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Kean Stage
Kean University


Executive Director, Theatre Management and Programming Office

Lindsay Gambini is an arts administrator with over 30 years of presenting and producing experience and holds three master's degrees in the arts from New York University, Hunter College and the Graduate Center of City University of New York. She began her career with The Acting Company as assistant general manager then moved on to Circle Repertory Company, before spending time in placement and career counseling for Opportunity Resources for the Arts. Gambini spent the next 13 years as Managing Director and Executive Director at TriBeca Performing Arts Center at Borough of Manhattan Community College, and then spent seven years as the Director of Arts Programming at Montclair State University in Montclair, N.J. In 2003, she was appointed Executive Director of Theatre Management and Programming at Kean University. During her career, Gambini has presented more than 1000 different artists and companies in all disciplines including international artists from over thirty countries. Career highlights include twice being selected to program and produce all family events for the New York International Festival of the Arts, participation in the Association of Arts Presenters Leadership Institute, and travel with the US delegation to Cuba for the XI World Congress of ASSITEJ.

Producing Artistic Director

John J. Wooten is the Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages, the professional Equity theatre at Kean University, where he has developed and produced numerous new plays including The Beautiful Dark, Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, The Good Counselor and Follow Me to Nellie’s, all of which were honored by the American Theatre Critics Association. New Jersey Premieres he has directed and/or produced include Clybourne Park, Rabbit Hole, Snakebit and Boy Gets Girl. John is a frequent director for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is the resident director for the Peter Ustinov Screenwriting Competition, a project of the International Emmy Awards. Prior to Premiere Stages, John served as Artistic Director of TheatreFest for ten seasons, where he produced New York transfers including Ellen Burstyn in the Trip To Bountiful and Patti LuPone in Matters of the Heart. John’s plays have been produced commercially Off-Broadway, in England, Spain, Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, Serbia, South Africa, Greece and in regional theaters across America. Published plays include: Trophies, Dramatists Play Service; Humbug, Samuel French; The Role of Della, Playscripts, Inc; Kiss the Bride, Dramatic Publishing Company. His film Cat in the Pan premiered at the Montreal Film Festival.  Awards/Nominations: New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, a Best New Play nomination from the American Theatre Critics Association and multiple Best New Play/Best Director nominations from the Newark Star-Ledger.  John teaches Playwriting, Acting as a Profession, and Inside TV for Kean University.

Producing Associate/Resident Dramaturg

Clare Drobot has worked in theater as a dramaturg, literary manager, and casting associate since 2005. In addition to her work at Kean, she is the current Literary Manager for Passage Theatre in Trenton and runs the monthly reading series untitled at Happy Ending in New York.  Before joining Premiere Stages, Clare worked in various capacities at Williamstown Theatre Festival, The McCarter Theatre, The BE Company, Theater for the New City, Laura Stanczyk Casting, and New Dramatists. As a dramaturg she has worked on productions of Simon Gray’s Quartermaine’s Terms dir. Maria Aitken, Noah Haidle’s What is the Cause of Thunder dir. Justin Waldman, Sex on Sunday by Chisa Hutchinson, dir. Jade King Carroll, James McManus’ Blood Potato, dir. Jordan Young, Darren Canady’s Muddy the Water dir. Martin Damien Wilkins, James McManus’ Cherry Smoke dir. Jake King Carroll among others. In addition, Ms. Drobot is a playwright, composer, and published poet. She is currently a writer/co-creator of new web-series In the ‘Wood. Clare holds degrees in Creative Writing and Music Composition from Carnegie Mellon University. She is member of the Old Vic New Voices Network, the Literary Manager and Dramaturgs Association, and the Writers Guild of America.

Audience Services Coordinator

Heather Kelley holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory, and is a founding member of Mad Dog Theatre Company in New York, where she has served as Literary Manager for two seasons. Mad Dog's first commission, This is Not the Play by Chisa Hutchinson, received the 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Short Script. Heather has worked as an actress with the Arden Theatre Company, Dorset Theatre Festival, Prospect Theater Company, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, and the Asolo Repertory Theatre, among others. Her fiction and plays have been published in Opium Magazine, 225 Plays by The New York Neo-Futurists from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (ed. Joey Rizzolo) and What Happened to Us These Last Couple Years? (Elope Press & So New).


Dale Smallwood, Production Stage Manager
Previous stage management credits for Premiere Stages include: The Good Counselor, Any Other Name, Duck Crossing, Rabbit Hole, Madison, Regrets Only, Humbug, Shape of Things, Dark Part of the Forest and Boy Gets Girl. Other credits include: Over 30 productions with The Pearl Theatre Company including this past season's Rosmersholm and The Misanthrope. A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Caucasian Chalk Circle and Stage Door (The New School). Master Class, High Spirits, A Noon Day Sun, Kiss the Bride, Carnivals of Desire and Barnum (TheatreFest), Elephant Sighs (The Forum Theater) and The Tempest (Shakespeare on the Sound).

Joseph Gourley, Set Designer
Joseph Gourley, has been working and living in Pittsburgh for the past 6 years. He holds a Mater of Fine Arts from Pennsylvania State University in Scenic Design in State College, Pa. His designs include Everything About A Family…Almost and The Perfect Monster for (TADA Youth Theater in NY), I Hate Hamlet (Cortland Rep), All's Well That Ends Well, Stage Door, Pillars of Society (The New School for Drama), I Come For Love, My Illustrious Wasteland for the New York Musical Festival) and Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (El Dorado Casino Reno, NV) In addition to designing scenery he has branched out into event and broadcast/ television scenic design. Television credits include The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, The Jerry Springer Show, Steve Wilkos Show and Maury Povich Show on NBC. His Event designs include three Weddings in Riyadh Saudi Arabia MSNBC and FOX News Primary debates in '07

Karen Hart, Costume Designer
A native Texan, Karen received her MFA in design from the University of Texas in Austin. As a strong supporter of arts in education and the promotion of new plays she is proud of her continued association with vibrant organizations such as Premiere Stages, Jacque d'Amboise's National Dance Institute and the Trenton Education Dance Institute.  Past credits with Premiere Stages include:  The Good Councilor, Owed to My first Love, Dark Part of the Forest, Boy Gets Girl, The Shape of Things, Humbug, Madison, and Duck Crossing. Her designs have been seen in regional and off-Broadway theatres, on several national tours, as well as the White House Rose Garden, the Kennedy Center Awards, the Grand Theatre in Shanghai and on HBO. As full time member of the theatre faculty at Kean University, she teaches courses in costume design, history, and construction as well as makeup. She has received special recognition from the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for her design work on the Kean Theatre Series productions and in 2006 she received the National Kennedy Center Faculty Design Fellowship for Costume Design.

Carol Hanzel, Casting Director
Broadway: Swing!, Sally Marr and Her Escorts. National tours: Swing!, Defending the Caveman, Girl's Night. Off-Broadway: The Screwtape Letters, My Vaudeville Man, Wanda's World, Signs of Life, Dr. Sex, Theda Bara and the Frontier Rabbi, Escape from Pterodactyl Island, Dorian Gray, Trophies, Identical Twins from Baltimore. For Premiere Stages: Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, The Good Counselor, Duck Crossing, Rabbit Hole, Dracula, ODD, The Shape of Things. Other Regional productions; Cagney, Backwards in High Heels, Hats!, Flight of the Lawnchair Man, Sisters of Swing, The Tin Pan Alley Rag, Lizzie Borden. Series TV: The Wonder Pets, Hi-5, Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego?, Globe Trekker, Peg+Cat (pilot), The Moodsters (pilot). Feature Film: A Very Serious Person, The Guru (dance sequence casting)… and over 2500 commercials.

Nadine Charlsen, Lighting Designer
Nadine is a freelance scenic artist, designer and equity stage manager. She designs and paints for Off-Boradway, regional theatres, television, amusement parks, magicians, restaurants, and shopping malls. Her first professional experience was five seasons at Music Theatre of Wichita as a scenic artist and “technical spare part.” She has worked on props for the Broadway productions of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Woman in White, The Wedding Singer, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Shrek. Nadine teaches set design, lighting design, scene painting and stage management at Kean University. She is also a fine artist specializing watercolor and has recently become a lifetime member of the Art Student League.

Karen Cahill, Props Designer
This is Karen's third season with Premiere Stages. Karen is the resident Prop Master at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick. Originally from Upstate NY, Karen has resided in New Jersey for the past six years, and has worked with Crossroads Theatre, New Jersey Youth Theatre, State Theatre, NJPAC, Princeton Festival, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, and various other performing arts venues in the state. She was the Props Consultant for both the off-Broadway and Canadian productions of the award winning The Toxic Avenger musical. Other Regional Credits include Glimmerglass Opera, Bristol Riverside Theatre, Florida Repertory Theatre and Opera Delaware.