Artistic & Development Director / Director / Founding member
Stephanie has a doctorate in Business Administration from Somerset University in England and a BFA in Theater from the California Institute of the Arts. Favorite directing experiences include the recent Cherry Orchard, Displaced, SubUrbia (2004 OOBR Winner), Buried Child and Stumps. She is a freelance dialect coach in NYC, doing any accent you can name! She is the author of a two book set on grant-writing used in the Red Cross and Soros Foundations worldwide. She has taught fundraising in Eastern Europe and the US, and traveled extensively working with refugees and war-torn communities. Favorite acting roles include Nuclear Family and Talk Show (both Off-Broadway), Jenny Diver in Threepenny Opera, Gwen in Fifth of July, Josie in Steaming and her shows with Nicu’s Spoon, ‘The Swan’, ‘Skin Tight’ and ‘Elizabeth Rex’ for which she won the 2008 NY Innovative Theatre Award for Best Actress in a lead role, playing Queen Elizabeth I in both the off-off and off-Broadway premieres. She is a member of AEA, and SAG. She is also a wife and the mom of a lovely daughter. She has been in the films ‘Sleepy Time Gal’ (finalist in 2008 at Sundance), ‘Backward Looks, Far Corners’, ‘Sour Times’ with Media at Large as well as ‘Finding’ in NYC. She was recently seen in ‘Wit’ in Spring 2010 at the Spoon and ‘Museum’ in LIC. She is also an independent accent coach and producer. She is the author of “Disability & Theatre: A Practical Manual for Inclusion in the Arts” by Routledge Press and in 2018 has a new book coming out on Acting and Auditioning.
Associate Artistic Director / Lighting Designer
Production Management Steven Wolf has a BFA in production design with a concentration in lighting design from Suny Fredonia. He is the Associate Artistic Director for Nicu’s Spoon and some of his design credits with them include To Kill a Mockingbird, the OOBR award winning Suburbia, and most recently Tales of the Lost Formicans and Richard III. He is also the Assistant Lighting Supervisor at Queens Theatre in the Park where he has designed the lights for their production of Broadway Song and Dance Part II. His other design credits include the fall 2002 (Menus A&B) and spring 2003 (Menus A,B,&D) EAT Fest, The Joan Jonas exhibition at the Queens Museum of Art (winter 2003-04),Theatre in the Flesh’s theatre movement piece Blood and Honey (June 2005) and Repo Opera, a rock musical (July-August 2005).
American Sign Language Projects Manager
Pamela O. Mitchell has interpreted Off-Broadway plays such as Freeda Peoples at the Billie Holiday Theater, Inc., The World in Her Hands: The Helen Keller Story and The Nutcracker with the Interborough Repertory Theater, Haiti Children of God by Lorey Hayes, many years with the New York Revels at the Peter Norton Symphony Space, to name a few. Mitchell is an avid member and participant of Nicu’s Spoon Theater and has interpreted plays such as The Little Prince, co-acted in Stumps, was the voice of the Deaf woman in the reading of Raymond Luczak’s, Love in My Veins and was honored to take on her first acting role of Mattie Cheeks in No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs written by John Henry Redwood. Mitchell interprets music of various genres: spiritual, folk, rap, gospel, jazz and enjoys storytelling for the young and ‘young at heart’. One of the many challenging roles as a freelance interpreter, Mitchell played an important role in the relief efforts of interpreting information during Hurricane Sandy 2012 for Mayor Michael Bloomberg. She also had the honor of interpreting for Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Inauguration on January 1, 2014 and press conferences during the Snow Storm Hercules 2014. Mitchell states, “I love what I do and I am signing for life”. Mitchell is nationally certified, holds a Professional Certificate in ASL/English Interpretation Projects (ITP) from Fiorella H. LaGuardia Community College, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Corporate Communication with a minor in Pre-Med Psychology from Bernard M. Baruch College and is undecided for her Masters.
Bram is a Nationally-Certified (RID) Sign-Language Interpreter and got his first taste of Nicu’s Spoon when he facilitated communication among Deaf and hearing actors, staff and crew for their productions of “Stumps”, “Buried Child” and ”Kosher Harry”, the latter of which was a co-production with New York Deaf Theatre (NYDT), experiences he won’t soon forget. In addition to being an ASL Coordinator with Nicu’s Spoon, Bram’s involvement in the theater community at large also includes being the Media Relations Coordinator for TOYS Theater, work on the Stage Crew for various NYDT productions, and a stint as Stage Manager for Staged Readings of the new rock musical, “The Cure”.
Tanya was the Distinguished Honoree at the 2011 ceremony for Disability Awareness Month at The Lighthouse International, presented by NYC Comptroller John C. Liu. Tanya is a Deaf Interpreter, Deaf American sign Language Instructor and Deaf Advocate. In 2008 she helped to establish the House of Justice Deaf Club, Tanya ensures there is active Deaf participation to support the goals of National Action Network. Under her direction the Deaf Club has sponsored Voter Registration Drives, Black Deaf History and Deaf Awareness events as well as supporting and collaborating with Deaf and hearing organizations to promote equal opportunity and self reliance for Deaf and hard of hearing people. Tanya makes herself available to anyone who thinks their rights have been violated due to Deafness. When issues have been brought to her attention, she has immediately responded on behalf of the Deaf. Ms. Ingram is a longtime member of NYCBDA and represented Black Deaf Americans nationwide asMiss Black Deaf America 1986.
Michelle is a magna cum laude graduate of NYU’s College of Arts and Sciences, where she earned her BA in Psychology with a Minor in Theatre Studies. Performing is Michelle’s oldest passion, but has since supported and complimented her other interests in directing, psychology, and teaching. She has been involved with Nicu’s Spoon since 2008, where her directing, associate and assistant directing credits include “Beautiful Thing” by Jonathan Harvey, the world premieres of “A Kite Cut Loose in the Middle of the Sky,” “23 Coins,” and “Snow White Rose Red,” Spoon’s January children’s show. Most recently, she directed, designed, and was the literary developer for Spoon’s staged reading of the new play “Handicapping.” Other assistant directing include “Sons of the Prophet” with Roundabout Theatre Company. Michelle is also a recent Circle in the Square Musical Theatre Intensive graduate. In addition to serving as the Literary Director at Spoon, Michelle is also the Outreach Director and a teaching artist for Daytime Moon Creations, a nonprofit that brings recreational theatre programming to kids and young adults with special needs.
Julie holds an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle and a BA in Psychology from Holy Cross College. Julie also performed with Living Voices in New York, Chicago, and Seattle bringing to life historical characters with the goal of winning commitments for tolerance from the audience. Her work in NYC includes being associate producer at INTAR for King Lear, starring Ralph Waite. Regional credits include Seattle Children’s Theater and Bailiwick Rep. in Chicago. Julie has been seen in NY as Goneril in King Lear. Ju lie is certified by the SAFD in rapier and dagger, broadsword, quarterstaff and hand-to-hand stage combat. Most recently, she played Mayella in To Kill a Mockingbird. She is now returning from maternity leave (with 2 beautiful boys and a girl!) in a short film and in our Spring 2009 reading series.
Damon has been composing music since 1992 and working with Nicu’s Spoon since 2001, his award-winning music has been in many productions including: To Kill a Mockingbird, George Orwell’s 1984, Ordinary People, Murder of Crows, Suburbia, The Little Prince and Elizabeth Rex. Previously he has worked with the Oregon, Shakespeare Festival and Storefront Theater in Portland, Oregon. Damon dabbles in many of the liberal arts; working professionally as a graphic designer, photographer, video producer and sound engineer. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife and daughter where he continues to write music for film, theater and pleasure— telecommuting to New York City when he can’t be there in person. You can download his music and learn more about his various works at theStark.com.
Company Stage Manager
Juni Li was born in New York City, but raised in Syracuse, NY in a family of electrical engineers and business majors. While living in upstate NY she would visit NYC every year before finally settling back in the city for college in search of color, light and frivolity to inhabit her world like Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot, and has been living here for the past 9 years. She holds a BA in media arts, with a concentration in film/television production and photography, from Long Island University. She has worked on productions throughout the city as SM, ASM and crew. Recent credits include Little House on the Ferry, Proof, The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, How the Day Runs Down, The Bad Seed and The Cherry Orchard.
Education Consultant /Actor / Crew
Alvaro Sena made his first main stage appearence with Nicu’s Spoon in The Little Prince. He is a brazilian actor and moved to NY thinking of the expansion of his career. He now is in MA but maintains string ties to the company. His professional training started in Brazil when he was a student at the University Of Arts of Parana where his coursework included History of Theater, Acting , Literature, Makeup, Costume and Scenic Design classes. His acting credits include Garcia Lorca, Shakespeare, Eugene Ionesco and others like Brazilian authors Maria Clara Machado and Nelson Rodrigues. He has worked as an intern for Cultural Foundation of Curitiba, a program where he had to travel to poor areas bringing the magic of art and teaching Literature and Acting to kids who did not have access to the arts. He also has worked as a production assistant and booked commercials as well. In NY he has attended acting classes at Michael Howard’s, SFT and Theatre Dance at The Broadway dance center. He is currently in Boston, Massachusetts.
Phillip recently was the Producer’s Assistant for Born Bad at Soho Rep, and ASM for Gatsby, the The Songs in Concert with NYMTF. AD/SM for Beautiful Thing and W;T at Spoon. He was also AD for Love Me (Planet Connections), As You Like It at Frog & Peach, and AD/SM/Costume Designer for Erosion: Life on Life’s Terms at Spoon. He has also regionally directed, costume and makeup designed for Theatre-by-the-Grove (PA), and many children shows with LimeLight Productions (AZ). He was PSM for A Perfect Ganesh with Synaptic Productions (NY), SM for Holding Out at Manhattan Rep, and Production Mgr/Founding Member of sketch troupe Company (PA). BA from Indiana University of PA. He is co-founder of the new company Partly Cloudy People.
Born and raised in the Bronx Sammy has been performing since the first grade. Through out elementary school Sammy has performed in the school’s yearly Christmas shows with his biggest role as Hansel in the play Hansel and Gretal. Once in high school Sammy began performing in their yearly spring play and talent shows. After graduating from high school Sammy stopped acting and got his associates in multi media programming. In 2006 Sammy was asked to perform for Positive Exposures where he performed in two scenes and did a monologue. At this point Sammy realized how much acting meant to him and started taking classes at HB Studio. In October of 2007 Sammy was a part of New York’s premier haunted house Blood Manor where he played a crazy inmate. Sammy is currently taking acting classes with Nicu’s Spoon and is playing the role of The Bear in ‘Elizabeth Rex’.
Nick is an avid educator, director, actor, and writer. Nick has worked as an Educational Director for several theater companies since his graduation, including: TEST Theater Company, Nicu’s Spoon Theater, and Identity Theater Co., where he is the founder. Nick graduated from CW Post with
his BA in Theater and holds a Masters in Education from Queens College. Nick is very excited to work with such talented, inspiring artists within the Nicu Spoon family and looks forward to making great theater with great people.
Actress / General company support
Wynne most recently appeared for nicu’s spoon as Monica Breedlove in ‘Bad Seed’ and Kimberly in ‘Kimberly Akimbo’. Other roles with the Spoon include Queen Margaret in ‘Richard III’, E.M. Ashford in ‘W:t’ and Mrs. Cider in ‘Kosher Harry’. Also a member of Emerging artists theatre company Wynne appeared as Dolores Hitchins in their off broadway production of ‘Claymont’ as well as many of their one act festivals of new works. Wynne has appeared in a variety of roles with several off off broadway companies in both full length and readings of new works and classical works. Regional work has seen her as M’lynn in ‘Steel Magnolias’, Mrs. Boyle in ‘The Mousetrap’, Reba in The last night of Ballyhoo’ and the 3 women in red herring. She has appeared on One life to live, All my children, Guiding light, Another world, and Loving as well as commercials and voice overs. she attended the theatre departments of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Denver University and holds a bachelors degree from NYU. She is a proud member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA www.wynneanders.com
Natalie began with necessary theatre in the Positive Force Players; a group focused on issues such as AIDS awareness and substance abuse. She graduated from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a major in theater. Regionally, she appeared at The Milwaukee Rep., and Northern Stage Company as well as touring to the Siglo De Oro Spanish Theater Festival in El Paso, TX. She has been seen on As the World Turns and Guiding Light, as well as starring in Abhay Charan, a film about the birth of the Hari Krishna movement in NYC. She was in the Obie Award winning NY premiere of Mac Wellman’s Jennie Richee with the Ridge Theatre, she played Cordelia to Ralph Waite’s King Lear, Chechyen Woman and Zapatista in Displaced, and Scout in Nicu’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Michael Abourizk is an Arab-American actor who began his training under the tutelage of Tobi Silver. He is distinctly humbled to be a member of Nicu’s Spoon. At the Spoon, he appeared as Ste in their production of Beautiful Thing, as well as in W;t (ensemble, u/s Jason), Bad Seed (Mr. Daigle, u/s performed Colonel Penmark), and Rumplestiltskin. Other credits include a bilingual production of The Maids (Madame), The Eight Reindeer Monologues (Cupid), Butch Mamas (Shay), voice-over work, and several one-act play festivals. He is a Milo Award-recipient for the Park Road Playhouse’s The Lion in Winter (John). He holds a BA in Dramatic Literature and French from New York University. He continues to perform a one-man show adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, written and helmed by Darya Gerasimenko, and now co-produced by Nicu’s Spoon.
Advisory Board Members
Board Chairman, Guy Ventoliere
Guy has a specialized BA Degree in Shakespearean Theatre and has studied with Ruby Dee, Eve Adamson of the Jean Cocteau Repertory Company, The Actor’s Studio, and the American Academy of Dance and Drama. He has also been a dramatic instructor to both adult and children for over 15 years at various organizations including The Bronx Dance Theatre, and Long Lake Performing Arts School and he was the resident Children’s Theatre Director for Lehman College where he also taught Drama, Directing and Arts Management. He has developed arts curriculum for both the New York Board of Education and The Arch Dioceses and trained staff on teaching & directing the child actor and worked on several initiatives co-sponsored by PASE (Partnership for Afterschool Education.) As the Director of Development for Children and the Classics, Guy brought programs and support to children and organizations with little exposure to the arts throughout the 5 boroughs, including the V.I.P. (Voice, Identity, and Power) Program empowering girls by introducing them to positive female role models in the arts, the Self Expression Project in partnership with the Children’s Aid Society and funded by the Robin Hood Foundation, and the Partners Program which supplied organizations with costumes, scripts, and theatrical equipment. He also developed the Classic Theatre Collaborative, which introduced classical theatre to children & youth. His specialized program was implemented in over 32 Community Based Organizations throughout NYC including various locations of YMCA of Greater New York, and The After School Corporation. He worked for Saturday night Live and was “Ted O’Toole” in the Disney series Cool Tool Adventures. Acting credits include Joe Bonaparte Golden Boy (Harold Clurman Festival) La Grange in Two Precious Maidens Ridiculed (Irish Arts Center), The Second Sheppard’s Play and Everyman (Metropolitan Museum of Art), The Crucible (John Proctor), and The Foreigner (Charlie). Shakespeare credits include Romeo in R&J, Sir Andrew in Twelfth Night, Puck in Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twin Dromios in Comedy of Errors, Iago in Othello, Gravedigger and Laertes in Hamlet, Caliban in The Tempest, Costard in Loves Labours Lost, Launce in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Belarious in Cymbeline, Dr. Caius in Merry Wives of Windsor and Richard III . Guy currently advises several arts organizations on technical and scenic elements of production, curriculum development and instruction, administrative and artistic vision, budgeting, and arts fundraising.
Andrew H. Campbell (1932-2007) was based in New Jersey and was retired as the President of the Eastern Steel Barrel Company. He was a graduate of Cornell University and the Army Language School and was fluent in Mandarin Chinese. He was involved with many volunteer organizations such as The United Way of Union County (President), and the Family and Children’s Services (President). He was on the boards of Wells College and Roanoke College as well as the Pingry School. He was Vice Chairman of Trinitas Hospital in Elizabeth, NJ and co-chair of the Presidential search committee. Andrew passed away in April 2007 but will always remain on our board with his wonderful spirit, having supported us from the beginning.
Eledryth Barton, based in New Mexico, has worked in Romania with abandoned children, was a midwife in rural areas in the USA, traveled through Egypt, Tibet, Thailand and Nepal and worked in burn wards with recovering children. She is a vocal and respected advocate for rights of the handicapped and for children’s issues across the globe. She also traveled as a member of an elite surgical team doing emergency organ transplants. She travels extensively each year and consults with various international organizations on health, children’s and handicapped issues.
Kimberleyanne Johnston is an amazing woman. Caught in a housefire at 19 days old she grew up a triple amputee and burn victim- this is not how she or we see her, but rather how the world at large has persisted in seeing her. Ready or not world, she still put herself through college and graduate school and may eventually head to being a full charge nurse. Right now she is head of operations at Pacific Medical Center in Washington, a mother of an adorable 2 year old boy, has been a constant advisor and inspiration over the years to this company on prosthetic and disability issues and has now become a board member. She is funny, feisty, smart, hard working and exemplifies what we stand for – that EVERYONE has the right to do what they can in life. If they have talent that is all that matters. She changes perceptions just by meeting people and being who she is. She is also humble and has no idea what a role model she really is.
Valerie Peck is a Yale graduate and has been working in regional theater in the New York and Boston area for over 10 years. She currently is a consultant for the International Rescue Committee, a refugee relief organization. Valerie also volunteers her time and sits on the Planning Committee for transModa Fashion show, an annual fundraising event to support refugees and immigrants. Valerie is proud to be part of Nicu’s Spoon which is dedicated to not only bringing entertainment to its audience but enlightening audiences to important issues of the day.
Honorary Board Members
Mercedes McCambridge (1918-2004)
For her screen debut in All the King’s Men (1949), she won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Despite her early success, she went on to appear in films only intermittently, usually in intense, volatile roles. For her work in Giant (1956), she received a second Oscar nomination. She was never seen onscreen in what was perhaps her best-known performance: that of the demon’s voice in The Exorcist (1975). She taught classes in the late 70’s which is where she encountered the Artistic Director of Nicu’s Spoon and inspired her (You have focus, girl – you can do anything with that!). She authored two autobiographies, The Two of Us (1960) and A Quality of Mercy (1981). After many years battling alcohol, she became sober and an advocate of helping those fighting the disease of alcholism. Mercy (as she was known) died of natural causes at 87-years-old in 2004.
One of the world’s 50 living autistic savants is the first and only to tell his compelling life story and explain how his mind works. His book, Born on a Blue Day published in 2007, was on bestseller lists all over the world. His newest work ‘Embracing The Wide Sky; A Tour Across the Horizons of the Mind’ has just been released in January 2009. He is a high-functioning, 27-year-old British man with Asperger’s syndrome. His ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and interact and communicate with others is somewhat impaired, yet he’s capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation. Besides being able to multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer, Tammet, the subject of the 2005 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a week and recited the number (pi) to the 22,514th digit, breaking the European record. He also has synesthesia, a neurological syndrome that enables him to experience numbers and words as ‘shapes, colors, textures and motions.’ He touches all he meets, not only with his mind but with his gentle manner.