December 5, 2016
Special Benefit Play Reading
with Academy Award Winner Olympia Dukakis and Emmy Award Winner Kim Zimmer
Join Academy Award Winner Olympia Dukakis and Emmy Award Winner Kim Zimmer for this very special benefit reading of Expectations, a new play by Susan Barsky. The reading also features Cynthia Fernandez (Marisol, 2014) and is directed by Jane Mandel.
Sometimes what you're looking for is right next door. A heartwarming comedy about motherhood, widowhood and neighborhood.
All proceeds go to support Luna Stage's mission to produce thought-provoking theatre that gives voice to emerging American playwrights and re-examines contemporary and classic plays that speak to our times.
Front Row (L-R) Cynthia Fernandez, Kim Zimmer, Olympia Dukakis
Meet The Cast
OLYMPIA DUKAKIS - Broadway: Rose (Drama Desk Award Nominee), Social Security, Who's Who in Hell, The Aspern Papers. London: Rose (Royal National Theatre), Credible Witness (Royal Court). Off-Broadway: The Milktrain Doesn't Stop Here Anymore, The Tempest, Mother Courage and Her Children, Singing Forest, The Marriage of Bette and Boo (Obie Award), Curse of the Starving Class, Titus Andronicus, A Man's a Man (Obie Award), Rose Tattoo, Three Sisters, The Cherry Orchard, The Seagull, Electra, Hecuba, and Peer Gynt. She is an Academy Award winner for her performance in Moonstruck, a role that also earned her a Golden Globe Award, American Comedy Award, and the Los Angeles Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress. She has appeared in more than 60 feature and short films, including The Infiltrator, 7 Chinese Brothers, Cloudburst, Mr. Holland's Opus, Steel Magnolias, Dad, Look Who's Talking I, II & III, Mighty Aphrodite, Jeffrey, Away From Her, among many others. Television: Big Driver, Sex & Violence, Forgive Me, Bored to Death, Last of the Blond Bombshells, Sinatra (Golden Globe Nominee), Joan of Arc (Emmy Nominee), Tales of the City, More Tales of the City (Emmy Nominee), and Further Tales of the City, among more than 40 others. She has performed in over 130 productions Off-Broadway and regionally at theatres including the Public Theater, A.C.T., Shakespeare in the Park, Shakespeare & Co., and the Williamstown Theatre Festival, where she also served as Associate Director. Founding member and Producing Artistic Director of the Whole Theatre in Montclair, NJ for 19 years; also a founding member of the Actor's Company and the Charles Playhouse, both in Boston. She continues to teach acting at NYU and teach master classes for professional theatre companies, colleges, and universities across the country. She has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Greek America Foundation and the Elliot Norton Awards, was bestowed the National Arts Club Medal of Honor and her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was placed in 2013.
KIM ZIMMER attended Hope College for undergrad and continued her education at The American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. She's best known for her portrayal of Reva Shayne on Guiding Light where she received four Lead Actress Emmy Awards along with eleven nominations. Kim recently wrapped up her record-breaking tour with the First National Company of Wicked. Some of her favorite Regional and Off-Broadway credits include: Four Dogs And A Bone, Love, Loss, And What I Wore, Blood Brothers, Gypsy, Sunset Boulevard, Dirty Blonde, Curtains, Shirley Valentine and Lost Boy Found At Whole Foods. Kim appeared in the Luna Stage world premiere of Old Love New Love in spring of 2016. Other television credits include Seinfeld, Designing Women, Models, Inc., MacGyver, One Life To Live, The Doctors and Santa Barbara. Film credits include 23 Blast, Body Heat, Freshmen Father, Keeping Secrets and Trench Coat In Paradise. Zimmer's experience in Daytime T.V. spans 32 years and is chronicled in her best selling memoir "I'm Just Saying!" Married to A.C. Weary for thirty-five years, they have produced three beautiful and successful children, Rachel, Max & Jake.
CYNTHIA FERNANDEZ is an actor based in New York. Her recent credits include: Usual Girls (Columbia Stages), The Lovelies (Harlem Repertory Theatre), One Minute Play Festival (Intar Theatre), Dead Wives Dance The Mambo (Ensemble Studio Reading), Marisol (Luna Stage).
JANE MANDEL holds an MFA from New York University School of the Arts and has a career in the theatre as actress, director, teacher and producer. She is the founder of Luna Stsge Company, and served as Artistic Director for over twenty years (now AD Emeritus). With her guidance Luna Stage earned a reputation for producing excellent, intelligent and provocative theatre. Scores of new and classic plays were brought to audiences through readings and full productions. One of her passions is for creating devised theatre. She created and directed IN THE NAME OF THE WOMAN (the first show done at Luna Stage), "we don't have enough sugar for the public" (an exploration of racism), THE AMERICAN PROJECT (an exploration of what it means to be an American), and co-created and directed MI CASA TU CASA (a bilingual Latino-based play with music that has been touring in New Jersey). She taught theatre games and improvisation/acting at NYU School of the Arts where she was a full-time faculty member, The New School, The Whole Theatre, Montclair State University, The Teaching Artist's Collective, and Luna Stage. She was a member of The Shaliko Theatre Company and acted in The Measures Taken, Ghosts and Woyzeck while in residence at The New York Shakespeare Festival and on tour. Jane currently directs, acts and coaches acting.
SUSAN BARSKY - Full-length works include Expectations which was produced at numerous regional and summer stock theatres including Palm Beach Shakespeare Festival, Queens Theatre in the Park, Stamford Center for the Arts, Helen Hayes Performing Arts Theatre, and the Cape Playhouse. She received a 2005 Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts for her play Owed to My First Love which was produced at the Stamford Fringe Festival and Premiere Stages Play Festival. Her play The D Word had a workshop production at the Stamford Fringe Festival. Her play Payback's A Bitch had a staged reading at the Adrienne Theatre in Philadelphia. Her play The Seeds of Greed was the first-prize winner of the Great Platte River Playwrights Festival. Her one-act play Mr. X was produced at Ensemble Studio Theatre, the Chatham Playhouse, and The Theater Project. Her one-act plays, Horse Sense, Luther, and Fowl Play were produced at Triangle Theatre's Beast Festival. Fowl Play was also produced at Manhattan Theatre Source and at The Theater Project. Her play CRAP was the first-prize winner of Perishable Theatre's One-Act Playwriting Festival and was a finalist at Love Creek's One-Act Festival. She is currently working on her newest one-act play, Word Problems, and her newest full-length play, The Gospel According to Susan Barsky. Susan studied with playwriting master, Milan Stitt, and is a member of The Dramatists Guild.