Directing Projects

ORIDINARY DAY by Lorraine Midanik
Staged Readings for The Playwrights Center of San Francisco

@ the Shelton

May 1, 2017
featuring:  Annette Oliviera (Maggie), Gino Rose (Henry), Nancy Sans (Doreen), Meira Perelstein (Josie), Alicia Bales (Dr. Goldsmith), and Madison Worthington (Stage Directions)

Maggie and Henry’s long-term marriage struggles because of the challenges of Henry’s Alzheimer’s disease. From his continuous middle-of-the-night calls to plumbers because the “toilet is talking” to Henry’s inability to be left alone, Maggie continues to be a supportive partner despite its impact on her physical and emotional health. Maggie and Henry have made a pact to allow him to die on his own terms when Henry can no longer remember Maggie’s name. That time arrives, on an ordinary day.

7:30 p.m.
Shelton Theater (downstairs)
533 Sutter (btw. Powell and Mason)
San Francisco
$10-20 suggested donation/your discretion

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PCSF’s PlayOffs 2016
Full Production – directed 4 of 8 plays

The Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco proudly introduces PlayOffs, a new twist on its annual showcase of fully-produced short plays by our member playwrights, featuring an ensemble cast of talented local actors! From evil crows to serenading crickets, from an epically awkward first date to a marriage on the brink of collapse, from an artist duped by an imposter to a teacher unaware of her own prejudice, these eight fully-produced, world premiere short plays range from clever and humorous to sobering, timely and thought-provoking.

PlayOffs is the successor to Sheherzade (nominated by Theatre Bay Area in 2014 and 2016 for outstanding production of an anthology, winner 2016). PlayOffs is the result of a new format for play selection: six of the short plays in PlayOffs were chosen via audience vote during three rounds of staged readings earlier this year. The producers selected two additional critical choice plays, rounding out an evening of eight excellent brand-new shorts that are at once very different and connected by some surprising common threads. One of those threads is the theme of revelation what happens when things that were secret come out into the open? What happens when we learn unexpected things about each other or about ourselves? Can we use these revelations to learn and grow, or will they destroy us?

Sheherzade was a 15-year tradition that brought together the talent of local writers, actors, directors and designers. Come help us celebrate the beginning of a new tradition with PlayOffs!

Dec. 1-10
Thurs/Fri/Sat 8 p.m.
Saturday matinees 2 p.m.
Exit Stage Left
156 Eddy
San Francisco

  • Co-Produced by Jerome Joseph Gentes & Bridgette Dutta Portman
  • Directed by Laylah Muran de Assereto & Carol Eggers
  • Set Design by Wes Cayabyab
  • Stage Management by Arashi Veronica Cesana
  • Lighting and Sound Design by Madison Worthington
  • Costume Design by Athena Driscoll
  • Props Design by Arashi Veronica Cesana
  • Graphic Design by Greg Reasoner
  • Photography and Videography by Jim Norrena

Featuring an Ensemble Cast:
Michael Conner, Janet Dyer, Amanda J. Lee, Brian Levi, Kate Rose Reynolds, John Steele, Jr., and Jasmine Milan Williams

Plays include:

A Relationship with History by Annette Roman:
Under the long shadow of World War II, a modern-day couple on their first online date make some unexpected discoveries.

Association by Carol Lashof:
A high school teacher confronts a student about a paper she suspects is plagiarized and comes face to face with her own racism.

Benched by Lorraine Midanik:
Two older women meet on a park bench for the first time and come to understand that they have much more in common than they had realized.

Father’s Day by Rod McFadden:
Not all paternity tests take place in the laboratory.

Murder by Bridgette Dutta Portman:
Vince believes he is being tormented by crows. Do the birds seek revenge for an injured chick, or is it all in his head?

The Sound of Moonlight by Diane Sampson:
How’s a cricket supposed to go courting when its chirping is drowned out by humans arguing over the relative merits of Julie Andrews and Bette Midler’s voices?

Conundrum by Kristin Anundsen:
On the eve of Art’s Gallery’s most important opening, the owner is horrified to discover that one of the artist’s valuable paintings has not only disappeared, but been replaced by an impostor.

Keep Moving, Nothing to See by Vonn Scott Bair:
Accidental heroes save a man’s life, but realize that wasn’t enough.

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SF Olympians Festival VII – Harvest of Mysteries
Staged Readings of 3 one-acts on one evening of the festival

@ the Exit Main Stage

October 14, 2016 – The Servants
ASCALAPHUS, by Elizabeth Flannagan
CHARON, by Bridgette Dutta Portman
MACARIA, by Marissa Skudlarek

San Francisco Olympians Festival, is a multi-discipline, nationally and internationally recognized new works theater festival based at the EXIT Theatre in San Francisco.  Each night of the festival consists of the staged reading of either a full-length play or a series of shorts, inspired by the mythical gods and heroes of Ancient Greece.

In Tattle Tale or Seasonal Allergies, ASCALAPHUS has been described as spiteful and treacherous, but hasn’t he suffered enough? At least Persephone is getting crowned queen at the End of the Season Ball at Camp Hades; an exclusive resort voted “Hottest Place to Winter” by Underworld magazine. The entire vacationing community sees Ascalaphus as a snitch, a lackey, but from his perspective, all he did was tell the truth. From Persephone’s perspective he didn’t have to tell at all. Now, she’s stuck with a distrustful boyfriend and a neighbor that she’s sure is still spying on her. Persephone is determined to find out why he told and after years of vacationing next to each other Ascalaphus might finally be ready to tell another truth.

In Bridgette Dutta Portman’s play, CHARON is a morgue director at a hospital, grim, no-nonsense, and inured to death. When a young woman comes to him claiming to be dead and requesting a spot in the morgue, Charon turns her away, believing her to be insane. Doctors in the hospital’s psychiatric ward diagnose the young woman with Cotard Delusion, or Walking Corpse Syndrome, a rare disorder in which a person becomes convinced that he or she is dead. But as the girl continues to insist that she belongs in the morgue, Charon begins to wonder whether there may be more to her bizarre claims, and finds himself grappling with his own buried past.

MACARIA, Marissa Skudlarek says, “…is the story of what happens when, after much begging from his daughter, Hades agrees to let Macaria join Persephone on her annual visit to Earth. It’s a play about mothers and daughters, about coming of age, about seizing the day; a life-affirming play about the princess of death.”

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ReproRights! with 3Girls Theatere
ReproRights! The Body Politic, by multiple writers
ReproRights! @ Thick House August 25, 2016

Directing one half of the show

Including short plays, monologues, poetry, and song by these fantastic artists:
Chardonnay Comedy
Patricia Miller
Evelyn Jean Pine
Lola Miller-Henline
Lorraine Midanik
Madeline Puccioni
Maggie F Wilson
Mia Romero
Nicole Jost
Pamela Winfrey
Laylah Muran de Assereto
Susan Jackson

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Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco Spring 2016 Reading Series
THE POSSIBILITY, by Vonn Scott Bair
PCSF @ Shelton Studios – May 16, 2016

Featuring | Geoffrey Malveaux,  Ria Meer,Erika Anne Soerensen, and Richard Wenzel

The Possibility is a full-length “modular play” depicting the internal struggles of a man and a woman who think about the possibility of adultery–and who might act upon that.

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SHEHEREZADE’S LAST TALES (Sheherezade 15)
Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco @ the Exit Stage Left – December 3-12, 2015

A 15-year tradition that brings together the talent of local writers, actors, directors and designers. The final year of SHEHEREZADE in its current form — hence, SHEHEREZADE’S LAST TALES! From zany money-making schemes and awkward first dates at 70, to buried pasts, dark secrets and the aftermath of war, these plays range from hilarious to sobering and bittersweet.

“…a rich array of plays and a tour de force by directors and actors. The production fulfills the promise of this year’s fiesta because these plays embody the best of comedy, melancholy, challenge, love, and longing.” — Barry Horwitz, TheatreStorm

“I had a great time last night watching these wonderful plays. Each one had so much to offer and each was a masterfully constructed world. It felt so good on my brain.” — Sara Judge

“Highly recommend spending a delightful evening watching Sheherezade’s Last Tales at the Exit Theatre in SF. Timely, funny, poignant short plays by locals, well acted…” — Sheila Koren

Directed four of eight plays

A CLEAN WELL-LIGHTED PARK BENCH, by Patricia L. Morin with Brian Levi (Saul) and Amber Glasgow (Kid)
An old Jewish man sits on a park bench talking to the moon as he reflects on his wife’s death when a young teenager with a gun attempts to mug him.

SPARSE PUBIC HAIR, by Lorraine Midanik with Rick Homan (Kenneth) and Miyoko Sakatani (Mildred)
Two older adults, both seeking casual relationships, meet through the Internet for an uncomfortable first date at a bar.

THE STUFF WE KEEP, by Rod McFadden with Alexaendrai Bond (Julie), Louel Senores (Bob), and AJ Davenport (Helen)
While cleaning out the basement of their deceased father, a brother and sister find a box of secret love letters to him, not from their mother. Should the letters be shown to their mother? In trying to decide this, the siblings uncover their own dangerous secrets.

RORSCHACH TEST, by Vaughn Hovannessian with Brian Levi (David), Miyoko Sakatani (Maureen), Rick Homan (Dr. Sanders)
A couple attends a marriage counseling session with a twist.

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Ex Nihilo Showcase
Ex Nihilo @ Octopus Literary Salon – August 19, 2015

Often a writer is asked, “What inspired you to write this story?”  Founding members, Elizabeth Flanagan, Bridgette Dutta Portman, and Jennifer Lynne Roberts will answer this question as they share excerpts from their plays, and discuss the inspirations behind them.

Plays are directed by Laylah Muran de Assereto and feature Brian Vouglas, Alexaendrai Bond, Kitty Torres, and Sam Tillis.

SUGAR BEETS (excerpts) by Elizabeth Flanagan 
OBIT by Elizabeth Flanagan
THE KILLING JAR (excerpts) by Jennifer Lynne Roberts 
ACCOMMODATIONS (excerpts) by Jennifer Lynne Roberts
THE PEQUOD MEETS THE OCEAN STEWARD by Bridgette Dutta Portman
THE LOST MELODY by Bridgette Dutta Portman 

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REPRO RIGHTS – Women @ Risk
3 Girls Theatre with Repro Rights Theatre @ Thick House – August 6, 2015

3GT — along with our guest curator, Repro Rights Theater–presents an evening of short works in response to the dire need to address attacks on women’s bodily autonomy and reproductive rights in the U.S. The program honors the risk-takers of NARAL Pro-Choice California, who have inspired us with their leadership and passion for protecting women’s reproductive rights for nearly forty years.

Directed 4 of 8 Plays:  

A WOMB OF ONE’S OWN by Jeremy Cole with Marissa Skudlerick as Virginia Woolf; 

MIDNIGHT AT LA CATRINA by Madeline Puccioni with Sammay Dizon as La Catrina, Manuel Fernandez as Francis, Kitty Torres as Alisa, Miyoko Sakatani as Rikki, and Cat Imperato reading stage directions; 

THE BIBLE AND GRACE by Lee Brady with Shirley Nilson Hall as Grace; and 

IT FARCELY SEEMS POSSIBLE by Jennifer Roberts with Cat Imperato as Nellie, Miyoko Sakatani as Nurse, Genevieve Perdue as Dr., Carl Lucania reading staged directions, Karl Schackne as Mover #1, and Manuel Fernandez as Mover #2

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CROSSING THE CHASM by Rod McFadden
Staged Reading – Playwrights Center of San Francisco @ Shelton Theatre – October 6, 2014

with:  Danielle Doyle, Dan Wilson, Maria Frangos, Aaron Kitchin, and Sam Starke

Lance Patterson has been unemployed for over a year, and his prospects seem worse each day. Now the financial and emotional stresses lead his wife, Susan, to doubt his commitment to her. But when Lance meets Gwen, a young battered woman in need of help, and he finds renewed purpose in his life. He sets out to rescue Gwen. Can his worthy ends justify the means he chooses? And when someone ends up dead in an alley, how far will Lance and Susan go to save what’s left of their life together?

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CRYSTAL BETH by Matthew Miller
24 Hour Play Fest – Playwrights Center of San Francisco @ Tides Theatre – September 13, 2014

with:  Hilda Roe and Linda Ruth Cordoza

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BLOODLINE by Alan Olejniczak with Jeff Matlin
Staged Reading – Playwrights Center of San Francisco @ Shelton Theatre – June 16, 2014

with:  Rick Roitinger, Genevieve Perdue, Sam Tillis, Connery Morano, Andrew Chung, Michael Erickson, Christopher Morrell, Colin Hussey, Philip Goleman, Janice Ramschlag, Ella June Zolan, Jim Gessner, and Karl Schackne

Bloodline is a historical drama of Alexander the Great’s rise to power. Set against bitter family quarrels and political intrigue, the young prince must fight to win the crown of Macedon.

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INCOMING by Earl Roske
Staged Reading – Independence: Do Tell! – Southern Railroad Theatre @ Royce Gallery – July 14, 2014

with:  Diana Brown and Eric Nelson

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TWO TO FIVE WITH THREE SECONDS TO GO by Susan Jackson
SHEHERAZADE 13 – Wily West Productions @ Exit Theatre – May/June 2013

with:  Peter Townley, Joey Cherney, Richard Egan, and Wesley Cayabyab

AFTER FRANK by Patricia Milton
Director (SHEHERAZADE 13 – Wily West Productions @ Exit Theatre – May/June 2013)

with:  Kate Jones and Karen Offereins

 

 

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