Minou Pourshariati (Actor) is an Iranian-American performer and Philadelphia native. She trained at the British American Drama Academy in London, UK, and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College. Minou has worked locally with Revolution Shakespeare, Theatre Ariel, Reject Theatre Company, Quintessence Theatre Group, and Delaware Shakespeare. She is a certified stage combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors in single sword, rapier & dagger, and longsword.
Dana Orange (Actor) is very excited to join the Living News company! Originally from Baltimore, MD, Dana moved to Philadelphia after graduating from Rowan University. He was an Acting Apprentice at the Walnut Street Theatre for their 2016-17 season and is learning his way around the Philadelphia theatre scene. He is so happy to be a part of such an important and educational production!
Sidney Shaulis (Actor) is a recent graduate of Arcadia University, where she earned her BFA in Acting. She currently resides in the greater Philadelphia area where she teaches and directs at several children’s theatre companies and schools. Favorite credits include The Spitfire Grill (Percy), The Prescott Method (Peg), and The Amish Project (Carol).
Larry Loebell (Playwright) is a Philadelphia playwright, fiction writer, and filmmaker. In 2016 his first book of short stories was published, called The Abundance League, and in 2017 a book of novellas appeared called Seven Steps Ahead. His play, House, Divided was nominated for a “Best New Play” Barrymore Award after its premiere production at InterAct Theater Company. His produced full-length plays include Girl Science, which premiered at Arcadia University Theater, La Tempestad, which premiered Off-Off Broadway at the OHIO THTR in New York, produced by The Resonance Ensemble, The Ballad of John Wesley Reed, which was produced by Theatre Catalyst in Philadelphia, and Pride of the Lion which also premiered at Theatre Catalyst. Larry’s published full length plays include La Tempestad in the anthology Playing With Canons: Explosive New Works from Literature by America’s Indie Playwrights, NYT Books, Girl Science, published by Indie Theater Now, and Pride of the Lion, published by Playscripts.com. Published short plays in regular production include Angie and Arnie Sanguine, But Who’s Counting, and Just Before the War Between the Plates, all published by Playscripts.com. Monologues and scenes from his plays have been published by Applause Books, Smith and Krauss Books, and Playscripts. He has been awarded four Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships in Playwriting, an EST/Sloan Science Foundation grant for his play Girl Science, and a new play commission for House, Divided from the National Council for Jewish Culture. He has written and produced two ultra-low budget feature films Dostoyevsky Man, which premiered in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival and was subsequently screened at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute and elsewhere, and Portrait Master, a film about repression and complicity. He has written film documentaries on historical and scientific subjects, including the award-winning Let the Doors be of Iron about Eastern State Penitentiary, and has also written (and received Emmy recognition) for a script for the Nickelodeon Network television show Rugrats.
David Bradley (Original Director and Co-Artistic Director) is a theater director, arts producer, writer and teaching artist. Throughout his career he has specialized in boundary-crossing artistic collaborations which frequently explore civic and community themes. He has been part of the leadership of Living News since it launched in 2006 and also directed the exhibition/theater hybrid Fighting for Democracy at the Constitution Center in 2011. David is Founding Director of LiveConnections, which inspires learning and builds community through collaborative music-making. He’s a long-time member of the resident ensemble at People’s Light, where his more than 30 productions include The Diary of Anne Frank, Row After Row, Of Mice and Men, The Crucible, A View From the Bridge, …Young Lady From Rwanda, Doubt and The Giver. He’s the director of A Fierce Kind of Love by Suli Holum, commissioned by Temple University’s Institute on Disabilities. The play tells the story of Pennsylvania’s intellectual disabilities rights movement, had a sold-out run in Philadelphia and continues to be presented. David was playwright and director of Voices of Voting, commissioned by the Committee of Seventy as part of events surrounding the Democratic National Convention. He’s directed frequently at Indiana Repertory Theatre, Act II Playhouse and Philadelphia Young Playwrights. David has been a participating artist with Outside the Wire, which creates theater projects addressing public health and social issues, and has led and facilitated projects for them at conferences and military bases across the country and in the Middle East. He is a recipient of the Brighter Futures Historical Award from Philadelphia’s Intellectual Disability Services for his work in accessibility in arts. He teaches at Arcadia University and is a graduate of Yale University.
Allison Heishman (Director) is the Artistic Director of Simpatico Theatre and a freelance director and educator based in Philadelphia. Directing Credits: with Azuka (Artistic Associate): The Arsonists (NNPN Rolling World Premiere), Local Girls (WP), The (Curious Case of the) Watson Intelligence, Skin & Bone (WP), Failure: A Love Story, Hazard County, the terrible girls (WP), Azuka One Acts. Other credits: Tartuffe (Commonwealth Classic), Macbeth (Revolution Shakespeare), Rabbit Hole, Eurydice (Ruhl, Arcadia University), No Reservations (PNAA Productions, WP), Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll (Plays & Players), Pinkalicious, the musical (Walnut Street Theater, Kids' Series), A Respectable Widow Takes to Vulgarity, Spacewang (Tiny Dynamite, A Play A Pie A Pint, Barnes Foundation). Heishman was the Assistant Director under Blanka Zizka for the Wilma Theater’s productions of Angels in America, parts I and II. She has written and directed for Theatre Programs at the National Constitution Center, where she is the director of Living News, a fast-paced show geared towards middle and high school students that discusses current events and the Constitution. Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts and Rowan University. Proud alumna of Washington College, Chestertown, MD. Up next: Ready, Steady, Yeti, Go (NNPN RWP) by David Jacobi at Azuka.
Daniel Kontz (Sound and Video Designer) is a Multimedia Designer from London, England, based in Philadelphia, PA. He graduated from West Chester University in 2011 with a B.A. in Theatre Arts, the JP Adler Award for Excellence in Theatre, and the Maverick Award for Excellence in Theatre. His Sound Design credits in Philadelphia include productions with The National Constitution Center, InterAct Theatre Company, Simpatico Theatre Project, Azuka Theatre, Plays & Players, The Renegade Company, and Matchbox Theatre. He is the Art Director for Revolution Shakespeare and was a member of Azuka Theatre’s inaugural “New Professionals” production. Outside of Philadelphia, his work has been seen and heard in the VI São Carlos Videodance Festival in Brazil, Columbia University’s New Plays Now Festival, the NYC Fringe Festival, The Left Out Festival, and the American College Dance Festival. His work can be seen and heard at www.danielkontzdesign.com.
Ben Levan (Lighting Designer) is a freelance lighting designer, production manager, and playwright living in Philadelphia. Previously he has worked on the National Constitution Center’s Founding Freedoms Plays, A Republic Madam, and Com[promising] Future. Other favorite designs include: The Emperor Jones (Iron Age Theatre), Punchkapow (Team Sunshine), and Speech and Debate (Azuka Theatre.) He is also the Master Electrician for the Lantern Theater Company as well as a proud new member of the Foundry, a Philadelphia-based playwriting lab.
Robin I. Shane (Costume Designer) has been designing costumes for over 25 years and is so happy to be working with the NCC! Recent productions include Iphigenia At Aulis and The Captive (PAC), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare Theater of NJ), and the upcoming ms. estrada at The Flea in NYC. Robin has served as the Resident Designer for EgoPo Productions in Philadelphia, where her projects included Hairy Ape, Stairs to the Roof, Death of a Salesman, A Doll’s House and Lady from the Sea. She has been the resident costume designer at Rider University for the past 6 seasons, where favorite designs include Bonnie and Clyde, Once on This Island, She Kills Monsters and Catch Me If You Can. Robin is also the current Resident Designer at Passage Theater in Trenton where her designs have included Paradise, Fixed, White Guy On The Bus, and The Goldilocks Zone, among many others. Other favorite productions include Greetings! and God of Carnage (Montgomery Theater), Xanadu, Dreamgirls and The Rocky Horror Show (Revision Theater) and Brundibar; Comedy on the Bridge and But The Giraffe (The New Victory Theater/Yale Rep/ Berkeley Rep). Other credits include Jean Cocteau Rep, Soho Rep, The Mint, Chicago Opera Theater, The Juilliard School, New York University and The Harrisburg Opera, as well as the large and small screen. Robin serves on the Board of Yes! And Collaborative Arts in Philadelphia, and earned an MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Nora E. Quinn (Director of Theatre Programs) Mrs. Quinn has been with the Center since 2003. She oversees the artistic direction and production of all theatre programming including Freedom Rising, Living News, Gallery Theatre Series, Fighting for Democracy and other performing arts programs at the museum year round. She is a professional Theatre Artist, Manager and Museum Educator. Nora’s work includes Directing, Dramaturgy, Design, Acting, Teaching and Theater Management. When not at the Center, she has taught at Arcadia University, Community College of Philadelphia and University of the Arts. She serves nationally as a consultant on integrating theater and museum programming. Nora was named one of Philadelphia’s Top 76 Creative Connectors by Leadership Philadelphia in 2011. She has worked extensively in the Philadelphia region and other east coast professional theatre including Radio City Productions, Arden Theatre, Wilma Theatre, Theatre Exile, People’s Light and Theatre, Mum Puppet Theatre, Center Stage, Americans For the Arts, Broadway on Broadway, Folger Theatre, Azuka Theatre (Co-Founder), White Pines Productions, USITT and others. Nora is a graduate of the nationally recognized Arden Professional Apprentice Program and is a member of the Actors Equity Association, American Association of Theater and Education and the International Museum Theatre Alliance and has presented on Museum Theatre at local, national and global conferences. Nora holds a BFA from Penn State University and a MA from Villanova University, both in Theater Arts.
Melissa Erlick (Theatre Programs Coordinator) has stage managed Living News since the spring of 2015. After graduating Suma Cum Laude from Lycoming College, Melissa completed her apprenticeship at Downstairs Cabaret Theatre in Rochester, NY, before moving back to her native Philadelphia. She has worked locally with Theatre Horizon, 11th Hour Theatre Company, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Arden Theatre Company, and Dragon’s Eye Theatre. She has served as Box Office Manager for Philadelphia Artist’s Collective and as a teaching artist for the Arden Theatre Company's Teen Drama Summer Camp.
Theatre Programs Support
Wardrobe Supervisor: Sarah Mitchell
Past Creative Team
Sound Design: Christopher Colucci, Mark Valenzuela
Lighting and Video Design: Terry Smith
Scenic Design: Matt Saunders
Costume Design: Rosemarie McKelvey, Becca Austin, Jamie Grace-Duff
215.409.6800 or [email protected]