top of page

Meet the The American Tradition Team


Ray Yamanouchi

Ray was born in Queens, raised on Long Island, and received a BA in film and theatre from Hunter College in Manhattan. His plays include Tha Chink-Mart (PlayPenn 2018), Impact (Semi-finalist, National Playwrights Conference 2017), and The American Tradition (Rising Circle Theater Collective INKtank 2017). He has developed work with WT Theatre, Mission to (dit)Mars, The Blank Theatre, Rising Circle Theater Collective, and Ars Nova. You can find him online @NotoriousYAMs, or as the host of RE:, a NYC theatre talk show (

Axel Avin, Jr.

Axel is a NYC based Director and Actor. Directing Credits: Stella Adler Conservatory, New York Theater Workshop, Rising Circle Theater Collective, National Black Theater, Poetic Theater Company, 48 Hrs. in Harlem, The Movement Theater Company, Columbia University, Subjective Theater Company, Horsetrade Theater Company and the 24 Hr. Musicals. Acting Credits: TV; The Night Of. Off Broadway; Ruined (MTC), Streamers (Roundabout), Regional: Baltimore CenterStage, Virginia Stage Co., A.C.T., Lorraine Hansberry Theater. Web Series; Splinter Cell: Extinction and Sh*tty Fabulous Lives. M.F.A American Conservatory Theater.

Meet the Cast

Sydney cropped.jpg
Sydney Cole Alexander

Television credits include CBS’ Limitless and the Netflix series She’s Gotta Have It directed by Spike Lee. Previous New York theatrical credits include the workshop of NC-17 directed by Rodney Hicks.  Sydney received her BFA in Acting from The Acting Conservatory at SUNY Purchase. She is repped by Buchwald and MJ Management.

Hunter Canning HS 2 (1)_edited.jpg
Hunter Canning

Hunter was raised in Los Angeles and has been working in New York for the past decade. Recent credits include War Horse (Lincoln Center), Quantico (ABC), Billions (Showtime), Shades Of Blue (NBC) and The Outs (Vimeo Original). He also is a photographer focusing on portraiture and capturing live theater

BFA: SUNY Purchase Acting Conservatory 

Alex Herrald - 1_edited.jpg
Alex Herrald
Mr. Walsh

NYC Theatre: Please Continue, Metro Cards, Empathitrax (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Just Right Just Now (Lesser America), Life And Times (Public Theater/Soho Rep), These Seven Sicknesses, The Wundelsteipen, Future Anxiety, Just Cause (Flea Theater), Taisetsu Na Hito (Winner of Samuel French Festival); REGIONAL: The Consequences (Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre). TV/FILM: Lazy Susan (Upcoming), Friends From College (NETFLIX), The Privates (Vimeo Staff Pick), The Conservatory (College Emmy Award winner). WEB SERIES: Business Time (actor/writer/producer - Proud member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Visit: Thanks to The Price Group and JHA Management.

Martin K Lewis_edited.jpg
Martin K. Lewis

This is Martin’s first show with New Light Theater Project and he is thrilled to play with some original work.  An alumni of the New York-based Drama Desk Award-winning TADA! Youth Theater and of The Stella Adler Studio of Acting, recent credits include Our Town (George Gibbs) with the beloved Miami New Drama, Love’s Labour's Lost (King Ferdinand) with Elm Shakespeare Company, and some training with the prized Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, MA. Working towards a BA in Theater from Marymount Manhattan College, Martin gained a reputation for usually being the loudest one in the halls. He would like to thank his family, and mentors for their love and encouragement and his friends for their inspiring adventurous spirit. For more information on Martin and his upcoming adventures, follow him on Instagram @kmart171 and visit

Danie Steel_edited.jpg
Danie Steel

Danie is excited to be making her debut with New Light Theater Project. Previous NYC Theater credits include: Marie in The Lesson, Rebecca Landel in A Real Boy. MFA graduate, The New School for Drama past roles: Titania in A Mid Summer Night's Dream, Rebecca in The Country and The Governor's Wife in The Caucasian Chalk Circle. YouTube host of "Danie Steel". Many thanks and love to my husband Ken.

Meet the Creative & Production Team


Leila Ben-Abdallah
Prop Designer

Leila is a props designer, puppeteer, and performer. For NLTP: Meaningful Conversation, Less Than 50%, the hollower. She has designed and constructed props for New Light Theater Project, The Flea Theater, The Box Show (, and her original comedic solo shows.​​​ 

Rebecca Crigler Headshot15_edited.jpg
Rebecca Crigler
Line Producer

Rebecca has been called different things by different people. Sometimes a producer (with and without a prefix): Mike Birbiglia’s The New One and Thank God For Jokes; Chris Gethard’s Career Suicide; Lucie Pohl’s Hi, Hitler; Iris Bahr’s I Lost You There; A Sunnyside Mixtape, among others. Sometimes a company manager: Downtown Race Riot, Jerry Springer – The Opera, Good for Otto, Peace for Mary Frances, 3 Mics, FERGUSON, L.O.V.E.R. Producing Director of The Misfits, Resident Artist at New Light Theatre Project, General Management Associate at the Lucille Lortel Theatre Foundation. Sometimes people call her a friend.

Cynthia Cunningham_edited.jpg
Cynthia Cunningham
Assistant Director

Cynthia is a director, dramaturg, performer, and educator from Tulsa, Oklahoma. She received her BA in Theatre with an emphasis in Dramaturgy from the University of Science & Arts of Oklahoma and is currently an MFA Theatre candidate at Sarah Lawrence College. As a mixed-blood African American and Cherokee artist, her work focuses on identity, ancestral trauma, amplifying marginalized voices on stage, and confronting audiences with their own biases and prejudices. She has presented at the British and Postcolonial Studies Conference discussing the intersections between theatre, postcolonial theory, and history and is a founding member of the Oklahoma Indigenous Theatre Company.  

ToniAnne DiFilippo
Technical Director

ToniAnne currently owns and operates TJ Craftsman with her partner Jordan Cavanaugh. For NLTP: Life x 3, Hitler's Tasters, Meaningful Conversation, the hollower (also role of Missy), Time Stands Still, Breeders, Sight Unseen. During the summer season, she works as the Stage Manager and Props Master at Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts.

Brian D_edited.jpg
Brian Dudkiewicz
Scenic Designer

Brian is a proud New Light member where he’s designed for Life x 3, Hal & Bee, Time Stands Still, Breeders, Omega Kids, Sight Unseen, Two of Us, Arthur & Esther, Strange Country, and In the Soundless Awe. Other select credits include Jukebox Hero (national tour), A Room of my Own (Abingdon Theatre), Newsies (Orlando Rep), Into the Woods (St. Petersburg Opera), Buyer & Cellar (Weston Playhouse). He holds an MFA from Yale and degree in Architecture from McGill University. 

Enrico .jpeg
Enrico de Trizio
Music & Sound Designer

Enrico is an Italian-born, GRAMMY® and Emmy® award winning composer, producer and music programmer based in NYC. His eclectic and style-crossing work has been featured all over the world: from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, to the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana, to the 2017 Tony Award winning Broadway musical Dear Evan Hansen. “Enrico de Trizio is part of a new wave of electronic music designers that have changed the way Broadway sounds” (

CHELZ 3 web_edited.jpg
Chelsea Olivia Friday
Production Stage Manager

Chelsea is a proud graduate of the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University (BFA in Stage Management). Some of her past professional credits include Yellowman, A Small Oak Tree Runs Red (Billie Holiday Theatre), Christmas Carol in Harlem, The Three Musketeers, Fit for a Queen, Macbeth, The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Freedom Train (Theatreworks), Men and Women Talking Love and Sex (Off Broadway Premiere), The Three Musketeers, JC Superstar, Spamalot, West Side Story (Woodstock Playhouse), La Soiree Cabaret (Roundhouse, London UK), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged (Shakespeare Theater of NJ). Chelsea is a proud AEA Stage Manager and is very excited about working with New Light Theater Project for the first time!  

Samantha Rose Lind
Costume Designer

Samantha graduated from Rutgers University with a BFA in Theatre Design. For NTLP: Less Than 50%, Arthur & Esther, Strange Country, REX, No One Loves Us Here, Picture Ourselves in Latvia, T.V Time!. She has worked as an assistant costume designer for the Young Vic Theatre in London, Premiere Stages at Kean University, and the Papermill Theatre in New Hampshire. As head designer she has worked with FAPC’s Theatre Fellowship production of Broadway Bound and A Murder is Announced; The New School’s production ofThe Judith of Shimoda and Snapped Productions’ Much ado About Nothing.​

Al Parker
Assistant Stage Manager

Al is thrilled to work with New Light Theater Project for the first time! She is a stage manager, writer and editor hailing from South Dakota, and now based in Brooklyn. She recently completed her studies in Dramatic Literature at NYU. Recent productions include Omari Hardwick’s HerO: A Work in Progress and A Small Oak Tree Runs Red (The Billie Holiday Theatre), which received Best Play at the 2018 AUDELCO Awards.

Leighton Samuels.jpg
Leighton Samuels
Fight Director

Leighton is a New York based Actor and Fight Director. Credits include Hamlet (Hudson Valley Shakespeare), Macbeth and Henry V (Theater at Monmouth), Richard III (Allentown Shakespeare). He was also Assistant Fight Director for A Bronx Tale on Broadway and Roundabout Theater's Bernhardt/Hamlet.

Gama Valle
Casting Director

Gama is a Puerto Rican director, playwright and freelance casting assistant/director. He holds an M.F.A in Directing from The New School University. Gama works as a casting assistant at Harriet Bass Casting. He was also the recipient of the Van Lier Directing Fellowship ‘10/’11 at Repertorio Español. Gama received the First Prize in playwriting from Puerto Rico’s Institute of Culture (2008) for his play “Queishd&Dilit”. Recently his play ¡Los huevos o la revolución! was part of IATI Theater’s Cimientos Play Developing Program. N.Y. credits include: “The Lesson”, “L’Amfiparnaso”, “Among Who, Whom and Ever”, “Jump It”, “In Love but Discreet”, “The Girl Who Used to Die Often”, among others.

Elaine Wong TAT Focus Shot.jpeg
Elaine Wong
Lighting Designer

Elaine is originally from Toronto, Canada, and received her MFA in Lighting Design from Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts.  She is the resident lighting designer with the Pagosa Springs Center for the Arts (CO) and with Resolve Productions’ Misterman (NYC/Ireland). Select NYC: Misterman (Resolve Productions); but i cd only whisper (The Flea); Tongue of a Bird, Vietnam…Through My Lens (LSNelson Productions); Hurlyburly, One-1, Dividing Lines, Much Ado About Nothing (Snapped Productions); BUBBA (Black Angus Productions). She is currently a Master Electrician and Adjunct Professor with Montclair State University.

bottom of page