* * * PLAYBILL * * *
Webcast - March 21, 2016 at 7:30p ET
(pre-show login and warm up at ~7:15p)
Taking Sides: The Casting Combat Show℠
They Act. You Vote. Everybody Wins!
Taking Sides℠, the world’s first theatrical reality competition show where actors compete and the audience is the casting director - webcast live.
Created, Written and Produced by:
R. Michael Frenchman
This week’s monologue is derived from:
A Doll's House
by Henrik Ibsen
Performed in competition
Henrietta Weekes Ashley Antwi
Karen Crowe Sarah Heddins
Webcasting Director: Associate Producer & Showrunner:
Michael Frenchman Paula D’Alessandris
Original Music by: Show Titles by:
Joel Little Netalie Halali
Production Crew: Joel Little, Jordy Deleon, Jessica Tezen
Studio Audience: tba
Who’s Who with the show:
Henrietta Weekes is an actor, writer and producer of events, happenings, gatherings, talks, readings, theater and shows. She starred in the “Thing Thing” comedy series. She is a devotee of anthropology, ecology, literature and the arts, esotericism and bohemia. She is currently mesmerized by the rapid planetary transition - how we change in relation to this consumes her waking and sleeping thoughts. She also turns her hand to fiction and is working on the creation of an alter ego character that seeks to lift the heavy veils of illusion with satire and total compassion. Originally from London, she studied at University of Manchester. Henrietta is a frequent webinar host for the human consciousness organization, Evolver Learning Lab. She now lives in NYC.
Dr. M. Karen Crowe moved from her birthplace of Wichita, Kansas to New York where she earned her PhD in English at NYU. She went on to teach at Wagner College and SUNY’s Nassau Community College. In 1984, she left academia to travel across the Atlantic via 30’ sloop to London and back to New York (by airplane) in 1995. With a murder mystery still in progress, she has, among other things, taken on writing monologue segments – including for The Diaries of Adam and Eve and A Doll’s House - for Taking Sides with her writer/producer husband Michael Frenchman. She is not in Kansas anymore.
Winner of the February 22 Taking Sides round, Ashley lives in The Bronx with her family and is a recent college graduate from SUNY Oneonta. She has been performing in various theatre productions since high school. Her credits include leading roles in Nāgamandala and Clybourne Park. Currently, she performs with The Director’s Company’s S.T.A.R. Program (Serving Teens through Arts Resources). Ashley is very excited to be a part of Taking Sides!
Sarah Heddins, Taking Sides winner on the March 7 show, is a professional actress who currently calls Philadelphia home. She moved from Texas after earning her BFA in Performance from the University of Houston. A few of her favorite past roles include: Laertes "Hamlet", Cherie "Bus Stop", Agnes White "Bug", Hal "Proof", Sabrina "Sabrina Fair", and Kelly/Alex in the World Premiere of "Tomato/Tomåto". Sarah is also an Actor Combatant through the SAFD, certified in Unarmed, Single Sword, and Quarterstaff. She is currently in performances for "Talk Radio" and is in rehearsals for an upcoming production of "Macbeth" in the early summer. When she is not in rehearsals, Sarah enjoys taking long walks with her dog Snoopy and practicing Yoga. She is really looking forward to being on Taking Sides!
Fiona Walsh is an actress, comic, writer, producer, blah blah! And now the winner of the March 14 Taking Sides show. She trained at the prestigious Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin under the tutelage of Joe Dowling (AD at the Guthrie Theater). In London she appeared in television on shows for BBC, LWT and Carlton television. Her credits on screen include The Commitments and The Education of Max Bickford (working with one of her favorite actors, Richard Dreyfuss) along with many indie films and foreign TV shows. Favorite stage roles include Nellie Nora in Eclipsed at the Irish Repertory Theatre, Moya in The Shaughraun (also at the Rep) Sister Impartial in Celtic Tiger (me arse!) at the Irish Arts Center and The Yellow Peril in Da at the Guthrie, directed by Doug Hughes. Most recently she appeared in Mind the Gap Theatre Company’s production of Brit Bits 5 at Manhattan Theater Source. She also did the Mondays in May reading series of Origin Theatre Company’s “Pump Girl” as well as a “Celebration of Brian Friel” at the Irish Arts Center. Most recently she was back on stage with Alan Bennett’s “Talking Heads” with Mind the Gap where she played Celia. You can learn even more about Fiona at Fiona will perform her solo show - Great White American Teeth - a true story about Ireland, America, Warren Beatty and glitter! at Penguin Rep - Stony Brook NY end of April. Details at penguinrep.org
Michael Frenchman, Producer/Webcast Director:
Michael Frenchman is a former scientist turned (Buckminster Fuller-trained) designer turned award-winning videographer/producer now turned impresario. He is President of Videograf, the parent of VGrafLive. Michael designed, built and directs the “More With Less” VgrafLive webcasting facility within his Videograf studio to support and bring emerging performing talent and new intelligent works in the Arts & Science to global audiences in an intimate and interactive style. He lives only a few feet away from the VGrafLive studio portion of his loft in Manhattan with his writer-wife Karen Crowe without whose constant support and frequent technical assistance the show would not go on.
Paula D’Alessandris, Associate Producer/Showrunner:
Paula D’Alessandris is a New York City theatrical producer and director. She is the founder/Artistic Director of Mind the Gap Theatre Company producing plays by and about the British. Besides having her own productions performed in NYC and around the world, she and her company collaborate on projects with VgrafLive including the 2015 Brit Bits 8 series in which she produced 17 new short plays featuring 20 actors. Paula is thrilled to be working with Michael and the team at VGrafLive and is excited about this new venture.
Joel Little, Music and lead technical crewmember:
Joel is a musician and composer, actor, multi-faceted lighting and all-around technical talent and a former City-As-School intern with Videograf. He has been the musical director and lighting designer and director for all previous VGrafLive shows including Brit Bits 8. His music may be found at:
Jordy Deleon, camera, video playback:
Jordy, a volunteer crewmember, has already operated VGrafLive’s six remote control cameras, lights and stage monitor video playback. He is an Entertainment Technology major at CUNY’s NYC College of Technology. He is a freelance videographer.
Jessica Tezen, audio:
Jessica, a new volunteer crewmember, has taken on Taking Side’s multiple wireless and wired microphone set up. She is a professional freelance audio engineer with her own recording studio in Brooklyn: www.atruthproduction.com. She has interests in theatre and poetry. “I love music and the power it has to reach and unite different cultures. Music is truly a universal language and it is a blessing to be a part of the process.”
Netalie Halali, Title Animation and Graphics:
Netalie is a Motion Graphics Designer currently living in Israel. Taking her B.A. in film making from Seminar Hakibutzim College in Tel Aviv, Israel, she studied at Pratt Institute, New York, which included an internship with VGrafLive where she created program animations and graphics.
VGrafLive profusely thanks all the volunteer crewmembers and especially the Studio Audience Members whose voluntary presence gives the production its live-theatre electricity.
A gallery of all Taking Sides contestants and their achievements