Lauren Singerman, Sasha Kaye to Launch New Webseries, PRECIOUS CARGO, 6/13
The absurd stories of tutors who prepare Manhattan's wealthiest children for the competitive world of private school admissions are at the center of the new web series, "Precious Cargo." Premiering the first of seven episodes on June 13, "Precious Cargo" follows the trials and tribulations of a pair of sisters as they attempt to fulfill their big city dreams while balancing the alternate universe of the affluent and dysfunctional families for whom they work.
"Precious Cargo" is the glorious brainchild of Lauren Singerman and Sasha Kaye, who found inspiration in their own lives. "We were interested in exploring the extreme differences between New Yorkers who have it all and those just struggling to get by, but toiled with how we could tell that story in a new way," explains Singerman. "Our experience as tutors seemed a perfect jumping-off point into a fictionalized world that we could use to tell that story."
The series centers on Lisa (Singerman), a fiercely goal-oriented, Type-A aspiring actor who risks her own reputation at her "day job" to help her free-spirited sister, Sandy (Kaye), secure work at elite tutoring company - Tomorrow's Child of the Future. Lisa is surprised to find that the usually unreliable Sandy is suddenly in high demand for her playful and creative teaching methods. Sandy's rising popularity puts Lisa's job in jeopardy and adds yet another layer of competition between the siblings.
Rounding out the creative team, the pair enlisted award-winning playwright, Dano Madden, to write the web series along with director, Ben Simington. Madden jokes, "I knew I would be asked to help create the web series since my wife is the Executive Producer," referencing Singerman, whom he met over a decade ago when both attended graduate school at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University. He continues, "I honestly didn't expect Lauren and Sasha to offer me full creative freedom to flesh out the world they had created." Singerman explains that choosing Madden to bring these characters to life was a no-brainer: "Dano's ability as a writer to find the perfect balance between authenticity and absurdity was exactly what we needed for this story to connect with our audience."
From there the team took a grassroots approach; they raised funds through crowdfunding campaigns and shot the entire series on location in and around the city, within the apartments, houses, offices, and bars belonging to friends and family. Singerman admits, "In our industry, web series represent a new frontier for artists to generate their own work, but it was essential that we approach this project with professional-level quality within every part of the production."
With that in mind, the creative team behind "Precious Cargo" includes Alex Peterson as Director of Photography following the success of his 2015 Sundance Institute Award winning documentary Man in the Maze, Editor Nathan Allen whose work has been seen on "Glee," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rizzoli & Isles," and theater, film, and television composer Adam Lindquist. In addition, the cast of over 40 actors includes the talents of Robert Prescott (Michael Clayton), Peyton Ella ("The Sound of Music Live," "The Late Show"), and Dana Jacks ("The Blacklist," "The Newsroom").
With so many talented professionals involved in the project, Singerman is confident that audiences of the new series will be quick to embrace the weekly struggles of these sisters and their lives: "We can all relate to this idea of wanting more for ourselves, regardless of how much we have achieved on the surface. That's the struggle of every character in 'Precious Cargo.'"
"Precious Cargo" premieres on June 13 and will be available to stream on www.preciouscargowebseries.com.
?About the Team
Lauren Singerman (Lisa/Co-Creator/Executive Producer): Lauren is an actor, a speech & dialect coach, and an awesome tutor. As an actor, Lauren has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Two River Theater Company, Epic Theatre Ensemble, Cider Mill Playhouse, The Artful Conspirators, Kitchen Theatre Company, The Here & Now, Lark Play Development Center, id Theater, and Project Y, among others. She played super nerd Tori Atherton on "All My Children." As a speech coach, Lauren most recently coached Salma Hayek on the finer points of pronouncing phrases like "camel toe" for the feature film Drunk Parents. BA: Wesleyan University. MFA: Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.
Sasha Kaye (Sandy/Co-Creator/Executive Producer): Sasha is a New York-based actor, comedy writer and producer. Her work has been seen at such venues as 13th Street Rep, the NYC International Fringe Festival, McCarter Theater Center, Mile Square Theater, and Old Lyric Rep. Sasha is also co-creator, writer, and star of the 2012 web series "Waiting on Others." She is currently a producer on season three of the hit show "Ink Master: Redemption" (Spike TV). She received her MFA in Acting from Rutgers University, her BA in Theater from Hamilton College and has studied sketch comedy, stand up and improv at Upright Citizens Brigade and People's Improv Theater.
Dano Madden (Writer/Executive Producer): Dano Madden is an award-winning writer and director. He is a 2015 MacDowell Fellow. His plays have been produced and/or received development by Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Source Festival, The Artful Conspirators, World At Large Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The National New Play Network, Mile Square Theatre, Burnt Studio Productions, Northwest Playwrights Alliance, Idaho Theatre for Youth, Kitchen Theatre Company, The University of Tulsa, Bloomsburg University, The Lark, Elephant Room Productions and Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, among others. Dano's plays have been published by Samuel French, Playscripts Inc., Best American Short Plays and Indie Theater Now. He received his BA from Boise State University and his MFA from Rutgers University. He is currently a speech and drama teacher at the Marymount School of New York.
Ben Simington (Director/Executive Producer): Ben Simington has taught video in New York City for over 9 years to students ranging in age from kindergarten to high school. Before teaching full-time, he wrote film criticism for Mubi.com, programmed the "Bastards of Hitch" series at 92YTribeca, screened film festival entries for South by Southwest, and worked in independent film distribution at Zeitgeist Films. He holds a BA and MA in Film Studies from Wesleyan University.
Addie Walsh (Producer): Writer/Performer That's All I Got (Project Y ; UNITED SOLO FESTIVAL 2014 AWARD); Writer/Performer The Lala & Mummo Show (Project Y, Planet Connections Festivity 2014); Writer/Performer Before & After (Project Y); TV writer for just about every soap opera. Emmy Award & four Writers Guild Awards for Outstanding Writing. Acting: Three Tall Women, The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow, The Clean House (Kitchen Theater). Back in the day...member of St. Louis Repertory acting ensemble. Also served as the theater's dramaturg and resident playwright.
Talya Klein (Hair, Makeup, & Costume Design/Producer): Talya Klein is a retired make-up artist, having worked in both London and New York, and she now only takes her brushes off the shelf for very special projects. She is thrilled to be part of the "Precious Cargo" team, and is happy to take credit for how fabulous everyone looks on camera. She holds an MFA in directing from Brown/Trinity and is the Producing Artistic Director of The Here & Now, a company which produces one-off site-specific events. In her spare time, Talya knits miniature sweaters and makes tiny terrariums.
Alex Peterson (Director of Photography): Alex grew up in Chicago, and he moved to New York City to study film at NYU. Taking as many cinematography classes as he could, Alex was among the last generation of filmmakers to learn how to make movies on film while also being given a head start on digital cinema. After graduating, Alex worked in the camera department for commercials, music videos, and feature films. He has worked for and learned from some of the best DPs and crews in New York. As a cinematographer, Alex has traveled the country and the world shooting for ABC, MTV, and award winning filmmakers at Greener Media. Most recently Alex and Greener Media collaborated on a new documentary about the Italian region of Calabria, as well as the 2015 Sundance Institute Award winning documentary Man in the Maze. While home in New York, Alex is keeping busy shooting for the Emmy Award winning Discovery ID show "A Crime to Remember."
Adam Lindquist (Composer): Adam Lindquist is a multi-instrumentalist musician and composer now residing in Brooklyn, NY. Originally from North Carolina, Adam grew up playing folk and rock while also learning traditional composition techniques. He studied music composition in college at UNCW and completed some post-college studies with Berklee School of Music, after which he began writing for TV/film, theater and dance. Adam enjoys melding electronic and acoustic sounds to create sounds suited toward a variety of tones and mediums.
Nathan Allen (Editor): Nathan received his MFA in Film Production from Boston University. From there, he made the move to Los Angeles, where he has edited several feature films, television pilots and reality shows. In addition, he has edited episodes of the scripted television shows "Glee," "Nip/Tuck" and "Rizzoli & Isles."
About Precious Cargo Productions:
A New York City-based company comprised of a group of actors, writers, and directors interested in creating their own work and sharing their own experiences living and working in the city. They have recently finished producing their first web series, "Precious Cargo," which follows the trials and tribulations of a pair of sisters as they attempt to fulfill their big city dreams while balancing the alternate universe of the affluent and dysfunctional families for whom they work.