Tag Archives: All Female

The Shrew Blog 4-23-15

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Margo Murphy-Gross – Stage Manager

IMG_20150426_112114Taming of the Shrew has been one of my favorite shows from a very young age, starting with a preteen obsession with Heath Ledger in “10 Things I Hate About You”. I have been lucky enough to work on a production of Taming two summers in a row now and find that this show holds so much for people to look at from so many perspectives. The rehearsal process thus far with MSP has been really wonderful. Looking at this show from an all-female perspective is a very emotional experience. Today’s rehearsal has me thinking a lot about what women thing of men’s tonality and physicality. Sarah having to find where Petruchio is scary or playful. During this rehearsal Sarah found something particularly powerful with Petruchio’s voice, finding the male tonality that I (and maybe others) react to emotionally and instantly. In addition to that flooring experience in today’s rehearsal there have been many moments watching women take over male characters during this rehearsal. I think that it’s very powerful to witness this and even adds power to the women (the people not just the actors) taking over these male characters. I am excited to watch the power dynamics between the characters and between the actors and the characters that they are taking on.

How do you code shift? When and with who do you use a “different” you? And why?

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New York Shakespeare Convention

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Living Space Players did an amazing job creating the following to advertise for NYShakesCon and we thought, what the heck, why re-invent the wheel?!

The First Annual New York Shakespeare Convention!

Manhattan Shakespeare Project is a proud participant of the New York Shakespeare Convention! The NY ShakesCon is a gathering of New York based Shakespeare Companies hailing from all over the state. The convention is a great way for actors, writers, directors, producers, educators and plain ol’ fans of Willy Shakes to get in contact with up and coming companies producing the Bard’s work! There will be live music, food and drink!

After the convention there will be a performance of Romeo & Juliet done in 5 Way Shakespeare style! What does this mean? Well it means that each act of Romeo & Juliet will be presented by a different company!

The incredible companies that will be there include:

Bottoms Dream
Adirondack Shakespeare Co.
The Puppet Shakespeare Players
Spicy Witch Productions
Underling Productions

Living Space Players
The Night Shift 

And of course, yours truly!

Check out what BroadwayWorld.com has to say about it!

The Convention itself is free! To purchase tickets to 5 Ways Shakespeare Romeo & Juliet, click HERE

We hope to see you there!NYSC dark blue hashtag

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The Shrew Blog

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IN HER OWN WORDS

This summer, June-July 2015, Manhattan Shakes will be performing Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew in our signature FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS production.

This story has been dubbed a “problem” play. We, the women working on this production, would like to share our thoughts and feelings about tackling this script.

Follow The Shrew Blog as we invite you into the rehearsal room and our interior monologues as women and as actors. In our own words.

April 22, 2015 – Kate Holland (Director)

April 23, 2015 – Margo Murphy-Gross (Stage Manager)

April 26, 2015 – Amy Frey (Tranio, Ensemble)

April 27, 2015 – Shannon Ward (Lucentio/Ensemble)

April 29, 2015 – Kate Holland (Director)

May 1, 2015 – Monica Jones (Katharina, Ensemble)

May 3, 2015 – Margo Murphy-Gross (Stage Manager)

May 5, 2015 – Shannon Ward (Lucentio/Ensemble)

May 9, 2015 – Carla Lerner (Tranio, Ensemble)

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The Shrew Blog 4-22-15

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Kate Holland – Director
IMG_20150426_113246Tonight we are looking at the wooing scene between Hortensio, Lucentio and Bianca. This scene is so delicious, full of innuendo and wordplay. It’s also the scene where we see how powerful Bianca is. Unlike Katharina, Bianca has learned the all the rules of the gender game and is a virtuosic player. While staying completely sweet and charming throughout the scene, she displays an ironclad will and a fierce intelligence. She is actually not all that different from her “shrewish” sister — she’s just a much more adaptable player.

 

Does Katharina learn to play? Is that what Petruchio is teaching her?

 

What happens to women who can’t or won’t play the role that society has ordained that they play?

 

To the good ones, the kind and quiet and undemanding ones, much is given, as long as they are beautiful. Katharina is like the wicked stepsisters and Cinderella all in one — cut off your heel and toes to fit in a glass slipper, and as long as you never make a peep again, you can marry the Prince.

 

Reminds me of Brene Brown’s work on shame, and how women most often feel shame when they have failed to do everything perfectly, and still maintain composure. Never let them see you sweat. Backwards, in heels.
Have you ever felt shame associated with your gender? Looking back on your younger experiences what advice would you give yourself?
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What’s GENDER got to do with it? FREE forum!

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“If you be not of the house of Montagues, I pray, come and crush a cup of wine!”

~Romeo and Juliet Act 1 scene ii

Manhattan Shakes is is thrilled to be participating in The Tank‘s October Sunday Shakespeare! We will be doing a FREE forum on GENDER in SHAKESPEARE and want your voice there!

Sunday October 12th
3:00pm
151 W 46th St, New York, NY 10036

There will be scenes from our immensely popular summer production of Romeo and Juliet and sneak peaks into our switch-gender upcoming production of Macbeth.

There will be open discussions between scenes where we will tackle the big questions of GENDER CONSTRUCTS both in Shakespeare’s Elizabethan society and modern day, how these ideas have formed, how they inform us as men and women, and how we can overcome the stereotypes.

JOIN US!!

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We’re an #AWBgrantee!

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AWB_LogoThat’s right!! We are thrilled, excited and honored to announce we are now a grantee of Awesome Without Borders! @AwesomeWithoutBorders has selected us as an #AWBgrantee! They are our Awesome Angels 🙂 A chapter of the Awesome Foundation, AWB gives $1,000 nostrings-attached weekly grants to awesome initiatives worldwide. To learn more about their work, click here.

MSP’s 2014 FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS: Romeo and Juliet was chosen! Learn more about our project here: http://bit.ly/XX3jLO

“What light through yonder window breaks? Why, old William himself, according to Sarah Eismann! She believes the power of Shakespeare & storytelling can bring greater empathy into our lives. To prove it, she’s staging a series of free performances of Romeo & Juliet across New York City’s parks.

Through the Manhattan Shakespeare Project, people from Central Park, Harlem, and Brooklyn have had their hearts & imaginations rekindled by the impassioned words & personas of the world’s most prominent playwright. These performances stand out from most Shakespearean productions in three ways: they’re performed outdoors, they’re free, and they feature an entirely female cast & crew. Each performance is a festival in itself, with singing and dancing erupting from throngs of thrilled audiences!

Things are only going to get better in 2014, as MSP branches out into more venues, and bridges more communities through timeless tales that speak straight to the shared human condition. A grant will help ease the burden of compensating the dauntless artists and assistants who make each production a resounding success.”

“The Awesome Foundation distributes a series of monthly $1,000 grants to projects and their creators. The money is pooled together from the coffers of ten or so self-organizing “micro-trustees” and given upfront in cash, check, or gold doubloons. The chapters are autonomous and organized by the trustees around geographic areas or topics of interest. The Foundation provides these grants with no strings attached and claims no ownership over the projects it supports. It is, in the words of one of our trustees, a micro-genius grant for flashes of micro-brilliance.” To date, 95 chapters have been established in over 21 countries, with 1000+ projects funded.

In early 2013, The Harnisch Foundation teamed up with The Awesome Foundation and the chapter Awesome Without Borders was born!!

We are enthusiastically and eternally grateful to this group of extraordinary women. Our Awesome Angels 🙂 Thank you!!

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IndieGoGo Launched! Help MSP bring Shakespeare to the Special Education Classroom!

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http://goo.gl/GHBYz2

Our 2014 Season IndieGoGo has launched!2014-05-29 18.24.22

In addition to raising funds to pay the fabulous artists involved
with 2014 FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS ROMEO & JULIET we are very excited to officially announce the launch of our Fall Education Program!

We started the year off with an amazing $3,100 grant from LMCC and NYSCA which funds half the budget for Problem Solving with the Bard: Shakespeare in the Special 2014-05-23 19.56.30Education Classroom.

Our wish is for the full program (8 classroom sessions, 57 teaching hours) to run this fall, so we are reaching out to you for your help in making this happen.

Even a $20 tax deductible contribution will add teaching hours with these amazing kids at Manhattan School for Career Development.IMG_4194

Lots of companies do donation matching programs, ask at your place of employment and double the impact of your contribution!

For the full campaign and donation link please visit:
http://goo.gl/GHBYz2

Please share this e-mail, tweet, facebook, and anything else you can think of!  We rely on the support of people like you and are extremely appreciative for all your help!2014-05-29 18.43.05

Thank you!
Sarah & The MSP Team

Manhattan Shakespeare Project is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions for the purposes of Manhattan Shakespeare Project must be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

IMG_4217Problem Solving with the Bard: Shakespeare in the Special Education classroom is made possible in part with matching public funds from Creative Curricula, supported by New York State Council on the Arts and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

 

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2014 Romeo & Juliet

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Donate now to help pay our wonderful artists!

 

Manhattan Shakespeare Project is proud to present our outdoor, 90 minute, all-female, signature FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS 2014 production of:

ROMEO & JULIET

MSP_Romeo_postcard_FRONT-page-10382014_MSP_R&J_Unlazy_A-Daily-Comic-by-Savannah-Zambrano

All Performances are FREE!!

All PERFORMANCES @ 6:00pm

Rain Policy: The show must go on! We perform rain or shine. We will never cancel a show before showtime. So come on out! Bring a slicker, bring an umbrella. Some of our best shows have been in mysterious and foggy weather 🙂

MSP_Romeo_calendar

MSP_Romeo_park_directions

CAST

  • Kasey Brown
  • Amanda Boekelheide
  • Sarah Eismann
  • Caroline Lyons
  • Leah Reddy
  • Folami Williams

 

CREW

  • Director: Reesa Graham
  • Assistant Director / Stage Manager: Elissa Levitt

* * *

Kasey Brown is so excited to be making her debut with Manhattan Shakespeare Project! Kasey received a B.A. in theater and psychology from Boston College. Kasey is a lifelong lover of the works of Shakespeare, and has played such roles as Viola (Twelfth Night), Princess (Love’s Labours Lost), Don John (Much Ado About Nothing), and others. When Kasey is not acting, she is assistant directing and pursuing her other passion- social justice. Many thanks to the cast, Reesa, Elissa, Varun, Jules, Ted, and my wonderful family!

Amanda_BoekelheideAmanda Boekelheide Most recent & fun professional roles were Town Cryers & ensemble in The Whistling Mortician, Blowfish in Heist, Iphigenia in Iph.then, Scarlett, Rhonda & Lilly in Lion in the
Streets, & Olga in Nature Theater of Oklahoma’s adaptation of
Chekhov’s Three Sisters.  Favorite Columbia University roles include Bosola in Webster’s The Duchess of Malfi, Inez in Satre’s No Exit, & The Secretary (Death) in Camus’ The State of Siege. Travel for performance & study for theatrical purposes has included Peking Opera in China, Indonesian classical & rural dance styles as well as Gamelan in Surakarta, Indonesia, & Classical Buddhist Nepalese dance in Nepal.

Sarah Eismann is absolutely thrilled to be working with such a talented and exciting cast and crew on this production. A recent MFA Acting graduate from Columbia University, Sarah got her BFA in Drama at Tisch School for the Arts at NYU. She also trained with the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She has performed with the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, California Shakespeare Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Woman’s Will, improv troupes Tilted Frame SF, Middle School Poetry, and RadioStar Network. www.saraheismann.com

Caroline_LyonsCaroline Lyons is currently a sophomore BFA Acting major at Pace University and is very excited to be apart of this project. She just finished her first New York Theater project as an actor/deviser on the Clearing Company’s production of hOMAge, which was presented at the Venus Theater Festival. In her two years at Pace, she has performed in three student directed productions: Skin in Flames, Hamlet and Wildflower. She would like to thank Sarah and Reesa for this amazing opportunity and the cast of Romeo and Juliet for being such beautiful artists to learn across of. Much Love!

Leah Reddy Most recently appeared as First Daughter Polly Jefferson in My First Lady at the Metropolitan Playhouse. Shakespeare: Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Maria in Twelfth Night with Frog and Peach. She rocked a bedazzled water pistol as Dixie in a glam rok version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Schapiro Theatre, Columbia U. Leah is a teaching artist, writer, and photographer. Follow her @leahmariereddy.

Folami Williams is incredibly excited to be working with Manhattan Shakespeare Company, for the second time around on such a challenging and wonderful piece of theatre! She is glad to take this plunge with a wonderful cast of women by her side. A graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Drama, her past productions included For Colored Girls…HAIRTwo Gentlemen of Verona, and Day of Absence. Since coming to New York City, her other work includes; Auto De FeReconstruction (International WOW Company); King LearIs There Room in Your Heart (Teatro La TEA), AUTOMOTIVE (East River Commedia).

* * *

Reesa Graham (Director) BA in Theater & Psychology from the University of Houston. With a bed in Harlem and a heart from Texas, Reesa is excited to be back to Shakespeare and with such a talented and wonderful group of ladies! As a director, some of her favorite productions include William Mastrosimone’s The Woolgatherer, David Mamet’s Oleanna, Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged, and Edna O’Brien’s Triptych. She was also Resident Director of BareShakespeare where she directed All’s Well That Ends Well and Cymbeline. Recently, she founded the art’s collective known as Dare Lab (a safe space for theatre experimentation). She is also the former Artistic Director of Get the Gun Productions for three years, while teaching at Main Street Theatre in Houston Texas. She has studied with Jose Quintero and Marshall Mason, and worked closely with Lanford Wilson at the Albee New Playwrights Festival. As always, love to Mom, Daddy and Nonny.

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Free Shakespeare in the ParkS

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Shakespeare: We are committed to exploring how we can re-envision Shakespeare’s works to communicate to new generations, and new communities both inside NY and worldwide. Our Shakespeare focuses on gender constructs by asking the question: What does it mean to use an all-female cast with scripts and characters that were originally written for all-male casts? (Besides who can resist chicks with swords?)

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2013 Twelfth Night

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2013 FREE Shakespeare in the ParkS

2013_12thNight_Malvolio_in_jailPERFORMANCES

All Performances are FREE!!

CAST

  • Sarah Bowles*: Feste, Fabian, Officer, Curio
  • Sarah Eismann: Viola
  • Arielle Harding: Orsino, Malvolio
  • Amy Jo Jackson*: Sir Toby Belch, Priest
  • Leah Reddy: Maria, Sebastian, Valentine
  • Amanda Tudor*: Captain, Sir Andrew Aguecheek
  • Folami Williams: Olivia, Antonio

CREW

  • Director: Reesa Graham
  • Stage Manager: Jacob Halpern Weitzman
  • Verse Consultant/Coach: Emily C. A. Snyder
  • Publicist: Alessandra Alma
  • Dramaturg: Chelsea Phillips

* * *

 

Sarah Bowles* (Feste, Fabian, Officer, Curio) Off Broadway: Sarah created the role of Missy in Prospect Theatre Company’s original musical,The Dome. Favorite regional and NYC Shakespeare credits include Lady Anne (RIII), Cassius (JC), Ariel (Tempest) and believe it or not, Silvius/Charles the Wrestler in As You Like It. Sarah has had the pleasure of working as an actor, director, educator, or all three for: American Shakespeare Center (Staunton, VA), Hamptons Shakespeare Festival, York Shakespeare Company, and most recently and extensively, Shakespeare and Company in Lenox, Mass. Sarah is so excited step onto the boards (or grass) with this group of actors and work on one of her favorite plays. Also, as MSP’s new Director of Education, her goal is to utilize all of her past theatre and teaching experiences to create and provide exceptional theatre programs for the students of NYC. She is responsible for the mayhem and raucousness that will most definitely occur when our Knavish Sprites join us onstage at our Prospect Park performances. What must we do else!

 

Sarah Eismann (Viola) is absolutely thrilled to be working with such a talented and exciting cast and crew on this production. A recent MFA Acting graduate from Columbia University, Sarah got her BFA in Drama at Tisch School for the Arts at NYU. She also trained with the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. She has performed with the Tony Award winning Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, California Shakespeare Theatre, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Woman’s Will, improv troupes Tilted Frame SF, Middle School Poetry, and RadioStar Network. www.saraheismann.com

 

Arielle Harding (Orsino, Malvolio) graduated from Emerson College in 2012 with a BFA in Acting. Following graduation she appeared in O/A: The Sophocles project (Eurydice) before relocating to NYC. She is currently the Host of Lez Cab (a monthly cabaret show at The Duplex) and is proud to call MSP’s Twelfth Night her first play in Manhattan. She enjoys Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

 

Amy Jo Jackson* (Sir Toby Belch, Priest) Broadway: Kinky Boots (Dialect Coach). Off-Bway: Nymph Errant (Prospect), Henry IV Part I (The Pearl; Dialect Coach). NYC: The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler (EPBB); Kaspar Hauser, The Great Recession (The Flea); Newsadoozies (UCB). Regional: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (Elliot Norton and IRNE Award noms for Best Female Performance in a Musical), Henry IV Plays, Rocky Horror, Laramie Project, Nine, Godspell, As Bees in Honey Drown, Tommy, Full Monty, and Boeing Boeing (twice). As text/dialect coach: NYTW, The Cell, The Flea, Prospect, The Improvised Play, PPAS, The Vineyard, Pace. BFA Boston Conservatory. amyjojackson.com

 

Leah Reddy (Maria, Sebastian, Valentine) Most recently appeared as First Daughter Polly Jefferson in My First Lady at the Metropolitan Playhouse. Shakespeare: Julia in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Maria in Twelfth Night with Frog and Peach. She rocked a bedazzled water pistol as Dixie in a glam rok version of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Schapiro Theatre, Columbia U. Leah is a teaching artist, writer, and photographer. Follow her @leahmariereddy.

 

Amanda Tudor* (Captain, Sir Andrew Aguecheek) Amanda loves adventure and all female productions of Shakespeare. Amanda runs a lot: with the bulls in Spain, half marathons through the country, and away from cannonballs at the 150th Gettysburg anniversary. She hates velcro but loves her rockin family, tall boyfriend, and Moose the french bulldog. www.amandatudor.com Off-broadway: Roundabout Theatre Co: The Milktrain Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore (starring Olympia Dukakis dir. Michael Wilson) Off-Off Broadway: Boomerang: Tempest. Bushwick Shakespeare: (Brutus) Julius Caesar. OSC: (Orlando) As You Like It. Regional: Shakespeare Theatre Co: King Lear (starring Stacy Keach dir. Robert Falls), Twelfth Night, Ion. Hartford Stage. Film: Audition, All My Children. Education: Hartt School BFA, Shakespeare and Co., Austin Pendleton, Hollywood Stunt School.

 

Folami Williams (Olivia, Antonio) is incredibly excited to be working with Manhattan Shakespeare Project on such a funny and engaging piece. Being a newbie to outdoor theatre, she is glad to take this plunge with a wonderful cast of women by her side. Folami graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Drama. Past productions include For Colored Girls, HAIR, Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Day of Absence. Coming to New York City has given her the opportunity to spread her wings as an artist. Her past work includes Auto De Fe, Reconstruction International WOW Company; King Lear, Is There Room in Your Heart Teatro La TEA, AUTOMOTIVE East River Commedia.

2013_12thNight_Orsino_Cesario* * *

 

Reesa Graham (Director) BA in Theater & Psychology from the University of Houston. With a bed in Harlem and a heart from Texas, Reesa is excited to be back to Shakespeare and with such a talented and wonderful group of ladies! As a director, some of her favorite productions include William Mastrosimone’s The Woolgatherer, David Mamet’s Oleanna, Reduced Shakespeare Company’s The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged, and Edna O’Brien’s Triptych. She was also Resident Director of BareShakespeare where she directed All’s Well That Ends Well and Cymbeline. Recently, she founded the art’s collective known as Dare Lab (a safe space for theatre experimentation). She is also the former Artistic Director of Get the Gun Productions for three years, while teaching at Main Street Theatre in Houston Texas. She has studied with Jose Quintero and Marshall Mason, and worked closely with Lanford Wilson at the Albee New Playwrights Festival. As always, love to Mom, Daddy and Nonny.

 

Jacob Halpern Weitzman (Stage Manager) spent the last year at the Actors Theatre of Louisville as a stage management intern. The 37th Annual Humana Festival of New American Plays: The Humana Ten-Minute Plays, The Delling Shore, and Cry Old Kingdom. Also at Actors: The Whipping Man, Dracula, and A Christmas Carol. Devised work: The Free Life II, Agatha, Jimmy the Spray, and America Boy. Jacob holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from Hendrix College where he stage managed Violet: The Musical, The Trial, and What’s That? A Hat! Off-Broadway: production assistant for the a cappella Off-Broadway musical In Transit (Primary Stages).

 

Emily C. A. Snyder (Verse Consultant/Coach) a recent transplant to NYC, Emily holds her MA in Theatre Education from Emerson College in Boston, MA, where she has been working for the past fifteen years as a director, educator, and playwright. In London and Stratford-upon-Avon, she studied John Barton’s technique with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, where she had the privilege of performing Rosalind from AS You Like It catt-corner to Shakespeare’s birthplace! Since then, Emily has combined her own kinesthetic approach to verse with text-based scholarship to help actors delve deeper into the richness of Shakespeare’s work. She has directed the majority of Shakespeare’s canon, and has had the pleasure of both (once upon a long time ago!) directing Twelfth Night and (in a different production) playing Feste. An internationally performed playwright, Emily has recently turned her attention to writing new plays in blank verse. Her five act iambic pentameter play, Cupid and Psyche, was a finalist in the Princess Grace Fellowship awards, and is currently in pre-production in New York City.

 

Alessandra Alma (Publicist) A New Jersey native, Alessandra began her career in the United States Air Force as a Communications and Information Officer. She served as the Unit Public Affairs Officer at Andrews AFB, MD where she was responsible for VIP visits, public relations and special ceremonies. Alessandra is a regular contributor to several online magazine websites covering events such as the Latin Grammy Awards, Latin Billboard Awards, and Latin Alternative Music Conference. She has a B.S. in Management from New Jersey Institute of Technology and an M.S. in Public Relations and Corporate Communications from New York University.

 

Chelsea Phillips (Dramaturg) is a fourth-year Ph.D. student at Ohio State University. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy with a focus on Shakespeare in Performance from Mary Baldwin College/The American Shakespeare Center. This is her third production with Manhattan Shakespeare Project, and she hopes to work with them again soon (in person, this time).

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA) founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence. www.actorsequity.org

* These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.

Equity Approved Showcase

2013_12thNight_audience

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