Digital Playbill: Tumbleweed

Queens Theatre

New American Voices Spring 2022 Reading Series

Rob Urbinati, Director of New Play Development

presents

TUMBLEWEED

By Marcus Scott

Directed by
Dev Bondarin

CAST

( * denotes member of Actors Equity)

Rebecca Anderson ........................... Mel House *
Isaiah Anderson ........................ Russell Jordan *
Willow Anderson ........ Ashley Nicole Baptiste *
Winter Anderson ......................... Hillary Fisher *
Jazmine Banks ........................ Sharaé Moultrie
Nadia ...................................... Kaisha S. Huguley
Anna Mae .................................. Reneé Flemings *
Otis Ferguson ......................... Anthony Franqui
Ezra ........................................... Toren Nakamura

In person at the Queens Theatre Studio
April 23, 2022 at 8:00 PM

Who's Who

* denotes member of Actors Equity Association

Marcus Scott

Playwright MARCUS SCOTT is a playwright, musical theatre writer, and journalist. Selected works: Tumbleweed (finalist for the 2017 Bay Area Playwrights Festival and the 2017 Festival of New American Plays at Austin Playhouse; semi-finalist for 2022 Blue Ink Playwriting Award and the 2017 New Dramatists Princess Grace Fellowship Award), Sibling Rivalries (finalist for the 2021 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and the 2021 ATHE-KCACTF Judith Royer Excellence in Playwriting Award; semi-finalist for 2021 Blue Ink Playwriting Award and the 2021 New Dramatists Princess Grace Fellowship Award) and Cherry Bomb (NY Theatre Barn New Works Series; recipient of the 2017 Drama League First Stage Artist-In-Residence). He was commissioned by Heartbeat Opera to adapt Beethoven’s Fidelio (Librettist/Co-writer; The Met Museum, Mondavi Center; NY Times Critic’s Pick and scored "highbrow and brilliant” by New York Magazine's Approval Matrix). Residencies and retreats: The Road Theatre Company's Under Construction 3 Playwrights Group, Works & Process LaunchPAD “Process as Destination” Residency at the Guggenheim, Prospect's Musical Theater Lab, JACK Governor's Island Artist Residency, Catwalk Artist Residency, Gingold Theatre Group Speaker's Corner Writer, Liberation Theatre Company's Playwriting Residency Fellowship, Athena Theatre Company's Athena Writes Playwriting Fellowship and Fresh Ground Pepper Artist-In-Residence BRB Retreat. Scott is a 2021 NYSAF Founders’ Award finalist and a 2021 Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award semi-finalist. His articles appeared in Architectural Digest, Time Out New York, American Theatre Magazine, Playbill, Elle, Out, Essence, The Brooklyn Rail, among others. MFA: NYU Tisch School of the Arts.

Dev Bondarin

Director DEV BONDARIN is a theater director and the Associate Artistic Director of Prospect Theater Company. For six seasons, Dev served as Artistic Director of Astoria Performing Arts Center where her credits include the NY premiere of Marguerite (with Tony Award-winner Cady Huffman, Broadway Records cast album), Merrily We Roll Along and Raisin (which both earned NY Innovative Theatre Awards for Outstanding Musical), Caroline, or Change (AUDELCO Award for Outstanding Musical Revival), Follies, In The Bones, and readings/workshops of new plays and musicals. Other selected directing: Rule of Three (Prospect Theater Company’s 2021 musical theater lab), A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (upcoming) and Little Women (Festival 56), King Lear (American Bard), and seven tours with TheaterWorksUSA. Dev has been nominated for two AUDELCO Awards and an NYIT Award, and received an Alumni of the Year Award from the Theater Department at Brooklyn College, where she earned an MFA. BA: Brandeis University. She is thrilled to be working with frequent collaborator Marcus Scott and this wonderful cast at Queens Theatre. devbondarin.com @devbondarin

Ashley Nicole Baptiste

Ashley Nicole Baptiste* (Willow) is a proud graduate of Rutgers University's Mason Gross School of the Arts MFA Acting Program with professional training at Shakespeare's Globe in London. Professional credits include: When Day Comes, Crossroads Theatre Company; Seven Guitars, Artists Repertory Theater; Jitney, Portland Playhouse; Hands Up, Red Door Projects; and In The Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, Profile Theater. TV: “Grimm” (NBC), “Notes From The Field” (HBO), and “New Amsterdam” (NBC). Play Reading: Strange Courtesies; African American Shakespeare Company. Ashley is the Associate Artistic Director of Jersey City Theater Center.  ashleynicolebaptiste.com

Hillary Fisher

Hillary Fisher* (Winter) is a graduate of Pace University and LaGuardia High School. Off Broadway: Cyrano (The New Group). Regional: Pamela's First Musical (Two River Theater), Little Shop of Horrors (Fulton Opera House), Rent, West Side Story, The Producers (Mac-Haydn) TV: “The Chica Show” (Sprout). Follow her @No.chillary for more! Grateful for my team over at Buchwald, Schachter Entertainment for believing in me.

Renee Flemings

Reneé Flemings* (Anna Mae) Theatre credits include Tumbleweed, Macbeth, Hamlet, and Vampire Lesbians of Sodom. Film/TV includes: Time Out of Mind, “Boardwalk Empire,” and “Law & Order: SVU.” As a writer/performer of several solo shows: Women, Power and the Bard, From the Front Porch, “...secrets..” and The Bible Belt. As a playwright her plays include: The Jam (Genesis Festival, Crossroads Theatre, NJ, and The Living Room Series, Blank Theatre, LA), Strange Weather (O’Neill Finalist), The Brotherhood (B3 Arizona), and The Box (B3Arizona-2022). Reneé is so thrilled to be a part of the Tumbleweed family again.

Anthony Franqui

Anthony Franqui (Otis) is a native New Yorker. He has worked in venues such as Dixon Place,  Ars Nova, and HERE Arts Center. He has also been featured in works for the New Yorker, L.A. Shorts Festival, Dumbo Film Festival, and the Chelsea Film Festival. Recent commercial highlights include the voice of Vans Checkerboard Day Campaign and a national commercial for Constant Contact. He's excited to work on this beautiful play with this cast and crew.

Mel House

Mel House* (Rebecca) (she/her/herself) is a queer NYC-based actress, comedian and the creator of the dark comedy webseries HOT ANGRY MOM (a 2019 finalist for Sundance’s New Voice’s Lab - @hotangrymom). Recently she played Judy in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and toured internationally in Rome, Cagliari, Belgrade, Dublin, and NYC with The Baby Monitor--a new play about same-sex parenting. She has played iconic roles from Shakespeare to Ibsen, working Off-Broadway, regionally, and internationally, as well as originating roles for the web, film, and TV. More at melhouse.com

Kaisha S. Huguley

Kaisha S. Huguley (Nadia) is a New York based multi-hyphenate artist originally from Washington, D.C. Kaisha’s recent credits include Kinky Boots (Arts Center of Coastal Carolina), Work from Home Musical (TikTok), Miracle on 34th Street and The Full Monty (Argyle Theatre). Kaisha creates content for her online fanbase via her TikTok, Instagram, & YouTube Channel. Kaisha is also the Director of Diversity & Cultural Creative Initiatives as well as a Faculty Member at The American Musical & Dramatic Academy. Follow her on Instagram & TikTok @kaishacreates.

Russell Jordan

Russell Jordan* (Isaiah) is overjoyed to return to the stage after the “pandemic pause,” and thanks director Dev Bondarin for this opportunity. In 2020, Russell earned a Helen Hayes Awards Outstanding Performer nomination for his work in Monica Bauer’s Vivian's Music, 1969, (homework: search “Shooting of Vivian Strong”), in which he originated the role of Luigi Wells. Off-Broadway: Vivian's Music, 1969 (59E59 Theaters). Other theater: Street Theater [The Other Side of Silence] (New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble). TV: “The Last O.G.,” “FBI,” “The Blacklist,” “Blue Bloods.” Follow Russell on Twitter and Instagram at @russjordan.

Sharae Moultrie

Sharaé Moultrie (Jazmine) is an NYC based actor and singer. She was recently seen in Arden: But, Not Without You, an experimental, artist-driven work at The Flea. Sharaé has performed across the globe, singing at renowned venues such as Feinstein’s/54Below, Joe’s Pub at the Public, and music festivals including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. As a musical theater performer, her most notable roles include Deena Jones (Dreamgirls, International Tour), Emmie Thibodeaux (Caroline, or Change), and Lady Larken (Once Upon A Mattress). She gives special thanks to God, her family, friends, and agents for their support. Follow her journey at iamsharae.com

Toren Nakamura

Toren Nakamura (Ezra) is a singer, songwriter, and voice coach. Theater credits include Sweeney Todd with the New York Philharmonic, Chess in Concert and The Mysteries. He is also an accomplished background vocalist, having appeared with artists like Cynthia Erivo, Emily King, Elton John, and Phish on tour. His voice clientele represent various industries and levels of experience, ranging from undergraduate BFA/BM students to Emmy, Grammy and Tony nominees. @torennakamura on Instagram.

Queens Theatre

Staff

Taryn Sacramone, Executive Director
Connie Baker, Rentals and Events Manager
Charles Bennett, Building Attendant
Victor Catano, Production Manager
Dominic D'Andrea, Director of Community Engagement
Richard Hinojosa, Director of Education
Vasilios Leon, Box Office Assistant
Willy Mosquera, Front of House Manager
Bernadette Ott, Development Manager
Angelica Rodriguez, Finance Manager
Gabriel Rodriguez
, Box Office Supervisor
Jay Rogers, Director of Operations/GM
Jordi Toro, Box Office Assistant
Jorge Toro, 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

Georgiana Benatti
Steve Chen
Salvatore DiMartino
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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