Artistic Director / Executive Managing Director / Founding Member
has both a formal education and decades of practical experience on stage and behind the scenes in theatre, live concert events, industrials, print, film, and television. She spent a good portion of her life performing before shifting her focus to directing, producing, technical stage production, and writing. After receiving a Bachelor of Arts from The Florida State University, School of Theatre, she landed in New York City where she continued to lay strong roots for a career in Broadway theatre. Jessica has since enjoyed working as part of the Broadway companies of Movin’ Out, The Producers, LoveMusik, Young Frankenstein, West Side Story, Superior Donuts, American Idiot, Catch Me If You Can, Lysistrata Jones, Peter & The Starcatcher, Annie, First Date, All The Way, This Is Our Youth, Fish In the Dark, Hamilton, and Misery. Her most recent credit is as Wardrobe Supervisor on the new Broadway show, The Crucible. As a member of the award winning production company, Awaken Entertainment, Jessica worked as a Producer on Superior Donuts and Green Day's American Idiot, gaining nominations for both a Drama Desk and TONY Award for Best Musical, as well as the 10th Anniversary, 9/11 Benefit production of 110 Stories starring a cast of Hollywood A-list celebrities raising funds for the New York Says Thank You foundation. Jessica was an Associate Producer on the Vision Vehicle Productions award winning independent feature film, Construction. She also spends time lecturing for a variety of arts organizations and universities. In 2005, Jessica co-founded Working Artists Theatre Project with a fellow Broadway colleagues and has since developed, directed, and produced much of the companies work with grants awarded from the National Endowment for the Arts and chashama. www.JessicaDermody.com
Artistic Director / Executive Managing Director
Is thrilled to be joining the Working Artist Theater team as Co-Artistic Director. Originally from Miami, Florida he obtained his arts education from New World School of the Arts. Since moving to New York City in 2002, he’s enjoyed an exciting Broadway career. His Broadway performing Credits include: An American in Paris, Kinky Boots (Angel), Lysistrata Jones, How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, Catch Me If You Can, Women On the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, The Addams Family, Crybaby, La Cage Aux Folles, Wicked. Encores!: Merrily We Roll Along, Pipe Dream, On The Town. During the course of these 10 Broadway shows he had the privilege to work with Tony award winning Directors and Choreographers. These creative icons have influenced his use of story telling through movement. Choreography credits include the New York premier of The Big Show (Working Artist Theater), Sweater Weather (Dance Short), Descent into Madness (Dance Film) 35 MM (54 Below), Flesh and Spirit (MMAC Theater), Rocketman (Unexpected Boy), Opening credits for the Pilot “DINE”, Broadway Bares- Spring Fever!, Broadway in Hoboken.
Christy Witt Hoffman
Chief Financial Officer / Executive Managing Director
Is a classically-trained singer whose professional background includes years of accomplishment in non-profit resource development and fundraising, supporting several Tony-award winning Broadway productions. She is currently the the Chief Operating Officer of CIOSE, LLC, the premier strategic exchange for Chief Information Officers of the world’s largest and most forward-thinking corporations. Outside of her “day job” she also advices theatrical professionals as they transition from careers throughout the Broadway community into careers throughout the corporate and start-up communities. A 2nd Degree Black Belt and Instructor in Hapkido, Ms. Hoffman holds a MBA from Fordham University and a BA from Otterbein University.
Chad Luke Schiro
has been choreographing, directing and working behind the scenes on WAT productions since 2007. This growing collaboration led to a residency with the company in 2013, the spark of which led to his current position. Throughout his career performing on Broadway, at Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, City Center, and Radio City Music Hall, Chad served as associate choreographer or director of nearly every show in which he performed. Because of this he feels passionately about WAT Project’s mission of empowering artists to expand, take risks, develop, and find their own creative voice. He has taken the reigns himself, directing and choreographing in The Fringe Festival, at Urban Stages, Ars Nova, La Mama, the Legendary Living Theater as well as several feature films. He has created character movement on stage and screen for Robin Williams, Bernie Mac, Bill Irwin and John Stamos to name a few. As a performance artist and writer Chad has written, produced and performed two, full-length character pieces exploring human nature through pop culture, sketch comedy, and dance. Both pieces featured members of the Broadway community in bold new incarnations and played to sold-out audiences at ARS Nova. His first show, JUST JUMP!, was awarded several residency encore performances, and an excerpt from his second, WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE, was selected as the finale of the theater’s NBC New Talent Showcase. In 2012 he co-created a theatrical dance experience as the centerpiece for The School Of American Ballet’s prestigious Winter Ball at Lincoln Center. He teaches character development, theater dance, and audition technique in annual programs at The University Of Wisconsin, Madison and The Vail International Dance Festival.
Director of Development
joined the WAT Project team in 2007. Originally from London, Ontario, Lil graduated from the University of Western Ontario with an Honors Bachelor of Arts and Education in English and Dramatic Arts. She was co-founder and Artistic Director of the Canadian award-winning company Theatre Soup and received Brickenden Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayals of Kate Keller in The Miracle Worker and double roles of Lizzie Borden and Bridget in Blood Relations. She played pivotal roles inUnidentified Human Remains and the True Nature of Love and Boulevard which won Brickenden Awards for Bravest Productions. Since moving to NYC, Lil has developed, produced and acted in several productions with WAT Project which have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and chashama. Her diverse body of work as an actress includes critical roles in WAT Project's Timberlake: American Pulp, Rope, Open Call! Life Without Parole, and the biographical play Fruits Unheard Of in which she portrayed American photographer Diane Arbus. She played various leading roles in Chamber Theatre Productions 2006 U.S Encore Tour and Jelena in Uncle Vanya with The New York Space Ensemble. Feature film and TV credits include Vision Vehicle's Construction directed by Malcolm Goodwin, Paradise written and directed by Marc Lafia, TV movie Red Hook High directed by Trac Minh Vu, and the ABC Soap Opera "All My Children." Since 2009, Lil has also been doing charitable work with the David Lynch Foundation (For Consciousness-Based Education and World Peace) through developing the NYC screening series for David Lynch's documentaryMeditation, Creativity, Peace and play reading performance fundraisers.
Melanie J. Lisby
Production Manager / Event Coordinator
Melanie has an extensive vocal music, theatre, and dance background and discovered Stage Management in college at Indiana State University. She has Stage Managed regionally in Chicago, Indiana, and New Hampshire. After freelancing for four years, she joined the Gulfshore Playhouse family in Naples, Florida, in 2007 where she worked for six years as the Resident Production Stage Manager (Stage Managing 17 shows), Company Manager and General Manager. During her time in Florida, she was on the board of the Florida Theatre Conference and sang with the Naples Orchestra and Chorus. Melanie moved to New York City in April 2013, and has subbed on Silence! The Musical (Off-Broadway); worked events with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids, the Times Square Alliance, and Production Glue; was on the Stage Management team for the Hole In The Wall Gang 25th Anniversary Gala; and Stage Managed multiple showcases and readings. Melanie also recently celebrated her 8th New Year’s Eve as the Movement Coordinator for the Times Square New Year’s Eve Celebration.
THE WAT COMMUNITY
Check out our members from 2005 to present
Damon W. Arrington
John Alban Coughlan
Katrina Rose Dideriksen
Nicole Colina Dugan
Stacey Todd Holt
Brian Charles Johnson
Ari Laura Kreith
Chad Luke Schiro
Alex Michael Stoll
David L. Townsend
Adrienne D. Williams