Terry Knickerbocker

Studio Director

Kristan Brown

Operations Manager

Kristan received her MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, where she developed a passion for actor training and the Meisner Technique.  She has been an actor, stage manager, producer, bartender, events director, volleyball coach, P.E. teacher, and stitcher. She is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of FloodLight Productions, an immersive theatre company that produces work in both New York and San Francisco, and most recently served as the Production Management Intern at Ars Nova. Originally from Reno, Nevada, she obtained her BA in Theatre from Whitman College. Kristan is passionate about providing the support that students need to be the best artists they can be.

Justin Cimino

Customer Service and Student Relations Representative

Justin Cimino received his BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, training at the Meisner Studio. He has trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. As an actor, he has performed Off-Broadway and in many other productions in NYC. He has workshopped solo work under Austin Pendleton at The Directors Company. He has been a teaching artist for 15 years. He is currently the Artistic Director for Zara Aina, a nonprofit organization that brings theater to at-risk communities in Madagascar and the United States. He was hired by UNICEF to use Zara Aina’s theater work to mobilize communities in Madagascar to fight polio. He has devised, written, and directed several original shows based on Malagasy folktales with Zara Aina’s Malagasy Youth Company. He has brought Zara Aina’s work to rural Southern Alabama, building original pageant-style shows with community members ages 4-84.

Justin has directed and taught clowning and the devised “moment work” of the Tectonic Theater Project at NYU Tisch, Columbia University, The Studio/NY, The Public’s Shakespeare Initiative, Terry Knickerbocker Studio, and Smashworks Dance Company. Recently Justin devised, wrote, and directed documentary theater pieces about a Jackson Heights hoarder, a triple amputee who runs a Hospice Center, and a 90-year-old woman who used to hunt Nazis. In the fall of 2018 Justin directed an all-female production of Schiller’s Mary Stuart for his theater company Pigeonholed, of which he is the Founder and Artistic Director.

In the spring of 2019, Justin received a SU-CASA grant from the Queens Council on the Arts to build an original piece of theater with senior citizens in Queens. In the summer of 2019 he devised and directed a hybrid clown//dance piece for TheaterLab’s Hotel New Works Residency and for The Tank’s LadyFest. This fall, Justin joins Irondale’s “To Protect, Serve, and Understand” program, which brings NYPD officers and NYC civilians together to create an original piece of theater.  


Allison Spence Brown

Social Media Manager

Allison Spence Brown is an actor, writer, musician, improvisor and sketch comedian. She is from Liberty, Missouri where she grew up playing in her family’s bluegrass band singing, playing guitar and mandolin. Usually she and her sister were forced to wear matching outfits.

Allison has studied the Meisner Technique and Scene Study with Terry Knickerbocker at William Esper Studio and Terry Knickerbocker Studio. She attended New York University’s International Theatre Wing in Amsterdam under the direction of TK staff member Kevin Kuhlke. Allison earned her BFA in Drama from New York University’s Experimental Theatre Wing, where she trained in several disciplines including the Growtowski Method. Her one woman experimental sketch comedy Senior Thesis, Rosemary Quinn Presents: A Night with Allison enjoyed a sold out run and was directed by TK Studio faculty member Sophia Amieva. During her time at NYU, Allison was a member of the university’s premier improv team, Dangerbox, performing at colleges and festivals around the country.

Allison has trained at several comedy theaters around the nation, including the Upright Citizens Brigade (NYC and LA), Second City Chicago, iO Chicago, The Annoyance and Kansas City’s Coterie Theatre. Allison’s one woman show Whoa-Man!: A Feminist Musical Sketch Show recently ended a year long run at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade Theatre (UCBLA). She has written for several online humor websites and currently produces her own online videos of original characters and songs, impressions and comedic web series.

Allison is based in Los Angeles, but has returned to NYC to continue studying with Terry. She also is a proud cat (Martina McBride) and dog (Gilda Radner) parent. As copywriter for TK Studio, she writes weekly Op-Ed pieces about her experiences as an actor, theatre maker, and student.

Heather Craig

Assistant Studio Manager

Heather is an artist, actor, and comedian living in Brooklyn, NY.  She received her B.A in film and television production from Drexel University. Soon after she went on to produce documentaries about the craft and dedication of the independent artist. Most notably her film Being Alone, A Tour Documentary.

She worked in the camera department on major television networks until she took an improv class in 2015. Since then her passion has been performing and creating characters that illuminate our shared humanity and relatable imperfections. She studied Meisner at Maggie Flanigan Studio and since then has dedicated her time to performing her alter ego, Barb Ross, Bob Ross’s little sister.

She and Barb are both strong believers that every person has a unique artist inside who has the power to heal themselves and the world along with it. This spring she will be performing the fifth run of her play, Barb Ross in the Joy of Painting?  Heather is thrilled to be joining the TKS team in support of the actor committed to growth and excellence.

Emma Welch

Social Media Manager

Emma is an actor, singer, violist and mover originally from the heart of the Midwest: Cincinnati, OH. She graduated from the two year meisner program at TK last year, delivering her first ever speech as the peer-elected valedictorian! She has continued to study film & tv, solo show and more at TK in her pursuit to constantly learn and grow. Before coming to the studio, Emma studied broadly in music and drama at the beautiful Bennington College in Vermont, culminating in two senior works: a performance of the one-woman opera “La Voix Humaine” and direction of her dear friend and fellow student Izzy Casey’s premiere play, “The Nicosia Sisters.” Since moving to Brooklyn, she has worked with Waterhouse Collective and the Hudson Valley Moving Co, and performed at the Tank and the Phillipstown Depot Theater amongst other projects. When she’s not auditioning, making strangers coffee, or trying to win over her roommates cat, she can be found rocking out with her very talented friends and arranging and recording strings tracks. (See some of her work @littlecheddarstudios on Instagram)

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