Cecilia Arana - Artistic Director
Cecilia has a long history as a performing artist in NYC. She has devoted 24 years to the NYC Kids Project, following her passions for children and truth-telling. Other favorite companies include the 52nd Project Theater, where she has served as actor, teacher and mentor. The 52nd St. Project produces kid-written plays in economically underprivileged “Hell’s Kitchen” in Manhattan. Other employers have been: The Floating Hospital Children’s Theatre, La Mama Experimental Theater, and the Phoenix Ensemble Theater. She hosted a PBS show called Backyard Safari for 12 episodes, which explored science and nature from the eyes of a child. She has performed/sung in many languages, travelling with the La Mama Company YARA Arts to Buryat Mongolia and Ukraine. Cecilia also taught puppetry and theater to educators with the L’Arche Foundation in Krakow, Poland with the Kids Project. Cecilia has work shopped musicals and dramatic plays with the Directors Company and studied with Uta Hagen, Robert X. Modica and Wynn Handman. Mr. Handman directed her in a one-woman version of the book Dreaming in Cuban.
NYC brings out the artistic bold in Cecilia--27 years ago she pretended to misplace her (non-existent) actors’ union card at a call-back--this “ruse” resulting in her being hired and obtaining her actual Union card.
Mindy Pfeffer - Executive Director
Mindy is an actress, playwright, and educator. She has worked with the Kids Project for 18 years. She has appeared in over 60 plays in New York City and regionally and her favorite roles include Titania in Midsummer Night’s Dream and Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath. Her plays have been produced in and out of New York City, and she’s received three NYSCA Decentralization Grants in Delaware County to develop new work. A portion of Mindy’s full length play Dream Land was presented on the Coney Island Boardwalk! Most recently Mindy served as playwright and producer-in-residence at the Woodstock Fringe Festival. She also traveled to Krakow, Poland with the Kids Project to teach puppetry and theatre to educators with the L’Arche Foundation. She has taught theatre at the Omega Institute, the Children’s Aid Society, and for the Open Eye Theater. She is currently enrolled in SUNY Southampton’s MFA program in playwriting.
Mindy has several cousins who are deaf which led to her working part-time as a sign language interpreter. She has appeared as an actor in several plays featuring American Sign Language.
Christine has worked nationally and internationally as an actor, director, singer, coach, and advocate for artists with disabilities. A teaching artist for NYC Kids Project since 2000, she holds an MFA in Acting and Directing from the Actors Studio Masters Program and is a lifetime member of the Actors Studio. As a performer and director, Christine has worked throughout the U.S., U.K. and Australia. Her U.S. acting credits include The Glass Menagerie, The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, Spring Awakening, as well as TV’s Law & Order, the independent feature films Static, This Is Where We Live (SXSW Narrative Competition), One Spring, and the upcoming, Clay.
In 2013, Christine performed her one-woman show, Screw You, Jimmy Choo! -- which received its world premiere in November 2010 as part of DaDaFest International in Liverpool -- in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. In 2011, she completed a run at London’s Oval House Theatre and a U.K. tour of the new musical, Raspberry, in which she played the title role. Christine will return to the U.K. in fall 2014 to tour the new musical, Ugly Girl.
As an advocate, Christine served as the 2011 Co-chair of the I AM PWD (www.iampwd.org) global civil rights campaign for performers with disabilities, is the Co-chair of the NY PWD Committee, a member of the SAG-AFTRA national committee for Performers with Disabilities, the Broadway League Diversity Committee and the Actors’ Equity EEO Committee. She has served as Disability Advocate for Inclusion in the Arts (inclusioninthearts.org) since 2005 and has represented the organization across the U.S., U.K. and Australia.
Born in Aiea, Hawaii, Suzen received an MFA from the New School Drama School in Playwriting and Acting. As a playwright, she has had full productions of her solo show Breathe, Love, Repeat at NY’s United Solo and Frigid NY Festivals, and her play Slippery When Wet (SWW) at La MaMa, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and at the Penumbra Theatre Company in St. Paul. MN. Ms. Murakoshi was invited to the Dialog International Theatre Conference in Wroclaw, Poland, in 2005. An accomplished performer, Ms. Murakoshi has worked on Broadway stages, off-Broadway, in Europe and Canada, and in American regional productions. Her favorite roles include “Juliet” in Romeo and Juliet at the Cleveland Playhouse and “Connie” in A Chorus Line on Broadway. She was nominated for her role as “Helen” in SWW at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
As Artistic Director of the NYC Kids Project for 14 years, she was awarded a Proclamation for Public Service by the Mayor of the City of New York and an Award for Excellence by the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.