The Department of Fools has a diverse rotating company as all of our performers are working artists. We hope to have a vast network of performers that can jump into a scenario at any time!
Current Company Members:
YAIR BEN-DOR – Yair is an Israel-American actor, born in Philadelphia, PA. Moving several times across the globe, Yair has studied and worked in both Israel and the US, acting in both Hebrew and English. Moving to New York in 2011, Yair enrolled at the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute and completed a two-year conservatory. Theater credits include ‘Three Sisters’, ‘Uncle Vanya’, Julius Caesar, King John, ERIK and more. Television credits – Quantico, Blue Bloods. Other than acting, Yair partakes in writing scripts and composing original music. For more information please visit www.yairbendor.com
JOE BLUTE– Joe Blute is a 22 year old actor that is a graduate of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and a current member of the 68 Cent Theatre Company. In addition to acting, Joe Blute is a writer, director, producer and filmmaker. Credits include: Film: The Maestro (Lorenzo), The Fear (Frankie Boy), So You Wanna Be Cool (Drew), Mr. Reilly (Young man/Intern 2), Grandpa Arnold (Kevin). Theatre: YES (Jeremiah), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Demetrius), Beauty And The Beast (Gaston). www.joeblute.com
GJERMUND GJESME – Gjermund is tall, blonde, strong, handsome and modest. Hailing from Norway, he recenly graduated the Two Year Conservatory Program at The Lee
Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. This is his fourth theatre production in New York including The Wild Party and Balm in Gilead, in addition to several short films, commercials, features and TV-shows. He spent the Summer in Norway shooting a pilot for a feature, co-starring with Thorbjørn Harr (Vikings, Younger) and Gitte Witt (The Impossible, Sleepwalker). Gjermund also finds it weird to write about himself in third person. Check out www.gjermundgjesme.com for reel, resume and news.
MATTHEW A.J. GREGORY – Matthew is an interdisciplinary theatre artist whose current theater work explores the nexus between art and politics, specifically through use of the comedy as a lens for investigating modern civil issues. He is theatre generalist with expertise in direction, acting, theatre history and costume design, but is interested in holistic approaches to theatre-making that transcend the boundaries of traditional disciplines. He has directed numerous productions at venues around New York including NYU, Theater for the New City, the cell and the Culture Project. He has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Saratoga Shakespeare Company and Off-Broadway at the Mint Theater. His costume designs have been seen at the Juilliard School, the Wheeler Opera House and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Matthew also worked as a costume artisan on various films including “X-Men”, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”, and “Charlie’s Angels”. He has been on the faculty at Adelphi University, SUNY Albany, Siena College and CUNY – Kingsborough. Currently, Matthew is on the faculty at NYU Gallatin and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. For more information please visit http://www.matthewajgregory.squarespace.com
SILVIA MORIGI – Silvia just graduated at the Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute. As well as being a musician and a trained jazz singer, prior to coming to New York Silvia attained her masters in law before beginning her own practice. Her love for acting spurs from her interest in human behaviors. She looks at Theatre as a mean to bring people closer and to overcome the individuality and isolation that more than often is experienced nowadays. She is very thankful to the Fools for wanting her as a part of the company for this show and to collaborate in such a creative environment. She is now auditioning and getting into the professional aspect of the work. However she keeps training as she believe that the learning process of an actor is a long-life one.
OREN OETTINGER – Oren Oettinger is an NYC-based actor from Marlton, NJ, a suburb of Philadelphia. He graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute’s Conservatory program in December 2015, where he studied Stanislavsky-based method acting under the tutelage of acclaimed teachers Paul Calderon, Geoffrey Horne, and Lola Cohen. He also briefly studied Contemporary/Jazz Vocal Performance at the world-renowned Frost School of Music at the University of Miami before moving to NYC to pursue acting. In high school, Oren performed alongside Broadway stars Linda Eder (Jekyll & Hyde), Alice Ripley (Next to Normal), and Broadway/ TV star Tituss Burgess (Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) in various concert events in the greater Philadelphia area. More recently, Oren has played principal/supporting roles in various short/ independent films in NYC, as well as featured extra roles in USA Network’s Royal Pains and the upcoming feature film The Outskirts (with Victoria Justice). His latest NYC stage credits include leads in The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (directed by Lee Kasper) and Balm In Gilead (directed by Jenna Worsham).
RADHIKA MEHROTRA – Radhika is an economics graduate and a passionate method actress from India. She recently completed the two-year conservatory program at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Theater and Film. Radhika began acting at the age of eight, and has been acting since her school days. She has rendered performances in plays like The Dark at the top of the stairs, Norway Today , The Private Ear, Bang Bang You’re Dead, Love Letters, Pune Highway and The Gronholm Method. She is extremely passionate about clowning and mask-work. She is extremely delighted to be a part of this troupe and work with such a talented bunch of actors.
BEN RADEMACHER – Ben was born and raised in Duesseldorf, Germany and recently graduated from the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. He is very excited and grateful to be part of the Department of Fools amongst such talented cast members. Ben recently had his successful Off Broadway debut, portraying the Nazi Major Steinsteiger in the original play “Defendant Maurice Chevalier” at the American Theater of Actors. Other acting credits include all lead male roles in David Hares “Blue Room” on Stage in Koblenz, Germany. He also featured in German Films and TV series including “Rosamunde Pilcher” and “Lindenstraße”.
BRANDON SALERNO -Brandon is an actor, producer, and writer. Originally from Eastchester, NY, Brandon started acting at 12 years old with the EHS Players’ Club. He is a recent graduate of the NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study where he studied acting, entertainment business and educational theatre. Recent theatre credits include Vlad in Bud and Blossom, Stanley in Brief Encounter, and Zanni in the NY Fringe Festival ’16 version of A History of Servitude. Brandon can be seen as the title character in the web series Flying High With Charlie, which is available on Amazon Prime and YouTube. He is also a co-writer, producer and lead actor in the new short film Half Empty, which has just been accepted to the NYC Indie Film Awards! For more information, please visit www.brandonsalerno.com
ALEC SEYMOUR – Alec is an NYC based actor, improviser and writer. He joined the Department of Fools earlier this year for the first production of A History of Servitude at the NY Fringe Festival. When he’s not being a weirdo in a mask, he develops one-man plays and is a regular at The PIT Comedy School. Credits include: Peace Lily at United Solo Festival, Confessions at TAPNYC, and Hamlet at NYU.
He would like to thank his Witch Doctor VaBoom and the ghost colonial admiral Maximus Jefferson, who served as a character coach for Il Capitano.
ANNA TEMPTE – Based in New York, Anna Tempte graduated from the Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute where she played Maggie in the play “Den of Thieves” and Becca in “Rabbit Hole”. She just wrapped a production of “The Three Sisters” by Chekov were she played Masha. Anna has starred in a couple of indie films & music videos and is a diverse actress who is often praised for her impeccable comedic timing. www.annatempte.com
ROTEM WEINER – Rotem Weiner was born and raised in Israel. She always loved acting, writing and film making. After backpacking for several months, she finally got the courage to pursue her dream of becoming an actor. Rotem recently wrote and produced her own original play “Love Letters To My Children” which was the 2016 StrasbergWorks recipient, and is a graduate of the “Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute”. Rotem is beyond excited to share the stage with the talented group of friends.