John J. Wooten
Director of Arts Programming
As the Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages, John has developed and directed numerous critically-acclaimed productions of new plays, many of which were subsequently published, including Dark Part of the Forest, Any Other Name, ODD, Soldier’s Heart, The Beautiful Dark and The Good Counselor. The latter two productions were also honored by the American Theatre Critics Association, along with the sold-out run of Follow Me to Nellie’s, Dominique Morisseau’s first play. New Jersey Premieres he has directed, at Premiere Stages and elsewhere, include Rabbit Hole, Snakebit, Boy Gets Girl, Soldier’s Heart, Shmulnik’s Waltz and Skeleton Crew.
John is also the Director of Arts Programming for the University, supervising theatre management and programming operations at Kean. Plays he has authored have been produced commercially Off-Broadway, internationally and in regional theaters across America. Published plays include: Trophies (Dramatists Play Service), Humbug (Samuel French), The Role of Della (Playscripts, Inc.), and Kiss the Bride (Dramatic Publishing Company). John wrote the screenplays for The Role of Della (Toronto, Ft. Lauderdale, Cleveland and DC Film Festivals) and Cat in the Pan (Montreal Film Festival). Awards include a NJSCA Playwriting Fellowship, a Best New Play Nomination from the American Theatre Critics Association, and multiple Best Director nominations from the Newark Star-Ledger.
Director of Audience Services
Heather Kelley holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory, and is a founding member of Mad Dog Theatre Company in New York, where she has served as Literary Manager for two seasons. Mad Dog's first commission, This is Not the Play by Chisa Hutchinson, received the 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Short Script. Heather has worked as an actress with the Arden Theatre Company, Dorset Theatre Festival, Prospect Theater Company, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, and the Asolo Repertory Theatre, among others. Her fiction and plays have been published in Opium Magazine, 225 Plays by The New York Neo-Futurists from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (ed. Joey Rizzolo) and What Happened to Us These Last Couple Years? (Elope Press & So New).
Manager of Kean Stage
Steve comes to Kean Stage after 18 years working with Theatreworks USA, bringing theater to young audiences across North America in his capacity as Tour Manager and Marketing Director. An eclectic career in theater has found him as an actor, company manager and stage manager on national and international theatrical tours. His first job as an Actor's Equity member and probably his most memorable, Wile E. Coyote in the international touring production of Bugs Bunny Meets the Superheroes with Madison Square Garden Productions. He is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in NYC and William Paterson University in NJ.
Box Office & Operations Manager
Jennifer holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Kean University, where she volunteered with many charitable organizations including Sigma Beta Chi. Jennifer developed her passion for human rights further by interning with the Division of Youth and Family Services (DYFS) during her senior year. Upon graduation, Jennifer continued to work for Kean Stage and was soon promoted to House Operations/Box Office Manager where she is responsible for overseeing all of Kean Stage’s Front of House and Box Office.
Jenn is out on medical leave.