Thursday, March 21, 2013

Interview with Joan Kane - Director of "I Know What Boys Want"

By Anthony Host

Joan Kane was named one of 2011 People of the Year in indie theatre by She directed “Play Nice!” Off-Broadway at the 59E59 Theaters, “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills” by Saviana Stanescu at Theater 54, “Safe” in the 2012 the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, and “Pizza Man” at the Bridge Theater. She has directed plays and readings at the Lark Play Development Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theater for the New City, the Samuel French Short Play Festival, the Midtown International Festival, the Dramatists Guild, The Lambs Club, The Players Club, the Actors Studio, and for the Scandinavian American Theater Company. She has an MFA in Directing from The New School, an MS in Museum Education from Bank Street College and is a member of the Dramatists Guild, the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and the League of Professional Theatre Women.

What led you to being director?

I was originally an actress & dancer. As a teen I toured the five boroughs in a dance company that performed in New York City parks in the summers through the CETA program that gave jobs to underprivileged New York City youth. I went to Performing Arts High School (now LaGuardia). Then I went to the Neighborhood Playhouse and worked in various Off-Off Broadway shows, mostly on the Lower East Side. In the late 1970s I was a founding member of the all-female company Lupa Productions, where I directed plays, readings, site specific and devised works. Later I found it very hard to juggle duties as a parent and artist. I was on the verge of giving up theatre when Gayle Stahlhuth, artistic director of East Lynn Theatre Company in Cape May, NJ offered me an SDC contract to direct “The Awakening.” Since then I have been developing and directing plays by current playwrights in the U.S. and Europe.

How did you come to help create Ego Actus?

While I was attending the Director’s Symposium in Spoleto, Italy I met Ellen “LaMama” Stewart. I had a discussion with her about being a theatre artist in the 21st Century. Inspired by her, my partner Bruce A! Kraemer and I started our company, Ego Actus, in 2009. We had have been doing shows, together and as individual, for decades. My sons went off to college and I had stopped being distracted by them, I went and got an MFA in Directing and started doing a lot more of what I was doing anyway.

You were selected as one of 2011’s People of the Year by What was that like for you, and has it had an impact on your work?

It was amazing and I am totally grateful to Martin and Rochelle Denton. I had never received any sort of prize or award in my life and it felt great to be acknowledged for my work. I felt encouraged that there was hope that somebody appreciated what I was doing.

How did “I Know What Boys Want” come into your life?

I directed Penny’s play “Safe” in the 2012 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity where it won Best New Script. I find working with Penny to very stimulating and collaborative. We both belong to The League of Professional Theater Women, and both of Penny’s plays that I have directed, “Safe” and now “I Know What Boys Want,” really focus with what I consider currently a toxic environment for young women today - be it society's pressures to be thin and beautiful or bullying, in school or through the Internet. “Boys” was created because Penny read a news story about a young girl in Staten Island who threw herself in front of the subway because of a video of her having sex with several football players went viral on the web. She discussed this story with me and I suggested she write a version where the girl is NOT the victim. Then the Steubenville, Ohio sexual assault case occurred, with the teenage boys involved videotaping and tweeting about the incident, and we knew that this was an issue that needed to be dramatized for social awareness.

What drew you to the piece?

I have been a victim of bullying and I have learned that to avoid being a victim you have to take charge of your own life. That is exactly what the lead character is trying to do.

Who else is involved in this production?

I am grateful that I was able to gather a group of awesome artists as my production and design team. The set is being designed by Starlet Jacobs (Best Set in the 2011 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity for the Ego Actus production of “The God Particle”). The costume design is by Cat Fisher (Best Costumes in the 2012 Midtown International Festival for the Ego Actus production of “Hamlet, Bound and Unbound”). The lighting design is by Bruce A! Kraemer. The sound design is by Ian Wehrle who has designed sound for at least five shows for me. The fight choreographer is Andrew Kenneth Moss who did the same for “Safe.” Of course my cast is fearless and portray their characters with ease and depth.

Having recently directed “Safe,” are you taking a different approach to your direction for this play, and will there be any similarities?

These are very different plays. “Safe” is about a timid, lonely girl looking for love and someone to belong with. I took the approach that she would reach out for love and the opportunities would be snatched away from her. “Boys” is about a young woman who has been attacked by a bully who uses the internet. Her journey is to try to repair the damage he has done to her. She is one of the high school mean girls and I am directing her to use that toughness and take charge of what happens to her.

Since this play directly deals with the younger generation, a generation completely involved with several technical gadgets, is it your hope that some will see this show and that it will make them think twice about how they may act or what they may do?

I am certainly hoping that the audiences who see this play realize that posting, even what seems innocuous, things on the Internet can have far ranging, unintentional consequences. It used to be that you would send your friend a chatty postal letter about people you know. The information would be strictly between the two of you. Now you tell a little story on a social networking site and somebody wants to sue you, or worse yet, someone can never get a job again.
Is this your first production that primarily deals with a cast of primarily younger individuals, and if so, how do you approach getting what you need from them?

I have worked with a very wide range of performers from grade school children to the elderly. I have found that individual personality is much more of a determining factor in how I work with someone than chronological age. Some actors are very introspective and I have to work differently with them than the heart-on-the-sleeve types. I have found that to be true of people of every age.

On a personal note, what are some of your current or recent favorite productions that are (or were) happening in the region?

One of my favorite shows that I saw recently was when Kneehigh’s production “The Wild Bride” came to St Ann’s from the United Kingdom. The concept of this fairy tale was expertly conceived and I loved the execution of the ideas through the scenery, music, dance and acting. I also loved “Follow” by Crystal Skillman, which was directed by Daniel Talbot. It took place in an apartment on the Lower East side that seated 10 audience members. Daniel has inspired me and through his example I have come to believe that as an indie artist we can create stunning, meaningful work and tell epic fascinating stories. 

Do you have any projects in development in the next coming months?

I will be directing at least four other productions this year. “100 Saint You Should Know” by Kate Fodor will open at Urban Stages on May 9th. In June I will direct “what do you mean” by Bruce A! Kraemer in the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. In July we will open “Safe” at the 59E59 theaters before we take it to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. In November we will present Norway Nights with Scandinavian American Theater Company at the Theater for the New City. I will direct “More” by Maria Tryti Vennerod in that.

"I Know What Boys Want" plays at the WorkShop Theater (312 W. 36th Street, 4th FL.) from Thursday, March 28 through Saturday April 13. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 PM with Saturday matinees at 3 PM. A Talk Back with Martin Denton (Founder, Editor and Chief Reviewer of is scheduled for Sat. Mar. 30 following the 3PM matinee and another with Heather Berlin (noted neuroscientist) will take place following the Thurs. April 11 show. All tickets are $18. For tickets go to or call (1-800) 838-3006. 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Limited Number of Tickets Available for Tonight's "Broadway Backwards"




(302 WEST 45

An extremely limited number of $20 rush tickets to this year's star-studded BROADWAY BACKWARDS will be released for sale at 6:30 PM Monday, March 18, 2013. The rush tickets will be sold in the lobby of the Palace Theater (1564 Broadway). They will not be available at the box office. Tickets will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis, cash only and are limited to two tickets per person. The show begins at 8 PM.

BROADWAY BACKWARDS is a one-night-only performance produced by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and benefiting BC/EFA and The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center of New York. Now in its eighth year, BROADWAY BACKWARDS is an annual celebration where gays and lesbians see their stories onstage, told through the great songs of musical theatre, sung by their favorite Broadway performers.

This year's star-studded line-up has been honored with five individual Tony Awards, 34 Tony nominations, seven Emmy Awards, 25 Emmy nominations and one Academy Award.

This year's performers include Ward Billeisen (Encores! It's A Bird...It's A Plane...It's Superman), Stephanie J. Block (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), John Bolton (A Christmas Story, The Musical), Jake Boyd (Rock of Ages), Mo Brady (The Addams Family), Daniel Breaker (Passing Strange), Jim Brochu (Zero Hour), Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins), Tituss Burgess (The Little Mermaid), Len Cariou (Sweeney Todd and TV's "Blue Bloods"), Robert Creighton (The Mystery of Edwin Drood), Victor Garber (Damn Yankees, Argo), Malcolm Gets (Amour), Anita Gillette (Chapter Two, TV's “30 Rock”), Judy Kaye (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Jose Llana (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee), Kyle Dean Massey (Wicked), Jan Maxwell (Follies), Brian Stokes Mitchell, Stacey Oristano (TV's "Bunheads," “Friday Night Lights”), Estelle Parsons (Nice Work If You Can Get It), Eve Plumb, Doris Roberts, Tony Sheldon (Priscilla Queen of the Desert), Howie Michael Smith (Avenue Q), Anthony Warlow (Annie), Josh Young (Jesus Christ Superstar), Karen Ziemba (Curtains), comedian/writer Bruce Vilanch, former Paul Taylor Dance Company principal dancers Patrick Corbin and David Grenke, and teen poet sensation Noah St. John.

Advance tickets are sold out. A limited number of regularly priced orchestra, mezzanine and balcony tickets may be available the door.

BROADWAY BACKWARDS creator Robert Bartley will again direct and choreograph with music supervision by Mary-Mitchell Campbell and music direction by Tim Rosser. The creative team includes co-choreographer Amy Jones, additional music directors Laura Berquist, Mat Eisenstein, Brad Haak and James Sampliner, lighting designer Paul Miller, costume designer Ryan Moller and sound designer Lucas Indelicato.

The presenting sponsor of BROADWAY BACKWARDS is Lifetime Networks with generous support from The New York Times and United Airlines.

Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS is one of the nation’s leading industry-based, nonprofit AIDS fundraising and grant-making organizations. By drawing upon the talents, resources and generosity of the American theatre community, since 1988 BC/EFA has raised more than $225 million for essential services for people with AIDS and other critical illnesses across the United States.

Broadway Cares awards annual grants to more than 450 AIDS and family service organizations nationwide and is the major supporter of the social service programs at The Actors Fund, including the HIV/AIDS Initiative, the Phyllis Newman Women’s Health Initiative and the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic.

For more information, please visit Broadway Cares online at, like us on Facebook at, follow us on Twitter at, watch us on YouTube at and pin us on Pinterest at

Established in 1983, the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center is at the heart of the LGBT community in New York City, providing quality health and wellness programs in a welcoming space that fosters connections and celebrates our cultural contributions. We strive to serve the LGBT community with a full-service, multi-faceted approach to programming, from hosting arts and entertainment events, advocacy groups and family gatherings to offering youth, recovery and overall wellness programs. Each year, the Center welcomes more than 300,000 visits to our building in the West Village neighborhood of Manhattan from people who engage in our life-changing and life-saving activities. We are proud to be your community Center. To learn more about our work, please visit

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Album Release Party - What Time Is It, Mr. Fox?

What Time Is It, MrFox? will perform at Dixon Place for a CD release musical circus will include boylseque, animation, trapeze, and videos all illustrating the lyrics and meanings behind the songs, with lead singer, 3rian King’s gender-defying voice scaling the walls between Antony Hegarty and Aretha Franklin.  What Time Is It, MrFox? delivers the gospel on subjects from love and identity to sex and murder. Guest highlights include, boylesque from  Matt Knife and friends from Homo Erectus, aerial by Eileen Little (Fight or Flight), and "The Ladies' Tree" a new animated film by Award-winning filmmaker, Ruth Lingford, for the band's song about Joan of Arc.  The new CD “Little Bit Of Blue” co-produced with Tony Goddess (Papas Fritas) showcases the breadth of this ten-piece ensemble, which blends soul, R&B, and cabaret with baroque and medieval flair.  

What Time Is it, MrFox? originally formed in 2005 as a trio with 3rian King on voice, guitar and piano; Nathan Cohen on violin and trumpet, and Mike Leggio (Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys) on upright bass.  The band quickly became a staple in Boston’s cabaret and burlesque scene, adding drummer Nate Greenslit (HUMANWINE), organist Lori Perkins (Seks Bomba), and five female back-up singers affectionately known as The Furies.  In 2008, New Orleans soul legend, Irma Thomas, covered their song “Cold Rain” on her Grammy-nominated CD, “Simply Grand,” with the track earning high praise from Rolling Stone, USA Today, and The Village Voice. MrFoxs own version of “Cold Rain” is featured on the new album.  The act consistently sells out venues like Club Passim and Oberon in Cambridge MA and The Duplex in NYC, earning the Critic’s Pick in Time Out NYC.  Adam Feldman of Time Out NYC advises, “Catch him as his star rises,” while the Boston Herald declares that the “Time has come for MrFox.”

What Time Is It, MrFox? began recording the new album back 2011, starting with more than 25 songs.  In a concerted effort to retain the vitality of their concert performances, many of the instruments were recorded together live.  
A string section, children’s choir, accordionist, and singing saw player add the cinematic sense of drama and lushness to the album.

The title track “Little Bit Of Blue” opens with an a cappella version of the 18th century French nursery song “Au clair de la lune” sung by a children’s chorus, laying the unexpected foundation for a soul/R&B anthem in the tradition of “Stand By Me.”  Lead singer and songwriter, 3rian King explains this unlikely pairing was a natural process,

“’Au clair de la lune’ was the song used in the very first recording of the human voice.  The lyrics refer to Pierrot, the traditional sad clown.  He tries to win the hand of Columbine by offering her moonlight in his hand, but she rejects him for being a dreamer.  Something about that image struck me as being about genuine emotion and connection, so one day I quite spontaneously began singing these new words over the French melody in a soul blues style.  The resulting song is really about remembering that feeling vulnerable can be a good thing; it opens you up.”

The first single off the album is “Humpty Dumpty Girl” which is currently receiving radio play on Boston radio.  This track tells the tale of a woman who is losing her identity, constantly breaking into pieces that are reassembled into something unrecognizable.  It’s a commentary on celebrity, since the character in the song struggles to meet the expectations and desires of a scrutinizing public. 

The third track, “The Ladies’ Tree” sounds like a war song from the woods of medieval France, which is fitting since the lyrics are sung from the viewpoint of Joan of Arc awaiting execution.  According to historical records, the heroine was repeatedly questioned about a famous tree in her village which young girls used to dance around.  The song contrasts this innocent image with the hypocrisy and corruption surrounding her trial. The song has been turned into a short animated film by Ruth Lingford, professor of animation at Harvard University.

The complete track listing:
1.    Little Bit Of Blue
2.    Humpty Dumpty Girl
(single available at
3.    The Ladies’ Tree
4.    Deep Waters
5.    December
6.    Helium
7.    You Must Be Wrong For Me
8.    My Valhalla
9.    Paper Airplanes
10. Little Dead Rotting Wood
11. Peppermill
12. Cold Rain
13. Wrong Boy


3rian King – voice, piano, guitar
Nathan Cohen – violin, trumpet
Mike Leggio – upright bass
Nate Greenslit – drums
Lori Perkins – Hammond organ, piano

The Furies – background vocals
  Aura Valdes
  Elizabeth Bean
  Norah Solorzano
  Ruth Lingford
  Shana Cahill

WHEN: March 9, 2013 10pm
WHO: What Time Is It, MrFox? With special guest, Chelsea Berry
WHERE: Dixon Place, 161 Chrystie St. NYC.
COST: All ages $12 for members, $10 students/seniors $15 at door.  

CD RELEASE: On March 19th, 2013 the album will be available for download on iTunes and and CD available for purchase at band concerts and on

For more information about What Time Is It, MrFox?


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Interview with Scott Casper, Artistic Director of taxdeductible theatre

By Byrne Harrison

Scott Casper is a playwright, actor and Artistic Director of taxdeductible theatre.  Through The Dare Project (an evening of ten minute plays, written on a dare), he has written, directed or performed in every one of the company’s 20 NY installments of the event to date, which has created nearly 100 world premiere plays since 2006.  His full-length play #hero had its world premiere in February and runs through Saturday, March 9th.

Tell me a little about the genesis of #hero.

#hero originated out of our recurring series of ten minute plays, The Dare Project.  Since 2006, we have produced 21 of these events and created nearly 100 short plays in the process.  The plays are written on a dare: a raw idea given to us by our community, which we use as the foundation to develop the plays on the page and in the rehearsal hall.

Building on what we learned, we started our first full-length project with a dare as well:

“We fight about the little things, so we can ignore the big things.”

Over a year and a half, we developed that idea in the rehearsal hall, incorporating the voice of every member of our company.  We also put the work in front of our community, showing parts of the work as it progressed at each Dare Project—and adding their feedback into the story at every chance.

The process engaged all of our voices from the inception of the idea all the way through to production.  The collaborative evolution of the piece ensured that while every word of the play was written by me, through all of our effort, it has been authored by taxdeductible theatre.

What is #hero about?

Robert Larkin
Photo by Nicholas Alexiy Moran
#hero follows NYPD Officer Norman Burrows and his wife Grace. After Norman saves a woman who falls on the subway tracks, he becomes a social media sensation. As his public profile grows, their private life unravels, until the hero must expose his own myth.

With the play, I’m trying to ask:  have we lost touch with ourselves in a hyper-connected world? Do our public acts define our private lives? It's easy to connect with everyone; but is it worth it to connect with anyone?

Celebrity culture has always been around, but it seems to have gone to extremes for the last decade of so.  What do you see as the dangers of this?

It’s not the celebrity culture itself, as much as the exponential rate of expansion of the connected culture that I find most alarming.   And that sounds counterintuitive. 

L. to R. Wendy Bagger,
Robert Larkin, Bryn Boice 
Photo by Michael Poignand
The democratization of fame seems like it is a good thing.  The technology allows us to find ways to participate in the culture ourselves, to engage more fully with one another as we celebrate “REALITY” more than anything else.  But that attention amounts to empty calories.  You may feel good while you consume them (“Gee, those Crab Fisherman really do have a hard way to make a living,” “Those COPS are really doing us all a service by incarcerating that shirtless fellow,” etc.), and it allows you think on both sides of the equation (the viewer and the performer) that we’re all gaining a deeper understanding of one another.  But it’s a myth.  And since it is so easy, and since the content is so pervasive and so prevalent (in our pockets and purses), it feels like the myth is the way it’s supposed to be.  Social media allows us an opportunity to be closer in a distant world, right?

So, your actual friendships get supplanted for your Facebook “friendships,”  and your conversations lose nuance and compromise as they need to be limited to 140 characters, and the end goal of being feels like it should be amassing as many hits as you can, without recognizing the isolation that each one of those clicks represents. 

So what message do you want the audience of #hero to take home with them after the show?

The real conflict is that after the show, I’d like the audience to plug in, log on and tweet, and post, and share, and like everything about #hero to pitch the play to as wide an audience as they can to make the promotion of the play viral.  But, after they hit send, and do us all the favor of incorporating our idea into a broader world?  I hope there’s an appreciation of the problem of the easily interconnected world.  You can’t put the genie back in the bottle, and I don’t think anyone really wants to.  And yet.  Are we better off?  If we get a few more tickets sold, I won’t complain, necessarily. 

Tell me a little bit about taxdeductible theatre.  How long have you been working together?

The company has been around and producing since 2005.  We started first by pursuing readings of plays that had fallen through the cracks in the NY theatre scene, but quickly discovered that we were most passionate about developing new plays.  Primarily, we have pursued this goal through our ten-minute play series, The Dare Project, world premiere plays written on a dare.   It’s a laboratory for collaborative artists to develop a play from the raw idea all the way through a finished production.

We are dedicated to developing the uniquely theatrical expression of our community and our collaborative artists.  We create new plays that celebrate the theatrical event of sharing space with our audience and we honor their impact on the work well before they enter the lobby and well after the final curtain.

And that’s really the mission of the company.  We share new voices. We create memorable experiences. We challenge ourselves and our community to follow one basic rule:  demand bold theatre

Do you have any more full-length shows that are being developed out of The Dare Project?

Right now, the working plan is to take the lessons we’ve learned on development from #hero, and apply them to a new project.  As it stands now, the company has a blank page staring at us, waiting for it to be filled in with a new idea, which is both terrifying and invigorating.  The joy of developing with taxdeductible theatre is that it allows us all to push our boundaries of creativity while holding one another accountable for the work.  As we approach the close of this production, we have every confidence that we can once again succeed by going back to square-zero.  That confidence doesn’t replace the fear of the blank page, though.  On the other hand, the people within the company, and the prospect of working together in a rehearsal hall, makes us all eager to fill the first page, so we can get to second one and beyond.

What else is coming up for taxdeductible theatre?

The next project which we do know about will be our twenty-second installment of The Dare Project.  It’s going to be a big one for us, as it will be our first effort following the success of #hero, it will allow us all to refocus on new ideas to propel us forward, and it will mark our one hundredth world premiere ten minute play.  We’re still working on securing dates, but the tentative plan is to hold The Dare Project #22 sometime in the late spring/early summer to close out our season in style.  Stay tuned for more details!

L. to R. Allyson Briggs, Wendy Bagger, Robert Larkin,
Christopher Sutton, Alex Pappas, 
Bryn BoicePhoto by Nicholas Alexiy Moran

#hero runs through March 9
Wed-Sat at 8pm
Sundays at 2PM

At the Chain Theatre
21-28 45th Road, LIC

For more information and tickets, please visit:

Monday, March 4, 2013

FRIGID New York Announces the 2013 FRIGID Hangovers Schedule

By Byrne Harrison

The FRIGID New York Festival has announced it FRIGID Hangover schedule.  Featuring the best of the festival, Hangover lets audiences catch some of the shows they may have missed the first time around.  The Hangover series begins today and runs through Saturday the 9th at The Kraine Theater (85 East 4th Street between 2nd Ave and Bowery). Tickets ($18/$15 students & seniors) may be purchased online at or by calling Smarttix at 212-868-4444

FRIGID Hangover Schedule

Love in the Time of Time Machines
Presented by The Theatre Elusive – Toronto, Ontario 
Written by David Tichauer, Net Petrie, & Gillian English Klein and Gabrielle broke up. That was it. OR WAS IT?! Yes, it was. OR WAS IT?! When time's arrow spins like a compass, do our actions amount to a hill of beans? What do the beans amount to? I don't know, you're the bean expert! Point being...Time Machines!
Monday, March 4 @ 7pm

Little Pussy
Written & Performed by John Grady – New York, NY
John Grady's true tales of being picked on, chased down, and beat up, from his youth to adulthood. Will he ever stand and fight? Are bullies and the bullied destined to find each other? If so, who will save him? From the creator of the fringe hit, Fear Factor: Canine Edition
Monday, March 4 @ 8:45pm

Generic Magic Realism
Presented by Temerity Theatre – Brooklyn, NY
Written by Ed Malin, Directed by DeLisa White, Starring Nat Cassidy
What happens when the magical world of your average South American person is transplanted to a more northern, less magical, more real location? Join Octavio as he discovers poetry, satire, love, birds, chocolate, hippies and explosives on the way from the Andes to San Francisco during the fragrant 1960s.
Thursday, March 7 @ 7pm

36 Hours
Presented by aWe Creative Group  - New York, NY
Written by Amy E. Witting, Directed by Bricken Sparacino
Four years after a brief rendezvous Annie and Patrick reunite at Heathrow Airport and discover how life-changing 36 hours can be.
Thursday, March 7 @ 8:45pm

Presented by EstraƱa Theatre Company - Brooklyn, NY
Written by Jane Shepard, Directed by Christina Massie
The beautiful Kelli eagerly anticipates the blind date her friends have set her up on. To her dismay, it turns out her date is one very disappointed lesbian named Arlin. Mutually appalled, yet appallingly intrigued, they proceed to pull the screws loose on both straight and gay women's culture, to find the common ground between them in the search for true love and self acceptance.
Friday, March 8 @ 7pm

A Day in the Life of Miss Hiccup
Presented by Shoshinz – Tokyo, Japan 
Written & Performed by Yanomi
The mysterious Miss Hiccup lives alone, but is definitely not lonely. She is forever accompanied by a raucous cast of sounds and music that make her life an absurd adventure. A hilarious and beautiful story by an award-winning Japanese performer.
Friday, March 8 @ 8:45pm

The God Box
Written & Performed by Antonia Lassar – Brooklyn, NY 
A "bagels and schmeaaah" mother discovers her daughter wasn't a practicing Jew. The God Box is a hilarious and poignant tale of how faith is passed on, and what happens when it isn’t. 
Saturday, March 9 @ 7pm

The Vindlevoss Family Circus Spectacular
Presented by Animal Engine– New York, NY
Written by Carrie Brown & Karim Muasher
Directed by Mark Gindick
The mustachioed Professor Penelope Vindlevoss discovers Edward the Zombie on her recent anthropological expedition, and takes it upon herself to domesticate him. What is Edward’s final lesson? To put on a circus, of course! Physical comedy and undead logic collide in this quirky fable about how to be truly human.
Saturday, March 9 @ 7pm
#   #   #   #

Friday, March 1, 2013

"That's Her Way" - FRIGID New York Festival

By Byrne Harrison

I'm not sure what I like best about Kathleen Warnock's entry in the FRIGID Festival, "That's Her Way."  Warnock tells a good story--old lovers reunited after years, one of whom stayed behind in their small hometown and one of whom left.  Her dialogue is full of the awkward and strained moments that are typical of people who were once so familiar to each other, but are now little more than strangers.  Director Vivian Meisner is adept at letting the story slowly reveal itself, never forcing the pacing, just peeling away scenes like skinning an onion.  The actors, Danielle Quisenberry and J. Stephen Brantley, are remarkable, playing younger and older versions of their characters in the various scenes.  Even the jumping back in forth in time, which can be a hokey device, is handled very effectively here.

All of these combined lead to a satisfying, though sad short play about a moment in a couple's lives, and a decision made in high school that was a betrayal to one and an attempt at salvation to another.

Ferro (Danielle Quisenberry) was a serious and ambitious science-oriented girl in high school, too smart to be popular.  Stuckey (J. Stephen Brantley), her boyfriend, was a jock, and though he hides it, was one of the smart kids too--he was more socially adept.  Reunited when Ferro returns to her hometown as her mother nears death, they begin the awkward process of getting to know one another again.  But years haven't erased the damage done when Ferro left, and try as they might, they can't forget or move on.

Quisenberry and Brantley really get to shine in their parts.  They play the adult versions of their characters with such wariness.  From the first moment they meet at Ferro's mother's house, there is tension, and it is a pleasure watching them slowly work through it.  When they get to play high school versions of their characters, there is a sweet tentativeness to their interactions, mimicking the tension in their adult version, but for completely different reasons.  The early blush of love instead of the pain caused by their decisions.  Brantley in particular does an outstanding job bringing a youthful physicality to the younger Stuckey, while Quisenberry excels as the older Ferro.

That's Her Way is my first show at this year's FRIGID Festival, and if it is any indication, this is going to be a good year.

That's Her Way
By Kathleen Warnock
Directed by Vivian Meisner

Featuring: Danielle Quisenberry (Ferro) and J. Stephen Brantley (Stuckey)

Production Stage Manager: David Bishop
Production Associate: Donna J. Bungo
Sound Design: Ned Thorne
Photographer: Amy C. Dreher