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photo of Parker Cross Parker Cross
is an actor who has studied with Shakespeare&Company and is a recognized "actor-combatant" by the society of American Fight Directors; a director who has won national awards for directing Shakespeare and regional awards for directing musicals; a teacher who has been named to "Who's Who in American Education" nine times; a scholar who has done post-graduate study at Columbia, Brown, and Rice Universities and is a fellow of the Shakespeare Institute n Stratford, England. He starred as Demetrius/Bottom in AMND, July 2003 and as the title character in Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, December 2003, 2004. Parker fought and choreographed fights in Cyrano at Barrington Stage Co., August 2004. He wrote and directed Haunted Albany and Saratoga and recently played several mythical characters in Capital Repertory’s Metamorphoses. His new one-act play, Rapture, premieres in NYC in August. He is the founder, director and executive producer of Wit&Will Theatre.
Jennifer VanIderstyne Jennifer VanIderstyne
By day, Jen is a computer geek making her living as an internet marketing and SEO junkie. After hours she likes to show up on stage whenever she's given the chance. Locally Jen has been seen as Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, with Alpha Psi Omega, The Vagina Monologues, and Catherine in Proof among many other roles with Schenectady Civic Players. She has been a member of Wit& Will since 2004, and has participated in many of their productions, such as Haunted Albany, My Voice is In My Sword along with penning G.O.D and A Marriage of Convenience for Wit&Will's Theater Shorts. Jen loves working with this amazing group of people and is happy that her heart still races everytime she plays Blind Freeze. When not on stage though she still enjoys her grandmother's cooking, she now has her own laundry facilities, but is grateful for weekly dinners with her parents.
photo of Harold

Harold Gosling
studied acting and improv as well as art and painting at Plattsburgh State University. Harold has performed improv with Cardinal Players, Insert Something Funny and Mop and Bucket Co. as well as completing a stint in the army. He competed in the Saratoga Arts Council Theatre Sports and the Improv Festival in Toronto. After a sabbatical to welcome his son into the world, Harold joined Wit&Will Theatre to find funny and bring it once again to the populous with a smile.  

Andrea Kannes Andrea Kannes
started performing comedy at 14 years old by taking the late-great Mike Irwin's stand- up and improv classes. She spent her high school years traveling to open mics on schoolnights with 30 and 40-something alcoholic comedians. She escaped the Capital Region to go to New York University and graduated in December of 2009 with a major in history, minors in Education and dramatic Literature, and a Moby- Dick obsession. At NYU she came in 3rd (but really second) place at the award-winning university-wide talent show, "Ultra Violet Live" where she lost to a Chinese Yo-Yo duo. Andrea is now back in the Albany area and excited to be in Wit&Will while working for a local college. She has future dreams of filmmaking and professordom and eventually wants to make documentaries about things that never happened as well as open a music/comedy/frozen yogurt venue called Zelda Bogart's. Check out her unlame blog at http://sorrychamp.blogspot.com.
Matthew O'Connor Matthew O'Connor
began his performing career in high school when he helped to cofound his school’s first improv troupe, The Improvables. The troupe quickly became popular and performed a number of successful shows through the school year, as well as a small stint at a local café/lounge. After graduating, Matt continued by studying improv under the direction of Dr. Kenneth Krauss at the College of Saint Rose, while achieving a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Information Systems. Currently, aside from working in the ever-exciting field of computer programming, Matt enhances his excitement by performing improv regularly with Wit&Will as one of its newest members.
Laura Murray, the woman behind the scenes Laura K. Murray
is proud to be Wit&Will's official and exclusive photographer and videographer. In return for this privilege, she is their one-woman publicity and production team. She manages and designs this web site; writes and distributes press releases; does the program layout and production; creates and prints the posters and flyers; runs the box office, manages reservations and does the house management (assisted by the dedicated actors). Oh, and she creates a new display window for ZuZu's each month. Laura also does all the photography, graphic design and sound design for the original Haunted plays by Parker Cross. In the past, Laura did production, publicity, lights, tech, costumes, props, set design, sound design and assistant directing for Wit&Will's Hamlet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night's Dream, My Voice is in my Sword, Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, Haunted Albany and Saratoga. Laura is an automation librarian for 60 of the SUNY libraries by day and recently completed her Master's degree in photography. She lives in a 253 year old house with 5 talented cats, a couple of ghosts and an actor/playwright/director. Laura is invisible most of the time, but always hopes that her images speak for her commitment and love for Wit&Will.
Emeritus Members
photo of Ben

Benjamin Katagiri
One of the few known people of Jirish decent on Earth (half Japanese, half Irish), Benny K's artisitic forays are as diverse are his genes. Seen in various venues such as NYSTI, Saratoga Shakespeare, and Curtain Call Theatre, Benny K has enjoyed performing in productions of M. Butterfly, It's A Wonderful Life, As You Like It, Miss Saigon and others. Further passions including work as a pianist, guitarist, vocalist and obsessive composer/song-writer. Recently you may have seen his commercial work in ads for SEFCU, Saratoga Racino, NYSERDA, or a certain propane company where he utters the infamous line "I've got gas!" Featured in Ang Lee's Taking Woodstock, Benny K has performed in numerous independent and student films, as well as one PBS documentary. Recently graduating from the College of St. Rose with a MA in History and Political Science, Benny K can finally proclaim that he is, indeed, "too cool for school."  

Joanna Palladino Joanna Peterson
is a veteran improv performer and was glad to join in Wit&Will's inaugural production of Hamlet in 2000. After a long hiatus from theatre, Joanna was delighted to trade quips and quirks again doing improv; it rivals her current profession as a policy wonk. She started wending her witchy ways in MacBeth, Summer 2001; played Viola in Twelfth Night, Summer 2002. She starred in Betrayal at Curtain Call Theatre in March 2003, then as Hermia/Snout in Wit&Will's summer 2004 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, then as Eva Tanguay (and others) the premiere of Haunted Albany County in October (a role she reprised in 2004 and 2005). Joanna has been seen in Curtain Call's Ten Little Indians, Kiss the Bride, Noises Off, Rumors, The Sunshine Boys, PostMortem, Leading Ladies, It's A Wonderful Life, Tom,Dick & Harry, and the critically acclaimed Rabbit Hole. She was Lady Caroline in SCP's Enchanted April. In 2006, Joanna  starred in the new play We are at the Well for Wit&Will's Theatre Shorts. Her most stellar work is offering workshops for troubled youths and chairing the NYCLU's annual Banned Books Week Readings.
photo of Janet Womachka

Janet Womachka
has been with Wit and Will since 2001.   She has been seen as a witch in Macbeth, Maria in Twelfth Night, Antonia in What You Will, Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Detective in Looking for Mr. Big, over 30 different characters in Jacob Marley's Christmas Carol, Haunted Albany and Haunted Saratoga.  Janet acts, directs and designs costumes for several local area theaters and independent productions. Janet also wrote and starred in Left Behind for Wit&Will’s Theatre Shorts. She received her BA in Theater from Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA where she studied the processes of Meisner, Bogart, Parke and Gratowski. By day she works for CSEA in their Occupational Safety and Health Department.

John Pruden
has been involved in the Voiceover Industry since 1995.  He has performed live on stage, and in studios throughout the country.  John has also enjoyed successful performances as a Master of Ceremonies for numerous professional and private organizations, and has sung competitively at the International level as part of an a capella ensemble.  John owns and operates his own voiceover business, Voice Acting With Character, in Upstate New York where he regularly records his performances of audiobook and corporate narrations, as animation and video game characters, and in radio and TV commercials in his professional recording studio.  John's most recent audiobook, Patterson's View is a 6-1/2 hour suspense-thriller in which he provided the voices for 76 distinct characters.
Jim Quent Jim Quent brings a blend of international flavor, a range of emotions and a level of energy rarely scene on stage. His bold, bald style is all about honesty with a touch of deception just for good measure. He also produces "Cause to Laugh," which uses the gift of laughter to raise funds for worthy causes such as the fight against childhood cancer.

Jim has been fortunate to work with great comedians, such as HBO's Jim Gaffigan, SNL's Dean Edwards, Comedy Central's Ted Alexandro, Joe Materese, Yannis Pappas, and XM/Sirius Radio's Tom Shillue just to name a few.

Remember: Life is always going to throw you curve balls. It is up to you to decide whether to swing at them or let them go by and hope they don’t land as a strike against you. (how profound .. I made that up myself.).

Mark Salocks Mark Salocks is a common sight and voice in local and regional theater as well as independent films. He was a resident actor/director with Steamer No.10's children theatre and a member of the Wit&Will Theatre who performed in the critically acclaimed The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). You may recognize him as the title character in Wit&Will's Macbeth or Hamlet and as Malvolio/Toby in Twelfth Night or Theseus/Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Other credits include Kaiser Lupowitz in the world premiere of Wit&Will's Looking for Mr. Big.
Ben Snitkoff Ben Snitkoff spent 6 years at French Woods Festival of the Perfoming Arts summer camp where he appeared in West Side Story, Barnum, HMS Pinafore, Me and My Girl, The Music Man and the Runaways. Since then he has played Pserudelus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum and the title role in Julius Caesar at the University of Rochester, where he directed one-act plays.
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