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Company Members | Saucy Lackeys | Trailblazers | The Board | The First Ten

The Core Company

our performing ensemble of actors, dancers, and musicians

LLL_tonya_pr1Tonya Beckman received her MFA from Ohio University’s Professional Actor Training Program and has worked at Shakespeare Theatre Co, Kennedy Center, Round House, Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, Studio Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Theater J, as well as regionally at Cincinnati Playhouse, Fulton Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Purple Rose Theatre, Human Race Theatre, and Totem Pole Playhouse, among others. Shows with Taffety Punk include the Riot Grrrls' Romeo & Juliet, Measure for Measure, and Much Ado About Nothing;, Owl Moon, Tiny Alice, The Rape of Lucrece, the Rulebreaker Rep, and the Bootleg Shakespeare performances at the Folger. She also coaches dialects and teaches audition, voice, and acting.

Lucrece_28Jun2013_byCStan2614Lise Bruneau trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Credits include: Merry Wives of Windsor, Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Blithe Spirit, Mrs. Warren’s Profession, & Elizabeth I in Mary Stuart at Center Stage; The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeare Theatre; Les Liaisons Dangereuses & The Angel in Angels in America at ACT in San Francisco. Dybbuk for A Travelling Jewish Theatre; Topographical Eden & the world premiere of Edna O'Brien's Triptych at the Magic. She has also appeared at Seattle Rep, Berkeley Rep, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Wilma in Philadelphia.
Dan CraneDan Crane Taffety Punk Theatre Company credits include Bloody Poetry, Charm, Twelfth Night, Oxygen, and The Rape of Lucrece. Dan is an affiliated teaching artist with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, an instructor of voice and speech at Howard University, and a teacher at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan. He is also co-founder of The Enlightenment Theatre Project in Williamsburg, VA. DC area acting credits include the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, and The Beaux Stratagem, Folger Theatre in Cyrano, Hamlet and The Winter’s Tale. Other regional acting credits include work with companies across the United States, including Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, PCPA Theaterfest and Portland Center Stage to name a few.  He trained at the Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts, holds a BFA from Ithaca College and an MFA from the Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.
Daniel FlintDaniel Flint received his MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at GWU. His Taffety Punk credits include: Edward Kelley in Burn Your Bookes;  Malvolio in Twelfth Night, five Bootleg Shakespeares, and his one man play The Golem. DC credits include: All's Well That Ends Well at the Shakespeare Theatre Company; Richard 3 at the Folger Theatre. Daniel is affiliated with Constellation Theatre Company and Faction of Fools Theatre Company. Daniel is also our tech Guru designing sets for many of our shows including Twelfth Night, The Golem, Julius Ceaser. Daniel has also written several plays with his partners at One Lump or Two Productions including The Elsinore Diaries and Holiday of Errors. Find out more about him here.
133-ophelia-2014June-TCKimberly Gilbert trained at Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting. Her Taffety shows include Bootleg Cymbelline, Cardenio Found, The Skinhead Hamlet, Damaged Goods, Let X, and Then It Faster Rock'd. She is also a company member with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company where she rocked out in The K of D, Martha Josie and the Chinese Elvis (Helen Hayes Nomination, Lead Actress), Big Death and Little Death, and Cooking With Elvis. Other DC stages that she has melted faces off on have been Round House Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, Source Theatre, Scena Theatre, & Washington Shakespeare Company. She is a native of Wallingford, Pennsylvania, the Land of 'not-fer-nuthin'. Self Portrait
Marcus KydMarcus Kyd trained at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting in Washington DC & Emerson College in Boston. He is an actor, musician, and director. As an actor he has been onstage at the Folger Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Arena Stage, Round House Theatre, Theater J, The Nebraska Shakespeare Festival, Center Sage, Metro Stage, the Kennedy Center; in the film portion of the acclaimed multi-media opera The Nitrate Hymnal (produced by WPAS & Anti-social Music). Marcus sang and played guitar for The Most Secret Method. The band released a single, and EP, and two full length records & toured extensively through North America and Europe.
072-ophelia-2014June-TCErin F. Mitchell Managing Director and choreographer for the Taffety Punks, holds an MFA in Arts Management from American University and a BFA in Dance and Choreography from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has toured around the country and internationally with the Latin Ballet of Virginia and Wellspring/Cori Terry & Dancers, and was one of the co-founders of the TPunks back in the day. Some of her choreographic credits with the Taffetys include Ophelia, Rape of Lucrece, Phoenix and the Turtle, Twelfth Night, Charmed, various Bootleg productions, and the collaborative dance video Tulips. Erin serves on the board of directors for Dance Metro DC, helped to launch the Midwest Regional Alternative Dance Festival (RAD Fest) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and spends her days exploring ways to create a sustainable dance sector in the District. She is the author of the blog The Art of Balancing.
Joel David SantnerJoel David Santner trained at the Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting. He is an actor, director, writer, and filmmaker. Taffety Punk acting credits include, Owl Moon, Burn Your Bookes and Pericles, Two Noble Kinsmen and Troilus and Cressida Bootlegs. Taffety Punk directing credits include The Golem, Bootleg Hamlet, Buggy & Tyler for the Car Plays and the Reals Bootleg. Joel has also worked at The Kennedy Center, Folger Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre, Factory 449, Studio 2ndStage, and Round House. He is the director of the Taffety Punk Generator, and the director of Yellow Bow Tie Productions — his film company. As a filmmaker, Joel’s films have earned awards and film festival screenings across the country. To view his films click here.
144-bloodypoetry-0514-TCEsther Williamson trained at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting. She is an original Riot Grrrl and has also appeared in every Taffety Punk Bootleg so far. She has been part of the Rulebreaker Rep, Oxygen, The Car Plays, Burn Your Bookes, and many other T-Punk adventures. Esther has appeared onstage as an actor and/or musician at Happenstance Theatre, Baltimore Centerstage, The Inkwell, Ford's Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and others. She has taught acting for teens and adults at The Shakespeare Theatre, Imagination Stage, and Seattle Pacific University. As a singer, she is a member of the choirs of St. Paul's K St. in DC and St. Bartholomew's Church in New York. See more.
Paper Bag as The Ghost of Hamlet's FatherPaper Bag has enjoyed a repertory of challenging roles with the Taffety Punks. Often called our most versatile performer, his portrayals include God in The Devil in his Own Words, Dick Cheney in And Then It Faster Rock'd, Doc X in Let X, The Ghost of Hamlet's Father in The Skinhead Hamlet, and the Braggart Gentleman in the Bootleg Hamlet (Q1). We would say he is an original company member, except that he's just a bag really.

Saucy Lackeys

elite band of artistic collaborators
Amy Carr-TaylorAmy Carr-Taylor Since arriving in DC from NYC in 2007, she has worked at Folger Theater (wardrobe/costumes), The Studio Theater, Adventure Theater, and The Kennedy Center.  For the T-Punks she designed Hamlet: The Badass Quarto, assisted the costume designer on Julius Caesar, Measure for Measure and Burn Your Bookes. Her NY Assistant Directing and Costume credits include: A Doctor in Spite of Himself, A Rehearsal at Versailles, Quality Feedback (Random Arts), Don Juan in Outer Space (Royal Corsican Theatre Co.), with Directing credits for: Nancy, to a Point (Strawberry One-Act Festival), The Waiting Room (Wonderland One-Act Festival), & The Sword in the Stone (Ryan Repertory Co.). In DC she has also designed costumes for Live Broadcast (2011 Capital Fringe Festival).
Kathy CashelKathy Cashel has been collaborating with Taffety Punk since our 2006 Shakespeare dance rock concert The Phoenix and Turtle. Soon thereafter she was playing guitar and singing in Cardenio Found, and then in The Devil in His Own Words where she provided the score and live sound manipulation. More recently Kathy was our onstage minstrel, providing live music throughout the Riot Grrrls' Much Ado About Nothing. She has two full length solo albums available on Exotic Fever Records. Before her solo work she played guitar and sang for the Norman Mayer Group.
Chad ClarkChad Clark is a composer, musician, sound engineer, and producer. He composed the score to T-Punk's, which included performances by his band Beauty Pill (Dischord Records) set against Paulina's choreography, real text from the internet, and various live distortions applied to the text during delivery. In 2011 Beauty Pill was commissioned by Artisphere to compose an album in public view. This experiment led to the exhibit album "Immersive Ideal." Chad has led Beauty Pill through several manifestations yielding three published records and countless more ongoing experiments. The band is perhaps the perfect musical laboratory.
Chris CurtisChris Curtis is a director and light and sound designer, and he continually blows our minds with his smarts and ingenuity. He co-directed last year's workshop of Daniel's The Golem, and worked as Joel's assistant director on Gwydion Suilebhan's Buggy & Tyler in our Car Play trilogy while designing lights for the show. He also co-directed Oxygen with Lise. Recent lighting designs for Taffety Punk include Owl Moon, Riot Grrrls: Julius Caesar, and last few Bootleg Shakespeare shows at the Folger. Other area designs include columbinus and The Goat or, Who is Sylvia? at Silver Spring Stage, where he also recently directed Rabbit Hole, and has occasionally even acted.
Paulina GuerreroPaulina Guerrero is originally from the Washington DC area. Paulina choreographed Taffety Punk's, Owl Moon, Burn Your Bookes and our Bootleg King John and The Two Noble Kinsmen, in which she also danced. She also appeared in Two Dances, and The Phoenix and Turtle, and early manifestations of The Rape of Lucrece. Her original work "From Your Representatives, With Love" headlined our 2011 Dance Craze Festival. She has danced & toured nationally with companies in NYC & DC including Grove Dance Theatre,, Beth Soll Dance Company, Michelle Handelman Multi-media, & Lisa Stott. Paulina co-directed Proving Ground Movement–an experimental dance laboratory and was co-choreographer for "on your soapbox slipping" in the 2007 Capital Fringe Festival. Paulina served as our choreography master from 2007 through 2011.
Scott Hammar, Jack the LadScott Hammar has designed the costumes for many Taffety Punk shows including Measure for Measure, Burn Your Bookes,, Julius Caesar, Owl Moon, The Devil in His Own Words, The Faithkiller, and Let X. He has also designed costumes for Pinky Swear’s Freakshow, River Run Theater’s Rough Guide to the Underworld and the Dallas Theater Center and Callier Theatre of the Deaf and served on the faculty of Choate Rosemary Hall’s Theater Arts Department for three years.  Scott has a B.F.A. in Directing and an M.F.A. in Theater Design under the guidance of Irene Corey. He has been the Production Stage Manager for Shear Madness at the Kennedy Center for the last 18 years.
Liz MaestirLiz Maestri is a playwright, actor, director, and dancer who appeared in our original staging of She also served as assistant director to Marcus on The Faithkiller, and Burn Your Bookes. In 2010 we presented the world premiere of her play Owl Moon, and since then we remain hungry for her writing. Her Somersaulting play, adapted from the comic by Sammy Harkham, was the second project to go through the Taffety Punk Generator. She currently serves as our Director of Keepin' It Real — which essentially gives her most of the power here in spite of Marcus and Erin's lofty titles. Read Liz's amazing thoughts here.
Kelsey MesaKelsey Mesa directed the headliner in our “Car Plays” Trilogy — dREAMtRIPPIN' by Thomas Michael Campbell. She has served as assistant director on Taffety Punk productions Owl Moon, The Rape of Lucrece, and the Riot Grrrl's Much Ado About Nothing, Julius Caesar, and Measure for Measure. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she directed a production of Brooklyn Boy and worked on Into the Woods, On the Town, and The Royal Family. She also serves as our minister of propaganda.
Ryan NelsonRyan Nelson is an artist, musician, and teacher. He is currently playing in two bands, Soccer Team (on Dischord Recordsand Lovitt Records) and Minutes. Previous bands include Beauty Pill, The Routineers, and The Most Secret Method. Ryan designed our logo and is our primary artist for fliers and program art, and almost anything else we need. He also played drums in And Then It Faster Rock'd, scored several original dance works, and engineered our first seven-inch single. He can pretty much do anything.
David PolkDavid Polk trained at Virginia Tech where he earned a BA in Theatre Arts. Stage Management credits include Pangea, Let X, The Devil in His Own Words, Bootlegs Henry VIII and King John with Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Camping with Henry and Tom and The Princess and the Pea at Dunwoody Stage Door Players (Atlanta, GA), and The Real Inspector Hound at Virginia Tech’s Summer Stock Theatre (Blacksburg, VA). He is currently the General Manager at the Folger Theatre.
Jupiter RexJupiter Rex (or Josh Carr-Taylor) is a punk from Baltimore (mohawk and all) where he learned piano, guitar, and composition.  After high school he moved to New York and studied acting while learning voice.  Later on he discovered his love of electronic music and sound engineering, and production. He has composed and designed sound for various productions in the NYC and DC areas. For Taffety Punk he performed the original score in The Golem. He also scored and designed sound for Oxygen, Burn Your Bookes, Measure for Measure, most of our Bootleg Shakespeare plays. You can listen to his music at SoundCloud.

Founders and Trailblazers

Taffety Punk Theatre Company was founded by Lise Bruneau, Marcus Kyd, Amanda MacKaye, Erin Mitchell and Christopher Marino.

Amanda MacKayeAmanda MacKaye is an original company member and co-founder of Taffety Punk. A DC native, she was introduced to punk music at the tender age of 9 by her brothers. At 15, she co-founded Sammich Records, which released 8 records before her graduation from The Field School. Following two national tours as a road manager she worked for Dischord Records and performed in Desiderata, The Routineers and working with musicians Two If By Sea & Benjy Ferree, as well as the author, Billups Allen on booking & management. Amanda served as a company member and ultimately president of the Board of Directors and is primarily responsible for the fact that we didn't implode within a year of our founding.


Christopher MarinoChristopher Marino is an original company member and co-founder of Taffety Punk. He trained at the Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art in London, the Shakespeare Theatre’s Academy for Classical Acting, and Bard College, NY. Credits include The Castle, Primary Stages; Titus Andronicus, Soho Rep; Madonna, Village Theatre Company, The Duchess of Malfi, Shakespeare Theatre; The Tempest, Macbeth at Mill Mountain Theatre; Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, Baltimore Shakespeare. He has also appeared at the Utah Shakespearean Festival, the Kansas City Shakespeare Festival, the Actors Shakespeare Company. He is a certified associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, & former Aritistic Director of the Baltimore Shakespeare Festival.


Sean PeoplesSean Peoples is our hero. A consummate musician and producer, Sean actively mines sonic extremes and brings forth untold gems. He shares these discoveries on his label, Sockets Records. Sean was also a member of DC's infamous Fatback DJ Collective, dedicated to making you dance. He scored Taffety Punk's first full length play — Gwydion Suilebhan's Let X, and shared the set with us when we presented The Phoenix and Turtle on the Millennium Stage at the Kennedy Center. He was the source of all sound and all manipulations of sound in our early experimental productions of The Rape of Lucrece by William Shakespeare.

Board of Trustees
Ian Armstrong—Ben Azzara—Jen Crane—
Micah Jensen—Erin Mitchell—Garry Sloan—Soung Wiser
William Colgrove, Gregg Henry and Philippa Hughes

The First Ten
These brave people were the first to donate $1,000 or more to a group of struggling upstarts like ourselves.
To them we are eternally grateful.

Philippa Hughes • Sam Fleming • Christine Farley • Anthony Nelson • Cathleen Nelson
Ryan Nelson • Merribel Ayres • Anne Mayerson • One Anonymous • Two Anonymous


Photo credits: Tonya by Marcus Kyd. Lise by C Stanley Photography. Marcus by Teresa Wood. Daniel, Joel, Esther, and Kathy by Teresa Castracane; Chris C and Jupiter R by Ellen Houseknecht; Amanda MacKaye by Olivia Alonso, Christopher by Allen Beland


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