The Cell Theatre Unveils 2024-2025 Season Featuring Over 20 Resident Artists

The season will feature FALL, Written and directed by Colm Summers, SUSAN FORCE AND THE SCHOOL FOR LADY BRIDE SNATCHERS, a new play by Caroline Hewitt.

By: Feb. 27, 2024
The Cell Theatre Unveils 2024-2025 Season Featuring Over 20 Resident Artists
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Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre has revealed its 2024-25 season featuring over 20 resident artists, as well as the official Off-Broadway premiere of Matthew Labanca's Communion. The cell's residency program is awarded to individuals on a project-by-project basis and includes financial support, rehearsal and performance space, as well as developmental and technical resources. Additional team members and dates to be announced soon.

In addition to the upcoming season, this year the cell has revealed a partnership with 5 Harts Rd. a multi-purpose venue and communal living space built on 7.2 acres of farmland in upstate New York. Artists will have the opportunity to escape the busy culture of the city and be given time and space to develop work that will be later presented in the cell's space in Chelsea.

Nancy Manocherian's the cell theatre is a not-for-profit dedicated to the incubation and presentation of new work across all artistic disciplines that mine the mind, pierce the heart, and awaken the soul. Founded in 2006 as a "21st-century salon", the cell has provided a developmental home in the heart of Chelsea for the performing arts, food artists, cyborg theatre artists, musicians, installation artists, choreographers, and more. Past performances include cryptochrome, I'm Gonna Marry You Tobey Maguire, The Smallest Sound in the Smallest Space with The Why Collective, What Kind of Woman, when the blossom passes, what remains?, The Final Veil, Elizabeth Swados' Nightclub Cantata, What Keeps You Going?, Fruma-Sarah (Waiting in the Wings) (starring Jackie Hoffman), Persou by One Whale's Tale, Tolerance Party, Found, Hoard (co-produced with Off the Wall), The Evolution of Mann, Bastard Jones (a Drama-Desk Award nominee), Crackskull Row, Hey Jude, Rady & Bloom's Peter/Wendy, The McGowan Trilogy, Horse Girls, Hard Times: An American Musical (now the Tony-Award Winning Paradise Square) and Dinner and Delusion. Work developed at the cell has been seen on Broadway, Irish Repertory Theatre, MCC, Rattlestick Playwrights' Theatre, New World Stages, Cherry Lane Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage, Toyohashi Arts Theatre, Kino Theater, UK, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Carnegie Stage, Carnegie Museum of Art, and Art Basel Miami. the cell is made up of Founding Artistic Director Nancy Manocherian, Artistic Director Kira Simring, Associate Artistic Director Brian Reager, General Manager Jonah Levy, and Technical Director Julian Singer-Corbin.
 

FALL

Written and directed by Colm Summers.
MAY 17-19 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
When a young father is diagnosed with Parkinsons, he does everything to protect his relationship with his son. As his condition deteriorates and their roles are reversed, his every expectation of fatherhood falls away. Will he lose himself or - worse - his son, in the process? Fall is a play about fatherhood, care and forgiveness. Set in rural Ireland, Fall features no tremors, no trauma, and a lot of Dad jokes - this is not-your-mother's Parkinson's play. Told in a series of falls, it examines how we get hurt, and sometimes, how we can catch one another before we get hurt.

Colm Summers (he/him) is an award-winning Irish director, based in NYC, and the new Artistic Director of the Working Theater. He recently had his America regional debut at The Geffen Playhouse where he directed Every Brilliant Thing by Duncan MacMillan, starring Daniel K Isaac (Billions) to rave reviews, including Theaterly's BEST OF 2024. Colm has developed work with Berkeley Rep, Rattlestick Theatre, Abbey Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, and more. He was a 2023 Groundfloor cohort member at Berkeley Rep and was the inaugural Resident Director at both The Geffen Playhouse and at the Abbey, the National Theater of Ireland. In 2023, he won Ireland's most prestigious bursary for emerging artists, the Next Generation Artist Award, and is a member of Origin Theater Company and Irish Arts Center Scéal Nua playwrights' group.
 

SUSAN FORCE AND THE SCHOOL FOR LADY BRIDE SNATCHERS

A new play by Caroline Hewitt.
JUNE 2024 / PUBLIC READING
Set in England in 1818, the story is inspired by the historical occurrence of heiress snatching: young women of means were abducted by nefarious wastrels and forced into marriage. In order to avoid her wedding to a horrid Duke, Susan Force and her maid Netta make it look like she's been kidnapped. The plan works, so Susan and Netta open a school to help wealthy young women 'self-snatch.' The school is wildly successful until the students attempt to kidnap a Duke. It all goes terribly wrong, and Susan and Netta quickly realize that subverting the patriarchy is harder than they thought.

Caroline Hewitt is a playwright, audiobook narrator, and actress. Susan Force and the School for Lady Bride Snatchers, is her first original play: it won the 2023 Louise Wigglesworth Excellence in Playwriting award. Her adaptation of Howards End made the 2020 Kilroys List and was developed at the 2019 JAW Festival at Portland Center Stage and the 2018 What's Next Fest at The Theater at Monmouth. Her adaptation of The House of Mirth was workshopped at the Dramatist Guild's Friday Night Footlights. Caroline is an award-winning audiobook narrator of with 100+ credits for national and international publishers. As an actress, she has appeared on Broadway in Junk and The Front Page and worked extensively Off-Broadway and regionally. Television credits include Harlem, FBI: Most Wanted, The I-Land, When They See Us, New Amsterdam and The Black List. She has her MFA in Acting from ACT, and her BA in French from Vassar.
 

THE ORIGINALS

A new play by Lauren Wimmer.
JUNE 2024 / PUBLIC READING
When Iris arrives home from college, she discovers her father is trying to replace her with a baby doll also named Iris. Montana did not want to become a mom, abandoning her daughter when she was born. Now Montana is a nomad, driving across the country, picking up hitchhikers when she can. When the women cross paths, their connection is unlike anything they've ever known.

Lauren Wimmer (Playwright) Lauren Wimmer's plays have been produced or developed at Cave Theatre Co., Vineyard Arts Project, Dixon Place, Sewanee Writers' Conference, Panndora Productions, The Tank, Play by Play, A Collective Artists, The Dramatists Guild, PlayGround-NY, Irondale, Imaginarium Theatre Company, Mid-America Theatre Conference, Kennedy Center's American College Theatre Festival, Theater For The New City, Swarm Artist Residency, The Workshop Theater, Campfire Theatre Festival, Ars Nova's ANT Fest, Theatre Evolve, The Annoyance, Theater Masters, The Bechdel Group, Possibilities Theatre Company, and Mildred's Umbrella Theater Company. Lauren's a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. She's been a Playwrights' Center Core Apprentice and Sitka Fellow. Her work's been published by Samuel French. Additionally, she's been a finalist for the Maxim Mazumdar New Play Award, a semi-finalist for the Princess Grace Award, and a nominee for the L. Arnold Weissberger New Play Award at Williamstown Theatre Festival. Lauren is a graduate of The Second City's Conservatory and Writing programs. She received her B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and her M.F.A. from Carnegie Mellon University where she was the recipient of the Mary Marlin Fisher Playwriting Award and the Jean & Samuel Elgart ACS Legacy Fellowship.
 

COCKROACHES

A new play by Emma Schillage.
JULY 2024 / PUBLIC READING
Cockroaches is a Southern Gothic dark comedy about three sisters trapped in their childhood home grappling with their mother's most recent suicide attempt. Momma has been acting strange since coming home from the hospital, causing eldest daughter, Jenny, to come home from college, middle child, Charlie, to act out, and youngest child, Sissy, to follow in her mother's footsteps. Not to mention, monsters are lurking, ready to consume every bit of innocence in their path. As their mother's humanity fades, the sisters must learn to care for themselves and each other. Inspired by Southern Gothic tales and loosely based on Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis, Cockroaches explores how we create monsters, survive them, punish them, and learn from them in the wake of disaster.

Emma Schillage (they/she) is a Southern Gothic playwright based in New Orleans and New York. They write about resilience, girlhood, and the horror / wonder of growing up in the Deep South. Schillage earned their BA in Theatre Arts from Loyola University New Orleans ('19) and MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University ('23). Their work has been produced by The 24-Hour Plays: Nationals, Breaking and Entering Theatre Co., and Southern Rep Theatre. Their play, COCKROACHES, is also a semi-finalist in the Austin Film Festival Playwriting Competition and Long-Listed as a part of the Seattle Public Theatre's New Works Festival. You can find them @emma_schillage on social media or at emmaschillage.com.
 

OBLAST

A new play by Elise Wien. Directed by Gabby Farrah.
JULY 2024 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
A Birthright Data Analysis Intern gives an end-of-quarter presentation. What begins as a buttoned-up Powerpoint on declining enrollment grows stranger and stranger as it turns into a tale of the Intern's failing relationship. Ever since the Intern's partner learned about Birobidzhan - the USSR's Jewish Autonomous Oblast and the world's first sovereign(ish) Jewish state - she's become obsessed. She digs through books and online archives, and eventually travels to the remote province for a research project. But when she returns, the Intern notices some changes. She emits a constant hum, interferes with the WiFi, and is intent on convincing the Intern to send future Birthright participants to the Oblast. In this TED Talk gone awry, the Intern tests how nation, homeland, propaganda, and memory unravel when we set Israel and Birobidzhan side-by-side.

Elise Wien is a writer who likes to make her plays like cakes - with a frosting of slapstick comedy, a moist inner layer of complex emotional landscape, and a molten core of ethical dilemma (OPEN WIDE). Her plays include Osher & the Infinite Curtain (Jewish Plays Project), OTP (Boston Playwrights' Theatre), [cowboy face] (Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize for Comic Playwriting), and Craters, or the making of the making of the moon landing (Production, Smith College; Reading, Corkscrew Theater Festival). She's currently under commission from EST/Sloan to write a musical about guano alongside Billy Recce. MFA, Boston University.

Gabby Farrah is a New York-based director from Boston, Massachusetts.She has directed and developed work at Playwrights Horizons, Chester Theater, The Mercury Store, Workshop Theater, New Georges, Smith College, Eggtooth Productions, The Workroom @ 33 Hawley, The Shea Theater, CitySpace Easthampton, Commonwealth School, and MAD House. She has assisted directors including Daniel Aukin, Tina Satter, Mark Wing-Davey, and Will Davis at institutions such as Playwrights Horizons, Clubbed Thumb, Page 73, NYU Grad Acting, New York Theatre Workshop Next Door, and PlayCo.Gabby is a former Directing Fellow at Playwrights Horizons and Producing Fellow at Clubbed Thumb. She received her BA from Smith College where she was given the Samuel A. Eliot/Julia Heflin Prize for Distinguished Directing.
 

WELCOME TO THE WEDDING OF VINCENT AND GINA

A new play by Justice Hehir. Directed by Joan Sergay.
JULY 2024 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
Join us for the wedding reception of Vincent and Gina. They've known each other for three years, got engaged on a beach, have a dog named Frank, and spent a fuck ton of time planning this shindig. And its hashtag (#invinciblelove). Specifically, join Table 14. A mixture of cousins and work friends and childhood friends, it's pretty clearly the leftover table. As the reception starts, the sound system fails, and the table tends to Megan's head wound (a bird flew into her head), the fault lines lingering at the corner table become clear. Over hors d'oeuvres, dinner, and dancing, what starts out as a basic Jersey Irish-Italian wedding transforms into something a little more complicated. "Welcome to the Wedding of Vincent and Gina" is an investigation of what makes a wedding a wedding-- and the unexpected moments that cut through the bullshit and leave us re-evaluating our own relationships.

Justice Hehir is a playwright and doula whose work explores sexuality and resilience. She is a member of Youngblood at EST, a New Georges Affiliated Artist/Audrey Resident, and a Clubbed Thumb ECWG alum. She received a Clubbed Thumb Constitution Commission from Heidi Shreck and the producers of "What the Constitution Means to Me" in 2021, and with the support of New Georges co-authored "the wish: a manual for a last-ditch effort to save abortion in the united states through theater," a free, downloadable play about abortion rights post-Roe, released online in 2022 (winner of the 2023 A is For Playwriting Prize). She is currently under commission by the Miranda Family Foundation, along with her co-authors, creating a companion piece for "the wish." Her plays have been developed with New York Theater Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theater, New Georges, and Clubbed Thumb. She graduated from Hunter College in 2018 with an MFA in Playwriting (under the tutelage of Annie Baker and Branden Jacobs-Jenkins) and from Rutgers University/Douglass College in 2016 with a BA in Women's and Gender Studies and English.

Joan Sergay is a Brooklyn-based director of new work, originally from Washington, D.C. She has directed and developed work at New York Theatre Workshop, Lucille Lortel Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, Ensemble Studio Theater, Colt Coeur, Geffen Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Westport Country Playhouse, Northwestern University, New York University, Columbia University, The University of California San Diego, Wagner College, Two Headed Rep, Dixon Place, Forestburgh Playhouse, and Art House Productions. Joan is currently the Associate Director to Rachel Chavkin for the musical LEMPICKA on Broadway. She has associate and assisted directors including Les Waters, Danya Taymor, Margot Bordelon, and Lee Sunday Evans at Playwrights Horizons, Vineyard Theatre, The New Group, The Play Company, Primary Stages, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Studio Theatre, and Rivendell Theatre. As an audiobook director, Joan has directed over 140 titles for Penguin Random House. Joan is a New Georges Affiliated Artist, a 2023-24 Audrey Resident at New Georges, a 2023 New York Theatre Workshop Adelphi Resident, and a former Directing Fellow at Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Actors Theatre of Louisville. BA: Northwestern University
 

FOR THE FISH

A new play by Surrey Houlker. Directed by Leo Grierson.
AUGUST 2024 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
'for the fish' explores the experience of growing up alienated and queer in the countryside. How can we find (and keep) safety as queer people? What even is safety? Do fish have feelings? Somewhere deep in rural America in the 70s, 13-year-old Susanna goes fishing with her non-binary Uncle whenever she gets bored. Or overwhelmed. Or terrified. Susanna's big heart and quick temper keep her precariously perched between normalcy and disaster. Her Uncle, grappling with their addiction and the task of parenting Susanna, finds themselves caught up in this wave of teenage turbulence. As 1974 comes to a close and a scaly monster rears its ugly head, Susanna and her Uncle draw closer, bonded by an understanding very few in their town will ever hold.

Surrey Houlker (she/her) is a Queer, Massachusetts-based theater maker who explores the intricacies of the LGBTQIA+ experience through belonging, community, honesty, and humor. Surrey is also drawn to stories that examine grief, loss, and neurodiverse ways of connecting with others. She is also a big crier. Surrey's full-length plays include her first play FOR THE FISH (upcoming residency/reading: the cell theatre, residency/reading: Great Plains Theatre Commons (GPTC), reading: The Depot, workshopped production: Moonbox Productions Boston New Works Festival, finalist: Seattle Public Theater Distillery Festival, semi-finalist: Local Theater Company Local Lab), and THE DEAD DADZ CLUB (upcoming reading: TC2 Theatre Company). Other short plays include HOUSE PLAY co-written with Gabriele Preston (performance: Fresh Ink Theatre), LINDA'S DONUTS, SEVEN MINUTES, and EVERYTHING MUST GO (performance: Emerson College). Additionally, Surrey is a finalist for Company One Theatre Volt Lab 2024. Surrey holds a BFA from Emerson College. In addition to writing, Surrey believes wholeheartedly in the intersection of arts education, trauma-informed teaching, and advocacy. She currently works at a cheese shop and has worked with Arts for Learning Massachusetts, A.R.T., ArtsEmerson, The Gamm Theatre, and as a teacher with Tiverton RI Public Schools. She is passionate about giving young people the space to start conversations with their personal and collective histories regardless of societal factors that may tell them otherwise.

Leo Grierson (They/He) is a digital theater artist based out of Washington DC. Previous credits: Faculty Dance Concert, Rainbow Bridge, Proving Up (University of Maryland), Giant Slalom, Mini Musical Festival, Playing Wolves (Andy's Summer Playhouse), Cabin 12; a Summer Camp Jubilee (Oregon Fringe Festival, Fresno Rogue Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Midnight Projects), The Drink-Along Series, Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, The American Girl Cycle (The Juvenilia Collective).
 

THE STORY OF LOT'S WIFE

A performer-less play by Dan Daly.
AUGUST 9-25, 2024 / INSTALLATION
"The Story of Lot's Wife" is a performer-less play, much like a Catholic Stations of the Cross, that re-centers the biblical story of Lot and his family onto the character of Lot's Wife. In this re-centering the unnamed woman is not turned into salt, she chooses to become it to preserve the historical traumas the Sodomites, and all queer people, have endured. In this private and introspective piece individual "pilgrims" are welcomed into a curving, blue velvet lined space and receive a booklet of poems exploring queer identity, memory, and loss through the lens of Lot's Wife. The piece moves through the shrine welcoming audience members to complete a series of actions with water, salt, text, and their own memories.

Dan Daly is a Brooklyn based scenic designer and visual artist, specializing in site-specific and immersive work. Dan's design work has been seen Off-Broadway with the immersive play Tammany Hall at SoHo Playhouse, at the Under the Radar Festival at The Public, at Brookfield Place with Third Rail Project's site-specific work Oasis, at RuPaul's Drag Con where he designs the booth for Monét X Change, and at the Barn Arts Collective in Southwest Harbor, Maine where he built an inflatable theater for performance events. Dan designed the second ever production of Nico Muhly's opera Dark Sisters at Pittsburgh Opera, the first full production of Cassandra Rosebeetle and JL Marlor's opera The Final Veil at the Cell Theatre, and multiple productions with Odyssey Opera in Boston. Additional New York design credits include the 2021 and 2023 Criminal Queerness Festival (National Queer Theater), Toe Pick and Brideshead Obliterated (Dixon Place), and Arborlogues: A Botanical Recital Performed for One Tree, a play created for one specific tree in Brooklyn's Prospect Park.
 

SON OF AN UNKNOWN FATHER

A new play Reynaldo Piniella.
SEPTEMBER 2024 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
Son of an Unknown Father tells the story of the first Black saint of the Americas, Martin de Porres. Born into slavery in Lima, Peru in the 1600s, Martin aspired to break through the chains of his bondage by devoting his life to the Catholic Church. But no matter how virtuous Martin was, nothing could break through the barriers of his oppression. Until one day, Martin discovers he has the power to heal people with his bare hands. Suddenly viewed as the second son of God, people come from far and wide to meet the man with the magic hands. Martin's burden becomes too much, and he is forced to make a decision - self-preservation or self-sacrifice?

Reynaldo Piniella (is an actor, writer, educator and activist from East New York, Brooklyn. He was seen on Broadway in Trouble in Mind (Roundabout) and Thoughts of a Colored Man (Golden Theatre). He received the Fox Foundation Resident Actor Fellowship from Theatre Communications Group, the Thomas Barbour award for Playwriting, the All Stars Project Fellowship for Young Artists of Color and a Broadway World award for Best Actor for his performance in Thoughts of A Colored Man at Baltimore Center Stage. American Theatre magazine called him "a Theatre Worker You Should Know" and he is an alumnus of The Civilians R&D Group and All for One Theater's Solo Collective and a current member of New Victory Theater's LabWorks. TV credits include Reservation Dogs, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: SVU, The Carrie Diaries, Louie, Us & Them, Greenleaf, Sneaky Pete, NYC 22 and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Film credits include Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (Warner Bros.), Broken City (20th Century Fox), One Percent More Humid (Tribeca Film Festival) and Madeline's Madeline (Sundance Film Festival). His theater work includes The Death of the Last Black Man, Venus (Signature Theatre Company), The Skin Of Our Teeth (Theatre for A New Audience) and Lockdown (Rattlestick).
 

WHERE WE MEET

Written and performed by Kate Eberstadt. Directed by Molly Rose Heller.
SEPTEMBER 2024
Can we connect with people we've loved and lost - through music? Part quantum physics experiment, part original electronic music set, WHERE WE MEET is an autobiographical solo performance by Kate Eberstadt, grappling with love, loss, and the possibility to transcend perceived limitations of time and space.

Kate Eberstadt (Writer) Composer, actor, and writer Kate Eberstadt got her start working with theater legend Robert Wilson and performing with Lady Gaga in the Video Music Awards. Then she founded The Hutto Project, a music program for children living in an emergency refugee camp in Berlin. Kate's heart lies in the transformative potential of collaborative music-making, whether it's with The Possibility Project's Foster Care Program, with youth behind bars on Rikers Island, or co-writing heavy metal with a sixth grader in rural Michigan (shout out to Blaze!) Her eclectic path has taken her around the world, from acting and writing music on New York stages such as Ars Nova, National Sawdust, and The Connelly Theater, to performing at the Philharmonie with her students in Germany, to writing an original musical with her sister at the Nemetski National Theater of Kazakhstan. Featured in NPR, Glamour, Elle, PopSugar, and Mic.com, Kate is set to release her debut EP in 2024.

Molly Rose Heller (Director) is a lesbian theatre artist based in NYC. You may have seen her work at The New Group, Ars Nova, Mabou Mines, BEDLAM, The Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, Berkshire Theatre Group, the Watermill Center, among others. Her award-winning short film directing debut, eXcape, premiered at Outfest Fusion Festival 2023. She is a member of Directors Lab North, a 2022 Artist-in-Residence at Upper Jay Arts Center, SDCF Observership alum, and serves on the Artist Panel for Jewish Plays Project. She was featured in NY Jewish Week's "36 to Watch" List honoring remarkable Jewish Innovators. SDC Associate Member and Member of AEA. B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from Columbia University. B.A., Magna Cum Laude, from the Jewish Theological Seminary. www.mollyroseheller.com
 

FANTASMAS

A new dance piece by Andrew Rodriguez.
SEPTEMBER 2024 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
FANTASMAS is a supernatural, romantic mystery about two heartbroken, lonely ghosts. This intimate duet captures the overwhelming presence of uncertainty and loneliness.

Andrew Rodriguez (He/Him/AGR) Andrew Rodriguez (he/him) is an actor and director originally from Mirando City, Texas. Currently based in NYC, Rodriguez remains dedicated to opening the theatrical canon by directing and developing new works not initially meant for the stage. Ranging from intimate, bare productions to maximum, multi-disciplinary work that bridges a unity between text and design, Rodriguez utilizes theater's boundless, expressive possibilities to explore elements of human behavior and illuminate the stories and perspectives that have been made invisible. Rodriguez is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin (BFA, 2019), a former Acting Apprentice at Actors Theatre of Louisville (2019-2020), an alumnus of The Juilliard School Drama Division's Professional Apprenticeship Program (2020-2021) and is a former 2050 Artistic Fellow at New York Theatre Workshop (2022 - 2023). Andrew works at Atlantic Theater Company as the Artistic Director of Conservatory Productions at Atlantic Acting School and teaches in the NYU Atlantic Studio program. For more information, visit: andrewgrodriguez.com
 

THE COLOUR WOMAN

A new play by Petron Brown.
OCTOBER 2024 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
Sharletaneke, the cream lady on Harbour Island, calls upon the ancient West Indian tradition of Obeah and similar witchcraft known as skin bleaching.

Petron Brown (he/him) is a Bahamian-born theatre artist. He is the recipient of the Dramatists Guild National Fellowship for Playwriting 2024-25 along with several national collegiate theatre awards including an honorable mention for the KCACTF Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award at the 2023 national festival, the ASPIRE John Cauble Award at the 2022 national festival, and a Special Achievement in Performance Award at the 2021 national festival. He is also a two-time KCACTF Irene Ryan Region IV Acting Finalist and a member of the Conch Shell Productions Artist Collective. He was recently recognized as the Live Arts: 2023 WATERWORKS x The Bridge Emerging Artist. He will be receiving his MFA in Theatre Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi this year, where he will be inducted into the 2024 Graduate Student Hall of Fame. Petron also holds a dual bachelor degree in Environmental Studies and Theatre. He has partnered with the Arkansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault both as a performer and playwright on multiple occasions, most recently at their 2023 state conference. He recently co-wrote a children's play as a part of a grant commission from the Hattiesburg Arts Council. His work as a theatre artist explores international conversations on humanity. At present, his ever-evolving identity as an artist lies in a melting pot of Caribbean/West Indian culture both clashing and combining with American culture.
 

COMMUNION

By Matthew Labanca. Directed by Kira Simring.
NOVEMBER 5-DECEMBER 8, 2024 / OFF-BROADWAY PREMIERE
Communion is a one-man show about a gay Catholic school teacher who is fired when the church discovers that he married a man. His termination causes a crisis of faith, not only for himself but for his entire community. Based on the real-life story of Broadway actor and playwright Matthew Labanca, Communion spotlights themes of delusion, spiritual trauma, and hope, reminding those who would use religion to discriminate against LGBTQ people that the most basic tenet of spiritual life is that we are called to love one another.

Matthew Labanca (Writer and Performer) is an actor, musician and teacher living in New York City. He made his Broadway debut with the Mel Brooks musical Young Frankenstein, where he covered the title role and stepped in during previews, garnering great acclaim. He has since appeared on Broadway in White Christmas and the 2019 Tony Award winning play A Christmas Carol. Matthew's self-penned solo show Good Enough played Off Broadway at the United Solo Festival, winning the festival's Best Musical Award in 2014. For years, Matthew worked as a musician and music teacher within the Diocese of Brooklyn and was controversially terminated after he wed his husband in 2021. This led to a media firestorm and, ultimately, the creation of his newest solo show Communion. Matthew's story is also portrayed in the new documentary film May All Be Wed, which makes its debut on the festival circuit this autumn. Additional NYC credits include Blood Brothers, Allegro, King Kong, Rebecca, Top Hat (developmental), and The Apple Tree.
 

SHELTERED

by Cate Wile
WINTER 2024 / PRODUCTION
Inspired by Greek Tragedy, Sheltered tells the story of Martha, a volunteer at a women's shelter, who tries to reconnect with her mother who refuses to come home.

Cate Wiley's (Playwright) work is informed by her commitment to telling women's stories. Her characters resist the violence of being silenced; they insist on being heard. Her plays mostly end with the protagonist keeping on keeping on, having neither achieved what she thought she wanted, nor giving up completely. There is hope but not too much. There is a relationship, but it is tenuous. She studied playwriting at the Kenyon Playwriting Conference, and community-based theater at Cornerstone Theater in Los Angeles. She holds academic degrees from the University of Chicago, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is the author of scholarly essays on feminist theory and theater. Cate moved from Denver to New York City just in time for the Coronavirus. She taught in the English Department at the University of Colorado Denver for many years and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild of America and the WOW Café Theater Collective.
 

BRING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF TO WORK DAY

A new play by C.S. Hanson. Costume design by Sally Lesser.
FEBRUARY 2025 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
Three corporate women fight to save their jobs when an amoral CEO in a hoodie unleashes a hostile takeover of the company via Zoom. Employees are asked to show up in a costume representing their authentic selves to save their jobs. Their battle for security pits them against A.I. and threatens to undermine their sanity. Playwright C. S. Hanson and costume designer Sally Lesser have worked together on many productions of Hanson's short comedies. The two will work in collaboration to explore the intersection of a new play and the 16 costume that are an integral part of the story.

C.S. Hanson is a playwright with Off-Broadway and regional credits. In NYC, Hanson's plays have been produced at the Cherry Lane, Theater for the New City, Working Theater, The Brick, Metropolitan Playhouse, Estrogenius, among others. Her plays have been in International Fringe Festivals in Montreal and NYC. Plays have been developed at The Lark, Nancy Manocherian's the cell, Lake George Theater Lab, EST, LaMaMa, Abingdon Theatre, Naked Angels, and NJ Rep. Hanson's short play STALK ME, BABY has been produced at universities and colleges throughout the US and globally. Highlights of 2023: Hanson received a commission from Kathleen McGee Treat to write a play about three corporate women which became the dark comedy BRING YOUR AUTHENTIC SELF TO WORK DAY. It had its first reading with The Bechdel Group in May 2023. DAKOTA DU NORD had a reading Off-Broadway at Playhouse 46, directed by Lisa Milinazzo. The play has been developed by Nancy Manocherian's the cell during an artist residency with a reading directed by Kira Simring. In 2021, Hanson received a commission from Working Theatre and Nomad Theatrical to write for the outdoor, immersive theatrical production BUTTERFLY EFFECT NYC (produced in Hell's Kitchen, NYC). That year, also for Nomad Theatrical, she wrote the microfilm MY POST-PRODUCTION WORLD.Her plays have been published by Smith and Kraus and by Applause Cinema and Books. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Honor Roll, and NY Women in Film and TV.

Sally Lesser (Costume Design) is an award-winning costume designer who has worked extensively in theater and television in NY, regionally and internationally. Work highlights include the original and Off Broadway productions of Little Shop of Horrors, national and international companies and tours, 20 years at One Life to Live, winner of three Emmys, with eight nominations. 25 plays at La MaMa, ranging from Greek epics and jazz operas, to rock 'n' roll theater.Return to the Forbidden Planet, off Broadway, the West End and UK tour. She is also an accomplished dressmaker and owner of a small business specializing in theatrical and flamenco costumes. sallylesserdesigns.com. @SallyLesser
 

ABHINAYA: A DANCE PLAY

A dance play by Veda Kumarjiguda.
MARCH 2025 / PUBLIC WORKSHOP
Avni is preparing for her arangetram, her Indian classical dance debut. Her training grounds her, even as her family falls apart. Money struggles, divorce, secrets, and the failed American dream combine with stories from the Ramayana and Mahābhārata. Abhinaya: A Dance Play explores the role of classical arts in the modern world.

Veda Kumarjiguda is a writer based in Queens, New York. Her theatrical work has appeared at New Jersey's South Asian Theater Festival (2012 and 2013) and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2015). She was an Echoes Fellow in 2021. Her recent performance credits include Troy Anthony's The Revival: It Is Our Duty (The Shed, 2021) and The Shape of Stories, her one woman dance program for children through UrbanStages. Her work is both a product and celebration of the effort to build creative moments into everyday life.
 

THE TROJANS

By Leegrid Stevens. A co-production with Loading Dock Theatre
SPRING 2025
The Trojans is a Synthwave musical in which warehouse workers retell the Iliad through the lens of their nostalgic and fantasized memory of high school in the 80s. Using materials available to them in The Warehouse, the workers re-enact the story of Heather and her entanglements between two rival high schools, both vying for football supremacy in northern Texas. Heather decides to transfer schools, leading to a series of events which ultimately results in violence spilling out into the classrooms. The play follows several of the students as they mature and slowly transition from their teenage fantasies to the adult realities post-graduation.

Leegrid Stevens is a Texas raised, Brooklyn based playwright, composer, and sound designer. Leegrid's recent productions include War Dreamer (2023 @ wild project), A Peregrine Falls (2020 @ wild project), Spaceman (2X Drama Desk nominations 2019), The Dudleys! (8X B. Iden Payne Awards), Mesquite, NV (Workshop Theater), and The Twelfth Labor. Leegrid is the co-founder of Loading Dock Theatre along with Erin Treadway. Many of Leegrid's plays are written simultaneously with the sound design including his next project which explores occult ritual magic used in treasure hunting in upstate New York in the early 19th century. Leegrid is also the co-author of a fantasy novel series, FALL, with Craig Bridger. www.loadingdocktheatre.org

Erin Treadway is the co-founder of Loading Dock Theatre with playwright Leegrid Stevens. With Loading Dock: Molly in Spaceman (Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance), Jesse in War Dreamer (Wild Project) Kailey in A Peregrine Falls (Wild Project), Julie in Miss Julie, Asian Equities (The Dock at LD), Cleo in The Twelfth Labor (Gene Frankel), and Clara in The Dudleys! (HERE). Other projects: Mayo Methot in Casablancabox (HERE), Therese in The Hook (Arthur Miller premier with Brave New World).

Eric Paul Vitale is a New York based director and producer. In 2023 Eric produced the Off-Broadway premiere of War Dreamer and directed Celebrate Strouse! a concert celebrating the composer Charles Strouse at 54 Below. He has produced for Emmy Award-winning comedian Jim Gaffigan, including Jim's 2019 Amazon Special, Quality Time. As Associate Director for Cirque du Soleil's Corteo, Eric was honored to tour with the original team and develop new content based on regional and cultural themes. Additional directing credits include Applause, NYU, The Signature Project, Off-Broadway premiere, The Sycamore Street Kite Flying Club, Lincoln Center, Carolee Carmello at the Metropolis, Annie, National Tour (Associate Director), Charles Strouse at The Pheasantry, London, Cirque du Soleil's Corteo(Russian & European Tour, Associate Director), The Addams Family, Fordham University, Curtains,Georgetown Gilbert & Sullivan Society, Olympics Uber Alles, MIT, Immortal Journey, Theatre Row, Passion, YAA, and the Camp Broadway National Tour. Eric is a graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with a degree in Theater Direction and was a member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation 2019 Observership Class.




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