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Friday, September 27, 2019

MST Solo Works Festival, an eclectic roster of original solo performance



Mile Square Theatre, Hudson County’s leading professional theatre, announces the MST Solo Works Festival, an eclectic roster of original solo performance by award-winning performance artists.

“So many wonderful actors have worked on the MST stage, and many of them are known for having written and performed self-generated material,” says MST Artistic Director Chris O’Connor. “I’m always saying to them how much I’d love to offer MST as a venue to present their material. We recognized a break in our programming this October, so we’re dedicating two weeks on the MST stage to host these artists. I think there’s a little bit of everything for our audience in this lineup.” 

Eric Walton:  Mentalist
The MST Solo Works Festival kicks off the first week (October 18-20) with the return of Eric Walton: Mentalist, which had a sold out run at MST last year. Eric Walton:  Mentalist is a fascinating theatrical foray into the realms of parapsychology, metaphysics, and anomalous cognition, led by the critically-acclaimed mentalist, showman, and raconteur, Eric Walton (“The sharpest knife in the drawer!”—Gothamist.com). In this compelling and highly interactive 75-minute piece, audiences witness and participate in mystifying demonstrations of mind-reading and other feats of extra-sensory perception by a true master of the art of mentalism.
Suitable for audiences ages 10 and up.

Fall Risk
On Wednesday, October 24 @ 8pm, we present Dana Jacks in Fall Risk, Ms. Jacks harrowing story about being hit by a speeding bicylist and suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). Her relationship to her body and mind was suddenly altered. The name of the piece refers to the bracelet she wore in the hospital—FALL RISK.  Fall Risk is about the risks we take very day living our lives and the people who show up when we need them the most.
Suitable for audiences ages 13 and up.

Trump/Lear
On Friday, October 25 @ 8pm, we present Trump/Lear, David Carl’s Trump-inspired version of Shakespeare's King Lear. Carl David is forced to perform his King Lear to an unseen online audience of one, as the President restlessly watched remotely from a live and public feed. The stakes are high: if Trump likes Carl and his show, Carl lives. If not, Carl dies. But how can Carl get through a show where he has created a Lear based on Trump himself without offending the audience? This surreal sendup of The Donald has recently returned from sold out performances at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Suitable for audiences ages 16 and up.

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan  
We continue the Solo Works Festival on Saturday, October 26 @ 2pm with Dipti Mehta’s Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan, a fun, poignant and deeply moving coming-of-age story of a girl living in a brothel. HONOUR depicts a child's life pushed to the brink. Will she escape her circumstances and fate? It is a piece that operates on many levels: music, dance and storytelling, to engage the viewer on a very visceral level.
Suitable for audiences ages 16 and up.

Rent Control
The Solo Works Festival performance schedule ends on Saturday, October 26 @ 8pm with Evan Zes’ personal story of survival as a struggling actor living in the heart of New York City, Rent Control. When Evan falls backwards into one of the few remaining rent-controlled apartments in NYC, he finds a way to make money and pursue his dream, turning the apartment into a lucrative Airbnb enterprise—that is, until his moneymaking scheme backfires and he falls prey to a world of internet scam artists and low-level gangsters who threaten to ruin his life. This cautionary tale has had audiences howling with laughter and at the same time on the edge of their seats. Critics have called it "...cheerfully profane," a "...surprise thriller" and "...dangerously hilarious". MST audiences will remember Evan from MST’s hit production of The 39 Steps.
Suitable for audiences ages 13 and up.

Writers’ Workshop

Rounding out the entire festival, on Oct. 26th from 2 to 6pm, will be a Writers’ Workshop for solo performance by MST’s playwright-in-residence Joseph Gallo, open to writer/performers of all levels of experience. A ticket to Evan Zes’ Rent Control is included in the workshop fee.

 

The MST Solo Works Festival, presented by Mile Square Theatre
1400 Clinton Street, Hoboken

SCHEDULE
Eric Walton: Mentalist Friday, October 18 and Saturday. October 19 @ 8pm and Sunday. October 20 @ 3pm

Fall Risk written and performed by Dana Jacks
Thursday, October 24 @ 8pm

Trump/Lear written and performed by David Carl
Friday, October 25 @ 8pm

Honour: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan written and performed by Dipti Mehta
Saturday, October 26 @ 2pm

Rent Control written and performed Evan Zes (Top photo)
Saturday, October 26 @ 8pm

Writers Workshop: Writing and Performing the Solo Show with Joseph Gallo
Saturday, October 26 from 2 to 6pm
MST Playwright-in-residence Joseph Gallo offers this workshop, open to all levels of experience. Whether you have a great idea for a solo show, already begun working on one, or simply have material that needs polishing, students will move toward honing their own material. Workshop price includes a ticket to Even Zes’s Rent Control.
Tickets available at www.milesquaretheatre.org, or by calling 201-683-7014.
All tickets to performances are $20.

Writers Workshop is $100 and includes admission to Even Zes’s Rent Control.
GROUP SALES available: email abaldwin@milesquaretheatre.org

Discount Parking available at The Harlow at 1330 Willow Avenue and at Little Man Parking at 1300 Jefferson Street.

For more information on Mile Square Theatre, please visit www.milesquaretheatre.org.

MST Season Sponsorship: Advance Realty, Bijou Properties, Jet.com, Kearny Bank, The Rockefeller Group.

Mile Square Theatre is supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and by funds from the National Endowment for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Thomas A. Degise, County Executive, and the Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Mile Square Theatre is a member of The New Jersey Theatre Alliance.

ARTIST BIOS:
ERIC WALTON: MENTALIST
Eric Walton has been a dedicated student of the conjuring arts since 1999 and has performed magic and mentalism throughout the United States and the U.K.  His first one-man show, Esoterica, enjoyed a six-month Off-Broadway run in New York City (“A charming mountebank.” – Variety); was a sell-out at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival; and was a Times of London Critic’s Pick, which called the show “a master class in mentalism.”

FALL RISK
Dana Jacks (Writer, Performer) is a native Northern Californian (born and raised in Sacramento) who has worked in New York theater, film and television. Dana was in the Off Broadway production of Our Town directed by David Cromer and danced in a pink jumpsuit in Here Lies Love at The Public Theater. Recently, she was in Lia Romeo’s Connected at 59E59 (Project Y Theatre) and Hungry at The Tank (Skeleton Rep). You can see her on Netflix in The Incredible Jessica James. She has written and shared stories for Project Y Theater, The Tank, and The Moth. Thank you for being here and sharing this story with me. www.danajacks.com

Michael Padden (Director) has developed work with: The New Group, Lesser America, Barrow Street Theatre and many others. Select Credits include, And It Spins Twice (Angry Bubble); The Cleaners (2016 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival-Winner); Barn, Sex And Death In London (Rising Phoenix Rep); Rocks (Essential Theater Group); Delta In The Sky With Diamonds Or Maybe Not (Boogla Nights Productions); and [Un]Earthed (Furnace Festival). Michael has also assisted David Cromer on numerous productions including Our Town (Barrow Street Theatre); When The Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center Theater); Brighton Beach Memoirs and The House Of Blue Leaves (Broadway).

Mark Shock (Performer) is both an actor and singer/songwriter. Originally from Michigan, he has lived in NYC since 2004. Mark has been seen off-Broadway in the Barrow Street Theatre's productions of Our Town and The Effect Regionally he has performed in such plays as Shear MadnessThe Diary of Anne Frank and The Black White Man.  In 2014 Mark released his debut album of original music, Far From the End, and has since released several singles and music videos of his original songs.  www.markshock.com and www.markshockmusic.com

TRUMP/LEAR
David Carl (Co-creator/Writer/Performer/Puppet Designer/Video Designer)
David Carl is an actor, comedian, and impressionist in NYC, raised in Dallas, TX. David plays Gary Busey in Point Break LIVE! and David Carl's Celebrity One-Man Hamlet, which he wrote with some help from Shakespeare. The latter was a breakout hit of the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival, receiving an extended run at Baruch College and an award for "Overall Excellence in Solo Performance". Recently David was nominated for a New York Innovative Theater Award for Solo Performance. Other original works include The Power of Me (co-written with Samuel Brett Williams), and David and Katie Get Re-Married (co-written with Katie Hartman). He also has a show called 200 Impressions in 60 Minutes currently running weekly at Improv Asylum NYC,  and spent 2015/2016 playing all of the presidential candidates in the debates before they happened in Road to the White House. In October he played Donald Trump in Trump Takes on Boston at Laugh Boston for 22 shows leading up to the election.  He has also appeared on TV and Film in Divorce, The Enemy Within, Mr. Robot, Blue Bloods, Kingfish, The Revival, Guiding Light,  and All My Children. His voice has been heard in dozens of voice-over commercials for Radio, TV, the internet, and Film including two podcast for Marvel (Stitcher). He has a BFA from the University of Evansville in Performance, an MFA from Rutgers (Mason Gross) in Acting and completed training at UCB, the Magnet, and The PIT. He also performs once a month at UCBT Hell's Kitchen with his sketch comedy team Presley.

Michole Biancosino (Co-creator/Director/Projects Designer)
Michole Biancosino is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of the award-winning Project Y Theatre Company, where she has developed and directed new work in Washington D.C. and New York City over the past 18 years. She is also the Found and producer of NY's Women in Theatre Festival. With Project Y, she has led various professional productions, as producer, director, and writer. Directing work includes: Connected (NYIT Award winner), LoveSick or THINGS THAT DON'T HAPPEN (NYIT Award winner), The Revival (NYIT Award winner), A User's Guide to Hell featuring Bernard Madoff, Derby Day (Paper Mag #2 Show of the Year), Goodness, and Gidion's Knot in NYC, and many others in NYC, Edinburgh, New Orleans, and Washington D.C. Producing: The Religion Thing (Time Out NY Critics Pick), FUBAR, 3 years of New York New Playwright Festivals and NY's Women in Theatre Festival (#WITFestival). Other collaborations with David Carl include the original shows The Power of Me, a send up of modern spiritual gurus and the culture of self-help books, blogs, and celebrity, David and Katie Get Re-Married, and 100 Impressions in 30 Minutes, all at the PIT, NYC. She currently is directly SOLOCOM founder, Peter Michael Marino's one-man show, Show Up! at Edinburgh Fringe. Michole is a recipient of the prestigious SDC Gielgud Fellowship for classical directing and multiple SPARC artist residencies through the Brooklyn Arts Council. For more about her work visit www.micholebiancosino.com.

Project Y Theatre
The Award winning, Project Y Theatre Company is an outside-the-box theatre company that supports the creation, development, and production of new works for the stage in New York City. Committed to supporting playwrights and their plays, and with a focus on women and LGBTQ voices. Project Y positions new plays and underserved voices to be part of the theatrical conversation. www.projectytheatre.org

Richard Jordan Productions (Producer)
Richard Jordan Productions is an Olivier and TONY Award-winning international production company under the leadership of producer Richard Jordan and has produced over 215 productions in the UK and 27 other countries, including 80 world premieres and 92 European, Australian or US premieres enjoying associations with many of the world’s leading theatres, arts organisations and a long relationship with The Pleasance and the Edinburgh Fringe.  Described by The Stage newspaper as “one of the UK’s most prolific theatre producers”, since 1998 Richard has been at the forefront of developing and presenting works by a diverse range of UK and international established and emerging writers and artists. His productions have won a number of awards including: the TONY Award; the Laurence Olivier Award; The EMMY; fifteen Scotsman Fringe Firsts; two Herald Angel; six Total Theatre Awards; Spirit of the Fringe; Drama Desk; Drama League; New York Critics; Broadway.com; Outer Critic Circle Award; three Helen Hayes Awards; US Black Alliance Award; Obie; Jeff Award; Lucille Lortel and the John Gassner Award for Best New American Play. Richard was the first recipient of the TIF/Society of London Theatre Producers Award and a finalist in the British Council’s UK Young Creative Entrepreneur Award. He is also the Patron of Brighton Fringe (the world’s third largest fringe festival) and a regular theatre columnist for the UK’s Stage newspaper. Previously produced with Project Y Theatre, Richard produced Gary Busey’s One Man Hamlet in Edinburgh and on tour in the US including seasons in Chicago and New York.

HONOUR: CONFESSIONS OF A MUMBAI COURTESAN
Dipti Mehta, PhD (Playwright/Performer)
Dipti discovered the power of theater at the young age of 6 in Mumbai, India when she was first cast in a school play. This marked the beginning of her acting career, though she was yet unaware that she had indeed discovered her calling. When she was 13, an All India Radio (AIR) programming officer spotted Dipti at an elocution competition and offered her an opportunity to write and broadcast her ideas. It was here Dipti found a platform to express her developing feminist ideas, and where she eventually became a radio jockey on FM at AIR, as well as a voice over artist and a live host for major events. Dipti believes theater is a powerful means for social transformation. Desire to make a difference through art is at the core of all her work and is reflected in HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan. HONOUR has made Dipti a sought-after speaker both as a feminist and an advocate of women’s rights. She has been on anti-sex trafficking panels with FBI agent Mara Schneider; writer and social worker Stuart Perrin; law professor Gloria Brown Marshal; and with groups like ECPAT and AF3IRM.  Central to her artistic practice is the need to give voice to those who have none. It is in this light that she created HONOUR: Confessions of a Mumbai Courtesan as an attempt to give voice and a face to brothel dwellers bringing their humanity to encounter that of her audiences. TV credits include Shades of Blue (NBC), The Blacklist (NBC), Golden Boy (CBS), Deadline Crime with Tamron Hall (Investigation Discovery), One Life to Live, Hum-Tum (ZEE NEXT), and Yoga for you (ZEE International). Film credits include Accommodations, Humor Me, Split, I Dream of Hope, Midnight Delight, Far Away, Penumbra (Cannes Short Film Corner), A box came to Brooklyn, Life! Camera Action (Winner- 11 nominations and 3 awards), A good life, Walkaway, Mamarosh, Red Corvette, Victory, Colors of Passion, and Summer of 2007. Theater credits include A Muslim in the Midst (Yale), Half Hearted (Cherry Lane Theater), Grahan...the Eclipse (Winner - 4 awards), Nishfal (Winner-2 awards), Get Back, Vagina Monologues (Abingdon Theater), Honour (Fringe-NYC, La MaMa & Urban Stages) and Bollywood Wedding.

Mark Cirnigliaro (Director)
Mark has been working as a professional actor, director and coach for the last 16 years in New York City and the surrounding area. As an actor he studied with the famed William Esper at William Epser Studios. Mark has appeared in One Life to Live, As the World Turns, Guiding Light, All My Childrenand 30 Rock as well as the independent features The Project, AbsoluteTrust, Loveless andWildlike. Mark has won the Samuel French Competition twice with The King and The Condemned by Larry Brenner(Actor) and Mountain Song by Josh Beerman (Director). He was the only male director with an official selection at Eve Enslers original V-Day UTVS Film Festival. He directed the first scholastic productions of Annie Baker's The Aliens and Rajiv Jospeh's Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo as well as numerous world premieres, most notably The Hounds of War by Bill Holland (Broadwayworld.com "Must See"), The Little Princess by Jennifer Bowen (June Havoc Theatre), The Judgment of Fools by Bernardo Cubria (INTAR Theatre) and Honour by Dipti Mehta (Urban Stages). Mark is the Associate Artistic Director of Mile Square Theatre, a company member of InViolet Theatre and co-founder of Wee Man Productions. He is currently an adjunct theatre professor at Nassau Community College and Hudson County Community College.

RENT CONTROL
Evan Zes’s New York credits include Incident at Vichy at The Signature Theatre; Rent Control (writer and performer) at Soho Playhouse, Freedom of the CityMan and SupermanWhite Woman StreetAround the World in 80 Days at Irish Repertory Theatre, American Dreams with The Acting Company, and The Eyes of Others at The New Ohio among others. International: Rent Control at Teatro Jaco in Costa Rica, Julie Taymor’s The King Stag at the Barbican, London, and Dream Play at the Moscow Art Theatre. Select regional credits include The McCarter, Hartford Stage, The Alley, The Goodman, The Old Globe, New York Stage and Film, Cleveland Playhouse, Westport Country Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Shakespeare Theatre DC, Pittsburgh Public Theater, St. Louis Repertory Theater, Baltimore Centerstage, and Berkeley Rep. Evan's film and TV credits include The PathThe Street, and Last Night at Angelo’s and All My Children. He has an MFA from A.R.T/ Moscow Art Theatre at Harvard University. Follow Evan’s award winning one-man show at evanzesrentcontrol.com.

WRITERS WORKSHOP: WRITING AND PERFORMING THE SOLO SHOW WITH JOSEPH GALLO
Joseph Gallo is the playwright-in-residence at Mile Square Theatre in Hoboken where he wrote and performed the solo play Long Gone Daddy (“…strong, moving, assured…an unsparing, honest, funny story…beautifully captured.” –Broadway World).  As a solo writer/performer he also appeared in the original production of My Italy Story at Penguin Rep, which had its debut Off-Broadway at the 47th Street Theatre in New York, starring Danny Mastrogiorgio (“…a compelling page turner.” –New York Times).  The play would later receive a revival at Mile Square Theatre, starring Emmy-award winner Tom Pelphrey, who was named Best Actor by the Star-Ledger for his performance. Other solo shows include Whizzy and The Jealousy Piece, both of which premiered in the American Living Room Festival at HERE.  He is a frequent participant at The Moth in New York City where he is a two-time StorySLAM champion. He has been teaching solo performance since 2005, and recently was named a recipient of the Lincoln Center Prize for Innovative Teaching in Theatre. Training: MFA in Playwriting, Ohio University.

MILE SQUARE THEATRE
CHRIS O’CONNOR (Artistic Director, Producer) Chris is Founding Artistic Director of Mile Square Theatre. In 2017, he received an Award of Excellence from the New Jersey Theatre Alliance for his leadership as Artistic Director of Mile Square Theatre. As an actor, Chris has performed in such theatres as Franklin Stage Company, Seattle’s A Contemporary Theatre, The Culture Project, Soho Rep, The Ahmanson, Gloucester Stage, Provisional Theatre of Los Angeles, The Bathhouse Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, City Theatre in Pittsburgh, where he originated the role of Peter in Craig Wright’s The Pavilion, and at Maltz Jupiter Theatre in Billy Elliot. Recent TV and film credits include Magic City, Burn Notice, and the new indie thriller Depraved. Chris has directed over 25 productions at MST and has directed at theatres and universities all over America, most recently at Franklin Stage Company where he directed Billy Bishop Goes to War. Other recent work includes The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged at Lyric Repertory in Logan, Utah, and recently at Mile Square Theatre; I and You, The Garden of Rikki Tikki Tavi, Betrayal, Circle Mirror Transformation and the world premiere of Long Gone Daddy by Joseph Gallo. He played Vanya in last season’s production of Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Chris chairs the newly formed Hoboken Arts Advisory Board for the City of Hoboken. He is an Assistant Professor on the Theatre Arts faculty at Molloy College. Chris holds a BFA from Carnegie-Mellon University and an MFA from Rutgers University.

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