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The Mission

To make plays, musicals and other works that chronicle our time.  To create work about real people from many different parts of the country; work about specific communities and unique American stories; work of the highest artistic caliber which strives to cultivate empathy and understanding; work that serves as a bridge between people; work that is a record of our time. Her are someof our current projects:

Ø  The American Football Project. We’re teaming up with Berkeley Rep and Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE to make a new play based on interviews with professional football players and their families. We’re looking at the most personal experiences of balancing the love of the game (all the wonderful things it can give a player) and what we’re now learning about long-term effects of brain injury (all the things it can take away).

Ø  King Records. We’ve just kicked off a residency with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park to create a “theatrical album” of stories about the history of Cincinnati music, racial equality and the famous R&B record label King Records.

Ø  ReEntry. Our flagship production, ReEntry, written by Emily Ackerman and me, based on interviews with Marines returned from Iraq and Afghanistan, will run at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia March 6-9 2013. ReEntry has been seen at twelve national theaters and over thirty military bases across the country and internationally

Ø  Highway 47.  KJ Sanchez's solo performance piece, directed by Chicago director Lisa Portes and featuring an all-American Records design team will run at HERE Arts Center in NYC April 14-19, 2013. This past summer, when Highway 47 premiered at the Yo Solo Festival, the Chicago Sun-Times called our newest production “…a riveting account, deeply rooted in New Mexico history, of a daughter trying to come to terms with her father (and herself). She does so by chronicling the tale of his lifelong obsession with a piece of land settled three centuries before him, and of the endless decades of litigation and vitriol he set in motion in the name of justice. What she discovers, and renders with brutal honesty, is the complex nature of her father’s quest, as well as the relentlessness of spirit she shares with the man. A tour de force performer and powerful writer…”


The People


KJ SANCHEZ is founder/ CEO of American Records. KJ has produced national and international tours. As a playwright, she has been produced (select lists) at Asolo Rep, Actors Theater of Louisville, Two River Theater, Baltimore’s CENTERSTAGE, Round House Theater, Working Classroom, Cornerstone and Off-Broadway at Urban Stages. She has directed plays by Heather Raffo, Jose Rivera, Quiara Hudes, Kristoffer Diaz, David Ives and Noel Coward. As an actress she has been on stages at The Humana Festival (originating the role of Thyona in Big Love) The Goodman, Berkely Rep, Long Warf, New York Theater Workshop and BAM. She is the voice of many characters in the cartoons Dora the Explorer and Go Diego Go. She is a former member of Anne Bogart’s SITI Company. KJ has taught at UBC, UW, Emerson College, Bard and Juniata. She is a Fox Fellow, the 2012 Douglas Wollop Fellow, an Albert Award Nominee and an NEA CDP for directors recipient. As the producer, director and co-author of ReEntry, KJ has contracted with the Department of Defense, utilizing the play as post-deployment training for service members at over thirty military bases and sites throughout the US and Internationally.


TOMMER PETERSON is an independent theater artist and designer, and deputy director of Grantmakers in the Arts, the national association of arts and culture funders.  Recent set design credits include Mistakes Madeline Made (Washington Ensemble Theater 2008), Bobbie and Jerome, Dinah Was, and  Obama, The Musical (Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, 2006, 2007, and 2009), Christmas Carol ( The Moore Theater/Bishop Blanchet, 2008) Sex and Death (Balagan Theater, 2009), and Black Nativity (Intiman Theater, 2010). He is the author of two plays, Va-Va-Va-Voom and No One On Board Took Notice.  Peterson also served as producer for Four Short Plays: Four Big Ideas, conceived and directed  by KJ Sanchez for Grantmakers in the Arts and the Council on Foundations in 2007.  He is the current board president of Washington Ensemble Theater in Seattle, and previously served as a board member of the Seattle Arts Commission, the Bumbershoot Festival Commission, Artist Trust of Washington, and the Seattle Design Association. He also served as director of fund development at the Wing Luke Asian Museum in Seattle, and as the communications director for ArtsWire at the New York Foundation for the Arts.


SHEILA TAPIA Off Broadway – ReEntry; Urban Stages: Elliot, A Soldiers Fugue; Culture Project/P73: Welcome To Arroyos; Lark/NYC Hip Hop Festival/NYTW: Naughty Prep School Stories; NYC Fringe: and The Wrath of Aphrodite; GayFest NYC. Regional- Centerstage: ReEntry; Two River Theater: Private Lives (Amanda), ReEntry; Round House: How the Garcia Girls Lost Their Accent (World Premiere); Cincinnati Playhouse: Havana is Waiting, A Christmas Carol, A Flea in Her Ear, and The Wrestling Season; Secret Rose Theater: Big Tush, Little Tush.  Film/TV – The Cycle; Rubicon; Law & Order; Law & Order:SVU; Days of Our Lives. Education – MFA from Ohio University. Member- American Records Theater Company, AEA.


DENISE CARDARELLI Off-Broadway: ReEntry at Urban Stages and Dov and Ali with The Playwright’s Realm (at The Cherry Lane Theatre). Other New York City credits: Dutch Masters with the LAByrinth Theater Company (at The Cherry Pit), and Flip Side and Imminence with The Talking Band. Regional credits: Production Stage Manager for 26 Miles and ReEntry at Two River Theater Company; Production Stage Manager for ReEntry at Centerstage (Baltimore) and Round House Theatre; Production Stage Manager for A Christmas Carol, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Servant of Two Masters, Twelfth Night and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged); Tour Manager (2007) and Stage Manager (2006) for Shakespeare LIVE!; Assistant Stage Manager for The Comedy of Errors, Henry VI: Blood and Roses, Cymbeline, Pride and Prejudice, Richard III, and The Cherry Orchard with The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey were she also served as the Assistant Production Manager for three years; Assistant Director/Crew Chief for Dirty Story, and Production Assistant for Convenience at Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Texas. Off-Broadway: ReEntry at Urban Stages and Dov and Ali with The Playwright’s Realm(at The Cherry Lane Theatre). Other New York City credits: Dutch Masters with theLAByrinth Theater Company (at The Cherry Pit), and Flip Side and Imminence with TheTalking Band. Regional credits: Production Stage Manager for 26 Miles and ReEntryat Two River Theater Company; Production Stage Manager for ReEntry at Centerstage(Baltimore) and Round House Theatre; Production Stage Manager for A ChristmasCarol, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, The Servant of TwoMasters, Twelfth Night and The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged); Tour Manager (2007) and Stage Manager (2006) for Shakespeare LIVE!; AssistantStage Manager for The Comedy of Errors, Henry VI: Blood and Roses, Cymbeline, Prideand Prejudice, Richard III, and The Cherry Orchard with The Shakespeare Theatre ofNew Jersey were she also served as the Assistant Production Manager for three years;Assistant Director/Crew Chief for Dirty Story, and Production Assistant for Convenienceat Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston, Texas.


ZACHARY WILLIAMSON is pleased to be part of the ReEntry team as both Sound Designer and Production Manager. Recent: Molly Sweeney (Long Warf), Guys and Dolls (Ordway St. Paul), Cabaret (Kansas City Rep), Amadeus (Clarence Brown), On The Town and Joseph… (5th Avenue Seattle), White Women Street, The Hairy Ape and 19 other productions (Irish Rep), Give It Up! (Dallas Theater Center) and Jacques Brel …, 26 Miles, and six others (Two River). As associate designer on Broadway: The Ritz and Pal Joey (Roundabout) and recently, Lysistrata Jones. He has also worked with the Pasadena Playhouse, Goodspeed, Virginia Stage, Asolo, St. Louis Rep, Actors Theater Louisville and Broadway Asia International.



EMILY ACKERMAN is the co-author, with KJ Sanchez, of ReEntry, a critically acclaimed play which premiered at Two River Theater Company in 2009, and had a sold-out run at Urban Stages in 2010.  ReEntry is a multi-media theater piece about coming home from war, and is taken entirely from interviews with members of the Marine Corps and their families.  Ms. Ackerman is also an Associate Artist with The Civilians, an award winning company that specializes in interview based theatre.  With The Civilians: This Beautiful City (Original Collaborator/Performer; Colorado Springs, ATL/Humana Festival 2008, Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, Vineyard Theatre), Gone Missing (Barrow Street Theatre, Off-Broadway Cast Album, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville), and developmental workshops of Shadow of Himself by Neal Bell.  Other collaborative writing/performance work includes The Charlotte Cushman Project, with The Laramie Project head writer Leigh Fondakowski (workshop co-produced by Tectonic Theatre Project and About Face Theatre), The People’s Temple with Leigh Fondakowski (Perseverance Theatre), and Four Short Plays, Four Big Ideas with KJ Sanchez (commissioned by Grant Makers in the Arts for the Council on Foundations National Conference). Performance credits include:  Stray (Cherry Lane Theater), Precious Little (Clubbed Thumb), Well (as Lisa Kron, Arena Stage), Clean Alternatives (59E59th Street/Edinburgh Festival), The Constant Wife (American Conservatory Theatre & Seattle Repertory Theatre), Ghosts (Berkeley Repertory Theatre), The Seagull, Twelfth Night, Love’s Labours Lost, The Skin of our Teeth, Romeo & Juliet, Rosencrantz & Guildenstern are Dead, Medea (California Shakespeare Theater), St. Joan, The Entertainer, The Weir (Aurora Theatre Company), the world premiere of  Kissing the Witch (Magic Theatre). Ms. Ackerman is also a teaching artist who has taught several workshops on interview based theatre with such institutions as The Kennedy Center (international artist program), The Vineyard Theatre, Colorado College and Connecticut College.

KEN CERNIGLIA is a dramaturg, writer and director residing in New York City.  Recent projects include directing a site-specific production of The Turn of the Screw at the Merchant's House Museum in the East Village, developing and co-directing the new chamber operas At the Hawk's Well and Psyche with the Seattle-based Fisher Ensemble, and dramaturging ReEntry, a new documentary theatre piece about Marines and their families. By day he is dramaturg and literary manager for Disney Theatrical Group, where he has developed over twenty shows for professional, amateur and school productions, including High School Musical, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast JR. and Winnie the Pooh KIDS.  Ken holds Ph.D. in theatre history and criticism from the University of Washington and presents and publishes his research internationally.

SARAH GAVITT was an ensemble member and co-creator of Life in the Middle at Asolo Repertory Theatre. She was also seen at Asolo Rep in Hearts, Life of Galileo and the world premiere of The Perfume Shop. Most recently she appeared as Bernstein in November at America Stage Theatre Company.  Other recent credits include the title character in Miss Julie, Ma Kirby in The Happy Journey from Trenton to Camden, Mom in Blur,  Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing, and Juliet in Romeo and Juliet. Sarah has an MFA from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. 






Jessi Blue Gormezano has performed ReEntry at numerous theaters, hospitals and military bases across the USA and Europe. Regional: ReEntry (Actors Theater of Louisville, Round House Theatre, Off Center Festival), Equus, Smash, The Constant Wife (Asolo Repertory), The Good Body (The Players Theatre).  International Tours: ReEntry, The Sworn Virgin (World Premiere: a bilingual collaboration between Teatri ODA & Blessed Unrest in the Balkans). New York: A Christmas Carol (Blessed Unrest) Mark My Words (Emerging Artists Theatre), Epic Story of Love & Sex (Manhattan Theatre Source), Home of the Great Pecan, (Drilling Company Theatre), The Secretaries (Project: Theater).  MFA FSU/Asolo Conservatory. Her self-written solo show, Mark My Words, was accepted into the 2011 United Solo Theatre Festival in NYC.  She is the Associate Artistic Director of Project: Theater and the creator of OUR BAR, a site-specific monthly performance event.  www.jessiblue.com


ALEX KOCH leads production and post-production tasks for video installations and short narrative works. Projections design on Broadway: Irena's Vow. Off-Broadway: Langston in Harlem, ReEntry, The Blue Bird, The Oxford Roof Climber's Rebellion (Urban Stages), Pantaleon y Las Visitadoras, The House of the Spirits (Repertorio Espanol), Ghost Light (59e59), #9 (Waterwell), Safe Home, Nobody Suspects a Butterfly (Royal Family Productions), Birdhouse (KNF co.), The Dark Heart of Meteorology (The Assembly), Balaton (Electric Pear). Also design and technical work with New Georges at 3LD, Big Art Group, The Shalimar and Zena Group. His work was seen at the National Arts Club in 2008. www.alexkochdesign.com

PETER J. MENDEZ has just finished a season at Asolo Repertory Theatre and his credits include: Hearts, The Perfume Shop, Galileo and Life In the Middle, directed by K.J. Sanchez.  His regional credits include Red Herring at Everyman Theatre; The Cherry Orchard, Our Town and Problem Child at Round House Theatre;  Coriolanus, Camino Real, Timon of Athens, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Richard II, King Lear at The Shakespeare Theatre.  Mr. Mendez served a turn at the venerable Washington institution called Shear Madness.  Peter was seen in productions of Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing at The Folger Shakespeare Library and before that was in Camille and After Play at The Olney Theatre Center for the Arts.  Mr. Mendez left the theatre to pursue a BFA in English at Shepherd University, and returns to the theatre with an MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training.  

BOBBY MORENO is a new york based actor and emcee.  He has been involved with ReEntry for two years, performing in theaters, hospitals and conferences across America.  Moreno is a founding member of At Play, a collective of New York’s finest emerging writers actors and directors, and the resident off-Broadway company of The 24 Hour Plays.  At Play credits include Al’s Business Cards at Theater Row, 71 Virgins, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Invitation Only at Center Stage, This Is How, Hylan Blvd., and The Lou Friedman Experiment as part of The 24 Hour Plays at the Atlantic Theater.  He has also been a member of the Bats, The Flea Theater’s resident acting company.  Flea Credits include I.E.-In Other Words, Seating Arrangements, Dawn, and Offending the Audience.  He is a frequent collaborator of EST’s Youngblood Writers Group, and has developed plays with Naked Angels, Clubbed Thumb, P73, Playwright’s Realm, Ma-Yi, New Dramatists and many others.  NY Credits: ReEntry (Urban Stages), Okay (EST Marathon), Deez Nutz (Hip-Hop Theater Festival), Thomas Bradshaw’s Cleansed (The Brick), Orestes in Orestes 2.0 (H.E.R.E.), I Wish I Was a Black Girl (AndHow!), Arms (Working Man’s Clothes).  As an emcee Moreno fronts C Phineas (www.cphineas.com) and Fambly.  TV/FILM:  Kings, Law & Order, One Life To Live, The Good Wife, McKinley, L.V.J. , Night Out.

PK PICKENS is the composer/lyrist for American Records’ Life in the Middle and Death for a Living. Other composition credits for theater: Tartuffe, Our Town, Mine, Beyond Measure, and On the Road. Acting credits: I am not Batman and Wild Blessings: A Celebration of Wendell Berry (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival); Sci-Fi Bandits (Slant Theater Company). Pickens also works as a studio/session musician in NYC. Listen and download here: www.philpickens.com 

BEN ROSENBLATT is proud to have acted in the international tour of ReEntry with American Records as Charlie/Tommy, performing on military bases, hospitals and conferences..  He was also part of the cast for engagements at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Round House Theatre, Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts, and Dartmouth College.  Based in New York, Ben has been seen on stage at Primary Stages, Project: Theatre, The Alogonquin Theatre, Delphi Theatre.  Regionally, he has performed 5 seasons with the Berkshire Theatre Festival and also worked with Shakespeare Theatre Company, Connecticut Rep, Shakespeare & Co., SpeakEasy Stage, and Ivoryton Playhouse, among others.  He originated the role of Mike in the workshop production of Cocktail Time in Cuba by Rogelio Martinez with Primary Stages/BTC and starred in the film Broke(rs).  Ben has a BFA from the University of Connecticut and a MFA from Brandeis University.