The COTE Ensemble
The COTE Ensemble is our group of resident actors, writers and directors who meet regularly for workshops, rehearsals and performances. The COTE Ensemble has been featured in performances and showcases throughout New York City and on tour in New England and the tri-state area.
COTE Ensemble Artists are Kerrie Bond, Drew Bolander, Jen Browne, Mike Callahan, Nikita Chaudhry, Casey Cleverly, Anna Cody, Robert A . K. Gonyo, Laura Iris Hill, Tyrus Holden, Melissa Ingle, Sarah Rose Kearns, Quentin Madia, Ashley Marinaccio, Danny Mendoza, Kari Morris, Vinny Eden Ortega, Michael Rehse, Anna Savant, Aliza Shane, Gil Sperling, Jason Wang
Drew is an actor and singer living in NYC, where he seeks to coalesce all of his various interests and passions into a cohesive and meaningful life. A graduate of the UNC School of the Arts and proud native Northern-Californian, he enjoys languages, science, Shakespeare, being outside, and of course: music
Nikita is an actor, dancer, singer, and teacher based between New York and Los Angeles. She most recently started working with Co-Op Theatre East, for the staged reading of Building A Real Boy at Dixon Place in 2017. Other recent theater credits include: An Unexpected Thing Happens at Theaterlab, Portraits at Skirball Center for Performing Arts, RIBS at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. A Baltimore native, Nikita is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, from which she received a BFA with honors in Acting, minor in Performance Studies, and Honors Certificate in Theatre Studies. Along with her artistic pursuits, she is an engaged activist, most recently co-organizing the Women’s Convention in Detroit. She hopes that her work will continue to serve as a catalyst for social change, and reimagine an inclusive and diverse industry. More at nikitachaudhry.com, and on social media as @nikita.chaudhry.
Regional Theater: Prudence in Beyond Therapy (Robby Award Nomination for Best Comedic Actress) and Doll Tearsheet inHenry IV (with John Goodman, both at the Old Globe Theatre, San Diego); Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (The Shakespeare Theatre & Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis); Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (Cleveland Play House); and Abigail’s Party (Two River Theater). New York Theater: Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet (Moonwork); I, Bohemia (78th Street Theatre Lab), Mollusk (New Georges), Mouth of the Crocodile (The Lark), All in Little Pieces (Winner Sam French Festival), Wedding Vows and Tech Support (Algonquin Seaport Theater), and Overruled (The Shaw Project). Film and television: Brooklyn in July, DellanoCelli Productions, and Anna co-hosted on the web series Comicology-TV along with host, Jeff Peters. Thank you to the creative and brazen crew of Co-Op Theater East.
Mike Callahan is native New Yorker, who soon after retirement, somehow “Mr. Magooed” himself into the role of Roger White, in the Coop Theater production of Decadent Acts. With the hook firmly in place its been a great ride ever since. Recent roles include The Professor in “Uncle Abram” an adaptation of Uncle Vanya, Carmine in “Staten Island Fairy Tales” And Grand Pa in Joe Ford’s short play “Eighty Eight”. Recent short films include “Death Of A Memory”, “Sunday”, and “Conversations Around Black Bodie”. A full length audio drama, “C REX” is available on multiple platforms.
Kerrie is honored and excited to be a part of the COTE company. Native to the entire east coast (just about!), she found her way to New York City and graduated in 2009 from Pace University with a BFA in Musical Theatre. She first worked with COTE in 2009 in the one-act festival Questionable Content, performing the role of Elaine in the play Smooth Criminal. Favorite credits include After the Dance (Moya Lexington), Twelfth Night: Wall Street (Fabian), Songs for a New World (Woman 1), a workshop of the new musical CrossingBrooklyn (Des), Medea (Medea),
Falsettos (Dr. Charlotte), Proof (Catherine), and Carousel (Ensemble). She is also a performer with the NYC based sketch comedy group Think Pound. kerriebond.com
Jen is a Brooklyn based playwright and actor. Her plays have been presented by the New York Fringe Festival, Dixon Place, Irish Arts Center, Project Y Theatre, Caps Lock Theatre, Houston Fringe Festival, Unfringed Festival in Limerick, Ireland, and others. Her play Hags, Mopes, and the End of All Existence was a 2017 Semi-Finalist with Seven Devils Theatre Conference and was developed as part of Pipeline Theatre Company's 2016 PlayLab. She co-wrote and produced web-series 18 Grand: A Personal Space Odyssey which won Best Series at the 2018 NYC Web Fest and was an official selection at the 2019 Seriesfest in Denver, CO. She is co-founder of Brooklyn based writers group Coffee Klatsch and a founding member of playwright collective Lather Rinse Repeat. She studied theatre at Rowan University and devised and collaborative theatre at Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
A graduate of NYU's Tisch Film program, Tyrus first appeared with Co-Op Theatre East in Documentary: A Suicide Narrative. Tyrus's other acting endeavors include the titular role of Arthur in the short film series The Boy King, Will Trap the Rat Catcher during the 2009 season of the New York Renaissance Fair, and playing Corey Feldman in an episode of Celebrity Ghost Stories. (Really? I don't see it.) Tyrus is looking forward to the awesome projects ahead in COTE's new season!
Melissa is a New York City-based director, and 2020 Graduate of Pace University’s International Performance Ensemble. Her work explores family, sexuality, and technology through the deconstruction of text and time. Some of her directing credits include According to This..., Mother, Daughter, Father, Son, and Shakespeare Translate: Romeo & Juliet. www.melissaingle.com
Quentin is thrilled to join Co-Op Theatre East Ensemble. A grad of Pace University Directing program, Quentin is a director, choreographer, and designer whose work bridges the gap between commercial musical theatre and experimental ensemble work. Quentin is the a co-founder of The Dare Tactic, a non-profit dedicated to staging innovative works by underrepresented voices. When not directing/producing, Quentin is a freelance projection, sound, and light designer. Quentin has worked in NYC, Off-B’way, Off-Off B’way, and throughout New Jersey including McCarter Theatre, New Jersey Repertory Theatre, Porch Light Productions, Villagers Theatre, The Abraham Joshua Heschel School, and South Brunswick School District, as well as running his own private teaching studio for tap, musical theatre dance, acting, and choreography. Quentin currently works for The Drama League and Dixon Place.
Danny is a Cuban-American producer, director, writer, and actor who was lucky enough to be born and raised in Miami. He is a proud graduate of Belen Jesuit Preparatory School and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. During more than a decade of work in film and television, he has directed and produced a wide variety of documentaries, independent films, television shows, web series, and commercials. His interest is primarily in the intersections of the arts and service, building his career on the foundational belief that stories can effectively further the cause of justice.
Vinny Eden Ortega
Vinny is a New York City based director and writer currently serving as the Artistic Director of The Dare Tactic, Assistant Producing Artistic Director of Planet Connections Theatre Festivity , and Artistic Assistant of Events for The Drama League. Ortega adapts existing narratives and creates original work based off a range of materials including text, film, poetry, social media, music, and visual art. In mixing performance, multimedia, music, and postmodern visual aesthetics, he gives the audience an unconventional theatrical experience that explores volatile human relationships in poetic, sensual, and intoxicated conditions. Directing credits include More Than Just Skin, (Wild Project), Gathering Sparks (Experiment Festival-Bangkok, Thailand), HOPELESS: A New Play (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity), 4.48 Psychosis (The Dare Tactic), Macbeth (St. Paul's Theatre), Marie Antoinette (Theatre Row). Assistant directing credits include Decadent Acts (Dixon Place), The Fall of a Sparrow (José Rivera World Premier- Playwrights for a Cause), Building a Real Boy (Dixon Place), The Remembrance Project: Bosnia (Nuyorican Poets Café) and Dancing At The Shame Prom (EstroGenius Festival).www.vinnyedenortega.com
Originally from San Francisco, Anna has lived and performed in Munich, Tokyo and various cities around the United States. She holds a graduate degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, studied classical theater at ACT in San Francisco and is a graduate of the New Actors Workshop in New York where she studied with George Morrison and Mike Nichols. Her favorite theater credits include Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream as well as Hecuba in The Trojan Women Redux and Dr. Jolene Shatila in Decadent Acts with Co-Op Theatre East.
Jason is excited to be a part of the COTE ensemble! Jason is currently an undergraduate student at Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU’s Tisch. Jason seeks to don many hats in making sure that stories that need to be told are brought to the front of the New York Theatre Scene. Through his work, Jason hopes to restore the humanity and ability to listen that is being lost in an increasingly hostile world. In his free time, Jason enjoys singing, spending time with his cat, and attending COTE’s Living Radio!
Laura Iris Hill
Laura first met fellow COTE ensemble member, Anna Savant, performing Amadeus in Tokyo. Years later when Laura moved to New York Anna introduced her to the COTE team and a great relationship was forged; one of the most rewarding experiences being creating an original work, Season to Taste, with Anna and Robert Gonyo. An Australian native, Laura received her training at BAPA (Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts) in her home country. Performing extensively in theatre some of her favorite credits include; Romeo & Juliet, The Miser, Macbeth, Much Ado About Nothing, The House of Bernarda Alba and a sold-out Melbourne and regional tour playing the tragic poet Sylvia Plath. New York theatre includes Richard III (Hamlet Isn’t Dead), Cupid and Psyche (Turn to Flesh), Jack London: His Lives and Loves (Marvel Rep), Cosi and Speaking in Tongues (Australian Made Entertainment). Film and tv credits include Any Questions for Ben, the webseries Happy Cancer Chick and most notably as a recurring guest on long-running Aussie tv show, Neighbours.
Sarah Rose Kearns
Rose is a playwright and performer. She studied acting with Dan Daily, Ragnar Freidank, Austin Pendleton, and many others; and she holds a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Columbia University. As an actress, Rose has appeared at Symphony Space (with Gingold Theatrical Group), the Long Wharf, Baltimore Center Stage, Chez Bushwick, and elsewhere. She is the author of a new stage adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel Persuasion, currently in development. www.janeaustenspersuasion.com
Kari is a writer, actor, puppeteer, and teaching artist. Her short film, Two (executive producer, writer, and actor) was a finalist in the Academy Award-qualifying USA Film Festival. Her latest short film collaboration with Pride Film and Plays, Counting (writer) has thus far won First Place in the shorts category in the North by Northwest Micro-Budget Film Festival, Best Screenplay Award at the Fargo Moorhead LGBT Film Festival, Best Drama at Chicago REEL International Shorts Festival and is rounding the festival circuit throughout the US, Canada, and Europe. As an actor, she's appeared in the PSA Commercial "Happy World Animal Day!" for the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and was in the premier cast of Blank Canvas at the HERE Arts Center (Downtown Urban Theater Festival) where the piece won Best Short Play. Other favorite stage roles include Iris in Children’s Letters to God (TYA National Tour) and Helena in A MidSummer Night’s Dream (Lucille Lortel). Kari happily serves as a teaching artist (theater, film, puppetry) throughout the five boroughs and upstate New York, where she has co-created, adapted, and directed 40 + original short plays / film projects for and with K-5 children, including musical scenes and Shakespeare adaptations. A cum laude graduate of both Millikin University and The New School for Drama, Kari is a proud member of Actor’s Equity. http://www.kari-morris.com
A graduate of Pace University with a BA in Computer Science, is a native of Redmond, Washington and a member of Co-Op Theatre East, Ophelia Theater Group, and the CAGE Collective. Recent credits include Comedy of Errors (Antipholus of Syracuse) and Things I Left on Long Island (Stephen) in the NYC Fringe. Other favorite credits include Two Gentlemen of Verona: A Swashbuckling Comedy (Valentine, NYC Fringe), The Importance of Being Earnest (Algernon), Hamlet (Hamlet), Measure 4 Measure (Claudio), and The Cast Party: A Survival Story (Owen Merrick). He recently collaborated in writing and performing What to Do In Case You Miss The Rapture, and was recently seen on the Biography Channel reenacting Patrick Muldoon's story in Celebrity Ghost Stories.
Aliza Shane is a director, playwright and producer. She works with her actors in a collaborative process, creating organic characters borne out of movement and improvisation in addition to the written word. Aliza is the co-founder and Co-Artistic Director of 3 Voices Theatre. She previously served as Assistant Managing Director and Producer of the Writer/Director Forum at Looking Glass Theatre (NYC). With 3Voices, she directed Starf*ckers, wrote & directed Mein Uncle, an absurdist fairytale about the seeds of inhumanity, and produced multiple staged reading events; for which she has both written and directed. Aliza also wrote & directed Are You There Zeus? It’s Me, Electra, (PCTF Awards), The Imaginary Invalid: By Prescription Only (PCTF Awards), The Spanish Wives: A Groovy Tale of Peace, Love and Restoration, and The Three Sillies, (NYIT Award). Recent directing credits include: Nothing Human by Duncan Pflaster (Fringe- BYOV), the Miss Jane Periwinkle series by Mim Granahan on Governors Island, A Touch of Cinema (Cross-Eyed Bear Productions, Spotlight On Fest), Afterlife of Brian by Dan Weiss and Suggested Donation by Duncan Pflaster (Secret Theater One Act Festival), Nasty Bitch Radio (The Dirty Blondes, The Resister Project),as well as multiple radio plays for Living Radio (Kraine Theater- COTE). Aliza has also directed many shows and readings for various theatres and festivals in NYC, including The Bechdel Group, COTE, Project Y, The Dirty Blondes, Urban Stages, Abingdon Theatre, Fresh Fruit Festival and more.