Who We Are
Hannah Rose Chaikin has been acting forever, from Drama Kids as child, to the HAFTR Players throughout her years in high school. Performances include Corpse Bride, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, and Gabriella in High School Musical. In addition to acting, Rose has been Jen's co-director for many of the HAFTR Players' and Junior HAFTR Players' productions. When Rose is not at rehearsal, she is working on her novels as well as a Crisis Counselor for Project Hope, a FEMA funded program for Covid-19 relief.
From a very young age, Alex has had a passion for both musical and classical theater, having performed in several productions in high school and college such as Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (Sir Andrew Aguecheck) and Antigone (King Creon). Also trained in song and dance, his recent works include Godspell ("Light of the World"), The Wizard of Oz (Tin Man), as well as ensemble work in both The Producers and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Alex gives his love to supportive friends and family, as well as this cast of incredibly talented people. He sincerely hopes that the audience enjoys the performance they have put together.
Danielle's first introduction to theater was through her behind the scenes work on Jennifer Winkler Lanter's 2006 HAFTR Production of The Princess Bride. Over the next few years, Danielle assisted with Jennifer's next two productions, along with a short play written and directed by Ben Kaye, The Death of Andrews. After graduating, Danielle then momentarily stepped away from theater in order to pursue her degree in Advertising/Graphic Design at the School of Visual Arts. Danielle has built up her own freelance design company, FADD Designs. Now a mother of two, Danielle is excited to be back working as a production manager alongside Jennifer Winkler in her new endeavor.
As a general rule, Jacqui Geller has no idea what she is doing. She hopes, however, that it looks like she does. A veteran HAFTR Player, Jacqui was a part of Jennifer Winkler's productions from 2007-2011. She is honored to be a part of SHTARKcontrast. When Jacqui is not acting, she is making nerdy costumes and writing papers about animated children's shows.
Elijah, a high school graduate, is now assembled with other veteran HAFTR Players to perform plays of SHTARKcontrast. His experience as an actor and director, under the tutelage of the great Jennifer Winkler, in plays such as The Butler Did It and The Sound of Music make him a fine addition to this impressive cast.
After spending two years meditating in the mystical hills of Tzfat, Josef Kahn came back to America. Mostly known for playing the head of the Russian mob in Matilda, as well as his revolutionary backstage work in tipping over a bobblehead in The Butler Did It, Josef has now taken to joining SHTARKcontrast. Josef attends Yeshiva University and cannot wait to begin melding the minds of the youth to make Aliyah. Until then, however, he blesses all the cast members with all the best, and makes a tentative promise to keep his bad attempts at a Scottish accent out of any future rehearsals.
As a mom, English teacher, writer, and drama director, Winkler has been searching for the time (and audacity) to open a community center for dramatic arts in the Five Towns. She is grateful for the tremendous support of her family, friends, and most of all, her former students, all of whom continue to prove that magic is real, and almost anything imaginable is possible.
When Lea isn't playing her ukulele, you will probably see her in some sort of play/production. She's been in many productions, which include, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Into the Woods, Matilda, Tarzan, Murderous Night at the Museum, and Sound of Music. Lea has been in several SHTARKcontrast productions as well. Lea is also very happy to be surrounded by such wonderful and amazing people.
Hannah Mari is a founding member of SHTARKcontrast. She holds a B.A. in Literature with a minor in Theater and Performance (Purchase College), and is currently pursuing her M.A. in English (Brooklyn College) while working as an Assistant Teacher. She is thankful and excited to continue her theatrical endeavors with Jennifer Lanter Winkler and the rest of the cast/crew.
Jordana is thrilled to be a part of SHTARKcontrast. Jordana has been acting since second grade and has been in numerous productions including: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Into the Woods, Alice in Wonderland, High School Musical, Murderous Night at the Museum, The Sound of Music, An Inspector Calls, and By Candlelight. Jordana is so happy to be working with such an amazing cast and wonderful director.
Alex Mehl was thrilled to join for this opportunity when Jennifer Lanter Winkler called about a new acting opportunity. Over the last eight years, Alex has been working in real estate and most recently commercial real estate in Manhattan working at Norman Bobrow & Co. where he represents tenants for their office lease negotiations and needs. Alex has been growing his business as a professional magician. He performs in a variety of venues ranging from private events to corporate events. To learn more about how Alex can make your next event unforgettable, go to magicmehl.com. And last, but certainly not least, Alex also loves every minute that he spends with his beautiful wife and two year old daughter.
Makayla Schein has been involved in theater her entire life. Her first production was Cinderella where she played Anastasia (one of Cinderella's evil step sisters). After that she was hooked. After that she was involved in many theater productions some of which include, The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Aladdin, Toy Story, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, Murderous Night at the Museum, The Sound of Music, as well as many others. Makayla additionally assisted in the directing of many of these productions as directed The Wizard of Oz as well. Makayla is thrilled to be a part of SHTARKcontrast and to be working with these amazing actors and director.
After three years in the HAFTR Players (Raymond Chandler in The Butler Did It and Imhotep in Murderous Night at the Museum), A.M. Thee returns to the stage in more roles than they are willing to detail while writing this bio. When they are not memorizing four different parts at once, A.M. studies English at Queens College.
Max Yacker has been a student of the dramatic arts for as long as you think is impressive. His work has been described as "really good" and "that last critic is an idiot." His hobbies include saying bad things at worse times, pretending to know how to write bios, and drying paint binge watches. At the moment, Max is pursuing a useless degree in an obsolete field at NYU.
Lauren has been a theater kid since the age of 12. She has starred in plays, such as The Grasshopper and the Ant, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, and Jason and the Golden Fleece as part of Drama Kids International. She has also been apart of Drama For Life and starred in The Emperor's New Hair (Empress). Some of her other notable roles where in Little Women, 17, and Twelve Angry Jurors (Juror #12). She is blessed to be part of SHTARKcontrast and can't wait to show everyone her talent.
Michal is thrilled to be a part of SHTARKcontrast. She starting performing in 4th grade and has fallen in love with it since. She has been in a variety of shows including The Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Matilda, and more. When Michal isn't performing, she can likely be found watching others perform, thinking about performing, wishing to be performing, or doing schoolwork. She is beyond grateful to the entire cast and crew for allowing her into their world.
Always having a passion for theatre and comedy from a very young age, Estee is so happy and honored to join SHTARKcontrast. Estee performed in plays throughout middle and high school. To name a few, The Man Who Came to Dinner (Mr. Whiteside), 1776 (President John Adams), A Shayna Maidel (Mama). Estee is excited to be a part of this new experience and continue to learn and grow as an actress, singer, dancer, and human!
Lauren has been a theater kid since the age of 12. She has starred in plays, such as The Grasshopper and the Ant, The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, and Jason and the Golden Fleece as part of Drama Kids International. She has also been apart of Drama For Life and starred in The Emperor's New Hair (Empress). Some of her other notable roles where in Little Women, 17, and Twelve Angry Jurors (Juror #12). She is blessed to be part of Shtark Contrast and can't wait to show everyone her talent.