BORN IN BKLYN, Stephanie’s fate was sealed at the age of 4 when she saw her first film, The Red Shoes. After studying ballet and modern dance and performing on and off-Bway, in summer stock and with small esoteric dance companies, Stephanie’s still young Eastern European feet begged her to quit. She traded in her toe shoes at the doorstep of the Stella Adler Conservatory to study acting with the great goddess of the theatre. While studying with two giants of the 20th centruy - Martha Graham and Stella Adler - is no guarantee of ability, it did enfold her, at an early age, into a theatrical tradition. Shuttling between Brooklyn and NY refined her ear for dialects, and “morphing” became her earliest avocation.
Stephanie has appeared both on and off-Broadway, on national tours and in regional theatres, in plays ranging from those of Shakespeare to Neil Simon, Shaw to Ionesco. Her first solo play Duse, Heartburn & Me, directed by Jennie Ventriss, a semi-autobiographical piece about growing up in New York City and surviving in the theatre, was developed at the prestigious Ensemble Studio Theatre in N.Y. and toured under the auspices of The American Theatre Wing.
After moving to Los Angeles, Stephanie reinvented herself - earning a Masters Degree in Literature, writing dance reviews and studying Russian. She performed in Moscow while studying there. Some L.A. theatre credits include the west coast premiere of Alan Brody’s play, Invention for Fathers and Sons, for which she won a Dramalogue award, Last of the Red Hot Lovers, directed by Marcia Rodd, Two for the Seesaw, Suggs, and Shakespeare in a Nutshell, directed by Armin Shimmermin, all at the award-winning Theatre 40, and the role of Donna in the long running Steven Berkoff hit, Kvetch, at the Odyssey Theatre. On TV she recurred in The Wonder Years as Ida Pfeiffer (Paul’s mom) and on The Practice, Beverly Hills 90210, General Hospital, All My Children, and many soaps and courtroom dramas.
Refugees was developed in 1998 with a grant from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs. Since creating Refugees, Stephanie has toured extensively both in the U.S. and abroad. She has received subsequent grants from the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the California Council for the Humanities (as artist/scholar) the Mitchell Marcus Award and the Faculty Creativity Award at California State University, Northridge.