Merrimack Repertory Theatre
Courtney Sale, Nancy L. Donahue Artistic Director
Bonnie J. Butkas, Executive Director
By Vichet Chum
Directed by Pirronne Yousefzadeh
Production Stage Manager - Maegan A. Conroy
Live on Zoom November 12, 2020
Available digitally November 13-15, 2020
ALTON ALBURO as Sopha
KRISTIAN ESPIRITU as Soma
MONET as Britney
PISAY PAO as Dahvy
CHRISTOPHER SALAZAR as Ruben
All actors and the stage manager are members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.
TIME AND PLACE
Place: Lowell, MA
Time: For now... before OR after COVID times
Lee Viliesis - Production Manager
Kaitlyn Crockett - Zoom Operator
(Sopha) Alton has acted with New York Theatre Workshop, Primary Studios, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ma-Yi, Transport Group, The Flea, Target Margin Lab, Rattlestick/Pride Plays, New Dramatists, NYSAF, The Lark, Bushwick Starr, La MaMa, New Ohio, Colt Coeur, New Light Theater Project, Two Headed Rep, Concrete Temple, PEN World Voices, Children’s Theatre Company (MN), ArtsEmerson (MA), Connecticut Free Shakespeare (CT), Red Cloud Opera House (NE), among others. He can also be seen on Netflix in Last Ferry and “Friends From College.” Alton is on the board of Undiscovered Countries, a bimonthly new and developing works festival.
(Soma) Kristian (she/they/siya) is a multi-disciplinary artist settled on Canarsee & Lenape lands, Brooklyn, NY. Credits include School of Rock, 1st Nat'l Tour (ensemble/ u/s Patty/Sheinkopf); Pioneer Theatre Co.'s Once On This Island (Erzulie); Here Lies Love at The Public (Ensemble/Soloist); and her first Zoom theatrical credit: DGF Presentation of Paulo K. Tirol's Called (Carmela). She's performed at notable venues with various bands and singer-songwriters, such as Webster Hall, Brooklyn Bowl, and Joe's Pub. TV: “Love Life,” “Younger,” “Ray Donovan,” “Hunters.” Kristian is also the small business owner of How Bout Knot. She seeks to decolonize herself and amplify BIPOC voices in all aspects of her art and being. www.kristianespiritu.com IG: @kriscendo. @howboutknot. Rise.
(Britney) Monet is a graduate from Harvard University in affiliation with the Tony Award winning American Repertory Theatre. In her years in grad school, she also studied abroad at the world renowned Moscow Art Theatre School. She has worked with countless distinguished directors and playwrights and made her Off-Broadway debut in The New York Times 'Critic's Picks for The Light Princess. She continues to work in New York City as an Actor/Director on new works, commercials, voiceovers, and independent films while mentoring and coaching auditions. Monet is also the co-founder of the WeAre Foundation and the President of Qurator, movie app.
(Dahvy) Pisay is a Khmer American Actress most known for her role as Cassandra in the interestingly popular Syfy show “Z Nation.” She has also appeared in “NCIS,” “Velvet Buzzsaw,” and “Doom Patrol.” Aside from playing Joseph’s “favorite” wife in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, this is one of Pisay’s ﬁrst forays back into theater since middle school. Though not ﬂuent in Khmer, Pisay speaks enough that she sometimes dreams in Khmer, though it is rare and usually it is her mother berating her. She is left handed, enjoys playing Scrabble, and dancing unpredictably in the rain, on the beach, along sidewalks, and sometimes theater aisles.
(Director) Pirronne is a director, writer, and the Associate Artistic Director and Director of Engagement at Geva Theatre Center. She has a passion for new work that centers and uplifts the stories of global majority communities and has developed and directed work extensively regionally and in New York City. Pirronne is a Usual Suspect at NYTW, New Georges Affiliated Artist, member of EST and Wingspace, 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, New Georges Jam, and Drama League Directors Project. Pirronne co-founded Maia Directors, a consulting service for artists and organizations engaging with stories from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. She was a finalist for the 2020 Zelda Fichandler Award from SDC and a nominee for the Alan Schneider Award from TCG. M.F.A., Columbia University. Representation: Ben Izzo at Abrams Artists.
(Playwright) Vichet is a Cambodian-American playwright and theater maker, originally from Dallas, Texas and now living in New York City. His plays have been workshopped at Steppenwolf Theatre, the Magic Theater, the Alley Theatre, the UCROSS Foundation, Fault Line Theatre, Crowded Outlet, Second Generation Productions, Weston Playhouse, Cleveland Public Theatre, All For One Theater, Amios, Florida State University, Merrimack Repertory Theatre and the New Harmony Project. He received the 2018-19 Princess Grace Award in Playwriting with New Dramatists and is a current board member for the New Harmony Project. Vichet was a part of the 2019-20 Resident Working Farm Group at Space on Ryder Farm, the 2020 Interstate 73 Writer's Group at Page 73 and the 2020 Ars Nova Play Group. His play High School Play: A Nostalgia Fest will have its world premiere at the Alley Theatre in 2021. His play Bald Sisters will have its world premiere at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in the 20/21 season. He is a proud graduate of the University of Evansville (BFA) and Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company (MFA). He’s represented by Beth Blickers at APA. vichetchum.com
(Production Stage Manager) Maegan is thrilled to be collaborating with MRT again on this project! Selected previous credits include Nina Simone: Four Women, The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley, Tiny Beautiful Things, Cry It Out, The Heath, Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Native Gardens, The Royale (Merrimack Repertory Theatre); Creditors, Ugly Lies the Bone, DibbleDance: Shoes On, Shoes Off, Private Lives, Julius Caesar (Shakespeare & Company); The Legend of Georgia McBride (Greater Boston Stage Company); Guards at the Taj (Central Square Theatre); and The Effect, A Measure of Normalcy (Gloucester Stage Company). Maegan received her BFA in Stage Management from Millikin University in Decatur, Illinois. She and her husband live with their dog in Lowell, MA. Maegan is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.
Courtney Sale (Director) joined MRT as the Nancy L. Donahue Artistic Director this year after serving as the Artistic Director of Seattle Children's Theatre (SCT), the nation’s leading generator of new work for young audiences. At SCT, she directed Black Beauty, The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, and The Little Prince. Commissioned writers under her tenure include Idris Goodwin, Cheryl West, Allison Gregory, Karen Hartman, Trista Baldwin, Ramon Esquivel, and James Still. Recent directing projects: Tiny Beautiful Things at Seattle Rep, the world premiere of Steven Dietz’s The Ghost of Splinter Cove at Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, and Ellen Fairey’s Support Group for Men at Contemporary American Theatre Festival (CATF). Other credits include The Cake; Wild Horses; Not Medea (CATF); Mr. Burns, A Post Electric Play; On Clover Road (The Phoenix Theater); Twelfth Night and The Tempest (Indy Shakes); and Zen Prayers & Songs (Fusebox), written and performed by Kirk Lynn.
Prior to SCT, she spent three years as Associate Artistic Director at Indiana Repertory Theatre, where directing credits include the world premiere of April 4, 1968: Before We Forgot How to Dream, The Mountaintop, The Mousetrap, Jackie & Me, And Then They Came for Me, The Giver, and two iterations of A Christmas Carol. With the Duplicates, she co-created The Fictional Life of Historical Oddities, September Play, The Man with the Dancing Eyes, and The Poison Squad (Austin Critics Award). She has developed new work at Denver Center Theatre Company’s Summit New Play Festival, The New Harmony Project, Write Now, Dorset Theatre Festival, TheatreWorks (Palo Alto), New Plays for Young Audiences at NYU/Provincetown Playhouse, and The Orchard Project.
Other distinctions included Indianapolis Business Journal’s Forty Under Forty designation, Cornish College of the Arts Distinguished Alumni Award, and the keynote speaker at the 2017 International Council of Fine Arts Deans. She has taught at Summer at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Children’s Museum, Temple College, and the University of Texas at Austin.
Ms. Sale is a proud member of the National Theatre Conference and the theatrical union the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society. She is represented by Abrams Artists NYC. BFA, Cornish College of the Arts. MFA, The University of Texas at Austin.
(Executive Director) Bonnie most recently served as the Senior Director of Foundation Relations at Rochester Institute of Technology, where she led the university’s strategic efforts to secure funding from private and family foundations. During her tenure, RIT secured its first significant gifts from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Henry Luce Foundation. Prior to RIT, she was the Director of Development at Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY overseeing five years of unprecedented growth in the company’s contributed income and playing a key role in a successful $10 million capital campaign to renovate the building and grow the theatre’s endowment. In New York City, she served as the Director of External Relations at the York Theatre Company, the Director of Development and Communications at TADA! Youth Theatre, Directing Assistant on The Lion King on Broadway, and the co-founder of Lexington Dance Collective. Prior to NYC, she was the Managing Director of Bristol Valley Theater in Naples, NY. Butkas was raised in the Finger Lakes region of Western New York and holds degrees in Journalism and Dance from the University at Buffalo. She volunteered with the Association of Fundraising Professionals of Genesee Valley, Girl Scouts of Western New York, and the YWCA of Rochester & Monroe County. In Fall 2016, she co-founded Action Together Rochester. She serves on the MCC's Academic Arts Center Advisory Board and lives in Westford.
Christopher Salazar (Ruben) is an actor, educator, voice over artist, and improviser. Formerly based in Los Angeles, where he was very active in that vibrant theatre community, Chris is a new member of the Resident Acting Company at the Award-winning Alley Theatre in Houston. He has also worked at dozens of theaters around the country including 11 productions at The Old Globe, three seasons with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Public Theater (NYC), La Jolla Playhouse, The Barter Theatre, and Portland Center Stage. He earned his MFA in Acting from The Old Globe/USD program, and holds a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Mr. Salazar has taught Shakespeare, Improv and acting at multiple universities from coast to coast. He played Robert Torres on "Jane, The Virgin" and his voice can be heard in animated films, video games, podcasts, and a multitude of audio books.
Zoom Photo: (l-r, from top) Pirronne Yousefzadeh, Bonnie J. Butkas, Courtney Sale, Monet, Pisay Pao, Maegan A. Conroy, Frankie Alvarez, Kristian Espiritu, Alton Alburo, and Vichet Chum.