- SCOTT BARROW
- STEPHEN BELBER
- MICHAEL EMERSON
- LEIGH FONDAKOWSKI
- AMANDA GRONICH
- MERCEDES HERRERO
- JIMMY MAIZE
- JOHN McADAMS
- ANDY PARIS
- GREG PIEROTTI
- BARBARA PITTS McADAMS
- KELLI SIMPKINS
Scott Barrow has been working with Tectonic since 2005 as an actor and collaborator on such projects as 33 Variations (Arena Stage/Georgetown, The Ahamadson, and on Broadway) and the tour of The Laramie Project and The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later. Scott is a Teaching Company Member with Tectonic, and using the company’s technique of Moment Work to write and develop two pieces: Outcasts- The Lepers on Penikese Island and Equally Blessed. As an actor Scott has performed extensively at such theaters as NYTW (Valhalla), The Mint (Dr. Knock), Theatre Row (Embraceable Me), Urban Stages (Honky) and regionally at Hartford Stage, Commonwealth Shakespeare, Cincinnati Playhouse, Shakespeare and Company, Arkansas Rep, the Geva, the Wilma, the Olney, Studio Theatre, Portland Stage, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey and Trinity Rep, amongst others. MFA Brandeis University.
Stephen Belber’s plays have been produced on Broadway and in over 25 countries. His plays include The Power Of Duff, Match, Tape, Don’t Go Gentle, Dusk Rings a Bell, McReele, A Small, Melodramatic Story, Geometry of Fire, Fault Lines, One Million Butterflies, Finally, The Muscles In Our Toes, The Transparency Of Val, and Carol Mulroney. He was an Associate Writer on The Laramie Project. Movies Include Tape, The Laramie Project, Drifting Elegant, Management, and Match, the last two of which he also directed, starring Jennifer Aniston and Patrick Stewart, respectively. Television credits include Rescue Me, Law & Order SVU, and pilots for HBO and F/X.
Michael Emerson is a renowned thespian and one of the most captivating stars of ABC’s hit series Lost, Emerson is an Emmy Award Winner, (2009,”Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series”) and Golden Globe-nominated (2010, “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television”) actor, proving that being the bad guy pays off. Named by Variety as “One of the greatest villains in television history,” Emerson held Lost‘s inexplicable answers close for his five-season tenure on the hit series. Now Emerson stars as the lead of CBS #1 drama Person of Interest, which is the fastest-growing show on network television (over 17 million viewers), out-delivering every scripted program on every other network. In the hugely popular action-drama series, Emerson finds himself reunited with Lost creator J.J. Abrams where he stars alongside James Caviezel as the mysterious and shadowy tech billionaire ‘Finch’ who had decided to dedicate himself to a justice mission and teams up with ‘John Reese’ (Caviezel), an ex-CIA operative who he recruits to do the field work. ‘Finch’ has exclusive access to a secret government system that gives him the Social Security numbers of people who will shortly be involved in violent crimes, either as the perpetrator or victim. Together, ‘Finch’ and ‘Reese’ stop these crimes before they can occur.
During its six season run, Lost became a national phenomenon igniting the return of intelligent and in-depth television. Emerson played the deceitful ex-leader of The Others, “Benjamin Linus,” who believed he has the island’s best interests in mind. Unclear where his intentions truly lie, “Ben Linus” played a critical role in the plot line, keeping viewers at the edge of their seats as he complicated the traditional role of good guy/bad guy. Fans and critics agree that Emerson is one of the most talented actors on television today. Recently, Emerson Guest Starred to great acclaim on the NBC drama Parenthood. In the episode, Emerson played “Amazing Andy” (of Amazing Andy’s Wonderful World of Bugs), a smart-yet-socially-awkward man who has autism and hired to entertain the children at a birthday party. Married to Carrie Preston, who stars as “Arlene Fowler,” on HBO’s #1 hit series True Blood, the two are making waves as one of television’s most successful power couples.
Emerson was raised in a small farming community in Iowa and fell in love with theater while watching a high school production of Arsenic and Old Lace. His first public success was in the role of a Swedish lumberjack at the state Speech and Debate competition (Humorous Declamation division). He attended Drake University on a scholarship where he majored in Theater. Emerson’s slight frame and piercing voice allowed him to specialize in the playing of old men and eccentrics.
After graduation, Emerson moved from Des Moines to New York, where he struggled to find the path to a professional acting career. Desperate to find some creative line of work, he took classes and began work as a magazine illustrator— a craft he pursued for many years with work published in The Boston Globe and The New York Times. But drawing pictures wasn’t as exciting as performing and Emerson often meditated on his deferred dream. Fortunately, a period of romantic dislocation intervened and he woke one day to find himself in Jacksonville, Florida, auditioning for a production of Othello. Pleased to have found his calling again, Emerson spent the next five years doing plays in various Southern capitals, supplementing his income with work as a landscaper, carpenter, teacher and director.
Finally, weary of the gypsy life and desiring more classical training, he applied to the MFA program at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in Montgomery. There, doing a production of Hamlet, he met Carrie Preston—his future wife. Preston lived in New York, and so he once again found himself heading to the “Big Apple.” After a slow start, Michael got his break as the lead in Moises Kaufman’s Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde, which was acclaimed on both coasts. His portrayal of Oscar Wilde caught the attention of casting directors and he has since continued to appear in interesting projects for both stage and screen. Emerson has made a name for himself portraying villains who are, as he puts it, “misunderstood.”
Emerson made his Broadway debut in 1999 in The Iceman Cometh (sharing a dressing room with Kevin Spacey, Tony Danza and Paul Giamatti). Later he would appear in Hedda Gabler opposite Kate Burton. Many period and language plays have drawn him to off-Broadway and regional stages since then.
Michael arrived on the TV screen in the form of serial-killer William Hinks on ABC’s The Practice, winning a 2001 Emmy award for Best Guest Performance in a Dramatic Series, and has since appeared on Law & Order, The X-Files, Without a Trace, and the HBO movie The Laramie Project. For movies, he is most often recognized for his roles in Saw, The Legend of Zorro, The Imposters and Straight Jacket. In 2008, he received critical acclaim for his role in Ready? OK!, a story of a gay teen’s struggle for acceptance by his family and community.
Emerson is keen on Shakespeare and the classical theater, drawing, and ghost stories. He supports off-Broadway theater and theater-community charities (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and Gay Men’s Health Crisis), and publicly-supported radio stations.
Leigh Fondakowski was the Head Writer of The Laramie Project and has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 1995. She is an Emmy nominated co-screenwriter for the adaptation of The Laramie Project for HBO, and a co-writer of The Laramie Project: Ten Years Later. Other original plays include: The People’s Temple, based on interviews with the survivors of 1978 Jonestown tragedy, which premiered under her direction at Berkeley Repertory Theater and received the Will Glickman Award for Best New Play in 2005; I Think I Like Girls, which premiered at Encore Theater in San Francisco and was voted one of the top 10 plays of 2002 by The Advocate; SPILL, a play and art installation (co-created with visual artist Reeva Wortel) based on interviews with the people of southern Louisiana in the wake of the BP oil disaster; and Casa Cushman, a new play about the hidden love between women in the 19th-century, featuring a collection of love letters written by the American actress Charlotte Cushman. Leigh is a 2007 recipient of the NEA/TCG Theatre Residency Program for Playwrights, a 2009 Macdowell Colony Fellow, and a 2010 Imagine Fund Fellow at the University of Minnesota. Stories from Jonestown, her first work of creative non-fiction was published by the University of Minnesota Press in 2013. Leigh is a Teaching Company Member with Tectonic.
Amanda Gronich is a Primetime Emmy-nominated writer who has conceived, written, story-edited and script-doctored dozens of hours of programming for networks including HBO, Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet, TLC, WEtv, The Travel Channel, The Science Channel and Fine Living. After graduating from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Amanda began her career as a charter member of the Tony Award-winning Tectonic Theater Project. There, she co-created The Laramie Project, later made into an HBO feature film. In 2003, Amanda joined Hoff Productions, where she started as a full-time development writer, going on to write scripts and conceive editorial for highly rated, long-running series and specials. Amanda recently completed a stint as a Series Writer (Border Wars: Season 6) at National Geographic Television. She is currently working as a development consultant in both non-fiction and narrative programming. She has recently completed her first novel.
Mercedes Herrero has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 2000 and has collaborated in the creation of The Laramie Project, 33 Variations, and Casa Cushman. In her 25 year career she has been a part of 15 world premieres including works by Alan Ayckbourn, Nilo Cruz, Madeleine George, A.R. Gurney, Catherine Filloux, Lynn Nottage, Lynn Redgrave and Emilio Williams. She has also played many classical parts Off‐Broadway and in Regional Theatres across the country including Olivia, Goneril, Paulina, Gertrude (in English and Spanish), Mistress Quickly, Queen Elizabeth, Stella, and Angustias (The House of Bernarda Alba) in venues such as The Public Theatre, The Delacorte, CSC, Intar, Arena Stage, Center Stage, The Yale Rep, The Asolo Rep, etc. Film and T.V. work includes all four Law and Orders, Arranged, Deception, The Tao of Steve. Outside the U.S. she has performed in Spain, France and England. Ms. Herrero is a founding member of the recently launched The Chicago Theatre Sweatshop dedicated to bringing new international work to Chicago, and is looking to produce her first screenplay Moving Day.
Jimmy Maize has been a member of Tectonic Theater Project since 2005. He developed and assistant directed the company’s 33 Variations, (Broadway, starring Jane Fonda) and was the sole dramaturg of The Laramie Project: 10 Years Later (BAM). Other Tectonic projects include One Arm (The New Group), a forthcoming interview-based play about immigration, as well as teaching Moment Work with Tectonic’s Education and Community Engagement Department. Directing credits include his critically-acclaimed 100-actor adaptation of Spoon River Anthology (The Invisible Dog); Much Ado About Nothing (Classic Stage Co); the rock musical Hypochondria by Kyle Jarrow, and his adaptations of A Dream Play and The Seagull (Columbia University). Writing credits include: Between Life and Nowhere (Old Vic, 3-Legged Dog); In The Belly (Player’s Loft); In One Room (Bailiwick Rep, Chicago) as well as numerous adaptations. He is currently using Moment Work to develop new plays about the French poet Rimbuad as well as the American preservationist John Muir.
John McAdams is a native of San Diego and holds an MFA from the University of California San Diego. His acting credits include: How I Learned to Drive at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville; The Laramie Project at Sundance, The Denver Center for the Arts, The Union Square Theatre, and the University of Wyoming; original cast member of Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde and Mud, River, Stone at Playwrights Horizons;and, on television, Law and Order. Off-Off Broadway credits Include: A Devil Inside and Wally’s Ghost at SoHo Rep, Jail Bait at the Women’s InterArt Annex, Downwinders with Clubbed Thumb, and Vortex du Plaisir at Ohio Theatre.
Andy Paris has made a career of developing new works for the stage and screen, including The Laramie Project:10 Years Later, The Laramie Project (Emmy Nomination), Gross Indecency: The Tree Trials of Oscar Wilde by Moisés Kaufman, Lucie Tiberghien’s The Quiet Room, Innocents by Rachel Dickstein, The Talking Band’s The Necklace, Matthew Maguire’s Phaedre and Deb Margolin’s Indelible Flesh. As a writer/director: Going Public, an original play about our education system presented at Amherst College, The American Family, presented at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The Fanmaker’s Inquisition, adapted from the novel by Rikki Ducornet, Goldstar Ohio, which premiered at The Cleveland Public Theatre, Migration at the Experimental Theatre Wing at NYU, and Faith Pilger’s The Stages of Burning. For The Women’s Project he wrote The Corporate Carnival, which was presented in the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center. Andy has performed in countless other plays in New York, regionally, and in Europe, including Or by Liz Duffy Adams and directed by Wendy McClellan at The Women’s Project. Regionally he has been seen at Denver Center, The Huntington, Playmaker’s Rep, Cincinnati Playhouse, Rep. Theatre of St. Louis, Hartford Stage, Theatre Virginia, Berkeley Rep and La Jolla Playhouse. Favorite roles include Keppler in Richard Goodwin’s Two Men of Florence directed by Edward Hall, and all the men in A Sleeping Country by Melanie Marnich and directed by Mark Rucker. FILM/TV credits include The Laramie Project (HBO) and Law & Order (NBC). He has also been the recipient of two AUDIE Awards for his audiobook narrations. Favorite authors he has recorded include Jodi Picoult, Keith Donahue, Stephen Tunney, Nicole Krauss, A.M. Holmes, Ursula La Guinn, James Frey and Arthur Phillips. Andy was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a graduate of NYU. He is a Teaching Company Member for Tectonic.
Greg Pierotti is writer, actor, and teacher. He is associate writer of The Laramie Project, and a co-writer of the teleplay of the same name. For the play he received a NY Drama Desk nomination. The teleplay for HBO received an Emmy nomination for best writing. He is head writer of The People’s Temple, for which he received the Will Glickman Award for best New Play. He is co-author of Laramie: 10 Years Later. He has developed original work at Arena Stage, Hartford Stage, The Magic, The Atlantic Theatre Company, The Sundance Theatre Lab in Utah, New York Theatre Workshop, the NYTW summer writer’s lab at Dartmouth. His most recent play Apology, about the life and work of New York artist Allan Bridge, has been in development at Berkeley Repertory Theater, The Orchard Project, and Maison Dora Maar in Ménerbes, France where he was a Brown Fellow through the Houston Museum of Contemporary Art. As an actor he has performed his own work at The Union Square Theater in New York, The Guthrie, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, Denver Center, and many other theaters. He teaches devising and writing for theater in colleges and MFA programs throughout the US, as well as being a Teaching Company Member for Tectonic.
BARBARA PITTS McADAMS
Barbara Pitts-McAdams’ credits in theater include The Laramie Project: BAM, Alice Tully Hall, Union Square Theater, LaJolla Playhouse, Berkeley Rep, Denver Center, Sundance Theater Lab and assistant director for the UK premiere production of The Laramie Project (Edinburgh “Fringe First” award). Other theater includes: Leigh Fondakowski’s I Think I Like Girls and The Peoples Temple (Guthrie, Berkeley Rep); WeLL (w/Lisa Kron, Huntington Theatre); Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire and Crumbs From the Table of Joy (Triad Stage, NC); Good Heif and Nice Chair (New Georges); West Coast premieres of Stephen Belber’s Drifting Elegant and Rebecca Gilman’s Sweetest Swing In Baseball (Magic Theater, San Francisco), Adam Bock’s The Typographer’s Dream (Encore Theater, San Francisco); Spain and Ted Kaczynski Killed People with Bombs (SPF Festival), Girl Scouts of America (NY Fringe). TV/Film: Person of Interest, Kidnapped, 30 Rock, One Life to Live, As The World Turns, HBO Film’s The Laramie Project (shared Emmy Nomination-Outstanding Writing), Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, and Comedy Central’s Pulp Comics. Barb plays Aunt Jodie in the award-winning lesbian teen webseries Anyone But Me. Barb is a Teaching Company Member with Tectonic, and has taught acting for kids and adults at various studios, high schools and colleges.
Kelli Simpkins is a company member of Tectonic Theater Project and is one of the original creator/performers of THE LARAMIE PROJECT (d/Moises Kaufman)–Off-B’Way, Denver Center, Berkeley Rep., LaJolla Playhouse. She is also an artistic associate of About Face Theater in Chicago. THEATER CREDITS: THE SECRETARIES at About Face Theater (d/Bonnie Metzgar); COCKED at Victory Gardens (d/Joanie Schultz); SPILL (dramaturge/performer) at Timeline Theater and Swine Palace Theater in Louisiana (d/Leigh Fondakowski); TEDDY FERRARA (d/Evan Cabnet) at Goodman Theatre; THE KID THING (d/Joanie Schultz) at Chicago Dramatists (Jeff nomination for principle actor); PONY (d/ Bonnie Metzgar) at About Face Theater; IN DARFUR (d/ Nick Bowling) at Timeline Theater; LATE: A COWBOY SONG (d/Jessica Thebus) at Piven; THE LARAMIE TOUR: TLP & TLP EPILOGUE, 10 YRS. LATER; CELEBRITY ROW (d/David Cromer) at ATC; FAIR USE (d/Meredith McDonough), GOOD BOYS AND TRUE (d/Pam McKinnon) and ONE ARM (d/Moises Kaufman) all at Steppenwolf Theatre; EXECUTION OF JUSTICE (d/Gary Griffon) at About Face Theatre; THE PEOPLE’S TEMPLE (d/Leigh Fondakowski) at The Guthrie, Perseverance and Berkeley Rep.; I THINK I LIKE GIRLS (d/Leigh Fondakowski) at LaJolla and Cherry Lane Theater and 33 VARIATIONS (5 years of workshops as performer/dramaturge). DIRECTING: GOOD DEATH, an original play that she directed and co-wrote with students at Western Michigan University. FILM/TV: EMPIRE, BETRAYAL, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN, CHASING AMY, LAW & ORDER: C.I. and HBO’s THE LARAMIE PROJECT (Emmy nomination: Ensemble Writing.) She is a certified teacher in Tectonic’s “moment work” technique.
*Kelli is a 2013 proud recipient of the Chicago 3Arts Award.