Our latest review said, “The acting, especially the various ethnic and regional accents, was strong. The sets were the most elaborate I’ve yet seen in this year’s festival…” (metaphorical.wordpress.com)!! We’ve sold out our first three performances and only have two left, so make sure you purchase your tickets for 8/24 or 8/27 before they are gone! Click here!
Hometown: Falmouth, ME
Education: Connecticut College, BA Theater/Atlantic Acting Conservatory/Academia dell’Arte, Arezzo, Italy.
Select Credits: We’re Drunk/This Is The End (Nate, TS Elliot US/UK Exchange Old Vic, London); Avenue of The Americas (Phil, The Tank NYC)
Why theater?: People. Places. Community! I thoroughly enjoy working with new people in an artistic setting and growing in a community of theater lovers! I love to travel and when my art allows me to get on a plane or a bus, I am in my element. Theater allows for exploration of self and the world which I feel is invaluable to humanity.
Tell us about The Apartment: The Apartment is an amazing new play by 4 very talented writers (Sorrel Tomlinson Barnard, Melissa Moran, Lindsay Murphy and David Scott) that tells the story of a LES apartment and its tenants. The play opens in the famous 2003 Blackout and continues through until present day. Each act portrays a unique couple struggling with the stereotypes of NYC living, their own demons and the going-ons of the ‘Naughties (the last decade). It be hilarious! There is dancing, smooching, blood and guts: the recipe for a great night out I assure you!
What is it like to be a part of The Apartment?: I love working on new plays because there has been wonderful collaboration with the writers so when fun new things happen in rehearsal, they end up in the play! The writers have been so great about working with us in the rehearsal room and it has led to some fabulous new moments! The cast and production team have a ton of fun together and it has been awesome to be with such talented artists.
What kind of theater speaks to you? What or who inspires you as an artist?: I love dance/theater. Physical devised ensemble based theater is a joy for me. When a group of people grow a piece of theater from the ground up to share their voice, I am inspired. I believe in training, I love training and when that is coupled with the ensembles performance, magic happens. I am inspired by my family, the ocean and the artists I get to share my story with along the way.
What’s it like to be a part of FringeNYC?: This is my first Fringe and it is non-stop excitement. There is never enough time, resources or people but the show goes on: the beauty of live theater with a 15 minute setup and teardown. The adrenaline is high, the parties are stellar and being apart of this play has been such a treat.
Any role you’re dying to play?: Since I missed the boat on the remake of Footloose…well…maybe ill wait for the 3rd one!
What show have you recommended to your friends?: What The Sparrow Said by Danny Mitarotondo. It is done by a favorite theater company of mine: The Common Tongue. They always put up great work and I got to give a shout out to actress Heather Oakley who not only inspires on stage but also in life as a teacher of mine at Atlantic.
What’s up next?: I am in an exciting show with The Bower Group called This Is For You featuring four new one acts written by company members that goes up over labor day weekend at the New York Theater Workshop 4th St Theater. This fall I finish up my 5th semester at the Atlantic Acting School and will be involved with two shows, one of which will be produced/directed/acted by our newly formed theater company of 16 ensemble members that have trained together for the past two years. It will be an exciting 3 months ahead!
FringeNYC Festival Review
David Fuller · August 13, 2011
The Apartment: A Play with Four Sides is an hour well spent this Fringe summer. Four playwrights have joined to give us four funny and poignant takes on what it means to live in New York City post-9/11, by centering on one lone studio apartment in the Lower East Side. Spanning several years, four pairs of subletters come and go, living, loving and, yes, making us think a bit about what it means to live in our 21st century Gotham.
“The Blackout” features Christina Broccolini as Sarah and Chris Davis as Tim, a couple who have just connected the night before and apparently had an excellent night of drunken consensual sex. Today is not only a day of hangovers and incipient romance, but it is also August 14, 2003, the day of the last massive blackout in NYC history. Through the course of this one act, Sarah, who owns the lease on the apartment, and Chris, who has stayed the night and who is looking for a new place to stay, make a connection that may or may not survive the test of time but is clearly the beginning of something between them. Maybe it’s the lack of external power, but something “empowers” them to get beyond what would normally be a superficial post-coital day after. Ultimately, the apartment is the catalyst for Sarah finally getting out of the city she doesn’t really like—she sublets the place to Chris, who adores New York in all its fun and foibles. As Sarah moves to Portland, we know something might be brewing between them, and we have had a few laughs and even been made to think a bit about what we love or not about this incredible NYC.
The second play, “Lost and Found,” brings Peter, played by Christopher Johnstone, and Kristina, played by Mara Lalli, together as new live-ins in the apartment, which they have sublet from Chris. The time is now August 2005, during that horrible season of hurricanes. This is the first time Peter and Kristina have lived together, but although they have little in common except for an abiding love, they have decided to try to give it a go. Here, the apartment is an incubator for their relationship. We watch them fight, make up, fight again, and finally make peace, while some severe weather rages outside.
Next, in “The FOB’s,” the time is August 2010, and in come Nahid and Matt played by Shannon Amiry and Victor J. Wisehart, who are in a hurry to sublet the place from Chris and who have some interesting secrets which will not be revealed here. Suffice it to say that there are American/Iranian undertones that underscore the necessity for the apartment to now serve as a refuge for its newest inhabitants.
Lastly, “The Cleaners,” is set in the present. The apartment has undergone a tragic transformation, where recent events involving alleged national security have caused the final couple, Rita and Jerry (Sara Nina Hayon and Vayu O’Donnell) to enter the place in a certain professional capacity which also will not be revealed here. Through some rather dark humor, these two make a rapprochement that had been years in the making (they knew each other as children). The apartment is now a vessel where Rita and Jerry find each other.
The playwrights, Sorrel (Tomlinson) Barnard, Melissa (Picarello) Moran, Lindsay Joy Murphy and David Scott, have crafted believable, likeable characters in interesting situations. (I would credit specific writers to specific plays, but could find no specific credits in the material given.) Director Adam Blanshay has cast the play well. All eight actors give honest and engaging performances that make us want to root for them. And Blanshay has staged the play intelligently with a seeming effortlessness that is so important to modern realism. The lights by Adam Blumenthal, sound design by Bobby McElver, and sets/costumes by Jeffrey Potter-Watts all work well together within the exigencies of FringeNYC constraints.
All in all, the four plays dovetail together in an entertaining way that makes for a fun time. If you get to see this as part of your FringeNYC experience, you will smile often, laugh a lot, and come away feeling rather positive about life in this great City.
Off Off Broadway, Play
Runs through 8.27.11
Teatro SEA, 107 Suffolk Street, #312
by Weston Clay on 8.14.11
Sarah Nina Hayon and Vayu O’Donnell in THE APARTMENT.
BOTTOM LINE: Four romantic stories that unfold in the same apartment over the course of a now-historic decade.
The tie that binds the four stories collectively known as The Apartment is, well, the apartment in which they stories all take place. This play, which is written collectively by Sorrell Barnard, Melissa Moran, Lindsay Joy Murphy and David Scott, depicts the diversity of events that can unfold in one apartment over the course of a decade and is an ode to the always in-flux nature of New York City.
Each story that unfolds is roughly rooted in a tale of heterosexual romance. In the first scene, Sarah (Christina Broccolini) and Tim (Chris Davis) delve deeper than expected when the blackout of 2003 interrupts their first date. In the second scene, Peter (Christopher Johnstone) and Kristina (Mara Lalli) try to find common ground that will stabilize their inherently casual relationship. The third scene depicts Matt (Victor J. Wisehart) and Nahid (Shannon Amiry) trying to convince Tim to rent them the apartment. And, in the final scene, Jerry (Vayu O’Donnell) confesses his longstanding love for Rita (Sarah Nina Hayon) as they clean up a bloody crime scene in the apartment.
At its best, The Apartment embodies the oscillation between blissful excitement and neurotic exhaustion that is arguably the essence of the New York experience. The show also presents an effective sense of budding nostalgia for the first decade of the new millennium (affectionately referred to by the writers as “the Noughties” in the program). By referencing 9/11, the great blackout, street view on Google Maps, etc. The Apartment works as a record of what can now be seen as a particularly fascinating decade in American history. When Maroon 5’s “Sunday Morning” played at the end of the first act, it took me a moment to realize this was a conscious effort to capture a time and not just an 8-years-too-late choice of pop music.
Overall The Apartment is clever and focused, and delivered with passionate performances. Though there are moments when it fails to be believable and may, overall, be too consistently “romcom” for some theatre audiences, The Apartment is sure to strike a chord with anyone who often dwells on the uniqueness of New York City and the effect it has on those who choose to inhabit it.
(The Apartment plays at Teatro SEA, 107 Suffolk Street, #312, through August 27, 2011. Remaining performances are Friday, August 19th at 8:30PM; Monday, August 22nd at 9:30PM; Wednesday, August 24th at 2PM; Saturday, August 27th at 4:45PM. Tickets are $15 and are available at fringenyc.org. For more show info visit playwith4sides.com. For more info about FringeNYC visit fringnyc.org.)