Photo Flash: The Austerity of Hope, part of the Fresh Fruit Festival

Elyssa Rabinowitz, in association with All Out Arts and New Village Productions present the World-premeire of Dan Fingerman's new play THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE about a group of 20-something gay friends living, loving and growing in Astoria Queens - starring Max Rhyser ( and directed by Dan Dinero as part of the 9th Annual Fresh Fruit Festival at The Barrow Group Theatre (312 West 36th Street), with performances Monday, July 18th at 5PM; Tuesday, July 19th at 8:45PM; Thursday, July 21st at 9PM; and Saturday, July 23rd at 3:30PM.

Set in Astoria, Queens against the 2008 presidential victory of Barack Obama - THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE - centers on Simon (played by Mr. Rhyser) and his group of friends as they struggle with the complex issues of their young lives: love, sex, relationships, sexual identity, career choices, financial stability, monogamy and the future...and what it holds for them and the ones they love.

Directed by Dan Dinero, the cast of THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE includes: Matthew Baldiga*, Spenser Genesy, Jason Hart*, Aimee Howard*, Nik Kourtis, Emily Kratter*, Matt Pascua*, Jacob Perkins, and Max Rhyser*. (*Appearing courtesy of Actors' Equity Association)

Mr. Baldiga's credits include: The Battle of Spanktown (FringeNYC 2010) and The Lady's Not for Burning (Parenthesis). Mr. Genesy's credits include: Another Dude's Slingbacks (13th Street Rep) and THE LEGEND OF SLEEPY HOLLOW (Emerging Artists Theatre).

Mr. Hart's credits include: THE DUMB WAITER (Mint Theatre) and THE CHERRY ORCHARD (Trinity Rep). Ms. Howard's credit include: CLAYMONT (Baruch) and BOOK SIGNING (E.A.T.).

Mr. Kourtis' credits include: THE TIMING OF A DAY (FringeNYC 2010 and Center Stage). Ms. Kratter's credits include: MAX AND RUBY (TheatreWorks) and THE CHILDREN'S HOUR (Astoria Performing Arts Center).

Mr. Pascua's credits include: FLASH FLOOD (Manhattan Theatre Source) and GOOD SEEDS (45th Street Theatre). Mr. Perkins' credits include regional productions of MACBETH and THE SEAGULL. Mr. Rhyser can been seen in the popular web series and was in DEATH PARTY (Vital Space Theater).

Dan Dinero (Director) has directed six plays for Emerging Artists Theatre, where he is also the Associate Directors' Company Manager. Other NY credits include Fixing Frank and Lonely Planet with the Greenland Theatre Collective, a company he co-founded. Most recently, Dan directed one of the companies in Artistic New Directions' innovative production of The Rubber Room. Dan assisted Jeff Calhoun on the Broadway productions of both Brooklyn (also Denver Civic, NY workshop) and Deaf West's Big River (also National tour), and he assistant directed the New York premiere of Tennessee Williams's Spring Storm. Dan is currently writing his dissertation for a PhD in Performance Studies at NYU.

Dan Fingerman (Playwright) is the Office Manager for Guilford Publications a distinguished academic publishing firm. He was recently elected to the Steering Committee of Out Astoria, a popular nonprofit group formed to organize the LGBT community in Astoria and Long Island City. He has previously worked for a number of politicians including NYC Council Speakers Gifford Miller and Christine Quinn. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University at Albany (SUNY) where upon graduation he delivered a well-received Commencement Address in front of over 100,000 people. He is an active member of Congregation Beth Simcah Torah, an LGBT Synagogue and has raised over $10,000 for AIDS WALK NY over the past three years. In 2009, he raised over a thousand dollars to aid The Fund For Global Human Rights to support their work in assisting persecuted LGBT Iraqis. THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE is Mr. Fingerman's first play.

Elyssa Rabinowitz (Producer) is an Operations Manager of Twenty-Seven Manhattan Properties with Central Parking System, a national leader in professional parking management. She received an MBA from New York Institute of Technology and is a 2004 graduate of West Chester University (W.C.U) where she majored in Psychology. While a student at W.C.U she managed events at the Sykes Student Union, the 100,000 sq foot, four floor center of student activity. A current resident of Manhattan, she is affiliated with Big Brothers Big Sisters and has fundraised extensively for AIDS Walk NY.

THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE is an Actors Equity Approved Showcase.

New Village Productions, established in 1989, has produced ten LGBT short play Festivals including an international short play Festival in conjunction with the Vineyard Theater and Gay Games 1994. New Village Productions is a not-for-profit theater company committed to diversity and the celebration of difference, both in selection of material and by inclusion of disabled and minority artists.

All Out Arts' mission since 1992 has been to bring together the diverse artistic, organizational, political and financial resources of the LGBT community to foster awareness of the value of LGBT arts. The mission of All Out Arts is to support and present LGBT art and artists to fight intolerance. All Out Arts fulfills its mission by supporting arts organizations within the community through fiscal sponsorship, events, contests, collaborations, networking events for emerging artists, and by sponsoring productions, concerts and displays of visual arts.

THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE plays as part of the 9th Annual Fresh Fruit Festival at The Barrow Group Theatre (312 West 36th Street), with performances Monday, July 18th at 5PM; Tuesday, July 19th at 8:45PM; Thursday, July 21st at 9PM; and Saturday, July 23rd at 3:30PM. Tickets are $18 and can be purchased through SmartTix at or by calling 212-868-4444.

For more information about the Fresh Fruit Festival, please visit: And for more information on THE AUSTERITY OF HOPE, please visit:

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