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Meet the The Great Novel Team


Amina Henry

Amina is a Brooklyn-based playwright, essayist, poet and inter-disciplinary artist. As a playwright, productions include: Ducklings at JACK, The Animals at JACK, Hunter John and Jane at JACK, Happily Ever at Brooklyn College, An American Family Takes a Lover at Theater for the New City, Water produced by Drama of Works, The Minstrel Show, produced as part of the 2013 Bring a Weasel and a Pint of Your Own Blood Festival at 13th Street Theater/CSC (NYC), and Bully at Interrobang Theater and SUNY Purchase. Her work has been developed by and/or presented at: The New Group, The Flea, Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, Page 73, National Black Theater, Noor Theatre, Barefoot Theater, Little Theater at Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (Ashland, OR), Kitchen Dog Theater (Dallas, TX), Interrobang Theatre (Baltimore, MD), and Texas State University, among other venues. She has been a participant in Clubbed Thumb's Early Career Writers and is a member of Page 73's Interstate 73 writers group Ars Nova's emerging writers group. She is a 2017-2018 recipient of a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) Space Grant and a 2018 Dixon Place Space Residency. She is a graduate of the Brooklyn College MFA Playwriting program. For somewhat up-to-date information, please go to

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Sarah Norris

Sarah is the Founding Artistic Director of New Light Theater Project. Her directing work has been seen around the country (New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Fresno, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Maine & Alaska) and around the world (Australia, England, & Ireland). Select NYC: Playwrights Horizons, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), LAByrinth Theater Company, Disney Theatrical Productions, 59E59 Theaters, The Flea Theater, Primitive Grace ( Paul Calderon & David Zayas), and The Gallery Players. She has an MFA in Directing from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and a BA in Theatre from the University of Alabama. She is the former Artistic Director of Access Theater (2016-2018) where she launched the Access Theater Residency Program for indie companies and she is a former Associate Producer for the Broadway company, Bisno Productions. She is a proud member of SDC, AEA, and serves on The Artist Co-op Artistic Board. For more information, please visit her website:

For New Light: Hitler's Tasters, Hal & Bee, Still Dance the Stars, Two of Us, In the Soundless Awe, REX, Picture Ourselves in Latvia, The Oedipus Project, Frisky & the Panda Man

Meet the Cast


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Michael Aguirre
Saul Brennan

Mike began his career in Chicago with Steppenwolf and First Folio. Regional: Wilma Theater (Philadelphia), Hexagon Theatre (South Africa), Red Barn (Indiana). New York: Pearl Theatre (City Center), Signature Theatre, The Acting Studio/Chelsea Rep Lab. B.A. Indiana University. Founding Producing Director of New Light Theater Project. New Light: Still Dance the Stars, SIDD, Apartment Play.

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Joshua Bermudez*
Dick Brennan

Joshua is an actor, producer, and Program Director for the Annual National Winter Actors Retreat. In addition to various film and television appearances, he has workshopped and appeared in over 30 staged productions, including new plays with the Carlotta Festival and National Winter Playwrights Retreat. SAG, AEA. New Light debut.

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Tabatha Gayle*
Anne Brennan

Tabatha is an AEA multidisciplinary performer and creative based in Harlem. BFA Acting UConn, 2018. Off- Broadway: If Sand Were Stone (NYMF), and her self-created play, Misogynoir (Ars Nova, Prelude 2018). Other credits: The Bluest Eye (Virginia Stage), A Civil War Christmas (CRT), The Importance of Being Earnest (CRT), Our Country’s Good (CRT), Electra (RACny), Big Night (RACny). Love to God, the family, Sabrina, Tai, and Lauren. New Light debut.

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Oghenero Gbaje

Oghie was born and raised in Brooklyn, he found his love for acting in the 6th grade, and went on to attend LaGuardia High School and Ithaca College where he received his BFA in Acting. Catch him in his debut feature film role as Kevin in Blood Conscious written and directed by Timothy Covell coming soon!

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MK Kopp
Charlotte Brennan

MK is a New York based actor, performing plays and improv comedy, as well as writing and producing new works. Recent theater: Sizzle Sizzly Fly (Ensemble Studio Theatre Workshop), Hitler’s Tasters (New Light Theater Project), Okay (Manhattan Repertory Theatre), Salomé (Sarah Lawrence College); Recent TV/film: “Soul Cycle Sketch” (Vice Live), “Potion Masters” (Laventure & Laventure Productions). Training: Sarah Lawrence College (B.A.); Moscow Art Theatre School; Prague Film School. She is the Communications and Development Assistant of Adam Driver’s Arts in the Armed Forces (@AITAF). New Light: Hitler's Tasters. Follow @marykathrynkopp or visit for more information. 

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Madeline McCray*

Madeline is thrilled to work with director Sarah Norris in Amina Henry’s new play! THEATER: Hunter John & Jane (Sash Bischoff), Memory Retrograde (Kristine Haruna Lee), Roughly Speaking (Celine Rosenthal), Caseload (Mary Beth Easley), Fences (Seret Scott) Imperceptible Mutabilities of the Third Kingdom (Liz Diamond) A Dream to Fly: The Life & Times of Bessie Coleman (John Harris, Jr.), FILM: Fake Trees, Nana’s Room, Out Again, Lucky Motel Six, Small Talk, American Thief (2019 Release). New Light debut. 

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Nikkie E. Walker*

NYC: Dead & Breathing (Veronika, National Black Theatre).

Regional: Our Town (Mrs Gibbs, Virginia Stage Company), Crumbs from the Table of Joy (Lily Ann, Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse), Intimate Apparel (Esther Mills, Westport, Indiana Rep & Syracuse Stage), Dreams of Sara Breedlove (Leila Walker, Goodman Theatre). TV/Film: Orange is the New Black, Blended, Law & Order, SVU, Criminal Intent, Trial by Jury, Bored to Death. New Light debut.

Meet the Creative & Production Team


Leila Ben-Abdallah
Prop Designer

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

Daricel Calcano*
Production Stage Manager

Daricel is a freelance production stage manager and actor in New York City. Currently, she is working toward her MFA in Technical Theater at Brooklyn College. Last spring, she earned a BA in Theater at The City College of New York (CCNY). Her past CCNY credits include The Crucible, Macbeth and Fires in the Mirror. For New Light: Less Than 50%.

An-lin Dauber
Scenic Design

An-lin is a collaborative, curious, compassionate, experimental set and costume designer.  Notable designs include Seven Guitars (Yale Repertory Theatre), An Acorn (Brown/Trinity Rep), Displaced: A Response to Qurban (Boston Conservatory at Berklee), Caged by the New Jersey Prison Cooperative (Passage Theatre Company), Measure for Measure (EPIC Theatre Ensemble), You Can’t Kiss A Movie (HERE Art Center), The Oresteia and Othello (Yale School of Drama). MFA Yale School of Drama. For New Light: Hitler's Tasters.

ToniAnne DiFilippo
Technical Director

ToniAnne is a partner of TJ Craftsman, a technical direction team that includes Jordan Cavanaugh. They are Resident TD’s for Smithtown PAC. New Light: Imagining Madoff, The American Tradition, Life x 3, Meaningful Conversation, Hitler's Tasters, Sight Unseen, Breeders, Time Stands Still, and the hollower. For more info:

Carsen Joenk
Sound Design

Carsen is a director, sound designer, and a co-founder of Rat Queen Theatre Co. Select Directing: The Election (EST/Youngblood), The Bench (Secret Theatre), Unboxing (Dixon Place). Short plays/readings with La MaMa ETC, Fresh Ground Pepper, and Exquisite Corpse Co. Select Sound: Peace for Mary Frances (asst. The New Group), Dream Season (Spicy Witch), What the Constitution Means to Me (asst. Clubbed Thumb), How We Live in Our Bodies Now (Exquisite Corpse Co.). For New Light: Hitler's Tasters.

Christina Tang
Lighting Design

Christina is a lighting designer based in NYC. Recent design credits include The Maid's Tragedy (Pocket Universe), Hair (York College), Assembled Identity (HERE Arts Center), skin flick city (Columbia Stages), and SOMEONEPLEASELISTENANDUNDERSTAND (The Brick). She was recently the assistant lighting designer on Eve Ensler's Fruit Trilogy (Abingdon Theatre Company) and is the resident technical director of the Corkscrew Theater Festival. For New Light: Hitler's Tasters, Meaningful Conversation.

Mari Taylor
Costume Designer

Mari is a NYC based Costume Designer. Mari holds a MFA from Southern Methodist University. Recent credits include: Twelfth Nightat Dallas Theater Center, A Winter’s Tale for Public Works Dallas, and Final Plays at The Neighborhood Playhouse. Mari was Chautauqua Theater Company’s 2017 Costume Design Fellow. Mari also works as a Costume Production Assistant at Hamilton: An American Musical.

Samantha Walsh
Assistant Stage Manager

Samantha is a student at the City College of New York pursuing a BA in Theatre. She has interned for several art institutions throughout NYC, including the Film Society of Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall. Most recently, she ASM’d CCNY’s ensemble production of Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. For New Light: Less Than 50%.

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