Staff Bios

Joey Brenneman, Artistic Director
Joey Brenneman, has worked in the theater business as an actor, playwright, director, teacher and producer for over twenty years.  She started  her career as an actor with STAR upon graduation from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.  She grew with the company and eventually became the Artistic Director.  In 2000, she stepped down to pursue other projects and is happy to be returning with experience in theater, film, live-streaming, video web content and social media.  Joey has worked with young people in various capacities. She directs the annual musical at Columbia Secondary School where she also teaches acting to 6th through 12th graders.  She has taught sexuality education using the STAR Theater model in Manhattan Country School for over twelve years and she has worked with teenagers at Mount Sinai’s Adolescent Health Center to create and produce educational films and PSA’s.  Her film, Taking a Step Back, won entrance into the Urban Visionaries Film Festival and won the Best of Specials Award by Manhattan Neighborhood Network.  As a playwright, Joey has had three plays produced in New York City including Better Left Unsaid which was the first,  live-streamed play. As an actor, Joey has performed in New York CIty and regionally.  As a director, Joey  has directed several shows at the New York International Fringe Festival.  Two of which have won Overall Excellence Awards for Best Ensemble.  Joey has been a guest teacher/director at The New School and New York University.  Joey is also the mother of two teen daughters.

Leah Michalos, Program Director
MFA, The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Prior to working at TDC, Ms. Michalos was the editor of fzine, an arts and literary journal for youth based in the School of Art Institute of Chicago where she frequently collaborated with art educators in the Chicago Public Schools to bring arts to the classroom, among various other projects.  Ms. Michalos also served as Education Director for O’Neill at Yale/Playwrights Theater of New York, heading the “chain-of-mentorship” between professional playwrights, playwrights at Yale, and aspiring playwrights in the New Haven Public School system.  In addition to overseeing all aspects of management for S.T.A.R., Leah is the Managing Director for The Directors Company.

Terrence Taylor, Facilitation Director
Terrence has been working with S.T.A.R. since his years in high school. Terrence has worked as an Actor/Educator as well as a facilitator for numerous S.T.A.R. interventions. A graduate of the “FAME” Performing Arts High School in New York City , he has appeared Off-Broadway, and in film and television. Terrence also works with Zinc as a Life Skills facilitator/actor for the NFL and NBA.

 

Dr. Cydelle Berlin, Founder
Dr. Cydelle Berlin founded STAR Theatre in 1987. S.T.A.R. is a national multi-component theater based Health Promotion and Education program for young people, parents and providers which includes direct service, training, and technical assistance.

An internationally recognized expert in the field of Adolescent Sexuality, Dr. Berlin holds a Ph.D. from New York University in Health Education and Human Sexuality, with a specialty in Adolescent Development and Sexuality. She also holds a Master level degree in Communication Technology from New York University .

Dr. Berlin is also the co-founder of the Adolescent AIDS Prevention Program at Mount Sinai Hospital’s Adolescent Health Center where she was the co-director of the program and the Executive Producer of STAR Theatre for 11 years. (1987-1998).

Dr. Berlin and the program have received numerous national and local awards for innovation in the field of peer education, educational theater and sexuality education for young people. In 1996, PBS produced an award winning film called “Sex and Other Matters of Life and Death” about Dr. Berlin and her program. She is also the winner of a national CableAce for best television programming for a cable series on adolescent sexuality topics that she wrote, produced and hosted called “On the Edge”. Most recently Dr. Berlin produced S.T.A.R.’s Off-Broadway show “Sex and Other Matters: The Reality Show at Theatre 3 in Manhattan .

In addition to her work with S.T.A.R., Dr. Berlin consults with many organizations nationally and internationally, on adolescent sexuality, HIV and on the use of innovative methodology. Among her many consultations, she works with the United Nations (UNFPA) where she trains young professionals from the regions of North and Eastern Europe on adolescent sexuality and the use of theater as an educational tool. She and her colleague, Ken Hornbeck wrote a manual on developing educational theater, which is being used by the United Nations. She has also been a presenter or a keynote speaker at dozens of regional and national conferences and meetings.