Messina's 'Merging' Wins Best Play in Horror Fest

Former Sopranos star Jason Cerbone, up-and-coming actress Gina Ferranti, and veteran NY character actor Ernest Mingione gave audiences at the Players Theatre's Shortened Attention Span Horror Festival a jolt that they may not have been expecting – one of pure and unbridled acting intensity.   In playwright Charles Messina's chilling new one act, Merging, Cerbone and Ferranti play an estranged couple whose child has suddenly and inexplicably gone missing. 

The Festival, which ran for three weeks in Greenwich Village, and featured emerging playwrights from all across the country, allowed its audience members to vote for the winner of the festival.  Cerbone, Ferranti, and Mingione's performances delighted and horrified audiences and propelled Merging to Best Play in Festival honors by receiving the most audience votes of any other play in the fest.  

Merging is written and directed by Charles Messina, who previously directed the hit off-Broadway shows Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God and Cirque Jacqueline.  Messina is also directing the big-budget musical Be My Love, about the life of Mario Lanza, produced by Phil Ramone and Sonny Grosso, which previewed in October at The Tilles Center.

As the winner of the Festival, Merging will perform its victory lap by playing two shows on Halloween Night at The Players Theatre's Mainstage. 

Performances on Wednesday October 31 at 6PM and 8PM at The Players Theatre (115  MacDougal Street, between West 3rd and Bleecker Streets).  www.theplayerstheatre.com.  To purchase tickets ($25) call: 212-352-3101 or visit www.theatermania.com

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