​​Free Play Theatre Cooperative

About Playback

Yair Koas (Actor) is delighted to be taking part in Playback Theater with Free Play Theatre Cooperative. When not acting in stories with Playback, Yair is a freshman at Brandeis studying theater, computer science, and a whole lot of unconnected other things. He enjoys practicing martial arts, taking long walks on the beach, dancing, writing, and running a radio show. If none of the above applies, you might find him going to random events on campus (especially if there's free food), or acting in other productions. 

Welcome New Members:

Cameron Braunstein, Sivan Spector, Ben LoCasio, Demi Ingraham

Shaquan McDowell (Actor) is a Third-Year at Brandeis. Though majoring in Politics and History with a goal to claim the office of POTUS for himself, Shaquan has found the realm of theatre to provide an amount of enthusiasm, which can not be found anywhere else. He's starred in productions such as The Love of A Nightingale (2015), Columbinus (2015) , Rent (2012), and can seen as a feature on Al Jazeera's DocuSeries "Edge of Eighteen" (2014).  Shaquan is co-founder and President of "The Purple Party" an independent youth political organization, based out of Atlanta. Being his focus is on youth expressing their interest and opinions, he feels the storytelling aspect of Playback to be an effective way, of truly understanding the internal conflicts which our colleagues encounter.


Shira Harary (Actor) is a Senior double majoring in Psychology and Educational Studies with a minor in Theater. At her day camp, she directed a production of Cinderella in 2013, and in high school she acted in The Matchmaker (Dolly the Matchmaker) in 2013 and Lend Me A Tenor (Diana) in 2012. Her performance in The Matchmaker won her a Drama Award presented by her high school. Her first appearance in a play at Brandeis University was as Rebel in Columbinus. Shira is the President of the Food Recovery Network, a member of the Adagio Dance Company, a Girl Scout Leader, and a sister of Delta Phi Epsilon. 


Playback theatre is a form of improvisational storytelling which gives voice and focus to a variety of emotions and narratives. First founded in 1975 by Jonathan Fox and Jo Salas, playback theatre calls on the tradition of oral storytelling, metaphor, and imagery to turn stories into performances. The Brandeis Playback Theatre troupe was founded in Fall 2015.

Leah Nadelman (Stage Manager) is a junior. She is majoring in History with minors in Near Eastern and Judaic Studies and Anthropology. At her high school she performed in the ensembles of the Drama Department’s productions of The Pirates of Penzances and Les Miserables. Last year she stage managed Columbinus. This year she is the stage manager for Playback Theater and the Production Director for Free Play Theater Cooperative. In her free time she likes to listen to music, color, and watch obscene amounts of Netflix. She is extremely proud of all the hard work the troupe has done!

Sindy Sura (Actor) is a sophomore from Dallas, Texas and wants to major in International and Global Studies. She played the lead of the female chorus in The Love of the Nightingale and plays on the co-ed volleyball team. While she comes from the opposite side of the country, she enjoys the adventure she's been having away from home. She’s excited to be a part of the troupe.

​​Current Troupe Members Fall 2016


Sarah Skrovan (Actor) is a junior studying Anthropology. She has participated in many forms of theatre throughout the years, and you may have seen her most recently in Brandeis Free Play's production of Columbinus as Faith. She would like to thank Leah and Amanda for all their dedication, and hopes everyone enjoys Playback!

José Castellanos (Actor) is a junior who likes piña coladas and getting lost in the rain. Though he spends most of his time discussing and studying law and politics, every once in awhile he enjoys a break through theatre. He has enjoyed his experience in Playback so far, and would like to thank friends, family, and George R.R. Martin for only killing off two of his five favorite Game of Thrones characters.

Past Troupe Members: Dash Marley '15 and Brian Dorfman '16


Current Troupe Members Abroad: Lilia Shrayfer '18

Kelyn Zhang (Actor) is sophomore with a passion for dance that just developed an interest in juggling. She was most recently in the cast of Shoes On, Shoes Off with the Brandeis Theatre Company in Spring 2016. She is involved in Boxing Club, Adagio, and SCRAM. She likes working out in the gym, reading, watching movies, and likes to collect leaves in her spare time. She is extremely happy to be in playback.

Emma Nissenbaum (Actor) is so happy to get to spend her time at Brandeis with all the wonderful members of this troupe. She was last seen playing Perfect in last spring semester's production of Columbinus, and was excited to revive that role this year, if not on stage, than off. On the rare occasions that she is not studying, Emma can probably be found doing something with (or advertising for) BaRuCH.




Eli Kengmana (Musician) is a sophomore from New York City. Besides Playback, every now and then he plays guitar at random performing events or open mics. He mainly plays guitar, but he also knows how to play some bass and drums. He loves gaming, music, and tattoos.

Amanda Ehrmann (Director and Conductor) is a junior majoring in Theatre and minoring in Education and English. Last year, she directed Free Play Theatre Cooperative's Columbinus (2015). Past roles include Nerissa in Merchant of Venice (2015) and Snout in Midsummer Night's Dream (2014) with Hold Thy Peace, and writing and directing for BET Quickies 2014.  Amanda enjoys playing rugby, dancing, and hanging with her Alpha Pi Phi sisters. She is beyond thankful to the whole troupe and crew for letting her introduce them to playback and loving it as much as she does!