Apr 18, 2016

Experiments 16: Gloria Kadigan’s ‘Uzume’

a black arrow pointing downward
headshot of Glory Kadigan

Written by Glory Kadigan
Directed by Eric Mercado

The crow population is exploding. Crows are taking over the city. They’re chewing though power lines creating blackouts and wrecking havoc on civilians.  Gwen’s friend Jessica has joined the crow patrol to destroy the crows nests.  Gwen’s other friend Marianna believes there’s a better solution – after all the humans and the crows used to live peacefully side by side. Gwen isn’t sure which side she’s on but she does find one of the crows to be oddly attractive….

GLORY KADIGAN founded Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and served as the Producing Artistic Director for six seasons. Prior to founding Planet Connections, she worked as the Artistic Director of various other theater festivals in NYC. As the Producing Artistic Director of Planet Connections, she has presented 207 productions, 75 Staged Readings, 47 films and 67 bands. Under her leadership, Planet Connections has raised over six figures for 260 different charitable organizations including Safe Horizon, City Harvest, Amnesty International and more. Although no longer the Producing Artistic Director of the entire festivity – she still serves as the Artistic Curator and Executive Producer of the renowned Playwrights For A Cause benefit. Under “Playwrights For A Cause” she has presented world premiers by Israel Horovitz, Erik Ehn, Halley Feiffer, Wendy MacLeod, John Patrick Shanley, and Neil LaBute. She is a freelance stage director and is an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab, La Mama Directors and Playwriting Symposium and of The Labyrinth Theater Company’s Master Class. Ms. Kadigan is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers and has been the recipient of the Meritorious Achievement Award in Direction from the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Among her directing credits are: St. Anne’s Soup (Israel Horovitz World Premier with Oscar Winner Melissa Leo, Obie Winner Mary Beth Hurt, Caissie Levy (Les Miserables, Murder Ballad, Hair) and Eric Abrams (All the Way) at Classic Stage Company), Breaking Philip Glass (Israel Horovitz World Premiere with David Deblinger, Donna Vivino, Abrham Makany and Imran Sheik) at NY Theatre Workshop, Her Speech (Erik Ehn World Premiere at NY Theatre Workshop), 5 Sandwiches (Michael Puzzo World Premiere with , Ed Jewett (Boardwalk Empire), Craig muMs Grant (HBO series OZ); Over the River and Through The Woods (Neil LaBute World Premier with Tony nominee Celia Keenan Bolger and Oscar winner Estelle Parsons at the Signature Theater NYC), Two Minute Warning (Neil LaBute, World Premier) at Terry Schreiber’s Gloria Maddox Theater, Falling in Like, Pony of Love, Love at Twenty, Bad Girl (All by LaBute at Gloria Maddox Theater/Nylon Fusion), Other(s) devised with David Diamond at the Esplanade Theatre in Singapore, Oil (by Marco Calvani, English Language premier), Evening with Family (by Vaclav Havel, English Language premier at the Brick), Two Rooms (by Lee Blessing at The Workshop Theatre featuring Andy Kelso star of Kinky Boots and Angela Lee Aspiras form Putnam Spelling Bee), Before (by Penny Jackson for MT Works with Peter Collier),Golem Stories (by Edward Einhorn at Chashama), The Maternal Instinct (by Monica Bauer),Orange, Hat and Grace (by Gregory Stephen Moss at The Green Theatre Collective), Always Family (The Kirk Theatre at Theatre Row, Small Pond Productions), North of Providence (Edward Allen Baker at Altered Stages), Serenading Louie (Lanford Wilson at Stella Adler Black Box), Anomal (ATA-Off Broadway with Ehud Segev), Foursome (by Ionesco at HERE), and Empress of Sex (by Duncan Pflaster at 45 Bleecker Street Theater). Her own adaptations which she directed include: Alba (Gene Frankel Theater), Avalon(Looking Glass Theatre), The Tempest, Measure For Measure, The Snow Queen, Special Delivery, and The Picture of Dorian Gray (The Workshop Theater/MT Works, Robert Moss Theatre). She has also directed regionally in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, New Jersey, Key West, and New Orleans. Regional Credits Include: The Glass Menagerie, Pippin, Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Uncommon Women and Others, Brighton Beach Memoirs, The Lady of Larkspur Lotion, The Effects of Gamma Rays on Man in The Moon, Marigolds, Recovery and Ten Little Indians. Abroad she has directed in London and in Edinburgh (Soccer Moms), Singapore (Others), as well as devised work in Spoleto Italy as part of La Mama, Umbria. Upcoming, she will be devising projects in London (regarding undocumented workers), and again in Singapore (environmental concerns). As a writer she has trained with Erik Ehn (La Mama Umbria playwriting program), Primary Stages, HB Studios, and Labyrinth Master Class. Her play “When The Party’s Over” appeared at Planet Connections in 2015 for which she was nominated for Outstanding Playwright. Her play Other(s) was presented in Singapore at the Esplanade theater. Her adaptations have been presented at The Workshop Theatre, the Gene Frankel Theatre, TADA, The Looking Glass Theater, Robert Moss Theater, and at Terry Scheiber. Ms. Kadigan is a member of the League of Professional Theatre Women which works to promote the visibility of women in the arts.

ERIC MERCADO is a Brooklyn based director and theatre maker whose work includes: The Ape and the Child (Wings Theater), Bomb Shelter (Gene Frankel),Baby Plays the Banjo (45 Bleecker), Open Up (Theater for the New City’s Dream Up Festival), Choking the Butterfly (Ninth Space), Magic 8 Ball (The Brick’s Tiny Theatre Festival), Emilio Williams’ Smartphones (CUNY’s PEN World Voices), In Memory (HERE), Not Without My Gallbladder (Robert Moss – Planet Connections Award for Outstanding Direction), Stone Soup Shakespeare’s As You Like It (Midwest tour), The Scientists (PortFringe, Rochester Fringe, Chicago Fringe), Borrowed From The Sea (La MaMa Puppet Slam), and Fruit of the Sea (PortFringe, Wolfbane Productions Residency). Eric served as Staff Director for Aquila Theatre’s international tour of Macbeth and The Importance of Being Earnest. He is founding member of the collective Merkins, Daniello & Sons and an Artistic Associate of Stone Soup Shakespeare. Eric worked with Glory Kadigan on development of her play When The Party’s Over,which was produced at the Paradise Factory as part of the Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. He holds BFA from NYU Tisch.

MLé CHESTER (Gwen) is a graduate of the two year conservatory program at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. Stage credits include Joe Turner’s Come & Gone,The Women and Roost. She received a nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in Chokehold as part of the 2015 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. She has also appeared on CBS’s Blue Bloods & HBO’s Vinyl.

MATEO MORENO (Crow) – Off Broadway/NYC Theatre credits include: “City of Glass,” “The Pig or Václav Havel’s Hunt for a Pig,” “Five Sandwiches,” “Absynth,” “Fix Number Six (Win: Outstanding Actor in a Featured or Cameo Role – Planet Connections Theatre Festivity).” Film/TV credits include: Hot Damn (AD, Dir. Malik Yoba), The Moose Head over the Mantel, Sublet, Long Time Coming, Clap Your Hands (Sia), Get Better (Mates of State). As a playwright: “Bohemian Valentine,” “Happily After Tonight,” “Within Our Walls.” Currently, Mateo is part of Athena Theatre’s “Athena Writes 2016” and his newest play “Paper Airplanes,” along with others, will be seen at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in May. He is also working with a group of writer/performers on a new web series for Funny or Die and writes reviews for TheArtsWireWeekly.com.”

DIANA OH ​(Marianna) ​creator of {my lingerie play} that culminates into an 80 minute concert-play of her original music featured on People.com, The Huffington Post, Upworthy, Marie Claire Netherlands, at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Lark, and All For One. One of Refinery 29’s Top 14 LGBTQ Influencers, the first Queer Korean-American interviewed on Korean Broadcast Radio, a featured Playwright at the Lark, a Radical Diva Finalist, an Elphaba Thropp Fellow, and one of New York Theatre Now’s Person of the Year. Great big music from the {my lingerie play} band coming soon. The Wall Street Journal and Upworthy call her “bad-ass.”

NEIL TYRONE PRITCHARD (Dan) is a New York Based Actor/Singer/Writer. As an actor, His most recent work has been featured at The Actors Studio, LAByrinth Theater Company, Lincoln Center, Primary Stages, and Atlantic Theater Company. He was also seen at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity in “Chokehold” for which he was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor. His Vocal work has been featured at Rockwood music hall, The National Black Theater, Bowery Poetry Club and The Nuyorican Poets Cafe. He is working on an acoustic Jazz Concept Album Tentatively Titled  Ballad of a Sad Young man. He is currently on staff at the Park avenue Armory where he assists in Bringing Arts Education to public schools throughout the 5 boroughs.

VINNY EDEN ORTEGA (Jim) is a New York City based director/writer/actor. Acting credits include No Entiendo (Pace School of Performing Arts), Gathering Sparks (Theatre Row). Upcoming he will be featured in Drones at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and the webseries The Clowder. Directing and writing credits include More Than Just Skin, (Poetic License Festival), Gathering Sparks (Exploriment Festival-Bangkok, Thailand), HOPELESS: A New Play (Planet Connections Theatre Festivity), 4.48 Psychosis (The Dare Tactic). Assistant directing credits include The Remembrance Project: Bosnia (Nuyorican Poets Café) and Dancing At The Shame Prom (EstroGenius Festival). He currently serves as the Co-Artistic Director of The Dare Tactic www.facebook.com/daretactic

DONNA VIVINO (Jessica)  Broadway/NYC Theatre credits include: “Wicked” (Elphaba)  “Fame Become Me”  (opposite Martin Short), “Hairspray”, “Saturday Night Fever”, “Les Miserables”, “Stars of David”, “Six Passionate Women”. She was also seen in Planet Connections Playwrights For A Cause in the Israel Horovitz World Premiere “Breaking Phillip Glass”.  Film and TV credits include: Sopranos, A Gifted Man, Good Friday, Everyday People, Married To It, My Sassy Girl, and the hit webseries Submissions Only (Serena Maxwell). Her debut solo album Beautiful Dreamer is available on iTunes and Amazon.  Donna is a graduate of Barnard College/Columbia University. Twitter/Instagram: @donnavivino

Experiments Play Reading Series


For the 23rd season of La MaMa Experiments we will focus on theatrical works in progress addressing mental health issues. No one is more familiar with the need to create greater access to mental healthcare than our New York audience, who come face to face with this crisis on a daily basis. After 3 years of a global pandemic, all of us are feeling the upsurge of anxiety and depression, but these trends have been on the rise long before Covid-19. The works this season shed light on important, personal stories and deal with this subject matter in many different and unique ways. From tongue in cheek comedies to absurdist tragedies, Experiments hopes to create a season that will destigmaify, enlighten and, yes, even entertain.

Special Event