YPT Company Members are artists who support and enhance the pursuit of YPT’s mission with their efforts and insights. They demonstrate a commitment to the health and vitality of YPT and are valued members of the organization.
Christine Alexander is a graduate of The George Washington University where she earned her BA with Honors in Theater as a Presidential Scholar of the Arts in Acting. She is currently the Volunteer & Education Coordinator and Resident Stage Manager for Washington Revels. Christine is also a freelance actor, having appeared in Ecce at the 2012 Fringe Festival, ‘nightmerica with Theatre du Jour, Sight with Rocket Productions, Recovery at the 2013 Fringe Festival, & Quest with Impossible Theater Co. along with several film projects, including the Telly Award winning Job Hunt, as well as fulfilling stage management positions with companies such as Rorschach Theatre, Forum Theatre, and Quotidian Theatre.
Randy Baker is a director, playwright and the co-Artistic Director of Rorschach Theatre. In addition to directing with Rorschach, he has directed for Young Playwrights’ Theater, Source Theatre, The Inkwell, First Draft, NCDA’s Actors Repertory Theatre, First Draft, Wayward Theatre, Cherry Red Productions and Theater J. Plays he has written and produced include Dream Sailors, After the Flood and Circus of Fallen Angels, as well as a number of short plays including Paolo and Francesca, Beit Jala, Crunch, The Rabbit and The Snake and A Lonely Dictator on the Eve of Revolution. He is currently developing the plays Forgotten Kingdoms and The Burning Road.
Cecilia Cackley is a DC-based performing artist who has worked with Rorschach Theatre, GALA Hispanic Theatre, and dog and pony dc, among other area theaters. Cecilia has been seen onstage at GALA Hispanic Theatre, where she is a company member, in El Retablillo de Don Cristobal and Platero y yo. Directing credits include 4.48 Psychosis, A Most Notorious Woman and The Malachite Palace for the Capital Fringe Festival, and Klecksography for Rorschach Theatre, as well as the YPT New Play Festival and Fall Express Tour. Cecilia currently teaches for Imagination Stage, YPT and The Theater Lab when she isn’t creating new puppet theater and teaching workshops with her own company Wit’s End Puppets. Find out more about their work at www.witsendpuppets.com.
Danny Cackley is a DC-based actor and educator who has worked with Lean & Hungry Theater, Brave Spirits Theatre, Faction of Fools and Flying V Theatre, among others. He was also a member of the National Players (Tour 65), America’s longest running touring company, which performed Macbeth, The Comedy of Errors and The Odyssey, on a 9-month national tour across the country. Danny is a teaching artist with Discovery Theatre/Smithsonian, Educational Theatre Company and YPT. He has also been a part of YPT’s Express Tour 2012, as well as the New Play Festival in 2012/2013. Danny got his BA in Drama from the University of Virginia and also studied at the National Theatre Institute/Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center.
Catherine DiSanza is the Resident Teaching Artist at YPT. She has a B.A. in Theater Studies from Emory University and an M.F.A. in Theater for Youth from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In graduate school, she taught an arts integration course for pre-service teachers, facilitated a youth devising project, and developed a new immersive theater piece for young audiences. Catherine taught theater at Alma d’Arte Charter High School in New Mexico before moving to the DC area, where she has been a Teaching Artist with YPT, Imagination Stage, and InterAct Story Theatre.
Maggie Erwin is an actor/theatre artist from Fredericksburg, VA! Theatre credits: She Kills Monsters (Agnes) Rorschach Theatre, Sunny and Licorice (Sunny) Arts on the Horizon, Abominable (Esther) and Failure: A Love Story (Nelly) The Hub Theatre, Aquarium (Calypso) Imagination Stage, Edgar and Annabel (Claire) Studio 2nd Stage, Go, Dog. Go! NextStop Theatre VA, Grown (Sally) Opera House Arts in Maine, A Frontier, as told by the Frontier (Feola) Source Festival DC, New Play Festival 2013 (Various roles) Young Playwrights' Theatre DC, The Pirate Laureate of Port Town (Hue, Cesealia) Flying V Productions, Hideous Progeny (Claire), Holland Productions in Boston. Maggie spent a semester with the Australian Theatre for Young People in Sydney, Australia. BFA from Boston University; recipient of BU's Award for Theatrical Collaboration.
Tyler Herman is an actor, director, teaching artist, and playwright in DC. He has been seen onstage at the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Adventure Theatre-MTC, Faction of Fools, and more. Directing credits include Oh Dad, Poor Dad... at American Century Theatre. Tyler's playwriting focuses on adapting works for a contemporary audience. He is an Associated Artist and on staff with Faction of Fools, as well as the Treasurer of the Actors' Center. Education: BA, Cornell University: Theatre, Dance, Music.
Manu Kumasi was a member of a handful of personal development organizations while growing up, and is very passionate about developing and empowering today’s youth. Manu has toured student plays with YPT helped develop numerous plays as an in-class actor. Credits include plays at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Constellation Theatre, Keegan Theatre, Smithsonian Institution, Only Make Believe (company member), and La MaMa E.T.C. (NYC). Manu is a proud graduate of The Theatre Lab Honors Acting Conservatory and is a Shakespeare enthusiast as well as a lover of new plays. @manukumasi #lml
Ryan Maxwell is a director and photographer. This year, he has frequently collaborated with Arena Stage: serving as literary assistant to Morris Panych on THE SHOPLIFTERS, directing assistant to Randy Johnson on SMOKEY JOE'S CAFÉ at Arena Stage, dramaturgy assistant for Daniel Beaty's THE TALLEST TREE IN THE FOREST, directed by Moisés Kaufman, and directing assistant to David Esbjornson on Arena's production of GUESS WHO'S COMING TO DINNER. In DC, he has directed for the Welders, Theatre Lab, PinkySwear Productions (Cabaret XXXY: Who Do You Think You Are? And SMUDGE, by Rachel Axler), the Inkwell, the Source Festival, the Kennedy Center's Page to Stage Festival, Adventure Theatre MTC, Young Playwrights' Theater, and Flying V. Before landing in DC, Ryan spent two years as Artistic Associate at Commonwealth Shakespeare Company in Boston, directing touring productions and assisting artistic director Steve Maler on SHAKESPEARE ON THE COMMON. He was also assistant director for Anthony Rapp’s WITHOUT YOU at the 2010 New York Musical Theatre Festival. His photography has been featured in shows with the EMP Collective, the Fridge DC, FotoWeekDC, DCist Exposed, and InstantDC. Ryan is a proud member of PinkySwear Productions, Young Playwrights' Theater's company of artists, and Flying V Theatre. He is an alumnus of Brown University in Providence, RI and holds an A.B. in Theatre, Speech, and Dance.
Jenny McConnell Frederick is the co-Artistic Director of Rorschach Theatre. She also serves as Director of Performing Arts for CulturalDC and Artistic Director of Source Festival. For Rorschach Theatre she has directed more than a dozen shows including the Helen Hayes Nominated Voices Underwater and God of Vengeance and most recently Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. As Producer of Source Festival she oversees the selection, development and production of more than 25 works for the stage each year. Through CulturalDC’s Mead Theatre Lab Program, she directs the artist selection and recruitment process and oversees the Theatre Lab’s advisory panel. Jenny lives in Columbia Heights with her husband and her newest producing endeavor, a son named Thane.
Michael McCorkle is an Award Winning* writer, producer and director of stage plays, theatre and film. As a writer and director, he has written and directed such stage plays as, “My Life”, “Growing Pains: 101” and “Like Father, Like Son”, which have been featured at the Historic Lincoln Theatre, on DCTV cable television and performed as part of a regional tour. He has also written and directed the hit Gospel stage play, "A Change Is Coming" which has SOLD-OUT national tour performances and received the 2008 Velocity Magazine Award for "Best Film/Stage Play". He has also written and directed the family stage drama, “Home Is Where The Heart Is”. In June 2011, Michael was selected as “Playwright of The Month” by the “Urban Playwrights United” national organization. Currently, he is adapting his most recent stage play “All The Man I Need” into a screenplay to be produced and directed as a film. In addition, he is also writing his next two stage plays, "Ms. Conception" and “My Husband, My Lover, My Friend” which will be produced for the stage in 2015. Michael is also the President & CEO of OSP Entertainment which is the contributing promotion entity for OneStage Productions, Inc. that serves the purpose of sponsoring and presenting special events, showcases and promotional programming. He is also the host of the weekly internet radio show, “The Industy Mix”, which can be heard on The Flow radio station every Wednesday from 8-10pm (eastern).
Daniel Mori is a multi-disciplinary performer, technician and teaching artist, with concentrations in puppetry, stage management and early childhood education. He has designed, built and performed with puppets for many Washington-area theaters, including The Smithsonian’s Discovery Theater, Adventure Theatre, Synetic Family Theatre, and Wit’s End Puppets. Daniel is a proud company member with Young Playwright’s Theater, Happenstance Theater Company and the DC Clown Cabaret.
Kenny Neal has designed sound for YPT for two years and is thrilled to become a company member! His theatrical sound design has also been heard in productions by Active Cultures, Victorian Lyric Opera Company, Capital Fringe Festival, Rockville Musical Theatre, and at venues like Round House Theater, Woolly Mammoth, The Apothecary, and Silver Spring Stage, and soon in The Snowy Day at Adventure Theatre. Off-stage, his audio and film scoring has been heard in local festivals, including DC Shorts Film Festival. Kenny is an educational media producer for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Bryan Norrington joined Young Playwrights’ Theater as an actor in the 2011 New Play Festival and has been dedicated to lending his time and talents to the organization’s mission ever since. Bryan studied theater at the Denver School of the Arts and Studio Theatre Acting Conservatory. Select acting credits include: the one-man show Conversation with a Diva (DC Black Theatre Festival), Tread (DC Black Theatre Festival), The Ballad of the Sad Café (Arena Stage/Albee Festival), ABC (DC Short Film Festival), Shenandoah (Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities), and A Christmas Carol (Denver Center Theatre Company).
Alex Perez is an improv/sketch comedian and professional Actor. Partial Theater Credits: Much Ado about Nothing(Folger Shakespeare Theater), Royal Hunt of the Sun (Washington Shakespeare Co.), Haroun and the Sea of Stories (Theater Alliance), MacBird and Hellzapoppin (American Century Theater), Christmas Carol (Vpstart Crow), Lu-Lu Fabulous (Phoenix Theater), The Oracle (African Continuum Theatre) and numerous Express Tours with Young Playwrights’ Theater. Alex has also done Film/Commercial work and has recently performed with Washington Improv Theater (W.I.T.) in DC and in New York.
Fatima Quander: Young Playwrights’ Theater: New Plays Festival 2011, 2010, 2009, Express Tour Spring and Fall 2009, and countless New Writers Now! performances and in-school workshops. Regional: Everyman Theatre Company: A Raisin in the Sun(Beneatha), Theater of the First Amendment: 24, 7, 365 (Shavondra), Folger Elizabethan Theatre: Much Ado About Nothing(Margaret), The Kennedy Center: Locomotion (Ms. Edna, Ms. Marcus, et al), Kite on the Wind: A Tale of Pakistan (Dadi), Imagination Stage: Junebug and the Reverend (Ms. Williams, Tasha), Tribute Productions: Coming Home (Young Lilly), Discovery Theater: African Roots/Latino Soul (Mama, et al), Retratos (Jasmín). National Tour: Color Me Dark: A Story of the Great Migration North (Nellie Lee). Education: MFA Acting, Actors Studio Drama School, New School University, BA Theatre Arts, Beloit College.
David Snider is the Director of Artistic Programming at Arena Stage, with over 20 years of experience as a director, educator, producer, administrator and actor, with companies including the Shakespeare Theatre Company, the Kennedy Center, the Joseph Papp Public Theater, the Hangar Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Jean Cocteau Repertory and the Maddermarket Theatre of Norwich, England. He is a Directing Fellow of the Drama League of New York, past President of the League of Washington Theatres and a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. From 2005-2012, David served as the Producing Artistic Director and CEO of YPT.
Vanessa Strickland is a proud company member of Young Playwrights’ Theater. She has performed with YPT inside and outside of the classroom since 2009 and recently served as a YPT Community Ambassador. Vanessa is continually amazed and inspired by the work of YPT and its student playwrights and strives to always honor the playwrights’ words. Vanessa works as an actor in the DC/MD/VA area at large, and is also a company member at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre. In her spare time, she works as a freelance makeup artist, acting- and puppeteering coach. You can follow her adventures at www.vanessastrickland.net.
Andrés Talero is excited to be a part of the fantastic YPT family and staff. Andrés is a graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and has a B.A. in Theatre. He has worked as an actor in the DC metro area for several years. He began working with YPT in the 2006 New Play Festival, where he was challenged and moved by the words of young aspiring playwrights. Since that performance, Andrés never passes on an opportunity to bring DC students’ voices to life. More importantly, however, he looks forward to sharing them with all of you.
Dawn Thomas is a professional actor and teaching artist. She earned an MFA in Acting from Indiana University Bloomington and a BFA in Acting from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Dawn is a member of the Folger Shakespeare Library’s educational acting troupe, Bill’s Buddies. In the DC area, Dawn has worked as an actor with YPT and Unexpected Stage Company and in the Midwest at Brown County Playhouse. Credits include Measure for Measure (Isabella), Marisol (Marisol), How the Other Half Loves(Fiona Foster) and A Phoenix Too Frequent (Dynamene).
Khaleshia Thorpe-Price has worked as an Arts Educator and Manager in the DC Metro area since 2006. As a teaching artist, Khaleshia has facilitated residencies and workshops for children and adults for many arts organizations including Wolftrap, Arena Stage, Young Playwrights Theater, Folger Shakespeare Library and Young Audiences of Maryland. As an arts manager, she has coordinated workshops and residencies for thousands of students in DC, MD and VA. She has partnered with many organizations including The United States Department of State, The National Portrait Gallery and ZERO to THREE to provide unique arts learning experiences for all ages. In addition, she has managed enrichment and academic after school programs for DC Public Schools. Khaleshia has earned an MA in Arts Management from the University of Central Florida and a BA in Theater Arts from Morgan State University.
Patrick Torres is a professional educator and theatre director and is the current Middle and High School Program Director at Theatre Action Project (TAP) in Austin, TX. Prior to joining TAP, he served as the Associate Artistic Director of Young Playwrights’ Theater. In 2009, he was named a Young Leader of Color in the field of arts education by the Theatre Communications Group. Patrick has a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of Southern Mississippi.
YPT’s Company also includes the Board of Directors, staff and Student Advisory Council.