Lean & Hungry Company
Jessica Hansen (Executive Artistic Director/Co-Founder) MFA Acting, Brandeis University, is an Actors Equity Association Membership Candidate, a member of SAG-AFTRA, and a recognized Actor/Combatant with the Society of American Fight Directors. She has an undergraduate degree in Creative Writing and worked in the field of Public Relations before embarking on a career as a professional working actor. Jessica has taught acting to children and adults of all ages from Shakespeare to theater management to microphone and audition techniques. She has taught at middle and high schools throughout the Washington metropolitan area, and has taught Styles of Acting at American University.
Kristen Scott Kennedy (Managing Director) is an experienced nonprofit leader and theater artist. She is former Managing Director of TaketheStage Theater Company in Los Angeles and a Board member with Glasswater Theater in Toronto. Ms. Scott Kennedy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Southern California where she studied in both the School of Dramatic Arts and the Annenberg School for Communication, and her MPA from American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Lena Salins (Production Manager) is an alumna of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where she was a Linehan Artist Scholar and earned degrees in Theatre Production and Cultural Anthropology. Past productions include- Stage Manager/Asst Stage Manager: Pas De Deux (Studio Theatre), Home (Rep Stage) Mixed Doubles (Performance Workshop Theatre), Breaking the Code (Performance Workshop Theatre), Incorruptible (UMBC Dept of Theatre), Voracious (UMBC Dept of Theatre), OTMA (UMBC Dept of Theatre). Lena was invited to the 2012 & 2013 Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival for Outstanding Stage Management for OTMA and Incorruptible.
Kevin Finkelstein (Resident Director) is the Founding Artistic Director of the Federal Theatre Project, Co-Artistic Director of LiveArtDC, and Executive Producer of Frozen Penguin Productions. Kevin started out as an actor, playing the Mayor of Munchkin City in a First Grade production of The Wizard of Oz. Two decades later, Kevin now has over 50 productions under his directing belt. Regional favorites include Julius Caesar and Hamlet (Lean & Hungry Theater), Someone to Watch Over Me (the Federal Theatre Project), The Good Woman of Setzuan (Constellation Theatre Company), The Horrors of Online Dating (Molotov Theatre Group) and The Cherry Orchard (WSC Avant Bard).
Haely Jardas (Communications Officer) BA Broadcast Journalism (American University), BA Theatre Performance (American University). Originally from Southwest Florida, Haely is a performer, editor and videographer based in DC. In 2012 Haely was a recipient of the Irene Ryan Acting Award by the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
Sarah Cumbie (Broadcast Consultant) is the Corporate Marketing Coordinator at WAMU 88.5. In her four years at WAMU, she has worked on programming, production, voice work and now the business side of radio. She began working with Lean & Hungry Theater in 2010, and has served in various production roles on each show since Romeo & Juliet.
Kevin Collins (Casting Associate) has earned a Post-Graduate Diploma in Theatre & Performance from Trinity College Dublin, and a B.A. in Theatre & Dance from James Madison University. He is a DC-based arts teaching artist, actor, and arts administrator. Kevin is an affiliated teaching artist with Lean & Hungry Theater, Imagination Stage, Round House Theatre, Encore Stage, and Creative Kids. Kevin also has appeared on stage with a number of DC area theatres. His post-grad research explored the benefits of utilizing theatre as a medium for educating a general audience about complicated and normally inaccessible scientific topics.
Michael Harris (Company Associate) is the Executive & Artistic Director of the Baltimore Improv Group (BIG), and has been an invited performer at Comedy Festivals from Philadelphia to Chicago, and D.C. to Austin. With Lean & Hungry he has played the title role in Hamlet, Jacques/Oliver/Silvius in As You Like It, and Chillingworth/Bellingham in The Scarlet Letter. Michael is a faculty member of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, and a member of Actor's Equity.
Paul McLane (Company Associate) Paul McLane is an actor, journalist and radio veteran who has worked with Lean & Hungry as Polonius/Hamlet, Duke Senior/As You Like It, Cimber and Messala/Julius Caesar, Leontes/Winter’s Tale and Sir Toby Belch/Twelfth Night; he directed Merchant of Venice. From a family of actors, Paul debuted in Last Time I Wore a Dress at Source and has since worked with Rorschach, Washington Shakespeare Co., American Century, Classika, Federal Theatre Project and others. Training includes Studio Theatre Conservatory and Theatre Lab of D.C. He is editor in chief of trade publication Radio World, and a former broadcast news anchor and radio equipment sales/marketing manager.