GABRIEL SHANKS (Artistic Director)

Since 1988, Gabriel has directed over fifty theatrical productions which have been seen at HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, The Red Room, Abingdon Theatre Complex, Present Company Theatorium, the Arthur Seelen Theatre, the Ohio Theatre, Peculiar Works Project, the Independent Theater, and at Judson House (NYC); Theatre Project,14 Karat Cabaret, and AXIS Theatre (Baltimore); Source Theatre Company, Theatre Conspiracy, DCAC, Tavern Stage, American Stage, the Corcoran Gallery, and Arena Stage (Washington, D.C.); OutProud Theatre, 14th Street Playhouse, and Seven Stages Performing Arts Center (Atlanta); and venues in Dallas, Philadelphia, Chicago, and Budapest, among others. He has directed area and world premieres by Theresa Rebeck, Brad Fraser, Patricia Smith, Daniel MacIvor, and Michael Hollinger.

Gabriel is the former artistic director of Funkopolis, where he conceived and directed Pierced, 3 Stories To The Ground, rite #55/wonderwall elegy and Bochenski's Brain, as well as the acclaimed production of Brad Fraser's Poor Super Man which was chosen as one of the Five Best Theatre Productions of the Year by Baltimore City Paper and the Baltimore Alternative. For 3 Stories To The Ground, Gabriel received the 1998 Theatre Project Honor for Outstanding Vision in the Theatre, and his production of Heaven's Suite was chosen as the Outstanding Production of the 1995 Washington Theatre Festival. His production of Frank Blocker's Southern Gothic Novel was selected to perform at the 2004 National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Conference and has been scouted for development by Showtime and Bravo Television.

As a playwright; Gabriel's 17 plays have been seen in dozens of productions in the U.S. and in Vienna, Tokyo, and Buenos Aires. He is the recipient of the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Award, the Eastern States Theatre Festival Best New Play Award, and the Southern Young Playwrights Award, among others. His play Overanalysis was chosen as one of the "Best Short Plays of All Time" in 2001; produced in almost every major city in the United States, it recently played at New York City's Bank Street Theater. Most recently, his collaboration with Hannah Fujiki DeVorkin, Scooter and Bootlick, was produced at the Fuse Festival, produced by HERE and Dixon Place. For Creative Mechanics, his performance installation Stealing Pears was part of the multi-company event In Praise of Folly: The Don Quixote Project, and he directed the hit productions of Fall of the House of Usher and Edward II. Upcoming projects include The OFF Project for Peculiar Works and the company-created performance piece The Cadmus Suite for Creative Mechanics.

During his tenure as Artistic Director of Theatre Conspiracy in Washington, DC, Gabriel was honored as a "New Arts Leader" by the Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington. He received his B.A. in Theatre from Georgia State University and an M.F.A. in Directing from the Experimental Theatre Masters Program at Towson University.

FRANK BLOCKER (Artistic Associate/Stage This!)

Frank is the author of the recently published book Queer Chronicles: The Flaming of Atlanta, as well as the co-author/star of Eula Mae's Beauty, Bait & Tackle (Off-Broadway) and his own one-man show Southern Gothic Novel (NY International Fringe Festival, Midtown Theatre Festival, National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival). He last appeared at The Judson stART Series in For Better and Worse, which he co-wrote with Gabriel Shanks, and in Stealing Pears for Peculiar Works Project at 40 Worth.

His book for Alice, a musical composed by William Wade, will be presented at The York Theatre's Developmental Reading Series, September 2004. Other playwriting includes Waiting Room (Actor's Express), Patient Number (Tennessee Williams One-Act Play Festival finalist), Kiss and Fade (Short Attention Span Play Festival winner), Suite Atlanta (workshopped at the Lyceum Theatre, Atlanta), Macbeth: The Murder Mystery co-authored with Lydia Gordon, Chameleüns co-authored with Rochelle Burdine, June's Bustin' Out, and 12-Step Jack. He also guest starred as the voice of "Aunt Pearl" on KCKS FM's Moby in the Morning/Atlanta in his AMA Award-winning year.

Frank is the Webmaster and Producing Director of and

AVI GLICKSTEIN (Artistic and Producing Associate)

NY credits include 15 Seconds of Silence (Studio 42), We Can Do It! (Chashama), The Illusion (manhattantheatresource), Stealing Pears (HERE), Love/Sad (Studio 42), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the Park(ing) Lot), Rhinoceros (Center Stage), and Mr. Budhoo's Letter of Resignation from the IMF (Bread and Puppet Theatre). Regional/Tours: New England Shakespeare Festival, American Stage Festival, Signal & Noise Productions. He also starred as Orson in David Pastor Vallejo's short film, Orson, which was a 2004 regional finalist for the Student Academy Award and winner of the IMAX Outstanding Achievement Award. Along with being a founding member of Creative Mechanics, he is also a member of First Look Theatre Company. Directing credits include G is for Gilgamesh at the NY International Fringe Festival and Ionesco's The Future Is In Eggs. For three years, he worked as a Management Associate for Broadway/Off-Broadway/West End producer Elizabeth I. McCann, during which time he worked on numerous productions including the Tony Award-winning plays Copenhagen and Edward Albee's The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia?, as well as the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Tony Awards telecasts. Avi is a graduate of Columbia University, and completed the 2-year Meisner program at the William Esper Studio, where he studied with Barbara Marchant.

JANICE HERNDON (Artistic Associate/Mechanics Lab)

Janice's performing credits include Far Away (New York Theatre Workshop), The Illusion (manhattantheatersource), Kiss (Arthur Seelen Theater), Harvey, Six Degrees of Separation (both with Nomadic Theater), The Tempest (Camden Stage, London, UK) and Star Wars, a Dramatisation (Bloomsbury Downstairs, London, UK). Recently, Janice created the role of The Alleviant in Gabriel Shanks' Stealing Pears, part of In Praise of Folly: The Don Quixote Project. She has also appeared in a variety of independent films, including Albatross, directed by Izabel Norwid. Janice trained with Barbara Marchant at The William Esper Studio and was educated at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service. She studied classical ballet with Julia Redick, Luba Gulyaeva, and Irina Kolpakova, and performed with the Conservatory Ballet, Eglevsky Ballet and Philadelphia Ballet Theater, dancing soloist and principal roles in such ballets as The Nutcracker, Giselle, Don Quixote, Paquita, and Who Cares? Janice is a Founding Member of Creative Mechanics.

SHANNON MADDOX (Artistic Associate/Mechanics Lab)

Having worked extensively as a performer and in costume design, Shannon has recently been seen onstage in New York in Stealing Pears (Peculiar Works Project), Better and Worse (stART Series), Bochenski's Brain (HERE), rite #55/wonderwall elegy (The Judson House Project), Audioplay: Safe (CHARAS/El Bohio), and 3 Stories to the Ground (Present Company Theatorium). A member of the ensemble Funkopolis, Shannon starred in the company's productions of An Exquisite Dream of Fire and Wings.

As a designer, she created original work for many of the shows listed above. She has also recently designed regional productions of Bat Boy, Once Upon A Mattress, Jeffrey, and The Laramie Project, which she also assistant directed. Collaborating with Artistic Director Gabriel Shanks, she has designed costumes for Brad Fraser's Poor Super Man, Marlane Meyer's Etta Jenks, and the original work Pierced. She has her MFA from Towson University, and has taught gestural performance in workshops across the country.

CHRIS MEADE (Composer/Sound Design)

Chris began his career in sound as a studio engineer at the Julliard School. Since then, he has worked on And God Created Whales at the Culture Project, and created the sound design for the award-winning Off-Broadway hit Bridge and Tunnel. He has also recently designed productions of The House of Yes, Fragments of Ricky The Superhero (a love story), All's Well That Ends Well, and Antony and Cleopatra. He works by day at Second Stage Theatre.


A Prop Master by profession, Allen is the head of the Prop Department at Hartford Stage Company. Previous, he headed the Prop Departments of George Street Playhouse, The Berkshire Theatre Festival, San Diego Repertory Theatre, and La Jolla Playhouse, and has also been resident Prop Designer at most of these theatres, designing shows such as The Seagull, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Christmas Carol, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Mummified Deer, and Quills. He is honored to be a part of Creative Mechanics.


Benjamin is a 4th-year design student in Tisch's theater program at New York University, and is currently a part-time set designer, projection designer, production manager, director, and performer. Recent projects include NYU's production of Full Circle directed by Emma Griffin, The Elephant Vanishes with Complicite at Lincoln Center and on tour, In Praise of Folly: the Don Quixote Project with Peculiar Works, The Black Widow with Gotham Chamber Opera, and Smokers' Theater with The Legitimate Theater Company.