Emmanuel Elpenord

Emmanuel is a first-generation Haitian-American actor, puppeteer, and improvisor from Coney Island, N.Y. He graduated magna cum laude from Brooklyn College: Acting BFA, TV and Radio BA, and Creative Writing BFA. He recently closed a run of The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show at the Seattle Children’s Theater in Washington. Also part of the 2017-18 Off-Broadway cast, he will tour nationally with the Very Hungry Caterpillar Show in 2019. Other credits include: Oberon in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Orsino in Twelfth Night (The Drilling Company’s Shakespeare in Bryant Park). Puppeteer at the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theater in Central Park; member of AND Theater Company, Voyage Theater Company and thrilled to be working with the New York City Children’s Theater! www.emmanuelelpenord.com

Tell us a little bit about where you’re from!

I’m from Coney Island, far south in Brooklyn. Coney Island is the name of the famous seaside amusement park, but it’s also the name of the surrounding neighborhood. I did ride all the rides as a youngster, but I had many beach adventures as a teen, too. Even now as an adult, I go for a stroll on the boardwalk whenever I visit my parents in Coney. I was born in Brooklyn, but my parents were born in Haiti, a lush, mountainous country in the Caribbean Sea. Every summer growing up, we would visit Haiti for a little over a month. So I also got to grow up where my parents grew up and experience that beautiful part of my heritage and culture.

If I became a character in my favorite fairy tale I would become a Prince Charming looking for his Prince Charming—I love a good love story.

My favorite children’s book as a kid were a kid’s science magazine called Zoobooks. The insect issues were my favorite because the close-up bug photos were gorgeous and hypnotizing—but also gross! They really scared me sometimes. Okay, a lot of the time.

Three things most people would be surprised to learn about me are: 

1. I didn’t start talking until I was 4 years old, and had a speech impediment when I finally did!

2. I completed a veterinary science program in high school before I went on to become a performer.

3. I’ve never broken any bone.

Good stories never get old, and we’ve got some great stories for you!