ABBY FELDER is a writer, designer, puppet artist, theatrical producer and not-for-profit arts administrator who works Off- and Off- Off Broadway in NYC, nationally and internationally. Her writing and design work have been presented in NYC at La MaMa, St. Ann’s Warehouse / Labapalooza, Incubator Arts Project, HERE, Chashama, Goethe Institut, and Target Margin Theatre. Formerly an affiliate artist with the New Victory LabWorks program, she has a BA from Sarah Lawrence College where she studied with Shirley Kaplan (co-founder of the Obie award winning children’s theater, Paper Bag Players), and puppet artist Dan Hurlin, and completed an apprenticeship with puppet artist Frantisek Watzl (of children’s theatre Divadlo Xaver) and woodcarver Vaclav Krcal in Prague, Czech Republic. She has been a teaching artist with ArtsConnection and Pioneers Go East Collective, and has developed and implemented puppet based residencies for elementary, middle and high school students at Valhalla Children’s Hospital, PS189, and The Children’s Institute, among others. Her work has received awards from New York State Council on the Arts, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, LMCC Process Space, and Puffin Foundation. She serves on the board of Pan Asian Repertory Theatre and is a Finance Administrator for ArtsPool.
ALEX SMITH is a playwright and ACA’s resident dramaturge who is a North Carolina native and graduate of UNCA. His recent work as a playwright focuses on evolving Southern identity, and explores different modes of theater making, including devised work, docudrama, and multi-media experimental narrative.
ANTHONY NAPOLETANO is a performer, writer, builder, and Resident Artist with Asheville Creative Arts. He has been seen as Baby John on the International Tour and London’s West End productions of “West Side Story,” the US tour of Disney’s “The Doodlebops,” “Peter Pan” at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 2008 and 2010, and choreographed and performed in “We Put the Spring in Springfield: The Music of the Simpsons” alongside Matt Groening at San Diego Comic-Con in 2013. Based in New York, he has performed Off-Broadway in “American Mill No. 2” and “Gemini Stars” with Pioneers Go East Collective, “LARP Me Gently” with The Society of Misfit Puppets, and “Puppet Playlist: Beyonce” with Sinking Ship Productions. He has designed and built puppets and properties for Marvel Comics, The Puppet Kitchen, David Stark Design, and Gulliver’s Gate NYC. He has performed his original music at The Bowery Poetry Club, The Sidewalk Cafe, “Sound Departures” at the Club at LaMaMa Experimental Theatre, and The Duplex. He holds a BFA in Musical Theatre from the Boston Conservatory.
BRENDA GAMBILL is Formerly Doubting Thomas and Volatile Baby, Jonesalee was formed by Gina Jones and Brenda Gambill to create music, art and spoken word, and together they have scored GO DOG GO, A BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, and TOM SAWYER for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, CHARLOTTE’S WEB for ACA, and recently appeared in the touring production of WILDWOOD FLOWERS, the June Carter-Cash story. Jonesalee, has shared the stage with The Indigo Girls, Hootie and the Blowfish, Rita Coolidge, Dar Williams, Carlene Carter, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Red Clay Ramblers to name a few. They have also collaborated on film scores and theatrical composition all over the region.
DANIELE MARTIN, ACA’s Community Outreach Director, comes to Asheville, from New York City, where she studied acting at the William Esper Studio. She has worked in film and television in Los Angeles, but mostly behind the camera, on the director’s team. Since moving to Asheville she has done work in the community producing small events and is an active volunteer. She has hopes of starting stand-up comedy soon.
DEWAYNE BARTON, as a visual and performing artist, Barton is involved in justice issues — both through his art and his community involvement. His mixed-media, found-art installations have been featured at Duke University, Smithsonian Institute’s Museum of African American History and Culture, Upstairs Gallery, and August Wilson Museum as part of Affrilachian Artist Project. He is founder and leader of Hood Huggers International.
EDWIN SALAS ACOSTA, a recent arrival to Asheville by way of Costa Rica and Mexico City, Salas is an internationally produced puppet maker and performer, director, dancer creator, solo artist and educator. For ACA he has created puppets for BUGS!, THE WARP AND THE WEFT, and CHARLOTTE’S WEB, and is the featured solo performer for SLUG AND SNAIL. He was recently a featured artist at the Puppeteers of America conference and the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center.
GINA STEWART is Formerly Doubting Thomas and Volatile Baby, Jonesalee was formed by Gina Jones and Brenda Gambill to create music, art and spoken word, and together they have scored GO DOG GO, A BRIDGE TO TERABITHIA, and TOM SAWYER for Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, CHARLOTTE’S WEB for ACA, and recently appeared in the touring production of WILDWOOD FLOWERS, the June Carter-Cash story. Jonesalee, has shared the stage with The Indigo Girls, Hootie and the Blowfish, Rita Coolidge, Dar Williams, Carlene Carter, The Carolina Chocolate Drops and The Red Clay Ramblers to name a few. They have also collaborated on film scores and theatrical composition all over the region.
KATIE JONES is a director, performer, and puppeteer, she has spent the last decade working at theatres in Chicago, Denver, and Sarasota. She has an MFA in Contemporary Performance from Naropa University, and a BA in Performing Arts from Clemson University. Katie is passionate about theatre as a path toward social justice, and has spent much of her career working with children, teens, and senior citizens. She and her husband relocated to Asheville in May, and she is extremely excited to make her way into the Carolina theatre community.
MARIE YOKOYAMA is a Japanese set and lighting designer based in NYC. She has designed lights for Redhouse: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Spelling Bee, A Man of No Importance, Gross Indecency, Oliver and 13, Gulfshore Playhouse, FL: The Hound of the Baskerville, Public: Apple Family Series European Tour, Pacific Beats: TALA, Pillow Talk Pan Asian Rep: Film Chinois, Three Trees, Monk Parrots: Bum Phillips -All American Opera-. Regional: Yale Rep: Compulsion, Faust, Opera Theater Pittsburgh: Fantasticks, Merry Widow, and Ariadne auf Naxos.
NEHPRII AMENII is an artist, writer, director and educator. As a theatre artist, she has a passion for both puppetry and grand-scale spectacle. She creates experiences that dismantle the wall between players and audiences aiming to enchant the imagination and inspire new ways of seeing and thinking. Nehprii has created and worked with Penumbra Theatre Company, The Flea, Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Bushwick Starr, Iati Theatre, La Mama Experimental Theatre, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, The Czechoslovak-American Marionette Theatre, Bread and Puppet Theatre, and Cirque Du Soleil. Nehprii has enjoyed eight years of teaching and staging puppet performances for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation, before now serving as a creative consultant for the foundation.
TRISTAN CAMERON is a North Carolina native, that has worked with numerous theatre’s throughout Western North Carolina, and most recently, Massachusetts. They are a recent graduate from Hampshire college, and an interdisciplinary artist with interests in devised, experimental, and performance art-related theatre. In their final year at school they directed, wrote, and produced two shows of their own work as a part of their undergraduate dissertation.