Digital Playbill: Say It Ain’t So

Queens Theatre's New American Voices

Say It Ain't So

Written by Nikki Brake-Sillá
Directed by Christina D. Eskridge
Director of Artistic Sign Language: Patrice Creamer

A performance benefitting the Theatre For All initiative at Queens Theatre

December 10, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Click here to contribute to tonight's benefit

We wish to express our gratitude to the Performers Unions:
Actors Equity Association
American Guild of Musical Artists
American Guild of Variety Artists
SAG-AFTRA
through Theatre Authority, Inc. for their cooperation in permitting the artists to appear in this program.

CAST

( * denotes member of Actors Equity Association)

SANDRA .......... Kimberly S. Fairbanks  *
FLIGHT ATTENDANT / PRESENT / MAMA ZIA .......... Jasmin Walker *
CAPTAIN / AMANIRENAS .......... Cloteal L. Horne *
PAST / NANA JANIE / MILLICENT .......... Darlene Hope *
FUTURE / LITTLE GIRL .......... Treshelle Edmonds *
RENESHA .......... April Jackson-Woodard
VOICE ACTOR: FUTURE .......... Alverneq Lindsay
VOICE ACTOR: RENNY .......... Sarah Ellen Stephens *
STAGE DIRECTIONS .......... Natalie Djondo

 

American Sign Language Interpretation provided by SignNexus
Interpreters: Elizabeth Guerrero, Aisha Simpson, Gloria Vargas

Who's Who

( * denotes member of Actors Equity Association)

Nikki Brake Sillá

PLAYWRIGHT Nikki Brake-Sillá is a Black playwright and filmmaker with an invisible disability, who tried to check out of the hospital with her infant, A.M.A. During the day, she works in a research lab and merges science and art to expose people to inherent bias in the medical system. She weaves stories that give urgency to folx who birth, (Against Medical Advice), COVID frontline workers, (Silos), and exposes the challenges of uterine transplant research trials, (ReWombed). She has been commissioned by EST/Sloan, Revolution Shakespeare, Elevate Theatre, and Black Music City. Nikki received her B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and her M.F.A. from the City College of New York. But what gives her the most joy is giving someone their likeness on screen and stage. https://ginifilms.com

Christina Eskridge

DIRECTOR Christina D. Eskridge is thrilled to be working with Queens Theatre and Nikki Brake-Sillá on this incredible piece. A director, performing artist, teaching artist, and playwright, Christina is also a public health professional, holding a Master’s Degree in Public Health from UC Berkeley. For the past decade, Christina has worked to fuse her two passions of health and theater through performance, her teaching artistry, and her extensive work in health care at Kaiser Permanente. Christina is the Founder and Executive Director of Elevate Theatre Company LLC, working to create space for audiences and artists to explore health and well-being through the art of storytelling. Christina believes live theater is a healing tool, ripe with opportunity to build community, educate, and inspire. Immense gratitude to family and friends for their generous love and support. www.elevatetheatrecompany.com

Patrice Creamer

Patrice Creamer (Director of American Sign Language) is thrilled to be working as Director of Artistic Sign Language for Queens Theatre’s production of Nikki Brake-Sillá's reading Say It Ain’t So, directed by Christina Eskridge. Patrice was one of the first Deaf theatrical interpreters on Broadway when she debuted in Having Our Say. She went on to interpret for Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, and Wicked. Patrice has also been the Director of Artistic Sign Language for over 15 Off-Broadway productions including Red Bull Theater’s productions of The Witch of Edmonton, The Duchess of Malfi, The Maids, Loot and The Mystery of Irma Vep; The Papermill Playhouse’s production of The Color Purple; The Public’s Theater’s Ntozake Shange’s for Colored Girls who have Considered Suicide when the Rainbow is Enough and A Raisin in the Sun; The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s production called the Barbershop Chronicles and On Broadway productions including Lion King and Birthday Candles.

Natalie Djondo

Natalie Djondo (Stage Directions) is delighted to perform with Forward Festival and The Apothetae/New American Voices Reading Series for this staged reading of Say It Ain’t So by Nikki Brake-Sillá. As a graduate of the Stella Adler Studio Professional Conservatory, Natalie has collaborated with a number of theatres, playwrights and directors sharing their work with a variety of audiences (New Victory Theater Labworks, New Plays for Young Audiences, Elevate Theater Company, Columbia University and more). Natalie most recently performed at the New York Theater Festival for the production of Leaves by Victor Vauban Junior. This February 2023, Natalie will team up with Elevate Theatre Company to participate in the UWL ArtFests (La Crosse, WI) to perform Home is Where the Fund Is, a virtual and staged play by ChelseaDee educating audiences about the importance of Reproductive Justice amidst our political climate. www.nataliedjondo.com

Kimberly S Fairbanks

Kimberly S. Fairbanks * (Sandra) is a professional actor, proud member of SAG/AFTRA and AEA, and a dedicated advocate of new plays. Kimberly’s work can be seen and heard regionally, nationally, and internationally across the performance mediums of television, film, theatre, and voice over. Kimberly holds a master’s degree in Theatre from Villanova University and is the recipient of The National Partners of the American Theatre Classical Acting Award, the Dell 'Arte International School of Physical Theatre Mad River Festival Scholarship, and the Shaw Festival Scholarship. https://www.kimberlysfairbanks.com/

Jasmin Walker

Jasmin Walker * (Flight Attendant/Present/Mama Zia) Broadway: Avenue Q. Off-Broadway faves: Conflict (Mint Theater Company), Avenue Q (New World Stages), Jesus Christ Superstar All-Female Concert & Album (Highline Ballroom). Regional Faves: TheaterWorks Hartford, KC Rep, Syracuse Stage, Music Theatre Wichita and The MUNY. TV/Film: The Endgame, Love Life, Law & Order: SVU, When They See Us, The Path, Madoff (ABC), Inside Amy Schumer, The Blacklist, Person of Interest, The Good Wife, The Chappelle Show, Eklypse: A Hip Hop Fable, I Was In Your Blood, Land of Owls, How The Light Gets In, Murphy Crib, Freedomland. With shows for Apple TV+, AMC+, and more film landing next year. Proud VO actor with current national campaigns, animation, and audiobooks. BFA from CCM.

Cloteal Horne
Cloteal L. Horne * (Captain / Amanirenas) (Her/She) is a dynamic actress, educator, and theatre-maker. Born-and-bred in San Diego California. Her theatre credits include,Selected works include: Off-Broadway: The Steadfast (Slant Theatre Project); Dirty Blood (Billie Holiday Theatre). Regional: Fires in The Mirror, Solo performer (LongWharf/Baltimore Center Stage), She A Gem (NYTW), The Bluest Eye (The Huntington Theatre), Cross That River the Musical (Marcus Garvey Amphitheater), and Black Odyssey (Trinity Rep.) TV: Grey’s Anatomy, Recurring Guest Star, Season 19 FILM: Stay Here with Me (Tuli media) The Promotion (C1 Media), The Light (B.K.Lui.Horne), and Driving While Black Magic, Breaking Dawn: American Myth Project (The NET). Teaching credits: Yale School of Drama, Brown University, NYU- Playwrights Horizons/Meisner Studio, and La Jolla Playhouse Student Conservatory. MFA Acting- Brown University/Trinity Rep. BFA Theater Arts- Boston University. Gratefully standing on the shoulders of those that have come before her, Cloteal is a product of her grandmother’s prayers + her ancestors’ wildest dream. www.CloteallHorne.com
Darlene Hope
Darlene Hope * (Past/Nana Janie/Millicent) Perhaps best known as the title character in "A Visit From Aunt Flo," the Cannes Lion Award-winning viral video that has received over 2.5 million views worldwide, Darlene Hope earned her BA in Theatre Arts from the University of South Florida and her MFA in Acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. She has also studied extensively in London, Paris, and Italy under artists Corin Redgrave, Sir Donald Sinden, Dame Sian Phillips, Patsy Rodenburg OBE, Maestro Antonio Fava, Sheridan Morley, and Tony Award winner Mark Medoff. Off Broadway: Sistas the Musical, Normalcy. Select Regional: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, American Stage, Norwegian Cruise Lines, TheatreworksUSA. TV/Film: Halston, The Blacklist, Blue Bloods, FBI, God Friended Me, Strut, Commedia By Fava, Don’t Shoot the Messenger, When Bae Doesn’t Pay Attention. DarleneHope.com.
Treshelle Edmond

Treshelle Edmond * (Future / Little Girl) was diagnosed with having a severe to profound hearing loss in both ears when she was around 18 months old. She made her Broadway debut in Deaf West Theater’s Spring Awakening Revival; Mark Medoff’s Children of a Lesser God Revival; Ntozake Shange's For Colored Girl Revival as an Understudy. Off-Broadway: ‘The Colored Museum’, ‘Another Kind of Silence’, ‘What Came After’. Television/film: House M.D., Glee, Master of None (Season 2); Jay and Silent Bob Reboot. Special Thanks to GOD! @treshelleedmond

Alverneq Lindsay

Alverneq Lindsay (Future - Voice) (she/her) is a creative producer and performer from Brooklyn, NY. She is a fellow of WP Theater’s 2022-2024 Lab and is currently working as a Line Producer at The Public Theater (Richard III, A Raisin in the Sun). She has previously worked at Little Island and the New Victory Theater, curating artistic programs and providing developmental support for artists across various disciplines. Within her independent producing she curates spaces that build community through shared experience and emotional vulnerability. Alverneq believes the arts have the ability to generate empathy and joy and strives to help increase arts access through her work as a producer and arts advocate.

April Jackson

April Jackson-Woodard (Renesha), name sign "A” (on chin repeated movement), a Missouri native who now calls Maryland home, has been highly passionate in acting since age 3. She played in Goya: en la Qunita del Sordo and Fences by August Wilson at Gallaudet University and and several other productions. April used to work as an actor and teacher for Quest Visual Theatre where she toured to China, Austria, and Canada. April is a full-time freelancer and Staff Deaf Interpreter not just interpreting, she also is Director of American Sign Language in many theatres and provides consulting, presentations and many more. April’s latest project, a short film titled ‘Fractal’ written and directed by Anslem Richardson in which she played a role, just wrapped in August 2022. During her special moments, April loves exercise traveling, and to spend a lot of time with her two Deaf children.

Sarah Ellen Stephens

Sarah Ellen Stephens * (Renesha - Voice) (she/her/hers) is excited to make her Queen Theatre debut. Some theater credits include the world premieres of Theresa Rebeck’s Dig (Dorset Theatre Festival), Sheepdog (Contemporary American Theater Festival), Jupiter (a play about power) (La Mama Experimental Theatre Club), Adam Rapp’s Classic Kitchen Timer and Jonathan Reynolds’ Girls in Trouble (the Flea Theater),  and Doubt, A Parable (Human Race Theater Company).  Some film credits include '21 Bridges' (Brian Kirk starring Chadwick Boseman), 'Faraway Eyes' (Harry Greenberger starring Andy Karl), Lee Daniels' 'Pimp' (Christine Crokos starring Keke Palmer), 'Hallway' (Leah Shore/SXSW premiere), and 'Fill Your Heart with French Fries' (Tamar Glezerman). Some television: 'Law & Order: SVU' (NBC), 'She’s Gotta Have It' (Netflix - Spike Lee), 'Z: The Beginning of Everything' (Amazon), and 'Iron Fist' (Netflix). She’s currently starring in the short 'Puss' (SXSW 2021 premiere) - which is still screening in festivals around the country. sarahellenstephens.com

Queens Theatre

Staff

Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director
Connie Baker, Rentals and Events Manager
Charles Bennett, Building Attendant
Victor Catano, Production Manager
Jeanmarie Conley, Technical Director
Dominic D'Andrea, Director of Community Engagement
Richard Hinojosa, Director of Education
Tony Lackram, Operations Assistant
Vasilios Leon, Box Office Assistant
Willy Mosquera, Front of House Manager
Bernadette Ott, Development Manager
Angelica Rodriguez, Finance Manager
Gabriel Rodriguez
, Box Office Supervisor
Jerry Rodriguez, Sound Associate
Jay Rogers, Director of Operations/GM
Jordi Toro, Box Office Assistant
Jorge Toro, Building Attendant
Williams A. Smith, Building Attendant
Rob Urbinati, Director of New Play Development
Steve Wolf, Assistant Production Manager/Lighting Supervisor

Marketing and PR: Anat Gerstein, Inc.

Board of Directors

Executive Committee

Gary Kesner, President
Tracy Capune, Vice President
Bruce Levine, Treasurer
Mark Misk, Secretary
Alfonso Quiroz

Members

Jennifer Bai
Georgiana Benatti

Steve Chen
Salvatore DiMartino
Cameron R. Hernandez
Susan B. Lipsky
Irene Zoupaniotis

Ex-Officio

Eric Adams, New York City Mayor
Donovan Richards, Queens Borough President
Laurie Cumbo, Commissioner, NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
Michael Dockett
, Queens Borough Commissioner, NYC Department of Parks & Recreation

Board President Emeritus: Frances A. Resheske

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