John J. Wooten, Producing Artistic Director

John J. Wooten

John J. Wooten

Producing Artistic Director


John J. Wooten has developed and produced numerous new plays at Premiere Stages including The Beautiful Dark, Lost Boy Found in Whole Foods, The Good Counselor and Follow Me to Nellie’s, all of which were honored by the American Theatre Critics Association. He is also the Director of Arts Programming for Kean Stage, supervising theatre management and programming operations for all professional arts venues on campus. New Jersey Premieres he has directed and/or produced at Premiere and elsewhere include Clybourne Park, Rabbit Hole, Snakebit, Soldier’s Heart, Boy Gets Girl, M. Butterfly and The Trip to Bountiful.


John has been a frequent director for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and is the resident director for the Peter Ustinov Screenwriting Competition, a project of the International Emmy Awards. John’s plays have been produced commercially Off-Broadway, internationally and in regional theaters across America. Published plays include: Trophies, Dramatists Play Service; Humbug, Samuel French; The Role of Della, Playscripts, Inc; Kiss the Bride, Dramatic Publishing Company. His film Cat in the Pan premiered at the Montreal Film Festival and his screenplay for The Role of Della is currently is production. Awards/Nominations: New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, a Best New Play nomination from the American Theatre Critics Association, a 2014 NJ Family & Children’s Services’ Champion for Children Award and the 2015 Award of Excellence from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance for his work with Premiere. John is the Vice-Chair of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance Board of Trustees.



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Heather Kelley, Director of Audience Services

Heather Kelley

Heather Kelley

Director of Audience Services


Heather Kelley holds a Master of Fine Arts in Acting from Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory, and is a founding member of Mad Dog Theatre Company in New York, where she has served as Literary Manager for two seasons. Mad Dog's first commission, This is Not the Play by Chisa Hutchinson, received the 2012 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Original Short Script. Heather has worked as an actress with the Arden Theatre Company, Dorset Theatre Festival, Prospect Theater Company, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ, and the Asolo Repertory Theatre, among others. Her fiction and plays have been published in Opium Magazine, 225 Plays by The New York Neo-Futurists from Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind (ed. Joey Rizzolo) and What Happened to Us These Last Couple Years? (Elope Press & So New).



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Courtney Little

Courtney Little

Courtney Little

Producing Associate


Courtney Little is a producer, general manager, and casting director. She previously worked for Richards/Climan, Inc., where she assisted on many Broadway productions including Fiddler on the Roof, China Doll, and Dames at Sea. As the Office Administrator at Olympus Theatricals, she worked on the Broadway and National Tour productions of Love Letters. Her freelance credits include the Off-Broadway production of Dean Poynor's Together We Are Making A Poem In Honor Of Life. Courtney has also worked in various capacities for New York Stage & Film, McCarter Theatre Center, Barrington Stage Company, and Mousetrap Theatre Projects in London. She is a member of New Jersey Emerging Arts Leaders. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Clark University in Worcester, MA. She received the 2018 Award of Excellence in Theatre Education from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. 



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Nicholas Orvis

Nicholas Orvis

Literary Assistant


Nicholas Orvis is a dramaturg, director, stage manager, and all-around theatrical practitioner based in New York City. He has worked in various capacities for the literary and administrative wings of Premiere Stages, Portland Stage Company, and New Dramatists. His directing credits include Peach, or Pig Land (Tandem Theatre Collective/PortFringe Festival); The Cardioluthier (Kirkland Art Center); The Tempest (Wesleyan University Theater Dept.); and Under Milk Wood and Twelve Angry Men (Wesleyan University Second Stage). He has also directed readings and scene nights, and worked as assistant director or dramaturg, at Portland Stage Company and the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey. Nick is a co-founder and Artist-at-Large of the Tandem Theatre Collective, a geographically separated but aesthetically linked network of young artists dedicated to innovative methods of creating theatre and devising new works.



Ambassador Committee

Premiere Stages would like to thank our Ambassador Committee for their financial and community support

Dustin Ballard

John Bianchi

John Cruitt

William Eddy

Patricia Fastook

Lindy Foreman

Diane Genco

Millie Gonzalez

David Harrell

Brianna Martinez

Chris Pagoota

Shondelle Wills-Bryce