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Joel Bassin
Joel Bassin
Producing Artistic Director

Joel has an active career in the performing arts that crosses artistic, administrative, academic, technical, and geographic areas. He toured the world as Managing Director of The Wooster Group and worked with Mabou Mines and Theatre de la Jeune Lune. He was a long-time consultant for the New York State Council on the Arts, and also did a short stint as a consultant with Theatre Communications Group. As an independent producer he's collaborated with artists including Jim Findlay, Cynthia Hopkins, Elephant Room (Steve Cuiffo, Geoff Sobelle, Trey Lyford), Anita Gonzalez, James Braly, Butch Morris, Marlies Yearby, and Joseph Chaikin. Joel has directed and acted in new plays and musicals at theatres in Minnesota, Illinois, New Jersey, Georgia, and New York. At Firehouse he's directed THE WAR IN HEAVEN by Joseph Chaikin and Sam Shepard, a workshop of Bruce Slater's DILEMMA OF ESCAPE, and the world premieres of Bo Wilson's FOOD, CLOTHING, AND SHELTER (2018 Richmond Theatre Critics Circle nominee, Best Original Work), Walter Braxton's opera TO DAMASCUS (2018 RTCC winner, Best Original Work), and Chandler Hubbard's ANIMAL CONTROL (2020 ATCA/Steinberg New Play citation).

Joel received his M.F.A. in Directing from Rutgers University / Mason Gross School of the Arts and his Ph.D. in Theatre from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He was Associate Professor, Chair, and Production Manager of the Hunter College Department of Theatre, an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Virginia Union University, and an adjunct Assistant Professor in the Performing Arts Leadership and Management program at Shenandoah University.

Tad Burrell

Tad Burrell

Technical Director

Tad is pleased to return as Technical Director of the Firehouse Theatre, the position he held from 2004 thru 2012. In that time he was involved in over fifty productions at the theatre, as master set carpenter, also as set designer, sound designer and lighting designer for several productions. He is looking forward to the growth of the theatre in the future, and working with the many talented directors, designers, actors and techs on many productions to come. 

Ilya Grossman

Ilya Grossman

Associate Producer / Curator of Music Programming

Ilya joins the Firehouse team after twenty-two years in network news. Throughout his career in television he always found ways to incorporate his first love -- music -- from his early years as chief audio operator of "Good Morning Richmond" which hosted musical acts, to his time as Managing Editor of a news program in Washington D.C. where Ilya featured live music to end each broadcast. Ilya has also produced, recorded, and performed with Richmond bands Stone Kitchen, The IllBrain Duo, and Tom Smith.

Todd Labelle

Todd Labelle

Associate Producer

Todd joins Firehouse after working with the Virginia Opera for six seasons as the Education Coordinator for the Opera's Touring Education Program. He was also  a stagehand for over two dozen operas. He received his B.F.A. in Theater Management and Production from the University of the Arts and while living in Philadelphia worked with several regional theaters such as The Philadelphia Theater Company, Lantern Theater, and Backseat Productions. His favorite directing project was THE WOOLGATHERER for the Philadelphia Fringe Festival.

nathaniel shaw.jpg

Nathaniel Shaw

Incoming Artistic Director

Nathaniel Shaw helped form and served as Artistic Director for The New Theatre in Richmond, VA. He served as Artistic Director for Virginia Repertory Theatre, and was the founding Artistic Director for The Active Theater (NYC). He was the inaugural New Play Development Director for Glass Half Full Productions, Tony and Olivier Award Winning Producers of BETRAYAL and was an Associate Choreographer for ONCE, supervising both the Broadway production and the First National Tour. 

Richmond directing credits include the US premiere of BARBER OF MOVILLE (Richmond Theatre Community Circle Award-winner for Outstanding Original Work, PETER AND THE STARCATCHER(7 RTCC nominations including Best Play and Best Direction), the world premiere of THE END OF WAR (winner of 4 RTCC awards), the world premiere of RIVER DITTY (in collaboration with Glass Half Full Productions), IN THE HEIGHTS starring Arielle Jacobs, with Choreography by Karla Garcia (winner of 5 RTCC awards including Best Direction), WEST SIDE STORY (RTCC award for Best Musical), CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, THE 39 STEPS, and ONCE (Co-Produced with The Fulton Theatre). 

New York Directing credits include TOUCH with Libra Theatre Company at 59e59 starring Tony Award-winner Katrina Lenk and the first New York City revival of THE VIOLET HOUR (Innovative Theater Award nomination for Best Revival). Other regional directing credits include MIRACLE ON SOUTH DIVISION STREET (Syracuse Area Live Theater Award nomination for Play of the Year), SPELLING BEE and A CHORUS LINE. Director/Choreographer credits include SOUTH PACIFIC, HAIR and HAIRSPRAY (a combined 20 New Hampshire Theatre Award  nominations including Best Production, Best Director, and Best Choreography for each), LEGALLY BLONDE, DAMN YANKEES starring Jessica Lee Goldyn and Dirk Lumbard, and GREASE.  Choreography includes CINDERELLA and THE WIZARD OF OZ (both at Phoenix Theatre Company), ANNIE, FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and movement direction for  LES MISERABLES.

On-stage highlights include iconic roles such as Curly in OKLAHOMA!, Zach in A CHORUS LINE, Pale in BURN THIS, Joe Hardy in DAMN YANKEES, Lt. Cable in SOUTH PACIFIC, Riff in WEST SIDE STORY, Will Parker in OKLAHOMA! (alongside Kelli O’Hara and Will Chase), and  Adam in TWO DAYS OF GRACE at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Nathaniel also performed for three seasons as a featured dancer with The Paul Taylor Dance Company. 

Richmond’s STYLE MAGAZINE featured Nathaniel in both their Power LIst: Arts and Culture, and among Richmond’s Top 40 Under 40. He is a graduate of The University of Northern Colorado, and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and Actors Equity Association.

Emily Vial

Production Associate

Emily is a technician by day and a stage manager by night. She graduated from Virginia Wesleyan University in Virginia Beach in 2018 with a B.A. in Theatre and a minor in Communications, and moved home to Richmond to join the ranks of the Richmond theatre community. She has been a props master, scenic carpenter and painter, costumes mistress and seamstress, and stage manager for over 20 collegiate performances including INTO THE WOODS, ALMOST MAINE, CONSTELLATIONS, and BLITHE SPIRIT. She's worked with the Sandler Center for Performing Arts in Virginia Beach, the VA Arts Fringe Festival, and with Virginia Musical Theatre on their production of LA CAGE AUX FOLLES.


Steve Gaidos, President; Jude Powers, Vice President; Michel Levy, Secretary; Marcus Cooper, Treasurer;
Matthew Freeman, Bridget King, Chioke l’Anson, Justin Lo, Ricky Parker, Joshua Pile

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