Shows and Events Calendar

April 10 - May 11, 2014

Marisol

By Josè Rivera

The New Jersey Professional Premiere

Directed by Niegel Smith

DUE TO THE SEATING CONFIGURATION FOR THIS PRODUCTION, THERE WILL BE NO LATE SEATING. PLEASE ALLOW AMPLE TIME TO PARK.

Set in early 90s New York City, Oscar Nominee (The Motorcycle Diaries) Josè Rivera's powerful and poetic Marisol plunges audiences into the story of a young Latina woman forced to navigate a world left in disarray when her guardian angel leaves her to fight a battle of biblical proportion. In the magic realism style of his mentor Gabriel García Márquez, Rivera creates an urban fantasy, filled with humor and pathos, urging society to recover our long-lost compassion and to wrest our world from the brink of destruction.

Winner of the 1993 Obie Award.

"...Rivera's play is angry, fearsome, fantastic, and poetically frenzied, without surrendering either its sanity or its mordant sense of humor... It's a cry from the poet's heart." - Village Voice

Talkback with Playwright Josè Rivera following the performance on Sunday April 13th at 3pm.

The company of Marisol with José Rivera.
The company of Marisol with Josè Rivera.
Marisol
Nehassaiu deGannes (L) and Cynthia Fernandez (R)
Photo by Niegel Smith
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Photo Credit: Steven Lawler.

Meet the Director

Click on Niegel's picture to hear him speak about the play...

Niegel Smith
Niegel Smith is a performance artist and theater director who sculpts social spaces into unique communal environments where we make new rituals, excavate our pasts and imagine future narratives. His theater work has been produced by The Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Magic Theatre, HERE Arts Center, Hip Hop Theatre Festival, Summer Play Festival, New York Fringe Festival and the Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, and his participatory walks have been produced by Elastic City, American Realness, the Prelude Festival, Abrons Arts Center, Visual AIDS, the Van Alen Institute and PS 122. He often collaborates with artist Todd Shalom. Together, they conceive and stage interactive performances in public and private environments. He is also a ringleader of Willing Participant (www.willingparticipant.org) an artistic activist organization that whips up urgent poetic responses to crazy shit that happens, and in 2014 he will direct the world-premiere production of J. Julian Christopher's Locusts Have No Kings at INTAR Theatre.

Smith was the associate director of the Tony Award winning musical FELA!- restaging that production in London, Lagos and its world tour, assistant directed the off-broadway production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and both the broadway and off-broadway productions of Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change. He has worked on the artistic staffs of The Public Theater, Trinity Repertory Company and Providence Black Rep and is a 35th Anniversary Artist-in-Residence at Second Stage Theatre.

Smith, a graduate of Dartmouth College, has received grants and fellowships from Theater Communications Group, the Van Lier Fund and the Tucker Foundation. Before surviving high school in Detroit, he grew up in the North Carolina piedmont, fishing with his dad, shopping with his mom and inventing tall-tale fantasies with his two younger brothers. www.niegelsmith.com

Reviews

Meet The Cast

Click on the actors' pictures to hear them speak about the play...
Cynthia Fernandez

Cynthia Fernandez

Cynthia Fernandez (Marisol) is incredibly proud to be playing Marisol, a role she has dreamed of since reading this piece. A graduate of Fairleigh Dickinson University, her prior credits include lead roles in Off-Broadway productions of AMIGO DUENDE and THE TWO MONTH RULE, LITTLE DOG LAUGHED at The Bickford Theatre, and many other productions and readings. Cynthia is an active member of Revolucion Latina, a non-profit organization affiliated with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS that seeks to empower the Latino community through the arts, and a teaching artist for Camp Broadway. She would like to thank her family and friends for their unending support, the entire MARISOL cast and crew for a memorable, collaborative experience and Mr. Rivera for writing this poignant, important play.
Christopher Kelly

Christopher Kelly

CHRISTOPHER KELLY Regional: Grace, or the Art of Climbing (World Premiere), Great Wall Story (World Premiere), Pierre (World Premiere),The Cripple of Inishmaan, Hamlet, Much Ado About Nothing, The Madwoman, The Three Sisters, (Denver Center), Henry IV parts 1 & 2 (Shakespeare Theatre, Washington, D.C.), Pericles (California Shakespeare), Proof, Witness for the Prosecution, (Cincinnati Playhouse/ St. Louis Rep), Noises Off (Cleveland Playhouse), The Rivers Under the Earth (Actors Theatre of Louisville), A Few Good Men, The Foreigner, The Yellow Leaf, Dracula (Pioneer Theatre, Utah), Gross Indecency (Intiman Theatre, Seattle), The Center of Gravity (World Premiere, Portland Stage) The Glass Menagerie, Amadeus (Fulton Theatre, PA), The Retreat from Moscow (Delaware Theatre Co.) Off-Broadway: Moby DIck (Drama Desk Nomination), revival of Another Part of the Forest (Theatre at St. Clements) TV/Film: "Damages," "Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman," "Brothers of the Borderland" (narrated by Oprah Winfrey) Education: M.F.A., NYU
Emma O'Donnell

Emma O'Donnell

Emma O'Donnell (June): Off Broadway: Juno and the Paycock, The Shaughraun, Prisoner of the Crown, The Hairy Ape, and Yeats Festival Readings (Irish Repertory Theater), Court Martial at Fort Devins, (New Federal and Castillo Theater Production - Audelco Award: Best Ensemble), and Freed (59 E. 59th St. - Audelco Nom.). Regional Theater credits include: Shakespeare Theater of NJ (Playboy of the Western World), The Guthrie (The Firebugs), Mountain Playhouse (The Winslow Boy), Act II Playhouse (Scotland Road, A Body of Water), Public Theater, Maine (Collected Stories), Walnut Street Theater (Forrest: A Riot of Dreams), Ivoryton Playhouse (Seven Year Itch), Polka Dot Playhouse (Noises Off), Florida Studio Theater, Off-World Theater Co., Village Theater, and a full season with the Children's Theater Co. in Minneapolis. National Tour: originated the role of Beezus for Theater Works production of Ramona Quimby. Training: Circle in the Square, British American Drama Academy. BFA: Carleton College. Emma is a member of the Actor's Center Workshop Company.
Nehassaiu deGannes

Nehassaiu deGannes

Nehassaiu deGannes (Angel) Luna: "Chrysler Building/Joy/Mrs Safran," Tallest Building In The World; "Cordelia" King Lear, "The One Who Flees," Stay With Me. NY Credits include: Celia and "Justice/Honey Harlow," Three Gifts for Lenny Bruce, Target Margin Labs (JACK & Abrons); "Kate," Good People, Hampton Theatre; "Diana," Diana Sands..., Juneteenth; "The Nurse," EQUUS with Alec Baldwin, Guild Hall; "Octavia/Menas," Antony & Cleopatra, TWAS; "Roberta," Room For Cream, LaMaMa; and readings with Red Bull, Classical Theatre of Harlem and others. In 2013, Nehassaiu debuted at Stratford Festival, Canada: "Lady Capulet" in Tim Carroll's Romeo & Juliet, "Anne of Austria," The Three Musketeers. Regional credits include: Shakespeare & Co., Oldcastle, The GAMM, and several roles at Trinity Rep including "Gladys" in The Skin Of Our Teeth and "Catherine" in Proof. In 2011, her poetry collection, Undressing The River, won The Center For Book Arts National Letterpress Prize. Nehassaiu trained at Brown University & Trinity Rep Conservatory. www.nehassaiu.com
Debbie Bernstein

Debbie Bernstein

Debbie Bernstein (Women With Furs/Ensemble) is honored to be a part of this wonderful production. Recent roles include Reba Freitag in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, M'Lynn Eatenton in Steel Magnolias, Alice Russell in The Best Man and Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath (NJACT Perry Award Nomination) all at local theaters in New Jersey. She would like to thank everyone at Luna Stage for this amazing opportunity and, as always, her family and friends for their love and support.
Marisol

Upcoming Calendar

Dec. 1 - Dec. 18

Mainstage
by Steve Murray

December 11, 7:00 pm

Jazz Series

December 12, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series

Feb. 2 - Mar. 5

Mainstage
A World Premiere by Obie Award-Winner Nikkole Salter, author of Carnaval and Lines in the Dust

Apr. 13 - May. 13

Mainstage
A World Premiere by Andrew Rosendorf