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FOUNDER AND ARTISTIC DIRECTOR

Ian Michael Sullivan

"This island is in my blood. I grew up here and still feel the call of the Atlantic when the spring begins turning to summer.  I left for ten years, but always missed it. Now that I’m home, I want to tell stories with my friends, for my friends and our families. I want to get together every couple of months and laugh, and dance, and cry, and sing—just like we used to when we were all a little younger.

There is not enough theatre being done on the little island we call home. There is not enough theatre being done by young artists for young people. There is not enough theatre being done. I believe there is nothing more intrinsically valuable to our experience than a story that shapes us, and the only way these stories can truly be told is in a conversation between actor and audience, patron and artist, storyteller and the one who listens."

 


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board of directors and founding company member

Ilana Landecker

"When I was nine years old I went to sleep-away camp for the first time. I didn't know anyone and I was scared and homesick. I remember sneaking off to the camp's theatre, navigating my way through the dark backstage. I found all the old costumes and I'd play dress up, dust dancing in the air of the quiet empty space. I'd perform in front of a phantom audience and I'd become someone else, or just a grander version of my self. I found my solace there. Years later, when I went to college, I found myself once again scared, homesick, surrounded by people I didn't know. In those early weeks I found the Performing Arts Center and I'd wander, from stage to stage, in the eerie shadows cast from the single ghost lamp in each space. There's an energy, in every theatre. And I would soak it in. I'm not sure how it happened, but I gradually fell out of love with the theatre, and I struggled with this. Why was theatre important? Who was I trying to reach? What was I trying to convey? What purpose did theatre serve? I wanted, more than anything, to use the theatre as a catalyst for change—for positive social change; to enhance my community. Unfortunately, I didn't see very much opportunity for that. And when I looked to my community, I saw that people needed help in other ways. Theatre was not the answer. But it is an answer. It is an escape, it is a sanctuary, for all those seeking refuge. We are all stories, in the end. We all tell our stories and create our stories every single day—stories of who we are, what we stand for, our homes, our ancestors, our people. We tell true stories and we create fictions. The stories we pass on and cherish shape our societies, our morals. Stories both mirror and enhance us as people. Theatre is the art of making stories come to life. It's the art of passing on stories. In learning stories of others, we learn to write our own. In the choices we make we shape our own stories and shape the stories of those we encounter and those we choose to share ourselves with. For me, LITC is about returning home. Not just to Long Island, where I was born and grew up, but to the theatre itself… to my solace."


board of directors and production manager

Shannon Zurbruegg

"'I don't have an artistic statement. I'm a technician,' was my response when asked for something for the website. I don’t consider myself an artist, so how could I have a statement? I was reminded that this wasn’t always the case…

I entered college an actor, excited to hone an art form. I left school a technician, loving the science that created a production. (And power tools.)

I'm not exactly sure when, but eventually I realized that I didn't need to be on stages to be happy. I just needed to be in theatres. Nothing beats walking into an empty venue. I love working on productions and I love seeing shows--but to me the stage itself is alive, charged with a history of performance or the promise of future creativity. 

I find it fascinating to pick apart a project--finding the best solution to each challenge posed--but the most rewarding part of that process is stepping back to appreciate the final product. That's what so exciting about LITC: knowing that each production is the sum of so many efforts, interests, and talents. After all, that's always been my favorite part of this industry--each discipline comes together to create a singular piece of art--fleeting in its time on stage, but lasting in the hearts and minds of everyone involved.

Maybe I don't have an artistic statement, but I do have a passion. So, there's that."


founding company member

Thomas Brown

"I, like most people, find myself getting lost in the dizziness that life sometimes throws our way. While we go about the motions, it is often easier and simpler to put the blinders on our eyes and head towards that finish line. Some moments slip away. 

LITC is about harnessing those moments and reminding us that they exist, making them known, shoving them into light and life; rip the blinders off. There are beautiful moments. There are ugly moments. But every moment is worthwhile and unique unto itself. Every moment has a story. Nothing taken for granted. Cultures have attempted this since time began, using every type of art as a vehicle. We just want to be added to that list. 

Theatre isn't some pretentious beast reserved for the elite. It's for all of us. So come have fun with us. See ya out there."

 


founding company member

Kevin Mundy

"I couldn’t be happier joining forces with the Long Island Theatre Collective. After a long hiatus from acting, I definitely noticed that a creative outlet was missing in my life. The collective has given me back a passion for theatre I hadn’t felt in years. Working with some
of the most talented and creative people has only inspired me to work harder and continue my growth as an artist.

What the collective has given me is not only an avenue to perform, but also a safe and sacred space to explore my craft. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. It is far too easy to put creative needs on the back burner for days, months, years. The Long Island Theatre Collective has been more of a community than a production company or local theatre could be. I know I have found a home and I continue to look forward to what our future will bring."


founding company member

Christopher Cuoccio

"Theatre, I thought, was just something I had left behind. After high school, theatre just didn’t seem viable; there were too many dreamers all chasing the same dream. I wouldn’t be so foolish, I’d be practical.

And then, all of a sudden, I found myself out to sea without a safe harbor in sight. I was being tossed about on waves of work, of responsibilities, of 'real-life' problems only to find that my very 'practical' ship was wanting. I had left the most important provision behind: passion. I loved theatre but I was so afraid I wouldn’t be able to live off it I didn’t realize how hard it would become to live without it.

Art does not need to be an all-or-nothing endeavor. LITC, to me, is a beacon. Something that can help lead other artists back to shore and illuminate all the amazing things that we can do right here on Long Island."


  COMPANY MEMBER Michael Paul Smith

 

COMPANY MEMBER

Michael Paul Smith

Question: how often do you get invited to a party at which you know you will love everyone in attendance?

Answer: Pretty much never. At least for me.

"But that was my exact thought process when I was asked to be part of a production with LITC. That knowledge was more than enough for them to get my eager participation, and what I have since received in return are joyful, creative, adventurous challenges that I can only attempt to live up to.

I've wanted to be an actor ever since I learned that the people on TV were just pretending. As I grew into my skin a little, I learned that my process is one that attempts to emulate the jazz musicians that I revere: prepared with the freedom to be spontaneous. And then at some point I learned that the best way to achieve that is in a truly supportive environment. What better place could I ask for than a party where I love everyone in attendance?

And here is a link to my own party. My webseries about actors that do commercials, "The Residuals" can be found on www.theresiduals.tv"


COMPANY MEMBER FRANK DANKO

COMPANY MEMBER

FRANK DANKO

"We experience life from the perspective of a single moment and our recollection of these moments change based on the present. My path as an artist has lead me to discovering who I am but more importantly who I was and who I strive to be. Art is a journey and those we collaborate with develop the path.

This is who I am and this is why I have surrounded myself with the best people to pave the way for who I want to be. LITC!"


Company Member Leonard Motsinger

Company Member

Leonard Motsinger

"As a director, I believe my primary function is to make sure of the quality and the completeness of the theatre production.  I must also make sure that the actors and the creative team share, contribute and enhance my artistic vision of the piece.  Through collaboration with all the different components of a theatre production, actors, set designers, costume designer, lighting, etc. my vision of the piece comes to life.  Although as a director it is primarily my vision but it is a vision that is always being modified and clarified through the rehearsal process.  Through this process, the directors vision comes to life. 

Although opening night is exciting, it is the journey to it that gives me as a director the greatest joy and artistic satisfaction.  It defines for me my role as a director and fulfills my need to be a creative person."