Posts Tagged ‘“New World Stages”’

Cast of “Look Back In Anger”

According to press notes, “Look Back In Anger” is a ground-breaking story of a working class hero fighting for his wife’s love. Jimmy Porter is angry. Overeducated and underemployed, he is stuck in a dead-end job. His wife won’t talk to him. His best friend is always by her side. When her upper-crust friend shows up unexpectedly, Jimmy reaches the breaking point. Come see this savage tale of class conflict-battled in the bedroom.

“Look Back In Anger” plays at ATA’s Sargent Theatre (314 WEst 54th Street, 4th Floor) from October 13-30. Click here, for tickets!

Reesa Graham (Director)

In addition to being the director of “Look Back In Anger,” Reesa Graham is also the Seeing Place’s Literary Manager. Her New York directing credits include “Waiting for Lefty” (The Seeing Place), “All’s Well That Ends Well” and “Cymbeline” (BareShakespeare). Regionally her credits include “Woolgatherer,” “Oleanna,” “The Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged,” and “Triptych” (Get the Gun Productions). Reesa has studied with as Jose Quintero, Marshall Mason, and the legendary Landford Wilson whom Reesa worked closely with at the Albee New Playwrights Festival.

1. Who inspired you to become a director? Wow – who inspired me to become a director?  That’s a longish answer. The reality is that when I was 6 years old, my mother took me to see a children’s theater production of Beauty and the Beast (my favorite fairy tale) and that was it. I knew at that moment I wanted to be the one who told the stories, like those people on stage, to become a character in a story and get to tell it – how amazing was that? And I really never looked back.  When I hit high school, I was still in theater, by that point I was involved in my school theater, a local children’s theater company, and a local adult theater company (yes, it’s true, at any given point in my high school career I was in 1-4 shows at a time) – but I was still acting. Then fate took over. I was extraordinarily lucky enough to be blessed with a high school director who never treated us as kids. We learned about Stanislavsky, and Chekhov and the Group theater, and…Blake Newman, who owned a local theater in Houston, always pushed us to be the best we could – and he saw in me something different than an actor.  He asked me to AD for him, so I did. Then something weird happened.  I fell into directing for a class project. And I HATED it – swore I would never do it again. But a few years later, a theater company I had worked with for many years came to me and said – our director just bailed – we have 2 choices, you either direct this show, or the show isn’t happening. So I did it.  And I never looked back.  From that point on I loved it! I got to tell the whole story, not just one piece of it. Overtime, I have been allowed to work with some AMAZING directors – Jose Quantro an Marshall Mason – as well as playwright Landford Wilson, and they have all agreed I am a director, not an actor – and today, I couldn’t agree more!

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Famous or not famous?  For famous – Gary Oldman or Eddie Izzard or David Tennant. I think all three men do amazing work, and they are all super smart! Just the kind of people I would LOVE to work with.  Beyond that – I have a weakness for new plays, and there are a ton of new playwright friends who’s work I would LOVE to put on, including Daryl Banner (who’s books are out on Amazon now), Jill Summerville and Michael Menedez. These are newnew playwrights who’s work I love!

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? Marshall Mason once told me: “Don’t quit what your doing – the world needs us.” And Landford once said: “Move to NYC when your young and stupid enough to stay up all night, but old enough to not be taken advantage of.”  I think I hit that mark 🙂  Also, Journey once said “Don’t stop believing.”

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I actually had a pretty amazing dream the other night. I dreamed I was in rehearsals for a new Chekhov show with Stanislavsky directing. I had another once that was the same, but I was watching a Shakespeare rehearsal – I dream about theater a lot…

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? Honestly, and people who know me well know this. I take a nap before rehearsals and performances. Not a long one, just 10-15 minutes. But I have to shut my brain down from my day and restart it focused on the show. The closer to go time I can do this, the better off I am – it means I’ve learned to sleep in rehearsal halls, theaters and dressing rooms 🙂

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent nobody knows about? Erm… no actually. I am pretty open. My best friend calls me the most open closed person she knows. Because I never hesitate to tell someone something that they have asked or something I think might help them. It means I have very few things in my life that no one knows about. And what little there is, facebook and twitter have taken away 🙂

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Neither really. I’m not much of a coffee drinker, and also, I don’t like Dunkin’ Donuts donuts. (I grew up in Texas where we have this AMAZING donut chain called Shipley’s. They are so much better than DD that I can’t even compare them!)

8. Favorite skin care product? Why do we get the boring question?  Ok, erm…I like smelly good stuffs – preferably things that make me want to eat myself – like vanilla or creme brulee or angel food cake…

9. Favorite website? Let’s see – either lolcats or facebook. I play the worlds most addicting and stupid facebook game called Egg Breaker, where I break eggs with hammers…It’s kind of a secret – but I LOVE it!

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman – duh, who doesn’t want an invisible plane?


11. Favorite meal? Wow, that’s loaded – what day is it? Let’s see – Sushi – or a good steak – or a nice salad – or hummus and pita – or…anyway you slice it though, it HAS to have a GREAT dessert after it!  I have the world’s biggest sweet tooth! 🙂

12. Favorite hobby? Irish Dance. I need to get back into it. I was, for many years, a competitive Irish Dancer. And I loved it!  Anytime I go back to visit Texas, I got back to my old school for a class. I need to find a school here! 🙂

Keenan Caldwell (Helena Charles)

Irene Award Nominee, Keenan Caldwell is a rising actress whose New York credits include “Does Anyone Know Sarah Paisner?” (Intravenous Theatre) and “Wild Dogs (Maieutic Theatre Works). Regionally, Keenan has been seen in “Sunday in the Park with George” and “South Pacific” (Heritage Rep), “Secret Garden” and “Outward Bound” (Dogwood Dell), “Waiting for the Parade” and “Cloud 9” (Helms Theatre-Irene Award Nominee), “Mystery of Edwin Drood” (Culbreath Theatre), “Nina in the Morning” and “And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little” (Virginia Theatre Lab), “Wit” and “The Importance of Being Earnest” (Spectrum Theatre).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? Mikhail Baryshnikov. When I was a little girl I believed with 100% certainty that I was going to be the greatest ballerina in the world when I grew up. It’s clearly still a work in progress.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Sheesh, only one?  Well, obviously Meryl Streep, but there are about a million runners-up.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Never be afraid to fail.” I struggle with that every minute of every day. Second-best advice: “Keenan, you really ought to buy an ice-cream maker.”

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep who would it be? Alexander Skarsgard. Easy.

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a performance? How do you decompress after a show? It absolutely depends on the day and the performance, although remembering to go to the bathroom is crucial. I stretch a lot, listen to music, and do some vocal warm-ups. If there’s a lot of time between curtain and my entrance, I have to work a little harder to stay focused and keep my energy up.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Hm. I really don’t think I do. Lame. Let’s go with “splitting the atom.”

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks. I don’t go often, but I usually get a decaf latte or cappuccino with an extra shot.

8. Favorite skin care product? Sunscreen. Although I have some perfume I bought when I went to Paris for the first time last year. That’s really the only product I use that has any sort of sentimental value.

9. Favorite website? gofugyourself.com. The King Arthur Flour website is also a good time.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman, dur.


11. Favorite meal? Food I had in Paris with my sister: steak tartare, frites, salade lyonnaise, and ile flottante.

12. Favorite hobby? Baking and ballet. The one does not help the other.

Rick Delaney (Colonel Redfern)

Rick Delaney is also a rising actor who’s New York credits include “Tombstone,” “Comedy of Errors,” and “Merchant of Venice” (Inwood), “Scenes from the SI Ferry” and “Flies in the Snuffbox” (MITF), and “2 on the Aisle, 2 in a Van” (NYC Fringe, along with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Natacia Diaz). Regionally, Rick has been seen in “The Price” (12 Miles West), “The Mystery of Irma Vep” and “Laramie Project Epilogue” (Dreamcatcher Rep), “Ruby Sunrise,” “Omnium Gatherum,” “Psycho Beach Party,” and “Fully Committed” (Theater Project).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? My brother, although he has never been a performer himself. He worked on a play in high school and I admired him so much I wanted to do that too.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Cherry Jones, but I’d be terribly intimidated.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “At some point, all plays open”–which is another way of saying that, no matter how traumatic the rehearsal period, it is finite. Of course, I have since learned that, indeed, all plays do not open. But the second part of the advice is still true: “…and all plays close”.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I can dream about anyone, so this really isn’t applicable. I frequently have movie dreams, with well defined plots. One was a musical. Some are in Black and White. One was a Silent Movie with Title cards. And I frequently have Guest Stars. I think my favorite was Ethel Waters in a ’40’s film noir set in the swamps of Louisiana. She sang a song in a juke joint.

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a performance? No regular rituals for all shows–but I warm-up differently, depending on the show. How do you decompress after a show? I always eat!

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I can ask someone where the bathroom is in Dutch.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? Dunkin’ Donuts. What do you order? Apple Fritter.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxer briefs.

9. Favorite website? Slate Magazine.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.


11. Favorite meal? Thanksgiving Turkey and all the trimmings.

12. Favorite hobby? Sitting in a window, reading a book.

Adam Reich (Cliff Lewis)

Adam Reich is rising as well with such New York credits as “The Tempest” (The Public), “Fools In Love” (BAM Harvey Theater), “Miss Julie” (Cherry Lane), “High School Musical” (New World Stages), “Four Dogs and a Bone” (La Flamboyan), “The Secret of Our Souls (Minetta Lane), “La Ronde,” and “Two Gentlemen of Verona” (Manhattan Theatre Source), “Talk Therapy” (Abingdon), “Sheep’s Milk on the Boil” (Irish Arts), and “Waiting for Lefty” (The Seeing Place). For more on Adam, be sure to visit http://www.adamreich.net.

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I think I’ve been doing this so long, I can’t remember any one person being the sole source of inspiration. But my old teacher Dwight Protho gave me a tremendous amount of encouragement at an age and time when I really needed it.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? Ingmar Bergman dammit!  But I guess if you want someone more alive, I suppose Liv Ullman will have to do.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Never give up!  Never surrender!”

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Dead loved ones.

5. Do you have any rituals that you must do before a performance? Relax in order to concentrate. How do you decompress after a show? Concentrate on relaxing.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? Nothing particularly strange, but I do find each person’s talent to be unique and therefore unusual.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Are you kidding? Starbucks! Dunkin’ Donuts is dry, nasty crap. At least on the West Coast, no one company has a donut monopoly, so the competing Mom-and-Pop companies make some decent donuts.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers, briefs, and boxer briefs.

9. Favorite website? www.adamreich.net 🙂

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superduperman.


11. Favorite meal? Breakfast.

12. Favorite hobby? Tending to my tropical fish.

Anna Marie Sell (Alison Porter)

From behind the curtain as The Seeing Place’s Associate Artistic Director to on stage entertaining, Anna Marie is a performer to watch. In New York, Anna has been seen in “Waiting for Lefty” and “The Credeaux” (The Seeing Place), “The Tamer Tamed” (Misfit Toys), “Timor Mortis” (Conflict of Interest), “Bathory: A New Musical” (D3 Productions), and “Merchant of Venice” (Inwood Shakespeare). Regional audiences have seen Anna in “Cyrano de Bergerac” (ASC), “Sound of Music” and “Pippin” (Cumberland Theater), “Hank Williams: Lost Highway,” “Nunsense Jamboree,” and “Shadow of the Raven” (Wayside), “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” “Anne of Green Gables,” “Henry V,” and “Alice in Wonderland” (Barter).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? I have no idea. I’m gonna say: my parents. They always have made me believe that I could do whatever I wanted, have shared stories and literature and art with me since I was a little girl – and they never complained about driving me to auditions and rehearsals. They still come see every show.

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? I would really like to play a scene with my roommate Lilli. We’ve been in shows together, but somehow have never really gotten to act together.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “You are enough.” I still have trouble following it.

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? My own personal masseuse.

5. Do you have any rituals you must do before a performance? I like to eat the greek yogurt from Starbucks before I get to the theater.Once I’m there, doing my hair & make up is actually a big part of getting ready for me – both physically and spiritually. I also like to have a minute to just hang out in the theater by myself before things get going. How do you decompress after a show? Afterward, my favorite way to decompress is with a glass of whiskey at a quiet bar.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? No.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Whichever is closer! Starbucks Anniversary Blend Coffee. Dunkin Donuts Double Chocolate or Cream-Filled Donuts.

8. Favorite skin care product? “One” Vanilla Almond Custard Lotion. It was a gift from my sister and it’s amazing.

9. Favorite website? Yahoo Maps.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Superman.


11. Favorite meal? Thanksgiving Dinner.

12. Favorite hobby? Learning to cook a multiple-dish dinner so that everything comes out at the same time.

Brandon Walker (Jimmy Porter)

Brandon Walker is an actor and the Founding Artistic Director of The Seeing Place Theater, a relatively new theatre company. According to their mission statement, The Seeing Place is a base for disciplined artists to develop theater they all want to believe in. They are working to create a pure ensemble, committed to forceful storytelling that discovers and expresses real behavior in this day and age. As an actor, Brandon has starred in “Waiting for Lefty,” “The Credeaux Canvas,” and “When We Have Gone Astray” (The Seeing Place), “West of the 5” (La Jolla Playhouse), “Androcles and the Lion” (Old Globe), “And A Nightingale Sang” (Barnstormers), “Moon for the Misbegotten” (North Coast Rep), “Christmas Carol” (Sierra Rep), “Two Gentleman of Verona” and “Playboy of the Western World” (New Village Arts), “Marat/Sade” (ion Theater), “Dog Act” (Moxie Theatre), “This Is Our Youth” (Life Out Loud), “Hamlet,” “Richard III,” and “Romeo and Juliet” (Poor Players).

1. Who inspired you to become a performer? In order:  Mrs. Grimes (my 5th grade teacher), Blair Hambuechen (my high school drama teacher), Christine Carr (my second high school drama teacher), Jonathan Sachs (an actor in San Diego, who didn’t care if he was upstaged), Eve Gross (my first heartbreak – tried way too hard to impress her), Richard Baird (my surrogate brother), Albert Finney, Alex Cahill (the best artist I know), The Ledford Family (a surrogate family of mine), Billy Crudup, Edward Norton, Hank Jordan (my passionate theater history teacher), Rachael Van Wormer (my Juliet and ex-girlfriend, who I competed with way too much), Matt Scott (an extremely talented actor in San Diego, who I idolized for a short time), Francis Gercke (my first acting teacher and the first person who I felt believed in my abilities – also, the best director ever), Cameron Folmar (the best Leontes I’ve ever seen), Erin Cronican (who thinks I’m good at Shakespeare), Kenneth Lonergan, Mark Ruffalo, Keith Reay (the best person I’ve ever known), Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ryan Gosling, Matt Daemon, David Gideon (my second acting teacher, and the only person who is harder on me than I am), Lee Strasberg (my teacher’s teacher), Marlon Brando, Aaron Calafato (the only person I’ve ever seen directly eye to eye with about art), James Dean, Pablo Picasso (for his curiosity), Dustin Hoffman, Jesse Eisenberg, Michael Stuhlbarg, Al Pacino, Paul Newman, Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessi Blue Gormezano (who will never know she inspired me to get off my ass), Jamie Owens (my crazy friend, who was the second person who I felt believed in my abilities), my family (who finally got the point that I might be doing this a while), Ian McKellan, John Gazzale (the most dedicated actor I’ve ever met), Robert Downey Jr., Heath Ledger, Joseph Mancuso (my good friend in acting class and our first two shows, who taught me how to learn), James McAvoy, Lillian Wright (who directed The Seeing Place’s first show, THE CREDEAUX CANVAS), Claudio Raygoza (a great director and visionary, who I burned my bridge with six years ago and took me back into his life), Patrick Stuart (just yesterday – see him in the RSC’s HAMLET), and Anna Marie Sell (every day).

2. Who is the one person you haven’t worked with that you would like to? David Gideon.

3. What is the best advice you’ve ever received? “Live to the point of tears.” – Albert Camus

4. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? Rachel McAdams.

5. Do you have any rituals you must do before a performance? I like to sit and do nothing for a few minutes while I drink coconut water. And then I sit in a hard chair and move my muscles very systematically from the top down in order to connect to them so that I can relax them as fully as I can. During this process, someone usually makes fun of me while I open my arms, make sound from my chest, and move the muscles I’m already using. Then I usually cry and somebody gets uncomfortable. And then I get involved in my creative work. Usually, that involves speaking out loud, which also freaks people out a bit. How do you decompress after a show? After a show, I drink.

6. Do you have any strange or unusual talent that nobody knows about? I am a Foley Artist.

7. Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts? What do you order? Starbucks is passing, and I usually default to it out of laziness. Dunkin’ Donuts has the most disgusting food and coffee I’ve ever had, and I sometimes default to it out of even greater laziness. I always get the largest and darkest coffee they have.

8. Boxers or Briefs? Boxers. Briefs and boxer briefs sag in this really gross way. Or maybe I’m just that huge.

9. Favorite website? Google. That was a smart idea.

10. Superman or Wonder Woman? Wonder Woman.


11. Favorite meal? Mike’s Mess from Zachary’s in Santa Cruz. Or anything from Hash House A-Go-Go or La Hacienda in San Diego. Or anything from The Hotcake House in Portland. Or Crepes from Squat and Gobble in San Fransisco. Or a Croque Madame from Le Grainne Cafe in Chelsea.  But I always long for this artichoke heart sandwich that an ex-girlfriend (who was a novice chef) made for me one night. And then there are always Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwiches.

12. Favorite hobby? Chess. Or biking. Or guitar. Or air-drums.

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Pure genius is how I would describe John Tartaglia’s “Imaginocean,” playing at the New World Stages in New York City (340 West 50th Street). This is one of the best pieces of theatre I have ever seen. From the concept to the show itself to the positive message it sends. Nominated for a 2010 Drama Desk Award for “Unique Theatrical Experience,” this live black-light puppet show is the perfect way for kids and adults alike to spend time together. “Imaginocean” takes you on an undersea adventure with three fish friends: “Tank,” “Bubbles,” and “Dorsel” as they discover the true meaning of friendship while learning how to help others, face their fears, and use their imagination.

Imaginocean” teaches these life lessons in a fun and innovative way using brilliant lyrics, music, and story along with humor and bubbles! Come see how all of these ingredients add up to one of the most memorable theatre experiences both you and the child you love will enjoy!

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“The more things change, the more they remain the same.” That is what kept running through my mind while watching “The Temperamentals” at New World Stages on Thursday, February 25. A hit last season at The Barrow Group Theatre, the show has moved to the New World Stages with original cast members: Michael Urie (“Ugly Betty”), Thomas Jay Ryan (“In The Next Room), Matt Schneck (“London Assurance”), and Sam Breslin Wright (“Macbeth”). Arnie Burton from Broadway’s “The 39 Steps” has joined the cast. The show tells the story of The Mattachine Society, the first group of gays who came together to fight for equal rights during the 1950s. This show takes you on a journey of firsts and while these victories may seem small in today’s world, they were giant ones back then. This group ignited the spark to stand-up for our freedom and many other groups have followed, but we still have much to fight for and that is why it’s important to have a show like “The Temperamentals.” We need to show the youth of today where we came from so they know what & why we are still fighting. For a piece of history that is still modern, I would suggest checking out “The Temperamentals” at New World Stages in New York CIty (50th Street between 8th & 9th Avenue).

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Avenue QI went to see the Tony Award Winning show “Avenue Q” for the first time since it moved back Off-Broadway. Well, I’m pleased to say it still is as enjoyable as ever and it’s nice to see the show continue on. Playing to an almost packed house, the new cast is great bringing their own spin to the characters while still retaining the core essence of the original cast. What made tonight’s show more special was what I feel makes live theatre so great…Sala Iw Amatsu who normally plays “Christmas Eve” started the show off and by the time her next scene came (about 3 songs into the show), her understudy, Ruthie Ann Miles was playing the part of “Christmas Eve.” Ruthie didn’t miss a beat, picking up right where she was supposed to…kudos to her and the whole cast for adapting so quickly to the change.  Jed Resnick, who is the understudy for “Rod/Princeton” was also in the show tonight. He was great…very cute with a delightful voice and strong puppetry skills. Anika Larsen is an actress with a big beautiful voice who plays the role of “Kate Monster/Lucy” with the ability to control her voice perfectly…giving us the innocence of  “Kate Monster” and the sultriness of “Lucy” right on cue and sometimes that is with-in seconds.  Nicholas Kohn plays “Brian” with just the right amount of cockiness that everyone can feel they know someone like him. Danielle K. Thomas gives a fine performance as “Gary Coleman” capitalizing on her comedic talents and big smile.  Maggie Lakis shows off her explosive personality and charisma as she plays “Bad Idea Bear #1/Mrs. T . Cullen R. Titmas demonstrates his multi-talents playing “Nicky/Trekkie Monster/Bad Idea Bear.”  If you have never seen “Avenue Q” now is the time and if you have seen it time and time again, treat yourself to an enjoyable evening at The New World Stages. (340 West 50th Street, between 8th & 9th Ave in NYC).

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