Meet the Cast

Claudia Schneider, Crista Marie Jackson, Carl H. Jaynes

CAST MEMBERS in the WORDS OF CHOICE ensemble include:

Crista Marie Jackson (2013, 2008-2011) has performed with Words of Choice since 2008, appearing in New York and traveling to Kansas, Colorado, Maryland, D.C. and Virginia. With a BFA in theatre from Hofstra University, she performed in various Off-Broadway and Off-Off-Broadway productions. After studying aerial acrobatics, including silk and flying trapeze at the Circus Warehouse in Long Island City, she started performing aerial ballet at Sea World in San Diego in 2011.

Leah Jacobs

Leah Jacobs (2012) is a graduate of the USC School of Theatre, where she originated two plays by playwright Boni B. Alvarez.  Leah has been seen onstage in NYC with the Manhattan Theatre Source, The Leviathan Theatre Lab, Queens Theatre in the Park, Mortal Folly Theatre Company, and The Players Theatre, and has developed work with Ensemble Studio Theatre, CAP 21, and Primary Stages.

Carl H. Jaynes (2006-2014) has been a member of the cast of Words of Choice for seven years, traveling to 12 states to present pro-choice theatre performances to vulnerable communities across the country.  Also a member of Flock Theater in New London, Connecticut, he performed the title role in the Flock’s recent production of Othello . As a member of Flock, he has been a performer at the National Puppetry Conference, held annually at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Waterford CT.  Off-Broadway: Fortune and Men’s Eyes, Robin’s Band, Goin’ Back Home. Most often, Carl can be found working in the administrative areas of theatre, having been producer or general manager for: Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Sakina’s Restaurant, Wonderland, and Living in the Wind. Carl is a graduate of Northwestern University’s school of communications, having majored in theater.

Stacey Linnartz (2014-2015, 2011, 2006): Off-Broadway: Modotti (Theatre Row), Amendment 13 (Clubbed Thumb), Lost In Light (The Public), Heaven Can Wait (Actors Studio Theatre), Down The Road (ATA). Regional: Shipwrecked! (Capital Rep), A Streetcar Named Desire (New Harmony), Eclectic Society (Walnut Street), Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It (Smoky Mountain Shakespeare). London: Old Times, Sirocco (Royal Court). Film: The Weekend, Shallow Point, Swinging In Between, Saturday Afternoon. Television: Gossip Girl, As The World Turns, Rescue Me. Stacey is also a writer / producer / actor in the web series The Ghost of Shakespeare, and FIRST WORLD PROBLEM. She teaches with the Kids Creative Collective and is the Artistic Director of the non-profit Alive Process Theatre Company. Please visit MFA, NYU Graduate Acting.

Stacey Linnartz and Krystel Lucas

Krystel Lucas (2015, 2011) Theater includes: Elizabeth in In the Next Room or the vibrator play (St. Louis Rep); Market Woman in Death and the King’s Horseman, Gentlewoman in Macbeth (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Kennedy in The Summer House (Passage Theatre Company); Linda in Postcards from Earth (Guthrie Theater); Rosaline in Love’s Labor’s Lost (Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot); Perdita in The Winter’s Tale, Inez in Our Lady of 121st Street, Jane in Smash, Mrs. Linde in A Doll House, Black Mary in Gem of the Ocean, Dirty Water in Sliding into the Beast, Angel in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches, Honey in Tiger Tiger, Helena in All’s Well that Ends Well (NYU, Tisch School of the Arts); Josephine Baker in Memories… (Salt and Pepper Mime Theater). NYU Graduate Acting Program, MFA

Abigail Ramsay (2014, 2010-2012) works in the performing arts as an actor, director and administrator. A graduate of England’s Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, she worked in London, acting in theatre and BBC-4 Radio Plays. She has performed in “Lush Valley” Culturemart 2011 at HERE, Off-Broadway in “Shoot 2 Win,” as Donelle in Joe Scanlan’s visual art piece at the Institute of Contemporary Art (UK), Wallspace Gallery (NY), Princeton and Chicago, devised autobiographical story-telling pieces with resettled refugee teenagers through the International Rescue Committee’s Summer program, and directed amateur actors in a French language one-act farce at the National Arts Club (NYC). She received her BA from Brown University. Abigail was born in London and grew up in New York City.

Claudia Schneider (2008-2015): Performances include: A Single Woman (The Culture Project, NYC), Correct Usage and Common Errors (Playwrights Horizons), Cindy Cooper’s The Dwelling Place (The Actor’s Chapel, NYC), Martin Charnin’s WINCHELL (Brooks Atkinson-Broadway Workshop), Frank McCourt’s The Irish and How They got That Way (The Irish Repertory Theatre, National Tour), Cowgirls (NY Workshop with Judy Kaye}, Six Degrees of Separation (Queens Theatre in the Park), A Name for the Moon ( Lincoln Center with Barbara Barrie), Waiting for the Parade (Redfield Company),  A Williams’ Evening (with Patricia Neal & Eli Wallach, National Arts Club);The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Tale of the Allergist’s Wife, The Diary of Anne Frank, California SuiteBroadway Bound. She recently played Hannah in the Maine premiere of The Spitfire Grill. Recent Film and TV: Third Watch, Mona Lisa Smile, Black Rain. She performed in a special Words of Choice benefit in 2006, and has performed in the cast of Words of Choice since 2008. In Summer 2011, she is performing in theater in Maine.

Francesca Mantani Arkus(director 2006-2013, 2015) has directed and collaborated on numerous pieces in New York City at New York Theatre Workshop (reading series), HERE, Blue Heron Arts Center, Phil Bosakowski Theatre, Access Theatre, 78th Street Theatre Lab, TADA, The Director’s Company, Barrow Group, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, Joseph Papp Public Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Emerging Artists and Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.  She has served as Assistant Director to Tina Landau on Floyd Collins at Playwrights Horizons and Time of Your Life at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, Seattle Rep, and A.C.T. in San Francisco. Francesca is a director with New York University’s First Look Theatre Company, and a board member of Alive Process Theatre.

Kelly Vieau (stage manager, 2013, 2011) is a graduate of the Purple Rose Theatre Company’s apprenticeship program in Chelsea, MI, where she worked on five shows and trained with stage management. She stage managed Guys & Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors, Oklahoma and Sweeney Todd at The Encore in Dexter, MI. Kelly has recently moved to New York and has stage managed The BEcompany holiday Cabaret, the workshop of Blood Potato and has recently been named Resident SM with the company. She has toured with Words of Choice in spring 2010 and served as SM for Peking Roulette in the MITF, and done production work on a music video that aired in Istanbul.

Cindy Cooper (creator, producer) is an award-winning playwright and journalist in New York. Her plays have won awards from Pen & Brush, Samuel French Off-Broadway Short Play Festival, Nantucket Playwrights Festival, Malibu International Festival, and others. How She Played the Game about six women from sports history, was produced in New York at The Women’s Project and at Primary Stages, as well as 100 other venues, including in Budapest, Montreal, England and Helsinki. A two-time Jerome Fellow, her plays are published in 14 volumes, including Women Heroes and Hit the Nerve. Her articles have appeared in Women’s eNews, Ms. Magazine, The Nation, Marie Claire, In These Times, On The Issues Magazine, others, and she has written seven non-fiction books, including Mockery of Justice, made into a CBS movie. A former practicing lawyer, she served as the Communications Director at the Center for Reproductive Rights. In 2009, she was named Anne E. Fisher Champion of Choice by NARAL ProChoice America.