Marlene Hochman is the Founder and Director of The Toy Museum of NY. She considers herself a cultural arts entrepreneur as she created The Toy Museum of NY and the Museum's theatre company. All of the theatre shows performed at the Museum have been written, produced and co-directed by Ms. Hochman. Much of the lyrics for the music she wrote as well. She has a starring role in the shows as her Royal Highness Queen Marlene. Several “Business Women of the Year” awards for her work in Brooklyn are hung in the Museum. She is grateful for the collaborative support she receives from the cast of the show. Their talent, experience and love for the stage help to make each performance memorable. She has been married to her husband Ken for almost 30 years, has three grown children and graduated from New York University.
Catherine Gasta, originally from Philadelphia, joined The Toy Museum in 2010 after being a founding company member of Washington DC's premier physical theater company, Synetic Theater. Playing the roles of both Rosie Rascal and the Queen in the museum's theater performances; The History of Toys and The Queen Marlene's Birthday Party, Ms. Gasta also teaches theater classes at the museum in their after school program and is a co-director of the shows. A professional actress, mime, improviser, director and choreographer, Ms. Gasta is a gem in the museum's artistic staff. BA in Theater from Point Park University and co-founding company member of Synetic Theater in Washington, DC.
Brianna Kalisch is an actor, director, storyteller, puppeteer, mime, and stilt-walker; a wearer of many hats (and wigs!) She has worked both in the US and also overseas in Australia where the koala bears live. She has been part of the creative team at The Toy Museum of NY since 2011; creating new puppet shows, acting, puppeteering, and building props and costumes. This year she is excited to partner in the development of new outreach shows! She has also had the opportunity to work with many amazing companies and artists in New York City, regionally, and internationally. She received her BA in Theatre after studying in St. Paul, MN and Sydney AUS.
Chris Palmieri has been proudly serving along side The Toy Museum’s talented cast as a puppeteer. He has been instrumental as a puppet builder and puppet show developer since fall of 2012. He has appeared in their show “The History of Toys” as well as helping to develop and perform in The Toy Museum of NY's Puppet Theater. Chris' puppetrywork has also been seen at Field Station: Dinosaurs in Secaucus NJ, Dante's Inferno at the Brick Theater in Brooklyn and in the HBO/Columbia University short film First Prize. Chris' next puppeteering adventure will be portraying King in the international tour of Jim Henson's Dinosaur Train Live! His favorite toy as a child was Teddy: his stuffed bear, best pal and likely the first thing he ever puppeteered.
Since 1999, the not-for-profit Toy Museum of NY has provided family-friendly fun and educational live theater for all ages. An amazing historic toy collection performs as prop characters in every show. Come visit us. Over 15,000 school children each year have a wonderful time and teachers are booking trips a year in advance. The Toy Museum of NY is a proven winner as an alternative to any other field trip to museums. We hope to see you soon.
Juliana Suaide is originally from São Paulo, Brazil and graduated from The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, NY. She received her classical ballet diploma from The Royal Academy of Dance in Brazil. Currently, she's been performing in many "Off Off Broadway" productions and enjoys playing the role of Rosie Rascal at The Toy Museum.
Tamara Michelle Shephard grew up 2,000 miles from NYC in the small town of Pocatello, ID. She graduated cum Laude from Idaho State University with her major in Theatre Arts. Since moving to New York City, she has been involved in many film, modeling, and theatre productions; however, her favorite production thus far has been working with Marlene Hochman and The Toy Museum of NY to perform quality children's theatre.
Mariana Coelho is a Brazilian actress, singer, and tap dancer based in New York City. Education: The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute and CAL. Theatre credits include: Pygmalion - Mz Doolittle understudy/ensemble (Joey Stamp), The History of Toys at The Toy Museum of NY and Romeo & Juliet - Juliet (Thierry Tremoroux) to name a few. Mariana loves working at The Toy Museum and is glad to work with such a talented group of actors.
Marco Agnolucci is a trilingual native New Yorker who lived in Europe for 8 years. He received his BA in Comparative Literature and Film History and Theory at the American University of Paris prior to receiving an Advanced Filmmaking Graduate Diploma at the New York Film Academy in London. In 2010 Marco completed his three-year MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School. Apart from acting and making films, Marco is a film reviewer and interviewer of international filmmakers. He is honored to be a part of the Toy Museum of NY.
Stephanie is originally from San Francisco, California and moved to New York City six years ago. Recent theatre credits include Parables for the One Percent, reasons to be pretty, Marisol, and Border Sweet Border. Recent TV and film credits include Sesame Street, Sounds Familiar, and No One Lives Forever. Stephanie currently studies at the T. Schreiber studio with Bob Verlaque. She is delighted to be a part of The Toy Museum.
Luke Bond is an actor who is honored to be working with The Toy Museum of NY. He has worked with the Cortland Repertory Theater (Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily), The Heights Players (The Long Christmas Dinner), The St. Jean Players (The Diary of Ann Frank), and The Ritz Company Playhouse (The Drowsy Chaperone, High School Reunion, Clever Dick). Luke trained at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York City.
Michele graduated from Niagara University with a BFA in Theatre Performance and completed the Stella Adler Summer Conservatory program in 2013. Upon graduation, Michele has worked in several short films and booked a National Children’s Theatre Tour. She is thrilled to be joining The Toy Museum of NY.
Emmanuel Elpenord is an actor, puppeteer, voice actor and singer from Coney Island, Brooklyn, New York. Manga cum laude graduate of Brooklyn College (Acting BFA, TV and Radio BA, Creative Writing BFA). Member of Stable Cable Lab Co. and Voyage Theater Company. Recent credits: Bum Phillips: All-American Opera (Ellen Stewart Theater); MChomba/Puppeteer in The African Drum (Shadow Box Theater Company); “Cheesy Joke Teller” in Pirate’s Booty Ad Campaign, Jogger” in Miumeet App Commercial. Website: emmanuelelpenord.com
Courtney Megaro is a musical theater actress based out of New York City. Her work was last seen in #GetAway and in several cabaret appearances. This summer, she makes her debut as a producer in Mr. Marmalade, where she will also play the lead role of Lucy. She is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy.
Samantha Turret is an actress, comedian, improviser, and voiceover artist. She’s excited to be joining the cast of “The History of Toys” as Rosie Rascal. She has also had the opportunity to work with some amazing groups in New York City and regionally. Most recently seen in The Diary of Anne Frank- Anne (Open Stage of Harrisburg), Woyzeck- Doctor (Philadelphia Fringe Festival), and doing stand-up at Greenwich Village Comedy Club. BA in Theatre from Muhlenberg College and an upper-level student at Upright Citizen’s Brigade.