I discovered Dzieci within the first year of arriving in NYC. Knowing there had to be
more to theatre than what I had experienced so far, I joined in and worked/played/served
with them for over 4 years. And I’m still discovering lessons and wisdom from that period,
a truly transformative experience that moves beyond time, space, and even conscious knowing.
Once the spark is started, it seems the fire never goes out. Seeds planted from that time,
blossom unexpectedly even today, with roots woven throughout my being.

Zachary Koval – Dzieci Alumni 2008-2012 (and reappearing frequently)

I had an interview at the Brooklyn VA and the director or training was a Dzieci fan.
We spent the bulk of the interview talking about my work with the group.
It was so amazing, I was so proud to discuss how being in Dzieci
has prepared me to be a psychologist.
Carolina Franco, Ph.D. – Dzieci Alumni 2000-2004

What I experienced in Dzieci, will live with me forever.
Jordon Flato – Dzieci Alumni 2004 -2008
Resuming virtually 2020 – 2021

SONY DSCMatt Mitler was initially trained in Humanistic and Existential Psychology, and Group Process before discovering the healing potential of theatre. He has had the good fortune to study with such masters as Jerzy Grotowski and Eugenio Barba in theatre; Carl Rogers and R. D. Laing in psychotherapy; and Jean Houston and Michel de Salzmann in more esoteric disciplines. Integrating these pursuits has been a lifelong process.

Matt has led workshops at a variety of settings including Hutchings Psychiatric Center (NY); The Association for Humanistic Psychology; The National Theatre School of Sweden; New Brunswick and Union Theological Seminaries; The Institute for Clergy Excellence; The Parliament for the World’s Religions; and the graduate school of The University of Psychology of Warsaw, where his essay, “Art and Therapy” was published in the anthology, New Directions in Psychotherapy in 1979.

In Europe from 1977 to 1981, he performed, directed, taught, and formed the international theatre collective, “The Tribe”, which presented interactive works at a variety of therapeutic institutions and was featured at Le Festival Mondial du Theatre in Nancy, France. Other festivals, which presented Mr. Mitler’s work, include: The Koln Festival, Vienna Festwochen, The International Festival of Fools, The Gaukler Festival of Mime, The International Festival of Mimes and Pantomimes (Poland), and The Theatre of Nations.

Matt appeared on numerous television programs and starred in over a dozen low-grade motion pictures in the 80’s before creating his own film projects. His independent feature, Cracking Up (producer, director, writer, actor), garnered a number of awards; including “Best Film” in The Venice International Film Festival Critic’s Week and the “People’s Choice Award” in The New York Underground Film Festival and is now released on Blu-ray by Art Label, along with Matt’s entire catalogue of cult videos, and also available on Prime Video.

To date, Matt has designed and directed more than 80 theatrical productions; among them: his own adaptation of Nathaniel West’s Miss Lonely Hearts for the 29th Street Repertory Theatre; the critically acclaimed musical Sofrito, featuring The Latin Legends All Stars, for the New Victory Theater; and the apocalyptic epic Dirty Money (also co-author) for Teatr Am Turm in Frankfurt, Germany. He has also staged the works of dozens of solo artists and ensembles at a variety of NYC venues including The Samuel Beckett Theatre, LaMama ETC, and The Joseph Papp Public Theatre. His serialized his first novel, Kaufman’s Holiday, as a podcast under the banner, “Sunday Night Noir”, for Radio Free Brooklyn.

Mr. Mitler‘s primary focus is on Dzieci Theatre, founded in 1997. He and Dzieci are featured in Working on the Inside: The Spiritual Life Through the Eyes of Actors by Retta Blaney, and profiled in the  The Encyclopedia of Religion under Performance Theatre.

AndyAndy Allis started performing as a child, most notably belting Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff” from his father’s pulpit. So began a life-long fascination with the sacred and profane, with ritual, play, and holy foolery. Andy has been seen on NYC and national stages for over 25 years, in musicals, dramas, and improv. You may even recognize him from a certain omnipresent, crazy-catchy, local ride service commercial. He works with Performance of a Lifetime and the East Side Institute, two organizations that use performance as a tool for human development, and was ordained as an interfaith minister by One Spirit Seminary.

Andy is delighted to continue pursuing the sacred (and profane) with Dzieci; to play, create, honor, and serve with such a wonderful group of holy fools. Favorite credits include: Two Truths and a Lie (Theater for the New City), The Proverbial Loons: Musical Improv and Stealin’ Home (Castillo Theatre), and the pursuit of happiness (Rattlestick), Young Tom Edison (National Tour/TheaterWorksUSA), The Play’s the Thing (Storm Theater), Deep Stories (NYC Fringe), Dracularama (Chashama), and Live Naked Aliens (Kraine).

Megan Bones (Ensemble 2007) Born in Chicago, Minnesota bred, and now calls New York City home. She holds a BA in Theatre and Political Science from Saint Olaf College in Northfield, MN. After graduating from college, she left the “Mini-Apple” for “The Big Apple” to pursue the dream and within months played Ethel Toffelmier in the First National Tour of The Music Man and was in the chorus of The National Tour of Crazy For You. She has also been featured in Voice Theatre’s productions of Blithe Spirit (Elvira), The Skin of Our Teeth (Sabina), Two Gentleman of Verona (Julia), Birds on a Wire (Louise Cobb), and Our Country’s Good (Liz Morden).

In film, she has received many accolades, including Best Supporting Actress, for Rooster and the Queen, at the Festival of Cinema NYC, and a Craft Award for Acting at NYU New Visions and Voices Festival. Being a core member of Dzieci has been a life changing experience for Megan. Striving towards personal transformation through theatre and works of service has helped fill a space that is often left empty by mainstream theatre and film, and she is grateful to be a part of this amazingly diverse, talented and dedicated group.

12088432_904353259633147_1953917218414854812_nYvonne Brechbuhler (Founding Member 1997), was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland, where she worked as a kindergarten teacher before moving to New York in 1994 to pursue a career in theatre. She was a member of The Irondale Theater Ensemble, utilizing improvisational theatre and group-building skills to work with high-risk teenagers in schools and prisons and has been in charge of the afterschool program at a Waldorf preschool. Along with Matt Mitler, Yvonne created and co- taught a series of theater classes for girls 7-12 called BEING!, utilizing text from Shakespeare, and is currently teaching music classes at a Montessori preschool. Yvonne is dreaming of a theatrical program that will bring Dzieci’s basic wisdom into children’s lives. Yvonne is also a certified Feldenkrais practitioner and the proud mother of two beautiful girls, Yona and Ora.

Ryan Castalia (Ensemble 2013), was born in Tucson, Arizona. He studied theater at UCLA and in Los Angles co-founded the performance group, Free Theater. In 2011, his interest in Polish theatrical traditions beckoned him to Europe, where he found training residencies with Teatr ZAR and Studium Teatralne. In 2012, repatriation led to a nationwide DIY tour of America with Free Theatre. Ryan finally settled in New York City, and found Dzieci, which answered his search for theater creation rooted in a deeper inner and outer practice, and where he is now a core member and assistant director. In New York he has found a broad array of work, teaching, directing, and performing with Brooklyn-based Stairwell Theater. He has recently been named Executive Director for the redemption center, community group, and Dzieci venue, Sure We Can, where he pursues a mission of service. Through all this, Dzieci has become the thread which binds Ryan’s work, a unique group and practice, using art as a lens through which to explore profound efforts which reveal hidden movements and fragile truths.

Jesse Hathaway (Ensemble 2006) is a folklorist, artist, performer and independent scholar with a Masters in Performance Studies from NYU, where he also attended the Experimental Theatre Wing and first discovered Grotowski, clowning, physical theatre, and the Roy Hart vocal technique. With initiations in several forms of witchcraft from Europe and the Americas, Jesse is also a lifelong student of Mexican curanderismo, an initiated priest of Obatalá in the Lucumí Orisha tradition, and a Tatá Quimbanda. He co-hosts the occult themed podcast, ‘Radio Free Golgotha’, and edits the ‘Folk Necromancy in Transmission’ imprint through Revelore Press.

Dividing his time between the Bronx and a farm in the Hudson Valley, his artistic and written work navigate the world-as-magic through exploring orality and transmission, decolonialism, ritual theory and praxis, herbalism and healing modalities through private study, apprenticeship, and community involvement. Drawn to ritual studies and inspired by structures and methodology from both ancient and extant traditions, Jesse’s work within Dzieci has fulfilled a deep need to integrate the spiritual with the practical, exploring theatre and ritual as a way, and blending service with self-exploration and performance.

Amanda Miller 
(Ensemble 2023) was born in San Diego to Jewish New Yorkers. She traveled back east to earn her BFA in Acting at NYU, where she had the privilege of studying at the Experimental Theatre Wing, a revelation for her body, imagination and soul. This experience sowed the seeds for additional practices she would pursue: massage therapy, creative writing, yoga instruction, and Jewish education. Coupled with theater, she views each of these as an access point for sacred exploration, connection and service.

Amanda is an award-winning solo performer, touring original theater pieces to venues and festivals throughout the U.S., Canada and Scotland. Her works include The Jew in the Ashram, about reconnecting with her Jewish roots while studying yoga on an ashram in India, and Smile All The Time, about an angry boy who re-enacts the series of events that unjustly landed him in adult prison. Amanda hosts two performance series, Lyrics, Lit & Liquor and Supper in Fort Lauderdale. Her memoir, One Breath, Then Another, was published in 2013. Amanda is grateful to have found and joined Dzieci; their dedication to using theater as a tool for personal and collective transformation and sacred service inspires her beyond words.

BeteStephanie Regina (Perennial Dzieci Guest Artist) was born in New Jersey, where she attended Bergen County Academies high school with an emphasis in Theatre, which sparked her love for art and spirituality, and led her to be honored with the Papermill Playhouse Tiffany Rising Star Award. She went on to receive a BFA from California Institute of the Arts, where she began to cultivate a deep appreciation for artistic lineage and community, and develop new work alongside Theatre Movement Bazaar and The Center for New Performance. She continues to collaborate internationally on original theater and film projects that push the boundaries of social and spiritual awareness, including The White Album at BAM Harvey in NYC, CAP UCLA, Wexner Center for the Arts, and the Roslyn Packer Theatre in Sydney, Australia, Casablancabox at HERE Arts (Drama Desk Nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience); Dancing Behind My Eyelids at the American Repertory Theatre’s Club Oberon, and Cloud Nine at the Setkani/Encounter Festival in Brno, Czech Republic. Stephanie is grateful for the opportunity to share sacred space with Dzieci Theatre.

John Norman began as an ensemble member with Dzieci in 2000, and since 2006, serves as the company’s Vocal Director. He holds a BA in performing arts from Oakland University and has taught voice and acting for well over a decade. Dzieci offers him a unique opportunity to explore rituals connected with his Native American ancestry (Eastern Band Cherokee blood on both sides of his family), as well as develop his own vocal music techniques, in line with the group’s “work on the Self”. John is also a singer/songwriter with 2 EPs out on an independent label.

Karen Hatt (costumer) is a craft and food stylist by profession. She has created all of the costumes for Dzieci since the company’s inception in 1997, producing 17th century clerical wear for The Devils of Loudun; 15th century idiot wear (a la Breughel) for the company’s annual Christmas offering, Fools Mass; calico and patchwork outfits, inspired by clothes of 19th century slaves and their dolls, for the group’s work with children; the delirious Cirkus Luna! ensembles for the Dzieci’s antic East Molvanian spectacle, and also finessed the 1940’s Gypsy wear for the company’s ever-evolving Makbet. She and her husband, company director Matt Mitler, are the masterminds behind the famous Garfield Place annual black-light puppet show in Park Slope, Brooklyn every Halloween.















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