Ego Actus (production company) is Latin for “My Way.” In 2009, Joan Kane and Bruce A! Kraemer created an independent theatre in company dedicated to doing art for art’s sake. Each artist brings his or her own way of creating to our shows and we unify them into a collective “my way.” Joan directs and Bruce designs, they both produce. Shows that we have presented to date has been in Manhattan or Europe, plus one show in Philadelphia and another on Governors Island.
Off Broadway shows
Our off-Broadway shows have included Play Nice! at 59e59 theaters, I Know What Boys Want at Theatre Row and Sycorax, Cyber Queen of Qamara at HERE.
We presented both Safe and what do you mean in the East to Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. We brought both Kafka’s Belinda and The Telegram to the Prague Fringe festival and we sent The Metamorphosis to Prague and Budapest.
We have produced 25 festival shows in 10 different festivals including the Edinburgh, New York and Prague Fringes, the United Solo Festival at Theatre Row and FringeArts in Philadelphia, plus several others in New York City.
Our shows have been nominated for 61 awards, of which we have won 21. We have had three plays average 83 or better on Show Score and two of those became Trending Shows.
Stand alone shows
We have also done 23 stand alone shows including Equity productions at Theatre Row, HERE, Theater for a New City, Urban Stages, and the WorkShop Theater.
Our two reading series have included Off the Page, seven scripts read to live audiences at TornPage and Survival is Insufficient, 10 scripts seen on Zoom.
We are affiliated with the League of Independent Theater and Fractured Atlas.
Joan Kane (director/producer/dramaturg/writer/actor) is the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus.
Joan Kane directed Sycorax at HERE, Play Nice! at 59e59 theaters, I Know What Boys Want at Theatre Row, Six Characters in Search of an Author in Oslo, Norway and Kafka’s Belinda in Prague. She also directed both Safe and what do you mean at 59e59 theaters and in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, getting four star reviews for each. Joan wrote and performed Almost 13 to sold out audiences in the United Solo festival.
Awards and honors
Joan was awarded Best Director in the 2016 United Solo Festival where she has directed six pieces. Joan was named one of the 2011 People of the Year in honor of her contributions to the NY theatre scene and inducted to the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame by nytheatre.com. Her shows have been nominated for 61 awards, winning 21
Selected other work
Joan has also directed plays and readings at the Lark, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Urban Stages, Workshop Theater, Nylon Fusion, Articulate Theatre, Abingdon Theatre, Oberon Theatre, the Samuel French Short Play Festival, the Actors Studio, T. Schreiber Studio, the Broadway Bound festival and many others.
Joan graduated from the High School of Performing Arts, studied acting at the Neighborhood Playhouse and has an MFA in Directing from The New School and an MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College.
Early in her career she was an Equity, AFTRA and SAG actress. She later became a teaching artist for Henry St Settlement, Young Playwrights and Theatre for a New Audience. Joan went on to teach in New York City Public Schools where she was also a staff developer and at Fordham University as an adjunct professor for both under graduate and graduate classes.
Joan is a member of The New York Madness Company, Rising Sun Performance Company, The Episcopal Actors’ Guild, the League of Independent Theatre, the Dramatists Guild, New York Women In Film and Television and the Society of Stage Directors & Choreographers. She is a voting member for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards Artistic Achievement committee and a Nominator for the Kilroys List. Joan is also an ex-officio Vice President for Programming on the Executive Board of Directors of the League of Professional Theatre Women.
Bruce A! Kraemer
Bruce A! Kraemer (producer, playwright and designer) is the producer of all Ego Actus shows. He directed Almost 13 to sold out audiences in the United Solo festival.
Bruce wrote what do you mean which played at 59e59 Theater and in the 2013 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His Identity Paper was in the 2016 United Solo Festival and he co-wrote Kafka’s Belinda which played in the 2015 Prague Fringe Festival and was nominated for an Inspiration Award.
Bruce has done lighting design for Roundabout Theatre and Soho Rep and has designed shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 59e59 Theaters, the NYC Fringe, Theatre Row, and many others. He has designed many sets for Ego Actus festival shows, including the award winning set for Hamlet, Bound and Unbound in the Midtown International Festival. Bruce has created both sound and projection designs and has been a prop master for the Ensemble Studio Theater Marathon of one act plays.
Work in other media
Bruce also does TV and event lighting, audio, technical direction, stage management, production intercom and RF coordination. He has done one or another of those for the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Paralympics, the World Cup, two Papal visits, three Superbowls, the Commonwealth Games, the Goodwill Games, six Tony Awards, the Grammys, three Video Music Awards, the WNBA All Star Game, the NBA All Star game, the NBA Draft, four NFL Drafts, the MLB Draft, ten Christmas Tree Lightings at Rockefeller Center, on Broadway, off Broadway, off off Broadway, for dance, fashion shows, art installations and hundreds of corporate events.
Bruce is not a person who joins groups. He is not Episcopal and is not an actor, but he is a member of The Episcopal Actors’ Guild .
“Theatre in New York City is resilient and leads in what everybody else does. We are confident that it will completely come back eventually. We suspect that Broadway will look to independent theatre as the canary-in-the-coal-mine. When we have been doing shows without a surge in new infections, they will re-open.” Bruce A! Kraemer quoted in Splash Magazine