Rachel Lampert (she/her)
Producing Artistic Director
Rachel is returning to lead the theater for the 2023-24 Season. She served as the Artistic Director from 1997-2017. During her twenty-year tenure, she focused on expanding the repertory to include new plays, alternative theatrical formats, solo performances, movement-based work, and original musicals.
A strong advocate for young theater artists, she gave first-time directing opportunities to many young directors, mostly women, who continue to make theater nationwide. She championed playwrights by producing early-career writers on the KTC Mainstage and broadened the experience of the audience by hosting Kitchen Counter Culture, a series devoted to BIPOC solo performers.
Her solo play The Soup Comes Last and original musicals written with composer Larry Pressgrove, including Precious Nonsense, Tony & the Soprano, Bed No Breakfast, Comfort Food, and The Angle of the Sun, were popular box-office hits. She received the SALT Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018 when she retired from the Kitchen.
“I am surprised to be back, but forever grateful to all the artists, technicians, supporters, and the public who helped build the theater and are now working to find a sustainable future. As always, together is better, and I expect that together we will make it possible.”
Emily Jackson (she/her)
Associate Producing Artistic Director
Emily is an artist and organizer who gathers groups of humans together and shares well-made stories. She is thrilled to be back at Kitchen Theatre Company, previously having served as the Artistic Associate and Director of Audience Services. She has also served as the Artistic Director for Sanguine Theatre Company in New York City, has been a member of Lark Theatre’s Literary Wing, and has adapted the works of Italian playwright, Dacia Maraini.
Directing credits include for Kitchen Theatre Company: I and You, The Soup Comes Last, Physics Fair, Count Me In; for Holmdel Theatre Company: Little Women the Musical; for Cider Mill Playhouse: Urinetown, Stage Kiss; for Fordham University: Into the Woods; for Sanguine Theatre Company: Jessica; Hamlet Isn’t Dead: Julius Caesar.
Emily is a recipient of the Norma Fire Emerging Artist Award and a SALT Award for Best Actress for her performance in Peter and the Starcatcher.
Originally from Dallas, Texas, Emily received her BFA from The University of Oklahoma’s Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama. She is based in New York City with her husband, Tyler M. Perry, a lighting designer and theatre educator, two dogs, Frankie and Stella, and her children, Luma and Son, with whom Emily hopes to share her love of great stories.
Stephen C. Nunley (he/him)
Former Managing Director, Current Member Task Force for a Sustainable Future
Mr. Nunley is on the Task Force of the Kitchen for the 2023-24 season. He is currently the
bookkeeper for Groundswell Center for Food and Local Farming, and also for the Youth Farm Project. He serves as the Board Chair for the Affiliated Choruses of Ithaca, a local non-profit of five choruses, sings in Transpose: Ithaca Queer Singers Alliance (formerly Ithaca Gay Men's Chorus). In addition, he has just begun his second year on the Board of Kendal at Ithaca.
Lesley Greene (she/her)
Former Associate Producer, Current Member Task Force for a Sustainable Future
Lesley Greene is a sound designer, playwright, composer, and event producer. She worked for 20 years at the Kitchen Theatre Company as a producer, grant writer, and theatrical jack-of-all-trades. She is co-director of Story House Ithaca, co-founder of Porchfest, and author of The Turnaway Play. lesleylisagreene.com
Brendan Kamala (he/him)
Brendan has been building sets (and other things) for KTC ever since the transition to the "new" building, building every set but one in the last 9 years. A transplant from the midwest where he worked primarily for the Steppenwolf Theatre Company (and a variety of smaller Chicago area groups), he worked for Cornell on arriving in Ithaca and now enjoys the KTC family and looks forward to our new adventures for this season.
Jennifer Schilansky (she/her)
Production Stage Manager
Jen has been the resident stage manager for the Kitchen Theatre for over 55 main stage productions. KTC favorites include: The Royale, Ironbound, Peter and the Starcatcher, The Mountaintop, Paloma, The Whipping Man, Darian Dauchan's Death Boogie and Brian Dykstra Selling Out. Based in Groton, NY Jen spends most of her time working in Ithaca, NY and spending time with her young daughter, Maya.
Previous work includes PSM for Seussical at SUNY Cortland, Jazz Nutcracker SUNY Binghamton, PSM for The Cherry Arts and their English World Premieres Heading into Night, A Day, Hotel Good Luck, The Fan, and Felt Sad, Posted a Frog. She has also served as the Production Stage Manager for the Hangar Theatre’s Pride and Prejudice, Dégagé, and A Doll’s House Part 2.
Prior to moving to Ithaca, she spent five years as the resident stage manager for Stageworks Theater in Hudson, as well as Stage Managing for Half Moon Theater in Poughkeepsie and Bard College. Jen has been an Equity member since 2007 and is a graduate of Lycoming College in Williamsport PA.
Stiller Zusman (she/her)
Stiller began her scenic work in theater, designing and building sets for Buffalo Ensemble Theatre. At that time she was finishing an MFA in Sculpture at the University of Buffalo. Thirty years later, after several full careers in fine arts, teaching and clinical art therapy, she has been recruited back to theater.
Her exhibitions include shows at Albright Knox Gallery, where she received the Partners Press Award for Sculpture, Everson Museum, Hall Walls Gallery, Adrianne Adrian Fine Arts and more. Her work appears in private and public collections, including a permanent installation at the University of Wyoming. She has designed many studio workshops for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, taught sculpture at SUNY Cortland and Ithaca College. Her own gallery and teaching studio, Abovoagogo was on Seneca St, around the corner from the theater for many years.
“Painting all of the productions in the last season has been a fine adventure! I am delighted to continue my work in this vibrant community of artists.”
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Susan J. Kaplan, Co-Vice President
Justin Karr, Co-Vice President
Michelle Benedict, Treasure
Howard Steven Klein, Secretary