Pick of the Vine 2014 – Blog
Posted – January 1, 2014
The Death of a Sale, Man
By David Graham, Directed by James Rice
Featuring: Christina Desiere, Gary Robbins, Perry Shields, Bill Wolski
By MJ Halberstadt, Directed by Perry Shields
Featuring: Rhiannon Franck-Thompson, Scott T. Finn
The Button Pushers
By Ruben Carbajal, Directed by Perry Shields
Featuring: Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, Gary Robbins, Bill Wolski
A Million Times Over
By Molly Campbell, Directed by James Rice
Featuring: Scott T. Finn, Gloria Maxwell, Susie McCarthy
Two Minutes of Heroism – a One Minute Play
By Matt Hanf, Directed by Danielle Ozymandias
Featuring: Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, Christina Desiere, Rhiannon Franck-Thompson, Scott T. Finn, Susie McCarthy, Gary Robbins, Perry Shields, Bill Wolski
Romeo & Juliet Act Vi – The Gloomiest Peace
By Ken Ferrigni, Directed by Danielle Ozymandias
Featuring: Susie McCarthy, Gary Robbins, Perry Shields, Bill Wolski
The Ultimate Battle For Total Control of the Entire Universe
By Rich Orloff, Directed by Perry Shields
Featuring: Rhiannon Franck-Thompson, Scott T. Finn, Susie McCarthy
By Romney Humphrey, Directed by James Rice
Featuring: Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, Christina Desiere, Scott T. Finn, Gloria Maxwell, Susie McCarthy, Gary Robbins
Man On Bridge With Book
By Stan Peal, Directed by James Rice
Featuring: Holly Baker-Kreiswirth, Christina Desiere, Rhiannon Franck-Thompson, Bill Wolski
Meet the Actors
Holly Baker-Kreiswirth (The Button Pushers; Obits; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; Man On Bridge With Book)
Holly is back producing Pick of the Vine for the fourth year in a row with her husband, Bill Wolski. Past LFT credits include Katherine in Panache (winner of three StageScene LA Awards, including Outstanding Ensemble Cast Performance); Director Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!), Tryst (winner of Best Duo Performance, StageScene LA Awards) and Wonder of the World; Producer, Director, Actor TSC 09-12; Producer, Director, Actor POV 09-13. Favorite roles include Claire in Proof, Li’l Bit in How I Learned To Drive and Lucienne in A Flea in Her Ear. Film/TV credits include Private Practice, Hunter, Some Kind of Wonderful, Chicago Hope, HBO’s Gia, Saved by the Bell and Star Search. Holly works at USC but is happiest in her role as mother to Hannah, the best teenager ever, and as wife to Bill, the best husband (and actor) ever. Thanks to the entire cast and crew for all of your hard work at piecing this puzzle of a show together.
Christina Desiere (Obits; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; Man On Bridge With Book)”
Christina has been professionally acting in theater and independent films for over 7 years. She recently played Carol in Surf City Theatre Co.’s production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor and is honored to be part of this year’s Pick of the Vine. Christina also recently directed a short film based on Stephen King’s short story, “Harvey’s Dream,” which will be entered into film festivals in 2014. Aside from acting and directing, Christina is also a writer who is in the process of writing her first feature film which she plans on getting into production next year.
Scott T. Finn (The Ultimate Battle For Total Control of the Entire Universe; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; A Million Times Over; Obits; The Milkman)
This is Scott’s debut performance on stage at the Little Fish Theatre, and he is honored to be a part of this very talented cast. Some of Scott’s favorite roles include Bo Decker in Bus Stop, Bob/Randy in Jest A Second, James Larrabee in Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure, Bernard in Boeing Boeing, and George Peterson in Same Time Next Year. Scott would like to thank Jim Rice, Danielle Ozymandias and Perry Shields for believing in him and giving him the opportunity to work at such an amazing venue. Special thanks to all the patrons of the theatre without whom none of this would be possible.
Rhiannon Franck-Thompson (The Ultimate Battle For Total Control of the Entire Universe; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; Man On Bridge With Book; The Milkman)
Rhiannon was born in southern California and has lived there nearly her whole life. She has also been interested in performing arts nearly her whole life; she went to a performing arts elementary school and played Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, survived middle school by throwing herself into their outstanding theater program, and ended high school with the role of Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls and a scholarship for being the senior who’d contributed most to the arts at her school. She spent one semester in New York City learning different acting techniques, and is nearly finished with her Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts at LA Harbor College. Since her return, she’s done plays and student films. She’s very excited to be a part of Pick of the Vine.
Gloria Maxwell (Obits; A Million Times Over)
After over 25 years of preparation, Gloria is delighted to finally make her debut at Little Fish Theatre. A familiar face in little theatre venues in the South Bay and Orange County, some of Gloria’s favorite roles include Ida in 70 Girls 70, Ida in Social Security, Ida in Cemetery Club (do you see a trend here?), Ado Annie in Oklahoma, Princess Winifred in Once Upon A Mattress, Cecily Pigeon in The Odd Couple, and a whole bunch of other good stuff thrown in the mix. What a pleasure to join this extremely talented and welcoming cast and crew.
Susie McCarthy (The Ultimate Battle For Total Control of the Entire Universe; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; A Million Times Over; Obits; Romeo and Juliet Act VI-The Gloomiest Peace)
Susie is tickled indeed to be back for her 2nd Pick of the Vine! LA credits include: Carlene in The Hallelujah Girls, Clairee Belcher in Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Gill in See Rock City, Pick of the Vine 2013, the Old Lady in Candid, Jaques in As You Like It, Desiree Armfeldt in A Little Night Music (Best Actress Marcom Masque Award), Maggie Scanlon in The Wake (Best Supporting Act Marcom Masque Award), Angela Prysock/Princess Puffer in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet (Best Supporting Acress Marcom Masque Award), Phylllis Stone in Follies, Leticia Blacklock in A Murder Is Announced, Annabelle Fuller in George Washington Slept Here, Joanne in Company, Reggie Fluty/Zackie Salmon/Baptist Minister/Baptist Minster’s Wife/Bailiff in The Laramie Project, Vivan Bearing in Wit, Abigail Westhaven in The Reluctant Return of Sherlock Holmes, Mrs. Prentice in What the Butler Saw, Boo Levy in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Madame Pernell in Tartuffe, Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter.
Gary Robbins (Obits; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; The Button Pushers; Romeo and Juliet Act VI-The Gloomiest Peace; The Death of A Sale, Man)
This is Gary’s first opportunity acting with Little Fish Theatre. Gary has been involved in professional, community and educational theatre for the last 26 years. After obtaining his Master of Fine Arts degree in Directing he quickly became the stage manager for a professional dinner theater. From there Gary has directed a number of professional productions including O’Neil’s In the Zone and Ackermann’s Stanton’s Garage. Other directing credits include Odets’ Awake and Sing!, Sartre’s No Exit and musicals Oliver and West Side Story. In the acting arena, Gary has extensive experience in all genres both in film and stage. His credits include James in War of the Worlds, Benvolio in Romeo and Juliet, Old Mahon in Playboy of the Western World and Grandpa Joe in Willy Wonka.
Perry Shields (The Death of a Sale, Man; Romeo and Juliet Act VI-The Gloomiest Peace; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play)
L.A. native Perry Shields’s theatrical background includes over 100 productions in the capacity of actor, musician, and director. He is honored to be a part of POV and to return to LFT since he last worked here in 2009 (Claudius in Hamlet II: Better Than the Original). This year, he directed The Long Weekend and 12 Angry Men for the Torrance Theatre Company, and some of his favorite roles over the years have included Harold Hill (The Music Man), Felix (The Odd Couple), and himself in The Complete Works of Wm. Shakespeare (Abridged), which he performed both in Torrance and here at LFT. His training includes improv with the famed Groundlings. Perry is proud of his contributions to the legacy of the Universal Monsters through two video productions, as the 79-year old title character in Jack Pierce: The Man Behind the Monsters and Quasimodo in A Tribute to Lon Chaney.
Bill Wolski (The Death of a Sale, Man; The Button Pushers; Romeo and Juliet Act VI-The Gloomiest Peace; Two Minutes of Heroism-A One-Minute Play; Man On Bridge With Book)
An LFT mainstay in his eighth season, Bill has appeared in over a dozen productions on this stage, including The Underpants, Wonder of the World, The Foursome, Tryst, Panache, and every POV and Twisted, Spooky, Creepy since fall 2009. A proud Cleveland native, Bill has called California home since 2002, and has racked up over 100 theatrical credits to his name in a career spanning more than 20 years. He appears once again amongst another terrific cast, but special wishes go out to his beautiful and talented wife, Holly, without whose brilliant planning and meticulous organization tonight’s performance would not take place. Break a leg, Bee.
Meet the Playwrights
Molly Campbell (A Million Times Over)
Molly wrote horror fiction before trying her hand at playwriting. Since picking up the theatre bug, she has had over a dozen short plays produced in theatres from San Diego to New York City. She is a winner of the Omaha Theatre Arts Guild Best New Script award for the 2005-2006 season, and a second place winner at the Henrico Theatre’s 21st Annual Playwriting Competition. Molly is a member of the Dramatists Guild and Chicago Dramatists. She lives in Chicago, where she works as a speech-language pathologist and enjoys swimming.
Ruben Carbajal (The Button Pushers)
Ruben is a writer who lives in the mouth of the Holland Tunnel with his wife and furry son. He’s probably best known for his play The Gifted Program, published by Dramatists Play Service. Other plays include Portland, Subdivision and The Wounded Jogger. His one-acts Suicide on Second Avenue, Car & Carriage Collide, and The Button Pushers are part of a collection published by Next Stage Press under the title Hold & Other Short Plays. When he’s not creating works for dying art forms, he’s a freelance scriptwriter for Fuse TV, the NBA and others.
Ken Ferrigni (Romeo & Juliet Act VI – The Gloomiest Peace)
Ken is the resident playwright at Project: Theater. New York Magazine called his most recent play, Occupation at TBG Theater in New York, an “uproariously funny suicide vest of a satire.” Other New York plays include Mangella (“A virtual, LOL hoot” – NY Post) and Angel/Buddy (Backstage Magazine Critic’s Pick). His plays have been evaluated at the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and taught at NYU, Queens College and University of Alabama. He wrote the screenplay for Human Resources: Sick Days Aren’t a Game which recently screened at the LA Comedy Festival.
David Graham (The Death of a Sale, Man)
David is a native of Atlanta who has come to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of being poor and hungry. You may have seen David in Shakespeare by the Sea’s recent productions of Julius Caesar, King Lear (title role) or King John. He has also directed several SBTS productions: Romeo & Juliet, Merchant of Venice, Antony & Cleopatra, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and As You Like It. At Little Fish Theatre, he has appeared in Underneath the Lintel, The Lion in Winter, Deathtrap, Stones in His Pockets, The Love List, Bach at Leipzig, Looking, and The Weir. In addition to Death of a Sale, Man, he has penned the first book in the series A Little Mythunderstanding: Pandora Revisited. David is also a teacher at Le Lycée Français in West LA.
MJ Halberstadt (The Milkman)
MJ is a Boston-based playwright and alum of Emerson College (BA Theatre Education) and Boston University (MFA Playwriting). Selected credits include not Jenny (Bridge Repertory of Boston) and The Da Vinci Commission (Can’t Wait Productions). Many short plays have been presented in Boston and New York. His work has been presented at Last Frontier Theatre Conference and Kennedy Center ACTF and supported by StageSource’s Jack Welch Scholarship and Boston University’s Creative Writing Global Fellowship. He is a Founding Artistic Associate of Bridge Repertory of Boston and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.
Matt Hanf (Two Minutes of Heroism – A One Minute Play)
Matt currently resides in Elk Grove, California, a small suburb of Walmart. He attempts to teach high school students to read, write and not dangle their participles. He is fortunate enough to have three children to remind him that his true purpose on this planet is to set up the Wii and dodge foam darts from a plastic laser pistol. He is blessed with a wife who is his kindest and most helpful critic and is honored to be part of this festival.
Romney Humphrey (Obits)
Romney is a former video writer/producer. Her play 8.5 was produced at Love Creek Productions in NYC. The Pack, featuring a quirky group of dog-obsessed friends, had several productions in the Pacific Northwest. A new media project, Book Club (www.bookclubtheshow.com) features five strangers who form a book club but never discuss the book. Romney’s venture into chick-lit led to The Math Problem, a comedic older woman/younger man romance. She hopes to develop Obits into a full-length play and sincerely appreciates Little Fish taking a chance on an unorthodox subject and presentation.
Rich Orloff (The Ultimate Battle For Total Control of the Entire Universe)
Rich’s short plays (mostly comedies) have had over 1100 productions on six continents (and a staged reading in Antarctica). Three of his plays have been published in the annual Best Ten-Minute Plays series, and five have been in the annual Best American Short Plays. Playscripts has published sixty of his short plays in eight volumes. Rich has written a dozen award-winning full-length comedies, too. More at www.richorloff.com.
Stan Peal (Man On Bridge With Book)
Stan is honored to be part of this season’s Pick of the Vine! His other work includes an astronomical musical (The Expanding Sky), an alternative gospel (Goddess and the Magdalene), a secret Shakespearean affair (The Friar & The Nurse), a Minnesota family drama (Ice Maidens) and a Solstice musical (A Mad, Mad Madrigal). Stan grew up in Wisconsin, worked primarily in Minneapolis and Charlotte, with a handful of New York productions. He now resides in the mountains of North Carolina and produces commercials at a small TV station. But wait, there’s more! …at www.stanpeal.com