who are the woolgatherers?
The Woolgatherers are a group of theater artists who come from varied disciplines, backgrounds, and walks of life. Inspired by their different perspectives and ways of working, they collectively devise new work and re-imagine classics through a modern and experimental lens. They value non-traditional storytelling, building communities, engaging audiences deeply, and collaborating empathetically. By cultivating theatrical events, plays, and workshops, The Woolgatherers work toward a common goal of building an open and welcoming community of art-makers.
what is woolgathering?
Pre-automation, a woolgatherer was somebody hired by a shepherd to go into the field each night and collect the bits of wool that had gotten caught on trees while the sheep wandered around during the day. Since sheep meander, not following a direct path, the path of the woolgatherer would also be indirect and unpredictable.
Over time, "woolgathering" came to mean wandering, not through fields, but through ideas: getting caught up in daydreams and fancies. A woolgatherer is someone who doesn't follow a prescribed path, but forges their own way, letting themselves be impacted by their community, their environment, and their fantasies.
We do not believe in a linear path for art-making. We believe in curvy lines, fancies, dreams, and the unexpected. That is what makes us Woolgatherers.
who are our gatherers?
A gatherer is a member of our community. They are artists of all backgrounds and disciplines who collaborate to build the Woolgatherers' mission, programs, and projects.
Here are our gatherers. For more information on how to get involved with The Woolgatherers, click here.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CO-FOUNDER
Grace Herman-Holland is an NYC-based director and deviser who makes interactive, genre-bending performances. Recent directing includes Romeo and Juliet (MITU 580), Eyes of a Blue Dog (Dixon Place), Genesis 22 (Governors Island), and Revel’s End (Cap 21). Grace has also worked at Ars Nova, HERE Arts Center, SITI Company, the Grotowski Institute, and the Kyoto Art Center. She is a member of Dance Japan, a nihon buyo (Japanese dance) company, a 2018 Fresh Ground Pepper BRB Resident Artist, and a member of the 2018-2019 SDC Foundation Observership Class. She is the artistic director of The Woolgatherers Theater Group.
Bereket Mengistu grew up in Ethiopia adoring Hollywood and Bollywood movies. He got his first professional theater training at the Ethiopian National Theater in 2010, which shifted his passion to the stage. He moved to New York in 2015 and since then has performed at the American Theatre of Actors (2016 and 2019); AlphaNYC Theatre Company (2016-2019); and Lehman College, where he is enrolled in African-American Studies. Bereket is a big Shakespeare fanatic. He got his first Shakespearean role with the Woolgatherers in their New York debut, and has been cast in every show they have done since.
Will Van Moss
Will Van Moss was born in Belgium and raised all over Europe. He started his acting career at the young age of 6 and has continued to call the stage his home ever since. Will has been in a plethora of shows ranging from operas such as Carmen at the Royal Flemish Opera to a short film about Neo-Nazi Americans (Let Mercy Come). After acting in mainland Europe until the age of 18, Will then fully developed his craft in London and New York where he studied and performed in everything ranging from Shakespeare and Greek Tragedies to indie short films. His credits with the Woolgatherers are Revels End: A Tempest Dance Party and Eyes of A Blue Dog. For more info about Will Van Moss visit www.willvanmoss.com or follow him on Instagram @will.vanmoss
STAGE MANAGER, TEACHING ARTIST, DIRECTOR
Natalie Jones is a freelance theatre artist based in Astoria, Queens. Previous stage management credits include: The Woolgatherers’ Romeo and Juliet and Eyes of a Blue Dog, In The Bleak Midwinter, Elvira: The Immigration Play (Collaboraction Theater – Chicago, IL), Memphis, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (Suffolk Theater – Long Island, NY), Ebenezer (Resorts Casino – Atlantic City, NJ), Much Ado About Nothing, and Beauty and the Beast, among others. In addition to her stage managing work, Natalie is a Kennedy Center-recognized performer and director as well as a proud teaching artist for New York-based non-profits Broadway Bound Kids and Story Pirates. Ephesians 6:7.
PERFORMER, SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER
Kelley Heyer is an NYC-based actor and activist. As an avid supporter of the feminist movement, Kelley works to further women’s roles and stories in the arts. Kelley has recently worked with The Woolgatherers in Romeo and Juliet, Robbins Entertainment, and the Sundance Film Festival. You can find more of her work at www.kelleyheyer.com or on Instagram @kelleyheyer.
PERFORMER, DIRECTOR, PLAYWRIGHT
Raised in Woodstock, NY, and trained in New York and abroad at The Neighborhood Playhouse, Shakespeare and Company, The National Theater, and The Royal Scottish Conservatory. Now living in Brooklyn, Brandon creates as an actor, director, playwright, and visual artist. He most recently appeared in The Woolgatherers’ Romeo and Juliet. Other credits include: Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead (The Center for the Performing Arts at Rhinebeck), Mother Courage (SUNY Ulster), Do Not Go Gentle (Festival of the Voice). Upcoming projects include the NYC premiere of MUSE with creative partner Lachlan Brooks. Follow on Instagram @brandoncobalt.
Kate Ginna is an NYC-born actor, writer, and deviser who joined the Woolgatherers in the Spring of 2019 as an actor in Romeo and Juliet. Other acting credits include The Lathe of Heaven (Spooky Action Theater), 12 Angry Jurors (AlphaNYC), and Julius Caesar (Georgetown University). She has also worked at Cherry Lane Theater as a production assistant. She graduated from Georgetown University in Washington, DC in 2018 and is now a student at William Esper Studio in Manhattan.
Peter Alexandrou is originally from Australia, of Greek origin, and has been living in NYC since 2007. After finishing his studies at the Adelaide Center for the Arts in Adelaide, South Australia, he came to study in NYC at the HB Studio. Recent credits include Romeo and Juliet (The Woolgatherers), Till Death (Pent Up Productions), Waiting for Godot (HB Studio), and High Maintenance (HBO). He is very excited to be a part of the bright future of this very exciting young company!
Melinda Hare is a costume designer based in NYC. The Woolgatherers: Romeo and Juliet, Eyes of a Blue Dog. New York: Dutchman (The Secret Theatre), Back O’Town (Midtown International Theatre Festival), In Their Footsteps (Infinite Variety Productions world premiere). Regional world premieres include: Death on the Supermarket Shelves (Centerstage!), Emboldened (Freehold Theatre), The Life and Many Deaths of Peter Pan (Seattle Fringe Festival), and Reading to Vegetables (University of Washington). MFA in Costume Design: University of Washington, BA in Drama: San Francisco State University summa cum laude. She also works as a designer and technician with students in NYC.
Sarah Corbyn Woolf
CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR EMERITUS, CO-FOUNDER
Sarah Corbyn Woolf is an NYC- and Massachusetts-based actress and co-founder of The Woolgatherers. She is committed to illuminating the connections between the personal and universal and is always seeking the threads that run through centuries of theater, art, and humanity. Working primarily with heightened text, Sarah has performed with a variety of independent theater companies around Manhattan, as well as New York Classical Theatre and, of course, The Woolgatherers. She has trained with Shakespeare & Company, The Humanist Project, The Linklater Center, and The Barrow Group Acting School. She received a B.A. in Theater from Wesleyan University and is about to begin as an M.F.A. candidate at the Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University. For more about Sarah, visit .