Barry has been a theatre artist for more than 30 years and has been working with teenagers since 1992. He is an actor, playwright, director, filmmaker, visual artist, puppeteer and puppetry designer. Barry and his creative partner Tanya Khordoc are co-artistic directors of Evolve Puppets, and have been creating original theatre for the past two decades at venues that include La MaMa, St. Ann’s Warehouse, Here Arts Center, The Brick, Dixon Place and The Puppeteers of America National Festival. In 2019, they presented their epic multimedia play Home (a Jim Henson Foundation Grant recipient) at the Tank NYC. Barry & Tanya directed, designed and performed the world premiere production of former Czech President Vàclav Havel’s play Motormorphosis for UTC61’s Havel Festival, and were visited backstage by President Havel himself. They also design, build and supervise puppetry for other companies, including the innovative internally-lit characters in Theater East’s production of Devil and the Deep (a musical by Graham Russell of Air Supply). Finally, Barry has been inside the “Audrey II” plant for so many productions of Little Shop of Horrors that he’s starting to grow leaves. (Photo by Richard Termine)
Jake is a Long Island native and a Berklee College of Music graduate. He is a singer/songwriter, performer and teacher. He takes great pride in the relationships formed with his students and collaborators in the creative arts. As a theater performer Jake has participated in countless shows as a cast member, pianist, director and band leader. Jake teaches piano, voice, guitar and drums for all ages. As an educator his credentials include assistant preschool teacher, music enrichment teacher and private lesson instructor. Jake has played piano for several children’s music programs ranging from infancy through preschool. He has consistent private lesson students whom he has worked with for many years in piano and vocal lessons. Jake directed larger scale shows catering to teens that required his expertise in accompaniment and theater direction. Jake considers it such a privilege to participate with the Levels program at the Great Neck Library Teen’s Center.
Michael has been the Video Instructor, and Producer of LTV since July of 1996. His background in the field is extensive, having broad corporate and educational video experience. He also produces freelance projects for such companies as Covenant House and Weight Watchers through his own production company Pro-Am Partners. Michael is a recipient of a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Award for producing the CUNY Cable series Cultural Connections.
Jonelle frequented Levels during her high school years, and credits a production of Rocky Horror Show (’02) for sparking her acting interests. Since then, she’s obtained a B.F.A. in Acting from Ithaca College, the other windy city, and has appeared in regional theatre, Off-Broadway theatre, commercials, voice- overs and indie films/shorts. She also continuously takes classes in NYC, working with artists like Lisa Rothe and Cotter Smith (google them, they are AMAZING!). She is currently a part of SAG/AFTRA, and uses her insurmountable love for acting and performing as fuel to learn, to pursue, and to teach! You can find her here, at the amazing Levels, and at The Port Washington Children’s Center as the Drama Director! Aside from acting, Jonelle also thoroughly enjoys cooking, boxing, yoga, knitting, playing guitar, being overly positive, and binge watching Scandal.
Jake started piano at the young age of five, and continued to learn music through his youth. Seventh grade is when he first heard jazz playing on the radio. After that, he experimented through improvisation and doing his own compositions. He was awed by the talent of Miles Davis and Charlie Parker. He engaged in music lessons throughout high-school, slowly getting into other types of music. Jake eventually left New York to pursue an education in Jazz Studies with Emphasis on the Trombone at Indiana University. He also received a minor in Scoring to Media at Indiana University because of his high interest in writing music for the screen. Jake is inspired by blockbuster level film composers Hanz Zimmer, John Williams, and Bernard Herrmann. Jake professionally plays trombone, piano, and sings in various bands of the Metropolitan area.
Samantha is thrilled to be a part of the Levels team! As a teenager, Sam partook in a variety of musical productions, as well as visual art programs here at Levels. She is a Fine Artist and Graphic Designer who received her BFA from the School of Visual Arts, and has since then, been teaching art courses for over 10 years. When she’s not teaching, she’s working on various freelance projects. She has worked with companies such as Sony Music Entertainment, CBS, MTV, and Billboard magazine.