Theaterlab’s mission is to serve New York’s diverse communities of artists as well as the general public by presenting and developing emerging new work.
Theaterlab is a women- and artist-led laboratory dedicated to researching the nature of live performance, including theater, music, and hybrid forms. We also focus on audience development as a creative project, regarding the theatrical experience as a creative public assembly and audience members as a key partner in fulfilling our mission.
In addition to producing and presenting new work, Theaterlab provides affordable space for rehearsal and project development, including resident and affiliate artists programs.
Theaterlab was established in 2006 and has occupied our Midtown home since 2013. Run by Italian immigrant artist Orietta Crispino, Theaterlab has a longstanding commitment to producing and celebrating international and immigrant-led work. We run a curated rental series (Tlab Shares), a season of new works through our “Theaterlab Presents” program, and a handful of development programming including our long-running residency for collaborative artists, Hotel New Work; Mother Myths Monsters inviting collaborators as guest curators; and our signature program, Round the Block! celebrating arts, business, and culture in our Garment District home.
Orietta Crispino (Artistic Director) is an accomplished theatre artist, born in Italy. She is a graduate of the prestigious Piccolo Teatro School in Milan, where she worked with the major Italian directors Giorgio Strehler and Massimo Castri. She later taught acting and directing there. Among her many theatre projects are: Passport No. 23.922, a piece she wrote and directed on the life of Tina Modotti; and a three year-project in Trieste directing the plays of Pirandello’s Italian contemporaries. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and the League of Professional Theatre Women. In addition to her theatre work, Ms. Crispino has done art projects on the body in its performative aspect. Her body research culminated in a performance piece with the photographer Vibeke Jensen, Camera Obscura, shown at PS1 in New York, Bogota and Trieste. Her most recent productions at Theaterlab are Three Sisters Come and Go and Snow in the Living Room, a retelling of the Brothers Grimms’ Snow White.
Ms. Crispino’s acting credits include The Library (Crossing the Line Festival, FIAF); In the House of My Beloved (Women’s Project); The Living Room Series (HERE); Dancing, not Dead (The Internationalists); Dante (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and Snow in the Living Room (Theaterlab).
Jolene Noelle (Program Director & Resident Dramaturg) is a freelance dramaturg, director, and theatrical wanderer. Her interests include devised theatre, physical theatre, and anything that exists in extremes. Jolene has been investigating the efficacy of horror aesthetics on stage, often directing and writing about the horror genre. Recent credits include: Dramaturg: Exposure, Next In Line Productions; The Hour of the Star, Columbia Stages; Ripper, Times Scare; Lilith, Columbia Univ. Asst. Director: BLACKOUT: House. Director: Video Clare, Columbia Univ. Literary Fellow: Geva Theatre.
Jenn Allen (Programs Administrator, she/her) is a writer, director, and divisor originally from Richmond, Virginia. After graduating NYU in 2019, she’s concentrated on new ways of creating theater focusing on bold, honest stories and intersectional feminist work. Jenn is excited to join the amazing team at Theaterlab where the creative process is valued so highly. It’s truly a gift to support the creation of beautiful work!
Erin Gray (Technical Director) is a director and interdisciplinary artist from Berkeley, California. Erin loves to work on new, strange, and experimental work. In New York she has worked at theaters including Performance Space New York, Target Margin Theatre, Mabou Mines, and Theater Lab in stage management and production. Erin is passionate about collaboration and is currently developing a play with multiple endings, a collage play, and a play about a dinner party at the end of the world. She is the creator of The Living Room, a collaborative zine.
Lily Nguyen (Marketing Associate, she/they) is an artist/designer studying at The Cooper Union. She works primarily in graphic design and sculpture, but also has background in set design, instillation work, photography and printmaking. She is passionate about creating immersive and interactive experiences that focus on the unstable, yet regenerative nature of human experiences. When not in the studio, you can usually find her planning elaborate dinner parties, running off into the woods, or eating a pastry.
Lanie Zipoy (Producer, 1972-2022)