top of page

So many of us have been drawn to Peekskill for its lovely setting along the Hudson River, its diverse population and the growing arts scene.  We are blessed with galleries, restaurants, the live/work artists’ lofts, interesting businesses and the Historic Paramount Theater, a large venue for big acts.  The Paramount, built as a movie house, lacks many of the components of a traditional theater space. 


Peekskill needs a place for local performing and literary artists - professional and emerging - to collaborate, create, teach and perform. An incubator for new works, a homebase for local artists.  Help us continue to provide a place for community participation in the arts!


Our BIG VISION space consists of 2-3 theater spaces of differing sizes and configurations, rehearsal studios, set and costume shops & storage, writers’ rooms, practice rooms, event space, and administrative offices.  We could also collaborate with entities such as Orange Splot and Peekskill Arts Alliance to create gallery and visual art teaching space. 


When we started out almost 7 years ago, we knew it would be a long journey - an exciting path full of challenges and creativity.  The vision became something we could not - NOT pursue.  We had to EMBARK!


Katie Schmidt Feder

Co-Founder, former Executive Director, Current Artistic & Administrative Advisor

Katie has 30 years experience in Musical Theatre, Drama and Dance. A member of AEA, she has performed, directed and choreographed in Off-Off Broadway, Regional Theatre, Stock and Cabaret.  She has directed from Schwartz to Shaw to Shakespeare and was selected to be a member of the prestigious 2001 Lincoln Center Directors Lab.  As a designer, she was head costumer for the feature length film Hooray for Mr. Touchdown and Antonia Arts production of CATS.  With a BA in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Dance from the University of Northern Colorado, her training includes the 2-year Meisner program at William Esper Studio (NYC). Katie also spent over 10 years working for Credit Suisse First Boston creating presentations & software training.  As an instructor of dance, acting and voice, she has taught at throughout Westchester and the Hudson Valley.  She was the Drama Director at Peekskill High School fron 2010-2012.  She received a Masters of Arts in Arts Administration - Summer 2015 from Goucher College. Katie was recently named the Executive Director of Garrison Art Center, but remains an Artistic & Administrative Advisor & Board Member.  She will produced and or direct certain projects when possible. Her wish is to develop a performing and literary arts center in Peekskill where she can realize her professional theatrical vision and create a home where all community members can experience the performing arts.

Sol Miranda

Co-Founder, Outreach Director

Sol was born and raised in Puerto Rico, is an AEA, SAG and AFTRA member who has been acting professionally for more than twenty years. Her work has been seen at New York City Opera, Off-Broadway, regional theaters, Europe and Puerto Rico.  Most recently she has been featured on Tina Fey's hit comedy THE UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT.  Previously, Sol was seen Blue Bloods, Law and Order as well as many commercials and voice overs. An award winning actress, she has been honored with HOLA's (Hispanic Organization of Latino Actors) Outstanding Female in a Leading Role in 2000, and the Juano Hernandez Best Actor Award given by the Drama Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras in 1990. During her tenure as an Assistant Professor at Hostos Community College/CUNY, she brought back to life their repertory company and successfully produced and directed.  Her bilingual and contemporary adaptation of Shakespeares' Romeo and Juliet with Pablo Neruda's genius translation was a major success at the college. She holds a MFA in Acting from University of California, San Diego. Locally she has directed for Antonia Arts, acted for Peekskill Playhouse and was the Executive Producer of EMBARK's The HisPANICk Zone.  The desire to create a Spanish theater company in Peekskill has become a strong and steady vision. 

Gene Panczenko

Technical Director

Gene is a video artist, photographer, musician, and audio/visual specialist who lives in Peekskill. His work has been seen in many galleries and venues in the Hudson Valley and beyond.  He is EMBARK’s resident technical guru and founder of the currently running P.E.A.C.E.  (Peekskill Electroacoustic Ambient Chamber Ensemble) music series.

Deb Carlin Pohill

Interim Board Chair

A native to the Peekskill, Cortlandt area, Deb volunteers for numerous organizations including CHOP and the St. Patricks Day Parade Committee.  Deb is also a singer/songwriter and, most recently, author.  Her first book, "Love Honor Celebrate: A Mother's Journey of Transition" was published in June 2013 and shares her experience and perspective since the loss of her youngest daughter, Cait Chivonne. Deb's story is one of inspiration as she celebrates the forever connection she shares with her daughter.

Jackie Suarez

Board Member

Host of Living Arts in Westchester, currently airing on local and digital television.

Past work included WLIB’s morning and noon time programming team. Producer and production credit to “Wake up New York”, “Hit It” with Dr. Jeff and her own creation, “Rap Attack” with Mr. Magic and Ty.   Marketing and promotion while at WLIB. Jackie's work with the community has always been at the forefront.  Living Arts of Westchester was born in 2011.  It provides a platform to introduce local Westchester artists to the community and share their talent.

Brian Delma Taylor

Board Member

A native of Texas, Brian is a veteran Broadway, symphonic and jazz multi-instrumentalist, vocalist, composer, arranger, producer and actor. Since arriving in the Peekskill area, Mr. Taylor has starred as Daddy Warbucks in Annie & the role of Herr Drosselmeier in The Nutcracker at the Paramount, and as Geronte in Moliere’s Scapi.  Brian will be a guest star with the Daisy Jopling Band at the Paramount this December - already had arranged and performed for/with Daisy’s band last year.

Please reload


12 N. Division St
Suite 302


(914) 671-7772

Our NEW Office - Jan 2017

How can one create and/or build an artistic home for others?

By Todd London,  
            Artistic Director New Dramatists


  1. Ask them what they need and want in the house.

  2. Don’t make the rules for them; make the rules with them.

  3. Sustain the relationships over time.

  4. Figure out ways to allow for quiet and then for community.

  5. Have snacks available, and don’t charge for them. In fact, keep food around everywhere. You’ll know it’s becoming homey when the artists start bring food in on their own, feeding each other, potluck style.

  6. Let artists lead their own art, which means making mistakes and also making magical things that they have every right to celebrate and own.

  7. Don’t take credit for the work of other people in your house.

  8. Identify and strive to defeat your own narcissism as a facilitator

  9. Put hospitality first.

  10. Put making community among artists first, too.

  11. And then put artistic freedom before both of them.

  12. Stop telling other people what to do and how to do it.

  13. Fill the house with intellectual and creative resources.

  14. Keep beautiful things around.


We need folks with a variety of skills who can make EMBARK one of their top priorities.


To learn more about EMBARK's Board needs and Expectations:




Ian Berger

Founding Board Member

Ian has been constantly juggling his passions of writing and standup paddling with teaching English at the Garrison School and a family with three kids. He is the founder of the school drama program and directs a few plays each year. One or two of them he writes himself. Currently working on a young adult science fiction novel, he recently completed a young adult version of "Much Ado About Nothing". Ian recently completed the Cape Cod Bay Challenge, the longest standup paddling event on the east coast, and is a regular paddler in the Hudson Highlands. While he doesn't have much time left for acting, he loves every opportunity to appear on the stage, especially ones that require him to wield a medieval sword.

Marilyn Heberling

Founding Board Chair

Marilyn has a Masters Degree in Theatre and over 30 years working in university, community and youth theatre as a director, instructor and actress. In her earlier career she worked with the University of Michigan on the first Experimental Theatre Festival in the area, taught playwriting and developed a “Theatre in Unexpected Places” program with performances in art galleries, football fields and living rooms. As a theatre educator, Marilyn has taught Playwriting, Shakespeare, Creative Writing, History through Drama, Oral Interpretation, Mask making and Video. A founding member of the Philipstown Players in Garrison, she directed 20 adult and youth productions, developed and directed the summer Young Playwrights Festival and produced their adult One Act Festival for 6 years. Marilyn co-created and produced the first Hudson Valley Fringe Festival in 2004. She has worked with M&M Productions and YCP TheaterWorks, directing Arthur Miller’s THE CRUCIBLE and Molière's SCAPIN.

Stephanie Hare

Founding Board Member

Stephanie holds a BA in Dance and Theater from Manhattanville College. She began working professionally in technical theater while still a student, starting in the lighting booth as board operator, but soon moving on to lighting design and stage management for numerous productions in Westchester as well as NYC. She also participated in the inaugural summer of the Exiles Theatre, Ltd. program in Ireland studying directing, which nourished her life-long love of theater while sparking a new interest in Irish culture. She eventually went on to earn an MA in Irish Studies from the Catholic University of America (never straying far from theater, she balanced her academic studies by building sets in the theater department at CUA). Recently, Stephanie has worked at several area non-profit organizations in database management and grant writing and administration.  Stephanie is excited to have discovered a community of kindred artistic spirits as a resident of Peekskill. Stephanie was integral to getting Embark started and she was thrilled with the shared vision of a Center for creation and performance here.  In her free time, she enjoys exploring the parks and nature of Peekskill, singing in her church choir, playing Irish fiddle and learning to play the ukulele.

Please reload



Arrange a meeting:


bottom of page