Experimental theatre artist Amy Rox Surratt, and supporting ensemble, create fictionally famous reality TV child star “Amy Surratt.” At home, things have been heading South for a while. Now, “Amy” investigates her genuine Appalachian roots and struggles to come back to something she never really had – taking the audience to hell in a hand basket with her. The result is a surreal Appalachian love letter to historical and personal traumas.
Queering “authentic Americana” through a pastiche of stereotypes, this FIRST and LAST (show) reveals the tragicomedy of fractured identities and origins — don’t worry, though — we got enough mason jars, bluegrass jams, rusted cars, and southern fried meta-theatrics for everyone.
Home is where your hell is! Y’all come back now.
This project is the recipient of a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant.
This project made possible with support from the Austin Community Foundation.
Featuring Performance by:
Avon Bashida, Jo Chiang, Spencer Lutvak, Jane Stiles O’Hara,
Tosha Rachelle Taylor, Fleur Voorn & Chris Green
Live Music by: The Nick Horner Family
[Nicholas Horner (guitar/banjo), Zach Swanson (bass),
Sam Day Harmet (mandolin), and Michael Donovan (fiddle)]
Costume Design by: Dusty Lynn Childers (aka Dust Tea Shoulders) Sound Design by: Matt Voyno
Scenic Design by: Gregory Laffey | Lighting Design by: Cecilia R Durbin
Video Projection and Media Design by: SO O’Brien and Erin Lemkey
Amy R. Surratt (Writer/Performer) is a collaborative theatre artist specializing in directing and developing new and experimental theatre works. Her work has been featured at La MaMa, Access Theater, TheatreLAB-RVA, the New York International Fringe Festival, Dixon Place, and in collaboration with Split Britches and Mabou Mines. She served as assistant to director David Neumann on his COIL 2017 presentation of I Understand Everything Better at The Chocolate Factory. In 2016 Surratt co-produced Hyena, at La MaMa, as well as its presentation at the 2016 Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, and the 2016 United Solo Festival. She is currently Producing Associate for La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club. MFA, Sarah Lawrence College, 2012. She is from Southern Appalachia.
Kristen Holfeuer (Director) Born and raised in Saskatoon, Canada, Kristen has worked across Canada as a director, actor, choreographer, and producer for both independent and regional theatre companies. She received training from the One Yellow Rabbit Intensive, Magnetic North Compass Points program, Luminato Festival Copycat Academy, Old Trout Puppet Workshop, The Grotowski Institute in Wroclaw, Globe Theatre Conservatory Actor Training Program, and Nightwood Theatre’s Female Director’s Summit. Kristen is the founder of Kamikaze Archive Theatre which creates and produces inventive, movement-based theatre. She is a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan’s Bachelor of Fine Arts acting program. M.A. in Performance Studies from NYU Tisch.
Tosha Rachelle Taylor (Co-writer) is a writer and academic originally from Southern Appalachia who specializes in horror and popular media. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in several small, independent literary magazines including The Blotter, Danse Macabre, Conte, Gertrude, The Subtopian, and Printer’s Devil Review. Recent academic publications include chapters and articles on the cinematic work of Christopher Nolan, sexuality and class in American Horror Story, and studies of gendered subjectivities in American graphic novels. She has taught film studies, feminist and American theatre, literature, and language in the United States and the United Kingdom. She holds a PhD in English from Loughborough University.
Gregory Laffey (Scenic Design) is a set designer, propmaster, and general maker from Pittsburgh, PA. Now settled in New York, he works in theater, film, and dance. Work includes pieces with harunalee: to the left of the pantry and under the sugar shack (La Mama Club), Plum de Force (Bushwick Starr), and the upcoming Memory Retrograde (Brooklyn Arts Exchange). Ongoing designs and shadow art direction with Pilobolus Dance Theatre. Pilobolus highlights: Shadowland 2; Radiolab Live: In the Dark; The Inconsistent Pedaler; Wednesday Morning, 11:45am.
Dusty Childers aka Dust Tea Shoulders (Costume Design) is a veteran fashion designer on hiatus from “the industry” until further notice. In the meanwhile he teaches high school by the light of day and paints the town rainbow by night. This includes performing (in the mediums of monologue, drag and dance), directing/dramaturging shows, costuming, hosting events and otherwise adding to the delicious local flavor of NYC. He has worked with Justin Sayre, Taylor Mac, Heather Acs, Mister Wallace, Big Dipper, Miguel Gutierrez, Silas Howard, World Famous *BOB*, Amber Martin, Xavier Smith and Bridget Barkan (among others). His body and body of work has graced the likes of St. Anne’s Warehouse, Sid Gold’s Request Room, Joe’s Pub, Abrons Art Center, The Wild Project, Dixon Place, Don’t Tell Mama, Rockwood Music Hall, The Slipper Room, Judson Memorial Church, International Center of Photography, Parsons, The Mix Festival, La Mama, Metropolitan Bar, The Delancey, NY Live Arts, Irving Plaza, Bureau Of General Services Queer Division, The Whitney, BAM, Governor’s Ball, The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, This n’ That, Wise Men, Metropolitan Bar, House of Yes, Bushwick Bizarre, Drom, and the Soho Playhouse.
Cecilia Durbin (Lighting Design) Recent Designs Include: Love Alone (Playmakers Rep); Disgraced (Portland Stage Co & Hangar Theatre); The Taming of the Shrew (Chautauqua Theatre Co); Murder Ballad, Sex with Strangers (Detroit Public Theatre); Hyena (La MaMa Club, Edinburgh Fringe, United Solo Festival [Best Lighting Design]); In the Blood (Theatre Horizon [Barrymord nomination]); Stranger from Paradise (Opera Omaha); The Life Model (On the Boards); Circle Mirror Transformation (Univ. of Rochester); Numb (Goat in the Road Productions, JACK); She Stoops to Conquer (TACT, Co-design); Lust (HERE Arts Center); Measure for Measure (Epic Theatre Ensemble); We Are Proud to Present a Presentation…(InterAct Theatre); A Soldier’s Tale (The Bushwick Starr/The Puppet Kitchen); Every Good Girl Deserves Fun (Clutch Productions); Philadelphia & Other Stories (The Bushwick Starr, WalkerSpace). MFA from NYU; member of USA 829. www.durbinlighting.com
s.o. O’Brien (Video Projection and Media Design) is an interdisciplinary media artist. Working primarily in video and sound he seeks to explore landscapes of political desire through interactive performance and installation. s.o. is a Libra with a Leo North Node and has a Masters in Media Studies from the New School.
Erin Lemkey (Associate Video Projection and Media Design) is a video, tape & film editor with an educational background in political economy. She’s often behind the curtains of Spectacle Theater in Williamsburg as programmer and webmaster. She will accept any and all offers to go to the Virginias, Kentucky, and Tennessee.
Central-Pennsylvania born Nicholas Horner has contributed to upwards of 30 records ranging from folk and bluegrass to rock, pop and jazz. He is the founder of the NYC folk non-profit/festival Porch Stomp and performs both nationally and internationally with his bands, raucous brothers-style harmony duo “Nick and Luke” and the eclectic rotating cast of “The Nick Horner Family”. www.nicholashorner.com
Zachary Swanson is a double bassist residing in Brooklyn, NY. Using gut strings and a personalized technique, Zachary has developed a conception of the double bass that heightens the integrity of various musical environments. Zachary attended Peabody Conservatory, where he studied with double bassist Michael Formanek and saxophonist Gary Thomas.
Sam Day Harmet is a mandolinist, composer, improvisor, and music educator whose projects range from klezmer, to gypsy jazz, to electro-funk, to free improvisation, to Soundpainting and beyond. He has also worked on numerous theater projects, co-creating Containertopia at the Jalopy Theatre, composing the scores for Letter of Marque’s Gifts at the Access Theater, Opera Nouveau’s The Tarot Show at HERE Arts Center, and music directing Molly Murphy & Neil deGrasse Tyson On Our Last Day On Earth for Ars Nova’s ANT Fest. http://samdayharmet.com
Michael Barrett Donovan is a performer, educator, and M.A. Candidate from the north coast of California.
“In her moving musical tribute to her Appalachian upbrininging, Amy Surratt’s FIRST and LAST (show), Amy Surratt and director Kristen Holfeuer brings out the dignity, humor, and humanity to a people and region too often reduced to stereotypes…a dizzy, colorful, jamboree of mythic proportions.” – Lisa Huberman, New York Theatre Review
“captures the ethos of the southern Appalachian region with humor and heartbreak… a magical piece of theatre that should not be missed.” – Carrie Lee O’Dell, The Reviews Hub