About Us

History

Spiral, Inc.

  • Spiral, Inc. began in New York City in the mid 1980s as an acting class taught by director Janis Powell.  That class developed into a theatre company named Second Story Ensemble (SSE).  Second Story Ensemble’s first production, “Circumstances” by Louis Mustillo, was produced Off-Broadway at the Susan Bloch Theater.  Other productions included: “The Tatler” by Teri Wagener, “Take The Waking Slow”  by Jane Edith Wilson,  “Minnesota Moon” by John Olive, “Becoming Memories” by Arthur Giron and many more. In the 1990s SSE’s name was changed to Spiral, Inc. with Janis Powell still as Artistic Director.  A new group of actors joined the group and in the early 2000’s Spiral produced several plays in New York City, among them was the New York premiere of Daniel MacIvor’s “The Soldier Dreams.” 
  • In 2015 Richard Johnson took over the position of Artistic Director and President and merged Spiral with his own theatre company Triskelion.  Triskelion has produced many shows including “Fancy Footwork” by Miriam Gallagher and “Fish” by Cyndi Williams (produced with Live Oak Productions and Rick Azar) in New York City.  Other Triskelion productions in New Jersey include: “To All A Goodnight” (I & II), “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” By Dylan Thomas, “Chamber of Horrors” and “An Evening of Poe.”  
  • Spiral, Inc.  produces full scale main stage theatrical productions, offers film and video production and support, offers theatre production support and advisory functions. And offers acting and video classes for children and adults, as well as many other services related to the platforms of stage, video, film, and online entertainment and education.
  • An Important part of Spiral’s mission is community based Children’s Theatre and theatre education.  Ongoing and special classes are offered for kids and adults.  Children’s theatre productions include: “Merry Christmas Charlie Brown” reviewed here http://www.nj.com/suburbannews/index.ssf/2014/12/students_from_fanwood-scotch_p.html


Spiral, Inc is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit corporation

Testimonials


(client) Connie hired you as a Career Coach

  • Top qualities: Personable, Expert, Good Value
  • “Rich coached my daughter in preparation for her college auditions for top level BFA acting programs. He had a deep knowledge of material that helped her find a monologue that was unique and perfectly suited to her. The result was a piece that she could take hold of, make her own and eventually helped her get accepted to NYU Tisch School of the Arts drama program.Rich was always patient and supportive and has a real love for theater. My daughter has also been involved in several of his productions, all of which were professionally run, and attracted quality talent.”


  • Miriam Gallagher, Playwright
  •   Richard directed my play FANCY FOOTWORK for New York International Fringe Festival August 2009. He is a very gifted theatre director and warm and sophisticated to work with.He has a highly evolved visual sense and can motivate actors and deliver a splendid result while making the process such fun for all involved.   


  • J.D. (student) Helped (me) learn to be confident and release anxiety about being on stage.” 


  •  A.P (student) “The techniques (we learn) in the improv class, particularly the games that train actors to listen carefully to each other on stage, have helped in other aspects of life.”
     

Biographies

  • Richard  Johnson (Director, Producer, Teacher) For over 25 years Richard has  been involved in all aspects of production from administrative to  creative to technical. Creative and technical experience includes  directing, stage managing, sound design, acting, video production,  teaching and acting coaching. He apprenticed as an actor at City Stage  Company (a/k/a CSC, Rep) in New York. He has a B.A. in theater from St.  Edward's University in Austin, Texas as well as a degree in video  production from the Art Institute of Dallas. He has studied at the  American Academy of Dramatic Art in New York, H.B. Studio, and privately  in New York City. Richard is president and artistic director of Spiral,  Inc. a not-for- profit theater company. He was a founding member of  Second Story Ensemble, Spiral's precursor. He has directed and stage  managed shows in New York and Los Angeles and has performed in numerous  shows in New York and regionally. Recent directing credits include:  "Fish," and "Fancy Footwork" in New York City and "To All A Goodnight"  and "Fancy Footwork" (reprised) in Scotch Plains New Jersey. Richard  also founded Triskelion a not-for-profit theatre company in Scotch  Plains, New Jersey. Richard coaches and teaches acting for all age  groups. Richard is the President and Artistic Director of Spiral, Inc.  


  • Bill Atwood (Movement, Shakespeare, Stage Combat)   has over twenty years experience in teaching Shakespeare and Movement for Actors at the renowned American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Bill trained in Acting at New York’s Herbert Berghof Studio with the legendary actress and instructor Uta Hagen, author of the best-selling books Respect for Acting and A Challenge for the Actor. Bill also studied dramatic writing with Leslie Lee at NYU Tisch School of the Arts in New York City. Mr. Atwood worked for many years as a consultant for the ISM theater department in Manila, Philippines. 


  • Kawie Manuel Atwood (Instructor, Acting, Shakespeare)  has over 20 years of theater experience under her belt. She has performed with The Asian American Theater Company (NYC), Mayi Theater Company (NYC), Zeitgeist (NYC), and Repertory Philippines. Her favorite Shakespeare role was Helena in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Columbia University NYC. She most recently played the Cat in the Hat in Suessical the Musical with Repertory Philippines. Kawie was a founding member of Spiral Inc.’s precursor, Second Story Ensemble, in New York City as an actor and producer. 


Corporate Directors

Richard Johnson, Timothy Macht, Elizabeth Trimpin