Richard Kuranda, Artistic Director

Richard Kuranda (Founding Artistic Director) Has appeared in over 25 films, 20 plays (Regional & NY) and has directed more than 15 (Regional and NY). As a lifetime member of The Actors Studio he is especially proud of his collaborations with Al Pacino (Oedipus Rex), Bill Plympton (MOMA), Chris Walken, Rip Torn, Estelle Parsons, John Bader and Bob Lavelle.

Epic Repertory Theatre Company in New York, a not-for-profit theatre company--The mission of Epic Repertory Theatre Company is to become the only fully functional repertory theater company in New York City, so that it may nurture and develop new artists, new work, and a new audience in the American theater tradition. Epic's Playwrights-in-Residence to date are Jeremy Kareken--fall 2003. The Summer Lab series with JT Rogers, Sean Grennan, Jeremy Wine and Eric H. Weinberger and Elaine Bromka. Commissions include an adaptation of Tim O'Brien's Going After Cacciato to be written by Romulus Linney --Spring of 2005. Collaborations for the fall and beyond include works with Lee Blessing, Neal Bell, Romulus Linney, Jeremy Kareken & Glynn O'Malley. Since the theatre's founding in 2001, Epic Rep has sponsored developmental work with Frank Gagliano, Graeme Gillis, Peter Bagg and has collaborated with over two hundred artists.

Mr. Kuranda also serves as the Artistic Associate of The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and the Producer of The O'Neill Playwrights Conference.

Mr Kuranda was also the Director of Professional Development at Actors Studio Drama School, prior to that appointment Mr. Kuranda was the Operations Manager at the Signature Theater on 42nd Street in Manhattan. Over a two year period at Signature Theater, he worked on various productions: Letters from Cuba by Maria Irene Fornes, A Lesson Before Dying by Romulus Linney, and Last of the Thornton's by Horton Foote. Mr. Kuranda was also General Manager of the Jose Quintero Theater (formerly the Kaufman). A graduate of the Actors Studio Drama School, (Class of '97 - M.F.A. in Playwriting and an M.F.A. in Directing), Mr. Kuranda also holds a B.F.A in acting from West Virginia University.

Carolyn Craig, Managing Director

Carolyn is a graduate of DeSales University and holds a B.A. in theatre. In her production work, Carolyn worked on numerous commercials as a 1st Assistant Director. In theatre Carolyn's production skills were put to use here in New York on such off-Broadway productions as Love, Janis, Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah, Sightseeing & The Mike and Neal Show directed by John Rando. Carolyn has worked as an Asst. Producer Off-Broadway, on General Management teams Off-Broadway as an Equity Stage Manager & a producer Off-Off-Broadway. Acting credits include: Film & Television: Hijacked: Flight 285 (ABC Movie of the week), Boys will be Boys (Feature Film), Fortunes (Independent Film). Daytime Serials: All My Children, One Life To Live, Days Of Our Lives. NY Theatre: Bury The Dead, S & M In a Murphy Bed, Paying Regrets, Event Horizon, and Graduation Party. Commercial Credits: National and regional spots.

Alicia Regan, Director of Development

Alicia is a graduate of The Actors Studio Drama School (class of '97 - Acting) and holds a B.F.A. in Literature and B.F.A. in Journalism from St. Bonaventure University. Acting Credits include: Film & Television: Sex and the City (HBO), The New Addams Family (FOX Family), Come On (Independent Feature), Staccato (Award Winning Independent Short Film). Alicia has appeared in numerous NY Theater Productions including The Battle, Brilliant Traces and Spike Heels. Commercial Credits: National and regional spots. Ms. Regan is lifetime member of the Actors Studio.


Lee Blessing

Lee Blessing was born in Minneapolis in 1950. He received his B.A. from Reed College in Portland, Oregon and a double M.F.A. in poetry and playwriting from the University of Iowa. His plays include: Fortinbras, Down The Road and Two Rooms (commissioned and produced by the La Jolla Playhouse); Cobb (Yale Repertory Theatre); Eleemosynary (Manhattan Theatre Club); Lake Street Extension, (Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati), Riches, Independence, Oldtimers Game and Nice People Dancing to Good Country Music, (all at Actors Theatre of Louisville). A Walk in the Woods opened on Broadway in 1988 and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award for Best Play, and its subsequent West End production in London starring Sir Alec Guinness was nominated for the Olivier Award. It has since been produced worldwide and on PBS's American Playhouse. Mr. Blessing's Signature Season presented four productions, including the World Premiere of Patient A, which drew widespread attention for its re-exploration of the Kimberly Bergalis AIDS case. Signature's New York Premiere of Two Rooms won Time Magazine's "Best Play of the Year." Mr. Blessing has developed works at the Eugene O'Neill Center National Playwrights Conference, the Sundance Institute, New Dramatists, the New Harmony Project and the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis. He has received grants from the NEA and the Guggenheim, Bush, McKnight and Jerome Foundations. His original screenplay Cooperstown, starring Alan Arkin and Graham Greene, aired in January 1992 on TNT in its Screenworks series. His play, Chesapeake, premiered in the summer of 1999 at New York Stage and Film and then in a production at Second Stage in New York in October 1999. His play Thief River received its world premiere as part of Signature Theatre Company's 10th Anniversary All-Premiere Celebration.

Photo by Miriam Berkley
Romulus Linney

Romulus Linney has written more than twenty-five plays including The Sorrows of Frederick, Holy Ghosts, Childe Byron, A Woman Without a Name, Sand Mountain, Three Poets and 2. His plays have been produced widely over the past thirty years in theatres across the U.S. and abroad. Six of his one-act plays have appeared in Best Short Plays, including Laughing Stock, which was also featured in Time Magazine as one of the ten best plays of 1984. He has also written for film and television, including the teleplays The Thirty-Fourth Star (CBS), Feeling Good (PBS), and a film version of his play Holy Ghosts. Many of his stories, essays, and articles have appeared in literary journals such as Pushcart Conjunctions and Kenyon Review. He received the National Critics Award for 2 (in its 1990 Humana Festival production at the Actors Theatre of Louisville) and for his adaptation of his 1962 novel Heathen Valley, which appears in Best Plays of the Year 1987-88. In 1998, Gint, his Appalachian version of Peer Gynt, was invited to the International Ibsen Festival at the Norwegian State Theatre in Oslo.

Mr. Linney was born in Philadelphia in 1931 and raised in the Appalachian town of Madison, Tennessee. He was inspired to pursue theatre by his mother, an amateur actress, and went on to receive a B.A. from Oberlin College and a M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama. He moved New York City in 1958 and began his professional career, which has also included directing many productions of his own plays.

In 1991, after working on a production of Heathen Valley that Mr. Linney also directed, James Houghton was inspired to create a theatre that would honor one living playwright each season. His collaboration with Mr. Linney in the rehearsal process convinced him that living playwrights should be more involved in the productions of their plays than is common in the American theatre today. Mr. Linney became the first Playwright-in-Residence of the newly formed Signature Theatre Company, and in its first season the theatre produced five revivals and the world premiere of Ambrosio. Immediately following his Signature Season in 1992, Mr. Linney won an Obie for Sustained Achievement in Playwriting, and two anthologies of his plays were published.

Mr. Linney has won many other awards including a 1980 Obie for Tennessee, three Hollywood Drama-Logue Awards, the Mishima Prize for Fiction, and the 1984 Award for Literature from the American Academy and Institute for Arts and Letters. He has been awarded two Fellowships from the NEA, as well as Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and National Foundation for the Arts grants. He has received honorary doctorates from Oberlin College (1994), Appalachian State University (1995), and Wake Forest University (1998). He is a member of the Council of the Dramatists Guild, Inc., Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Fellowship of Southern Writers, National Theatre Conference, College of Fellows of the American Theatre, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and Yaddo. Mr. Linney is also an active teacher: he was formerly chair of the M.F.A. Playwriting program at Columbia University's School of the Arts from and is currently Professor of Playwriting in the Actors Studio M.F.A. Program at the New School in New York. His theatrical adaptation of Ernest Gaines' novel A Lesson Before Dying was commissioned by Alabama Shakespeare Festival and then received its New York premiere as part of Signature Theatre Company's 10th Anniversary All-Premiere Celebration.

photo by Joan Marcus
David Auburn

David Auburn's play Proof premiered at the Manhattan Theatre Club in May 2000, and opened at Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre on October 24, 2000. He is the recipient of the Guggenheim Foundation Grant, Helen Merrill Playwrighting Award, and Joseph Kesselring Prize for Drama. His other plays include: Skyscraper, performed at the Greenwich House and published by DPS; Fifth Planet, New York Stage and Film; Miss You, HBO Comedy Arts Festival; and The Next Life, Juilliard School. His work has been published in Harper's Magazine and The New England Review. He was a member of the Juilliard playwrighting program.

Photo By Marion Ettinger
Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien was born in 1946 in Austin, Minnesota, and spent most of his youth in the small town of Worthington, Minnesota. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from Macalester College in 1968. From February 1969 to March 1970 he served as infantryman with the U.S. Army in Vietnam, after which he pursued graduate studies in Government at Harvard University. He worked as a national affairs reporter for The Washington Post from 1973 to 1974.

Tim O'Brien is the author of Going After Cacciato, which received the National Book Award in fiction, and The Things They Carried, which received France's Prix du Meilleur Livre Etranger and which was also a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. In the Lake of the Woods, a work of fiction published in 1994, received the James Fenimore Cooper Prize from the Society of American Historians and was named best novel of the year by Time magazine. Mr. O'Brien's other books are If I Die in a Combat Zone, Northern Lights, The Nuclear Age, Tomcat in Love, and July, July. His short fiction has appeared in numerous literary and popular magazines, including The New Yorker, Esquire, Harper's, The Atlantic, Playboy, and Ploughshares, and in several editions of The Best American Short Stories and The O. Henry Prize Stories. In 1987, Mr. O'Brien received the National Magazine Award for his short story, "The Things They Carried," and in 1999 the same story was selected for inclusion in The Best American Short Stories of the Century edited by John Updike. Mr. O'Brien is the recipient of literary awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts. He has been elected to both the Society of American Historians and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. O'Brien currently holds the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Chair in Creative Writing at Texas State University. His most recent novel is July, July, published in 2002 by Houghton Mifflin.

Jeremy Wine

Jeremy Wine's play I'll be Jonah if you be the Whale is currently in development in partnership with Epic Rep. He is the author of several plays, including Samuel Christian, Curtis Tucker Goes Out to Play, and Solyony in the Country, with productions in New York, North Carolina, and Sydney, Australia. He has performed in over two dozen productions and taught playwriting at the State Theater in Austin, TX. In 2002, Jeremy received the Walter E. Dakin fellowship at the Sewanee Writers Conference. He is a graduate of the Actors Studio Drama Program and Duke University.

Matthew Kelty

Bio to come.


David Wagner

David Wagner began acting in his home state of Rhode Island, where he received his BFA at URI. Upon graduating he moved to Chicago where he appeared in many productions including, Marie and Bruce by Wallace Shawn, Life and Limb by Keith Reddin, and Golden Boy by Clifford Odets. In 1994 he moved to NYC to obtain his Masters degree in the inaugural class of the Actor's Studio Program at The New School For Social Research. In New York he's appeared on The Sopranos, several of the Law & Orders, New York Undercover and a handful of independent and student films.

Rufus Collins

Bio to come.

Ann Talman

Broadway: The Women at The Roundabout Theatre, Some Americans Abroad, The House of Blue Leaves, both at Lincoln Center. The Little Foxes at The Martin Beck with Elizabeth Taylor including the London production.

Film: Serendipity directed by Peter Chelsom, Oliver Stone's Wall Street. Also Tim Robbins' Bob Roberts, and O'Keefe and Stieglitz: A Marriage on American Playhouse.

Off-Broadway and Regionally: Most recently the New York premier of Mac Wellman's Cat's-Paw at Soho Rep directed by Daniel Aukin. All in the Timing at The Geffen Playhouse. Little Airplanes of the Heart and Freud's House in Ensemble Studio Theater's Annual Marathon of One Acts where she is a member. Productions at The New Group where she is a founding member, Second Stage, Ensemble Studio Theater, Primary Stages, Vineyard Theater, The Goodspeed Opera House, The Williamstown Theater Festival, The Odyssey Theater, Playhouse 91 and eight seasons at The Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, The Music Theater Conference and The Cabaret Symposium. Is on the cast albums of the musicals Your's Anne starring Trini Alvarado, and Hannah 1939 starring Julie Wilson.

Television: Most recently Law & Order and Law & Order SVU. Guest appearances on Seinfeld, Murphy Brown, Ellen, Love & War, and Kate and Allie. Appeared in HBO's Breast Men and The CBS Movie of The Week Out of the Darkness starring Martin Sheen. Was a series regular on The Street and Rebecca Chase on General Hospital.

Robert LaVelle

Bio to come.

Tom Burke-Kaiser

Tom has been acting and directing in New York, Boston, Israel, and Wisconsin for the past 15 years. He has directed such shows as Krapp's Last Tape, Woman and Wallace, Ladies' Man, Zoo Story, Virginia, Aria Da Capo, The Eumenidies, Stop the Word I Want To Get Off, Riches, Dear Kenneth Blake, and The Informer. Tom has worked as an assistant director to Stuart Vaughan, Leonard Foglia and William M. Hoffman, as well as stage managed many shows including the premier of the opera Sacco and Vanzetti at the White Barn Theatre. Tom played the role of Professor 2 in the World Premier of William M. Hoffman's Chico de Jazzzz!, and has acted in over 15 regional and college productions including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Mis, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Romeo and Juliet. He received his MFA from the New School University Actors Studio Drama School, a Directing Certificate from The New Theatre, a professional theatre training program in Boston, and a BA as an Acting Specialist from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Currently, Tom is teaching acting at Lehman College and developing a new rock musical with his lovely wife Jody.

Frank Gagliano

Off-Broadway Credits: Conerico Was Here To Stay, Night Of The Dunce, Father Uxbridge Wants To Marry, The City Scene, In The Voodoo Parlour Of Marie Leveau. Musical Theatre pieces include Congo Square, from The Bodoni County Songbook Anthology (both with composer Claibe Richardson), and The Resurrection Of Jackie Cramer (with composer Raymond Benson). Mr. Gagliano occupies the Benedum Chair in Theatre, West Virginia University. He helped found The Showcase of New Plays at Carnegie Mellon University, serving there as Artistic Director for twelve years; and The Festival of New Works in Ann Arbor, where he also served as Artistic Director. His monologue play, My Chekhov Light, had it's world premiere, in German, at the E. T. A. Hoffmann Theatre, Bamberg, Germany in 1998. Last year Epic Rep gave a reading of Gagliano's, The Total Immersion Of Madeleine Favorini, winner of the 1999 Ernest Hemingway Award for Playwriting.

Jana Mestecky

Jana Mestecky, a native Southerner, completed her MFA in Acting from the Actors Studio Drama School (NYC), after earning her BA in both French & Theatre from The University of the South (Sewanee). She has also studied in Paris, France at Théâtre des Cinquantes as well as in San Francisco, CA at the American Conservatory Theatre. As a member of AEA, SAG and AFTRA, she has performed in film, television and theatre nationally. Recent highlights include working with Tony-nominated director Deborah Warner on the Angel Project, as well as her thesis work in Sam Shepard's Fool for Love. She is a resident actor in the Epic Repertory Theatre Company.

Craig Rising

Bio to come.

Niki Sarich-Rising

Bio to come.

Advisory Board

James Keating

James Keating is the National Sales Manager for an online asset of Thomas Publishing. Thomas is a hundred-year-old business-to-business publisher that specializes in the industrial marketplace, located in NYC. Mr. Keating's role as National Sales Manager is to evangelize, lead, and develop strategies for 400 sales professionals on the benefits of utilizing the Internet as a medium for conducting business. An accomplished presenter, Mr. Keating travels throughout North America holding conferences and seminars with Thomas' clients and field sales representatives. Prior to Thomas, Mr. Keating worked in the semiconductor industry as the International Sales and Marketing Director for a Philadelphia based company, American Tech Manufacturing, with global responsibilities, with a key focus on Asia and Europe. Those responsibilities included tailoring marketing and sales strategies for each nation where his company did business. Mr. Keating is an amateur musician and lives in New York City.

Brian Duea

Bio to come.

Arthur Penn

Bio to come.

Elliot Fox

Bio to come.

Hilary Lipsitz

Hilary Lipsitz is the Founder, Owner and President of Sunday Productions. Mr. Lipsitz sits on the Advisory Committee of the Naomi Berrie Diabetes Center and the Advisory Committee of the American Museum of Natural History.

Steven Benedict

Steven Benedict is the co-founder of the Theatre Development Fund.

John Holden

John Holden is the Director of Development at Signature Theatre Company, where he manages a $1 million annual campaign and successfully coordinated a $1.4 million capital campaign that garnered a Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant. Previously, John served as the Development Officer of Actors Studio Drama School at New School University. Other experience includes work with Jazz at Lincoln Center, the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, and the King's Head Theatre in London. John holds his MFA in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College of the City University of New York and his BA in Theatre Arts from Drew University.

Gene Lasko

Gene Lasko has directed more than 150 network television shows and produced or associate-produced eight feature films. He has also directed numerous stage productions. He has taught at SUNY-Purchase in the Conservatory Acting Program, at NYU's Graduate Film School, NYU's Tisch School, and The University of Rhode Island. Mr. Lasko is the winner of a 1990 Emmy Award for Directing. He has been an active Member of The Actors Studio for many years.

Jonathan Bank

Jonathan Bank is the Artistic Director of the Obie and Drama Desk award winning Mint Theater Company in New York City. He is the editor of the newly published Worthy But Neglected: Plays of the Mint Theater Company - which includes his adaptations of Welcome to Our City and The House of Mirth. Before coming to the Mint Theater Company, Mr. Bank served as Literary Assistant for Roundabout Theater, Director of the Play Reading Series at the Jean Cocteau Repertory Theatre, and was a member of the professional acting company at the Fairmount Theater of the Deaf in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his M.F.A. from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.

Tanya Palmer

Tanya Palmer is the Literary Manager of The Actors Theatre of Louisville.

© 2003 Epic Repertory Theatre Company