José Carrasquillo teaches Grotowski technique in 2019
“It was terrific to be in an atmosphere where expectations were high, but it was OK to fail, laugh, learn and try again.”
Student Evaluation


Deb Gottesman

Deb Gottesman is a founder and co-director of The Theatre Lab. She is also a professional actress who has performed frequently at Woolly Mammoth Theatre as well as at Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Keegan Theatre, Theater Alliance, and with the Washington Shakespeare Company, among many others. She has directed more than fifteen productions at The Theatre Lab, including Ragtime, The Crucible, The Grapes of Wrath and Jane Eyre, as well as productions for National Geographic and Catholic University’s Musical Theatre Department. Deb received her M.F.A. from Catholic University and has taught drama at the Round House Theatre, Woolly Mammoth and American University. She is a 2003 recipient of the prestigious Linowes Leadership Award for her contributions to arts education. Along with Buzz Mauro, she has co-authored three books on applied acting, all published by Penguin Putnam.

“We believe that if you’re willing to put in the work and truly throw yourself into learning the craft, you can perform at the highest level. Too often people see an audition notice and think, ‘they probably want someone with more experience, more talent, more…(you fill in the blank)… than me,’ so they won’t take that first step. How will you ever know what you have to offer until you’ve had a chance to learn what it’s all about? We feel affirmed in our belief that you can aim for the stars.”
Buzz Mauro

Buzz Mauro is a founder and Co-Director of The Theatre Lab and a Helen Hayes Award nominee who has performed with Signature Theatre, Ford's, Studio, The Shakespeare Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, and many other companies. He received his B.A. from Yale University and has an M.F.A. in Acting from Catholic University. Along with Deb Gottesman he is the founder of Center Stage Communications, a unique consulting firm specializing in the application of acting techniques to the business world. Together they are the authors of three books on applied acting: The Interview Rehearsal Book, Taking Center Stage, and The Best Answer, all published by Berkley Books, a division of Penguin Putnam.

"There's nothing as exhilarating as experiencing a roomful of people hurling their bodies and their minds into an active exploration of what it means to be human, in ways that would be frowned upon in the typical office job. And I love encouraging that kind of behavior."


Quique Aviles

Quique Aviles is the founder of Sol y Soul, a theatre company devoted to using the power of art and the creative process to transform lives and change communities. He is well-known for his work with youth in prisons and those from distressed communities. Through the creation of groups such as Spoken Resistance (winner of the 2002 Mayor’s Art Award for Outstanding Emerging Artists), he has helped young people develop original works that express the reality of their lives and place those realities within a wider social context.

“My greatest joy is seeing how, at the end of eight weeks, kids who were shy and wouldn’t talk often become the ones who won’t shut up and who blossom as performers.”
Randy Baker

Randy Baker is a playwright, director and co-Artistic Director of Rorschach Theatre. Recent shows he has directed with Rorschach include Very Still and Hard to See (Five Helen Nominations including Best Director), The Electric Baby, She Kills Monsters, The Minotaur and After the Quake. Recent shows he has directed outside of Rorschach include the seven-room living installation piece, Hello, My Name Is… at The Welders, a shadow puppet gamelan-inspired A Midsummer Night’s Dream at WSC Avant Bard, Big Love at Catholic University, Anon/ymous at Georgetown University and his own adaptation of Rashōmon at American University. Recent playwriting projects include the world premieres of Forgotten Kingdoms and Truth & Beauty Bombs: A Softer World at Rorschach Theatre and workshops and educational productions of The Burning Road (Arena Stage), Monastery (Theater J), Rashōmon (American University and Spooky Action Theatre), Circus of Fallen Angels (NCDA and American University) and wild42hold (George Washington University).

Madeleine Barry

Madeleine Barry is a director at ArtStream Theatre, where the actors and students are adults living with cognitive disabilities. Madeleine also works at Imagination Stage where she teaches children of many different abilities as an Inclusion Facilitator and Lead Teacher. Madeleine teaches in the Life Stories program and has loved learning how to use theatre as a tool to facilitate real change in the community. She also teaches Summer Acting Camp for Kids programming.

Tonya Beckman

Tonya Beckman has appeared as an actor at Shakespeare Theatre Company, Ford's Theatre, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, Theater J, Taffety Punk, Olney Theatre, and the Kennedy Center. Regional credits include Cleveland Play House, Fulton Theatre, Purple Rose Theatre Company, and Door Shakespeare, among others. She has taught at Baldwin-Wallace College, Ohio University, Shepherd University, Duke Ellington School for the Arts, Everyman Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Imagination Stage, and the Cleveland Shakespeare Festival. Local dialect coaching credits include productions for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Theater J, Longacre Lea, The Theatre Lab, and Constellation Theatre. Tonya holds an MFA from Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program and a BFA from University of Wisconsin. She is a company member at Taffety Punk Theatre Company and is an adjunct instructor at George Washington University.

Carol Cadby

Carol Cadby, a 30+ year Theatre educator, teaches at George Mason University, Signature Theatre, Synetic Theatre and Arlington Public Schools. She earned her B.A. from Grinnell College and M.A.I.S. from George Mason University; studied with Uta Hagen and Herbert Bergof; trained in Viewpoints, Laban Movement, Linklater Voice training and Meisner Acting Technique; and acted professionally. Her teaching and directing awards include the F. Loren Winship Secondary Teacher Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education for long-term outstanding contribution to the mission of secondary school theatre; two Outstanding Theatre Program Awards from the Educational Theatre Association; two Elizabeth Campbell Awards for Excellence in the Arts for The Imaginary Invalid and The Girls Who Glow; representing Virginia at South Eastern Theatre Conference with Nora’s Lost; twenty-three Virginia Governor School Presidential Citations for Outstanding Educator and four Arts Teacher Recognition Awards from the Educational Theatre Association and National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts. She is also an Executive Coach with Ola Consulting specializing in leadership presence.

"I thoroughly enjoy teaching in the Honors Acting Conservatory because I find the students' love for the craft of acting insprirational."
Renee Calarco

Renee Calarco is a playwright and teacher. Her plays include Our National Museum of the Unforeseen Tragedy, G-d’s Honest Truth, The Religion Thing (2013 nominee for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play), Short Order Stories (2007 recipient of the Charles MacArthur Award), The Mating of Angela Weiss,Bleed, First Stop: Niagara Falls, The 12 Days of Christmas, and others. Her plays have been produced, developed, and commissioned by The Welders, Theater J, Charter Theater, Geva Theatre, Project Y, Adventure Theatre, Pinky Swear Productions, Doorway Arts Ensemble, The Jewish Plays Project, and the Source Theatre Festival. Renee teaches both playwriting and comedy improv at The Theatre Lab. She’s a founding member of The Welders and a proud member of The Dramatists Guild.

“The Theatre Lab is such a joyous place to teach and learn. My students always teach me so much--about imagination and grit and the beautiful things in life. This is a great place to be.”
José Carrasquillo

José Carrasquillo is a stage director with over two decades of experience in not-for-profit theatres across the United States. Most recently he directed El Paso Blue at Gala Hispanic Theatre and The Body of an American at Theater J. Other recent credits include La Señorita de Tacna, Anna in the Tropics, After the Fall and the 50th Anniversary production of Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days. Locally his work has also been seen at the Kennedy Center, The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, Olney, WSC-Avant Bard, Round House, Studio, Signature, Woolly Mammoth, Source, Freedom Stage, Le Neon, National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, Teatro de la Luna and the In-Series. Over the years, José has served in both artistic and/or administrative capacities at a number of theatres and not-for-profit organizations including: The Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, Freedom Stage, The Group Theatre in Seattle, and Arena Stage.

Evan Casey

Evan Casey has worked as an actor, singer, director and teacher for over fifteen years. His acting work has been seen locally at The Kennedy Center, Ford’s Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Signature, Round House, and Olney Theatre Center, regionally at Everyman Theatre, New London Barn, North Carolina Theatre, and Off-Broadway at the TBG Theatre, York Theatre, and the New Victory. He was recently nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play forThe Flick at Signature Theatre. He has toured the country—and recorded multiple albums and radio specials—with the political satire group, The Capitol Steps. Evan’s TV and film work includes the award-winning western web series Thurston, and his voice can be heard on numerous audio books by Graphic Audio. He has taught acting for Howard Community College, Signature Theatre, and NCDA, among others. His most recent directing credits include Seven Brides for Seven Brothers at Montgomery College, and assistant directing The Crucible at Olney Theatre Center.


Allyson Currin

Allyson is a playwright, whose most recent world premiere of Sooner/Later just closed at Cincinnati Playhouse, and will have its DC premiere in 2019 at Mosaic Theatre.  Other playwriting credits include The Silver Belles (Tony Award-winning Signature Theatre), High School Alien (Cincinnati Playhouse), Unleashed! (The John F. Kennedy Center), The Carolina Layaway Grail (The Welders), Caesar and Dada  (WSC Avant Bard), Hercules in Russia (Doorway Arts Ensemble), The Dancing Princesses (Imagination Stage), Treadwell: Bright and Dark (American Century Theatre), Benched (Pinky Swear Productions), Church of the Open Mind* and The Subject (Charter Theatre), Learning Curves (Washington Shakespeare Company) and Amstel in Tel Aviv* and Dancing With Ourselves (Source Theatre Company). Currin is a Founding Member of The Welders, a DC-based playwrights’ collective, which received the Helen Hayes Awards’ John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Company. She is also an actor with numerous film, television and stage appearances. @allysoncurrin (*Nomination, Helen Hayes Awards Outstanding New Play)


Sherri L. Edelen headshot
Sherri L. Edelen

Sherri L. Edelen is an actor/teacher in the area for over 25 years. She recently appeared at Arena Stage in the pre-Broadway production of Dave. Other Arena appearances: Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and My Fair Lady. She received the Helen Hayes award for Les Misérables and Side Show at Signature Theatre and a Barrymore Award for The Light in the Piazza at Philadelphia Theatre Company. Recent credits: Copenhagen at Theatre J, Romeo and Juliet at Folger Theatre, Outside Mullingar at Fusion Theatre Company, and Gypsy at Signature Theatre. She’s also performed at the Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre, Olney Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Round House Theatre, and Rep Stage and two national tours. Teaching experience: Musical theatre classes at The Theatre Lab and the University of Mary Washington. Credits include directing Steel Magnolias and On Golden Pond starring Joyce DeWitt at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts, and writing The Riverside Christmas Spectacular.

Vince Eisenson

Vince Eisenson is very excited to be returning to The Theatre Lab this summer. As an actor he has worked with Synetic Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, WSC Avant Bard, and PlayMakers Rep. TV credits include several shows on Discovery, OWN and National Geographic Channel. Vince teaches theatre classes at various venues in the metro region, but nothing quite compares to summer camp at The Theatre Lab.

“Teaching at the Summer Acting Camp for Kids is a high-energy adventure every year. I'm always surprised by the talents kids bring to each session, and how much they grow as an ensemble of actors in just two weeks.”
Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey

A longtime area resident and award-winning actress, Gabriela Fernandez-Coffey regularly collaborates with a wide variety of theater and dance companies including Woolly Mammoth, Dance Exchange, Studio Theatre, Arena Stage, Theater J, GALA Hispanic Theatre and The Kennedy Center. Recent credits include Mockingbird at the Kennedy Center; Water by the Spoonful at Studio Theatre; The Lyons at Round House Theatre, and Detroit at Woolly Mammoth, where she is also a company member. She is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and a joyful resident of Mount Rainier, MD.

Kate Fisher

Kate Fisher is a singing actress whose career spans Broadway, National Tours, symphony orchestras, commercials, voiceovers, and teaching master classes. Kate has been seen as Cosette in Les Miserables both on Broadway and with its national tour. She originated the role of Jo March in the First National Tour of the musical Little Women.  Favorite roles include Anna Leonowens, The King and I (North Shore Music Theatre {IRNE nomination}); Abigail Adams, 1776 (Ford's); Eliza Doolittle, My Fair Lady (Arizona Theatre Co. {AriZoni nom.}); Marian Paroo, The Music Man (Kansas City Starlight); Maria Von Trapp, The Sound of Music (North Carolina Theatre Co.); Emma Carew, Jekyll and Hyde (Arvada Center {Ovation nom.}) & Bathsheba Everdene, Far From the Madding Crowd (NYMF). She has been a soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Ravinia, Birdland, & Joe's Pub.  Kate has done numerous national commercials & leading voice work in animated film.  She is a Northwestern University graduate.

Rick Foucheux

Rick Foucheux’s credits include a twenty-six year stint in the fine theatres of Washington, DC, where his many roles include Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman at Arena Stage, Sir Toby Belch in Twelfth Night at the Shakespeare Theatre, Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof at the Olney Theatre Center, Claudius in Hamlet at the Folger Theatre, and Erie Smith in Hughie at the Washington Stage Guild. He is a company member at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and originated the role of the dead man, Gordon, in their premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Dead Man’s Cell Phone. Mr. Foucheux received the Helen Hayes Outstanding Lead Actor Award in 2000 for the title role in Edmund at the Source Theatre, and in 2006, for the role of Mason Marzac in Take Me Out at the Studio Theatre.

“What the Theatre Lab has done is produce a teaching model that mirrors the great thing about the Washington community, and that is, the community.”
George Fulginiti-Shakar

George Fulginiti-Shakar is well known in the Washington, DC area as a music director, teacher, vocal instructor, composer and pianist. He has received Helen Hayes Awards for his music direction of Oklahoma and Cabaret at Arena Stage, and in addition has received seven Helen Hayes Award nominations for his work on such shows as Camelot and South Pacific at Arena Stage and The Oedipus Plays at the Shakespeare Theatre. He was invited to the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center's National Music Theatre Conference as music director, and has performed extensively as music director and pianist for cabaret artists here and in New York. Mr. Fulginiti-Shakar is also on the board of the DC Cabaret Network, is a cofounder of the Alliance for New Music Theatre, and is on the faculty of the Studio Acting Conservatory.

“All of the people in my classes have been highly motivated and come to class enthusiastic and ready to dig in. There's so much support for each member to do their best, especially in the "Cabaret Class" that Judy Simmons and I have taught there. In the end, we all benefit!”
Michael Gabel

Michael Gabel currently appears on the HBO series Veep and in the recurring role of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on House of Cards. He has appeared in over 60 films and numerous television shows, including five years of voice work for the series The Wire. Michael has taught acting at American University, Catholic University, Montgomery College and The Smithsonian Institution. He has been the recipient of two AIR Awards (Achievement in Radio - Talent Division), the 2009 and 2011 48hr Film Festival Award for Best Acting, and picked up his 6th Peer Award (Acting on Camera - Male Dramatic) for his portrayal of the title role in The Gravedigger. He was awarded the 2012 Best Supporting Actor at the Prestigious LA Web Series Festival and co-starred with Annet Mahendru (of The Americans) as The Administrator in the feature film Sally Pacholok.

“The best thing about teaching at Theatre Lab is the ability to create your own class with its own special curriculum without the interference of the administration. I have been on faculties before where it is a luxury rarely afforded.”
Elizabeth Gannaway

Elizabeth Gannaway teaches in the Summer Acting Camp for Kids and received her B.A. in Theatre from Eastern Mennonite University. While at EMU, she helped develop the social justice-based improvisational theatre troupe with which she continues to perform and teach. Her experience teaching children spans multiple ages and cultures. Internationally, Elizabeth has taught in schools and orphanages in India, Russia, Kalmykia, Guatemala, Thailand, and England. Here in DC, in addition to being an instructor for The Theatre Lab’s Life Stories Program, she is an assistant teacher and Drama Club facilitator at Creative Minds International PCS. While instructing and performing, she has had the privilege of experiencing how theatre impacts lives in unique and varied venues, such as small-town middle schools in Virginia, Aboriginal communities of Australia’s outback, a girl’s detention center in South Africa, and remote villages around the world.

Nia Graham headshot
Nia Graham
Nia Graham is an actor and teaching artist who has taught Life Stories since 2009 and is a graduate of The Theatre Lab's Honors Acting Conservatory. Her theatre credits include Twelfth Night at Shakespeare Theatre Company (Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble), Lolita at Arena Stage's Edward Albee Festival, Measure For Measure at Motown Theatre, How Old is a Hero? and African Roots Latino Soul at Discovery Theater. 


Theatre Lab faculty member George Grant
George Grant (In Memoriam)

George Grant made his professional theatre debut in 1979 at The Goodman Theatre in An Enemy of the People directed by Gregory Mosher. Locally he appeared at The Shakespeare Theatre Company (with Patrick Stewart), Washington Shakespeare Company, Catalyst Theater Company, and many others. He directed: Am I Black Enough Yet?, originally mounted in 2008 and remounted in 2009, for Charter Theatre Company, Bulletins from Fatland for Horizons Theatre Company, his own adaptation of Antigone for Actor’s Repertory Theatre at The National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, where he was a Senior Faculty Member, and Leader of the Pack for Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayetteville, PA.

“The diversity and enthusiasm of the students makes the work at Theatre Lab inspiring!”
Kirsten Grorud

Kirsten Grorud  works regionally as a Director and Teaching Artist and has taught at the Summer Acting Camp for Kids for three years. She learned to teach at the Tony award-winning Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN, where she apprenticed and later worked in their Theatre Arts Training school. Regionally, she has directed for The Theatre Lab (Summer 2017’s Just Outside of Town), Imagination Stage (Bye Bye Birdie, Unlabeled, The Pencil is Mightier- Upcoming June 2018), Metropolitan School of the Arts (The Tempest, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Antigone); and Assistant Directed for The Hub Theatre (Peekaboo). She also serves on the faculty of Wolf Trap and Metropolitan School of the Arts. Kirsten received her B.A. from Wheaton College.

Mitchell Hébert

Mitchell Hébert has performed at many of the DC area’s leading theatres including Woolly Mammoth, where he was a longtime company member; Round House Theatre, where he is a member of its Artist’s Round Table; Olney Theatre Center, where he recently directed the critically acclaimed production of Rabbit Hole; The Shakespeare Theatre, Studio Theatre, Theatre of the First Amendment, Rep Stage, and Everyman Theatre in Baltimore. He has been nominated for a Helen Hayes Award (Outstanding Lead Actor, The Drawer Boy), and received the Greater Baltimore Theatre Award for Outstanding Actor (Uncle Vanya). Mitchell is on the faculty of the University of Maryland’s Department of Theatre where he teaches acting and directing. His students are working all over the country in every aspect of the entertainment world. He played a significant role in the development of the department’s new MFA in Performance.

Marietta Hedges

Marietta Hedges is an actress, director and teacher. She is associate professor of acting at Catholic University and Head of the MFA Acting Program. She has worked as an actress in theatre, film and television in London, China, New York, San Francisco, and the Baltimore/Washington D.C. area. Marietta played the role of Karen in the HBO award winning film Money Matters. She originated the roles of slain civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo and KKK infiltrator and FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe in the solo show Selma '65 which premiered at La MaMa, Etc., in NYC in 2014, and subsequently toured the country in 2015.

Christopher Henley

Christopher Henley began acting (1979) and directing (1980) around DC with Source Theatre Company. He was a founding Ensemble Member at WSC Avant Bard (formerly Washington Shakespeare Company); was its Artistic Director for more than 16 years; and continues as its Artistic Director Emeritus and as a member of the Acting Company. Under his leadership, WSC was a vital part of the developing small professional theatre scene. As a producer, director, and actor, he shepherded dozens of productions, many of which were critically acclaimed and award-winning, and provided high-profile opportunities to scores of emerging actors, directors, and designers. Other theaters at which he has worked include SCENA Theatre (founding company member), Longacre Lea Productions, Folger Theatre, Quotidian Theatre Company, and Ambassador Theatre, in addition to several companies no longer functioning, such as Cherry Red Productions, Spheres Theatre Company, The American Century Theater, and Moving Target Theatre.

Terah Herman-Saldaña

Terah Herman-Saldaña is a full-time member of The Theatre Lab staff and supervises all youth programs. She holds an MA in Theatre from the University of Kentucky and a BA in Theatre from Capital University. Terah has previously served as the Education Associate and Summer Camp Director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Terah has also worked as a teaching artist at Imagination Stage, West Chester Academy of Music, The Center of Science and Industry, Starfire, Kennedy Heights Arts Center, and the University of Kentucky.

Tamekia Jackson

Tamekia Jackson is a Houston native, and received her B.A. in Theater from St. Edward’s University and is very close to completing her M.A. at New York University. Tamekia is a performer and teaching artist who enjoys helping people grow through sharing their stories. She has previously taught with KIPP: Sharpstown, Writers in the Schools, and The Moth. She teaches at youth summer camps and Life Stories programs.

Naomi Jacobson

Naomi Jacobson holds a Masters Degree in Acting from Temple University and has been a professional actress and teacher for the last 25 years. A Woolly Mammoth Company Member, she’s performed at The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, Signature Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Round House Theatre, as well as Arizona Theatre Company, The Goodman, Milwaukee Repertory, Delaware Theatre Co., and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. Naomi has taught acting at George Washington University, University of Maryland, Catholic University and many professional theatres in the area. She’s coached all kinds of professionals in public speaking from architects, lawyers, preachers and vice presidents of major corporations. She has received two Helen Hayes Awards along with twelve nominations for her work as an actress, as well as a Lunt-Fontanne Fellowship and an Individual Artist Grant from the D.C. Arts Commission.

“There’s a lot of infectious joy at The Theatre Lab, a way of approaching the work that is inclusive, expansive, and enthusiastic. It’s always a pleasure to teach classes in such a welcoming environment.”
John Judy
John Judy

John Judy is a DC area actor-writer-director who has performed on stages here as well as in Los Angeles and Chicago. His more notable credits include House of Cards, Homicide: Life on the Street and writing and performing in over 150 original sketch shows at the IO West Theatre in Hollywood. In DC, John has taught at Imagination Stage (formerly BAPA), the Rockville Jewish Community Center and the Smithsonian Associates Summer Program. John's most recent projects include HBO's Veep, the National Geographic Channel's Killing Kennedy, Lovely Molly, a supernatural thriller from the creators of The Blair Witch Project, and the on-going role of the Detective in Murder Mystery USA's touring company.

"The thing I enjoy most about teaching at Theatre Lab is being in a supportive community of talent at all levels. The respect and dedication to the actor’s craft demonstrated by all members of the Theatre Lab community, teachers, staff and students, makes it an inspiring place in which to be present. I have no doubt I have seen among my students the artists who are going to light the way for the next generation of DC talent and audiences."
Casey Kaleba

Casey Kaleba founded and runs Tooth & Claw. He has coordinated violence for opera, television, music videos, and more than 400 productions with professional, community, and academic theatres. That work includes arranging fights at the Guthrie Theatre, Spoleto Festival, Folger Theatre, Signature Theatre, Round House Theatre, Keegan Theatre, Wolf Trap Opera, Avant Bard, Hub Theatre, Washington National Opera, Source Festival, Olney Theatre Center, and Constellation Theatre. A company member with Rorschach Theatre and Brave Spirits Theatre, Casey has staged fights for knights, musketeers, princesses, zombies, wolves, pirates, ninjas, and at least one alien tentacle. Casey has trained with movement artists from across the globe, including Fight Directors Canada, the Society of Australian Fight Directors, British Academy of Stage and Screen Combat, Dueling Arts International, Dell'Arte,Combat Circus, Rapier Wit, and the British Academy of Dramatic Combat. He holds an MA in Theatre History from the University of Maryland. A Certified Teacher and Fight Director with the Society of American Fight Directors, Casey has taught theatrical combat workshops and courses for a wide range of programs. Casey is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

Craig Klein

Craig Klein is a multiple-award winning voice actor with credits including Toyota, GEICO, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Walmart, Verizon, The Weather Channel, Animal Planet, Turner Sports, Smithsonian Channel, Cartoon Network, Encore, The NFL, Penguin Audio, WETA-TV and Fox5DC. He has also been seen on Washington area stages including The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Constellation Theatre, and Metro Stage, and has performed in Theatre Lab productions of Ragtime and Ghetto.


"Teaching at The Theatre Lab is one of the most rewarding experiences of my career. Helping others stretch out and grow and make new discoveries is a gift I cherish.”
Tony Koehler

Tony Koehler is a teaching artist, director and designer who has taught for four years with The Theatre Lab’s Summer Acting Camp for Kids. Tony holds a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Kentucky and is currently a resident designer at Folger Shakespeare Library Theatre. Other design and teaching credits include shows with GALA Hispanic Theatre, Rainbow Theatre Project, DC Public Schools, Northwestern University, Piven Theatre Workshop, Emerald City Children’s Theatre, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. He is a proud graduate of The Theatre Lab’s Life Stories Institute and serves as a Life Stories instructor, helping to cultivate stories and devise theatre with vulnerable people in DC.

Joe Martin

Joe Martin has directed over 50 professional productions, as well as student productions at universities in the DC area. He is a four-time recipient of Fulbrights in Theatre for his international work, and a two-time recipient of Rockefeller Foundation grants for original theatrical creations. His credits include major works by Strindberg, Tennessee Williams, his own stage adaptation of Rumi’s MATHNAVI, Buchner, Dario Fo, Shakespeare, Brecht, Sam Shepard, Chekhov, Ibsen, among many others, including his own original works. He has been a regular instructor in Viewpoints at the El Haddawi Winter School for performance near Munich, and at summer institutes at American University and Catholic University in Washington DC. He is the author of several dozen original plays, adaptations and translations. Since 2009 he has been part of the faculty team building the Theatre Arts and Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University, where he is a full-time lecturer.

Michael McCorkle
Walter "Bobby" McCoy

Walter “Bobby” McCoy is a 2018 Helen Hayes award-winning music director and pianist. Bobby currently works with young artists as a faculty member of the ATMTC Academy in Rockville. His music direction credits include The Wild Party with Constellation Theatre Company; In the Heights at GALA Hispanic Theatre; Blues in the Night, Caroline or Change and Once On This Island with Creative Cauldron; Bat Boy, Altar Boyz and Old Wicked Songs (for which he received a Helen Hayes Award nomination) at 1st Stage Theatre; A Christmas Story, My Fair Lady, and Mame at Riverside Center for the Performing Arts; Carrie: The Musical at Dominion Stage; American Idiot and Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Little Butterfly Theatre; and Big Fish at McLean High School.

Brenna McDonough
Brenna McDonough
Brenna McDonough is a full-time professional actor and author. Her work includes commercials, corporate videos, indie, feature films and voice over work. She founded her own studio, On-Camera Training, in 1995 in Silver Spring, MD. Brenna began her career in her hometown of Chicago where she was a student of Paul Sills at Second City. She then studied and worked in Los Angeles and New York before settling in the Washington, DC area. She has taught her on-camera acting class at New York University and the University of Maryland as well as Shakespeare Theatre Education. Brenna recently directed her first indie, Unheard Melodies for RSK Productions. She and her actor husband, John Leslie Wolfe are the co-authors of You Can Work On-Camera. This book is used in several universities and schools. She is a proud member of SAG/AFTRA and Actors Center.
“The enthusiasm the students bring to class weekly is very rewarding. Being a part of the Theatre Lab family exposes me to a wide varitey of actors and creative people. I also like being a student myself at TL and learning from other dedicated teachers.”
Angelo Merenda

Angelo Merenda, Theatre Lab's IT/Technical Director has worked freelance as an audio technician, lighting director, and production manager for over 15 years on the East Coast. New York credits include Manhattan School of Music, Webster Hall Quarterly Arts Soiree and the Moving Beauty Dance Series. In the DC area, he has worked productions at The Studio Theater, Shakespeare Theatre, and Constellation Theatre, and served as Production Manager for Rainbow Theatre Project. Prior to joining The Theatre Lab, he managed local crews for touring rock and roll and Broadway shows for the Modlin Center for the Arts in Richmond, VA.

Donna Migliaccio

Donna Migliaccio has been a fixture in the D.C. theatre scene for more than 20 years and has performed in nearly every venue in the area. On Broadway she portrayed radical anarchist Emma Goldman in the 2009 revival of Ragtime and appeared as General Cartwright in the 50th Anniversary National Tour of Guys & Dolls. Recent area performances include the Stepmother in Cinderella at the Olney Theatre, Mrs. Paroo in The Music Man at Arena Stage, and Betsy Ross in the world premiere of Liberty Smith at Ford’s Theatre. She is the recipient of two Helen Hayes Awards and has been honored with an additional ten nominations. Visit her webpage at

“The Theatre Lab is a tremendous place to learn and grow. Class sizes are small enough that each student gets plenty of personal attention, yet large enough that there's a lively give-and-take in each session. I always finish my courses feeling like I've learned as much from my students as they have from me!”
Scott Morgan

Scott Morgan is a 30-year veteran of the stage, a 1991 Helen Hayes Award recipient, and a 1996 nominee for Lead Actor in a Musical. He has worked at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Washington Stage Guild and the Washington Jewish Theatre, among others. His television credits include NBC, ABC, HBO, Netflix and a ten-year run on Home and Garden Television. On film, he has appeared in several bad Hollywood movies and appears regularly in the avant-garde films of John Waters. As a day job, Scott runs The Morgan Group, a media training and public speaking consultancy, and is part of the creative team of Musica Aperta, a performance art group.

“I teach at The Theatre Lab for three reasons: it is incredibly well-organized, they attract an extraordinary faculty, and the high level of talent and dedication among the students. I am proud to recommend The Theatre Lab to those who are really serious about learning the craft of acting.”
Dot Neumann
Dorothy Neumann

Dorothy Neumann is a pioneer in the small professional theatre circuit, having directed in the Washington area for over 34 years. She has received three Helen Hayes nominations for Outstanding Direction—for Top Girls, Johnny Bull (both Horizons productions) and Unidentified Human Remains… at Signature—and served as Artistic Director for D.C. Stage and Goosebump Theatre. An Artistic Associate at Source Theatre, Horizons and Signature in past years, Dot has taught at The Theatre Lab almost since its inception, in addition to being an adjunct faculty member for American University and consultant for Arlington County Schools and teacher for Arlington Adult Education. Most recently she has joined the seasonal staff at Clear Space Theatre Company in Rehoboth where she has directed Cabaret, Shirley Valentine, La Cage Aux Folles and On Golden Pond. She will direct a fundraiser for Clear Space and Beebe Hospital in March 2015. Dot has recently published a book of poetry, Truth Serum.


“Teaching at The Theatre Lab has always been a joy. Whenever I have a new idea for a class, Buzz and Deb are always open and enthusiastic in their support. It's very rewarding to be able to explore, create and inspire students to launch them in their study in my Intro. class or to develop their newly found talent in advanced classes. Some graduates of the Conservatory have recently started their own theatre company! Contributing to that growth is bliss!”
Tracy Lynn Olivera

A classically trained singer, Tracy Olivera has appeared in many musicals and plays, including the Broadway run of Ragtime. At Signature Theatre she has been seen in Company, Gypsy, Les Miserables (Helen Hayes nomination), ACE, Merrily We Roll Along (Helen Hayes nomination), Follies, and Sweeney Todd. She has also performed at the Kennedy Center in Sunday in the Park with GeorgePassionMerrily We Roll Along, and Ragtime; at Ford’s in Hello Dolly and Liberty Smith; at Studio Theatre in Bachelorette; Olney Theatre Center in Cinderella and The Sound of Music; at MetroStage in The Last Five Years; and in Candide at the Shakespeare Theatre and at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago. Tracy is also a member of Rorschach Theatre Company and has taught at Catholic University, Signature Theatre for Stage One and Overtures, Adventure Theatre/MTC, and Imagination Stage. Her new self titled CD will be available in February.

Stacey Picard

Stacey Picard has been involved with the Theatre Lab Life Stories program at N Street Village in Washington, DC since 2013, and has directed that program since 2015. She has also directed Life Stories programs for middle school children at St. Rocco’s Catholic School, in the inner-city of Cleveland OH, including a program specifically designed to empower young women. She holds a Masters degree from John Carroll University and a Certificate in Non-Profit Management from Case Western Reserve University. She is a graduate of the Theatre Lab’s Life Stories Institute, and has apprenticed under Thom Workman and Elizabeth Pringle. She has a lifelong passion for theatre and for community work, especially with the poor and marginalized, and has served on numerous boards of organizations supporting those communities. She has taught in the low-income immigrant community of Northern Virginia since moving to the area in 2012.

Elizabeth Pringle

Elizabeth Pringle is a playwright, director, actor, and arts & media producer/educator. She has written plays, musicals, opera and zarzuela adaptations, operettas, articles, poems, websites, grants, a film and more. She loves working with language and image to discover meaning and hopefully make art. She has taught emerging playwrights and actors in DC (Theatre Lab, Kennedy Center, Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Young Playwrights) and beyond. Elizabeth is also the creator/director of The Shortie Awards: International Film and News Festival, celebrating and promoting youth-made media.

“The Theatre Lab cares not just about teaching craft but about creating community. Deb and Buzz have a vision that theatre has an essential place in the human experience. I think this is why teaching with The Theatre Lab is so important to me.”
Michael Russotto

Michael Russotto is a longtime Washington actor and director, who has appeared in shows on many local stages, including Arena Stage, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Theater J, Olney Theatre Center, Signature Theatre, Theatre Alliance, The Folger Theatre, MetroStage, Rep Stage and Studio Theatre. Recent roles include The Chronicler in Falling Out of Time, and Merv in The Sisters Rosensweig, both at Theater J, and Richard in Hay Fever, at Olney Theatre Center. He was recently nominated for a Helen Hayes Award in the category of Outstanding Lead actor for his work in The Whale at Rep Stage. Michael has directed at The Actors' Theatre of Washington (cofounder), MetroStage, Source Theatre, The Washington Shakespeare Company, Studio Theatre, Theater Lab, and The National Academy of Dramatic Arts. He is an Associate Artist at Olney Theatre Center, and a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Acting Company. In addition, Michael is a narrator of recorded books for the Library of Congress.

“I love teaching at The Theatre Lab because of the enthusiasm and dedication of the people who study here. They refresh me and remind me constantly to stay positive. Also, helping other artists on their personal journeys as performers has the added benefit of making me a better performer and teacher myself. Though it may sound like a cliche, working with students keeps me sharp and focused as an artist, and it helps me to better evaluate my own work and to challenge myself to continue growing and stretching as I refine my craft.”
Amal Saade

Amal Saade has been teaching on the Theatre Lab youth faculty since 2007, and the Life Stories faculty since 2010. She is currently on the theater faculty at the Lab School of Washington, and has also taught at ArtStream, Inc., Imagination Stage, and Jamestown Elementary School. She is a graduate of The Theatre Lab’s Honors Acting Conservatory, and has performed at theaters including Theater J, Olney Theatre, 1st Stage, Rorschach Theatre, Taffety Punk, Young Playwright’s Theatre, and The Source Theatre Festival. She holds a Masters in Theatre Education from Catholic University.

“Working in the Theatre Lab’s Summer Acting Camp for Kids and School’s Out program continues to be the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences I have ever had as a teacher. Seeing children from all walks of life learn to work together as a true ensemble and having the opportunity to facilitate their growth as artists and compassionate human-beings is a joy that I would not trade for any other.”
Carlos Saldaña

Carlos Saldaña is an actor, teacher, director, and voice coach. He has taught acting, voice, movement, directing, and stage dialects at several universities and has led performance and corporate workshops for actors, teachers, and business professionals. His professional acting credits include productions with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Theatre J, Cincinnati Playhouse, Olney Theatre, Theatre Alliance, Gala Theatre, Constellation Theatre, Source Theatre, The Welders Playwrights Collective, Atlas Performing Arts Center, Consuming The Arts Theatre Project, The Inkwell, and The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Carlos is a certified Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework© and has also trained in the Alexander Technique, Feldenkrais Method, Stanislavski Method, and studied with master teachers including Catherine Fitzmaurice, Kristen Linklater, Arthur Lessac, and Patsy Rodenberg. Carlos earned his Master of Fine Arts degree in Performance from California State University Fullerton and his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from the University of Texas El Paso.

Kim Schraf

Kim Schraf has performed at Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Studio Theatre, Ford’s, Round House, Signature, Woolly Mammoth, Everyman, Theater J, The Theatre of the First Amendment, and the Edinburgh Festival in Scotland. Credits include starring roles in The Laramie Project and The Widow Lincoln at Ford's Theatre; Angels in America at Signature; Skylight and Frozen, and The Apple Family Plays at Studio; Measure for Pleasure, Freedomland and The Gene Pool at Woolly Mammoth; and Proof and Light Up the Sky at Everyman. A graduate of St. John's College in Annapolis, she has been teaching since 1984, most recently at the Parkmont School. She is also a successful narrator of audio books and a speech coach. Kim helped launch the Honors Conservatory for The Theatre Lab in 2006 and continues to serve as one of its directors.


“My work with the Honors Conservatory students is more and more about blending craft and technique with something more elusive, but as essential: the ability to find freedom -- joy -- affirmation in their work, and the courage to avail themselves of who they are at each moment of the process. It mirrors what I strive for in my own work.”
Bobby Smith

Broadway: Crazy for You. Off Broadway: Forever Plaid (original cast), Kander and Ebb’s The World Goes ‘Round, and the revival of George Gershwin’s Of Thee I Sing. National tours: Brigadoon, The World Goes ‘Round. Studio Theatre: A Class Act (Helen Hayes Award nomination), Caroline or Change, Reefer Madness, (Helen Hayes Award nomination); Ford’s: Elmer Gantry, 1776, A Christmas Carol; Round House: A Year with Frog and Toad (Helen Hayes Award nomination); MetroStage: Musical of Musicals (Helen Hayes Award nomination); The Kennedy Center: The Happy Prince, The Flea and the Professor; Signature: 20 shows including TitanicDisney's Freaky Friday, La Cage aux Folles (Helen Hayes Award), and Spin (Helen Hayes Award). He is an artistic associate at Olney Theatre where he was nominated for Helen Hayes Awards in The Sound of Music and Annie. He has directed and choreographed across the nation and received the 2013, 2014, 2017 Helen Hayes Award.


Deidra LaWan Starnes

Deidra LaWan Starnes’ acting credits include Milk Like Sugar and The Gospel of Lovingkindness at Mosaic Theater, The Good Counselor at 1st Stage, Julius Caesar, Invisible Man (Helen Hayes Award), Intimate Apparel (Helen Hayes Award), A Raisin in the Sun, I Have before Me a Remarkable Document…., Two Trains Running, Spunk, Twelve Days of Christmas, Charlotte’s Web, Passing Strange, In the Red and Brown Water, Radio Golf, King Lear, Doubt and for colored girls … directed by Ntozake Shange. Film credits include Chasing Refuge, Nocturnal Agony, and Ladder 49. Directing credits include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Helen Hayes Nomination for Outstanding Production), for colored girls … (Theatre Alliance), and The Name Game (DC Theatre Festival. She holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland, an MFA in Drama from the University of Connecticut, and an MA from American University in Producing Film, TV, and Video.

Alex Tang

Pianist Alex Tang has performed with numerous productions at the Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, Arena Stage, Signature, Studio, National, Shakespeare, and Ford’s Theatre, including the national tours of Mamma Mia!, Wicked, and The Lion King. He plays for a wide variety of musical groups and performers throughout the D.C. area, including the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, American Pops Orchestra, and D.C. Cabaret Network.  He recently played keyboards for Anastasia and will soon do so for Miss Saigon and Aladdin, all at the Kennedy Center Opera House. By day, he works as an attorney and has served on the advisory boards for a number of performing arts organizations. Musical training: Juilliard (Pre-College Div.); Yale (B.A. with honors).

MaryBeth Wise

MaryBeth Wise is an actor, teacher and narrator of audio books. Her acting credits include How to Write a New Book for the Bible at Round House Theatre, Body Awareness at Theater J, Frozen at Studio Secondstage, The Importance of Being Earnest at Arena Stage, The Mineola Twins at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Midwives with Roundhouse Theatre, Perfect Pie and Piaf with Potomac Theatre Project, Vita and Virginia at Rep Stage, and numerous productions at Olney Theatre including Annie Sullivan in The Miracle Worker (Helen Hayes Award Nomination). She has performed with The Shakespeare Theatre, Ford's Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and The Folger Theatre. MaryBeth has toured nationally with the Kennedy Center and the National Players, and internationally with Music Tours, Inc. and USIA. She is a narrator of audio books for the Library of Congress, received her BA from Barry University, and holds an MFA in Acting from Catholic University.

“I love teaching at Theatre Lab for many reasons. I love the diversity of students who take classes at The Theatre Lab—from beginners who have never acted before to experienced professionals. I also enjoy working with students who are committed and willing to take risks ... such a pleasure to explore the acting process with these students.”
Thom Workman

Thomas Workman has been making socially-conscious theatre and film in the Washington area for more than 20 years. The former Artistic Director of City at Peace and Associate Director of Everyday Theater, two award-winning organizations, Thom has also directed plays and films for Sunshipp Productions, the Anacostia Oral History Project, and the Crossroads Theater Company. He has taught drama workshops for The Bethesda Academy of Dramatic Arts, the NAMES Project, City Lights School, and the I Have a Dream Foundation. Thom has been a director of The Theatre Lab’s Life Stories program since 2005 where his recent projects include conceiving and co-directing My Soul Look Back and Wonder, an original play featuring homeless women in recovery, which performed in The Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theatre.

“For me, it’s about connecting with people and populations who don’t get a chance to tell their stories, and finding value in those stories. The value in acting it out is that if you’re honest in your approach to your character, some self-discovery occurs along the way.”
Theatre Lab Instructor