The Comedy Artist Makers’ Program (CAMP) is back for its fourth season developing new work. CAMP is a residency program at Ars Nova that is populated through an open application process and supports comedy-based writers/performers in generating and developing a new, original show over the course of a nine-month residency. CAMPers meet weekly for shares of work and peer feedback sessions facilitated by Co-Program Directors Mahayla Laurence and Matt Gehring, culminating in presentations of their work on the Ars Nova stage.

Upcoming Events

There are currently no CAMP events on-sale at this time. Check back later for a rundown of shows coming to a stage and screen near you!

2023/24 CAMP Residents

Sarah Adelman is a former reproductive health Research Scientist and stand-up comedian born and raised in NYC and based in Brooklyn. She’s a regular at Stand Up NY, New York Comedy Club, Greenwich Village Comedy Club, Littlefield, Union Hall, and other awesome clubs and venues. She can be seen on two episodes of HBO Game Theory and has been featured on NBC News, Meta, Risk! Podcast, the 92nd Street Y, and more. She produces three monthly shows and a weekly podcast- you can find links to those and more about Sarah at

Lida Darmian (she/her) is an actor/comedian/
master-of-slashes from LA, but based in NYC. She received her BFA from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and can now be seen performing sketch, improv, clowning and storytelling in bars and venues around the country. She has trained in improv, sketch, and clowning at UCB, Annoyance, Magnet Theater, BCC, Chris Bayes, and Ècole Philippe Gaulier. You may have seen her in a commercial before, or maybe she just looks like someone you know. Also, she is scared of whales, so please don’t bring them up (but if it happens, it happens).

Kurt Cruz is a musician, comedian, and Technical Director. Previously, he was the Technical Director at the Upright Citizens Brigade – Hell’s Kitchen and Caveat NYC. He is also a freelance audio mixer, podcast editor, and live-stream technician. When he’s not behind the tech booth, you can find him performing improv and music at various venues throughout NYC. Check out his solo indie music project, Kuko, on all streaming platforms.

Emily Dayton Evans is a NYC based SAG/AFTRA actor, comedian, director, writer, and award-winning filmmaker. A proudly queer multihyphenate, Emily’s platform centers LGBTQ+ characters, and raises mental health awareness. She has been a featured performer at HBO Women in Comedy Festival, her sketch comedy pilot won BEST OF the Late Night competition 2023 at SeriesFest, and she was recently named Content Creator to Watch by New York Comedy Festival. You can watch her in landmark television series; The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (AMAZON), The Other Two (HBOMAX), The Loudest Voice (SHOWTIME), and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (NETFLIX). Originally from rural Vermont, Emily also knows how to milk a goat! Learn more about Emily here:

Marina Gasparyan is a Russian-Armenian actor, writer, producer, and comedian. She is originally from Moscow and came to America in 1996 through a Jewish refugee program. She has a degree in Cinema Studies and Dramatic Literature from NYU and was the co-founder of a curated monthly screening series Black Mariah Films (2012-2015) where she programmed film series that showcased emerging filmmakers alongside classic and art house films. She has completed acting programs at The Barrow Group Theatre Company and Playhouse West. She has also trained at Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), People’s Improv Theatre (PIT), The Second City, iO Chicago, and The Groundlings. She writes poetry and hosts a monthly reading series People Reading Funny Things at Black Spring Books in Williamsburg where comedians and poets join forces to perform a range of comedic and literary material. She loves writing and performing badass female characters and impersonating Edgar Allan Poe.

Anne-Marie Pietersma (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based actor, writer, comedian, voice actor, and ACS Certified Cheese Professional® from Claremont, CA.

She has very important pieces of paper from Penn State University, Boston University, New York Film Academy, and the National Musical Theatre Institute. She has trained at UCB, Annoyance, ComedySportz, and spent hours of her childhood learning every word to Spaceballs and The First Wives Club.

Anne-Marie comes from a dairy farming family and is passionate about teaching people how to trust themselves and their taste through cheese tasting + creativity workshops (it does work). 

She blends food and storytelling wherever possible as reflected in her first one-woman show “Mild to Wild”, her upcoming book “I’ll Have What Cheese Having: Cheese Pairings Inspired by Romantic Comedies” and her weekly newsletter Trust Your Taste. 

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Maarit Hara is an actor, clown, and writer from Helsinki, Finland, based in NYC. She loves to explore the absurdity, tragedy and complexity of humans through her work and she is known for her fearless commitment and presence on stage.

SMJ (they/them) is an NYC-based, mixed-Latiné, and Trans non-binary playwright, musical theater writer, educator, & theatermaker originally from Mount Vernon, OH. They are a 2022-2023 Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow. Currently, SMJ is creating work with Ars Nova, The Road Theatre Company’s Under Construction Playwriting Group, Latiné Musical Theatre Lab, The Orchard Project, and American Theater Group. Their work has been seen in various forms throughout the US including the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film, Lincoln Center, National Queer Theater, Carnegie Mellon University, Otterbein University, Wright State University, Art House Productions, UTEP, Andy’s Summer Playhouse, The Workshop Theater, The 24 Hour Plays, The Fled Collective, Live Arts, The Uptown Collective, CRY HAVOC, The Tank, and DR2 Theatre. SMJ also writes for the serial podcast, University Radio. SMJ has been a semifinalist for the O’Neill’s National Playwrights Conference, Princess Grace Award at New Dramatists, and Van Lier New Voices Fellowship as well as a Finalist for the 2023 Parity Development Award and the Doric Wilson Playwright Award. SMJ is a graduate of Otterbein University and the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. They’re a member of the Dramatists Guild and Ring of Keys.

CAMP Program Co-Directors

Mahayla Laurence is a multi-disciplinary artist engaging in work that creates space for conversations around mental and spiritual health, joy, humor, stewardship, and community. Credits include: HBO Max, Clubbed Thumb, Gimlet Media.

Matt Gehring is a performer, writer and director of comedy. He’s been on Amazon, Netflix, Comedy Central and has spent years on the UCB stage. Check out the Broadway-Meets-Sketch show, SHIZ he created with Shaina Taub.

Future CAMP Residents - Application Information

CAMP resident applications are currently closed. Check back later for information on how to apply next season!

Past CAMP Residents

Michelle Chan Bennett &
Josh Nasser
Catherine Bloom &
Sofia Dobrushin

Natalya Samee
Chet Siegel


Jonathan Cohall
Makasha Copeland,
Chase Doggett & Gabrielle Silva
Sam Kebede
Preston Martin
Emily Olcott
Sabrina Wang


Niccolo Aeed
Marina Tempelsman
Joél Pérez
Ely Kreimendahl
Gus Laughlin
Eleanor Philips
Jessica Cannizzaro
Makasha Copeland
Gabrielle Silva


The CAMP program at Ars Nova is made possible by the generous support of the Richenthal Foundation.