RECKLESS SON is the narrative of a nation’s lost boys. Told in episodic fashion, Butler recounts the story of how his concert at the Albany County Jail ignited a passion that set him off on an odyssey like road legends Jack Kerouac and Woody Guthrie.
MATT BUTLER, a New York City native, is both a singer songwriter as well as the founder of Art That Serves, an organization dedicated to bringing the arts to incarcerated populations. Butler has also collaborated with or been a featured performer at events held by The David Lynch Foundation, The Columbia Center For Justice, American Folk Art Museum, National Alliance On Mental Illness (NAMI), The Caron Foundation and he was recently invited to be an inaugural ‘Activist In Residence’ at the Kripalu Center in the Berkshires. His work has been featured on The Blue Grass Situation, PBS and NPR Morning Edition.
ARCHIPELAGO takes place at the Fire Island beach house of a long term couple, sophisticated writer Patrick and his sweet natured peace-loving partner Glenn as they prepare for their traditional birthday weekend celebration. With them are their oldest friends, old hippie Michael and sharp tongue rage-a-(and alco)-holic Harper, all bonded from their days as activists in ACT UP. Throwing a wrench into the weekend is an unexpected rainstorm. Oh,and Harper’s ex arriving uninvited…with his much younger new girlfriend in tow.
As the afternoon progresses, amidst the barbs, memories, stings and arrows, new stabs, old jabs, ARCHIPELAGO asks, do old scars ever heal? Do we want them to? Why do we let these people into our lives? And what would we do without them? As the gets fuzzier, both the vision and the horizon, maybe the only clarity left is love.
DEIRDRE LOUISE MacNAMARA is a Dramatist Guild member and beyond thrilled and grateful to Frank, Melisa and all of HB for this opportunity. HB was the first place she took classes upon arriving in NYC, studying with Laila Robbins and William Hickey. Archipelago is her third play, following Define Happiness and Order Up!, both collections of one acts, and two solo shows Nude Nude Totally Nude and Dreamsicle. She is deeply grateful to her cast, especially director Maurice Moran. This marks their 7th collaboration. As always, all thanks and love go to Michael, the family, Jonathan, and Mom and Dad.
WOMEN OF ZALONGO is a contemporary play is inspired by the playwright’s Greek grandmother, and her childhood memories prior to her immigration to the US in 1915. Family secrets, and intergenerational dynamics are woven into the lives of four generations of women whose family line reaches back to the heroic women of Zalongo.
MARIA COMINIS a first-generation Greek American, an accomplished actor in both theatre and television and a published author and playwright. Women of Zalongo, was a Semi-finalist, at the Eugene O’Neil National Playwright’s Conference, ’22 and the Bay Area Playwright’s festival ’20 and the recipient of the National Endowment of the Arts Grants for Arts Projects 2022. HB Studio was her first creative home as a student and teacher under the tutelage of Uta Hagen so returning to develop her play feel like a full circle. Television Credits: Hacks, New Girl, Desperate Housewives, All My Children, One Life to Live. Theatre: Bernarda Alba, The Diviners, The Sea Gull, Ivanov. She is a published author with Routledge and Kendall Hunt Publishing. www.mariacominis.com
2023 Rehearsal Space Residents Kate Fuglei, Ken LaZebnick, and Leslie Steinweiss presents In the Blink of an Eye
On October 22nd, 1966, in a Nebraska cornfield, a pheasant flew. Shots were fired. In the blink of an eye, one life was shattered, and a family was forever changed. A musical memoir, IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE is the journey of a family’s unique cycle of violence, and a young girl’s struggle to imagine another way of life.
Writer Kate Fuglei traces how the gunshot that forever damaged her brother Kent rippled throughout her family and her life. Composer Leslie Steinweiss’s songs lift the experience through crisis into redemption. The creators of In The Blink Of An Eye hope to bring Kent Fuglei’s story alive, and to excavate and heal the ghosts of the past.
KATE FUGLEI (Book) is an actress and singer whose most recent leading man was Virgil the gorilla in the site-specific production of Animate. She was in the First National Broadway tour of Spring Awakening. Regional theater includes Arena Stage, Guthrie Theater, La Jolla Playhouse, the McCarter Theater, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Her one-woman show Rachel Calof toured the country and won best musical at the United Solo Festival. She has appeared in over forty television roles. Kate will be performing the role of Anna Akhmatova in The Beautiful Lady, written by Elizabeth Swados, and directed by Anne Bogart, at LaMama in May. She wrote In The Blink of An Eye (intheblink.net) based on her personal experience with gun violence. www.katefuglei.com.
KEN LaZEBNICK is a playwright, screenwriter, and television writer. With Garrison Keillor, he co-wrote Robert Altman’s last film, A Prairie Home Companion. He also wrote The Christmas Cot-tage, starring Peter O’Toole and Marcia Gay Harden. His most recent play, ANIMATE, premiered in 2021, and is the tenth play he has written for The Mixed Blood Theater. His play ON THE SPECTRUM received the Steinberg Award, and THE-ORY OF MIND, commissioned by Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, has been performed across the country. Over the past twenty-five years, he has written for many one-hour television dramas, including Touched By An Angel, Army Wives, and When Calls the Heart. He is Director of the LIU M.F.A. in Writing and Producing for Television.
LESLIE STEINWEISS (Music & Lyrics), a Brooklyn, NYC-based composer/lyricist and pianist writes for piano, chamber ensembles, theater, and film. He was composer-in-residence for the downtown theater company “Dearknows”. Recent works include: “The Grip of Evil/ The Endurance of Hope”, a cantata commemorating the Holocaust”, which was premiered in May of 2022 in Gloucester,Mass…music and lyrics for “In The Blink of an Eye” which marks the second collaboration with Kate Fuglei…“The Aether Project”, piano solo improvisations… and incidental music for “I Was a Stranger Too” a play by Cindy Cooper, recently performed at the Neighborhood House in Minneapolis in January 2023. Leslie is grateful to HB STUDIO for the opportunity to continue the development of “In the Blink of an Eye” www.intheblink.net
Project RECOVERY brings communities in recovery (from injury, addiction, trauma, grief and so on) together in the creation of an interdisciplinary performance combining video, interactive theater, meditation, and a museum installation to raise awareness, build community, and create spaces for healing.
ASHLEY OLIVE TEAGUE is the Founding Artistic Director of Notch Theater Company (www.notchtheatre.org), a recipient of an Embark Award for social innovation in entrepreneurship, a member of the New Georges JAM, and was recently awarded a CoLAB residency to create original plays with refugee communities about the issues these communities face in trying to find home. Teague co-created Wild Home, collaborating with rural towns pressured by fossil fuel to tell personal stories of climate change, as well as Remember2019 which makes space for the congregation of Black communities in the Delta, facilitating local artistic practices of memory and healing. She co-developed FIT, a play that partners with the intellectual disability community and Talk It Out, which traveled California using theater to change public policy around the school-to-prison pipeline crisis.
JAYNE McLENDON is an actor, singer/songwriter, and founder of Houselight, a theatre and film production company. Recent acting credits include Don’t Look Up, Hayseed, Prom Car ’91 (FilmQuest Best Supporting Actress Nomination) & “The Changeling” upcoming on Apple TV+. She has worked at theaters across the country including Trinity Rep, Northern Stage, Detroit Rep, White Heron Theatre & The Malibu Playhouse. Jayne received her BFA from NYU Tisch & MFA from Brown/Trinity Rep. In a past life Jayne was a back-up singer on Jimmy Kimmel Live! and for bands including Jared Leto’s 30 Seconds to Mars. Her recent single “Grace” is available wherever you stream your music. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA, AEA & ACTRA.
This program is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and many generous supporters.