Mad Dog is a group of artists who tell stories. We believe the best way to do this is to make the stories our own. Stories that are funny, ferocious, unlikely, sexy, rough, inconvenient, loud, unsightly, and – ultimately – provoke questions. We are committed to producing new work, and strive for passionate collaboration from inception through performance. We welcome the possibility of creating a monster.
Who We Are
Mad Dog was founded in 2010 by seven* theatre artists and artisans (yes, artisans) who met at Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training between 2006 and 2009. Our founding members include experienced (and aspiring) actors, directors, playwrights, theatre administrators, teaching artists and bartenders. We work as an ensemble and encourage each other to wear a number of hats so that we – like our audience – are always evolving.
Joel Waage | Artistic Director
Joel is very excited to be starting his second year with Mad Dog, where he previously directed This is Not the Play and All the Way from China, other directing credits include, Waiting for Godot, Titus, Step 3, Flood Story (FSU); Julius Caesar, The Zoo Story, The Retreating World (Asolo Late Night Series); Pippin, Godspell, The Wiz, In Your Eyes, Lost in Yonkers (Village Theatre); The Dying Gaul, Sylvia (WWU); The Fantasticks (Tahoma); Noises Off (Green River CC). Joel hails from Seattle, Washington and has a Master of Fine Arts in Directing from Florida State University and Bachelor of Arts from Western Washington University. Joel also recently appeared on ‘Who Wants to be a Millionaire’
Kevin O’Callaghan | Executive Director
Kevin is a proud Michigander. New York: All The Way From China by Barry Levey, This Is Not The Play by Chisa Hutchinson (Mad Dog Theatre Company), The Argument by Gregory S. Moss (The Attic Theatre Company). Regional: Jonas in The Giver directed by KJ Sanchez, Florizel in The Winter’s Tale directed by Michael D. Edwards, Christy in The Devil’s Disciple directed by Tony and Oscar winner Tony Walton (Asolo Rep). Other credits include Zoo Story, American Buffalo, Speed-The Plow, The Duchess of Malfi, Murder by Poe, and The Merchant of Venice. Kevin is a proud graduate of Western Michigan University, and holds an MFA in Acting from The Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Proudly Equity.
Sarah Gleissner | Production Stage Manager
Sarah has been a professional stage manager since graduating from college. For three years she served as a resident stage manager at the Asolo Rep Theater, where she met the rest of the Mad Dogs. She has also stage managed for the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp, the FSU/Asolo Conservatory, Two River Theater Company, the Carolina Chamber Music Festival and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. She loves Wisconsin, road trips, her calico kitten, and anything by John Steinbeck. She is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.
Heather Kelley | Literary Manager
Heather Kelley is a former associate editor of Opium Magazine, and her plays and short stories can be found in 225 Plays by the New York Neo-Futurists from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (Hope and Nonthings) and What Happened to Us These Last Couple Years? An Anthology of the Bush Years, 2000-2008 (Elope Press/So New Publishing). Performance credits include Hayfever (Dorset Theatre Festival), Don Carlos (Prospect Theater Company), A Doll’s House (Banyan Theater Company), The Giver, Inventing van Gogh, The Winter’s Tale, and The Devil’s Disciple (Asolo Repertory Theatre), and three seasons with the educational touring company of the Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. MFA Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.
Ghafir Akbar | Company Member
Ghafir hails from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he was a member of the Instant Café Theatre Company, writing and performing in their repertoire of controversial comedy revues and original satirical works. Favorite regional credits include Life of Galileo, The Perfume Shop, Life in the Middle (which he co-authored) all with the Asolo Rep, and The Retreating World with The Ruckus Theater in Chicago (where he is the co-founder and Artistic Associate). Other notable credits include Romeo in Romeo & Juliet, Walter in Three Postcards, Paul Lazarro in Slaughterhouse Five and as the Stage Manager/Billee in Wilder! Wilder! Wilder! MFA in Acting: FSU/Asolo Conservatory. BA in Theatre Performance: Western Michigan University.
Jennifer Logue | Company Member
Jennifer is an interpersonal communication skills expert with the global company Working Voices and has been performing in NYC for ten years. This ranges from her stand-up career at Caroline’s on Broadway, Gotham, and Stand Up New York to the Fringe Festival in Musical Chairs and Two Chairs and A Table. Regional: Columbia in The Rocky Horror Show, Meredith inFive Women Wearing the Same Dress, Emily in Blue Window, Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. You can also see her perform the first Wednesday of every month with “Our Bar“. Jennifer has an MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Love you Papa…it’s always for you.
Nicole Samsel | Company Member
Nicole is an actor, singer, and teaching-artist based in New York City. A proud graduate of DePauw University, Nicole met her fellow Mad Dogs while working in the education department of Asolo Repertory Theatre. Her favorite credits include Mandy in Eclipsed (Gaiety Theatre, Dublin), Shelley in Bat Boy: The Musical, Esse in Steve Here, and Jenny in The Shape of Things. Nicole is also an expert at making Mojitos and the game “Up Chickens, Down Chickens.”
Mad Dog Theatre Company is based in New York City.
*The company was founded in 2010 by Ghafir Akbar, Brent Bateman, Heather Kelley,
Jennifer Logue, Kevin O’Callaghan, Nicole Samsel and Joel Waage.