Bella Poynton

Artistic Director and Resident Playwright

BELLA POYNTON (www.bellapoynton.com) is a playwright, director, dramaturg and scholar from Buffalo, NY.  Her Plays have been produced and developed at The Barrow Group, Road Less Traveled Productions, The Pittsburgh New Play Festival, Mad Lab Theatre, KNOW Theatre, Otherworld Theatre, Quantum Dragon Theatre Company, The Antaeus Company, and The Great Plains Theater Conference. Recently, her play Speed of Light  had a world premiere at Road Less Traveled Productions and was given an honorable mention on the Kilroys List of Notable Plays by Female Playwrights in 2015. Her play, The Aurora Project was produced at The Science Fiction Theater Company in 2013, and Otherworld Theater in 2014. Bella has been a finalist for the Woodward/Newton Drama Award, The Heideman Prize, and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. Bella is also a regional playwriting resident at Road Less Traveled Productions. Her scholarly research interests include science fiction in performance, specifically representations of cyborgs, robots, and AI. She has given talks at The Nichols School, The University at Buffalo, Medaille College, The Canadian Association for Theatre Research and the Mid American Theatre Conference. BFA, Boston University. MFA, The University of Iowa. PhD, University at Buffalo (In Progress)

Science Fiction Inspiration: Frank Herbert, Isaac Asimov, Philip K. Dick, Ridley Scott, Ursula K. LeGuin, Robert Sheckley, William Gibson, Beth Revis, Star Trek, Dan Simmons, Kim Stanley Robinson, Neal Stephenson, Octavia Butler. 

Ariel Francoeur

Producing artistic Director and Resident Director/Actor

ARIEL FRANCOEUR (www.arielfrancoeur.com) is a director and actor who recently earned her MFA in Directing from The University of Iowa. She holds a BA in Theatre and Ancient History from The University of Southern Maine. Her specialties are new work, Shakespeare, and combining her life-long love of fantasy and science fiction novels with her talent for creating distinctly theatrical experiences. Her personal mission: to convert as many non-theatre goers as possible by keeping a night at the theater sacred and relevant to an evolving audience.   

She has worked throughout New York City and nationally, at such organizations as Portland Stage Company, Kentucky Repertory Theatre, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare at Notre Dame, Hartford Opera Theater, NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Fenix Theatre Company, The Stage at Spring Point, Madhorse Theatre Company, Primary Stages, The Lookingglass Theatre, Spontaneous Shakespeare, The Secret Theatre, A Festival of Fools, Estrogenius Festival, The New York Musical Theatre Festival, and more.  She is also a film actor.   

SCIENCE FICTION INFLUENCES: Red Dwarf, The Wheel of Time Series, Kurt Vonnegut Jr, George Orwell, Joss Whedon, Ursula K. LeGuin, JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis, The Gormenghast Novels, Peter S. Beagle, and all of the Star Treks (most especially TNG and DS9).  

Melina Neves

Literary Manager & Resident Actor

MELINA NEVES is an actor/singer starting out in Chicago after a four-year deal at the University of Iowa where she met and worked with the founding members of The Navigators. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts with a minor in Japanese. Her most recent roles working with The Navigators include Speed of Light (Valki), Medusa Undone (Medusa), and The Aurora Project (Nora). She also appeared in Makeover: A New Musical, Red: A Thing About the Heart, and Lord of The Underworld. She specializes in new plays, working with playwrights, directors, and dramaturgs to help build new worlds.

SCIENCE FICTION INFLUENCES: TV: Xfiles, Twilight Zone, Black Mirror, Dr. Who. Video Games: Mass Effect series. Plays: Everything that Bella Poynton has written. 

Jesse Kane Harnett

Creative Director & Resident Director

JESSE KANE-HARNETT (www.jkanehartnett.com) moved to Brooklyn after graduating with a BFA in Acting from Emerson College in Boston. He is a director, actor, filmmaker and photographer. He was a founding member of Abraxas Theater Company in Sarasota, FL and an Associate Director of A Festival of Fools in Brooklyn, NY. In addition to working with The Navigators, he is also an Artist-in-Residence with Roving Roots.

He first began working in Sci-fi theater when given the opportunity to direct Advanced Programs System, a short play written by Artistic Director Bella Poynton as part of the Build the Burrow: Night of One Acts festival. Other favorite directing projects include Shared Intimacy by Troy Deutch, Sarah H. Haught and Rose Martula, Rough Magic by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, and Forgive Us Our Trespasses by Jeffrey Stingerstein.

SCIENCE FICTION INFLUENCES: Battlestar Galactica, Ursula K. LeGuin, Neal Stephenson, Grant Morrison, Transmetropolitan, Philip K. Dick, Robert Anton-Wilson, Star Trek: TNG, DS9, and Voyager.