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:
SYLVIE MAE BALDWIN – Sylvie is a performer, lover, and trouble maker based in New York City. You may recognize her from appearances at the Broadway Bound Theatre Festival, TheatreLab, and Impact Theatre. Regionally, she has worked at South Coast Rep (CA), Children’s Theatre Company (MN), Seattle Public Theatre (WA), Lexington Children’s Theatre (KY), and many others. Aside from her work onstage, Sylvie loves reading, writing, and volunteering.
@sylviemmcb • http://www.sylviebaldwin.com
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
JESSENIA CUESTA – Born in Santurce, Puerto Rico, Jesse and her interest in the arts began through music. At the age of seven she entered, Coro de Niños de San Juan, where she studied and performed classical repertoire. After five years she began studies at the Conservatory of Music in San Juan where she focused on piano, classical singing techniques, and jazz. Later, at the Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, she began taking acting lessons and her interest in the theatre deepened. With a focus on physical theatre, she studied with Ivan Olmo and took various workshops with several participating artists at the 11th International Mime Festival in the Caribbean. Her resume include The Pearl by John Steinbeck, Oedipus, and Adultos del Mañana. All of these experiences motivated her to expand her performance skills by studying circus aerial acrobatics at SubCielo in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico. Recently, Jessenia completed the two year conservatory program at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute.
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 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”. Currently, Matthew is on the faculty at NYU Gallatin, AADA, and the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute. In addition, Matthew is the ‘Capocomico’ (captain) for the Department of Fools. For more information please visit: http://www.matthewajgregory.squarespace.com
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”.
ANDY RICHARDSON is a founding member of the Department of Fools. He is an American stage actor, singer, and dancer who was born in Omaha, Nebraska, and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He has been performing on stage since he was eight years old. In 2007, Andy got his big break when he flew up to NYC to audition for New York City Center’s summer production of Gypsy and he booked the job. The highly acclaimed production, directed by Arthur Laurents and starring Patti LuPone, became the catalyst for Andy’s start on Broadway. In the fall of 2007, he made his Broadway debut as Danny Who in Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and in March 2008, he and the rest of the New York City Center Gypsy cast transferred to Broadway. When his run ended at Gypsy, Andy returned to San Antonio and resumed his life as a normal teenager in eighth grade. In May 2011, Andy auditioned for and booked the world premiere production of Newsies at Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, New Jersey. After a very successful limited run at Paper Mill in the fall of 2011, Newsies transferred to Broadway in March 2012 and Andy was fortunate to transfer with it in the role he originated, Romeo, and as a Crutchie understudy. In March 2013, Andy was promoted to his first principal role when he was chosen as the Crutchie replacement. He continued to perform in Newsies until the show closed on Broadway in August 2014. Andy is currently performing as Crutchie in the North American Tour of Newsies. Andy is a student at NYU Gallatin School of Individualized Study studying Musical Theatre and American Sign Language.
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
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.