About the Company

STRONG COFFEE STAGE is a physical theatre company based in Southern Vermont. We create original productions that combine elements of comedy, circus, storytelling, dance, music and physical theatre, and facilitate master classes in physical theatre training and techniques.


Bronwyn Sims: Producing Director

Bronwyn Sims, is an actor, acrobat, choreographer, and educator. She has appeared in film (Next Stop Wonderland, Dischord, Trial by Fire) and on television including a role in the Emmy award winning first season of The Sopranos. Her NYC stage credits include productions with NYC Opera at Lincoln Center, National Black Theatre of Harlem, The Kitchen, La Mama E.T.C, HERE, Galapagos, Artists of Tomorrow Festival with Six Figures Theatre, The NY Clown Theatre Festival at The Brick Theatre, NY Downtown Clown Revue at The Kraine Theatre & International Dance Festival at The Duke on 42nd Street. Regional stage credits include: American Repertory Theatre, Raven Theatrical, Speakeasy Stage Company, and a European tour with Sandglass Theatre. As an Acrobat and Aerialist, Bronwyn has performed with Cirque-Tacular Entertainment in Circurious, LAVA, Odonata Dance Project, Bindlestiff Family Cirkus, Above The Belt, The Zipper Factory, Wise Fool, Nimble Arts and Frequent Flyers Aerial Dance Festival. Choreography and Movement credits include, A.R.T. ‘s The Donkey Show, Yale Repertory Theatre, Yale School of Drama, and The Vermont Academy. Bronwyn is a Co- Founder and Producing Director of Strong Coffee Stage Company. A teacher of Aerial and Circus Arts as well as Yoga, Bronwyn is a Lecturer in Acting at Yale School of Drama, and has taught at The University of New Hampshire, University of Florida, Marlboro College, Colorado College Summer Dance Festival, Colby College, Philly Circus, Streb/Slam, The Trapeze Loft, The Sky Box, Bhava Yoga, Hart Yoga, South Boston Yoga and at New England Center for Circus Arts. She holds a Certificate in Acting from Circle in the Square Theatre School and has studied with numerous master teachers in Physical Theatre from across the country and Europe.

Patrick Donnelly: Artistic Director

Patrick Donnelly is an actor, physical comedian, and teacher of Physical Theatre. Motion picture credits include: The Ciderhouse Rules, The Love Letter, Original Sins, Happy Doomsday, Trial By Fire, Dischord and The Bus Stop Movie, which was named best short film at the 1999 Ajijic Film Festival in Mexico. He was a founding member of the Elliot Norton Award winning Boston fringe theater company Raven Theatrical, appearing in Psycho Beach Party & Emil and the Detectives; both productions were extended multiple times. He played Miss Fern in Bad Seed at the Ohio Theater in NYC, which was named a top ten fringe production of 1999 by the Village Voice. He appeared as Harpo in Groucho: A Life in Revue at the Jewish Theater of New England. He co-created (with Bronwyn Sims) This is not a Tango, a clown dance which was performed at 2008 New York City Clown Theater Festival, the Extraordinary Dance Festival 2008 at Colorado College, the Downtown Clown Revue, and LaMama ETC. He teaches Physical Theater at NECCA in Brattleboro, Vermont. He has taught Acting at the Bolshoi Ballet Summer Intensive, Colorado College Extraordinary Dance Festival, Marlboro College, The Skybox and Big Sky Studio in Brooklyn, NY, Canopy Studios in Athens, GA and the State University of New York at Oneonta.

Caitlin Smith Rapoport, Company Tech Director and Lighting Designer

Caitlin is a designer and technical director for the performing arts. She has designed for theatre, dance, music, events, circus, opera, and many things in between. Recent collaborations include Yale Repertory Theater, Yale School of Drama, The Dwight/Edgewood Project, Strong Coffee Stage, Berkshire Fringe Festival, SUNY College at Oneonta, Nimble Arts Circus, Sandglass Puppet Theater, New World Theater, and The National Asian American Theater Festival. She holds a BA in theatre and English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and is currently earning her MFA in Design at the Yale School of Drama.

Troy David Mercier, Performer

Troy is a performer, artist, teacher, and technician. He is a playwright, actor, dancer, director, devisor, and clown. Troy has his MFA of Playwriting from SMITH College, and his BA of theatre from UMASS Amherst. His professional training includes work with Double Edge Theatre, SITI Company, Gardzienice Theatre of Poland, Serious Play Ensemble, Admiration Theatre Ensemble of London and New Century Theater. He is currently working with Strong Coffee Stage, PaintBox Theatre, and PUSH Physical Theatre. Troy’s passion and strength is working in and with ensembles to create original, physically based, theatrical work.

Jaz Tupelo, Sound Designer

Jaz is a podcast producer and former radio host, and is writing a sitcom for radio based on her experiences in the industry. She has worked with New Century Theatre and Smith College, where she graduated with a degree in theatre.

Calvin Herzig-Anderson, Lighting Design

Most recently, Calvin was the Lighting and Technical Director for Ailey II. During his time with the company, he toured the US and abroad quite extensively. Calvin is excited to be working with Bronwyn for Moment of Impact . Select New York City credits include: The Pinks, The Subtle Body and Fallopian Fairy Tales (NYLighting); Yellow Brick Wall: Angry White Men played by Two Happy Asian Girls (NY- Lighting/ Projections) and working with Arc3Designs (NYC). Other favorite designs include: Our Town (CT- Lighting), Urinetown (CT- Lighting), Wearable Art Fashion Show (AK- Lighting/ Projections), and Flipzoids (AK- Lighting). Calvin is also a proud member of IATSE Local #232, based out of Northampton/ Amherst, MA.

Leland Masek, Administrative Assistant

Leland is a actor, director, and game designer. He’s a recent Graduate of Vassar college and also trained in Clown and Commedia Dell’Arte with Jim Calder, Chris Bayes, Jacob Olleson, Maria Vail, and Shona Tucker. He’s trained in Stage Combat with Darrell James and the Piven center. Leland has performed as Truffaldino in Servant of Two Masters with Director Maria Vail, in Way of the World Directed by Kim Weild, performed The Maiden and the Tyrant at the Pallazzo Strozzi Directed by Jim Calder, and a Commedia Don Giovanni Directed by Jim Calder, as well as Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice directed by Ianthe Demos. Leland has also designed 16 interactive theater pieces and works as a live action game designer at Guard Up!, in addition to being the administrative assistant to Strong Coffee Stage!

Organization History


Moment of Impact at Rochester (NY) Fringe Festival


* Moment of Impact at Berkshire Fringe Festival

* Welcome at Outside The Box Festival

Putney Vaudeville with NextStage Arts


*Awarded Vermont Arts Council grant to create Moment of Impact


Antigone at Suny Oneonta with master classes for Suny Oneonta students in clown and acrobatics

* Antigone at Fools Fury Fury factory of Ensemble Theatre in San Francisco

* Residency and clown performance at Celebration Barn in Maine


* NY Stories at The Hooker Dunham Theatre and Gallery, Vermont

* Who Nose at NEYT Salmagundi Festival, Vermont

* Antigone Marlboro College, Vermont with teaching residency


* 3.5 Heads The NYC Clown Theatre Festival