Strange Rain — Cast, Crew, and More

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by Lynda Crawford
Directed by Simone Federman

The cast features Sammy Bravo, Kaethe Fine, Charles Goforth*, Scott Klavan*, Andrew Langton,
Kelly Miller*, J. J. Pyle*, Malachy Silva, Julia Steele Allen, and Jennifer Tchiakpe  

Music & Noise Band — Jon Pierson and Michael Andrew Hideto Kurihara
Acrobats — Sammy Bravo, J. J. Pyle*, and Mikki Olson 

(*members AEA)

Stage Manager — Razghiem Golden
Production Assistant — Ben Rosenberg
Props — Mikki Olson
Lighting — Timothy Hart
Video — Xeña Stanislavovna Semjonová and André Callot

Graphic Design — Persephone Thorn
Logo Photo — Erik Thoren
Program Design — Donna Miller
FringeNYC Authorized Company Rep — Kevin Costigan
Press Inquiries — Dale Heller: Dale@HellerHighwaterPR.com (212) 477-5884

Special Thanks

We are so grateful for the generosity of all the donors to our Indiegogo campaign who really made this production possible: Teri Adell, Barbara Bravo, Peter Breitsch, Rose Crawford, Susan Crawford, Coca Crystal, Wyatt Day, Gloria DiStefano, John Doble, Dion Drislane, Christopher Edgette, Anne Flournoy, James Gabriel, Joan Ghiselin, Rich Giersch, Karen C. Harmon, Charles B. Huntley, Gary Kupper, Clare Larson, P. Leitner, Kwei Lin Lum, Marie Mason, Gammy Miller, Karen Nelson, Owiso Odera, Lisa O’Hara, Nora Pierson, T. Rathi, Tracy Rieder, Ellen Rosenfeld, Lynne Shevlin, Toni Slotkin, Deborah Smith, Shai Specht-Sandler, Jen and Dean Stein, P. Jane Stevens, Drake Stutesman, Jordan Tamagni, Christine Tomlinson, Nancy Wolitzer, Renna Zimmer, and several anonymous donors.

Special thanks from Lynda Crawford to Peter Reich—reading A Book of Dreams gave me the heart of this play; to Jack Gelber, Bill Hauptman, Katt Lissard, Mac Wellman, and John Steppling (playwrights I’ve been lucky to have as teachers—and thank you, Katt, for the idea of including Reich in the play); to Playformers for years of support that helped to nurture this play; to Lucy McMichael, Bill McCarty, Owiso Odera, Nora Pierson, and all the actors who brought these characters to life in earlier readings—it helped me get here; to Reverie Productions for choosing Strange Rain to be a finalist in the Next Generation Playwriting Competition (2004); to FringeNYC for selecting it to be part of its 2013 crop of new work; to East Midtown Plaza and to Phil Rothman at Brotherhood Synagogue for giving us rehearsal space; to our really nice publicist Dale Heller; to Donna Miller for a beautiful program and to Persephone Thorn for our stunning graphics; to Simone for the incredible gift you have given me of your time and your talented direction; to our wonderful cast (Andy, Charles,  J. J., Jennifer, Julia, Kaethe, Kelly, Malachy, Sammy, and Scott) and band (Jon and Kuri) and production crew (Ben, Mikki, Timothy, Xeña, André) for your beautiful work; to Kevin, our ace ACR; to dear Raz, our stalwart stage manager, for always maintaining your cool; to my friends and to my sister Susan for all your encouragement and support; and to Jon and Nora and Jennifer.

Special thanks from Simone Federman to Dr. Andrew Sylvester, Tisch Multiple Sclerosis Research Center of New York, Sarah Wilkinson, Jamie Boyle, and Alchemical Theatre Laboratory. And thank you Lynda for teaching me so much about collaboration and generosity. Thank you Xeña and Jon for so much more  than support. The violent occupation of our planet is an embarrassment to us all. The ambiguity as to whose fault that this play sets forth speaks to its artistic merit.

Passages from A Book of Dreams by Peter Reich, published by Harper Collins, 1973, are used within the play by kind permission of the Author.

Cast and Creative Team

SAMMY BRAVO (Young Peter, Will, Acrobat) Sammy enters each theatrical venture with a confidence inherited from his show-business family. His maternal grandmother was  a professional soprano and paternal grandmother is the movie and television actress Ann Robinson, star of the 1953 classic “War of the Worlds.”  Sam began his career modeling and then moved onto television and film.  He has appeared in three episodes of Season 3 “Boardwalk Empire” and to date one episode in Season 4, among other television programs. In November 2012 he played a pickpocket in the soon to be released film “Winter’s Tale,” with Russell Crowe. This is his second appearance on the stage for FringeNYC. Sam gives a big thanks to his new theater family for all their support in “Strange Rain” and to Simone and Lynda for their trust in him.

KAETHE FINE (Shirl) has performed at Theater for the New City, The Kitchen,  KaaiTheater in Belgium and other venues and is thrilled to be working  on Strange Rain, her first ever Fringe Fest production. Other acting credits include  The Chosen, a feature film with Rod Steiger and Maximillian Schell.  Her first play, Motivation for the Meat  of Life, was produced at HERE and The William Redfield Theater. Her  second, A Factor of 2, was part of a LAByrinth Theater Company’s Barn Series. Other plays, Everywhere & Constant, The Monitor and Vows, have been developed in association with The LAB, Ridge Theater, La Mama, etc., and RADA in London.  While in London recently, Kaethe was commissioned to conceive and  write Wollstonecraft Live! for Fragments and Monuments. And she co-wrote the book for musical Therapy Rocks, which appeared in The 2010  NY Musical Theater Festival.

CHARLES GOFORTH (Jim) Off-Broadway includes Atmosphere of Memory (Labyrinth Theater Company); Henry V (New York Classical Theater); Underneath My Bed (Rattlestick Theater). Regional: Julius Caesar (Aquila); All My Sons (Schwartz Center at Cornell); Little Eagles (RSC). Directing Off-Broadway: The Flame Keeper (47th Street Theater); Dutch Heart of Man (The Public); Fur (Access Theater). Recipient of a Drama League Fellowship.

SCOTT KLAVAN (Simon Rice) Scott wrote and appeared in The Double Murder Plays, a series of one-acts for the 2007 Fringe Festival. One of the plays, Double Murder, was published in Best American Short Plays of 2006-7, by Applause Books. In the 2010 Fringe, Scott wrote and performed in P.O. He performed on and off Broadway in Irena’s Vow, with Tovah Feldshuh; shot the title role and did narration for Mechanic to Millionaire: The Peter Cooper Story, a docu-drama for PBS. Scott played five parts in the stage version of The Joy Luck Club, for Pan Asian Rep. Other Off-Broadway: Endpapers; Double Sophia; The Teahouse of the August Moon, and in 2013, Three Trees, both at Pan Asian Rep; Combustion at BAM; Treplev in The Seagull, directed by Kjetl Bang-Hansen, head of the National Theatre of Norway. Regional: Studio Arena Theatre, Buffalo, NY; Studio Theatre, Washington, D.C; The Egg, Albany, NY; others. TV: The Onion News Network; Picket Fences, As the World Turns. Scott is a Lifetime Member of The Actors Studio. www.scottklavan.com

ANDREW J. LANGTON (Scientist, Finney) is profoundly happy to be playing the Scientist and Finney in Strange Rain.  Most recently, he was Robert in a fantastic production of Proof  and last December he played Jason in Divorcification, a modern take on Euripides’ Medea.  Earlier in 2012, he played Bob in the film short I Die, I Dim and I Shine, as well as Sgt. Rhodes in the sci-fi thriller The Prometheus Trap. Other recent credits include King Claudius in Hamlet and Don in To Love And To Cherish (“Langton is a blast of TNT,” Backstage).  More shameless self-promoting info can be found at www.andrewlangton.com.

KELLY MILLER (Meteorologist Ray, Yuri, Ingo Swann, Suares, Voice of Tom) was last seen on stage in the revival of Howard Korder’s Search and Destroy.  Other NYC stage credits include: Italian American Reconciliation (Roy Arias–The Space Theatre), Coyote (New York Theatre Experiment), A Quiet End (Rapscallion Theatre Company) 7 Stories High (FringeNYC), I.E. In Other Words (The Flea Theater), Beyond Therapy and Sin (Bohemian Archaeology), The Crackwalker and Book of Days (New World Theatre) and Shopping and Fucking (The Themantics Group).  Film credits include PlasticSilent River, New Guy, Public Interest, New York Lately, The Coldest Winter, The Great Pretenders and Futures (& Derivatives)www.kellymilleronline.com

J.J. PYLE (Meteorologist Bob, Nadia, Waitress, Acrobat, Jamie, Therapist) was seen on stage most recently playing Ophelia in Antony Raymond’s Elsinore County at the Lion @Theatre Row. She also originated the role of Matchgirl in Paul Hoan Zeidler’s Time’s Scream and Hurry on both coasts. Other Theatre: Chrissie in David Rabe’s In the Boom Boom Room.  Darlene in LA Weekly’s nominated best Revival Production of 2006, Landford Wilson’s, Balm In Gilead. Candy Starr in  Dale Wasserman’s, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (twice) and Deborah in Mamet’s, Sexual Perversity in Chicago. As well as many others. She had appeared on “Criminal Minds” and “Boardwalk Empire” and as herself on The Food Network’s 24 hour restaurant battle.

MALACHY SILVA (Sparrow) is very proud to make his New York stage debut in Strange Rain. Other credits include I Almost Got Away With It (Discovery ID), and numerous parts in San Francisco’s Generation Theater Company, and he is a member of The Heartbeat Ensemble in NY. He trained for two years in California at Studio Magnetic, under Rachael Adler, and is currently training with Mimi Gina in Strasberg technique. He is a student at SUNY Empire.

JULIA STEELE ALLEN (Elysabeth, Voice of Fran) is an award-winning playwright and performance activist. She is currently developing a new one-woman show on solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. She is part of the queer-country band: My Gay Banjo, and is co-producing a documentary film about the burning of the Bronx titled Decade of Fire. She recently published a book of poems: The Good Left In Us and is at work on a radical fantasy/science fiction trilogy. For more info: www.juliasteeleallen.com, www.mygaybanjo.com, www.decadeoffire.com

JENNIFER TCHIAKPE (Erica) was born and raised in France. She studied acting at HB Studio and Atlantic Acting School. She is now in an ongoing class with Allen Savage. She also trains in Suzuki and Viewpoints with Siti Company. Film: Aissa’s Story by Iquo B. Essien (pre-selected for 40th Student Academy Awards 2013); Philippe by Luca Repola; More than Snow by Matthew Kohn (web series); Homecoming by Miriam Agwai. Theater: You Know That and I Know That by Stacy O’Neill (TMTC); Traces of Eruption by Jesca Prudencio (TMTC); After the Flood (Common Thread Theater Company). Jennifer has been a member of Samurai Sword Soul (a Japanese Sword Fighting company) since 2006. www.jennifertchiakpe.com

KEVIN THOMAS COSTIGAN (Authorized Company Representative) is a native New Yorker, raised within a theatrical community in the heart of Hell’s Kitchen. The son of two actors, he soon found himself pursuing the same passion. His acting debut was at age 9 in Lynda Crawford’s stage adaptation of a children’s story The Stubborn Sillies. Enamored with motion pictures, he would later complete a major in Media Studies at Hunter College in New York City. There, his passion for writing and practical applications brought him full circle back to theater with a career that has included work with The Actor’s Fund, The Shubert Organization, and Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. Costigan is a member of I.A.T.S.E Local 306, where he serves the Broadway and motion picture industries directly.

LYNDA CRAWFORD (Playwright). A Procession of Clouds was a finalist in the 2013 Unchained Festival in LIC, NY, directed by Dennis Carnegie, and is soon to be published at IndieTheaterNow (http://www.indietheaternow.com); Consumer Behavior (co-written with Gary Kupper) showcased at FringeNYC in 2002, directed by Victoria Pero, after having been the recipient of a Playwrights’ Project grant from Abrons Arts Center–Henry Street Settlement; Strange Rain was a finalist in Reverie’s Next Generation Playwriting Contest in 2004 and was presented in a staged reading at The Flea directed by Hayley Finn; Secrets of The Birds, inspired by the ancient Greeks, was directed by Terry Greiss and became a finalist in the 2006 Samuel French Short Play Festival; Howard Ink! was a finalist in the John Gardner Play Competition; Day Lilies was a finalist in the Lamia Ink Play Festival. Lynda’s plays and other writings have also appeared in the journal MaNHaTTaN Linear and in the book Titters: The First Collection of Humor by Women (Macmillan). Lynda received her MFA in Playwriting from Brooklyn College, working with Jack Gelber, William Hauptman, and Mac Wellman. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and leads the playwriting lab at SUNY Empire State College.

SIMONE FEDERMAN (Director) has directed in New York City for the last 25 years at such venues as Lincoln Center Laboratory, H.E.R.E., Dixon Place, The Ohio Theatre, The Present Theatorium, The Alchemical Theatre, and regionally at Portland Stage Co.  Internationally, she has worked with Bread and Puppet Theatre at the world expo in Hanover, Germany, and collaborated with a company called Le Theatrographe at the 59th Avignon Theatre Festival. She has worked with living playwrights such as Diana Son, Paula Vogel, David Greenspan, Sarah Schulman, and Christopher Shinn, and has directed classic and modern plays by such authors as Chekhov, Strindberg, Beckett, Ionesco, Lorca, Genet, Pinter, Stein, Churchill, Wertenbaker, Moliere, Goldoni, Aristophanes, and Kaufman & Hart. Her graduate studies in Directing included assistant teaching Robert Brustein’s undergraduate courses in Modern Dramatic Literature as well as assistant directing productions directed by Ron Daniels, Richard Jones, Anne Bogart, and Francesca Zambello. She has taught Directing, Acting, Modern Dramatic Literature, and Performance Art for more than 10 years, at Bowdoin College, SUNY New Paltz, and at Rowan University. Simone was “Director in Residence” at Denison University in Ohio where she directed Ionesco’s Rhinoceros. She has her BA from Oberlin College and her graduate certificate in Directing from The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard University. She has extensive workshop training in Directing, Meisner, Grotowski, Viewpoints, Lecoq, Commedia d’ell Arte, and Clown. Simone is very pleased to be directing her second show for FringeNYC and proud to have Strange Rain at the Lynn Redgrave Theatre. Simone is very grateful to have the opportunity to work with Lynda Crawford and a very talented and committed cast, crew, and design team.

RAZGHIEM GOLDEN (Stage Manager) is currently studying at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, PA. A native of New York City he is excited to be working with Lynda Crawford for the third time, his second as a stage manager for her show A Procession of Clouds, and his first as a an actor in a reading of her play Disturbed. He is also Artistic Director of the student-run company Scotch’n’Soda Theatre. In his spare time he is a filmmaker and has directed and filmed several short films. Stage Management credits include The Drowsy Chaperone and Assassins.  Directing credits include Moon Over Buffalo and Dog Sees God. 

TIMOTHY HART (Lighting) Timothy is a new resident to New York City and is beyond excited to be doing his first Lighting Design in the city with FringeNYC. He just finished his Masters in Theatre Lighting Design from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior NYC lighting design credits include: A Raisin in the Sun and The Little Prince (Clarence Brown Theatre), Rape Of Lucretia, and La Boheme (UTK Opera Theatre),  The Crucible and Crimes of the Heart (Stagedoor Manor Theatre).

MICHAEL ANDREW HIDETO KURIHARA (Cello, Agent). When not manufacturing time with Trey, Mike, Page, and Fish on the grassy knolls of Gamehenge, Kuri struggles against the omnipresent male bovine droppings that is freelance sound editing for film.  Fortunately for this production, he was also able to achieve a Masters in Cello Performance from NYU along the way—which he is happy to put to good use in this epic tale of barometers, future-seers, and a little boy’s love for a Stetson hat.

MIKKI OLSON (Prop & Costume Master, Acrobat) is a Brooklyn-based artist, performer, and professional wrestler.  She is a founding member of the JUDY collective, which was the first recipient of the Museum of Arts & Design’s FUN FELLOWSHIP in 2011. Mikki and fellow JUDY co-founder Brian Belukha founded MESSS* Presents. Recently, Mikki created costumes for Katy Pyle’s Ballez, The Firebird. She also has worked as a set designer for the feature film, Dance Bitch Dance, directed by Maureen Catbagan.
*Manifestifing Excessive Situations of Self Sabotage

JON PIERSON (Composer, Bass Trombone, Sound Effects, Agent) studied at Mannes College of Music. He was co-founder (with Wyatt Day) and lead singer of the rock group Ars Nova, singer and bass trombonist with White Elephant Band, and studio musician for numerous artists. He co-wrote the book and music (with Austin Allen) for Brass Ring (performed at the Village Gate), composed the music for Sweet Enough, and acted as musical director for One Good Day. He was a contributing composer for Weatherlove! by Rex Weiner, played in the band for Consumer Behavior by Lynda Crawford and Gary Kupper (FringeNYC 2002) and for Sex on Trial by Joe Kane.

BEN ROSENBERG (Production Assistant) is a performer, designer, and writer currently working out of Brooklyn, NY.

XENA STANISLAVOVNA SEMJONOVA (Video) is a poet, artist, and a translator living in NYC. Originally from Slovakia, she has performed as an honorary member of CaveBears while creating interventionist public works of art between 2007-2011. She has performed in venues such as Dixon Place, Bowery Poetry Club, The Poetry Project, Michelle Tea’s RADAR in San Francisco, SPECTRUM NYC, Strange Maine, Happy Endings, GRRRLS on FILM, Strange Loop Gallery, and others. Her play Subtext is upcoming in the fall of 2013 at the Alchemical Theatre Lab in NYC. She is the 2013 Fellow at Poets House. 

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