Yoni Alberto Aguilar is always honored to be a part of the Vital staff. He was a member of the first graduating class of Vital's very own Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School and first started working as a Work Based Learning intern. He currently works at Vital as Booking Assistant, House Manager, and Teaching Artist. Je is earning his first bachelor's degree at Marymount Manhattan College in communications and business management. He would like to thank his family, friends, the Vital staff and anyone who helped him along the way.


Jad Bernardo

Jad Bernardo has served as musical director, coach, and collaborative pianist for various companies, programs and institutions including NYU, Adelphi University, and Opera Breve. Jad has musically directed more than a half dozen new works for Vital Theater including the hit PINKALICIOUS. In addition, Jad is a teaching artist for Brooklyn Theater Arts High School where he will be entering his sixth year. For more information, please visit www.jadbernardo.com .


Kiara Duran

Kiara Duran is a singer-composer-actress-writer-teacher-entrepreneur. She’s a recipient of the Abe Olman Scholarship Award for Excellence in Songwriting from The National Academy of Popular Music Songwriters Hall of Fame, teaches voice, piano, and guitar lessons in NYC, and is one of the founders of the musical theatre creation company Three Legged Chair (www.threeleggedchair.com).



A Kentucky native, Kyle has been designing in NYC for almost a decade. His scenic artwork may be seen from The Lost Colony to the Bellagio Conservatory in Las Vegas, as well as NYC and manyplaces in between. Recent productions include Angelina Ballerina The Musical (NYC, Tour, and Toronto), StinkyKids, The Musical, and the premiere of Larry Kunofsky's Your Boyfriend May Be Imaginary. Kyle also serves as staff scenic designer for Hunter College High School and a Vital Teaching Artist in Manhattan and Brooklyn. www.KyleDixonDesigns.com



Graduated in 2011 from SUNY Purchase with a BFA in Costume Design. Since then, she has had the opportunity to work with several different companies & projects, ranging from fashion, wardrobe, education, & design. A few include La Guardia Arts!, NYMF, Manhattan School of Music, and Dance Theatre of Harlem. She also owned a clothing Boutique (Jakamo) in Bushwick.


Elliot J. Kleinburd

A native New Yorker, Elliot graduated with a BFA in Music Theatre at the University at Buffalo and continued his studies at Middlesex University in London, emphasizing in Voice and Stand Up Comedy. He also spent a summer as an apprentice at the National High School Institute for Theatre Arts at Northwestern University. He has performed in many regional theatres across the country and toured nationally with the National Theatre for Children. Elliot has taught competition musical theatre classes at Dance Factory New York and with American Dance and Drama Studio as a musical theatre teacher and teaching artist, bringing theatre and ballroom dance as an after school program into NYC schools.


Harold Lewter

As a strong believer in arts education and development, Harold has made it a point to be active in youth theater and as a teaching artist in the New York City school system. In addition to teaching artist residencies at P.S. 6, Fordham Arts High School and Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School, he is also the head of the Music Theatre classes at the American Dance and Drama Studio in Fresh Meadows, NY. Harold has also work with Students Live, the premier Broadway educational company on their International Passport to Broadway Camp, which brings students from all over the world to New York City for 3 weeks to learn about musical theater and to put on a show for members of the Broadway community. In 2006 Harold was awarded the North American Cultural Promising Artist of the 21st Century award and traveled to Costa Rica to perform and teach classes at the National Theatre in San Jose, Costa Rica.


Wendy Luker

Wendy Luker is thrilled to be a teaching artist with Vital Theatre. She has over 15 years experience as a teaching artist, director and performer teaching children and adults across the country in theatre and community programs from Iowa to Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia; New York City to Jinja, Uganda. In addition to various film, stage and TV credits, Wendy has performed her original work in NYC at The Ontological Theatre, Dance New Amsterdam, Dixon Place, Looking Glass Theatre, Sally Johnson Studio, and Williamsburg Art neXus. In 2010, Wendy was awarded a grant to perform her solo show, Tarot!Tarot!Tarot!, at The Looking Glass Theatre, NYC, in conjunction with The Looking Glass Space Grant Program. Wendy holds a BA in Acting from the University of Northern Iowa and an MA in Performance Studies from New York University's Tisch School. She can raise one eyebrow and makes a killer tuna casserole. www.wendyluker.com


Leah McVeigh

Leah McVeigh has been working as a professional Stage Manager and Production Manager since 2006. In addition to her work with Vital Theatre she has worked with Queens College in New York and Brevard Music Center in North Carolina. She has designed Vital’s Technical Theatre curriculum and when she is not working with the students at Fordham Arts and Brooklyn theatre Arts, she works NYC Fashion Week.


Brisa Areli MuÑoz

Brisa Areli Muñoz is a facilitator, director and teaching artist. She is a graduate of the MA in Applied Theatre at the City University of New York. She serves as the Artistic Director of Applied Theatre Collective, an organization dedicated to using arts-based strategies for consulting, peace building and socially engaged art. She also works at the Creative Arts Team, a nonprofit organization that uses the power of drama to inspire youth to learn more. She is passionate about expanding the body of practitioners and advocates who recognize the value in cross-sector partnerships between artists and communities, whether it be in the workplace, the educational system or elsewhere.


Mariela Novoa

Mariela Novoa is happy to be working with Vital Theatrer for the 2nd year in a row. She earned her BFA (04) & MFA (06) Costume Design / Tech at SUNY Purchase college. The last three summers while at school, Mariela was also an apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera's costume shop. The years following graduation she worked at Broadway costume houses like John Kristiansen, Barbara Matera's & Tricorne. Most recently Mariela had been on tour with The Acting Company as their wardrobe supervisor.



is a director, actress, teaching artist and creative arts consultant. As a teaching artist she has worked with The Vital Theater Company, Lincoln Center Theater, BAM, Brooklyn Theater Arts High School, The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, and The Judith Shakespeare Company. Gwenyth served as the Education director of Youth Theater Northwest in Seattle, and Program Director of Drama for Schools in Alaska, a professional development teacher training program. Selected directing work includes The Family Room at the Arclight Theater, a production of Macbeth for young audiences with Lincoln Center Theater's Education Program and Lincoln Center Institute, Class Behavior with the Vital Theater Company, a workshop of Othamlet with the Judith Shakespeare Company and co-direction of the new jalopy, a site specific dance/theater work produced by Dance New Amsterdam as part of their Leading Ladies Series. She is an alumnus of Lincoln Center Theater's Director's Lab.


Claro de los Reyes

Claro is a Brooklyn-based theatre artist and filmmaker who views art-making as means to further community building, cross-cultural exchange, and the honoring of local cultures & heritage. He has worked as a performer with NY theater companies that include Pan Asian Rep, NAATCO, Amerinda at the Public Theater, International WOW, and Imua! Theatre & Film. He participated as an acting company member of the Lincoln Center Director's Lab 2007. He is a graduate of the Fordham at Lincoln Center Theatre Program and the Third World Newsreel Film Production Workshop. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Applied Theatre at the CUNY SPS.



Tyrone L. Robinson

Tyrone L. Robinson was the recipient of the 2010 ASCAP Frederick Loewe Award for his work as a musical theatre composer. His music was featured at The Public Theatre in Jerome A. Parker's play Bliss which starred Andre DeShields and Daphne Rubin-Vega. Tyrone worked with writing teams at The Daily Show starring Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report while working as a comedy tv writer in Chris Rock's Summer School Program at MTV Networks. In his free time Tyrone loves puzzles, road trips, and politics. He's a member of the Dramatists Guild and Actors' Equity Association. M.F.A.: NYU Tisch School of the Arts.


Jon Stancato

Jon Stancato has been an NYC theatre educator for nearly a decade. He is one of the region's only teachers of Commedia dell'Arte, a 500 year-old theatre tradition he brings into classrooms around the tri-state area including Vital's partner schools, Yale, Bard College, Princeton High School, and Bergen County Academy. Jon is also the director and master teacher of the NYC Student Shakespeare Festival, now in its 20th year. When he's not in classrooms, he directs for Stolen Chair, a non-profit theatre company which has created and produced its distinctive original work in NYC for ten seasons.


Dax Valdes

has worked with Vital in many different capacities over the last 8 years as a choreographer, actor and music director; he is in residence at PS 6 in Manhattan, and a founding teaching artist at Brooklyn Theatre Arts High School. He is currently the Education Associate for the Vineyard Theatre, teaching artist for PS 166, Associate Producer for the annual Career Transition For Dancers Gala and Capezio's 125th Anniversary Gala, actor with Only Make Believe, and member of Leviathan Theater Lab. Education: BFA Musical Theater - Point Park College; Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts.


Jen Varbalow

has been designing scenery in NYC for 14 years. Past credits include designs for the The Workshop Theater, Drilling Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, The DR2 Theatre and other companies Off and Off-off Broadway. Jen has been a Teaching Artist with the Vital Theatre Company for the past 2 years and has taught residencies with the Roundabout Theatre Co., Town Hall, Children's Aid Society, TADA!, and Queens Theatre in the Park. Jennifer taught scenic design and painting at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. She received her BFA from Rutgers University and her MFA from Brandeis.


Channie Waites

Channie Waites is a performing artist ranging the genres of theatre, dance, audiobooks, and voiceovers, a director, facilitator and educator. Channie has toured and performed professionally within the United States and abroad. Her latest projects include co-directing Making Peace In Old Village, an original play devised by youth at the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village in Rwanda for ITLP. Channie has worked for the August Wilson Monologue Competition, People's Theatre Project, WNYC, Only Make Believe and The Phyllis Rose Dance Company. Channie has a MA in Applied Theatre from CUNY and a BA in Theatre from Penn State University.


Ashley Zaragoza

Ashley Zaragoza is a graduate of Brooklyn Theatre Arts and has been working at Vital Theatre since her junior year in high school. When she's not doing teaching artist work at Vital, she can be found at the Upright Citizens Brigade learning and doing improv. Ashley works at PS 6, PS 199 and assists at Vital Performance Camps

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