Diaspora tells the story of a group of college age Jewish-Americans visiting Israel through the Birthright program. Olivia wants to reconnect with her heritage and childhood friends, Rachel and Hannah. Hannah is still reeling from a break up with her first real boyfriend and is looking to find a new replacement. Rachel questions the politics of the trip and her surroundings, and has a plan that involves seeing the parts of the country that Birthright means to hide. While their story line seems like “American Pie” goes on Birthright, the ancient story of Achinoam and Masada starts to become more than just a talking point for the tour guide. Her people have been under siege by the Roman army and mass suicide seems like the only option for the refugees to preserve their liberty as Jews.
The Gym at Judson
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Serena Berman (Hannah / Chawwah) is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut from atop Masada. Favorite acting credits include Murder at the Gates (Steven Sater), Set It Up (Netflix), Assassins (NYU/Kent Gash), and the voice of Lucy in Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales (ABC). She also writes plays, does improv, and produces theater and activism events at downtown art gallery Chinatown Soup. BFA: NYU Tisch (CAP21). www.serenaberman.com
Maggie Metnick (Rachel / Tzillah) Graduate of Pace University’s International Performance Ensemble Acting program, Maggie is a co founder of Don’t Trust the Postal Service, an experimental theatre ensemble. She recently performed her solo piece, I Want To Be Your Friend, Please at Dixon Place. She is thrilled to be a part of such a witty, insightful, and challenging project.
Tom McVey (Jeremy) is very excited to be apart of the premiere of Diaspora. Recent stage credits include The House of Blue Leaves (Florida Repertory Theatre), Awesome 80s Prom (Off-Broadway), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Wolfbane). He has appeared on television in "Law and Order: Criminal Intent". Tom would like to thank Mom, Dad, and Ej for their continued support.
Ava Eisenson (Or / Achinoam) is a NYC based actor. Ava has had the privilege of working with: The Lark, SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Public, Attic Theatre Company, Loft 227, Nonsense NYC, The Wild Project, Luna Stage, Sightline Theatre, Atlantic Theatre, Wide-Eyed Productions, Superhero Clubhouse, Pipeline, Dixon Place, St. Anne's, A.R.T., CSC, Marvel Repertory, EST, Ars Nova, AMC Network and The New Ohio. BFA from BU. www.avaeisenson.com
RJ Vaillancourt (Brett) could not be more thrilled to work on this piece with these people. Recent work includes Pussy Sludge (HERE Arts) and many other readings/workshops with Less Than Rent Theatre. Love and appreciation to/for everyone involved in making this thing happen, and to M, D, and Sara- you guys are the GOAT.
Quinn Franzen (Cameron) Theater Off-Broadway: Threesome (59e59); The Guthrie: We Are Proud to Present...; Intiman: Angels in America (pts. 1 & 2), Romeo and Juliet, Dirty Story; Seattle Rep: Hound of the Baskervilles; The Satori Group: Returning to Albert Joseph, reWilding; Seattle Shakespeare: Othello, The Importance of Being Earnest. Film Detective Detective, Layered Jacket, Short on Beer. TV Billions, The Blacklist, Younger, Grimm. Training LAMDA; B.A., Williams College.
Joe Tapper (Eleazar) Broadway: You Can’t Take It With You Off-Broadway/Regional: Midsummer Night’s Dream – Delacorte Theater, Passover-Cherry Lane, Red Velvet – Shakespheare & Co., Mother of the Maid – Berkshire Playwrights Lab, Witnessed By The World – 59 E 59, Imagining the Imaginary Invalid- Mabou Mines, , Billy Witch - Studio 42, How Shakespeare Won the West -Huntington Theatre, , A Few Good Men & Of Mice and Men - Pioneer Theatre, Richard II - Yale Repertory , The Jammer - The Edinburgh International Fringe Festival (Winner of Fringe First Award). The Hangar Theatre, Northern Stage, The Kitchen, The Shakespeare Theatre. Readings at The Public Theater and The Lark. TV: Chicago Med, Blue Bloods, Masters, of Sex, Odyssey, Brooklyn Taxi, Law & Order SUV.Training: Ithaca College BFA, Yale School of Drama, MFA.
Connie Castanzo (Olivia Margolis) is honored to be a part of this new work! New York: The Rivals, As You Like It (NY Classical); Gigi (Storm Theatre); My Report To The World (Jewish Museum of Heritage & Shakespeare Theatre Company); Much Ado About Nothing (Secret Theatre); Epic Poetry (Up Theatre). Regional: Boeing Boeing (Millbrook Playhouse); Lost Boy Found in Whole Food’s (Pittsburgh REP). BFA from Point Park Conservatory. www.conniecastanzo.com
Nathaniel Shapiro, Producer/Book-Writer
Saheem Ali, Director:
Originally from Nairobi, Kenya, Saheem is a director of plays and musicals with an emphasis on new work. Recent credits include Where Storms Are Born (Williamstown Theater Festival), Kill Move Paradise (National Black Theater),
Twelfth Night (The Public Theater), Nollywood Dreams (Cherry Lane), Dot (Detroit Public Theater), The Booty Call (Inner Voices) and A Lesson From Aloes (Juilliard). He has workshopped new plays at Atlantic Theater, Playwrights
Realm, Roundabout, MTC, MCC, New York Stage & Film and PEN World Voices. He is a Usual Suspect and former Directing Fellow at New York Theater Workshop, SDC Sir John Gielgud Fellow and Shubert Fellow.
Scott Davis, Assistant Director:
Brooklyn-based director focused on the reconstruction of preexisting texts both theatrical and non-theatrical. His work has been seen at numerous venues downtown including Dixon Place, HERE Arts Center, The Sheen Center, IRT and others. In addition Scott took a reconstruction of Kaspar by Peter Handke to The Sibiu International Theatre Festival in 2016. Scott currently serves as the Line Producer at LPAC where he curates The Rough Draft Festival. Scott is a graduate of The B.A. Directing Program from Pace University as well as an alumnus of The Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Directors Lab West. scottdavisdirector.com
Evan Bernardin, General Manager:
Founder of Evan Bernardin Productions, A full service general management and producing firm. Current: Afterglow (Loft @ Davenport), Must (Theater @ St. Clements) . Upcoming: Counting Sheep (3LD). Other: The Bad Years, We Are The Tigers (Ovation Nom), The Dodgers, More Than All The World, The Navigator (NYC/LA). www.evanbernardinproductions.com
Gwynne richmond, Company Manager:
a theatrical producer and administrator with EBP. Recent works include: Afterglow (Loft @ Davenport), The Other Side of Paradise (Ars Nova Ant Fest). Upcoming: Counting Sheep (3LD). In the past, Richmond has worked with NYMF, Lady Grey Theatrical, Sydney's Short +Sweet Festival, NewMusicalTheatre.com, and NYU's Graduate Musical Theater Writing Program.
Maruti Evans, Scenic Designer
Eric Southern, Lighting Designer:
OBIE award winning designer for theater, opera, and dance. New York: After the Blast, Bull in a China Shop, The Harvest, Ghost Light (Lincoln Center); Sell/Buy/Date (MTC); Pocatello, Indian Summer (Playwrights Horizons); Tell Hector I Miss Him, Good Television, 10x25 (Atlantic); Rimbaud in NY (BAM, The Civilians); Steve (The New Group); Buyer and Cellar (London, CTG, New York, National Tour); Chromatic (ADI, The Kitchen, Susan Marshall and Company). His work with 600 Highwaymen has been seen throughout the US and Europe. Other Theater includes Williamstown, The Guthrie, Kennedy Center, Baltimore Centerstage, Long Wharf, Huntington, Westport Country Playhouse, HVSF, Dallas Theater Center. Education: B.F.A. and M.F.A., NYU.
Miles Polaski, Sound Designer:
a sound designer, composer, and projection media designer living in New York City. New York credits include productions with: The Flea Theater (Drama Desk nominee and Jeff Award nominee for FULFILLMENT by Thomas Bradshaw), Transport Group, Playwrights Realm, National Asian American Theatre Company, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Pace Gallery, and MBL Productions, among others. Regional credits include productions with: Geva Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, American Theater Company, Red Tape Theatre (Jeff Award for MOUSE IN A JAR by Martyna Majok), Chicago Dramatists, The Gift Theatre, Collaboraction Theatre, Steep Theatre, and About Face Theatre, among others. Miles was the resident sound and projection designer for five seasons at Barter Theatre, in Abingdon, VA where he designed over 65 musicals and plays. www.milespolaski.com
Oana Botez, Costume Designer:
BAM Next Wave, La MaMa, The Kitchen, PS122, HERE Arts Center, The Joyce Theater, BRIC Arts Media,The Classic Stage Company, The Public Theater. The Wilma Theater (Philadelphia), Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Hartford Stage Company, Shakespeare Theater (DC), Berkeley Rep, ArtsEmerson (Boston), Broad Stage (Santa Monica, CA), MCA Chicago, ODC (San Francisco). Bucharest National Theater (Romania), Arad National Theater (Romania), Bulandra Theater( Bucharest), Théâtre National de Chaillot (Paris), Les Subsistances (Lyon), Peak Performances( Montclair), Budapest National Theater, Cluj Hungarian National Theater (Romania), Bucharest Operetta Theater (Romania), The Walker Art Center, International Festival of Contemporary Theater (Adana, Turkey), Le Quartz (Brest, France), La Filature (Mulhousse, France), Exit Festival /Maison des Arts Creteil (Paris, France).
Catie Hevner, Projection Designer:
Broadway: In Transit. NYC: Ugly Lies the Bone, Roundabout; Tail! Spin!, Lynn Redgrave Theater; My Mother Has 4 Noses, The Duke; Baghdaddy, St. Luke’s Theater; Triassic Parq, Soho Playhouse; Parade, Avery Fisher Hall. Regional: Alley, Alliance, Arena, Barrington, Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Guthrie, Long Wharf, Marin, McCarter, Pasadena Playhouse, People’s Light, Playmakers Rep, Round House, Seattle 5th Avenue, Williamstown. www.caitedesign.com
Kate Lumpkin, Casting Director:
Founder of Kate Lumpkin Casting. She is also the Resident Casting Director for the Musical Theatre Factory and Midnight Theatricals in New York. Currently represented Off-Broadway: Afterglow (The Davenport) and Diaspora (The Gym at Judson). Collectively, as a casting professional, she has worked on over 40 TV/Film productions and 60 theatrical productions across the country. For more information, please visit www.kate-lumpkin.com. @katelumpkin
Angela Perez, Stage Manager
Alyssa Krompier, Assistant Stage Manager