(New Brunswick, NJ) --A new theater work, devised entirely from the creative imagination of an ensemble of Mason Gross School actors, explores themes of lost innocence, fate and chance. Kevin Kittle and Danielle Liccardo co-direct Rutgers Theater Company's original theater piece, titled What's It Gonna Be? Ensemble Creation 1.0. The performance runs April 5-14, 2013, at the Philip J. Levin Theater. The cast and artistic staff include New Jersey's Lindsay Andreanszky from Monroe Township, Andy Do from Colts Neck, Jane Miller Schumacher from Moorestown, Laura Stella Sohn from Paramus, Joshua Fischbein from Edison, Beth Jacksier from Mount Olive, Katie Galaro from Holmdel, and Sarania Hertilus from Bloomfield.
The ensemble, 22 actors from both the first-year BFA and first-year MFA professional actor training program at the Mason Gross School, is devising the entire piece--writing dialogue and formulating movement—through the process of rehearsal. Designers, playwrights, and stage managers round out the ensemble.
"It's like no other play you'll ever see. It comes literally from within," says Kittle. Each actor has a character, or series of actions, which they are developing via the rehearsal process.
Levin Theater will feature several performance areas: The action will happen above, below and in front of the audience.
"This project gives the actors a chance to be creative artists in a world that will ask them largely to be interpretive artists," says Kittle. "It's a great place for them to start."
Kittle also sees the piece as an opportunity to spark conversations outside of the theater.
"I want my audience to be talking about the piece on their way home," says Kittle. "I want them to be transformed by it."
What's It Gonna Be? Ensemble Creation 1.0 runs from Friday, April 5, through Sunday, April 14. Performances are 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Philip J. Levin Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, and to learn more about the 2012-2013 season at Mason Gross Performing Arts Center and Galleries, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu, or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511.
Learn more about the 2013 Rutgers Theater Company season.
Rutgers Theater Company
The Mason Gross School of the Art's Theater Arts Department combines rigorous studio class work with a demanding production schedule to provide students with in depth training and practice in theater. The Rutgers Theater Company is a resident company of student actors, designers, directors, playwrights, stage managers, and technicians whose work is guided by master teachers and accomplished professionals. These conservatory students are enrolled in the three year Master of the Fine Arts (MFA) and four year Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs. Note the degree program and year in the biographies of the performers and creative staff.
Lindsay Andreanszky (Actor - BFA I) is from Monroe Township, New Jersey. She studied at the School of Arts at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High School. She appeared in Daily Fiber Films' Sex Ed, and premiered her one-woman show Toska in Manhattan this past year with the help of Novus Productions and the School of Arts at MCUTS, directed by Mason Gross alumna Rachel Hip-Flores.
Mitchell Bultman (Actor - BFA I) is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is Mitch's Mason Gross School of the Arts debut. Professional credits include The Diviners, As You Like It and First Stage.
Elijah Coleman (Actor - MFA I) is from Long Island, New York. He received his BFA in theater and BA in dance at the University of Buffalo. Rutgers credits include A Raisin in the Sun. Professional credits: Canadian and European festivals, Theater West Virginia Company, Art Park Theater Company, Buffalo City Ballet Company and Zodiaque Dance Company.
Sarah Nicole Deaver (Actor - BFA I) is from North Hollywood, California. She trained as an actor at the performing arts high school, Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan. What's It Gonna Be will be her first credit with Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Andy Do (Actor - BFA I) is from Colts Neck, New Jersey. What's It Gonna Be is his Mason Gross School of the Art debut.
Jase Egan (Actor - MFA I) is from Queens, New York. He received his BA in English and theater from CUNY Queens College. New York credits include: The American Dream, Our Town, Stonewall, The Star-Spangled Girl, Don Juan in Chicago and The Marriage of Bette and Boo. International credits: Oedipus at Colonus (Colonus Athens); Pizza Man (Galway, Ireland).
Brandon Flynn (Actor - BFA I) is from Miami, Florida. He received previous training at the high school conservatory New World School of the Arts, where he graduated as a theater major.
Neal K. Gupta (Actor - BFA I) is from Charleston, South Carolina. He is a graduate of Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, where he studied acting. Interlochen credits: A Christmas Carol, Beauty and the Beast and Vital Signs. New York City credit: Lavender Shore (U/S), Marvell Rep Theater Co.
Adam Hardin (Actor - MFA I) is from Stillwater, Oklahoma. At Rutgers he was seen as Yefim in Uncle Vanya. Professional credits include Sandy Tyrell in Hay Fever, produced by The VOICE Theater, and Adam in Departure, an official selection of the 2011 HBO Latino Film Festival.
Michael Jacobs (Actor - BFA I) is from Detroit, Michigan. He graduated from Cass Technical High School in music/theatre arts. Credits include: Sister Act 2, Othello, The Color Purple. At Rutgers he appeared in A Raisin in the Sun.
Nina Jorge (Actor - BFA I) is from Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. She attended Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan and worked on A Servant of Two Masters (Commedia dell'Arte, mask work).
Adrian Kiser (Actor - MFA I) is from Pike Road, Alabama. She received her BA in theatre arts from Alabama State University. Alabama State University credits include Antigone in Antigone, Nilaja Sun in No Child and Gwen in A Song for Coretta. She is making her debut at Mason Gross School of the Arts in What's It Gonna Be.
Kristen Kittel (Actor - MFA I) is from Salt Lake City, Utah. At Rutgers she appeared as Rose in Dancing at Lughnasa. Professional credits include work with: The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Chenango River Theatre, Great River Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare in the Valley Theater Under the Stars, Looking Glass Theatre. She received her BA from the Gallatin School at New York University.
Anna Lentz (Actor - BFA I) is from Brooklyn, New York. She recently graduated from Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts. Her LaGuardia credits include Abigail in The Crucible. This is her first production at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Cesar J. Rosado (Actor - BFA I) is from Bronx, New York. He is an alumnus of the Atlantic Theater Company Conservatory. Latest works include: Barn Series: The Locust (Labyrinth Theater); theaterjam 3, Home by Lucy Thurber (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater); Massacre (Sing to Your Children) by Jose Rivera (understudy, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater). Founding member of the Middle Voice Theater Company.
Jane Miller Schumacher (Actor - BFA I) is from Moorestown, New Jersey. This is her first performance at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Laura Stella Sohn (Actor - BFA I) is from Paramus, New Jersey. What's It Gonna Be is her first Mason Gross School of the Arts credit.
Manon Stieglitz (Actor - BFA I) is from Brooklyn, New York, and she grew up in London, England. She attended Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and the Performing Arts upon return to the States. What's It Gonna Be will be her first Mason Gross School of the Arts credit.
Amanda Treppa (Actor - MFA I) is from Sterling Heights, Michigan. She graduated with her degree in theatre performance from Western Michigan University. Credits include: Much Ado About Nothing at What a Do Theatre (Chicago); All Shook Up, Columbinus, Into the Woods, and So Far From God (Chicago Shakespeare Theater).
Sam Urdang (Actor - BFA I) is from Boulder, Colorado. This performance of What's It Gonna Be is his first credit at Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Juan Villar-Ojito (Actor - BFA I) is from Manhattan, New York. He recently graduated from Xavier High School. What's It Gonna Be is his first Mason Gross School of the Arts credit.
Marco Zappala (Actor - BFA I) is from Sewichley, Pennsylvania. Training includes Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan, The Second City (Chicago) and Mason Gross School of the Arts.
Kevin Kittle (Director) has worked as Joseph Chaikin's assistant director and with Arthur Miller and Sam Shepard for Signature Theater Company. He directed numerous productions in such New York City theaters as The John Houseman, The Neighborhood Playhouse, The Harold Clurman, Ensemble Studio Theater, Arclight, HERE, Sullivan Street Playhouse, The Zipper and Access Studio Theater, as well as regionally and internationally. His production of Beyond the Pale was nominated for Best Director and Best Production in the 2009 1st Irish Theatre Festival.
Danielle Liccardo (Director) began her theater training as an actress under the tutelage of Kathryn Gately (head of MFA acting at Northern Illinois University) and received extensive classical training at The American Globe Theatre and at London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in London. She has worked commercially, off-Broadway, regionally, in voice-over and in film, and has been the Artistic Director of Inertia Productions, Inc. in New York City since 1997. Ms. Liccardo is a movement and style specialist teaching in both the BFA and MFA professional acting conservatories at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and is the Director of the movement program at Maggie Flanigan Studio in New York City.
Joshua Fischbein (Scene Designer -- BFA IV) is from Edison, New Jersey. His Mason Gross design credits include Hunting & Gathering, Listen, Fries with That and La Dispute as well as the upcoming BigBox production of Romeo and Juliet and an adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein called The Being.
Aubrey Hess (Costume Designer -- BFA IV) is graduating this May from Mason Gross with a BFA degree in costume design and technology. Mason Gross credits include Reasons to Be Pretty. Regionally she has worked at Philadelphia Shakespeare, The Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, American Family Theatre in Philadelphia, and ReVision Theatre in Asbury Park, New Jersey.
Beth Jacksier (Lighting Designer -- BFA IV) is from Mount Olive, New Jersey. Previous design credits include [title of show] at Proch Light Productions, Doubt at Mason Gross School of the Arts, Legally Blonde, Sweeney Todd and Rent at the Livingston Theatre Company.
Katie Galaro (Sound Designer -- BFA III) is from Holmdel, New Jersey. Her Mason Gross School of the Arts credits include: Woyzeck (SM), As You Like It (ASM), The Tempest (ASM), The Author's Voice (SM), Hunting and Gathering (PA), Tracing Nora (PA), A Raisin in the Sun (Asst. Sound Design), Eurydice (Asst. Sound Design), Nathan's Secret Girlfriend (Asst. Sound Design).
Martha Beggerly (Stage Manager -- MFA I) is from Fort Dodge, Iowa, and received her BA from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa. At Mason Gross she was the ASM for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. She has recently worked with The Blank Theatre in Hollywood, California, and the Denver Center Theatre Company in Colorado.
Sarania Hertilus (Stage Manager -- MFA 1) is from Bloomfield, New Jersey. At Rutgers she worked on A Raisin in the Sun. Professional credits include: King Lear, Copenhagen and Reparations. She received her BA from Seton Hall University.