The Xavier Company is a unique group of Christian performing artists in residence at St. Francis Xavier Church in New York City. These professionally trained actors, singers and dancers perform original works focused on themes of faith and social justice. Founded in 1982, The Xavier Company is celebrating its twenty-sixth anniversary of performing arts ministry in the tri-state area. The Xavier Company is renowned for performances that display both spiritual content and artistic excellence.
Carol Ferrone (director and choreographer) is the director and a founding member of The Xavier Company. Carol had directed many of its productions including An Advent Carol, Whom Shall I Send and God is With Us. Carol holds a PhD in speech pathology with a specialization in actors’ voices and an MA in stage direction from Columbia University. Carol has presented her voice research at the Mozart Voice Symposium in Salzburg, Austria. She is delighted to be directing the 2009 tour of No Greater Love.
Heather Bullock (Woman of Jerusalem) originally comes from Northern California where she received her B.A. degree in Theatre Arts at UC Santa Cruz. She moved to New York in 1996 and began her association with the Xavier Co. in 2000 and has performed recurrently with them over the past 8 years. Some other New York based companies she has performed with have been The Liguorian Players, The House of Bernarda Alba, The Phoenix Players (Move Over, Mrs. Markham; TheRimers of Eldritch) and Aisling Arts (Love’s Labour’s Lost , Imminent Indeed) the latter of which was performed at the New York International Fringe Festival. She has also performed in sketch comedy groups and various children’s shows. Her film work has included Industrials and a recent role in an Independent film. She also has a principal commercial role to her credit.
Gerry DeMan (musical director) began studying piano in 1958 under Rudy Agresta, an accompanist for Perry Como. At Jersey City State College, he was the accompanist of the Concert Choir, and studied choral conducting with Dr. George Hansler and piano with Marion Verse-James. Gerry has been the Music Director of the Xavier Company since 1995. He is currently the Director of Music at the Church of Saint Mary in Rutherford, NJ. Gerry and his wife Lorraine live in Rutherford with their two children, Mary and John.
Barry Gomolka (Peter), a founding member of the Xavier Company, has appeared in all of the group’s major touring shows. He has done several National Children’s Theater tours as well as the American tour of The Canterbury Tales with London’s New Vic Theater. Other favorite roles include Malvolio in Twelfth Night, Kit in No Way To Treat A Lady, Brack in Hedda Gabler, Jeffrey in Godspell, Danforth in The Crucible and Tom in TheGlass Menagerie. Barry is also an accomplished director and has done a bit of Film and TV.
Marian Lizzio (Veronica) has appeared as an actor and dancer with the Xavier Company since 1988. She has performed in productions of No Greater Love, An Advent Carol, The Least Among You, as well as numerous special events. Marian is a professionally trained classical ballet dancer. Additionally she has studied with Martha Graham (modern), Luigi (jazz) and at the Alvin Ailey School in New York City.
Abigail Taylor (Mary Magdalene) is happy to return to No Greater Love after touring in the 2008 production. Off-Broadway: A (Tooth) Fairy Tale, The Devil and His Sunglasses, Rock-A My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham. National Tour: Babes in Toyland, The Bully. NYC: Twelfth Night, Four Unfold, Long Day’s Journey Into Night. Regional: Theater at Lime Kiln, Clarence Brown Theatre. Film: The Queen of Greenwich Village. In April, Abigail will direct the Manhattan Repertory Theatre’s production of Strange Bedfellows, a new play by fellow Xavier Company member Lena Cigleris.