John Simpkins, Artistic Director
Is in his third year as Artistic Director at TriArts Sharon Playhouse – where he has directed The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Altar Boyz, Rent, A Funny Thing…Forum and The Wedding Singer.
He directed the three-time Drama Desk nominated Off-Broadway production of Bloodsong of Love: The Rock and Roll Spaghetti Western (by Joe Iconis) at Ars Nova. Upcoming, he will be directing The Black Suits at Center Theatre Group (Kirk Douglas Theatre – Fall 2013). Other New York credits include the Off-Broadway productions of The Bus (59E59 Theatre); ReWrite (Urban Stages); The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks (Theatreworks, USA- Lucille Lortel Theatre); Things to Ruin (which he co-conceived and directed productions of at Second Stage, Le Poisson Rouge, Zipper Factory, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova, NYMF) and The Black Suits (SPF at the Public Theatre – starring Annie Golden, Jason Tam, and Krysta Rodriguez).
Regional productions include Hairspray (North Carolina Theatre – starring Dale Hensley, Dirk Lumbard); The Black Suits (Barrington Stage – starring Ben Platt, Annie Golden); Damn Yankees (Engeman Theatre – starring Andre De Sheilds, Felicia Finley, Austin Miller); A Wonderful Life (Engeman Theatre); Annie (Sacramento Music Circus- starring Mark Zimmerman, Jim Walton, Adinah Alexander); Cabaret (Sacramento Music Circus- starring Teri Ralston, Jacquelyn Piro, Max von Essen); Evita (Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma- starring Kate Chapman, Eric Michael Gillet, Dan Cooney).
A strong supporter of the development of new work, he has directed workshops/ readings/ productions of ReWrite (Goodspeed Opera House); Hellraisers (Barrington Stage); Fantasy Football, the Musical; All the Kids Are Doing It; When the World Ends (Blaemire- Ars Nova); Ripper (NAMT); Party Come Here (David Kirshenbaum/ Daniel Goldfarb); Go-Go Beach (NYMF – 37 Arts); Pool Boy (Tsakalakos/ Allard); Next Thing You Know (Berkshire Theatre Festival); Queen Esther (Merkin Hall); Half Married (Cunningham/ Antin); Plastic! (Maddock/ Iconis/ Jacobs - York Theatre), You Don’t Know Jack (York Theatre), Bad Kid School (Barrington Stage), 29 (Alter/ Newman), Lyrical Langston Hughes (New Triad- Lincoln Center), Blood Drive (Rachel Sheinkin), Beasts and Saints (Mindi Dickstein) and Like You Like It (Buck/ Acquisto).
John is on the music theatre faculty at New York University Steinhardt - where he has directed Sweet Smell of Success, Floyd Collins, The Fix, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Violet, Urinetown, Merrily We Roll Along, Parade, Fiorello! and A New Brain. His production of Parade was preserved and is on reserve at Lincoln Center’s Theatre on Film and Tape Archive. He holds a Bachelor of Music from Miami University and a Master of Arts from NYU. He is active in NAMT (National Alliance of Musical Theatre) as well as the MTEA (Music Theatre Educators Association).
Justin Ball, Managing Director
Justin Ball has worked as a producer, director, and arts educator in New York City for over ten years. Most recently, Justin served as the producer and administrator for the Meisner Studio at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts.
Before his time at NYU, Justin worked for both Manhattan Theater Club and Playwrights Horizons where he produced major fundraising events including Manhattan Theater Club's Spring Gala, the single largest theatrical fundraiser for the American stage.
As Producing Artistic Director for the Grid Theater Company, Justin produced and directed world premieres of THINGS BEYOND OUR CONTROL by Jesse Kellerman, DOGS by Norman Lasca and a reinterpretation of Sam Shepard and Joseph Chaikin's SAVAGE/LOVE, a devised theater/dance piece at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Justin holds an MFA in Directing from Brooklyn College and a B.A. from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. Justin continues to serve as an adjunct faculty member at Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU where he teaches producing and theater management.