The Completely Ridiculous Fall Faculty
Teaching, Character and Energetics
Ato is an actor, theatre-maker, and educator based in Los Angeles.
Broadway: Slave Play, Hair and Lysistrata Jones. Off-Broadway: The Rolling Stone at Lincoln Center Theater (Drama League Award nomination) Slave Play at NYTW (Lortel Award nomination), The Total Bent at The Public (Drama League and Lortel Award nominations), The Public Works’ Twelfth Night and As You Like It, Transfers at MCC, Antigone in Ferguson at the Harlem Stage, The Foundry Theatre’s O, Earth, and Iphigenia in Aulis at CSC. Film/TV: Worth, BlacKkKlansman, The Kindergarten Teacher, Detroit, It’s Kind of a Funny Story, “When They See Us” (Netflix), “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (Amazon), “She’s Gotta Have It” (Netflix), and “The Good Fight” (CBS).
Ato is on the faculty of the Playwrights Horizons Theater School, a member of The Actors Center, and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and the Yale School of Drama.
Teaching, Alexander Technique
Tracy Einstein is an Alexander Technique Teacher and movement educator for individuals and groups who seek to discover sustainable movement, power, and creative action. Her style as an educator dances at the intersection of embodiment, mindful practice, play, and community. She currently practices at the Balance Arts Center and at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where she facilitates AT, movement, and mask classes. She has completed pedagogical training with Christopher Bayes (Theatrical Clown), Lincoln Center Education (Teaching Artistry) and the Balance Arts Center (Alexander Technique), where she completed the 1600 hr AmSAT certified Teacher Training Course under the mentorship of Ann Rodiger. She's taught movement for the Public Theater, ASTEP, LeAp NYC, and Redbull Theater Company. She maintains a private practice in Brooklyn, Manhattan and online.
Ralf Jean-Pierre is a first generation Haitian-American performance-artist born and raised in Brooklyn, NY.
He earned a BFA in Performing Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and is currently teaching Clown at Brooklyn College
Ralf completed the improv program at People’s Improv Theater, studying with teachers like Chris Griggs and Ali Farahnakian, the legendary Centralia.
Ralf apprenticed for two years with world-renowned master clown, Eric Davis. He also studied clown with Christopher Bayes and Virginia Scott, formerly of The Funny School of Good Acting.
Ralf spent most of 2012 riding his bicycle around the United States performing his solo repertoire of Street Shakespeare scenes in which he played all the characters. The show was developed with his collaborator Jolie Tong. In 2017 Ralf debuted a one-man show, called WHAT SHOULD BE THE FEAR, that chronicled this tour, co-written and directed by Jolie, and produced by Ralf and BK Wildlife.
Ralf has also performs music as Precious Gorgeous. He is part of a NY based artists’ collective known as the #BlackGodPantheon. In 2019-2020 he released three albums, Tryna Get My Live Together, Everyone Dies From a Bullet vol 1, and TRIP, all of which Ralf wrote and produced.
Ralf has most recently sat in with acclaimed NYC hip-hop improv teams OffTop and North Coast as a featured player, coached PIT house-team, At the Diner.
You can find Ralf's music, comedy and additional content at www.preciousgorgeousralf.com
Teaching, Chekhov and the Russian Etude Method
Annelise Lawson is a New York-based actress and theatre-maker. Recent credits include Anna in Babes in the Woods (world premier, Signature Theater), Edmund in King Lear (Here Arts Center), Helena in MIDSUMMER (The Araca Project), and Masha in Dmitry Krymov’s √3 Sisters (International Festival of Arts & Ideas). Other theatre credits include Arcadia (Yale Repertory Theatre); The Last Act (world premier, Israeli Stage); I Should Have a Party for the Thoughts I Didn’t Say (Source Material Collective); The Oresteia, Our Lady of 121st Street, The Troublesome Reign of King John, The Tempest, In Arabia We’d All Be Kings (Yale School of Drama); Middletown (Yale Summer Cabaret); The Secretaries, (Yale Cabaret); The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe (First Folio). Film: Close-Up (NY Indie Theater Film Festival Winner). Annelise holds certificates in acting from the Moscow Art Theatre School & the British American Drama Academy, and is a graduate of the iO training program in Chicago. As a teacher, Annelise’s work focuses on developing technique and style through students’ personal sense of fun. Her areas of expertise include Clown, Commedia dell’arte, and the Russian Étude method – an improvisatorial rehearsal tool designed unleash an actor’s imagination into the world of the text. She teaches Chekhov at the Yale School of Drama, The New School for Drama, and the Stella Adler Studio. She has also taught at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, The Shakespeare Academy at Stratford, and The Pandemonium Studio.
Teaching, Acting as Play & The Fun of Failure
The Founding Artistic Director of Completely Ridiculous Productions and head of the Completely Ridiculous Summer Conservatory, Gabriel Levey is an actor/teacher/maker/producer straddling the divide between Northampton, MA and New York City.
For the last 3 years Gabe has been teaching Clown, Physical Acting and Shakespeare as Play at NYU, Tisch School of the Arts. He also teaches Acting as Play at The Pandemonium Studio as a founding faculty member alongside his mentor of the past 12 years, Christopher Bayes. In addition, Gabe has taught classes and/or workshops at The Berkshire Theatre Group, Galim Dance, Smith College, Amherst College, The Yale Summer Acting Conservatory, Shakespeare & Company, The Professional Performing Arts High School in Manhattan, and The Pioneer Valley Performing Arts Charter High School in Massachusetts. Gabe also works as a private coach, specializing in graduate school audition prep. So far Gabe has helped his clients get accepted at the Yale School of Drama, NYU Grad Acting, Columbia, CalArts, UCSD, Brown, RADA, Guildhall, as well as call backs at every major MFA program in America.
With a focus on actor training and the creation and production of new works of theatrical comedy, Gabe founded Completely Ridiculous Productions in the fall of 2019. Since then he has produced three shows at the Northampton Center for the Arts; continued to teach The Fun of Failure and Acting as Play online; and is currently developing the Pioneer Valley Laughing Club – featured on New England Public Radio, here.
A maker of theatrical comedy, Gabe's original work includes, Dwellicle 109 (IRT); Brainsongs, or the play about the dinosaur farm (Yale Cabaret); And now we do LINDBERGH’S FLIGHT by Bertolt Brecht (Yale Cabaret); The Most Beautiful Thing in the World (Yale Cabaret/Boston University/Cloud City); How to Help the Self Needs Help with Carol A. Jantsen (The Peoples Improv Theater); and most recently A Super Serious and Not at All Funny Reading of Stories I Wrote After Brain Surgery, which kicked off Completely Ridiculous Productions first season of new work at the NCFA.
Teaching, The Five Steps
Devin Shacket is an acting teacher, audition coach, actress, casting director, founder/artistic director of The New York Drama Center and Director of Program Design at Completely Ridiculous.
She began her career as a casting assistant and quickly found herself working on Season II of the popular Netflix series, House of Cards, under the mentorship of Emmy Award winning casting director, Julie Schubert. While working in casting, Devin began teaching on-camera audition technique and coaching auditions, which she continues to do today.
Devin departed a full-time career in casting in 2013, to pursue her own acting training, studying with many of the best teachers in NYC and around the world. In addition to completing the two year Meisner training program with Terry Knickerbocker, and attending BADA, she has studied with Olympia Dukakis, Patsy Rodenburg, Larry Moss, Janet Zarish, Jim Calder, Tessa Lang, Fay Simpson, Christopher Bayes, Philippe Gaulier, Aitor Basauri, and many others.
In 2016 Devin founded The New York Drama Center, a nomadic acting center which offers access to master acting teachers (who mainly teach at exclusive MFA programs), and their proteges. She continues to design the programming for The New York Drama Center, committed to offering unique and high quality training opportunities to all actors.
Today, Devin focuses her energies on teaching and coaching, running her own private on-camera studio in NYC and also teaching advanced acting at The New Studio on Broadway at Tisch School of the Arts. To date, her students and private coaching clients have appeared on over 30 different NYC based t.v. shows, in off broadway and regional theatre productions, in feature length and short films, and in web series. She also has a student who was recently accepted to the acting MFA programs at NYU Graduate Acting and Yale School of Drama!
Teaching, The Completely Ridiculous Fall CurriculumMonologues from BIPOC Playwrights
Zenzi Williams received her MFA from Yale School of Drama, has a BA in theater from Temple University and studied at the British American Dramatic Academy at Oxford.
Zenzi is currently a Course Facilitator in Executive Presence at Cornell University and owns Zen Taping Space, a self taping business for actors in New York City.
Her credits include Broadway: The Crucible. Off-Broadway: runboyrun (NYTW), Lockdown (Rattlestick), School Girls (MCC Theater), Henry V (The Public), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater Company), Mother Courage and Her Children (Classic Stage Company). Regional: Imogen Says Nothing (Yale Repertory Theatre). Film&TV: “Chicago Fire,” “Blue Bloods,” “The Good Fight,” “The Defenders,” “Daredevil,” “Black Panther,” "The Mess He Made".
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