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A night of celebration of the female perspective presented through a contemporary collection of various works. Virago Ensemble is proud to announce the premiere workshop production of the short play "Kiss That Frog" by Serena Cates followed by performances by special guests showcasing their work in music, spoken word and visual art. As our goal is to empower women's voices, we will also open up the space for more female-identifying artists present at this event as audience members, who would like to express and share their work.

Special guests:
Bonita Jackson, Actress & Writer
Callie Danae Hirsch, Visual Artist
Noa Fort, Musician and Music Therapist

Kiss that Frog was inspired by the social media trend of young adults writing lists about everyone they have kissed. This "Kissed List" hunch has opened the door to themes such as love vs. lust, sexual assault, drugs and alcohol, sexuality, secrecy and much more. The resulting script investigates the relationship millennial girls have with kissing, relationships, sex, and sexuality in general. It was inspired by true stories of women known by the playwright. Kiss that Frog was adapted in 2017 in collaboration with Kayleigh Cyr as a dance performance at Salem State University.

By Serena Cates
Directed by Angelita Esperanza
Featuring: Amanda Erixon, Angelita Esperanza, Deborah Amaa, Eliya Rodeh, Kanja Grobler, Noy Marom, Rosemary Tross, Samia Omari

The event will take place on Friday, 5/25/18, at 7:30-10:00 at The Artist Co-op (500 W 52nd Street, 3W, New York, NY 10019).1
Tickets are pay-what-you-can at the door. Reservation of tickets is free at

Serena Cates is a Boston based playwright and dramaturg. Recently, her play "Five Silver Five Gold" received its second production at the Equity Library Theater Summer 2017 Play Festival; it was originally produced in 2014 by the Winston Salem Writer's Group and published in their Flying South Anthology. In the spring of 2016, Serena's full length, Caden, was performed at the Ruby Slipper Fringe Festival, sponsored by the Paper Lantern Theater Company in North Carolina. Her play, "Clarity" was produced at Boxfest Detroit, a festival for promising female directors in 2015. Serena's plays, "Lip Treatment," Caden, and "Kiss that Frog" all received development readings on Wake Forest's campus during her undergraduate years. While in school, Serena was honored with a variety of accolades including Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, and Honors in Theatre.

Since graduating, Serena has been working with the Eugene O'Neill Theater's Literary Office and New Repertory Theatre's Artistic and front of House departments. She now works as an Applied Behavioral Analysis Instructor and a Safety Care Physical Management trainer.

Angelita Esperanza has a BA in Television Production from Loyola Marymount University. She recently played Quince, Egeus & Peaseblossom in A Midsummer Night's Dream as part of the Acting Shakespeare program at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and is a graduate of Circle in the Square Theatre School's Musical Theatre Summer Intensive. She has worked as a Supervisor, Producer and Voice Actor for various scripted dramas on television including Quantico on ABC. She has garnered two Best Supporting Actress nominations for her role in the short film The Pleasure of Being Served making its rounds in the festival circuit. This marks her second collaboration with Virago Ensemble. She directed their staged reading of Last Summer at Bluefish Cove earlier this year.

Bonita Jackson is a NYC based actress who has graced the stage in countless productions, including two self-produced one woman shows. She is all about using this craft for shaking up things. Her calling is to help give voices to minorities and the underserved; all for the betterment of humanity. Wanna know more: 

Callie Danae Hirsch is a visual artist. The MTA Arts for Transit commissioned her to do the artwork at 105th Beach Station in the Rockaways, she just completed painting a piano for Sing for Hope, and has been included in numerous shows and art residencies. She fully believes in Arts for All, what public art is all about. Her work can be seen at:

Noa Fort is an Israeli born, Brooklyn based vocalist, pianist, composer, improviser and music therapist. Noa was recently regarded as "one of New York's more interesting and original artists" (New York Music Daily). She draws inspiration from many worlds of music, such as Jazz, avant-rock and free improvisation, and takes her listeners "on an intimate journey through lyrical and melodic shades of being" (All About Jazz). Her debut album 'No World Between Us' was released in January 2018 and was immediately received with critical acclaim.

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