Jinn S. Kim
Artistic Director Jill DeArmon
Managing Director Jinn S. Kim
Outreach Director Russell G. Jones
Literary Director Ben Snyder
Philip Seymour Hoffman
John Patrick Shanley
Jill DeArmon (Artistic Director)
Jill DeArmon started teaching theater at public elementary schools while she was still attending Baltimore School of the Arts. After studying dance and theater at Philadelphia University of the Arts, she co-founded the theater department of the still thriving Young People's Theatre Company (YPTC) in Maryland where she directed 10 shows in four years.
Jill moved to New York City in 1995 and since then she is a proprietor of Center Stage NY, has taught at ps11, Rebels With Applause, and The Lee Strasburg Institute. She was the Managing Director of LAByrinth Theater Company (Artistic Directors: Philip Seymour Hoffman & John Ortiz) from 1999-2002, and she is co-founder of Developing Artists Theater Company.
Jill's New York choreography credits include: Stopless (LAByrinth Theater Company), Erin Cressida Wilson's Trail of Her Inner Thigh (LAByrinth), John Patrick Shanley's first musical A Winter Party (LAByrinth Theater Company), A Taste of Honey (Theatre 22), and Vanessa Hidary's Culture Bandit (Nuyorican Poets Cafe). Jill's Producing credits include; LAByrinth Theater Company's Stopless, In Arabia, We'd All Be Kings, and Culture Bandit & Darwaza. Her directing credits include: David Deblinger's Cockamamie Soup, Developing Artists' Runaways, Knee High to a Microphone, We Said Out Loud, These Days, Billy Sleepyhead and LAByrinth Theater Company's The Fairy Tale Project by Webb Wilcoxen.
Jinn S. Kim (Managing Director)
Jinn graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in Business Administration in 1990. Upon completion, he drove across the country to study Acting and Theater in New York. In 1995, he auditioned and was accepted into LAByrinth Theater Company. In the subsequent years, he was elected as the first official President of the company, where he helped lay the foundation for its current growth and success. He also became involved with Developing Artists, a theater school and company for young adults and The Lobby, a community of poets, musicians and artist that perform and inspire each other in a BI-weekly event. He produced 3 LAByrinth productions: WHERE'S MY MONEY? by John Patrick Shanley, CULTURE BANDIT & DARWAZA by Vanessa Hidary & Ajay Naidu and OUR LADY OF 121ST STREET by Stephen Adly Guirgis. WHERE'S MY MONEY? and OUR LADY continued its run Off-Broadway and CULTURE BANDIT & DARWAZA can be seen playing at various venues across the country.
As an actor for LAByrinth, he appeared in QUEEN LATINA & THE POWER POSSE VS THE EVILS OF SOCIETY by David Anzuelo, RACE, RELIGION & POLITICS by Stephen Adly Guirgis (co-starring Philip Seymour Hoffman), DREAMING IN TONGUES written by the cast, A WINTER PARTY by John Patrick Shanley. He is currently appearing in LAByrinth's production of THE FAIRY TALE PROJECT written by Webb Wilcoxen and directed by Jill DeArmon at the Public Theatre.
At the close of 2002, he left his position at LAByrinth to start A Bow & 3 Arrows with co-founders Ernesto Solo and Maurice Wingfield and to focus his attention on Developing Artists.
Film and TV credits include: GRAVESEND, HURRICANE STREET, OZ and LAW & ORDER: CRIMINAL INTENT.
Ben Snyder (Literary Director/Co-Producer of REBEL VERSES)
Ben is a playwright and educator, who has studied with Amy Freed at the American Conservatory Theater of San Francisco and Wendy Wasserstein at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Ben’s writing credits include: Where I’m At These Days (2002), You Can Clap Now (2002), In Case You Forget (2001), Everything And Nothing (2000), Quixotic Erotic (1999), and I Had a Near Life Experience, My Death Flashed Before My Eyes (1999). His plays have been produced at Center Stage/NY, P.S. 122, A.C.T, Cal Arts, the Bronx Museum’s Teen Outreach, and in the 2001 and 2002 New York City Hip Hop Theater Festival. Other credits include: “Rebel Verses” (co-producer) and “Standards of Beauty” (director)
As an educator, Ben collaborated with students at East Side Community High School, to produce the original play, “A Slap of Reality”. Ben was head facilitator of a Race Relations workshop at the Bronx High School of Social Change and a guest speaker on ‘The Pedagogy of Race” at New School University. He worked as an Actor Teacher with N.Y.U.’s Creative Arts Team (2000-2002) and with Arts In Action’s, “Jus Once” HIV/AIDS Educational Theater Workshop, Trinidad, West Indies (2001). He also led a playwright’s workshop in the Center of Creative and Festival Arts, University of the West Indies (2001). Ben is a mentor with Our Children, a program servicing the children of incarcerated women. For the summer of 2002 he worked as counselor at New World Theater’s summer youth program, Project 2050. Ben is DATCO’s Director of the Literary Department, as well as a resident playwright and instructor.
Honors and Awards include: California State Art Scholar (1997, 1998), National Americorps Education Award (2001), Guest playwright at LAByrinth Theater Company's Summer Intensive (2000, 2002).
Russell G. Jones (Director of Outreach Programs)
Russell is an actor, producer, director, and teaching artist. Originally from Shaker Heights, Ohio, he relocated to New York City where he has been employed professionally as an actor for the past 12 years, and has been a Teaching Artist for seven. He is an active member of: Inverse Theatre Company, The Street Theatre, Mass Transit Street Theatre, Circle Rep Lab, Just Once a Month, The Street Theatre, The Verse Circus and The LAByrinth Theater Company.
Original roles include: Flip in “Our Lady of 121st Street”, Greer from “In Arabia We’d All Be King’s” both by Stephen Adly Guirgis, Hollis from Lee Simon Jr’s “God, The Crackhouse and The Devil”, Seamus from Kirk Wood Bromley’’s “The Death of Don Flagrante Delicto”, and Shaquay from Jane Shepard’s “Fiona’s Mane”.
Television and Film credits include: principals on NBC’s Law & Order, ABC’s Spin City, and Robert Patton Spruill’s Squeeze. Russell can also be seen opposite Michael Douglas in Steven Soderburgh’s multi-nominated Traffic.
Russell has been a Teaching Artist with The Street Theatre’s ABC+ program, Artsgenesis, The Cleveland Public Theater and the Developing Artist program at Center Stage/NY. At the ABC+ program, a remedial reading program for first graders and second graders that uses acting games and nursery rhymes, Russell is a Teaching Artist and trainer for new Teaching Artists. Working under the umbrella of Artsgenesis, Russell co-designed and co-taught a program incorporating improvisation into script writing and video production. This program was designed for a population of 12 to 15 year olds with PSI 7 and PSI 8 ratings in a Harlem school in his neighborhood. In 2000, as part of the Cleveland Public Theater’s Summer Theatre Enrichment Program (STEP), a work-study program for local 14-20 year olds interested in the Arts, Russell served as Acting Consultant, and Assistant Director of the original play that culminated this six-week program. In the summer of 2001, Russell was Director of the Project, and Stage Director of the S.T.E.P. Currently, Russell is facilitating an arts powered, mentoring program, that examines the rites of passage from boyhood to manhood, at Bank Street Teacher’s College’, Liberty Partnership program. He has been recently appointed as Outreach coordinator for Developing Artist with the mandate to develop an outreach program to the inner city schools and community groups.
Lou Schloss (Board)
Lou has over 40 years of business management and marketing experience. He is currently a National Marketing Director and Executive Training Coordinator for US Health Advisors, a network marketing company with over one billion dollars in assets. For the past 17 years, he has held positions within an ‘A’ rated insurance agency. His areas of expertise include: telemarketing operations, customer service, agency operations, policy marketing, new business, underwriting, information systems and agency accounting.
At US Health Advisors, Mr. Schloss was invited to build a team of his own by the National Health Corporation Board Chairmen. Since July 15, 1986, Mr. Schloss’, as Zone Manager for the North East Region, has developed a number one ranked territory of 150 agents averaging $800,000 per week in annualized revenue and retained this distinction for three subsequent years.
Lou is an avid sports enthusiast. He has three children, three grandchildren and resides in Newport, NJ.
Dawn Patrick (Board)
Dawn is a business consultant, who specializes in Strategic Planning, Operations and Business Development with 30 years of management experience. She has extensive experience in Internet Infrastructure Companies and has been part of Senior Management teams responsible for successful IPOs and M&As. Her previous positions include: VP of Sales Ops and Biz Development, Net Exchange; Director of Sales and Customer Service, Register.com; Director of Sales Operations for The Image Bank (a totally owned subsidiary of Kodak); and District Manager for General Licensing (Philadelphia and New York Offices) of ASCAP.
Ms. Patrick has also been an entrepreneur, owning and operating a small chain of retail stores. Ms. Patrick has a background in Web Design, Video Production and Scientific Illustration, and was a BMI writer for many years. Her volunteer work also includes: Environmental Chair – League of Women Voters and Selection Committee –Mamaroneck Free School Board.
Philip Seymour Hoffman (Advisory Board)
Philip Seymour Hoffman has appeared in a recent string of important films including Spike Lee’s The 25th Hour, Red Dragon, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Punch-Drunk Love, Love Liza (which was written by Hoffman’s brother Gordy and won him the Waldo Salt screenwriting award), and Owning Mahoney, co-starring Minnie Driver.
Hoffman appeared opposite Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law in Anthony Minghella’s The Talented Mr. Ripley, and also in Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia, winning the National Board of Review’s Best Supporting Actor award for his work in both films. His other film credits include Anderson’s Boogie Nights and Hard Eight, Happiness (Independent Spirit Best Supporting Actor nomination), Patch Adams, The Big Lebowski, Twister, Scent of A Woman and Nobody’s Fool.On Broadway, Hoffman starred in Sam Shepard’s "True West", earning a Tony Award nomination for his work in dual roles. Other stage work includes Mike Nichols’ production of Anton Chekhov’s "The Seagull" with Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline and Natalie Portman at the Public Theater’s "Shakespeare in the Park", "Defying Gravity", at the American Place Theater, "The Merchant of Venice", directed by Peter Sellars, and the Off-Broadway production of Mark Revenhill’s "Shopping and Fucking".
Co-Artistic Director of New York-based theater company LAByrinth, Hoffman directed Our Lady of 121st Street, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train and In Arabia We’d All Be Kings - all written by Stephen Adly-Guirgis. He moved the production of Jesus to London’s Donmar Warehouse and subsequently to that city’s West End. In 2001, Hoffman directed the New York premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s play The Gory of Living for the Manhattan Class Company.
Robin Kramer (Advisory Board)
Robin is a LINE PRODUCER who has worked for HBO, USA, NFL, MTV and VH1, and who is currently employed by MTV NETWORKS where she is responsible for production finances, technical and staff planning for MTV and VH1 programming, including MTV Video Music Awards, Movie Awards, VH1 Divas and Save The Music. Prior to this she worked for NFL PROPERTIES where she produced NFL-themed television specials in cooperation with network television partners, including NBC Quarterback Challenge, ABC Pro Bowl Battle of the Gridiron, FOX and Nickelodeon children’s programming, TNT and ESPN entertainment vehicles, MTV and ‘E! Behind the Scenes’ programming. She managed a total portfolio of programming budgets in excess of $7 million, including all sponsor revenue.
Judy Reyes (Advisory Board)
Judy Reyes portrays the caring but slightly jaded nurse Carla Espinosa on NBC's comedy series "Scrubs." Reyes grew up in the Bronx and became interested in acting while attending Hunter College in Manhattan. In 1992, she landed her first major acting role in the independent feature film "Jack and His Friends" opposite Sam Rockwell, and went on to perform extensively in the theater. She is particularly proud of her work with the LAByrinth Theater Company, a multi-cultural acting space in Manhattan where she is a founding member and has served as both actor and producer on numerous productions over the past 10 years. Reyes' television credits include several guest appearances as Tina on "Oz," a role she reprises in the upcoming season of the gritty cable series. Additionally, she appeared in "The Sopranos" and "100 Centre Street." She also starred in several television movies, including "John Sanford's Mind Prey" (with Eriq La Salle of NBC's "ER") and "The Prosecutors." Among Reyes' feature-film credits are "Bringing Out the Dead" with Nicolas Cage and the independent film "Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God, Be Back at Five." She will also appear in the upcoming film "Washington Heights." Additionally, Reyes acted in and co-produced (with her husband) "Taino," a short film which will be screened at the upcoming Los Angeles Latino Film Festival and is expected to be shown on a premier cable channel this summer. Reyes lives in New York with her husband, writer/director Edwin M. Figueroa. In addition to acting, Reyes looks forward to producing more independent films. Her birthday is November 5.
Daphne Rubin-Vega (Advisory Board)
Daphne Rubin-Vega first lit up Broadway with her debut as Mimi in the original cast of “Rent”, for which she won the Theater World Award, and the Tony and Drama Desk nominations as best actress in a musical.She won the Blockbuster Award for her role as Kevin Bacon's partner cop in “Wild Things”, with Matt Dillon, and she was Robert De Niro’s love interest in “Flawless”. After leaving “Rent” in 1997, her first album of original music “Souvenirs” for Polygram’s now defunct Mercury label was cut. Daphne continues to play with her band around NYC. They're called DRV.In Karen Hartman’s “Gum”, she played a Middle-Eastern girl dealing with the repressed attitudes of a culture where not only is gum forbidden, but where women have virtually no freedom. She also appeared as Sofia in Nilo Cruz' “Two Sisters and a Piano”, where her character was under house arrest in Cuba.“These characters have given me the opportunity to play some very spirited women confronting everything from HIV/AIDS (Mimi in Rent), to women living under the Taliban (Rahmi in Gum) and how they express their freedom despite limitations imposed by their respective cultures.” Notes Rubin-Vega, “They inform me as much as I embody them. It's an education both as an actress and as a human being”.In 2001, Rubin-Vega returned to Broadway again as Magenta in “The Rocky Horror Show” at the Circle in the Square Theater. The musical, based on the cult movie classic, also featured Tom Hewitt, Raul Esparza, Joan Jett, Dick Cavett and Sebastian Bach, among others.Born in Panama, Rubin-Vega moved to New York’s Greenwich Village with her mother and stepfather when she was a child. A self-described “club kid”, her career got an early start when she began singing with a girl group called, Pajama Party, and an all Latino comedy troupe called El Barrio USA at Caroline’s comedy club.Rubin-Vega’s life and career turned the proverbial corner when she landed the role of Mimi in a workshop called “Rent”, which was writer/composer Jonathan Larson’s contemporary version of the opera, “La Boheme”. After her Mimi was proclaimed “the real thing”, the show went on to begin its first life off-Broadway before moving to Broadway’s Nederlander Theater in January 1996.
Daphne Rubin-Vega won Best Actress in a Feature Film from the New York Independent Film and Video festival of 2001 for her performance in “Skeleton Woman”. She has since shot three independent films in NYC over the summer of 2002 including "Justice", seen at the Tribeca Film Festival in May 2003.
For her role as Canary Mary, Daphne most recently recieved the Lucille Lortel nomination as best featured actress in Suzan Lori Parks’ “Fucking A” at the Public Theater, directed by Michael Greif.
Currently, she is Conchita in Nilo Cruz' 2003 Pulitzer Prize winner, "Anna in the Tropics" at the McCarter Theater in Princeton.
John Patrick Shanley (Advisory Board)
A New York playwright, John Patrick Shanley earned almost overnight recognition with his play, "Danny and the Deep Blue Sea" in 1984. The Bronx-raised author began his writing career while still in elementary school, penning poems at age 11 and winning a statewide essay competition the following year. After interrupting his college education with a tour of duty in the Marines, Shanley obtained his degree in educational theater. By age 26, while supporting himself as a bartender, he began writing what became his first hit. Previously, Shanley began to find outlets for his stage work, which often revolves around working-class, ethnic concerns in the early 1980s. With 1986's "Women of Manhattan", he inaugurated an association with the Off-Broadway nonprofit Manhattan Theatre Club, which went on to present "Italian American Reconciliation" (1987) and his Hollywood satire "Four Dogs and a Bone" (1993). In 2001, the playwright veered into a slightly different direction with "Cellini" (which he also staged).
Shanley made his Hollywood reputation with "Moonstruck" (1987), a deftly constructed romantic comedy set in Brooklyn's Italian-American community. The film won three Oscars (including one for Best Original Screenplay) and was a huge box-office success. His subsequent film efforts--notably his script for the crime thriller, "The January Man" (1989), and his directorial debut with "Joe Versus the Volcano" (1989).