Corkscrew Theater Festival Announces Casting & Ticket Sales For Expanded Third Season

Corkscrew Theater Festival is pleased to announce the mainstage casts for its third annual festival, which runs July 10-August 3 at the Paradise Factory (64 East 4th Street, Manhattan). The festival features four world premieres, four workshop productions, and four readings performed in repertory over four weeks, with 80 performances in all. As in past years, special attention has been given to theater makers who are developing work through tight-knit collaborations. Tickets are now on sale.

Each year, the festival's commitment to providing early-career artists a high level of production support has deepened. For the 2019 edition, festival Artistic Director Thomas Kapusta and Associate Artistic Director Alex Hare worked for the first time with casting directors Juliet Axon and Ari Rudess to cast the season.

The cast for Elyse Pitock's Preexisting Conditions (July 11-28) includes Brittany Anikka Liu (The Convent), Ariane Rinehart (NBC's The Sound of Music Live, Chicago Fire), Ruth Aguilar (Rancho Viejo, Netflix's Jessica Jones), Justin Ahdoot (Sleep No More), and Danny Tejera.

The cast for Sam Silbiger's Six Years Old (July 13-28) includes Julia Weldon (Joker with Joaquin Phoenix, HBO's High Maintenance), Diane Chen (High Maintenance), Conor William Wright (Julius Caesar at the Delacorte, Blue Bloods), and Meghan E. Jones.

The cast for Haleh Roshan's A Play Titled After the Collective Noun for Female-Identifying Twentysomethings Living in New York City in the 2010s (July 18-August 3) includes Mari Vial-Golden, Remy Zaken (Spring Awakening, Dear Evan Hansen), and Justin Fuller (The Orphans' Home Cycle).

The cast for Johnny G. Lloyd's Patience (July 24-August 3) includes Joshua Gitta, Kristin Dodson, Brenda Crawley, Christopher Rand, and DeAnna Supplee.

Artistic Director Thomas Kapusta said, "The wonderful plays that make up the third year of Corkscrew Theater Festival feature characters who, when faced with crises of faith in institutions, movements, and people they've relied on, turn to the products of our popular culture for signs and deeper truths. From social media influencers to Yentl, Venus and Serena Williams to the American labor movement, these characters plumb the depths of our collective consciousness and emerge with a vision for how to remake themselves, if not their world. Facing so many of the same crises, our artists are in turn remaking our understanding of theater: conventional notions of audience, activism, and action will be challenged at Corkscrew this year.

Taking a cue from our artists, we're remaking Corkscrew into a festival that does more than just showcase tight-knit collaborations, but incites and embodies a collaborative spirit itself. This deepened commitment to our mission appears on our Mainstage, as we lengthen our plays' runs, foster an intimate creative relationship with our teams through our Directors/Producers Lab and Writers Group, and pilot a festival-wide casting process. We're also expanding our understanding of our mission as we tackle four plays on a flexible repertory set in our second theater, Corkscrew Downstairs."

Producing Director Alexandra Cadena, who spearheads Corkscrew Downstairs: "What's most exciting about the Downstairs series is that it's furthering the festival's mission of absolute collaboration. We are taking early-career artists, who are presenting very different workshop productions, and having them all inhabit a shared living space-where they can create, risk, and fail together. I can't wait to see what our Downstairs designer team (set designer Dan Daly, lighting designer Christina Tang, and props designer Cinthia Chen) dream up in conjunction with each of the four projects."

All performances as part of Corkscrew Theater Festival will take place at the Paradise Factory (64 East 4th Street, Manhattan). Tickets are now on sale. Individual tickets to the four mainstage productions are $24, and tickets to the downstairs series are $20, with discount passes available to those seeing more than one show. All four readings are free. Visit corkscrewfestival.org to learn more or call 347.954.9125 for more information.

Corkscrew Productions

Preexisting Conditions (July 11-28)

By Elyse Pitock, directed by Alexis Wilcock, produced by Julie Balefsky
July 11, 12, 16 at 7pm; July 21, 27 at 8pm; July 13, 20 at 4:30pm; July 14, 28 at 1pm; July 19 at 10pm

Legal assistant Ophira suffers from chronic pain, with no health insurance and no hope - until she finds Artemis, a multicultural, intersectional, feminist matchmaking startup that connects singles in need of healthcare with professionals from the finance and tech industries. This unconventional (but pragmatic) arrangement becomes a nightmare when Ophira is paired with the pompous Trevor, and her efforts to escape are blocked by Artemis CEO Aubrey Geller. Preexisting Conditions pits modern romance against a modern medical bill and asks: what's sicker?

The cast includes Brittany Anikka Liu as Ophira, Ariane Rinehart as Aubrey, Ruth Aguilar as Casey, Justin Ahdoot as Nico, and Danny Tejera as Trevor.

Elyse Pitock is a Brooklyn-based writer. Her first play, A Snapshot of My Family, was performed at venues in Philadelphia, New York, and Los Angeles. Other plays include Grieving for Fish and Maybe I'm Not Reading This Map Correctly.

Alexis Wilcock is a theatre director based in New York City. She directed Emily Sorensen's Shapes Like Things, A Soup Play at Wow Cafe as part of the 20th Annual NYC Fringe Festival. Previous directing credits include The Love of Don Perlimplin and Belisa in the Garden (Barnard College Thesis Production), and Grieving For Fish (Columbia University). She is an alumna of the Powerhouse Directing Apprenticeship Program at Vassar College. alexiswilcock.com

Julie Balefsky is a producer and actress. She co-produced Chandler, a short film written and directed by Julia Kennelly, which premiered at the Atlanta Film Festival last year. Upcoming work: Fix (short), You Are Going To Explode (short), When Skies Are Gray (short). Currently, Julie serves as the showrunner's assistant on Showtime's Ray Donovan. She is a graduate of NYU/Tisch School of the Arts, where she studied/engaged in lots of drama.

Six Years Old (July 13-28)

By Sam Silbiger, directed by Helen Handelman, produced by Madeleine Goldsmith
July 15, 17, 19, 26 at 7pm; July 13 at 8pm; July 14, 21, 28 at 4:30pm; July 13, 20 at 1pm

Adalaide is six years old, and she knows a few things: her stupid babysitter Kim is stupid, her younger brother Dewey is a naked mole rat, the film Godzilla expresses the paranoid id of the nuclear age, and she does NOT like living her life as a girl. Though Kim takes Adalaide's unhappiness seriously and tries to offer support, Adalaide's family and peers discourage her, leaving her to seek out dangerous measures in order to transform into who she was born to be (her hero, Han Solo). Six Years Old, by Sam Silbiger, is a comic and poignant play reflecting back on the wild fantasies and serious desires of childhood.

The cast includes Julia Weldon as Adalaide, Diane Chen as Kim, Conor William Wright as Dewey, and Meghan E. Jones as Rachel.

Sam Silbiger is a playwright from Philadelphia. Their writing has been seen at The Bushwick Starr, JACK, The Tank, The Irondale Center, The Secret Theater, and Little Theater at Dixon Place. They have also worked closely on new work with WP Theater, Target Margin Theater, Soho Rep, and many wonderful independent artists, and they play in the band Go Home. They were recently a playwriting resident at the Sitka Fellows Program in Sitka, AK, and were an Eastern European fellow of the Center for International Theater Development in 2016. http://www.samsilbiger.com

Helen Handelman is a New York-based director. Working with playwrights on developing imaginative text-driven plays and with theater artists in devising interdisciplinary performances, she is above all dedicated to making new work. Helen was a 2014 Core Company member at the Orchard Project, and has worked on productions at LCT3, HERE Arts, The Public Theater, Curtis Opera Theatre, The Bushwick Starr, Ars Nova, Clubbed Thumb, and WP Theater. B.A. Wesleyan University. http://www.helenhandelman.com

Madeleine Goldsmith is a New York-based producer determined to make art that matters in our current world. Since moving to New York from San Francisco two years ago, she has produced with Caborca at Abrons Arts Center, Target Margin Theater alongside David Herskovits, at NYTW Next Door Series, David Greenspan's The Things That Were There at The Bushwick Starr, Hipokrit Theatre Company's R & J, Colt Coeur's 10th world premiere at HERE Arts Center, and Yehuda Hyman's The Mar Vista at The Ford Foundation Studio Theatre at The Pershing Square Signature Center. MadeleineDaraGoldsmith.com


A Play Titled After the Collective Noun for Female-Identifying Twentysomethings Living in New York City in the 2010s (July 18-August 3)
by Haleh Roshan, directed by Lauren Zeftel, produced by Brandon Smithey
July 18, 22, 23, 29 and August 2 at 7pm; July 20 at 8pm; July 27 at 4:30pm; July 21 at 1pm; July 26 at 10pm; August 3 at 4:00pm

Shirin is working on a book about post-Occupy Wall Street grassroots movements and trying not to succumb to anxiety attacks. CJ is a public defender navigating NYC's fucked up judicial system, while trying to make time for a meaningful personal life. Elizabeth needs to finish college and figure out what to do next. Oh, also, there's a mysterious bug infestation in the kitchen. Hashtag millennials, amirite? Putting an urgent spin on stories about "girls" in any medium, Collective Noun is a love letter to an unsung history of collective action and a battle cry for radically re-envisioning what it means to fight for change.

The cast includes Mari Vial-Golden as Shirin, Remy Zaken as Elizabeth, and Justin Fuller as Exterminator.

Haleh Roshan is an Iranian American playwright and fiction writer. Her work fuses leftist politics with intercultural narratives to challenge capitalist power structures and trouble conceptions of identity. Plays include FREE FREE FREE FREE (Exponential Festival, 2018 O'Neill NPC finalist); The Woman Question, adapted from the prison memoir of a woman in 1980s Iran; The Houseguest, adapted from a play by Mohsen Yalfani (Oye! Avant Garde); and Reverence, about the founding of the Joffrey Ballet (Tom Kirdahy Productions). @halehroshan / halehroshan.com

Lauren Zeftel creates + collaborates on stories that use inventive metaphors to embody the invisible forces that shape us - transforming abstract concepts into visceral experiences for audiences. She served as Associate Director on Small Mouth Sounds national tour (dir. Rachel Chavkin) and on James + Jerome's Ink at the Met Museum (dir. Annie Tippe + Rachel Chavkin). First Draft Resident (The Drama League). LCT Directors Lab Alum. Williamstown Directing Corp. Playwrights Horizons Directing Fellow Alum. http://www.LaurenZA.me

Brandon Smithey - NYC-based producer working in theater, film, and television. Credits include FREE FREE FREE FREE by Haleh Roshan, short film Little, award-winning play What Every Girl Should Know by Monica Byrne, and The Whole Damn Thing by Jessica Penzias. Brandon was a part of the production team behind such television series as The Mindy Project and United States of Tara. Education: NYU (MA), USC (BS).

Patience (July 24-August 3)

By Johnny G. Lloyd, directed by Velani Dibba, produced by Jon Bleicher
July 24, 25, 30, 31 and August 1, 3 at 7pm; July 28 at 8pm; July 27, August 3 at 1pm; August 2 at 10pm

Though he's been the world's #1 ranked Solitaire player since age 20, Daniel is hung up on another title used to describe him: "the Venus Williams of solitaire." The threat of being eclipsed by a Serena (who just might be the determined up-and-comer Ella) is one of many pressures Daniel carries, alongside his difficulty communicating with his soon-to-be husband, his fraught relationship with his "momager," and the burden of being excellent in a field that only has room for one excellent person at a time.

Patience is Johnny G. Lloyd's ingenious portrait of a young black man struggling to build a life with other people when all he's learned so far is how to be alone.

The cast includes Joshua Gitta as Daniel, Kristin Dodson as Ella, Brenda Crawley as Mother, Christopher Rand as Jordan, and DeAnna Supplee as Nikita.

Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. As a playwright, his work has been seen and developed at 59E59, Dixon Place, The Tank, Judson Memorial Church, Theatre Lab (Boca Raton, FL), FringeNYC and more. Johnny was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Open-Application Commission at Clubbed Thumb and the 2017-2018 Shubert Fellow for Playwriting at Columbia University. He is the producing director of InVersion Theatre. MFA Candidate in Playwriting at Columbia University. jglloyd.weebly.com

Velani Dibba is a theater artist currently in her second year at Columbia University's Theatre Directing MFA program. She is an inaugural Fellow at the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and a former Global Cultural Fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for International Cultural Relations. Upcoming works include Apologies to the Bengali Lady at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Falling & Loving with Siti Company.

Jon Bleicher is a Theatre Management & Producing MFA candidate at Columbia University School of the Arts. He worked in public relations for the past ten years, leading campaigns for clients across the entertainment industry, including artists like Dr. John, Elvis Costello, Kenny Chesney, and Grateful Dead. Prior to publicity, he worked at XM Satellite Radio, where he produced and hosted a weekly show featuring independent musicians. Jon also has an extensive performance background, having appeared in several Broadway, Off Broadway and regional productions as a child. Recent producing credits include A Modest Proposal at Cherry Lane Theatre, The Seagull, Antarabhava, Apsu At Dusk, and Family Show (Columbia).

Corkscrew Downstairs (Workshop Productions)

A Doll's House: A New Opera (July 11-21)
written and composed by Grace Oberhofer, directed by Allison Benko, produced by Alexandra Cadena

July 11, 12, 18, 19 at 8:45pm; July 13, 20 at 6:15pm; July 14, 21 at 3pm

Inspired by the echoes of Nora's plight that persist in today's world, A Doll's House: A New Opera follows the structure of Henrik Ibsen's original play but extends its heroine's gilded cage through music. Nora's domestic life with Torvald honors manipulation over authenticity, but she is forced to find her own voice when the masquerade ends.

Grace Oberhofer - A Tacoma, WA native and a Tufts graduate (s.c.l.), Grace works as a composer, performer, and sound designer. Her dystopian bunny musical with Julia Izumi, Hot Cross Buns, originated at Corkscrew and was recently workshopped at Brown/Trinity, and her choral play tetralogy with Colette Robert and Helen Banner, ICONS/IDOLS, has garnered support from New Georges, OPERA America, The Tank, and New Ohio/IRT Archive Residency. www.graceoberhofer.com

Allison Benko is excited to return to Corkscrew Festival, having directed last season's world premiere of The End of Mermaids. Other directing includes Single Rider (Players Theatre), Twelfth Night (Alchemical), What Happened That Night (Project Y), Rebels v. Tories (Fairfield Museum), and She Loves Me (Balch Arena). Benko has worked extensively as an assistant director, most notably on Lincoln Center's Tony-Award winning production of Oslo. Benko is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors' Lab and a former guest artist at the Tholpavakootu Puppet Centre in Kerala, India. www.allisonbenko.com

Alexandra Cadena is a graduate of Yale University and has worked extensively as a producer/manager in the theatre with the Yale School of Drama and the Yale Cabaret. Her work as a theatre producer includes the New York International Fringe Festival, Corkscrew Theatre Festival, The 24 Hour Plays, #HealMeToo Festival and more. She has vast experience in film and her production company, AC Pictures, has several awarded winning shorts that have premiered at the Next International Film Festival, Worldfest-Houston, and SENE film festivals. Upcoming producer work: White Flags (film), Anna May Wong, The Actress Who Died a Thousand Deaths (SUITE/Space Mabou Mines). www.a-c-pictures.com


Hootenanny Twelfth Night (July 13-28)
adapted and directed by Tom Kapusta
July 16, 23, 24 at 8:45pm; July 14, 21 at 6:15pm; July 13, 28 at 3pm; July 13, 20, 27 at 10pm

Célébrons ce beau jour... In this "hootenanny" Twelfth Night, Director Thomas Kapusta reimagines Shakespeare's wistful play of festivity and loss via his French-Canadian heritage, transporting the ensemble comedy to a kitchen parlor in Hardwick, Vermont. This Twelfth Night invites its audience to join in fifty years of LeCours family music-making tradition, inspired by the American folk revival, their Québécois roots, and the joy derived from performing together for each other. When words fail, it's music that lets us love in mourning, mourn while celebrating, and celebrate being in love.

Thomas Kapusta is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Corkscrew Theater Festival. He has developed, directed, and produced work throughout New York City. In 2016, he was assistant director on the world premiere of Linda Alper and Penny Metropulos' adaptation of Great Expectations at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Tom holds a BA from Columbia University, and is currently pursuing a Master's in Arts Administration from the Weissman School of Arts and Sciences at Baruch College.


Walt Whitman BodyJolt (July 17-August 3)
written and directed by Alex Hare, based on the words of Walt Whitman; choreographed by Katie Rose McLaughlin and Natalie Hratko

July 17, 22, 25, 31 at 8:45pm; July 19, August 2 at 6pm; July 27 at 6:15pm; July 20 at 3pm; July 28 at 11am; August 3 at 5:30pm

Walt Whitman BodyJolt is a play in the form of an audience participatory exercise class led by Walt Whitman, the esteemed poet and, now, the creator of a new fitness regimen for 21st-century Americans seeking a dynamic physical, intellectual, and moral workout. Loosely inspired by a series of self-help articles written by Whitman in 1858 and only unearthed in 2016, the play encourages audience members to follow Walt as he works through his own obstacles and insecurities alongside them. Movers of all levels are welcome for this sweaty exploration of how we train to be better - as people, as citizens, and as a country.

Alex Hare is a director of new musicals (mostly) and the associate artistic director of Corkscrew Theater Festival. He previously developed Walt Whitman BodyJolt at Barn Arts Collective and the New Masculinities Festival. Other current projects include A Burning Church, a musical tracing the history of an Alabama church over the last thirty years (New Ohio workshop; co-director with Zhailon Levingston). Assistant credits: School of Rock (Broadway), Side Show (Broadway, Kennedy Center). Frequently an assistant to film director Bill Condon, Alex studied American Studies at Columbia University. http://alexhare.nyc


Stone (July 26-August 3)
written and created by Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood, co-directed by Katherine Wilkinson

July 26, 29, 30, August 1, 2 at 8:45pm; July 27 at 3pm; July 28 at 6:15pm; August 3 at 1:45pm

A collaborative play inspired by Leslie Feinberg's seminal novel Stone Butch Blues, Morgaine Gooding-Silverwood's Stone honors Leslie and other overlooked butch heroes of the 1960s. The inter-generational piece is a devised work of historical fiction based on the very real legacy of butch solidarity and gay community organizing that took place as a response to the police violence and anti-crossdressing ordinances of the era. Stone is an homage, a celebration, a love letter and a reflection.

Morgaine (Mo) Gooding-Silverwood is a theatre artist and activist based in New York City. They are currently pursuing their Masters in Text and Performance from The University of London and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. As an activist, Mo works as an educator in Theatre of the Oppressed, feminism, and philosophy at state and federal prisons in New York. Mo has trained as a performer and maker with Anne Bogart's Siti Company, and their work has been produced in the inaugural 2017 season of the Corkscrew Festival, at The University of Denver (where they served as an Artist in Residence) and at The Oklahoma Contemporary Museum.

Katherine Wilkinson is a director and producer based in New York City. Katherine has spent the last decade creating new ensemble-driven performance throughout the US and abroad. Katherine has worked with The Magic Theatre, Playmakers, Siti Company, Suzuki Company of Toga, Zen Zen Zo, Rude Mechs, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Deborah Hay, GenEnCo, RADA, Movement Research, and The Watermill Center, among others. Katherine has assisted Anne Bogart, Sam Gold, Robert Wilson, and Rosemary Andress. www.katherinewilkinson.com

Corkscrew Readings

Mad
written by Jay Mazyck

directed by Nicholas Polonio

July 10 at 8pm


Caught between the realities of his home and his place in the outside world, a young gay black man struggles to find the balance in which he can safely be himself. So he cooks up an autobiographical theatrical production in his mind to help him figure out his role in life.

Jay Mazyck (19) is from Brooklyn, NY. He is currently receiving acting training at Rutgers University. He starred in the Off-Broadway production of Chisa Hutchinson's Surely Goodness and Mercy (Keen Company) after having participated in many college/high school shows and readings. He is an alumnus of LaGuardia High School.

Notes from the Basement
written and composed by Kate Eberstadt, directed by Molly Rose Heller

July 15 at 8pm

Notes from the Basement is a staged concept album exploring love and loss through the perspective of an aid worker during the European refugee influx of 2015-2016. After founding a music program in an emergency refugee camp in Berlin, Kate Eberstadt lived in her parents' basement for a year, processing - and not processing - the enormity of the experience: that of the families she interacted with, the aid workers and other people she met there, and her own. Framed as a mixtape of choral arrangements, electronic loops, and Middle Eastern music, Notes from the Basement grapples with finding humanity in seemingly inhuman circumstances.

Kate Eberstadt is an artist based in NYC. She writes, acts, composes/produces music, and makes art with people. Kate spent much of her early 20's haunting the art world under the wing of theater director Robert Wilson. In 2016, she founded The Hutto Project, a performing arts program for children living in an emergency refugee camp in Berlin. Notes from the Basement started as a concept album in her parents' basement, and is her first full-length show for the stage. Artistic residencies include The American Academy in Berlin, The Watermill Center, and The Center at West Park. Her work has appeared in publications such as the New York Times, NPR, and internationally in publications such as Der Tagesspiegel, El Español and Tokyo Shimbun. Eberstadt has also worked as a teaching artist in youth centers across the US and Europe, including on Rikers Island. She makes up half the electro pop sister duo Delune - @deluneofficial! For more information please visit www.kateeberstadt.com Instagram: @updatesfromkate


Molly Rose Heller is a multi-talented theatre-maker. Select directing credits include: Existential Questions (Green Room 42), Olivia Harris' Planet Joy (City Winery), Dybbuk (upcoming), Faust 2.0 (Mabou Mines, asst dir., upcoming), Cannibal Galaxy: a love story (New Ohio, asst dir.), and Missing Gemini (Winner, Best Direction). Other credits include Design for Living (Berkshire Theatre Group), Imagining the Imaginary Invalid (La Mama) and book/lyrics for Plath. (FringeNYC). She graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. in Theatre and Drama Arts from Columbia University and a B.A. in Modern Jewish Studies from the Jewish Theological Seminary.


Kill the Whale
written and composed by Daniel Emond

July 19 at 3pm

Kill The Whale is a musical/concept album that re-imagines Moby-Dick as a series of songs baring the souls of each character on board Captain Ahab's vessel. The score, soaked in rock and hip hop, folk and roots, rhythm and blues, psychedelia and soul, is an eclectic reflection of America's diversity. Ultimately, Melville's novel serves as a jumping off point for composer Daniel Emond, who delves into the depths of subjectivity to discover his own interpretation of the world around him. As with the whale itself, some of our greatest fears are borne from our own minds.

Daniel Emond, a lifelong musician, singer, and composer, spontaneously began this massive work on a bike ride through Brooklyn, writing the melody to the chorus of his first song, The Whale. Since then, he has developed a plan to create Kill the Whale: A Musical Odyssey--An irreverent Re-telling of Moby-Dick, that would manifest as a live musical production, a musical film, and a concept album. Composition and music-directing credits include DAWN (Signature Theatre, Sonnet Rep, SPACE on Ryder Farm, O'Neill Finalist) and Daphne (IRT).

and Through the Crack in the Closet Door
created and directed by Eamon Boylan, produced by Mika Kauffman

August 1 at 3:30pm

Cinderella has all night. Cinderella has all night. Cinderella is all right. And not just a "she." A poem, a TED Talk and a party, and Through the Crack in the Closet Door rediscovers the closet as a space for the liberation of trans and queer bodies.



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