Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant: A Snowball’s Chance
Lead Artists

Connie Hall (Producing Director & Original creator, Sue James)

Connie Hall is a creator, performer, and producer of new work in New York and abroad. In 2006, along with a group of fellow performers, Connie founded Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant (2012 NY Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Ensemble and Performance Art Production). She has enjoyed longtime collaborations with Paul Bargetto/international undergroundzero festival, Aya Ogawa, Jeanette Yew, and International WOW Company; and she is a repeat performer at Shakespeare in Stonington (ME). Connie is currently the Artistic Programs Producer at New Dramatists, and has served on the fundraising staffs of Theatre Development Fund and Theatre Communications Group. She holds an MFA in Acting from Columbia University.

Rachel Murdy (Original Creator, Muffin Character Hanshake)

Rachel Murdy is an actor, singer, and theatre devisor based in NYC. She is a co-creator and original performer in Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant. A member of Diane Paulus Company Project 400 for 10 years after receiving her MFA in acting from Columbia University, she is a co-creator and original cast member of The Donkey Show. Other co-creations and performance credits include The Millay Sisters Cabaret, Welcome Home Hamlet, and Little West 12th Night. She recently played Hucklebee in The Fantasticks at Stonington Opera House and Man’s Understanding in Calderon’s 2 Dreams at La Mama. Follow her and Bibi-Alma on Instagram @rachel.murdy.

Cynthia Croot (Director)

U.S. regional credits include Perseverance Theatre, Stonington Opera House, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and ART’s Club Oberon. She’s directed in NYC at PS122, HERE, Town Hall, The Ontological-Hysteric Theatre, Symphony Space, the Brick Theatre, Connelly Theatre, and Guggenheim Museum. An NEA/TCG Directing Fellow, Croot earned her MFA at Columbia University. Her most recent production, Mirror Butterfly (a jazz/hip hop opera by composer Ben Barson and librettist Ruth Margraff), performed at the Kennedy Center in November. She is Resident Director of Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant, co-founder of the artist-activist collective Ifyoureallyloveme, and Associate Professor at the University of Pittsburgh.

David M. Barber (Scenic & Costume Designer, Hair Messerschmidt)

David M. Barber has been a CAGR company member since 2009. In New York: Off-Broadway – Scenery for The Bonfire of the Vanities – the Opera, The Most Deserving, The Orphans’ Home Cycle, The Vandal, A Simple Heart, Women Beware Women, TOKIO Confidential, others. Regional: South Coast Rep, Denver Center, Hartford Stage, Baltimore Centerstage, CATF, ART, Pittsburgh Public, Alabama Shakespeare, Two River, Great Lakes, many others. Television: E! Entertainment, The TODAY Show, Football Night (Art Director); Woodstock ’99 (Production Designer). Film: “All Relative”, “Day 39”, others (Production and Costume Designer) Awards: Connecticut Critics Circle, Drama Desk, Henry Hewes Award, Denver Ovation, Denver Critics Circle, others. David is an Assistant Professor of Theater Design at Kean University in NJ.

Jennifer Caster* (Production Stage Manager)

Jen is the proud Production Manager, Stage Manager, and Company Member of ten years with Conni’s Avant Garde Restaurant. In addition, she has collaborated extensively with Cleveland Public Theatre on several productions, including Water Ways (Part One of the Elements Cycle), Earth Plays (Part Two of the Elements Cycle), Standing on Ceremony: The Gay Marriage Plays, Insomnia, Poor Little Lulu, and At-TEN-tion Span: A Festival of 10-Minute Plays. Regional stage management credits include engagements with Opera House Arts (ME), PlayMakers Repertory Company (NC), Great Lakes Theater (OH), and Idaho Shakespeare Festival (ID).

Ashley Davenport, Davenport’s Divine Delicacies (Chef)

Ashley is a local chef and caterer who has called Cleveland home for the past 12 years. Born and raised in Texas, you might find notes of Southern, Cajun, and Tex-Mex flavors in his cooking. Ashley was raised in the restaurant business and has carried on the tradition of his grandmother Amna June’s philosophy of scratch cooking. He has had to modify most of her recipes, however, as they feed several hundred. Ashley is chef and owner at Davenport’s Divine Delicacies, located in the Gordon Square Arts District, and a great friend of CPT. In addition to annually supporting and cheffing Pandemonium, Ashley has performed at CPT on several occasions.

*Production Stage Manager appears courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.