Horse Trade


The Drafts are a non-equity ensemble of actors. The mission of The Drafts is to develop new plays. Like their Equine namesake, The Drafts are a group of versatile actors from largely varied backgrounds and experiences.

Horse Trade Presents
The Drafts in

Next up on the Draft Docket
The Drafts Fest:
Pre-Existing Condition

Phases of Matter
written by Kelley Girod
Directed by Patrick Benton
Penny Pollack
Yesenia Tromp
written by Tom Diriwatcher
Directed by Tim Brownell
Laurabeth Breya
Michael Weatherbee
Change the Bee
written by Chris Kipiniak
Directed by Randi Rivera
Reynaldo Piniella
JB Rote
At Sleepies for the Rest of Your Life
written by Suzanne Dottino
Directed by Marybeth Smith
Nate Faust
Michael Weatherbee
Fireplace Poker
written by Paul David Young
Directed by Michael Rau
J. Stephen Brantley
Reynaldo Piniella
Turning the Glass Around
written by Pia Wilson
Heidi Grumelot
Nick Maccarone
Brittany Bellizeare
Crawl for It 
written by Joshua Conkel
Directed by Chris Diercksen
JB Rote
Nate Faust



Nick Maccarone recently wrapped up performing La Boheme (spoken) at The Flea Theater.  Prior to that, he performed in a world premiere written and directed by Adam Rapp entitled, 'Classic Kitchen Timer,' also at The Flea Theater.  He is excited to be returning to his favorite room on East 4th Street.  Nick holds an M.F.A. in theater from Columbia University.
J.Stephen Brantley is a writer and performer whose work has been commissioned by Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and Performance Space 122 where his Distortion Taco was named a Village Voice Pick of the Year. J.Stephen has performed with Big Dance Theatre, Cucaracha, EAT and Lucky Artists, and has appeared at venues including the Sanford Meisner, Soho Rep, HERE, and The Palladium. He is a graduate of NYU’s Experimental Theatre Wing, a student-volunteer for Kabbalah Centre International, and a member of Emerging Artists Theatre. His last appearance with Horse Trade was as the blue mohawked Cost in Punk Rock Love Song.
Reynaldo Piniella was previously seen in "By the Banks of the Nile" at Horse Trade. He is also a member of The Bats, the resident acting company of the Flea Theater where he was last seen in "The Great Recession". Other credits include "Hamletmachine" (Castillo Theatre) and "The Toilet" (Amiri Baraka revival, New Federal Theatre). He has been seen in commercials and films with Nintendo of America, Pearson Education, Discovery Channel and Chai Lifeline. He is currently seeking representation.
Laurabeth Breya is thrilled to be working with Horse Trade Theater Group. She recently played  "Sara" in Vital Theatre Company's production of The Klezmer Nutcracker. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Brown University. After graduating, she went to the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theater where she studied Clowning, Acrobatics, and Commedia dell'Arte. Currently, Laurabeth is a part-time student earning her Master's in Applied Theatre as part of  CUNY's Applied Theatre Program, where she hopes to wed her love of Theatre  and her commitment to social justice. 
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Nate Faust is a graduate of the MFA Acting program at The New School for Drama.  His New School credits include:  Max, Extinction; John Proctor, The Crucible; Johan Toennesen, The Pillars of Society; Man, The Blue Room (59E59); Lord Dumaine, All’s Well That Ends Well.  NYC credits include: Nan Duke, Punk Rock/Love Song (Horse Trade Theatre Group); Ferd, American Royal(Samuel French Play Festival); John, His Daddy (E.S.T. River Reading Series); Konrad, Waking Up With Strangers (Horse Trade Theatre Group); Mark, Bar Story (American Theatre of Actors).  Other credits include: Anton, Summer of My German Soldier (World Premier, Encore Theatre Company)
JB Roté is an actress from Vermont. Credits include... Theatre: Donnie & The Monsters, An Absolutely Perfect Life, Television Man and A Comedy of Errors... TV: PBS' Brain Games... Film: Starmakers, Tales From The Vampire State, Sexx Talkk and The Last Blind Date On Earth. She trained at Brandeis, BADA and UCB. Love and thanks to Horse Trade...and you.
Yesenia is so excited to be a part of "The Horse Trade Theatre Group."She holds a B.F.A in acting from Long Island University, C.W. Post. She was most recently seen in a reading at The Lark Play Development Center. Previous NYC credits include "The Tenth Man" (Viking Theatre Company), "Bluff" (Rapscallion Theatre Collective), "Sweet Love, Sweet Lines, Sweet Life!" (Manhattan Repertory Theatre), "American Culture" (Quo Vadimus Arts) and "Third Child" (NYC Fringe Festival). Thanks to everyone for making this process so enjoyable!
Michael Wetherbee's NY and regional credits include: The Picture of Dorian Gray (Wings Theater), 1001 Peorian Nights (Kraine Theater), Urinal Play (Kraine Theater), Father of the Bride (State of Maine Theater), The Man Who Came to Dinner (Ridge Repertory), Fly Away (Producers Club), and Roanoke Island Festival Park in NC. Readings with the Drafts Ensemble with Horse Trade. Readings at the Algonquin Theater for Ten Grand Productions. Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.
Brittany Bellizeare is a recent graduate of The New School for Drama and is now a “Master” of Acting!!  At least she hopes to think she is.  Some of her favorite roles include Amita in I’d Do Anything by Rebecca Stokes, Maggie in Den of Thieves, Rosa in CHAIN,Lona Hessel in The Pillars of Society, and Juniper in Juniper; Jubilee, a now published play and 2008 Samuel French Festival Winner, by Janine Nabers.  Other theatre credits include All’s Well That Ends Well, Private Life of the Master Race, Lysistrata, 365 Days/365 Plays, (Princess) Escalas in Romeo & Juliet: Jerusalem, a different yet enlightening take on the Shakespearean classic, The Colored Museum: Symbiosis, and Woman + War with The Synchronicity Performance Group at 7Stages Theatre in Atlanta.  She was blessed with the opportunity to be apart of the summer long Shakespeare Lab Intensive at The Public Theatre in 2008 where she performed in the a collection of scenes and sonnets in Nights, Fights, Schemes, Dreams arranged and directed by Barry Edelstein.  She was also a member of The Bridge Program 2007 at One on One Productions.  She is truly grateful to those who continue to mentor and enlighten her along the way.  She sends love and thanks to God and her family and friends!  She is ready to simply “live her magic.”   
Penny Pollak is an actor, writer and producer based in NYC. She recently starred in ‘Broken Dog Legs’ a one-woman play by Emily Conbere. She both starred in and wrote one third of the three-woman show Amusing Lies and Lullabies at the Kraine Theater. For over two years now she has hosted and produced Penny’s Open Mic, a weekly show located at Under St. Mark’s Theater. A founding member of (a)muse collective and residents of Horse Trade Theater Company she has produced a multitude of shows in NYC since she moved here a little over two years ago, she is a staple feature performer at the monthly variety show God Tastes Like chicken. She has performed in several theater productions in the London Fringe Theater including The Yabbok, Mozart and Don Juan and Mysticism Through Dance. She graduated with a degree in Theater and a minor in Sociology. After graduation she studied at the London theater intensive program at Rose Bruford College, UK. She has won awards for her writing as well as been featured in a number of readings in NYC.


Joshua Conkel is a playwright, director and occasional actor. He is the Artistic Director of The Management and a member of Youngblood, Ensemble Studio Theatre's collective of playwrights under thirty. His plays include The Chalk Boy, MilkMilkLemonade (Best Off Off Broadway Show 2009- NY Press), I Wanna Destroy You, and The Sluts of Sutton Drive. He is also an enthusiastic and prolific writer of short plays, which have been performed all around the country. His ten minute play, Up With (Some) People was a finalist in the 2009 Samuel French Festival.

Paul David Young won the Kennedy Center’s 2009 Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and was runner-up for the 2009 Kendeda Fellowship of the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta.  New York Theater Workshop, the Alliance Theater, Primary Stages, the Kennedy Center, La Mama E.T.C., and the Living Theatre have developed or presented readings of his plays.  Times and Places was performed in Icelandic in Reykjavik.  A collaborative performance/installation piece, Balcony Scene, was presented at the New York art gallery LMAK Projects in 2008.   He was co-curator of “Perverted by Theater,” an exhibition about the intersection of visual art and theater at apexart, New York, in 2008.  Waking Up With Strangers was produced at the Kraine Theater in 2009.  He was a Millay Colony Resident Artist in 2009 and has been named a Djerassi Resident Artist for 2010.  He is a regular performance critic for PAJ: A Journal of Performance and Art (MIT Press).  For The Metropolis Ensemble he wrote the libretto for a cantata to be performed in New York in the 2010-2011 season.  David & Ira will be produced in New York this fall.  Next up: Christians Having Sex in Silence premieres at the Samuel French Festival this July at the Lion Theater on Theatre Row.

Tom Diriwachter has had four full-length plays and numerous one-acts produced in New York and LA.  In ’07, his play, “Asterisk,” produced by March Forth Productions, received a positive review in Backstage, where A.J. Mell said, “Tom Diriwachter’s script shows a fine ear for the way men communicate with each other in small groups,” and “Diriwachter avoids emotional epiphanies in favor of tentative, small-scale victories.”  His play, “Avoid Direct Sunlight,” was produced by The American Theatre of Actors in ’09, and is being brought back again in ’10.  Currently, he is workshopping his new play, “Age Out,” at Theater For the New City to be produced this summer as part of the Lower East Side Festival Of the Arts.
Chris Kipiniak is an actor, writer and playwright. Plays include Stalled, which played at the Kraine Theatre in New York City and later as part of the Hangar Theatre Lab in association with the Drama League Directing Fellowhip; Pass the Buck and For the First Time, Together Again!, two children’s plays commissioned by the McCarter Theatre’s First Stage Company; The Big Search, a children’s play commissioned by the Middleground Theatre; and The Nature of the Beast, a modern-gothic, zombie-romance; Save The World, which played at the American Theater of Actors, produced by the Roundtable Ensemble. Most recently his short play, IIIINSAAAAAAAANE! was part of Horse Trade Theater Group's evening of, "6 Short Plays About Hope." He is also a freelance writer and has worked with Marvel comics writing Marvel Adventures: Spider-Man, the limited series Nightcrawler and for the anthology Amazing Fantasy. His first piece of travel-writing, “Magic Carpet Ride,” was published in the travel anthology, Encounters With the Middle East. As an actor he has appeared on Broadway in Mary Zimmerman’s Tony-winning adaptation of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, which he also performed off-broadway and at regional theatres such as the Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, and Berkeley Repertory. Other New York acting credits include Stalled, Kit Marlowe at the Public Theatre, Silence with the Roundtable Ensemble, Baby Girl with Partial Comfort Productions, Gift with Rising Phoenix at the New York International Fringe Festival, and How To Act Around Cops with Singularity company at both the New York and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals and at the Soho Theatre in London.
Pia Wilson received a 2009 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. She is a member of the 2009 Project Footlight team of composers and librettists and a member of the 2008 inaugural Emerging Writers Group at The Public Theater. Pia is also a 2009 resident in the Women's Work Lab at New Perspectives Theatre. Her full-length drama, Red Rooster, was a part of the Emerging Writers Spotlight Series at The Public Theater. All the Pretty Girls was featured in The Looking Glass Theatre's Spring 2009 Writer/Director Forum. The River Pure for Healing was part of the 2008 Resilience of the Spirit play festival. Her play, Tree of Life, received a 2007 workshop production at The Red Room Theater. Short plays and one-acts: The Things Tom Left Behind (The Drafts 10 Minute Play Festival: Six Plays About Hope); End of the World (New Perspectives Theatre's "By Popular Demand" festival); Dressed In Your Dreams (Stagecrafter's New Works Play Festival); Do You Proud (Eclectic Theater Company's "Got a Minute?" play festival); Whatever and Delicately (Groove Mama Ink; The Looking Glass Theatre's Spring 2008 Writer/Director Forum); The Rooster Never Crows (OneHeart Productions).
Kelley Nicole Girod is a 2008 graduate of Columbia's MFA playwriting program where she was named the Stein and Liberace scholar as well as the John Golden fellow for her artistic merit. Kelley hails from Louisiana where she attended Louisiana State University and works extensively with the artistic community of Baton Rouge, most recently serving as a panel judge for Louisiana's artist in residency program. She has had plays produced in Los Angeles, New York, New Orleans, and Columbus, Ohio and has had readings at Primary Stages, the Labyrinth studio and Horsetrade Theatre Co.(NYC) which produced her play "Parabolas" as part of their downtown theatre festival. She is also a resident playwright for the Horse Trade's Drafts this year and a founding member of the developmental group sLab. Kelley currently lives and works in Manhattan.
Suzanne Dottino received an MFA in nonfiction at Columbia University. She is founder and editor of Her interviews, essays, fiction and non-fiction articles have appeared in Bloomsbury Review, Heeb, The Brooklyn Rail, Esopus, Portable Muse, and others. Her short plays have appeared in The Artists of Tomorrow Festival, The Culture Project Women Center Stage and The Drafts 10 Minute Play Festival. Her play All-Cued Up was a finalist in the Samuel French Short Play Competition sponsored by The Kraine Theater.


Christopher Diercksen burns to direct new plays. Credits include: Parabolas by Kelley Girod (The Drafts, Aery Theater Company [best director]); Laika Dog in Space by NY Neo-Futurists(Ontological Hysteric Incubator, Director: Dave Dalton); Box Americana by Jason Grote (National Playwrights Conference, Director: Jackson Gay). Christopher is currently developing cassandra by Katharine Sherman and is the Associate Technical Director for the NY Neo-Futurists.
Michael Rau is a New York based director and adapter, specializing in new plays, re-imagined classics, and opera. His work has been presented at PS 122, HERE Arts Center, Ars Nova and Dixon Place and his productions have toured to Germany, Greece, and Canada. His New York credits include: Evanston: A Rare Comedy, (PS 122), The Ted Haggard Monologues (a New York Magazine Critic's Pick) at the Collective: Unconscious, The Italian Songbook, a chamber opera with the NYU Steinhardt School of Music, and an adaptation of Chekhov's The Seagull, (developed in Papingo, Greece and presented at the Bushwick Starr). His show, the games we used to play, which he co-created with Max Goldblatt, took first place at Les Fêtes théâtrales du Suroît in 2005, and his production of Four Saints in Three Acts was selected as a noteworthy production of the 2008 Opera America Director/Designer Showcase. He has directed readings of new plays at New York Theater Workshop, Primary Stages and the Dramatists Guild. He recently made his German language directing premiere at Theater Bielefeld, with Thomas Bradshaw's Was Ubrig Bleibt.
Michael Rau is a recipient of the Willard Fellowship, a 2006 Kennedy Center Directing Fellowship, a 2007 New Play Network Directing Fellowship and a 2008 TCG National Conference Grant. He has served as an assistant for John Turturro at Classic Stage Company, Les Waters at A.R.T., Anne Bogart at Glimmerglass Opera, and Robert Woodruff at San Francisco Opera. He graduated from Wesleyan University in 2005, with honors in American Studies and Theater and has recently completed his MFA in theater directing at Columbia University. He is currently an Artist in Residence at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center and is on the faculty of the Steinhardt School of Music at NYU.
Tim Brownell (Director, Pests) is a Drama Teacher at The Brearley School of NYC.  He is the co-founder and co-owner of Acting Manitou, a summer theater camp for acting students in Maine.  Recently, Tim directed Cupid and Psyche, a new rock musical commissioned by Acting Manitou and written by John McGrew and Jonathan Karpinos.  Tim spent four years running the after-school drama program for The McCarter Theater in Princeton, NJ.  He also spent seven summers directing for The Imagination Stage in Washington, DC.  
Mary Beth is a graduate from The New School for Drama's MFA in Directing program and is currently a producing associate with Prospect Theater Company.   A few of her past credits include Waking Up With Strangers by Paul David Young (The Kraine Theater), Lovers: Winners by Brian Friel(New School), Blank by Rachel White (New School), and The Blue Room by David Hare (59e59).  Mary Beth has also served as an assistant director for Prospect Theater Company's Illyria(Hudson Guild Theater) and ShakespeareNYC's production of King Lear (Theater Row:The Lion). Before coming to New York Mary Beth specialized in both directing Shakespeare and magic.
Patrick Benton previously served as artistic director of New Stage Theatre in MS and Mill Mountain Theatre in VA.  Favorite directing engagements have included Misery, Three Days of Rain, Big River, and Noises Off.  Acting assignments have included roles with Indiana Repertory Theatre and Oklahoma Shakespearean Festival.
Randi Rivera is a director/designer/stage manager/native New Yorker.  She holds a BA in Theater and Hispanic Studies from Hamilton College. She studied Technical Theater at the Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama and Production Management at Universidad San Pablo (CEU) in Madrid, Spain.   Randi has proudly worked with many performing arts companies such as Dance Theater Workshop, HERE Arts Center, Atlantic Theater Company, DanceNOW NYC, New York Film Academy, Venue13 at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and of course Horse Trade Theater Group.  Recent projects include: There is so much mad in me by Faye Driscoll and The Lily's Revenge by Taylor Mac. Her NYC directing debut, The Geographical History of America by Gertrude Stein, was named Critic's Pick by Backstage Magazine. She is thrilled to be directing in the Red Room once again.

Heidi Grumelot works for Horse Trade Theater Group and is responsible for Artistic Development including literary management, producing TOLD, directing the Drafts, and facilitating a monthly original play reading series. She worked as a casting assistant for Impressionism on Broadway; The Cripple of Inishman at Atlantic Theater Company; the World Premier of Shawshank Redemption at The Gaiety Theater in Dublin; Holiday Garland at The Westport Country Playhouse; and Hamlet and Hair at Shakespeare in the Park. She assistant directed and stage managed Anthony & Cleopatra, Love’s Labour’s Lost, and A Christmas Carol for the American Shakespeare Center. Her directing credits include An Absolutely Perfect Life at UNDER St. Marks, punkrock/lovesong at The Brick, Dido and Aeneas for The New York Collective of Performing Arts at The West End Theater and The Boston Early Music Festival; A River Pure for Healing at Under St Marks Theater, Accidents Do Happen and Tom’s Things in The Red Room; and A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Jungle Book, The Tempest, and Love's Labour's Lost in theaters in Michigan and Virginia.