The Orchard Project Team | The Orchard Project

The team at The Orchard Project advances the work of risk-taking theatre-makers by providing accelerating devlopmental opportunities for work and artists of promise and merit.

Though our primary work as a team is centered around the development of particular projects, all involved in the Orchard Project see their primary objective as the building of a creative community of leaders and innovators who will support each other's work.


Ari Edelson


Ari Edelson is a director and producer who has worked both in the United States and internationally, from off-Broadway to London to Tokyo, working in the fields of plays, musicals, and opera. He is also the co-founder of Culture Craver, a tech company that helps people discover culture they'll love. Ari graduated from Yale University and the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama.

Staff/Board: staff, board
Ari Edelson
Artistic Director
Xiaoyue Zhang is a Chinese interdisciplinary artist and creative producer working at the intersection of performance, dance, photography, and film. Her works have been shown at REDCAT New Original Works Festival, Hollywood Fringe Festival, Guangdong Museum of Art (China) and Short Film Corner of the 2018 Cannes International Film Festival. She has served as an associate producer for Ergao Dance Group and CalArts Center for New Performance. She received her MFA in Creative Producing and Management at California Institute of the Arts
Staff/Board: staff
Xiaoyue Zhang
Associate Producer
Staff/Board: staff
Ramona Rose King
Greenhouse Lab Coordinator

JACK PHILLIPS MOORE is a dramaturg, story consultant and theater administrator with a focus on new play development. He works as the Director of New Artists at The Public Theater, where has overseen the development of dozens of new plays and musicals. Projects Jack has dramaturged have premiered at The Public Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, American Repertory Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, The Flea, Ars Nova, Long Wharf, The Alley and South Coast Rep and have won numerous honors including the Princess Grace Award and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.

Staff/Board: staff
Jack Phillips Moore
Performance Lab Facilitator

Jerry Ruiz is a director, producer and new play aficionado. Directing credits include Fade by Tanya Saracho (DCPA world premiere, Primary Stages, Hartford TheaterWorks), Twelfth Night (Old Globe, PlayMakers, Chalk Rep), Mala Hierba (world premiere at Second Stage), Basilica by Mando Alvarado (world premiere at Rattlestick), Enfrascada (NYC premiere at Clubbed Thumb), and Mariela in the Desert by Karen Zacarías (Repertorio Español). He has developed work at Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep., The Public Theater, Atlantic Theater Company, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Playwrights Realm. Currently, Jerry serves as Head of Directing at Texas State University.

Staff/Board: staff
Jerry Ruiz
Audio Lab Facilitator

Marty Chandler is a performer, writer, and collaborative theatermaker originally from the suburbs of Seattle. He is an OP Core Company alumnus, and graduated from Yale University as a Theater & Performance Studies and Psychology major. He received the Yale Marina Keegan Award for Excellence in Playwriting, and his works have been performed at Yale and published in YouthPLAYS.

Staff/Board: staff
Marty Chandler
Artistic & Development Liaison

Mehrnaz is an Iranian American playwright raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She recently graduated from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing program with a minor in Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies. Her work has been developed with City Theatre, the Women’s Theater Festival, Permafrost Theater Collective, Out of the Box Theatrics, Full Circle Theater Collaborative, and the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Mehrnaz was a winner of the Young Playwrights Contest at City Theatre in 2016, and a member of the 2021 New Perspective Theatre Short Work Lab.

Staff/Board: staff
Mehrnaz Tiv
Artistic & Development Liaison

Jennifer is a Los Angeles based director. She developed and directed the world premiere of The Cake by Bekah Brunstetter at Echo Theatre Company with subsequent productions at Geffen Playhouse and Barrington Stage Company, If I Forget by Steven Levinson (Barrington Stage Company), A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle (IAMA) and others. She has worked with acclaimed playwrights Paula Vogel and Bess Wohl and had directed workshops and readings for South Coast Rep, The Old Globe, The Geffen, Center Theatre Group and The McCarter Theater. She was associate artistic director at the Echo Theater Company and ran the playwrights lab for 3 years. She is a proud member of the new class of The Kilroys, and she is the co-founder of Girl Crush Films.

Staff/Board: staff
Jennifer Chambers
Episodic Lab Facilitator

Lana Russell is a producer, director, dramaturg and artistic administrator focusing on programming, new play development and advocacy. She has directed, produced and/or developed plays at The Fifth Avenue Theatre, The Civilians, The Lark, Primary Stages, New Georges, Cal Shakes, The Public Theater of San Antonio, All For One, Naked Angels, Gettysburg College, Bedlam and New York Stage and Film. Recent Credits: Producer, Life Studies Benefit Show (The Civilians), Interim Artistic Producer (New York Stage and Film), Associate Director, BLISS the musical (Fifth Avenue Theatre). Facilitator/founder of writers group, reversal. Member: Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. MFA: Directing, New School. BA: Theater Production, UC Irvine.

Staff/Board: staff
Lana Russell
Director, OP Forward

Lisa is a creative coach and dramaturg specializing in new play development and production. She is the co-director of Theater-19, an ongoing oral history project documenting the experiences of theater workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous positions include director of new work at The Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, director of new play development at Playwrights Horizons, interim dramaturg and advisor to the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater, artistic producer at Carole Shorenstein Hayes Productions. Trained in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at Columbia University (MFA), she has worked with various theater companies and developmental organizations including New York Theatre Workshop, Sundance Theater Institute, New Dramatists, Stacey Mindich Productions, the O’Neill, Actors Theatre of Louisville, INTAR, Classic Stage Company, and New Georges. She is an executive board member at WP Theater and a landscape volunteer in Central Park. She worked with HIAS on their refugee resettlement program for three years. She has served as an adjunct professor at Queens College, Columbia University School of the Arts, NYU's Tisch School of the
Arts, and as the staff dramaturg at The Juilliard School. Lisa holds a BA in English Literature from Kenyon College.

Staff/Board: staff
Lisa Timmel
Greenhouse Lab Facilitator


  • Raymond Bryan, Entrepreneur, Thoroughbred Owner, Broadway Investor
  • David Bauer, Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.
  • Diane Borger, Producer, American Repertory Theatre
  • Jennifer Costello, Director of Production, Broadway Across America/John Gore Organization
  • Ari Edelson, Artistic Director, The Orchard Project
  • Steve Gottlieb, Entrepreneur, Founder, TVT Records and Shindig
  • Richard Glazer, New York Cardiac Center
  • Carly Hugo, Film Producer, Loveless
  • Gabriella Ianoale, Attorney, Ernst & Young
  • Samantha Lazarus Levin
  • Robert Schenkkan, Pulitzer and TONY-winning Playwright
  • Dean Strober, Freelance Producer, Co-Founder, The Orchard Project
  • Steve Seymour, Managing Director, Varde Partners
  • Rachel Uccellini, Integrated Communications Professional