Wajda
Development Intern

Email: mitchell@kitchentheatre.org

Mitchell Wajda (Development Intern) is incredibly grateful to the Kitchen Theatre Company family for having him be a part of their 2017-2018 season. Mitchell is a junior BFA Writing for Film and Television major at Ithaca College where he has written numerous film and television projects including crime-thriller Ovid (nominated for Best Student Film at the 2017 Monmouth Film Festival). He has also served as a story consultant on dozens of student film projects at Ithaca College. His most recent writing credit, The Jetted Fall, is a student thesis film that recently wrapped production in Queens, New York.

Mitchell is no stranger to the theatre, either. He was a House Manager Intern for the Contemporary American Theatre Festival’s 25th season (Shepherdstown, West Virginia) and his recent acting credits include Ithaca College productions of Scarcity by Lucy Thurber and American Idiot! Mitchell was also seen this past summer in the world premiere of That Time at Black Lake by Vicki Koestler at the Old Opera House in Charles Town, West Virginia. Mitchell is excited to take a theatrical journey with the staff of the Kitchen for the upcoming season!

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