Columbia Stages Presents David Eldridge's FESTEN, Now thru 1/31

By: Jan. 28, 2015
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Columbia Stages is proud to present FESTEN, a dark comedy by British playwright David Eldridge. Adapted from the 1998 Danish film of the same name, FESTEN depicts the story of a family ravaged by secrets, twisted accusations, and unbearable wounds.

Directed by Anouk Kemp, a third year MFA director at Columbia University's School of the Arts, produced by Elizabeth Goodman and Elaine Carberry,FESTEN will be presented at the Connelly Theater from tonight, January 28 - 31, 2015.

A family comes together to celebrate the sixtieth birthday of Helge, the patriarch of the family. Of his four children, only three - Christian, Michael and Helene - return to the home where they grew up, as Christian's twin sister, Linda, has recently committed suicide. Her death forces certain truths to come to the surface.

Under Kemp's direction, Eldridge's devastatingly powerful adaption finds new life on the New York stage. Working with a talented ensemble cast, Kemp strives to reveal this confounding story of family loyalty and destruction through a new and unique voice, to touch a broader audience.


By David Eldridge
JANUARY 28 - 31, 2015
Connelly Theater, 220 East 4th Street, New York City, NY 10009

Wednesday January 28 @ 8:30pm
Thursday January 29 @ 8:30pm
Friday January 30 @8:30pm
Saturday January 31 @ 3pm
Saturday January 31 @ 8:30pm

Tickets: $15/ $5 Seniors/ FREE with Student ID (enter code: "STUDENT").

For more information, visit


Scenic Design by Derek Miller.
Lighting Design by Michael McGee.
Production Stage Management by Alayna Graziani.

Anouk Kemp (Director) is a French director based in New York. Recent credits include A Streetcar Named Desire, Ivanov, Donkey Skin (Hannah Bisewski), Friend of the People(Matthew Minnicino) at Columbia University,Valises Blues (Avignon Festival), The Bald Soprano, Macbett (Eugene Ionesco), Deux(Jim Cartwright), Santa Sucks (Le Splendid) at Harvard University. BA: Harvard University, MFA candidate: Columbia University.

Elizabeth Goodman (Producer) Select past credits include: ASM for The Scutley Papers (workshop), PA for Pippin (National Tour), PA for Romeo and Juliet and The Testament of Mary on Broadway. ASM for Thumbprint (PROTOTYPE Festival), PSM for Caucasian Chalk Circle (Shanghai International Experimental Theatre Festival), PSM for A Streetcar Named Desire (Columbia Stages) & Production Manager of Scenofest as part of the Prague Quadrennial. Training: MFA Columbia University.

Elaine Carberry (Producer)


Alan Altschuler* (Helge) Favorite NYC stage roles include Hamlet (Polonius); A Lie of the Mind (Baylor); A Midsummer Night's Dream (Oberon); Ghosts (Pastor Manders); Crazy of Chaillot (The President); Uncle Vanya (Serebryakov); The Seagull (Dr. Dorn); Mrs. Warren's Profession (Rev. Samuel Gardner); Macbeth (King Duncan); Rhinoceros (Botard); and Many Mansions (Beel). Film performances include lead roles in Performance; Off Hour; Worry Dolls; and Early Release. TV roles on "Law and Order: SVU" and "The Onion News Network". Alan is a founding board member of the Bedlam Theatre Company. He is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA.

Lauren Cipoletti* (Helene) Previous credits include: Heathers: The Musical (New World Stages), The Snow Queen (NYMF '14), A Streetcar Named Desire (Columbia Stages). MFA Acting 2013, Columbia University.

Steven Fogelman* (Poul) Recent New York credits: Stuart in Beyond Therapy and Bill Jones in America the Beautiful both with Love Creek. Regional: Leo Feldman in An Act of Reparation at The Odyssey Theater in Los Angeles and appeared in the world premiere opera Il Postino with Placido Domingo at the LA Opera. TV credits: "Mad Men", "True Blood"and "Boardwalk Empire". Recent Film Credits: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and The Wolf of Wall Street. Steven is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and currently studies at the Scott Freeman Studio.

Josh Frank* (Grandfather) recently made his return to the professional stage after a hiatus of more than 25 years in the role of Pischik in Anton Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard at Manhattan's Arc Light Theater. In his previous acting life, his career carried him to 48 of the 50 American states, where he appeared as Horace Vandegelder in Hello Dolly!, Mr. Dobich in Promises! Promises!, the Old Actor in The Fantasticks, Col. Lesgate in Dial M For Murder, and numerous other characters. Recent film and television appearances include "The Americans", "Orange is the New Black", and the motion picture The Drop. In addition to acting, Josh is also a professionally produced, award-winning playwright.

Nico Scott Kiefer (Lars) is a New York based actor, writer, and dreamer. Recent projects include Trigorin in The Seagull, Jack the Ripper in Lulu, and Acaste in The Misanthrope. He is a current second year MFA - Acting student at Columbia University.

Sophie Labelle (Pia) is originally from Canada and is a graduate of NYU Tisch where she trained in experimental theatre and acting for film and television. She also attained a minor in genera studies. She is also an accomplished dancer and most recently performed in a selection from Romeo & Juliet with LoftOpera.

Garthe E. Lawson (Gbatokai) is a New York native who is himself a playwright, actor, singer, director and small business entrepreneur. His most recent acting credits include Boughetto, Marry Me, Coyote Dreams, A Soldier's Play, Where Are All the Good Black Men and Ugly Is A Hard Pill. He will be directing two plays for the 2015 Griot Theater Festival in January: Top View From the Bottom and Generations.

Deborah Offner* (Else) most recent New York theatre credits are Act One, adapted from Moss Hart's autobiography, and written and directed by James Lapine at Lincoln Center, Three Sisters and a Priest by Mario Fratti at Theatre for a New City, and The Singing Forest by Craig Lucas at The Public Theatre. Other NY credits include Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Say Goodnight Grace,The Job, The Maids at CSC, Rebel Women and The Hunchback of Notredameat The Public, and Don Juan and Merry Wives of Windsor at Shakespeare in the Park. Regional theatre credits include: The Sisters Rosenzweig at the Huntington, Sideman and Indiscretions. She has worked at the Guthrie, Yale Rep, Arena Stage, Seattle Rep, the O'Neill Conference, NY Stage and Film, and Baltimore Center Stage. Film and TV include the first episode of Season Two of "Orange is the New Black", playing a cracked out inmate, "Black Swan", "Top Five", "Home", "Six Feet Under", "Blue Bloods", "Law & Order", "Law & Order: SVU", "CSI", "Medium", "Unlawful Entry", "The Guardian", and "Cruel Intentions".

Seth Reich* (Christian) was last seen in Light (Columbia Stages). NY credits include: Waiting for Godot, The Maids, Uncle Vanya,Twelfth Night (Columbia Univ.), Harm's Way,A Tack... (newFangled theatReR), Beware of Dog (New York Theatre Ensemble). Regional:Richard II, Highway Ulysses (ART), Henry V (Commonswealth Shakespeare Co.), Othello(Swan Stages), Troilus and Cressida (Publick Theatre), The Three Musketters, Macbeth,The Lear Project (Actor's Shakespeare Co.),Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Midsummer, R&J (Shakespeare Now). TV/Film: "AMC", "ATWT","The Moment After". Seth is also a director, musician, and educator. MFA candidate: Columbia University.

Tyler Reilly (Helmut) Regional: Angels In America (Boston Theatre Works), The Seagull (The Publick Theatre), The Shape of Things (The Spontaneous Theatre Project). He received his MFA from Penn State University in 2014 and for the past two years has worked with Dominique Morisseau on Blood at the Root, a play inspired by the true events of the Jena Six. In addition to creating the role of Colin, Tyler has managed all aspects of Blood at the Root's national and international tours, including the upcoming February-March run at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia.

Peter Romano (Michael) Past roles at Columbia University: Light (Konik), A Streetcar Named Desire (Stanley), Romeo and Juliet (Tybalt), Man Equals Man (Gally Gay) and Waiting for Godot (Estragon). Peter holds a BFA from NYU Tisch where he studied with the Atlantic Theater Company. At NYU: Game of Love and Chance (Dorante) and The Altruists (Ethan) written and directed by Nicky Silver. MFA candidate: Columbia University.

Vanessa Vache (Mette) is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts conservatory program as well as its company in New York City. She holds a Bachelors degree in Theatre Performance from Northern Arizona University. She has appeared in numerous productions with The Amoralists Theatre Company throughout the city including Rantoul and Die (Cherry Lane), The Bad and the Better (Playwrights Horizons), The Cheater's Club (Abron's Art Center) and HotelMotel (Gershwin Hotel). In addition to The Amoralists, she has worked with a variety of companies including End Times and Believe Theatrical. Most recently, she served as an assistant director on the theatrical repertory project, The Gyre (Walker Space).

Matthew Whitfield (Kim) Previous credits: New York: Buffalo Heights (Tongue in Cheek Theater); A Streetcar Named Desire(Columbia University). Regional: Dracula, HEIST! (Actors Theatre of Louisville);Yellowface (Oregon Shakespeare Festival);The Tempest (Montana Shakespeare in The Parks). Upcoming: Measure for Measure and Tuesdays with Morrie (Roxy Regional Theater).

* Denotes members of Actors' Equity


Alayna Graziani (Stage Manager) is a Second Year MFA Stage Manager at Columbia University. Other Columbia Stages credits include The Physicists and The Government Inspector. She recently interned at Kinky Boots. Some favorite credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Hudson Warehouse), Intimate Apparel (Connecticut Rep), and Hairspray (Connecticut Rep).

Michael McGee (Lighting Designer) Recent work includes Early Plays (St. Ann's Warehouse),Describe the Night (Rajiv Joseph World Premier), Too Manly Lenas 3 (Ice Factory). They are a founding member of the theater collaborative GRANDMA (currently in residence at LMCC). MFA candidate: New York University 2015

Derek Miller (Scenic Designer) is a New York based freelance scenic and lighting designer. New York credits: As You Like It, Ophelia Theatre Group (Set); Back: A Tragedy Party, Poetic Theater Productions (Lighting); About Face, produced by Audra Arnaudon (Lighting). Other credits: the Wedge and KIDDSTUFF series, Hangar Theatre (Set and Projection); A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Court Theatre (New Zealand) (Set). He recently completed his MFA in scene design at Purdue University. Purdue credits: Brighton Beach Memoirs (Set); Choices (Lighting); S/he Was Changed (Dance Lighting); The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Set); Medea (Set and Projection).

Torrey Wigfield (Fight Choreographer) studied for three years with Erick Fredericksen, co-founder of the Society of American Fight Directors (SAFD) and also in an assistantship capacity with teacher/director Malcolm Tulip and master movement teacher Jerry Schwiebert. Last spring, Torrey choreographed for Columbia Stages' production of Od by Hannah Bisewski. On stage, his tough guy roles include Orestes in Butoh Electra with the Ume Group in Brooklyn, Tybalt with Michigan Shakespeare Festival Tour, and the Referee in Trafford Tanzi, a musical comedy set in a WWE-style wrestling ring.

About Columbia Stages: Columbia Stages is the producing arm of the Oscar Hammerstein II Center for Theatre Studies at Columbia University School of the Arts. Columbia Stages presents annually a season of graduate actor and director productions as well as a festival of new plays by emerging playwrights. The Theatre Program at Columbia University School of the Arts offers MFA degrees in: Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Dramaturgy, Stage Management, and Theatre Management & Producing. For more information about the Columbia University School of the Arts Theatre Program visit