Meet the makers of Matt Minnicino’s side-splitting sendup of suckups and phonies.
THE WAGGISH WRITER
Matt Minnicino is a playwright, actor, teacher, and incorrigible tale-teller based in Manhattan. His work has been developed around the U.S. (and in Ireland). Along with Molière, he has adapted Chekhov (three times), Strindberg, Ibsen, Gorky, Genet, Shakespeare, Aeschylus, Euripides, Sophocles, Homer, The Book of Genesis, poems by Rilke, art by Magritte, and more. He is an alumnus of Pipeline Theatre’s PlayLab, the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and SPACE on Ryder Farm and is the winner of the Arts & Letters Prize. MFA: Columbia. www.mattminnicino.com
THE FRISKY CAST
Sara Barker (Arsinoe) has performed in numerous Avant Bard productions including Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight (Emilie), King Lear (Edgar), Othello (Desdemona), Orlando (Orlando), Mary Stuart (Elizabeth), Six Characters in Search of an Author (Stepdaughter), The House of Yes (Jackie-O), The Cherry Orchard (Varya), The Mistorical Hystery of Henry (I)V (Hotspur), Lulu (Lulu), and The Miser (La Fleece). Other DC productions include Rainbow Theatre Project’s Clothes for a Summer Hotel (Zelda), Factory 449’s 4.48 Pyschosis, and Closetland; Rorschach’s A Maze (Oksana), This Storm Is What We Call Progress (Lily), and The Gallerist (Vanessa); Faction of Fool’s The Cherry Orchard (Madame Ranevsky); Scena’s A Woman of No Importance (Mrs. Arbuthnot), The Importance of Being Earnest (Algernon). NYC credits include The Brick’s King Lear (King Lear), Hipgnosis Theatre’s The Winter’s Tale (Paulina), and various devised works with directors Lear DeBessonet and Josh Fox. Sara is a graduate of St. John’s College and a company member with Avant Bard, Factory 449, Rorschach Theatre, and The Klunch. www.sarabarker.com
Jenna Berk (Philinte) was previously seen at Avant Bard in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She most recently appeared in 4615 Theatre Company’s Separate Rooms by Joe Calarco. She has performed across the DC region, including at the Folger Theatre, Taffety Punk Theatre Company, Constellation Theatre Company, Imagination Stage, and Brave Spirits Theatre (Artistic Associate). Jenna is a proud graduate of the University of Virginia and LAMDA.
Erik Harrison (Oronte understudy) is an actor/writer and cofounder of The Coil Project. Acting credits include Sing to Me Now (Rorschach); Adult Entertainment (The Klunch); ’Tis Pity She’s a Whore, A King and No King (Brave Spirits); King Kirby, Completely Hollywood (abridged) (Off the Quill); Dead Dog’s Bone, A Bright Room Called Day (Nu Sass); #sexts, It Will All Make Sense in the Morning (Coil). His play A Slow Bullet was a 2018 DCMTA Best of Fringe.
Patrick Joy (Clitandre) is thrilled to be joining Avant Bard for the first time! He was last seen as Dylan Klebold in columbinus at 1st Stage. He’s also worked with Keegan Theatre, Rainbow Theatre Project, 4615 Theatre Co, and more. He holds a BA in Theatre and a BSc in Physics for some reason. www.PatrickJoyActor.com
Elliott Kashner (Alceste) is pleased to return to Avant Bard, having previously appeared as Pentheus in The Bacchae. Recent favorite credits include The Burn at The Hub Theatre and The Book of Joseph at Everyman Theatre. He is a grants writer and manager currently working for Everyman Theatre. He holds a BS in Economics from George Mason University.
Thais Menendez (Celimene) is a bilingual Cuban-American actress from Miami. Recent area credits include columbinus (1st Stage); Things That Are Round (Rep Stage); Richard III (Shakespeare Theatre Company, u/s); Don Cristobal (Pointless Theatre, Helen Hayes nomination Best Adaptation); Óyeme, the Beautiful (Imagination Stage); Señorita y Madame, Volcano, New Adventures of Don Quijote (GALA Hispanic Theatre); Neverwhere (Rorschach Theatre); What Every Girl Should Know, Dry Land (Forum Theatre); Abortion Road Trip (Theatre Prometheus). Thais received her BA in Theatre and English from Boston College.
Chloe Mikala (Eliante) is excited to be working with this crazy group of people! She was just recently seen in The Burn with The Hub Theatre. Locally she’s worked with Second City (Kennedy Center and Woolly Mammoth Theatre), Rorschach Theatre, NextStop Theatre Co., The Welders, Keegan Theatre, Pointless Theatre Co., Single Carrot Theatre, Baltimore Center Stage, Everyman Theatre, and others. When she’s not acting, you can be sure to catch her at an open mic doing stand up. She may or may not be funny. No promises. Training: Towson University, iO Theatre Chicago. Instagram: @chloe_mikala. www.chloemikala.com
Tendo Nsubuga (Acaste) is thankful to make his debut at Avant Bard. His previous credits include Native Son (Mosaic Theater Company of DC), The Farnsworth Invention and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (1st Stage), and Looking for Roberto Clemente (Imagination Stage). Tendo holds a BA in Theatre from the University of Maryland.
Matthew Sparacino (Oronte) is thrilled to be back at Avant Bard after playing the mustachioed club owner Orsino in Illyria, or What You Will earlier this season. A native of the DC area, Matt has performed with many local theaters over the past decade. Select credits include The Farnsworth Invention (HHA nomination – Best Ensemble) and Lobby Hero (1st Stage); Six Degrees of Separation (Keegan Theatre); Don Cristóbal, Hugo Ball, Doctor Caligari, and A Very Pointless Holiday Spectacular (Pointless Theatre, with whom he is an artistic associate); The Winter’s Tale and Antony & Cleopatra (Folger Theatre); and Fever/Dream (Woolly Mammoth). Special thanks and lots of love to Kyra for sharing me with the stage in the month before our wedding! www.matthewsparacino.com
Hannah Sweet (Basque/DuBois) was most recently in Avant Bard’s remount of A Two Woman Hamlet as a part of its 2019 Scripts in Play Festival. Local credits include Faction of Fools’ Henry V (Dauphin, Boy), Don Juan (Charlotte, Don Louis), and Pinocchio! (Cat); Brave Spirits Theatre’s The Bloody Banquet (Roxana) and Henry IV Parts 1 and 2 in rep (Lady Percy, Warwick, etc.); Nu Sass’s A Bright Room Called Day (Zillah); Naked Theatre Company’s Bitch: A Play About Antigone (Antigone); Theatre Prometheus’ Twelfth Night (Maria); and Lean and Hungry’s Taming of the Shrew (Bianca). She is an artistic associate with Brave Spirits and a company member of Faction of Fools.
THE CRAFTY CREATIVE AND PRODUCTION TEAM
Megan Behm (Director) is delighted to be making her Avant Bard debut! Previous directing credits include To Tell My Story (Helen Hayes Nomination, Best Original Adaptation) and Switch (The Welders), 45 Plays for 45 Presidents (NextStop Theatre), Cymbeline (Virginia Shakespeare Festival), Safe as Houses (Pinky Swear Productions), The Comedy of Errors (Lean & Hungry Theater), The Campsite Rule (The Washington Rogues), Minus You and Edward Cullen Ruined My Mother’s Love Life (The Source Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream and According to Shakespeare (InterAct Story Theatre). Training: College of William & Mary, LAMDA, Studio Theater Conservatory. www.megan-behm.com
Megan Holden (Set Designer) is a longtime theatre lover from Harrisonburg, VA. She studied theatre design and film production at James Madison University. Recently, she has moved to Washington, DC, and been involved with several theatre companies, including Studio Theatre, Anacostia Playhouse, and Scena Theatre Company, either painting or designing scenery.
Alison Samantha Johnson (Costume Designer) is super pleased to be working with Avant Bard for the first time! Some previous area designs include Heisenberg at Signature Theatre, Hands on a Hardbody at Keegan Theatre, Cyrano de Bergerac at Synetic Theater. Up next: Little Shop of Horrors with ArtsCentric. www.alisonsamantha.com
Elizabeth Roth (Lighting Designer) is a DC transplant from Ohio. Elizabeth is currently the resident lighting designer for Washington International School, and some of her favorite designs were Dogg’s Hamlet, Cahoot’s Macbeth and Treasure Island. Her selected credits include designs for Catholic University (Suor Angelica), Séber Method Academy, and the Welders (Switch). In her free time, Elizabeth also crochets tiny animals. www.ElizabethRothProductions.com
Kevin Alexander (Sound Designer)
Liz Long (Properties Designer) returns to Avant Bard having recently worked her magic for Topdog/Underdog and Ilyria, or What You Will. Other recent designs include Puffs, Coraline, and 1776 (Landless Theatre Company), The Man Who, The River, and Happy Hour (Spooky Action Theatre), and Five Lesbians Eating a Quiche (Monumental Theatre). When not making theater magic, Liz is the Production Manager for Encore Decor Event Design and Production.
Abigail Wasserman (Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working on her first show with Avant Bard! She is a Freelance Stage Manager in the DC Metro Area with a BA in Theatre from The University of Maryland College Park. She has worked with Monumental, Brave Spirits, Solas Nua, and Rorschach.
Ralph Derbyshire (Technical Director) is an Arlington native. He has worked throughout the DC region for the last 15 years, though most notably with The Smithsonian Folklife Festival (2002-08, 2010-15), GWU’s Lisner Auditorium (2007-12), as well as many local crewing companies setting up special events. He has held the titles Master Carpenter, Master Flyman, Assistant Stage Manager, and Shop Foreman. He also works and volunteers with the National Folk Festival as well as several other festivals locally and around the country. This is his fifth show as Technical Director with Avant Bard—following The Gospel at Colonus (2018), The Tempest, Illyria, or What You Will and Topdog/Underdog—and he is excited to bring his skills back to real theatre.
A Misanthrope plays May 30 to June 30, 2019, at Gunston Arts Center, Theatre Two, 2700 South Lang Street, Arlington, VA 22206. Ample free parking.For driving directions and easy public-transportation info click here.
Pay What You Will previews are May 30 to June 1 and June 3 at 7:30 pm. Opening/Press Night is June 4 at 7:30 pm. Saturday matinees are followed by Unscripted Afterchats with members of the cast and creative team.
Tickets are $40, and available online or by phone at 703-418-4808. For every performance, an allotment of tickets are Pay What You Will, which means you can name your price. You can reserve PWYW tickets online the Monday before each performance for a small service minimum, or at the door with no minimum.