Meet Theater O
A cornerstone belief of Theater O is that with the right instructors, children
can thrive in the theater community. All our instructors are seasoned
professionals who excel in their craft. Our faculty 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 the Ossining Arts Project (The Village Art Committee) and Bethany Arts Community. She sat on the Board of Ossining MATTERS for 6 years and was president for 2. For 10 years she was the Artistic Director of the
, NYC based
! Theater Company where she fostered new plays from a seed of an idea through to full productions. She directed Off & Off
at the Flea, The Ohio, HERE Arts Center, 78th Street Theater Lab, Dixon Place, The Blue Heron Arts Center, The Ontological at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery 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 . Locally, she has directed adults professionally for Rivers Edge Theatre Co. 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.
Jessica Carmen Courtney is a Cuban American actress, creator of silly songs, label maker enthusiast, and "mama" to her hilarious daughter and adorable baby boy. Relatively new to Ossining, she and her family moved to the area 2 years ago after living in NYC for 10 years. She studied opera performance at the New England Conservatory of Music and The University of Kentucky and has performed (opera, choral, jazz, piano, theater) for most of her life. After her classical music training, she went on to study improv at UCB (levels 101/201), and scene study (ESPA with Primary Stages). You might have caught her in some commercials or print ads including Optimum Cable, New Jersey Lotto, and Fidelis Care. Jessica is having so much fun connecting her improv and musical training at home by diving deep into imaginative play and writing funny, relatable songs about motherhood. www.JessicaCarmen.com.
Julie has been a resident of Ossining for over 15 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!
companies including 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 Irons (Associate Director)
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 he has worked with several New York theater
Michelle Concha Herko
Michelle moved to Ossining 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
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. She is Artistic Director of State of Play Productions in NYC.
Arrington Carr (Consulting Speech Pathologist)
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!!!
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.
Kathryn is an actor and acting instructor who currently resides in Westchester County, NY. Favorite theater roles include: Point Last Seen (Atlantic Stage 2), Three Women in Indecision (The Kraine Theater), God of 16 Acres (Atlantic 453), Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden (Atlantic Conservatory), The John Wayne Principle (The Ohio Theater), and Antigone (Nashville Shakespeare Festival) among many others. Ms. Alexander can be seen in the film Choke (Sundance Grand Jury Prize, 2008). Television roles include Law & Order and Dickens in America (BBC Scotland). She received her BA from Brown University and completed the Conservatory Program at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. She has been a member of the Atlantic teaching staff since 2001.
Ruth Ragan (Consulting Social Worker)
Ruth earned her Masters degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Children & Families (in 1997). She has worked as a therapist in an outpatient mental health clinic as well as in community-based family preservation and therapeutic foster care programs. She administered a mental health program for Camp Viva, a respite program for families and individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. She has co-faciliated group therapy for latency age children and adolescents.