is Jason Kendall and Donna Stearns. We
specialize in the performance of classic and classic-like
work. What we think of as classical is the emphasis on texts
which emphasize the beauty, playfulness and profundity of
spoken word. We strive to find works that succeed in creating
a vital actor-audience experience, which is impossible in the
static media of film and television. We emphasize the actor
as the central storyteller; utilizing all their available
skills and talents that come to their greatest power in live
performance. Thus, we produce chatty, lively works with large
vocabularies, poetry both high and low, lofty speech (but not
too lofty, or else it is like watching paint dry), and broad
physicality which would be too "big" on a confining screen.
This is no "park-and-bark" bunch of actors, but a group
of active thinkers and playful physiobats.
To us, the theatre is the playground of the active mind.
Spring, 2004-today. New York Public Library, Inwood Branch, New York City.
Directed a reading series of now 15 Shakespeare plays: Romeo and Juliet,
King Henry the Fifth, and The Merry Wives of Windsor,
and many others. Focused strongly on casting minorities in roles for which
they usually are passed over, i.e. leads.
January 16 and 17, 2006. Manhattan Repertory Theater. New York City.
Shakespeare's understood comedy done with an eye for the absurdity in casting.
Openin on Martin Luther King Day, the show featured prominent black actors
in the leads.
original music by Donna Stearns.Show website
November 21 and 22, 2005. Manhattan Repertory Theater. New York City.
Shakespeare's classic comedy done in an extremely tight space with high
physical energy and cast interaction with the audience. Uncut with
original music by Donna Stearns.
July, 2002. Midtown International Theater Festival. Raw Space, New
Director and Producer All
the World's a Stage a new musical by Donna Stearns.
Award-winning songwriter Donna Stearns created a clown-sex-farce,
gay-freindly musical based loosely on Shakespeare's As You
Like It. Created an original clown troupe in place of a
typical chorus. Reviewed by
May and June, 2001. Produced by Genesis Repertory Ensemble and Snapper Bear Studios, New York City.
Artistic Director for a showcase event of over 80 performing
artists and playwrights. All original works of varying styles,
presented in a "SLAM" format.
Merry Wives of Windsor
April 2001, Genesis Repertory Ensemble,
New York City.
Directed and choreographed clown work.
Guys and Dolls
February 2001, Access Theater, New York City.
Stage Manager. Directed by Arthur Brown.
April 2-12, 2000. New York Comedy Club, New York City
Produced and directed this Shakespeare classic in the innovative setting of a
stand-up comedy club in Manhattan. All information at
/m4m . Getting great reviews for cast and
direction, this play was favorably
compared to current Off-Broadway productions, and was called by OOBR "one of the freshest,
smartest, and funniest evenings in recent memory"
November 16-December 18, 1999. Snapper Bear Studios, New York City
Stage Manager and Assistant Director for this original musical by Kenneth
The play dealt with some of the most important questions about religion
in the Millenial Era.
God? was an experimental new musical set in a purple-hazy city-square
ranting millenial nutjobs. Hair meets "Party Like It's 1999" with a dash
of Manhattan Cable Network.
Don Juan in Hell
September 15-26, 1999. J.E.T. Theater, New York City
This George Bernard Shaw one-act is actually the third act from
his play Man and Superman.
Based on Don Giovanni by Mozart, this politico-religious
romp playfully explores some of
the deepest questions of humanity. It portrays a Don Juan,
bored with Hell, who rebels
against the Devil and all the pleasures of
Hell. The Devil is, of course, thoroughly put out by Don
Juan’s lack of taste.
The interesting thing about this show is how it uses very high language and
extended monologues to amuse and raise up the audience by watching Don
Juan negate the Devil. In this cosmology, Hell is a place of
not of pain, and "the Devil is not so black as he is painted." He is merely a
gentleman. That, however, is a catastrophic insult coming from Shaw. Shaw
wanted to show us our loss of humanity and purpose by showing us that Damnation
is actually a place where one does nothing for anyone else. It was my
hope, with this
play, to chip away at the "Baywatchification" of the theatre, providing
a dramatic outlet
for wit and intellect. It was reviewed by
For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls
July 14-18, 1999, J.E.T Theater, New York City Revived at the Duplex,
September 21, 23, 28 and 30, 1999, New York City.
The Christopher Durang short was produced a part of a week of Durang
plays. As a spoof of The Glass
Menagerie by Tennessee Williams, this play was a hilarious farce and a
joy to work on. The caller is a lesbian
dock-worker, Laura is now Lawrence, and Tom finally comes out of the
closet by finally telling us
what movies he actually sees. It was reviewed by
July, 1998, Brooklyn Music School, Brooklyn, New York
Directed this new play by Donna Stearns in which a baby is abandoned on
the doorstep of a babysitter who is considering adopting a baby. This
heart-warming and dramatic tale tells the story of the natural mother's
difficulty in leaving her child and the choices that forced her to do it,
a daughter who would never have children who takes the new baby as her own,
and the adoptive mother who chooses to fight to keep the baby. The play
has many impressionistic elements and bounces from moment to moment as
the adoptive mother reveals the true story to her child. This true
story is a tribute to the playwright's mother.
Musical Chairs and Other Diversions
1998, Actors' Loft, New York City.
Directed and produced the play Musical Chairs by Mark S.P. Turvin. It was an
improvastional satire in which the audience votes on which players are
worthy of speaking
in the next scene. The Other Diversions were five scenes which were
performed in a showcase style, all introduced by an MC. The scenes ranged
from classical Indian myths to modern farce to completely new works developed
by the actors. The show was reviewed by
Wonder is a Wonder is a Wonder
February, 1998, J.E.T. Theater, New York City.
Directed Off-off Broadway production at J.E.T. Theater. The play was a
surreal farce in which Woman of Wonder visits Gertrude Stein.
Woman of Wonder's Writer inserted comic-book bubbles into the scene
and Alice B Toklas ran around hunting for an elusive pigeon
to cook for dinner. The show emphasized the struggle women have being
taken seriously as artists and as leaders, especially on
the front edge of ideas and creativity. The production was reviewed by
See the cast photo
Tongue and Groove Theater
1996, Austin, Texas.
Founding Board Member of this professional theater organization
in Austin, Texas.
The group's debut performance, The Billy Club Puppets was called
the best new play in Austin, 1996, by the
Austin Chronicle, the leading
arts magazine in Austin.
1994-1996, University of Texas at Austin.
Founded and administered a student organization at the
University of Texas at Austin dedicated to theatrical ventures. Produced A
Midsummer Night's Dream (Spring 1995), As You Like It (Fall 1995) and
Frankie and Johnny in the Claire de Lune (Spring 1996). Responsibilities
included marketing, space procurement and management, fiscal management, and
personnel hiring and management. Performances ran two weeks to positive
reviews in the Austin Chronicle and
Daily Texan, reaching a total audience
of 1500 patrons for all three shows.
Laboratory Theater of the University of Texas at Austin
This student theater was designed to give opportunities to explore
innovative production ideas. Produced Love Letters by A.R. Gurney (Fall 1993),
Hit and Miss (Spring 1994), and Musical Chairs by Mark S.P. Turvin (Fall 1994).
Musical Chairs was an new script making its Texas debut. The Arizona
playwright participated via Internet sessions during both rehearsal and
performance. Hit and Miss was an evening of one-act plays. Love Letters
examined the acting values of reader's theater.
Creede Repertory Theater
Summer, 1996, Creede, Colorado
Concurrent with acting in the three productions,
worked as post-performance changeover crew. Responsibilities included
assembling and maintaining of sets and properties for four productions.