2015-2016 5×5 Drama Series

About

What is 5X5?

Ever been to a house concert? 5X5 is exactly that, but instead it’s theatre. Performances beyond the footlights in alternative spaces like breweries, rooftops, apartments, and more. Each of the 5 performances will consist of 5 beautifully written 10-minute plays, performed by 5 casts, throughout the 5 boroughs.

Reserve your seat for this unique experience below! Admission is donation only but seating is incredibly limited.

Just click on the link below for the performance you want to attend.

Cleavage

Cleavage

Written by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich

Directed by Christa Kimlicko Jones

A teacher’s shocking fashion choice at a parent-teacher conference forces a couple to confront the downside of exposing too much, especially in their marriage.

Featuring Tiffany Abercrombie and Alex Purcell

In the Basement

In the Basement

Written by Julia Rae Maldonado

Directed by Daniel Hasse

Finding an apartment in NYC is tough; finding a good deal on an apartment in NYC is even tougher.

Featuring Rachel Caplan, Emily Verla, and Kelsey Sheppard

Princeton

Princeton

Written by Mark Eric Gomez

Directed by Judson Jones

When two old academic colleagues reunite, certain truths get revealed.

Featuring Kenneth Ryan and Ben Skalski

Standing Room Only

Standing Room Only

Written by Lowell Bartholomee

Directed by Patrick Vassel

Funerals are a time that force us to look at our lives and reevaluate what we’re doing with them.

Featuring Christa Kimlicko Jones and Judson Jones

The Number

The Number

Written by Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich

Directed by Judson Jones

Featuring Rachel Caplan and Caleb Shomaker

Two siblings realize what’s really important when faced with the impending loss of their grandmother.

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east-village-small

In the heart of the East Village!

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rooftop

A rooftop in Brooklyn!

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Forchheimer Medical Science Building

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Inside the local brewery!

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Overlooking the East River!

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May 19

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May 21

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About the 5X5 Drama Series

The 5X5 Drama Series was born out of the idea of celebrating 10 minute plays as there are so many great ones but people rarely get to experience them. Initially the thought was just to rent a traditional black box for a week but we wanted to offer a more unique experience that would have a greater impact. Long before there were marquees, there was theater. It existed around campfires and inside of caves. There were tales of the great hunt or celebrated victory in battle. And these stories mattered because they reflected the community. While Theatre East has a production history at recognizable venues like Playwrights Horizons, Theatre Row, The Mint Theatre, and Urban Stages, we also have a history of going out into the community beyond the footlights. The Neighborhood Reading Series just celebrated it’s 30th public reading which takes place in the upstairs bar at O’Lunney’s Times Square Pub. We also have the Apartment Series which has taken place at various homes throughout Manhattan. But we’ve never ventured into the other boroughs which makes up the New York City community.

The 5X5 Drama Series will do just that. Over the course of two weeks, May 14-21, Theatre East will do a performance of 5 short plays, with 5 casts, for 5 nights, in the 5 boroughs of NYC. These will be fully yet simply produced. It’s truly an amazing experience when you combine great text with great actors and people’s imagination. It really is storytelling in its simplest form. And because it’s donations only, it also meets one of our core beliefs that theatre should be accessible to all, no matter one’s social or economic status.

Who’s Who

Tiffany Abercrombie (Marsha, CLEAVAGE) Credits include: DRUNK SHAKESPEARE (Three Day Hangover), THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, Sir Patient Fancy, AS YOU LIKE IT (Queens Company), HORSEPLAY OR, THE FICKLE MISTRESS (La MaMa), MISS JULIE, ASIAN EQUITIES (The Loading Dock), THESE SEVEN SICKNESSES, #serials@theflea, (The Flea Theater), TWELFTH NIGHT (Barefoot Shakespeare), HENRY IV parts I & II, UNDER MILKWOOD, TWELFTH NIGHT, HAMLET (Rebellious Subjects Theater), LES LIAISONS DANGEREUSES, THE TEMPEST, TROILUS AND CRESSIDA. Training: BFA—NYU, RADA. For my mother and Nick.

Lowell Bartholomee (Playwright, STANDING ROOM ONLY) is an actor, playwright, director, and filmmaker based in Austin, TX. His collection of short plays BLAH, BLAH, BLAH – which featured STANDING ROOM ONLY- was part of the New York Fringe Festival in 2004. He appeared in the pilot episode of ABC’s American Crime and season two of the HBO series The Leftovers. He is an artistic company member of the internationally renowned theater company Rude Mechs.

Barbara Blumenthal-Ehrlich (Playwright, CLEAVAGE and THE NUMBER) Productions include SISTER SISTER (Northern Light Theatre, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), ROMEO CHANG (Overtime Theatre, San Antonio, winner of ATAC Globe Award), BIG CITY (Trustus Theatre, Columbia, SC, winner, New Playwrights Festival), BOY GIRL BOY GIRL (Trinity Rep, Providence, RI), STILL LIFE (Forward Flux, Seattle), DOUBLE VISION AND ABSOLUTE FLIGHT: A REALITY SHOW WITH WINGS (NY International Fringe Festival), and HITTING THE WALL (NYC Summer Play Festival). Plays developed in NYC at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Rattlestick, Women’s Project, EST, New Georges, AracaWorks, and Urban Stages. Regionally, at Actors Theatre of Louisville, Geva Theatre, Hangar Theatre, Victory Gardens, LA’s Elephant Theatre, and more. Published by Smith & Kraus and Indie Theatre Now, she has been a runner up in the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Sundance Playwriting Lab, Princess Grace Award, the Heideman Award, among others. In NYC, she’s a New Georges affiliated artist, a member of Athena Theatre Company’s writers group, and an associate playwright at Phoenix Theatre Ensemble. barbarablumenthalehrlich.com.

Rachel Caplan (Beth, IN THE BASEMENT; Miriam, THE NUMBER) grew up in Central Jersey, and at 17, hopped on the Penn Station- bound NJ transit, which mercifully arrived in New York approximately 5 minutes ago.  She subsequently graduated from the Stella Adler Conservatory, and has worked closely with wonderful growing companies like Theatre East since. Rachel was last seen as Wendy in Michael Perrie Jr.’s new play DAVE AND WENDY for Him & Her Theatre Co.  She is currently working on her second project with director Sean Goodwin, a short film called Nom de Plume, which will complete filming this summer.  Their first, The Mirror, recently premiered in the main selection of the Green Mountain Film Festival.  You can catch her from time to time performing with her improv partner as dynamic duo Rachel Ampersand Louis.  Huge thanks to Jud, Christa, the tireless staff of T.E., all of the generous 5×5 hosts, my best Friend, and Mac under-eye concealer.

Mark Eric Gomez (Playwright, PRINCETON) is an actor and playwright and is thrilled to be a part of 5X5!

Daniel Hasse (Director, IN THE BASEMENT) is a New York-based director/teacher and the Artistic Director of Shakespeare in the Square. Off-Broadway: THE TRAGEDY OF ROMEO AND JULIET (The Gym at Judson). Off-Off: RICHARD II (The Robert Moss Theater), AS YOU LIKE IT (The Stella Adler Studio of Acting), FIST IN MOUTH (The Studio at Cherry Lane), ROUND AND ROUND THE GARDEN (The Kraine Theatre), OTHELLO (The Chain Theatre). Educational: BEAUTIFUL BODIES (The Stella Adler Studio of Acting), HENRY VI, PART 3 (American Shakespeare Center). Outdoor: JULIUS CAESAR, TWELFTH NIGHT, ROMEO AND JULIET, THE TAMING OF THE SHREW, HAMLET, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST, THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. His feature screenplay, FRITZ HABER, won the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Screenwriting Award and Grant. Currently on the writing staff of The TE’A Company (dir. John Gould Rubin and Vieve Radha Price). www.danhasse.com

Christa Kimlicko Jones (Director, CLEAVAGE; Martinique, STANDING ROOM ONLY) was most recently seen as Masha in THREE SISTERS with the Harold Clurman Lab Theater. Prior to that, she played Yelena in UNCLE VANYA, also with HC Lab.  Off Broadway credits include: THE SOLDIER DREAMS (Theatre East); UMBRELLA and HARVEST (Alchemy Theatre Company).  Other NY credits: THE WOMAN STANDING ON THE MOON, OUR TOWN. Regionally: CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, THE SEAGULL (Austin Playhouse); HEDDA GABLER, DESIRE UNDER THE ELMS (B. Iden Payne Award), FOOL FOR LOVE (the dirigo group). Christa teaches at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting where she is also the Director of the Teen Conservatory Program.  She is a member of V.A.S.T.A. and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.  She received her MFA in Acting from the University of Texas at Austin. ChristaKJones.com

Judson Jones (Director, THE NUMBER; Director, PRINCETON; Barry, STANDING ROOM ONLY) is an award winning producer and director who has had the privilege of collaborating on the premieres of Tim Blake Nelson’s EYE OF GOD, Christopher Durang’s THE VIETNAMIZATION OF NEW JERSEY (NY Times Critic Pick), David Crawford’s HARVEST(Smith & Kraus Best New Plays of 2008; Back Stage Critic’s Pick), Bennett Windheim’s NORMALCY, Megan O’Brien’s THE JUNGLE BOOK, Daniel MacIvor’s THE SOLDIER DREAMS, and DEVIL AND THE DEEP with Air Supply‘s Graham Russell. Regional producing credits include: THE JINN (The American Theatre Critics Award) HEDDA, BASH, DESIRE. His directing credits include: THE SOLDIER DREAMS and the upcoming NAME FOR A GHOST TO MUTTER (Theatre East), HARVEST (Alchemy Theatre Company), BASH (the dirigo group), S-MAN (Scriptworks), THE ELF and GIFT (Salvage Vanguard Theatre). He serves on the Board of Directors for Texas Dramatists, is a member of Actors’ Equity and SAG/AFTRA and an adjunct professor at the Kanbar Institute of Film & Television, Tisch School of the Arts, NYU and the Stella Adler Studio of Acting.

Julia Rae Maldonado (Playwright, IN THE BASEMENT) is a Queens based playwright and actor from San Antonio, Texas. Her plays have been performed at The Actors Studio Repertory Season (off Broadway premiere), INTAR, TheatreEast, MUT! Theatre (Germany), TheatreLab, NYU, Long Island University, and The Actors Studio Drama School. Her short play Real Life is included in Gary Garrison’s book, A (More) Perfect 10: Writing and Producing the Ten Minute Play. She is an alumni of The Stella Adler Studio of Acting. BFA – NYU Tisch (undergraduate award in playwriting), MFA – Actor’s Studio Drama School.  She is a recipient of INTAR’s Hispanic Playwrights in Residence Fellowship, and a company member of TheatreEast.

Alex Purcell (Philip, CLEAVAGE) most recently understudied the part of Con in STUPID FU**ING BIRD at the Pearl Theatre Co. As a 2014-15 acting intern at the Cincinnati Playhouse, he appeared in SHERLOCK HOLMES…THE SUICIDE CLUB  and A CHRISTMAS CAROL, while understudying eight mainstage parts including Spike (VANYA & SONIA & MASHA & SPIKE) and Black Stache (PETER & THE STARCATCHER). He is a proud graduate of the Stella Adler Studio, holds a BFA in filmmaking from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and is delighted to be back with Theatre East. It’s nothing short of a humbling treat to work with his former teacher, now director, and always friend, Christa Kimlicko-Jones. She’d make a great Tybalt. AlexGPurcell.com

Kenneth Ryan (Kip, PRINCETON) Theatre: THE HAWK’S WELL (National Arts Club); THREE SISTERS (Harold Clurman Lab); LAST DAYS OF CLEOPATRA (Urban Stages); AGAMEMNON REDUX (Roger Smith Lab); AUNT DAN AND LEMON (Public Theatre); SORE THROATS (New York Theatre Workshop). Movies/Television:  Riverrun, Red Letters, Equalizer, Serving in Silence, Seinfeld, X-Files, Becker, Law & Order.

Kelsey Sheppard (Layla, IN THE BASEMENT) is thrilled to return to Theatre East after spending the summer in Virginia playing Julia in THE WEDDING SINGER! Previously with Theatre East she has appeared in NORMALCY(Claire/Waitress), as well as several readings including PETIE(Jesse), HOLY GHOSTS (Muriel Boggs), and FRIDAY THE 13TH (Alice). Regional: ARTIFICE (Graciela), COLLEEN AND KUDZO (Colleen). Film: Juvie, 2:45AM, Projections, H2O, Lupov, Last Night. Proud member of SAG-AFTRA.

Caleb Shomaker (David, THE NUMBER) is an actor, teacher, and alumnus of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts / Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Studio credits include Percy Shelley in BLOOD & ICE, Charlie in WHAT I DID LAST SUMMER, Guildenstern in ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD, and Lysander in A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, directed by Angela Vitale. Caleb is also the Resident Vocal Director for Shakespeare in the Square, a young company dedicated to performing classics to the hilt. With SITS, he has performed in RICHARD II, ROMEO AND JULIET, LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST, and THE COMEDY OF ERRORS, among others. Love and thanks to Judson and Christa Kimlicko Jones for the opportunity to work with Theatre East!

Ben Skalski (Adam, PRINCETON) is thrilled to be back once again with the Theatre East crew. He studied theatre at Vanderbilt University and is a graduate of the Stella Adler Studio evening conservatory. His recent performances include roles in CHANG(E), THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST, and A BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY. Ben would like to thank Judson, Christa, and the rest of the Theatre East family, his teachers and friends from Stella Adler, and of course his family and loved ones for always supporting him.

Patrick Vassel (Director, STANDING ROOM ONLY) is a director and playwright from Akron, Ohio. He is currently the Associate Director of HAMILTON on Broadway. Broadway: MAGIC/BIRD (Assistant Director). New York: TWO ROOMS(79 Clifton Place), RUM FOR SALE (Columbia University), THE GRAVEDIGGERS (Theatre East Reading), CONNECT(Workshop – Ten Bones), THE ADVENTURES OF BOY AND GIRL (FringeNYC ’13), WE THE PEOPLE: AMERICA ROCKS! (TheatreWorks USA nat’l tour), FONT OF KNOWLEDGE (Shelby Company), THE LITTLE DOG LAUGHED (The Gallery Players, 1st NYC Revival). Regional/University: THE CRIPPLE OF INISHMANN, THE HOMECOMING (Stella Adler), LOMBARDI (Palace Theatre, Wisconsin), SIX CHARACTERS IN SEARCH OF AN AUTHOR (University of Notre Dame, Original Adaptation). As a co-writer/director: NOTHING LEFT TO BURN (Ars Nova ANTFest, The Public Theater New Work Now!, O’Neill Semi-Finalist, The Lark Playwrights Week 2015).

Emily Verla (Allison, IN THE BASEMENT) is a Theatre East Company Member. Previously with Theatre East: THE JUNGLE BOOK, workshop reading of DEVIL AND THE DEEP, as well as numerous Neighborhood Reading Series events. Currently appearing in VOYAGER as part of the Beg, Borrow, and Steal Festival. New York: AS YOU LIKE IT (New York Classical Theatre), ALABAMA AVE (The Writer’s Room), MISS VALENTINE (Theatre of the Heart). Regionally Emily has worked with Musical Theatre West, Civic Light Opera Of South Bay Cities, Princeton Summer Theater, and Twin Tiers Theatre Festival. Series regular on the web series Terrible Shows I Wish I Were In (The Sparrow And The Lion). Upcoming this spring, the world premiere of TAR BEACH at Luna Stage. BFA NYU Tisch: The Stella Adler Studio.