Kittson O'Neill

Artistic Director

Kittson O'Neill began her journey with SCP directing a sweeping production of The Winter’s Tale, which featured a chorus of 26 Philadelphia children. She took the helm as Artistic Director in 2016. Other directing credits include: A Knee That Can Bend (Barrymore Nomination - Best Director) for Orbiter 3,  The Three Christs of Manhattan (World Premier, co-directed with Seth Rozin) at InterAct, On The Verge & Uncle Vanya at Hedgerow and We Can All Agree To Pretend This Never Happened for A Play, A Pie and A Pint. She is currently the Artistic Associate at InterAct Theatre Company where she created the Core Writers program. Prior to that she was the Literary Manager for New Jersey Repertory theater where she curated a robust reading series of over 20 plays per year and oversaw numerous world and US premiers. She went on to work as an Associate Artist for Relentless Theater Company in New York and co-created the Jigsaw Nation project, serving as chief researcher and editor for this ambitious piece of theater journalism on a four-city tour. As an actor she has worked on dozens of stages around Philadelphia and beyond including InterAct, The Lantern, Gas and Electric Arts, Act II Playhouse, South Coast Repertory, The Public, People’s Light and Theater Company and Second Stage. Favorite recent roles include The Pilot in Grounded at InterAct, Hannah in Arcadia at The Lantern, and Mr. Doctor in The Body Lautrec with Mary Tuomanen and Aaron Cromie. She has appeared in dozens of commercials, films and television shows, including Outsiders, Those Who Kill (with Chloe Sevigny), Aftermath (with Arnold Schwarzenegger) and the upcoming Untouchable (with Nicole Kidman & Bryan Cranston). She studied with The Shakespeare Lab at The Public, The Actors Center in New York and the Milwaukee Repertory Theater.  She is a proud West Philadelphian.

Paige Zubel

Associate Artistic Director

Paige Zubel is a Philadelphia-based playwright and dramaturg. Her plays include A String Between Man and the World (What If? Productions Finalist, upcoming workshop premier at Kansas City Fringe Festival), Made of Glass (Trustus Theatre Company Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist), The Pull of the Moon (Letter of Marquee Theatre, Midtown International Theatre Festival), In Full Bloom (Nylon Fusion Theatre Company, Horizon Theatre), and Gel Us (Manhattan Repertory Theatre, Garfield Center for the Arts). Her plays and prose have been published through One Act Play Depot, Every Day Fiction, and Hashtag Queer. During college, she co-founded Ignition Productions, a student-run company devoted to developing new works by local playwrights. Ignition Productions workshopped 18 new plays, all of which culminated in either public staged readings or full productions. She has also dramaturged multiple productions during InterAct Theatre Company’s 2016-2017 season as their Literary Intern, and will be a Season Apprentice next year. She received her BFA in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from the University of Houston.

For all press and media related inquiries please contact Julie M. Toth at

Board of Directors

John Frisbee

Sheldon Rich

Marla Burkholder
Nick Edelman
Diane Varner
Cynthia White
Mary-Knight Young

Artistic Advisory Board

Ann Garner
Bi Jean Ngo
Brian Anthony Wilson
Carly Bodnar
Cat Ramirez
Charlotte Northeast
Eli Lynn
Nell Bang-Jensen

The Park Plays

MKRS Headshot L.jpg

Marisol Rosa-Shapiro

Director of Community Engagement

Marisol is a theater artist specializing in original works for the stage. She is passionate about the power of play, poetry and the imagination to nurture connection, celebrate community, and empower people to envision and create change. Recent favorite projects have included The Up-Close Festival at the New Ohio Theater (NYC), the national tour of Spellbound Theater's Wink; The Seven Ravens Project (currently in development); and her own red nose clown show Here at Home, which premiered in the Philadelphia Fringe in 2015, and has since played in six cities across the USA. Marisol has served as a teaching artist with the New Victory Theater, Tectonic Theater Project, TADA! Youth Theater, Seattle Children's Theatre, Seattle Theatre Group, Seeds of Peace, the International Rescue Committee, and Seattle Repertory Theatre's Public Works program, among many others. Marisol is a proud volunteer performer and teacher for Clowns Without Borders with whom she has worked to build resilience through laughter with migrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and detainees at the US/MX border.


Nell Bang-Jensen

Director of Vernon Park Play

Nell Bang-Jensen has been making theater in Philadelphia for the past ten years. She has created four full-scale original works, in addition to producing and directing for many of Philadelphia's major theater institutions including FringeArts, Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Wilma, Pig Iron, and the Painted Bride. Nell has served as Associate Artistic Director of Pig Iron Theatre Company and on the artistic staff of the Wilma Theater. Her passion for making art outside of the usual theatrical circles guides much of her original work. THE CAREGIVERS premiered at Pig Iron last year and was made with Philadelphians who work as home health aides and hospice workers. Her upcoming BOY PROJECT, a play made with 12-15 year old boys about masculinity, is being produced by FringeArts as part of the High Pressure Fire Service Festival and was awarded a 2019 National MAP Fund grant. Nell is the recipient of a Next Stage Director's Fellowship from the Drama League (2019), a Thomas J. Watson Fellowship (2011-2012), and a participant in Theatre Communication Group's Leadership U: One-on-One program, funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and administered by Theatre Communications group; a national fellowship given to eight individuals who TCG believes are the core and future of theater. In October 2018, American Theatre magazine named her one of six "theatre workers to know" across the nation. Nell is also a Co-Founder of HATCH, an arts residency in Harrisville, New Hampshire that provides female-identifying and non-binary artists with time and space to create new theater. A graduate of Swarthmore College, Nell is also passionate about Education and is a Senior Lecturer at the University of the Arts as well as a Visiting Faculty Member at Carleton College.

Alexandra Espinoza

Playwright for Harrowgate Park Play

Alexandra Espinoza is a theatre artist whose work aims to connect creative power to community voices. As a playwright, she is a second-year member of the Foundry at PlayPenn, and a member of Azuka Theatre’s New Pages writers’ group. Her play Homeridae has been developed at the Great Plains Theatre Conference, id theatre’s Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, and through PlayPenn Education. Short plays and performance pieces have been produced by Juniper Productions and Power Street Theatre Company. She is a Barrymore nominated actor with performance credits at Interact, Azuka, Orbiter 3, and others. Alexandra practices dramaturgy as community engagement and she has directing and dramaturgy credits with Simpatico, Azuka, Inis Nua, the National Constitution Center, and PlayPenn. Alexandra is also a teaching artist and has facilitated the creative expression of people aged 7 to 70 throughout the Philly region.


James Ijames

Playwright for Vernon Park Play

James Ijames is a Philadelphia based performer and playwright.

He has appeared regionally in productions at The Arden Theatre Company, The Philadelphia Theatre Company, InterAct Theatre Company, The Wilma Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Mauckingbird Theatre Company, and People’s Light and Theatre.

James’ plays have been produced by Flashpoint Theater Company, Orbiter 3, Theatre Horizon, Wilma Theatre (Philadelphia, PA), The National Black Theatre (NYC), Ally Theatre (Washington DC) Definition Theatre (Chicago IL) Shotgun Players (Berkeley, CA) and have received development with PlayPenn New Play Conference, The Lark, Playwright's Horizon, Clubbed Thumb, Villanova Theater, The Gulfshore Playhouse, Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre The National Black Theatre and Victory Garden.

James is the 2011 F. Otto Haas Award for an Emerging Artist recipient, and he also won two Barrymores for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Play for Superior Donuts and Angels in America and one Barrymore for Outstanding Direction of a Play for The Brothers Size with Simpatico Theatre Company. James is a 2011 Independence Foundation Fellow, a 2015 Pew Fellow for Playwriting, the 2015 winner of the Terrance McNally New Play Award for WHITE, the 2015 Kesselring Honorable Mention Prize winner for ....Miz Martha, a 2017 recipient of the Whiting Award and a 2019 Kesselring Prize for Kill Move Paradise.  

James is a founding member of Orbiter 3, Philadelphia’s first playwright producing collective.

He received a B.A. in Drama from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA and a M.F.A. in Acting from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. James is Assistant Professor of Theatre at Villanova University and resides in South Philadelphia.

new Sam Tower headshot.jpg

Sam Tower

Director of Harrowgate Park Play

Sam Tower (she/her) is a director, maker, and producer based in Philadelphia. She is a Co-Artistic Director of Ninth Planet, a platform for live performance and creative experiences for curious people of all ages, with a focus on amplifying the work of womxn, gender-variant people, and people of color. Ninth Planet's shows are designed to activate imagination, self-­reflection, and a sense of adventure through the collision of dance, theatre, music, and installation. For the last ten years, Tower has centered her artistic practice around collectively created projects, experimenting with co-authorship and long-form process, and creating intentional space for reflection, responsiveness, and deviation. As a facilitator of theatrical process, she aims to support socio­-emotional development and togetherness, building more just communities through art making. She is an Associated Artist with Applied Mechanics, has worked with Bryn Mawr College, Headlong, Simpatico Theatre, BRAT Productions, Martha Stuckey, Arden Theatre, and contributed as a company member of New Paradise Laboratories from 2012-2015. Tower also works with International Performing Arts for Youth as Engagement Manager, serving an international membership of professionals creating and touring performance for young audiences. 2017 Independence Fellowship Recipient. Training from Headlong Performance Institute and University of the Arts.