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Theaterlab’s mission is to serve New York’s diverse communities of artists as well as the general public by presenting and developing emerging new work.

Theaterlab is a women- and artist-led laboratory dedicated to researching the nature of live performance, including theater, music, and hybrid forms. We also focus on audience development as a creative project, regarding the theatrical experience as a creative public assembly and audience members as a key partner in fulfilling our mission.

In addition to producing and presenting new work, Theaterlab provides affordable space for rehearsal and project development, including resident and affiliate artists programs.


Theaterlab was established in 2006 and has occupied our Midtown home since 2013. Run by Italian immigrant artist Orietta Crispino, Theaterlab has a longstanding commitment to producing and celebrating international and immigrant-led work. We run a curated rental series (Tlab Shares), a season of new works through our “Theaterlab Presents” program, and a handful of development programming including our long-running residency for collaborative artists, Hotel New Work; Mother Myths Monsters inviting collaborators as guest curators; and our signature program, Round the Block! celebrating arts, business, and culture in our Garment District home. 

Theaterlab’s current programming was developed by Orietta Crispino, working in concert with long-time collaborators Jolene Noelle and Lanie Zipoy. Jolene (Program Director) worked with Theaterlab from 2014 to 2022 and continues to provide consultation and support on programs and season planning. Lanie was Theaterlab’s Grant Writer and Media Manager from 2013 until her passing in 2022. Her vision, advocacy, creativity, producorial guidance, and unwavering friendship were instrumental in Theaterlab’s development. From programs such as Voices Inside, the DAMN! Film Series, Mother Myths Monsters, and countless others, Lanie’s presence and creative vision permeate our entire organization. She is profoundly missed.



Orietta Crispino (Artistic Director) is an accomplished theatre artist, born in Italy. She is a graduate of the prestigious Piccolo Teatro School in Milan, where she worked with the major Italian directors Giorgio Strehler and Massimo Castri. She later taught acting and directing there. Among her many theatre projects are: Passport No. 23.922, a piece she wrote and directed on the life of Tina Modotti; and a three year-project in Trieste directing the plays of Pirandello’s Italian contemporaries. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and the League of Professional Theatre Women. In addition to her theatre work, Ms. Crispino has done art projects on the body in its performative aspect. Her body research culminated in a performance piece with the photographer Vibeke Jensen, Camera Obscura, shown at PS1 in New York, Bogota and Trieste. Her most recent productions at Theaterlab are Three Sisters Come and Go and Snow in the Living Room, a retelling of the Brothers Grimms’ Snow White.

Ms. Crispino’s acting credits include The Library (Crossing the Line Festival, FIAF); In the House of My Beloved (Women’s Project); The Living Room Series (HERE); Dancing, not Dead (The Internationalists); Dante (Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum), and Snow in the Living Room (Theaterlab).

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Jolene Noelle (Program Director & Resident Dramaturg) is a freelance dramaturg, director, and theatrical wanderer. Her interests include devised theatre, physical theatre, and anything that exists in extremes. Jolene has been investigating the efficacy of horror aesthetics on stage, often directing and writing about the horror genre.  Recent credits include: Dramaturg: Exposure, Next In Line Productions; The Hour of the Star, Columbia Stages; Ripper, Times Scare; Lilith, Columbia Univ. Asst. Director: BLACKOUT: House.  Director: Video Clare, Columbia Univ. Literary Fellow: Geva Theatre.



Molly Shayna Cohen (Programming Associate, she/they) is a recent NYC-transplant from Baltimore. She is a freelance director, writer, actor, and producer for theatre and film. Her work uses both mediums to explore the ephemerality in all things. Their interactive interview-based multimedia installation Weaving a New Narrative was the recipient of the Maryland Humanities Major Grant Award and traveled across the state. She is a company member of the award-winning experimental theatre group The Acme Corporation, founding member of film collective Lux Daze Media, and Associate Artistic Director of Theatre of the Electric Mouth. Molly is the proud recipient of the Best Actor of Baltimore Award in 2020.  


Jenn Allen (Programs Administrator, she/her) is a writer, director, and divisor originally from Richmond, Virginia. After graduating NYU in 2019, she’s concentrated on new ways of creating theater focusing on bold, honest stories and intersectional feminist work. Jenn is excited to join the amazing team at Theaterlab where the creative process is valued so highly. It’s truly a gift to support the creation of beautiful work! 

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Riva Fairhall (Technical Advisor, she/her) is the Technical Advisor and Resident Lighting Designer at TheaterLab. While finishing her MFA at Yale School of Drama, she crossed paths with TheaterLab and loved it so much she just decided not to leave. When not hanging out on 36th street, she can be found designing and assisting around town.  

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Lanie Zipoy (Grant Writer // Media Manager) is a Memphis-born, New York-based theater and film producer. She also has extensive experience in grant writing for non-profits and individual artists as well as social media development. At Theaterlab, Lanie currently co-produces the DAMN! Film Series, a film series celebrating short films. She has also produced Voices Inside/Out, a theatrical exchange program that supported the playwriting program and the professional playwriting residency at a medium security prison in Kentucky, at Theaterlab. She was a Time Warner Fellow of the 2012-2014 Women’s Project Lab.

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