David Geffen School of Drama 2024 Directors

It is our pleasure to introduce to you Garrett Allen, Bobbin Ramsey, and Sammy Zeisel, three outstanding young directors who will graduate next May from our Master of Fine Arts program.

Garrett Allen

Garrett Allen (they/them/theirs) is a Black, queer artist and fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama where they have directed an original adaptation of Julius Caesar and Doug Robinson’s Esme in the Langston Hughes Festival. Other recent credits include Womb! There it is… (LEGACY BQPC/Ars Nova); Everybody by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (Yale Dramatic Association); body100 by Garrett Allen and Nazareth Hassan (Prelude Festival); IAMNOTYOURTEACHER by Kayodè Soyemi (Yale Cabaret); and BLK MLK by Garrett Allen and Kyle Carrero Lopez (Spectrum NYC).

Their process and work navigate the recent, dramatic changes in the ways that we consume, perceive, process, identify, and empathize. They develop pieces that are urgent, vulnerable, unapologetic, and visceral; aiming to combat spectator (and worldly) passivity by collaboratively creating sensorial and actively engaging experiences. They are dedicated to ethical and equitable collaboration alongside challenging and dismantling white (and cis, able-bodied, hetero, and man) supremacy.

Garrett has assisted directors including Sarah Benson, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Bill Rauch, Carl Cofield, and David Mendizábal. They are a cofounder of LEGACY: a production collective created for and by Black, queer, and trans artists. Their video and performance art works have been exhibited at places including Yale School of Art, The Invisible Dog, School of Visual Arts NYC, Harvard University, Knockdown Center, Signal Gallery, The Deep End, and You Are Here. Garrett also DJs under the moniker GARE.

They hold a B.A. in cognitive neuroscience and evolutionary psychology with a theater, dance, and media secondary from Harvard University where they also received the Louise Donovan Award for their work directing and behind the scenes.

Their production of Cleansed by Sarah Kane will be presented at David Geffen School of Drama in January.

Bobbin Ramsey

Bobbin Ramsey (she/her) is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama dedicated to telling complex stories about the beautiful messiness of human existence. Through visceral theatricality, the creation of communal experiences, and stories of compassion, Bobbin aims to create a more just, connected, and joyful world through art. Originally from Seattle, Bobbin has spent the last decade building a career including devised work and new plays, as well as urgent productions of classics. At the School she has directed Macbeth, Stefani Kuo’s WAKE in the Langston Hughes Festival, and Form One as a part of the New Play Lab, also written by Kuo.

Other notable projects include the betrayal project by Stefani Kuo (Yale Summer Cabaret); UDO by Nomè SiDone and Abigail Onwunali (Yale Cabaret); Dance Nation by Clare Barron, Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. by Alice Birch, and the world premiere of Susan Soon He Stanton’s The Things Are Against Us (Washington Ensemble Theatre); The Arsonists by Max Frisch, Wellesley Girl by Brendan Pelsue, and Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp (The Horse in Motion); Waiting for Godot (Arts on the Waterfront); Men on Boats and Peter and the Starcatcher (Cornish College of the Arts); an original devised musical titled The Great Noise (On the Boards); and staged readings and workshops with The Lark, ACT Theatre, The Seattle Art Museum, Macha Productions, Taproot Theatre Company, Annex Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, and New Century Theatre Company.

While in Seattle, Bobbin was the Associate Artistic Director with the Washington Ensemble Theatre and a founding Artistic Producer of a site-specific and experimental theatre company, The Horse in Motion. Last year, Bobbin wrote and directed her first short film, BACKCOUNTRY, which is currently in post-production. She is an alumna of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation Observership Program, and a winner of a Seattle Times Footlight Award. Bobbin graduated with her B.A. in drama: performance and creative writing from the University of Washington, where she was awarded the Donal Harrington Memorial Award for Directing.

Bobbin’s production of Fucking A by Suzan-Lori Parks will be presented at David Geffen School of Drama in October.

Sammy Zeisel

Sammy Zeisel is a fourth-year M.F.A. candidate at David Geffen School of Drama, where he has directed The Winter’s Tale, Danielle Stagger's rent free in the Langston Hughes Festival, and Doug Robinson's The Figs as a part of the New Play Lab.

Before pursuing his M.F.A., Sammy lived and worked in Chicago where select credits include the Chicago premieres of The Late Wedding and Home Invasion by Christopher Chen; Meatball Séance, the solo work of performance artist John Michael (Steppenwolf LookOut, WINNER: Best Solo Performance Ottawa Fringe Festival); formally inventive new work by playwrights Beth Hyland, Laura Winters, and others; and devised youth circus performance with the Actors Gymnasium. He was also the co-producer of Potluck, a monthly art-sharing event, and the Chicago chapter of Means of Production, a micro-budget film production collective.

Sammy has assisted directors including Les Waters, Lee Sunday Evans, Jessica Thebus, Meredith McDonough, Michael Patrick Thornton, John Vreeke, Devon DeMayo, and Marti Lyons, and worked at institutions including Steppenwolf Theatre, Lookingglass Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and The Actors Theatre of Louisville. Sammy is also a filmmaker whose short films Clambake, The Care and Keeping of You, and Cheese Shop (WINNER: Best Chicago Director, The Windy City International Film Festival) have screened at festivals across the country. He is an alumnus of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Workshop Foundation Observership Program and the Actors Theatre of Louisville Directing Apprenticeship. Sammy graduated summa cum laude from Northwestern University with a degree in theater.

Sammy collaborates across media to create playful spaces of collision where joy and pain might co-exist. He believes that—through a communal embrace of complexity and contradiction—art has the potential to make us gentler to ourselves and each other.

His production of Annie Baker's translation of Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov will be presented at David Geffen School of Drama in December.