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November 14 - November 17

The Niceties

In this explosive play, Zoe, a driven black student, and respected white professor Janine meet to discuss a paper Zoe is writing about the American Revolution. Polite conversation of grammar and Google quickly becomes a powder keg of race, history, and power, from which neither woman will leave unscathed.  An explosive and provocative nail-biter.

By Eleanor Burgess    Directed by Nicole A. Watson

Run Time 2 Hours including a 20 minute intermission

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JORDAN BAKER | Janine Bosko

JORDAN BAKER makes her Geva Theatre Center debut in The Niceties. Broadway credits include Suddenly, Last Summer (Theatre World Award). Off-Broadway credits include Three Tall Women (Original Cast,1994 Pulitzer Prize). Regional credits include Native Gardens at Denver Center; Luna Gale at Goodman Theatre and LATC; Appropriate at the Humana Festival; The Normal Heart at A.C.T.; Death of a Salesman at the Old Globe (directed by Pam McKinnon); and The Philadelphia Story at the Royal Exchange/England. Film credits include The Post, Land of Steady Habits, Five Flights Up, The David Dance, Paparazzi, Another Earth (Sundance/Alfred P. Sloan Award), The Out of Towners and City Hall. Television credits include The Americans; Bull; FBI: Most Wanted; Madame Secretary; The Good Wife; Blue Bloods; New Adventures of Old Christine; Ugly Betty and Buffy, The Vampire Slayer. Education: A.A. American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY). B.A. Smith College. M.F.A. Rutgers University: Mason Gross School of the Arts.


CINDY DE LA CRUZ makes her Geva Theatre Center debut in The Niceties. She is a NYC native and her recent credits include DreamHou$e at ArsNova; Storm Still at the Sheen Center; Our Town at Olney Theater Center; Stupid F**king Bird at Arden Theater and Urbanite Theatre; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at American Stage; and Dearly Departed at WestCoast Black Theatre Troupe. TV credits include The Village (NBC); Blue Bloods (CBS). Film credits include Kilroy Was Here (Dir. Kevin Smith).  Pa la cultura.


ELEANOR BURGESS’ plays include The Niceties, Start Down, Chill, and These Dying Generations. Her work has been produced at Manhattan Theatre Club, McCarter Theatre Center, Geffen Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, the Alliance Theatre, the Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Portland Stage Company, and Centenary Stage, and developed with The New Group, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Alley Theatre, Writers Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Salt Lake Acting Company, the Hermitage Artists Retreat, the Lark Play Development Center, and the Kennedy Center/NNPN MFA Playwrights Workshop. She’s also been a member of the Dorothy Strelsin New American Writers Group at Primary Stages, Page 73’s writers’ group Interstate 73, The Civilians’ R&D Group, and New York Theatre Workshop’s 2050 Fellowship. Originally from Brookline, Massachusetts, she studied history at Yale College and Dramatic Writing at NYU/Tisch.


NICOLE A. WATSON is the associate artistic director at Round House Theatre as well as a freelance director and educator. She is an associate artist at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, a New Georges affiliated artist, an alum of the Women’s Project Lab, the Drama League, and a member of the SDC. As a director she has worked at the O’Neill Theater Center, Baltimore Center Stage, Playmakers Rep, Theater Latte Da, Asolo Rep, the New Black Fest, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New Georges, Working Theatre, the Lark, New Dramatists, and the 52nd Street Project. As an educator she has worked at the University of Maryland College Park, NYU, North Carolina School of the Arts, Smith College, Two River Theater, Long Island University, and ACT in San Francisco. Recent credits include School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play; A Doll’s House Part 2; Sweat; and Skeleton Crew.  Her interest is in new plays, especially those that interrogate history and amplify the narratives of those who have been ignored or misrepresented. www.nicoleawatson.com

MARIANA SANCHEZ | Scenic Designer

MARIANA SANCHEZ is a scenic designer originally from Mexico with a background in architecture. With this project Mariana is making her Geva Theatre Center debut. Some of her scenic design credits include Off-Broadway productions of Mary Seacole at Lincoln Center Theater; The Winter’s Tale and Troy at The Public Theater; Fade at Primary Stages; Frontieres Sans Frontieres at The Bushwick Starr, and Oh My Sweet Land at The Play Company. Regional credits include American Underground at Barrington Stage, All’s Well That Ends Well, Manhatta and The River Bride at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; Fetch Clay and Make Man at Dallas Theater Center; Skeleton Crew at Baltimore Center Stage; The Wolves and Fade at TheaterWorks, War and Peter Pan at Yale Repertory Theater; Winnie The Pooh at The Alliance Theater, among others. She earned an M.F.A. from the Yale School of Drama.

CASEY McNAMARA | Costume Designer

CASEY McNAMARA is a Rochester- based theatrical designer and costume shop manager.  He received a B.F.A. in Theatrical Design and Technologies from Avila University and a M.F.A. in Scenography from the University of Kansas.  His credits include Costume Design for Thurgood, Million Dollar Quartet and Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End at Geva, Assassins at the Polsky Theatre (2017), Associate Costume Design for the SALT-nominated production of Parade at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse (2017), Lighting and Scenic Design for Reckless at the William Inge Theatre (2016), Co-Costume Design for Evil Dead: The Musical for Egadz! (2016), Lighting Design for A Raisin in the Sun at the Crafton-Pryor Theatre (2015), and Lighting Design for A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline at Canterbury Theatre (2015).

EMILY STORK | Lighting Designer

EMILY STORK’s lighting designs for theatre, dance, opera, puppetry and performance art have been seen worldwide, including festivals in Italy, France, Scotland, and Israel and in the U.S. at places as diverse as PS 122, Dance Theatre Workshop, the Cherry Lane Theatre, the Public Theater, La Mama, St. Ann’s Warehouse, the Walker Arts Center, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, the National Museum of the American Indian, On the Boards, the Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center in Troy, NY, Lincoln Center and on the side of a building in Rochester, NY. In 2003, she was the resident lighting designer for the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto, Italy where she had the pleasure of working with Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti on Wagner’s Lohengrin. Some of her favorite collaborations have been with Split Britches on Peggy Shaw’s To My Chagrin, Pig Iron Theater Company’s James Joyce is Dead and So is Paris, Nora Jones’ Album Release Party for Little Broken Hearts at the Box in NYC and on the world premiere of Greg Kotis’ All Your Questions Answered directed by Sean Daniels at Geva Theatre Center. She was the Lighting Director at The Juilliard School for 12 years, where she designed countless shows and special events including the Leading Ladies Gala starring Audra McDonald and Barbara Cook and the Tempest Benefit reading with Sir Derek Jacobi. She is a proud member of United Scenic Artists 829 (IASTE Local USA 829).


Emily is the festival lighting designer for the Rochester Fringe Festival where her designs included the aerialist dance group, Bandaloop, the Cirque du Fringe in the Magic Crystal Spiegeltent and the outdoor informal installation at the Spiegel Garden. Emily received her B.A. from State University of New York at New Paltz and an M.F.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Examples of her work can be found at:  www.emilystorkdesign.com

SINAN REFIK ZAFAR | Sound Designer

SINAN REFIK ZAFAR (Sound Designer) is a New York based sound designer and composer. Broadway credits include What The Constitution Means to Me. Off-Broadway credits include What The Constitution Means to Me at NYTW and Clubbed Thumb; What To Send Up When It Goes Down, And She Would Stand Like This at The Movement Theatre Co; Hamlet at Waterwell; Intelligence at Next Door @ NYTW; and Richard in 9 Poses at Clubbed Thumb. Regional credits include A Human Being of a Sort at Williamstown Theatre Festival; What The Constitution Means to Me at the Kennedy Center and Berkeley Rep; The Language Archive at Theatreworks Silicon Valley; Jump at Playmakers Rep; peerless at Yale Rep; Slow Food and Cry It Out at Dorset Theatre Festival; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and Two Trains Running at Weston Playhouse; The Legend of Georgia McBride, The Wolves, Detroit and Intimate Apparel at TheatreSquared; We are Proud to Present at Yale Drama; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at  Tiltyard; Macbeth (d. Will Frears) at Sarah Lawrence College. He is a member of Wingspace. He received his M.F.A. at Yale School of Drama; and his B.A. at UC Irvine. sinanzafar.com

ADRIANO GATTO | Fight Coordinator

ADRIANO GATTO returns to Geva this season having previously worked on the world premieres of Revival: The Resurrection of Son House and Heartland, and To Kill a Mockingbird, Last Gas, The Diary of Anne Frank, Wait Until Dark (w/ Arizona Theatre Company). Regionally, Adriano’s select work as a Fight Director includes One Man, Two Guvnors and Into the Breeches! At Chautauqua Theatre Company; Tis Pity She’s a Whore at Irish Classical Theatre Company; Equivocation and The Crucible at Kavinoky Theatre; Carmen for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra; Amadeus and The Bourgeous Gentleman for the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra; Don Giovanni, Out of Darkness/Into the Fire, and The Marriage of Figaro for Eastman Opera Theatre. As an internationally Certified Fight Instructor with the Academy of Fight Directors Canada, he has taught stage combat for various institutions, including the AFDC National Certification Conference (Calgary, AB), Eastman School of Music, SUNY Buffalo State and Niagara University, where he serves as the Artist in Residence.  Heartfelt gratitude to the entire team and family here at Geva. Huge love to my H2RO!


FRANCISCA DA SILVEIRA is a Playwright and Dramaturg originally from Boston who holds a B.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and an MSc in Playwriting from the University of Edinburgh. In 2018, she made ArtsBoston’s list of 10 Contemporary Black Playwrights You Should Know. Her plays have been developed with Theatre503 (London), The Traverse Theatre (Edinburgh), TC Squared Theatre Company (Boston), Company One Theatre (Boston), Flat Earth Theatre (Boston), Fresh Ink Theatre Company (Boston), The Fire This Time Festival (New York), and Horse Trade Theater Group (New York). She has been a finalist for SpeakEasy Stage’s 2017 and 2018 Boston Project Residency and longlisted for the Papatango Prize for Drama. Fran’s full length play Heritage Hill Naturals received a world premiere with Fresh Ink Theatre (Boston) in May 2018. From 2016-2018, Fran served as a company dramaturg and Literary Manager at Company One Theatre and co-ran their emerging writers PlayLab program with Andrew W. Mellon Artist-in-Residence Kirsten Greenidge. She also serves as an At-Large Ambassador with the National New Play Network and has worked as a dramaturg at the 2018 Kennedy Center’s M.F.A. Playwrights’ Workshop and the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

EMILY MELLON | Stage Manager

EMILY ANN MELLON makes her Geva Theatre Center debut with The Niceties. Selected theatre credits include Souvenir at Rep Stage; A Doll’s House, Part 2 at Round House Theatre; Girlfriend at Signature Theatre; Wig Out! at Studio Theatre; The School for Lies at Shakespeare Theatre Company; The Upstairs Concierge at the Goodman Theatre; JQA, Kleptocracy, Indecent, Dave, Hold These Truths, The Pajama Game, A Raisin in the Sun, Watch on the Rhine, Moby Dick, The Year of Magical Thinking, Born for This, Disgraced, All the Way, Akeelah and the Bee, Destiny of Desire, and Dear Evan Hansen at Arena Stage. Television credits include Good Day New York and Inside Edition. She gives all of her love to her family for their constant support. “And I bless you: More Life.”