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Manuel versus The Statue of Liberty

Book by Noemi de la Puente; Music by David Davila & Howard Post; Lyrics by Noemi de la Puente & David Davila

Manuel versus The Statue of Liberty

at The Alice Griffin Jewel Box Theatre  [map]

  • Tuesday, July 21, 2015 at 8:00 pm
  • Wednesday, July 22, 2015 at 5:00 pm
  • Friday, July 24, 2015 at 1:00 pm
  • Saturday, July 25, 2015 at 5:00 pm
  • Sunday, July 26, 2015 at 8:00 pm
  • Monday, July 27, 2015 at 12:00 pm

A musical comedy about illegal immigration. 

Winner of the 2014 NYMF Developmental Reading Series Award, this Latin-infused American musical is inspired by the true story of a Princeton undergrad who was an undocumented child immigrant from the Dominican Republic. When Manuel gets a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford, he’s faced with the realization that he can't leave the USA. He takes on The Statue of Liberty in the fight of a lifetime: the high-stakes boxing match that is immigration today. Is Manuel worthy? No one is spared in this political comedy that pulls no punches about immigration reform and the American Dream.

Running Time: 1 hour and 40 minutes, plus one intermission.

Gil Perez-Abraham

Gil Perez-Abraham (Manuel)

NYC: Little Fish (B-Side Productions), Holy Land (HERE Arts Center), Pyre Cantata (HERE) selected regional: Pippin (KC Rep), Buddy Holly (New Theatre), Elegies (Nick), Jesus Hopped the ''A' Train (Angel), Midsummer Nights Dream(Demetrius) film: Pretty Girls, Second Shot, Spark tv: The Bodega Series Gil also writes, records, and performs with his own band. for the ffam y mi familia. s/o Irene and the team at DDO. @gilbertemilio

Shakina Nayfack

Shakina Nayfack (Statue of Liberty)

Shakina Nayfack is the founding Artistic Director of Musical Theatre Factory (@mtfmusicals) and the first transwoman to be honored with a Lilly Award recognizing remarkable contributions to the American Theatre made by women (2015). Her autobiographical ONE WOMAN SHOW played Joe’s Pub, 54 Below, Sophie’s, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, Barrington Stage Company, and was the flagship project of her groundbreaking KickStartHer campaign to crowdsource funds for gender confirmation. MFA, PhD, SDC.@shakeenz

Tami Dahbura

Tami Dahbura (Ensemble Woman 1)

Tami is thrilled to be a part of NYMF and this wonderful show. First National Tours: Memphis, In the Heights. National/International Tour: A Chorus Line. Off- Broadway: The Pajama Game. Regional theatre: original cast: Heartland - Theatreworks, US premiere cast: The Three Musketeers - American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Flora, the Red Menace - 42nd Street Moon. Favorite roles: “The Witch” - Into The Woods, “Electra” - Gypsy, Marta” -Company, “Dot” - Sunday In The Park With George. Featured soloist: Hawaii Symphony, Sacramento Philharmonic, Oakland East Bay Symphony.

Anthony Chan

Anthony Chan (Ensemble Man 1)

Bay Area native. National tour: Anything Goes (John). New York: Allegiance (pre-Broadway Workshop), Hesitation Waltz (Comic). Regional: Avenue Q (Princeton), Ching Chong Chinaman (Upton), …Spelling Bee (Chip Tolentino), All Shook Up (Dennis), Oliver! (Noah Claypole), How to Succeed… (Toynbee). Special thanks to my family, big, littles and twins, the Manuel team, faculty of UCI, FFAM, and, of course, Luke. Training: University of California, Irvine; ODH.

Alicia Tomasko

Alicia Tomasko (Ensemble Woman 2/Dance Captain)

Alicia is so incredibly thrilled to have her first NYMF show to be with this amazing cast and creative team! Floridian by way of Ohio, she moved to NYC in 2010 to perform in the Tony Award-Winning show 'In The Heights' on Broadway. Other favorites: "In The Heights" Miami (Carla), Evita 1st National (Ensemble), Little Shop of Horrors Starstruck (Audrey). WEPA Rikky at The Hybrid Agency. Alla Luna to Momma.

AJ Meijer

AJ Meijer (Ensemble Man 2)

AJ Meijer is excited to be a part of NYMF for the first time! He recently made his New York theatre debut in the original cast of the smash hit Heathers - The Musical after being a part of the Los Angeles workshop. On film, AJ has shared the screen with Adam Brody and Leighton Meester in the romantic comedy Life Partners and Vincent D'Onofrio and Anton Yelchin in the suspenseful thriller Broken Horses. He co-founded the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble and was seen in their productions of The War Cycle: Wounded (Doc), The War Cycle: Nation of Two (Rapha), and The War Cycle: Gospel According to First Squad (Muhammad), for which he was nominated for an Ovation Award. Regionally, he last appeared as Lennie in Of Mice and Men at TheatreWorks, Silicon Valley. He has performed at the Ahmanson Theatre and spent four seasons performing at the Getty, where he worked with the National Theatre of Greece in Swallow Song and created the role of Bigbuxo in the hilarious original musical Tug of War. Mr. Meijer earned his theatre degree from the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television. He also co-hosts the weekly, industry-focused podcast Inside Acting. Learn more at or

Erika Gonzalez

Erika Gonzalez (Ensemble Woman 3)

Erika is thrilled to be making her NYMF debut with Manuel Vs The Statue of Liberty! Recent credits include The Taming of the Shrew (Random Access Theatre), Storytime with Mr. Butterman (NY Fringe), and Ser o No Cervantes (Revolución Latina), as well as the recently released feature film Digital Physics. She has a BFA in Acting (NYU) and a Post-Grad Diploma in Classical Acting (LAMDA). Erika is a proud Uruguayan actress and AEA member!

Michael Marotta

Michael Marotta (Ensemble Man 3)

Michael Marotta, last month: The Music Man opposite Will Chase (Cincinnati Pops) and Tennessee Shakes remounting of Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical (playing everyone who wasn’t Rosemary), roles he originated at Cincinnati’s Playhouse in the Park. He created the role of Walter Winchell in last seasons’ NYMF offering, Mr. Confidential here at the Signature. Recent credits: Herr Schultz in Cabaret (Rep Theater St. Louis), Huck in The Fantasticks (Florida Rep), Billy Flynn in Chicago (Flat Rock Playhouse, NC). NYC credits include Mad about the Boy, (salute to Noel Coward), and Irving Berlin’s Louisiana Purchase, (both @ Carnegie Hall). Two time recipient of both the MAC Award and the BACKSTAGE Bistro Award.

Zach Blane (Lighting Designer)

Selected credits: Soul Doctor (Off Broadway); Too Much, Too Much, Too Many, Suicide Incorporated, YANK! (Roundabout Theatre Company). LUNGS, Zero Hour (Barrington Stage Company, Massachusetts); Ain't Misbehavin', Vanya...Spike, Deathtrap, Chapter 2 (Bucks County Playhouse); Ragtime (The Strand Theatre, Boston); CONNED (City Theatre, Detroit); Evita, Plaza Suite (Engeman Theater); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Will Rogers Center, Texas); Norwegian Cruise Lines (Fleet-wide Lighting Designer). NYMF Awards: Excellence in Design at NYMF for Bayonets of Angst ('14), The Awakening of Angel Deluna ('13), Baby Case ('12), Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, a musical ('11). Named "Designer to Watch" by Live Design Magazine 2011. Adjunct Professor, Pace University.

Lux Haac

Lux Haac (Costume Designer)

Lux Haac is a New York based Costume Designer who designs for both stage and film. Her most recent credits include: Leave Me Green, directed by Jay Stull, The Gym at Judson; Woyzeck, directed by Jeremy Pape, The New Ohio; Love/Sick, directed by Chris Henry, Royal Family Performing Arts Space; The Road to Damascus, directed by Michael Parva, 59E59; and The Erlkings, directed by Saheem Ali, Theater Row. Lux holds a MFA in Design for Stage and Film from Tisch/NYU. For more information, please visit

David Margolin Lawson

David Margolin Lawson (Sound Designer)

David Margolin Lawson is a New York based sound designer and recording engineer. Previously for NYMF: A Letter to Harvey Milk, Swing State, My History of Marriage, Hurricane (voted Outstanding Overall Design 2009), Tut, Villa Diodati, To Paint The Earth, Warrior, Behind the Limelight. Recent NY credits include: The Queen Bees (Queens Theatre in the Park), A Happy End (Abingdon Theatre Co.),The Seagull (dir. Max Stafford-Clark, Culture Project), Barcelo Con Hielo (Repertorio Espanol), The Last Will (dir. Austin Pendleton, Abingdon Theatre Co.), Bronte: A Portrait Of Charlotte (Ars Nova), The Sphinx Winx (Beckett), La Barberia (New World Stages), The First Breeze Of Summer (dir. Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Signature Theatre Co.). David teaches Sound Design at Pace University, NYC.

Elsie Stark

Elsie Stark (Casting Director)

Stark Naked Productions/Elsie Stark Casting: SNP and its casting directors Elsie Stark and Elizabeth Gans combined have over 30 years of experience in casting in all areas of the industry. They have been committed to diversity and non-traditional casting throughout their careers. Their casting projects are diversified as well working in film, television, theater, commercials, real people, industrials and voiceovers. Working with the creative team on “Manuel verses The Statue of Liberty” and NYMF has been a joy and honor. Visit the “Naked” gang at or contact us

Joshua Quinn (Stage Manager)

NYMF: The Travels, The Tenth Floor, POPart. Off-Broadway: Sistas, A Loss of Roses, Buyer & Cellar, F#%ing Up Everything. Tour: The Lightning Thief, Fly Guy. New York: The Farm, Requiem for Sherlock, Thicker than Water, Helicopters, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Yorktown, Sister Myotis's Bible Camp, Engaging Shaw, Dreyfus in Rehearsal. Proud member of AEA.

Michael Tosto (Assistant Stage Manager)

Broadway: One Man, Two Guvnors, Les Misérables. NYMF: Homo The Musical. Off-Broadway: 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, Autum’s Harvest (LCE), bare the musical. Touring: The Berenstain Bears Live!, Cuff Me: The 50 Shades of Grey Parody. Proud member of AEA. Love to Chris, Nikola, and Polonius.

Lisa Dozier King (General Manager)

Lisa has been general managing productions and special events in New York City for more than a decade. Select Off Broadway: Bedbugs the Musical, The Erlkings, Breakfast with Mugabe, Final Analysis, F#%king Up Everything, Sistas the Musical, Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte, Ten Chimneys, The Duchess of Malfi (Red Bull), How to be a Good Italian Daughter, Milk (New Georges), The Diary of a Teenage Girl (3LD),  Stormy Weather (Pasadena Playhouse), The Rise and Fall of Annie Hall. Previously, she has been on staff at Manhattan Theatre Club (Doubt, Reckless), Symphony Space (Surface to Air), The New 42nd Street and American Repertory Theatre. Lisa is the general manager for the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s Festival of New Musicals and is the director of the bfa theatre management program at the University of Miami.

Imani Champion (Production Assistant)

Imani Champion is thrilled to be spending the summer working on her first NYMF production! She is a senior at Montclair State University, studying theatre production and stage management. Imani has worked in various positions at organizations across the city, including The Actors Company Theatre, Second Stage, and the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. Love and gratitude to family & friends.

David Davila

David Davila (Composer)

David Davila (composer) is a playwright/composer from South Texas who now lives in Brooklyn. His works include Vox Pop, Adan Y Julio, #52Songs, Men Of God, Tales From Highway 281, Credo, Aztec Pirates & The Insignificance Of Life On Mars, The Little Black Book Poems, and many others. He is the founder and artistic director of Lone Star Theatre Company, and the managing editor of He is a Primary Stages Rockwell Scholar.

José Zayas

José Zayas (Director)

José Zayas has directed over 70 productions in New York, regionally and internationally. Credits include: The House of the Spirits adapted by Caridad Svich, Barcelo con Hielo, La Nena Se Casa, Love in the Time of Cholera, In the Time of the Butterflies, Madre (el drama padre), Besame Mucho, Nowhere on the Border, and Letters to a Mother (Repertorio Español); Cancun by Jordi Galceran (Gala Theatre), Pinkolandia by Andrea Thome (INTAR and Two River Theatre), Father of Lies and Vengeance Can Wait (PS122); P.S. Jones and the Frozen City by Rob Askins and Feeder: A Love Story by James Carter (TerraNOVA Collective); Okay by Taylor Mac and Mrs. Jones and the Man From Dixieland by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik (EST), Your Name Will Follow You Home by Carlos Murillo (Repertorio Espanol), The Idea of Me by Kristina Poe (Cherry Lane Mentor Project), The Queen Bees by Rob Urbinati (QTP). BA: Harvard University. MFA: Carnegie Mellon University 

Noemi de la Puente

Noemi de la Puente (Book, Lyrics)

GENERIC HISPANIC (finalist MultiStages New Works contest 2012), MANUEL VERSUS THE STATUE OF LIBERTY (winner – 2014 NYMF Developmental Reading Series Award), THE REVENGE OF SUICIDE JACK, LIGHTNING STRIKES TWICE (10 min. musical). Solo show FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH. Founding member DQT. Anna Sosenko Assist Trust grant recipient. MFA in Theatre Arts from the University of Iowa (Patricia Roberts Harris Scholarship), MSE Princeton University, BSE Caltech. Member of the Dramatists Guild. “Pura vida” to Ron!

Jason Simms (Scenic Design)

New York productions include Urge for Going (The Public Theater), The Bad Guys (Second Stage Uptown), A Bright New Boise and After (Partial Comfort Productions), When January Feels Like Summer, Finks and Headstrong (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Uncle Vanya (Pearl Theatre Company), American Treasure and Melancholy Play (13P), and CLONED! for NYMF 2014.

Adriana Sosa (Spot Op)

Adriana Sosa is a recent graduate from the University of Miami with a BFA in Stage Management. At the university, she stage managed and worked in the box office at the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre. UM Credits include: She Loves Me, Floyd Collins, Slaughterhouse Five: The Musical, 25th Annual Putnam a County Spelling Bee, and The Women. Last summer, she was a technical apprentice at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in New York City.

Frankie Dailey (Associate General Manager)

Frankie Dailey is the Managing Director for New York's newest Off-Broadway company, the Masterworks Theater Company, which just closed its inaugural season with the NYT Critics' Pick A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additionally, he is the General Manager for the Off-Broadway venue The Playroom Theater, home to the OCC-nominated tour de force The Bullpen. Frankie is a Line-Producer with the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival of New Musicals, as well as frequent managerial collaborator with Lisa Dozier King, Eric Krebs, as well as Michael Roberts and Charlie Schulman, for whom he will represent a new musical The Goldstein Variations Off-Broadway this fall. Frankie has a BA from James Madison University and is a Fred Vogel scholar and graduate of the Commercial Theatre Institute 14-week program.

Adele Rylands (Fight Director)

Adele has staged fights and taught both across the States as well as in Canada. Current and upcoming productions include: King John (The Fools & Kings Project), Elise: A New Musical (Paradise Factory), Taming of the Shrew (Manhattan Shakespeare Project). Iggy Award for Best Choreography: Toronto Shakespeare in the Quad's Richard III. BFA in Directing from New York

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