ASTORIA STORIES
"Adventurous theater in Astoria"

-- The New York Times

A workshop production of New Plays & Musicals
curated and directed by APAC Artistic Director Dev Bondarin

And now for something new! To celebrate our 15th season, APAC is proud to introduce Astoria Stories. A festival of short plays and musicals, this multi-artist event will feature the work of Queens-based writers who will be paired with Astoria sites to create new, short theater pieces. Presented as single evening over seven performances and performed by an ensemble of actors, Astoria Stories will pay homage to and teach our audiences about the area of New York City that APAC calls home.

Writers selected for Astoria Stories (and their assigned locations) are:

Kari Bentley-Quinn – Museum of the Moving Image
Nathan Brisby and Lizzie Hagstedt – Titan Foods
Ty Defoe and Tidtaya Sinutoke – Socrates Sculpture Park
Dyan Flores – Omonia Bakery and Cafe
Ben Gassman – Astoria Park
Holly Hepp-Galván – The Beer Garden at Bohemian Hall
Alexander Sage Oyen – Broadway Silk Store
Christopher Torres – Astoria Blvd. Subway Station
Kathleen Warnock – Sohmer Piano Factory

Featuring: Alex Akin, Marcie Henderson*, Greg Horton*, Sheila Joon*, Nicholas Park*, Mauricio Pita, Sai
Somboon*, Vanessa Spica, and Laura Stracko

Production Stage Manager: Jessica Pecharsky*

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association. An Equity Approved Showcase.

The production features music direction by James Higgins, props design by Katie White, and lighting design by Dan Jobbins.

Astoria Stories  plays the following schedule:  
Friday February 19th @ 8pm
Saturday February 20th @ 2pm
Saturday February 20th @ 8pm
Sunday February 21st @ 7:30pm ** at Museum of the Moving Image
Friday February 26th @ 8pm
Saturday February 27th @ 2pm
Saturday February 27th @ 8pm

All performances (except Feb. 21) at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, 30-44 Crescent St. (@30th Rd), Astoria, Queens.

**In addition to their performances at Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, Astoria Stories marks the first time that APAC will be performing in the Kaufman Arts District. On Sunday, February 21st at 7:30pm, APAC will be presenting Astoria Stories at Museum of the Moving Image, 36-01 35 Avenue, Astoria, Queens.  Tickets for that performance are available here.

WRITER BIOS

† notes a Queens-based playwright

†Kari Bentley-Quinn’s (Playwright) plays have been performed in New York, Chicago, Dallas, and more. Plays include Paper Cranes (Princess Grace Semi-Finalist), The Unlikely Ascent of Sybil Stevens (BAPF 2013 Finalist), The Ocean Thought Nothing (2014 O’Neill NPC Finalist), and Prepared (Kilroys List Honorable Mention). MFA Playwriting – Hunter College. She is a cofounder of Mission to (dit)Mars, a theater company based here in Astoria, Queens.

 †Nathan Brisby (Book/Lyrics) is the founder of Broadway Gives Back, an organization that produces events which connect non-profits and the Broadway community. Recent writing projects seen in NYC include Jealous Husband Returns in Form of Parrot (with Matt Patrick Walsh), Camo Girl (with Lizzie Hagstedt), Franz & Kafka (with Lizzie Hagstedt), I Am (Mr. Spaceman) (with Jason Livesay). His songs have been heard at various concert venues in NYC and on Sirius XM. He is a member of the Advanced Workshop at BMI, as well as a member of The Circle Songbook.

Ty Defoe (Book/Lyrics) and †Tidtaya Sinutoke (Music) have written Clouds Are Pillows For The Moon (Yale Institute for Musical Theatre, ASCAP Musical Theatre Workshop, 2015 Kilroy’s honorable mention list), Tick-Tick (Prospect Theater’s Musical Theatre Lab), In the Cards (Boston Contempo-International Festival), Crossing Borders (CAP 21 Residency). Concerts at Joe’s Pub, Songbook at Lincoln Center, Symphony Space, 54 Below, Goodspeed Opera House, Dramatist Guild National Conference, NAMT Songwriters Cabaret, and the Johnny Mercer Songwriting project in Chicago, IL. Current Projects include: Hart Island Requiem with The Civilians/R&D Group, Sunrise Prayer (with collaborator Mary Kathryn Nagle at Goodspeed Opera), and Gender Outlaw (Robert Rauschenburg residency) all for 2016. Both Ty and Tidtaya draw inspiration from food like bison burgers, kale, and deep fried anything. They began their collaboration together at NYU where they received MFAs in Musical Theatre Writing. www.defoesinutoke.com

†Dyan Flores (Playwright) is a graduate of New York University, a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Writing Workshop, and a member of the Drama League’s Bastard Playground. Dyan also is a librettist and composer who’s had shows performed at the New York Library for the Performing Arts, American Theater Company, Milk Can Theatre Company, and NYU. You can find Dyan on Twitter at @dyanysus1116

†Ben Gassman (Playwright) is a playwright from Queens. The Downtown Loop, directed by Meghan Finn, premiered at 3LD Arts & Technology Center in October, 2013. Currently Ben, Meghan, and Loop veteran Sam Soghor are at work on a new play, Sam’s Tea Shack, which has had developmental showings at Dixon Place, The Bushwick Starr, The Silent Barn in Bushwick, and most recently as part of the Prelude Festival at the CUNY Graduate Center. Ben is also a licensed NYC tour guide and he writes essays. MFA: Brooklyn College.

 Lizzie Hagstedt (Music) is an actor / singer / musician / composer. Member of the BMI Workshop and the Circle Songbook. Previous projects as a writer include short musicals for Prospect Theater Company and NYU Steinhardt. Her musical Rose Petals (with Sarah Rebell) received a NYMF staged reading in 2013. Current projects include Oneida (with Beth Blatt) and Camo Girl (with Nathan Brisby and Celine Rosenthal). Currently appearing in Southern Comfort at the Public Theatre. www.lizziehagstedt.com

†Holly Hepp-Galván’s (Playwright) recent productions include The Ambassador at The Secret Theatre, The Photo Album at FringeNYC, Departure at City Theatre Miami, and Tamed, an adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew, in Danville, KY.  Productions for children include Sprites for Ballet Austin and Peter and the Piper, The Big Bolt, and Trouble on the Double for Pollyanna Theatre Company. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from Hunter College and currently teaches on the faculty there.

†Alexander Sage Oyen (Book/Music/Lyrics) received the 2014 ASCAP Lucille and Jack Yellen Award. Credits: Outlaws (book: James Presson, dir. Noah Himmelstein—Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals, 2014 NAMT Finalist, 2014 ASCAP Workshop), Archie’s Final Project (book: Presson, David Lee Miller), Diva (book: Sean Patrick Monahan), and Moment by Moment (dir. Brandon Ivie—54 Below, Mahidol University—Thailand, available on iTunes/Amazon). He was a 2013-14 Dramatist Guild Fellow, a Playbill.com “Contemporary Musical Theatre Writers You Should Know,” and selected for the 2014 Johnny Mercer Songwriter’s Project. Proud member of ASCAP, The Dramatists Guild

†Christopher Torres (Playwright) is a Queens bred, Ecuadorian-American storyteller. He studied creative writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice while pretending to study for his forensic psychology degree. He’s currently a MFA candidate in City College’s creative writing program. He also performs stories on stage at slams in the NYC area, is an editorial assistant for J Journal: New Writing on Justice, and co-created the Fail Better Reading Series.

Kathleen Warnock (Playwright) is an Astoria-based playwright. Her work has been seen in NYC, Dublin (Ireland and Georgia) and regionally. Recent productions include The Further Adventures of… (TOSOS/Theater 167 and International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival); Julie Andrews is the Devil, (Women’s International Theater Festival, Provincetown). She hosts the Drunken! Careening! Writers! reading series the third Thursday of the month at KGB Bar (since 2004). She is a member of The Dramatists Guild and a longtime fan of APAC.

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