Meet Theater O
A cornerstone belief of Theater O is that with the right instructors, children
can thrive in the theater community. All our instructors are seasoned
professionals who excel in their craft. Our faculty have been seen
on professional stages in New York City and Regionally, and been trained
at renowned institutions such as The American Conservatory
Theatre, Actors Theatre Workshop and Skidmore College.
Jessica Irons, Artistic Director
Jessica, an Ossining resident, and sits on the Board of Bethany Arts Community, and is the current president. She sat on the Board of Ossining MATTERS for 6 years and was president for 2. For 10 years she was the Artistic Director of the
, NYC based
! Theater Company where she fostered new plays from a seed of an idea through to full productions. She directed Off & Off
at the Flea, The Ohio, HERE Arts Center, 78th Street Theater Lab, Dixon Place, The Blue Heron Arts Center, The Ontological at St. Mark's Church in the Bowery New Georges and adobe theatre company. She was the Associate Artistic Director of adobe theatre company and the Artistic Associate at Adirondack Theater Festival.
As an educator she has directed/taught in Newark NJ, Redhook, Brooklyn, for the 52nd Street Project in Manhattan, Allan Stevenson, Fordham University, the Boys & Girls Club of Northern Westchester and elsewhere throughout the tri-state area . Locally, she has directed adults professionally for Rivers Edge Theatre Co. She was the original therapeutic arts director at Children of Promise, NYC in Bedford Stuyvesant, where she developed and implemented therapeutic art & theater curricula for children of incarcerated parents. Jessica studied theater at Skidmore College (BA) and Creative Arts Therapy at the New School.
Jessica Carmen Courtney is a Cuban American actress, creator of silly songs, label maker enthusiast, and "mama" to her hilarious daughter and adorable baby boy. Relatively new to Ossining, she and her family moved to the area 2 years ago after living in NYC for 10 years. She studied opera performance at the New England Conservatory of Music and The University of Kentucky and has performed (opera, choral, jazz, piano, theater) for most of her life. After her classical music training, she went on to study improv at UCB (levels 101/201), and scene study (ESPA with Primary Stages). You might have caught her in some commercials or print ads including Optimum Cable, New Jersey Lotto, and Fidelis Care. Jessica is having so much fun connecting her improv and musical training at home by diving deep into imaginative play and writing funny, relatable songs about motherhood. www.JessicaCarmen.com.
Allison Mitchell has performed and taught theatre around the world and is over the moon to have landed much closer to home! She trained as an actor at Bennington College, BADA, Canada’s National Voice Intensive, and received her MFA at York University. Allison spent many years touring & teaching with the experimental Kadmus Theatre Studio collaborating with the Centre for Theatre Practices, Gardzieniece in Poland as well as the International Theatre Consortium. Allison is thrilled to bring her physical theatre, clowning, mask work, improvisation & devising skills to the glorious creative community that is Theater O!
companies including the Ontological, New Georges, Turnip and 78th Street Theater Lab. His play Linus & Alora was published in Plays & Playwrights Best Plays of 2010.
Andrew has been a Teaching Artist at The Hudson River Academy, Sarah Lawrence College’s Summer Writing Intensive, Westchester Community College, Allen Stevenson, and Penobscot Theater Company. He was Program Director for Off the Hook a playwriting to performance program in Red Hook Brooklyn, 2006-2008. He has been teaching in the New York City public school system for the last 8 years. Andrew studied theater at the American Conservatory Theater (Young Conservatory), National Theater Institute, Skidmore College (BA) and Sarah Lawrence College (MFA).
Andrew Irons (Associate Director)
Andrew is a playwright and a founding member of ANDHOW! Theater Company. For Andhow! he has written Linus & Alora (The Flea Theater), Little Suckers (The Ohio Theater), Non-D, (the Ontological Theatre; Backstage STIMY Award: Powerful Production 2003-2004), Paschal Full Moon (78th Street Theater Lab), and has received readings / workshops of Yakima Man and Iris. His play Tunnel was produced at Expanded Arts. His toy theater piece And Away! was presented at The Brick, as well as with Andhow! at The Connelly Theater. And as an actor and playwright he has worked with several New York theater
Amanda Baumler (Musica Theater) is a New York-based singer, theater and voice-over actor represented by Ingrid French Management. In addition to her current project for LegoLand NY, as Sarah-The Explorer in their main stage production of Tales From Orange County, Amanda also spent her summer in the Catskills at Villa Roma Resort in their main stage production as the spunky Sophia in The Golden Girls: Dorthy’s Wedding. Some of her other favorite theater credits include: Lend Me A Tenor at Clove Creek Dinner Theater, Our Town at The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Godspell at Sugarloaf Performing Arts Center, Runner Stumbles at The Robert Moss Theater, Jesus Christ Superstar at Westchester Broadway Theater and the Off-Broadway premiere of That Lady From Maxim's for the New York Music Theater Festival at the Pearl Theater. Some of her favorite voice over credits include: voicing Princess Galatea for Nickelodeon's "Winx Club", voicing the “Upside Down Magic: Sticks & Stones” Scholastic Book Trailer, voicing the “Zippy” Bag for a Coach Inc.'s website ad campaign, voicing a “Princess Fash’ems” national television commercial for Disney, voicing two national television toy commercials for Netflix's "Beat Bugs", and voicing a "Little Sprouts" national television commercial for Cabbage Patch Kids. You can also catch Amanda portraying a variety of zany characters as a resident company member of Murder Mystery Manhattan.
Kathryn is an actor and acting instructor who currently resides in Westchester County, NY. Favorite theater roles include: Point Last Seen (Atlantic Stage 2), Three Women in Indecision (The Kraine Theater), God of 16 Acres (Atlantic 453), Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden (Atlantic Conservatory), The John Wayne Principle (The Ohio Theater), and Antigone (Nashville Shakespeare Festival) among many others. Ms. Alexander can be seen in the film Choke (Sundance Grand Jury Prize, 2008). Television roles include Law & Order and Dickens in America (BBC Scotland). She received her BA from Brown University and completed the Conservatory Program at the Atlantic Theater Company Acting School. She has been a member of the Atlantic teaching staff since 2001.
Ruth Ragan (Consulting Social Worker)
Ruth earned her Masters degree in Social Work with a Specialization in Children & Families (in 1997). She has worked as a therapist in an outpatient mental health clinic as well as in community-based family preservation and therapeutic foster care programs. She administered a mental health program for Camp Viva, a respite program for families and individuals affected by HIV/AIDS. She has co-faciliated group therapy for latency age children and adolescents.
Stephanie Granade (bio coming soon!)
Aya Abdallah (Musical Theater) is a singer, actress, a student at CUNY City College. A former Theater O student Aya studied with Jonny Kaplan, Jessica Irons, Julie Griffin, and Andrew Irons. She performed in Theater O productions of Peter/Wendy, Virtually Me, and Seven Ways to Say I Love You. She has also performed with RiversEdge Theater in Circle Mirror Transformation under the direction of Jessica Irons. She has worked at Theater O in various capacities since 2016, and most recently as the musical director and choreographer for Show Camp! She is ecstatic to be teaching musical theater at Theater O.
Jonathan C. Kaplan is a Tony Award-nominated actor who has worked
professionally in the New York City area since 1991. He has appeared on
Broadway in Falsettos, for which he received a Tony Award nomination and
Theatre World award, and in The Diary of Anne Frank with Natalie Portman.
Off-Broadway credits include Forever Dusty, Rags, and The Loman Family
Picnic. Film and Television credits include Learning to Drive starring Sir Ben
Kingsley, What Just Happened, Life With Mikey, The Blacklist, Hostages,
Elementary, The Good Wife, Law & Order: SVU, and Babylon 5. He has also
worked at regional theaters around the country, including George Street,
Denver Center, the Guthrie, Alabama Shakespeare, Hangar Theatre,
Baltimore Centerstage, and a full touring year with the Acting Company.
Jonathan holds a bachelor's degree from Stanford University and is a proud
father and husband.