Updated: Sep 15, 2021
LOOK ALIVE TFTC FAITHFUL! This month's edition of the Newsletter is dedicated to a project that Thousand Faced Theatre Company has been coordinating the past few weeks, and we are so proud to be able to make it come to life. Read on to hear more about the people who will make up the next great wave of theatre makers in New York City. Did I mention it's tomorrow?
RSO's Soho Salon: A New Writers' Festival
Actor Therapy and Thousand Faced Theatre have come together to give a platform to a number of artists who have been writing theatrical pieces throughout the past year. The writers have been enrolled in Actor Therapy's Independent Study class with Ryan Scott Oliver, and have spent months writing, rewriting, and offering each other feedback as our industry was put on stand-by. Now as the city cautiously reopens, TFTC and RSO wanted to allow these artists to see the fruits of their labors come to life, and thus RSO's Soho Salon: A New Writers' Festival was born. Now look at this poster!
Below is a rundown of each show, the writer, and the casts involved in what will amount to 12 pieces with 50+ total collaborators. The pieces range from plays to web series' to tv pilots and musicals, and we're proud to be able to produce each and every one.
Grown Up Bedtime Stories by Cassidy Layton
Cassidy Layton is an actress and writer who loves finding humanity in dark places. In addition to writing the book for the new musical Goliath, she has also recently authored two plays and a collection of short scary stories called Grown up Bedtime Stories. Re: acting, she was most recently learning to play bass guitar for a TV show where she yells at Adam Scott a-lot. www.cassidylayton.com @casadilla67 Imagine if Shel Silverstein’s Where the Sidewalk Ends met Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark met Goosebumps and you have Grown Up Bedtime Stories. An anthology of short stories, poetry and drawings, Bedtime Stories captures our worst fears in ways that are sometimes existential, often heartbreaking, and always funny. Punchy and terrifying, this book has a draft ready and is seeking next steps to sicken future readers. Investigate at your own risk. @grownupbedtimestories
Manny by Gerry Vega
Gerry Vega is a real life manny (male nanny), as well as a professionally trained actor-turned-writer. He has a deep love for Ariana Grande, the American Theatre, and is a member of Actors Equity Association. His most proud creativity came from his self-written, self-produced solo Cabarets— Growing Up? and Pennies from Heaven (dir: Amy Wolk). He's also eagerly performed in professional Children’s Theatre productions throughout the US & Canada (Berenstein Bears LIVE!, Santa’s Village). Catch up with him on social @gergerminx or at gerryvega.com Manny is a Dramedy derived from laughter and queer experience as a Latine, millennial, male nanny in NYC’s affluent society— while chasing Broadway dreams. Logline: “It takes a village [and a rainbow]. Manhattanites parent themselves and others.” Manny’s Season 1 is written, being pitched, and open to next [baby] steps with producers, collaborators, and more. Cast includes: Gerry Vega, Kim Onah, Shelby Acosta, Carly Messig, Nachi Lederer, Matt Beary (sp?), Mariel Blatt, Johnny Kroll, and Miranda Luze.
VITA lyrics by Bea Goodwin, composed by Ethan Carlson
Bea Goodwin is a bicoastal librettist and operatic stage director. Her work has premiered at BAM, LaMaMa’s Ellen Stewart stage, (le) Poisson Rouge as well as untraditional, immersive spaces such as the Mount Vernon Museum gardens and the historic Montauk Club. Goodwin has been published with Sparks & Wiry Cries and recently placed as a finalist in the international NATS Art Song competition. She would love to thank everyone involved for putting together this brilliant evening, along with Ethan and Danielle, who have brought so much joy to art making. VITA is currently in the writing process after months of dramaturgy. Goodwin anticipates the libretto’s completion by year’s end before she hands off to Carlson to further develop. Inspired by love letters between Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf, the show is an exploration of grief all the while highlighting the love they shared.
Hopeful by Grace Kane
Grace Kane (She/Her) is a DC based human who does a lot of different things. She studied both opera and creative writing at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. A librettist, lyricist, playwright, baby screenwriter, occasional comedian, and Beltress-in-Training under the tutelage of Ms. Lindsay Mendez. You’ve recently seen her literally nowhere, but hopefully that will change soon :) Stay safe out there, wash your hands, enjoy the art! @missgracekane “Shiny Happy Pilot” is the unsold, unproduced first episode of a show called Hopeful. It introduces Hope Linden, a 20-something NYC transplant whose world has turned upside down a few times already in her life, but never in as crushing a way as the day her older sister calls her to tell her their mother has died. Hope must return to her New Hampshire hometown and face the ghosts of her past, the mind-numbing grief of her present, and the bewildering uncertainty of her future as she prepares to become the legal guardian of her 15 year old brother. (CW: use of the ‘r’ word.) Cast includes: Grace Kane, Jordan Dallam, Fiona White, Alex Pagnozzi, Xavier Branch, Nicole DeLuca, and Brad Mercier.
Original Songs by Elissa Hickey
Elissa Hickey (she/her) is a theatre lover, creator, and performer. She began her musical theatre composing and writing this past fall. She wanted to create upbeat, comedic material based on situations in her own life while also making songs designed for anyone to sing. Her most recent endeavor has been @32BarChef, a weekly series designed to teach others how to make recipes through one-minute long songs. Make sure to check the videos out on TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter! Huge thank you to all who have supported her on this journey so far. A few years ago, I wrote a song in my head. Terrified it wasn’t good, I decided I'd write it down eventually. Recently, I was encouraged to work on projects for myself, so I revisited the tune I'd created years ago. Luckily, it ignited a spark to create new, relatable material!
Lemons by Charlotte Knight
Charlotte is a Canadian writer who has been moonlighting as a singer/actor for the last decade. Pre-COVID, she split her time between Toronto and London, where she made her UK debut as Cinderella in Into The Woods, followed by the title role in The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief with Opera Della Luna at Wilton’s Music Hall. Charlotte recently played Elsa in Frozen, The Musical with Disney Cruise Line and she is currently in Toronto playing Sarah in the Canadian premiere of C-O-N-T-A-C-T. Big thank you to RSO and TFTC for this wonderful opportunity, and to Jon, Isabelle and Madeleine for your love and support in trusting me to tell our story. LEMONS is a comedic drama about the birth of a family. Set in the present day, it tells the story of Chris, his teenage daughter Ashley and his young girlfriend Emily, as they navigate the unexpected arrival of Chris’ estranged daughter Hannah. Cast includes: Mijon Zulu, Kerstin Anderson, Devina Sabnis, Lexi Carter, and Ryan Scott Oliver
Goliath music and lyrics by Ethan Carlson, book by Cassidy Layton
Ethan Carlson is a New York based up-and-coming musical theatre actor/composer. His contemporary, unique, folky songs have been featured at 54 Below, Don't Tell Mama, the Davenport Theatre and more. His show, Her Sound, premiered in NYC directed by Sammi Cannold, and you can find the first volume of Her Sound, produced by Ryan Scott Oliver & Thousand Faced Theatre, wherever music is sold. Follow for more works that he is working on now! @ethancarlson5 Goliath follows Andrew, a recently out gay man in a pre-law program (and from a very religious family) who is forced to go to a gay conversion camp and “become” straight, at risk of losing his parents’ tuition money. While he plans to blend in, remain gay, and grin and bear it, his journey takes a completely different turn when he teams up with the other campers to shut Goliath down for good. His feelings become even more complicated when he begins to falls for closeted camp doctor and former camper, Hayden. Goliath is in its final stages of re-writes, and is a story about embracing your true identity, fighting for good in the wake of hopelessness, and the complicated nature of justice, truth, and salvation. @goliathmusical Cast includes: Jose Monge, Larry Luck, Alphonse Gonzales, Donte Wilder, Megan Griffith, Brad Mercier, and Nathan David Smith.
And that's just the lineup for the first night...
Love, Race, and Corona by Mijon Zulu
Mijon Zulu is an actor, singer, writer, (now director!), and creative who currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. In film and tv, he has previously appeared in Giving Me Life (In the Land of Deadass) and Daddydelphia. Selected theatre credits include: Hugo Lassalle in Madame Curie the Musical, Brother/Calypso Singer in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Sharon Playhouse, and Grady in The Color Purple at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina. Mijon is grateful for his loving family that has supported and inspired him to boldly pursue his dreams. Love, Race, and Corona is a web series with original music that has been adapted into a one-act play for this festival. The piece captures connection through digital devices during a time where the only connections people had were socially distanced and through technology. The story focuses on Chazanga (Chaz) Banda - a first-generation Afro-Caribbean American as he quarantines tries to find love while social distancing, and also processes with the racial and social justice movement of 2020. Currently seeking producers, directors, collaborators. Cast includes: Torian Brackett, Megan Griffith, Andreas Schmidt, John Mateyko, Joshuah Dominique (I know her!), Connor Hadley, Nzingtha Smith, and Jordan Yampolsky.
Mary X (Episode 2: The Hours) by Tiffany McCullough
Mary X is A modern coming of age story. What if doing everything you were taught to do or fit your moral compass kept you stagnant and immature? What if following all of the rules of religion left you without any actual faith? Can a thirty year old nun start over? Can she learn true faith and what it means to be truly “good?” We all have unlikely teachers or even saviors. Cast includes: Lillie Ricciardi, Brendan McCann, Ryan Scott Oliver, Mika Kaufmann, and Joshuah Dominique.
Original Songs by Kerstin Anderson
Kerstin is a Vermont born New York actor. She was most recently seen as Lucy Lemay in Unknown Solider at Playwrights Horizons. Other credits include: My Fair Lady (Lincoln Center Theater), The Sound of Music (North American Tour), Row (Audible). She can be heard on Ryan Scott Oliver’s albums Darling: Live in Concert and Future Demons, Alex Ratner’s album Tyrell, Ethan Carlson’s Her Sound, and the Original Cast Album of Unknown Solider.
Home Share by Jacqui Sirois
JACQUI SIROIS is a writer, director and performer currently based in Toronto, ON. She has a B.A. in Drama from Queen’s University and an M.M. in Vocal Performance from NYU. She’s directed some cool things that you can learn more about at jacquisirois.com. She is looking forward to making theatre that elevates and celebrates artists whose experiences differ from her own. HOME SHARE was initially being developed as a stage play, however it was feeling more suited to the small screen. This series is in early stages of development and ripe with opportunities for these two women to grow, make mistakes and learn from each other. Cast includes: Peggy J. Scott, Alex Pagnozzi, and Lauren Easton
OUT by Jaron Barney
Jaron is an actor and composer here in New York City! After two years on the road with the Broadway National Tour of Book of Mormon the Musical, Jaron returned to New York and began work on his first original musical song cycle, OUT. Stay tuned for future works and performances! OUT is an original song cycle that is centered around queerness. Both experiences that are unique to queer people, as well as moments in life that are made unique when seen through a queer lense. From the mundane to the life altering, OUT celebrates the vastness, the depth, and the joy of the modern queer experience. Cast Includes: Tia Galanis, Bryan Munar, Eddie Grey, Jose Monge, Nachi Lederer, Lera Zamaraeva, and Shelby Acosta
If you're in the city and free Monday or Tuesday you can go to sohosalon.eventbrite.com to reserve a seat, but don't wait as tickets are going fast!
WHO ELSE IS PUMPED?!
And that, my friends, is what we've been up to. To my cult following of readers, I love you so. To my Dad who finally made it onto the mailing list, consider yourself in the loop. Until next month, stay safe and stay well.
All the best,
Matt and TFTC