"The company is more than a theatre group ... These two courageous women are paving the way for the next generation of arts professionals." 

—  Natasha Dawsen, Drama Queens


Step1 Theatre Project is an NYC-based indie theatre company whose mission is to present bold productions by underrepresented artists while providing accessible support to members of the local indie theatre community.

Step1 has made a commitment toward creating new, innovative ways of supporting our fellow artists.  We are seeking to be a company of #ArtistsSupportingArtists--to foster growth and inspire the next generation of theatre makers; to encourage them to present their projects fearlessly, regardless of financial and social barriers. With every artist support initiative and every story we tell, we encourage all who have a vision to start and keep moving forward, one step at a time. We'll be here to support you. 

- Jazmyn & Janelle
Co-Founding Artistic Directors
Step1 Theatre Project

The Team



Jazmyn is a producer and performer in the NYC indie theatre community who is passionate about the success and visibility of  underrepresented voices in theatre. She held administrative positions with Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and volunteered with The Tank; over the years, she became inspired by such groups, who help create platforms for those who need it most. This lead to the founding of Step1 Theatre Project, the production company with goals to provide much-needed artist support for others. When she presented this to her artistic soulmate Janelle, she was ready help to make it a reality.



Ben is a director living and working in NYC. He studied Global Studies & Economics at Loyola University Maryland and then began working in the finance industry. Despite all of this, he spends most of his hours making theatre, supporting other artists, and dreaming of the next big thing. Believe it or not, Ben encountered Step1 because of a double-tap on Instagram! Inspired by the company's mission he met Jazmyn & Janelle. The rest, we can say, is history. Ben deeply believes in Step's mission of #ArtistsSupportingArtists; after all, theatre is a team sport. 



Janelle is an actress, producer and director from NJ. She studied theatre at Rutgers-Newark where she met her artistic soulmate, Jazmyn. Her passion lies in all aspects of theatre and its creation, and fundamentally disagrees with the school of thought that art is selfish, only accessible to a few, and has worked to fight this. She's thankful for the opportunity to work toward the goal of fostering a community of artists, where the objective is to grow together. Making these lofty ideals into pragmatic actions is the point of this project, and she is ready for the challenge.



Ashley Lauren Rogers, award winning writer and trans rights activist. Recently a Trans Theatre Lab fellow 2019, the Literary Director for Step1 Theatre Project, artist in residence at Middlesex County Vocational Technical School 2018-2019. Works performed at Dixon Place, MITF, the Brick, Joe’s Pub and others. “Becky’s Christmas Wish,” was a finalist for the City Theatre National Short Play Award, Miami, work has been produced in Wisconsin, Cincinatti, Maine, Iowa, New Jersey, Detroit, and Minneapolis.  Featured on Fusion TV’s Peabody Award Nominated Sex.Right.Now, panels for Revry.TV. Creator Is It Transphobic and The Right to Play Podcasts.


Artist Support Programs


Reading & Drinking (also known as "R&D") is a free, informal gathering of artists where you can BYOB and Read & Develop new works & works in progress by local independent playwrights. Pieces range from short plays, full lengths, and musical excerpts. Our intention is to create a comfortable, judgement-free space for playwrights to present their work, hear their plays read aloud by local volunteer independent actors, and exchange a dialogue designed to provide insight on how to develop the piece further. R&D is a fun, productive way to meet new artists, create new connections, and inspire creativity. Have a couple drinks and read some plays with us! Well... the drinking part is optional. :) 

Got a piece? Send it to info@step1theatreproject.org with "R&D" in the subject line!

Step It Up! is our new official workshop series, where we invite expert artists of different areas of independent theatre to host free panels and workshops for other artists and aspiring artists. These areas include writing, directing, producing, design, and business of theatre. We also have new initiatives in the works! Just like R&D, all workshops, discussions, and panels are free admission (though donations are always appreciated!).

Sign up for our mailing list to get updated on our next one!

Step1 Theatre Project's participation in youth outreach is founded in our company's belief that theatre is for everyone and should be easily accessible, especially for those considering theatre arts as a career path. As of 2019, Step1 will be officially co-producing a free developmental playwriting workshop with the Rutgers-NJIT theatre program for writers in high school and/or early college level within the NJ/NY metropolitan area. We are also interested in continuing our participation in workshops and talk-backs regarding theatre as a business in the modern social media age and other related topics. We are also partnering with nonprofit organization Regular Hero on a youth development summit (more details to come)!


© Step1 Theatre Project 2019


Step1 Theatre Project is fiscally sponsored by Fractured Atlas. S1TP is a proud member of: A.R.T./New York, the League of Independent Theatre, and Materials for the Arts.


This season has been produced with help from A.R.T./New York's 2019 Nancy Quinn Fund.