Published on March 1, 2023 | SI Advance | Written by Carol Ann Benanti
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Sundog Theatre’s “Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2023″ will be presented March 4 to March 12 at New Dorp Moravian Church Theatre.
“Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry” is Sundog Theatre’s 21st annual presentation of six new, one-act plays about everyone’s favorite boats — the Staten Island Ferry. All six brand new comedies perform each evening.
Through Sundog Theatre’s annual call for original, never-before-produced plays, playwrights from all over submitted scripts that incorporated this year’s theme of comedy.
Says Sundog’s Executive Director Susan Fenley, “Everyone has been through a lot during the past few years, and we truly need to laugh. That is why we wanted the plays to incorporate humor.”
Four readers choose six of the nearly 70 submissions for a financial award and a staged production.
Directors for “Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2023″ are Barbara Brandt, Craig Stoebling, Ken Tirado, Karen O’Donnell, Jenny Kelly, and Kate Durgin.
Producer is Susan Fenley, set/stage designer is Stephen Fehr, production stage manager is Margaret Grace, with graphic design by Sam Vega.
Sundog Theatre’s “Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2023″ winning selections:
“Background” by Alice Burke, directed by Barbara Brandt and featuring Clara Charles, Benedetta Spinetti and Staten Islander Matthew Gilleece.
The playwright was born and raised on Long Island, attended college at SUNY Potsdam, and earned a degree in TV Productions. She worked at CBS in Manhattan, married and moved out of state.
With her three boys now on their own, Alice and her husband moved back to the house where she was raised. Her brother Scott Mullen, who previously had work produced by Sundog, inspired her to write. “Background” is Alice’s first play.
“A Crappy Situation” by Michael Busani, directed by Islander Jenny Kelly featuring Merwin Gomes and Islander Tamara Lechner.
Busani is an NYC-based playwright. He has had pieces performed at various Off-Broadway venues, including SoHo Playhouse and Players Theatre. For the past six years, he has served as artistic director for the Off-Beat Players, a non-profit theater company for young adults with intellectual disabilities. When not writing, Michael can be found performing comedy at Broadway Comedy Club and the Brooklyn Comedy Collective.
“Fairy Tale” by William Robert Carey, directed by Kate Durgin featuring Islanders Miranda Coplin and Peter Gilleece.
Since receiving a bachelor of arts degree from Northwestern University, Carey has worked as writer, actor, director, and producer. He wrote and directed the film, “Jesus in Cowboy Boots,” inspired by his novel of that name. His play about the relationship between a parent and transgender child, Daniel/Danielle, won the 2019 Scribe Play Competition for Playwriting Excellence. Carey’s memoir, “How NOT to Make a Movie: An Independent Filmmaker in Hollywood Hell,” was published by McFarland.
“Between You and Me and the Staten Island Ferry” by Cathleen Freedman, directed by Staten Islander Craig Stoebling, and featuring Islanders Brittany Daniels and Anne Young.
Freedman is from Houston, Texas. With a double major in political science and film and television, she graduated summa cum laude from the Honors Program at Fordham University in New York City. She previously graduated from the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. Freedman is a published fiction author and poet whose dramatic work has been read off-off-Broadway, at the Kennedy Center, and internationally.
“Ernest and Haley Take the Staten Island Ferry” by Barbara Litt, directed by Karen O’Donnell and featuring Islanders Rebecca Quilla and Nathan Ullrich.
Litt began writing at Sarah Lawrence, then The Writers Voice, Hunter College. Her plays have been performed in NYC, PA, and Mexico. She is a member of Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity, and SAG-AFTRA, and is also a retired teacher. She follows the wisdom of a former North Carolina State basketball coach: everyday she strives to laugh, think, and have emotions that bring her to tears. She is grateful to have found her ability to write.
Eine Kleine Gigue (A Little Dance) by Carmen Tunis, directed by Islander Ken Tirado featuring Izzy Munsch and Fletcher Michael.
As a copywriter, blogger or in her marketing career of 30 plus years, Tunis has had many creative writing assignments. She’s been on the reading committee for the New Works Festival in her area. As an actor in theatre and film for over 20 years, she appreciates a good script. Eine Kleine Gigue is the third play she has written in 2022. Her one act, “Dad, Dad,” was produced at The Long Beach Playhouse in Calif. in March 2022.
Performances of “Scenes from the Staten Island Ferry 2023″ are March 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 — Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. at New Dorp Moravian Church Theatre, 2205 Richmond Rd.
Tickets ($18, $20) are on sale now. To purchase tickets for live or streaming performances, visit www.sundogtheatre.org or pay cash at the door. All performances will be ASL interpreted.
ABOUT SUNDOG THEATRE
Formed in 2002, Sundog Theatre has been presenting original and contemporary theater for 21 years. The arts company is unique on Staten Island in that it has multiple facets: Sundog presents in-school arts programming rooted in theatre, visual arts, dance, music, and literacy to students in kindergarten through high school in over 50 New York City’s schools and community organizations. The Theatre also offers acting classes year-round for children ages 9 to 17 and it tours educational productions yearly.
For further information visit www.SundogTheatre.org or phone 718 816-5453.