Ars Nova presents

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie 

Created by THE MAD ONES 

and PHILLIP JAMES BRANNON, BRAD HEBERLEE,
CARMEN M. HERLIHY & JANUARY LaVOY

Directed by LILA NEUGEBAUER

 

MARCH 26 – MAY 11, 2019

 

 

ABOUT THE SHOW

The creators of a 1970s children’s television program have commissioned a focus group to probe the parents of the show’s target audience. Over stale coffee and donuts, a group of strangers navigates the murky waters of American belief and perception.

 

 

 

The New Yorker • Goings On Around Town

Illustration by Antonio Sortino for The New Yorker

 

Ars Nova presents

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie 

Created by THE MAD ONES 

and PHILLIP JAMES BRANNON, BRAD HEBERLEE,
CARMEN M. HERLIHY & JANUARY LaVOY

Directed by LILA NEUGEBAUER

 

 

 

2018 drama desk award

Nominations: 
Outstanding Music in a Play – Justin Ellington
Outstanding Costume Design for a Play – Ásta Bennie Hostetter

 

The New York Times

“Momentous. Rigorous and ingenious” 

 

The Daily Beast

“Subtle and direct in its wonderful writing and characterization.”

 

NY Magazine/Vulture

“delicate and refreshingly anticlimactic, very funny but joke-free. There’s something both humane and shrewd about the Mad Ones. They tread lightly, but they know right where they’re going.”

 

The Observer

“Engrossing, hilarious and ultimately sobering… The Mad Ones make pressing your nose against the glass a voyeur’s delight.” 

 

Theatermania

“The kind of intricate, quiet comedy that grows more resonant in the hours and days following the curtain call.”

Ars Nova presents

Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie 

Created by THE MAD ONES 

and PHILLIP JAMES BRANNON, BRAD HEBERLEE,
CARMEN M. HERLIHY & JANUARY LaVOY

Directed by LILA NEUGEBAUER

 

 

 

 

THE TEAM

Created by THE MAD ONES and PHILLIP JAMES BRANNON, BRAD HEBERLEE,
                      CARMEN M. HERLIHY & JANUARY LAVOY

Directed by LILA NEUGEBAUER
Scenic Design YOU-SHIN CHEN & LAURA JELLINEK
Costume Design ÁSTA BENNIE HOSTETTER
Lighting Design MIKE INWOOD
Sound Design STOWE NELSON
Prop Design EMMIE FINCKEL & NOAH MEASE
Wig & Makeup Design FRE
Composer JUSTIN ELLINGTON
Dramaturg SARAH LUNNIE
Core Artistic Collaborator RAJA FEATHER KELLY
Casting Consultant LAUREN PORT
Production Stage Manager JOHN C. MOORE
Assistant Stage Manager BRYAN BAUER

 

 

ABOUT THE TEAM

THE MAD ONES are a New York City-based company that creates ensemble-driven work through the ongoing collaboration of co-Artistic Directors Marc Bovino (writer/performer), Joe Curnutte (writer/performer), Stephanie Wright Thompson (writer/performer), Lila Neugebauer (writer/director), and Associate Director Michael Dalto (performer/writer/music director). The Mad Ones’ full-length plays include Miles for Mary (The Bushwick Starr, Playwrights Horizons), The Essential Straight and Narrow (New Ohio Theatre), Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War (The Brick, Ars Nova, New Ohio Theatre), and The Tremendous Tremendous (The Brick), as well as the upcoming Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie (Ars Nova at Greenwich House). The Mad Ones have received multiple Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel Nominations and multiple New York Innovative Theatre Awards. The Mad Ones have been company-in-residence at Ars Nova and were the inaugural recipients of the Archive Residency through New Ohio Theatre/IRT.

BRYAN BAUER (Assistant Stage Manager) Off-Broadway: KPOP (Ars Nova); Slave Play (New York Theatre Workshop); The Things That Were There (The Bushwick Starr); Dance Nation, Miles for Mary, Bella: An American Tall Tale, The Light Years, A Life (Playwrights Horizons); Richard in 9 Poses (Clubbed Thumb); King Liz (Second Stage Theatre). Regional: New York Stage and Film, Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma, Canterbury Chorale Society. Dance: Vail Dance Festival, Oklahoma City Ballet New Dance Alliance. OCU Alum.

MARC BOVINO (Performer/Writer/co-Artistic Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary (Lucille Lortel Outstanding Featured Actor Nominee), The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous, and Inspector Pennywhistle… New York: Be The Death of Me (The Civilians, Irondale Center) Trade Practices, Lush Valley, Rus(h) (HERE). Regional: A Christmas Carol, Dracula (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Uncle Sam’s Satiric Spectacular (Humana Festival), A Christmas Carol (Hartford Stage).

PHILLIP JAMES BRANNON (Performer/Writer) Broadway: JUNK (Lincoln Center). Off-Broadway: The Antipodes (Signature), Tiny Beautiful Things, ToasT (Public), The City of Conversation (Lincoln Center), Nat Turner in Jerusalem, Love and Information, Belleville (NYTW) Log Cabin, BootyCandy (Playwright’s Horizons, OBIE Award), We Are Proud… (Soho Rep). Regional: Dangerous House (Williamstown), Huntington, Wilma, Woolly Mammoth, KC Rep, Steppenwolf, Goodman, Court, Chicago Shakespeare. TV/Film: Servant, The Good Fight, Elementary, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Law & Order: SVU, Contagion. BFA in Acting, DePaul University.

YOU-SHIN CHEN (Co-Scenic Design) is a New York-based scenic designer for performing arts. As a theater practitioner, she is committed to diversity and humanity.  Ars Nova: Memory Retrograde (Maker’s Lab), Underground Railroad Game (Assoc. scenic). Recent theater credits include: Rock-A-Bye (BalletX, Wilma Theater); Eclipsed (Berlind Theatre, inclusion for PQ 19’); UGLY ( the feath3r theory & Bushwick Starr); Emperor’s Nightingale, Acquittal (Pan Asian Rep); The Hollower (New Light Theater Project). youshinchen.com

JOE CURNUTTE (Performer/Writer/co-Artistic Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair, The Tremendous Tremendous, and Inspector Pennywhistle and the Nefarious Case of the Sweet Shop Murder. Also a writer/actor of Unnatural Acts (CSC, multiple Drama Desk nominee). TV: The Get Down (Netflix), American Odyssey (NBC), Person of Interest (CBS), and the upcoming series HALF LIFE. Featured in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption II.

MICHAEL DALTO (Performer/Writer/Associate Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous. Regional: Pride and Prejudice, Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis De Rougemont (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Brink! (Humana Festival), Man of La Mancha, A Christmas Carol, Romeo & Juliet (Virginia Stage Co.), Lemony Snickett’s The Composer is Dead (Virginia Symphony Orchestra), Pericles, Robin Hood (Georgia Shakespeare Festival).

JUSTIN ELLINGTON (Composer) Credits Include: Other Desert Cities, Pass Over, Pipeline (Lincoln Center Theater); The House That Will Not Stand, Fetch Clay Make Man (New York Theatre Workshop); He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box, The Winter’s Tale (Theatre for a New Audience,); Father Comes Home from the Wars, How to Catch Creation, Until The Flood (Goodman Theater); The Comedy of Errors (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Awards include: Grammy Award, ASACP Award, Obie Award.

EMMIE FINCKEL (Co-Prop Design) is scenic and props designer specializing in new work and immersive/sensory design. Recent credits: Riot Antigone (La MaMa), Athena (JACK), Mr. Burns…, The Pillowman (Wesleyan), Mondo Tragic (NBT), Folk Wandering (Props – ART/NY), Rhinoceros, The Wolves (Fieldston), Empire Travel Agency, KPOP (Assoc., Woodshed Collective). Recent assistant credits include productions with David Korins (Hamilton, Dear Evan Hansen). Emmie holds a BA from Wesleyan University and is a member of Woodshed Collective. efinckel.com

ALFREDA “FRE” HOWARD – FACES BY FRE, LLC (Wig & Makeup Design) is making her Off-Broadway debut with Mrs. Murray’s Menagerie. Fre started her own company, Faces By Fre, in 2009 and has had the opportunity to work in wigs and makeup in Philadelphia, New York and abroad. Fre is grateful to her Faces By Fre team, her family, and especially Ásta Bennie Hostetter and everyone at Ars Nova for giving Faces By Fre the opportunity to become the newest part of the family.

BRAD HEBERLEE (Performer/Writer) Most recently appeared in Bess Wohl’s Make Believe at Hartford Stage. Off-Broadway: A Life (Playwrights Horizons), Small Mouth Sounds (Ars Nova), Peter Pan (Bedlam), These Paper Bullets! (Atlantic), This Beautiful City (Vineyard/Civilians), Vanity Fair, The Bald Soprano (Pearl), The Thugs (SoHo Rep). Regional: Yale Rep, Geffen Playhouse, Center Theatre Group, Actors Theatre of Louisville, ART, Huntington, Denver Center, Center Stage. Television: White Collar, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Person Of Interest, Unforgettable. Education: Yale School of Drama.

CARMEN M. HERLIHY (Performer/Writer) Select Credits Include – Theater: Kingdom Come (Roundabout), Top Girls (Huntington Theatre), The Tomb of King Tot (Clubbed Thumb), crooked (Women’s Project; Lucille Lortel Nomination for Outstanding  Lead Actress), The Piano Teacher (Vineyard Theatre); TV:  Mrs. Fletcher, High Maintenance, Madam Secretary; Film: The Trouble with Cali, The Switch, The Rebound, Burn After Reading, Morning Glory, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, My First Kiss and the People Involved; Training: NYU Tisch, RADA, The Public Theater Shakespeare Lab. For Judes.

ÁSTA BENNIE HOSTETTER (Costume Design) With the Mad Ones: Miles for Mary (Playwrights Horizon, Bushwick Starr), The Essential Straight and Narrow (New Ohio). With Ars Nova: The Lucky Ones (Ars Nova). Recent work includes: Usual Girls (Roundabout Underground), Dance Nation (Playwrights Horizon), Bobbie Clearly (Roundabout Underground), Porto (WP Theater), Wolves (Lincoln Center), John (Signature), Men on Boats (Playwrights Horizons), The Terrifying (Abrons Arts Center), 10 out of 12 (Soho Rep). Member of The Mad Ones, minor theater, Target Margin Theater.

MIKE INWOOD (Lighting Design) With Ars Nova: Small Mouth Sounds, Those Lost Boys, What Happened to Bill Viola? With The Mad Ones: Miles For Mary, The Essential Straight and Narrow (American Theatre Wing Hewes Award nominee), The Tremendous Tremendous, Samuel and Alasdair. New York productions with: Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage, Clubbed Thumb, BAM. Regional productions with: Magic Theatre, People’s Light, Arden, Philadelphia Theatre Company, Perseverance Theatre, Boston Lyric Opera, Portland Opera, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival. Awards: Emmy Award (NBC).

LAURA JELLINEK (Co-Scenic Design) Ars Nova: Rags Parkland, Small Mouth Sounds, Jacuzzi. The Mad Ones: The Essential Straight and Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair… Broadway: Oklahoma!, Marvin’s Room. Off-Broad­way: Mary Page Marlowe (2ST); Mary Jane (NYTW, Lortel nomination); Queens, The Wolves (LCT); A Life (Playwrights Horizons, Lortel & Hewes Awards); The Treasurer, Marjorie Prime (Playwrights); The Antipodes, Everybody (Signature); Sea Wall/ A Life (Public). Regional: Yale, OSF, Williamstown. Opera: OTSL, Boston Lyric, Opera Philadelphia, Atlanta Opera. OBIE for Sustained Excellence.

RAJA FEATHER KELLY (Core Artistic Collaborator). Ars Nova: I, I Am A Dancer; Church of the Holy Glory. Other Credits: If Pretty Hurts Ugly Must be a Mothafuck, A Strange Loop (Playwrights) Funnyhouse of a Negro, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Everybody (Signature); Fairview (Soho Rep)  Lempicka (Williamstown Theatre Festival); The House That Will Not Stand, Hurricane Diane (NYTW) Awards: SDCF Breakout Award, Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist at NYLA (2019-20).

JANUARY LaVOY (Performer/Writer) Broadway: ENRON. Off-Broadway: Wakey, Wakey, Funnyhouse of a Negro, Two Trains Running, Home(Signature); Measure for Measure (TFANA); Wings (2ST); Coraline (MCC). Selected Regional: Native Guard (Alliance Theatre), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Mark Taper Forum), Benny & Joon (Old Globe), Good People (Pittsburgh Public), A Streetcar Named Desire, Lobby Hero, The Merchant of Venice (Denver Center). TV: Blue Bloods, Law & Order, Noelle Ortiz on One Life to Live. VO: 200+ audiobooks, multiple Audie Awards. januarylavoy.com.

SARAH LUNNIE (Dramaturg) has been a Mad One since the company’s inception. Broadway: Heidi Schreck’s What The Constitution Means to Me (also NYTW, Clubbed Thumb), Lucas Hnath’s Hillary and Clinton and A Doll’s House, Part 2. NYC: Miles For Mary (Playwrights Horizons, Bushwick Starr), The Essential Straight & Narrow (New Ohio), and Samuel & Alasdair… (New Ohio, The Brick), all with The Mad Ones, and Washed Up On The Potomac (The Pool). Regional: Human Error (Denver Center), Humana Festival premieres of The Christians, The Hour of Feeling, O Guru Guru Guru, Death Tax and Under Construction.

NOAH MEASE (Co-Prop Design) Ars Nova: The Lucky Ones, Small Mouth Sounds, Futurity (with Soho Rep.), Charlatan, Jacuzzi, Eager to Lose. Broadway: Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812 (also: Kazino, A.R.T). Off-Broadway: Oklahoma! (St. Ann’s), Slave Play, Light Shining in Buckinghamshire, Hadestown (NYTW), He Brought Her Heart Back in a Box (TFANA), School Girls… (MCC), After the Blast (LCT3), John (Signature – Obie Award), An Octoroon (Soho Rep., TFANA). Noah is a current member of Ars Nova’s Play Group.

JOHN C. MOORE (Production Stage Manager) Ars Nova: Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future, KPOP, Sundown, Yellow Moon. Off-Broadway: Miles for Mary (Playwrights Horizons), Log Cabin (Playwrights Horizons), A Life (Playwrights Horizons), Antlia Pneumetica (Playwrights Horizons), Marjorie Prime(Playwrights Horizons), The Christians (Playwrights Horizons)

STOWE NELSON (Sound Design) Off-Broadway: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair (Drama Desk Nom, The Mad Ones); Small Mouth Sounds (Lortel Nom, Ars Nova); queens, The Wolves (Lincoln Center Theater); Animal Wisdom (Bushwick Starr). Regional Theatre: Kings (Studio); Artney Jackson (Williamstown); Peter Pan (Bard Summerscape); Evocation to Visible Appearance, Marginal Loss (Actors Theatre of Louisville, Humana Festival).  Stowe mixed Season 3 of the Serial podcast and is currently the Production Manager for This American Life.  More info: wingspace.com/stowe.

LILA NEUGEBAUER (Director/Writer/co-Artistic Director) Broadway: The Waverly Gallery. Recent Off-Broadway: At Home at the Zoo,  The Antipodes, Everybody, Signature Plays (The Sandbox, Drowning and Funnyhouse of a Negro), The Wayside Motor Inn (Signature Theatre); Mary Page Marlowe (Second Stage); The Wolves, After the Blast, Kill Floor (Lincoln Center Theater); Peace For Mary Frances (The New Group). With The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary (Playwrights Horizons), Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Essential Straight and Narrow. Television: Room 104. OBIE, Drama Desk and Princess Grace Award winner.

LAUREN PORT, CSA (Casting Consultant) Also for Ars Nova: Be a Good Little Widow; Sundown, Yellow Moon (with WP).  Recent Off Broadway: The Play Company; Atlantic Stage 2.  Select Regional: Two Trains Running (Seattle Rep/Arena Stage); Heisenberg; Disgraced (Pittsburgh Public). With Caparelliotis Casting: Current B’way: King Lear; Hillary and Clinton. Select Broadway: The Waverly Gallery; Meteor Shower; Three Tall Women; A Doll’s House, Part 2; The Glass Menagerie; Fish in the Dark; Disgraced; Fences. Also: Signature, Old Globe, Goodman and others. Film/TV: “New Amsterdam” (NBC), “American Odyssey” (NBC), “Steel Magnolias” (Sony for Lifetime).

STEPHANIE WRIGHT THOMPSON (Performer/Writer/co-Artistic Director) The Mad Ones: Miles for Mary, The Essential Straight & Narrow, Samuel & Alasdair: A Personal History of the Robot War, The Tremendous Tremendous. Other credits: The Messenger (Clubbed Thumb), The Subtle Body (59E59), The Hatmaker’s Wife (Playwrights Realm), Mission Drift (The TEAM), Habit (PS122), The Bird and the Two-Ton Weight (EST), Have You Seen Steve Steven? (13P). Regional: Six Years and Neon Mirage (Humana Festival), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Actors Theatre of Louisville)