The New Cosmopolitans is a laboratory for the work of theater artist Ryan Hartley, in collaboration with fellow theater artists. Originating in Southern California, we spent our first two years presenting virtual work, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We look forward to not only presenting work in person in 2022 but also recentering our efforts in New York City.

   The New Cosmopolitans develops and presents theater with a distinctly progressive, postmodern worldview. Our work asks more questions than it attempts to answer, inviting dialogue and paradox. We are committed to populating the theater space with people who have been historically denied the full measure of their humanity, even as they make up the majority of the world population.

Our AMPLIFY Message

TNC exists to amplify:

The need for theatre work that fully embraces the nuances in our society. 


The value of theatre makers as contributors to our civic spaces.

Marginalized voices that aim to create change through theatre arts toward inclusivity.

Meet The Team




Ryan Hartley (he/him) is a multi-disciplinary theater artist, interested in the ways we allow our superstitions and assumptions to hold back our social progress. Ryan creates theater in order to retrieve and fulfill the child inside him, with hopes that others will be challenged and thrilled by his work. He draws inspiration from postmodern theory, short fiction, brutalist and modernist design, and a wide array of theatrical predecessors. Ryan is the founding artist of The New Cosmopolitans.


Ryan is an active member of LMDA. Education & Training: BA in theater from Pepperdine University; Suzuki & Viewpoints from SITI Company; Yale’s summer directing intensive (2018); The Barrow Group (ongoing)


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Brian Knoebel (they/he) hails from Pittsburgh PA where he received his degree in Theatre Arts from Point Park University. Brian has been in arts and entertainment for over a decade working as an actor, writer and producer. After spending 6 years in NYC, performing in various shows off-broadway and regionally, working with Movement Troupes and dance companies, he moved to Los Angeles where he is working as an actor, drag artist, and business owner. He recently launched Mildew, also the name for their drag performances, that is a queer curated thrift shop which focuses on sustainability and giving back to various organizations that emphasizes on socioeconomic issues and climate change.


Why TNC?


Brian finds it so very important to create work that is representative of all voices in our society. However, many queer artists aren’t givent the proper platform to create and exhibit their work and it’s been my mission to elevate those voices to inspire others to create and take action. TNC is creating inclusive theatre that is ever present in this moment,and is able to take the risks needed to create one of a kind pieces that can and will shape the future of theatre, and Brian wants to be a part of that.

Special Thanks to Dylan Thai, Alyssa Baumgardner, Christopher Hudson, & Pichteeda Taing for their efforts in shaping The New Cosmopolitans