SUE KESSLER - Executive Director, Founder
Sue is a New York based theater artist and producer. After graduating Skidmore College, she became a member of the experimental theater company, Fovea Floods, and served as Company Manager for five years. In addition to her producing credits with the company, Sue also performed, directed, and composed music throughout Fovea Floods’ ten year career.
Sue transitioned her life in the theater in 2007, when she helped to transform The Bushwick Starr from a humble rehearsal space (acquired in 2001) into a full-scale black box theater. As co-founder and Executive Director for the organization, Sue strives to bring some of the most exciting contemporary performance artists to the stage in the vibrant community of Bushwick, Brooklyn.
Sue also maintains a career as a performance and event photographer. She works with various theater and dance companies, as well as musicians, as their go-to photographer. Her work can be seen in publications such as The New York Times, ArtForum, Time Out NY, New York Magazine, American Theater Magazine, and The Village Voice, among others. www.suekessler.com
NOEL JOSEPH ALLAIN – Artistic Director, Founder
Noel is a New York based actor, educator, and theater producer. In addition to The Bushwick Starr, he has served as founder and producer for two other theater companies: Fovea Floods Theater (NYC) and Shakespeare East (Boston, MA). Noel is a graduate of Skidmore College and the Juilliard School, and has since performed in various theater, television, and film productions. As Artistic Director of the Starr, he has presented over 50 companies in the last 5 years and served hundreds of artists. His curatorial track record is noteworthy, resulting in critically-acclaimed productions by emerging and established performance companies alike. Noel created the Starr's educational outreach program, Big Green Theater, with Executive Director, Sue Kessler, which works with Bushwick’s PS123 students every year to teach playwriting and environmental awareness.
JAY MAURY - Technical and Design Director
Jay is a New York based lighting and sound designer. He is a resident designer and Technical Director of Fovea Floods Theater. Jay also works with the Lake George Opera Festival as master electrician and sound consultant. His recent clients include Travis Bass Inc. and RPI EMPAC.
MARIA PORTMAN KELLY - General Manager
Maria is an actor, teaching artist and nonprofit administrator. She has performed with Flux Theatre Ensemble, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Culture Project, and Actors Theatre of Louisville, among others. Maria is First Mate of Superhero Clubhouse, a sustainable theater collective and the collaborative partner of The Bushwick Starr's annual Big Green Theater Festival. Additionally, Maria serves as Programs Manager for Brooklyn Parkinson Group, and acts as Program Assistant for Dance for PD®, their joint effort with Mark Morris Dance Group.
JOHN BUDGE - Box Office Manager
John is a Brooklyn based writer, filmmaker and actor currently attending Brooklyn College in the MFA Playwriting program. He graduated from the University of Montana with a BFA in Acting and while there, co-founded The Buttenik Ensemble, a theatre dedicated to creating and performing original works. In recent years, he started Budge Films to give a venue to ideas and stories that translate better to film than to theatre (www.BudgeFilms.com). John's interests also include Seattle Mariners baseball and ultrarunning, having completed distances ranging from a marathon to 100 miles. www.JohnBudge.com
KAITLYN MEADE - House Manager
Kaitlyn is a writer and photographer from Houston, Texas. Graduating from NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in theater and journalism, Kaitlyn has worked in diverse fields, most recently in arts administration at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts at the David Rubenstein Atrium, and on the Lincoln Center Local series which brings free shows to Queens libraries over the summer. Her work can be found in Downtown Express newspaper, The Villager, and Chelsea Now.
RACHEL LEVENS - Marketing Associate
Rachel received her BFA in Theatre from Cornish College of the Arts where she acted and served as a Dramaturg for various productions. She has interned at The Bushwick Starr, Washington Ensemble Theatre, and The Seattle Solo Performance Festival #6. Rachel was an Assistant Director for the Satori Group. She also has served as a co-facilitator for Applied Theatre programs at Recovery Café and Powerful Schools at Hawthorne Elementary. In addition to being the Marketing Associate, Rachel also reads plays for The Bushwick Starr’s Reading Series.
WILLIAM BURKE - Artistic Dev. Assoc., Reading Series Co-curator is a playwright and director living Bushwick. His plays have been seen at IRT, Little Theatre at Dixon Place, The Seattle Fringe and the Bushwick Starr. Recently: EXPODITY!! as part of the Target Margin Last Futurist Labs and The Devil Wants his Hat Back as part of the Bushwhack Series at the Bushwick Starr and as part of the Black Swan Labs at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other plays include: Furry, The Yurt, She has to be Outside and the food was terrible, Keeners, and Fire Liberty. He was also the Football Choreographer and dramaturginator for Half Straddle's Football/In the Pony Palace, he is the founder of ANGRY BLVD with Mallery Avidon. He is the front house and Box Office Manager for Soho Rep. He is a curator for the Bushwick Starr Reading Series. He is a Target Margin Associated Artist. He is pursuing his Masters in Playwriting at Brooklyn College.
MARK SITKO - Artistic Dev. Assoc., Reading Series Co-curator
Mark Sitko is the Artistic Director of Van Cougar, a Brooklyn based theatre company that creates plays from oral stories collected from the public. Originally from California, he has spent the last 5 years working as a Production Manager/Technical Director for groundbreaking companies including Soho Rep, Soho Think Tank/The Ohio, New Georges, and Clubbed Thumb. Currently Sitko is honing his skills in directing, writing and producing original work, while studying under the guidance of Mac Wellman, Erin Courtney, and his exceptional classmates in the MFA Playwrighting program at Brooklyn College.
MALLERY AVIDON - Artistic Dev. Assoc., Reading Series Co-curator
Mallery Avidon is a playwright interested in the intersection of fact and fiction. Her play O Guru Guru Guru, or why I don't want to go to yoga class with you will premiere at the Humana Festival in 2013. Her plays include breaks & bikes, Mary-Kate Olsen is in Love, everyone they knew was famous & queerSpawn which will be produced by a Collection of Shiny Objects at Here Arts Center in May 2013. Her work has been produced by Pavement Group, Target Margin Theater, On The Boards, angry BLVD & Williams College Summer Theater Lab and developed by Playwrights Horizons, BAPF, IRT, Seattle Repertory Theatre & New Century Theater Company. Ms. Avidon is an alum of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, an affiliated artist with New Georges, an artistic associate of Pavement Group & Target Margin Theater, and co-curator of The Bushwick Starr's monthly reading series. She has taught playwriting in prisons, high schools & universities. She is at work on a series of plays based on a seven week road trip she took with DW Gibson & MJ Sieber in the summer of 2011 interviewing people across America who had been laid off because of the recession, www.NotWorkingProject.com. She holds a BFA in Theater from Cornish College of the Arts and an MFA in Playwriting from Brown University.