When the local executioner’s son, Skip, falls in love with the rebellious Luna, he and the other upstanding residents of Mortland, USA are shattered by a crisis of faith. Dangerous family secrets and festive beheadings are the norm in this haunting and darkly comic indie-rock musical examining a town crippled by fear and troubled by its past.
Approximate Running Time: 3:00; no intermission
Mary Ellen Ashley has performed in all aspects of theatre, film, TV, and radio since the age of four. She had three Broadway productions before she played all the Oakley sisters opposite Ethel Merman in the original Broadway production of Annie Get Your Gun for the three year run.You could find her on all the radio and TV soap operas and as she grew up in the business continued in dozens of Broadway, Off Broadway and tours in leading roles. At sixteen she headlined in Las Vegas at the Tropicana along side such stars as Carol Channing, Edie Adams and Ernie Kovacs, Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Noonan and Marshall as well as several stints at New York's Copacabana. During college starred in her own children's western half hour show in ABC networks for two years.She did a revival of Finians Rainbow as Sharon, Meg Brocky in Brigadoon, and Faye Fromkin in Wish You were here. At 21 she took a short "breeding Hiatus" for two children. She was soon back on the boards doing Dolly in HEllo Dolly (12 different productions), Mama Rose in Gypsy(8 times) Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd(3 times) Mame in Mame (7 times), Maggie Jones in 42nd St(6 times) Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret,and a host of other roles such as Golde/ Yente-Fiddler; The Witch in Into The Woods,Stella Deems in Follies,Miss Mona in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Sister Hubert in Nunsense, Mrs. Paroo/Mrs. Shinn in Music Man,Steele Magnolias, Over The river and Through The Woods,Bermuda Angle Triangle,Big River, Funny Girl,Crazy For You and Yentl on Broadway and Echoes Of The War with Richard Easton and Frances Sternhagen. Most recent shows have been as jeanette in Full Monty. This is a partial history of her career as you might imagine. She was see as one of the old ladys with a walker in the film The Producers, has a new release called Clear Blue Tuesday which just premiered, Tales Of Two Pizzas on which she was also Executive Producer, Mecury In Retrograde with Lea Di Laria and a dozen more films in festivals. She has had co-star roles on several Law and Orders, Law and Order SVU's. a stint on Comedy Central and Mrs. Briggs, a dead body on Fringe followed by a talking corpse in a new film Post Mortem. She has also produced and been Associate Producer on 12 Broadway and Off Broadway shows including Angels In America.
Alex Emanuel member AEA, SAG and AFTRA. NY stage credits include premieres of Shekinah, To Barcelona!, Count Down, Bronx Hebrew Social School, Live Coverage, Afraid of Heights, Broken Shadows, Magic Afternoon, productions of Red Light Winter, The Years, Three Days of Rain and Secrets of Freud and Jung (among other plays). Chicago stage credits include premieres of Possible Worlds, Disappeared, Eagle River, The Killing Game, productions of The Dreamer Examines His Pillow and Catch 22. Film roles include the features Trooper, Grand Slammed, Buster, Together, Therapy, Reality Lost, 2Wks, 1Yr, Land of False Clocks, Monotony and a literally a zillion shorts. TV credits include roles on Rescue Me, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Hack, All My Children, The Whitest Kids You Know and the HBO movie Everyday People. Alex was a member of the Steppenwolf Theatre’s Ensemble Project; a select group of actors chosen from a nationwide audition process which spawned the School at Steppenwolf in Chicago. Besides acting, Alex is a former pro indie rock musician, singer/songwriter, as well as published illustrator. With his fledgling production co., Starna Productions, Alex is presently developing a few innovative tv, film/new media projects. He’s honored to be in Open the Dark Door, his first musical since a short-lived rock adaptation of Carmen (by the Violent Femmes’ Gordan Gano) many moons ago at the Knitting Factory. http://www.musecube.com/alexemanuel
Kendal Hartse is thrilled to be a part of "Open the Dark Door" and NYMF. Favorite credits include the national tour of "CATS" (Demeter) and regional productions of "Crazy For You"(Polly), "Floyd Collins"(Nellie), "Arcadia" (Chloe) and "A Funny Thing...Forum" (Gemini) at the historic re-opening of Theatre by the Sea. BFA, Boston Conservatory. Many thanks to Michael Cassara, Austin, and Grammie (always).
Ryan Hilliard (The Brothers Shrub) Most recently played Henri in “Heroes” at the Depot Theatre. He first played Major Bovier in Grey Gardens at Playwrights Horizon, then later at Washington’s Studio Theatre. Europe: Monsieur Richard in Ken Hill’s Phantom of the Opera. China: Arvide in Guys and Dolls. He played BAM and toured Great Brittan as the First Voice in Bill T. Jones adaptation of Flannery O’Connors Reading Mercy: The Artificial Nigger. At the Met he played the Major Domo In Don Pascquale with Anna Netrebko. He played Mr. Potter in A Wonderful Life at the Engeman. Film work: The Magic Helmet w/Tom Aldredge, Noise w/Tim Robbins and William Hurt, and Dario Argento’s Inferno. He is an original member of Emerging Artists Theatre for whom her reccently directed “Emily Breathes” which went to the Dublin Gay Play Festival. “ Later this fall I will direct two one acts and appear in a third for EAT. It is my great joy to perform for you.”
Laura Jordan: Broadway: Original companies of Cry-Baby & In My Life; NY: Kathy Griffin in Perez Hilton Saves the Universe! (winner Outstanding Musical NYC Fringe Festival 2008), Coral in Glimpses of the Moon, Ronnie in .22 Caliber Mouth, Rocky in VVVRRROOOMMM!!!!, Oedipus for Kids! (NYMF 2006), workshops of Prairie (NYS&F) and Lucky Break (directed by Tony winner John Caird); Origins: Saginaw, MI. Love to Mike, thanks to Connor; Proud member AEA.
Paul Kandel: Broadway: Jesus Christ Superstar (King Herod), The Who’s Tommy (Uncle Ernie, Tony Nomination), Titanic (Ismay), A Christmas Carol (Jacob Marley), The Visit. Off-Broadway: Shockheaded Peter, Silence!, One Flea Spare (NYSF/Obie/Best Play), Earth and Sky, Twenty Fingers, Twenty Toes, Lucky Stiff, Taming of the Shrew, Scrambled Feet, Nightclub Cantana, Two Grown Men. TV: “Sally Hemmings,” “The Client,” ‘Fool’s Fire,” “Law & Order.” Film: Clopin in Disney’s “Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Hunchback, Part Deux.”
Paul Louis Lessard hails from Okemos, Michigan and is thrilled to be making his NYMF debut with this amazing show! Paul has been heard at various concerts around the city, including Living For Today and Brandon Cutrell & Cohorts at The Laurie Beechman, Scott Alan’s Monday Nights, New Voices at the Duplex, and most recently the Songbook Series with Bobby Cronin at Lincoln Center. Favorite regional credits include Big River (The Young Fool), and Les Miserables (Joly) at Music Theatre of Wichita, as well as Cabaret (The Emcee), and Grease (Doody) at The Wagon Wheel Theatre. Graduate of The University of Michigan BFA Musical Theatre with favorite credits Bat Boy (Bat Boy), and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Flute), as well as The London Dramatic Academy. Proud AEA member. Many thanks to the entire production team for the chance to create a new role, and as always, a special thanks to friends and especially his family for supporting him.
Jake Loewenthal, a junior at Fordham College at Lincoln Center, is thrilled to be making his NYMF debut in Open the Dark Door! Recent credits include The Late Night Cabaret (featured soloist), What is the Cause of Thunder?, and 508 (The Williamstown Theatre Festival), Laughing Pictures: A Hollywood Odyssey, The Rover, Careless Love, Kate Crackernuts, and Fall Up and Fly (Fordham Lincoln Center), The Laramie Project (Theatre on the Hill).
Andrew McGinn Broadway: Coast of Utopia, The Invention of Love at Lincoln Center. NYC: A Doll's House (Infinite Theatre), Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, Skin of Our Teeth, Henry VIII (The Public/NYSF), Glory of Living(MCC), Andorra (TFANA), The Roaring Girle (The Foundary), Blue Man Group, NERVEtheater, SOHO Rep, 2 repertory seasons with The Acting Company. Regional: Peter and the Starcatchers (La Jolla Playhouse), Seattle Rep, Seattle Shakespeare, ACT(Seattle), The Hangar Theater, Chicago Shakespeare, The Old Globe, New Jersey Shakespeare. Upcoming projects: in November, the role of Aeneas in Age of Troy, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida, and Harcourt's Age of Iron directed by Brian Kulick at CSC, and the Broadway production of White Noise directed by Donald Byrd and Holly Anne Ruggiero. Recent directing credits: The Hotel Plays: 10 Tennessee Williams One-Acts at the Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival (The Infinite Theatre, Nick Potenzieri, Artistic Director), and Seascape with Sharks and Dancer in NYC. He is a graduate of Interlochen Arts Academy, and The Juilliard School, where he was awarded the John Houseman, and Michael Saint-Denis prizes.
Bennett Pologe tours: Lt. Cable in “South Pacific”, Phantom in “Phantom of the Opera” (Yeston-Kopit), Raul in “Phantom of the Opera” (David Bell). Other professional roles (i.e. paying gigs): the Pirate King in “Pirates of Penzance”, both Sky Masterson and Nathan Detroit in “Guys and Dolls”, the King in “The King and I”, Riff Raff in “The Rocky Horror Show”, Jake in “Jake’s Women”, and, at the Westchester Broadway Dinner Theatre, an elf, a millionaire, and a skeleton. Shakespeare: Richard in “Henry 6, pt. 3”, Bellarius in “Cymbeline”, Shylock in “Merchant of Venice”, Brutus in “Julius Caesar”, Polonius in “Hamlet”, Warwicke in “Henry VI, part 3”, Buckingham in “Richard III”. Other roles: John Wilkes Booth in “Assassins”, Gaston in “Gigi”, Freddie in “Chess”, Judas in “Jesus Christ Superstar”, Don Quixote in “Man of La Mancha” (Tarrytown Music Hall), Alan Swann in “My Favorite Year”, Henry Carr in “Travesties”, and Jud Fry in “Oklahoma”, and the ghost of John Barrymore in “I Hate Hamlet”, Vladimir in “Waiting for Godot”. His own cabaret “Say It In Song”, for which he also orchestrated the music, toured the northeast including an 8 month run at Don’t Tell Mama in Manhattan. He has written orchestral music for productions of “Hamlet”, “Merchant of Venice”, “Ten Little Indians”, and “I Hate Hamlet”. He has not appeared on “Law and Order”.
David Lefort Nugent is a NYC-based playwright, composer and artistic director of The Academy. Recent productions include the New York premier of Ugo’s Last Dance (Foundry Theatre/God Machine) and The Dark Wood (Woodstock Fringe). Current projects include Olivia, a new musical commissioned by New Sounds Theatre, and Open the Dark Door, an indie-rock musical commissioned by the Stratford Festival of Canada. Mr. Nugent has led playwriting workshops for disabled veterans at the National Theatre Workshop of the Handicapped, mentored and taught young playwrights at the Stratford Festival of Canada, the Dwight Edgewood Project and the Florida State Thespian Festival, and is a guest lecturer on musical theatre at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and a BFA in Acting from the University of Alberta.
Susanna Gellert most recently directed Visiting Day by Andy Bragen for the Sewanee Writers’ Conference. Other recent projects include Fugue States at PS 122, You Can’t Take It With You at the University of Rochester, The Boss in the Satin Kimono at the New York International Fringe Festival, The Duchess of Malfi at the FSU/Asolo Conservatory, and Marat/Sade at The Fisher Center for Performing Arts at Bard College. New York directing credits include The Lacy Project for Soho Think Tank’s Ice Factory ‘07 at the Ohio Theater, adaptations of Tamburlaine the Great and Valkyrie for Target Margin Theater’s Laboratory, Match and L’Interieur at the American Living Room, as well as workshops at the Lark, EST, and NYU. Chicago directing credits include The Winter’s Tale, The Bathhouse, Electra, and Joe Whyte’s Nebraskoblivion. Yale School of Drama:The Duchess of Malfi, The Lacy Project, Measure for Measure, The Shoemaker’s Prodigious Wife, and Devil Caught Rope. Yale Cabaret: Request Concert, Tuesdays and Sundays, and Two Rooms. She is a recipient of SDCF’s Sir John Gielgud Fellowship and the Julian Milton Kaufman Memorial Prize. Susanna is a graduate of Yale School of Drama and The University of Chicago.
Kris Kukul: Recent work: The Last Goodbye (Joe’s Pub), Kaspar Hauser (The Flea), Melissa Arctic (Two River), God’s Ear (the Vineyard), Dispatches (Naked Angels), Gutenberg! The Musical! (The Actor’s Playhouse), Mental Missiles (The Culture Project). Music Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival including the Late-Night Cabarets. Elizabeth Swados’ Musical Director/Arranger for over 8 years. Projects together include; Jabu, The Three Gods, Waiting for Lefty, The Journey To Benares, The Violence Project and Judith. He has composed music for Wing It! and Trouble Tales (Williamstown), Beauty Queen (Three Graces),Midsummer Night’s Dream (National Theatre of Greece). International work; Heracles (dir. Andre Serban), Bokan (Festival Iberoamericano in Bogota), The Bacchae (Warsaw) and The Frogs (Epidauros Festival). He is adjunct faculty at New York University/Tisch and The New School (M.F.A. program). Graduate of NYU/TSOA.
David McTiernan is an award-winning performer, composer, and producer who has been making an impact on the local, regional, and national music scene for over a decade. In this time he has performed over 400 times at more than 100 locations in the New York, Cape Cod, and Boston areas as well as internationally. David has honed his skills at the Cape Cod Conservatory and New England Conservatory, and he is currently studying record production at the Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His repertoire spans many genres ranging from jazz and rock to classical and musical theater, in which he has been the musical director for several successful productions. As a founding member of the Massachusetts-based Turner Ave. Quartet, and as a solo artist, David has shared the stage with countless acts including the Boston Pops and Rebecca Parris. David most frequently performs as a member of New York's up-and-coming indie rock band The Middle Eight, soon to be featured in the upcoming major motion picture The Rebound starring Catherine Zeta-Jones. More information is available at www.davidmctiernan.com and www.themiddleeightband.com.
Meet The Middle Eight. This NYC-based indie/pop/rock band has just released their new 5-song EP “Love; Pass it On” with songs that have been receiving a huge positive response at their shows. The title track “Love; Pass it On” will be featured in an upcoming major motion picture starring Catherine Zeta-Jones titles “The Rebound” later this year.
Combined with new songs and old ones from their CD Unwind, their exhilarating live performance captivates audiences. Described as “an overall entertaining experience”, the band crafts a show to please everyone’s eyes and ears. With a sound awash in influences ranging from Radiohead and Wilco to The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, the Middle Eight’s music is destined to find a home on many iPod playlists. Called “the next big band out of Brooklyn”, The Middle Eight is looking to reach a broad audience and pass on the love.
Lead singer/guitarist Jason Olshan started the band with drummer Tallin Lamonaca in 1999, but everything clicked when the group was joined by bassist Steve Plekan and keyboardist Dave McTiernan whose sweet yet unique sounds and add to the classical and jazz influence of the others.
The Middle Eight is named after the British term for a song’s interlude – a London Bridge, if you will.
Scott Bolman: Opera/Concert: Xerxes, Eugene Onegin, Cosi Fan Tutte, Transformations, Armide (Maryland Opera Studio), Later the Same Evening (Manhattan School of Music), Soldier Songs (Player's Theater), Peter and the Wolf (Guggenheim), Song from the Uproar (Galapagos) Dance: Robert Wilson's KOOL (Guggenheim, Guild Hall), Map (Shen Wei Dance Arts) Theater: Thunder Above/Depths Below (Second Generation), You Can't Take it With You (University of Rochester), The History Boys (Northern Stage), Professional Skepticism (Abingdon), Stay (Rattlestick), Gone (59E59), Harvest (LaMama), Happy Days (Classic Stage).
Mary Madsen is originally from Wisconsin, and holds a BFA in modern dance from the University of WI-Milwaukee. For the past 6 years, she has been living and working as a modern dancer, choreographer, performer, and Pilates instructor in New York City. Mary is beginning her 5th season as a dancer with Regina Nejman and Company. She also works as a choreographer, performer & curator for the Brooklyn band performance group, 'Jigsaw Soul'; she was a featured dancer in their newest music video 'Cockroach Hotel'. In 2008 Mary choreographed for You Can't Take It With You at the University of Rochester. Other companies she has performed and collaborated with include Foothold Dance, Fusion Danceworks, VanDance, David Appel Dance, Rebollar Dance Theater, and John Zullo Dance.
Rebecca A. Frank is an attorney and arts professional. Currently, she has a solo entertainment law practice that provides client-focused services. Rebecca also serves on the Executive Committee of the Entertainment, Arts and Sports Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Past positions include Compliance Coordinator at Sotheby’s, Inc., Director of Business Affairs at The Dramatists Guild of America and Assistant to the Associate General Manager at 101 Productions, Ltd. Select individual producing and general managements credits include Glimpses of the Moon (Algonquin Hotel), Undercover Showtunes (NYMF), More Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds and The Unauthorized Musicology of Ben Folds (NYMF), A Time to Be Born (FringeNYC), Golden Prospects: A Los Angeles Melodrama (FringeNYC), The Golden Ass (FringeNYC), BOOM: The Lost Generation (CSC Theatre), The Memorandum (West Side Dance Project). She received her JD from New York Law School, where she was Editor-in-Chief of the Media Law & Policy Journal¸ her MFA in Theatre Management and Creative Producing from Columbia University and her BA from Mount Holyoke College.
Lisa Timmel is the director of new work at The Huntington Theatre Company in Boston. Previous positions include director of new play development at Playwrights Horizons, interim dramaturg and advisor to the Emerging Writers Group at the Public Theater, artistic producer at Carole Shorenstein Hayes Productions. She has helped developed work by Chay Yew, Adam Bock, Jason Grote, Sarah Ruhl, Francine Volpe, Sheila Callaghan, Steven Sater/Duncan Sheik and Tanya Barfield among others. Notable productions developed at Playwrights include I Am My Own Wife, Grey Gardens, Small Tragedy, and The Pain and The Itch. Trained in dramaturgy and dramatic criticism at Columbia University (MFA), she has worked with various theater companies and developmental organizations including Sundance Theater Institute (White Oak), New Dramatists, Actors Theatre of Louisville, National Actors Theatre, INTAR, Classic Stage Company, and New Georges. Ms. Timmel served as an adjunct professor of dramatic literature at NYU and as the staff dramaturg at The Juilliard School. Ms. Timmel holds a BA in English Literature from Kenyon College.
Get Your Light On
Female vocals- Kristín Ryan
Hold Your Breath
Female Vocals-Esme Allen Male Vocals- Sunder Ganglani
Love Is A Garden
Female Vocals- Kristín Ryan Older Female Vocals- David Nugent
On Losing Faith (Hooray!)
Two Stars Crossed
Female Vocals-Esme Allen Male Vocals- Sunder Ganglani
You Blew My Brains Out
Female vocals- Kristín Wilson Ryan Male vocals- David Nugent