Creative Team

JESSICA FLEITMAN (Playwright) is a California native currently based in Brooklyn. Select theater credits include Deuteranomaly (InGenius Festival & InGenius Again Encores, Manhattan Theatre Source), G Train Exodus (voted "Audience Favorite" in Estro-in-Progress, Estrogenius Festival & Estro Samplers, Manhattan Theatre Source), The Average-Sized Mermaid (2008 Corwin Award, UC Santa Barbara New Plays Festival & with State of Play Productions at the Gene Frankel Theatre), and Word of the Day (commissioned by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation and The Magic Theatre). Jessica's short story, Amber Wong-Cohen, was second runner-up for the 2010 Flatmancrooked Fiction Prize and was recently released by Mixer Publishing as a "single" on Amazon as a teaser for of Love & Death: An Anthology of Literary Romance & Realism, in which her story will also be published. Jessica is a member of the Sourcewriters at Manhattan Theatre Source, the Playwright’s Group led by Richard Caliban, and The Dramatists Guild of America. Much gratitude to Paula, Mind the Gap, Early Bird Theatricals, and the ridiculously talented cast for making this silly story swim.

PAULA D’ALESSANDRIS (Director) is the Artistic Director and Founder of Mind The Gap Theatre (MTG). Favorite directing credits with Mind The Gap include the NY premiere of David Eldridge’s award-winning play Under The Blue Sky (Backstage Critic's Pick); the world premiere of The Cleric at 59E59 Theaters; Gary Owen’s In The Pipeline; Workshops of: David Eldridge’s Summer Begins  Dan Remmes’ What Doesn’t Kill Us; her stage adaptation of Gary Oldman’s Nil By Mouth, and many others. She directed three consecutive winners at the Samuel French Festival (all of which have been published) and many pieces in MTG’s popular BritBits series of short plays by, for or about the British. Favorite credits elsewhere include Walter Vs. The Water Authority at 59E59 with WriteClub NYC; her multiple-award-winning productions at the Pittsburgh New Works Festival of the outrageous comedies Stampede! and The Butter Bin; critical and commercial successes Love! Valour! Compassion! (in its Pittsburgh premiere), ‘Night Mother, ExtremitiesDrinking in America, The Dumbwaiter; Locating The Plant (Irish Arts Center , NYC)Other work includes the audiobook Pilgrimage to the Rebirth. 

MIND THE GAP THEATRE (Producer) is New York’s premiere Anglo-American theatre company dedicated to producing new British plays and creating an exchange of new works between the US and UK. It is producing The Average-Sized Mermaid at the NY International Fringe Festival as a first step in introducing new American plays to an international audience, with the intent to eventually produce in the UK as part of their cross-Atlantic exchange of new works.

EARLY BIRD THEATRICALS (Producer) is committed to supporting promising, new works and talented, early career theatre artists. EBT was most recently a co-producer on When Last We Flew by Harrison David Rivers. The production won numerous awards, including "Outstanding Play" (NY Fringe 2010) and the GLAAD Media Award for "Outstanding NY Theater." Founder, Robin Rothstein is a theatre industry professional with a background in writing and commercial touring, and works in the presenting division at Broadway Across America in New York. She has also been a contributing theatre reviewer for Time Out NY and Robin is a member of The Broadway League, The League of Professional Theatre Women, The Dramatists Guild, Inc. and is an alumna of the University of Pennsylvania where she studied playwriting under Romulus Linney and graduated with honors in English.

KATY MOORE (Production Stage Manager) is a proud member of Actors’ Equity. Katy lost her finance job during the recent recession and decided to follow her dream of paying the rent as a stage manager. It’s almost working. Some of her recent favorite work includes “Dia de Los Muertos” at LATEA, “Dollface” at Theatre for the New City, “Macbeth” with Red Shark Productions, “With Glee” with Prospect Theatre at Theater Row, “Romance Romance” and “Two Rooms” with The Active Theater Company, “The Confidence Man” with the Woodshed Collective, “Three Sisters” with the Assembly, “Parade” and “The 25th Annual Putnum County Spelling Bee” at The Secret Theatre, “MilkMilkLemonade” at Astoria Performaning Arts Center, and “One Third of a Nation” at The Metropolitan Playhouse. She is also working on the 2011 Fringe Al Fresco version of “Much Ado About Nothing” which you can see for free.  In her spare time, she teaches knitting and crochet to anyone who will sit still long enough.

JOYCE LIAO (Lighting Design) Broadway: Marquis Theatre, where her work helped Soul of Shaolin to a Tony nomination in the category of Special Theatrical Event. Other New York credits: Baruch Performing Arts Center, Cherry Lane Theatre, Henry Street Playhouse and Here Arts Center, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre. Regional credits: The Studio Theatre (DC), Le Petit Theatre (New Orleans), Jefferson Performing Arts Society (LA).  Liao was awarded the Peggy Ezekiel Award Outstanding Achievement Lighting Design for Caucasian Chalk Circle.  She received her Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University Theater School.

NICK ROBERTSON (Authorized Company Representative/Composer) is a composer/lyricist living in New York City.  He is in his second year of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop.  He holds a BA in Drama with an emphasis in Playwriting from UC Santa Barbara, where he studied with Naomi Iizuka.  He also spent a year studying Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London. While in London, Nick began writing music and lyrics for his first musical, God Save the Queen with book by Erin Phillips, which received a workshop at UT Austin in 2009.  In New York, his plays and songs have been performed at the Shotgun Theatre Festival, Don’t Tell Mama, and various other open mic nights and cabarets. In 2010, two of his songs were selected to be showcased in Snappy Title: Dream a Little Dream at the Cochrane Theatre in London.  He lives in Washington Heights wishing he had a dog, but making do with houseplants. 

GHISLAINE SABITI (Costume Designer) After graduating with honors from Atelier Chardon Savard Fashion School in Paris, France, Ghislaine has passionately taken the fashion and entertainment world by storm. Designing award winning hosiery for they Dupont De Nuemours. During her stay in Paris Ghislaine became a regular participant during Paris' Fashion week serving as Wardrobe Assistant. She worked as Costume Designer in Paris and New York  for film and Theater. She was the Costume Designer for Shrunken Heads play and Costume Designer assistant for the film Bleeding house. Her  film/stage experience includes, Wardrobe supervisor for the films Dinner Guest Teaser, Running Dog, and Snowboarder. Ghislaine´s commitment to superb excellence and groundbreaking material are inspired by period and contemporary pieces. Her vision is to continue to produce her designs thus leaving an imprint on the Film and Theatre industry.

MELISSA RIKER (Mermaid Movement Coach) is a choreographer, dancer, aerialist, and Artistic Director of Kinesis Project dance theatre.  She also regularly collaborates with directors and actors to build the physical world of plays and characters.  Melissa most recently worked on Goldor $ Mythyka by Lynn Rosen directed by Shana Gold and Evening All Afternoon by Anna Ziegler directed by Beatrice Terry for New Georges' Germ Project: plays of Scope and Adventure! The Average-Sized Mermaid is also a play of scope and adventure and she is thrilled to be a part of it! 

SAM MORRIS (Publicist) Since the fall of 2008, Sam Morris has been a successful publicist with a track record for creating buzz for a host of arts and theater clients in New York City. He has secured features in numerous major media outlets including The New York Times, The New York Post, The New York Daily News, amNY, Time Out New York, Newsday, Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, Backstage, FOX5, Bloomberg, WNYC, and The Huffington Post. He has also worked with several high profile individuals on projects such as NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Adrian Grenier, five-time Oscar-nominated cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, and Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman.

CHRIS ESPIRITU (Graphic Designer) is a member of the award-winning design studio, gdloft (, based out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Through the years, he’s been an active freelance designer as well as a graphic designer for the American Kennel Club in New York City. On his spare time, he contributes his services to various organizations, businesses and charities.

DANA FLEITMAN (Director of Business Development) is a lifelong fan of playwright Jessica Fleitman's work and is thrilled to be assisting with this production. Dana has coordinated fundraising for events ranging from a national march on the White House for Darfur awareness to a three-week social justice trip to South Africa. She is passionate about arts education and  taught an original film-making curriculum to youth including refugees and foster teens. She currently serves as a Project Associate at JBS International, Inc. and graduated from American University.

JIM BENSON (Newscaster Voices and Online ComMERcial Series Announcer) TV Time Machine host, Jim Benson has interviewed a multitude of legendary TV celebrities on his radio program, including Mel Brooks, Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), Fred Armisen, director Guillermo Del Toro, producer Carlton Cuse (Lost) and The Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, Larry Thomas. Jim also conducted Peter Falk’s last interview, as the TV legend discussed Columbo and his remarkable TV and movie career for one final, and memorable, time. Jim recently burst on the radio scene, debuting TV Time Machine in the San Diego market, on 1170 KCBQ-AM. He also recently finished producing audio commentary for The Twilight Zone Blu-Ray DVD release, and is presently putting the finishing touches on TV Time Machine Productions DVD release of the John Astin/Marty Ingels 1962 ABC TV sitcom, I’m Dickens, He’s Fenster. Jim is also a voice artist, providing his distinctive vocal skills for commercials, gaming, radio, television, and all forms of media, and is currently represented by Diverse Talent Group.

SETH ANDREW BRIDGES (Stage Combat Consultant) Seth is a NYC based actor, fight choreographer, and stunt performer. He has performed and arranged numerous bits of violence for stage, film, and television. He also currently serves as the head of stage combat instruction at the Hudson Valley Conservatory of Fine Arts.  

JOE WEHRY (Photographer) Joe Wehry is a photographer of people and places around New York, Berlin, London and Cardiff. Although he shoots color images, black and white film is the preferred method to his madness. In addition to personal projects, commercial work includes private and corporate events as well as images for musicians, performers and other creative professionals.