Season One Guests

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Johanna Pan

Episode 3: Snow in Midsummer

Johanna is a Costume and sometimes Scenic designer for Theatre, Film, Dance and Opera, and a textile and visual artist. Born and raised in Singapore, she currently splits her time between New York City and home. She first discovered theatrical design while competing in the creative thinking competition Odyssey of the Mind and has never looked back. She is a proud feminist, lover of vintage clothing and all things related to textile arts. Johanna’s artistic practice is centered around decolonizing the imagination, breaking down the notions of feminized labor, and advocating for environmental sustainability. She continues to harbor hope for humankind in the face of adversity and dreams of a future filled with equity, inclusion and diversity.

 

Johanna has designed for the Juilliard School of Drama, NYU Tisch Dance and Graduate Acting, and Barrington Stage Company amongst others. She was the Associate Costume Designer for the recent Lincoln Center Broadway revival of Falsettos, the international tour of Jay Chou’s The Secret, and the Disney Live Mickey and Minnie’s Doorway to Magic! She is also the Resident Designer for WWTNS? And a proud member of IATSE United Scenic Artists Local 829. MFA: NYU/TISCH

IG: @jpandesign

Website: johannapan.com

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Frank Britton

Episode 4: Two Trains Running

Frank Britton (He/Him/His) is a native of Washington DC who has been a part of tech DC theatre scene professionally for the past 18 years. He is an instructor, graduate, and faculty member of the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, and has appeared in productions with many area theatres including Arena Stage, Imagination Stage, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, Washington Stage Guild, Avant Bard Theatre (Acting Company Member), Rorschach Theatre (Company Member), 1st Stage, NextStop Theatre Company, Theater Alliance, SCENA Theatre, and has appeared regionally with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Milwaukee Repertory Theater, Firehouse Theatre (Richmond, VA), Baltimore Shakespeare Festival, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Burning Coal Theatre Co. (Raleigh, NC), and off-off-Broadway at La MaMa ETC (NYC). He has  appeared in three productions of Two Trains Running, all directed by Timothy Douglas: at Round House Theatre (2014), and at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Milwaukee Repertory Theater (2019). In 2018, he earned the Helen Hayes Award (The Robert Prosky Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Play—Helen Production) for his performance in Stephen Adly Guirgis’s Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train with 1st Stage in Tysons, VA.

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Natalya Baldyga, Ph.D.

Episode 8: The King Stag

Natalya Baldyga wears many theatrical hats. Although she is primarily an educator, theatre historian, and director, she occasionally finds her way onstage or in front of the camera. She is also a translator and adaptor of plays who has recently started writing original material as a means of transcending pandemic-based isolation.

 

Natalya holds degrees in theatre and theatre historiography from Middlebury College, the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities. She has taught theatre history, theory, literature, and performance at the University of Minnesota—Twin Cities, Gustavus Adolphus College, the Savannah College of Art and Design, the Florida State University, and Tufts University, as well as teaching U.S. and world history at Phillips Academy, Andover. Teaching is one of her greatest joys and she delights in following her former students’ myriad and wide-ranging accomplishments.

 

As a scholar, Natalya’s research focuses on theatre historiography, cultural identity, and the performing body in eighteenth-century Europe. In 2018, she and her colleagues Wendy Arons and Sara Figal received the Excellence in Digital Scholarship Award from the Association for Theatre in Higher Education (ATHE) and the American Society for Theatre Research (ASTR) for the online version of their new translation of G. E. Lessing’s Hamburg Dramaturgy; theirs is the only fully complete English translation available. A print edition, published by Routledge in 2019, contextualizes Lessing’s work for the reader through three supplemental essays (and through Natalya’s 50,000 words of endnotes).

 

As a theatre director, Natalya is drawn to works that use visceral and non-naturalistic language, and to collaborative physical theatre that explores intersections of movement, imagery, and the spoken word. Since moving to the Boston area in 2011, she has directed for Sleeping Weazel (Picture This), at Tufts University (bobrauschenbergamerica; From Orchids to Octopi; The King Stag), for Whistler in the Dark’s Playwright Incubator Program (Shadow Trees), and at Opera House Arts in Stonington, Maine (Orlando; The Lady from the Sea; I Have Seen Horizons: Ruth Moore’s Stories from Maine).

 

Natalya’s love affair with the work of Carlo Gozzi dates back thirty years, and she has presented nationally and internationally on his work. Her original translation and adaptation of Carlo Gozzi’s King Stag had its world premiere at Tufts University in 2017, and her article “A Cultural Pastiche of Fantasy, Satire, and Citrus: Gozzi’s The Love of Three Oranges in its German Afterlife” will be published next year in the forthcoming anthology Three Loves for Three Oranges: Gozzi, Meyerhold, Prokofiev (Indiana UP).

 

Currently, Natalya divides her time between managing the hybrid schooling of her highly theatrical nine-year-old son, and working on a script entitled Blood, Breath, and Bone: Meditations on the Body During a time of Plague.

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The Cast of:

Episode 10: The Importance of Being Earnest

Jack Worthing ................................. Joshua Pride             Cecily Cardew .................................. Judith Park

Algernon Moncrief ......................... Colin Cahill              Laetitia Prism ................................. Jennifer Sassaman

Lane ................................................ Shane Murphy          Dr. Frederick Chausable ................ Ricardo Frederick Evans

Lady Augusta Bracknell ................. Nick Stella               Merriman ....................................... Sean Hopkins

Gwendolyn Fairfax ......................... Hannah Shay

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Yvette Heyliger

Episode 13: Clybourne Park

YVETTE HEYLIGER is an “emerging” playwright over 40 and part of the 93.9% of women of color whose work does not reach production in this nation. Realizing that in order to grow as a playwright she needed to see her work living and breathing on the stage, she became a producing artist of festival and AEA Showcase Code productions of her work. To ensure that her grandson and future generations know that she was here and had something to say in the American Theatre, she turned to self-publishing in an effort to increase her visibility.

Author of What a Piece of Work is Man! Full-Length Plays for Leading Women, she has also been invited to contribute to various anthologies including most recently ARTemis Arts Wisdom Anthology, Performing #MeToo: How Not to Look Away, She Persisted: 30 Ten-Minute Plays by Women Over 40 and She Persisted: Monologues from Plays by Women Over 40.  Past publications include: Performer Stuff, The Monologue Project, Short Plays on Reproductive Freedom, Later Chapters: The Best Scenes and Monologues for Actors over Fifty, WE ARE THEATRE, 24 Gun Control Plays, The Best Women’s Stage Monologues 2003 and The Best Stage Scenes 2003. Other writings include various articles and blog posts: The Dramatists Guild Blog, I Write about Playwrights: #1087 Yvette Heyliger, The Native Society: Personalizing Thought Leadership, The Dramatist, Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance, Black Masks: Spotlight on Black Art, and HowlRound.

Yvette is the recipient of the AUDELCO Recognition Award for Excellence in Black Theatre’s August Wilson Playwright Award and Dramatic Production of the Year for her play about HIV and the black church, What Would Jesus Do?. She received a Best Playwright nomination from NAACP’s Annual Theatre Awards.  After many years in front of the footlights, Yvette returned to the stage as a solo-artist in her one-woman show, Bridge to Baraka, which she performed in the United Solo Theatre Festival and the National Black Theatre Festival among others.

Memberships: Dramatist Guild, AEA, SDC and AFTRA-SAG. She currently serves as a Dramatist Guild NYC Ambassador and on the executive committee of Honor Roll! She is the former VP of Programing on the Board of the League of Professional Theatre Women and currently the co-chair of the League's Rachel Crothers Leadership Award.

Yvette and her twin sister, Yvonne Farrow, hung up their shingle as producing artists with their own company, Twinbiz, and were co-recipients of the first National Black Theatre Festival Emerging Producer Award.  Yvette lives in Harlem, USA with her husband, Donald, who is an essential worker with the United States Post Office.

Please check out the Adam Szymkowicz interview of Yvette from July 2020 here:

https://aszym.blogspot.com/2020/07/i-interview-playwrights-part-1087.html

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Rebecca Cunningham

Episode 14: Indecent


Rebecca is the executive producer and host of Girl Tales, a podcast that reimagines fairytales so that girls take control of their own destinies in audio plays written by women, non-binary, and trans male playwrights. She is also a theatre director living in New York City. Her directing work has been seen at Signature Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Dixon Place, IRT, Robert Moss Theatre, Paradise Factory, Theatre 54, and The Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, NC. She attended Pace University where she received her BA in Directing.

 

Wendy Nogales

Episode 19: Water by the Spoonful


Wendy Nogales (she/they) spent 15 years in DC Theatre as an Actor, Production Manager, Stage Manager, Dramaturg, Voice Over Artist, Board Operator, Workshop Leader, Tour Manager, Devisor, Student, Puppeteer, Teaching Artist...reveling in every opportunity to be in community with Artistic Family.

During the past couple of years, Wendy has explored Accessibility (in Art and Education) as well as Autism Advocacy, and hopes that all the systems of accessibility established during the pandemic continue to be made available for everyone. 

Most recently, Wendy has delved into Visual Art - find her work on Instagram @nogaleswendym.

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Ameenah Kaplan

Episode 20: Ruined

Ameenah holds a BFA in directing from the Academy of Art University Film School. She also attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts for acting. Currently she is Resident Director for the North American tour of Disney’s THE LION KING. And appears on the ABC+ show ENCORE! as a choreographer and director.
 

She spent her early career working as an actor, choreographer, drummer. Her acting credits include AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR, guest star and recurring roles on THE OFFICE and GREY'S ANATOMY, and she was in the original American cast of STOMP.
 

She’s been a drum coach with Blue Man Group for 18 years and has played drums for Rihanna, Macy Gray, Adam Lambert, and Rod Stewart. Other directing credits include THE WIZ for First Stage Milwaukee, OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD at American Players Theatre, MEET VERA STARK at Purdue U., HOW TO BREAK for the Village Theater Seattle, THE ROYALE at ACT Theatre Seattle, and BASH’D for LA’s Celebration Theatre. She directed MOLODI: UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL for Las Vegas’ premiere body percussion group and consults for Antics

Hip Hop Theater Company in LA. She has twice directed for Noah Wylie’s Young Playwright’s Festival. Her short film, MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA premiered at Hollyshorts Film Festival in 2014. She directed a short, THE AMERICAN FAILURE, to multiple film festivals and awards. She has choreographed more than two-dozen shows for stage and TV, including DANCING WITH THE STARS. She originated the choreography for THE ROYALE at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in LAand for THE DANCING GRANNY by Ashley Bryan at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.


Ameenah is the recipient of Gregory, Ovation, Sherwood, Queen of Angels, and multiple NAACP and LA Weekly awards for choreography, fight choreography, and directing.

Aaron Thomas

Episode 21: Bootycandy

Aaron C. Thomas is an assistant professor in the School of Theatre at Florida State University. His major research area is theatrical discourse surrounding sexuality and violence, and he writes primarily about images of violent masculinity in contemporary culture. As an antidote to writing about violence, he also writes in the field of musical theatre studies, where his work, again, focuses on theatrical discourse surrounding sexuality, masculinity, and violence. His book Sondheim and Wheeler’s Sweeney Todd was published by Routledge in 2018, and he’s currently working on two manuscripts: The Violate Man, which analyzes US discourse about male/male rape since the 1960s, and Love Is Love Is Love, which explores what Broadway musicals have to tell us about LGBTQ politics in the 21st century.

 

You can find Aaron’s articles in the journals Theater (“Truth and Translation at the Heart of Violence”), QED (“My Father’s Pulse”), Modern Drama (“Watching A Raisin in the Sun and Seeing Red”), Theatre Topics (“The Location’s the Thing: Endstation Theatre and Dramaturgies of Place”), and Theatre Survey (“The Queen’s Cell: Fortune and Men’s Eyes and the New Prison Drama”). He also has chapters in The Routledge Companion to the Contemporary Musical

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(“The Pink Elephant in the Room”), The Disney Musical on Stage and Screen (“Dancing toward Masculinity: Newsies, Gender and Desire”), and Theatre as Voyeurism (“Viewing the Pornographic Theatre: Explicit Voyeurism, Artaud, and Ann Liv Young’s Cinderella”). His newest piece, “Infelicities,” which charts a history of the word performative in the discipline of theatre and performance studies, will be out in the Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism in July 2021.

 

IG: @aaroncthomas

Website: aaroncthomasphd.com

Jen and Mikey Bevarelli

Episode 22: Jerusalem


Jen and Mikey are professional actors and co-hosts of the Buried Broadway Podcast; a podcast where they discover, dissect, and demystify forgotten Broadway musicals that they most likely found on vinyl for a dollar!  Every episode they focus on one original Broadway (or West End) Cast Album; playing clips, discussing the plot, and inserting humor and history.

Some of Jen’s favorite credits include: War of the Worlds, Fear Eats the Soul, Lady Lay, A Woman of No Importance, Come and Go, Catastophe (Scena Theatre).  Blood Sweat and Fears, The Margins, Neighborhood 3, Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe (Molotov Theatre Group).  Coraline (Landless), The Who's Tommy (Open Circle). Once Upon a Mattress (NextStop). She was privileged to receive a Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Best Choreography in a Play for Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe. You can see her work from home if you have Amazon Prime in the movie The Last of the Manson Girls in which she was nominated for a TBUFF Award for her work as Squeaky Fromme.
 

Some of Mikey’s favorite credits include: Avenue Q (Constellation Theatre). Assassins, The Secret Garden, Go Dog, Go! (NextStop Theatre). The Who's Tommy (Open Circle Theatre). Who's Your Baghdaddy (World Premiere with New Musical Foundation at the Capital Fringe Festival). Sweeney Todd: Prog Metal Version, Coraline (Landless Theatre). Jarry Inside Out (Spooky Action Theatre); Mountain Language (Scena Theatre). Visible Language (WSC Avant Bard); Flora the Red Menace (1st Stage). He was thrilled to receive a Helen Hayes Award Nomination for Best Supporting Actor, and was honored to win a Helen Hayes for Best Ensemble both for Avenue Q.
 

If you would like to learn more about them and their podcast feel free to visit Bevarelli.com.