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Fun in Moderation at Asylum NYC

Dates: (10/23/2022 )


Asylum NYC

Fun In Moderation

307 W 26th St, New York, NY 10001
New York City,NY 10001

Phone: 212-203-5435

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“Every ad in NYC claims it’s “the best” but that’s usually a huge exaggeration. The best usually leads to a drained savings account or lands you in jail. Why risk that when you can come have just the right amount of fun?”

Cast and Creative team for Fun in Moderation at Asylum NYC


Anat Cogan

Eilat Herzog
Anat Cogan (playing Eilat Herzog, an Israeli TV and theater actress, political activist and documentary-based playwright) is a NYC based, Israeli-Egyptian-American actress and writer. She has been on stage since the age of 5 and has been acting ever since. After finishing her service in the Israeli Defense Force and graduating from Nissan Nativ Acting Studio in Tel Aviv/Israel and the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute in NY, Anat continued her journey in acting- working in the Israeli theater and participating in theater performances in New York as well as shooting a variety of films around the US. Select credits include: Ocean In A Teacup (Theater Row), Handle With Care (Florida Studio Theatre & Shadowland Stages), David (St. Marks), Ajax In Iraq (Flux), What’s In Alaska? (MITF), A Thousand Words (Manhattan Rep), Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare Co.), Hamlet (Shakespeare Co.), Tartuffe (TLV), Mother Courage (TLV), Donia Rosita The Spinster (TLV), The Sound Of Music (TLV). TV: “Prisoners of War” and “Wish House.” For more info:

Ilasiea Gray

Virginia B. Lawrence
Ilasiea Gray (playing Virginia B. Lawrence, Executive Director for External Affairs at a mid-size theater company) is a multi-hyphenate social practice artist (actress, educator, writer, director, creator) and proud recipient of a True West Award for her impactful work in the arts and arts education. Ilasiea is passionate about socially engaged projects ranging from on-camera work, stage, educational theatre, and theatre for young audiences, and has been featured in several media publications (including Colorado Public Radio, Denver Westword, Voyage Magazine), discussing the intersection of artistry, equity, social justice, and youth advocacy. Ilasiea made history in Colorado playing the title role of Sleeping Beauty (Denver Children’s Theatre) as a Black actress and currently tours the social justice show Black with a Capital B. (Curious Theatre Company). Additional credits include co-creating and performing in the verbatim theatre documentary CO2020 with BETC (featured in American Theatre Magazine); Detroit ’67 (Curious Theatre Company), Second City’s Twist Your Dickens (Aurora Fox); and world premieres including American Prom (THEATREWORKS) and Black Odyssey (DCPA Theatre Company). Her original piece Acting While Black was a featured finalist in The Breath Project national festival, with another version appearing in the award-winning Amplify series (Arvada Center). Ilasiea has been speaking at conferences nationwide (including South by Southwest Education Conference) about her internationally published essay Why Are There No “Great” Kids of Color in the Performing Arts? which examines inequity in the arts for young people of color and she was recently named the Arvada Center’s first ever Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access Coordinator. Ilasiea has a BFA in Theatre, Film & Television, and recently graduated from an inaugural MFA in Social & Environmental Arts Practice program, created/led by Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Cullors. For more info:

Lisa Hodsoll

Miri Rekev
Lisa Hodsoll (playing Miri Rekev, Right-Wing Minister of Culture & Sport for the State of Israel - until recently) was born in Brussels, Belgium and is a graduate of the University of Virginia. Lisa’s theater credits include: Laura Bush Killed A Guy (Helen Hayes Nominated for its DC production by The Klunch, and subsequent New York Transfer), Medea’s Got Some Issues (D.C. and Chicago Production), The Wonderful World of Dissocia (Helen Hayes Nominated), A Fool’s Paradise at The Edinburgh Fringe and Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexuals Guide To Capitalism and Socialism With a Key to the Scriptures by Tony Kushner and directed by John Vreeke at Theater J. Selected writing credits: Buffurducken (writer and director, winner of Royal Reel Award), co-writer on Kosmopolites (winner of Best International Feature Columbia Gorges International Film Festival) and a play adaptation of Company K by William March. Lisa is a Founder of Open Road and member of the Klunch, and Factory 449. For more info:

Karl Kippola

AD, or Founding Artistic Director Until Recently
Karl Kippola (playing AD, or Founding Artistic Director Until Recently) is a full-time faculty member at American University since 2003, and program director since 2016. Karl holds a BA in Drama (University of Montana), an MFA in Acting (Wayne State University), and a PhD in Theatre (University of Maryland). As an actor, director, choreographer, adapter, and dialect coach, Kippola has been involved in well over a hundred productions throughout the country. Locally, he has worked with Everyman Theatre, Rep Stage, Olney Theatre, Theatre J, Baltimore Shakespeare, Virginia Shakespeare, Bay Theatre, Imagination Stage, Metro Stage, Round House, Center Company, Firebelly, Ford's Theatre, and the Shakespeare Theatre. At AU, he has directed Kiss Me, Kate; Of Thee I Sing; The Mystery of Edwin Drood; Hamlet; Urinetown; The Country Wife; Tartuffe; Oklahoma; Company; The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2012, 2021); Guys and Dolls; The Alchemist; The Lower Depths; No, No, Nanette; Allegro; The Crucible; How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying; and The Women . He has delivered papers at several conferences and has published articles in the Journal of American Drama and Theatre, Theatre Symposium, Theatre Journal, Theatre Survey, and Theatre History Studies. His research focuses on nineteenth-century American theatre. His book, “Acts of Manhood: The Performance of Masculinity on the American Stage, 1828-1865”, was published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2012. For more info:

Hassan Nazari-Robati

Samad Hussein
Hassan Nazari-Robati (playing Samad Hussein, a Palestinian-Muslim actor of stage & screen) is a recent transplant to LA, by way of New York, where he performed in shows and readings with The Public, Atlantic Theatre Company, The Flea, and 5th Floor Theatre Company. Hassan has been featured in the national and international tours of Beauty and the Beast (as Lumiere for NETworks Presentations). Regional credits include The Corpse Washer for Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival, directed by Mark Brokaw); Oklahoma! (Ali Hakim) for Theatre Under the Stars; Abraham’s Land for Theater of Possibility in Seattle; Oliver! (Fagin) at the Palace Theatre, and Merchant of Venice (Solanio) for Oklahoma Shakes. Hassan Nazari-Robati is a graduate of Oklahoma City University in Music Theatre.

Nessa Amherst

Understudying Virginia B. Lawrence
Nessa Amherst (understudying Virginia B. Lawrence) is an actress and writer in the Washington, DC area. She has had the pleasure of performing with theatre organizations and companies from across the country - in-person and virtually - including South Carolina, Massachusetts, Illinois, and New York. Some of Nessa’s favorite credits include The Survival (National Queer Theater & Lincoln Center), #ENOUGH: Plays to End Gun Violence (1st Stage), As You Like It (Theatre Lab School of Dramatic Arts), This Profound Abyss (Rorschach Theatre), Julia Caesar (Barefoot Shakespeare Company), Runtime Error (Transformation Theatre), Henry VIII (Quarantine Queens Theatre Company), Lotto & Raffles & Sweepstakes, Oh My! (PlayZoomers), District Merchants (Theatre CBT & Globe Openstage), and These Violent Delights (Letter of Marque Theater Company). Nessa also took part in the audio workshop and play, A Murder in the Court of Xanadu, with Chicago’s A Theater in the Dark, which is scheduled to be released this fall. Her original monologue, Define “Black,” is featured in the anthology, 08:46: Fresh Perspectives, published by New World Theatre, and is available to purchase online. Originally from Chicago (actually, it’s Northwest Indiana, but it’s close enough, right?), Nessa holds a Bachelor of General Studies degree, emphases in theatre, music performance, and media studies, from the University of Missouri-Columbia. For more information:

Creative Team

Ari Roth

Playwright/VFP Founding Producing Partner
Ari Roth (playwright – see VFP Founding Producing Partner bio for fuller credits) Additionally: Roth has collaborated with director John Vreeke on Roth’s play Born Guilty, based on the book by Peter Sichrovsky (nominated for 2002 Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Play and Outstanding Direction); The Seagull on 16th Street (based on the original by Anton Chekhov), and an un-produced version of the American-Israeli-Palestinian collaboration, Shame 2.0 (With Comments From The Populace). As producer, Roth has worked with Mr. Vreeke of the world premieres of Richard Greenberg’s Balle Masque, Joyce Carole Oates’ The Tattooed Girl, David Zellnik’s Ariel Sharon Hovers Between Life and Death and Dreams of Theodore Herzl, Hanna Eady & Edward Mast’s The Return (first produced in Israel as Sabbath Worker), as well as acclaimed productions of Ariel Dorfman’s Death and the Maiden, Tony Kushner’s The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism With a Key To The Scriptures, and Kushner’s Homebody/Kabul (co-production with Woolly Mammoth Theatre). My Calamitous Affair…has been workshopped by VFP in-person at the Arts Club of Washington in September of 2021, and virtually in a 29-hour workshop in February, and received a stage reading in Philadelphia this past April at InterAct Theatre.

John Vreeke

John Vreeke (director) John is perhaps best known for his directorial and development work on second productions of plays that have gone on to become staples in the regional theater circuit - plays like Boom by Peter Nachtrieb, A Bright New Boise by Sam Hunter and Guards at the Taj by Rajiv Joseph as well as Joseph’s epic drama Describe the Night, all directed for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company. He directed the west coast premiere of the 2018 Pulitzer Prize winner Cost of Living by Martyna Majok; the play will be coming to Broadway later this season. He has worked in DC area Theater for the past 22 years including at Round House, Theater J, Metro Stage, Olney Theater, Forum, the former Washington Shakespeare Company, Theater Alliance, Everyman, the Kennedy Center and the Helen Hayes Awards Ceremony. He co-conceived and directed a theatrical adaptation of the DH Lawrence novel “Lady Chatterley's Lover” with multiple, successful productions in Seattle, LA and DC. He has six Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Director. He began his career at the famous Alley Theater in Houston where he worked as the staff director for seven years before moving to Seattle where he worked as a casting associate and associate producer on the hit CBS TV series Northern Exposure.

Adam Ashraf el-Sayigh

Dramaturg/Cultural Consultant
Adam Ashraf el-Sayigh (dramaturg/cultural consultant) is an Egyptian writer, theater maker, and dramaturg who writes and develops plays that interrogate the intersections of queerness, immigration, and colonialism. Adam’s plays (including Drowning in Cairo, Revelation, Memorial, and Jamestown/ Williamsburg) have been developed and seen at New York Theater Workshop, The Lark, The Tisch School of the Arts, The LaGuardia Performing Arts Center, and Golden Thread Productions. Adam holds a BA in Theater with an emphasis in Playwriting and Dramaturgy from NYU Abu Dhabi and is completing MFA in Playwriting at Brooklyn College.

Gillian Drake

Gillian Drake (dramaturg) served as Literary Associate at Arena Stage for five years and dramaturg at New York Theatre Workshop for four years. She has been a free-lance director in Washington, DC for the past 30 years. Ms. Drake has served as a Helen Hayes judge for eight years. She managed Spooky Action’s New Works in Action program until recently; her last production that she directed there was Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses. In 2016, she co-directed Happy Hour, a co-production with the Goethe Institut, where she has introduced DC audiences to countless German and European plays in workshop presentations. She is President of On Trial Associates, Inc, a national consulting firm specializing in trial consulting, witness preparation, "Acting for Lawyers" and other applied theater skills.

Debbie Minter Jackson

Debbie Minter Jackson (dramaturg) is a native Chicagoan having performed in community and cabaret musical theater over thirty years throughout the Midwest and the South. In addition to having scripts commissioned and produced, Debbie’s reviews are archived as a founding writer of D.C. Theatre Scene (closed in 2020), is a member of the Black Women Playwrights’ Group and on the Board of Footlights, a play reading and discussion group as well as the Lincoln Group of D.C.

Becca Khalil

Cross-cultural Consultant and Dramaturg
Becca Khalil (cross-cultural consultant and dramaturg) is an Egyptian-American and native Philadelphia actor, poet, director, and collaborator working in LA, New York, and Philly. While currently represented in Film and TV with Take 3 Talent and Commercially with Across the Board, Becca is also interested in self-producing and collaborating with like-minded artists and young people to create work that moves us and moves us forward. Humbly working to be a "Socially minded maker," their work has been crafted by the Yale School of Drama Summer Session, CAPA Highschool, PYPM, UPenn Young Scholars Program, the University of the Arts, and more.


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