Artemisia’s Intent

Content Warning: Artemisia’s Intent tells the story of a survivor of sexual assault. The play does not stage the assault, although it describes it. It also describes, but does not stage, other forms of physical violence. The script is available upon request.

Devised by the Anthropologists, a New York-based ensemble, Artemisia’s Intent delivers a captivating physical performance to unearth the life, work, and words of 17th century painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Inspired by every proclamation of “me too,” The Anthropologists craft a startling portrait of a woman caught at the intersection of power, assault, and art.

Special thanks:

  • Roberta Roberto: Italian language coach
  • Anne Mahady: art historian and Artemisia fan
  • Murch family: stellar hospitality
  • Elizabeth Wislar: costumes and inspiration
  • Dallas Hetrick and Jacob Lester: goblet styling
  • Bridgewater College, Scott Cole, Holly Labbe: general awesomeness and material support.

About the performer

Sarah Levine McClelland is an actor and singer remembered for her powerful presence in a petite frame, and perhaps her ardent affinity for alliteration. She has appeared Off-Broadway, in Great Britain, and regionally throughout the United States. Favorite roles include Celia in As You Like It (Valley Shakespeare Festival, CT), Lady Percy in Wars and Whores: The Henry IV Musical (Philly Fringe), Alison in Fun Home (4th Wall Theatre, NJ), Little Red Riding Hood in Into The Woods (Roxy Regional Theatre, TN), and Mina Harker in Dracula (The Old Rep, Birmingham). She holds a BA from Sarah Lawrence College, and also completed the conservatory program at The Atlantic Acting School in New York City. She earned her MA with distinction from The Birmingham Conservatoire in the UK where she had the privilege of working with Cicely Berry of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and on the stage of Shakespeare’s Globe. Sarah is also an audition and scene study coach as well as a food blogger and internet cooking show host at She makes her home in the Shenandoah Valley with her husband and their rescue pup, Henry. 

About the director

Heidi Winters Vogel is a director, improv. storytelling performer and Theater faculty at Wabash College in Indiana. Recent productions include: As You Like It, Where is Our Beloved Community (devised), ANON, and The Pitman Painters. Virtual productions: international collaboration of The Romeo and Juliet Project, director (Organizational Theatre), The Race, director (Wabash College), Everybody Be Nice (reading with playwright Julia Lukshina and translator Anne Fisher), CLUE, director (Crossroads Repertory Theatre) and performer of Playback Theatre for global audiences. Heidi has also directed professionally for Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Next Stage, Avalon Theatre Company and Unreal City, among others.

About the costume designer

Heidi Jablonski's headshot superimposed on a framed oil painting. Heidi is a white woman with blonde hair and blue eyes. She is looking at the camera and smiling a little.

Heidi Jablonski has been involved with playback theater for the past eight years. She studied Peacebuilding, Theater, and Gender Studies at Eastern Mennonite University. Some favorite roles at EMU include Phoebe in As You Like It, Florinda in Into the Woods, and Miss Prism in The Importance of Being Earnest. Heidi was also seen in the Valley Playhouse’s productions of If There’s A Rock n’ Roll Heaven and The One More Last Chance Diner. She was last seen on the Silk Moth Stage as Amelia in Give Us Good. Heidi is often found crafting fantastical stories with her husband, Caleb, and going for walks in downtown Harrisonburg with their 2- and 4-year-old daughters.

About the set designer

David Vogel has taught and practiced theatrical scenic & lighting design and technical direction for over three decades across the US Midwest and Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. His scenic designs at Indiana State University (ISU) include Small Mouth SoundsI and YouDeathtrapThe Lady From the Sea, and Agnes of God. In Harrisonburg, he designed Irma Vep at Eastern Mennonite University and Fish EyesCreation Chronicles, and CovenantCouncil & Consequences for Ted and Company. David has been on the Theater faculty at ISU as a Designer, Technical Director, and Production Manager, since 2018; he will be moving to a similar position at Wabash College beginning in the Fall of 2023.

About the musician

Michael D. Richardson is an Iowa-born-and-raised vocalist, soloist, and music scholar. He is a doctoral candidate at James Madison University studying under the tutelage of the renowned Canadian baritone, Grammy-winner Kevin Mcmillan, under whom Michael also completed his Master’s. Michael completed his Bachelor’s at Buena Vista University under Dr. Merrin Guice-Gill.

Michael was the 1st Place Winner in his category at the 2019 National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) Competition and Encouragement Award Recipient in the Metropolitan Opera National Competition Districts 2019. 

He performed the role of William Putnam in Jake Hagee’s opera If I Were You at the Nightingale Opera Theater in 2022. In James Madison University Opera productions, notable roles are those of Nick Shadow in Igor Stravinsky’s Rake’s Progress in 2022; Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni in 2021; Papageno in Die Zauberflöte in 2020; Mephistopheles in Faust in 2019; and George Benton in Dead Man Walking in 2018.  He performed Gianni Schicchi in Gianni Schicchi at Buena Vista University Opera in 2017. 

He was a soloist in 2019 in the JMU Wind Symphony’s rendition of Porgy & Bess’s ‘Catfish Row’ and in Haydn’s Creation. From 2010 to 2018, he was a performer and assistant conductor with the Fort Dodge Harmony Brigade. 

In the professional sphere, he has been invited to perform soloist roles at various community concerts and has had over 30 invitations as a guest performer in local churches. He has also performed in over 20 funerals.

Michael has a great affinity for singing, composing, and archiving collections of sacred music, spirituals, gospel, and praise & worship selections. In his spare time, he has enjoyed performing in barbershop quartets, doing voice-overs, performing in his church, and producing his own music compilations.

About the Voice Actor

Brett Sullivan Santry is a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania native. Working variously as an actor, director, teaching artist, and dramaturg at the Gaiety School of Acting (National Theatre School of Ireland), Actors’ Studio Free Theater, New-York Historical Society, American Shakespeare Center, Pittsburgh Public Theater, Bricolage Production Company, Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, City Theatre, PICT Classic Theatre, Sweet Tea Shakespeare, Brave Spirits Theatre, Unseam’d Shakespeare, 12 Peers Theater, Throughline Theatre, Pittsburgh Fringe Festival, Non-State Actors, and Pittsburgh New Works Festival, he is also a co-founder of Pittsburgh Classic Players. He holds MFA and MLitt degrees from Mary Baldwin University’s Shakespeare in Performance program, as well as a BA in Playwriting and Directing from Goddard College. His most cherished roles, however, are those of father to Ivy and husband to Holly.

About the Producer

Aili Huber has been directing for 30 years, specializing in text-driven, audience-connected, actor-centered work. She holds an MFA from Mary Baldwin College/American Shakespeare Center, and is the co-author, with Toby Malone, of Cutting Plays for Performance, published by Routledge Press. She also has developed Take 5, a framework to reduce trauma for theater workers.
Favorite directing credits include TJ Young’s Sperm Donor Wanted with Slow Your Role Theater Co., Pam
Mandigo’s Give Us Good with Silk Moth Stage, The Duchess of Malfi, Antony and
and Richard III with Pigeon Creek Shakespeare, and Merry Wives of Windsor at Quill Theatre.
Aili is an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and the Shakespeare Theater Association, and a member of Directors Gathering. She’s certified in Mental Health First Aid.

About the devisers

The Anthropologists create original, ensemble-devised theatre using improvisation, composition and highly stylized movement inspired by found text, source material and artifacts (paintings, songs, poems, etc.) and guided by rigorous dramaturgy. ​We utilize a protracted development process marked by several opportunities for work-in-progress showings or performances. This allows us to fully develop our work and achieve artistic excellence while nurturing intimate community and audience relationships. Our movement-based training is inspired by Viewpoints, Biomechanics, Tectonic Theatre Company, Liz Lerman and Doug Varone along with other techniques and visionary teachers.

About the playwright

Melissa Moschitto (she/her/hers) is a director, writer and producer, and the Founding Artistic Director of The Anthropologists.  With The Anthropologists, she has helmed: Artemisia’s Intent (Best Solo Drama, FRIGID Festival 2018), This Sinking Island, Mahalla, Another Place, Give Us Bread and other original devised plays. Other favorite directing projects include A Barn Play by Lizzie Donahue (UP Theater Company), Daddy’s Black & Jewish by performance artist Lian Amaris (Nuyorican Poets Cafe),  Walkabout or Reverse Continental Drift Syndrome (The Flea). Melissa cut her teeth in the physical theatre world as a directing apprentice to Ricardo Iniesta, director of Compania Atalaya in Sevilla, Spain, where she assisted with the World Premiere of Medea, La ​E​xtranjera (2004). She later trained with the Laban/Bartenieff Institute for Movement Studies, Liz Lerman’s Dance Exchange, SITI Company, at the La Mama Umbria International Directors Symposium and most recently with the legendary Odin Teatret in Denmark. She has led devising workshops for Hofstra University, University of Vermont, University of Massachusetts at Amherst and University of Evansville. Melissa holds a B.A. in Theater from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Melissa is a mother to two dramatic children. She resides and works in Upper Manhattan on unceded Lenape land.