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Jan 8, 2019 - Feb 3, 2019

Hard Cell

World Premiere

A madcap new comedy of errors and mistaken identity. When college professor Nick Abtahi finds himself lost in a small Midwestern town, the welcome mat doesn’t exactly get rolled out by its crazy collection of locals. This laugh out loud comedy makes its world premiere at Geva.

By Brent Askari

 Directed by Skip Greer

 

Run Time: TBA

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JENNIFER CODY | Terry Burton

JENNIFER CODY is thrilled to return home to Geva. She was last here as Sylvia, the Labradoodle (2016). Other Geva roles include: Patsy in Monty Python’s Spamalot (2016), Mary in the World Premiere of Women in Jeopardy! (2015), and Gwendolyn Pigeon in The Odd Couple (2014). Broadway credits include A Christmas Story (Mrs Schwartz), Shrek (original company), Pajama Game (Poopsie, original revival company), Taboo (original company), Urinetown the Musical (original company), Seussical the Musical (original company), Beauty and the Beast (Silly Girl), Grease (Cha Cha), and Cats (Rumpleteaser). Off-Broadway credits include Charles Bush’s Cleopatra (Iris), Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party (Mae), Charles Bush’s Judith of Bethulia, and Henry and Mudge (Drama League Nomination).  On film, her voice can be heard on many cartoons including her award-winning role as Charlotte La Bouff in Disney’s The Princess and The Frog in which she received the Annie Award (Voice over Oscar), Lucky Stiff (New Oz Productions), and Khumba (Triggerfish). TV credits include “Instinct” (CBS), “Bull” (CBS), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Shrek Live” (Dreamworks), “Unforgettable” (CBS), “American Dad,” “Mickey and the Roadster Racers” (Disney), “Phineas and Ferb” (Disney), “P. King Duckling,” “Winx Club” (Nickelodeon), “Robot and Monster” (Nickelodeon) and yes, “Law & Order.” She is also proud to be the 2nd Vice President of Actor’s Equity Association.

SEAN PATRICK DOYLE | Derek Carmichael

SEAN PATRICK DOYLE makes his Geva Theatre Center debut in Hard Cell. Broadway credits include Kinky Boots and La Cage Aux Folles. Off-Broadway credits include Jerry Springer: The Opera at New Group (2018 Lucille Lortel Nomination, Best Supporting Actor), Wig Out! at Vineyard Theatre, Volpone at Red Bull Theatre, and Anna Nicole: The Opera at BAM. National and International tours include Mary Poppins, Fiddler on the Roof, West Side Story and Fame. Recent regional credits include The Legend of Georgia McBride (Carbonell Nomination) and Chicago (SALT Nomination). Films include 20th Century Fox’s The Sitter, Netflix’s Obama biopic Barry, and the Oscar-nominated animated feature The Boxtrolls, for which he provided singing vocals for Sir Ben Kingsley. Television credits include “Gotham” (Fox), “Nurse Jackie” (Showtime), “Donny” (USA), “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “Forever” (ABC), “Law & Order” (NBC) and “Mamma Dallas” (pilot for HBO). Thanks to Skip, Brent and Mark for allowing me to take part in this darkly hilarious, timely piece! www.seanpatrickdoyle.com

VANESSA MOROSCO | Jane Simons

VANESSA MOROSCO makes her Geva Theatre Center debut in Hard Cell. Credits include Titus Andronicus, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and What the Butler Saw at Shakespeare Theatre of NJ; Arcadia  at Palm Beach Dramaworks; Disgraced and Frost/Nixon at Maltz Jupiter; The Importance of Being Earnest, opposite Siân Phillips at The Shakespeare Theatre, DC; The Way of the World at Yale Rep; The 39 Steps, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry VIII at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; The Tempest, Henry IV pt.1 & 2, Henry VI pt.1, Othello, The Merry Wives of Windsor and Much Ado About Nothing at Colorado Shakespeare Festival; Lend Me a Tenor at Fulton Theatre, the Off-Broadway production of Around the World in 80 Days; One Man, Two Guvnors and Dancing Lessons at Florida Studio Theatre; Love’s Labour’s Lost at Folger Shakespeare Theatre; The School for Scandal at PICT; and seven seasons with the American Shakespeare Center, including Macbeth, All’s Well that Ends Well, The Comedy of Errors, Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Pericles, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore and The Duchess of Malfi. Vanessa is also a director and teacher with an expertise in Original Practices Shakespeare, is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women, and holds an M.A. from Yale in Ethics. vanessamorosco.com

PATRICK NOONAN | Evan Weathers

PATRICK NOONAN returns to his favorite theatre for his fifth Wilson Stage production.  Past Geva shows include Our Town, On Golden Pond, and The Odd Couple. He was last seen Off-Broadway with Perfect Crime. Other Off-Broadway credits include Shear Madness and Almost, Maine. His latest TV/FILM credits include “Bull” (CBS), “Mindhunter” (Netflix), “High Maintenance” (HBO), “The Sinner” (USA Network), “The Blacklist” (NBC), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Orange is the New Black” (Netflix), “Homeland” (Showtime),  “Law & Order: SVU” (NBC),  “Friends From College” (Netflix), “Seven Seconds” (Netflix), and Steven Spielberg’s The Post.

NUAH OZRYEL | Nick Abtahi

NUAH OZRYEL is a Canadian actor residing in New York and is thrilled to be making his regional theatre debut in the United States in the World Premiere production of Brent Askari’s Hard Cell here at Geva Theatre Center. Previously, he has performed in Asia, Europe and North America in film, television and theatre (classical and contemporary).  Previous New York Theatre credits include The Art of Hijab and the Right Way to Pray? (Polybe and Seats – FiveMyles); Rest Upon The Wind at the Skirball Centre for the Performing Arts; I Come From Syria (Polybe and Seats – Beit Jeddo); Night Blooming Jasmine (Under St. Marks) A Midsummer Night’s Dream (American Theatre) Shadowlands at the Robert Moss Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing (American Theatre) Boom at the Algonquin Theatre; Romeo and Juliet at the Shell Theatre; Cho H Cho at Mabou Mines; Loves Labors Lost and The Three Sisters at Riverside Theatre. International credits include I Heart Future (Piccolo Teatro di Milano); Bully and The Robbers at the Helen Gardiner Phelan Playhouse in Toronto; and Chekhov Vaudevilles at Hart House. On television he can be seen in Seasons 2, 3 and 4 of CBS’ “Madam Secretary” in the recurring guest role of Prince Asim and in USA’s “Mr. Robot” as hacker Sasan Nouri in Season 3. Other TV credits include “Law and Order: SVU” (CBS), “The Blacklist” (NBC) and “The Looming Tower” (Hulu). Film credits include Movements Before (Lithium Productions). He holds a B.A. in Drama, International Relations and Spanish from the University of Toronto and an M.F.A. in Acting from Columbia University.

BRENT ASKARI | Playwright

BRENT ASKARI is a writer, actor, and ensemble member of Mad Horse Theatre Company. His play Hard Cell was developed at the 2017 PlayPenn Conference, given a staged reading at EST L.A.’s Winterfest Series, before receiving its world premiere here at Geva. Some of his other recent plays include: Digby’s Home (Semi-finalist O’Neill Playwriting Conference, produced at Mad Horse Theatre); Cocktails and Travails (Winner of Neil Simon Festival’s National New Play Contest, produced at The Theater Project); American Underground (Semi-finalist O’Neill Playwriting Conference); Bending Reeds (Semi-Finalist Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Blank Theater’s Living Room Series Reading). In addition, he has had plays produced at or developed by Vital Theatre, Melrose Theatre, The 78th Street Theatre, The Boston Theatre Marathon, The Santa Fe Playhouse Different Festival, The John Houseman Theater, New American Theatre, The Drilling Company, Choice Theatricals, Penobscot Theatre Company, Swarthmore College, Eastern Connecticut State University, and the College of Southern Nevada. Brent has also been a finalist for the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award and the Reva Shiner Comedy Award. He was part of HBO’s New Writers Project and has written screenplays for Paramount Pictures, Marvel Films, MTV, and Reveille Entertainment. As an actor, Brent has appeared in numerous theatrical productions and audio dramas. He narrated the syndicated children’s television program Animal Science, which was nominated for a national Daytime Emmy in 2014.

SKIP GREER | Director

SKIP GREER serves as Artist in Residence and Director of Education at Geva Theatre Center.  His directing credits at Geva include Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Red, The MountaintopLast Gas; A Midsummer Night’s Dream (co-director); Freud’s Last SessionOn Golden PondOver the TavernAlmost, Maine; the world premiere of The House in HydesvilleDoubt; American Buffalo; Inherit the Wind; Key West; Death of a Salesman; Lobby Hero; Below the Belt; The Weir; Women Who Steal; Beast on the Moon; Triumph of Love and Geometric Digression of the Species.  Skip was the Co-Producer for Journey to the Son: A Celebration of Son House in 2015. He directed King Lear at Shakespeare Santa Cruz for their 25th anniversary.  Other regional directing credits include Indiana Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Studio Arena Theatre, Cape Playhouse, White Heron Theatre, Totem Pole Playhouse, State Theatre of Austin, and Gary Marshall’s Falcon Theatre, where he directed Golf with Alan Shepard starring Jack Klugman and Charles Durning.  Mr. Greer has also been an actor at Geva appearing in To Kill a Mockingbird (Atticus Finch), Clybourne Park (Russ, Dan),You Can’t Take It With You (Paul Sycamore), Superior Donuts (Arthur),The Music Man, (Mayor Shinn) Evie’s Waltz (Clay)Our Town (the Stage Manager), Hamlet (Ghost/Player King), 1776 (John Hancock), House and Garden(Giles), Art (Serge), Twelve Angry Men (Juror #1), A Girl’s Life (Ken), Every Good Boy Deserves Favor (Alexander), The Illusion (Alcandre), Picasso at the Lapine Agile (Sagot) and State of the Union (Spike McManus).  Regional credits include seven seasons in the resident acting company of Sacramento Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, American Conservatory Theatre, Utah Shakespeare Festival and Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts.  Film and TV credits include “Bloodhounds,” “LA Law” and “VR5.”  Mr. Greer has toured Europe, Africa, Indonesia, New Zealand, Australia and the Cook Islands, teaching and performing.

ROBERT KOHARCHIK | Scenic Designer

ROBERT KOHARCHIK  is a designer living in Indianapolis where he has designed productions for the Indiana Repertory Theatre, the Phoenix Theatre, and the Lilly Theatre at the Indianapolis Children’s Museum. In addition to Steel Magnolias, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Red, The Mountaintop, Last Gas, Freud’s Last Session, On Golden Pond, Doubt, Pyretown, Sherlock Holmes: the Last Adventure and A Christmas Story at Geva Theatre Center, he has also designed productions for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cleveland Play House, Weston Playhouse of Vermont, Contemporary American Theatre of Columbus, and American Players Theatre in Wisconsin. In 1999 and 2011 Mr. Koharchik received a Lilly Endowment Creative Renewal Fellowship from the Arts Council of Indianapolis. He is an Associate Professor in theatre design at Butler University.

 

CHRISTINE PASCUAL | Costume Designer

CHRISTINE PASCUAL is delighted to be making her Geva Theatre Center debut.  Recent credits include La Ruta at Steppenwolf Theatre; Crumbs from the Table of Joy at Raven Theatre; Lady in DenmarkFeathers and Teeth, The Happiest Song Plays LastFish MenEl NogalarMassacre and New Stages Festival at the Goodman Theatre; Put Your House in Order at Jackalope Theatre; The Displaced at Haven Theatre; Hang at Remy Bumpo; Traitor at A Red Orchid Theatre; and Simpatico at the McCarter Theatre. She has also worked at American Theater Company, Teatro Vista, Victory Gardens Theater, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Theatre Wit, Court Theatre, and Congo Square Theatre. Off-Broadway credits include The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity at Second Stage Theatre. Regional credits include work at American Players Theatre, Virginia Stage Company and CenterStage. Pascual was a 2010 Henry Hewes Design Award nominee and a 2018 3Arts Awardee.

DEREK MADONIA | Lighting Designer

DEREK MADONIA has designed numerous shows at Geva Theatre Center including Steel Magnolias, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, Private Lives, Mother (and me), Miracle on South Division Street, the world premiere of The Road to Where, The Mountaintop, Stranded on Earth, Freud’s Last Session, The Tribute to Sir Elton John and Billy Joel, Perfect Wedding, Underneath the Lintel, Evie’s Waltz, The Underpants, Shear Madness, That was Then, All is Well in the Kingdom of Nice, And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank, Meet Me Incognito, Tomato Plant Girl, the Portrait the Wind the Chair, This is Not a Pipe Dream and Women Who Steal. He received his B.A. from the University at Albany. Mr. Madonia came to Geva in 1992 as a lighting apprentice and he is currently in his 24th season as Lighting Supervisor. He would like to thank his family and his talented band of electricians for all their help and support.

DAN ROACH | Sound Designer

DAN ROACH has, since 1988, worked on sound for numerous productions at Geva Theatre Center, NTID’s Theatre for the Deaf, SUNY Brockport, and Keuka College. Most recent productions at Geva include Steel Magnolias, The Diary of Anne Frank, Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End, Private Lives; To Kill a Mockingbird; Miracle on South Division Street; Red; The Mountaintop; Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant; The Odd Couple; Stranded on Earth; Last Gas; The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs; Freud’s Last Session; You Can’t Take It With You; Perfect Wedding; On Golden Pond; Over the Tavern; Almost, Maine; Dracula; the Shape of Evil with PUSH Physical Theatre; Evie’s Waltz; Dial M for Murder; The Underpants; Nine Parts of Desire; Doubt and A Christmas Story. He studied sound at Berklee College of Music in Boston and has been applying that knowledge to theatre over the past 26 years. He is a resident of Brighton where he lives with his beautiful wife Jing.

JENNI WERNER | Literary Director/Resident Dramaturg

JENNI WERNER is in her eighth season as Literary Director and Resident Dramaturg at Geva. In that role, she has served as dramaturg on 24 productions at Geva, including classics and world premieres by Wendy MacLeod, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Cass Morgan, Nora Cole, Jamie Pachino, Mat Smart and Gabriel Jason Dean. In 2015, she co-produced Geva’s blues festival celebrating the life and legacy of musician Son House, Journey to the Son. Jenni also produces Geva’s new play programming, and has led the development of over 40 new plays during her tenure at Geva. She directs Geva’s commissioning of new plays through the Rochester Stories program. Previously, Jenni served as the Director of Programming at Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the non-profit theatre field. From 2005-2011, she produced TCG’s annual National Conference, curating the content and organizing the logistics for the largest national gathering of professionals in the non-profit theatre field. For six years, she was an adjunct instructor at New York University, and is now an adjunct instructor at the Rochester Institute of Technology. Jenni has an M.F.A. in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.A. in theatre and history from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. She serves on the board of ImageOut, Rochester’s LGBT film festival, and the National New Play Network.

BECCA POCCIA HAYS | Assistant Literary Director/Dramaturg

BECCA POCCIA HAYS is in her seventh season at Geva Theatre Center, where she serves as Assistant Literary Director. Past dramaturgy credits at Geva include The Diary of Anne Frank, The Lake Effect, Miracle on South Division Street, The Road to Where, Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant, Tinker to Evers to Chance and All Your Questions Answered. Becca also serves as Geva’s Venue Manager for the KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival. She holds an M.F.A. in Dramaturgy from Columbia University and also works as a freelance dramaturg; favorite credits include Goliath (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity) and the world premieres of AK-47 Sing Along (New York International Fringe Festival), Lifetime Fairytale (Columbia Stages), Dirt: Part 1 (Enthuse Theater) and Foreign Wars (Random Access Theatre).

TIMOTHY TOOTHMAN | Stage Manager

TIMOTHY TOOTHMAN is excited to return to Geva again this season where he most recently stage managed Thurgood. Mr. Toothman was Geva’s first Equity Stage Manager and was the Production Stage Manager here from 1974 – 1979. He then spent five years as a member of the Performing Arts Department at NTID at RIT and was the Company Manager for Sunshine Too, a national touring ensemble of deaf and hearing actors. He has managed both producing and presenting theatre companies in Indiana and Maryland, stage managed the National Heritage Fellowship Awards for the National Endowment for the Arts for ten years (1987 – 1996) and spent eleven years as a program and grants director for the Maryland State Arts Council and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts. Mr. Toothman recently retired after 15 seasons as the Artistic Associate at Arizona Theatre Company where he was responsible for union relations, obtaining rights to plays and actor negotiations and contracting. He also stage managed over 20 productions at ATC including King Charles III; Fences (directed by Lou Bellamy) and the Geva / ATC co-production of Wait Until Dark.