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Managing Board


Kirk Gostkowski

Kirk Gostkowski, Artistic Director; As a founder of this company and the Chain Theatre Kirk has been producing, acting, and directing professionally non stop for 10 years in the NYC area.  Select acting credits include: R. P. McMurphy in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (VTG), Katurian in The Pillowman (VTG), Barry Champlain in Talk Radio (VTG), Eddie in Hurlyburly (VTG), Fool for Love as Eddie (VTG), Some Girl(s) as Guy (VTG), The Shape of Things as Adam (VTG), Othello as Iago, Daily Sounds as Shawn (NYC Fringe Festival), Hamlet as Hamlet, True West as Austin (SCC), The Spanish Tragedy as Hieronimo (Shelter Studios), Jerry in The Zoo Story, and Brutus in Julius Caesar. Kirk also serves as Festival Director for the Chain NYC Film Festival. Kirk made his directorial debut with the film Leave Me Behind: which was featured in ten film festivals across the world, won awards, and is distributed through Screen Media Ventures.  Kirk is a graduate of Hofstra University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree focused in performance.

Greg CicchinoGreg Cicchino, Managing Director, graduated from Syracuse University with a BFA in acting with an additional concentration in directing. While there, he was fortunate enough to work closely with Syracuse Stage (one of the only theater programs in the country that work in conjunction with a LORT Theater). He is trained both as a director and actor in many styles of theater, from ancient Greek through Shakespeare, to the clowning styles of Jacque Lecoq. Since moving to New York, his directing experience has run the gamut from contemporary dramas to classical pieces, as well as many musicals, both chamber and with large companies. Greg has worked in commercial theater at every level in New York, and extensively in the nonprofit arena. He has taken several shows through the reading and workshop stages into full development, the most successful being the musical The Unusual Suspects, at the New York International Fringe Festival, which was one of Backstage’s Picks of the Fringe.




Christina Elise Perry


Director of Outreach        

Is an actor and producer of the Chain NYC Film Festival.  New York Acting Credits include: Talk Radio (Linda), Hurlyburly (Darlene), Fool for Love (May), Venus & Mona (Mona) and Othello (Emilia).  Christina is an alum of Girl Be Heard! and has performed spoken word at the United Nations Children’s Conference, Fringe Festival and Estrogenious Festival.  She is currently involved in developing Dragula The Musical.  Training includes studying with Pete Mattaliano and the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts: School for Film and Television.

John Arthur Long, Literary Director, has been active in theater for his entire professional career.  He has directed all types of dramas from Shakespeare and Arthur Miller tragedies to contemporary comedies. Mr. Long has also directed dozens of musicals as well as contributing to the book and scores of original productions in both drama and musical forms.  He is co-author of CONSPIRACY, a musical of the Chicago Eight Trial, and the modern dramatic tragedy, The Final Performance of the Mobled Queen, a re-telling of the Helen of Troy tragedy in a modern university setting.  Long is also the co-author of a children’s book, The Tooth Fairy Legend, which was based on his original family musical for which he co-wrote the book and music that Liz Smith called “delicious,” in her column about its New York premiere.

Mr. Long has also pursued a writing career with several successfully published novels.  His first novel, The Sign of the Guardian was published in two separate editions and optioned twice for motion picture production for which Mr. Long co-authored the screenplay.  Eve Of Regression, Long’s second novel about the search for the grave of the first woman, has been translated into several different languages and distributed worldwide as a bestseller. Long most recent novel, The Harvard Man, is about a rejected applicant who becomes obsessed with destroying the esteemed Ivy League university.  Long has also co-authored the theatrical work, Dragula The Musical, which is currently in pre-production development by VTG.  John Arthur Long looks forward to being a part of Variations Theatre Group’s quest to discover and promote exciting and provocative new dramatic works.

Aaron Gonzalez, Technical Director and Resident Designer, is a Writer, Director, Actor, Designer, Stage Manager and graduate of the UNCSA, Directing Program where he studied the art of storytelling with Gerald Freedman. Most notably he was Projection Designer for John Leguizamo’s GHETTO KLOWN now on HBO, Resident Director/ASM for BILLY ELLIOT the Musical National Tour, and Associate Director/Ensemble for BILLY ELLIOT at The MUNY of St. Louis, Music Theatre Wichita, and the Gateway Playhouse. Some of his Stage Management credits include TIME STANDS STILL (MTC & The Cort). Currently, Aaron is a sub SM for THE LION KING (Minskoff), and  Production Manager for AN EVENING WITH NOEL FIELDING (US tour)




Rafaella Rossi, Resident Stage Manager, is a Manhattan based stage manager with a BA in theater production and Global Studies from Hofstra University. She has worked on various productions in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens since 2011 and has been involved in stage managing in various festivals including: NYC Fringe Festival, EstroGenius, United Solo Festival; as well as working with The Chain and Variations Theater group since 2012. Rafaella has also stage managed multiple productions for Columbia University’s MFA program, and will be traveling to Scotland for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with two productions, RENT and Magdalen.




Kelsey Bowens, Resident Scenic Designer, is a native Ohioan and recent NYC transplant. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre from Ashland University (Ashland, OH), where she was involved as a performer, painter, technician, choreographer and director within the department. She participated in University Choir, The Drop of a Hat Players, and Alpha Psi Omega (the theatre honorary). Her senior thesis was based around the conception and performance of her all-female improv troupe I Confidenti (a student-bred, student-led improv experiment). Kelsey spent her time on the technical side of things as the Scenic Charge Artist for such shows as The Importance of Being Earnest and Little Shop of Horrors. As an actor, Kelsey has participated in multiple shows at Ashland as well as The Rabbit Run Theatre (Madison, OH) and The Willoughby Fine Arts Association (Willoughby, OH). Her favorite performances include Woman 2 (Songs for a New World), Fanny Squeers/Miss Snevellicci (The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby) and Louise (Sunday in the Park with George).  kelseybowens.weebly.com

Founding Members:


Rich FerraioliRich Ferraioli, Founding Co-Artistic Director, is a graduate of Hofstra University with a BFA in theatrical production with an emphasis on directing. Rich has directed over 25 productions professionally ranging from classics like Hamlet, Spanish Tragedie, and Everyman: An All Female Exploration to the NYC Fringe Festival’s production of Daily Sounds. Rich was a proud member of the 2008 Lincoln Center Directors lab and has served as the Managing Director for The Queens Players 2007-2010. Originally from the farmlands of Pennsylvania, Rich now resides with his scenic artist wife Stephanie and their monster Izzy in Long Island City, NY





Founding Resident Designer and Technical Director

Allen resides at the Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, CT. As Resident Designer and Technical Director for Hotchkiss he has production designed Guys & Dolls, On the Razzle, Runaways, The Laramie Project, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Urinetown!, Into the Woods and The Importance of Being Earnest. When not grading design projects or teaching classes, he manages to find time to design in, and around, the city! Regional: Hedwig & the Angry Inch (Syracuse Stage & North Star Productions,Rochester, NY) M. Butterfly [assistant to Dawn Chiang], (Syracuse Stage & Charlotte Repertory Theatre) NYC: The Shape of Things (Variations Theatre Group) Antigone, Hamlet, Titus Andronicus & Romeo and Juliet (The Queen’s Players) We All Fall Down (Pop Mega Hot Theatre Factory) Tartuffe, Damnée Manon, Sacrée Sandra, Largo Desolato (all as Resident Designer for Beyond the Wall Productions) Allen is a BFA Theatrical Design graduate of Syracuse University where he designed Street of Crocodiles (American Premier), tick, tick… BOOM!, Hurlyburly, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown and many others. He is currently juggling way too many balls to count but would have it no other way!