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Kitchen Theatre Company Begins 2018 with A Play About An Immigrant's Experience

Kitchen Theatre Company Begins 2018 with A Play About An Immigrant's Experience

Kitchen Theatre Company continues its 2017-2018 Season with the regional premiere of Ironbound by Martyna Majok, a gritty, honest, and at times humorous look at an immigrant experience in America. Performances of Ironbound begin at the Kitchen Theatre Company in The Percy Browning Performance Space on January 21 and run through February 4.

Hard-working Polish immigrant Darja lives in Elizabeth, NJ and stays afloat doing various factory and cleaning jobs. With a child to support, she is done dating cheaters and dreamers. Over the course of two decades and three relationships, Darja must decide how hard she's willing to fight for herself and the only thing that matters more-her son.

From rising star Martyna Majok comes a portrait of a woman for whom love is a luxury-and a liability-when struggling to survive in America. Tough but hopeful, the play raises questions about poverty, the immigrant experience, the value of relationships, and what we are willing to sacrifice. The Washington Post says of the play, "You seldom see plays that are both harsh and wonderful, but that is the balance that Polish-born playwright Martyna Majok strikes."

Darja is played by New York City actor Kate MacCluggage. She is joined by three actors with Ithaca College connections: her first love, Maks, a blues musician who came with Darja from Poland to the U.S., is played by Ithaca College graduate Marcin Mesa; current Ithaca College sophomore Adrian Abel Amador plays the teenage Vic, and Ithaca College Assistant Professor of Acting Austin Jones plays Tommy, Darja's most recent lover. Kitchen Theatre Company Producing Artistic Director M. Bevin O'Gara directs.

"Ironbound is a play I've been wanting to direct since I first read it," says M. Bevin O'Gara. "It speaks to so many concerns and issues that are important to examine at this moment, and it asks us to see beyond the headlines, beyond our own assumptions and into the lives of people who for a long time have been unseen. I am thrilled to dig into this truthful play with an extremely talented cast of local and NYC actors and a great design team."

Scenic and lighting design is by David Arsenault, another Ithaca College alum. His work has been seen on stages across the country, including a dozen productions at the Kitchen. Sound design is by Lesley Greene, the Kitchen's Associate Producing Director. Costume design is by Lisa Boquist. The Props Designer is Megan Parker. Lizzie King-Hall is the dialect coach, and Ithaca musician Nate Marshall is the musical coach. The assistant director is Zoë Golub-Sass, the assistant stage manager is Loren Roth, and the Production Stage Manager is Jennifer Schilansky. Brendan Komala is providing Technical Direction.

Special events for Ironbound include Pay What You Can Nights on January 21 and 23 and Actors' Forum discussions after the show on January 26 and February 2. There will be a free post-show talk on Sunday, January 28. For more events and information, visit


Martyna Majok (Playwright) was born in Bytom, Poland, and grew up in Jersey and Chicago. Her plays have been performed and developed at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Manhattan Theatre Club, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Women's Project Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center, and The John F. Kennedy Center, among others. Awards include The Dramatists Guild's Lanford Wilson Award, The Lilly Awards' Stacey Mindich Prize, Helen Merrill Emerging Playwright Award, Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding Original New Play or Musical at The Helen Hayes Awards, The Ashland New Plays Festival Women's Invitational Prize, The Kennedy Center's Jean Kennedy Smith Award, Marin Theatre's David Calicchio Emerging American Playwright Prize, New York Theatre Workshop's 2050 Fellowship, Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project Prize, National New Play Network's Smith Prize for Political Playwriting, Jane Chambers Student Feminist Playwriting Prize, and The Merage Foundation Fellowship for the American Dream. Commissions from Lincoln Center, The Bush Theatre in London, The Geffen Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, South Coast Rep, and Manhattan Theatre Club. Publications by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, TCG, and Smith & Kraus. Residencies at The Vineyard Arts Project with The Public Theatre, Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, Fuller Road, Marble House Project, and Ragdale. BA: University of Chicago; MFA: Yale School of Drama, The Juilliard School. She has taught playwriting at Williams College, Wesleyan University, SUNY Purchase, Primary Stages ESPA, NJRep, and as an assistant to Paula Vogel at Yale. Alumna of EST's Youngblood and Women's Project Lab. Martyna is a Core Writer at Playwrights Center and a member of The Dramatists Guild, The Writers Guild of America East, and New York Theatre Workshop's Usual Suspects. Martyna was a 2012-2013 NNPN playwright-in-residence and the 2015-2016 PoNY Fellow at the Lark Play Development Center.

M. Bevin O'Gara (Director) is Artistic Producing Director at the Kitchen Theatre Company. As a director, Bevin's credits include The Who & The What by Ayad Ahktar, Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge (Elliot Norton Award nomination for Best Production) and Becoming Cuba by Melinda Lopez at the Huntington Theatre Company; The Bridges of Madison County, appropriate, A Future Perfect, Tribes (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for Best Production), and Clybourne Park with SpeakEasy Stage Company; Brahman/i, Chronicles of Kalki, You for Me for You, Love Person, and The Pain and the Itch with Company One Theatre; Phedre with Actors' Shakespeare Project; Fast Company with the Lyric Stage Company, Marjorie Prime with the Nora Theatre Company, How Soft the Lining and Translations with Bad Habit Productions, Two Wives in India and Gary with Boston Playwrights' Theatre, 2.5 Minute Ride with New Repertory Theatre, and Melancholy Play with Holland Productions. Read more about M. Bevin O'Gara

David Arsenault (Scenic/Lighting Design) has designed productions ranging from small, found-space projects to large-scale musicals. Kitchen Theatre Company: A dozen shows including A Body of Water, Sunset Baby, Seminar,Cock, Black Pearl Sings! (also Geva Theatre), The Motherf**ker with the Hat, The Whipping Man, Call Me Waldo (also Working Theatre), Selling Out, and Mary's Wedding. In New York City, he has designed productions at The Westside Theatre, Theatre Row and 59E59 Theatres, among others. He has worked with Prospect Theatre Company, The Play Company, kef Productions, New Federal Theatre, and the Working Theatre. Regionally, his work has been seen at the Bucks County Playhouse, Hudson Stage Company, Geva Theatre, Gulfshore Playhouse, No Rules Theatre Company, UrbanArias, and the Merry Go Round Playhouse. As an associate, he will be working on the Broadway productions of The Color Purple and King Charles III this fall. Other associate credits include collaborating with director/designer J.H. Doyle on the NYC revivals of Sondheim's Passion and Rodgers & Hammerstein's Allegro at Classic Stage Company and the revival of The Color Purple at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. As a design assistant, he worked on the Broadway production of Constellations with designer Tom Scutt and has also worked for designers Santo Loquasto, Andrew Jackness, Tobin Ost, Wilson Chin, Alexander Dodge and David Korins. He has spent summers in the scenic design studio at the Tony Award-winning Williamstown Theatre Festival and in the props department at Barrington Stage Company in Pittsfield, MA. He currently resides in Manhattan and has a degree from Ithaca College.

LESLEY LISA GREENE (Sound Design) is Associate Producing Director at the Kitchen, where she has been a staff member since 2003. In addition to her administrative duties, she has created sound & projection designs for many productions (Mary's Wedding, The Brothers Size, The Whipping Man, Last Train to Nibroc, Speech and Debate, among others), written original music for family musicals (Physics Fair, Park Play, Winter Tales, Emmett & Ella's Big Apple Escapade, and more), danced and created choreography for many fundraising events, and acted in Family Fare productions. Lesley is a co-founder of Porchfest, a music festival held on the porches of the Fall Creek and Northside neighborhoods since 2007, which has now spread to over 100 cities across the U.S. and Canada.

LISA BOQUIST (Costume Design) has designed and coordinated costumes for a number of previous productions at Kitchen Theatre Company, including: Precious Nonsense, Thin Walls, A Body of Water, Lungs, Black Pearl Sings!, Heroes, The Motherf**ker with the Hat, The Whipping Man, Circle Mirror Transformation, Irma Vep, Red Light Winter, Broke-ology and Waiting For Spring. Other favorite designs at the Kitchen include Mary's Wedding, Bed and Sofa, Last Train To Nibroc, I Become A Guitar, and Nine Parts Of Desire. She runs her own studio, where she designs and constructs prototypes, mascots and custom clothing for film and public appearances. She has been the Textiles Coordinator and Design Associate for MacKenzie-Childs, Ltd., and presently runs the costume shop at Cornell University. There she is responsible for training students in all aspects of costume construction, and has designed costumes for: Picasso At The Lapin Agile, Beat Box Bard, Bedroom Farce, and Drama, Dance And The Disco Of Desire, among others.

ADRIAN ABEL AMADOR (Vic) is incredibly ecstatic to be making his debut at the Kitchen Theatre and to work with the tremendous cast and crew on this production! Adrian was born and raised in Washington Heights, New York, and is currently a Sophomore BFA Acting major at Ithaca College. His other credits include: The Rover, Luna Gale (Ithaca College), Much Ado About Nothing, Richard III(Ithaca Shakespeare Company), Twelfth Night (On the Verge), Really Really (Ithaca Theatre Collective), & The Love of Three Oranges (Acting Manitou at The Ensemble Studio Theater).

Austin Jones* (Tommy) Is thrilled to be making his Kitchen Theatre debut. He was last seen in Ithaca in The Hangar production of The Foreigner. Other credits include: (New York City) - Classic Stage Company, The Roundabout Theatre, The Public Theatre, Next in Line Productions, Prospect Theatre Company, Clubbed Thumb, and the New York City Fringe Festival. (Regionally) - Yale Repertory, Stamford Center of the Arts, and the Chicago Mary-Arrchie Theatre. (Film and Television) Louie, Boardwalk Empire, The Sopranos, Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, Lipstick Jungle, Firefly and the Bride, Lonely (PBS Short Film). Austin holds a MFA in Acting from the Yale School of Drama and recently joined Ithaca College's Department of Theatre Arts as an Assistant Professor of Acting.

Kate MacCluggage* (Darja) NY Theater: The Farnsworth Invention (Broadway); The 39 Steps (Off-B'way); The Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing (Theatre for a New Audience); In Quietness by Anna Moench (Dutch Kills); Primal Play by Krista Knight (New Georges); Three Sisters (The Assembly). Regional: Hartford Stage, Syracuse Stage, Long Wharf, McCarter, Westport Country Playhouse, Virginia Stage, Portland Center Stage, Denver Center, Chautauqua Theater Company. TV: "TURN: Washington's Spies" (AMC); "Law & Order: SVU", "Chicago Justice" (NBC); "The Knick" (Cinemax); "Red Oaks" (Amazon); "Rachel Dratch's Late Night Snack" (TruTV). Kate is the voice of Ella Sunshine on the Fall of the House of Sunshine Brushtown Stories podcast from writer Jonathan A. Goldberg. Upcoming: supporting lead in The Magnificent Meyersons, an indie film from writer/director Evan Oppenheimer. MFA: NYU Graduate Acting, BA: Wesleyan University.

MARCIN MESA (Maks) is a graduate of Ithaca College who now lives in Los Angeles. Some memorable theatrical roles include Jon in Tape and Sebastian in Twelfth Night. Some film credits include Ferny in Saving Lucas, Beau in Keep Quiet, and Elliot in Robbing Lessons. *member, Actors' Equity Association

Bold, intimate, engaging... Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC), now in its 27th season, is downtown Ithaca's critically acclaimed and nationally recognized year-round professional theater company, specializing in regional and world premiere plays. KTC's intimate 99-seat theater is in a beautifully renovated, LEED-certified building in the West End neighborhood of downtown Ithaca, New York. KTC is the first not-for-profit recipient of the David R. Strong Memorial "Small Business of the Year" Award from the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce and receives public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State Agency, and the Tompkins County Tourism Program. The Kitchen Theatre Company also receives general operating support from the Shubert Foundation.

Photo: Adrian Abel Amador and Kate MacCluggage in IRONBOUND

Photo by Lesley Greene

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