Wheelhouse is dedicated to making bold, theatrical plays. Driven by a collective curiosity we aim to respond to the world around us through the transformative power of dynamic and relevant theater, challenging perspectives and creating community.
WTC aspires to fortify the importance and necessity of live theater.
Wheelhouse is a Process Oriented, company of Artist Citizens that value:
∙ Collective Curiosity
∙ Personal Joy
∙ Shared Communal Experience
Wheelhouse Theater Company began simply, with a desire by its founding members to get into a room and work. They wanted to continue practicing certain methodologies from their training at NYU’s Graduate Acting Program. Vital to this way of working was an irreverent sense of collaborative, risky playfulness that celebrated personal joy and a collective curiosity, generating bold, dynamic and visceral theater.
A shared passion for this kind of collaboration was equalled only by a desire to make theater they felt was missing in New York. Process was then swiftly implemented into professional productions and the company officially formed in 2016. As Wheelhouse continues to grow in visibility it has enjoyed critical and popular successes with its last two productions, “Happy Birthday, Wanda June” by Kurt Vonnegut and “Life Sucks” by Aaron Posner, receiving collectively two New York Times Critics picks, four stars in TimeOut New York, two Drama Desk Nominations, and a Lucille Lortel nomination. Additionally, in an effort to expand its scope of impact, in 2018, under the leadership of Artistic Director Jeff Wise, Wheelhouse supported multiple workshops of the play “Caged”, written by inmates at East Jersey State Prison, mentored by celebrated author and activist Chris Hedges.
In just the first three years of its programming, Wheelhouse has produced nine full length productions including two world premieres, three classics, a revival, and a New York premiere serving over 30,000 audience members and employing over 200 of New York City's finest theater artists. The company has rapidly become a promising force in the New York theater community.
Jeff Wise (Artistic Director, Founding Company Member)
Jeff is a Tony Award winning producer, actor, director, and founder of Wheelhouse Theater Company. With Wheelhouse, Jeff has directed the critically acclaimed Life Sucks (NY Times Critics Pick) by Aaron Posner, Happy Birthday, Wanda June (NY Times Critics Pick) by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., Ibsens’ An Enemy of the People, Shakespeares’ Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar and the world premiere of DANNYKRISDONNAVERONICA by Lawrence Dial. Jeff produced the Tony Award winning revival of Once on this Island on Broadway. He also co-produced the world premiere In the Room with Slant Theatre Project. He has also directed productions of Henry IV Part 2, Hamlet, BACK, and Dear Penthouse. Stage credits include Hamlet, Lend me a Tenor, Pajama Game, Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat, BACK, Three Sisters, Six Degrees of Separation, Bus Stop, and La Ronde. Jeff received his MFA in Acting from New York University.
Michael Schantz(Founding Company Member)
Off-Broadway/NY: Othello (New York Theatre Workshop), the Obie Award winning play You Got Older (Page 73), The Slow Room (Performance Space NY), Life Sucks, An Enemy of the People (Wheelhouse Theatre Company), Couriers and Contrabands (TBG Theatre), Fashions for Men (The Mint), The Notebook of Trigorin (The Flea) and Beyond Therapy (TACT). Regional: A Doll's House (The Denver Center Theatre Company), Coriolanus (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey), Love in the Wars (Bard Summerscape), The Great Gatsby (Virginia Stage Company), A Few Good Men (Alley Theatre), Arms and the Man (Guthrie Theatre), The Winter's Tale (Chautauqua Theatre Company), As You Like It (Continuum Company, Villa La Pietra). Film: Thorp, The Girl in Apartment 3, Goodnight Death, Interference, among other independent feature and short films. TV: Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Hulu), FBI (CBS), The Blacklist (NBC). He has collaborated with some of the finest theatre artists in the country including Sam Gold, Doug Hughes, Ken Rus Schmoll, Sarah Benson, Annie Dorsen, Ayad Ahktar, Clare Barron and Anne Kauffman. He has performed internationally in both Italy and Chile and has taught Voice and Movement at New York Film Academy and the Chilean American Institute in Santiago, Chile. Michael has also served as a guest director with the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, where he has directed productions of Much Ado About Nothing, Reasons to be Pretty, Closer and Rapture, Blister, Burn. He is a member of New York Theatre Workshop's artistic family the Usual Suspects. He received his MFA in Acting from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.
Matt Harrington (Founding Company Member )
Matt has performed in the Wheelhouse production of Julius Caesar and co-directed Wheelhouse’s Romeo and Juliet. Broadway credits include Mr. Wormwood in Matilda the Musical (RSC), Twelfth Night and Richard III (Shakespeare’s Globe), and Harvey (Roundabout Theatre Company). He has performed in regional theaters form coast to coast including Cape Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, TheatreWorks Palo Alto, Portland Stage, Weston Playhouse, Syracuse Stage. Matt has also been involved in readings and workshops at Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center, Naked Angels, Perry Mansfield, Lark Play Development Center, NYU’s Studio Tisch, and with Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Youngblood collective. His television credits include Boardwalk Empire, Bored to Death, Gravity, The Good Wife. Matt received his MFA in acting from New York University.
Chris Bolan (Founding Company Member )
Chris Bolan is a proud member of the award-winning Wheelhouse Theater Company! Chris has had a career both on and off-Broadway and has performed as an actor with many top regional theater companies in both the United States and Canada while also working in film and television. In 2016 Bolan was Artistic Director for the critically acclaimed European Premiere production of Oh Hell No! at the Alfo Puccini Theater in Milan, Italy and has directed legendary LGBTQ and Civil Rights Activist, David Mixner, in three World Premiere productions at the Florence Gould Theater in NYC. Bolan wrote and directed the documentary feature film, A Secret Love, based on a member of the All- American Girls Professional Baseball League made famous by the Hollywood movie, A League of Their Own. Following a World Premiere at the SXSW Film Festival, A Secret Love will premiere as a Netflix Original in 2020 and was produced by Ryan Murphy Productions, Blumhouse Television, NowThis, and Beech Hill Films. Chris is a recipient of the Jerome Foundation Emerging Artists Award for directing and is also a Founding Partner of Sweet T Productions with recent projects including: The Sound Inside starring Mary-Louise Parker (Broadway/Studio 54); The Visitor starring David Hyde Pierce (The Public Theater); Jitney (Broadway National Tour); and Endlings (New York Theater Workshop). Bolan is a member of the Board of Directors for LUMBERYARD Center for Film and Performing Arts and is part of the adjunct faculty in the theater department at Western Connecticut State University. Bolan holds his MFA in acting from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. www.chrisbolan.com
David Kenner (Founding Company Member )
New York Theater: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the Park, directed by Dan Sullivan), Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet (Wheelhouse Theater Company), Stitches (TwoByFour). Regional: Caravan Man, Help Yourself (Williamstown Theater Festival), Hamlet, Red, Outside Mullingar (Capital Rep), Romeo & Juliet, Pride & Prejudice, Hamlet (Pennsylvania Shakespeare), A Christmas Carol for 5 Seasons (McCarter Theater), Old Wicked Songs (BRT), The Overwhelming (Hangar Theatre). Film: Excuse Me for Living, Follow the Leader. BFA from Sam Houston State University. MFA from NYU Graduate Acting.
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