"BAAL may have shocked audiences in the early part of the last century
but through clever casting and excellent direction, Looking Glass
has managed to give this play new life and new meaning in this century.
It should not be missed." -nytheatre.com
"Outstanding - perhaps the best theater I've seen in the last 5 years - extraordinary production, play and cast - a tour de force - don't miss it if you can get tickets!" -Theatermania Gold Club member
"By having a woman play the role, director Charmian Creagle throws Baal's swaggering
machismo into stark relief and brings his implied bisexuality very much to the forefront.
(Jadelynn) Stahl prowls the stage like the top predator on the food chain and brings an
undeniable dynamism and lush carnality to the role." -BackStage
"Casting a woman is an appropriately Brechtian choice and an unsubtle one as well. This
production never lets you forget you're watching a Brecht play, from the Kurt Weill-inspired
musical score (by Alan S. Hewitt) down to the decadent Weimar design." -Village Voice
"The cast of nine plays together like a tight-knit group of best friends." -nytheatre.com
Looking Glass Theatre proudly presents Bertolt Brecht’s Baal. This production, translated by Eric
Bentley, is directed by Charmian Creagle and is running at The Looking Glass Theatre from
About The Show…
Baal lives in a world of pleasures without regret. Society and religion dictate that this is the wrong way
to live. Baal lives outside the box and rejects its safety. Is it Baal's rejection of the “rules” of society
that causes his downward spiral or is it the “rules” themselves?
In this production of Brecht’s first play, a woman is cast in the title role. Is “he/she” another one of life’s
many boxes? Gender and sexuality in our society are still hot-button issues where people try to fit life
into definitive boxes. “Are you gay or straight?” “How can one physically be female and feel male?”
Why do we need these definitions so badly when it makes more sense to accept that a whole range of
possibilities exists? We are STILL very gender specific. It must fit “in the box.”
This production of Baal is in a different type of box. With music composed by Alan S. Hewitt, the
theater itself is a dark, Weimar cabaret where the old German and new American freaks and artists
converge to tell the story of a character who is a hero to some and a demon to others.
Cast: Lyndsey Anderson, Sara Jeanne Asselin*, Jennifer Boehm, Jane Elliott, John Forkner,
Kyle Haggerty, Melissa House, Jadelynn Stahl and Kymberlie Stansell.
Looking Glass Theatre’s mission is to explore and expand the feminine aesthetic, producing works by historic female playwrights, new works by women, and productions of the classics re-imagined by contemporary women directors. This June, Looking Glass Theatre and Artistic Director Justine Lambert received The Lucille Lortel Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women. Additionally, New York Resident named Ms. Lambert one of the Top 100 New Yorkers of 2003 for her work with the company.
Charmian Creagle (Director) hails from Southern California via Oregon where she earned her BFA from Southern Oregon University in Theatre Arts. Charmian is a former member of the Other Side Theatre and co-founder of defunkt theatre in Portland, Ore. In addition to directing and teaching at The Looking Glass Theatre, she started her own company, Pretention Co., whose inaugural production of the classic Ubu Roi at Chashama was well received. Other Favorite directing credits include classics such as Machinal, The Trial, Lysistrata, three versions of Ubu Roi and Spring’s Awakening (Looking Glass Theatre). New works include 3 Mutants, Random Axe, Land of the Lost, Cex and the Sity and A Game of Pool adapted from the Twilight Zone episode. Dad & Me, a one-woman show she directed, received many accolades and is currently touring.
Chanda Calentine (Assistant Director/ Stage Manager) holds a BA from Ohio University in Interpersonal Communications, with minors in Theatre and Dance. While at Ohio University, she choreographed productions of Grease!, Big River, The Wizard of Oz, West Side Story and Street Scene. Directing credits include A Life of Love, A Love of Life, Just A Reading, Shards Volume One, Left Broken Productions, Horse Trade Theatre; In the Beginning Again, Impact Theatre Company.
Mariana Carbonell (Assistant Director/ Stage Manager) enjoys plums, magic and whiskey, which makes her very pleased to be involved in this production. Recent credits include Caligula, Floyd Collins (Damn Few Productions) and The Beastly Bombing (Secret Order of Revolutionary Operettists). She would like to thank the cast and crew of Baal for their ample talents and boundless patience. She dedicates these performances to Sarge.
Alan S. Hewitt (Composer/Musical Director) began recording his original music for Ruffhouse/Columbia in Philadelphia at 16. Groups: Urban Fall, Big Mess Cabaret Orchestra, The Low Road (Passenger/Caroline), The Signal Corps. Other recording credits include David Garza (Lava/Atlantic), King Britt (Ovum/Sony). Television: ABC, CBS, PBS (WHYY), MTV. He is the co-founder and Musical Director of the Williamsburg/Greenpoint Community Orchestra. He received his BM in Composition from Mannes/The New School where he studied with Robert Cuckson. This is his first experience writing for the theater and he is grateful for the opportunity to work with such an inspiring text, director, troupe, crew and ensemble of musicians.
Romanka Zajac (Set Designer) is excited to be making her solo set design debut at The Looking Glass Theatre! She received a BA in Production Design from Fordham University at Lincoln Center. Over the past year and a half, Romanka has been busy working at theatres such as the Manhattan Theatre Club, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 59 E 59, and Ukrainian Stage Ensemble. Romanka would like to thank the Baal production team and cast, Looking Glass interns, and priceless family and friends for their help and support on this project. This set is dedicated to her parents.
Ryan Metzler (Lighting Designer) is the Lighting Designer in Residence at the Looking Glass Theatre, where he designs the semi-annual Writer/Director Forums. Productions in New York include: Copito, Sex and Sealing Wax, and The Quiet Model (Midtown Festival); Chess (NY Fringe); Spring’s Awakening, Helix 999 and Creatures of the Cabaret (Looking Glass Theatre); The End of Civilization (Locus Theatre Company); Eight Ways to Meet your Neighbor and Soccer Moms from Hell (The Theatre Studio, Inc.); Stone Cold Dead Serious (Small Pond Entertainment).
Rien Schlecht (Costume Designer) holds a BA in Fine Arts from Southwest Minnesota State University. Some of her past design credits include: Weathervane Theatre: All That Jazz, Beauty and the Beast, A Man of No Importance, Annie, Cash on Delivery, Miss Saigon; Southwest Minnesota State University: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Harvey, Pippin, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Marshall Area Stage Company: A Midsummer Night's Dream. Her wardrobe/construction credits include for The Actors Company Theatre: Home; Skylight Dance Theatre: Daughters; Weathervane Theatre: Tom, Dick and Harry, My Fair Lady, Jump and Jive, West Side Story, Why Not Stay for Breakfast?, Hit the Road Jack and Aida.
Amiti Perry (Choreographer) has worked with numerous dance companies in New York as a performer, guest artist and designer. She is co-founder of DIPdance company with Coco Loupe and Artistic Director of æmp:dance. Perry's credits also include choreographing for professional and community theatre productions in Texas, Ohio and New York. She recently returned to NYC after finishing her MFA degree at the Ohio State University and is currently Studio Director of Bridge for Dance/Kim LaRue Studios.
John Carpenter (Guitar) has spent the last six years writing, recording, and performing his own material. He has worked with performance artist Claude Wampler (Better Human 2004, Career Ender 2006) and is currently contributing music to filmmaker Dan Maurio’s documentary of director Rawson Thurber’s adaptation of author Michael Chabon’s novel Mysteries of Pittsburgh. Acting/filmmaking credits (with Dan Maurio) include The Gatekeeper, David the Abused, The Owner, Restaurant, Monkey Boys, and The Dawning of the Age of the Shadow of Remarkable Truth. He would like to thank Alan Hewitt and all involved with Baal for giving him his first opportunity to help score live theatre.
Chris Maddox (Production Assistant) is a Looking Glass Theatre acting intern and is thrilled to be involved with such an inspired group of artists. Chris is a recent graduate of the B.F.A program at Marymount Manhattan College. Favorite NY credits include: Richard II (Gaunt), Jungal Book (Mowgli) and The Vagina Monologues (Vagina Workshop). Thanks to Andy. Love to Dave.
Jennifer Griffee (Production Assistant) is a Looking Glass Theatre acting intern and has enjoyed working as a PA on Baal. Past New York credits include: Ensemble Member in Impossible Lorca, A Theatrical Hat Trick with The Milk Can Theatre's Scene Herd Uddered Workshop series and Claudia in String Quartet with the Chester Horn Short Play Festival. Jennifer spent three seasons with Shakespeare on the Rocks and graduated from New Mexico State University.
Lyndsey Anderson (Ensemble) moved to New York City from Indiana University where she majored in theatre and creative writing. New York credits include: Spoon River Anthology, Happy Hour, and Vacation Bible School: The Musical. She is delighted to be part of this talented cast of Baal. Thanks to this beautiful cast and amazing director, it has been wonderful being able to play make believe with such a supportive group of artists.
Jenn Boehm (Ensemble), originally from North Dakota, is thrilled to be a part of Baal, her second show at the Looking Glass. Recent acting credits: The Vagina Monologues (The Stiletto Project), Helix 999 (Looking Glass), Props (Small Pond Entertainment - MITF), The Shape of Things (Radburn Players) and the NYC premiere of the one-woman show Red Rose (WabiSabi Productions). Jenn is Managing Director at the Looking Glass and works as a freelance sportswriter. She is a member "Festive Voices," a vocal group dedicated to humanitarian efforts through music. Special thanks to Charmian and this incredibly talented ensemble and a wild abundance of thanks family and dear friends for their unconditional love and support.
Kyle Haggerty (Ensemble) has been part of the Looking Glass Theatre for over seven months. Past acting credits include lead roles in; Closer, The Bald Soprano, How to Succeed in Business, Last House On the Street, Mid-Summer Nights Dream, King John, and Boy's Life, Looking Glass Credits; The Slash and two workshop showcases. Acting film credits include "24 Frames," "The Plan," "Five Houses," "Shadow Of Treachery" and "Following me." Kyle would like to thank the cast and crew for all their hard work. A special thanks to the director Charmian, his very supportive family and friends, and Julie. He dedicates this performance to his father Carl, the biggest supporter of his acting career and best friend.
Melissa House (Ensemble) has enjoyed working and playing with this wonderful ensemble of creative and funny folks. Some of her favorite roles were Mercutio in Madman William (European tour), Maggie in To Get to the Other Side (B-more Playwright’s Fest), and Shen Teh/Shui Tah in The Good Woman of Setzuan (Open Circle Theatre). Film and Television credits include “OLTL”, “Real Reality”, “Nowhere Man”, and “Souvenir.” Melissa holds her MA in Theatre from Exeter University and a BA from Goucher College. Thanks to cast, crew, colleagues, friends and family, especially Vander and Iziah.
Jadelynn Stahl (Baal) recently returned from starring in the London production of Manson Family ValUeS at the Camden People’s Theatre. She has worked closely with The LIDA Project Experimental Theatre Company, developing and performing in several original pieces. Other recent performances include Jean Genet’s The Balcony, Twelfth Night, The Orestia and Spring Love, an original piece collaborated with John Maloney. Her one-woman show, Inside the Mind of a Delusional Sexiopath, was produced by the Boulder Fringe Festival and her short works were highlighted in Heart Beat, No Pulse, which debuted at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. In the whirlwind of her move to New York, she wishes to give thanks to those friends and family members who have provided the few light slaps that have kept her going.
Kymberlie Stansell (Ensemble) recently moved to New York and has since appeared in The Seagull as Nina, the independent film Inititaton, and will be in an upcoming reading of a new work The Highway at Pearl Theater. At Duke University, Kymberlie played Harper in Angels in America, The Bride in Blood Wedding and Ben in Matt and Ben, among other roles. She trained at Steppenwolf Theater Company, National Theater Institute at the O'Neill Center, SITI Company and currently interns with The Wooster Group. Most recently, Kymberlie taught theater workshops in South Africa.
John Forkner (Ekart) John Forkner (Ekart) is excited to be joining the talented cast of Baal, having recently made his NY debut in In the Beginning Again, part of Impact Theatre’s 2007 Winter One Act Festival. Productions include The Winter’s Tale, Comedy of Errors, Twelfth Night, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: the Musical, A Man’s Best Friend, Othello, Pirates of Penzance, And Then They Came for Me (National Tour), Fiddler on the Roof, The Lesson, Annie Warbucks, and George M!. He holds a BFA in Theatre Performance from Baylor University. Special thanks to Chanda and Charmian. For JB.
Jane Elliott (Ensemble) is currently delighted about three things: moving to New York, having short hair, and being in Baal. An ardent lover of movement theatre, complex and compelling texts, and women in general, she could not be happier! Jane’s past “bragging rights” include: Isabella in Measure for Measure (Boston), Amelia Earheart in First Lady of Flight (National Tour), Brindavoine/Chorus in The Miser (A.R.T. Boston), and a Butoh dancer in Summertime (Hakuba, Japan). She would like to thank Charmian, the too-gorgeous cast and crew, her parents=best friends, and her British-Beau-Bucky. Thanks to all and enjoy the show!
Sara Jeanne Asselin* (Ensemble) is thrilled to be a part of Baal. Sara was a resident actor at the Jean Cocteau Rep for three seasons, appearing The Wild Duck, The Bourgeois Gentleman, The Threepenny Opera, Intrigue And Love, Pygmalion and as Kattrin in the premiere of Mark Blitzstein's translation of Brecht's Mother Courage. Other NYC credits include Blood Wedding at Walkerspace, Unfamiliar Comforts at Three Legged Dog, The Trojan Woman with The Classical Theater of Harlem, and The Singapore Mikado at Theatre 1010. Sara interns at the Wooster Group and is a graduate of Connecticut College and The National Theater Institute.
Thanks to CT. Thanks to RF.
Mike Brown (Contrabass) received his B.M. in Classical Performance and has studied with luminaries such as Art Lande, Ran Blake, Hankus Netsky, Bertram Turetzky, Mark Dresser, Ken Filliano and Paul Erhard. A diverse player, he has played with well-known improvisers Nate Wooley, Rueben Radding, Jack Wright, Ron Miles, Fred Hess and Janet Feder. Rock/Jazz groups include Gladhand, The Painted Saints, Room 40 and The Arms and Legs Trio. Mike will soon be releasing a CD of improvised duets with the percussionist Ryan Jewell.
Hilary Hawke (Banjo/Clarinet) originally hails from upstate New York and in 2004 moved to Brooklyn with her chinchilla Rogan Josh. Her eclectic taste in bluegrass music led to playing with numerous alt. country/bluegrass bands throughout the city, including her own indie bluegrass band, Hogzilla. Her secondary instrument is the clarinet and she successfully splits her creative energy between the two to create an unusual instrumentalist.
Jadelynn Stahl as Baal in this production of Brecht's first play.
Photo: Sean P. Doran
Baal and Johannes
(Kyle Haggerty) in Brecht's Baal at Looking Glass Theatre.
Photo: Sean P. Doran
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