A Note from the Curators

Out of about 150 submissions, we chose tonight’s three pieces to workshop over the past four weeks as part of COLLAB 2014.

Bringing together artists– some who have worked together before, others who just met recently– we recruited members for each piece’s creative team and asked them to collaborate in a group effort to help each writer develop his/her new work. Tonight is a culmination of their endeavors.

Special Thanks

Carlo Altomare, Geoffrey Browne, Miranda Gauvin, Gia Lisa Krahne, Alex Mickiewicz, Nicol Moeller, Juan Carlos Moraga Vidal, Jimmy Zankel, and all the courageous artists who submitted their work for consideration.



Lynn Cohen* (Lynette) Performances on stage, screen and television range from the dedicated nanny Magda in Sex and the City and the silent self-sacrificing Mags in The Hunger Games: Catching Fire to the decisive Golda Meir in Stephen Spielberg’s Munich and the querulous Maman in Andre Gregory’s stage production of  Uncle Vanya, later filmed by the director Louis Malle as Vanya on 42nd Street. Most recent stage work includes this year’s acclaimed revival of I Remember Mama by the Transport Group, New York, for which shereceived a Lucille Lortel Award nomination, and this summer’s epic mounting of A Seagull at the Lake Lucille Chekhov Project in nearby Rockland County. 
Other notable New York stage credits include Tina Howe’s Chasing Manet (with Jane Alexander), Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending (on Broadway with Vanessa Redgrave); Ivanov (with Kevin Kline at Lincoln Center Theatre); Hamlet (again with Kevin Kline at the Public Theater); Macbeth (with Live Schreiber at the Delacorte Theatre, where she played the Porter), The Devils (at New York Theatre Workshop), and Model Apartment (Primary Stages). 
Regionally, she has worked with theatres across the country, all the way from the Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, Montana, where she appeared opposite Olympia Dukakis in Dukakis’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, to Hartford Stage Company in Connecticut, where she played in Ann Bogart‘s production of The Women. Among her many other regional appearances are A.R.T., Cambridge, MA, the Guthrie Theatre, Minneapolis, MN, four Human Festivals of New American Plays at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, Yale Repertory Company and Long Wharf Theatre, both in New Haven, CT, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Orlando (FL) Shakespeare Festival, Company of Fools, Hailey, ID, Loretto-Hilton Theatre Company (St. Louis Rep), Chautauqua Theatre Institute, Lake Chautauqua, NY, and Kansas City Repertory Company.
Film and TV performances, in addition to those noted above, include Woody Allen’s Manhattan Murder Mystery and Deconstructing Harry, Eagle Eye, Invincible,Gabriel, Hello Lonesome (Independent Spirit–John Cassavetes Award nominee), Not Waving But Drowning, Across the Universe, The Extra Man, Nurse Jackie, Damages, all three Law and Orders. Upcoming, she can be seen as Adam Sandler’s mother and Dustin Hoffman’s wife in Tom McCarthy’sThe Cobbler. Lynn is a Fox Fellow, an AEA Richard Seff Award winner, and a member of the Actors Studio and the Actors Center Workshop.

Lindsay Joy (Playwright) currently serves as Co-Artistic Director to the Award Winning LabRats Theater Company in New York City (www.thelabratsnyc.com). The Rats production of her full length play, The Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen, garnered two New York Innovative Theatre Awards Including Outstanding Premiere Production Of a Play and Outstanding Director for Padraic Lillis. Mr. Lillis’ Farm Theater has also commissioned Lindsay to write and collaborate with three colleges over the course of 2014/2015, the resulting play, In the Event of my Death is set for it’s first production in late October at Ashland University. She is thrilled to continue her long working relationship with Vertigo. Vertigo has produced readings of both Severance and The Cleaners (as a part of COLLAB) and Vertigo is slated to unveil a site-specific project that has been commissioned to feature original work by Lindsay, Jess Brickman, and Lucy Thurber. Lindsay is a fixture with The Monologue Project, a James Fauvell produced/directed evening that pairs writers with specific actors. Her short play Travelin’ Show was a finalist for the Heideman Award at the Actor’s Theater of Louisville. Her play, The Unearthing, was a part of the newTACTics festival in the summer of 2012 and was presented in the Ground Up New Works Festival the winter of that same year.

Tyne Rafaeli (Director) Recent productions include: WILD BLUE by Jen Silverman at The Juilliard School, THE HAPPY JOURNEY FROM TRENTON TO CAMDEN by Thornton Wilder and ARABIAN NIGHT by Roland Schimmelpfennig at the Williamstown Theatre Festival; HAY FEVER by Noel Coward and ANNA IN THE TROPICS by Nilo Cruz at the Stella Adler Studio; and THE POOR OF NEW YORK by Dion Boucicault at The Connelly Theatre.
She also recently directed staged readings of Caryl Churchill’s CLOUD 9 at Classic Stage Company with Taylor Mac and Elizabeth Marvel, and STARVED by Suzanne Heathcote at New York Stage & Film with Neal Huff and Maria Tucci. Tyne is currently the Associate Director on the upcoming production of KING & I at the Lincoln Center Theatre, directed by Bartlett Sher.
Tyne was the Associate Director on THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY on Broadway, written by Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown, and directed by Bartlett Sher. She was also Assistant Director to Julie Taymor (A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, TFANA), David Cromer (NIKOLAI AND THE OTHERS, LCT), Bartlett Sher (GOLDEN BOY, Belasco Theatre), and Anne Bogart (CAFE VARIATIONS, SITI Company).
Tyne was awarded the 2013 SDCF Sir John Gielgud Fellowship for Classical Direction. Tyne recently received her M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University. Before attending Columbia, she trained as an actor at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, helmed by Patsy Rodenburg, with whom she has worked on various theatrical and literary projects on both sides of the Atlantic.

Alexandra Renzo (Topaz) is so thrilled to be surrounded by all the hardworking artists involved in COLLAB. The daughter of an Italian-Cherokee civil rights lawyer and a Ukrainian artist, Alexandra realized at an early age that there seemed to be many different ways to tell the same story. And many different stories to be told. Perhaps it was one too many “I Love Lucy” marathons, or her Grandfather’s dramatic ways, but Alexandra took to the stage, finding her place amongst storytellers. Moving every three years, she was dealt a heavy dose of wander lust. Learning to call the vastness of California, the heart of Iowa and the flannel of New England home, all before high school, her hunger for people’s stories became insatiable. First performing professionally at the age of 15, Alexandra chose life as her conservatory. A Eugene Lang College, The New School for Liberal Arts graduate, an IHP:Re-thinking Globalization alum, a tanguero, an Eduardo Galeano fiend and a Doula, she now happily calls Brooklyn (and New Mexico) home. A proud founding member of Vertigo Theater Company and is honored to be a current acting fellow at LAByrinth Theater Company.

S. Iturri Sosa (Asst Director/ASM) is a native New Yorker. Lesser street credits include: writer, film editor, and director. Iturri was one of twenty people selected to participate in the inaugural filmmaking fellowship run by Southampton 20/20/20 and Killer Films. As a fellow, she wrote and directed the short narrative film, Chance.  She has worked as an assistant director on a feature documentary about a retired NBA player and as a cinematographer on both short and long form video projects. When she isn’t editing or shooting, she is writing. Currently, she is working on two, hour-long, pilots and a feature-length screenplay. Prior to working in film and theater, Iturri worked as a researcher and psychological anthropologist. She is a graduate of The University of Chicago, and an alumna of Labyrinth Theater’s Summer Intensive.

Andrea Syglowski* (Opal) is thrilled to be joining this talented group of people for COLLAB 2014. Credits: New York Workshops @ The Roundabout, The Lark, Ars Nova, Labyrinth Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theatre, Fault Line Theater, Bay Street, The Mint, Jewish Plays Project, and The Sam French Festival. Much Ado About Nothing and Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare on the Manor) Regional:  Venus in Fur (Huntington) (*2014 Elliott Norton Award Winner, Best Actress) A Flea in Her Ear, Troubled Tales for Boys and Girls, Shmoozy Togetherness, Nico, Bully to You. (Williamstown) The Three Sisters Loves Labors Lost, Carve (Chautauqua Theatre Company) Los Angeles: Post Mortem, Light Up the Sky, Marat Sade (*LA Weekly Award) Film/TV: The Last Appeal, Sadly Too Late, Merrime, How to Get Away with Murder.(premiering Sept 25 on ABC) She is a graduate of the Juilliard School, 2013, and a recipient of the Robin Williams Scholarship.



Russell G. Jones (Director) Good Greif (Intar), The Maltese Chicken (Pure Pop Festival NYC), Change 4 A Dollar (Cleveland Public Theater), Home Free (Mass Transit Street Theater), Undercover On Another Day of Absence (Harlem 9). He has worked as teaching artist for over a decade serving students from kindergarten to adulthood. Russell is the founder of The Blind Spot a campaign to make the language and critical thinking skills around privilege, race and oppression more commonplace. He is an Auldeco, Obie and SAG award-winning actor and can be seen on stage, film and television. Russell has been a member of The Labyrinth Theater Co. since 1995 and through that community he is also known as a facilitator, an em-cee and a moderator. He is happily married to Elz Cuya Jones.

Peter Collier (Ted) was most recently seen onstage with Articulate Theater Co as part of their Articulating the Arts. He has worked with/at The Actor’s Studio, Atlantic Theater Co, Labyrinth Theater Co, Cherry Lane Theater, Nylon Fusion Co, Vertigo Theater Co, and more. Credits include: Henry V in Henry V (The Gallery Players), Prince Edward in Richard III (Queen’s Players), Fleance/Young Siward in Macbeth (Queen’s Players), Before by Penny Jackson for MTWorks’ Fireworks festival and Anthony Pennino’s A Thousand Deaths for the 2014 New York Fringe Festival. Performed at Esplanade Theaters on the Bay in Singapore under the direction of Glory Kadigan. Has also directed Padraic Lillis’ play Heart Lake for Ruddy Productions. 

Bree O’Connor (Asst. Director/ASM) is pleased to be making a return to the theater after several years working in the craft beer world as a producer of the long running podcast, Beer Sessions Radio ™ on the Heritage Radio Network. Prior to her rather enviable job of drinking beer and rubbing elbows with the Breweratti, Bree has worked as a teaching artist in New York City public schools and with several home school groups using playwriting and performance skills to support and expand upon concepts in the existing curricula; i.e. writing and performing works about ocean life or using poetry to respond to the struggle for civil rights. Bree has also produced, written, directed and performed original works with an eclectic group of artists including Metropolis as part of Lincoln Center Out of Doors with the Puppeteers Cooperative, Adventures in Mating by Joseph Scrimshaw with her own group, Playful Substance, and Pull a stage play and soon-to-be feature film which has been both written and produced by Bree. Currently, Bree is working on a feature-length screenplay while also managing the lives of her three unbearably funny children.

Andre St. Clair (Iglesia) is an interdisciplinary artist, speaker and activist. Black, gay, transgender, of working class upbringing, and a new American citizen from Jamaica, St. Clair is interested in promoting cultural and aesthetic diversity of viewpoints, experience and expression for the realization of equality. Utilizing the masculine pronouns for most of his life, St. Clair now chooses to use the feminine.

St. Clair holds an Honors B.A. in Sexuality and Society from Brown University. She also holds an MA and and MFA, respectively in Performance Studies from New York Univeristy/Tisch School of the Arts and in Acting from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). Gender and sexuality shapes her work.

St. Clair works in development and special events at Immigration Equality, “a national organization that works to end discrimination in U.S. immigration law, to reduce the negative impact of that law on the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and HIV-positive people, and to help obtain asylum for those persecuted in their home country based on their sexual orientation, transgender identity or HIV-status.”

She recently made her visual art gallery debut in the the current multi-gallery Harlem exhibit “i found god in myself: The 40th Anniversary of Ntozake Shange’s for colored girls. She captures her coming of age and coming out in her contribution to the award-winning anthology “For Colored Boys Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Still Not Enough,” edited by CNBC contributor Keith Boykin. You can view some of St. Clair’s performance work at vimeo.com/AndreStClair

Donald Wollner (Playwright) is an alumni of The New Dramatists and a two time recipient of an NYFA grant for playwriting. His plays BADGERS and KID PURPLE have been published by Samuel French and Dramatists Play Service respectively. His short play LONE DEER was produced at Primary Stages. More recently, his play MR. POULOS was given a workshop reading at the Labyrinth Theatre’s 2013 Summer Intensive and his play MEN IN WAITING was included in the Cherry Lane Theatre’s Tongues Series. He has also been a frequent contributor to the New York Madness Series of short plays written in 5 days or less. He lives in Red Hook, Brooklyn with his wife the actress/playwright/director, Martha Wollner. He is a life-long Mets fan—which has contributed greatly to his sense of irony.


The Discarded

Miriam Ibrahim (Asst. Director/ASM) grew up in Germany and Ethiopia. She began performing in high school and later graduated in 2005 from Stage School Music, Dance and Drama Hamburg. Throughout various theaters in Germany she played roles in Crucible (Theater Bonn), Hair (Theater an der Rott) and Mutter Afrika (Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg) and others. She moved to New York City in 2010 to study at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting where she successfully graduated the 2 Year Evening Conservatory. In addition to acting, Miriam teaches and directs in both countries and is getting her academic degrees in Berlin for Theater and Anthropologies. She is the founder of Label Gray, a small multi arts organization which has a base in NYC and Germany – >The space in-between; the gray area is where the truth evolves, not in a black and white nested world.<  (“Sakharam Binder”, “Playroom”, “Peace/Piece Of Mine”, “Fear”, “Sterntaler”)

Isaac Klein (Director) is delighted to be COLLABorating with Vertigo Theater Company! Isaac assistant directed the recent Broadway revivals of West Side Story and GYPSY. Isaac is a company member at Exit, Pursued By A Bear, where he co-directed Kooman & Dimond’s Dani Girl, and associate directed Jeff Whitty’s The Further Adventures of Hedda Gabler. Other recent directing: Devin Preston’s See Jane Give Up Dick [FringeNYC]; #serials@theflea; Nate Weida’s I’s Twinkle [Judson Church]; Nate Weida’s Byuioo [Judson Church]; and the online series Pzazz 101 [pzazz101.com]. Book & Lyrics writing for musical theatre: Dream Machines [Open Dream Ensemble]; Legend of The Word [O’Neill Music Theatre Conference, Abrons Arts Center, Laguardia Performing Arts Center]; and the upcoming Contract With God, adapted from the graphic novel by Will Eisner. Currently engrossed in various collaborations with James Stewart, Matt Cowart, Nate Weida, Eric Holmes, Vanessa Walters, Art Klein, Alan & Ava Eisenson, Erik Liberman, Ed Iskandar, Augie Praley, Kieran Mulcare, Brian Sutow, Gerald Freedman, and, of course, this wonderful team. Graduate of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Derek V. Knoderer (Sound Design) NYC Fringe: Anthem.  LPAC: Legend of the Word.  No Rules Theatre Company: Black Comedy (Helen Hayes Recommended). 1st Stage: Blithe Spirit (HHR); Italian American Reconciliation (HHR), Altar Boyz (HHR), Almost Maine.  force/collision: SHAPE (World Premiere), The Nautical Yards.  Quintessence Theatre Group: Misanthrope / Arms and The Man (Sound Engineer).  The Gravity Project: Midsummer Night’s Dream, Nine Gates.  Vpstart Crow: Christmas Carol, Macbeth, Cat On a Hot Tin Roof, Midsummer Night’s Dream, Much Ado About Nothing, The Tempest.  Co-Owner, Co-Founder, and Chief Product Officer of Propared, a NYC-based startup, designing software for live event and production professionals. (propared.com)

Meghan Mae O’Neill‘s* (Orange) writing and comedy work has been featured on The Hairpin, Vulture, HuffPo, Reductress, Slate, Now This News, Channel 101, NYMag and Bloomberg. She has performed at such fine theatres as Barrow St. UCB (LA, NY), The Guthrie, Mark Taper, La Jolla Playhouse, Ars Nova, The Kennedy Center, Fringe NYC, Charleston 99 and Pittsburgh Public Theater. She is a proud director/actor with Story Pirates. Training: Guthrie Theatre BFA, UCB, Magnet, National Theatre London, BADA. Animation: JCrew Crew, Animals (Best Comedy 2013 NYTVF).

Maria Paz Alegre (Stage Directions) is very happy to be participating with this years production of COLLAB, having written the short play “Random Moments of Beauty” which was produced last year. She has written, directed and performed all over New York City for the past eight years, and is a proud member of the LAByrinth Theater 2012 intensive ensemble where she first worked with many members of the Vertigo Theater ensemble. MLS Queens College, BFA Emerson College.

Kelley Rae O’Donnell* (Furby) is a Member of New York’s Labyrinth Theater Company. Recently the face of WE TV as the Producer/Host/Creator of her own show “WE Buzz with The Video Chick.” Theater credits include: loveness: i will only love you once (NY Fringe), Kill Shakespeare (dir. Jordana Williams), Roberta (dir. Padraic Lillis), Clown Bar (dir. Andrew Neisler), Different Words for The Same Thing (dir.Thomas Kail), Hot Bubbles (John Patrick Shanley), The Atmosphere of Memory (dir. Pam MacKinnon), Heal Me Television (Labyrinth & Southern Rep), role of Ayn Rand in Action Philosophers! (based on comic book by Ryan Dunlavey & Fred Van Lente), Fight Girl Battle World (Vampire Cowboys, NYIT award). Kelley sits on the board of the OBIE and NYIT award winning Vampire Cowboys. www.kellrod.com

Will Rogers* (Bingo) Off-Broadway:  The Mound Builders (Signature), Golden Age (MTC), As You Like It (Public Theatre), The Submission (MCC), Unnatural Acts (CSC, Drama Desk Nomination), When the Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center), Chair (TFANA), From Up Here (MTC), 100 Saints You Should Know (Playwrights Horizons), Creature (Page73), Columbinus (NYTW). Regional:  Westport Country Playhouse, Williamstown Theater Festival, Humana Festival, Rep of St. Louis, Pioneer Theater, Roundhouse.  TV: “Unforgettable”, “Blue Bloods,” “Law & Order,” “Criminal Intent,” “SVU,” “Gossip Girl”. Film: The Bay (dir. Barry Levinson),  A Good Marriage (upcoming Stephen King),  Aftermath, Happy New Year, Nancy Please (Official Selection TriBeCa Film Festival), Certainty. Co-Founder of Naked Angels podcast, Naked Radio! and proud graduate of NC School of the Arts.

Jan Rosenberg (Playwright) is beyond thrilled to be working with Vertigo this fall. She received her BA in Playwriting and Fiction from Eugene Lang College at The New School. Her play Do Not Leave Unattended was one of four selected for a professional reading and development workshop through ESPA at Primary Stages, directed by Daniella Topol. DNLU was recently featured as part of Wide Eyed Production’s ‘Seven Deadly Winks’ reading series and is a finalist in the 2014 Newvember Play Festival. Other plays include TACT: AN Apocalyptic Love Story (Manhattan Rep, SANDRep), Sweet (Midtown International Theatre Festival), Upside Down Town, Loosely Based, Pretty Names For Ugly Things, Nice Monsters, and The Preservation of Mythical Creatures. In 2010, she was a member of LAByrinth Theater Company’s Summer Intensive Ensemble. She acted as a production assistant to Adam Rapp on The Amoralists’ production of Ghosts in the Cottonwoods, Royal Family Production’s Born Blue, and The Transport Group’s Lysistrata Jones. She continues to take classes at the Anne Einhorn School of Playwriting. She is a staff writer for Show Business Weekly and Theatre Is Easy. She previously interned at Primary Stages and Manhattan Theatre Club. Jan is a proud founding member of the female writing collective, The Beehive Collective. She especially enjoys dogs and talking in the third person.


Meet the Production Team

Tara Ricasa (Producer) is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Vertigo Theater Company. She is an alumnus of UCLA’s School of Theater, Film, and Television. A San Diego transplant, Tara has previously worked for companies such as La Jolla Playhouse, Busch Entertainment Corporation, and The Seany Foundation. She currently works at Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). In her spare time, Tara volunteers with Sunnyside Community Center’s Friendly Visitor Program and Processional Arts Workshop; plays capoeira; and builds puppets. Proud member AEA. Labyrinth Theater Ensemble Workshop and Summer Intensive alumnus.

Pia Scala-Zankel (Producer) is a founding member and Co-Artistic Director of Vertigo Theater Company. She is also a trustee of Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, where she sits on the Executive Committee. Through her stewardship of The Zankel Fund, Pia proudly supports numerous theater institutions and companies in the Greater NYC area. Her professional and philanthropic lives are united by a passionate belief in supporting and facilitating the growth and production of New Works by emerging playwrights as well as nurturing a strong and collaborative artistic community. Pia is a graduate of Skidmore College and a Labyrinth Theater Ensemble Workshop alumnus.

Emily Simoness (Co-Curator) is the founder and Executive Director of SPACE on Ryder Farm, a 501c3 committed to developing the arts in and around NYC. SPACE has quickly become one of the premier centers for new play development in the country. In this role she has developed plays by: Bekah Brunsetter, Young Jean Lee, Adam Rapp, Sam Hunter, Dan LeFranc, Molly Smith Metzler, Erika Sheffer, Joshua Harmon, Janine Nabers and Mat Smart. Additionally, Emily has taught and developed acting curriculum for OneOnOne in NYC. In 2013, she was the chief of staff for the Beijing International Screenwriting Competition. As an actress, Emily worked at some of the premier theatrical venues in the nation including The Public Theater, Playwrights Horizons, and The Williamstown Theatre Festival. She holds a BFA in acting from UNCSA. www.spaceonryderfarm.com

Kayla Tate (Stage Manager) is an actor, lighting designer, and theatre technician. She has a English and Theatre B.A from University of California Riverside and is a recent graduate of the New York Film Academy. She has been involved in numerous theatre productions as an actor and technician. Her NY credits include: Light Board Op for Is What Is, Stage Manager for The Qualification of Douglas Evans with The Amoralists Theatre Company, stagehand for Merry Wives of Windsor and is an actor in the INStudios Improv Conservatory and theatre company member in The Actors Project NYC.

* These Actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association. COLLAB is proud to be an Equity Approved Showcase.

Actors’ Equity Association (AEA), founded in 1913, represents more than 45,000 actors and stage managers in the United States. Equity seeks to advance, promote and foster the art of live theatre as an essential component of our society. Equity negotiates wages and working conditions, providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. AEA is a member of the AFL-CIO, and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. The Equity emblem is our mark of excellence.  www.actorsequity.org