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Sam Shepard's
Curse of the Starving Class
Opens October 27, 8pm @ The Bridge Theater
250 West 54th Street, 12th Floor




Justin Bennett (Slater) -- New York Theatre:  Romeo and Juliet, Cymbeline, Suits and Ties, Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), Pygmalion, Me Too, 21 Stories:  A Broadway Tale, 2084.  Regional:  Comedie of Errors, You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, West Side Story, Alexander and the Terrible..., Audition for Murder, How to Eat Like a Child.  National Tours:  Kid Power, Slim Goodbody, A Christmas Carol, A Garfield Christmas, Oliver Twist, Stuart Little.  Classical and Contemporary Pianist.  Education:  BA in Theatre Arts, Summa Cum Laude, LaGrange College.

David Bragin (Sets and Graphics) --

Scott Cagney (Sheriff Malcolm) -- is a New Jersey area actor with a BA in Theatre from Montclair State University. Scott can regularly be seen working with Cafe Theatre in residence at Tierney's (Montclair). He also works frequently with the artistic director of the Abbey Theatre, David Gothard. Other credits: Kaffee - A Few Good Men, Bottom -A Midsummer Night's Dream, Heinz -Clothes Encounters and Attention Span of a Fly (Paramount Theatre, Asbury Park, NJ). Scott has also worked numerous times with the New Jersey Playwrights Theatre. He was also Artistic Director/ President of a student run theatre group, called Players, for two years. Scott is also a company member of StrangeDog Theatre and performed in many of their productions, including: Buff - SubUrbia, Loudjack -Bootstraps, and Ray - Spilling Stuff and Breaking Things.

Jim Dingeman (Emmerson) --began his involvement in theater as a child in Greenwich Village with participation at Greenwich House in their theater program for children when he was ten years old. He worked in Manhattan through the early sixties also as a singer in du-wop  and Renaissance madrigal singing groups. He studied classical singing at the High School of Music and Art. Later he studied at Wesleyan and Columbia University. He has worked as a journalist for several decades, covering international and national politics. Throughout this time he has retained his interest in theater and increasingly saw how politics and theater intermingled in practice. Growing up in the West Village he has always loved and appreciated the Off-Off Broadway movement represented by Sam Shepard and brings that to his approach to the play.

Stephen Gleason (Taylor) -- New York:  Picking Palin (FringeNYC), No Diamonds in the Crabgrass (Impact Theatre), Waiting For Godot (NADA), The Cherry Orchard (Oasis), Room Service (Gallery Theatre), Commedia Tonite! (Lark Theatre). Regional: City of Angels (Gateway Playhouse), Nite Club Confidential (Florida Studio), Sweet Charity (Stages, St. Louis). Film and TV: Henry’s Crime, Onion SportsDome, Law & Order: SVU, White Collar, and The Good Wife.

MaryAnn Loo (Props/Crew) -- is innately multi-talented/curious/easily distracted. She still isn’t sure what she wants to be when she grows up, having changed her mind from Psychologist/Counsellor/Social Worker, to Film/TV/Stage Actress, to working Off-Stage/Off-Screen, to Contemporary Christian Singer/Songwriter/Musician/Composer, to Fiction Writer/Poet, to what she now is working on… Visual Art. She does know she loves working with her hands/making stuff/painting anything/drawing on anything/graffiti (just kidding), and creative work/play/live-in environments. She aspires to live a full life doing everything she loves, without having to marry rich (unless it’s true love).

Kam Metcalf (Ella) -- (AEA/SAG) has appeared on Broadway in THE SEAGULL(directed by Marshall Mason) and in ST. JOAN and has appeared off Broadway in MACBETH at the York Theatre, in LOVE'S LABOURS LOST at Riverside Shakespeare, and as Juliet in ROMEO AND JULIET at Riverside Workshop. Her off-off Broadway credits include roles in CANDIDA (Prosperine) at the Roundtable Ensemble Connelly Theatre, TEN LITTLE INDIANS (Mrs. Rogers) at All Souls Players, LOVE'S LABOURS LOST (Katherine) at American Theatre of Actors, and FRIENDS OF DOROTHY (Matt Connelly, director) at the Producer's Club. She previously appeared as Ella in a staged reading of Sam Shepard's CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS at the Barrow Group Theatre. Her regional theatre credits include the roles of Curley's Wife in OF MICE AND MEN at the American Conservatory Theatre and Emily in OUR TOWN at the Whiting Theatre in Minneapolis. Kam trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, with Herbert Berghof at HB Studio in New York, with Michael Kahn at BADA/Oxford, with Gerry Bamman at the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, and with Patrick Tucker (Shakespeare Workshops I and II). She studied Meisner technique at Gately/Poole and received a scholarship from the Chekhov Studio. She holds a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota.

Randy Miles (Weston) --

Kirk Miller (Ellis) -- A native of Wisconsin, Kirk studied music composition at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been active as a composer, songwriter and teacher. Recent stage performances include Cairo Stories with Slant Of Light Theater Company and Bury The Dead with HB Playwrights Foundation

Maggie Scott (Stage Manager) --has performed on the West Coast at Marin Summer Theatre, FA Theatre of San Francisco, and Berkeley Shakespeare Company. She also was a member of the acting companies at the Squaw Valley Writer’s Conference and American Theatre Arts in Los Angeles both play development programs for aspiring playwrights. On the East Coast, she has performed off and off-off Broadway for such groups as Riverside Shakespeare, Soupstone Project, American Shaw Festival, and the Theatre Studio. Her favorite roles have included Arkadina in The Seagull, Gertrude in Hamlet, Elizabeth in Richard III, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Portia in The Merchant of Venice, and Sarah in Harold Pinter’s The Lover. Maggie trained at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco.

Sam Shepard -- Considered one of America's most influential and celebrated playwrights of the 20th century, Sam Shepard is also an accomplished actor, director, screenwriter and musician. Curse of the Starving Class, is the one of a series of plays about families tearing themselves apart It debuted off-Broadway in 1978 followed by "Buried Child" the same year. Though both plays added to his OBIE collection, "Buried Child" earned the playwright the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1979. True West (1980) is the 3rd play in the series.

Elizabeth Swearingen (Emma) -- A native of Colorado, Elizabeth is a New York City based actor and playwright. After receiving her training in Musical Theatre from Circle in the Square Theatre School, Elizabeth has gone on to work with companies such as New Jersey Rep, The Dramatists Guild, The Metropolitan Opera, Primary Stages, The Barrow Group, The Storm Theatre, The Triad, and TheatreWorks USA. As a playwright, Elizabeth has worked with The Barrow Group and The Looking Glass Theatre. Her new one-act play, “Thursday Morning” will be featured in The Looking Glass Theatre’s Winter 2011 Forum this December. AEA/AFTRA. www.elizabethswearingen.com

Michael Venzor (Wesley) -- has been performing on stage since high school, featuring in multiple plays and musicals. In college, he played Dr. Frankenfurter every Saturday night with the Rocky Horror Picture Show troupe Sensual Daydreams. Recently, Michael has been studying comedic improvisation with Greg Sullivan and Susan Kaessinger and is an original member of the improv group MishMash!. Besides hosting monthly performances as his alter ego, Johnny Redpants, Michael has been seen at events and improv shows throughout New York City. Even more recently, Michael has ventured into the world of stand-up comedy and is currently developing his act. To support his habits, Michael works in IT for The Institute of Integrative Nutrition. It's the perfect setting to practice his technique because he has plenty of opportunities to act like he knows what he's doing.

Philip Waller (Light Designer, Light Board Operator) -- is a recent graduate of Oberlin College with a major in Theatre with duel concentrations in directing and acting. He has done the lighting design for a number of shows including Equus, After Ashley  (Oberlin College), The Return to the Onion Cellar (New York Fringe Festival), and The Imperial Garden Revisited (Joria Productions). Beyond his schooling at Oberlin, Philip has trained at SUNY Purchase, The American Academy for the Dramatic Arts, and the Stratford Shakespeare Festival.

Jim Williams (Director) -- New York: directed Beckett's Play, Romeo and Juliet, Who's Afraid of Virginia WoolfActing credits in New York include The Gravedigger with Austin Pendleton in Hamlet, Dodge in Buried Child and numerous Off and Off-Off Broadway credits. Regional: leading role of Thomas Jefferson with Glenn Close in The Common Glory, Sylvius with Glenn Close as Rosalind in As You Like It  and lead role of Ethan Allen in Dorset Playhouse production of  Vermont Lives.  Founder and Artistic Director of Adlib. Teaches Nia (http://niany.com/nia_classes_Brooklyn.htm) in Park Slope Brooklyn.

Josie Williams
(Costumes, Props, Sets) --
is happy to collaborate on this production with many talented artists from all walks of life and above all, thanking her husband Jim. Williams for inviting her to participate in this project and wake up her talent, creativity and knack for spotting the “good stuff”.   Working on this play was a wonderful opportunity to utilize her extensive background in design and expertise in period Couture & Vintage costumes. she’ll be glad to volunteer her time and skills anytime.

This production could not have occurred without the collective effort of many talented individuals. However, special note and undying gratitude to Josie Williams for her work and support above and beyond the call. This productions would not have been possible without her. The director would also like to thank David Bragin, Sarah Sills, Maggie Scott, Adam Joseph,  and  Kostia and Lisa Rubchinsky for their contributions. Love to the cast and crew and all our donors!