Toy Box Theatre Company Presents The Empress and El Diablo 3/16-31

Toy Box Theatre Company Presents The Empress and El Diablo 3/16-31

Toy Box Theatre Company is set to present The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex, a world premiere play written and directed by Jonathan Barsness with a live garage rock score by Colonna Sonora. The cast of six includes Juan Luis Acevedo*, Gary Ray Bugarcic*, Glory Gallo*, Jessica Giannone, Jake Paque*, and Karen Stanion*. Performances for The Empress and El Diablo will be held at The 4th Street Theatre, 83 East 4th Street for fourteen performances beginning Friday, March 16th through Saturday, March 31st, 2012. AEA Approved Showcase. *Member, Actors’ Equity Association.

About the show: "When forced to move back in with his parents, Eddie seeks the guidance of a fortune teller whose mysterious and shocking counsel isn't quite what he was expecting. The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex, follows Eddie Roberts, through dreams and reality, as he valiantly struggles with his horrifying destiny, his overbearing family, and a girlfriend who's too tired to fool around. Inspired by the writings of C.G. Jung and the Tarot of Marseilles, this production marks Toy Box Theatre Company’s tenth season. The Empress and El Diablo will be performed with a live garage rock score by Colonna Sonora."

From playwright and director Jonathan Barness: “Deep down, most of us think we're a little bit special; that our true destiny is fame and fortune. But let's face it, with 6 billion of us, that’s just not true. The Empress and El Diablo imagines a world where psychics and psychiatrists tell the truth. "You will become a crazy cat lady," "your spouse will cheat on you, repeatedly," or "most of your friends think you are annoying" are phrases rarely heard in fortune cookies and Tarot readings. But in the end, it's only the truth that will lead to change.”

The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex is produced by Toy Box Theatre Company. Director/Playwrigtht: Jonathan Barsness; Assistant Director: David Michael Holmes*; Scenic Designer: Kacie Hultgren; Costume Designer: Kate Mincer; Lighting Designer: Tony Galaska; Music Director: James Sparber; Original Score: Colonna Sonora; Production Stage Manager: Rebecca Bezaire; Fight Director: Wyatt Kuether; Assistant Stage Manager: Sara Troficanto; Graphic Designer: Anthony Falco; Web Designer: Joe Fahrenkrug; Publicist: Paul Siebold/Off Off PR.

The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex plays for fourteen performances from Friday, March 16 to Saturday, March 31, 2012, with performances Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online at For more information, please visit

The runtime for The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Jonathan Barsness (Playwright/Director) is a founding member of Toy Box Theatre Company. As a member of Toy Box, he co-wrote and acted in its inaugural production of Greene Grass, played the role of Stephen in Afternight Seating, adapted and direcTed Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, wrote and acted in The Landlord, adapted and directed John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and wrote and directed an adaptation of Georg Buchner’s Wozyeck. He wrote the short play Love which was produced by the Rubicon Theatre Project in Chicago.

James Sparber is the Music Director for Toy Box Theatre Company. James, along with his ensemble Colonna Sonora, earned nominations for the NYITA for Outstanding Original Music for Toy Box’s 2009 production of ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore and their 2010 original adaptation of Woyzeck. James and Colonna Sonora have also composed and performed the score to Doorknob Company’s We Are Here After at Joyce Soho, and Toy Box’s The Short Fall. Most recently, James constructed the sound design for Motley Dance in their 2011 performance in the RAW Directions series at Dance New Amsterdam, and then with Colonna Sonora composed and performed the live score for their installation, I Want To See You Underwater, at The Causey Contemporary Gallery. James studied composition and jazz performance at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. He has performed, recorded, and produced music in many major U.S. cities, including extended stays in Nashville, Austin, and Los Angeles. In 2005, his former band Breakup Breakdown signed a deal with Warner Music Group label Cordless Records and a publishing deal with Warner/Chapell, resulting in the release of two records of his compositions. James and his publishing company, Pinball 1974, are registered members of ASCAP. He is also one of the two primary composers for the country rock ensemble, Money & King.

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