Our Staff

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Gus Rogerson, Producing Director, started at the Project as a volunteer in 1991. He has been a member of the New York theater community for more than 20 years. His acting credits include the original productions of SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION, FACE VALUE, and THE GREY ZONE, and the film IN AND OUT, opposite Matt Dillon. His directing credits include the American premiere of David Harrower’s first play, KNIVES IN HENS. He served as associate producer for the feature film SUNDAY, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1997 Sundance Film Festival. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College.
Carol Ochs, Executive Director, has worked in the non-profit theater community for over 25 years. Carol came to the Project from Lincoln Center Theater where she worked for five years as assistant general manager. Previously, she was director of marketing and development for the Ark Theater Company of Soho. She holds an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama and has taught there. She is a board member of the Human Arts Association, of ART/NY and has sat on the Nancy Quinn Fund and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs grants panels.
Natalie Hirsch, Artistic Director, was born and raised in San Francisco. She attended Brown University and then received a Masters in Applied Theater from the City University of New York. Before coming to the Project, she directed the Junior Youth Theater of the Creative Arts Team. For many summers, she was the Performance Coordinator of Camp Winnarainbow, a performance arts and circus camp in Northern California. Natalie can speak fluent French, juggle, and walk on stilts. She is also trained in a number of different dance techniques. She is totally exhilarated to be joining the Project Team.
John Sheehy, Director of Institutional Advancement, joined The 52nd Street Project from Lincoln Center Theater where he was Development Associate and Research Associate for four years. Prior to that he worked at the Long Wharf Theater in New Haven, CT. John is also a lyricist and published playwright with an MFA in Dramatic Writing from Brandeis University. His plays have been seen in Boston, New York, Los Angeles and Louisville, KY.
George Babiak, Production Manager, worked for years as a bicycle mechanic at Bicycle Habitat in New York City while futilely pursuing a career in the theater. Prior to working at the Project, he helped found Recycle-A-Bicycle. George also traveled the world as a member of TheaterSports New York, an improv comedy troupe. He has a degree in English Literature from Hunter College. George is also a PADI SCUBA Divemaster and member of the New York Aquarium Volunteer Dive Team. One of his latest and proudest achievements is swimming the Hellespont in August of 2015 with his wife Vanessa Valdes. He loves the Project, is delighted to finally have that elusive career in the theater, and wants to work here for a couple of centuries.
Liz Bell, LMSW, Director of Education, received a BA in English with a minor in Philosophy from Villanova University in 1998. She began volunteering at the Project as Homework Helper in 2000, becoming an intern that same year. In 2001, aside from joining the Project staff, she completed her MA in American and British Literature from NYU. In 2009, she finished her MSW at Fordham University, with a concentration in clinical social work and a specialization in children and families. She became a licensed social worker in 2010. She is currently working toward certification in Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy at IPTAR (Institute for Psychoanalytic Training and Research).
Kali Crandall, Development Director, joins The 52nd Street Project from NYU’s Center for Ballet and the Arts where she held the positions of Associate and Manager of Events, Communications, and Development. Previously, Kali was the Executive Assistant to the Executive Director at the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation, and has held the positions of Manager of Institutional Giving and Development Associate & Operations Manager at RIOULT Dance NY. Kali holds a Master’s Degree in Arts and Cultural Management with a focus in non-profit administration from Pratt Institute and received a B.A. from the University of Rochester in Brain & Cognitive Science and Studio Arts.
Tim J. Lord, Technical Director, began as a Project volunteer in 2012, writing, directing, and assisting in Playmaking. On the technical side of theater, he has been working professionally since 1998 both Off-Broadway and for numerous regional and mid-sized theaters, including Trinity Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, and St. Louis Black Rep. Tim also has an MFA in Playwriting from the University of California, San Diego. His plays have been produced in Boston, New York, Louisville, Los Angeles, and in many cities named for saints, including San Francisco, San Diego, and St. Louis.
Johanna Vidal, Community Coordinator, is a former Project kid and a graduate of the University of Michigan with a degree in Spanish. While at U of M, she was co-Entertainment Chair of EnspiRED, an arts organization focused on self-expression. She also interned for En Nuestra Lengua, a Spanish immersion program where she helped kindergarten students enhance their vocabularies in their native language of Spanish. She is thrilled to join the Project as a full-time staff member!
Garrett Kim, Program Director, joined the staff in 2015 after interning and volunteering at the Project. He has taught at First Stage Children’s Theater in Milwaukee for their Theatre Academy and their Next Steps program for students with autism at First Stage, where he’s also an alumnus of their pre-professional actor training program Young Company. Outside of his work at the Project, he creates and develops new theater, and he’s a member of Dramatists Guild of America. Garrett graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University in May 2016 with departmental honors in Theater, concentrating in playwriting & directing.
Yazzy Wilder, Office Manager, is also a former Project kid and the first recipient of The Henry and Gloria Jacobs Scholarship, a full scholarship to the University of Michigan for qualified alumni of The 52nd Street Project. She graduated in 2009 with a BA in Economics and has worked in both sales and banking since then. At the University of Michigan she was one of the organizers of The Latino Culture Show, and was on the fundraising team for F.O.K.U.S. (Fighting Obstacles Knowing Ultimate Success) whose mission is to educate, empower, and unite communities by using traditional and non-traditional forms of art. Yazzy began working with the Project in October 2016 and in her first staff meeting she told everyone “It feels great to be back, I feel like I never left.”  
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