Our Staff

NOEL ALLAIN - Co-Founder / Artistic Director
Noel is a New York based actor and theater producer. He is a graduate of Skidmore College and the Juilliard School's Drama Division. Before co-founding The Bushwick Starr in 2007, he was a founding member of the theater company, Fovea Floods, for which he served as an actor and producer. As a professional actor, he has performed in various theater, television, and film productions in and out of New York City.

As Artistic Director of the Starr, he has presented over 50 companies and served hundreds of artists through the Starr's Seasons of programming and development. His curatorial track record is noteworthy, resulting in critically acclaimed productions by emerging and established artists such as Dave Malloy, Half Straddle, The Debate Society, Daniel Fish, Julia May Jonas, and William Burke. Noel also established the Starr's after-school program, Big Green Theater (with Co-Founder, Sue Kessler) to teach playwriting and environmental awareness to Bushwick and Ridgewood elementary school students.

SUE KESSLER - Co-Founder / Creative Director
Sue is devoted to supporting innovative artists and ground-breaking performance work within the vibrant community of Bushwick, Brooklyn. After attending Skidmore College, she became a member of the experimental theater company, Fovea Floods, where she performed, directed, composed music, and served as Company Manager throughout the company's ten year career. In 2007, Sue helped to transform The Bushwick Starr from a humble rehearsal space (acquired in 2001) into a full-scale black box theater. In addition to her work at the Starr, Sue is currently the director of the Theater Management program at Skidmore College, Associate Chair of the Theater Department, and Chair of the Saratoga Springs Arts Commission for the Mayor's Office. Sue has been a guest speaker at Carnegie Mellon's MFA directing program, The Orchard Project, and Henry Street Settlement, and served on various arts panels for organizations such as The Brooklyn Arts Council and The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival.

JOHN DEL GAUDIO - Producing Director
John is a Brooklyn-based producer and theatermaker. Favorite projects at the Starr include Target Margin Theater Labs exploring the Russian avant-garde, Tennessee Williams and Gertrude Stein; the food was terrible by William Burke; and I'll Never Love Again by Clare Barron. He regularly collaborates with William Burke (whose Comfort Dogs and PIONEERS#goforth he produced at JACK), A Host of People in Detroit and Sarah Cameron Sunde on 36.5 / a durational performance with the sea. As a maker he created I Made a Mistake with Burke for the Target Margin Lab at the Connelly. He has served on the board of A.R.T./New York and is a company member of A Host of People and Target Margin, where he was Artistic Producer for 7 seasons.

LAUREN MILLER - Development Director
Lauren Miller is a theatre director, producer, and development professional. She brings to The Bushwick Starr her experience in fundraising for the Irish Repertory Theatre and TACT/The Actors Company Theatre and her passion for contemporary performance-based work. From 2011-2015, Lauren worked to develop 20 original plays as producer of the newTACTics New Play Festival, and she continues to collaborate with theatremakers including The Amoralists and Amios. 

JEHAN O. YOUNG - General Management Associate
A classically-trained actor, occasional dancer and emerging arts manager, Jehan O. Young hails from Atlanta, Georgia by way of California. Holding a BA & MFA in Drama & Acting from Spelman College and Columbia University, respectively, Jehan was a charter Arts Management Fellow with The Field Leadership Fund and currently serves as a company member and corps coordinator for Kotchegna Dance Company, a West African performance troupe specializing in the dance and drum traditions of the Ivory Coast. Jehan has performed internationally and appeared on numerous stages across New York City including countless esteemed basements with working pipes and a black curtain.

EMMA JOHNSON - Production Manager
Emma Johnson is a Brooklyn-based stage and production manager, specializing in reinterpretations of classical texts and the creation of new works in collaborative, devised settings. After proudly attending SUNY Oswego in upstate New York, Emma pursued stage management with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Public Theater, Target Margin Theater, Superhero Clubhouse, and others, after which she transitioned into production management. Before joining The Bushwick Starr, Emma completed the 2050 Administrative Fellowship at New York Theatre Workshop as a member of the inaugural 2017-18 class, and has continued to pursue the values instilled in the 2050 Fellowship in her own work - telling the stories of underrepresented and dismissed communities, and lifting up artists who chase those stories. She is also a photographer and writer with a seasonal green thumb, and the master chef of her tiny kitchen. 

JAY MAURY - Technical Director
Jay is a sound, lighting, video, and scenery designer working out of Brooklyn. As the designer of the BWS infrastructure and equipment, he has been working to raise the standards for control, efficiency, and artistic possibilities. Notably, BWS is now running an ultra-efficient LED worklight system with unparalleled control and light coverage. Recent design credits include Saratoga Opera (Sound Design, Lighting Design) BAWeaselOAPOYOB (Lighting Design) and Big Green Theater (Lights).

VANESSA FELIX - Youth + Community Programmer
Vanessa is an actress, singer, puppeteer and teaching artist here in NYC. Originally from California, Vanessa proudly lives in Brooklyn and has had the pleasure of working with several theatre companies in many capacities as an actor throughout NYC including: The Bushwick Starr, The Atlantic Theater Company, SoHo Rep, EST, the PIT, The Kirk, and with Superhero Clubhouse at The New Victory Theater.

Vanessa passionately believes in collaboration and strives to cultivate an enriching, and supportive, creative environment in all that she does. By lifting each other up and giving back to the community through the arts, Vanessa hopes to empower the people around her. For more on Vanessa and her work please visit

MODESTO FLAKO JIMENEZ - Youth + Community Programmer
Modesto Flako Jimenez is a Dominican-born, Bushwick-raised theater maker, producer, and educator. Awards include ATI Best Actor Award Winner for 2016, HOLA Best Ensemble Award Winner for 2015, and HOLA Outstanding Solo Performer for 2017. Flako is best known for original productions and three signature festivals – Ghetto Hors D’Oeuvres, One Catches Light, and Oye! Avant Garde Night! – produced with his company Oye Group. He is an associated member of the Wooster Group and serves as Vice President of the Brooklyn Poets Board of Directors. Flako has appeared on TEDxBushwick, Early Shaker Spirituals (Wooster Group), Last Night At The Palladium (Bushwick Starr/3LD), Yoleros (Bushwick Starr/IATI theater), Conversations Pt.1: How To Make It Black In America (JACK). Take Me Home (3LD/ Incubator Arts Project), and Richard Maxwell’s Samara (Soho Rep.). Modesto received the 2016 Princess Grace Award Honorarium in Theater, and has been profiled in The New York Times and Wall Street Journal. In 2018, he made history by becoming the first Dominican American lead artist in The Public Theater's Under The Radar Festival. 

ALICE GORELICK - Development Associate
Alice is a development extraordinaire and actress based in Brooklyn. She was introduced to the Starr as an intern on [PORTO] in 2017. Since then, she’s worked in development at The Flea Theater and Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund. She’s happy to return to the Starr with her newfound skills and fundraise for their ground-breaking artists. Theaters she’s performed at include JACK, HERE, Columbia, The Brick, and The Flea as a member of its resident acting company, The Bats.

WILLIAM BURKE - Artistic Development Assoc. / Reading Series Curator
William is a playwright and director living Bushwick. His plays have been seen at IRT, Little Theatre at Dixon Place, The Seattle Fringe and The Bushwick Starr. Recently: EXPODITY!! as part of the Target Margin Last Futurist Labs and The Devil Wants his Hat Back as part of the Bushwhack Series at The Bushwick Starr and as part of the Black Swan Labs at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Other plays include: Furry, The Yurt, She has to be Outside and the food was terrible, Keeners, and Fire Liberty. He was also the Football Choreographer and dramaturginator for Half Straddle's Football/In the Pony Palace, he is the founder of ANGRY BLVD with Mallery Avidon. He is the front house and Box Office Manager for Soho Rep. He is a curator for The Bushwick Starr Reading Series. He is a Target Margin Associated Artist. He is pursuing his Masters in Playwriting at Brooklyn College.

JILLIAN WALKER - Reading Series Curator
Jillian is a playwright, dramaturg, and cultural leader. She is the writer and performer of SKiNFoLK: An American Show (Starr Readings Series, 2017 ANT Fest), a passionately personal exploration of theatrical content and form. Her play, SARAH’S SALT., is the winner of the 2017 Columbia@Roundabout Reading Series. Jillian was the inaugural Immersion Fellow at JACK, helping to facilitate their year-long series ‘Reparations365.’ She believes in Dramaturgy as a liberatory tool and practice that applies to every area of life. She studied English & Afro-American and African Studies at the University of Michigan, holds a certificate in Acting from The Studio / New York Conservatory, and an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University. thisisjillianwalker.com



Board of Directors

Michael Contini
Gita Deo
Jeff Griffin
Robin Griffiths - Chair
David Herskovits
Oliver Kramer
Sheldon McLeod
Keanu Reeves
David Ringer
Rachel Viola