* Designates Original Cast Member/Role Development
Artistic Directors, Creators & Producers
Zach Morris (Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director) is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer, director, visual artist and Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects. He is also the organizer and moderator of the NYC Dance Film Lab, a Movement Research teaching artist, an adjunct faculty member of the Florida State University School of Dance, and a professor of Shakespeare at Manhattanville College. He has previously served as the Co-Creator and Co-Director of the Westbeth New Works Program and as the Inter/National Program Associate at Dance Theater Workshop. Zach has a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University.
Tom Pearson (Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director/White Rabbit*) is a Bessie Award-winning choreographer, director, performer, visual artist, and Co-Artistic Director of Third Rail Projects. He is an adjunct faculty member of the Florida State University School of Dance and has choreographed, performed, lectured and taught for more than a decade in New York and beyond. He is also a writer whose work has been published in Dance Magazine, Time Out New York Kids, Dance Spirit and as the Editor of the Public Theater’s Native Theater Journal online and in filmed interviews for NYU’s Hemispheric Institute. Tom holds an MA in Performance Studies from New York University.
Jennine Willett (Third Rail Projects Co-Artistic Director/White Queen*) is a Bessie-Award winning choreographer, director, performer, writer, and educator. Her work has taken shape in many forms including staged dance works, site-specific performances that reframe and transform public spaces, and immersive experiences — where the edges between performer and audience are blurred and the narrative is experienced from inside of the story itself.
Drawing from subjects that are close to home, Jennine looks for ways to transport audiences to another time and place and to connect through relatable life experiences, from the poignant to the pathetic, the wry to the downright silly. Her most recent works include the co-creation of the critically acclaimed immersive theater work Then She Fell, voted one of the top ten shows of 2012 by The New York Times and Roadside Attraction, a traveling time-capsule created for a vintage 70s era pop-up camper and six performers.
Jennine leads Third Rail Projects’ education initiatives and teaches workshops that share the methods and skills that come into play when working without a fourth wall, as well as choreography classes that explore movement-based narratives. Her courses attract artists of all mediums and she creates “think tank” environments that encourage experimentation and collaboration, both of which are an integral part of Third Rail’s work.
Jennine holds an MFA degree from Florida State University in Performance and Choreography. After graduation, she moved to Bytom, Poland to join the Silesian Dance Theater, the country’s first professional contemporary dance company. For two years, she performed throughout Poland, Germany, Russia, and the U.S. She remained in Poland for an additional year, teaching and choreographing for companies and State ballet schools and performing her own solo works. In 2001, she moved to New York and soon after, co-founded what would become Third Rail Projects. She lives in Larchmont, NY with her husband Paul Millman, and her two children, Owen and Andie.
Collaborating Artists, Performers, and Production
NJ Agwuna (Assistant Stage Manager Swing) is a freelance director and film PA, hailing from the ‘burb’s of central Maryland. Performing from a young age, NJ found herself drawn more to the directorial and technical side of theatre. In 2009 she pursued her passion for theatre, at Binghamton University, where she majored in Theatre Directing and Cinema. A recent resident of NYC, some of NJ’s credits include Amazing Spider-Man 2, Alondra was Here (Stage Manager), Bodega Bay (Asst. Stage Manager), Alice In Wonderland (Stage Manager), Today’s Special, Boardwalk Empire, Elementary, The Following, Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More (Stage Management Sub), and Redhead Randy; Anti-Bullyingfilm. In her spare time she coaches auditioning techniques for young actors, rehearses with her musical Improv troupe, works on devising new pieces, and assists with casting at various casting agencies. She is thrilled to be a part of Third Rail Projects. She would like to thank her amazing parents, sister, & friend for always supporting her. www.njagwuna.com
D. R. Baker (Production Assistant) is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York City. His work includes music, theatre, and film projects, and endeavors to bridge the gap between mediums. He received his BFA in theatre production from Ohio University and currently serves as the technical director for the School of Arts Theatre program in East Brunswick, New Jersey.
Rachel I. Berman (Performer) is a dancer and performer. In addition to Third Rail Projects, Rachel works with choreographers Sarah Michelson and Rebecca Warner. Rachel studied at the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance and at the University of California, Irvine where she received her BFA in performance and choreography. Rachel was grown on Maui. She lives in Brooklyn.
Carly Berrett (Performer) is originally from Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her MFA in dance from the University of Utah and her BA from Brigham Young University. She was an assistant professor at the University of Utah Department of Modern Dance from 2006-2009. Carly has been fortunate enough to work with Gesel Mason, Doug Varone, Kevin Ho, Ching-I Chang, Nico Li, Megan Bascom, Bill Evans, Daniel Nagrin, Stephen Koester, Jose Navas, and performed in the works of Alwin Nikolais, Helen Tamiris, and Glen Tetley. She works as a teaching artist across the five boroughs in New York City in the public schools and at the 92Y. Carly also moonlights as a freelance grant writer and filmmaker.
Lia Bonfilio (Performer) received a BFA in dance from Columbia College Chicago and went on to join both Mordine and Company Dance Theater and Lucky Plush Productions, with whom she danced and toured for three years. She has also performed with Joe Goode Performance Group in San Francisco and Susan Rethorst, Daniela Hoff, Philippa Kaye, and Kathy Wasik in New York. Lia is currently working with Levi Gonzalez and Sina Heiss. She is thrilled to be joining the cast of Then She Fell.
TJ Burleson (Assistant Stage Manager) is a native Texan with a BA in Theatre and Linguistics from Rice University. After graduating, he studied at Binghamton University for one year and worked as the Costume Shop Graduate Assistant. Now he mainly does wardrobe and costume work for Ars Nova Theater (Game Play, New Year’s at Ars Nova, Eager to Lose) and Third Rail Projects’ Then She Fell, where he is also a swing ASM.
Elizabeth Carena (Third Rail Projects Managing Director/Collaborating Artist/Hatter*) is a performer, installation artist, and arts administrator. Since 2007, she has served as Third Rail Projects’ Managing Director and has collaborated on and performed in Strangers on Tong Chong Street, The Drifting Encyclopedia, Undercurrents & Exchange, The Steampunk Haunted House, Looking Glass, Then She Fell, and Roadside Attraction. As an administrator, she served as Capital Associate at Theatre for a New Audience from 2007-2012. As a musician, she is a member of the NYC rock band Mother Feather, and has performed at venues across the city including Bowery Ballroom, The Gramercy Theater, Brooklyn Bowl, Mercury Lounge, Rockwood Music Hall, and many others. She studied at Fordham University at Lincoln Center (BA in Theatre), the British American Drama Academy in London, and HB Studios in New York. www.elizabethcarena.com
Brittany Crowell (Production Manager) is a theater artist and administrator. Brittany has worked as a Producer, Production Manager and Stage Manager with many companies, including: The TRUF, The Bower Group, Tinker’s Collective, Oscar + Lottie, [CENSORED] Collective, and Anthill Productions. Administratively, she has worked as the Management Coordinator at the revitalized Bucks County Playhouse and as Executive Assistant to Producer, Jill Furman. She currently serves as the Managing Director of Crashbox Theater Company and is thrilled to be working with the wonderful team at Third Rail Projects.
Alberto Denis (Collaborating Artist/Lewis Carroll*) has toured the world as a performer and theater technician. He has performed for Arthur Aviles’ Typical Theater and in projects for Doug Elkins, Risa Jaroslow, Palissimo Dance Theater, Dixie Fun Dance Theater, ann and alexx make dances, Marta Renzi, Michael Leleux, Heidi Latsky Dance, Lawrence Goldhuber, Luis Lara Malvacias, JoAnna Mendl Shaw’s Equus Projects, and Mei Yin Ng’s Mei-Be Whatever. He was a featured performer in The Whitney’s Christian Marclay: Festival performance of Prêt-a´-Porter, and his own choreography has been produced at Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, Dixon Place, BAAD!, LaGuardia Performing Arts Center and Kinetics Dance Theater in Baltimore. about.me/albertodenis.
Lindsey Dietz-Marchant (Performer) is a freelance dance artist based in NYC since 1998 that has performed with over 30 choreographers, including Palissimo (Pavel Zustiak), Martha Clarke, Kate Weare, Tami Stronach Dance, Doug Elkins, Aszure Barton, Monica Bill Barnes, Ursula Eagly, and Elena Demyanenko. Lindsey’s own choreographic work has toured internationally from Russia to Australia, recent NYC commissions by Danspace Project, Music-Theatre Group, Harkness Dance Center, and Dance New Amsterdam, among others. Lindsey has been commissioned by and taught at Universities and Conservatories such as Bennington, NYU-Tisch School of the Arts, Princeton, Marymount Manhattan College, University of Iowa, University of Michigan, SUNY Purchase, University of New South Wales (Australia) and Chunky Move (Australia). In NYC Lindsey teaches at Movement Research and at Dance New Amsterdam. dietzmarchant.com.
Dana Gal (Assistant Stage Manager Swing)is a freelance stage and event manager currently residing in Brooklyn. She is grateful to have worked with Third Rail Projects since December 2013 on Then She Fell and Roadside Attraction. Dana has worked in Phoenix, the San Francisco Bay Area, and at Williamstown Theatre Festival and Berkshire Theatre Group. When not working, she enjoys travel, making lists, and attempting to cook.
Samantha Gass (Assistant Stage Manager) is a freelance stage manager and scenic painter. NYC credits include Project Rushmore Theatre Co., Gotham Radio Theatre, and Vital Theatre Company’s production of Pinkalicious, the Musical. Sam is an alumna of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, where she earned her BFA in stage management. Love and eternal gratitude to her family, friends, and the man in plaid.
Carolyn Hall (Performer), originally from Los Angeles, is a freelance dancer based in NYC since 1996. She has performed nationally and internationally with numerous choreographers – most recently: Lionel Popkin, Clarinda Mac Low, Ori Flomin, Sally Silvers and Rebecca Davis. She was awarded a New York Dance and Performance (Bessie) Award for performance in 2002. In addition to her life as a dancer, she is an historical marine ecologist and has been enjoying exploring ways to combine her art and science halves. One way to achieve this is by being on the board of iLAND, the Interdisciplinary Laboratory of Art, Nature, and Dance – check it out: http://www.ilandart.org
Julia Kelly (Performer), a Virginia native now hailing from Brooklyn, is a performing artist always and director/choreographer sometimes. She holds a BA in Dance and Theater from Barnard College/Columbia University, where her directing thesis was (coincidence?) a Grotowski-informed physical theater adaptation of Alice in Wonderland. Julia has performed in dance, theater, opera and film projects with, among others: Jonathan Riedel, Benn Rasmussen, Andre Zachery, the VIA Dance Collaborative, Daniel Fetecua Soto (Colombia), Geraldine Cardiel (Mexico), Lior Shneior (Israel), Opera Slavica, and the Gallery Players. Julia is an alumna of the Limón Institute’s intensive certificate program and subsequently performed the work of Doris Humphrey, José Limón and Anna Sokolow, most recently with the Limón Dance Company in Beijing, China, and at Lincoln Center. This is her first wild adventure with Third Rail Projects.
Roxanne Kidd (Performer) is a dancer and teaching artist now residing in Brooklyn. As an Alumna of Florida State University, with her BFA in dance, she teaches performance and dance for the arts education program LeAp while performing with Third Rail Projects as a cast member of Then She Fell. In her first year with the company, she has also performed in other Third Rail Projects works including Marrow and now Yolk. Roxanne is currently continuing the pursuit of her own artistic endeavors in New York City.
Madison Krekel (Performer) is a freelance dancer and actor who has unlimited interests in the world of art. Dancing since she was three, Madison studied with Ronn Guidi of The Oakland Ballet for much of her youth. In 2010 she earned a BFA in Dance Performance at the University of California, Irvine, where she was a member of the Etude Ensemble led by the renowned Donald McKayle. Now living in New York, Madison has performed works by Alexandra Beller, Alexis Convento, Vanessa Walters, LeeSaar The Company, Palissimo, Mark Lamb Dance, Jodie Gates, Charles Moulton, Alex Ketley, and Ohad Naharin. She has danced in music videos for Rush Midnight and Zola Jesus. Behind the scenes, Madison has worked as a production assistant for Eva Dean’s Bounce at the Prague Fringe Festival (2013) and written dance reviews for OFFOFFOFFF, the online alternative arts magazine. In addition to her work with Third Rail Projects, she is an ASTEP on STAGE! volunteer, a company member of ANIMALS Performance Group and tours internationally with Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company’s UNTITLED FEMINIST SHOW.
Mary Madsen (Performer) is a freelance dance artist based in NYC since 2003. She grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and holds a BFA in dance from the University of Milwaukee-WI. Mary currently dances for Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects and the Resonance Collective. Other choreographers she has had the pleasure to work with include: Regina Nejman, John J Zullo, Rebollar Dance Theater (D.C.), Kelly Anderson (Chicago), & Simone Ferro (Milwaukee). Mary also experiments with solo choreography, film creation, and collaborations with music artists namely The Glass Half & Summer Come Yelling. She co-founded the Indie Rock group Jigsaw Soul (’05-’08) and appeared in their music video Cockroach Hotel. She currently lives in Brooklyn, and is thrilled to be a part of Third Rail Projects!
Rebekah Morin (Collaborating Artist/Red Queen*) has been performing and creating dance works in NYC and abroad since 1998, both as an independent artist, and with Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects (2001-2011) and The Equus Projects (2007-2012). Rebekah holds a BA in Dance from CT College and is a registered yoga teacher with Laughing Lotus. Through The Equus Projects, she has trained with some of the finest natural horsemanship professionals in the world. She has performed in the dance films of JODP, The Equus Projects, Amy Greenfield, Mantis Dance, Becky Radway Dance Projects, and with Third Rail Projects (since 2010).
Haylee Nichele (Performer) was born and raised in Port Alberni, British Columbia. She holds a B.F.A in dance from the Juilliard School. She has danced for Benjamin Millepied under the direction of Steven Wadsworth in The Bartered Bride (2011) and Portals (2011) under the direction of Timothy Fain. She has been a dancer at the Yard’s Bessie Schönberg Residency under the direction of David White (2011). She has worked for the Met Opera in Laurent Pelly’s Manon (2012) and Francois Girard’s Parsifal (2013). She has performed for Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More (2011- 2014), and is currently dancing for Brian Brooks Moving Company. This is Haylee’s first season with Third Rail Projects!
Marissa Nielsen-Pincus (Third Rail Projects Associate Artistic Director/Rehearsal Director/ Collaborating Artist/Alice*) has worked in a wide variety of contexts including site specific performance, aerial dance, interactive media, and film. She is a founding member of Third Rail Projects (2001), and currently serves as its Associate Artistic Director. Her own choreography has been presented at The World Financial Center, Chashama, and La Mama E.T.C., and her dance film, BeWing, is slated to premiere in 2012. Marissa studied contemporary dance at the London Studio Centre, is a certified Somatic Movement Educator through the School for Body Mind Centering®, and teaches yoga and anatomy around NYC. She lives in Brooklyn with a man and two cats.
Tara O’Con (Collaborating Artist/Alice*) is a contributing member of Third Rail Projects, O’Con also performs regularly for mvworks/Megan Sprenger, and various other freelance projects. O’Con’s own work has been presented in showcases around NYC, including Dancenow | NYC, and Dance Theater Workshop’s Fresh Tracks series. Her work has also been commissioned and presented by Danspace Project and most recently at The Chocolate Factory Theater. Outside of the dance world, she and Zach Morris co-choreographed a play by Dawn C. Sellers, which premiered in Tucson, AZ in April 10’. taraocon.wordpress.com
Joshua Reaver (Performer) lives as a dancer and freelance technologist. As a graduate of FSU with a BFA in Dance, Joshua has had the opportunity to perform with Third Rail Projects, Amalgamate Dance Company, Kinetic Architecture, and various other projects since moving to New York. His alternate lifestyle has enabled him to collaborate with such people as Shen Wei, Shen Wei Dance Arts, ZviDance, Ariane Reinhart and the Pema Chödrön Foundation on projects including website construction, video editing, and projection design. (For more information visit joshuareaver.com) In his spare time, Joshua enjoys playing guitar, building computers, and spending hours in the kitchen creating elaborate dishes for others to enjoy.
Edward Rice (Performer), originally from the suburbs of Chicago, holds a BS and MFA in Dance from Illinois State University and the University of Iowa, respectively. He has performed with Jennifer Kayle + Company, The Brian Brooks Moving Company, Stone Depot Dance Lab, Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects, Amber Sloan, Elizabeth Dishman, Laura Peterson Choreography, Benn Rasmussen’s Ardent August, Alexandra Beller/Dances, and in Punchdrunk’s Sleep No More. He has taught throughout the Mid-West, at Dance New Amsterdam, The New School, The International Dance Festival in Bytom, Poland and The Open Look Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia. His choreography received honors at American College Dance Festival, and has been performed throughout the Mid-West, in NYC at Dixon Place and as part of Synethesia by Electric Pear Productions. He is Producer of RoofTop Dance and Company Manager for Alexandra Beller/Dances.
Since 2002, Zoë Schieber (Collaborating Artist/Doctor*) has shown her own work in the streets and in traditional venues in New York, Asheville, and Galway. She has performed with several New York choreographers including Eva Dean, Noémie LaFrance, and Abby Bender. A Georgia native, she graduated from Tulane University with an Anthropology degree. When she is not dancing or trying to get to the woods she is teaching the Feldenkrais Method of Somatic Education. For more information please visit zoozimoves.com.
Samara Seligsohn (Production Assistant), originally from Fort Lauderdale, FL, now lives in NYC doing freelance work in Dance and Theater production/administration and working as a professional tap dancer. After graduating from Barnard College with a BA in Dance, she worked for two years as the Assistant Artist Manager at Divine Rhythm Productions. She has also been a production assistant on Jason Samuel Smith & Co.’s Chasing the Bird at the Joyce Theater, and on The American Tap Dance Foundations Rhythm is Our Business at the 14th Street Y. She has also been part of the run crew for dance festival concerts around the country. Samara currently dances in Nicholas Young’s SoundMovement Dance Company and Chloe Arnold’s Apt#33, while also teaching tap on faculty at Steps on Broadway. She is so excited to join the team at Third Rail Projects, and to be a part of their exciting work!
Jessy Smith (Performer) is an American dancer, choreographer, and site-specific performance artist. Born and raised in Hudson, Ohio, Smith graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2012, Smith was cast as the White Queen in Third Rail Project’s Bessie Award winning show, Then She Fell, and has since been a collaborating artist in Third Rail’s YOLK, Memento Mori, and House No 17. Her bubbly trio, The Good to Go Girls, present their vintage dance skits at NYC nightlife venues including Joe’s Pub, The BOXNYC, Webster Hall, and The Spring Street Social Society. Smith has also developed herself as a solo artist under the pseudonym Poppy Tart. Poppy landed two major roles in 2014, as a re-occurring burlesque performer on season 5 of Boardwalk Empire and also as a dancer in “Cheek to Cheek Live,” a PBS great masters series starring Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. about.me/SmithJessy
Elisabeth Svenningsen (Assistant Stage Manager Swing) is a recent graduate of Skidmore College. She is a freelance scenic artist and designer working in the tri-state area. After studying studio art and theater, her work spans fine art pieces to scenic designs.
Simon Thomas-Train (Performer) began his dance training as a freshman cross-country ski recruit at Middlebury College in 2005. Ever-fascinated by the intersection of the artist and the athlete, he has doggedly pursued dance wherever he can since graduation in 2009. He has had the pleasure of working with Satya Roosens/Studio Eclipse, Big Action Performance Ensemble, Attack Theatre, Alexandra Beller, Kendra Portier, Third Rail Projects’ “Then She Fell”, Rosie Herrera Dance Theater, Red Dirt Dance and David Dorfman Dance. Simon creates his own blend of collaborative multisisciplinary performance under the name The Space We Make with his co-director Caitlin Scholl.
Niko Tsocanos (Performer) received his BA in 2011 from Bennington College where he concentrated his studies in dance and literature. He is now based in New York working as a choreographer, performer, arts administrator, technician, writer, and tutor. Since 2011, he has had the pleasure to perform with Elizabeth Dishman/Coriolis, Boom Bat Gesture Performance Group, alex/xan: the Median Movement, Ardent August, and Annette Herwander. He is a co-founder of Atalyr, a magazine for commentary and essays on dance. Current projects include The Emergent Improvisation Film Project directed by Elliot Caplan and Susan Sgorbati, and new works with Boom Bat Gesture Performance Group, and Ardent August.
Kristina Vnook (Stage Manager) is a New York-based freelance stage manager with a huge passion for new and innovative theatrical experiences. Graduate of Pace University. New York credits include The Orion Experience (XL Nightclub & Dixon Place), 35MM (Galapagos Art Space), Darling (54 Below), Jasper in Deadland (York/54 Below), Rated RSO (Joe’s Pub, NYMF), Yeast Nation: the triumph of life (Fringe/La Mama), Kicking A Dead Horse (The Public), john&jen (45th St Theater), The Yellow Wood (NYMF) and Ana 311 (Fringe). She is so thrilled to be part of this extraordinary company.
Sean Hagerty (Sound Designer, Composer, Violinist) specializes in music and electronics for theater and dance. He created the music and sound design for Steampunk Haunted House (’11). Other collaborations include electric string-trio music for Rachel Klein’s Symphony of Shadows (Dixon Place); Chasing the Train, an interactive tap performance with Andrew Nemr (Webster Hall, Issue Project Room); Chopin’s Minute Waltz, for electronics and piano (Le Poisson Rouge); and string music for Brian Chung’s Sunrise in the Quantum Realm (Baryshnikov Arts Center) and for Norte Maar’s Ballet Y Bushwick. Sean performs solo violin-looping concerts regularly at Urban Stages, and has played rock and folk music at CBGB’s gallery, The Living Room, Rockwood Music Hall, Southpaw, and Bowery Ballroom, amongst others. seanhagerty.com.
Brian Olin (Collaborating Musician) currently resides in Brooklyn, playing live in alleys, basements, warehouses, backyards, garages, restaurants, skateparks, living rooms, bookstores, motels, and the occasional music venue. Brian has performed all around the United States and in Quebec City.
Isaiah Singer (Collaborating Musician) is a songwriter, vocalist, and multi-instrumentalist who has played in numerous bands and projects, including Genesis P-Orridge’s PTV3, Freedom Haters, and Bryin Dall’s Fourth Sign. His own rock band, The Seventh Word, is set to release its new album Gold and Gravity in 2012, and his pop project The New Hot is working on songs for an album release next year. More info at seventhword.com.
Kryssy Wright (Lighting Design) is a lighting designer living in Brooklyn. She has traveled nationally with MAP Intermedia and Civilians. In New York City, she has worked with many directors, choreographers and artists at Danspace Project, the Chocolate Factory, Abrons Art Center, the WIld Project, and many others, and is available as a designer, technician, technical director, and more. Kryssy spends most of her days at the Abrons Art Center, and is also active with Avant Media. She began working with Third Rail Projects in 2009.
Karen Young (Costume Design) has designed costumes for numerous dance and video art projects in New York and internationally. She has collaborated with many renowned video artists including David Michalek’s “Slow Dancing” and “Portraits in Dramatic Time” (currently at Lincoln Center Festival), Matthew Barney’s “Cremaster 5” and “Cremaster 1”, and Eve Sussman and the Rufus Corporation’s “89 Seconds at Alcazar” and “The Rape of the Sabine Women”. In addition to her work with Third Rail Projects, her design work for dance can be seen in the repertoires of the Martha Graham Dance Company, American Ballet Theater, Benjamin Millepied, New York City Ballet, Pascal Rioult, Karole Armitage, Elisa Monte, Keigwin + Company, Noémie Lafrance, and Pam Tanowitz, among many others. karenyoungcostume.com.