ETHEL SINGS: Espionage in High C Opens June 28 at Walker Space
Undercover Productions will present the WORLD PREMIERE of ETHEL SINGS: Espionage in High C, written by Joan Beber. ETHEL SINGS begins previews on June 27th, with a June 28th opening at Walker Space. Directed by Jules Aaron, ETHEL SINGS has set design by Gary Guidinger, lighting design by John Eckert Original Music by Max Kinberg & costume design by Michele Young. Sarah Brown stages manages & Sherry Netherland assistant directs. Ethel Sings is produced by Linda Toliver & Gary Guidinger for Undercover Productions.
As the 60th Anniversary of the Rosenberg's execution nears, ETHEL SINGS: Espionage in High C offers an imaginative take on the case that brings Ethel Rosenberg's love of music to life, while a contemporary Joan of Arc plays her alter-ego. In 1951, Ethel & her engineer husband Julius were found guilty of espionage. Although evidence has shown that Ethel had little to do with passing atomic secrets to the Soviets, she was executed with him two years later. Written by a distant cousin, ETHEL SINGS is a fact-based story that takes liberties with both time & space, whether the title character is singing opera, practicing yoga or dancing to club music. The Rosenbergs were executed at Sing Sing Prison, in upstate New York, on June 19, 1953, one day after their wedding anniversary.
Appearing in the cast of this AEA Approved Showcase Production are Ross Alden, Alan Aymie, Richard Chassler*, Ben Goldsmith*, Shelby Kocee* (as Ethel Rosenberg), Greg Mullavey*, Penny Peyser*, Julia Silverman*, Stasha Surdyke* & Dan Sykes* (as Julius Rosenberg).
Playwright JOAN BEBER has worked primarily as a visual artist in her early career, experimenting with painting, performance, installation art & poetry. While raising four daughters, she exhibited her work in San Diego County. Her one person shows included The UCSD Annex Gallery, The Jewish Community Center Gallery & The Art Institute in Balboa Park. Having graduated from Northwestern University with a BA in English Literature many years earlier, Joan spent ten years in UCSD's Concurrent Enrollment Program to prepare for graduate school. After three years of commuting from San Diego & competing with younger students, she received her MFA at age sixty-seven from USC. Hunger: In Bed with Roy Cohn, written at seventy-three, was her first produced play in Los Angeles and a world premiere. At the risk of his career as an attorney, Joan's father tried to exonerate Ethel in the early 50s.
Director Jules Aaron has directed over 250 productions including over seventy-five World Premieres. He has worked at The Public Theatre (New York), South Coast Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), the Pasadena Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Utah Shakespearean Festival, among others. He has directed Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Carrie Snodgrass, Mercedes Ruehl, Lee Meriwether, Ralph Waite, Marian Mercer & Michael Learned, among many others. He has won 20 Drama-Logue Awards, three Garland Awards, an LA Drama Critics Circle Award (with several nominations) He has a PH.D in Dramaturgy, Theatre History & Criticism from NYU. He has been Artistic Director of the Unit Theatre (in NY & LA) as well as Artistic Director at Grove Shakespeare Theatre. He was Head of the M.A. program at UC Riverside & Head of the MFA Directing Program at California Institute of the Arts for seventeen years. He is now on the Adjunct Faculty at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Jules worked with the wonderful Joan Beber on Hunger: In Bed with Roy Cohn,which premiered at the Odyssey Theatre & won Stage Scene LA Best Director for four shows, including Hunger. He is currently working on the book for I Will, I Can! a musical inspired by the life of Sammy Davis, Jr.
Producers LINDA TOLIVER & GARY GUIDINGER have been producing the work of Los Angeles playwrights for 25 years. They produced the world premieres of Justin Tanner's outrageously funny Voice Lessons, starring Laurie Metcalf, French Stewart & Maile Flanagan; Elliot Shoenman's drama, AfterMath, starring Annie Potts; Assisted Living, written & performed by Wicked's Winnie Holzman & her husband, 85 year old character actor, Paul Dooley; Teen Girl, starring Zoe Perry; Day Drinkers, directed by Bart DeLorenzo; Procreation, directed by David Schweizer; They co-produced Del Shores trio of plays: Sordid Lives, Southern Baptist Sissies & The Trials & Tribulations of a Trailer Trash Housewife, starring Beth Grant, Dale Dickey & Octavia Spencer; as well as La Ronde, starring Alyson Weaver & Ken Barnett, at the HERE Arts Center. They brought Jules Aaron's production of Joan Beber's fantasy play, Hunger: in Bed with Roy Cohn to the Odyssey Theatre. They produced the original workshop productions of The Last Session & The Big Voice: God or Merman? by Jim Brochu & Steve Schalchlin. Linda and Gary were the Producing Directors of the Zephyr Theater in Los Angeles for 22 years.
Greg Mullavey has appeared in over 100 theatre productions all over North America from Anchorage to Miami & from Boston & Toronto to Los Angeles & San Diego. On Broadway he starred opposite Mia Farrow in Bernard Slade's Romantic Comedy & opposite Veronica Hamel in Neil Simon's Rumors & the Broadway National Tour as Merv in Wendy Wasserstein's The Sisters Rosensweig. His latest Off-Broadway: this year's The Last Seder opposite Kathryn Kates & last year at the Roundabout Complex, The Soap Myth as a holocaust survivor. He has been a regular on 4 TV series, but is probably best known for his role as Tom Hartman on the Norman Lear hit, "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman."
Penny Peyser played The Girl in the original production of Lanford Wilson's The Hot l Baltimore at Circle-in-the-Square & appeared in hisLemon Sky at the Chelsea Westside Theater. She's flown around the stage as Peter in several productions of Peter Pan at The Sacramento Music Circus, The Portsmouth Theater & the Lobero Theater in Santa Barbara. Penny is a member of The Production Company in Los Angeles & most recently appeared in their production of Angels Fall, another Lanford Wilson piece. Her television &d film appearances include: All the President's Men, The In Laws, The Frisco Kid, "Rich Man, Poor Man II," "Knots Landing," "The Blue & the Gray" & more recently, "Criminal Minds" & "The Mentalist."
ROSS ALDEN most recently played in Jules Aaron's production of The Circle at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills & completed the filming of Vilified, directed by Matt Minshall. Other Los Angeles credits include the Elephant Stageworks' production of Tracers, the world premiere of Joel Sinensky's How to Deal & Richard Wakes Up, written by Andrew Lampl, for which he originated the role of Henry Gorka at the Boulder Fringe Festival. ALAN AYMIE is originally from Boston & has performed at The Folger Library, Shakespeare Theater & Maryland Stage Company, as well as in film & TV. In New York, Alan performed in Delicate Arrangement, written by Nichols Fellowship Winner, Dawn O'Leary. He studied with the late Sanford Meisner in LA, where he worked in TV, film & performed at with A Noise Within, Zephyr Theatre, West Coast Theatre Ensemble, Hudson Theatre & the John Anson Ford Theatre. His first play, Songs My Father Taught Me, was produced in NYC at the Pulse Ensemble Theater, which was followed by the solo play, Child's Play, which premiered in LA before being going to the HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado. His one-act play, RAP, was produced by Gary Guidinger & Linda Toliver at the Zephyr Theater. Alan's newest solo play, A Child Left Behind, played for eight months in LA.
RICHARD CHASSLER began his performing career at the age of 9, playing drums at jazz clubs throughout NYC & Long Island. Richard turned to the theatre, as a student of famed acting teacher Stella Adler & has appeared in several films including The Insider, directed by Michael Mann & most recently, as Martin Balsam in Fox Searchlight's Hitchcock, which starred Anthony Hopkins & Helen Mirren. He can be heard doing a myriad of voices in numerous cartoons & commercials. He also wrote, produced, directed & starred in the Award-winning dramatic film, STOP. Ben Goldsmith is a Massachusetts native who has performed as Luther Billis in South Pacific, Trevor Greydon in Thoroughly Modern Millie & Potsie in Happy Days. He has acted everywhere from the Pasadena Playhouse in LA to Goodspeed Opera House, but this is his first time in NYC. SHELBY KOCEE grew up in Temecula Valley, California & attended the Los Angeles Theatre Academy. She has played Lucia in Black Coffee, Elizabeth in The Circle & Rose Kennedy in The Color of Rose. Her film & TV work include The Serious Business of Happiness, Holding Back & "Lonelygirl15" (13 episodes). Julia Silverman theatre credits include Collected Stories, The Paris Letter (directed by Jules Aaron), Futura at The Boston Court, A Shayna Maidel at International City Theatre, & Picnic, Night of the Iguana & The Wild Duck at A Noise Within. She also performed in Les Liaisons Dangereuses with Donna Mills at La Mirada Theatre &Diversions at La Mama ETC. Her film & TV credits include "Criminal Minds," "Grey's Anatomy," "Secret Life of the American Teenager," "Parks & Recreation," "General Hospital" & "The Gilmore Girls." Stasha Surdyke recently starred in Belz! A Jewish Vaudeville Musical & played Sarah Goodwin in Donald Margulies' Pulitzer Prize-winning play Time Stands Still at Sierra Repertory Theatre. She executive produced & starred as Amanda in Noël Coward's Private Lives, winning five Stage Scene LA Awards 2012. Other credits include Taming of the Shrew, An Empty Plate in the Café du Grand Boeuf,The Value of Names, A Majority of One, The Shelter, Return, the Musical, Under Milkwood, All Powers Necessary & Convenient & El Paso Blue. She originated the role of Debra in the musical Mamaleh! a role written specifically for her. Dan Sykes' theatre credits include The Paris Letter (Eddon Award, StagesceneLA Award, Broadway World Nomination), Cobb (Ty Cobb - Eddon Award), Equus (Arizona Republic Award), Amadeus, Love's Labour's Lost, The Merchant of Venice, SubUrbia, Rabbit Hole, Of Mice & Men & Pride & Prejudice. Film & TV credits include The Grudge 2, Friday the 13th, "Wizards of Waverly Place," "Mind of Mencia" & Passions.
DATES: PREVIEW: Thursday, June 27th @ 8pm ~ OPENING: Friday, June 28th @ 8pm
June 27th - July 21st ~ Thursday - Saturday @ 8pm, Sunday @ 3pm
No Show Thurs, July 4th ~ Added Show Wed, July 17th @ 8pm
THEATRE: Walker Space ~ 46 Walker Street
TICKET PRICES: $18