Azuka Theatre to Close Season with World Premiere of Christine Evans' GALILEE

The production runs through May 21, 2023.

By: May. 18, 2023
Azuka Theatre to Close Season with World Premiere of Christine Evans' GALILEE
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Azuka Theatre will close their 2022/2023 season with the World Premiere of Galilee written by Christine Evans and directed by Azuka's Co-Artistic Director Rebecca May Flowers. The production runs from May 4 to May 21, 2023, at the Proscenium Theatre at The Drake (302 S. Hicks Street), in Center City, Philadelphia. In a small town on the Great Barrier Reef, sea temperatures rise and the mining industry gets really, really rich. As a new hybrid shark appears in the harbor, a marine biology student comes home to help save her family's business. Through dry humor, she juggles the colorful personalities of her town while avoiding diving back in the water. The people of Galilee have to decide: fight, flee, or adapt to the changing environment? Galilee's story comes to life through the cast that includes Zoe Nebraska Feldman (Carol), D'Arcy Dersham (Mardy), David Bardeen (Jimmy), Ryane Nicole Studivant (Jemima) and Adam Howard (Harry). For this new season, Azuka continues its pay-what-you-decide model where audiences are invited to experience the art on stage and pay based on the value of their experience after. For reservations, visit

"Azuka continues to honor our mission of telling the stories of the underdogs and the outcasts by spotlighting the voices of three female and non-binary playwrights," said Azuka Co-Artistic Director Reva Stover. "For Galilee, in addition to being a funny story about a motley crew of folks in a changing town, this play talks about environmental issues, how we relate to them, and how the impact is ever-shifting. Azuka amplifies voices, and no one needs their voice amplified more than the environment."

Galilee is a brand new work penned by Christina Evans, whose award-winning plays have been produced in her native Australia, the US and the UK and published by Samuel French, Smith & Kraus and in Theatre Forum. In 2013, NoPassport Press published her trilogy, WAR PLAYS. Selected productions include Trojan Barbie at The American Repertory Theatre, the Garage Theater, Playbox Theatre (UK) and Charing Cross Theatre (UK); You Are Dead. You Are Here., developed with Joseph Megel and Jared Mezzocchi (HERE Arts, NYC, 2013); Weightless, Mothergun and All Souls' Day at Perishable Theatre; Slow Falling Bird at Crowded Fire, San Francisco and at Darwin Theatre Company; in Australia, My Vicious Angel at Belvoir St. Theatre, Vitalstatistix, and the Adelaide International Festival of the Arts. Honors include a Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center Award, two MacDowell Colony residencies, a Bogliasco Foundation Fellowship, an Australian Fulbright Award, Perishable's International Women's Playwriting Competition (2000 and 2002), the Jane Chambers Playwriting Award, Plays for the 21st Century Award, the Rella Lossy Playwriting Award, and 2009 and 2013 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) Playwriting Fellowships. Evans is a Core Member of the Playwrights' Center. She was a 2012 O'Neill Finalist, a 2010-13 Resident Artist at HERE (NY), and is a Women's Project Playwrights Lab alumna. She holds an M.F.A. and Ph.D. from Brown and joined the Georgetown Department of Performing Arts faculty in 2012.

The production is directed by Azuka's Co-Artistic Director Rebecca May Flowers (she/her) who is a director, choreographer, and producer. Flowers first learned of the play in 2017 after she attended a reading during the PlayPenn Conference. She them fell in love with the work and wanted to produce it but the pandemic paused her plans. She then brought the show to Azuka when she became Co-Artistic Director.

As a director, Flowers has worked at schools, universities, and regional theaters across Pennsylvania, Delaware, and Florida. Recent credits include: The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe and Fefu and Her Friends by Maria Irene Fornes (Temple University, Director), White Christmas (Candlelight Theatre, Director), Matilda the Musical and Beauty and the Beast (Steel River Playhouse, Director/Choreographer), and New Voices Festival (Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Director/Choreographer). Flowers serves as Producing Consultant to the recently reopened Centre Theater in Norristown and previously held the position of Associate Artistic Director at Theatre Horizon. A Florida native, Rebecca earned her B.A. in Theater from Florida State University and her M.A. in Theater from the University of Central Florida.

"The plays for this season deeply resonate with us and our needs and hopes of the moment," said Flowers. "It has been quite a wild ride these past few years, and we are feeling an ever-present need to reconnect and recharge to sustain the energy to continue fighting the good fight. Galilee and our other two main stage productions this season have examined these needs and hopes through multi-generational families- both the ones we are born into and the ones we choose for ourselves. Like the people in these plays, we are continuing to find our place and growing together. Like the people in these plays, we are people who want to change the world. We think our audiences are those kinds of people too and will find themselves in our season."

For Galilee's, Flowers will direct a mix of actors new and returning to Azuka, including Zoe Nebraska Feldman (Carol), D'Arcy Dersham (Mardy), David Bardeen (Jimmy), Ryane Nicole Studivant (Jemima) and Adam Howard (Harry).

For production, the team includes Dirk Durossette (Scenic Designer); Lily Fossner (Lighting Designer); Tiffany Bacon (Costume Designer); Larry D. Fowler, Jr. (Co-Sound Designer); Adiah D. Hicks (Co-Sound Designer); Avista Custom Theatrical, LLC (Properties); Miranda Watkins (Production Stage Manager); Liv Hershey (Rehearsal Stage Manager & Production Assistant Stage Manager); Mackenzie Raine Kirkman (Dramaturg); Leonard Kelly (Dialect Coach); Lauren Tracy (Production Manager); Joe Daniels (Technical Director) and Flannel & Hammer (Scenic Construction).

Galilee by Christine Evans runs for 90 minutes with no intermission. The show is for audiences 13+ and up. All performances are pay what you decide.

This production is part of the first season for Azuka that is selected and produced by new Co-Artistic Directors Rebecca May Flowers and Reva Stover, and it is the first season both will also direct a show in their new role. For the new season, Azuka also brings back post-performance programming for the first time since the pandemic - and the Pay What You Decide model for ticketing enters its seventh season of supporting the community.

For season vision, Azuka continues to honor its mission of telling the stories of the underdogs and the outcasts by amplifying the voices of three female and non-binary playwrights this season! Their stories feature diverse, deeply human characters - centering three female leads who each grapple with their place in the world and with obstacles that are ultimately out of their control. By exploring what it is to be an activist in unprecedented times and advocating for yourself in these times, visiting with our ancestors to heal generational trauma, or the ever-shifting impact of environmental issues and how we relate to them - the plays highlight our collective need for community and urge us all to fight for what is right.

"Each of the productions in our 2022-2023 season explore communities grappling with obstacles that are ultimately out of their control," said Stover. "We see them grow with, learn from, and lean on their communities and in our current moment. I think we could also use a reminder that we are not fighting alone."

For this and all shows in the 2022/2023 season, Azuka continues their commitment to the community by extending the innovative pay-what-you-decide box office initiative. No money is exchanged before the show. Audience members reserve tickets in advance, see the production, then decide on a price which they think is suitable based on their experience and pay as they leave the theater. Ticket payment can be made after the performance by cash, check or credit card. All money collected helps to pay Azuka artists and further support future productions.

Azuka Theatre thanks Honorary Producers Robin and Patrick Tracy, as well as season sponsors Harmelin Media and Two Roads Brewing. For show, event and reservation information, please visit or call (215) 563-1100.


For Playwright, Director and Actors - see above.

Zoe Nebraska Feldman (Carol)

Zoe Nebraska Feldman (she/they) is thrilled to be making her Azuka on-stage debut after directing intimacy for James Ijames' Reverie last season. She's a recent graduate of the University of the Arts: BFA Acting, Dean's Award for Outstanding Performance by an Acting Major. They have worked previously with Interact, Theater Ariel, The Tank, The Wilma Theatre, and Playwrights Horizons. Currently, Zoe is collaborating with NY-based playwright and Dramatists Guild Foundation Fellow, SMJ, to find a home for the premiere production of Untitled Raccoon Play. Zoe played CB and directed intimacy for its workshop at the Tank. Short Film: Hey Sexy (Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, Smodcastle Film Festival), Mirror Image (Independent Days International Film Festival, Jahorina Film Festival, & Melbourne Underground Film Festival). Love to family and chosen family.

D'Arcy Dersham (Mardy)

D'Arcy Dersham (she/her) is so happy to be working with Azuka, after workshopping Essential Reading for this Moment in History and Berserker with them as part of New Pages. Philly roles: Hannah in Ideation (Theatre Exile); Ulysses in Troilus and Cressida (Revolution Shakespeare); Cominius in Coriolanus (Shakespeare in Clark Park); as well as workshops and readings with PlayPenn, EgoPo, Lantern Theater Company, and Tiny Dynamite. She is also a Freedom Rising Company Member at the National Constitution Center. Regional work: Portland Center Stage, Syracuse Stage, Trinity Rep, Merrimack Rep, Portland Stage Company, WHAT, Elemental Theatre Collective, The Vineyard Playhouse, and Bridge Rep of Boston. MFA: Trinity Rep. BA: Oberlin College. She studied physical theater under Jacques Lecoq at L'École Internationale de Théâtre in Paris, and spent eight years teaching Speech, Phonetics, Verse, and Dialects at the Brown/Trinity MFA Program. More at

David Bardeen (Jimmy)

David Bardeen (he/him) Thrilled to be back! Regional: Azuka Theatre: The (curious case of) Watson Intelligence, Yale Rep, South Coast Rep, Walnut Street Theatre, Arden, Wilma, Lantern, InterAct, Theatre Horizon, 11th Hour, Irish Heritage, IRC, Delaware Theatre Co., Boarshead Theatre, Totem Pole Playhouse, Philadelphia Orchestra. TV: Weeds, Medium, NUMB3RS, Dirty Sexy Money. David is a seven-time Barrymore nominee, five for Supporting Actor in a Play, receiving the award in 2001 and 2017. He has directed readings at Inis Nua and the Lantern, where he was also the Assistant/Associate Director for several productions. MFA, Yale School of Drama. Thanks to Rebecca May Flowers, Reva, Kevin, Mark, and Jeff. Next up: Noises Off at Delaware Theatre Company.

Ryane Nicole Studivant (Jemima)

Ryane Nicole Studivant (she/her) is so happy to be making her Azuka debut! Select Regional: The Color Purple and Little Shop of Horrors (Theatre Horizon); Newsies, Elf, Beehive, Baby (Media); RENT (Playhouse on the Square); Avenue Q, Legally Blonde, Smokey Joe's Café, Aida (Midtown Arts Center). Ryane has also performed and taught for Walnut Street Theatre, Arden Theatre Company and Simpatico Theatre Company. Ryane is the Executive Producer of the Philadelphia location of the national murder mystery comedy, The Dinner Detective. Check out performances in Center City. Thank you to Rebecca and everyone at Azuka! Love to family and friends and husband, Ian. @RyaneStud

Adam Howard (Harry)

Adam Howard (he/him) is so happy to be back with Azuka! Regional theatre credits include Borya in The Last Parade (InterAct Theatre), Stanley in Brighton Beach Memoirs (Delaware Theatre Co.) Stinky Pete in Carroll County Fix (Azuka Theatre), Wilbur in Charlotte's Web (Arden Theatre Co.), as well as work at Philadelphia Artists' Collective, People's Light & Theatre Co. and Shakespeare in Clark Park. Adam is a graduate of The University of the Arts: BFA in Acting w/ a Minor in Creative Writing. As always, love to Mom.

Dirk Durossette (Scenic Designer)

Dirk Durossette (he/him) has been designing scenery and teaching design, for the past 20 years in and around the Philadelphia region. Off-Broadway scene designs include: The Outgoing Tide and Any Given Monday. He has designed for Amaryllis Theater Company, Azuka Theatre (Barrymore nomination: Skin & Bone), Act II Playhouse (Any Given Monday: world premiere), Enchantment Theater Company (National Tour: Harold and the Purple Crayon), Theatre Exile, 1812 Productions (First Day of School: Philadelphia premiere), Delaware Theatre Company, EgoPo Classic Theatre, Freedom Theater, Flashpoint Theater, Idiopathic Ridiculopathy Consortium, InterAct Theatre Company, Lantern Theater Company (Barrymore nomination: Skylight), Luna Theater, Painted Bird Productions (A Few Small Repairs: world premiere), Theater Horizon, Philadelphia Shakespeare Theater, MumPuppetTheatre, Portland Opera (Maine), The Wilma Theater (Leaving: associate designer, American premiere), Temple Theaters, Temple Opera Theater, University of the Arts, Drexel University, Lawrence University (Wisconsin), Peabody Institute (Baltimore), West Chester University, Villanova University, The University of Memphis.

Lily Fossner (Lighting Designer)

Lily Fossner (she/her) Recently: pay no worship for InterAct, Empathitrax at Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Pillowman at Hedgerow. Theatre Includes: Theatre Horizon, 1812, People's Light, Lantern, Delaware Theatre Company, Act II, Bryn Mawr, Public Theatre, NYU/Grad Acting, Chautauqua Theater Company, Berkshire Theatre Group, Radio City Christmas Spectacular, A Fierce Kind of Love for the Temple Institute on Disabilities. Dance Includes: Nichole Canuso, Doug Varone & Dancers, Monica Bill Barnes & Company. Opera Includes: Juilliard Opera Theatre, Glimmerglass Festival. Training: MFA, NYU/Tisch. Member, United Scenic Artists Local 829.

Tiffany Bacon (Costume Designer)

Tiffany Bacon (she/her) is a known Philadelphia radio personality and actress who officially began her costume design journey in 2004. Tiffany is currently the Program & News Director at WURD 96.1FM/ 900AM. Ms. Bacon's costume work appeared in The Colored Museum, The West Philly Meeting, The Prince of Nubia and Dreamgirls, Theatre in the X; Egoli, Master Harold & The Boys and Wine in the Wilderness, EgoPo Classic Theatre; The Little Princess, Quintessence Theatre; Trouble in Mind, Philadelphia Artists' Collective (PAC), Peril's Island, Shakespeare in Clark Park; Dauphin Island, Passage Theatre; The M-Fer with the Hat and Passover, Theatre Exile; Anon(ymous), Drexel University; Fabulation, The Lantern Theatre Company.

Larry D. Flower Jr. (Co-Sound Designer)

Larry Fowler (he/him) is a Philadelphia based theater sound designer, radio imaging producer, and music producer whose work spans 20+ years. Theater companies Larry has designed for include Wilma Theater, Azuka Theatre (Current Board Member), Interact Theatre, Theater Horizon, People's Light, Theater Exile, The Lantern Theatre, Denver Center, Trinity Rep, Rennie Harris Puremovement (DJ-Rome And Jewels), ELeon Dance, Danse4Nia, and Khaleah London Dance. He is also a 3-time Barrymore Award nominee. In broadcast radio, Larry has been an in-studio producer and board operator for Radio One, Inc. in Philadelphia and is currently an imaging producer, voice over talent, and content editor for Healthcare Now He is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at The University of the Arts.

Adiah D. Hicks (Co-Sound Designer)

Adiah Hicks (she/her) is a Philly based performer, sound designer and educator. She is a graduate of Arcadia University and a former Arden Professional Apprentice. Her design credits include Good Cuban Girls (Teatro Del Sol), Fefu and Her Friends (Temple University), The Color Purple (Hope Summer Repertory Theatre), and Wine in the Wilderness (Philadelphia Artists Collective).

Avista Custom Theatrical, LLC (Properties)

Owned by Jennifer Burkhart and Amanda Hatch, Avista was founded in 2007. Avista specializes in prop construction, upholstery, drapery and other soft goods construction, and maintains a 10,000 square foot rental warehouse in Norristown. Avista's prop master and design work has been seen locally at Opera Philadelphia, Azuka Theatre, Drexel, Temple and Rowan Universities, Mauckingbird Theatre, EgoPo Classic Theater, Theatre Exile, Inis Nua Theater, the Curtis Institute, and Kimmel Center Education Department.

Miranda Watkins (Production Stage Manager)

Miranda Watkins (they/them) is thrilled to return to Azuka Theatre! Their recent stage managing and assistant stage managing credits include The Light with Theatre Exile, Dance Nation with Temple Theaters, and Dreamgirls with Theatre in the X. Miranda is currently pursuing a BFA in Technical Production and Management at Temple University.

Liv Hershey (Rehearsal Stage Manager & Production Assistant Stage Manager)

Liv Hershey (she/her) is a recent graduate of Bloomsburg University with a double major in Integrated Theater and Communication Studies (Organizational) and a minor in Business Management. Currently serving as the Associate Producer at Tiny Dynamite. She is a theatrical director, designer, playwright, and producer. She also has a passion for music and dance. Someone once told her she was, "The perfect mix between Dolly Parton and KISS," and while she doesn't know what that means exactly, it's the best endorsement she has received thus far.

Mackenzie Raine Kirkman (Dramaturg)

Mackenzie Raine Kirkman (she/they). Raised in North Carolina, Kirkman got her BA in Theatre and BFA in Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington. From there they went to Miami University where she earned a Masters of Art in Theatre, Performance, and Practice after creating a theory to adapt violence from narrative fiction to stage. Now living in Philadelphia, Kirkman is a Rising Writer at the Azuka Theatre as well as a resident playwright at LakeHouseRanchDotPng.

Leonard Kelly (Dialect Coach)

Lauren Tracy (Production Manager)

Lauren Tracy (she/her) is thrilled to be returning to Azuka again this year! She is the Production Manager for Inis Nua Theatre and Simpatico Theatre. She is also the Production Manager for the Flannel & Hammer scene shop. She'd like to thank her family, friends, and Andrew for their love and support.

Flannel & Hammer (Scenic Construction)

Flannel & Hammer Scene Shop is a Philadelphia based business. The company was founded by Lauren Tracy (Flannel) and Joe Daniels (Hammer). With over 10 years' experience and 100 productions under their (tool) belts they have the knowledge and skills to bring any scenic construction to life. Their work can be seen onstage here along with Simpatico, Theatre Exile, and Inis Nua Theatre Company.


Azuka Theatre strengthens the connection and shared humanity among its diverse audiences by giving voice to the people whose stories go unheard. Azuka is committed to producing contemporary plays that reflect and speak to the area's diverse community. Azuka's audiences are predominantly under the age of 40, with students and post collegiate professionals making up a large part of Azuka's audiences; they represent the next generation of theatergoers. These new and younger audiences are reached by telling stories relevant to today's complex society, selecting stories that revolve around people who feel out of sync with the world around them and are unable or unwilling to find their niche in modern society. By presenting plays that are smart, edgy and exciting, new audiences are drawn to see work that speaks to them in a voice they do not often hear on stage. Azuka is a Resident Partner at The Drake and an Associate Member of the National New Play Network.

With Galilee, Azuka will be at 53 productions, 29 world premieres and 20 Philadelphia premieres.


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