About the Team

John McKinney, Playwright  

John has penned over thirty plays of various lengths and genres, all of which were produced by various New York theater companies. His short plays have appeared in several anthologies, including Best 10 Minute Plays and Best Mens Stage Monologues by Smith & Kraus and have been performed in the UK and Australia.  Most recently he was granted not one, but two entries in 5 Minute Plays by Applause Books.

 

John has also received two NYIT Award nominations in 2013 for The Chekhov Dreams, including Outstanding Original Full Length Script.  A monologue from that same 2013 draft was also published that year in the anthology, Best Men's Stage Monologues, 2013 by Smith & Kraus.

 

In addition to The Chekhov Dreams, John is currently developing a series of plays involving dance as a storytelling element in collaboration with dancers and choreographers.  He is also developing another full length, the military-themed political thriller, The Art of Maneuver, a portion of which will soon be made into an independent film.  

 

Formerly a radio DJ and an advertising copywriter, John currently casts voiceovers for TV and radio commercials and provides coaching for voice actors.  He also enjoys dabbling in sound design, and will have a strong hand in shaping the sonic atmospheres for this production.

Leslie Kincaid Burby, Director  

Leslie Kincaid Burby was recently honored to receive the New York International Fringe Festival Award for Overall Excellence for her direction of Zamboni, a new play by Sean-Patrick O'Brien. She has also received the New York Innovative Theatre outstanding director award for her Drama Desk nominated, NY Times Critics Pick production of The Navigator by Eddie Antar at The Workshop Theater.

 

Leslie is proud to have guided The Chekhov Dreams through its development and the test production that led to its two NYIT Award nominations. Since then she has been enjoying her continued collaboration with John both on this play, and on some of John's newer dance-related work.

 

Leslie is an associate artistic director at the WorkShop where she has developed many new works and has just finished directing Through the Darkness, a critically acclaimed new play about Jewish WWII survivors by Alan Breindel. Other recent productions with companies in New York City include Romeo & Juliet; Midsummer Night's Dream, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, The Miracle Worker, Don Pasquale and Die Fledermaus

Jeremy is a Tony Award nominated theater producer whose credits include John Leguizamo’s Latin History for Morons, currently running on Broadway to rave reviews, the Broadway revival of On the Town (4 Tony Award nominations including best revival of a musical) and the Off Broadway production of the rock musical comedy Brooklyn Crush, formerly F#%king Up Everything (NY Times Critics' Pick & Best New Musical nominee). He is currently on the producing team for three Broadway-aimed musical adaptations including the beloved Peggy Sue Got Married.

 

As the founder of Off The Leash Productions, Jeremy produces a wide range of marketing and entertainment videos including commercials, promos, web videos and performance shoots.

 

Previously, Jeremy was Vice President of Programming of CBS Sports, where he was the lead person in multi-million dollar sports rights and cable sub-licensing rights negotiations. He shepherded the development of complex budgets of up to a billion dollars, created innovative sponsor-driven rights deals and was CBS's primary business liaison to professional sports leagues and organizations.  Jeremy was also head of programming sales at Wink Communications, an interactive television startup, where he tripled the volume of network programming and secured deals with 30 broadcast and cable networks.

Jeremy graduated from Brown University and has an M.B.A in Marketing from New York University. Jeremy serves on the board of Theater Resources Unlimited and the Brown University Club in New York, the advisory board of Mirage Theater Company, and is an active member of the Off Broadway Alliance.

Jeremy Handelman, Executive Producer
Victoria Bennett, Assistant Producer

 Victoria is a graduate from AMDA, an original founding member of The Orphans, Creator of the SAG award winning Web Series ADULTish and co-creator of the musical group On The Rocks. She has been seen performing at 54 Below and the Duplex. Plays include: Independence, Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, and The Body Stories. Film: Starving , Knights of Better Days.  And this just in... Victoria is now an international star of the red carpet, having just returned from Seoul with two awards for her show, Adultish!  Including Best Actress!  And Best Web Series Overall!  Talk about a world class producer!

Jeanette Bonner is an award-winning actor, writer, and producer in NYC.  Her self-produced solo show, "Love. Guts. High School," developed with playwright Matt Hoverman, premiered at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (where it earned nominations for Best Actress and Best Solo Show), and then went on to the Chicago Fringe Festival (named a Time Out Chicago "Critic's Pick") and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  She is the Producer and Creator of web series "Ghost Light"  Her latest series, "The Scoop," is a fun, addictive new media talk show featuring conversations with culture makers and creators over NYC ice cream.  Founder of Kelly's Pool Hall Productions.

Jeanette Bonner, Producer
Cat Stevens, Producer

Catriona Rubenis-Stevens has been working in independent film and theater in the New York/New Jersey area for almost a decade. As a producer she has worked on over a dozen award-winning shorts, features, commercials and corporate projects. Her work has been screened at festivals around the world including the Amsterdam Film Festival, the BBC Alba Awards in Glasgow, the New York International Film Festival and the Berlin International Film Awards.

Catriona worked on the production team for the sold-out run of Hamlet 3D (starring Alec Baldwin) at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, co-produced the sold-out run of Hatful of Rain, the US premiere of I Plead Guilty, the MITF award-winning Slain In The Spirit and the 2010 run of Never In My Lifetime. 

Ramya is a somewhat new face in the NYC theater community. She received a Bachelor's degree in theater from the University of Iowa, and later went on to continue her acting studies at the Tom Todoroff Conservatory in New York. Since her recent graduation at the conservatory, she has been creating and producing comedic short films, tinkering around with her ukulele, and developing a script for an upcoming web-series titled "The Sandbox." Ramya enjoys collaborating with passionate artists and is especially excited to be on board with a team of brilliant professionals all coming together to tell this truly remarkable story. Some of her favorite roles include Poppy from Noises Off, Janet from Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Juliet from Romeo and Juliet.

Ramya Hipp, Assistant Producer

Lisa moved to NYC in 2016 after teaching high school theatre for more than 20 years in North Carolina. She was a founding member of the North Carolina Theatre Arts Educators which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2017. Lisa also worked as the Managing Director/Production Stage Manager/Costume Designer for the Union County Performance Ensemble for 13 years, working on shows such as The Phantom of the Opera, Shrek the Musical, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and Ragtime. Since moving to NYC, she has been the production stage manager for Mesquite NV, Composure, Through the Darkness, The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (WorkShop Theater), Aplomb (The Habitat), Lost Not Found (UP Theater). She also works as a production assistant for the Broadway Stage Management Symposium. Lisa received her Bachelor’s of Arts in Theatre from Catawba College and her Master’s in Education from UNC-Greensboro.  Thanks to Kevin, family and friends!

Lisa Stafford, Production Stage Manager
Emma Mueller, Assistant Stage Manager, Sound Technician

Emma is a student at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting through NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Previous experience includes Through the Darkness (ASM) and Artistic Director's Intern at WorkShop Theatre, and Metro Scholar Intern at Two River Theater (NJ). Favorite stage credits include Fear Festival: Uneasy Lies the Head (Sydney) at AlphaNYC Theater Company, Pericles (Dionyza/Gower) and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Snout) at Two River Theater. She also performed as a solo artist in the Seaside Heights NJ Bonfire on the Beach Concert Series this summer. She's thrilled to be a part of the Dream Team! 

Marisa Roper is so excited to be assistant producing this incredible show! In addition to assistant producing, Marisa is also an up and coming actress/model based in New York. Marisa moved to the city immediately after high school to pursue her career. A week after graduation, she booked the role of Nicole in her first feature film, "A Quiet Storm." Soon after, she made her Off-Broadway Debut in Peach Pie Productions' "Crashlight" at Cherry Lane Theatre (Nominated for 2 Broadway World Awards including "Best Off-Broadway Musical"). Recently, Marisa completed her first national tour, playing the role of Patience Cadwell in Uprising Production's "Nobody Famous." Marisa is also a successful model, published in several catalogs/magazines, and has starred in a number of tv commercials. Outside of acting/modeling, Marisa is a certified yoga instructor, and has taught classes at several studios around the city! To learn more about Marisa, follow her acting adventures, or to get in touch check out her website www.marisaroper.com

Marisa Roper, Assistant Producer
Jenna Lazar, Production Manager

JENNA R. LAZAR (Production Manager) Jenna has been a stage manager and production manager in New York for over ten years, with extensive experience in theatre, film, and event work. Favorite theatre projects include: The Mad Ones (59E59); The Drawer Boy (Soho Playhouse); The Hummingbird's Tour (Theatere at St. Clements); Death for Five Voices (Prospect Theater Company); Summer Shorts (59E59 - seven seasons); The Woolgatherer (dir. Chazz Palminteri); Order (dir. Austin Pendleton); Pimm's Mission (59E59); American Rapture (dir. Alexander Dinelaris); The Seafarer; The Mar Vista; A Hard Wall at High Speed (APAC); Sex Good, Money Bad; Woman Before a Glass; Twelfth Night; and Hamlet. Jenna has been the Technical Director for Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for the last five seasons. Member AEA.

Our Partners

Cindi Rush Casting
Robin Carus Casting
Harriet Bass Casting
Pomann Sound
Our Design Team

Opera designs include: Fra Diavolo, The Rivals and Regina (Bronx Opera, NYC), The Magic Flute (University of Hartford, CT), La Nozze di Figaro, Don Pasquale and Rigoletto <x-apple-data-detectors://1>  (Salt Marsh Opera, CT and RI), Roméo et Juliette (St. Petersburg Opera, FL), Tales of Hoffman (Brevard Music Center, NC), and various productions for the LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts, Opera Department (NYC). NYC credits include: Lake of Sorrows and Dragonslayer (both at the Hudson Guild Theatre) The Capital Mall (off-B’way), Illyria and The Alchemists (Prospect Theater), A Ritual of Faith (Theater Row) and dozens of other productions in NY and NJ.

Regional credits include: John W. Engeman Theatre, Cohoes Music Hall, Cortland Rep. and Penguin Rep. (NY), Theatreworks Colorado Springs (CO), West Virginia Public Theatre, Theatre West Virginia (WV), Meadow Brook Theatre, Grand Valley State University (MI), Palace Theater (NH). Scott is a frequent designer for LaGuardia, Jenny Wiley Theatre (KY), Dos Pueblos High School (CA) and other schools and theater companies. Many thanks and much love to Rachel, Hannah and Michael. www.scottaronow.com <http://www.scottportfolio.com/

Scott Aronow, Scenic Designer
 
 
 
 

Diana Duecker has her M.F.A. from the University of Texas at Austin. Highlights from her resume include teaching university level lighting design, collaborating with Salvage Vanguard Theater, Spoleto Festival U.S.A., Big Apple Circus, Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, Urban Stages, Theater 167, Workshop Theater, and Fellowship for Performing Arts. Recently she designed the 2017 summer season at Gretna Theatre. Her favorite designs include Genghis Kahn (Salvage Vanguard Theatre), Through the Darkness (Workshop Theater) and Civil War Voices (Gretna Theatre).

Diana Duecker, Lighting Designer
Our Support Team
Our Producing Team
John McKinney, Sound Designer

Little known fact: before John  wrote plays, he worked as a DJ and producer at various radio stations throughout the Northeast where he learned the art of sound mixing and editing.  Now a casting director at Pomann Sound, he gets to exercise his second greatest passion -- sound design -- this time for his own play.  In recent years, John has designed sound for a number of projects at the Workshop Theater, including several one-act festivals and a psycho-trippy Beethoven mashup used in the play, Beneath the Hush, A Whisper, by Abigail Somma.  The Chekhov Dreams marks his second full-length theatrical project.

Kimberley Jean Windbiel has a checkered past as East Village rocker, and a West Village chanteuse. Some of her favorite costuming gigs include The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (Workshop Theater, 2015), a biker-punk Macbeth (Delphi Theater), and Epic Poetry, where the Greek gods meet urban grunge (UP Theater).  She is a shaman/artist/climate change activist.

Kimberley Windbiel, Assistant Costume Designer, Prop Master
A. Christina Giannini, Costume Designer

A. Christina Giannini has Designed for B"way,Off B'way. Regional.Round About Theater NYC. 12 productions, Opera , And many dance companies here in USA and 13 other countries. She has twice received The Venezuelan Oscar, For her work with Ballet National,Choreographer, Vicente Nebrada. Currently Buglisi Dance Theatre will perform in St.Barbara, CA  in Jan.