Loading Events

April 20 - April 28

The Royale

Get your ringside seats for this electrifying drama that packs

an unforgettable punch. Boxer Jay “The Sport” Jackson wants

to be the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.

But it’s 1905, and in racially segregated Jim Crow America his

chances are about as good as getting knocked out. From the

award-winning writer of “Orange is the New Black” and “Sons

of Anarchy.”

By Marco Ramirez

Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh

In Partnership with Kitchen Theatre, Ithaca


Run Time: 70 minutes

Event Navigation


JAMAL JAMES makes his Geva Theatre Center debut in the Kitchen Theatre Company’s production of The Royale. Born and raised in Centreville, VA, Jamal graduated with a B.F.A. from Emory & Henry College and has been working in NYC and around the country ever since. His favorite credits include The Color Purple (National Tour and Papermill Playhouse); Welcome to Fear City at Kansas City Rep; Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner at the Lyceum Theatre; Illa: A Hip-Hop Musical (Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center); Jedi Training at Disney World; Titus Adronicus (Hamlet Isn’t Dead), and Peter and the Starcatcher at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Milwaukee Rep; The Last Five Years at Porchlight Productions Theatre, Beauty and the Beast at Barter Theatre, and Violet: The Musical at Barter Theatre. You may have even recently seen him on the last season of Gothamthejamaljames.com


SEAN MEEHAN makes his Geva Theatre Center debut in the Kitchen Theatre Center’s production of The Royale. Theatre work includes The New Group, La Mama Annex and HERE Arts Center (NYC); Woolly Mammoth Theatre (DC), Milwaukee Rep and the Repertory Theatre of St Louis. Film and television work includes Weightless, HBO’s The Normal Heart, The Deuce, CBS’s Elementary, Madam Secretary, Shades of Blue, The Good Wife, and Netflix’s Maniac. He received his M.F.A. in Acting from the Trinity Repertory Conservatory.


DAZMANN STILLS is a New York-based actor and a member of the first graduating class of Pace University’s B.F.A. in Acting for Film, Television, Voiceovers, and Commercials. Two years out of school, he is incredibly grateful to be working alongside experienced and talented artists. His stage credits include performances with Hi-ARTS, Match: Lit, The HERE Arts Center, the Bechdel Group, and The Kennedy Center. His TV credits include a Guest Star role on Bull, a Co-Star on The Last O.G. and a commercial spot for the Maryland Lottery. He is a native of Rochester and a Geva Summer Academy alum, and so he’s hyped to perform as a professional artist at home! www.dazmannstill.com


LISA THARPS makes her Geva Theatre Center debut in the Kitchen Theatre Company’s production of The Royale. Broadway credits include Nurse in Romeo and Juliet at New Victory Theater; Tonya (u/s) in King Hedley II at the Virginia Theatre;  and Principal Player in Love’s Fire: Fresh Numbers at the Public Theatre, London’s Barbican Pit and the National Tour. Off-Broadway credits include Olivia in Twelfth Night at Boomerang Theatre; Paulina in The Winter’s Tale for NY Classical; Wit at MCC, Union Square, and the National Tour. She appeared as Medea in Medea at Boston Court Theatre (Garland, LA Critics, LA Weekly NAACP nominations for Best Leading Actress); and was  Principal Player in the National Tour of The Vagina Monologues; and Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare Theatre of DC. TV credits include Jessica Jones (Det. Ruth Sunday), Power, Madam Secretary, and Elementary. Film credits include Madeline’s Madeline (Gotham’s/Spirit Awards’ noms for Best Feature, Cinematography).  She is a graduate of UNC School of the Arts. LisaTharps.com


ALEXANDER THOMAS lives in Toronto where he appeared this past autumn as Wynton in the Canadian premiere of The Royale (Soulpepper Theatre Company). Other Toronto credits include Hangman at the Storefront Theatre); A Girl Lives Alone and The Nails for Toronto Summer Works; Letters to Annabelle at the Toronto Fringe; and the world premiere of For Both Resting and Breeding at Talk is Free Theatre. He has appeared at the Kitchen Theatre in Sunset Baby, The Whipping Man, Opus, Broke-ology, After Ashley, Black Stuff and his solo show Throw Pitchfork, which had its premiere off Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop and two productions at the Kitchen. alexthomasactor.com

MARCO RAMIREZ | Playwright

MARCO RAMIREZ has had plays produced at Lincoln Center Theater, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), The Humana Festival (Louisville), The Old Globe (San Diego), The Bush Theatre (London), American Theater Company (Chicago), and Center Theatre Group (LA). Honors include the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Playwriting Award, Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship, Lincoln Center’s Le Comte du Nouy Award, and TCG’s Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. A WGA and Emmy Award-nominated TV writer, he is currently an Executive Producer and Showrunner of the high profile reboot of The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access alongside Jordan Peele and Simon Kinberg. Previously, he was the showrunner on Marvel’s The Defenders (Netflix), and was an Executive Producer on Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix). Other TV credits include: Sons Of Anarchy (FX), Orange is the New Black (Netflix), Da Vinci’s Demons (Starz), and Fear the Walking Dead (AMC).


PIRRONNE YOUSEFZADEH is a director, writer, and educator, and was recently appointed Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at Geva Theatre Center where she directed the world premiere of Heartland last season and The Lake Effect in 2017. Additionally, Pirronne is a founding member of Maia Directors, a consulting group for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East and beyond.  Recent projects include Utopia Minnesota by Meg Miroshnik (2016 Sagal Fellowship, Williamstown Theatre Festival), That High Lonesome Sound (Actors Theatre of Louisville; 2015 Humana Festival) and We Are Proud To Present A Presentation… by Jackie Sibblies Drury (InterAct Theatre Company). Her productions of The Dangerous House of Pretty Mbane by Jen Silverman (InterAct Theater Company) and In the Blood (Theatre Horizon) together received a total of fifteen Barrymore Award nominations, including Outstanding Direction and Outstanding Overall Production for both. And If You Lose Your Way, or A Food Odyssey (Invisible Dog) received nominations for Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding Performance Art Production from New York Innovative Theatre Awards.

She has directed and developed work at The Public/Joe’s Pub, Playwrights Horizons, New York Theatre Workshop, Ars Nova, Soho Rep, Atlantic Theater Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Rising Circle Theater Collective, The Woodshed Collective (The Tenant: Best of 2011, The L Magazine), Partial Comfort Productions, Noor Theatre, Rising Phoenix Rep, HERE Arts Center, La Mama, New York Musical Theatre Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Wild Project, Dixon Place, The Living Theatre, The Lark Play Development Center, New Dramatists, The Juilliard School, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Playhouse, La Jolla Playhouse, Huntington Theatre Company, Two River Theater Company, Milwaukee Rep, Dorset Theatre Festival, InterAct Theatre Company, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, On The Boards, Perseverance Theatre, Berkshire Fringe Festival, Walnut Street Theatre, and Hangar Theatre, where she was a 2006 Drama League Directing Fellow. Pirronne is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop, New Georges Affiliated Artist, member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and Wingspace, Colt Coeur Resident Artist, and an alumna of the 2050 Fellowship at NYTW, Sagal Fellowship at Williamstown Theatre Festival,  SDC Denham Fellowship, Lincoln Center Directors Lab, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Ensemble Studio Theatre’s Resident Director Program, New Georges Jam, and Drama League Directors Project. She has been a guest artist at the UCSB Summer Theater Lab, led by Naomi Iizuka, and has taught for education programs at McCarter Theatre, Two River Theater Company and Play Group Theatre. She has served on the faculty at The University of Texas at Austin, Rutgers University, and Bard High School Early College, and as a guest director at Yale School of Drama, Juilliard, Fordham University, among others. Pirronne received her M.F.A. in Directing from Columbia University, where she was a Shubert Presidential Fellow and Matthews Fellowship recipient. Member, SDC.  pirronne.commaiadirectors.com

SETH REISER | Scenic and Lighting Designer

SETH REISER is a lighting and set designer who works in theatre, opera, dance and music, he lives here in Rochester. At Geva, Seth designed the lighting for  the world premiere of The Magician’s Daughter, and The Lake Effect and Heartland both directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh. New York credits include Mike Daisey’s The Agony and the Ecstasy of Steve Jobs at the Public Theater; The Mysteries at the Flea, directed by Ed Iskandar; Reggie Watts and Tommy Smith’s Radio Play at PS 122, directed by Kip Fagan; Taylor Mac’s Obie Award winning production of The Lily’s Revenge at HERE ArtsRegional credits include Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Dallas Theatre Center, Two River Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Trinity Repertory, Berkeley Repertory, Seattle Repertory, The Denver Center Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth, American Repertory Theatre, and Playmakers Repertory, among others. Mr. Reiser received his B.A. from Ohio Wesleyan University and his M.F.A. at NYU Tisch School of the Arts.  sethreiserdesign.com

SERAFINA BUSH | Costume Designer

SARAFINA BUSH makes her Geva Theatre Center debut with the Kitchen Theatre production of The Royale.  She designed costumes for Plot Points and Pass Over at Lincoln Center. Other theatre includes Grace, or The Art of Climbing for Art House Productions; The White Dress at Araca Project; One Flea Spare for Playhouse Creatures; This Time at Rising Circle; Good Men Wanted at Arena Stage; Couriers and Contrabands for Barrow Group; and Why You Beasting? At New York Rep, as well as associate and assistant costume design credits on and Off-Broadway. Education: BFA, Adelphi University.

CHRIS LANE | Sound Designer

CHRIS LANE is humbled to be making his Kitchen Theatre Company and Geva Theatre Center debut with The Royale. This DJ from Baltimore has transitioned his rhythms and mixes into the theatrical space. His Atlanta credits include: Pipeline at Horizon Theatre; Four Women and Skeleton Crew at True Color’s Theatre; An Octoroon at Actor’s Express; The America Play at GSU-Theatre Arts Guild; Aida for Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Regional credits include Four Little Girls at Alabama Shakespeare Festival. In tandem with his freelance work as a designer, audio engineer and music producer, he is also a proud member of Alliance Theatre’s teaching artist division and executive director of RUN Arts: created to defy the term “starving artist” with interactive, high quality arts and business education. He would like to thank his growing village in and around his new home of Atlanta.

ROCIO MENDEZ | Movement Coordinator

ROCIO MENDEZ makes her Geva Theatre Center debut with the Kitchen Theatre production of The Royale. She is an actor/fight director/teacher from Hell’s Kitchen, NYC. Fight Direction credits include Marian, or The True Tale of Robin Hood and Hearts Like Fists at Flux Theater Ensemble; A Streetcar Named Desire at Princeton University; House of Desires and Marisol at The New School; Romeo and Juliet and Comedy of Errors at Maine Stage Theater. Film credits include Bad Writing, Clandestiny, Tied Up, Hurt Filling. Nominee for two New York Innovative Theater Arts Award – Outstanding Choreography and Movement, Winner for Artemis “Women In Action” Film Festival – Special Recognition Award. rociomendez.com

MICHAEL HAYES | Scenic Assistant/Props

MICHAEL HAYES is a current junior at Ithaca College earning a B.F.A. in Theater Production and Design. Recent/upcoming Ithaca College credits include scenic designer for Experiential Atonement (Dance Concert) and charge scenic artist for Marisol. Other credits include charge scenic artist for Fully Committed at The Peterborough Players; charge scenic artist for directing projects In a Word and 5×10: A Night of Short Plays at the Williamstown Theater Festival; and scenic art intern at the Williamstown Theater Festival.


LISA DONADIO is the Associate Casting Director at Playwrights Horizons. Credits include Clybourne Park (Broadway and PH); The Flick (Barrow Street and PH); Bootycandy, The Qualms, Detroit, Circle Mirror Transformation, Stage Kiss, Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play, Rapture Blister Burn, and Present Laughter with Victor Garber for the Huntington Theatre Company and Roundabout. Other theatres include: Women’s Project, Huntington Theatre Company, Seattle Rep, ACT in San Francisco, Berkeley Rep, Alley Theatre, Arena in DC.

KENDALL ALLEN | Stage Manager

KENDALL ALLEN is a NYC based Theatre Artist, Stage Manager, Director, and Intimacy Choreographer. Select Theatrical Credits Include Cartography at The Kennedy Center, Family Theater; The Real James Bond Was Dominican at the National Hispanic Cultural Center in New Mexico; Assembled Identity at HERE Arts Center; Oyé! For My Dear Brooklyn at Abrons Arts Center; Animal Wisdom at The Bushwick Starr; and Go Forth at LMCC, Governor’s Island. She has directed and created original works primarily for film on such projects as Extra (Premiering Spring 2019), JuJu: the Web Series, and A Long Undressing. Kendall studied Theatre; Design and Production at Fordham University, College of Lincoln Center. She’d like to give her endless thanks to the entire Royale Team, Geva Theatre Center and The Kitchen, Apt. 3, and her mother.


KITCHEN THEATRE COMPANY Bold, intimate, engaging… Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC), now in its 28th season, is downtown Ithaca’s critically acclaimed and nationally-recognized year-round professional theatre company, specializing in regional and world premiere plays that spark “important conversations”. KTC’s intimate 99-seat theatre is in a beautifully renovated, LEED-certified building in the West End neighborhood of downtown Ithaca, NY.   KTC was voted “Ithaca’s Best Cultural Asset” in the Ithaca Times Best of Ithaca poll, 2018. The production of The Royale by Marco Ramirez marks the sixth Kitchen Theatre production to be seen by Geva Theatre Center audiences in its Fielding Stage venue.  Previous productions include:

Black Pearl Sings! by Frank Higgins, A Body of Water by Lee Blessing, Dancing Lessons by Mark St. Germain, Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason  and last season’s Smart People by Lydia R. Diamond.  More information about the Kitchen is available at kitchentheatre.org or 607-272-0403.