Cast & Creative

The Story Pirates believe that kids are creative geniuses. All of them. Winner of the 2020 iHeartRadio award and the 2020 Webby Award for Best Kids and Family Podcast, The Story Pirates Podcast is one of the top three kids and family podcasts in the world. Downloaded over 25 million times and featuring songs and sketches based on stories written by kids, their special guests include top talent like Billy Eichner, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dax Shepard, Bowen Yang, Claire Danes, John Oliver, and Lake Bell. The Pirates have released three critically acclaimed middle-grade books with Penguin Random House and several award-winning albums, all based on ideas from kids around the world. The Creator Club, their new subscription service, features virtual learning activities, a weekend radio show, virtual weekly improv shows, and videos to entertain and encourage creativity for kids at home.

LILLI COOPER (Dream Queen)
Tootsie (Tony Nomination), Spongebob Squarepants, Wicked (Elphaba) Spring Awakening (original Broadway cast). Theater favorites: Mack And Mabel (City Center Encores!), Tick, Tick...Boom! (Keen Company) Sundown, Yellow Moon (The WP), The Wildness (Ars Nova), Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of1812 (American Repertory Theater), The Threepenny Opera (Atlantic Theater). Television: Dynasty (The CW), Bull, Instinct, Elementary, The Code, The Good Fight (CBS). Proud LaGuardia Arts High School and Vassar alum.

LEE OVERTREE (Co-Creator/Director)
Lee is Co-Founder and Creative Director of the Story Pirates and is the producer and co-host of The Story Pirates Podcast from Gimlet Media/Spotify, winner of the 2020 Webby and iHeartRadio award for Best Kids and Family Podcast. Along with co-writer Hunter Bell, he received a Drama Desk nomination for Outstanding Book of a Musical for Found at the Atlantic Theater Company. Lee has directed at the Williamstown Theater Festival, Center Theater Group, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, New York Stage & Film, the American Music Theater Project, Goodspeed Musicals, the Kennedy Center, the Geffen Playhouse, Berkshire Theater Group, the Mystic Aquarium, the American Museum of Natural History in New York City and the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles. He has taught at the Atlantic Acting School and has served on the faculty of the National Theater Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Center. Lee is an alumnus of Northwestern University and member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers union.

JENNIFER WEBER (Co-Creator/Director)
Jennifer is an Olivier Award nominated choreographer based in New York City. She recently made her West End debut with & Juliet (Olivier Award Nominee, Whatsonstage Award Nominee), a new musical featuring the songs of pop songwriter, Max Martin which opened at the Shaftesbury Theater in London Fall 2019. Weber recently choreographed, Disney’s Zombies 2, which was released on the Disney Channel in Feb 2020. Weber was commissioned by New York City Center to create a new work for NYCB principal dancer Tiler Peck and hip hop legend Lil Buck for the 2018 Fall For Dance Festival. This piece will be featured in the upcoming live capture A New Stage, produced by CLI Studios. Her concert dance work has been performed at Jacob’s Pillow, The Apollo, The Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, London’s Southbank Center, and The Stanislavsky Music Theatre, Moscow. Theatre choreography credits include KPOP (Ars Nova/Lortel Nom), Teenage Dick (The Public/Ma-Yi) Cruel Intentions (LPR/US Tour), Stockholm (Hudson Stage). Commercial direction/choreography: Marc Jacobs, CK2, American Express, Uber, Ulta, L’Oreal, Reebok, Philosophy and Lifetime’s Bring It Live! Tour (2016-2018). She is the co-creator, director, and choreographer of the annual hit holiday show, The Hip Hop Nutcracker.

Andrew Farmer is a disabled writer/performer & comedian based in Los Angeles, CA. He's a recipient of the 2018 Jonathan Larson Grant, and his work has been produced at The Museum of Modern Art, Ars Nova, Playwrights Horizons Downtown, Joe’s Pub, The Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Walker Space, Theater Aspen and The Yale School of Drama. He has developed television projects with CBS Studios, Stampede Ventures, Animal Kingdom, Imperative Entertainment, and First Look Media. Alongside SNL writer, Anna Drezen, he is the co-host of the comedy/horror podcast, Scary Stories to Tell on the Pod, produced by the Forever Dog Network. Currently, he’s the head writer of National Lampoon’s reboot of the legendary off-Broadway sketch show, Lemmings: 21st Century and is also developing a new immersive audio experience for The Story Pirates. Recent plays include The Gray Man (FGP, HERE Arts, Pipeline Theatre Company), The Fall of Hotel Mudafier to the Toltecs (Williamstown Theatre Festival), and I Heard Sex Noises, written with Claire Rothrock, Ryann Weir and Annie Tippe (Ars Nova). With composer/lyricist Andrew R. Butler, he has written book for American Cryptids (Joe’s Pub, The Civilians R&D Group), Finn The Fearless (Ars Nova, Theater Aspen, The Polyphone Festival), BLESSING (commissioned by Playwrights Horizons, Yale Institute for Music Theatre) and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane (commissioned by TheatreworksUSA).

EVA PRICE (Producer)
Eva is an NYCLU/ACLU honoree for her commitment to works spearheaded by female creatives and people of color, and a Crain’s 2020 Notable LGBTQ Leaders and Executives Honoree. Broadway credits include: Jagged Little Pill, Oklahoma! (two Tony Awards); Tina—The Tina Turner Musical; What the Constitution Means to Me (Tony nom., national tour 2020); Angels in America (Tony Award); Dear Evan Hansen (Tony Award); On Your Feet!; Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons on Broadway!; Peter and the Starcatcher (five Tony Awards); Colin Quinn Long Story Short; Annie; The Merchant of Venice (Tony nom.); Carrie Fisher’ s Wishful Drinking; The Addams Family. Off-Broadway/touring: Cruel Intentions: The ‘90s Musical; Found (Atlantic Theater Company); The Lion (Drama Desk Award); Small Mouth Sounds; and The Hip Hop Nutcracker with rap icon Kurtis Blow. Executive Producer of MEP, a producing, developing and management company she founded in 2006; and a producer with the new entertainment studio venture Level Forward.

Benjamin Salka is the co-founder and CEO of Story Pirates, a media company that celebrates the imaginations of kids. Under his leadership, Story Pirates has grown from a pilot program in a single school auditorium to an internationally renowned family entertainment brand. At age 23, he directed the off-Broadway production of I Sing! (recent productions in Australia, London and Glasgow). He began assistant directing and producing on and off-Broadway at theaters such as The Roundabout, MTC and The Atlantic Theater. Highlights include The Dazzle (Outer Critics Circle Award – asst. director to David Warren) and The Goat (Tony Award- asst. to producer Scott Rudin). In film, he assisted Rudin on the Oscar nominated The Hours, and Jonathan Glickman, president of MGM, on the Oscar nominated Seabiscuit. He was associate director to David Warren on Mindy Kaling and Branda Withers' breakout comedy Matt and Ben. With Eva Price and Victoria Lang, he is a producer of FOUND, a musical based on Davy Rothbart's popular magazines and books. He directed the long-running stage show Creation Nation with Billy Eichner and Robin Lord Taylor, and contributed to Billy Eichner’s Billy on the Street.

Ellen Winter (Composer) is a performer, composer, and teaching artist from the woods of Fairfax, VA currently based in Brooklyn. In 2017, she and writing partner, Chris Littler, co-directed/wrote/composed 36 Questions, the podcast musical, starring Jonathan Groff and Jessie Shelton. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, Playbill, and Marie Claire. Residencies include Ars Nova's Maker's Lab, Rhinebeck Writers Retreat, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Drop Forge and Tool, and Barn Arts Collective. Since 2018, she's performed and written songs with the Story Pirates for their Gimlet podcast. Ellen's also 1/5 of nerd-rock group Chamber Band, and together they have three albums and national tours under their belts. Her debut album, Every Feeling I've Ever Felt, drops October 2020. Oh and she already loves your dog. @itsellenwinter |

Mahayla Laurence (Co-writer) is an actor and a writer based in Brooklyn, NY. She is a natural-born empath and loves connecting with humans through all forms of art and storytelling. Mahayla writes for the Story Pirates Podcast and for SHIZ, a Broadway-Meet-Sketch-Comedy show. She also co-founded a comedy residency at Ars Nova called CAMP. Theatre credits include: Romeo & Juliet (Smith Street Stage), Twelfth Night (Shakespeare in the 'Burg), Neptune and Three Sisters (Columbia School of the Arts), Hamlet (Shakespeare in the Square NYU), Julius Caesar (Stella Adler Outreach Tour), and Safety Net (Tisch StageWorks). Mahayla is a graduate of NYU Tisch and a recipient of the Beth Turner Award. While there, she was a director and performer for Hammerkatz Sketch Comedy and Dangerbox Improv.

Mike Cabellon (Co-writer) is currently a writer/producer for the Story Pirates podcast and is next set to star in Mr. Mayor, coming to NBC in 2021. Other notable TV appearances include Orange Is The New Black, Crashing, and High Maintenance. Mike has written, produced, and starred in digital shorts that have won awards at the New York Television Festival and SeriesFest; and aired on Comedy Central, Adult Swim, FunnyOrDie, and more. As an improviser and sketch performer, Mike has performed on stages all over the country, including the Del Close Marathon, Comedy Hack Day, Austin Sketch Fest, Frigid Fest (part of the US Association of Fringe Festivals), UCB's 3x3 Tournament, NYC Improv Festival, and SHRTWV Short Theater Festival.