This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Kel Haney
Kel Haney

TitleOccupation
Freelance Director

Where were you born?
West Chester, PA

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
Astoria—Ditmars. It’ll be 6 years in May.

How did you get involved in theater?
I’ve been telling stories (& strong-arming those around me to listen/participate) since I could talk. My parents were great about taking me to theatre in/around Philadelphia & I never missed an opportunity to participate in the plays at school. In 12th grade, I finally clocked that there were people out there who were actual theatre professionals & I was ready to join the ranks. In lieu of class, I spent the last month of high school interning at this great regional theatre (People’s Light and Theatre in Malvern, PA), which was only 15 minutes from my parents’ house . During that month, I shadowed as many different theatre artists as possible, and found my calling as director.

What do you love most about Queens?
Nature and the people. I love that my day starts and ends with an above-ground subway ride, that I can walk to the park and sit by the water, that my apartment windows look out onto trees and sky. I love living amongst people who are grounded, friendly and just going about their day-to-day lives. Living in Astoria, I find perspective and serenity, even on the most stressful days.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
My Greek landlady (who also lives next door) loves to feed me. I get especially excited about the tiny green grapes that she grows in her yard (they are transcendently amazing and are only ripe for a week or two in July) and the cookies she bakes for Greek Easter.

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
Any/all food/beverages at Sparrow. Dinner/wine at Vesta Trattoria (you have to try the Baby Jesus Cake). Scallops at Taverna Kyclades. Brunch at Queen’s Comfort. Cupcakes at Martha’s Bakery. Whiskey cocktails at The Strand. Daytime-work sessions at Waltz-Astoria. Yoga Agora ($5 classes!). The Sky View Room at MoMA’s PS 1. Astoria Park (every Astorian needs to find his/her favorite ‘thinking spot’).
Current/Upcoming projects?
Collaborating with Gardiner Comfort on his solo piece, YOU’RE NOT TOUGH, which will be performed at Dixon Place on Tuesday, 12/3 at 7:30. Tickets $12 in advance atwww.dixonplace.org. In another week or two, you’ll be able to listen to the Naked Radio at Naked Angels episode Kel directed (featuring new plays by Max Posner, Anna Ziegler and new-comer, Sylvia Khury) at http://nakedangels.com/nakedradio/. For more information on Kel, check out www.kelhaney.com 

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