J.R.R. Tolkien's Great Grandson Brings New Play TEREZIN Off-Broadway Tonight

By: Jun. 20, 2017
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The Steinberg Theater Group presents TEREZIN, written and Directed by Nicholas Tolkien, the great grandson of novelist J.R.R. Tolkien (The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings trilogy), making its world premiere at New York's Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 W. 42nd Street, 4th Floor) for a strictly limited engagement through Sunday, July 2, 2017. Opening Night is set for tonight, June 20 at 7:00pm.

Tickets are $38 and can be purchased online at www.TicketCentral.com and searching "Terezin," by phone at (212) 279-4200, or at the Ticket Central Box Office (located at 416 W. 42nd Street, between Ninth & Tenth Avenues).

Based in part on The Terezin Diary of Gonda Redlich, TEREZIN tells the story of two Jewish girls - Alexi, a brilliant violin player, and her friend Violet - locked in desperate struggle for survival after arriving at Terezin. After Violet mysteriously disappears and Alexi's only hope to find her is with the aid of a Nazi commander offering her a Faustian bargain - teach him to play the violin and he will reveal Violet's whereabouts. But could you really trust the very man who ordered the deportation and extermination of her own people?

TEREZIN is written and Directed by Nicholas Tolkien and features an ensemble cast of actors led by Mecedonian actress Natasa Petrovic as Alexi and Canadian Screen Award-nominee for the critically acclaimed film Natasha, Sasha K. Gordon as Violet. The acting ensemble also includes Skyler Gallun, Michael Leigh Cook, Sam Gibbs, Sophia Davey, Charlie Manoukian, Ashley Siflinger, Blake Lewis, Isabel Lodge, Peter Angelinas, Alex Escher, and Morgan Ashley Reichberg. The production features scenic design by Anna Driftmier, lighting design by Amanada Szabó, sound design by David Van Tiegham, and costume design by Belinda Michelle Hancock.

Performances of TEREZIN will take place at The Peter Jay Sharp Theater (416 W. 42nd Street, 4th Floor) now through July 2 according to the following schedule: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:00pm; and Sundays at 2:30pm and 7:00pm.

Tickets for TEREZIN are $38 and can be purchased online at www.TicketCentral.com and searching "Terezin," by phone at (212) 279-4200, or at the Ticket Central Box Office (located at 416 W. 42nd Street, between Ninth & Tenth Avenues). For more information about TEREZIN, visit www.TerezinThePlay.com.


Nicholas Tolkien (Playwright/Director/Producer) is a playwright and theatre director from London, England. He is the Great-Grandson of poet J.R.R. Tolkien, writer of The Lord of The Rings. He has Directed several feature films, including Masquerade that premiered at the 2012 Santa Barbara International Film Festival and has published his poetry in literary magazines such as phren-Z. He is the winner of the 2016 Morton Marcus Poetry Prize and was inspired to write about Terezin from the writing of Gonda Redlich, an inmate at the ghetto.

Natasa Petrovic (Alexi) is a Macedonian actress of Serbian descent. Natasa made her on-screen debut in the Macedonian film Shadows by Mil?o Man?evski (2007). She reached worldwide success with As If I Am Not There Directed by JuAnita Wilson, which has been selected as the Irish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 84th Academy AwardS. Petrovic's performance earned her the Seattle International Film Festival Award for Best Actress, as well as the Irish Film and Television Award for Best International Actress and Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Acting Performance. At the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, Petrovic was one of ten European actors, that were presented the Shooting Stars Award by the European Film Promotion. American magazine Variety also named her as one of the most promising actresses today. In 2011, Natasha made her stage debut as Célimène in Le Misanthrope by Molière. She also played Elikia in The Sound of Cracking Bones by Suzanne Lebeau.

Sasha K. Gordon (Violet) was born and raised in Odessa, Ukraine and moved to the U.S. at the age of 16. She holds a degree in Marketing and Finance from Fordham University. Sasha has been studying acting at HB Studio and with Bruce Ornstein. She is a member of Wednesday Repertory Company in New York. Sasha made her feature debut in the title role of David Bezmozgis's Natasha for which she garnered a Canadian Screen Awards nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role, while the film recived a nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay. Natasha recently premiered at Lincoln Plaza Cinema to rave reviews. Theater credits at the Wed Rep Company include: Repercussions, Meet Prey Love and a Gathering of Unusual Proportions. Film/ TV: The Knights of Shame (Destiny), Lover's Game (Olivia) and After the long Beat (Eva). Sasha made her directorial debut in a short film titled Unique New York, which she also wrote and starred in. She is thrilled to join the cast of Terezin and to give voices to those who need to be heard.

Skyler Gallun (Eric) is an actor originally from Denver, CO, now based out of New York. He has a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he studied at The Meisner Studio and The Royal Academy for Dramatic Arts. Recent credits include: Lord of the Flies (Henry) at The Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Dogville (Jason), the American Stage Premiere Directed by Robert O'Hara, and Romeo and Juliet (Benvolio) in Shakespeare in Bryant Park.

Michael Leigh Cook (Karl Rahm/Associate Producer) is a New York based SAG-AFTRA actor, he has British and German ancestry. He received the Orson Welles Award and has been nominated for a SOFIE (Best Supporting Actor) for his performance in If The Trees Could Talk at The Short Film Festival. Michael studied at the HB Studio NYC, where he has been coached by director / writer Jonathan Lynn, Academy- & Tony Award winning actress Mercedes Ruehl, and actress Amanda Quaid. Theater credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo) and The Glass Menagerie (Tom Wingfield) at the Theatre Factory, Fabrice in Ornifle ou le courant d'air, (European tour), It Runs in the Family (Leslie Tate) at The Comedy. In 2015 Michael played Mr. Kraler in The Diary of Anne Frank at The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, dir. by Joe Discher. He portrayed several real-life characters on US television, such as: FBI agent Roy De Vecchio, Col.von Stauffenberg & Claus von Buelow. Film / TV credits: The Vessel (Lead), guest starring -and recurring roles on numerous TV shows overseas: The Precinct (Endemol, Netherlands), Derrick - one of the most successful European TV series, Third District (Germany), Medicopter 117 (Austria). In 2016 / 2017 he served on the SAG Awards Nominating Committee.

Sam Gibbs (Kurt Markowitz) studied acting and directing at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and obtained a Masters degree in classical theater from the London Academy of Musical and Dramatic Art. Previously, Sam was the artistic director with Free Theater, LLC where he Directed and co-produced six plays: Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV 1 + 2, Pariah, An American Tragedy ("Prairie du Chien" segment), Pericles and Cymbeline. The Free Theater produced events tailored to their texts, with sensational effects and situations. A Midsummer Night's Dream, for example, was produced in a park in Berkeley, CA, while the actors lived commune-style in the same house and the costumes were composed of mostly mud and leaves. Sam is currently directing with Stairwell, as well as acting and coaching Shakespeare around the New York area.

Sophia Davey (Isabella) was born in Australia, to British and Cypriot parents. She moved to the UK where she was then educated in Yorkshire England at the prestigious Pocklington Grammar. Returning to Australia Sophia was cast as the lead in her first film, Will at the age of 17. This lead her to train with some of Australia's best acting teachers Gavin Robins - Head of Movement NIDA, Peter Kalos - Melbourne Actors Lab , Ivana Chubbuck - 16th Street and then on to the USA where she is mentored by Susan Batson, New York. Film/TV credits include: Hunter (official selection Cannes St Kilda Fest) Black Jacks TV (LA), Liz Drives, Creative Kids TV Australia, Declassified, Waiting for Eva. Theatre credits: Melbourne Boys (Malthouse Theatre), Chemical Snow (Owl and Cat Theatre) and North of Providence, dir.: James Lee.

Charlie Manoukian (Stefan/Maurice Rossel) studied at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and received a BFA in Drama Performance. He continued studying at Playwrights Horizons Theater School - where he learned about the various aspects of theater. He completed his NYU training at the Classical Studio, where he learned to act within the structure of Shakespearean verse. Charlie graduated with honors in the spring of 2016. Theater credits include Hamlet (Laertes) and As You Like It (Orlando), both Directed by Louis Scheeder & Daniel Spector, as well as Sam in The Happy Journey to Trenton and Camden, Mr. Kruger in The Long Christmas Dinner, and Elmer in PULLMAN CAR HIAWATHA (all 3 short plays by Thornton Wilder were performed in one evening under the title Do Let Me Stop a Minute). Film / TV credits include: Sales Pitch and Flip Cup.

Ashley Sifinger (Olga) is a recent graduate of the Drama Department at Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. Ashley did her primary theatre training at Playwrights Horizons Theatre School and then went on to study film acting at Stone Street Studios. Theatre credits include Uncle Vanya and Woyzeck. Previous theatre credits include Woodshed Collective's Alexandria and Sundog Theatre's Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry. The past six months Ashley has been working on a number of independent films as well as writing and performing in various comedic sketches. As a granddaughter of those affected by the Shoah, she feels incredibly humbled to be a part of this production.

Blake Lewis (Peter/SS Platoon Leader) is best known for Imperfect Sky (2015), Directed by Graham Streeter. Additional film credits include Anything (2017) and Flying Cars (2016). He has received several awards for his portrayal as Skyler in Imperfect Sky - including Best Breakout Performance at the First Glance Film Fest Hollywood, Emerging Actor at the Hollywood Reel Independent Film Festival, Best Male Actor at the Sydney Indie Film Festival, and the Golden Statuette as Best Actor at the Vienna Independent Film Festival. Blake studied at Stella Adler Academy of Acting, Los Angeles. He has been coached by Milton Justice, Timothy McNeil and CHRISTOPHER THORNton. Theater credits: Breathe Casey (Lead) Dir. Levy Lee Simon / Greenway Court Theatre, Waiting for Godot Vladimir (Lead) Dir. Milton Justice / Stella Adler Theatre, Beirut Torch (Lead) Dir. Bill Voorhes / Lounge Theatre and Machu Picchu, Texas, Michael (Supporting) Dir. Timothy McNeil / Gilbert Theater.

Isabel Lodge (Mary/Rachel). Born and raised in Boston, Isabel's love of performing began in middle school and took her to NYU's Tisch School of Arts to study acting. In 2014, she studied at the Stella Adler Studio. Since graduation, Isabel has been pursuing film acting, writing and creating work with fellow artists and friends. She also works as a model and continues refining her craft at a theater in SoHo. Theater credits: Sweeney Todd (Ms. Lovett), Betrayal (Emma), Stage Door (Jean Maitland), The Maids (Solange) and The Butcher and his Daughter at the Manhattan Repertory Theater. Film/TV credits: Monodrama, "Show me a Hero" (HBO), Hiding.

Peter Angelinas (Dr. Paul Eppstein) studied at Hunter College and at Studio 4 in New York, where he worked closely with James Franco. He Directed Almost an Evening, a collection of short comedies at Hunter College. Theater credits include: Scene Night, Krane Theater, All F...d up, Studio 4, Film credits include: Before I Disappear.

Alex Escher (Gonda Redlich/Russian Soldier) s a New York based SAG-AFTRA actor who studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company Conservatory before heading to Cincinnati to pursue a BFA from College Conservatory of Music (CCM). Upon returning to New York, he appeared on Saturday Night Live and a series regular in Warlovers: Making The Musical. Additional credits include Between Mouthfuls (Atlantic Theatre Company) Gods At The End Of The World (Theatre For A New City), Hurtling Stillness (White Listed Theatre Company) and numerous sketch comedy and improvisation gigs. An avid tennis player and former USSA ski racer, Alex is a certi?ed actor combatant and a black belt in karate. Deported from Hungary at 16, Alex's grandfather survived Auschwitz, Dachau, Buchenwald and Mauthausen. Terezin honors him, his family and all those who endured.

Morgan Ashley Reichberg (Julia/Lilly) found a passion for acting at the age of five. She started acting at an early age in community theaters and school. She played Sophie in Anastasia, and Squirt in Finding Nemo, both at the French Woods Center, Hancock NY. Further stage credits: Jojo in Seussical (school) and defendant in Fairy Tale Courtroom at the Alpha Theater NY. Morgan is known for her role in the short film Julia. She also played a supporting role in the short film Playboy. Her most recent commercials were for two books Making Bombs for Hitler and Going Wild.


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