*indicates founding member +indicates member emeritus
Whit MacLaughlin is the OBIE and Barrymore Award-winning Artistic Director of New Paradise Laboratories. He has created 20 original works with the company since 1996, including the recent O MONSTERS (2016), THE ADULTS (2014), and the web-based immersion pieces EXTREMELY PUBLIC DISPLAYS OF PRIVACY (2011) and FATEBOOK (2009). He has created work in Seattle, Minneapolis, Louisville KY, Princeton, at CalArts, and is currently working in Turkey, Kansas City, MO, and in the Free Library of Philadelphia. He has received Fellowships from the Pew Charitable Trust, the NEA, and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; grants from The Pew Center for Arts and Heritage, Mapfund, NEA, TCG, and the William Penn Foundation.
His publications include Batch, An American Bachelor/ette Party Spectacle by Alice Tuan and Whit MacLaughlin, Humana Festival 2007; Prom, U of Minnesota Press, 2010; Live Movies, a Field Guide to New Media for the Performing Arts, ed. Kirby Malone and Gail Scott White, George Mason University, 2006. His work has been presented in NYC at the Ontological Theatre, the Connelly Theatre, and PS 122; at the Walker Art Center, Warhol Museum, Humana Festival of New American Plays, Fusebox Festival, Philadelphia FringeArts Festival, and Prague Quadrennial.
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. 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 native and a graduate of Adelphi University. He has worked locally with InterAct Theatre Company, Philadelphia Artists' Collective, Flashpoint Theatre Company, Lantern Theater Company, Wilma Theater, PlayPenn, Inis Nua Theatre Company, New City Stage Company, the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia Theatre Workshop, Nice People Theatre Company, Simpatico Theatre Project, Curio Theatre, Azuka Theatre, and Hedgerow Theatre. As an ensemble member of NPL, he has worked on The Adults, 27, PROM (UNCW), and the Unnamable Spectacles.
Matteo 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 Philadelphia native who splits her time between her hometown and Brooklyn. As an NPL company member, she has previously appeared in 27 and Prom. In Philadelphia, she has done shows with FringeArts, Quintessence, Luna, and regularly performs with ComedySportz. She has also performed in the New York Fringe, Mount Tremper Arts Festival, Under the Radar, and on a giant boat. B.A. from Bard College
Emilie Krause is a proud company member with NPL. She has worked locally with the Arden Theatre, Lantern Theatre, People's Light & Theatre, Theatre Exile, Theater Horizon, Wilma Theater & many others. BA from Temple University.
Sam Tower has been directing and producing independent theatre and dance in Philadelphia since 2010. She proudly served on the staff for New Paradise Laboratories from 2012 - 2015. Highlighted past projects as an NPL company member include assistant director for 27 and The Adults. Other recent credits include assistant director for Three Sisters and Beauty and the Beast at Arden Theatre Company. She has directed independent work in galleries, theatres, basements, the woods, empty lots, and elevators. BFA University of the Arts '10. Headlong Performance Institute ’09.