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Roundabout Welcomes Six New Members to Teaching Artist Roster

Roundabout Welcomes Six New Members to Teaching Artist RosterRoundabout Theatre Company and Education at Roundabout have announced six new members of Roundabout's Teaching Artist roster: Bob Franklin, Kent Jackson, David Kaplan, Yolanda Ramsay, Annie Wiegand and Haydee Zelideth.

This year, thousands of New York public school students will write, design, direct, perform and be mentored by professional theatre artists from Roundabout Theatre Company's roster of Teaching Artists. The 100-plus in-class and after-school residencies are made possible by 55 teaching artists who strive to enhance teacher practice and deepen student learning through theatricalizing classroom curriculum.

"At Roundabout, we pride ourselves as being a home for artists. Our commitment to training and supporting teaching artists is a perfect example of this core value. We are thrilled to welcome these talented and accomplished artists to our roster of teaching artists who serve as the catalyst for our incredible education programs. Through their work, we are able to expand our partnerships with our vibrant community of teachers and students," notes Roundabout Artistic Director/CEO Todd Haimes.

"We are dedicated to using our resources as a professional theatre to transform the classrooms of New York City schools. Our teaching artists create learning opportunities across all disciplines by collaborating with teachers and infusing theatrical teaching strategies into their curriculum. In turn students are using theatre to activate a community of empathetic, creative, confident, critically-responsive citizens who are connected deeply to the world around them," says Director of Education Jennifer DiBella. "That means using playwriting to explore history and using lighting design to explore algebra and trigonometry."

The six new additions to the Teaching Artist roster signal continued emphasis in all disciplines of the theatre. The artists bring a high standard of professional theatre experience and facilitation techniques. After completing the six-day Theatrical Teaching Institute, Roundabout's professional development training for classroom teachers and teaching artist.

"The ability to collaborate and be creative with other teaching artists and NYC classroom teachers is a significant and valuable way to address the diverse learning needs of NYC students," said new Teaching Artist Kent Jackson. "The opportunity to hear from professionals in diverse areas of the theatre business as well as the visits to iconic Roundabout theatres (Studio 54, American Airlines Theatre, etc.) offer another level to project-based learning."

The new Teaching Artists continue to grow Roundabout's roster of highly qualified and mulita-disciplined artists who are also educators.


BOB FRANKLIN is a lighting designer and 2015 recipient of the Hemsley Mentorship Program grant to work as lighting assistant on the Broadway productions of The Color Purple and Noises Off! (Roundabout Theatre Company). He is the lighting supervisor and principal designer for Ballet Hispánico. Other work in the dance world includes Pilobolus, Kate Weare Company, Victory Dance Project, and the American Dance Festival. In theatre, Bob has worked extensively as an associate both locally and regionally, with credits at Playwrights Horizons, Classic Stage Company, The Barrow Group, Westport Country Playhouse, The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT, Intiman Theatre Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, and others. Bob holds a B.A. in Drama from Vassar College and trained professionally at Seattle Repertory Theatre.

KENT JACKSON is a graduate of Howard University with more than thirty years of (drama) teaching experience. Kent's training and performance background (as a professional actor, director, and playwright) provide the foundation for an innovative combination of theater games, improvisation, and/or scripted materials within workshops designed to build literacy skills, concentration, vocal & physical flexibility, and collective sharing. He worked for many years with City Lights Youth Theatre and developed a number of original productions with student-writers within the summer Origins program. He has also facilitated theater residencies nationally in Washington DC, Boston, and Las Vegas; and abroad in Bermuda, Colombia, and Japan. In addition, for over fifteen years he conducted arts-education workshops in life skill topics including HIV prevention, domestic violence, and leadership building for HAI (Healing Arts Initiative; formerly Hospital Audiences, Inc.) Current residencies include Wingspan Arts and REEL WORKS. As a professional actor, Kent has appeared on stage and screen - including four seasons as an ensemble player on the syndicated Apollo Comedy Hour; to principal roles in Spike Lee's Malcolm X, and the prime time series Law & Order (and L&O: SVU). In addition, his voice-over talents have been used on various films including: Chicago, The Best Man, Mo Better Blues, Carlito's Way, as well as the cable television series 100 Centre Street, and The Jury. He is a member of Actors' Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

David Kaplan is a technical director and theatre collaborator with professional credits throughout the east coast. Over the last 25 years David has served as a TD for Off Broadway, LORT, and University theatres always with a passion for passing on the joy and discipline of technical theatre trades. This goal has lead him to serve as a lecturer, teacher, and mentor to young technicians and theatre artists throughout his career - finding new and engaging ways to teach scenic construction, set/lighting/sound design, equipment maintenance, and purchasing (budgeting and TD work go hand-in-hand). David's work has been seen in The Unfortunates and The Eternal Space, and at Queens College, The New School, Kean University, Premiere Stages, John W. Engeman Theatre, Stevenson University, University of Maryland Baltimore County, Mill Mountain Theatre, Shakespeare and Company, and Berkshire Theatre Festival. He holds an MFA in Technical Direction from Florida Sate University and a BA from Hartwick College.

YOLANDA RAMSAY is a theatrical wig and hairstylist with over 30 years of experience. Her first designs for the 1920's comedy, "Te Juro Juana Que Tengo Ganas" at NYC's Repertorio Espanol earned Yolanda an HOLA nomination for Best Hair and Makeup Design. Throughout the 1980's and early 1990's, her hair designs and styling for SONY, HBO, NBC, and Broadway theater productions, afforded Yolanda the opportunity to gain experience in all media including photography, film, theater and television. As Key Hairstylist on Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Yolanda created wigs and hair designs "on demand" as skit writers dreamed them up week to week. Yolanda returned to Broadway, as wig designer for Stephen Sondheim's "Getting Away with Murder" at the Broadhurst Theater; and as wig and hairstylist for Broadway productions, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum"; "You're Welcome, America (Will Ferrell as George Bush)"; "Joe Turner's Come & Gone"; and "Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike". Specifically, at Roundabout Theatre Company Yolanda worked "Les Liaisons Dangereuses"; "The Importance of Being Earnest"; and "Harvey" at Studio 54, among others. As volunteer for NYC nonprofits, Yolanda has served as a mentor/guest speaker empowering youth through the arts; and for careers in the arts. She is TESOL-certified and teaches ESL (English Second Language) part-time at Columbia University's Community Impact Program.

ANNIE WIEGAND is one of very few Deaf professional Lighting Designers based in the New York City area. Her heightened sense of sight adds a unique layering to her designs, and amplifies her story-telling capabilities with a visually-inspired perspective. Annie strongly believes lighting is the glue that holds the story together in a production. Annie can be found lighting shows across the northeast, namely in New York City, Boston, and Washington, DC. Her recent credits include designs with Huntington Theatre Company, Speakeasy Stage Company, Wheelock Family Theatre, and Company One, to name a few. Her assistant/associate work includes the Tony nominated Broadway revival of Spring Awakening, as well as shows with Tectonic Theatre Project and Astoria Performing Arts Center. She was also the Lighting Director for The Acting Company based out of New York City for three seasons. She is a member of the Wingspace Design Collective, and strongly believes in giving back to her community. She moonlights as the Producing Director for New York Deaf Theatre, which aims to create opportunities for and by Deaf theatre artists. She is also an adjunct professor at Gallaudet University in Washington DC; which is the only university solely for Deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Annie lights many of the theatre productions at Gallaudet as well. She holds a BA in theatre with a concentration in Design and Technology from Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina. She also holds a MFA in Lighting Design from Boston University.

HAYDEE ZELIDETH is a New York City based costume designer. Her work has been seen on stage in theater and opera, as well as on screen in film and TV. She's received critical acclaim in Austin while working with Austin Shakespeare Company on a number of productions (Pride & Prejudice, Design For Living, The Winter's Tale, Romeo & Juliet). She's designed a range of theatrical productions while in New Haven, Connecticut: Skin of Our Teeth, The Merchant of Venice (Yale School of Drama), the world premiere of Imogen Says Nothing (Yale Repertory Theatre), Cunning Little Vixen (Opera Theater of Yale College) and several productions at the Yale Cabaret. Her on screen work involves her working as a costumer and designer on network television shows, independent films and music videos. She takes great joy in working with students from elementary school up to high school and anything in between.

Education at Roundabout turns Roundabout's theaters into classrooms and classrooms into theaters, for more than 30,000 people each year throughout all five boroughs of New York City and around the country. For over 20 years, Roundabout has developed education programs that provide students with access to the arts, encourage social and emotional learning, cultivate skills they will need to succeed in college and careers, and give their teachers the tools to help students flourish. Education at Roundabout has expanded to include diverse programming ranging from student matinees, to classroom residencies and school-wide partnerships in the NYC public schools, to professional development workshops for teachers, to audience engagement programming for our subscribers, to an apprenticeship and internship program, and our after-school program, Student Production Workshop. For more information, visit, and

Roundabout Theatre Company is committed to producing the highest quality theatre with the finest artists, sharing stories that endure, and providing accessibility to all audiences. A not-for-profit company, Roundabout fulfills its mission each season through the production of classic plays and musicals; development and production of new works by established and emerging writers; educational initiatives that enrich the lives of children and adults; and a subscription model and audience outreach programs that cultivate and engage all audiences.

Roundabout Theatre Company presents a variety of plays, musicals, and new works on its five stages, each of which is specifically designed to enhance the needs of Roundabout's mission. Off-Broadway, the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre, which houses the Laura Pels Theatre and Black Box Theatre, with its simple sophisticated design, is perfectly suited to showcasing new plays. The grandeur of its Broadway home on 42nd Street, American Airlines Theatre, sets the ideal stage for the classics. Roundabout's Studio 54 provides an exciting and intimate Broadway venue for its musical and special event productions. The Stephen Sondheim Theatre offers a state of the art LEED certified Broadway theatre in which to stage major large-scale musical revivals. Together these distinctive homes serve to enhance Roundabout's work on each of its stages.

Roundabout's season in 2017-2018 includes John Lithgow: Stories by Heart, by John Lithgow, directed by Daniel Sullivan; and Tom Stoppard's Travesties, directed by Patrick Marber.

Roundabout's new off-Broadway season dedicated to new work at the Harold & Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre in 2017-2018 includes The Last Match, by Anna Ziegler, directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch; Amy and the Orphans, by Lindsey Ferrentino, directed by Scott Ellis; Skintight, by Joshua Harmon, directed by Daniel Aukin.

Roundabout Underground's 2017-2018 season includes Bobbie Clearly by Alex Lubischer.

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