Cast Set For MESSY WHITE GAYS and SHANGHAI SONATAS at Vassar College

Learn more about the cast here!

By: Jul. 10, 2024
Cast Set For MESSY WHITE GAYS and SHANGHAI SONATAS at Vassar College
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Vassar College has announced additional casting for the highly anticipated 38th Powerhouse Theater Season, which continues through Sunday, July 28. Actors joining the annual summer play development festival include Jeffery Self, who is best known for his recurring role on HBO Max's "Search Party"; the star and writer of A24's Dicks: The Musical, Aaron Jackson; from "American Horror Story" and "Love, Victor," Nico Greetham; and Pete Zias (The Groundlings, Upright Citizens Brigade)-all of whom will join Drew Droege (Titanique) on stage in the biting comedy Messy White Gays (July 19-21), directed by Mike Donahue (The Legend of Georgia McBride).

Among the Broadway standouts joining the sweeping musical Shanghai Sonatas (July 26-28) include Lauren Blackman, who most recently appeared in Lempicka; Ryan Vona (Parade, Cirque du Soleil's Paramour, Once), direct from Broadway's How to Dance in Ohio, Amelia Fei; Jason Forbach, who most recently appeared in the Broadway revival of Into The Woods; from Funny Girl and "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," Debra Cardona; known for playing Ron Weasley in Broadway's Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, David Abeles; Eric Bondoc (Pacific Overtures); and Neal Mayer (LES MISERABLES). They will be joined onstage by Kelsey Anne Brown, Cáitlín Burke, Regene Odon, Julian Remulla, and Xiaoqing Zhang. From the creative team of Sean Gao, Alan Goodson and Joyce Hill Stoner, with direction from Chongren Fan, Shanghai Sonatas is a new musical based on the memoirs of Jewish refugee musicians who escaped Nazi Germany and found refuge in Shanghai in the 1930s and '40s.

Messy White Gays is produced by The Fabulous Invalid with casting by Ryan Bernard Tymensky, RBT Casting. Michal V. Mendelson serves as the Production Stage Manager and Mary Garrigan as the Assistant Stage Manager. Shanghai Sonatas is produced by LED Theatrical Productions with casting by Alexandre Bleau, CSA at Jim Carnahan Casting. Aaron A. Watson serves as the Production Stage Manager and Grace Cazzaniga as the Assistant Stage Manager.

As previously announced, the lesbian spy thriller musical Absolute Zero (July 12-14), from writing team Dorie Clark and Marie Incontrera, directed by Ellie Heyman and choreographed by Bo Park, will feature Gabi Carrubba ("American Idol," Dear Evan Hansen), Jerusha Cavazos (The Prom), Jess Darrow (Disney's Encanto), Kasper, Maya Lagerstam, Youran Lee, Tony nominee Crystal Lucas-Perry (Ain't No Mo', 1776), and Tatum Marshall.

Members of the renowned Powerhouse Theater Training Company will present a slate of free theater throughout the season including Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, adapted and directed by Devin Kawaoka ("Chicago Med"), and The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Caley Chase. Both will be performed outside at the Preserve at Vassar. Max Reuben directs the company in the innovative use of Soundpainting, a gestural language, in a completely devised project at the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center. And theater-making team Hal Cosentino and Ellenor Riley-Condit explore humanity's capacity to defy our assumed limits in Marathon.

Previous productions that have already been presented in the 38th Powerhouse Season include:

A play workshop presentation of Jocelyn Kuritsky's Webby Award-honored podcast A Simple Herstory (July 5-7) featuring the talents of Florencia Lozano ("One Life To Live"), David Shih (Life of Pi) and Colleen Werthmann ("The Daily Show with Trevor Noah"), directed by Artistic Director of The Tank, Meghan Finn.

This Place is Definitely Haunted (June 21), written by Max Reuben, directed by Caley Chase and featuring Fernando Gonzalez, Char Nakashima-Conway, and Carolyn Reuben.

Theatre East's Extinction (June 23), written by C.J. Baer, directed by Judson Jones, and featuring Emma Chart, Shaun Bennet Fauntleroy, Tom Green, Brianna Lucille, Oliver Palmer, and Gabriel Wassif.

The Tank's Holes in the Shape of My Father (June 27), written and performed by Savon Bartley, directed by Adam Coy.

Possessed (or, "the Crazy African Girl" play) (June 28), written by Gloria Majule, directed by Shariffa Ali, and featuring Ngozi Anyanwu (The Homecoming Queen), Amandla Jahava (Exception to the Rule) and Michael Oloyede (Jaja's African Hair Braiding).

The Leah Ryan Fund's Ping Pong Play (June 29), written by Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin, directed by Benita de Wit and featuring ChiWen Chang and Maya Jeyam.

3 Graces (June 30) by Alexandra Neil (Rock 'n' Roll), directed by Valentina Fratti and featuring Drama Desk winner Purva Bedi (Dance Nation), Obie winner Yvette Ganier (Breath, Boom) and Zoë Van Tieghem.

For tickets and additional information about the Powerhouse Season, visit


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