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The Spring 2010 Writer/Director Forum,
a festival of workshop productions of plays featuring
new women playwrights and directors, runs June 3-27 at
Looking Glass Theatre (422 West 57th Street).

The Looking Glass Writer/Director Forum is part
of the company’s mission to reflect life on the stage with
truth and theatricality while exploring a female vision and
aesthetic. The festival is held twice a year at Looking
Glass Theatre.

This year’s spring festival features the work
of ten emerging women directors tackling new works.
Throughout the four-week festival, directors will present a
wide range of styles, from new adaptations of
Shakespeare's Othello and Romeo & Juliet to new
works such as Buried by Kate Marks and Swallow It
by Jennifer Barclay .

Forum Audience Awards – weekly and overall, voted for
by audience members – will be given for Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Production.

Forum Producer is Aliza Shane. Lighting designer for the Spring 2010 Forum is David Monroy.

The full performance schedule is as follows (click show titles for bios):

WEEK 1 – JUNE 3-6
Assistant Directors/Stage Managers: Laura Brienza
Behind the Scene by Lenore Blumenfeld, directed by McKenna Dabbs
Featuring Joey Faranda, Lindsey Freeman, Ashley Kuske, Kate Mickere & Craig Peterson
Snapshot by Jennifer Barclay, directed by Alex Mallory
Featuring Andrew Breving & Rachel Pfennigwerth
Buried by Kate Marks, directed by Dana Dobreva
Featuring Kiersten Armstrong, Frank Leone, Carolina Ravassa & Scott Raven T
Three artists live in the underworld of an empty subway station waiting for God, an audience, or maybe just the F train.

WEEK 2 – JUNE 10-13
Assistant Directors/Stage Managers: Taryn Kimel, Morgan Anne Zipf
Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Massive? by Donna Latham, directed by Jenn Womack
Featuring Leigh Ann Heidelberg & Jenn Remke
Serafina hasn't been on a date in a longtime, and just minutes before the doorbell rings we see her change her appearance from head to toe with the advice of Coco.
Othello by William Shakespeare, adapted and directed by Melody Erfani
Featuring Charles Brice, Xiomara Cintron, Julia Falamas, Brandon Ferraro, Keith Hendershot,
Kay Capasso, Amie Lytle, Sarah Miles, Cara Saunders & Yokko
"I am yours forever" Passion. Jealousy. Love. Hate... all of Shakespeare's elemental emotions and the lengths Iago will go to prove them are explored in this adaptation of Othello.

WEEK 3 – JUNE 17-20
Assistant Director/Stage Manager: Gretchen Ferris
Leap Year by Kate Marks, directed by Ariel Francoeur
Featuring Mark Gordon, Brianna Kalisch, Laura Killeen & Stacy Ann Strang
Old Frances has led a sad and boring existence...until she tumbles down the Rabbit Hole.  She falls backwards through Time, watching scenes of her life that she could have lived differently.  If she bounces back up, will she have the courage to seize the opportunities she missed before?  
Jane's Room by Monet Hurst-Mendoza, directed by Rebecca Lewis-Whitson
Featuring Rosemary Brownlow, Juan Carlos Diaz, Molly Montgomery & Noreen O'Neill
Woman, why do you weep?

WEEK 4 - JUNE 24-27
Assistant Directors/Stage Managers: Eva Gabrielle Schelbaum, Katherine Sommer
Swallow It by Jennifer Barclay, directed by Laura Hirshberg
Featuring Toccara Castleman, Lauren Hayes & Kevin Russo
A tasty fairy tale treat for the twisted palate.  Save room for dessert.
Constriction by Jennifer Barclay, directed by Dara Malina
Featuring Joey Faranda, Ava Kelley, Rachel Lin, Melanie Siegel,
Jeanne Lauren Smith & Lizzie Stemper
Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story - ACT II by Mariah MacCarthy, directed by Amanda Thomspon
Featuring Brigitte Choura, Doug Harvey, Lauren Hennessy, Brian Kirshner, Rebecca Kopec,
Jeremy Michael Lagunas, Teddy Lytle, Sarah Ann Masse, Mari Meyer, Sarah Primmer,
Lisa Maria Raphael, Kevin Reed & Jordan Tierney.

About Looking Glass Theatre...
Looking Glass Theatre’s mission is to theatrically and truthfully reflect a female vision on the stage while creating a community of artistic freedom. We fulfill this by presenting female directors' visions of original works or the classics and by staging new plays either written or directed by women. This includes children’s shows and educational programming as well as our semi-annual festival of new works, featuring emerging women playwrights and directors, each season. In June 2006, Looking Glass Theatre and Artistic Director Justine Lambert received The Lucille Lortel Award from The League of Professional Theatre Women.
June 3 - 27
SCHEDULE:  Thurs - Sat @ 8PM, Sun @ 5PM
TICKET PRICE:  $18 general admission
ADDRESS:  422 West 57th Street, between 9th and 10th Avenues
SUBWAYS:  A, C, B, D, 1 to 59th/Columbus Circle; N, R, W, Q to 57th/7th
PHONE:  (212) 307-9467
RESERVATIONS:  CLICK HERE or (212) 352-3101
TDF Vouchers Accepted!

JUNE 3 - 27


JUNE 24-27
Written by Jennifer Barclay
Directed by Laura Hirshberg

Written by Jennifer Barclay
Directed by Laura Hirshberg

AMPERSAND: A Romeo & Juliet Story - ACT II Written by Mariah MacCarthy
Directed by Amanda Thompson

Assistant Directors/Stage Managers:
Eva Gabrielle Schelbaum & Katherine Sommer

LAURA BRIENZA (assistant director/stage manager): Directing credits include The Vagina Monologues, The Clean House, What’s A Girl To Do When It’s Time To Put Down The Drink? and Eurydice (AD) in Washington, D.C. Upcoming directing credits include a night of one-acts for Fifth Floor Productions, What The Butler Saw (AD) for The Secret Theatre, and War Zones for FringeNYC.  Her play Scared of Sarah will debut at the Kennedy Center’s Page to Stage Festival in September.   

Behind the Scene

LENORE BLUMENFELD (playwright) - biographical information not provided.

MCKENNA DABBS (director) NY credits: Looking Glass Winter Forum, Tipmycup Productions’ 24-Hour Quickie Festival, The Tempest (Assistant Director), Fa La Lah (Managing Director). Equity/Regional credits: Doubt, Rumplestiltskin, 7/10 Split: B Street Theatre Intern Showcase, For Whom The Southern Belle Tolls. College credits: Pterodactyls, Fat Pig, No Exit, The Philadelphia. Upcoming: What the Butler Saw at The Secret Theatre.

JOSEPH FARANDA (Male) is from Morristown, NJ. He is a graduate of Adelphi University. You may have seen him in the Looking Glass Spring Forums last year as Christoff in Without. He would like to thank his family & friends for all their support.

LINDSEY FREEMAN (Female)m currently a Looking Glass Acting Intern, is a recent graduate of AMDA. She will attend The Theatre Program at Marymount Manhattan College in the fall. She thanks Looking Glass Theatre for giving her an amazing opportunity and growing experience, and serving as a second home. She personally thinks that the curtains on a stage are very important and should be recognized…here ...right now.

CRAIG KELTON (Left Curtain) Peterson, native of Seattle.  Trained at The Neighborhood Playhouse School of The Theater.  NYC credits include but not limited to: The Two Gentlemen of Lebowski/Kraine Theater, Take Me Out/Heights Players, Titus Andronicus/The Brick, Arsenic & Old Lace/Kraine Theater.  SAG Eligible!
ASHLEY KUSKE (Right Curtain) was seen most recently at Queens Theatre in the Park, playing the role of Woman/The Stranger in Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone. In her native Minnesota, she performed with Renegade Theatre Company in Duluth: Wonder of the World (Lois); Last of the Red Hot Lovers (Elaine Navazio); Matt & Ben (Ben). She is currently learning how to make a funny at the Upright Citzens Brigade. Mad props to K.T.

KATE MICKERE (Playwright) is thrilled to be performing in the Spring Forum! Previously, Kate made her NYC debut in A Christmas Carol at the Theater for the New City. Favorite credits include No Exit and Lysistrata for Pitt Rep.  Kate is an alumna of the British American Drama Academy's Midsummer in Oxford program. Many thanks to family, McKenna & John.


JENNIFER BARCLAY (playwright) is an award-winning playwright, actor and screenwriter whose plays have been produced and developed nationally and internationally by companies such as Steppenwolf, Kennedy Center, International Theatre of Vienna, and Edinburgh Fringe. Awards include Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Kennedy Center National Science Playwriting Award, Final Draft Big Break, Pinter Review, Princess Grace finalist and Heideman Award finalist.  Jennifer is a graduate of Northwestern University and UC San Diego, and is currently the Playwright in Residence at South Coast Repertory.

ALEX MALLORY (director) received the Kennedy Center’s Student Directing Award for her original staging of Goliath by Takeo Rivera. Upcoming: Recovery by Mark J Williams, Planet Connections Theatre Festivity: June 17-26, Caution by Lauren Yee, Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival: July 13-18. Assistant Directing (NYC): Ching Chong Chinaman (Pan Asian Rep), The Bereaved (Partial Comfort Productions), Babes in Toyland (Lincoln Center). Alex is a graduate of Stanford University.

ANDREW BREVING (Professor Holton/Buddy/Ned): NY theater credits include The Private Lives of Eskimos by Ken Urban, The Karaoke Show (dir. Diane Paulus), and How To Act Around Cops. Film/TV: "Party Like It's a Verb" (upcoming), "The Departed", "Guiding Light", "The Jamie Kennedy Experiment", and "All My Children". For more info check out

RACHEL PFENNIGWERTH (Salvia/Zoe/Gwen) is part of the spring intern class here at the Looking Glass Theatre, and is excited to be performing on this stage instead of sweeping the dirt off it.  Recent credits in New York include Bianca in Shakespeare's "Taming of the Shrew" (Wildbard) and Queen Maureen in "The Princess and the Frog Prince" (Limecat Productions). Thank you Alex and Andy! Thank you amazing friends and family, I wouldn't make it here without you.


KATE MARKS (playwright) - Kate's plays include Bird House (KNF), A Chicken Goes to Broadway (The Potluck in 2008 Samuel French off-off Broadway One Act Festival), I-95 South (American Living Room Series at HERE), Flyers and Other Tales (Heels Hit First Productions in the Midtown International Festival & Looking Glass Forum), Ark (Looking Glass Theatre), Odyssey (The Baracken Theatre in Germany & Looking Glass Theatre).  Kate is currently making films at CalArts where she is pursuing an MFA in the film-directing program.

DANA DOBREVA (director) is always and forever happy to be returning to the Looking Glass for yet another underground adventure. Some of her credits include: Arrested, Polaroid Stories, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Puppets and Shadows, and Soul Notes. Originally from Bulgaria, she has hopped around several continents to study and gaze about. Many thanks to all the hula-hoopers, clowns, magicians, children, poets, dancers, musicians, and dreamers out there.

KIERSTEN ARMSTRONG (Kit) hails from Virginia Beach, VA and is excited to be collaborating with such a lovely and fun group of artists.  She is the Intern Supervisor at the Looking Glass. Recent and favorite credits include: (stage) new movement pieces with 9TTC to promote ecological awareness, Katherine in Taming of the Shrew, Jill Mason in Equus, (film) Jane in Jane in a Bo, Abi in 2 b ur friend'  Thank you Jewels for your hoop magic. loving her 3bb, r&r, and
always aaron.

FRANK LEONE (Rhett) is thrilled to be back on the Looking Glass Stage.  Originally from Southeastern Michigan, he holds a BFA from Wayne State University’s Theatre Department and has trained at the Moscow Art Theatre as well as Studio 5 Conservatory.  New York credits include Mark in Dismissing Robert Fink (Manhattan Rep.), Paris in Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story (Looking Glass Forum), and Theo in Vincent (Studio 5).  He would like to thank his friends and family for all of their support.

CAROLINA RAVASSA (Rita) is thrilled to be playing a dancing rag doll for the first time in her life! She has performed in Eve Ensler's Fur is Back at the National Comedy Theatre and was also in NYC's Fringe Festival. Her film work includes Disney's Step Up 3-D, Discovery Channel's "Nueva York" and indie films in her home town, Cali, Colombia. Thank you Dana for bringing life to the life-less ;)

SCOTT RAVEN T (Roy) is a true pennaisance man who lives inside a brainforest made of wordplay and silly putty. He tours internationally with The Mayhem Poets and acts above ground in film and theater. He recently co-wrote and performed a piece in Synesthesia 2010 with Electric Pear Productions and hosted The Hot Boxes Present Eat Me Drink Me at the Red Room Theater. Scott is thrilled to be Buried beneath the Looking Glass with such an intelligent and imaginative crew and cast.

TARYN KIMEL (assistant director/stage manager) is a 2009 graduate from the University of Rochester, where she served as Assistant Director to the International Theatre Program's selection of the 365 Days/365 Plays festival.  She was also an Assistant Stage Manager for the program's production of Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice.  Favorite onstage roles include Goneril in King Lear, Vassilia in The Lower Depths, and Emanuelle in the world premiere production of Andy Bragen's The Hairy Dutchman.

MORGAN ANNE ZIPF (assistant director/stage manager) is a director, actor and designer living and working in NYC.  She holds a BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and has also studied at the Purnati Arts Center in Ubud, Bali.  Morgan is the Head of Production for the Dreamscape Theatre.  Special thanks to everyone at Looking Glass for giving me this opportunity!

Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Massive?

DONNA LATHAM (Playwright) received the ASPCA Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award for Fire Dogs and an Honorable Mention Award from the Beverly Hills Theatre Guild for Paddy and the Mermaid. Her play Proverbs was a finalist in the Irish Fest Play Contest at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, appeared at the Snowdance Comedy Festival in Racine, and went up on a double-Irish bill with Paddy and the Mermaid at Odyssey Stage Players in Chapel Hill. Do These Jeans Make My Butt Look Massive? ran at the Piano Fight Theatre in San Francisco in May ’09. Corner Critics opened Nothing Without a Company’s Word Circus II in Chicago in ‘09. MyFace received its world premiere in the EstroGenius Festival at Manhattan Theatre Source in ‘09. Schools around the US have performed her series Grappling With Grammar.

JENN WOMACK (Director) Selected credits: The Big Bang, Joshua Tree (new work), The Rocky Horror Show, House of Yes, Moon Over Buffalo, Fiddler on the Roof, Uncommon Women & Others, Stop Kiss.  Asst Dir.: My Fair Lady, Deirdre (new musical).  Jenn directed I’ll Do It Tomorrow (new musical) by Michael Roderick (book/lyrics) and David Mallamud (composer) at the West Village Musical Theater Festival playing this weekend at the Wings Theatre!  Jenn is also a voice-over artist and entertainment attorney. 

LEIGH ANN HEIDELBERG (Coco), a current Looking Glass acting intern, Leigh Ann was most recently seen performing with The Actor's Project in I Heart Manhattan at the Abingdon Mainstage and on the Duplex Cabaret stage as a soloist. She has trained with Cate Smit, Dan Daily, and James Calleri for intensive film, theatre and audition technique. She was also recently featured as a lead in an Indie film production entitled "Lover." Outside of acting she loves Bikram Yoga, singing and taking dance classes.

JENN REMKE (Serafina) Jenn Remke is glad to be working with Looking Glass. Past credits can be viewed at She would like to thank her husband for his patience and support.


MELODY ERFANI (Director) graduated from the University of Texas with a B.F.A. in Theatre Arts during which she procured an internship with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre in London. She is currently working on her M.F.A. at the Actors Studio Drama School. Credits include: Every Young Girl’s Dream (Looking Glass Theatre), The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Young and Fair (Stagedoor Manor, NY), and various shows in the DFW area. Melody is excited to be working with Looking Glass again and would like to thank the cast and production team for all their help and hard work.

CHARLES BRICE (Othello) Charles’ first role was as Leroy in a middle school production of Fame. Been acting ever since. Pursued a BFA at Shenandoah University in Acting, and is currnetly attaining an MFA from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University. He performed on stage in The Merchant Of Venice, The Grapes Of Wrath, A Lesson Before Dying, The Good Doctor, and Boys of Winter, to name a few. TV appearances on the series "The Wire" and in numerous commercials. Played a lead role in an NFL Training Film and Naval Academy Leadership film. Future goals: to star on Broadway and Feature Films.

KAY CAPASSO (Emilia) is wicked excited to be working with Looking Glass! Kay worked as a professional actor in Chicago for several years before coming to NYC to pursue her MFA at the Actors Studio Drama School. She would like to thank Melody for taking a chance on her in this production. LTLP

XIOMARA CINTRON (Montano, Lodovico, Chorus) Originally from Puerto Rico, a MFA graduate of London International School of Performing. Residing in NYC to pursue her work as an actor-director-deviser-maker-educator-etc.  Member of Teatro Demos & Atelier Teatral in Puerto Rico.  Teatro Demos credits:  Mother Courage And Her Children, La Farsa del Amor Compradito, Musical Pantomimes for Children.  Mimos del Caribe: Musical Pantomimes, Lisistrata.  Atelier Teatral credits Cuentan que Cuentan (Free versión Raymond Queneau’s Exercises  De Style), “ELLAS” Dance Performance. Collaborated in the direction of Six Characters in Search of an Author.  London Public Performances: In the Time of the Butterflies, Diva, La Lupe.  Also a Puppeteer.

JULIA FALAMAS (Desdemona), a current Looking Glass acting intern, is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy's acting program. She is currently spending her time as an intern at Broadcasters Casting Office. She is thrilled to be tackling Shakespeare and is grateful to Melody for giving her the opportunity to do it in such an innovative way. Playing Desdemona has been a dream come true. To the casts of this Spring's Forum: BREAK LEGS!

BRANDON FERRARO (Cassio) B.A. Theatre James Madison University. Duke in Measure For Measure, Marcus Andronicus in Titus Andronicus, Chris Keller in All My Sons, Hal Dobbs in Proof, Oedipus in Oedipus Rex, Mercutio, Friar et al in Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet. Television Credits include "Real Naval Justice'' for Investigation Discovery and Tex Watson in the Charles Manson documentary "Will You Kill For Me?" on MSNBC.

KEITH HENDERSHOT (Rodrigo) is a superstar on the rise. Since the conception of this pole dancing phenomenon he has dreamed of playing Othello but do to a slight pigment dysfunction he has had to settle with playing the true protagonist of the show, Roderigo. He would like to thank Betty White, Mom, Celine Dion, Dad, Monique, and Little Sister for letting him follow in their footsteps in this fabulous world of ART. Peace and Love.

AMIE LYTLE (Bianca, Chorus) is currently pursuing her M.F.A. in acting at the ASDS. She has trained at LAMDA (Shakespeare Intensive), Shakespeare & Company (STI) and Muhlenberg College (B.A. Theater). Recent NYC credits include Lorraine in Dismissing Robert Fink at Manhattan Rep, Ellie in A Rule of Nines in NYC Fringe Festival and Narcilla in Potato Girl at Looking Glass Forum! She is excited to work with this wonderful cast and crew!

SARAH MILES (Iago) is thrilled to be performing at Looking Glass Theatre! She received her undergraduate degree from James Madison University in Musical Theatre and is currently pursuing her M.F.A in acting at The Actors Studio Drama School. Her recent works include, Moony's Kid Don't Cry (Jane), The Baby Dance (Rachel), and The Last Five Years (Cathy). A huge thanks to Mom, Dad, Jay and TJM for their constant love and support!

CARA SAUNDERS (Brabantio, Chorus) is an MFA candidate at The Actors Studio Drama School, and previously attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has also trained in Improvisation at Improvolution NYC and the Humber School of Comedy in Toronto. Previous roles include Olga in Three Sisters and Beverly in The Shadow Box. Cara is pleased to be working with such a great group of people in this production.

YOKKO (Duke of Venice, Chorus) is currently a student of the Actors Studio Drama School MFA in Acting at Pace University. Her past credits include: Antigone (Tiresias), Baldy (solo show), MASH (Korean Girl) and Lotus Lessens (Chinese Opera Dancer). Study work includes: Hurly Burly (Bonnie), Much Ado about Nothing (Beatrice), A Doll’s House (Nora) and Uncle Vanya (Sonya).

GRETCHEN FERRIS (assistant director/stage manager) s an actor/director/casting director.  Most recently, she directed Wincing at the Light (Love Creek Productions) and Lysistrata (Phare Play Productions), and assistant directed The New Hopeville Comics (Commander Squish Productions).  As a casting director, she has worked on many projects, from feature films to music videos, in the New York area. She holds theatre degrees from Lenoir-Rhyne College, Florida State University and the University of North Carolina Greensboro.  She is very thankful to be working with such a wonderful group of people at Looking Glass Theatre!

Leap Year

KATE MARKS (playwright) - Kate's plays include Bird House (KNF), A Chicken Goes to Broadway (The Potluck in 2008 Samuel French off-off Broadway One Act Festival), I-95 South (American Living Room Series at HERE), Flyers and Other Tales (Heels Hit First Productions in the Midtown International Festival & Looking Glass Forum), Ark (Looking Glass Theatre), Odyssey (The Baracken Theatre in Germany & Looking Glass Theatre).  Kate is currently making films at CalArts where she is pursuing an MFA in the film-directing program.

ARIEL FRANCOEUR (director) - This is Ariel's second time directing in the Looking Glass Forum.  This past winter she directed Turtle Beach, earning multiple awards including Best Directorial Debut, and honorable mention for Best Production.  Recently she has worked with The Queens Players, directing in their One-Act Festival and assistant directing Othello.  Past credits include Lysistrata, Machinal, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Wharf Rats.  As an actor, Ariel specializes in comedy and Shakespeare, and was seen last summer in various parts of Maine as Hermia in an action-packed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream.  Next up she will be directing The Two Gentlemen of Verona at The Secret Theater.   

MARK GORDON (Watch/Soap Opera Man/Student, Cinematographer) is happy to be back on the stage after an eight-year hiatus as a performer.  In that absence he kept busy on the Broadway stage, working as a stage manager for Dracula, Wicked and Mary Poppins.  Melenkurion abatha.

BRIANNA KALISCH (Young Frances/Frances/Old Frances) recently move to New York City and is excited to be involved in what Looking Glass Theatre is all about. In the past year she completed a season with Minnesota’s Shakespeare and Company and worked overseas in Australia. Credits include Much Ado About Nothing, The Imaginary Invalid, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Good Woman of Setzuan and Enchanted April.

LAURA KILLEEN (Soap Opera Woman/Teacher) hails from London, England and graduated last month from the Neighborhood Playhouse. She has performed at The New End Theatre (Low Level Panic), The King's Head (The Bullet) and Pinewood Studios for Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Laura has worked in film, TV, theatre, voice over and CD Rom, and is as equally well versed in Shakespeare as Mamet. Following Leap Year, she will be performing in a series of one act plays at the Richmond Shepard Theatre- June 22-27. Thanks to everyone at Looking Glass for my NY debut!

STACY ANN STRANG (Clerk/Student) Stacy Ann of Portland, Maine is a graduate of the University of Southern Maine with her BA in Theatre. This is Stacy's fourth show in New York since her move to the city. Favorite roles include: Claire
(Winners), Romaine (The Laramie Project), Smeraldina (Servant of Two Masters) and Kate (Philadelphia, Here I Come!) Stacy Ann thanks director Ariel for her vision and willingness to colaborate. This cast and our ad Gretchen are fantastic and I am lucky to work with such a talented group. Love to muh bug.

Jane's Room

MONET HURST-MENDOZA (playwright) is excited to be participating in the Looking Glass Writer/Director Forum. Jane’s Room is her first play to be produced in New York City. Other plays include The Annex, In The Waiting Line, VEIL’D, Shangri-L.A., and Lilia. VEIL’D is currently being developed by Rising Circle’s INKtank Play Development Lab and will be featured in their PlayRISE Festival in August.  She was also a finalist for the 2010 Hangar Theatre’s Playwriting Residency. You can read about her future theatre exploits on her blog: She currently works for The Women’s Project. B.A. Theatre Arts (playwriting & directing) from Marymount Manhattan College.

REBECCA LEWIS-WHITSON (director) has some degrees from some cool places and has done some things, both theatrically and directorially, for some cool places. For details, facebook friend her and invite her out for a drink! Thanks Rosie, JC, Molly, and Noreen for being fabulous. Thanks Monet for being a genius-y kind of playwright and helping with sound and the wall. Thanks Gretchen for keeping me at least as sane as I was before the show, anyways. Thanks David for running with everything I threw at you; it was a lot. Thanks Pink Floyd for not suing me because I have a wall in my show. Thanks Tre Cool for being a really awesome drummer, even though you had nothing to do with this show. Thanks for coming all you audience members!

ROSEMARY BROWNLOW (Jane), a current Looking Glass acting intern, is pumped about making her NYC debut in Jane's Room! Rosemary is a recent transplant and graduate of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, where her favorite roles included Rachel in My Name is Rachel Corrie, Helena/Snug in A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Lady Brit in Major Barbara. Love to all the Springterns!

JUAN CARLOS DIAZ (John), a current Looking Glass acting intern, is a native New Yorker. He was last seen as part of a series of one acts at New Media Repertory Theatre where he is a member of the adult company and most recently as part of the Latina theatre festival at the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe.  He is a graduate of Bard College where he studied under the tutelage of JoAnne Akalaitis. Juan Carlos is very excited and thankful to be performing as part of the Looking Glass Forum.

MOLLY MONTGOMERY (Jennie) is a New York City-based actor. She is a graduate of Michael Howard Studios Two-Year Conservatory program. Upon her arrival to New York, she studied at Stella Adler.  Molly is currently enrolled in an on going scene study class with Alex Neil. Some of her favorite roles include Cassiopeia in Aftertaste at the American Globe Theatre, Michelle in Five Percent at the Red Room, and Ingrid Bergman in In Private: A Night with Hollywood Icons.

NOREEN O'NEILL (woman) recently graduated from Marymount Manhattan College with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting. Previous credits include Emily in Our Town and Bananas in The House of Blue Leaves at MMC. At the New Phoenix Theatre in Los Angeles, her favorite roles were Juliet in Romeo and Juliet and Viola in Twelfth Night.

EVA GABRIELLE SCHELBAUM (assistant director/stage manager) is a recent graduate of Goucher College where she studied Theatre. Her recent credits have been: Assistant Director for Kaleidoscope Theater Company's Sex & Violence, Director for Remembering Kimberly (Finalist) for the Network One Act Plays. She also directed Discipline for STICKY, a 10 minute bar series for BlueBox Productions.  She is extremely excited to have entered the world of The Looking Glass and is so thankful for all the very talented people around her.  Thanks to DS, MS, KS and FD for their support.

KATHERINE SOMMER (assistant director/stage manager) is a recent graduate of Skidmore College where she received a BA in Theater and English. She has worked in a variety of capacities on a number of shows.  Most recently, she directed the Skidmore College Blackbox Production entitled Thornton Wilder: The Trivial and the Divine and a workshop production of John Guares The General of Hot Desire.  She is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with such talented women at the Looking Glass Theatre and is looking forward to many more theatrical adventures here!

Swallow It

JENNIFER BARCLAY (playwright) is an award-winning playwright, actor and screenwriter whose plays have been produced and developed nationally and internationally by companies such as Steppenwolf, Kennedy Center, International Theatre of Vienna, and Edinburgh Fringe. Awards include Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Kennedy Center National Science Playwriting Award, Final Draft Big Break, Pinter Review, Princess Grace finalist and Heideman Award finalist.  Jennifer is a graduate of Northwestern University and UC San Diego, and is currently the Playwright in Residence at South Coast Repertory.

LAURA HIRSCHBERG (director)  is delighted to be back at the Looking Glass for the Writer/Director Forum.  Favorite directing experiences include Angels in America: Perestroika, Arcadia, and The Fantasticks.  Laura is also a proud member of the WorkShop Theater Company.  Many thanks to Toccara, Kevin, Lauren, Jenn, Aliza, and all the Looking Glass gang.

TOCCARA CASTLEMAN (Girl)  is kind of big deal. Because only important people get to have their bios printed right? Toccara, a current Looking Glass acting intern, hails from the lovely Chicago, Illinois and would like to be an actress, writer and overall happy person when she grows up. She’s honored to be a part of the Looking Glass Spring 2010 Forum and looks forward to participating in other artistic productions in the future.

LAUREN HAYES (Woman) a California native, is delighted to be performing in the Writer/Director Forum. Favorite credits include Black Comedy (Carol Melkett), The Wild Party (Queenie), Hair (Ronny) and the original work Ladies’ Apocalypse (Emma Currest), for which Lauren received an Irene Ryan Award nomination. Lauren is a graduate of Stanford University.

KEVIN RUSSO (Boy) is a BFA-wielding graduate of Adelphi University. He most recently finished working on two 10-minute play festivals in Manhattan: He played Echo In For Your Amusement with Left Hip at the Wings Theater, and Mark in Dinner and Destiny FACT at Joria Studios. In addition to acting, Kevin is also an SAFD-certified Actor-Combatant and a proficient musician on the Clarinet and Saxophone. Thanks for coming and remember: never trust a gumdrop.


JENNIFER BARCLAY (playwright) is an award-winning playwright, actor and screenwriter whose plays have been produced and developed nationally and internationally by companies such as Steppenwolf, Kennedy Center, International Theatre of Vienna, and Edinburgh Fringe. Awards include Samuel Goldwyn Writing Award, Kennedy Center National Science Playwriting Award, Final Draft Big Break, Pinter Review, Princess Grace finalist and Heideman Award finalist.  Jennifer is a graduate of Northwestern University and UC San Diego, and is currently the Playwright in Residence at South Coast Repertory.

DARA MALINA (director) is thrilled to be working with such a brilliant playwright and ensemble. Most recently, she has been directing Monster Literature, a series for children at the Brooklyn Lyceum in Park Slope. Dara has worked with The Women’s Project, La MaMa ETC, TEAM, and Performance Lab 115. She received her BA in Drama from Washington University in St. Louis. Upcoming: Look out for more Monster Literature in the fall!

AVA KELLEY (Rubber), a current Looking Glass acting intern,is a musical theatre graduate of the University of Alabama. Recent NY credits include Madame Tussaud's After Dark and A Wild Night (Pride Not Prejudice). Film: Blood (Lead), Gold (Lead), and Missing Pieces (Supporting). She's excited about delving into the world of Constriction!

JOSEPH FARANDA (Beelzebub) is from Morristown, NJ. He is a graduate of Adelphi University. You may have seen him in the Looking Glass Spring Forums last year as Christoff in "Without". He would like to thank his family and friends for all their support.

MELANIE SIEGEL (Shox) is excited to be performing in such an interesting play at the Looking Glass.  She recently graduated from NYU-Stella Adler where favorite roles include: Melantha in Marriage a la Mode, Diane in The Anastasia Trials in the Court of Women, and Helen Hobart in Once in a Lifetime.  She also appeared in Candide at the Berkshire Theatre Festival this past summer. In addition to the thrill of acting, Melanie enjoys yoga, writing, cooking, singing, and laughing a lot.  Thanks to teachers, family, and friends for their love and support.

JEANNE LAUREN SMITH (Bobo) is thrilled to be making her Looking Glass Theatre debut.  She is a member of the New Stage Theatre Company and recently appeared in Oh, Those Beautiful Weimar Girls! presented at La MaMa ETC.  Other NSTC credits include The Round of Pleasure and Some Historic, Some Hysteric (IT Nom).  NY credits:  Crazy Bitches (Manhattan Repertory Theatre), Hair Pieces (Regroup Theatre Company), Scarab Tale (Dharma Road Productions) and Hecho en Ecuador (Dramatic Adventure Theatre).  She holds a BA in Theatre Performance from Marymount Manhattan College.  Special thanks to Dara for this wonderful opportunity, and to family and friends for their continued support.

RACHEL LIN (Fenway) graduated from NYU's Tisch in May, where she studied drama at Strasberg and the Experimental Theater Wing. Most recently she appeared in The Gallery Player’s Black Box series, as “Cassie” in ilove New York. Past roles include “Bess” in Bekah Brunstetter’s Fat Kids on Fire and “Billie” in John Jesurun’s Red House. Rachel is the 2010 recipient of the Dorothy Stickney Women in Theater Award. She has always wanted to be in a gang because it is badass. Thanks to Dara for helping to make dreams come true!

LIZZIE STEMPER (Mrs. Teacher) is a proud acting intern at Looking Glass Theatre and is excited to be making her NYC Debut in the Spring Forum. When not mopping up floors and being the best intern she can be, you can find Lizzie serving up some delicious oysters at Aquagrill Restaurant, AKA her home away from home.  Singing Jazz at the Lenox Lounge in Harlem is where she goes to feel the pulse of NYC and performing is where she gets her thrill. Lizzie is happy to be back to the stage once again after graduating with a BFA from the Hartt School in '06, and would like to thank her fellow interns for being so amazing. Thank you ALL the lovely ladies working at LGT, you know who you are, the new playwrights and directors, we could not do this with out you and Dan for always being behind me no matter what, I love you!

Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story - ACT II

MARIAH MacCARTHY (playwright) writes plays.  Some of them are The All-American Genderf*ck Cabaret (sold-out run at UNDER St. Mark's), Ampersand: A Romeo & Juliet Story (winner of 11 awards including Best Production and Best Script at the Looking Glass Winter Forum Awards), A Man Of His Word (San Diego Old Globe with Playwrights Project), Dismemberment (Players Theatre), and After The Tower (Parkside Lounge). She is also Associate Producer of FOUND at Ars Nova, a proud Skidmore graduate, a San Diego native, and an occasional director/dramaturg. She thanks Larry Kunofsky and Megan Malone.

AMANDA THOMPSON (director) is excited to be working on this piece again, after directing the first act of Ampersand in the Looking Glass Winter 2009 Forum. Other Looking Glass credits include Badger and Maddy and Potato Girl. New York Directing credits include Dismissing Robert Fink(Manhattan Rep), Litmus (Manhattan Rep), Hatching (NY Fringe) and Dismemberment (Player's Theatre). She has assisted for directors Lear Debessonet, Rachel Dickstein, and Shari Johnson, and playwright Heidi Schreck. Upcoming directing projects include Life is a Dream with Festival of Fools in the park this summer, and Betsy is Bored, Bored, Bored Bored, Bored at Looking Glass Theatre this fall.

BRIGITTE CHOURA (Juliet) graduated from Muhlenberg College with a degree in Theatre and English. Her New York theater credits include the first act of Ampersand (Juliet), Litmus (Hal) at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, and a staged reading of In Search of Hope (Hope) at the 4th Street Theatre. She toured with Philadelphia's Enchantment Theatre Company in their productions of The Velveteen Rabbit (The Fairy) and Scheherazade (Scheherazade). Most recently, she received the Best Leading Actress Award for her role in Outfits, a independent short for the Brooklyn Film Race. This August, she will be traveling to Utah to act in an independent feature film.

DOUG HARVEY (Claire Capulet) grew up imitating the stand-up routines of Billy Crystal.  He graduated this May from the Tisch School of the Arts, studying acting at the Stella Adler Studio in New York and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.  Favorite roles include Sir Toby Belch at Stella Adler and Elbow at RADA.

LAUREN HENNESSY (Romeo) To my ladies: Thanks Mariah, for your friendship and trusting me with your words and Amanda for trusting me with Romeo. Thank you Brigette for giving yourself so freely. You're such an unselfish scene partner. Thank you Chemda for giving me awareness and erasing my question marks-For seeing me. Future TONY winner.

BRIAN KIRSCHNER (Choir / compsoser) is a multi-recording artist, pianist and composer from Brooklyn, NY.  In 2008, Brian released Nocturnes, an album of original piano compositions. Since then, he has written for several theater, film, and art exhibitions. Highlights include Corps, a dance theater piece by Christopher Shepard, Belle Reprieve at the Allentown Theatre Outlet, and A Rule of Nines at the Lafayette Street Theatre. Brian is also the co-creator of The Blake Project, a musical exploration of the works of William Blake. For more information on Brian’s albums and work please visit

REBECCA KOPEC(Choir) marks her second time on the stage at the Looking Glass Theatre after participating in Winter Writer/Director Forum where she played the role of May in Turtle Beach.  Some favorite roles in the past include Little Red Ridinghood in Into the Woods, Lenny in Crimes of the Heart, and the Fish Witch in the Little Mermaid.  She has completed the independent feature film The Best Laid Plans which is currently listed as in post production on IMDB.

JEREMY MICHAEL LAGUNAS (Evelyn Montague) is delighted to revive his role as the great Evelyn Montague in Ampersand: Act Two!  He is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy which such past credits as: Hello, Dolly!, Ampersand: A Romeo and Juliet Story Act One, and Dismissing Robert Fink.  He is absolutely thrilled to be part (again) of such a unique piece, playing such a unique character.  He would like to thank his mother, his family, his friends, Amanda for putting up with his craziness, his fiancée, and his ever so charming furry son Zeke.  Enjoy!

TEDDY LYTLE (Tybalt) graduated earlier this May with his BA in Theater from Muhlenberg College.  His other credits include Wallace in Angel City, Trinculo in The Tempest, and The Man in The Possibilities.  He is excited to be working with his long time friends and would like to especially thank both his family and his brothers at Phi Tau for everything.

SARAH ANN MASSE (Choir) is the Producing Director of The Vagabond Theatre Ensemble. NYC credits include:  Hangman School for Girls (Manhattan Theatre Source), Foreplays (Galapagos Art Space). She has also been seen in 7 of Jeremy Bloom’s productions along with various other readings and plays throughout Manhattan. Regional: Williamstown Theatre Festival. Sarah is a producer of theater and film, collaborating often with Cal Robertson, Mark Maclaine, Ben Coccio, Nick ‘Afka’ Thomas, Jeremy Bloom and The Silence Corporation. In addition she is a nanny, a singer of all sorts, a traveler and a co-creator of an upcoming internet sitcom.

SARAH PRIMMER (Choir) is a graduate of Muhlenberg College where she majored in Music and Theatre.  Some of her most rewarding theatrical experiences there include Raymonde Chandebise in A Flea in Her Ear, Penelope Pennywise in Urinetown: The Musical, Feste in Twelfth Night: Or What You Will, and Katherine in a summer production of Kiss Me Kate.  This is her first show in New York City and she is so grateful to be back in a theatre once again.

LISA MARIA RAPHAEL (Choir) is a mixed media interactive artist. Education consists of a Bachelors of Music from UCLA's Department of Ethnomusicology with an emphasis in Jazz Vocal Performance, and currently a Masters Candidate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts.  Acting both in film and on stage, she hopes to continue to work and grow in this field.  Most recent stage work was with the Liminal Space at Project Reach performing "Fireseeds."  Very grateful for the opportunity to be a part of Ampersand.

KEVIN REED (Paris) - Do I write this in first or third?  Too late, I guess.  A native of Kansas City, alum at USC in LA, two & 1/2 year resident of this place.  I moved to NY to find, I don't know, rough times, I guess.  So far, it hasn't disappointed.  It ain't easy, this biz, this life, so I won't rattle off my credits like a laundry list.  Just know, I am an actor who has been paid to act, but more so, I am a person who is also struggling and who cares.  I won't ever quit.  You will hear more from me.  Visit my company's website if you're interested in theatre.

JORDAN TIERNEY (Mercutio), a current Looking Glass acting intern, hails from Decatur, Georgia and has been in New York for two years. After receiving a scholarship to The American Musical and Dramatic Academy, he completed the program in less than two years time. After graduating he auditioned for The Looking Glass Theatre internship, which makes this his first professional footprint since his departure from school. He would like to thank everyone in The Looking Glass staff, his family, friends, and those in the audience tonight.

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