Introducing the 2020-2021 New York Academy Company
It is with much honor that we introduce this year’s New York Academy Company and anticipate this full season of moving performances from the newest generation of dedicated and powerful actors.
Led by Barbara Rubin, director, acting and dialect coach, The Academy Company performs a wide range of plays from classical to contemporary, which are performed before an invited audience of Academy guests, agents, casting directors and other industry professionals.
2020-2021 New York Company Members
Elliot VigueHinsdale, New Hampshire
Elliot first began theatre at the age of 14 and instantly fell in love. Theatre helped Elliot grow from a dorky, nearly silent, closeted kid to a still very dorky but much more confident adult. He gives credit for this newfound confidence to the unforgettable experience he had at The Academy. His credits include Sir Andrew Aguecheek in Twelfth Night and Tom in Radium Girls. Elliot is excited to be working with this talented and kind Company of actors. He would love to thank his friends and family for their support both on and off stage.
Laura PaganelloFair Lawn, New Jersey
Born and raised in New Jersey, Laura has always felt a strong connection to the arts. Acting became an integral part of her life after she enrolled at T. Schreiber Studio, where she studied with Terry Schreiber in his Advanced Scene Study class. After taking the leap and applying to The Academy, she finds herself lucky to be pursuing a craft that allows her to unapologetically explore the human condition. She thanks her family for raising her with confidence to speak, and empathy to listen. Her Academy credits include Mercutio in Romeo and Juliet and Helen in Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal.
Felicia MayersNewark, Delaware
Felicia was a childhood dancer for 10 years before she turned in her ballet slippers for a pair of cleats, in order to become a high school athlete. Growing up, she had no exposure to the theatre or acting experience. However, inspired by performances in film and television all her life, she knew she had a certain proclivity for the arts, along with a desire to find her own form of self-expression. She moved to New York City to take her first acting class with The Academy and has since found her lifelong passion. Her credits include Lady Sneerwell in The School for Scandal and Maeve in Clare Barron’s Dance Nation. She is grateful to be a part of the Company and is excited to expand her craft. She thanks all who have shaped and facilitated her growth as an artist and person.
Aja MahoganyTopeka, Kansas
A very young Aja dreamed of being on the Disney Channel, but when that didn’t happen by the time she turned 14, she focused on acting in high school. Aja immersed herself in every single production, including Cinderella - where she had an imaginary dance partner. She also received countless top ratings in choral solo competitions. After graduating, Aja went on to study at The Academy. Her favorite credits include: X-Ray in Holes, Joanne in Rent, and Carol in Split. She is delighted to be a part of Company and grateful to those that have aided her in pursuing her (no longer Disney Channel-related) dreams.
Aidan LingleMontgomery, New York
Growing up in upstate New York, Aidan was enamored with the world of acting from a very young age. He first started performing by singing in choirs at the age of 10. Aidan found his passion for acting when he entered high school and joined the drama program. After graduating high school, Aidan moved to Manhattan to attend The Academy. His credits include Chandler Tate in Comic Potential, and Sorin in Chekhov’s The Seagull. Aidan is grateful and ecstatic to be a part of The Academy Company. It is the support of his friends and family through thick and thin that got Aidan to where he is today.
Paulina LalanneBuenos Aires, Argentina
Janet KilonzoNairobi, Kenya
Janet is a Kenyan-Rwandese born actor who discovered her love of acting by growing up in multiple countries and indulging in their rich cultures. She began her training at the National Youth Theatre in England and soon afterwards moved to New York City to attend The Academy. Some of her credits include Nurse in Romeo and Juliet and Inez in Our Lady of 121st Street. Janet’s intention is to break barriers and build bridges between her home and the artistic world here. She is especially thankful to her lovely family and incredible friends from around the world who continuously support and inspire her.
Henry HowlandCincinnati, Ohio
Emma HennessyFalmouth, Massachusetts
Emma grew up at the beach as a competitive swimmer, with a boat captain as a father. The ocean taught her the pure bliss of being a part of something bigger than herself. That’s when acting and New York City came into play. After several improv classes and stage directing multiple shows, Emma confirmed that story telling was her passion. Being on stage or in front of a camera felt like being in the ocean. Emma’s Academy credits include Trudi in Alan Ayckbourn’s Comic Potential and Mrs. Baines in Major Barbara. Emma is endlessly grateful to be a part of the 2020-2021 New York Academy Company, especially at this time when empathy is a gift.
Kathleen HallNew York, New York
Kathleen is a New York City native and is proud to call herself a member of the New York Academy Company, in a time when art is needed more than ever. Kathleen grew up always in awe of the theater and has happily called the stage her home from an early age. Kathleen has had the honor of being mentored and trained vocally by Fredi Walker-Browne, who originated the role of Joanne in the musical Rent. Kathleen’s Academy credits include Prince Escalus in Romeo and Juliet and Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein: The Musical. She would like to share her overflowing gratitude for her family’s unwavering encouragement and support for her many passions and her art.
Thomas HagopianBurbank, California
After discovering his love for theatre in high school, Thomas realized that he had a passion for storytelling. Whether it was a simple black box play or a well-known Broadway musical, Thomas had a drive to tell that story to the best of his abilities. This led to his enrollment at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles where he discovered numerous playwrights, a favorite being Neil Simon. His Academy credits include Eugene from Neil Simon’s Brighton Beach Memoirs and Leo Hubbard from The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. A love for the stage inspired his big move to New York. Thomas is thrilled to be a part of this amazing Company in such trying times, where just a simple story might make someone's day.
Mary-Kate HaggartyKenosha, Wisconsin
William CookBristol, Virginia
Born and raised in Virginia, William immersed himself in books and plays as a means of escape from everyday life. He quickly realized that simply reading the words wouldn’t do and fell in love with the rush of live performance. He joined his high school’s drama department and rode the wave all the way to The Academy, where his credits include Feste in Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare and Luke in Clare Barron’s Dance Nation. William would like to dedicate his time in Company to his friends, family and teachers as a way of thanking them for all that they’ve done. He would like to give a special thank you to his past teacher Kristin Palmer for being a guiding force in his life every step of the way. May she rest in power.
Aliza CiaraHighland Mills, New York
Carolyn CarothersLos Angeles, Calfornia
Hannah AttfieldPevensey, England
It was no surprise to Hannah’s family when she announced at age eight that all she wanted to do was act. What started off as a hobby quickly became an intense need to perform and entertain others. While the private showings of Lion King songs were greatly received by critics (her parents), Hannah soon discovered that the stage was where she needed to be and went on to follow her passion by appearing a plethora of shows - most notably Shakespeare - and even landing a few notable jobs behind the camera. Although her path has taken her far from her rural English home, Hannah wants to thank the never-ending support of her family and friends, without whom, none of this would have been possible.
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This Season's Past Shows
Directed by: Michael F. Toomey
Michael F. Toomey has been a company member at Shakespeare & Company for nearly twenty years where he is an actor, director and faculty member. He is the Artistic Director of the NYC based theatre company The Humanist Project. He is also a founding member and trustee of Split Knuckle Theatre, which devises new works of theatre touring throughout the world, with recent performances in Bangkok, Athens and Paris. Michael has been a Visiting Assistant Professor at Binghamton University teaching Clown, Shakespeare and Fight. Michael also teaches workshops for professional actors in Fight, Clown and Shakespeare around the country and abroad. He has directed, devised and choreographed numerous shows including Titus Andronicus, Julius Caesar and Alice In Wonderland. Michael has performed throughout the East Coast and internationally including roles such as Macbeth, Scapin, and Polonius. He is a graduate from LISPA (London International School of Performing Arts) and holds an MFA in Lecoq-based actor created theatre from Naropa University. Michael lives in Brooklyn with his wife Sarah and son August. www.Michaelftoomey.com
NOTE: This production will be screened digitally. When you RSVP you will receive a link to join the broadcast performance on December 18 at 7:00pm EST/4pm PST
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.
Academy Digital Broadcast
Directed by: Sheila Bandyopadhyay
Performances are free. Click on time to RSVP.
Academy Digital Broadcast