PROJECT Y THEATRE PRESENTS

THE 5TH ANNUAL

WOMEN IN THEATRE

FESTIVAL

LIVE ONLINE

A Virtual Festival of New Works
SUMMER 2020

The Women in Theatre Festival seeks to broaden the opportunities for women in the entertainment industry by producing new work by women with more than 50% female representation of all artists involved.

FEATURING

A new play written specifically for the Zoom format by Lia Romeo. Co-produced with Mile Square Theatre.
Plays and scenes written to be performed on the Zoom platform, selected from over 285 submissions (and counting!) from around the world.
Amanda Palmer's world comes undone when she discovers she is not the only Amanda Palmer in the world who can turn into a cat at night. A digital world premiere.
The ALL HANDS ON DECK series is a play festival that shares 4 new works by Female Playwrights of the African Diaspora. Conceived by Antu Yacob and featuring plays written by France-Luce Benson, Nikkole Salter, Banna Desta and Sienna Jones.
ABOUT THE PLAY

Sitting and Talking

September 18th, 2020

by Lia Romeo

Directed by James Glossman

Featuring: Dan Lauria and Wendie Malick

 

Co-produced with Mile Square Theatre, Lia Romeo’s charming, deeply heartfelt play Sitting and Talking, follows a man and woman in their 60s as they navigate the vulnerable, awkward, and sometimes hilarious path to companionship via online dating during quarantine. Film star Dan Lauria, who played the titular role in Broadway’s Lombardi, is joined by Emmy- and Golden Globe-nominated actress Wendie Malick, and the piece is directed by James Glossman.

 

Click here to buy tickets and watch the play on Mile Square Theatre's website.

BIOS

Lia Romeo’s (Playwright) play The Forest was developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, and was scheduled to receive a National New Play Network rolling world premiere in the upcoming season (cancelled due to the coronavirus). This and three of her other plays have been recognized by the Kilroys List. Her plays have been produced at 59E59, Unicorn Theatre, Project Y Theatre Company, New Jersey Repertory Theatre, Dreamcatcher Rep, HotCity Theatre, and many other companies, and have received workshops and residencies from the Lark, the National New Play Network’s MFA Playwrights Workshop, Orlando Shakespeare Theatre’s PlayFest, and elsewhere. She has been a nominee or a finalist for the Steinberg Award, the Kesselring Prize, the Weissberger Award, PlayPenn, and the NYIT Award for outstanding full-length script. She was the winner of City Theatre’s National Short Playwriting Award, and was an Individual Artist Fellowship winner in playwriting from the New Jersey State Council for the Arts.  Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Playscripts, Dramatists Play Service, and Smith & Kraus.  She is also the author of a novel, Dating the Devil (BelleBooks), and a humor book, 11,002 Things to Be Miserable About (Abrams Image), which has sold over 35,000 copies.  She earned her B.A. from Princeton University and her M.F.A. in playwriting from Rutgers/MGSA, and she teaches in the B.F.A theater program at Molloy College and the M.A. program in creative writing at Fairleigh Dickinson University.

 


 

Dan Lauria (Actor) has appeared as a guest star in over seventy television episodic programs and more than twenty Movie of the Week productions, plus a score of motion picture credits. Dan is a very familiar face to the off-off, off, and regional theatre scene, having performed, written, or directed over 50 professional stage productions. In 2010/2011, Dan was seen on Broadways as the legendary coach Vince Lombardi in the long-running production of Lombardi, with the beautiful and talented Judith Light, directed by Thomas Kail of Hamilton fame. Dan returned to Broadway in the 2013 and 2014 productions of the Tony nominated A Christmas Story: The Musical directed by John Rando. However, Dan is most recognized as the Dad on the highly acclaimed Emmy-winning ABC television show, “The Wonder Years.” Dan and his dear friend, the lovely and talented Ms. Wendie Malick, have performed the play The Guys by Anne Nelson (about our first responders) for numerous theatres and fire departments around the country. Wendie and Dan also perform Love Letters as a fundraiser for regional theatres, for the development of new plays. Dan was recently on the TBS show “Sullivan & Son” for three seasons. Dan also played manager Al Loungo on “Pitch” about the first woman pitcher in Major League Baseball and has recently joined the family on “This is Us,” both shows written by Dan Fogelman. Two years ago, Dan wrote and starred in the Off-Broadway production of Dinner with the Boys, produced by the one and only Pat Addis and the NJ Rep. This was followed by an Off-Broadway production of The Stone Witch by Shem Bitterman and upcoming regional production of Lee Blessing’s new play, Tea with the Boss, with Gwenn and Wendie Malcik. Dan and Ms. Malick are the co-creators of the Durango Play Festival for the development of new plays. Dan and his Godson Julian Farnsworth also write children’s books--go online and check th

 


 

Wendie Malick (Actor) gained prominence on the small screen as Nina Van Horn in “Just Shoot Me” which earned her 1 Golden Globe and 2 Emmy nominations. Wendie also starred in “Hot in Cleveland,” earning a People’s Choice Award and SAG nomination for Best Ensemble as well as “Dream On,” earning 4 Cable Ace Awards. Other television credits include, “Frasier,” “Big Day,” “Good Company,” “Rush Hour,” with recurring arcs on “This Is Us,” “The Ranch,” “American Housewife,” “Pitch,” “Darrow and Darrow,” and “NYPD Blue.” Wendie’s television guest appearances include “Seinfeld,” “Grace and Frankie,” “Mom,” “CSI,” “NCIS: New Orleans,” “LA Law,” and “The X-Files.” Animated television credits include appearances on “Jimmy Neutron,” Spongebob Squarepants,” and “Bojack Horseman” which received an Annie Nomination. Her career on the big screen includes credits such as “Adventureland,” “Fifty-Nothing,” “Jerome,” “Confessions of a Shopaholic,” “Waiting,” “Racing Stripes,” “The American President,” “On Edge,” “Trojan Wars,” “Raising Genius,” “Mr. Mikes Mondo Video,” “A Little Sex,” “The Goods,” “Bugsy,” “Funny About Love,” “The Emperor’s New Groove” and “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” Wendie’s theatre credits include Off-Broadway renditions of Burleigh GrimesNorth Shore Fish, and Big Night at the Kirk Douglas Theater; The Underpants at the Geffen; Don’t Blame Me, I Voted For Helen Gahagan Douglas at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; The Santaland Diaries at the Coast Playhouse; Love Letters at the Laguna Playhouse; The Guys at the Studio Arena and Columbia University; Blithe Spirit and What Is The Cause Of Thunder at the Williamstown Theatre Festival; as well as Closure at the New Jersey Repertory Theatre. Malick’s passion for animal and humanitarian efforts is shown through her work on the Board of The Environmental Media Association, as well as being a spokesperson for The Humane Society of the United States and Return to Freedom, a wild horse sanctuary and advocacy group.

 


 

James Glossman (Director) most recently directed the East Coast premiere of Jeff Daniels’s Flint at Shadowland Stages (NY), and DW Gregory’s Memoirs of a Forgotten Man at NJRep, where he has also directed (among other projects) Circumference of a SquirrelTwo Jews Walk Into a War, and Tour De Farce. Other recent: American premiere of Bang Bang!, new farce by John Cleese; co-wrote & directed the music-theatre piece Shostakovich and the Black Monk: A Russian Fantasy, with multiple-Grammy-winning Emerson String Quartet and a rotating cast including Sean Astin, David Strathairn, Len Cariou, Jay O. Sanders, Jeffrey DeMunn, and Richard Thomas, in concert and festival halls around the world including Tanglewood, Ravinia, Wolf Trap, Los Angeles, and Seoul, South Korea. Adapted/Directed world premieres of Raymond Chandler’s Trouble Is My Business (Portland Stage), Kate Atkinson’s Behind the Scenes at the Museum (Luna Stage), and Jim Lehrer’s Kick the CanThe Special Prisoner (with William Schallert), and Flying Crows (available from Dramatic Publishing). Directed East Coast premieres of Jeff Daniels’s Guest Artist and Jeffrey Sweet’s Bluff (both with John Astin), Los Angeles premiere of Noël Coward’s A Song at Twilight (with Orson Bean & Alley Mills), first NYC revival of Sheldon Harnick’s Smiling, the Boy Fell Dead (w/ Judy Kaye & Tony Roberts–York Theatre), and productions around the country of The Value of Names with Jack Klugman (opposite Dan Lauria & Liz Larsen, and earlier Louis Zorich & Megan Muckelmann). Earlier this year, James directed a workshop reading of his stage adaptation of Robert Heinlein’s science fiction classic, The Door Into Summer (w/ Jeff DeMunn, Evelyn McGee Colbert & Stephen Colbert), and completed his adaptation of three short stories by Tom Hanks. Graduate of Northwestern University, ACT, BADA-Oxford, and Yale School of Drama. Lecturer in Directing, Voice/Speech, and Shakespeare, Johns Hopkins University. Associate Artist, Shadowland Stages.

 


 

Mile Square Theatre was founded in 2003 as a non-profit professional theatre. Our mission is to enrich and engage the region through the production of professional theatre and innovative arts education. MST produces professional theatre year round, including shows for young audiences and our annual festival of plays about baseball, 7th Inning Stretch. The MST Dance Academy provides pre-professional dance training in ballet, contemporary, tap, theatre dance, flamenco and hip hop; classes run on an academic-year schedule. MST Education provides workshops in acting and improvisation for all ages in spring and fall; offerings are designed to help students of all ages develop skills and technique.

 

 

ABOUT THE SERIES

Zoom Plays: Reading Series

In March we put out an open call for plays and scenes written to be performed on the Zoom platform.  We currently have over 285 submissions (and counting!) from around the world.  We have put together two teams of readers to read every single play that was submitted to our open source ZOOM PLAYS database.  Through a multi-step process, we are choosing a handful of plays to present as public readings.  Check out the plays below and stay tuned for more information about how to watch the plays!  To learn more about Zoom Plays or submit your own play, click here!

 

Missing Ingredient
Written by Colleen O’Doherty
Directed by Jen Chang
Featuring:  Joy Osmanski, Elizabeth Ho, and Corey Brill

 

Soup
Written by Rachel Carnes
Directed by Shelley Butler
Featuring Bernardo Cubria and Valerie Terranova

 

Cliffhanger
Written by Catalina Florina Florescu
Directed by Hilary Ward
Featuring Olga Konstantulakis and Andrea Lwin

 

and our first ever Digital Musical:

 

Close (But Not Too Close!)
Book by Paloma Sierra
Lyrics by Julia Koyfman
Original Compositions by Dusty Sanders
Co-Directed by Andrew W. Smith and Michole Biancosino

BIOS

Rachael Carnes (Playwright, Soup) received a 2020 Oregon Literary Fellowship and had more than 50 productions in 2019, across the U.S., U.K., Canada, the Middle East and Asia. She’s recently developed work at the William Inge Theatre Festival, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Midwestern Dramatists Center, the Mid-America Theater Conference, the American Association for Theatre in Higher Education Conference, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, the Lighthouse Writers’ Conference and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Festival. Rachael’s plays are seen in many literary journals. Rachael is the founder and editor of CodeRedPlaywrights, a consortium of writers across the country, responding to gun violence. She and her family live in Oregon. www.rachaelcarnes.com

 

 


 

Shelley Butler (Director, Soup)'s recent productions include the world premieres of Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 at South Coast Repertory and The Magician’s Daughter by Lila Rose Kaplan for Geva. She has developed over two dozen new plays and musicals at companies including Ars Nova, Primary Stages, E.S.T., WP Theater, The Old Globe, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Geva, Pioneer Theatre Company, Milwaukee Rep, New York Stage and Film, PlayPenn, Playwright’s Realm, New Dramatists and the Lark. 

 

 


 

Valerie Terranova (Actor, Soup) is an NYC-based Equity actor. Recent credits include: The Wolves (#25, Lyric Stage Boston), The Lepers film (Queens World Film Festival Outstanding Narrative Short), and the workshop reading of torn sweater. She has helped develop/premiere over a dozen new works and plays in New York, including Rachael Carnes' The Plague last summer at The Tank. ValerieTerranova.com

 

 

 


 

Bernardo Cubría (Actor, Soup) - fav credits Coco, The Good Wife, Criminal Minds, Blue Bloods, Lucifer, Vida and Queen of the South. He was recently nominated for best playwright at The Ovation Awards, Stage Raw Awards and The Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for his play The Giant Void In My Soul.  His screenplay Like It Used to Be was just bought by Gina Rodriguez's production company "I Can and I Will."

 

 

 


 

Catalina Florina Florescu (Playwright, Cliffhanger) holds a PhD in Medical Humanities. She teaches at Pace in NYC and organizes a new plays festival at JCTC. More here:  http://www.catalinaflorescu.com/

 

 

 

 


 

Hilary Ward (Director, Cliffhanger) Theatre: South Coast Rep (Sense and Sensibility), Ojai Playwrights Conference (Ripe Frenzy), La Jolla Playhouse (Mother Courage), Classical Theatre of Harlem (Macbeth, King Lear, Madea), Chalk Rep. Television/Film: Bull, Sharp Objects (Emmy nomination), All the Way (Emmy nomination), NCIS, The Fosters, Grey’s Anatomy, Modern Family, Other People, Like You Mean It. Hilary’s image and voice has been featured in over two dozen national commercials. She serves on the Organizing Committee for SAG-AFTRA, of which she is a proud member. She is also a member of the Television Academy and AEA. In 2008, she became a co-founder of the award-winning Chalk Rep. MFA: UCSD.

 

 


 

Andrea Lwin (Actor, Cliffhanger) - Theatre: The Super Sabado Show (HERO Theatre), Sun Sisters (CoA), solo show Slanted (Matrix Theatre, Hudson, The Complex, Whitefire, Edgemar, Highways Performance Space), Fentor (hereandnow). Film/TV: Better Start Running, White Orchid, This Last Lonely Place, Mini’s First Time, Criminal Minds, Class of Lies, Wisdom of the Crowd, 90210. Andrea co-created Slanted, the web series, which won numerous awards at LAWebFest, and the Women’s International Film & Arts Fest. She has worked in story development and production at NBC, Red Hour Films, New Regency Productions. Most recently, Andrea wrote and directed the short film Biased with Industry Standard Films and Wondrous Pictures.

 

 


 

Olga Konstantulakis (Actor, Cliffhanger) is an actor/producer and a theatre animal by trade. Most recently she co-produced and played Jan in Fifty Words at the Lounge Theatre. She also produced and played Seta in Beast on the Moon at the Lee Strasberg Studio (Ovation Recommended, Critic’s Pick Backstage and LA Weekly). Other LA theatre credits include: Agnes in staged readings of The Shadow Box (ATC), Leah in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (Malibu Stage Company), Beatrice in Modigliani (People’s Theatre), Collette in Four Dogs and a Bone (Lisa Robertson Studio/Coast Playhouse). She currently is writing and workshopping her solo piece Becoming Apparent.

 

 


 

Colleen O'Doherty (Playwright, Missing Ingredient) is a writer based out of Omaha, NE. She has her MFA in play and screenwriting from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  Northern Bound as part of Station Hope at Cleveland Public Theater in Cleveland, OH in May 2017. Ricky and Ready was in Secret Theater's Act One: One Act Festival, NYC, February 2020. Sister of Experience was produced  with the Centers for the Arts Bonita Springs 2020 Stage It! 10-Minute Play Festival in 2020, where it is was also published as part of a collection. Her play, Stripped, was a  2018 Henley Rose Playwright Competition for Women Finalist. It is also set to be part of TheatreMidwest's Fresh Produce Concert Reading Series in October 2020 in Des Moines, IA. Her newest play, Stories: on the Brink will be part of the Great Plains Theatre Conference in Omaha, NE in May 2021.

 

 


 

Jennifer Chang (Director, Missing Ingredient) won the 2019 LADCC Award in Direction for the LA Premiere of VIETGONE by Qui Nguyen at East West Players.  She was a 2018 Drama League New York Directing Fellow and directed the world premiere of Mara Nelson-Greenberg's THE CLITORISH at the New Ohio Theatre in NYC and was the Assistant Director of the Broadway World Premiere of Theresa Rebeck's BERNHARDT/HAMLET starring Janet McTeer. Most recently she directed WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Min Kahng, based on the book by Grace Lin, at South Coast Rep.  She is a founding member of Chalk Repertory Theatre, a site-responsive theatre company dedicated to exploring classic and new work, where she served as Artistic Producing Director and continues to produce, direct, and act in numerous projects.  Her work with the company has been honored with an Ovation Award, an LA Weekly Award and the Stage Scene LA award. She continues to serve on Chalk Rep’s Artistic Circle and most recently directed DEATH AND COCKROACHES (numerous Stage Scene LA Awards) for the company. Other directing credits include HANNAH AND THE DREAD GAZEBO for The Fountain Theatre in association with EWP, ANIMALS OUT OF PAPER by Rajiv Joseph at East West Players (LA Times Critics Pick), EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM for Artists at Play (GLAAD Media Award, Stage Scene LA Award Best Director, Ovation Award Nominated) and OUR AMERICAN STORY and RESIDENCE ELSEWHERE (commissioned for the 75th Anniversary of Executive Order 9066) at the Japanese American National Museum. She loves developing new plays and has done so with The Geffen Playhouse, the Chance Theatre, Echo Theatre Company, Circle X Theatre Company, EST-LA, Playwrights Arena, Chalk Rep, and East West Players and is an alum of Director's Lab West. Covid affected projects included The TIME OF YOUR LIFE by William Saroyan at Antaeus Theatre Company.  Other: 2020 APAFT Award Outstanding Direction.

She is currently on faculty at UCSD’s Department of Theatre and Dance and serves as Head of Undergraduate Acting.  She teaches acting, directing as well as professional and business development and can be found directing productions and the MFA showcase.  Recently, she was a Visiting Professor at Pomona College, teaching acting and directing and continues to teach in the conservatory at the East West Players.  She has guest directed at USC, and was a guest artist, at Texas State University, San Marcos for the Black and Latino Playwrights Conference. She is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographer’s Society (SDC), Screen Actors Guild (SAG-AFTRA), and Actor’s Equity Association (AEA). Ms. Chang received her M.F.A. from UCSD and her B.F.A with Honors, double majoring in Psychology, from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, having studied at the Experimental Theatre Wing and Playwrights Horizons.

 


 

Elizabeth Ho (Actor, Missing Ingredient) (she/her) is grateful to be making her Project Y Theatre Company debut. She would like to dedicate this space to raising awareness for the Black Lives Matter movement. Aja Raquell Rhone-Spears, also known as Rocky Rhone, was Black transgender woman who was killed on July 28th, 2020 in Portland Oregon while attending the funeral of a friend. She was a student at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and was the owner and founder of International Barbie, a Portland-based clothing brand. No arrests have been made. #AjaRaquellRhoneSpears #SayHerName

 

 

 


 

Joy Osmanski (Actor, Missing Ingredient) Since graduating from the MFA Acting Program at UCSD, Joy has worked steadily in TV, Film and Theatre. Theatre credits include Valley of the Heart/The Taper, Our Town/Actors Theatre of Louisville; Recent TV and Film appearances include The Good Doctor, Magnum P.I., Dead Night, Shot, I Will Make You Mine. She can currently be seen as a supervillain in Stargirl on the CW and as an animated five-year-old in Duncanville on Fox. Joy has narrated over 100 titles on audible.com and has won the Audiofile Earphones Award multiple times. In her teaching life, Joy has taught in the undergrad acting programs at UCSD and UCSB, and has coached privately for over a decade. Joy lives in Los Angeles with her family and about 60,000 bees.

 

 


 

Corey Brill (Actor, Missing Ingredient): Broadway credits include Gore Vidal’s The Best Man, Rajiv Joseph’s Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (understudy) and the first national tour of the Mendes/Marshall production of Cabaret. He has performed at regional theatres around the country including The Kennedy Center, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Seattle Repertory Theatre, The Old Globe, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hartford Stage, La Jolla Playhouse, Chalk Repertory Theatre, Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company and Antaeus. His television and film appearances include “Chicago P.D.,” “You’re the Worst,” “Scorpion,” “The Walking Dead,” “Perception,” “CSI: Miami” and HBO’s “The Normal Heart.” He earned his BFA from Otterbein College & MFA from UC-San Diego.

Follow him at coreybrill.com or @brillcorey.

 


 

Ashley Bufkin (Reading Committee) is a Las Vegas native and MFA graduate from Rutgers University. Previous credits: Bayano: My Odisea (National Black Theatre), A Raisin in the Sun(Hangar Theatre), Little Women (Hangar Theatre), 3 Musketeers 1941 (Project Y Theatre), In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) (Gulfshore Playhouse), Pride and Prejudice (Pittsburgh Public Theater), A Doll’s House Part Two (Barrington Stage Co), Julius Caesar (Shakespeare’s Globe).

 

 

 


 

Ava Egertson (Reading Committee) is a rising junior at Carnegie Mellon pursuing a BFA in Acting. Originally from Minneapolis/St. Paul, Ava has previously worked with Children’s Theatre Company, Youth Performance Company, the Saint Paul Conservatory for Performing Artists, and various others. In the fall of 2017, Ava started “Broken Ivy Theatre Company”, a youth-led, self-funded company devoted to the advancement and involvement of young artists in the Twin Cities, through which she has directed and produced 5 shows. Ava is very thankful for the opportunity to work with Project Y and the Women in Theatre initiative.

 

 


 

Cheyenne Springette (Reading Committee) To start I want to say how glad I am that I had this wonderful opportunity to be diving into plays with Project Y Theatre Company. I have grown up in Pittsburgh acting since i was young and have been involved in various shows. I enjoy difficult text and remarkable stories so joining the team was a dream. I remember being in the cast of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars as Vera and being blown away the first time reading it by the tone behind the words, the raw truth. That’s what i love about plays. Since high school I have been at Carnegie Mellon University awaiting my next role to devour until then everyone stay safe and thank you for having me! 

 

 


 

Samantha Ozeas (Reading Committee)  is currently earning her BFA in Directing at The Carnegie Mellon School of Drama after studying at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts. Past credits include Pride and Prejudice (Santa Cruz Shakespeare), Subtle Asian Traits (Carnegie Mellon School of Drama), A Chorus Line (Caroline’s Loft), and Major Minor (The Complex). 

 

 

 

 


 

Andrew W. Smith (Producer) is a professional Actor, Director, and Producer whose work has been seen throughout New York City, regionally, and internationally. He is also the Co-Founding Artistic Director of award-winning Project Y Theatre Company in New York City.

 

Selected regional acting work includes: Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh City Theatre, Quantum Theatre, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theatre, Potomac Theatre Project, Ars Nova, Studio Theatre, and Olney Center for the Arts. He toured with The National Players on their 50th anniversary as Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac. Filmwork includes Lucid, Shooting Script, Death of a Nation (Winner:  Best Short, IndieFest 2011; Best in Show, Best Shorts Competition 2011), Under-Ground. Television work includes GONE, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Guiding Light.

 

Andrew is currently an Assistant Professor of Acting at the Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. He also spent two years as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College, Vermont, from which he also received his BA in theatre. He is also graduate of the MFA Acting program at the University of California, San Diego, from which he received the Teaching Excellence Award upon graduation. www.smithandrewwilliam.com

 


 

Gabrielle Martin (Assistant to the Producers) is a senior theatre major and music minor at Middlebury College. In addition to her acting credits, she recently directed a devised multimedia theatre piece, I Like You (A Lot) at Middlebury College. She has also held a Shakespeare artist in residency position at Berridge Programs in Normandy, France; teaching original practices and text work to high school students.

 

 

 

 


 

Hadley Evans Nash (Assistant to the Producers) is a director/playwright who is so honored to be working with Project Y. She is an alumnus of the National Theatre Institute as well as Shakespeare and Company’s Training Intensive. She will graduate from St. Olaf College next year with a theatre major and hopes to start a small theatre company in Minneapolis.

 

 

 

 


 

Neel Murgai (Digital Technician) is a sitarist, overtone singer, daf player, composer and teacher from Brooklyn, NY. He is a co-founder and co-artistic director of the Indian music collective, Brooklyn Raga Massive. Neel has studied sitar for 25 years, currently with his guru Pundit Krishna Bhatt. Overtone singing Neel learned from Batuvshin of the Buriyat performance group Uragsha and from Timothy Hill of the Harmonic Choir. He is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. His first album with Neel Murgai Ensemble was released on Innova Records in 2010. Neel has performed around the world with numerous artists from varying disciplines including, Bill T. Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Andre DeShields, Karsh Kale, Vijay Iyer, Adam Rudolph, Daniel Bernard Romain, Dana Leong, Ellen Stewart, Laraaji, Yuerba Buena, Baba Israel, Raz Mesinai, Mission on Mars, Akim Funk Buddha, Loren Conners, Suzanne Langile, Louis Bellogenis and Cosmo Vinyl. He has performed at venues ranging from the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center to Late Night with David Letterman to jazz clubs such as the Blue Note and at festivals around the U.S. Neel’s theater and dance credits include playing music for Bill T. Jones “Blind Date,” Disney’s musical theater adaptation of “The Jungle Book” directed by Mary Zimmerman, and composing and performing music for Bacchae 2.1 directed by Michole Biancosino. Neel has also composed music for many film and TV projects including the features, “The Yes Men Fix the World", which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and "A Decent Arrangement" starring Shabana Azmi. As a technician, Neel has run sound for hundreds of Brooklyn Raga Massive events, and since covid times has helped to produce dozens of live online workshops, recordings and concerts.

 


 

Christopher Ulloth (Graphic/Web Designer) is a New York City based playwright, producer, and graphic/web designer.  Recent Producing, Graphic/Web Design credits include: WOMEN IN THEATRE FESTIVAL (Project Y Theatre Company, NYC, 2016-2020); THE FIFTH VITAL SIGN (Elephant Room Productions, NYC, 2019); SALAMANDER by Lisa VillaMil (Elephant Room Productions, Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2018); SUICIDE STORIES: GALLERY OF THE UNTOLD (Elephant Room Productions, Philadelphia Fringe Festival 2017); VENTILATOR BLUES by Robert Kerr (Staged Reading, Elephant Room Productions, 2017); BEAUTIFUL AMERICAN SOLDIER by Dano Madden (Staged Reading, Elephant Room Productions, 2016).  B.A.: Bloomsburg University.

 

ABOUT THE PLAY


 

The One & Only Amanda Palmer

August 15th, 2020, at 7:00 PM

by Kat Mustatea

Directed by Michole Biancosino

Featuring: Natalie Nankervis, Saran Bakari, and Meghan Wright

 

The One and Only Amanda Palmer streamed live on Sunday August 15th at 7:00pm, but you can still watch below or on our Youtube channel.
Click here for a downloadable program.

 

Amanda Palmer can turn into a cat at night, but her world comes undone when she realizes she might not be the only one.  Who is the real Amanda Palmer? Maybe you? 

 

In this unique digital experience, members of the audience can volunteer to participate during the performance and might be called on to perform specific lines from the script alongside the actors. 


The story’s premise is not the only unusual aspect of the show. You might notice that when Amanda Palmer is turning into a cat, there is an odd quality to her syntax and vocabulary. The script makes use of synthetic language to generate a unique way of speaking that is expressive of the special quality of “catness” Amanda possesses. The effect is created by using only words that do not contain the letter “E.” If you pay close attention, you will still understand what Amanda is saying—it makes grammatical sense—but it gives Amanda Palmer an otherworldly quality, a way of speaking that is both elegant and weird. Playwright Kat Mustatea used an artificial intelligence text generation tool to create this synthetic language.

BIOS

Kat Mustatea (Playwright) is a playwright and technologist. Her plays have been performed in New York, Chicago, Berlin, and Oslo. Her current play, “One-Eye,” is about a cyclops who tries to fit into Manhattan society by getting a second eye surgically implanted in his head. She is a founder and co-curator of EdgeCut.org, a monthly series of short performance works, and a current member of NEW INC, the art and tech incubator at The New Museum of Art in New York City. She speaks and writes frequently about the intersection of cutting edge technology and art (SXSW, The Pompidou Center in Paris, Creative Tech Week) and is a board member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, a NYC trustee of the Awesome Foundation, and a member of Dramatists Guild. Her TED talk is about puppets and algorithms. (Website: mustatea.com)

 

 


 

Michole Biancosino (WIT Festival Producer) is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington, D.C. and New York City over the past 20 years.  With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer.  Credits included the long-running shows, Trump Lear (co-created and directed) and the award-winning, Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet (as performed by David Carl), both of which toured regionally and performed at Edinburgh Fringe, as co-productions with Richard Jordan Productions (UK), The Pleasance, and Underbelly.  She directs solo artist Peter Michael Marino’s long-running solo shows, Show Up! and Show Up.. Kids!, both of which have toured regionally and internationally. Recipient: SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing.  Her work with Project Y Theatre has been supported by grants from The Puffin Foundation, ART/NY, NY Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA), The Dramatists Guild, LitNY Fund, EAG Open Space Grant, and New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA).  She holds an MFA in Directing from Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Theatre at Middlebury College. For more information: www.micholebiancosino.com

 

 


 

Natalie Nankervis (Amanda Palmer 1) is entering her senior year as a BFA Actor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. Recently, she played Hecuba in CMU’s mainstage production of Tiger at the Gates and her scene work includes Gwendolyn (The Importance of Being Earnest), Medea (Medea), and Beatrice (Much Ado About Nothing). Natalie is drawn to projects that feature smart and powerful women. She interned with the WiT Festival last summer and is thrilled to be involved again this year! Visit her website, natalienankervis.com, for more information and upcoming projects.

 

 

 


 

Saran Bakari (Amanda Palmer 2) Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Bakari is a 2020 graduate of Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama (Acting major/Dance Concentration) where she spent a semester of her senior year studying at the Drama Centre in London.  Bakari has studied ballet, modern, tap and African dance since the age of three at the Jones-Haywood School of Dance. Dance led her to the theatre. She attended Duke Ellington School of the Arts High School as an acting major, while continuing dance training at Jones-Haywood.  She is very excited to be working with Project Y for another summer.  Asante Sana Mama and Baba for your unyielding support.  Bakari’s representation team consists of Buchwald and Authentic Talent & Literary Management

 

 


 

Meghan Wright (Amanda Palmer 3) is an incoming junior at Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. Her recent credits include, Sheila in “Hair,” Violet in “Side Show,” and countless other productions. She will be participating in the 2021 season at Texas Shakespeare Festival, and is excited and thankful to be working with Project Y, and Kat on this project.

 

 

 

 

WATCH

ABOUT THE SERIES

 

ALL HANDS ON DECK

July 26th, 2020, at 7:00 PM

 

a play festival created and curated by
Antu Yacob, Associate Producer

 

The ALL HANDS ON DECK series is a play festival that shares 4 new works by Female Playwrights of the African Diaspora. Featuring plays written by award winning notable playwrights France-Luce Benson and Nikkole Salter, as well as up-and-comers Banna Desta and Sienna Jones, the series will share different perspectives of the Black experience in America. Conceived by Antu Yacob, this session's theme is a Conversation with the Ancestors, Past/Present/Future. Weaving in live music, the series aims to explore theater as ritual and activism in our times.

 

NANÃ
Written by France-Luce Benson
Directed by Lisa Strum
Cast: Juliette Jeffers, Terry Burrell, Jazmine Stewart
Stage Directions: Chantal Jean-Pierre

 

BYGONE FRUIT
Written by Banna Desta
Directed by Shariffa Ali
Cast: Antu Yacob, Landon Woodson
Stage Directions: Hadley Evans-Nash

 

THEY LIVE IN YOU
Written by Sienna Jones
Directed by Lisa Strum
Cast: Candyce Adkins, Brenna Power, Jazmine Stewart, Chantal Jean-Pierre
Stage Directions: Landon Woodson

 

WAYS AND MEANS
Written by Nikkole Salter
Directed by Shariffa Ali
Cast: Jazmine Stewart, Chantal Jean-Pierre, Candyce Adkins, Terry Burrell, Juliette Jeffers
Stage Directions: Antu Yacob

 

 

Please consider donating to these incredible artist-centered organizations:

The Fire This Time Festival
TFTTF is dedicated to providing a platform for early career playwrights of African and African-American descent. This company has been an incubator for many major playwrights as they honed their voices.

American Slavery Project
This NY-based company provides theatrical programming as a response  to revisionism in American discourse about enslavement and its aftermath.

National Black Theatre
This Harlem company has provided theater for by/about/for the black community for over 45 years. They also provide residencies for producers/writers/directors at different levels in their careers.

BIOS

Antu Yacob (Associate Producer; Actor, Bygone Fruit) was born in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and raised in California and Minnesota. She is an actor, playwright and producer. She was last seen onstage in The Fire This Time Festival Season 11. Her solo show In The Gray was featured in United Solo Theatre Festival and the Symposium on African Global Migration. Her plays have been premiered at Kampala International Theatre Festival (Uganda), Project Y Theatre, Theatre167, and Mile Square Theatre. Her work has been read in the NowAfrica Playwrights Festival, The Playwriting Collective/NY Madness, Crossroads Theatre and CoLABArts. Her theater acting credits include work with American Slavery Project, Primary Stages, Crossroads Theatre, Luna Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Philadelphia Theatre Co, Mixed Blood Theatre, Pangea World Theatre and Pillsbury House Theatre. Her tv/film acting credits include Night Comes On, Daredevil, Gypsy, Law & Order: SVU, Brooklyn Park and Conjure. Her original film Love in Submission is currently in post-production. Antu teaches at Baruch College and Rutgers University. She received her MFA in Acting from Rutgers University.

 

 


 

France-Luce Besson (Playwright, Nanã) Named “Someone to Watch ” in 2019 by American Theatre magazine;  Honors include:  Zoetrope Grand Prize - Caroline’s Wedding;  Bay Area Playwights Festival 2020 Finalist - Tigress of San Domingue;  Miranda Foundation Grant – Detained,  Princess Grace Award runner up -Boat People. Dramatists Guild Fellow, Sam French OOB Festival Winner,  and Kilroys List.  Residencies include Djerassi, the Camargo Foundation, and Instituto Sacatar in Brazil. Productions and workshops at Ensemble Studio Theatre NY, Billy Holiday Theatre,  Crossroads Theatre, City Theatre of Miami, The Playwrights Center , Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the New Black Fest at The Lark. Publications: Sam French, Routledge Press; MFA in Dramatic Writing: Carnegie Mellon University.

 

 


 

Nikkole Salter (Playwright, Ways and Means) is an award winning actress, playwright, educator and arts advocate. For her work she has received the OBIE, a, Outer Critics Circle Award, a Global Tolerance Award from the Friends of the United Nations a Selfdes-Kanin fellowship from the Theatre Hall of Fame, and most recently a Lily Award for her contributions to the betterment of the theatre field. Her writing has been produced on 3 continents in 5 countries, and been published in 12 international publications and has been featured on the WNET program "Theatre Close-Up.” She is a graduate of Howard University and NYU. www.nikkolesalter.com

 

 


 

Banna Desta (Playwright, Bygone Fruit) is an Eritrean & Ethiopian-American playwright and screenwriter, who crafts stories about and for the African diaspora. Her short play, Pining, premiered at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and was published by Samuel French in 2019. She assistant directed the 2018 production of Thom Pain: based on nothing at the Signature Theater in New York. She has assisted multiple television series (Filthy Rich, This Is Us) and is currently the showrunner’s assistant for the BET+ series First Wives Club. She was awarded the John Golden Prize for excellence in playwriting at NYU, where she received her MFA in Dramatic Writing. 

 

 


 

Sienna L. Jones (Playwright, They Live in You) is currently pursuing her MFA for Dramatic Writing at NYU. During her undergrad years at Rutgers University, she created, wrote, directed and starred in three web series, which are all available on YouTube. Sienna loves all the different aspects of telling a story, whether it's from a camera lens or a stage. She would like to thank Antu, for believing in her, and of course her family for their constant support. 

 

 

 


 

Lisa Strum (Director, Nanã and They Live in You)  is an educator, actress, playwright, producer, casting director, director, singer and a certified wedding officiant! She received an MFA in Acting from the University of Washington in Seattle and has performed in regional theatres all across the country. She directed For Colored Girls… at Five Towns College in Long Island (Region 1 Kennedy Center Award Winning Production), FALL for the Marathon 2019 One Act Play Festival with Ensemble Studio Theatre and starred as Rose in FENCES with the REP at The University of Delaware and Virginia REP. Lisa also starred in the Michigan Premiere of Dominique Morisseu’s PIPELINE at the Detroit Public Theatre, and SWEAT at People’s Light. Her solo play, She Gon' Learn premiered at the Emerging Artist Theatre Festival at TADA!, followed by sold out performances at the United Solo Festival on Theatre Row in NYC where the play received one of the festival's Best Solo Show Awards. Lisa was a Finalist for the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award, was the recipient of the Playwrights Initiative Fellowship at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program, was nominated for a New York Innovative Theatre Award for Best Outstanding Actress in a Play, and received a Broadway World Award for Best actress in the Regional production of FENCES.

 


 

Shariffa Chelimo Ali (Director, Bygone Fruit and Ways and Means) is an international creative leader committed to working with an open heart at the intersection of the performing arts and humanitarianism. Originally from Kenya and raised in South Africa, Shariffa has been a New York resident since 2013, working primarily as a director, community organizer and administrator at The Public Theater and The New Group, among others.  She has lectured and directed at NYU, Brooklyn College, Yale University and Princeton University, where her productions include Eclipsed, Detroit ’67, Intimate Apparel, We Are Proud to Present and an original new musical, We Were Everywhere. Shariffa also served as assistant director to her mentor Cynthia Nixon for Rasheeda Speaking, Steve (The New Group) and Motherstruck! (Culture Project). Shariffa’s debut Virtual Reality short ATOMU is part of the official selection at the Sundance Festival 2020.  Off-Broadway: Mies Julie (Classic Stage Company). Regional:  School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play (Pittsburgh Public Theatre), The Copper Children (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Honors: New Frontier Fellow at Sundance Institute Lab and the Royal National Theater (UK); POV/PBS Spark Grant. Education: BA with honors, Theatre and Performance, University of Cape Town. South Africa www.shariffa.com

 


 

Terry Burrell (Actor, Nanã, Ways and Means) is an actor and musician whose one woman show “ETHEL” was last seen at The Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, GA; Spring of 2016.  Broadway credits include, Three Penny Opera; Thoroughly Modern Millie; Swinging On A Star; Into The Woods; Just So Stories; Dreamgirls; Honky Tonk Nights; Eubie; and Show Boat (London 1998 Original Cast). Her Off-Broadway credits include, Almost Heaven; Lady Day; Taking A Chance On Love; And The World Goes Round. National tours include, Copacabana; Grand Night For Singing; Bubbling Brown Sugar; and Showboat. Regional credits include, Ethel; Ever After; Angry Raucous And Shamelessly Gorgeous; Hospice/Pointing At The Moon; Lady Day At Emerson’s Bar And Grill; Candide; Cinderella And Fella; Crowns; Man Of La Mancha; Up From Paradise; ,Sophisticated Ladies; Ain’t Misbehavin’; A Christmas Carol; Oklahoma; The Women Of Brewster Place; Thunder Knocking At The Door; Cinderella; Smokey Joe’s Café; Time And Again; Jar The Floor; Brownie Points; Mahalia, Boys From Syracuse; Sheila’s Day;and Da Kink In My Hair. Concerts include, Duke Ellington Orchestra Venice; Oslo Norway Jazz Festival; and Portland Oregon Jazz Festival.

 


 

Juliette Jeffers (Actor, Nanã, Ways and Means) is a Caribbean-American actor, writer, director, producer and teaching artist. On screen, Juliette has appeared in eighteen films, thirty-three guest star TV roles and over sixty national commercials. Some of her notable credits include, “Chicago Med”, “Snowfall”, “Criminal Minds” and “Grey’s Anatomy.” Some of her theatre highlights include five solo plays that she wrote and performed in  …“BATMAN AND ROBIN IN THE BOOGIE DOWN” (Bronx Council on the Arts Award, Drama Desk, NAACP nominations),  “CHOCOLATE MATCH.COM”, “PAN GYUL”, “JUDGMENT DAY” and “TIO PABLO” (In English & Spanish - Best Play and Best Actress awards-Hollywood Short & Sweet Fest.). Juliette helps develop and directs solo shows and is an Advisory Board Member of the L.A. Women’s Theatre Festival. For more information on Juliette, go to www.juliettejeffers.com.

 

 


 

Chantal Jean-Pierre (Actor, They Live in You, Ways and Means) is an accomplished actress and a guest collegiate instructor She has graced the stages of several reputable regional theater companies around the country. Chantal has also guest starred on a number of television shows such as New Amsterdam, The Good Fight, Law & Order and many more. She taught for many years at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Brown/Trinity MFA Program, SUNY/Purchase, and Montclair State University. She has an MFA in acting from Rutgers University and a BFA from Florida International University. Please visit her website at chantaljeanpierre.com if you want to know more.

 

 


 

Landon G. Woodson (Actor, Bygone Fruit) is a native of Passaic, NJ, and a graduate of Rutgers University where he earned an M.F.A. in Acting.  Previous credits include Back to the Real (Crossroads Theatre Company) Soldier's Heart (Premiere Stages) The Mountaintop (Kitchen Theatre Company), To Kill a Mockingbird (Syracuse Stage), This is Modern Art (Blessed Unrest), Intimate Apparel (Sierra Repertory Theatre) and The Whistleblower (Denver Center for the Performing Arts)  www.landongwoodson.com

 

 

 


 

Candyce Adkins (Actor, They Live in You, Ways and Means) New York: Uncle Vanya (Columbia University), Television: “Homicide City”. Candyce works as an actor/trainer for NYPD officer trainings.  Candyce is a teaching artist & director at On Broadway Performing Arts Training Program, founded by Broadway veteran Rema Webb & Daniel Siford. Through this program she has directed 4 musicals: Hairspray, High School Musical, Rent & Spamalot.  She is also a member of Quick Silver Theater Company.

 

 

 


 

Jazmine Stewart (Actor, Nanã, They Live in You, Ways and Means) is an artist of Jamaican descent, born and raised in New York City. She started her pursuit of acting by going to the Professional Performing arts High School. From there she attended Rutgers BFA acting program. Since graduating in 2019 she has gone on to perform in regional and Off- Broadway shows such as: Kenny Leon’s production of Much Ado About Nothing (Shakespeare in the Park), Citrus (Northern Stage), Henry IV part One (The Folger Theater). Jazmine is thrilled to be working with Project Y, and to collaborate with some amazing female playwrights!

 

 


 

Brenna Power (Actor, They Live in You) is excited to play the role of “Krissy” for her first time working with Project Y! Brenna currently lives in Los Angeles, but has spent most of her recent time in Pittsburgh at Carnegie Mellon University, where she received her BFA in acting in 2019. Recently, she has guest starred on Season 4 of “Betrayed” as well as Season 4 of “People Magazine Investigates.” She also is currently working on the last edit of her web series, “Street Voices,” for her directorial debut. Brenna is signed as an actor with Station 3 Entertainment and CESD Talent Group.

 

 

 


 

Hadley Evans Nash (Assistant to the Producers; Stage Directions, Bygone Fruit) is a director/playwright who is so honored to be working with Project Y. She is an alumnus of the National Theatre Institute as well as Shakespeare and Company’s Training Intensive. She will graduate from St. Olaf College next year with a theatre major and hopes to start a small theatre company in Minneapolis.

 

 

 

 


 

Neel Murgai (Digital Technician) is a sitarist, overtone singer, daf player, composer and teacher from Brooklyn, NY. He is a co-founder and co-artistic director of the Indian music collective, Brooklyn Raga Massive. Neel has studied sitar for 25 years, currently with his guru Pundit Krishna Bhatt. Overtone singing Neel learned from Batuvshin of the Buriyat performance group Uragsha and from Timothy Hill of the Harmonic Choir. He is a graduate of Goddard College's MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts program. His first album with Neel Murgai Ensemble was released on Innova Records in 2010. Neel has performed around the world with numerous artists from varying disciplines including, Bill T. Jones, Cyndi Lauper, Wyclef Jean, Andre DeShields, Karsh Kale, Vijay Iyer, Adam Rudolph, Daniel Bernard Romain, Dana Leong, Ellen Stewart, Laraaji, Yuerba Buena, Baba Israel, Raz Mesinai, Mission on Mars, Akim Funk Buddha, Loren Conners, Suzanne Langile, Louis Bellogenis and Cosmo Vinyl. He has performed at venues ranging from the Lincoln Center and Kennedy Center to Late Night with David Letterman to jazz clubs such as the Blue Note and at festivals around the U.S. Neel’s theater and dance credits include playing music for Bill T. Jones “Blind Date,” Disney’s musical theater adaptation of “The Jungle Book” directed by Mary Zimmerman, and composing and performing music for Bacchae 2.1 directed by Michole Biancosino. Neel has also composed music for many film and TV projects including the features, “The Yes Men Fix the World", which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and "A Decent Arrangement" starring Shabana Azmi. As a technician, Neel has run sound for hundreds of Brooklyn Raga Massive events, and since covid times has helped to produce dozens of live online workshops, recordings and concerts. 

PREVIOUS WIT FESTIVALS

Project Y Theatre

The Award winning, Project Y Theatre Company, is an outside-the-box theatre company that supports the creation, development, and production of new works for the stage in New York City. 2020 marks our 20th year as a company committed to supporting playwrights and their plays, and with a focus on women and LGBTQ voices. Project Y positions new plays and new voices to be part of the theatrical conversation. www.projectytheatre.org