Producing Artistic Director 

Jonathan A. Martin is a professional actor and director born and raised in East Windsor, NJ. He received his B.A. in Theatre from James Madison University. He has directed shows in New Jersey, Virginia, and New York City. He is the co-founder of a theatre program for home schooled students in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where he directed and taught for two years. As an actor, Jonathan has toured with the Hampstead Stage Company performing in 10 states across the U.S. He also has performed in New York City and across New Jersey with various companies. 

Chrissy Johnson

Director of Education & Youth Programming

Chrissy Johnson is a professional actor originally from Fredericksburg, Virginia. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from James Madison University with a concentration in Theatre Education, and has studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in New York City with a concentration in Shakespearean Study. She has worked as an actor, teacher, director, choreographer, and designer with various companies in Virginia, New Jersey, New York, and New Hampshire. She previously worked as a teaching artist with theatres in the Washington, D.C. area. 

Ian Howells 

Music Director & Voice Teacher

Ian Howells is a pianist/accompanist based in the Tri-State area. He is a graduate of the John J. Cali School of Music at Montclair State University.  He developed his love for music from a young age, experimenting with multiple instruments before taking a further interest in piano.  Upon entering college, he took a fond interest in playing and studying jazz, while still keeping to his classical roots. In addition to working with Recess Theatre, Ian can be found playing at the Reformed Church of Highland Park, where he directs the chancel choir, acting as leader of his jazz groups, a sideman for other musicians, accompanying community choirs or playing in musical theatre pits. 

In one aspect or another, Erik V. Petrushun has spent over three decades in theatre in the Tri-state area. After studying undergraduate Theatre at Rowan University in the 1990s, Erik completed his secondary education certification at TCNJ and now teaches English at Hightstown High School. His long stage-and-screen career encompasses many dozens of original- and adapted-stageplays, set designs, lighting designs, directorial endeavors, several TV commercials and short films, and a leading role in a (regrettably, never-aired) network TV pilot. One of his newest scripts, ​The Comedy of Shakespearean Errors, recently was ​recognized with an Honorable Mention in a national playwrighting competition for the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild, while two others are currently up for consideration through several publishing houses. As he begins his work with Recess, Erik continues to craft scripts for all ages and submit them to various venues throughout the country.

Erik Petrushun

Resident Playwright

Sierra Carlson

Resident Dramaturg


Sierra Carlson is a Theatre Studies major at James Madison University. As a theatre artist, Sierra takes on multiple roles of theatre production, having worked as a playwright, dramaturg, assistant stage manager, director, and producer. These multiple disciplines meld together in her focus on new play development. She has served as a dramaturg on several new play works in Virginia and New York as well as a production dramaturg on a variety of plays ranging from children's theatre to three-act thrillers. As a playwright she has had her work, In the Direction of the Sun, performed as a staged reading at The Kennedy Center and is presently working on a play that will be work-shopped at JMU. Sierra has already received multiple national awards for her work as a playwright and critic.

Christy Box

Resident Choreographer


Christy Box is a New Jersey native who has worked in the theater in many capacities. Enjoying the spotlight as a dancer, performer, extraordinaire, Christy loves to see a production come together. She received her degree in Elementary education and dance from Rider University. When she isn't teaching tiny ballerinas and accomplished competitive dancers, you can find her at the beach soaking up the sun!