12th Night Company


Ryan Quinn

Artistic Director/Co-Founder

As an actor Ryan soon can be seen Off-Broadway in Second Stage's world premiere of Whorl Inside a LoopAdditionally he has worked Off-Broadway with Theater for a New Audience in The Killer, Antony and Cleopatra, King Lear, and Hamlet.  He is most proud of returning to his home state of Wisconsin to perform the lead role in Yellowman at The Milwaukee Repertory Theater, and with his eight seasons as a company member with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival.  Regionally, he has also worked at The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theater, and others.

Additionally, Ryan is a teaching artist and director.  He recently directed a 5 actor touring production of Macbeth for The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. He has worked with students of all ages, teaching classes in Acting, Text, Shakespeare, Stage Combat, Movement, Games, and Improvisation, with organizations such as: Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, Manhattanville College, The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Vassar College’s Powerhouse Apprentice Training Program, The National Shakespeare Company and others.  He has directed for The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, TinyRhino, NYU’s Atlantic Acting School, and NYU’s MFA Playwriting Program.

Ryan received his BA in Theater from the University of Wisconsin Madison, and received his MFA from The Yale School of Drama.

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Charlie Murphy

Managing Director/Co-Founder

As an actor, Charlie has performed for the NY Public Theatre’s “Shakespeare in the Park” (All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure), the Pearl Theatre Company (Richard II), the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (King Lear, The Three Musketeers, Romeo and Juliet, Love’s Labour’s Lost), The Shakespeare Theatre of DC (Richard II, Henry V, As You Like It, Mrs. Warren’s Profession), Middlebury Actor’s Workshop (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), The Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (The Unexpected Guest), and the Chautauqua Theatre Company (Much Ado About Nothing, Vaidehi, Ah, Wilderness!).

As an educator/administrator, Charlie teaches for and helps to run an organization called MTCA (Musical Theatre College Auditions) www.mtcollegeauditions.com, where he is the Assistant Director/Director of Finance. He is currently an Adjunct Professor at the City University of New York where he teaches a class in Acting/ Auditioning.  Previously he served as the Apprentice Coordinator for Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival’s in-season Apprentice Program, and as a Teaching Artist for HVSF’s High School Education Program.

Charlie is a proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.

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Katie Hartke

Marketing Director/Co-Founder

As an actor, Katie has appeared in 10 seasons with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where favorite roles include Viola (Twelfth Night), Imogen (Cymbeline), Lucrece (The Liar), Rosaline (Love’s Labours Lost), and Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream); Portland Stage (A Christmas Carol), Middlebury Actors Workshop (Cat on A Hot Tin Roof), Shadowland (Clybourne Park, Love/Sick), Epic Theatre Ensemble (Othello), Flux Theatre Ensemble (Life Is A Dream), Core Theatre Comp (Wonder of the World), and the NY Fringe (A Tiger in Central Park).  TV/Film: Boardwalk Empire, Guiding Light, College Humor, The Circuit, and various commercials and voice overs. 

As an educator, Katie has been a Teaching Artist with HVSF’s Education Program since 2004, working with both students and teachers . She has served as a Lead Teaching Artist for workshops at West Point Military Academy, The Masters School, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, and the Chappaqua Summer Scholarship Program, among dozens of local area middle and high schools. She has also served as a teacher and mentor for HVSF’s Apprentice Acting Company. In addition, she has lead Teacher’s Resource Workshops, for HS English teachers. Katie is also a monologue coaching coordinator for MTCA.

Katie holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Theatre from Catholic University, and is a graduate of Circle In the Square Theatre School’s Acting Conservatory.

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Jessica Frey

12th Night Musical Director/Actor

Jessica Frey's recent acting credits include: Clown Bar (NY Times Critics' Pick), BYUIOO, and Giant Killer Slugs with Pipeline Theatre Co; Sense & Sensibility with Bedlam Theatre (upcoming); King Lear and All's Well That Ends Well with Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival; and TEN with Partial Comfort Productions (company member). Jessica is a member of the sketch group, Uncle Function, current undefeated champs of the UCB Backyard Brawl. She has also appeared in several short films by the comedian, John Early, most recently, Therapy starring John Early and Ana Gasteyer. She works frequently at Ars Nova developing new plays, most recently Bull's Hollow created by Jaclyn Backhaus, Andrew Neisler, and Mike Brun; Boats And... created by Andrew Farmer, Andrew Neisler, and Nate Weida.

As a musician, she received her training as a vocal music major at the School for the Creative and Performing Arts (SCAPA) in Lexington, KY. Since then she has sung in productions, concerts, and in the occasional band. She has been the musical director for various productions including The Two Noble Kinsmen (HVSF Apprentice Program) and currently for Esperance's Twelfth Night

As a teacher, Jessica has worked with the Atlantic Acting School, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's Education Program, Close-Up (a brand new "actor gym"), and Premiere Stages Educational Department, in addition to running her own On Camera Auditioning Technique classes.

Jessica is a graduate of NYU's Tisch Drama Program (Atlantic Acting School).


Carl Howell

12th Night Actor/Musician/Composer

First National Tour: Peter and the Starcatcher (Prentiss).  Off-Broadway: Twelfth Night (The Pearl Theatre Company), The Land Whale Murders (Shelby Company - Backstage Critic’s Pick.)  Regional: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), 

Romeo and Juliet (Romeo), Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (HVSF + Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra).  Twice he has appeared alongside world-renowned physicist Brian Greene in the World Science Festival.  London: Halo/Titanic (The Old Vic / Old Vic New Voices / 2010 T.S. Eliot US/UK Exchange.)  Other credits include The Shakespeare Marathon live on WNYC, and Shakespeare on the Hudson (PBS Documentary).  Carl is an accomplished musician and songwriter, and he has performed his original work at Caffe Vivaldi and Sidewalk Cafe.  Born and raised in Hammonton, NJ, Carl earned his BFA from NYU / Atlantic Theater Company Acting School, with additional training in London at RADA.  He lives in Washington Heights with his fiancee, actress Angela Janas.  You can find him online at www.carlhowell.com.  


Christian Adam Jacobs "Chopper"

12th Night Actor/Musician/Composer

As an actor, Christian has performed in three seasons with The Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival (Cymbeline, Twelfth Night, Troilus & Cressida, Taming Of The Shrew, The Bommity Of Errors, Hamlet) as well as the HVSF Touring Company (Julius Caesar); The Adirondack Shakespeare Company (Measure For Measure, The Merchant Of Venice); The Flea Theater (Looking At Christmas, #Serials); The New School for Drama (Richard III, The Drowned World, On The Verge, Hamlet). 

As a singer and songwriter, Christian is more commonly known as Westchester punk rock icon, Johnny Giovanni. Johnny G's outlandish charisma and unique death-folk style spawned punk rock band "Johnny Giovanni & The Zombie Pit Crew", digital series "The Johnny Giovanni Show", and the autobiographical mixed-media stage production, "Johnny Giovanni: The Musical", performed to a sell out audience at SUNY Purchase. Johnny Giovanni continues to perform in NYC and the surrounding areas. 

Christian continues to work as an actor and voice over artist in NYC as well. He holds an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. 

Brian McManamon

12th Night Actor

Brian was recently seen in A Power Play; Or, What's-its-Name by A. Rey Pamatmat at the O'Neill and the Yale Rep world premiere of These Paper Bullets.  New York credits: the world premieres of The Clearing by Jake Jeppson (Theatre at St. Clements), Bodega Bay (Abingdon), The Boat in the Tiger Suit (Brick), and Chisa Hutchinson’s Alondra Was Here (Wild Project); It or Her (P.S. 122; New York Innovative Theatre Award nomination). Regional credits include: title role in Hamlet at Burning Coal, American Buffalo and Skylight (IRNE Award nomination) at New Repertory Theater. Film and TV: Seeking: Jack Tripper, Hide the Sausage, I Am a Big Ball of Sadness…, “Annie and Brie and “Gossip Girl. Proud member of the Actors Center Workshop Company. Next up: Imagining the Imaginary Invalid with Mabou Mines. BFA: Boston University, MFA: Yale School of Drama. 


Lauren Wilcher

12th Night Costume Designer

Lauren is delighted to be working with Esperance Theatre Company. This is her second time designing for Ryan Quinn. The first being for the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival Apprentice production of Two Noble Kinsmen in 2013. Other costume design credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (HVSF Apprentice Production 2013), The Fantasticks (Half Moon Theatre), and four seasons of the Regent University’s Summer C.A.M.P. productions. Lauren is a graduate of James Madison University with a BA in Technical Theatre.

Aryana Sedarati

Esperance Logo Designer / Photographer

Aryana Sedarati is an actor/designer, specializing in theatre arts, commercial & fine arts photography, makeup design, and graphic artistry. In 2014, she received her BFA in Acting from Montclair State University (Musical Theatre minor). Combining her passion for human expression and connectivity with a keen sense of aesthetics, Aryana's designs have been recognized nationally at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. As an actor, she was most recently featured in the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival's Educational Tour of Macbeth. Aryana is thrilled to be joining the Esperance team!

Twelfth Night - A Concert Reading

Pictures courtesy of Aryana Sedarati and Marisa Lerer

Twelfth Night - December 2015

Photos courtesy of William Edward Marsh


"Violent delights have violent ends and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which as they kiss consume: Therefore love moderately; long love doth so; Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow."


"Oftentimes, to win us to our harm, the instruments of darkness tell us truths, win us with honest trifles, to betray's in deepest consequence."

Youth and Ambition (or the morality mash of Romeo, Juliet and The Macbeths) is a workshop production experimenting with scaled down storytelling.  Just actors, audience, and Shakespeare.

We will be looking at these two classic stories as morality plays.  Act One (R&J) will highlight the struggle as we pass from Youth into adulthood, and Act Two (Macbeth) will investigate our Ambition as we move from the adult we are to “the person we yearn to be.”  Both stories are cut to under an hour, and presented in a ritualized form.

Youth & Ambition - February 2017

Photos courtesy of William Edward Marsh

New York native Canada Lee, once called “the greatest Negro actor of his day” by The New York Times, has been virtually erased from history. A passionate civil rights activist, Lee was branded a Communist and blacklisted during the Cold War. He died penniless in 1952 at the age of 45, and his death is one of a handful directly attributed to the blacklist.  The Canada Lee Project explores Lee’s meteoric rise to fame and his fall from grace. Characters include some of the famous people in Lee’s life, including Orson Welles, Langston Hughes, Talullah Bankhead and Ed Sullivan. The Canada Lee Project is based on Mona Z. Smith’s original play about Lee as well as her critically acclaimed biography of the actor and activist, now in development for television.

Harper, Maldonado and Schumacher are all at different emotional and logistical points in their Afghan tour of duties, but for this particular recon mission, they share the same coordinates. Their fates are tied together as they must sit together on a mountain ridge to chart the comings and goings of a suspected militia village in preparation for an attack. But theirs aren’t the only fates linked. When 14 year-old Afghan Hannifa and her goat herder Grandfather happen upon the US soldiers, they are faced with a horrifying dilemma of life and death. Who are “we”? And who has the right to decide who lives or dies?