The Actor's Workshop of Ithaca
Big City Training, Small Town Attention

Staff

Who We Are

 Co-Director and Instructor Katie Spallone at Risley Theatre rehearsing with her class.

Co-Director and Instructor Katie Spallone at Risley Theatre rehearsing with her class.


"AWI gave me the necessary foundation to base my acting craft on.
Any success that I’ve found I have to dedicate in large part to their tutelage."

Lucien Dodge, LA Resident, Voice Actor Featured in:
national commercials, animation, anime and video games

learn more about Lucian


Eliza VanCort
 Founder, Co-Director, Instructor

 Eliza with her students, third from left.

Eliza with her students, third from left.

Eliza has been acting since she was 11 and directing and teaching for over 15 years. Recent acting credits include: AWITC’s Rabbit Hole (Izzy), The Melodramatics Bare (Claire), Nice Girls Films Poker Face (Janet), No Fare (Jennie). Recent directing credits include: AWITC’s My Name is Rachel Corrie starring Asia Katie Dillon, Hatshepsut the Female Pharaoh starring Esosa Edosomwan and Love, Loss and What I Wore and the upcoming film Montgomery Street by Daniel Masciari and Empire Films. Eliza's students have found great success and perform all over the world. When not working at AWI, Eliza enjoying coaching and running seminars on public speaking, communication and media skills with her presentation firm: VanCort Consulting. Check out her TEDx to learn more.


 Former TA Masa Gibson and Katie Spallone

Former TA Masa Gibson and Katie Spallone

Katie Spallone
Co-Director, Instructor


In addition to being a graduate of AWI, Katie has been a Meisner technique instructor since 2005 and was appointed Co-Director of AWI in 2012. Katie has worked with just about every theater group in town in one capacity or another; her favorite role to date was Becca in the AWITC production of Rabbit Hole in 2010. She was recently onstage at the Kitchen Theater in March 2016 in the Homecoming Player's production of Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play). She has also done voice over work and appeared in several short films. Until recently, Katie was the owner of evolution 102 and avanti boutique, two clothing stores in downtown Ithaca. To learn more about Katie's journey to AWI, go to this NPR radio show.


 David Kossack onset.    

David Kossack onset. 

 

David Kossack
Instructor

A long time Ithacan, David graduated from Ithaca College’s Park School of Communications with a degree in Cinema Production. As an editor and videographer at PhotoSynthesis Productions he has worked on numerous film and video projects, including editing the award-winning documentary, They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain. David recently completed an educational project for the FDA on meta-cognition and is currently working on a new documentary focusing on Cambodia. After studying under and apprenticing with Eliza, David has been an instructor at AWI since 2008 and has directed several stage productions for the Workshop’s theater company.


Eric Hambury
Teaching Assistant

 Eric Hambury

Eric Hambury

Eric Hambury received his BA in Theatre from Hobart and William Smith in 2013. Since graduating he returned to his hometown of Ithaca and has become a valued actor in the local theater community. While playing Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Eric spoke with several AWI students and subsequently decided to continue his acting training at AWI. Since joining AWI, Eric has transitioned from being exclusively a stage actor to becoming a film actor as well. He recently wrapped a role in award winning filmmaker, and AWI grad, Daniel Masciari's soon to be released film Crawling to Paradise.  Some previous favorite acting roles include Harlequin in HWS’ production of The Game of Love and Chance, Bagot in Ithaca Shakespeare Company’s Richard II, and Rascal in the IC Senior Thesis film Rascal’s Grove.


 Leo Taylor

Leo Taylor

Leo Taylor
Production Manager and Teaching Assistant


Leo Taylor is a musician, theatre/film actor, teacher, project manager, trans-activist, writer, and entomologist. Leo has been the AWI Production Manager since graduating from the program in 2014. He also periodically serves as stage manager for other local theatre groups, most recently working with the Homecoming Players and Theatre Incognita. In addition to teaching biology of sex at Ithaca College, Leo enjoys making music and spending time with his pitboxer, Roxy, and four cats.  


 AJ Sage

AJ Sage

AJ Sage
Teaching Assistant


AJ is an actor, playwright, stage manager and director who's been active in both the Actor's Workshop and the Ithaca theatre community since 2012.  A graduate of AWI in 2015, he is thankful for the skills with which the program has imbued him - focus, listening, the search for truth in any circumstance - and he is eager to pass those on to others.  AJ is a 4-year member of the Ithaca Shakespeare Company.  Favorite roles at ISC have included Thomas Mowbray (Richard II) and Jack Cade (Henry VI).  He also stage managed their memorable all-female production of Julius Caesar.  As a writer, his one act play No was met with acclaim at the inaugural Ithaca Fringe Festival in 2014.  Elsewhere, AJ is the lead barista and assistant manager at the Carriage House Cafe.  He enjoys baseball, absurdity and cheese.


 Ariel Arbisser

Ariel Arbisser

Ariel Arbisser
Teaching Assistant


Ariel Arbisser's diverse lineup of current projects includes local soul outfit The Jeff Love Band, a cappella supergroup The Funx, experimental funk duo Frisky Business, and powerhouse female recording ensemble Lady Jaye. Ariel got her start in a cappella with the Cornell Chordials, with whom she first garnered international acclaim as a vocalist, and co-produced two of their award-winning albums. After Cornell, Ariel graduated from the Actor's Workshop and went on to perform in the AWITC's productions of Poona The F***dog and Museum. From her Meisner roots, Ariel developed the teaching module Sing It Like You Mean It, which she continues to teach at vocal festivals and schools nationwide. She serves as Program Manager of Marketing for the Contemporary A Cappella Society and is on the Board of Trustees for The Melodramatics Theatre Company, Inc. based at Cornell University. 


 Alek Osinski 

Alek Osinski 

Alek Osinksi
Studio Manager


Alek has been involved in theater and music performance since high school. However, he began his adult life serving our country in the United States Army.  After being honorably discharged, Alek worked his way through school and became a physical therapist. In 2010 he found the Actors Workshop Ithaca and his passion for the arts was reawakened.  Since his first semester, he has been a part of every workshop production, acting in "Poona the Fuckdog", "Mitzi's Abortion", and "Museum", assistant stage managing "Rabbit Hole", and stage managing "4 Dogs and a Bone" and "Hapshetsut".  Most recently appeared in Theatre Incognita's  "Our Town" and "Hamlet", and, appeared in The Ithaca Fringe Festival's "4 Easy Pieces".  Alek has been in several films, including  "The Observatory" and "No Fare", produced by award winning film maker Daniel Masciari.


To keep up with the day to day adventures of the AWI community, please visit our facebook page.

 Founder and Co-Director Eliza VanCort (fourth from right) graduates AWI Alum Peggy Carey (third from right). Peggy is now Assistant Production Manager in NYC's heralded Public Theater and serves as AWI's Production Management Consultant.

Founder and Co-Director Eliza VanCort (fourth from right) graduates AWI Alum Peggy Carey (third from right). Peggy is now Assistant Production Manager in NYC's heralded Public Theater and serves as AWI's Production Management Consultant.

To keep up with the day to day adventures of the AWI community, please visit our Facebook page or visit our What's Happening page.