Meet Theater O
A cornerstone belief of Theater O is that withthe right instructors, children
can thrive in the theater community. All our instructors are seasoned
professionals who excel in their craft. Our instructors have been seen
on professional stages in New York City and Regionally, and been trained
at renowned institutions such as Julliard, The American Conservatory
Theatre, Actors Theatre Workshop and Skidmore College.
Jessica Irons, Artistic Director
Jessica, an Ossining resident, and sits on the boards of Ossining MATTERS (Ossining's Educational Foundation) and the Ossining Arts Project (The Village Art Committee). For 10 years she was the Artistic Director of the award winning, NYC based Andhow! Theater Company where she fostered new plays from a seed of an idea through to full productions. She directed Off & Off Off Broadway at the Flea, The Ohio, HERE Arts Center, 78th Street Theater Lab, Dixon Place, The Blue Heron Arts Center, The Ontological at St.
Marks, New Georges and adobe theatre company. She was the Associate Artistic Director of adobe theatre company and the Artistic Associate at Adirondack Theater Festival. As an educator she has directed/taught in Newark NJ, Redhook, Brooklyn, for the 52nd Street Project in Manhattan, Allan Stevenson, Fordham University, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester and elsewhere throughout the tri-state area . She was the original therapeutic arts director at Children of Promise, NYC in Bedford Stuyvesant, where she developed and implemented therapeutic art & theater curricula for children of incarcerated parents. Jessica studied theater at Skidmore College (BA) and Creative Arts Therapy at the New School.
Aisling hails from Dublin, Ireland, and has been a resident of Ossining for the last 8 years. She took her first step on the professional American stage playing the role of Annie in New York, New Jersey, and Ohio. She spent her childhood performing in professional theaters throughout the US and attended the distinguished Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School in Colorado. Aisling has a Bachelors degree in English Literature from the State University of New York at Albany, and is a graduate of the Neighborhood Playhouse School of Theater. She has studied Meisner and Strasberg acting techniques, and trained in singing, dance, voice and speech, and stage combat. Aisling has performed on many NYC stages, and is an active
member of local theater companies, the Westchester Collaborative Theater and Axial Theater. At an early age her love of imaginary play and creative discovery pulled her into the theater, a place where anything is possible! Yearning to share that perspective, Aisling has worked with children in NYC’s Wingspan Arts Program and with at-risk youth in the Actors Theater Workshop, Builders of a New World Program. Most recently Aisling experienced pure joy co-directing a group of Claremont School’s 4th graders in their first ever school play! She is so excited to join the Theater O family and continue to play, create, and discover the magic of children!
Julie has been a resident of Ossining for the past 14 years and has loved every minute of it! Originally from Oregon, she received her Bachelors of Fine Arts from The Goodman School of Drama at DePaul University in Chicago. She then moved to NYC where she studied with and became a member of Gotham City Improv, performing Improv and writing sketch comedy. She has always been drawn to comedy, so when she discovered the art of Improv..not only was it the icing on the
cake for her in terms of acting, it was the corner piece with a rose on top! She has been a member of WCT here in Ossining for the past 5 years and has had the privilege of helping to start an Improv group within the company. She has also recently been accepted into THE YES SHOW in NYC, where she will continue to hone her craft in Improv on a professional level.
Julie taught nursery school at Torbank in Ossining for 5 years and then again at Chappaqua Friends for 3 years. Julie has found that the only thing better than Improv is teaching children and watching them grow, so combining the two…let’s just say, I’m over the moon!
he has worked with several New York theater companies, including adobe, New Dramatists, Gilgamesh Theater Group, Expanded Arts, The Ontological, New Georges, Turnip and 78th Street Theater Lab. His play Linus & Alora was published in Plays & Playwrights Best Plays of 2010.
Andrew has been a Teaching Artist at The Hudson River Academy, Sarah Lawrence College’s Summer Writing Intensive, Westchester Community College, Allen Stevenson, and Penobscot Theater Company. He was Program Director for Off the Hook a playwriting to performance program in Red Hook Brooklyn, 2006-2008. He has been teaching in the New York City public school system for the last 8 years. Andrew studied theater at the American Conservatory Theater (Young Conservatory), National Theater Institute, Skidmore College (BA) and Sarah Lawrence College (MFA).
Andrew is a playwright and a founding member of ANDHOW! Theater Company. For Andhow! he has written Linus & Alora (The Flea Theater), Little Suckers (The Ohio Theater), Non-D, (the Ontological Theatre; Backstage STIMY Award: Powerful Production 2003-2004), Paschal Full Moon (78th Street Theater Lab), and has received readings / workshops of Yakima Man and Iris. His play Tunnel was produced at Expanded Arts. His toy theater piece And Away! was presented at The Brick, as well as with Andhow! at The Connelly Theater. And as an actor and playwright
Michelle Concha Herko
Michelle moved to Ossining 5 years ago when she and her husband Ed bought the house his grandfather built here in Ossining in 1949! Originally from Houston, Texas, Michelle moved to New York to attend The Juilliard School where she earned a BFA in Dance. During her time at Juilliard, Michelle also studied acting and movement with the acting faculty and afterwards went on to study with Suzanne and Bill Esper
at the WIlliam Esper Studio in their 2 year program. Michelle has been lucky to have danced and taught dance in Europe and South America in addition to performing in plays, commercials and hosting TV shows. Movement has always been an important part of any character she has ever created and that sense of play is what she hopes to instill in each of her students. She is Executive Director of State of Play Productions in NYC and currently a member of Westchester Collaborative Theatre.
Arrington has been a resident of Ossining for 17 years and is thrilled to be joining the Theater O team! Arrington has worked in the special education field for 20 years. She has worked with a variety of children, in homes, schools, and recreational environments, to facilitate and support development of language, communication skills, pragmatics, social awareness, and play skills. She has worked as a Speech Language Pathologist for the past 8 years at a variety of schools for children with special needs, including The Pathways School, the Alcott Montessori School, and the Devereux Millwood Learning Center. Arrington holds an MS in Communication Disorders from Mercy College and a BS in Psychology. She is a licensed Speech Language
Pathologist and a certified Teacher of Students with Speech and Language Disabilities (TSSLD) in the state of New York. She holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology (CCC-SLP) from the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Arrington’s own 3 children have been active Theater O participants since day one!!!
Arthur has been acting in New York for over twenty years. He was an original member of adobe theatre company and the Associate Artistic Director of Andhow Theater Company. In New York he’s worked with Soho Rep, Manhattan Theatre Club, and New York Theatre Workshop, to name a just a few. Regionally he's worked at such theaters as Actors' Theatre of Louisville and Williamstown Theatre Festival. He's a regular participant in Off the Hook (a youth playwrighting program in Red Hook) and an ensemble member of
Laurie Stanton’s Sound Diet (a radio program taped before live audiences). He was named a newyorktheater.com Person of the Year for his contribution to independent theatre. In addition he's done a number of independent films. This Fall he will be acting in a production he helped develop with Rabbit Hole Ensemble and directing a play at the Jalopy Theater in Brooklyn. He trained primarily at Northwestern University and Circle Rep Theatre School.
Giocille Shaw has been making music with children since 1992. A general music/chorus teacher at Claremont School, she enjoys working with the talented students in Ossining. In addition, she is a member of the Kodaly Certification faculty of Steinhardt School, New York University. She teaches piano at The Cortlandt School of Performing Arts, and is a staff musician at The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Hudson Valley and St. Ann's Church in Ossining. This year, she will lead Ossining Sings!, a community chorus for Ossining residents who wish to unite their voices in song.
Bill Coelius is a professional actor and writer who has written over 100 plays (all of them under two minutes) and has performed on stage, film and television. As a Teaching Artist he has taught creative storytelling, script writing and performing skills to students both in Los Angeles and in New York City. He is a three time national champion in prose, poetry and duo public speaking forensics competitions. He holds a B.A. in Philosophy, and a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Eastern Michigan University. He also originated a performance summer camp called The Art Thieves Conservatory, a school for the brilliant and sneaky, as well as The 30/60 PACK, a performance art summer experience for kids.
Jenn Susi (bio forthcoming)
Jonathan C. Kaplan is a Tony Award nominated actor who has worked
professionally in the New York City area since 1991. He has appeared on
Broadway in Falsettos, for which he received a Tony Award nomination and Theatre World award, and in The Diary of Anne Frank with Natalie Portman. Off-Broadway credits include Forever Dusty, Rags, and The Loman Family Picnic. Film and Television credits include Learning to Drive starring Sir Ben Kingsley, What Just Happened, Life With Mikey, The Blacklist, Hostages, Elementary, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, and Babylon 5. He has also worked at regional theaters around the country, including George Street, Denver Center, the Guthrie, Alabama Shakespeare, Hangar Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, and a full touring year with the Acting Company. Jonathan holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and is a proud father and husband.