Kalei Tischler is an actor, playwright, and director currently in her third year of the BFA Dramatic Arts program at The New School For Drama. She is very excited to have a play that she has written and directed produced in a professional New York theatre festival, and she would like to thank her brilliant assistant director Irene Benitez, her incredible cast and crew for all of their hard work, and her family and friends for all of their love and support. Train Traffic, has already had a a successful staged reading.
The New York Theater Festival Starts Off Strong With Rori Nogee’s Aftershocks
Rori Nogee’s Aftershocks at the NY Winterfest is well written and deals with a subject that is rarely dealt with in a real context. It is a hard show to take because it is so brutally honest, much like Veronica’s Room or Blackbird. Aftershocks reminds me of the Natalie Portman film “Closer”.
We first meet Angie (Rori Nogee) at a strip club giving a lap dance to Jimmy a regular customer (Troy Acree). As he departs Elliot enters (Trevor Van Uden), who only wants to talk and does not want to be touched. Angie is stunned by this behavior and tells Ben (Frank Winters) the man who loves her, but whom she only sees as a friend with benefits. Elliot returns and the two get to know each other without touching. On one occasion Jimmy bursts in and demands a dance with Angie and threatens her. Elliot goes ballistic, almost killing him. As Angie and Elliot grow closer we learn that Angie had been raped in college. After her boyfriend Kyle (Eric Graves) dumped her she felt worthless and became what we see today. Elliot was also raped from the ages of 9 – 15 and can not be touched. He lives with night terrors and more. Despite her love for Elliot, one fateful night Angie is forced to leave. Time goes by and Angie is engaged to Ben. On her birthday Elliot arrives with his new girlfriend Bethany (Szalene Anthony) and suddenly he can kiss and touch, which drives Angie insane. Their chemistry is still intact and nothing will ever be the same again.
To give much more of the plot away would be to spoil the effects. Needless to say for the first time I was caught off guard.
The cast lead by the playwright was believable, each having a moment to shine. This non-equity cast stepped up to the bar and I give director Justine Lambert the credit for that.
The lighting by Joe D’Emilo was well done.
Ms. Nogee is a playwright and an actress to watch. She understands dialogue and her description of how different people react to abuse is dead on. No one really ever states with accuracy the long term effect abuse can have on an individual and how each person reacts. No two act the same. In Aftershocks we get two contrasting reactions and both are sadly valid. If you have been abused this play may be extremely hard for you to take. The sexual content is explicated, but this is a worthy play if you can handle it and I recommend it highly.
You can see Aftershocks at the NY Winterfest at the Hudson Guild, 441 West 26th St. January 9th @ 9pm, and January 12th @6pm
The New York Theater Festival Meet The Playwrights: Step Into the Musical World Of Charles M. Schulz With Jack McManus, Jack Levinson and Brendan Stackhouse
Jack McManus, Jack Levinson and Brendan Stackhouse have a love for all things “Peanuts”, so it was natural to create a musical about the creator of this beloved comic strip. Sparky tells true-life story of Charles M. Schulz. This 90-minute musical chronicles Schulz’s life, explores how the Peanuts characters came to life, and why his legacy will live in infamy.
Sparky received a developmental 29-hour reading last November. Now at The NY WinterFest Sparky will receive its first fully staged production.
Meet the three men behind this new musical.
Jack McManus (Book and Lyrics) is a NYC-based playwright, director, dramaturg, and theater maker. His short play Mom, I Want to Be a Chemist (co-written with Ryan Cook and Derek Crosby) has been performed by amateur and high school theater companies across the north-east, winning The Theater Project’s 2016 Young Playwright’s Competition. In 2017, Jack directed the first university production of Becca Schlossberg’s The Untold Yippie Project. Currently, Jack is studying at Pace University to get a BA in directing. For more information on his work, please jack-mcmanus.com
Jack Levinson (Composer) is a composer and pianist currently studying at Mason Gross School of the Arts as a sophomore music education major. Initially beginning piano lessons at the age of 4, he became more interested in more serious composition in 2012 at the age of 13. During high school, he played keyboards for marching band and performed in the pit orchestra of several local musical productions. He took up alto saxophone at the end of 2015 which sparked his interest for playing for large ensembles and exploring other instruments. He has also provided music for the musical Loving Claire as part of 48-Hour Musicals. He looks forward to other musical endeavors as rewarding as Sparky.
Brendan Stackhouse (Concept, Director, Choreographer) is probably the biggest Peanuts fan that exists. Broadway: Fun Home (Assistant Choreographer), Off-Broadway: The Marvelous Wonderettes (Associate Director), Once Upon A Mattress starring Jackie Hoffman (Assistant Director). NYC Directing: Speech and Debate (30th Street Studios), The Dog Died (Dixon Place), Motel Rasdell (Shetler Studios), and various readings and workshops. Brendan is the resident Director of Hemlock Theatre Company on Staten Island and the Resident Choreographer for the Acting Naturally Theatre in Philadelphia.
CAST:Beth DeMichele*, Robby Haltiwanger*(Ghost 1st Nat’l Tour), April Lavalle*, Kyle McClellan*, Monet Sabel*, Matthew Tiberi*Finding Neverland), Alex Temple Ward*, Jeff Bodnar, Cordara Newson, Jillian Mauro and Michelle Caniglia. (*) AEA
Musical Director: Carter Letsky
Music Supervisor: Sean Peter Forte
Associate Director: Laura Woyasz
The New York Theater Festival Meet The Playwrights: Cherie Danielle an Afro Goddess
Cherie Danielle, a native of Atlanta Georgia, has been acting since she was a child. In high school she attended the DeKalb School of the Arts where she majored in Drama and minored in Vocal Music. She went on to New York City to study acting at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has had the opportunity to perform in plays at many theaters in New York such as; “The Colored Museum” at The Paul Robeson Theater; “Chains” at The Player’s Theatre and The Producers Club; “Angela’s Justice” at Theater for the New City. Aside from performing in New York City she has had the pleasure of touring “I Have a Dream” in Miami at the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center.
Her studies of acting have continued at The Marishka Philips Theatrical Preparatory, The Freeman Studios, The Classical Theatre of Harlem, and The Acting Studio. Recently she has begun to break her way into the film/ television world also by scoring roles in the short films “The Zantcuary “In Black and White,” and “Enganjyani” that have been seen in major short film festivals all over the world. Along with appearances on the Investigation Discovery Chanel. She also has a co-star role in Netflix Original film “Barry” by Vikram Gandhi. Her most recent television appearance was on the HBO series “The Deuce” in which she portrayed the character “Rose”.
Cherie feels humbled to have written her own one-woman show, The Diary of an Afro Goddess, in honor of her ancestors. The Diary of an Afro Goddess, The solo show has since then received an AUDELCO “Viv” Award Nomination for “Outstanding Solo Performance” in 2016 and Cherie was honored by The Core 4 P.O.W. (Powerful Organization of Women).
Cherie views her art as a form of activism and has worked alongside of the organization “Black Diaries” to keep the power of black voices alive. With the success of her solo show she has decided to launch her own production company “Afro Goddess Productions.” And has since produced its first short film “Razor Pains.” She hopes to inspire audiences to become the change they want to see in this world with everything she creates.
The Diary of An Afro Goddess, is a fresh, new, unapologetic, dynamic one-woman show, written and performed by the magical and nuanced Cherie Danielle and directed by Broadway veteran and coach Marishka S. Phillips. The solo show premiered with a 12 performance run at the historic Wow Cafe Theatre (the oldest women’s and transgender theatre in the Universe), for which Cherie Danielle is nominated for an AUDELCO “The Viv “Theatre Award 2016, for Outstanding Solo Performance!; She has also had the pleasure of perfoming at the world famous Nuyorician Poets Cafe and the Shabazz Center in Harlem. Recently the show was well received in her home town Atlanta, GA at The Porter Sanford Performing Arts Center. The solo show has since then received an AUDELCO “Viv” Award Nomination for “Outstanding Solo Performance” in 2016 and Cherie was honored by The Core 4 P.O.W. (Powerful Organization of Women).
In The Diary of an Afro Goddess, Isis, the Afro Goddess is the main source of entertainment at “The Goddess Lounge”, a special place between heaven and earth, for those who need an extra boost of self love before transitioning into the next dimension. But the only person who seems to need an extra boost is Isis herself. Experience her journey from her hair to her career as an artist; from her beginnings in 1960s Birmingham, Alabama to falling in love; to self love; Witness her transformation through text, humor, drama, poetry and song.
You can see The Diary of an Afro Goddess at the NY Winterfest at the Hudson Guild, 441 West 26th St. Feb 14th @ 9pm, Feb 16th @ 1pm and Feb 17th @ 6pm
You can get tickets here http://newyorktheaterfestival.com/the-diary-of-an-afro-goddess/
A full review written on the show
Video of audience reaction and some clips if the show!
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