Ari Laura Kreith
Ari Laura Kreith is the Artistic Director of Luna Stage, where she recently directed Jenny Lyn Bader's 'Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library,' Gabriel Jason Dean’s 'Heartland' and J.Stephen Brantley’s 'Pirira.' She conceived and is currently co-creating Luna's 'Voting Writes Project' for performance in August-November 2020, and conceived/co-directed Luna's site-specific 'Secret Cities' program. Ari is also the founder and Artistic Director of Theatre 167, where she conceived and directed 'The Jackson Heights Trilogy'— '167 Tongues,' 'You Are Now The Owner Of This Suitcase,' and 'Jackson Heights 3AM' — three full-length plays collaboratively written by 18 playwrights featuring 37 actors in 93 roles in 14 languages, inspired by the world’s most diverse neighborhood. Other directing highlights include 'Mourning Sun,' which premiered at Theatre 167 and toured to Uganda; the world premiere of Tina Howe’s 'Singing Beach;' commissions for Queens Theatre and the New Ohio; and the European premiere of Adam Guettel’s 'Myths and Hymns.' Ari has developed immersive, site-specific projects for Luna Stage, Queens Museum and the NY Transit Museum. A recipient of the LPTW Lucille Lortel Visionary Award and the NYIT Caffe Cino Fellowship, Ari received her BA from Yale and her MFA from UC Davis. Ari grew up in 27 countries.
Artists in (Virtual) Residence
Jenny Lyn Bader
Jenny Lyn Bader is thrilled to be back at Luna Stage, which premiered her drama Mrs. Stern Wanders the Prussian State Library and her short play My First Time (commissioned for Voting Writes). Her other plays include Equally Divine (Theatre at the 14th St. Y), In Flight (Turn to Flesh Productions), and None of the Above (New Georges). One-acts include Worldness (Humana Festival), and Miss America (NY Int’l Fringe Festival/“Best of the Fringe selection). Honors include “Best Documentary One-Woman Show” Award (United Solo); Athena Playwriting Fellowship; and Edith Oliver Award (O’Neill Center). Her plays have been published by Dramatists Play Service, Vintage, Smith & Kraus, Applause, and Plays International + Europe magazine. For This Is Not a Theatre Company, she co-authored Café Play and Play in Your Bathtub and wrote The International Local ("Subway Plays") and Guru of Touch (Edinburgh Festival Fringe). A Harvard graduate, she has been a Lark Playwriting Fellow (nominated by Wendy Wasserstein) and a frequent contributor to the New York Times "Week in Review." She is a member of the Playwrights Gallery and The Dramatists Guild. For more, visit www.jennylynbader.com.
Matthew Martinez, a graduate from Montclair State University’s school of Theatre and Dance, is honored to be part of the amazing artistic team at Luna Stage. His journey began in Houston, Texas. After training at the Alley Theatre, he was accepted into the semi-professional drama department at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. His passion for the craft took him all the way to New York City. In 2020, he was part of the cast for 72 Miles To Go (off-Broadway). Visit his website, matthewmartinez.info to learn more about his life, artistic work, and mission.
Martine Sainvil is a Brooklyn-based Playwright and self-proclaimed Dialogue Diva, Plot Piper and Story Stan. She is a Language Collector, Globe Trekker and Cultural Communicator who feeds her curiosity by devouring great books and jumping down rabbit holes. She is a graduate of Boston University and a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. and Playwrights Gallery (NYC). As a champion of the next generation, she is a longtime mentor at The Young Women’s Leadership School in Harlem. Her writing credits include: Indispensable (2020 Resonance Ensemble Waldman Play Development Program), The Mary Lou Shine (2020 New Shokan Kitchen Island Project - Put A Woman On A Pedestal! ), Strange Happenings At The Library (Luna Stage - 2020 Orange School District commission), Like & Subscribe (2020 Playwrights Gallery Reading Series), The Good China (Finalist 2018 TRU Voices Festival), Comfort Food (Winner 3rd Place 21st Annual Henrico Theatre One-Act Showcase, Semi-finalist in Drury University ’s 2007 One-Act Play Competition, 2006 Semi Finalist Moving Arts Premiere One Act Competition, among many other fresh and fully baked plays ready to be served up.
Turron Kofi Alleyne
Director of Community Engagement
Turron Kofi Alleyne has worked with some of Hollywood’s most esteemed A-List directors, producers, and actors such as: Spike Lee, Jonathan Nolan, Mark Wahlberg, Zoe Saldana, Michael B. Jordan, Lawrence Fishburne, and others. He’s been featured in Independent Films that have premiered at various prestigious Film Festivals which include: Sundance, Tribeca, ABFF, LA Film Festival, Vails Film Festival and more. He’s currently featured as a Recurring Guest Star in the new ABC hit series “FOR LIFE” as Officer Calvin Newcombe. Mr. Alleyne is also a Writer, Director and Producer for the screen; as well as the stage.
Liz Cesario is celebrating her 10th season as Luna’s Production Manager. She is also an Equity stage manager, and has worked in many areas of theatre, including opera, straight plays, comedies, and children’s shows. Liz has experience managing a wide range of theatre sizes, from the union-staffed Bushnell Theater, which seats 2800, to the 99-seat MainStage at Luna. Liz received her BFA from The University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut.
Ann Coughlin has fifty plus years’ experience in arts administration, as the Executive Secretary to the Music Director of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as the Executive Assistant to the owner of the Herbert Barrett Management, and as the Company Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera. She is delighted to have found another professional home at Luna Stage.
Annika is a writer and performer from New York State. She has been featured on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Cinemax’s The Knick. Writing credits include the short film Not Cool (LA Indie Film Fest, SoHo Short Film Fest), in which she also starred, as well as the one-woman show You Met Me at a Very Strange Time in My Life (TriBeCa Snowballs Festival). Her feature film script Straight On ’Til Morning received multiple table reads in NYC. Annika has also written and performed music with indie rock group Bevy. She received her MFA in acting from the American Repertory Theater/ Moscow Art Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, and her BA in theater and comparative literature from Oberlin College.
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin
Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin is a writer, producer, and marketing specialist. Kaela’s a founding member of Undiscovered Countries, a Brooklyn-based incubator of new and developing interdisciplinary art. Kaela is a 2020 Bay Area Playwrights Festival finalist, a 2021 Alliance Theater/Kendeda Playwriting Award finalist, and the recipient of six Kennedy Center playwriting awards, including the Mark Twain Comic Playwriting Award and two Paul Stephen Lim Playwriting Awards. Kaela’s plays have been developed with Montana Repertory Theater and Indiana University. They've been produced in New York at venues like Dixon Place, the New Ohio, and Ars Nova. Marketing includes work with Performance Space New York (previously PS122), Undiscovered Countries, and China's largest travel company, Ctrip. MFA, Indiana University; BFA, NYU | @kaemeishing on IG, Twitter
Holly Lehren graduated with honors in 2019 from Muhlenberg College, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Theatre with a concentration in Directing. She co-founded Muhlenberg's premier Drag Troupe in 2017 and acted as creative director until 2019. She is a 2020 Fulbright Scholarship semi-finalist. She is currently the artistic associate at the Luna Stage Theatre Co. in West Orange, NJ.
Danielle Stecki is a Graphic Designer and Visual Artist. Danielle began practicing Art at a young age and possesses over ten years of professional experience in the Realism style. She creates in the forms of drawing, painting and crochet. Danielle owns and operates her own Art business selling Fine Art prints and crochet Amigurumi patterns. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts and went on to earn her Master of Arts in Art Education from Montclair State University. Danielle has taught Art privately at Art institutions in New Jersey. She has an immense passion for Disney and participated in the Disney College Program at The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida following the completion of her Masters Degree. Danielle went on to pursue a Certificate in Graphic Design from Parsons School of Design in New York City. She currently works as a Graphic Designer.
Interim Managing Director
Joey Yow is an educator, theatre practitioner, and filmmaker. A teacher at Newark Academy in Livingston, NJ, Joey leads the Technical Theatre and Film programs and is highly involved in community service and student leadership. An accomplished storyteller and filmmaker with over twenty years in the performing and visual arts, Joey is passionate about guiding teens to find their voice as artists, collaborators, and engaged citizens.
Founder & Artistic Director Emeritus
Jane Mandel is the Founding Artistic Director and served as AD for over twenty years. With her guidance, Luna Stage earned a reputation for producing excellent, intelligent, and provocative theatre, where scores of new and classic plays are brought to audiences through readings and full productions. One of her passions is for creating devised theatre. She developed and directed In The Name of the Woman, an original exploration beginning with the ancient time of the Goddess; “we don’t have enough sugar for the public,” an exploration of racism; and The American Project, an exploration of what it means to be an American. She also co-created and directed Mi Casa Tu Casa, a bilingual Latino-based play with music.
Alana Garcia is a senior at New Jersey Institute of Technology studying both communications and theatre. She works for the Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Department as an assistant videographer and has been part of the production teams behind the scenes of campus productions for about two years now. Some of the productions include Shakespeare's Macbeth and The Drowsy Chaperone. This past fall Alana also took part in the Directors' Project, where she virtually directed The Check-Up, written by Scott Mullen. She has also participated in both the Newark Playwrights Festival and the Newark Arts Festival.
Lily Greenberg is honored to be co-directing this project at Luna Stage. She has recently worked with Shakespeare in the Square as Guildenstern/Osric in Hamlet, and with Uproar Theatre Corps as Larissa in Gallathea. She is currently studying at New York University studying towards a B.S. in Educational Theatre. After graduating she plans to remain in New York where she can focus on creating new and meaningful theatre works. When not directing, Lily also enjoys acting, SFX makeup, and scenic design. She would like Ari Laura Kreith for providing her with this opportunity.
Dillon Mitcham (he/him) is a freelance theatre artist who has worked in New York, Maryland, and the vast virtual landscape. After receiving his Bachelors in Directing at Marymount Manhattan College, he focused his discipline in cultivating & collaborating in new work projects, these pieces have been produced at New York Live Arts, New Dramatists, Dixon Place, and Hip to Hip Theatre Company. Outside of working on theatrical projects, he has a background in Arts Administration in Non-Profit Arts Organizations these include; 59 E 59 Street Theatres, TADA! Youth Theatre, Theatre Forward, Maryland Theatre Education Association, and Teatro SEA.
Alexander Oleksy is an NYC based director and teaching artist originally from The Woodlands, TX. Currently studying Educational Theatre at NYU Steinhardt, Alex has focused on developing new works and helping young audiences fall in love with exciting and accessible theatre like he did in middle and high school. Selected directing credits include: Another Number in the Pool (Luna Stage), Short Plays for the Shortest of Days (Luna Stage), the searcher is Lost (Broke People Play Festival), Bad Feminist (NYU Steinhardt), Shutter Speed (Uproar Theatre x WNYU), Seussical the Musical (Lamplighters NYU), and How to Own a Gun in America (College Park Theatre).