Shows and Events Calendar
By José 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) José 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 José Rivera following the performance on Sunday April 13th at 3pm.
Photo by Niegel Smith
Meet the Director
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
Meet The Cast
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 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 (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 (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 (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.