Cast Chosen For Planet Connections Rep Of Plays

By: Dec. 04, 2019

Cast Chosen For Planet Connections Rep Of Plays Planet Connections' starts out 2020 with "DARK PLANET: Not Your Mother's Valentine's Day," short plays unapologetically looking at life through a clever - albeit caustic - lens. Frank, Funny, Engaging, Engrossing, and Enlightening, Performing Thursdays & Fridays, February 6 - 21, at the Theater at the 14th Street Y, 344 E 14th St, NYC. This event - celebrating the diversity of the performing arts & artists of NYC - will be accompanied by an opening night party and special Valentine's Day event.

Dark Planet is co-presented by The Theater at the 14th Street Y. It takes a village to tell such stories and the festival's acting company is certainly up-for-the-challenge. The ensemble, including, Ali Arkane, Issa Best, Carlotta Brentan, Raiane Cantisano, Molly Collier, Konrad Custer, John DiMino, Michael Donaldson, Charles Everett, John Fico, Michael Gnat, Russell Jordan, Alyssa Kempinski, Gina LeMoine, Matt Maretz, Ashley Marinaccio, Madelyn McKay, Joyce Miller, Mary Monahan, Sachi Parker, Erika Phoebus, Randall Rodriguez, William Serri, Jill Shackner, Misti Tindiglia, and Christopher Whalen will serve as the repertory for the plays: Three Men With Guns; Shadow Dance; Fievel Dridge, The Great Orator of Fishingstill; The Second Coming; Wild Side; Text Angel; A Day At The Beach; Reconcile, Bitch; Playthings; and Play With Me.

Charles Everett, nominated for a Planet Award for Outstanding Featured Actor in Joe Pintauro's Raft of the Medusa, said "I love and respect Glory [Kadigan] as an artist and a human being and I'm so grateful to be a member of the Planet Connections community. I feel like these new works that we are presenting in Dark Planet are truly the best of Planet Connections," the stage, film, and television actor stated exuberantly, with Mary Monahan joining in with "I am excited to be working with Planet Connections again and to be part of an evening filled with powerful one acts." Carlotta Brentan stated, "Planet Connections is such a fierce champion of downtown theater," and Joyce Miller followed with, "I continue to discover new artistic opportunities within this very special creative home."

Ms. Monahan, Ms.Brenten, and Ms. Miller - among other honors - are also multi-Planet Connections Award-winning artists. In conclusion, playwright, Erik Champney, chimed in with "One of the most powerful aspects of Planet Connections is that it welcomes artists at every stage of development. It thrills me to be a part of such a nurturing environment. Everyone is treated with equal respect and care. No one is left wanting, and I admire Planet Connections for providing a platform from which its collaborators are free to rise to a place of excellence. Most of all, I have great admiration for the creator of Planet Connections, Glory Kadigan, who is a friend and benefactress to artists everywhere." The directors for this festival are: Irina Abraham, Ilana Becker, Lucia Bellini, Katrin Hilbe, Glory Kadigan, Nicoletta Mandriotti, Francisco Solorzano, and Akia Squitieri. Planet Connections Festivity is New York's premiere social-conscious arts festival. The Festivity is designed to invoke the power of art in motivating philanthropy, community outreach and social change. Planet Connections' artists use their work to shed light on the causes that matter, while inspiring audiences to get involved. This event will be running in rep with Lovesong (Imperfect), a new play written and directed by Planet Connections Playwrights For A Cause writer, Jose Rivera.


Ali Arkane is an actor based in his native New York City. He is a lifetime member of The Actors Studio. Other notable theater works include originating the lead role of Douglass in Perp by Lyle Kessler (The Barrow Group), C:10 (The Collective NY), Fool for Love (The Actors Studio), The Headhunter (Planet Connections Theatre Festival in which he won Outstanding Lead Actor), and As You Like It (Arden Everywhere)

 Issa Best - Planet Connections debut. Romeo/Juliet (Off-Broadway), Cancer Cancer Cancer (Ars Nova), Erik Ehn's The Weak and The Strong (Sheen Center), Dog Sees God (Actors Fund Arts Center); Best recently earned his BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts (Stella Adler Studio, New Studio on Broadway). Huge thanks to my teachers, Ann Steele Agency, and this entire community!

Carlotta Brentan is a theater artist specializing in new play development as an actor, producer, director and professional translator. Recent: Vatican Falls (Planet Connections Outstanding Actress in a Reading nomination), world premieres of Avella's Lured (also co-directed, Theater for The New City and OnStage! Festival in Rome), Paolo Bignami's The Journey I Never Made (also translated from the original Italian, Cherry Lane Theatre), Erik Ehn's Clover (La MaMa E.T.C.) Producer of In Scena! Italian Theater Festival and proud member of LPTW and Kairos Italy Theater, Carlotta is also a prolific voiceover artist & award-winning audiobook narrator.

Raiane Cantisano (Actor) is an award-winning actress/singer born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, who moved to NYC to further her education at the prestigious Lee Strasberg Institute. Recent credits include the upcoming films "Gym Class Heroes" and "Cyclone", The Cherry Orchard at the Schapiro Theater, the BareNaked Reading Series in LA, Good Friday at the Flea Theater. She was nominated for her performance in Raft of the Medusa and she won Outstanding Lead Actress for lphant at Planet Connections Theater Festivity. For more info go to

Molly Collier is coming off the world premiere run of Stephen Adly Guirgis' Halfway Bitches Go Straight To Heaven at Atlantic Theater Company. Before that, she was seen in Jake Brasch's Salutations! I'm Creative Dave. She is thrilled to be in another one of his plays. Molly has also been seen performing at Joe's Pub, Theatre Row & The Kennedy Center. She is a proud member of LAByrinth Theater Company. Planet Connections Award Winning actress in 2016 with multiple nominations.

Konrad Custer is extremely proud to actualize Jesus on stage for The Second Coming. Konrad co-hosted the 10th annual Planet Connections Awards ceremony. Konrad was also nominated two consecutive years for his work in Steven Tenney's Ray Gun Say0nara and Darkly Your Retrorockets Flare which both premiered at Planet Connections Festivities. Most recent other credit is for Game of Thrones: The Rock Musical as the narrator, GRR Martin, and Hodor. Konrad is also the director and actor for the New York chapter of The Murder Mystery Company.

John DiMino graduated NYU Tisch with a BFA in Drama. He has been seen in The Shelter's production of The Red Room and Jan Rosenberg's What's Wrong With You at Stella Adler. He was also in The Floor is Lava at La Mama, The Johnson's at the JACK and The Wild Parrots of Campbell at the Cherry Lane. Several readings at Actors Studio. Planet Connections Nominee for Outstanding Actor 2017.

Michael Donaldson Some theater credits: Man Frog and Other Peoples (Planet Connections, best supporting actor nomination); The Seagull, Master and Margarita, The Lady with the Lap Dog, Three Sisters, Crime and Punishment, all with Russian Arts Theater; Requiem, with Necessary ITEMS Project. Excited to be part of Dark Planet!

Charles Everett is thrilled to be back working with Planet Connections. Theatre: The Mountaintop (Emerson Theatre Collaborative), Raft of the Medusa (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity; nominated for Outstanding Featured Actor), Convention (Brontosaurus Haircut Productions). Television: "Law & Order", "SWITCH" (web series), "Power". Film: "Clifford the Big Red Dog" (coming Fall 2020)

John Fico is a frequent participant with Planet Connections, (notably Monica Bauer's Anne Frank In The Gaza Strip: 2017 Outstanding Featured Actor / Comedy, Monica Bauer's Made For Each Other: 2010 nominated Overall Production and Outstanding Performance / Solo Show, & 2018 Playwrights For A Cause (Catherine Filloux's Accepting Applause) and is very grateful to be part of this wonderful artistic community. NYC Theatre: As I Lay Dying (Live Source) A. R. Gurney's Screen Play (Flea Theater), Iron Curtain (Prospect Theatre), The Most Ridiculous Thing You Ever Hoid (2010 NYMF - winner Outstanding Ensemble Performance), & STICKY! (Bowery Poetry Club). TV & Web Series: "The Blacklist", "I Love You But I Lied", "The Outs".

Michael Gnat toured Europe last year in Sam Graber's Shooter (dir. Katrin Hilbe), then appeared in Frank Ceruzzi's Round Went the Wheel and Morgan Dean's Thick Blood, Thick Water. Other NYC favorites: Eddie Antar's Drama Desk-nominated The Navigator and John McKinney's The Chekhov Dreams (Chekhov; both dir. Leslie Kincaid Burby); Evan Smith's The Savannah Disputation (dir. Hilbe); Bill Rogers's Caldwell's Bomb ("Best Actor" nomination); John Dirrigl's The Bauer Sisters (MITF); Twelfth Night (Malvolio; DrillingCo.); Mike Folie's Slave Shack (Algonquin); and Michael Niederman's The Riverside Symphony (Outstanding Actor, Planet Connections Award). Feature films: "Off Jackson Avenue"; "Bobby G. Can't Swim." Web: ONN's "News from the Year 2137." Thxoxox, Linda! AEA, SAG-AFTRA.

Russell Jordan - In 2013, Russell earned an Outstanding Actor in a Staged Reading Award from the Planet Connections Theater Festivity, and in 2014 earned their Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Musical or Play with Music Award. In 2016, Russell earned a New York Innovative Theatre Outstanding Ensemble nomination. Russell is a member of the Articulate Theatre Company and New York Madness. Russell's on-screen credits include Amazon Studios dramatic comedy "The Dangerous Book for Boys," CBS dramas "FBI" and "Blue Bloods," NBC drama "The Blacklist," and the groundbreaking web series "Anyone But Me." Recently he has been touring with Vivian's Music 1969 written by Monica Bauer and directed by Glory Kadigan.

Alyssa Kempinski - Planet Connections debut. Off Broadway: The Wolves (LCT). Film: "The Velocipastor", "King of Knives", "Over Easy". TV: "High Fidelity" (Hulu), "The Deuce" (HBO), "FBI" (CBS). Eduction, Terry Knickerbocker & William Esper Studio. Represented by Midnight artists management.

Gina LeMoine is a founding member of Black Door Theatre Company. Credits include: Glory Kadigan's Till We Meet Again, Erik Ehn's Demafelis (2018 Planet Connections staged reading); P.S It's Poison; Dead Dogs of Ohio; Magic Kingdom (NY International Fringe Festival); Virus Attacks Heart (Outstanding Lead Actress Award, Planet Connections); B*TCH; DOE (Santiago a Mil Festival), Ecstasy.

Matt Maretz is honored to be a part of this production of Fievel Dridge. He appeared previously in Dead Brains with Planet Connections and was nominated for best supporting actor in a role. Off-Broadway: American Games. Tours: The Lightning Thief (1st National Tour). Regional: College Colors (Crossroads Theatre) A Midsummer Night's Dream (Syracuse Stage), The Who's Tommy (San Diego Rep). Matt can also be seen in the season 3 premiere of "The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel". Graduate of the Drama program at Syracuse University @mattmaretz

Ashley Marinaccio is a theatre artist who creates work to challenge the status quo. Her work has been seen off-Broadway, at the White House, United Nations, TED conferences across the United States, Europe, and Asia. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate in Theatre and Performance at the CUNY Graduate Center, where her focus is on theatre-making in war zones. In 2020 she will be the host of Stage Left, a documentary web series on theatre and community. Previous Planet Connections awards include "Outstanding Director" (Trafficked, 2012); "Outstanding Production" (9mm America, 2013); Planet Activist (2010, 2012, 2013); and numerous nominations for directing. Proud member of AEA and SAG/AFTRA. Learn more at

Madalyn McKay is very excited to be part of this thought proving project. She was last seen Off-Broadway as Zarelda James in The Castillo Theatre Production of Matata and Jesse James: An American Tragedy. Other favorite theatre roles include: Queen Victoria in Anais Nin Goes To Hell, Aunt Joan in The Orange Person (Planet Connections Award Nominee), and Mama Fratelli in Save the Goodocks. She has also starred in two award-winning Independent films: "Morgan" and "Taffy was Born". Her TV appearances have included featured roles on "Bull", "Orange is the New Black" and most recently "At Home with Amy Sedaris" where she is a proud Snooper Trooper. She also recently produced and starred in the TV pilot, "Tempt!"

Joyce Miller thanks Glory, Kim, and Jake Brasch for this opportunity to perform in Shadow Dance. She is thrilled to return to Planet where she has won Outstanding Supporting Actress and numerous nominations, and to collaborate with Glory on a repeat project. Recent: Erik Ehn's Clover (La MaMa E.T.C.), Ray Gun Say0nara (Nylon Fusion/New Ohio), Time Will Tell (LOPTW/Julia's Reading Room), My 28 Years of Heterosexuality Was Just a Phase (Creator/Post-production), The Handmaid's Dianetics (Creator/Dixon Place). Her short satire was included in the book launch for "Keep Scrolling Till You Feel Something" (McSweeney's).

Mary Monahan has appeared in many theater and film productions. Some of her favorite roles include: Mary in Moonage Daydream which she wrote and performed (United Solo Festival 2016; Fringearts 2017); Eden, Gideon (Planet Connections 2016); Patty, Louise in Charlestown (United Solo 2015), Janet/Lady, Magic Kingdom (FringeNYC); Jan, Doe (Santiago A Mil), Edith in Glory Kadigan's Till We Meet Again (Planet Connections/14th Street Y), Mona in Erik Ehn's Demafelis (2018 Planet Connections staged reading).Film roles include: Mary Sherman, "Head Trauma" (LAFF, SANFIC); Woman/Mary, "Windows" (SANFIC, Tribeca FF, LoCarno); Q, "Slice" (SANFIC, Signis Award) Planet Connections award winner for Outstanding Actress.

Sachi Parker - Theater: Mark Taper Forum, L.A., The Glass Menagerie- Dramalogue Best Actress Award, Beverly Hills Playhouse, L.A. The Lulu Plays-Dramalogue Best Actress Award, The Gnu theater, L.A,- The Seagull. Television: "Star Trek- the Next Generation", recurring, "Shelley Duvall's Fairytale Theater", recurring. Film: "About Last Night", "Peggy Sue Got Married", "Bad Influence", "Back to the Future", "Stick", "Scrooged", "All me All the Time" starring with Keir Dullea, "Witch of the West is Dead"- Best Actress award in Japan. Outstanding Actress in a reading Planet Connections 2017. Planet Connections holds a special place in my heart- the plays produced here WILL eventually change our thoughts and bring love into our hearts, which will then make our planet loving! Thank you, Glory!

Erika Phoebus is overjoyed to be working with Planet Connections again! As a playwright, her work has been developed or produced at the New Ohio Theatre, So-Fi Festival co-produced with Torn Page, Primary Stages ESPA, and Actors Theatre of NY. Her play RUSALKA won 5 Planet Connections Awards including Outstanding Production, Outstanding Script, and Outstanding Lead Actress 2018). Recent acting credits: A Midsummer Night's Dream (Colonial Theatre Shakespeare, RI); Kiss It, Make It Better (New Ohio Theatre); Lou (Paradise Factory). She completed the William Esper Meisner Conservatory Program and continues her Meisner studies under Matthew Corozine

Randall Rodriguez - Planet Connections debut. Played Tom Gutierrez in the film "Last To Fall" (Winner Best Actor in a Drama). Theatre includes Bill McNally in Monica Bauer's Two Men Walk Into A Bar. Proudly served in the U.S Army as an Airborne Ranger and achieved the rank of Sergeant. BFA in Acting from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, attended Shakespeare's GlobeTheatre in London where he received a certificate of distinction with honors in Stage Combat. Member of AEA.

William Serri is a multiple award nominated actor. He has been nominated for the award Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play in 2018 for his role Jeunnehomme in the play lphant (Planet Connections Theatre Festival). In addition, He has been nominated for the award Best Featured Actor in 2017 for his role Steve in the play The Glory of Living (Planet Connections Theatre Festival). He is an alumnus of Syracuse University. He has also studied at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London, UK. While William's main interest is acting, he also plays the guitar and sings the blues.

Jill Shackner - Broadway: Les Misrables. Off-Broadway: IOWA (Playwrights Horizons), A Charity Case (Theatre Row), Landscape of the Body (Signature). Other NY Theater: Hootenanny Twelfth Night (Corkscrew Theater Festival) Ex Habitus (Corkscrew Theater Festival), Safe (14th St Y), Recovery (Theater for the New City). Planet Connections nominee for "Outstanding Actress in a Reading" in DOORMEN (2017). Film: "Faraway Eyes," "On Monday of Last Week," "Staring at the Sun," "Paper Man," "House of D." TV: "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," "The Americans," "The Michael J. Fox Show."

Misti Tindiglia is a 6-time Planet Connections nominated actress with 3 wins for Acts of Love and The Home both written by Gabrielle Fox. Other Planet Connections plays are Good Lonely People by Carol Carpenter and When The Party's Over by Glory Kadigan and understudied for the 2016 and 2017 Playwrights For A Cause's Double Cross by John Patrick Shanley and Mean Girls by Lyle Kessler. Besides theater Misti has worked in independent film, TV, commercials, animated films, v/o's and industrials. She's a member of SAG-AFTRA. Thank you to Glory Kadigan, a trailblazer in modern theater.

Christopher Whalen - Winner, Outstanding Actor in a Reading for Planet Connections 2018. Nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in Raft of The Medusa, ,2018 Planet Connections. Theatre: Eavesdropping on Dreams with Lynn Cohen (Cherry Lane Theater, (bareNaked Reading Series (NY/LA), Joseph Sousa's Teeth of the Sons (Bleecker Street Theatre) among others. Film: PS. I Love You opposite Lisa Kudrow, (Warner Brothers), 4th Man Out (Tait Productions), AWOL 72 opposite Luke Goss, RZA (ArtProd) Christopher is currently the Producing Director of the Barefoot Theatre Company and has been a member Since 2004.


About The Theater at the 14th Street Y The Theater at the 14th Street Y focuses on social awareness and change through big picture narrative. Inspired by works that welcome artists of all backgrounds, we place artists at the heart of our community and seek to create an inclusive and open cultural experience for all. Art is incubated here.

About the 14th Street Y We are a vibrant community center grounded in the belief that contemporary Jewish sensibilities can be a source of inspiration, connection, and learning for the individuals and families we serve throughout downtown Manhattan. We focus on health and fitness, education and enrichment programs, and innovative arts and cultural programming. We are committed to the development of the whole person and bettering people?s lives and strengthening individual and family connections by building an inclusive, vibrant, and sustainable community. The 14th?Street Y is part of?Educational Alliance, which brings together and partners with diverse communities in Lower Manhattan, offering individuals and families high-quality, multi-generational programs and services that enhance their well-being and socioeconomic opportunities.