*indicates founding member +indicates member emeritus
Whit MacLaughlin is the OBIE and Barrymore Award-winning artistic director of New Paradise Laboratories. He has created 16 original works with the company since 1996, including the web-based Extremely Public Displays Of Privacy (2011) and Fatebook (2009). He also directs crossgenerational works at the Tony Award-winning Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis and at the Arden Theatre where he has directed 16 productions, including four of the top five productions in the company’s history. His free-lance career extends to theatres around the country. He is a recipient of a 2002 Pew Charitable Trust Fellowship in Performance Art. His work has been presented at the Ontological Theatre, the Connelly Theatre, PS 122 in NYC, the Walker Art Center, the Warhol Museum, Prague Quadrennial and by commission at the Humana Festival of New American Plays.
Matt Saunders is a Barrymore Award Winning performer, scenic designer, and a creator of new performance work proudly based in Philadelphia. Matt is a founding member and Associate Artistic Director of the OBIE Award-Winning, experimental theatre company, New Paradise Laboratories. He has been involved in the creation of all of NPL’s work through both scenic design and performance. This work has included The Fab 4 Reach the Pearly Gates, performed at P.S. 122 in NYC as well as the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Prom, a co-production with the Tony Award-Winning Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, and BATCH, at the 2007 Humana Festival for New American Plays at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. Most recently for NPL, Matt co-created and designed Fatebook, which was selected for the United States’ professional pavilion at the Prague Quadrennial 2011. Outside of NPL, Matt has designed over eighty shows for such companies as, The Walnut St. Theatre, The Arden Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, Theatre Exile, 1812 Productions, Headlong Dance Theatre, Pig Iron Theatre Company, People’s Light and Theater, Yale Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre and the Wilma Theater. He holds an MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama, and is the Assistant Professor of Design in the Department of Theater at Swarthmore College. www.mattsaunders.net
Jeb Kreager is a founding member of NPL. He has performed and co-created 13 shows with the company and has presented them at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, PS122, the Ontological-Hysteric, Walker Arts Center, Humana Festival, Children's Theatre Company (MN), Warhol Museum and others. He is a graduate of Virginia Tech and studied at Scuola Internazionale dell'Attore Comico (R. Emilia, Italy) and Circle In The Square (NYC).
McKenna Kerrigan has worked with NPL since 1999, and performed their work at the Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, PS 122, Actors’ Theatre of Louisville’s Humana Festival, Walker Art Center, the Andy Warhol Museum, and most recently in collaboration with The Riot Group in FREEDOM CLUB (Connelly Theatre) in New York. Off-Broadway: MIDDLETOWN (Vineyard Theatre). New York: THE REALLY BIG ONCE and TEN BLOCKS ON THE CAMINO REAL (Target Margin), THE BEREAVED (Partial Comfort), LOVE DR. MUELLER (West End Theatre), Ice Factory Festival (Ohio Theatre). Regionally, McKenna has performed with Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Pig Iron Theatre Company, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Headlong Dance Theatre, Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and toured Ireland performing in the ReJoyce Festival. She is an Associated Artist with Target Margin Theatre and a company member of Partial Comfort Productions in New York. McKenna has an M.F.A. in Performance & Interactive Media Arts from Brooklyn College. Film: Lebanon, PA, Ready or Not TV: "Boardwalk Empire,” “Hack,” “My Father’s Gun.”
Mary McCool is a co-founder of New Paradise Laboratories and thrilled to be collaborating with The Riot Group. She has created and performed with NPL at P.S. 1Pig Iron Theatre Company22, the Andy Warhol Museum, Humana Festival of New Plays, the Ontological-Hysteric, Philadelphia Live Arts Festival, Walker Arts Center, and more. She last performed. McCool has also worked with Pig Iron Theatre Company, 1812 Productions, the Arden Theatre Co., Brat Productions, InterAct Theatre Co., Lantern Theater, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Theatre Exile, and the Wilma Theater, among others. Recent credits include the Off-Broadway hit Enjoy at 59E59th with the Play Company, and the US premiere of Vaclav Havel’s Leaving at the Wilma. She is a recipient of a 2010 Independence Foundation Fellowship in the Arts.
Lee Ann Etzold is a Philadelphia-based free-lance theatre and teaching artist who has worked in the UK, Spain, France, Czech Republic, and regionally in the United States. She co-founded OBIE award-winning physical theatre company, New Paradise Laboratories with which she created, performed and or assistant directed more that 10 original productions including new commissions for the Humana Festival at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville and The Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis. She has also created original works with Pig Iron Theatre Company, Headlong Dance Theatre, Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental and Bill Irwin (Barrymore Award Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Play). She has received support from the Leeway Foundation, Philadelphia Theatre Initiative of the Pew Charitable Trusts, and has been an Independence Foundation Fellow. She studied clown in Paris with Ami Hathab, completed the Lincoln Center Theatre’s Directors Lab, in New York City and is a member of the Young Vic Directors Programme in London. Ms. Etzold has been a teaching artist and creative consultant for many organizations and institutions including movement and story development at Meisner SE in Barcelona Spain and for Prince’s Hall Youth Theatre, Hampshire, England. In Philadelphia, she has advised, taught and/or directed student projects at Temple University, Drexel University, University of the Arts, the National Constitution Center, Brat Productions, and White Box Theatre.
Kevin Meehan is a Philadelphia based artist who enjoys working with theatre artists, non-theatre artists, and non-artists. A newer ensemble member of NPL, he has worked on 27, PROM (UNCW), and the Unnamable Spectacles.
Matteo Jones Scammell is an inter-disciplinarian living just beyond this page. He is honored, he is humbled and he is beyond beyond to be creating with New Paradise Labs. A BFA graduate of University of the Arts in Philadelphia, he has worked regionally with The Wilma, Arden, 11th Hour, Theater Horizon, Simpatico.
Julia Frey is a Brooklyn-based actor and improviser. Recent theater credits include 27 (New Paradise Laboratories), The Seagull (Quintessence Theatre Group), Bachelorette (Luna Theater Company); Teen Wolf/Teen Wolf Too (Mt. Tremper Arts Festival); Hairspray (RCCL); Some Editing and Some Theme Music (FringeNYC, NO Fringe). Julia has a starring role in The Exquisite Corpse Project, an award-winning comedy/documentary that will be touring the country this spring. She has also performed with ComedySportz, UCB, and the Magnet. B.A. from Bard College, advised by JoAnne Akalaitis.
Emilie Krause is a local actor with a BA from Temple University. Previous productions include Charlotte's Web (Arden Theatre Co.), Our Class (Wilma Theater) A Wrinkle in Time, Dividing the Estate, and Legacy of Light (People's Light & Theatre), and Knives in Hens (Theatre Exile). Other credits: Simpatico, Shakespeare in Clark Park, PlayPenn, Brat Productions, Philly Theatre Workshop and Philadelphia Young Playwrights.
Sam Tower works with New Paradise Laboratories as an Assistant Director and Programs Coordinator. Recent credits: 10 Unnamable Spectacles, PROM, 27 (New Paradise Laboratories), A Little Night Music, Cinderella (Arden Theatre), Vainglorious (Applied Mechanics),The 5th Floor (Bright Light Theatre). She also directs site-specific dance-theatre performances with Bright Light Theatre and produces emerging performance artists with Hybridge Arts Collective. Training: UArts BFA, Headlong Performance Institute, Actor's Movement Studio.