Co-Founder and Artistic Director
Harper York has been working in theatre as a director, performer, carpenter, designer, stage hand, and costumer for more years than she might care to admit. Upon finishing her BA in Theatre Studies at Kent State University, she immediately left for the bright lights of New York City where she settled down in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for a couple years, working in every aspect of theatre that she could, augmenting her scholastic education with a practical one. After a few years making her way in the professional world, Harper chose to return to school in pursuit of her Masters degree. While attending Mary Baldwin College’s Shakespeare in Performance program, Harper rediscovered her misplaced passion for performing.
She is particularly proud of her performances as Richard Gloucester in Henry VI, part 3, Romeo in an all-male production of Romeo and Juliet, and her final MFA thesis performance as Amintor in Beaumont and Fletcher’s The Maids Tragedy. Following graduation, Harper took to the west coast to perform Benedick in Portland Actors’ Ensemble’s production of Much Ado About Nothing, a production for which she also served as Technical Director and Scenic Designer. In the midst of this much acclaimed run, Harper felt the compulsion to start a theatre company that embodied the values and artistic endeavors that she and her collaborators had come to embrace. While casting about, searching for a city to call home, her mind returned to the stomping grounds of her youth.
With family based in East Liverpool, OH, Harper worked and cut her teeth in Pittsburgh, PA. She saw the growth and change that the city had undergone, and she saw a place that a new theatre company could not only grow, but also serve a vital community service. At that moment, the kernel that would become Pittsburgh Classic Players began to grow. With her co-founders, Brett Sullivan Santry and Katie Crandol, along with common collaborator, Asae Dean, Harper hopes to bring compelling stories, engaging drama, and artistic enrichment to the Burgh for this and many seasons to come.
Brett Sullivan Santry
Co-Founder and Director of Education/Outreach
Brett Sullivan Santry, born in Pittsburgh on the day that Pirates pitcher Ken Brett threw a 6-0 shutout in the first game of a double-header and then drove in a pinch-hit triple to win the second, grew up just outside of Hershey, PA. Attending the Harrisburg Arts Magnet School, his theatre education proper began in tenth grade, though he fondly recalls acting in a staged adaptation of Pete's Dragon at age eight. His adventures as an undergrad eventually led him to Goddard College in Plainfield, VT where he took a B.A. in Playwriting and Directing, wrote his first plays, learned all he could from students of both Meisner and Mamet, and studied abroad at University College Cork, in Ireland, too. In New York City, he learned the ropes at the Actor's Studio Free Theatre and then worked all over Gotham for just under eight years as an actor, director, stage manager, and playwright.
After winning the Jean Dalrymple Award for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal of Jack Cade in the American Theatre of Actor’s production of Henry VI, Part 2, he set his sights on marriage and graduate school, though not in that order. He got his first of two degrees in Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature in Performance from Mary Baldwin College, in association with the American Shakespeare Center (ASC), and married his dearest Holly in 2007, in that order.
After a season acting at ASC’s Blackfriars Playhouse, he began teaching at Stuart Hall School, holding the title of Theatre Program Director for six years, and eventually chairing the Fine Arts department. During his tenure there, he fully renovated the theatre space from a converted gymnasium and designed a full theatre education curriculum for grades 6-12, with many of his students going on to undergraduate theatre studies at colleges across the country. Continuing his MFA studies all the while, Brett ultimately took his terminal degree in 2011, via a thesis project which included his playing the titular role in Titus Andronicus.
He and his family, which now includes his daughter, Ivy, relocated to the Steel City with the express purpose of co-founding Pittsburgh Classic Players with his classmates and friends, Harper and Katie. Other notable experience: Adjunct Faculty Instructor and guest lecturer at Mary Baldwin College, guest lecturer at James Madison University, and paper on theatre curriculum development delivered at the Virginia Association of Independent Schools annual conference, 2011.
Co-Founder and Managing Director
Katie Crandol originally hails from Virginia, where she received her BA from William and Mary, and found her love for Early Modern Drama through the student run organization, Shakespeare in the Dark. She followed these passions to achieve her MFA at Mary Baldwin, where she studied Shakespeare and Renaissance Literature on the American Shakespeare Center’s stage before becoming their Playhouse Manager in 2012.
In 2013 she relocated to this fair burgh, and co-founded Pittsburgh Classic Players. She continues to have particular passion for Early Modern Theatre, always looking for the next way to abuse the lack of copyright on Shakespeare and his contemporaries.
Producing Director and Head of Public Relations
Producing Director and Executive Stage Manager