The Flea Theater Announces New Resident Directors

By: Jun. 14, 2019
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The Flea Theater is proud to announce the addition of six new Resident Directors to its intensive practicum for early-career directors. Rebecca Aparicio, Jake Beckhard, Daniella Caggiano, Lauren DeLeon, Will Steinberger, and Raz Golden will join the current group of Resident Directors.

The Flea welcomes back Resident Directors Misha Chowdhury, Anne Cecelia Demelo, Kate Moore Heaney, Kimille Howard, Marina McClure, David Monteagudo, Yuriy Pavlish, Tyler Thomas, Ran Xia, and Dina Vovsi as they continue to deepen and broaden their independent directorial careers.

Says Artistic Director Niegel Smith, "The field is bursting with talent and the range of emerging directors looking to find a place to make theater was inspiring. The Flea is committed to widening their opportunities by giving these incredible artists a place to call home." Adds Carol Ostrow, Producing Director, "We look forward to adding these young visionaries to the diverse voices already ensconced at The Flea. We are sure they will make a mighty roar."

Modeled after The Bats, The Flea's resident company of actors, this intensive residency program offers a small team of early-career directors the opportunity to work, train and direct in support of The Flea's season under the supervision of Artistic Director Smith, Producing Director Ostrow and The Flea Theater staff. The Flea Resident Directors engage in the full spectrum of directing. They assistant direct and stage manage each other's shows as well as those of guest artists, review scripts for the theater, direct readings and workshops of plays under consideration by the Artistic and Producing Directors and ultimately direct their own full-length production as part of The Flea's season.


Rebecca Aparicio is a Cuban-American writer/director/producer. Directing credits: Radical (DUAF-Best Play Award), Paper Towels (New Works Series), World Classic (Parsnip Ship Podcast), Pedro Pan (FringeNYC), Prison Song (DUAF). Assistant Directing:Gloria: A Life (dir. Diane Paulus), Endlings (dir. Sammi Cannold); An Iliad (dir. Whitney White). As a writer, her musical Pedro Pan was developed by New York Musical Festival (2017 Reading Award, 5 Awards of Excellence), Rhinebeck Writer's Retreat, Musical Theatre Factory, FringeNYC, the TRUF Theatre. Additional Writing: Legacy (Prospect Theatre), Sweet Tea and Jesus (Best Musical-SASF), Acceptance (SASF). Founding member of Nasty Women Unite Fest, now in our third year.

Jack Beckard is a freelance theater director and Director of Performance at Chinatown Soup, a gallery in Manhattan's Lower East Side ( He is a theater artist who likes to fill challenging plays with spectacular delight, accessibility, and the enormity of being an alive person. He is a Drama League Directing Fellow, the 2016 Westport Country Playhouse Directing Fellow, and an alum of the 2017 Williamstown Theater Festival directing corps. Most recently: Peter Smith's Diana. at Ars Nova with multidisciplinary artist Peter Smith; AIA (Ajax) at the Hangar Theatre; and Water by Celine Song at the Williamstown Theater Festival. Selected assistant director credits include work with Molly Smith, Trip Cullman, Danya Taymor and Scott Elliott.

Daniella Caggiano is a freelance director and native New Yorker. She was named one of The Interval's 2016 "Women to Watch" and is a former MTC Directing Fellow, 2018 Drama League Resident, and an alum of Lincoln Center Directors Lab. She has directed at Joe's Pub, Dixon Place, MTF, Le Poisson Rouge, HERE, FringeNYC, and 54 Below among others. Favorite projects include Next To Normal (benefit presentation starring Tony nom. Christiane Noll), Vinegar Tom, Macbeth, All The Ways To Say I Love You (Assistant, dir. Leigh Silverman) and School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Associate, dir. Rebecca Taichman). MFA The New School, BA Sarah Lawrence College

Lauren DeLeon holds a BA in Theatre & Performance Directing and minor in Playwriting. Lauren has directed productions in support of organizations including Planned Parenthood, My Sister's Place, Standing Rock, and a non-profit she co-founded, Mission Flint, who just partnered with The Public Theater for their production of cullud wattah. Credits include: City Theatre Next Generation( Adrienne Arsht Center), Men On Boats (SUNY Purchase), FM (SUNY Purchase), Let Me Explain...(SUNY Purchase), Austentation (SUNY Purchase), Ladies of the Land (Drama League, AD), The One Minute Play Festival (INTAR), SERIALS (The Flea), and Surely Goodness and Mercy (Theatre Row, AD).

Raz Golden is an East Coast-based stage director of new and classic plays. Recent directing credits: East of the Sun, In The Same Space, If You Want My Heart (Come and Take It) (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Assistant directing credits include: Long Lost( dir. Daniel Sullivan), Dangerous House (dir. Saheem Ali), Emma and Max (The Flea, dir. Todd Solondz), and Crowns (dir. Regina Taylor). He is a Drama League Directing Fellow, a member of the 2018 Williamstown Directing Corps, a Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow, and an alumnus of the McCarter Theatre Directing apprenticeship and the City Theatre Directing Observership.

Will Steinberger has developed new plays at Hartford Stage, the Drama League, Berkshire Theatre Group, the Wilma, 59E59, Judson Church, The Tank, Jewish Plays Project, Passage Theatre, Theatre Horizon, InterAct, FGP, Uglyrhino and several universities. Favorite productions include Sarah Pappalardo's Cold (Quince), Hannah Van Sciver's Marbles (FringeArts) and Fifty Days at Iliam (Greenfield Collective) and David Auburn's Proof (Neumann University). He has assistant directed for Doug Hughes, Darko Tresnjak, David Auburn, Michael Wilson, Vivienne Benesch, Kip Fagan, Lee Sunday Evans and Robert O'Hara. His dramaturgy was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal. He is Co Founder of InVersion Theatre.

Misha Chowdhury is a queer Bengali director, writer, musician, and performance-maker based in Brooklyn. He is currently a Resident Artist at Ars Nova, a member of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, and a New York Theatre Workshop 2050 Fellow. His work has also been seen or developed at SPACE on Ryder Farm, HERE Arts Center, NYMF, Vineyard Arts Project, the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Barn Arts Collective, Cloud City, Vox Populi, Asian American Writers' Workshop, and the CATWALK Institute. Misha is the Levitt Artist-in-Residence at Williams College, where he recently directed Sarah DeLappe's The Wolvesand will be directing Aleshea Harris' Beast Thing this fall. Other upcoming collaborations include Virginia Grise's rasgos asiaticos (Soho Rep and CalArts Center for New Performance) and MukhAgni (Ars Nova), co-created with Kameron Neal. This past year, he assisted Jo Bonney (An Ordinary Muslim, NYTW) and Richard Jones (The Hairy Ape, Park Avenue Armory). Misha received his Bachelors in Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity at Stanford University, his Master of Fine Arts in Directing Theater at Columbia and studied Lecoq-based physical theater at the London International School of Performing Arts.

Anne Cecelia Demelo is a bilingual Brooklyn-based director, musician, and translator. Her production of Ellen McLaughlin's The Trojan Womenwas nominated for a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Adaptation. Recent directing credits include Max Mondi's House of Karen (Signature Theater x Columbia University) and Eli Nixon's Blood Bag (Brown University, Barn Arts). Anne has also developed and directed work at JACK, The Bushwick Starr Reading Series, The Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival, Dixon Place, Rising Circle, The Brick, The Tank, Cloud City/The Freight Project, and Highways Performance Space, among others. B.A., Comparative Literature, University of Virginia.

Kate Moore Heaney is a NYC-based director, producer, and dramaturg committed to promoting empathy and investigating social, political, and human rights issues through theatre. Kate is Artistic Producer at Noor Theatre, Co-Program Director of the Amoralists' 'Wright Club, and a Resident Director at The Flea. She has directed with the Amoralists, The Civilians' R&D Group, The Shakespeare Society, The PIT, Theatre 4the People, Directors' Gathering Jam, and more. She has worked, trained, and/or assistant directed with Ibex Theatricals/The New Vic, McCarter Theatre, Second Stage, Clubbed Thumb, CRY HAVOC, Yale Institute for Music Theatre, Théâtre du Châtelet, and 24 Hour Plays on Broadway. BA: Yale.

Kimille Howard is a New York based director, producer, writer, filmmaker, and occasional sound designer from Carmel, Indiana. She is currently a Jonathan Alper Directing Fellow at Manhattan Theatre Club and a NYTW 2050 Directing Fellow for the 2019-2020 season. Kimille recently directed LOW POWER by Jon Kern in EST's Marathon '19, BLACK GIRLS ARE FROM OUTER SPACE by Emana Rachelle at the National Black Theatre, Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau at TheatreSquared and TRIGGERED by Gabriel Jason Dean at the Cherry Lane Theatre. Kimille was awarded Best Director at the 2016 Thespis Festival for It's All About Lorrieby Joseph Krawczyk at the Hudson Theater and remounted the production for a commercial run at The American Theater of Actors in 2017. Her work has also been seen at The Flea, The Lark, MTC, Manhattan Repertory Theater, The National Black Theatre, JAGFest, NYU, Atlantic Acting School, and the Producers' Club among others. Kimille is the assistant director to Des McAnuff on Ain't Too Proud: The Life and Times of the Temptations,which opened on Broadway in spring 2019. She has worked with Ruben Santiago Hudson, Emily Mann, Stephen Wadsworth, Jessica Stone, Jade King Carroll, Niegel Smith, Lorca Peress, and Melissa Maxwell. She is the co-program director for the Amoralists' Wright Club and has produced shows at the HERE Arts Center, FIAF, and more.

Marina McClure creates emotionally-charged theater, opera, and spectacles by fusing striking visual design and physical performance. She specializes in developing new intercultural work that creates space for exchange between artists and with the audience. Projects in development include Tear a Root from the Earth, a new musical that examines the legacy of American intervention in Afghanistan, with Qais Essar and Gramophonic (Creative Capital: "On Our Radar", The Kennedy Center, BRIC, New Ohio's Ice Factory); Letters from Home, a multimedia performance in collaboration with a Cambodian-American father and daughter team that explores the impact of the Khmer Rouge genocide on both of their artistic practices (UC Irvine; UCSD; Willamette; Independent Shakespeare). She directed Wing It!, a large-scale community performance for the Tony-winning Handspring Puppet Company in celebration of South Africa's National Day of Reconciliation and collaborated on Casablancabox (2017 Drama Desk Nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience, HERE). Marina is a resident director at The Flea, where she recently directed the world premiere of Steph del Rosso's Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill Fill and an episodic adaptation of Italo Calvino's Cosmicomics for The Flea's new initiative for young audiences, Cereals. Other recent: The Unbelievers, a collaboration between playwright Hannah Rittner and Yazidi Nobel Peace Prize winner Nadia Murad (Theatre Centre, Canada); Leisure Labor Lust (The Mount). Her direction of Gao Xingjian's Nocturnal Wanderer was awarded Dartmouth College's Gurdin Prize. Last season, she was an artist-in-residence at BRIC Arts Media and a nominator for the Drama League Awards. She has developed new plays and musicals at the Playwrights Realm, Boston Court, ACT, Northern Stage, Peterborough Players, REDCAT, Independent Shakespeare, United Solo, JACK, Voxfest, Dartmouth College, Brown University, Columbia University, NYU-Tisch, and is an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Marina teaches at The National Theater Institute at the O'Neill, and was a finalist for the 2018 Creative Capital Award. Upcoming: Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again(Willamette). MFA: CalArts

David Monteagudo is a Brooklyn-based director and producer. He has developed and produced work with The Flea, The Atlantic, Theater for the New City, and Ma-Yi Theaters amongst others. His project Under the Hood which melds game theory and theatrical conventions was featured in the 2014 Come out and Play Festival and will be presented as part of The Best Games Festival in Pittsburgh. He is a founding member of State of Play.

Yuriy Pavlish is a Ukrainian-American artist based in New York City. A maverick director, actor, musician, and producer, he has had the opportunity to work and study with a slew of trailblazing American theater artists, including Emily Young (Fiasco), Ted Lewis (Bedlam), J. Allen Suddeth (SAFD Fight Master), Tara O'Con (Third Rail Projects), and many others. He is currently is the Executive Director of Shakespeare in the Square, an innovative classical theater ensemble, and works extensively with Roll the Bones Theatre company and Combative Theatre Company. Recent credits include: Coriolanus: From Man to Dragon (Director), Hamlet in the Golden Vale (Laertes), which won Best Feature at the Manhattan Film Festival in 2018, and Smith Street Stage's A Midsummer Night's Dream (Producer) in Carroll Park.

Tyler Thomas is a NYC-based theater maker, focused primarily on ensemble-driven, multidisciplinary work reframing marginal space, narrative, and event. Her work has been shown at Signature Theatre, The New Ohio, The Flea, New York Musical Festival, HERE Arts Center, Paradise Factory, and various theaters across NYU. She is a former SDCF Observer, member of the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, Visiting Artist at the Athens Conservatoire in Greece, and current Resident Director at The Flea Theater. As an assistant director, she has worked with Lear deBessonet, Taibi Magar, Jo Bonney, Niegel Smith, Lee Sunday Evans, Katie Brook, and as associate dramaturg for The Builders Association. Tyler holds a BFA in Drama and MA in Arts Politics) from NYU Tisch. She is a native of Louisiana.

Dina Vovsi is a New York-based director and theatermaker. Current and upcoming: The Only Ones (Working Theater 5 Boroughs 1 City commission co-created with Liba Vaynberg). Recent: Drive (The Civilians' R&D Group), Iphigeniaand Other Daughters (LIU Post), Untitled Parlor Play, or, For Home Amusement (Access Residency), First by Faith: The Life of Mary McLeod Bethune (United Solo, Best Educational Show), The Bastard (Dixon Place), Visiting Hours (TheaterLab). Dina has developed new work at The Culture Project's Women Center Stage, The Barn Arts Collective, FringeNYC, Working Theater, Atlantic Acting School, Pipeline Theatre Company, Fresh Ground Pepper, Theatre 167, The Flea. Assistant directing: Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally, with Roundabout, Playwrights Horizons, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Spoleto Festival USA. Dina is a Resident Director at The Flea and a member of the 2018-2019 Civilians R&D Group. She has been a Robert Moss Directing Fellow at Playwrights Horizons, the recipient of an SDC Foundation Observership, a member of the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab, an O'Neill National Directors Fellowship Finalist, and a Mass MoCA Assets for Artists Grantee.

Ran Xia is a playwright, director, and interdisciplinary artist born and raised in Shanghai, China (aka soup dumpling dreamland). Her plays have been seen on stages around New York City, including Pomegrenade at IRT; Harmony at HERE Arts Center, [ai] at the Brick, and many more. Member of Pipeline PlayLab 2020. She is currently a Resident Director at The Tank (Inaugural Artist of the Year award), where she directed the world premiere of Ben Gassman's Independent Study, and Ailís Ní Ríain's The Tallest Man in the World.Ran is also a frequent collaborator of Exquisite Corpse Co. (Co author of The Enchanted Realm of Rene Magritte, audio/visual installation version of Echo at the Memory House on Governors Island). Assistant Directing credits include: Flea Fridays(The Flea), The Great Leap (by Lauren Yee, Dir. Taibi Magar at Atlantic Theater Company), Two Mile Hollow (by Leah Nanako Winkler, Dir. Morgan Gould at WP Theatre), and Refrigerated Dreams by Carrie Mae Weems, Nona Hendryx, Francesca Harper, and Niegel Smith at Joe's Pub. A staff critic at Theatre Is Easy and Exeunt.

The Flea Theater, under Artistic Director Niegel Smith and Producing Director Carol Ostrow, is one of New York's leading Off-Off-Broadway companies. Winner of several Obie Awards, a Special Drama Desk Award for outstanding achievement and an Otto Award for political theater, The Flea has presented over 100 theatrical, musical and dance performances since its inception in 1996. Past productions include premieres by Steven Banks, Thomas Bradshaw, Erin Courtney, Bathsheba Doran, Will Eno, Karen Finley, Amy Freed, Sarah Gancher, Sean Graney, A.R. Gurney, Jennifer Haley, Hamish Linklater, Enrique Gutiérrez, Ellen McLaughlin, Ortiz Monasterio, Itamar Moses, Anne Nelson, NSangou Njikam, Qui Nguyen, Adam Rapp, Jonathan Reynolds, Kate Robbins, Roger Rosenblatt, Todd Solondz, Elizabeth Swados, and Mac Wellman. Successes include Drama Desk nominated She Kills Monsters, New York Times Critics' Pick Inanimate, Syncing Ink, These Seven Sicknesses, Restoration Comedy, The Mysteries and ten World Premiere productions by A.R. Gurney, including the WSJ Best New Play of 2013, Family Furniture.

The Flea Theater is located at 20 Thomas Street between Church and Broadway, three blocks north of Chambers, close to the A/C/E, N/Q/R/W, 4/5/6, J/M/Z and 1/2/3 subway lines. Purchase tickets by calling 212-352-3101 or online at


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