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November 14 - November 24

Queen

Two PhD candidates, Sanam and Ariel, have spent the last seven years exhaustively researching vanishing bee populations across the globe. Just as these close friends are about to publish a career-defining paper, Sanam stumbles upon an error which could jeopardize everything. Both women must make an impossible choice – look the other way and save the bees, or tell the truth and face the consequences.

By Madhuri Shekar    Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

Run Time: 95 minutes (there is no intermission)


The Fielding Studio Series is supported in part by 


Associate Producer

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EZRA BARNES | Dr Philip Hayes

EZRA BARNES is an actor, director and teacher. This is his Geva Theatre Center debut. New York theatre credits include Queen at Astoria Performing Arts Center, Breakfast with Mugabe at Signature Center and Theatre Row (nominated for Best Play by the Off-Broadway Alliance), To Kill a Mockingbird at Queens Theatre in the Park, In White America at New Federal, English Bride at 59e59, Far & Wide at Mint, and Richard II at Pearl. Regional appearances include McCarter, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse, Denver Center, Pioneer, Paper Mill, others. TV credits include Jessica Jones, Orange is the New Black, The Sinner, Blue Bloods, Bored to Death, and Law & Order: SVU. Film credits include Motherless Brooklyn, Unintended (both in theaters now!), Noah, Joshua, and Once More With Feeling. He directed The Diary of Anne Frank for Hartford’s Playhouse on Park, earning the 2018 Outstanding Director award from the Connecticut Critics Circle. He founded Shakespeare on the Sound in Connecticut, serving as Artistic Director 1996-2008.  Ezra runs Brooklyn’s Young Actors Workshop.

NIKHAAR KISHNANI | Sanam Shah

NIKHAAR KISHNANI makes her Geva Theatre Center debut with QueenRegional theatre credits include A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Off-Off Broadway credits include Veil’d at Astoria Performing Arts Center.  Other Theatre credits include Twelfth NightThe Women Eat ChocolateProspero’s StormThe Children’s Hour and The Qualms at DePaul University; The Rimers of Eldritch at Rutgers University. Film credits include Sama and Him&Her&Him. Television credits include Brown Nation, Code SwitchedGeeta’s Guide to Moving On, and Nepotism.  Kishnani received her M.F.A. from The Theatre School at DePaul University. She is a recipient of the iO Chicago Diversity Scholarship and Upright Citizens Brigade Diversity Scholarship. She is represented by Innovative Artists. She is thankful to her fiancé, parents, and little sister for coming to see every show!

NIK SADHNANI | Arvind Patel

NIK SADHNANI is thrilled to be making his Geva Theatre Center debut. Off-Broadway credits include India Pale Ale at Manhattan Theatre Club; The Trial of The American President at Lion Theatre. Regional credits include The Invisible Hand at Cleveland Play House; Disgraced at Syracuse Stage; Disgraced at Asolo Rep, She Eats Apples at Boston Playwrights. Film credits include Netflix’s The Week Of (with Adam Sandler) and Standing Up, Falling Down (with Billy Crystal). TV credits include FBI; The Code; Law & Order: SVU, Big Dogs, Surina & Mel, Alternatino and a recurring role on Hulu’s The Path. Nik holds his B.F.A. in Acting from Boston University. Instagram: @niksadhnani.

MARINA SHAY | Ariel Spiegel

MARINA SHAY is delighted to be making her Geva Theatre Center debut with such an exciting new play. Select regional credits include Shakespeare in Love (Viola) at Cleveland Play House; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Elizabeth Darcy) at  Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Pride and Prejudice (Elizabeth Bennet) at  Virginia Stage, The Revolutionists (Marie Antoinette) at Gulfshore Playhouse; The Miracle Worker (Annie Sullivan) at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Twelfth Night (Viola) at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Great Expectations (Estella/Biddy) at Syracuse Stage, Pulse at The Guthrie,and Ivanov (Sasha) at Trinity Rep. NYC Theatre credits include Miss Julie (Julie) at Access Theater, Eurydice (Eurydice);at  Columbia Stages, A Glorious Vision at NY Theater FestivalTV/Film credits include The Good Fight (CBS), 62’63’64’, Ordinary World, and Desde El Principio (HBO Latino). M.F.A. Acting Brown/Trinity Rep. marinashay.com.

MADHURI SHEKAR | Playwright

MADHURI SHEKAR was born in California and grew up in India, and after a couple of quick detours in Singapore and London, made her first grown-up home in Los Angeles. She currently shuttles between Jersey City, Los Angeles and Chennai. Her new audio play, Evil Eye, debuted on the Audible best-seller in May 2019. Her play, House of Joy, had its world premiere at Cal Shakes in August 2019. Also upcoming in the 2019/2020 season is her new commission from Victory Gardens, Dhaba on Devon Avenue. Queen had its world premiere in April 2017 at Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, and was nominated for a Jeff Award for Best New Play. In 2018 it was produced in Seattle (Pratidhwani with ACT) and the Bay Area (EnActe Theatre), and had its New York premiere in February 2019 at the Astoria Performing Arts Center. She has received two commissions from Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre (Bucket of Blessings and Antigone, Presented by the Girls of St. Catherine’s) which were both produced in subsequent seasons. She has also been commissioned by the Kennedy Center, South Coast Rep and Victory Gardens. She is the 2013/14 winner of the Kendada Graduate Playwrighting contest held by the Alliance Theatre for her play In Love and Warcraft, for which they did the world premiere production. It is published by Samuel French and has been produced around the country and abroad. She was also the second place winner of the East West Players 2012 Face of the Future Playwrighting contest for her play A Nice Indian Boy. They subsequently produced the play, which has been produced by the Rasaka Theatre Company (Chicago) and EnActe Arts (Cupertino). Her plays have been developed or showcased at Center Theatre Group, The Old Globe, the Kennedy Center, the Hedgebrook Playwrights Festival (in conjunction with Seattle Rep) and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. She has been a finalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship. Queen placed 2nd in the Kennedy Center’s 2017 Paul Stephen Lim playwriting contest, and is an Edgerton Grant awardee. Bucket of Blessings won the Suzi Bass Award for Outstanding Original Work – Theatre for Young Audiences. She has an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from USC, and a dual Master’s degree in Global Media and Communications from the London School of Economics and USC. She is a 2018 Alumnus of the Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights program at Juilliard. She is an alumna of the Ma-Yi writers lab, the Ars Nova Play Group and the Center Theatre Group Writers Workshop, and a co-creator of the Shakespeare web series, Titus and Dronicus. She became a member of New Dramatists in 2019. She is a staff writer for the upcoming HBO show, The Nevers.

PIRRONNE YOUSEFZADEH | Director

PIRRONNE YOUSEFZADEH begins her first full season as Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at Geva Theatre Center. Prior to joining the senior staff, Pirronne directed several shows at Geva, including The Lake Effect by Rajiv Joseph, the world premiere of Heartland by Gabriel Jason Dean, and The Royale by Marco Ramirez. As a freelance director, she has directed and developed new work at The Public/Joe’s Pub, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Atlantic Theater Company, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, New Georges, Partial Comfort Productions, Noor Theatre, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, American Conservatory Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Dorset Theatre Festival, Pioneer Theatre Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, On The Boards, InterAct Theatre Company, Kitchen Theatre Company, One Coast Collaboration, and Hangar Theatre, among others. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, New Georges Affiliated Artist, member of Ensemble Studio Theatre, a recipient of SDC’s Denham Fellowship and Williamstown’s Sagal Fellowship, and an alumna of the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, Drama League Directors Project, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, New Georges Jam, and Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. She has taught and guest directed at Yale School of Drama, Columbia University, Juilliard, Fordham, Rutgers, Ramapo College, and LSU, among others. Pirronne is a founding member of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond. Upcoming productions include The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe (Actors Theatre of Louisville) and Vietgone by Qui Nguyen (Geva Theatre Center). She received her MFA from Columbia University and is a proud member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union. www.pirronne.com; www.maiadirectors.com

REID THOMPSON | Scenic Designer

REID THOMPSON is a Brooklyn based designer of plays, musicals and opera. Originally from Connecticut, Reid has a B.F.A. in painting and drawing from the Art Institute of Chicago and an M.F.A. in design from The Yale School of Drama. Before pursing a career in design he worked as a scenic artist, painting backdrops at the Metropolitan Opera and Hudson Scenic Studios, among others. Selected scenic design credits include: Wives at Playwrights Horizons; Too Heavy For Your Pocket at Roundabout and Alliance Theaters, Something Clean at Roundabout; A Dolls House, Part Two at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Eddie and Dave at Atlantic, Miss You Like Hell at Baltimore Center Stage, Fun Home at Virginia Stage, Gloria and Disgraced at Asolo Rep; Up And Away at Pittsburgh CLO; Wilder Gone at Clubbed Thumb. Reid is an Associate Artist with Heartbeat Opera, where favorite credits include Madama Butterfly, Fidelio and La Susanna. Upcoming projects include You Lost Me at Denver Center, Arcadia at South Coast Rep, Exception To The Rule and What The End Will Be at Roundabout. Reid is a proud member of Wingspace and USA-829. reidthompsondesign.com

VALERIE THERESE BART | Costume Designer

VALÉRIE THÉRÈSE BART makes her Geva Theatre Center debut with Queen. Selected theatre credits include the world premiere of Poor Yella Rednecks by Qui Nguyen at South Coast Rep and Manhattan Theatre Club; the world premiere of Wives by Jaclyn Backhaus at Playwrights Horizons;  Annie Get Your Gun at Bay Street Theatre; the world premiere of Little Women by Kate Hamill at Primary Stages; the world premiere of Something Clean by Selina Fillinger at Roundabout; the world premiere of Song Of Summer by Lauren Yee at Trinity Rep; A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Actors Theatre Louisville; Vietgone at Alley Theatre and Denver Center; the US Premiere of Rocking Horse Winner* / Vinkensport at Opera Saratoga; Listen, Wilhelmina! (costumes/sets) at Wolf Trap Opera; Fidelio at Heartbeat Opera; Rigoletto for Minnesota Opera; the world premiere of The Great Leap by Lauren Yee at  Denver Center and Seattle Rep; The Invisible Hand at Cleveland Play House; the world premiere of Too Heavy For Your Pocket by Jiréh Breon Holder at Roundabout; the world premiere of Vanity Fair by Kate Hamill at Pearl Theatre; Madame Butterfly at Heartbeat Opera; The Servant of Two Masters at TFANA, Seattle Rep, Guthrie, Shakespeare Theatre Company and Yale Rep; Twelfth Night, or What You Will at Bedlam and Central Square Theatre; Macbeth for the Acting Company; the national and international tour of Tina Packer’s Women of Will (costumes/sets), She, After (costumes/sets) for Urban Arias; POP! (sets) at Yale Rep. M.F.A. Yale University School of Drama. valeriebart.com

REZA BEHJAT | Lighting Designer

REZA BEHJAT (Lighting Designer) is a freelance lighting designer for theatre, dance and installations. He began his career in Iran – where he worked with some of the prominent directors for several years. In 2014, Reza moved to New York City to pursue his M.F.A. at New York University where he was offered a full ride for three years. His works have been shown on Off-Broadway and regional theatres across the country such as The Public Theater (2020), NY ARTS Theaters, Actors Theater of Louisville, Alabama Shakespeare, Long wharf Theater, PlayMakers Rep, The Guthrie Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, etc.  He was nominated for Knight of Illumination Awards for Nina Simone: Four Women (2019) and Henry Hewes Design Award for Hamlet (2017) and Henry VI (2018). Reza is a proud member of USA Local 829 and Wing Space Theatrical Design.

KATE MARVIN | Sound Designer

KATE MARVIN returns to Geva Theatre Center where she made her debut last season with The Magician’s Daughter. Recent designs include Lifespan of a Fact at Cincinnati Playhouse; Wives at Playwrights Horizons; Happy Days at Mark Taper Forum; Chimpanzee at HERE Arts Center; Fruiting Bodies at Ma-Yi Theater Company;  Sweat at Asolo Repertory Theatre; Men on Boats at American Conservatory Theatre; A Doll’s HousePart 2 at Actors Theatre of Louisville; Indecent at Guthrie Theater; Babette’s Feast at Portland Stage Company; Crossing Delancey at Alliance Theatre; Grounded atWestport Country Playhouse; [Porto] atWomen’s Project Theater; Wilder Gone at Clubbed Thumb; Fidelio at Heartbeat Opera; and More Wonder Please at Target Margin Theater. Kate is an Associate Artist with Target Margin and Little Lord. M.F.A. in Sound Design, Yale School of Drama. Visit www.katemarvinsound.com.

J.C. MEYER CROSBY | Intimacy Coach

J.C. MEYER CROSBY is a director, playwright, and intimacy director. Recent directing credits include Strindberg adaptations Maid Julie and Creditors, an original adaptation of Faust, the one-act play, Positive, for the Rochester Fringe Festival, and Bert V. Royal’s Dog Sees God. At the 2019 Fringe Festival, he directed multimedia work Homo Familiarus, an exploration of different forms of human intimacy in eleven scenes. As an apprentice with Intimacy Directors International, he is dedicated to spreading consent culture and storytelling excellence in the staging of intimate scenes for the theatre. Favorite intimacy directing projects have been At Swim, Two Boys with DVC; Oklahoma!, Indecent, Newsies, and Division Street at JCC Centerstage; Marisol and Tatjana in Color at Ithaca College, and Bonnie & Clyde at Nazareth College. Meyer-Crosby is also the Artistic Director of Grey Noise Theatre Co., a production company dedicated to thoughtful representation of LGBTQ people and people of color.

JENNI WERNER | Literary Director/Resident Dramaturg

JENNI WERNER is in her ninth 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, Gabriel Jason Dean Brent Askari and Lila Rose Kaplan. 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.

SHARIFA ELKADY | Assistant Director

SHARIFA ELKADY is a trans Egyptian-American director currently based in NYC. She has completed directing fellowships with Actors Theatre of Louisville, Manhattan Theatre Club, the Drama League and is very excited to be a current directing fellow at Geva. Directing Credits include plays by Naomi Wallace, Marco Ramirez, Suzan-Lori Parks, Ntozake Shange, Harvey Fierstein, Dael Orlandersmith, Eve Ensler, Saviana Stanescu and Tasha Gordon-Solmon. Recent assistant directing credits include A Doll’s House, Part 2 (Pirronne Yousefzadeh), The New Englanders (Saheem Ali), Pipeline (Steve H. Broadnax III), The Santaland Diaries (Meredith Mcdonough), Dracula (Drew Fracher) and The Royale (Sharon Graci). Elkady graduated cum laude from Winthrop University with a B.A. in theatre performance and a minor in sociology.

MATTHEW LUPPINO | Stage Manager

MATTHEW LUPPINO’s Broadway credits include Bandstand and The Illusionists: Turn of the Century (2016) & Live on Broadway (2015). Off-Broadway/NYC credits include The Public Theatre, The Pearl Theatre Company, Elizabeth Swados’s The Nomad at The Flea Theatre. Touring credits include Apollo 11- The Live Show; The Lightning Thief at TheatreWorks/USA) Regional credits include Eagle Theatre, The Hangar Theatre, Kitchen Theatre Company, three seasons with Shakespeare and Company, Barrington Stage Company, and The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. Matthew is an alumnus of The College of New Jersey as well as a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Many thanks to his friends and family for their love and support!