Backyard/Desert by Nancy Irene Kelly

backyard desert.jpg

We are proud to launch our first ever season with a staged reading of Backyard/Desert by Nancy Irene Kelly. Backyard/Desert recently debuted as part of the Irvington Town Hall Theater Play Reading Festival in November 2017.

A play for our times, Backyard/Desert explores the human ties that transcend all borders. When a female border patrol agent finds a young migrant lost in the desert, the aftershocks of the encounter slowly erode the foundations upon which she’s built her life, leading her to question her choices and relationships. In the end, she must make a wrenching decision in order to follow her truth.

new headshot.jpg

Rachael Murray is a New York-based director. She is new to New York after spending 7 years in the Washington, DC area, and she is thrilled to get to work on Backyard/Desert. DC directing highlights include: Frelmetsch the Maneater (Director-Workshop, Source Festival); Sioux Falls (Director, Mead Theatre Lab/Tenth Muse); King Lear (Asst. Director, Lean and Hungry Theatre); ClickB@it (Co-Director, Capital Fringe; developed during Kennedy Center Page-to-Stage Festival and NextStop Dark Nights Series); The Importance of Being Earnest (Asst. Director, Scena Theatre); The Norwegians (Asst. Director, Scena Theatre); No Exit (Director, Highwood Theatre), and R.U.R. (Director, Naked Theatre Company). Rachael is a Founding Company Member of Naked Theatre Company. Education: Virginia Tech. www.rachaelwithanamurray.com

nancy.kelly.jpg

About Playwright Nancy Irene Kelly

Nancy Kelly is a playwright, performer, dramaturg, and educator. Most recently, her play Backyard/Desert was selected for the Irvington Town Hall Theater Play Reading Festival in November 2017. A member of the Dramatists Guild, she holds an MFA in theater from Sarah Lawrence College and a BA in Dramatic Art/Dance from U.C. Berkeley. She has taught acting, storytelling and public speaking at New York area colleges and public schools since 2005. Originally from Northern California, she currently lives in New York City.


ABOUT THE CAST:

  Roberto Tolentino (Jose Luis) -  Roberto Tolentino is a California born actor and is currently in his second year in the MFA Acting Program at Columbia University. He previously earned a BFA in Acting and a BA in Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His most recent project is the title character of the HBO short film, Alex, Listen to Your Heart. He is excited to soon join the company at American Players Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin for their 2018 season. He is grateful to be part of such a wonderful project and as always dedicates his work to his mother. 

Roberto Tolentino (Jose Luis) - Roberto Tolentino is a California born actor and is currently in his second year in the MFA Acting Program at Columbia University. He previously earned a BFA in Acting and a BA in Biology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His most recent project is the title character of the HBO short film, Alex, Listen to Your Heart. He is excited to soon join the company at American Players Theater in Spring Green, Wisconsin for their 2018 season. He is grateful to be part of such a wonderful project and as always dedicates his work to his mother. 

  Matthew Palumbo  (Russ) – Matthew is a graduate of the William Esper Studio in NYC where he studied intensely with Bill Esper. He is currently coached by the Oscar winning Milton Justice, David Newer (William Esper Studio), and Nancy Mayans (William Esper Studio). Matthew is practiced in everything from classical Shaw and Shakespeare to the contemporary. Recent works in theater include Eddie Fontaine in Winter Wonderland, Phillip Lombard in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, and Anthony in Karma. Recent works in television include Hulu’s Difficult People and Discovery ID’s Deadly Affairs. Recent works in film include Around It Goes, Last Minute Things, and 2Guns.

Matthew Palumbo (Russ) – Matthew is a graduate of the William Esper Studio in NYC where he studied intensely with Bill Esper. He is currently coached by the Oscar winning Milton Justice, David Newer (William Esper Studio), and Nancy Mayans (William Esper Studio). Matthew is practiced in everything from classical Shaw and Shakespeare to the contemporary. Recent works in theater include Eddie Fontaine in Winter Wonderland, Phillip Lombard in Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, and Anthony in Karma. Recent works in television include Hulu’s Difficult People and Discovery ID’s Deadly Affairs. Recent works in film include Around It Goes, Last Minute Things, and 2Guns.

  Tanya Chattman (Sally) -    Tanya Chattman is an actor and writer from New Orleans. Some of her theater credits include  Faces , (Ruffin Entertainment)  R.U.R: Rossum’s Universal Robots ,  Bitch: A Play About Antigone  and  ClickB@it  (Naked Theatre Company),  The Most Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington  (Ally Theater Company). Tanya works in television and in 2017 guest starred on Brothers: The Series. Some of her film credits include  Mama’s Boy  and  Following Phil  in 2016. In 2012, she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her role as Emma Freeman in the film  Greencastle  for the Washington, D.C. World Music and Independent Film Festival.    

Tanya Chattman (Sally) - 

Tanya Chattman is an actor and writer from New Orleans. Some of her theater credits include Faces, (Ruffin Entertainment) R.U.R: Rossum’s Universal RobotsBitch: A Play About Antigone and ClickB@it (Naked Theatre Company), The Most Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington (Ally Theater Company). Tanya works in television and in 2017 guest starred on Brothers: The Series. Some of her film credits include Mama’s Boy and Following Phil in 2016. In 2012, she was nominated as Best Supporting Actress for her role as Emma Freeman in the film Greencastle for the Washington, D.C. World Music and Independent Film Festival. 

 

  Samantha Coppola (Pammy) -  Samantha is thrilled to be a part of this new work with the Transcendence Theatre Collective! While pursing acting in theater and film, she's also working as a personal trainer at NYSC. Hydrangea and almond butter are her two main weaknesses. In this trying world we're all trying to survive in, be even more positive, grateful, supportive and kind. To check out her credits and reel, go to  samanthacoppola.com

Samantha Coppola (Pammy) - Samantha is thrilled to be a part of this new work with the Transcendence Theatre Collective! While pursing acting in theater and film, she's also working as a personal trainer at NYSC. Hydrangea and almond butter are her two main weaknesses. In this trying world we're all trying to survive in, be even more positive, grateful, supportive and kind. To check out her credits and reel, go to samanthacoppola.com

  Sean Hinckle    (Bob)  -  Off Broadway:  Beneath the Gavel  (59E59 Theaters, Bated Breath Theatre Company); Off-Off Broadway:  Hamlet  (New York Shakespeare Exchange),  Romeo and Juliet  (Lower East Side Shakespeare Theatre Co.),  Titus Andronicus  (HERE Arts Center, New York Shakespeare Exchange),  Pushing Daisy  (Secret Theater). Regional:  Playmakers!  (Florida Studio Theatre),  Oklahoma!  (New Theater Restaurant),  Macbeth  (Reduxion Theatre Co.). Deeply grateful to Transcendence Theatre Company for the opportunity to read this play with y’all! 

Sean Hinckle (Bob)Off Broadway: Beneath the Gavel (59E59 Theaters, Bated Breath Theatre Company); Off-Off Broadway: Hamlet (New York Shakespeare Exchange), Romeo and Juliet (Lower East Side Shakespeare Theatre Co.), Titus Andronicus (HERE Arts Center, New York Shakespeare Exchange), Pushing Daisy (Secret Theater). Regional: Playmakers! (Florida Studio Theatre), Oklahoma! (New Theater Restaurant), Macbeth (Reduxion Theatre Co.). Deeply grateful to Transcendence Theatre Company for the opportunity to read this play with y’all! 

  Emily Erickson  (Stage Directions) is a Minnesota bred, New York based actor, music director, and composer/writer. She recently graduated from NYU where she received her BFA in Drama and double major in Mathematics. Favorite credits include CHICAGO (Peregrine Theatre Ensemble), VINEGAR TOM (Vassar Farm), and HENRY V (NYU Classical).    emilynerickson.com  /   @emierickson

Emily Erickson (Stage Directions) is a Minnesota bred, New York based actor, music director, and composer/writer. She recently graduated from NYU where she received her BFA in Drama and double major in Mathematics. Favorite credits include CHICAGO (Peregrine Theatre Ensemble), VINEGAR TOM (Vassar Farm), and HENRY V (NYU Classical). 

emilynerickson.com / @emierickson