STRATAGEMS – Artist Bios

John Rosenberg

John Rosenberg (writer-director, Quando Sei Qui, Se Fossi di Famiglia) runs Hella Fresh Theater at the Papermill Theater in Kensington. His previous plays include Alp d’ HuezAutomatic Fault Isolation, Queen of All WeaponsCalifornia Redemption Value, Jericho Road Improvement Association, and Use Both Hands. His new play Phong Giai Tri will be produced in May 2013. John previously teamed up with SmokeyScout for Wild Punch: Dance Theater Adventures in Kensington in 2011.

Shannon Murphy. Photo by Lindsay BrowningShannon Murphy (choreographer-performer, Parade of Traces) is a dancer, choreographer, and teaching artist. She has a BA from Point Park University in Pittsburgh and is one of the first Franklin Method Educators to graduate in the United States. Shannon is a co-director of idiosynCrazy productions. Her choreography has been shown throughout Philadelphia, at festivals in the United States, and in Paris, France. She was 2010’s New Edge Resident in Dance and is currently a fellow at the Live Arts Brewery. She has danced with Dance Theater X, Group Motion Dance Company, Kosoko Performance Group (now merged with anonymous bodies), Nichole Canuso Dance CompanySCRAP Performance Group, and with choreographers Peggy Baker, Robert Battle, and Wally Cardona. Since 2007 she has been teaching young dancers at Koresh School of Dance, has been guest teaching at Drexel University, Swarthmore College, Temple University, and Villanova University, and is currently a faculty member at Bryn Mawr College and University of the Arts.  Photo by Lindsay Browning.

Josh McIlvain in the 90sJosh McIlvain (writer-director, For The Dogs) is the artistic director of SmokeyScout Productions which he co-founded in 2008 with Deborah Crocker (to whom he is also married!). He has had more than 115 productions of some 70 plays throughout the U.S., including more than 38 New York City productions. Josh and Deborah started SmokeyScout Productions to produce shows written and often directed by Josh, using collaborative methods to create dynamic performance-based theater that concentrates on minimal props and sets, fluid transitions, and close interaction with audiences. Recent productions include: Carter’s Play and DEER HEAD—but just browse this website and you’ll know more than you ever wanted to! (Josh is also the leader of the rock collective Josh McIlvain & The Generals of Sexcop. Listen to the hot tracks at!)

Michele TantocoMichele Tantoco (performer, Parade of Traces) received her BA in Biology in 2001 from Bryn Mawr College, and has been dancing and teaching in the Philadelphia area ever since. In 2002 she became a member of the Leah Stein Dance Company. In October 2010, Michele was one of seven Philadelphia dancers asked to participate in a partial reconstruction of Lucinda Childs’ work Interior Drama under the direction of Lucinda Childs and Ty Boomershine. She is also a regular performer and collaborator with idiosynCrazy Productions and Jumatatu Poe, with whom she performed at the 2012 Live Arts Festival in Private Places and at the 2010 Norristown Dance Festival (Flight Attendants). Michele was chosen to participate alongside two other Philadelphia dancers in the Red Thread project, an inter-generational dance work originally created by three former Trisha Brown Company members Lisa Kraus, Eva Karczag and Vicky Shick (March 2010). In December 2009, she performed in Moving Parts/Meg Foley’s work cookie as a part of the Movement Research at Judson Church program in NYC. In the Spring of 2009, she collaborated and performed in the touring production of White Box Theatre’s Sea of Birds. Other recent projects have included HOIST (2012 Philly Fringe) with the Leah Stein Dance Company, working with Sarah Yassky at Judson Church, and Brian Sanders/JUNK. Michele also teaches dance, yoga, and pilates-based classes in the Philadelphia area.

Anna Watson looks upAnna Watson (performer, For The Dogs) is a German born actress who relocated to Philadelphia after earning her Masters degree in Theatre Arts in Vienna, Austria. She has appeared in classical and contemporary theatre productions throughout Europe including, The Misunderstanding, The House of Bernada Alba, The Respectful Whore, and The Twelfth Night. She had her American debut with her own production, Teenager: Anne Frank, for the 2009 Philly Fringe. Since then she appeared in several Philadelphia productions including Lady M for Swim Pony Performing Arts at the 2011 Live Arts Festival and in Queen of All Weapons for Hella Fresh Theater. Her SmokeyScout debut was with Merry Fucking Christmas in 2010. After having her first baby she is super excited to re-enter the theater world performing for SmokeyScout Productions.

Sebastian facebook photoSebastian Cummings (performer, Quando Sei Qui, Se Fossi di Famiglia) is a Philadelphia stage performer last seen in Plugged Inn: An Electric Cabaret.  He is very happy to be working with John Rosenberg again. He has worked with Hella Fresh Theater in Automatic Fault Isolation and Queen of All Weapons; Quince Productions in The Laramie Project; and has presented his own work at Independent Voices at the Centre Theater in Norristown, Primary Stages, and at Plays & Players with 4SW Entertainment. He will be appearing SmokeyScout’s Return of Confessions of a Plate and Shoe in June.

RosieSarah “Rosie” Rosenberg (performer, Quando Sei Qui, Se Fossi di Famiglia) has been a public school teacher/speech coach for over 47 years. Her work with students is documented in the film Shakespeare High, produced by Kevin Spacey and adopted by the State Department to tour the world, showing what’s right in education. Rosie is proud to be the co-artistic director of Open Hydrant in the South Bronx, whose show Fools in Love will open in May. Fools in Love is a 50s doo-wop version of Shakespeare’s Midsummer’s Nights Dream and ran Off-Broadway for 3 years and played at BAM.


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