The cast of Emotional Creaturefeatures a young and vibrant ensemble of six: Ashley Bryant (A Free Man of Color); Molly Carden(The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight at Ensemble Studio Theatre); Emily S. Grosland(Off Broadway debut); 2012 Theatre World Award Winner Joaquina Kalukango(Hurt Village); Sade Namei(The Flying Latke at The Flea) and Olivia Oguma(A Christmas Carol; Mamma Mia!).
Based on Ensler’s 2010 bestselling book, Emotional Creature explores what it is to be a girl – all the joys and thrills, the rites of passage, the growing pains, and the unique pressures – through a series of original monologues, stories and songs. This fully-staged production spans wildly disparate cultures and continents, highlighting the diversity and commonality of the issues girls face, both personal and political, the world over. Emotional Creature was first workshopped at New York Stage and Film at Vassar College in August 2010, with subsequent workshops in Johannesburg, South Africa and Paris, France.
“Emotional Creature is about being a girl in the world in 2012 and about discovering the girl in each of us,” Ensler says.“It is about changing the verb from please to create or defy or resist or imagine. It is about traveling and dancing and refusing. It is about telling secrets and breaking taboos and building a posse.”
The creative team for Emotional Creaturealso includes Luam (Choreography), Myung Hee Cho (Scenic & Costume Design). Lap Chi Chu (Lighting Design) and Shawn Sagady (Projection Design).
Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues has been translated into over 48 languages, performed in over 140 countries, including sold-out runs at Off Broadway’s Westside Theater and on London’s West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment), and has run for 10 years in Mexico City and Paris. Ensler founded V-Day in 1998 and today the non-profit is a global movement to end violence against women and girls that has raised over $90 million for local anti-violence groups. V-Day activities and actions can continue to be found at vday.org.
In addition to her activities as a playwright and performer, Ensler has written numerous articles for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Washington Post, Utne Reader, International Herald Tribune, Glamour Magazine, and Marie Claire. She was awarded the 2011 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award, which recognizes an individual from the theater community who has made a substantial contribution of volunteered time and effort on behalf of humanitarian, social service, or charitable organizations. Other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting and an Obie, in addition to a number of honorary degrees.
In November 2009, Ensler was named one of US News & World Report’s “Best Leaders” in association with the Center for Public Leadership (CPL) at Harvard Kennedy School. In 2010 she was named one of “125 Women Who Changed Our World” by Good Housekeeping Magazine. In 2011 she was named one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Changed the World” and The Guardian’s “100 Most Influential Women.” Ensler’s experience performing The Vagina Monologues inspired her to create V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. She has devoted her life to stopping violence, envisioning a planet in which women and girls will be free to thrive, rather than merely survive.
Tickets for Emotional Creature are $75.00 and can be purchased beginning July 9th at www.ticketcentral.com, by calling 212-279-4200, or at the Ticket Central box office (416 W 42nd Street) Monday through Sunday, 12 – 8 PM. The performance schedule will be as follows: Tuesday at 7:30 PM, Wednesday at 2 PM & 7:30 PM, Thursday – Friday at 7:30 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM, Sunday at 7:30 PM. For more information about Emotional Creature, visit www.emotionalcreature.com.
Ashley Bryant (Ensemble). Ashley appeared on Broadway in A Free Man of Color. Other NYC credits include: Cornbury: The Queen’s Governor at Theatre Askew, In the Cypher with Cypher Productions, Learning to Swim at Ensemble Studio Theatre and Obama Drama with Creative Destruction. Regionally, she has performed in King John with Shakespeare & Company, Mouth Wide Open by Amy Brenneman at American Repertory Theater, Ruined at Florida Studio Theatre and Sheila’s Day at Hartford Stage, Crossroads Theatre Company and the Market Theatre in South Africa. Recently, Ashley appeared in a recurring role on the CW’s “Gossip Girl.” She is a graduate of the University of Utah’s Actor Training Program and Yale School of Drama.
Molly Carden (Ensemble). In New York, Molly has appeared in The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight at EST, in addition to many readings and workshops at EST where she is a member; Gentrifusion with Red Fern Theatre Company; and P.S. It’s Poison at Red Room. Her regional credits include The Great Immensity, a co-production with The Civilians at Kansas City Repertory Theatre; I Capture the Castle at Creede Repertory Theatre; and Proof at Temple Theatre in North Carolina. Molly trained at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
Emily S. Grosland (Ensemble). Emily’s previous credits include Agnes in Gypsy at Stages St. Louis, Anne Frank in The Diary of Anne Frank at Theatre L’Homme Dieu, Dancer/Aerialist in Wagner’s Ringcycle at LA Opera, Danny Who in the 2010 North American tour ofHow the Grinch Stole Christmas, an ensemble role in Oklahoma at Fullerton Civic Light Opera, Kris in Bees and Lions at Sanguine Theatre Company, Leigh Botts in the world premiere of Dear Mr. Henshaw and Linus in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown at California Theatre Center, Mo in Cowgirls at Florida Studio Theatre and Peter in Peter Pan at Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater. Visit emilysgrosland.com.
Joaquina Kalukango (Ensemble) has performed on Broadway in Godspell, and Off Broadway she appeared in Hurt Village at Signature Theatre, which earned her a nomination for the 2012 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play and a Theatre World Award, and Rent at New World Stages. Joaquina received her BFA from the Juilliard School.
Sade Namei (Ensemble) just finished workshopping Jeffrey Jones’ A Letter From Omdurman, directed by Page Burkholder. Her New York productions include The Flying Latke at the Flea Theater, KNEAD at Performance Space 122, Leaves of Grass at The Cell, Mika at the United Nations and In Medias Res, her one-woman show at the Iranian Theater Festival at the Brick Theater. Sade was a part of the BATS, resident acting company at the Flea, where she performed weekly in #Serials@TheFlea. She just finished shooting The Elegant Clockwork of the Universe. A native of Tehran, Sade has a BA in theatre and dance from James Madison University, and she has trained with SITI Company and Shakespeare & Company.
Olivia Oguma (Ensemble) has been involved with Emotional Creature since the 2010 workshop at New York Stage and Film. On Broadway, she’s appeared in A Christmas Carol, Les Misérables and Mamma Mia!, and she was in the first national tour of Disney’s High School Musical. Her off-Broadway credits include BFE at Playwrights Horizons, La Dispute at National Asian American Theatre Company and Sarah Plain & Tall at the Lucille Lortel Theatre. Olivia has also performed regionally in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Paper Mill Playhouse, BFE at Long Wharf Theatre (Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Best Debut Performance), High School Musical 1 & 2 at Theater of the Stars and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Honk! at Two River Theater Company, Miss Saigon at North Carolina Theatre and Actors Playhouse, The Skin of Our Teeth at Bristol Riverside Theatre and Snow Falling on Cedars at Portland Center Stage. Olivia has also appeared on TV and in film, including “All My Children,” “As the World Turns,”“The Big C,”Hallmark Hall of Fame’s“The Flamingo Rising,” “Law & Order,”“The New Electric Company” and“Strangers with Candy.”
Eve Ensler (Playwright) is a Tony Award-winning playwright, performer and activist. She is the author of The Vagina Monologues, which has been translated into over 48 languages and performed in over 140 countries. Emotional Creature is based on her latest book, I Am an Emotional Creature: The Secret Life of Girls Around the World, which made The New York Times bestseller list. Eve’s other theatrical works include The Good Body, which she performed on Broadway in 2004. Her other plays include Lemonade, Mango, Necessary Targets and The Treatment. Eve’s published works include Insecure at Last: a Political Memoir. In 2006 she also co-edited A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer, an anthology which she co-edited with Mollie Doyle. Her new book, In the Body of the World, will be published in 2013 by Metropolitan. Eve writes regularly for The Guardian, and her articles have appeared in International Herald Tribune and the Washington Post. Her film credits include an HBO version of The Vagina Monologues (2002). She also produced the film What I Want My Words to Do to You, a documentary about the writing group she led at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women. The film won the Freedom of Expression Award at Sundance Film Festival and premiered nationally on PBS’s “P.O.V.” in December 2003. Eve was awarded the 2011 Isabelle Stevenson Tony Award. Her other awards include a Guggenheim Fellowship in Playwriting and an Obie, in addition to a number of honorary degrees.
Jo Bonney (Director) has directed world premieres premieres of Alan Ball’s All that I Will Ever Be at New York Theater Workshop; Danny Hoch’s Jails, Hospitals, and Hip-Hop at the Berkeley Rep; Eric Bogosian’s Humpty Dumpty at McCarter Theatre Center, and Pounding Nails in the Floor with My Forehead and Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll in the U.S. and Britain; Culture Clash’s American Night at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse and the Kirk Douglas Theatre; Jessica Goldberg’s Good Thing with the New Group; Neil LaBute’s Break of Noon and Fat Pig at MCC Theater and Geffen Playhouse; Lynn Nottage’s By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Second Stage Theatre; Dael Orlandersmith’s Stoop Stories at the Studio Theatre and Goodman Theatre; Suzan-Lori Parks’ Father Comes Home from the War at The Public Theatre Lab; Darci Picoult’s Lil’s 90th at Long Wharf; Will Power’s The Seven at NYTW and LJP; David Rabe’s An Early History of Fire with the New Group; José Rivera’s Adoration of the Old Woman at LJP and References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot at The Public; Christopher Shinn’s On the Mountain at Playwrights Horizons; Diana Son’s Stop Kiss at The Public; Universes’ Slanguage at NYTW and the Taper; Naomi Wallace’s Fever Chart at The Public and The Hard Weather Boating Party at the Humana Festival; and Michael Weller’s Beast with NYTW. She has also directed plays by Carol Churchill, Nilo Cruz, Anna Deavere Smith, Charles Fuller, Lisa Loomer, John Osborne and Lanford Wilson. Jo’s honors include the Obie Award for Sustained Excellence of Direction and Lucille Lortel Awards for Best Revival (5th of July) and Best Musical (The Seven), plus a nomination for Best Direction (By the Way, Meet Vera Stark). Jo is the editor of Extreme Exposure: An Anthology of Solo Performance Texts from the Twentieth Century, published by Theatre Communications Group.
Charl-Johan Lingenfelder (Composer & Music Director) studied musicology, drama and classical culture at the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. He started his career as an actor and musical director. He consequently extended his talents from being an actor and musician to that of musical director, musical creator and composer for both stage and film. He has produced many productions and co-owned one of the very few independent theatres in South Africa, the highly successful Warehouse in Cape Town. Apart from his forays in the musical world, he has also dabbled in creative writing, photography, filmmaking and design.
Luam (Choreographer) is an internationally renowned choreographer who has worked with top artists including Beyonce, Britney Spears, Kanye West and Rihanna. Her film and television credits include “Making the Band 4,” Step Up Revolution and Beyonce’s new documentary special, Year of 4. She has been nominated twice for Best Choreography by Dance Track Magazine. Her videos on YouTube have over 30 million views.
Myung Hee Cho (Scenic & Costume Design). Myung Hee is a set and costume designer for theatre, opera, dance and other entertainment productions. She designed costumes for 36 Views by Naomi Iizuka at Berkeley Rep and has recently designed sets and costumes for Extraordinary Chambers at the Geffen; Fear of Writing and Awaking at TheatreWorks in Singapore; Futura at Theater @ Boston Court; The Good Person of Szechuan at the Landestheater in Linz, Austria; and The Magic Flute at the Canadian Opera Company in Toronto. Myung Hee’s other design credits include Citizen 13559 at the Kennedy Center; Distant Shore and Flight at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; The Golden Mickeys for Disney Creative Entertainment/Hong Kong; Goldfish, The Piano Teacher and System Wonderland at South Coast Repertory; Le nozze di Figaro at the Chicago Opera Theater; The Word Begins at Signature; Yellow Face at the Mark Taper Forum and New York Shakespeare Festival/The Public; and many more. She also designed the productions of Wit and Lackawanna Blues that toured North America. Myung Hee is a professor of stage design at UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television.
Lap Chi Chu (Lighting Design). New York design credits include work at Kitchen Theatre Company, NYTW, P.S. 122, The Public and Second Stage. His work has been seen regionally at Arena Stage, Dallas Theater Center, Evidence Room, the Geffen, the Goodman, Hartford Stage, LJP, Old Globe, OSF, Portland Center Stage, San Jose Repertory Theatre, the Shakespeare Theater and the Taper. Lap Chi is the lighting/video designer for ChameckiLerner Dance Company, which has performed in the United States and Brazil. His honors include the LA Drama Critic’s Circle Angstrom Award for Career Achievement in Lighting Design, multiple San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, a “Drammy” for best lighting and a Lucille Lortel nomination for The Good Negro at The Public. Lap Chi is on the lighting design faculty at California Institute of the Arts.
Shawn Sagady (Projection Design). Shawn’s Broadway credits include Leap of Faith and Memphis (2010 Best Musical), and his work has been seen off Broadway in By the Way, Meet Vera Stark at Second Stage and Father Comes Home From the War at The Public. He has also worked on the national tours of Julius Caesar and Memphis with the Acting Company. His regional credits include American Night, Measure for Measure andThe White Snake at OSF; Back Back Back at the Old Globe; Carmenat LJP; and Cowboy vs. Samurai with Mo’ollelo. Shawn has also designed for the Kaufman Performing Arts Center Opening Gala, the Honors Gala at LJP and the Women in the World conference (the Daily Beast).
Carole Black (Producer) is the former President & CEO of Lifetime Entertainment. Under her leadership, Lifetime became the top rated cable network and the company grew from a single network into a powerhouse multi-media brand for women. Lifetime vastly expanded its advocacy work on behalf of women and girls, using the power of television and the internet to champion important causes. During her tenure, Lifetime achieved record ratings, revenues and profits and became one of the industry’s most valuable and recognized brands. Before joining Lifetime, Black was President and General Manager of NBC4 in Los Angeles. Under her guidance, NBC4 enjoyed unparalleled success, becoming the top station in the market and the preeminent news leader. Prior to NBC, Black served as Senior Vice President, Marketing, Television and Vice President, Worldwide Home Video at The Walt Disney Company. She came to Disney from DDB Needham in Chicago where she rose from Account Supervisor to Senior Vice President, Management Representative. She began her career in brand management at Procter & Gamble. Black has received numerous prestigious awards for leadership and public service, including The Matrix Award, WICT's Woman of the Year Award and YWCA's Racial Justice Award. She has been named frequently on influential media lists, including Business Week’s “Top 25 Managers in Business,” Fortune's “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” and Hollywood Reporter’s “Top Women in Entertainment.” She is an inductee of Broadcasting & Cable’s “Hall of Fame.” Black serves on both corporate and non-profit boards including V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women and girls.
Pat Mitchell (Producer). Mitchell's diverse background in media includes work as a journalist and producer and executive. She has worked in front of the camera and behind, anchoring the news and reporting for broadcast networks, producing award winning documentaries as President of CNN Productions, becoming the first woman President and CEO of PBS, and currently is the President and CEO of the Paley Center for Media whose mission is to convene media professionals and media consumers for programs that explore the role of media in society. Throughout her career, Mitchell has engaged the power of media and storytelling as an agent of social change and specifically, to highlight the stories of women and girls. She was the first woman to launch, produce and host her own nationally syndicated program “Woman to Woman,” and continues to be active in breaking new ground for women across the media landscape, including a current series of initiatives and programs called Women@Paley which includes producing an annual TEDWomen conference in partnership with the TED organization. Her many awards include multiple Emmy Awards, five Peabodys and two Academy Award nominations. Mitchell is also a sought after speaker and mentor, who was recently named one of the 21 Leaders For The 21st Century and Newsweek's 150 Women who Shake the World. She has received the Sandra Day O’Connor Award for Leadership, the Women in Cable's Woman of the Year Award, was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame. The Women’s Media Center has honored Ms. Mitchell with the Pat Mitchell Lifetime Achievement award, an award that will be given annually in her name. Ms. Mitchell serves on the boards of VDAY, a movement to end violence against women and girls, is Vice Chair of the Sundance Institute, a Trustee of the Mayo Foundation, a board member of Global Green USA and Acumen Fund and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Women’s Forum Inc and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Mitchell also sits on the corporate board of AOL.
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