The Ego Actus Reading Series: Dramatic Voices

Joan Kane and Bruce A! Kraemer present a new play reading series.

Plays will be read live, in real time, at the Episcopal Actors Guild 1 East 29th St, NYC 10016

The readings will be read at 8:00pm on specified days in winter 2024

All readings are free. Donations accepted

the plays


Keepers by Lawrence Aronovitch

photo credit Louis Reed on Unsplash

Sunday, March 3, 2024. Ticket link will be Ticketstripe.com/Reading4of8

directed by Joan Kane

featuring Loren Bidner, Tim Dietrich, Laurie J. Bennett, Catherine Porter, Chris Chinn, and J. Dolan Byrnes

Please see our playwright/director podcast with Laura Varela (Link will go here)

description

What happens when a brilliant gay scientist discovers the genetic key to homosexuality? The world turns upside down as the MAGA crowd reconsider their opposition to abortion and queer activists condemn one of their own for making it possible to weed out the unborn who aren’t straight. A fable for our times and a story of reconciliation between estranged brothers.

biographies

Lawrence Aronovitch (playwright) is also the co-host of the “Next Stages” theatre podcast. His art is rooted in his biography: a former rocket scientist, a gay man of a certain generation, a descendant of medieval rabbis fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. As an artist he tries to reach into people’s hearts and heads alike, to make them think and feel and, perhaps, help change the world. His work has been performed at theaters in Canada, the U.S., England and Ireland. His most recent play, “Firstborn,” portrays a conversation between Eve and the Serpent in the Garden of Eden.

Joan Kane (director) recently performed her script of Almost 13 in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Capital Fringe and the Edmonton Fringe getting four and five star reviews. She also got rave reviews for her direction of Safe and what do you mean in New York and Edinburgh. She is the founding Artistic Director of Ego Actus Theater Company. Off Broadway, she directed Sycorax at HERE, Play Nice! at 59e59 theaters, and I Know What Boys Want at Theatre Row. She directed Six Characters in Search of an Author in Oslo, Norway and Kafka’s Belinda in Prague. Joan was awarded Best Director in the United Solo Festival where she has directed six pieces. She was named to the Indie Theatre Hall of Fame by nytheatre.com.

J. Dolan Byrnes (Stage Directions Reader) Recent credits include: Albie Sands in A Black & White Cookie, Charles Peters in the award winning Don’t Stand Up!Harry Truman in Give ‘Em Hell Harrydirected by Joan KaneHe is two-time recipient of the Outstanding Actor Award from The Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for what do you mean written by Bruce A! Kraemer and When The Party’s Over.Best Actor nomination Strawberry One-Act Festival for The Unsalable Thing. National tours include 1776and Footloose.

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Loren Bidner (Finn) is excited to be working with Joan and Ego Actus again. His past production with the company includes Bruce Kraemer’s one man show Identity Paper as well as readings series plays Bar (N)one and RIP. Favorite performances include The Signature Theatre’s The Trip to Bountiful with Lois Smith and Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Lady Winderemere’s Fan directed by Moises Kaufman. Regional highlights include The Open Road and Sherlock Holmes at The Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Shape of Things at The Riverside Theatre, Plaza Suite at the Judson Theatre, On Golden Pond, Broadway World Best Featured Actor Nomination. Please see LorenBidner.com

Tim Dietrich (Mulch) is an actor based in New York City. He has performed at numerous regional and off-Broadway theaters including The Public, Cherry Lane Theater, and TOSOS. Tim played multiple parts in Freedom Summer, at Theater for The New City, also directed by Joan Kane. He also produced and starred in a short film adaptation of Lanford Wilson’s The Madness of Lady Bright. Tim has his BFA from The University of Evansville and MFA from Rutgers University.

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Laurie Bennett (Ruby) was a corporate lawyer, a university professor, a civil liberties activist, and a mom, well, she is still a mom, but the babies are all grown up, while living in Denver Colorado for 30 years. Then she rekindled a thing with the composer/musician/ instrument builder Skip La Plante, a college boyfriend from 40 years before, moved to New York City, and is now making art, making soup, and making a life for herself with Skip in Ridgewood Queens and Prospect Harbor Maine. Recently, she played the caustic and oddly naked Woman-as-Hare in Peculiar Works Project’s Intuitive Leap.

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Catherine Porter (Antonia) has been producer, writer, director, teaching artist, and/or actor in hundreds of site-specific plays and large-scale performance events with the award-winning Peculiar Works Project, winners of the NYIT Caffe Cino Award and  Village Voice OBIE Award. She has acted with such Indie companies as La MaMa ETC, Concrete Temple Theatre, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Dixon Place, and TOSOS; and appeared Off Broadway in Mac Wellman’s award winning Crowbar with En Garde Arts. She serves on the boards of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York as Secretary, Concrete Temple, and the League of Professional Theatre Women as Treasurer, formerly Co-President.

Chris Chinn (Owen) is the Chair of the DEI Committee at EAG. Career highlights include Song in M Butterflyat Monterey Mainstage, The World Premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Day On Which a Man Dies at the legendary White Barn Theatre, The Manchurian Candidateopposite Carrie Snodgress at West Coast Ensemble, Confesion En El Barrio Chinoat The Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre Company for which he received the Latin ACE Award. Other Theatre: NYTW, National Arts Club, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Boomerang, NJ Rep, HB Ensemble. TV & Film: The Departed, Angels In America, One Life To Live, Kidnapped, The Unusuals, Saved By The Bell.


Release by Stephen Michaels

photo credit DC on Unsplash

Tuesday, March 12, 2024. Ticket link will be Ticketstripe.com/Reading5of8

directed by Alisa Matlovsky

featuring a cast to be announced

Please see our playwright/director podcast with Laura Varela (Link will go here)

description

Lawrence, has written an autobiographical novel about his relationship with his previous girlfriend, a well-known painter, named Alice. His. current girlfriend, Greta, finds a high-end publisher. The publisher asks him to get a release from Alice. She is still furious with Lawrence for leaving her. He has six days to get the release or lose his last chance at fame and fortune. Alice refuses to sign the release, and the struggle is on!

biographies

Stephen Michaels (playwright) Harvard College and NYU School of the Arts. He is a long-time member of the Playwrights/Directors Unit of the Actors Studio. Three of his plays have been developed there: Costas the Barbarian, New Haven DreamandRelease. Mr. Michaels is a member of the Dramatists Guild, AEA and SAG/AFTRA. He studied acting with Lee Strasberg. He has been seen in Moon for the Misbegotten and Hedda Gabler. Mr. Michaels has directed twenty plays in NYC, and has taught acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre Institute, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, NYU, and the New School.

Alisa Matlovsky (director) Since moving from a career in film, Alisa (she/her) has focused on new play development and on creating original theater pieces. She is a recipient of a CAC Grant for her recent work, 474 Days, a play drawn entirely from interviews that examines the experience of front-line workers during the early days of the pandemic. Alisa is currently at work on a site-specific piece in Santa Fe and a play about war and photography. A past Vice President of the League of Professional Theatre Women, she is also an alumna of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Member, SDC, DGA, and NYWIFT. Alisa is based in New York.


Painter’s Bluff by Chima Chikazunga

photo credit Wu-Yi on Unsplash

Sunday, Sunday, March 17, 2024. Ticket link will be Ticketstripe.com/Reading6of8

directed by Ivette Dumeng

featuring a cast to be announced

Please see our playwright/director podcast with Laura Varela (Link will go here)

description

Stuck at a cross road due to their turbulent history together, a daddy’s girl on academic leave to finish her novel looks after her ailing father. He is a blind racist Vietnam vet, who’s taken on a young Black writer for an internship. She must find a way to move forward with work but is constantly haunted by her father’s words echoing since her Sweet 16. ” Life isn’t about living, life is about what you do before you die.”

biographies

Chima Chikazunga (playwright) is an FSU alumni. His audio play An Icon’s Belief in Fallen Soldiers was commissioned by The Classical Theatre of Harlem. Chima’s Echoes of a Lost Son won the 2019 Public Access Television Award and Resilience New Play Festival. He has published work in Best Women’s and Men’s Monologues 2022, and Best American Short Plays 2018-2019. Chima’s Not Just You received a micro-grant from National Black Theatre to workshop. His 1 Letter Shy of Coincidence was a semi-finalist in the 46th Annual Bay Area Playwrights Festival. Folding Danica is featured in American Blues Theatre’s Ripped Festival. Assassination of a Dream Deferred was a  semi-finalist in the 3rd Annual Black Motherhood & Parenting New Play Festival. Other plays presented in NYC by AND Theatre Company, TFNC, DUAF, and The Players Theatre.

Ivette Dumeng (director) is the Producing Artistic Director and founding member of Nylon Fusion Theatre Company, a member of The Actors Studio Playwrights Directors Unit, the League of Professional Theatre Women, SAG/AFTR and TRU. She recently produced and directed Sentenced to a Life Without Music. Among her directing credits is The Listening Room by Michaela Jeffrey, new plays by John Patrick Shanley, Elephant Girl and I’m Going To Touch Your Neck and several plays by Don Nigro, including award winning Marina, and Mata Hari.


Gunned by Jennifer Houlton

photo credit Maxim Hopman Unsplash

Sunday, March 24, 2024. Ticket link will be Ticketstripe.com/Reading7of8

directed by Katrin Hilbe

featuring a cast to be announced

Please see our playwright/director podcast with Laura Varela (Link will go here)

description

How do survivors cope in the aftermath of a school shooting? And who are the people spreading the hate that leads to the violence? Is this the world that we’re forced to live in?  If so, what happens to the explosion of grief and anger left behind?

biographies

Jennifer Houlton (playwright) has recently completed Edgewood, a six-part psychological thriller for TV, and is in post-production on her short film Water which stars Michael Shannon and Irina Menzel. Houlton’s plays have been produced in New York at MCC, The New Group, La Mama and the Obie-Award-winning Cucaracha Theatre. She is a member of the Playwright’s and Director’s Unit at The Actors Studio and was one of four writers who received an Emmy Award for her work on the online comedy, Floaters. She began her career at age eight as an actress playing a featured role on the NBC soap opera, The Doctors. At eighteen, she left the show to attend Cornell University and graduated from New York University’s Gallatin Division with Honors from the Great Books Program.

Katrin Hilbe (director) is an award-winning director and dramaturg working in opera and theatre in the US and in Europe. In the US her production of R. Strauss’ Salome for New Orleans Opera won Best Opera Production and her production of Julia Pascal´s St Joan won the Hilton Edwards Award for best direction and adaptation at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival. Katrin is a past President of the League of Professional Theatre Women. and the President of the IG Kunst und Kultur in Liechtenstein, a member of SDC, DG, the Playwright Directors Unit of The Actors Studio, and Theater Resources Unlimited. More information at: Katrinhilbe.comManyTracks.org.


Small Domestic Acts by Joan Lipkin

photo credit Alvin Mahmudov Unsplash

Saturday, April 13, 2024. Ticket link will be Ticketstripe.com/Reading8of8

directed by Terry Hanson

featuring a cast to be announced

Please see our playwright/director podcast with Laura Varela (Link will go here)

description

Small Domestic Acts has been described as Brecht meets Pirandello meets As the World Turns! It is the story of  two working class couples,  one heterosexual and one lesbian, who have come together in front of an audience to tell the story of their friendship and determine who has the right to tell it. As problems become apparent in both relationships, two of the women turn to each other for friendship and support, unexpectedly fall in love and consider having a baby. The play looks at gender roles, the definition of family, the nature of desire and the significance of narrative agency and history.

biographies

Joan Lipkin (playwright) is an internationally recognized writer, educator,  facilitator and activist works at the intersection of performance and civic engagement, creating events and dialogues about the most pressing issues of our time. She is the Producing Artistic Director of That Uppity Theatre Company where she founded the nationally acclaimed Alternate Currents/Direct Currents Series, DisAbility Project. Joan is widely published and produced and has been featured on network television, National Public Radio, the BBC, American Theatre and the Associated Press.

Terry Hanson (director) has spent most of his life working in theatre as a director, music director, orchestrator, and actor. He has toured nationally and internationally with over 30 shows. Terry has directed several readings including Glenn Alterman’s Nobody’s Flood and recently directed off Broadway productions of Sympathy in C by Suzanne Mernyk. His hobbies include international travel and cooking.


staff

Lisa Giordano (Graphic Artist) was born New York City and raised in Ronkonkoma, NY. She worked as a graphic designer in the print sector of Madison Avenue for almost 35 years. She currently teaches art to the mentally ill, homeless, formerly incarcerated, and otherwise impoverished. Lisa has written plays with the Brooklyn Playwrights Collective, including, the thrice-produced, The Resistible Rise of Fatlinda Paloka, which was directed by Joan Kane and produced by Ego Actus.

Laura Varela (Podcaster) is a procurement and communications professional based in New York City. A proud graduate of SUNY Oneonta and Baruch College, Laura has earned her master’s degree in digital marketing. Previous experiences include communications at IBM, public relations at Polk & Company, and social media marketing for a variety of theatrical clients. In the theatre industry she directed Doubt: A Parable and For Theo. Laura performed in Peter and the Starcatcher as Grempkin, Mack, Sanchez, Fighting Prawn, and more.

Bruce A! Kraemer (producer) administrates all Ego Actus shows. He directed Joan Kane in her solo play, Almost 13 at 59e59 Theaters, in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Capitol Fringe, and. Edmonton Fringe. Bruce wrote what do you mean which played at 59e59 Theaters and in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. His Identity Paper was in the United Solo Festival and he co-wrote Kafka’s Belinda which played in the Prague Fringe Festival and was nominated for an Inspiration Award. He has done lighting design for Roundabout Theatre and Soho Rep and has designed shows at Ensemble Studio Theatre, 59e59 Theaters, the NYC Fringe, Theatre Row, and many others. Bruce also does TV and event lighting, audio, technical direction, stage management, production intercom and RF coordination. He has done one or another of those for the Summer and Winter Olympics, the Paralympics, the World Cup, two Papal visits, three Superbowls, the Commonwealth Games, the Goodwill Games, six Tony Awards, the Grammys, three Video Music Awards, the WNBA All Star Game, the NBA All Star game, the NBA Draft, four NFL Drafts, the MLB Draft, ten Christmas Tree Lightings at Rockefeller Center, on Broadway, off Broadway, off off Broadway, for dance, fashion shows, art installations and hundreds of corporate events.


Railroad Christmas Story by Toby Armour

Sunday, February 11, 2024

directed by Ralph Lewis

featuring Jon Lonoff, Brian Onaghinor, Ana Grethel Solis, Paris Ruiz, Adam Belvo, Catherine Porter, Mick Hilgers and Zero Boy.

description

The play is a charming story of riding the boxcar rails headed to California in 1941. A down-and-out hobo on a freight train finds hope among a strange variety of equally desperate people trapped together on a Christmas eve like no other.

biographies

Toby Armour (playwright) is a national award-winning playwright, including The Lewis Prize, Her plays have been presented in the U.S. from Florida to Alaska, including NYC, LA, Boston, Atlanta, Denver, Key West, and Valdez, as well as in London, Edinburgh, Ireland and Cairo. She has worked as stagehand, dancer, choreographer, and company director, in Mississippi as civil rights worker, and in Sri Lanka as human rights and election observer. Recently. Ego Actus presented Toby’s play Freedom Summer, directed by Joan Kane, at Theater For the New City.

Ralph Lewis (director) creates multi-disciplinary, site-based performance as a co-director of OBIE and NYIT Award-winning Peculiar Works Project. For EgoActus, he directed Fengar Gael’s Smile Like A Knife online, during the pandemic. Current projects:  The Hare Trilogy at the Wild Project, Frankel Theater, Birth of Broadway for BroadwayCon ’22, at Episcopal Actors’ Guild, Astor Place Riots for NY Adventure Club, and Jane Jacobs Project for Jane’s Walk 2021-23. Pre-pandemic creations include AFTERPARTY at 222 Bowery, 2 Jane Jacobs for Cherry Lane Theater, and Planet X at Black Mountain College, NC. Other directing: 3 Robert Heide Plays for Howl! Happening, two Climate Change Theater Actions for Artichoke Arts, and America’s first play, Androboros at Fraunces Tavern Museum.

Mick Hilgers (Stage Directions Reader/Bull) has worked with Ralph on several Peculiar Works Projects, including Son of Cock-Strong at La MaMa and 3 Christs at Judson Church. Recent work includes the film The Courtroom which premiered in the Tribeca Festival, having originated the role Off-Broadway with Waterwell, Uncle Vanyafor the 3 X Chekhov festival. Other Theater includes: Joe’s Pub, Luna Stage, Frigid Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Northern Stage. Selected TV and Film: the Emmy-Nominated The Accidental Wolf, Everwood, and The Mel & El Show. Mick’s short play Debunked is currently running at the 8 Tens @ 8 festival at Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre. www.MickHilgers.com

Zero Boy (Stage Directions Reader/Bull) is an entertainer and vocal cartoonist. He is an East Village icon renowned for his unique blend of sound and mime, the results being akin to a performed comic book. A prolific entertainer, his solo comedic routines have been featured throughout the U.S. and Europe in traditional theater, vaudeville, burlesque, festivals, stand-up comedy, television, radio, film and digital media.

Jon Lonoff (Jacob) has recently been seen in the new musicalMy Father’s Play with John Hillner and in Marc Weiner’s new drama about the holocaust Hidden, and as an ogre in Jim Steinman’s Rhinegold starring Andre DeShields. Other recent New York appearances include in The Poor of New York at the Metropolitan Playhouse, State of the Union, and in Rider McDowell’s Fringe Deaths at St. Luke’s. Jon plays hapless New York characters in several recent indie films most notably Burying Bubby, The Lonely Isles, and On a String with Eric Bogosian and Dylan Baker. For more than you’ll ever want to know about Jon please see: www.JonLonoff.com.

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Brian Onaghinor (John) has established a dynamic presence in the world of film and television with credits like The Last O.G., Either Side of Midnight directed by Roger Spottiswoode, and Teacher Problems. His talent shines through in each project, showcasing a versatile range and dedication to storytelling. Brian has continued to strive for knowledge in the entertainment industry receiving a Bachelors in Theatre Arts from Queens College. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for craft, he has continued to captivate viewers and leave a lasting impact on the screen.

Ana Grethel Solis (Jenny) got her Acting MFA  in 2022 from the The New School. Favorite acting credits include: In The Heights, Next to Normal, Salome, The Last Five Years, and Blood In These Hands by Luis Roberto Herrera. Some of her film credits include: The Sacrifice selected for The Sitges Film Festival by Alberto Serra, as well as many short films. Some of these, directed, edited, and written by herself, such as The Morning After, selected for the 2022 New York Katra Film Festival. More information on her editing, directing and acting work and projects on: www.AnaGrethelSolis.com

Paris Ruiz (Charlie) began acting seven years ago during his sophomore year of high school, developing an immediate love for the craft. He studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute at NYU for nearly four years, and recently performed alongside Academy Award-winning producer Jaime Ray Newman as the lead in a short film titled Kinship, set to release next year. Paris loves tackling complex and unique characters and tying his own experiences into nuanced, grounded work. He would like to thank his family for all the love and support they have given him: Soy increíblemente afortunado por tenerlos, los amo con todo mi corazón.

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Adam Belvo (Red) is a Brooklyn based actor and independent theater producer. Recent New York acting work includes Ira Orinthall in Ectoplasm, Father Jack in The Wake of Dorcas Kelly, Edwin Booth in The Brutes, 2019 NYIT Outstanding Lead Actor Nominee, Father Nathan Shourd in the NYIT Award winning In Vestments, K.Bus and Muskie in Ad Hoc Economy’s Butcher Holler Here We Come, NYIT 2016 Outstanding Lead Actor nominee, Jaques in As You Like It, and Vanya in Uncle Vanya. He is Executive Producer of spit&vigor theatre company.

Catherine Porter (Marybeth) has been producer, writer, director, teaching artist, and/or actor in hundreds of site-specific plays and large-scale performance events with the award-winning Peculiar Works Project winners of the NYIT Caffe Cino Award and  Village Voice OBIE Award since 1993. She has acted with such Indie companies as La MaMa ETC, Concrete Temple Theatre, Flux Theatre Ensemble, Dixon Place, and TOSOS; and appeared Off Broadway in Mac Wellman’s award winning Crowbar with En Garde Arts. She serves on the boards of the Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York as Secretary, Concrete Temple, and the League of Professional Theatre Women as Treasurer, formerly Co-President.

photo credit Barry Rowell

The cast of Railroad Christmas Story


Face It! by Julie Weinberg

photo credit Sumeesh Nagisetty on Unsplash

Saturday, February 17, 2024

directed by Aimee Todoroff

featuring Meghan E. Jones, Deb Offner, Twinkle Burke, Chris Harcum, Penelope Deen, Iran Sheikh,

Nelson Avidon, Joanna Parson, and Kristin Cantwell.

description

Eliza Kline, fallen soap opera diva, has been reduced to giving tours of New York on a double decker bus until a conniving young producer and Eliza’s endlessly ambitious stage mother convince her to battle for the grand prize of head-to-toe plastic surgery on the reality show, Face It.

biographies

Julie Weinberg (playwright) has written plays that include Bad DaughterFace It!, Amor Platonicus and Starring America. She received Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting for Bad Daughter. Julie’s play You’re Not the Type, based on a Ferber short story, was commissioned for the Ferber Festival at New Jersey Rep. She wrote Is It Cold in Here? which won short play division of Bechdel Test 2.0 in Arizona. Julie’s short comedy, Buttercup’s Lament isin development as an animated short and recently the recipient of a NYSCA grant. Her MFA is from Lesley University and she is part of The Actors Studio Playwright/Directors Workshop and a founding member of the writer’s group, 9th Floor. Julie is a member of theater advocacy organization Honor Roll! and Dramatists Guild.

Aimee Todoroff (director) is a freelance director, producer and arts advocate working out of NYC. She has been a part of several Obie Award winning productions, and directed at Primary Stages, The Living Theatre, HERE Arts Center, American Bard Theater, in traditional and non-traditional theater spaces, and regionally. Aimee received her MFA in Directing from Stonybrook Southampton. She has studied Viewpoints and Suzuki with SITI Company and taken master classes with teachers Karen Kohlhaas, Marsha Norman and Joanna Merlin. She is the Artistic Director of the indie theater company Elephant Run District, and the Managing Director of The League of Independent Theater. www.aimeetodoroff.org.

Kristin Cantwell (Stage Directions Reader) has appeared on The Path for Hulu and most recently performed in Archipelagoat HB Studio Playwrights Theatre. She’s currently recurring in Season 2 of the award-winning web series, Demon Doctor. She studies at Kimball Studio with Janine DiTullio and has a BA in Theatre from the University of Mary Washington. You can go to www.KristinCantwell.com for more information and to see a picture of her cat.

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Meghan E. Jones (Eliza) is an actor, playwright, and educator. When she’s not on the stage or screen, she can be found practicing silly voices with her husband and daughter, working in her community garden, or bird watching in Brooklyn Bridge Park. 

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Deborah Offner (Billie) Credits include: New York Theatre: Act One, Everett Beekin at Lincoln Center.Hair on Broadway. The Singing Forest, Rebel Women, The Merry Wives Of Windsor, Don Juan and The Hunchback of Notre Dameat The Public Theatre, Say Goodnight Gracie, Danny And The Deep Blue Sea. Los Angeles Theatre: The Job, Perestroika, and The Normal Heart. Potus at Berkeley Rep. Film and TV: Louis CK’s Horace and Pete, The Jim Gaffigan Show, Orange Is The New Black, Blue Bloods, The Boy Downstairs, Top Five, Black Swan, Six Feet Under, Medium, Law & Order, The Naked Brother’s Band, ER, The Guardian, Cruel Intentions, Unlawful Entry, and True Believer.

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Twinkle Burke (Mary) is an Actor and Writer from New York City. She writes and performs regularly with the TMI Project, and Beacon New York’s Lit Lit. Recent credits include a recurring role on Before starring Billy Crystal, Succession, FBI: Most Wanted, and the independent film Linoleum starring Rhea Seehorn and Jim Gaffigan.

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Chris Harcum (Yuri) is an actor/playwright/filmmaker who serves as the producing director for the indie theater and film company Elephant Run District. He is currently training for the Brooklyn Half Marathon and foolishly going to see too many bands claiming to be on a farewell tour. 

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Penelope Deen (Willow) (She/Her) is a recent graduate of Hunter College with a Women & Gender Studies/Theatre Double Major and a Dance Minor. A dual citizen of Canada and the U.S., she is beautifully mixed-race and proudly queer. She made her Off-Broadway debut in 2019 as the lead in the internet-famous feminist musical Oceanborn and most recently made her international stage debut at Edfringe with @torchensemble. She has also been in multiple New Perspectives’ Women’s Work Playwriting Labs, where she also works as a Program Assistant and Project Coordinator for NPTC’s Theatre From the Streets project since its inception.

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Imran Sheikh (Multiple Men) is an actor based in NYC. Theatre: Off-Broadway: American Dreams (Working Theatre), Confidence and the Speech (Charlotte’s). Regional and NYC: Disgraced (Milwaukee Rep, Florida Rep), The Invisible Hand (ACT/ Artists Rep), American Dreams (Cleveland Public Theatre), I Like to Be Here (New Ohio), The Myth Project (Noor Theatre), Carousel of Progress (Queens Theatre), Brahman/i (Crowded Fire), Disconnect (San Jose Rep), The Girl with Her Hands in the Sand & Radio Mara Mara (FringeNYC), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (New York Shakespeare Exchange), Why We Left Brooklyn (Blue Coyote). Television: Guy Code (MTV, Comedy Central), Blue Bloods (CBS), Big Dogs (Amazon). Film: R & J, Origin of Fantasy. www.imransheikh.info

Nelson Avidon (Multiple Men) was in the CBS-TV series East New York, with Jimmy Smits and in Motherless Brooklyn directed by Edward Norton. He is Christopher Lloyd’s son in the feature film Rerun. Other films include Life After You, directed by Sarah Schwab, the Sci-Fi drama 2030, the comedy All You Can Eat and also Keeping the Faith, with Edward Norton and Ben Stiller, and Our Italian Husband with Brooke Shields. In New York, Nelson has been in plays directed by G.T. Upchurch, John Gould Rubin, Elena Araoz, and Wilson Milam. He played in Bethune, Church of St. Luke in the Fringe Festival, and in Stringtown, a project for Anna Deavere Smith. Nelson is a Lifetime Member of the Actors Studio, where he played in O’Neill’s Hughie, in Salome with Al Pacino, and in Etudes with Faye Dunaway. www.NelsonAvidon.com

Joanna Parson (Multiple Women) (she/hers) is an actor and creator who is bringing her solo show with music, directed by Aimee Todoroff, A Transcriber’s Tale to the EdFringe Festival this summer. National tour: Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story. New York credits include Broken Story for White Horse Theatre Company, A Man of No Importance and The Wild Party for B-Side Productions, and productions with off-Broadway’s Transport Group. Comedy cabarets include Not Helpful; and Reddy or Not, a tribute to Helen Reddy.  Recent TV: FBI: Most Wanted, Law and Order: SVU, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Red Oaks, and Teaching While Black. Recent film: Boston Strangler and Dumb Money. Short films: The Mom and the Mom and Kris the Cat. Joanna is also an audiobook narrator; see @JoannaParsonActor.

The cast of Face It!


Confirmation by Vincent Marano

photo credit Prasad Panchakshari on Unsplash

Sunday, February 18, 2024

directed by Robert Liebowitz

featuring Kirstin Wolf, Henry Vincent, Charles Meckley, Dee Dee Freidman, Dylan Jernet, Eric Kuzmuk and Lisa Podulka.

description

Set in the apartment of Joe, a schoolteacher and “abnormally nice guy,” Confirmation is a comic drama that plays out like a drunken conversation between lovers. Surrounded by a demanding and damaged group of friends and family, Joe’s tough, but compassionate support has its limits. A portrait of individual transformation and responsibility, Confirmation finds that tolerance is easy, but love costs.

biographies

Vincent Marano (playwright) has adapted Machiavelli’s The Mandrake for the manhattan theatre source, directed plays by Julia Jordan, Italian language productions of Pirandello, Dario Fo and Eduardo De Fillipo, Tim Nolan’s award-winning The Way Out in the 2002 New York Fringe, and Acts of Contrition in the 2003 New York Fringe. He has staged his own critically acclaimed plays including A Collapse in the 2006 New York Fringe. Vincent won the BRIO, Bronx Recognizes Its Own, Award for Playwriting in 2010 and 2023. He’s been nominated for NYIT Awards for Best Short Script, My Baby in 2011 and Artistic License in 2012, and for his full-length play, Lights Narrow in 2014. He is an active member of The Workshop Theater and The Actor’s Studio Playwright/Director Unit. Vincent is also a proud supporter of the Estrogenius Festival.

Robert Liebowitz (director) has directed over 100 productions since 1977; this is his first collaboration with Mr. Marano. His most recent theatrical journey was The Speed of Sound by Claude Solnik at Theater for the New City. A playwright as well, Robert’s newest work, 45 Scenes of Bad Sickness will be performed there in May 2024.

Lisa Podulka (Stage directions, Voice of Clara) Off-Broadway: Alice in Wonderland. Other credits: Stardust Road directed by Susan H. Schulman, Aging is Not a Fairytale at Theatre for the New City, Ragtimeand Saturday Night Feverat Interlakes Summer Theatre,  Beauty and the  Beast for Constellation Stage and Screen, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo for the Jewish Theatre of Bloomington. Lisa is a proud Indiana University BFA Musical Theatre alum! Thank you to Robert for this opportunity. Catch her as the title role in CinderellaOff-Broadway at the Player’s Theatre February 25-April 7 Favorite credit: Mom to Sasha, the best kitty in the world.

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Kirstin Wolf (Myra) (she/her) is an actor and singer from Virginia. Recent New York credits are Claire Poe in The Speed of Sound at Theatre for the New City, and Princess Anneliese in The Unofficial, Unauthorized Film to Stage Adaptation of Barbie’s The Princess and the Pauper.Kirstin is a graduate of Virginia Tech’s School of Performing Arts. She can frequently be seen singing in The Drama Bookshop’s cabaret series: Drama at Mama. Thanks always to her friends and family for their unending support!  @kirstinlwolf. www.kirstinwolf.com

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Henry Vincent (Joe) is an actor, singer and musician from Manhattan. Theater: The Speed of Sound at Theater for the New City, Oceanborn: A New Musical for Rave Theater Festival at Teatro SEA, Lover of the Dawn at The Red Pavilion, Unframedat The Gund, and Much Ado About Nothing for Vassar Powerhouse Theater Apprentice Company. Film: Paddle Your Canoe, SWINE, Otherwise, and Miss Snake. Henry studied drama at Kenyon College and holds a master’s degree in education from Bank Street Graduate School of Education. Offstage, he teaches kindergarten at an independent school in Manhattan.

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Charles Meckley (David) is an actor and musician living in New York City. His most recent work was in The Speed of Sound by Claude Solnik, directed by Robert Liebowitz at Theater for the New City. He is also a part of the musical, audio drama Rocking Chair that you can listen to anywhere you listen to podcasts. Charles is very proud and grateful that he gets to live in this city, and tell stories with other incredible artists. There is more about Charles at his website, www.CharlesMeckley.com.

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Dee Dee Friedman (Marie) played in the National Tour of Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers, in the Off-Broadway production of Beau Jest and the sequel Jest a Second! at the Coconut Grove Playhouse in Miami. Other theater: Half & Half for Penguin Rep, Deuteranomally at Bleecker St. Theater, Protected in Fringe NYC, Skin Deep for Foolish Theatre Company, Tartuffe at the WorkShop Theater, Mephisto for Reverie Productions, Order Up/Watch TV at Harbor Theatre, The Au Pair Girl at Henry Street Settlement, and Certain Soul at Algonquin. Films include: Married to the Mob, Another Woman, Safe Men, Sleepaway Camp, and Miller’s Crossing. Training: Lee Strasberg, Stella Adler, Royal National Theatre in London.

Dylan Jernet (Enrique) is an actor form Mexico. He graduated with his B.A. in Theatre Arts, presenting his thesis project El Amor de las Luciernagas by Alejandro Ricano, which was selected for the UANL’s Performing Arts Festival. He recently relocated to New York, and engaged in numerous projects such as Saudades by Fernando Segall, performing at venues including the Consulate of Brazil, Rough Draft Festival, Columbia University, and a run presented by Et Alia Theater.

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Eric Kuzmuk (Father Michael) is seen acting in various venues around the city. His most recent performances have been in ADA directed at TNC by Robert Liebowitz, Dracula, Gaslight, Dear Anton Dear Olga, Hedy Lamar and Frequency Hopping, Murder Among Friends, An Evening of Chekhov, Jules Verne Eats A Rhinoceros, Forty Carats, Malibu, It’s Only a Play, Moon over Mangroves, To be Or Not to Be, Outward Bound, Not Now Darling, A Royal Mess, Moonlight and Magnolias, Wait Until Dark, and Murder on the Nile. A graduate of Williams College, he studied acting at HB studios.

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The cast of Confirmation