Blame it on Jennifer!  That’s right, Jennifer Lisle goaded her actor/director boyfriend, Michael Graves into starting to teach, which eventually brought several of his students into the “Mickey & Judy” mode. Our first production was a scene night which played for two evenings on Theatre Row.  We then advanced in 1984, to presenting three of George Bernard Shaw’s one-act plays which we called “George By George By George”.  A desire to learn from each other created a nurturing environment that allowed the nascent company to develop its unique style. They began to use improvisation to explore existing written material, and to develop new material of their own. Empowered by our successes, we began making plans for our next show, and while we were at it, why not incorporate and solidify ourselves as a real theatre company. 

So what would be the premise of our venture? Since our group was exceptionally diverse in talents and desires, we knew we wanted to draft a mission statement that would be broad enough to encompass the widest possible factors.  We knew also that we wanted to support each individual in whatever that person felt was their own artistic direction.  Yes!  Artistic Directions!!!  Founding members Cathy Bacon, Michael Graves, Margaret Kingsley, James Kirsch, Jennifer Lisle, Charles Niven, Kristine Niven and Gene Santarelli were elated at this discovery. Well, maybe… says Charles… but if you add ‘new’ to the mix, you will have a monogram that makes a word – A N D.  Yes, Yes, AND!  Artistic New Directions is born and received its 501©3 status in May of 1985.

Around 1990, we began offering workshops in playwriting and improvisation. Over the following years, we sponsored master teachers Gary Austin, Michael Gellman, Carol Fox Prescott, Jeffrey Sweet, David Razowsky, Wenndy MacKenzie, Kevin Frank, Kenny Raskin, Larry Rosen, Noel Katz, Ali Faranakihan to name a few. By 1995, we pulled together four of these masters and began our 19 year stint with the Summer Improv Retreat, eventually adding summer retreats in Playwriting, Musical Theatre, and a Master Improv Retreat (aka Performance Retreat).

By 2017, we recognized that being simply Artistic New Directions did not identify us as accurately as we would like. We took the name AND Theatre Company to reflect both our strength in developing and presenting new scripted works but also to clarify that our improv is based in theatre as well.

Production History

Current Season (2012-13)

November 5 – 7, GO SOLO! Works-in-Progress, Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios

February 18 – March 8, “Without A Net”, featuring a new play. 

Five directors and 25 actors bring characters to life with a mix of scripted performance and improv. No two performances will ever be the same. 


2011 – 2012 

CAT WOMAN WITHOUT A CAT by Carrie Keskiken, directed by Scotty Watson, Works-in-Progress, Shetler Studios October 17, 2011

AFTER ANNE FRANK written and performed by Carol Lempert, directed by Janice L. Goldberg, FringeNYC and Fringe Encores, Connelly Theatre and Soho Playhouse August – September, 2011

YOU ONLY SHOOT THE ONES YOU LOVE, written and performed by Jeffrey Sweet, directed by Patricia Birch, FringeNYC and Fringe Encores, Cherry Lane Theatre and Soho Playhouse August – September, 2011

BONGANI, written and performed by Gabrielle Maisels, directed by Kate Holland, FringeNYC and Fringe Encores, Players Loft and Soho Playhouse August – September, 2011


Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios, February 3-12, 2012

Playwrights: Raphael Bagdaliacca, Bara Swain, Carrie Keskinen, Peter Daniel Strauss, Donald Steele, Sheilagh Weymouth, Jeffrey Sweet, Cesi Davidson, Joseph Wright, Drew Larimore

Directors: Kathryn Long, Scotty Watson, Bara Swain, Kelly Haran, Carol Lee Sirugo, Michael Boonstra, Janice L. Goldberg, Alisha Silver, Mary Hodges, Alec Strum, David Carson

2010 – 2011 

PSYCHOMACHIA by Jennifer Lane, directed by Robin A. Paterson Theater 54 @ Shetler Studios, December Co-Production, December 1-19, 2010 

THE RUBBER ROOM (Without A Net) by Gary Garrison and Roland Tech, Theater 54 @ Shetler Studios, February 9 – 21, 2011 5 companies, directed by Janice L. Goldberg, Kathleen Brant, Dan Dinero, Mathew Shepard, Michael Rock


Theater 54 @ Shetler Studios March 21 – April 3, 2011

Playwrights: Raphael Badagliacca ,William Fowkes, Drew Larimore, Joseph Gallo, Wayne Paul Mattingly, David Martin, Josh McIlvain, Patrick Nash, Randy Noojin, Charles Niven, Donald Steele, Bara Swain, Jeffrey Sweet, Jill Melanie Wirth & David Wirth

Directors: Patricia Birch, Joseph Gallo, Heather Cohn, Scotty Watson, Megan Cooper, Clay Martin, Kelly Haran, Kristine Niven, Kathryn Long, Wendy Peace, Randy Noojin, Catherine Siracusa, Nick Stimler, David Wirth 

THAT DOROTHY PARKER by Carol Lempert, directed by Janice L. Goldberg – Puffin Foundation, March 27 – 29, 2010

THE NEW ME, by Margo Hammond, directed by Katherine Long – Works-in-Progress – Shetler Studios, October 17, 2010

IMPROMPTU-TÜ (a solo tour de farce) by Scotty Watson – Works-in-Progress, Bridge Theatre @ Shetler Studios, November 17, 2010

GO SOLO, festival of solo works-in-progress, SoHo Playhouse, December 1-3, 2010

Playwrights: Jane Marx, Margo Hammond, Drew Larimore, Larry Rosen, Mark Levine, Karen Shasha, Robin Goldfin, Mike Toro, Sandi Carroll, Donald Steele, Ricky Butler, Dev Rogers

Directors: Michael Morrow, Frank Hankey, Ethan Matthews,Jo Bellamo, David Schecter, David L. Carson, Jane Nichols, Michael Boonstra, Ron Barba

AFTER ANNE FRANK by Carol Lempert, directed by Janice L. Goldberg, Shetler Studios

Staged Reading – February, March, April 2011

Works-in-Progress – March, May 2011

2009 – 2010

WAITING FOR ABBOTT by Nick Raio – Works-in-Progress, September 2009

YOU ONLY SHOOT THE ONES YOU LOVE by Jeffrey Sweet – Works-in-Progress, October 2009

SAVING JENNA RANIN by Drew Larimore, BareNaked, Development and Staged Readings October – November 2009 

GO SOLO, festival of solo works-in-progress, SoHo Playhouse, November 2009

Playwrights: Donald Steele, Drew Larimore, Jane Marx, Mark Levine, Larry Rosen, Vickie Tanner, Michelle Best

Directors: Margarett Perry, Jo Bellomo, Michael Morrows, Amy Ashton, Michelle Best, Donald Steele


Theater 54 @ Shetler Studios, NYC

Playwrights: Robin Goldfin, Susan Middaugh, Tom Shergalis, Jill Melanie Wirth, David Wirth, Jeffrey Sweet, Joseph Gallo, Cesi Davidson, Jason Schafer, Kristine Niven, Arlene Hutton, Drew Larimore, Heather Smith, Patrick Nash

Directors: Ken Talberth, Jessica Howell, Eric Nightengale, Robin A. Paterson, Sarah Bennett, Michael Tucker, David Wirth, Mary Hodges, Kathryn Long, Janice L. Goldberg, Lori Wolter, Nick Stimler, Jay Stern, Chris Lutkin

THE BASEBALL STORIES, by Raphael Bagdalaccia – Works-in-Progress, May 2010


– written and performed by Luke MacCloskey & Christina Myers

Works-in-Progress, Shetler Studios, June 2010

Capital Fringe Festival, July 2010

2008 – 2009

GO SOLO, festival of solo works-in-progress, Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios

Playwrights: Lori Fischer, Scotty Watson, Mark Levine, Mike Giannelli, Gabrielle Maisels, Michelle Best, Donald Steele, Dan McCormick

FLYOVERS by Jeffrey Sweet, directed by Sandy Shinner with Richard Kind, Michele Pawk, Donna Bullock, Kevin Geer 

78th St. Theater Lab, January 28 – February 15, 2009


Theatre 54 @ Shetler Studios, NYC

Playwrights/Composers/Lyricists: Arlene Hutton, Susan Bigelow, David Lavine, Jeffrey Sweet, Patrick Nash, Gregory Edwards, Leslie Hunter, Jeffrey Swan Jones, Michelle Best, Diana Hird, Donald Steele, Douglas Manes, Stephen Ringold, Carol Davis

Directors: Stephen Fried, Larry Rosen, Janice L. Goldberg, David Winitsky, Alix Steel, Ethan Heard, Layne Rakowski, Donald Steele, Kathleen Brant, Morgan Gould, Kristine Niven, Stephen Ringold

THAT DOROTHY PARKER by Carol Lempert, directed by Janice L. Goldberg – Solo at the Soho Playhouse 

A TIME TO DANCE by Libby Skala – FringeNYC

A TIME RIPE AND RARE by Susan Bigelow & Carol Davis, directed by Janice L. Goldberg – Samuel French New Play Festival – Playwrights Horizons

2007- 2008


78th St. Theatre Lab

Playwrights: Gary Garrison, Carol Hall, Roland Tec, Kia Corthron, Kristine Niven, Jeffrey Sweet, Hilary Chaplain, David Engel

Directors: Bob Berky, Tlaloc Rivas, Maggie Lally, Janice L. Goldberg, Kathryn Long, Michael Rock, John Monteith, Mark Robinson

THAT DOROTHY PARKER by Carol Lempert, directed by Janice L. Goldberg – FringeNYC, Fringe Encores


Love Games by Kristine Niven, directed by Vasek Simek – West Bank Theatre, New York, NY

Bluff by Jeffrey Sweet, directed by Sandy Shinner – 78th Street Theatre, New York, NY

Oil written and performed by Gary Austin- 78th Street Theatre, New York, NY

With and Without written & directed by Jeffrey Sweet – Frog Pond Theatre, Lake Placid, NY

A Time to Dance written & performed by Libby Skala – 78th Street Theatre, New York, NY

Buon Natale, Bruno written & performed by Terianne Falcone – Midtown Theatre Festival, New York, NY

Shredders by David Ackerman – International Fringe Festival, New York, NY

That Play written & performed by Tom Gualtieri – MidtownTheatre Festival, New York, NY

Lilia! written & performed by Libby Skala – Midtown Theatre Festival, New York, NY

Church written & performed by Gary Austin- Center Stage, New York, NY


CLASS DISMISSED – by Jeffrey Sweet

SELECTION DAY by Paul Buzinski

GROWING UP NORMOYLE written and performed by Tracie Higgins

SOPHIE PROJECT – written & performed by Carol Fox Prescottj

JOINER by Elizabeth Quinn

LORETTA BETTA GRETA – written and performed by Lillias White

QUESTIONING AUTHORITY – written & performed by Tracie Higgins

SONIC ACCORD – written & performed by Jim Bell

A BETTER WAY – by Patrick Nash

SHEILA & ANGELO – by Nick Raio

THE WRITING’S ON THE WALL – by Marvin Schildkraut

MEETING THE PARENTS – written & performed by Tracie Higgins

SCOTTISH FEVER – by Whitney DeLise

THE KITCHEN SINK – written & performed by Gary Austin

A LITTLE HELP – by Luke MacCloskey & Christina Myers