Meet the Cast and Creative Team for the Los Angeles New Court Theatre’s Season Finale:
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Samson Kohanski (Director)
Samson Kohanski is a young director out of New York City. He graduated from Brandeis University with degrees in Theatre Arts and Music Composition. His passion for the theatre extends to his work as director, designer, writer and actor. He was the resident designer for The Freeplay Theatre Cooperative and an assistant to the Sound Designer at the Brandeis Theatre Company and the American Repertory Theatre where has also performed in a number of plays including The Lily’s Revenge (written by Taylor Mac). His work has been in festivals in New York and he has traveled to the Shanghai International Experimental Theatre Festival to perform with the Wandering Fools in Caucasian Chalk Circle. He is thrilled to be working with the LA New Court Theatre on this production of Orphans.
Grace Earley (Stage Manager)
Grace Earley is excited to have had the opportunity to join the Orphans cast & crew as stage manager. Grace is a recent transplant to LA after recently graduating with a BFA in theatre performance from Virginia Commonwealth University, where she stage managed and assistant directed productions such as Mike Bartlett’s Bull and Contractions. Some performance credits include, Regan in Bachelorette, Mona in Monroe, and a featured comedian in A Night of Stand Up Comedy, all at small Virginia theaters that you’ve probably never heard of. She is greatly looking forward to all that’s to come from LA and LA New Court Theatre.
Sean A. Cote (Set Designer)
Sean A. Cote is originally from the New England area and he has worked in theater and film for much of the past decade as a designer, performer, playwright, puppeteer and technical director. Past designs include “Children of Eden” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (AMDA); “Election Day” and “The Country Club” (Happy Medium Theatre); “Mistakes Madeline Made” (Holland Productions); “After the Quake” and “The Overwhelming” (CompanyOne). He was nominated for an Independent Reviewers’ of New England ‘Best Solo Performance’ for his role in “Junkie” by John Shea (Argos Productions). He has an MFA in Scenic Design and Technology from UMASS-Amherst. Sean is delighted to be collaborating with Los Angeles New Court Theatre and with Samson on “Orphans.”
Brian Barraza (Lighting Designer)
Brian is born and raised in Los Angeles California and studied technical theatre at California State University Northridge. He’s had the opportunity to design all aspects of design, but lighting has really sparked his interest. Brian is currently working on Untethered at the Mountain View Mausoleum which opens in May. It is a goal of Brian’s to help bring theatre to inner cities and expose today’s youth to an art form that has been so influential in is own life.
Jillian Clark (Costume Designer)
Jillian Clark is a Boston native who escaped the snow to to sunny California, to work as a designer for television, film and theater. Other theater credits include ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Happy Medium Theatre Company, ‘The American Plan’ Happy Medium Theatre Company, ‘Chicago’ MetroStage Company, ‘The Blue Room’ Speakeasy Stage. She has also worked on films such as The Heat, The Judge, Welcome to Me, Soaked in Bleach and Broken Vows.
Matt Franta (Fight Choreographer)
Matt Franta has been designing and choreographing violence for over a decade. Companies he has worked with include The Long Beach Playhouse, Good People Theatre Company, Phantom Projects, Make Believe Stage Productions, and The Visceral Company. Matt holds a BA in Drama/Speech from Clarke University, and is a graduate of the International Stunt School in Seattle. He is a member of the Society of American Fight Directors, the International Order of the Sword & Pen, and he currently teaches stage combat at Swordplay LA in Burbank. www.MattFranta.com
Matthew Grondin (Phillip)
Matthew is excited to be working with LA New Court for the first time – thanks for having me on board! Past theatre credits include: Good People (Ensemble Theatre Company), Everything You Touch (Theatre @ Boston Court), A Moon for the Misbegotten (Rubicon Theatre), Ah Wilderness! (Antaeus ClassicsFest), the NY Premiere of Friends Like These (Cherry Pit Theatre), Rabbit Hole and Spinning Into Butter (Actor’s Co-op), This Is Our Youth (TAC Theatre), Proof (Noisy Nest), and Granite – a play he wrote and directed. Currently, he is working on his second play (with a writing partner this time) – and they hope to put that up this coming fall. He is a member of Antaeus Theatre Company’s A2 Ensemble. Big thanks to Samson, Ashley and this terrific cast and crew. And thank you, the audience, for supporting live theatre.
Nathan Lee Burkart (Treat)
Nathan is a native from Janesville, WI and has been involved with theatre in some way his entire life. He has worked professionally on-screen and on-stage including projects with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Beloit New Court Theatre, Jack and Jill (produced by and starring Adam Sandler), Women Behind Bars (WE Entertainment), and has worked with the great Edward Albee personally with a reading of Me, Myself, and I at Playwrights Horizons (NYC). Other stage credits include: Warren in This is Our Youth (LANCT), Sebastian in Twelfth Night (LANCT), Antipholis in The Comedy of Errors, Ellard in The Foreigner, Stanley Jerome in Broadway Bound, Arnold Epstein in Biloxi Blues, Snoopy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and Tom Trainor in No, No, Nanette. Commercially he has had multiple national spots for McDonald’s, along with ads for Chase and Hyundai. Directing credits include: Speech & Debate (LANCT), The Prettiest Girl in Lafayette County, and an original sketch piece titled The Final Cut. He received his BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, MO.
Warren Davis (Harold)
Warren Davis began his acting career in Chicago, where he appeared at The Goodman Theatre (The Visit), Drury Lane Oakbrook (The Nerd), Drury Lane South (Love, Sex and the IRS), National Jewish Theatre (Rocket to the Moon and The Wizards of Quiz), and Lifeline Theatre (The Little Sister) among others. LA credits include Bulrusher (Skylight Theatre / LDTE), The Diary of Anne Frank (NoHo Arts Center), A Christmas Twist (SeaGlass Theatre), Dean Donofrio’s Everything is Different But Nothing Has Changed (Theater Asylum), The Crucible (Lillian Theatre), The Car Plays at Segerstrom Center for the Arts, The Chinese Massacre (Circle X), Slaughterhouse Five (Action! Theatre) and The Book of Liz (Blank Theatre). TV credits include “The Middle”, “Criminal Minds”, “House”, “ER”, “LAX”, and “Strong Medicine”. He can also be seen in the sci-fi cult feature, “Yesterday Was A Lie”, and online in the web series, “You Don’t Know Dick”. (www.youtube.com/ydkdseries)