Mata Hari in 8 Bullets

Book & Music By David Rhymer, Lyrics by Blake Brooker and David Rhymer

Mata Hari in 8 Bullets

at The Studio Theatre

  • Monday, July 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm
  • Wednesday, July 10, 2013 at 8:30 pm
  • Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm
  • Tuesday, July 16, 2013 at 1:30 pm
  • Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 9:30 pm
  • Saturday, July 20, 2013 at 5:30 pm

Award-winning chanteuse Onalea Gilbertson conjures a fever dream into the heart, mind and soul of Mata Hari – erotic dancer, courtesan, and international superstar. Imprisoned by the French on charges of espionage during World War I, Mata Hari went from being Europe's most desired woman to its most despised. One of the most misunderstood women of the twentieth century gets her chance at redemption in this unique musical, blending art, song, and burlesque. 

Running Time: 1 hour 15 minutes with no intermission.

David Rhymer

David Rhymer (Book / Music / Lyrics)

David Rhymer is one of the most respected, prolific, and original and talented composers for the musical theatre in Canada. His work is boundary-pushing, genre-defying, sometimes political, and frequently controversial. His lush, plunging, moody musicals - a combo of cabaret, salon, art-song, have toured  internationally to critical and popular acclaim. His musical investigations quite often bring sexy, off-beat corners of the past into new life, including Songs From Nightingale Alley (on the infamous 18th century prostitute stroll), the female cross-dressing runway musical Trouser Parts, and Wreck Beach (a musical exposé of Vancouver's clothing-optional beach). Recent musicals include the award-winning Why Freud Fainted, Dream Machine (an impressionistic oratorio on the Beat Generation), and Once Upon an Atom Bomb (a multimedia extravaganza on the 1950’s euphoria surrounding the atomic bomb). His musical, the notorious Ilsa Queen of the Nazi Love Camp (written with poet/playwright Blake Brooker) toured Canada, the UK and Australia and was made into a feature movie. His latest musical Crime Does Not Pay, based on the notorious golden age comic book of the same name, will have its premiere in Calgary, Alberta in the fall of 2013. In 2007 he received the Greg Bond Memorial Award for his life long contribution to Musical Theatre in his home town of Calgary.

Blake Brooker

Blake Brooker (Additional Lyrics)

Blake Brooker is a founding member of One Yellow Rabbit and an award-winning writer and director whose work has been presented throughout Canada and in Europe. He has created or collaborated on such productions as The Erotic Irony of Old Glory, Tears of a Dinosaur, Serpent Kills, The Land the Animals, Dance Freak, Breeder, Permission, Alien Bait, The Ugly Man, Conniption Cabaret, Mata Hari: Tigress at the City Gates, So Low, Hunger's Brides, Doing Leonard Cohen, In Klezskavania, Death in New Orleans, Somalia Yellow, The History of Wild Theatre, Thunderstruck, Featherland, Letters to Wendy's, High Performance Radio: Andrew Allan's Chair, and most recently, Kawasaki Exit. He has collaborated with Bruce McCulloch on a screen adaptation of Barbara Gowdy’s Mr. Sandman and directed a music video from Dream Machine for Bravo!FACT.

Onalea Gilbertson

Onalea Gilbertson (Performer)

Onalea Gilbertson creates and performs a unique combination of music and the theatrical. Her original projects, Requiem For A Lost Girl: A Chamber Musical About Homelessness and BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame premiered at the 2011 and 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festivals. BLANCHE was “a top show of 2011” in the Huffington Post. Onalea has performed in plays and musicals across Canada and spent seven seasons with the award-winning Canadian performance creation ensemble One Yellow Rabbit, including Dream Machine an oratorio on the beat poets and Sylvia Plath Must Not Die (Sylvia Plath). Other selected credits: Assassins (Squeaky), Falsettos (Cordelia), Ben Elton’s Popcorn (Brooke), Joni Mitchell: River (Betty Mitchell Award); Rhymer’s Why Freud Fainted (Sabina Spielrein); Time After Time: The Chet Baker Project (Crow’s Theatre); Into The Woods (Cinderella); and The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Drood). Symphony shows across Canada, and with Hallé Symphony (UK), Perth/Adelaide Symphonies, Hollywood Bowl (Dandi Productions); Bernstein’s Mass (CPO, Hans Graf conducting); soloist/recording artist with Land’s End Chamber Ensemble (Western Canadian Music award best classical recording); Frank Zappa’s Freak-out Burlesque (Whip It Out Ensemble); Only Love Knows Love: An Intimate Salon of Theatre Songs (David Rhymer) and the lead in the indie short HOME by Canadian Filmmaker Sandi Somers (ampia award nomination, best actress). Recently she directed What Brought Us Here, a new work for Calgary Opera, and was awarded the Sandstone City Builders Award for her work internationally in the Arts and Social Justice. As a singer/songwriter and cabaret performer, Onalea has opened for Bob Newhart, Daniel Lanois, and the East Village Opera Company.  Check out her four CD’s featuring big band/electronica/jazz trio and original music, available at

Josh Henderson

Josh Henderson (Violin)

Josh Henderson is quickly gaining recognition as a musician for all seasons. He has performed classical music in venues all over the world including The Gasteig in Munich, the Kennedy Center in our nation's capitol, Beijing's Forbidden City, as well as high-energy electric violin performances in iconic venues of popular music such as Manhattan’s Highline and Hammerstein Ballrooms. As a soloist, he has performed with the Starling Chamber orchestra, Accent X Orchestra, CCM Showcase Orchestra, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra, and with the China Performing-Arts Broadcasting Troupe Orchestra. Growing up throughout Georgia and Tennessee he served as concertmaster of the Curb Youth Symphony in Nashville and the Augusta Youth Orchestra in addition to receiving honors in several competitions including winning the Magellan String Quartet competition, the Curb Records Young Artists Competition strings division, and the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra Young Artist Concerto Competition. Upon graduating, summa cum laude, from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music at the age of 19, where he was a student of Prof. Kurt Sassmannshaus and concertmaster of the Concert orchestra, Josh relocated to New York City to pursue a masters degree at New York University under the tutelage of Prof. Naoko Tanaka, where he is a recipient of the Walter Reinhold Scholarship and adjunct faculty member. He has been toured throughout the country with the performance poetry group, The Mayhem Poets. Recently he has served as band leader for American pop singer “Zahra Universe” in Seoul, South Korea. Josh has also studied at the Aspen Music Festival, Great Wall International Music Academy, and The Blair School of music pre-college program under Prof. Christian Teal.

Michael Scholar, Jr.

Michael Scholar, Jr. (Performer & Guitarist)

Michael Scholar, Jr., is an award winning actor/producer/playwright/director originally from Regina (Canada), having recently moved to New York to get his MFA in directing from Columbia University under Anne Bogart.  A graduate from the University of Alberta BFA in Acting program, Michael has been working professionally in theatre and television across North America and the UK.  He is the Founding Artistic Producer of Vancouver’s November Theatre, producing and starring in the world English premiere of Robert Wilson, Tom Waits and William S. Burroughs’ The Black Rider; which won “Best Direction” at the 1999 Fringe NYC, and broke festival records before going on to win dozens of awards touring across the continent for over a decade.  November Theatre’s last major production was the punk extravaganza Hard Core Logo: LIVE adapted by and starring Michael, with new music by Joe “Shithead” Keithley of D.O.A. Most recently, Michael was the Artistic Associate at the Globe Theatre (Regina’s Regional theatre), where he directed the critically acclaimed production of David Greig’s Midsummer [a play with songs]. In 1997, Michael saw the opening performance of Mata Hari at the Citadel Theatre, going back several times as a volunteer student usher; he later presented the salon version of the show in his basement in 2011.

Peter Schneider

Peter Schneider (Director)

Peter Schneider is the Tony-Award-winning producer of the internationally acclaimed Broadway musical, The Lion King, and is the director of Sister Act, The Musical in London and My Life with Men… and Other Animals starring Maria Cassi. His other directing projects include Marc Blitzstein’s opera Regina, Glen Roven’s Norman’s Ark, The Breakup Note Book, a revival of Grand Hotel, the Musical, as well as projects at the WPA Theatre, Playwrights Horizon and Circle Rep. He produced Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida on Broadway and is one of the producers of the New York hit The Marvelous Wonderettes and its sequel Life Could be a DreamHe produced the award-winning documentary, Waking Sleeping Beauty, about Disney Animation from 1984–1994, which chronicles ten years in Schneider’s seventeen-year tenure at the Walt Disney Company (where he held several different titles including President of Animation and Theatre and Chairman of the Studio). He was responsible for creating and distributing over fifty animated and live-action movies including The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast (Golden Globe Award), The Little Mermaid, Toy Story, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Remember the Titans and The Princess Diaries. In 2004, he directed a Live Action/Animation short starring Julie Andrews which celebrated the 40th anniversary of Mary Poppins. He was the Associate Director of the 1984 LA Olympic Arts Festival, has an honorary doctorate from Purdue University, serves on the boards of Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, Broadway Across America, and the American Theater Wing. He is also a world champion bridge player, having won the Transnational Open Teams in Estoril, Portugal.

Odette Heyn

Odette Heyn (Choreographer)

Odette Heyn, as Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Professional Program of The School of Contemporary Dancers, has choreographed for numerous performances, both nationally and internationally, including at The Festival of Canadian Modern Dance, the Olympics Danscene (Calgary 1988), the Kuan Du Arts Festival in Taipei, The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, and The Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2012 Odette created two full-length works for the WSO, La Noche de los Mayas and The Rite of Spring. Odette choreographed Onalea Gilbertson’s Requiem for a Lost Girl at NYMF last season. Odette has just finished performing and touring in WCD’s Rachel Browne Tribute Tour, Toward Light, and is excited to be returning once again to NYMF.

Jane Fink

Jane Fink (Scenic & Props Design)

Jane Fink is a third year graduate student in set & costume design at George Washington University in DC. She holds a BA in Printmaking from the University of Wisconsin and an MFA in Painting from the Art Institute of Chicago. Professional credits: Hedwig and the Angry Inch (set design), Lonely Planet (set design), Lady Swings the Blues (costume design), and Ghost Writer (set design)

Janell Berte

Janell Berte (Costume Design)

International credit for Central Avenue Breakdown at the Daegu International Musical Festival in Daegu, Korea. NYMF credits include Mata Hari in 8 Bullets, the award-winning Central Avenue Breakdown, Trav’lin, and Plagued – A love Story. Midtown International Theatre Festival’s award-winning Civil War Voices (winner, costumes). Off-Broadway, The Loves of Mr Lincoln (assistant costume designer to Carrie Robbins), Family Dinner. Also in production with Watson, Kiss Me Kate and Wizard of Oz at Gretna Theatre and Les Miserables in concert with The Historic Savannah Theatre. Regionally, Janell has designed costumes for the Historic Savannah Theatre, the Engeman Theatre, Gretna Theatre, Ephrata Preforming Arts Center. Five years ago she launched, a national costume rental business for professional theatres and high school programs. BIG LOVE to my husband, mother, staff and fans who follow and support my adventures. Special appreciation to Isaac, Hilary & Amity.

Zach Blane

Zach Blane (Lighting Design)

Named "Designer to Watch" by Live Design Magazine 2011. This Year at NYMF: Mata Hari in 8 Bullets; The Awakening of Angel DeLuna; Crossing Swords. Previous NYMF Productions: Baby Case; How Deep Is The Ocean; Swing State; Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a musical; Crazy, Just Like Me; TESS, a rock opera; Trails. Selected Credits: Suicide, Incorporated (Roundabout Theatre Company); LUNGS, Zero Hour (Barrington Stage Company); Yank! (Roundabout & Old Globe workshops); Ragtime (The Strand Theatre, Boston); CONNED (City Theatre, Detroit). Fleet-wide Lighting Designer for production shows for: Norwegian Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruise Lines, Silver Sea Luxury Cruise Lines. USA829.

Matt Rowe

Matt Rowe (Sound Design)

For Signature Theater in DC: And the Curtain Rises, Sunset Boulevard, Walter Cronkite is Dead, A Fox on the Fairway, Chess, Sycamore Trees, [title of show], Sweeney Todd, Show Boat, First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb, Dirty Blonde, Giant, The Little Dog Laughed, Les Misérables, Anyone Can Whistle in Concert, The Visit, The Happy Time, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Glory Days, Merrily We Roll Along, The Witches of Eastwick. DC AREA: Kennedy Center: Snow White, Rose Red (and Fred); Nobody's Perfect.

Jessie Vacchiano (Stage Manager)

Stage management credits include Off Broadway: Three Pianos (New York Theatre Workshop), Mongo (The Working Theatre) and The Magdalene (Emerald Green Productions); Regional/Other: The Breakup Notebook and Little Shop of Horrors (Revision Theatre), Murder in the Cathedral (Brooklyn Arts HQ), Rachel and Julio and From My Hometown (Madison Theatre Company), My Life with Men and Other Animals (Peter Schneider Productions), Himself and Nora (New York Musical Theatre Festival), Storm Still (PS122),The Vigil or the Guided Cradle (Impetuous Theatre Group), Sea Marks (Rutgers Theater Company). 

Sean Springle

Sean Springle (Assistant Stage Manager)

Sean Springle (ASM) is thrilled to be working at NYMF for the second year in a row, after working with Charlie Fink on last year's "Best of Fest"Baby Case. He is very grateful to see daring, original theatre created firsthand, and would like to thank his friends and family who support him in these opportunities completely. BFA Musical Theatre (ECU).

Charlie Fink

Charlie Fink (Producer/General Manager)

Charlie Fink is the founder and artistic director of the not-for-profit New Musical Development Foundation, which supports the development of new musicals underwriting and producing readings and workshop productions. This summer Charlie is especially proud to produce David Rymer's tour de force, Mata Hari in 8 Bullets, starring the incredible Onalea Girlbertson and directed by his old friend and boss from Disney, Peter Schneider. Last year, Charlie's 2012 NYMF production of Michael Ogborn's Baby Case swept every major award at the festival, including Most Promising Musical, Best Score, and Best Direction, and earned honorable mentions in numerous other categories. In 2011, Charlie's production of Marshall Pailet and AD Penedo's new musical Who's Your Baghdaddy or How I Started the Iraq War won Best Show at DC Capital Fringe Festival, selling out 25 consecutive shows at Woolly Mammoth Theater. An encore was performed at Joe's Pub in February of 2012. Other new musicals include F#@king Up Everything (NYMF '09, DC '11, Off Broadway '13), Super Claudio Bros. (Best Musical, 2010 DC Fringe), Titus X, Rooms (off Broadway), and Dizzy Miss Lizzie's DC productions of The Orestia, The Saints, and Finn McCool.

Feast of Friends (Executive Producer - David Rhymer)

A loose association of artists dedicated to exploring new musical theatre hybrids that combine concert, theatre, dance, poetics and direct address in ways that challenge traditional assumptions of what musicals can and should do.

Onalea Theatrical Productions (Executive Producer - Onalea Gilbertson)

Onalea Theatrical Productions combines multiple arts forms to create a unique aesthetic in the ethereal zone between a play and a concert. Occupying this avant-garde niche between cabaret and concert hall, Onalea delves into the cracks and margins to illuminate and amplify voices that might otherwise be lost. Current touring original projects include BLANCHE: The Bittersweet Life Of A Wild Prairie Dame, a theatrical song-cycle, and REQUIEM FOR A LOST GIRL: An Oratorio about Homelessness. Work in progress includes: TORCH SONGS FROM THE GYPSY VAN, A love story performed with jazz and string quartet.

Leif Gilbertson

Leif Gilbertson (Production Manager)

Leif Gilbertson works with artists and organizations in management. His clients include Onalea Theatrical Productions (Production Manager) and Springboard Performance Calgary (General Manager). Leif also works in many areas of audio engineering. He has mixed a philharmonic for the Queen of England; crafted victory ceremonies seen by hundreds of millions of people during the 2010 Olympics; and has recorded rock, jazz, choirs, orchestras, and marching bands. Leif is excited to be a part of Mata Hari!

Karlé Meyers

Karlé Meyers (Wardrobe Mistress)

Karlé J. Meyers, Wardrobe. Past NYMF shows designed by Janell Berté: Travlin' ('10), and Plagued ('09). Other past NYMF shows: Therapy Rocks ('10), My Jewish Lesbian Wiccan Wedding ('10). Wardrobe Assistant of RENT. Off Broadway ('11-'12); New School, Mannes School of Opera ('11-'13); The Mint Theater ('10-'12) Karlé also designs costumes for Blood Brothers, and recently designed for Talent Unlimited High School's Into the Woods. Her best production yet is her one-year-old son, William Riley.

Anna Jacobs

Anna Jacobs (Dramaturg)

Anna K. Jacobs (dramaturg) is a composer, writer, and educator. Her musical theater works include POP! (Yale Rep, 3 CT Critics Circle Awards, 7 Helen Hayes Award nominations), Harmony, Kansas (Diversionary Theatre, 4 SCENIE Awards, 3 Craig Noel Award nominations), Stella and the Moon Man (Sydney Theatre Company/Theatre of Image, Helpmann Award), and Cage Match (Prospect Theater Company, 2013). Anna is passionate about supporting the development of new musical theatre and is thrilled to be part of the Mata Hari team. In addition to being the Playwrights Horizons 2008-2009 Musical Theatre Resident, Anna has helped nurture new work through her role as a 2013 Uncharted Artist at Ars Nova and a 2010-2011 Dramatists Guild Fellow. She teaches masterclasses in musical theater performance and songwriting, and is a Master Teaching Artist at the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Anna is an alumni of the NYU Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program.

Joe Trentacosta

Joe Trentacosta (Publicist)

SPRINGER ASSOCIATES PR is a full service entertainment PR firm founded by the late John Springer.  For over 50 years Springer Associates PR has and continues to manage a wide and diverse clientele ranging from theatre and film to personalities and special events. Current projects include: The Museum of the Moving Image’s Industry Salute, The Tony Randall Foundation, The First Time Film Festival, Scandinavian Locations, indie film Full Circle, Comedy Warriors, The Gazillion Bubble Show, Cougar The Musical, and the musical F#%King Up Everything, to name a few.

Tiffany Springle

Tiffany Springle (PA)

Tiffany Springle is a New York City-based actress and singer. A 2011 Classical Vocal Performance graduate of East Carolina University, Tiffany enjoys performing a diverse range of artistic styles, from opera to contemporary musical theatre to plays. Most recent New York City credits include the role of Rory in the June 2013 production of Bare: A Pop Opera with the York Theatre Company and Sponge Theatricals, Sally Lincoln in Honestly Abe at The Actor’s Temple Theatre, and Beverly Holmes in the staged reading of the new play, Ivory. She has also recently collaborated as an actress for The Times Square Playwrights in reading new plays at various stages of development. She is thankful for this fantastic opportunity to work with such a talented and admirable team. Official website:

Audrey Wagner

Audrey Wagner (PA)

Audrey Wagner is a Kansas native who recently graduated from Oklahoma City University with her Acting BFA.  Having worked on stage, off stage, and on camera, she is very excited to be a part of this production--her very first NYC show!

Ran Xia

Ran Xia (Social Media Intern)

Ran is more than thrilled to be on board with this exciting project. Past theatre productions experiences include FDU: Bullshot Crumund, The Elephant Man, Rumors, The Vagina Monologues. York: The Last Dance. Ran has been living with theatre all her life, whether acting in it or working in the peripherals. Trying to capture stories with lines and colours.

"Powerful score evokes the mood of the time and dramatically punctuates the humour, pathos and complexity of her emotions" Theatrum

"Rhymer's allusive elliptical songs are soaked in the jazzy cabaret flavour of the period. They range from the most acid, multi-syllabic patter number to poignant ballads about loss of self… a mesmerising piece of musical theatre" Liz Nichols Edmonton Journal

"A magnificent musical score!Fast Forward Calgary

"... gripping score" Calgary Herald

"...Peter Schneider's direction is impeccable!" - Usher Nonsense

06/06/2013 - Calgary Sun: Calgary artists bringing Mata Hari to the Big Apple

06/08/2013 - CBC: Mata Hari Reconsidered

06/10/13 - CBC Calgary: Crowdsourcing for the arts and Mata Hari in 8 Bullets

06/25/2013 - Playbill: Peter Schneider Will Direct NYMF Production of Mata Hari in 8 Bullets, Starring Onalea Gilbertson

07/11/2013 - NYMF Round-Up # 1: Theatre Festival Begins

07/15/2013 - NYMF ROUND-UP PART 1!