PRESENT THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
WRITTEN BY BONI B. ALVAREZ
DIRECTED BY JON LAWRENCE RIVERA
SCENIC DESIGN: ALEX CALLE
LIGHTING DESIGN: AZRA KING-ABADI
SOUND DESIGN: JOHN ZALEWSKI
COSTUME DESIGN: MYLETTE NORA
PROJECTION DESIGN: DAVID MURAKAMI
PROPS: MICHAEL O'HARA
STAGE MANAGER: VERONICA VASQUEZ
CASTING: RAUL CLAYTON STAGGS
INTIMACY DIRECTOR: JOY DEMICHELLE YSAGUIRRE
PUBLICIST: JUDITH BORNE
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS: TYREE MARSHALL, CEDES SIFUENTES
PRODUCERS: GARY GROSSMAN, JON LAWRENCE RIVERA
OPENING NIGHT: MARCH 12, 2022
While I enjoy a tasty meal out, a surprising night at the theater, an impromptu jaunt to the bar, I really enjoy my time alone at home. But the forced isolation of the pandemic played games with my head. In between bouts of bingeing television and Zooming, I was forced to take inventory of my life, including the people in it – the people who no longer participated in it, those currently in it, and those missing from it.
APARTMENT LIVING deals with the reckonings the pandemic forced us into. We meet these characters in March of 2020, on the precipice of lockdown and watch them navigate the subsequent self-spring cleaning that this crisis demanded of us.
I am thankful for Jon and Playwrights’ Arena & Gary and Skylight for their continued belief in my voice. An abundance of gratitude to this adventurous cast, talented design team, and tireless crew. And lastly, much gratitude to you, our audience, for being here and helping lift Los Angeles theater from the tumult of these pandemical times.
- Boni B. Alvarez -
ALEX .................GABRIEL LEYVA
WHITE LADY.................RACHEL SORSA
Place: Los Angeles, California.
“APARTMENT LIVING" is performed without intermission.
Actors employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association.
GABRIEL LEYVA (Alex) Born and raised on Ponce, Puerto Rico. Gabriel Leyva graduated in 2013 with an Acting Major BA in Theater from the University of Puerto Rico. The island native was a cast member of the Puerto Rico Traveling Company, and other companies where he played Don Quixote and such classics as the celebrated play Cruel World. In 2019 Leyva graduated with a Masters in Fine Arts from USC School of Dramatic Arts. As 2020 rolled by, he was a cast member in the A Noise Within Theater production; Alice in Wonderland, and a cast member in Amazon Prime's Origen of Juanes.
GERI-NIKOLE LOVE (Mayisha) has a BFA in Theatre from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. Since graduating, she became a co-founder of The Movement Theatre Company and has performed in various plays in New York City; Carlisle: a different Three Sisters (La Mama), Black Boy & the War (Harlem School of the Arts) and is a proud Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA member. She has starred in multiple Lifetime Movie Network Films and Independent Features (Downshift), New Media; (Livin' The Dream) and has been featured on Network TV (Fantasy Island, Westworld, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D and Lethal Weapon). Love and Thanks to my Mom, Peter & Milo.
CHARRELL MACK (Cassandra) is making her Skylight Theatre debut and is thrilled to be a part of Boni Alvarez new play Apartment Living. She recently worked with The Echo Theater Company as Rebel in Ascension directed by Ahmed Best. She studied Theatre Performance at The University of Southern California, where she received a MFA and starred in productions like Othello as Desdemona, Motherf**ker with the Hat as Veronica and more. She also premiered her first short film, Retreat, last year along with her graduating cohort as a part of The School of Dramatic Arts new program. She looks forward to all that 2022 is going to bring.
GIGETTE REYES (Easter) was born and raised in the Philippines. She has lived in California for a total of 25 years. Gigette has been a member of the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA--a theatrical association of artists and educators and the UNESCO International Theater Institute Center in the Philippines) since 1978 and has done numerous plays with this theater group as well as other top professional theater groups in the Philippines. To view her television and film credits, visit: imdb.me/gigette.reyes. Gigette has had to put aside her first love, the stage, for years and is now ecstatically looking forward to a happy reunion.
ANDREW RUSSEL (Dixon) (He/Him/His) hails from the small town of Apex, North Carolina. A recently-moved California resident, he has thus far enjoyed his time in this beautiful state. Prior to the pandemic, Andrew graduated with a BFA in Acting at Montclair State University. Since graduating, Andrew has had the opportunity to perform in various projects in the East Coast. He is proudly represented by UGA Talent. To view more of Andrew's work, visit his website at Andrewrussel.actor
RACHEL SORSA (White Lady) is thrilled to take the stage with this incredible company of artists. Previous Playwrights’ Arena productions include: Helen in Helen; Emma/Mother (Ovation Nomination Best Featured Actress) in Billy Boy; empress in Cinnamon Girl. Other works: with Del Shores; Bethany Blaylock in This Side Of Crazy (Ovation Nomination Best Featured Actress) and Kate in Yellow (LADCC winner). As Rosemary Clooney (BroadwayWorld nomination Best Lead Actress Musical) in Tenderly. Companies: Center Theatre Group, North Coast Rep., Georgia Ensemble Theatre, LGBT Center, Mainstreet Theatre, member Rogue Machine. TV: Home For Christmas, Netflix; Veneno, HBO Max. www.rachelsorsa.com Thank you for supporting live theatre!
TYREE MARSHALL(understudy Cassandra) is an Actor and Producer originally from New Jersey. Tyree had studied dance for 16 years when she discovered acting when she was in high school. She would then go on to study at California Institute of The Arts where she earned her BFA in Acting and a certificate from the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford with Yale School of Drama. Tyree has since been pursuing in an acting career in Los Angeles with her latest theater credits including Love Is Another Country (Coin&Ghost), Gone (Inkwell), and #Becklandiscancelled (IAMA). As a producer, Tyree is currently an Artistic Associate of Play Development at Skylight Theatre Company. She will also be making her television debut in 2022.
BONI B.ALVAREZ (Playwright) is a Los Angeles-based actor-playwright. His plays include America Adjacent, Bloodletting, Fixed, Nicky, Dallas Non-Stop, Dusty de los Santos, Driven, Refuge for a Purple Heart, and Ruby, Tragically Rotund. His plays have been produced at Center Theatre Group - Kirk Douglas Theatre, Echo Theater Company, Coeurage Theatre Company, Skylight Theatre Company, Theatre Rhinoceros, and Playwrights’ Arena. He is an alum of the CTG Writers’ Workshop, Echo Writer’s Lab, Humanitas Play LA, Moving Arts’ MADlab, the CBS Writers Mentoring Program and the Geffen Playhouse Writers’ Room. He is currently in Skylight Theatre’s Skylab and a Resident Playwright of New Dramatists.
JON LAWRENCE RIVERA (Director/Producer, Artistic Director - Playwrights' Arena) is the recipient of the first Career Achievement Award from Stage Raw. Directing credits include the following world premieres for Playwrights' Arena: A Hit Dog Will Holler by Inda Craig-Galván (co-produced with Skylight Theatre), March: A Parking Lot Play (co-produced with the Los Angeles LGBT Center), Southernmost by Mary Lyon Kamitaki, Baby Eyes by Donald Jolly, I Go Somewhere Else by Inda Craig-Galván, Bloodletting by Boni B. Alvarez (also at Kirk Douglas Theatre), The End Times by Jesse Mu-En Shao, Little Women by Velina Hasu Houston, The Hotel Play written by Paula Cizmar, Velina Hasu Houston, Jennifer Maisel, Nahal Navidar, Julie Oni, Janine Salinas Schoenberg and Laurie Woolery (performed in an actual hotel), @TheSpeedofJake by Jennifer Maisel, Circus Ugly by Gabriel Rivas Gomez, Painting In Red by Luis Alfaro, Cinnamon Girl by Velina Hasu Houston and Nathan Wang (also at the 2nd Beijing University International Musical Theater Festival 2014), Dallas Non-Stop by Boni B. Alvarez, The Anatomy of Gazellas by Janine Salinas Schoenberg, Girl Most Likely To by Michael Premrirat, Bonded by Donald Jolly and Euripides' Helen by Nick Salamone (at the Getty Villa). Other recent work includes: Anna In The Tropics by Nilo Cruz at Open Fist Theater, America Adjacent by Boni B. Alvarez, and Obama-ology by Aurin Squire at Skylight Theatre; The Joy Luck Club by Susan Kim, The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, and Criers for Hire by Giovanni Ortega at East West Players; Honeymoon in Vegas by Jason Robert Brown and A Class Act by Ed Kleban for Musical Theatre Guild; Bingo Hall by Dillon Chitto, Fairly Traceable by Mary Kathryn Nagle, and Stand-Off At HWY #37 by Vickie Ramirez for Native Voices at the Autry (also at the University of South Dakota) and the landmark Los Angeles Premiere of Dogeaters by Jessica Hagedorn at SIPA and Kirk Douglas Theatre. Rivera is the recipient of a NY Fringe Festival Award for directing Hillary Agonistes, an LA Weekly Award for directing Sea Change, and 5 Ovation Award nominations.
GARY GROSSMAN (Producer, Producing Artistic Director - Skylight Theatre Company) is the recipient of Stage Raw's 2016 Career Achievement Award and the inaugural Henry Ong Award for Leadership in the Los Angeles Theatre Community. His career began in New York, owning two theaters and a theatrical lighting company by the age of 23. Gary worked at the Public Theatre, Café La Mama, and Sheraton Square Playhouse before joining Los Angeles’ emerging theatre movement in the 70's. Producing over 300 stage plays and more than 65 world premieres, some of his celebrated productions are Rotterdam (3 LADCC Awards including Best Production and 2 Stage Raw Awards- performed at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theatre in 2019), World Premieres of Church & State (Off-Broadway 2017, over 50 national productions), The Wrong Man (Off-Broadway 2019, 14 New York Award nominations, 3 Ovation Awards), Bronco Billy – The Musical (2 Ovation Awards), Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (Steinberg/National Theatre Critics Citation with Lower Depth Ensemble), El Grande CIRCUS de Coca- Cola, Obama-ology, Pray To Ball (Ovation Award), Years to the Day, Hermetically Sealed, Bullrusher, Mad Women (LA Weekly Award), AIDS/ US Portraits In Courage, America Adjacent, The Madres, Hostage, Never Is Now, and the 2020 L.A. Times Critics Choice West Adams.
TYREE MARSHALL (Associate Producer, Beyond Conversation Coordinator) is an Actor and Producer originally from New Jersey. Tyree had studied dance for 16 years when she discovered acting when she was in high school. She would then go on to study at California Institute of The Arts where she earned her BFA in Acting and a certificate from the British American Dramatic Academy in Oxford with Yale School of Drama. Tyree has since been pursuing in an acting career in Los Angeles with her latest theater credits including Love Is Another Country (Coin&Ghost), Gone (Inkwell), and #Becklandiscancelled (IAMA). As a producer, Tyree is currently an Artistic Associate of Play Development at Skylight Theatre Company. She will also be making her television debut in 2022.
SKYLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY is recognized as a“powerhouse of new play development” by Dramatist Magazine and as “a leader in play development" by the L.A. Times. In just the last four years, two plays originating at Skylight have been performed Off Broadway, The Wrong Man (14 New York Award nominations), and Church & State (50+ productions in 31 states). In 2017, Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea (a co-production with Lower Depth Theatre Ensemble) received the prestigious Steinberg American Theatre Critics Association Citation. In 2019, Center Theatre Group remounted their multiple award-winning production of Rotterdam at the Kirk Douglas Theatre as a part of Block Party. The production won the 2018 Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Production, and awards for Writing and Lead Actress. It also received top honors at the 2018 Stage Raw Awards, winning Production of the Year and Leading Actress awards. More at skylighttheatre.org
PLAYWRIGHTS' ARENA is dedicated to discovering, nurturing and producing bold new works for the stage written exclusively by Los Angeles playwrights. It develops new materials through several series of readings, workshops and round table discussions. Local playwrights are encouraged to create original, adventurous, daring materials with the intent of challenging the mind, touching the heart and provoking the spirit. Playwrights' Arena was founded in 1992 by Jon Lawrence Rivera and Steve Tyler. For more information, script submission policy and production history go to playwrightsarena.org
ALEX CALLE (Scenic Design) has designed award winning work for Film, Television, Theater, Themed Entertainment, Theme Parks, and Public Art Installations all over the world. TOURS: Barbra Streisand: The Music, The Mem'ries, The Magic (2019) THEMED ENTERTAINMENT: Branding Icons (Galaxy Macau), Dreamworks attractions (Dubai Parks Motiongate Theme park) [THEA Award]. Crane Dance; 70-million-dollar Branding Icon (RWS Singapore) [THEA Award]. FILM: Blue’s Clues: Broadway Dreams (2022), Pirates of the Caribbean II & III. TV: 2 MTV Movie Awards, Starz’s Magic City. THEATRICAL: California Shakes, Eugene O’Neill, Florida Stage, Celebration Theater, Garry Marshall Theater, Odyssey Theatre, Princess Cruises. Alex serves as CEO of hiddenlemons, a creative development firm based in LA. CalArts (BFA Scenic Design), USC’s Marshall School of Business (EMBA).
AZRA KING-ABADI (Lighting Design) has recently designed Poor Clare with Echo Theatre, after it failed to open in March 2020. She had the opportunity to design several streamed concerts with LA Opera Connects. Prior works include Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time and The Color Purple with Greenway Court Theatre, Women Beyond Borders with Rubicon Theatre, The Ridiculous Darkness with Son of Semele, Under Milk Wood, andVendetta Chromewith Coeurage Theatre, Lunatics and Actors with Four Clowns, Madama Butterfly with Opera Santa Barbara, Alexander’s Feast with LA Master Chorale, Wonderful Town with LA Opera, Angels in America operawith the LA Philharmonic. More at: azrakingabadi.com
DAVID MURAKAMI (Projection Design) Local productions include Luis Valdez’ Zoot Suit and Valley of the Heart at the Mark Taper Forum, Bronco Billy at Skylight Theatre, Singin’ in the Rain with McCoy Rigby, and Gordon Getty’s Scare Pair with LA Opera. Other design credits include Minnesota Opera’s Das Rheingold, Elektra, and Flight; Opera Parallèle's Dead Man Walking, Champion, Les Enfants Terribles, Heart of Darkness, and Little Prince; and productions with Princess Cruises, Riyadh Season, Opéra de Montréal, San Jose Repertory Theater, SFJazz, LINES Ballet, Arizona Opera, Grand Rapids Symphony, and South Coast Repertory. David also teaches projection design at the University of California, Irvine. More at: davidmurakami.com
MYLETTE NORA (Costume Design) is an Ovation Award and NAACP Theatre Award recipient for best costumes, listed in the honors edition of The Cambridge Registry of Who’s Who Among Executive and Professional Women, works world wide consists of television, film, video and stage, and was seen nightly on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and now You Bet Your Life with Jay Leno and Kevin Eubanks, and weekly on Jay Leno's Garage. The famed artist Synthia St. James noted Mylette as being the inspiration for her world renowned painting Ensemble which graced the cover of the best selling novel Waiting To Exhale by Terry McMillan. Mylette's designer lines are, doggie wear, FromTheHeartDoggieWear.com, heirloom dolls, My Mind's Eye, and now face mask by, Mylette!
MICHAEL O'HARA (Properties Design) is excited to return to the Skylight as props designer. In addition to Skylight, his work has appeared on stage at Celebration Theatre, Circle X, East West Players, the Blank, Theatre of NOTE, Coeurage Theatre, The Road Theatre, the Garry Marshall, IAMA Theatre, Sacred Fools, and Artists at Play to name a few. He was also the original Props Designer for four shows at CTG’s Block Party (Failure: A Love Story - 2017; Die, Mommie, Die - 2018; Rotterdam - 2019; Canyon - 2020).
RAUL CLAYTON STAGGS (Casting Director) is a freelance casting director thrilled to be working in live theatre again! Previous Playwrights’ Arena projects include Las Mujeres Del Mar, The End Of Beauty, and I Go Somewhere Else. Previous Skylight Theatre Company projects include West Adams, Never Is Now, America Adjacent and Rotterdam. Raul is a 2018 Recipient of Playwrights’ Arena’s Lee Melville Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Los Angeles Theatre Community.
VERONICA VASQUEZ (Stage Manager) Veronica Vasquez started as an Assistant Stage Manager for Malibu Playhouse's production of Love Letters with Sam Elliot & Katherine Ross and for for The Musical Theatre Guild's production of The Pajama Game. Veronica has previously worked with Center Stage Opera, Chromolume Theatre, Outdoor Voices Festival, and Hero Theatre. Veronica first gig as a Stage Manager was with the Playwrights' Arena's @thespeedofJake and is glad to continue to work with them.
JOY DEMICHELLE YSAGUIRRE (Intimacy Director) is an intimacy director, actor and trauma informed cultural sensitivity specialist who recently completed intimacy direction for Theatre Horizon, PICT Theatre and Williamette University, She will appear on stage in Natasha Gordon’s US premier of Nine Night at the Roundhouse Theatre. EDUCATION: BFA, North Carolina A&T State University and MFA, Rutgers University: Mason Gross School of the Arts. As an actress she most recently performed at South Coast Rep, Mark Taper Forum; HULU’s upcoming production of Iron Mike, Snowfall, For the People, and The L Word: Generation Q to name a few. Her memberships include: Intimacy Coordinators of Color (ICOC), SAG-AFTRA, AEA and Women of Color Unite (WOCU). More at: actingwithintimacy.com
JOHN ZALEWSKI (Sound and Musical Design) He’s designed sound and music-soundscape hybrids for live performance over the past couple of decades based from Long Beach and is a member of Latino Theater Company (and Brazilian!). INTERNATIONAL: The Day Shall Declare It, site specific immersive in London and Los Angeles with Wilderness.
REGIONAL: Goodman, IL (Destiny of Desire), Guthrie, MN (A Steady Rain; Destiny of Desire), Arena Stage, DC (Destiny of Desire; Hold These Truths), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, OR (Destiny of Desire; Macbeth) Portland Center Stage, OR (I Love to Eat; Hold These Truths), Pasadena Playhouse (The Father; Belleville); South Coast Repertory (Dead Man’s Cellphone; Destiny of Desire; The Scarlet Letter), Actor’s Theater Humana Festival, KY (At the Vanishing Point), San Diego Rep (Hold These Truths) Perseverance Theatre, AK (Hold These Truths; Silent Sky), Alliance Theatre, GA (A Steady Rain), Cherry Lane/Theater Planners, NY (Mayakovsky and Stalin) Disney Hall (The Composer is Dead), Geffen (War Music), Center Theater Group (The Nether; Women Laughing Alone with Salad) East West Players (M.Butterfly, Vietgone), The Getty Villa (La Olla; Antigone Project) Broad Stage (My Moby Dick), Wallis Annenberg Center (The Revisionist), Rattlestick, NY (AZAK at Gym at Judson; What Happened When). LOS ANGELES: Lewis Family Playhouse (And Then They Came for Me); Boston Court (Everything You Touch; RII), Evidence Room (The Berlin Circle; The Cherry Orchard), Antaeus (King Lear, Ms. Warren), Padua Playwrights (The Gary Plays), Actors’ Gang (Salomé; Self Defense) and Latino Theater Company (Whittier Blvd.; A Mexican Trilogy). AWARDS: Include eight LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards, seven LA Weekly Awards, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards, and ten Backstage Garlands, one SAGE Award and most recently a Robby for The Father at Pasadena Playhouse in 2020. RECENT WORK: Michael Shutt’s audio drama A Lesson in Swimming; Diana Wyenn’s Blood Sugar. John teaches and designs at Occidental College.
David Román, Chris Aguila, Fran de Leon, Angel Star Felix, Adrian Gonzalez, Donna Simone Johnson, Zharia O'Neal, Julian Sandoval, Mark Seldis, Deja Thompson
This performance is made possible in part by a grant from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, and Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Department of Arts and Culture
STAGE MANAGER: VERONICA VASQUEZ
ASSOCIATE PRODUCERS: TYREE MARSHALL, CEDES SIFUENTES
SENSITIVITY SPECIALIST: JOY DEMICHELLE YSAGUIRRE
COVID COMPLIANCE OFFICER: CEDES SIFUENTES
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN
SCENIC PAINTING: MARYGOLD MARTINEZ
VIDEO ENGINEER: SAM CLEVENGER
MASTER ELECTRICIAN: MIRANDA RICHARDS
GRAPHIC DESIGNER: CELINA DUFFY
PUBLICIST: JUDITH BORNE
SOCIAL MEDIA: REBECCA TESSIER
VIDEOGRAPHER: SETH DORCEY
PLAYWRIGHTS' ARENA STAFF
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: JON LAWRENCE RIVERA
ASSOCIATE LITERARY MANAGER: ZHARIA O'NEA
BUSINESS MANAGER: RAY SIMMONS
GRANT WRITER: GRAFTON REYES DOYLE
STUDENT PROGRAM COORDINATOR: DIANE LEVINE
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
DEBORAH SECAKUKU BAKER, BRETT BATTLES, PROSY DELACRUZ, SCOTT FREEMAN, NARDINA OWENS, NANNETTE PEREZ, JON LAWRENCE RIVERA, RAYNALD SAMOA, RAUL CLAYTON STAGGS
SKYLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY STAFF
PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: GARY GROSSMAN
CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: TONY ABATEMARCO
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: ARMANDO HUIPE
MANAGING DIRECTOR: SANDEE GROSSMAN
DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR: LAURA JANE SALVATO
SKYLAB DIRECTOR: LEE BLESSING
ARTISTIC ASSOCIATES: MICHAEL KEARNS, CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN, VICTORIA PEARLMAN, TYREE MARSHALL, SHAINA ROSENTHAL, CEDES SIFUENTES, REBECCA TESSIER
PLAY DEVELOPMENT COORDINATOR, PRODUCER SKYLIGHT LIVE: TYREE MARSHALL
COVID COMPLIANCE OFFICERS: SANDEE GROSSMAN, CEDES SIFUENTES
PUBLICIST: JUDITH BORNE
SOCIAL MEDIA: REBECCA TESSIER
GRAPHIC DESIGN: GUILLERMO PEREZ
FRONT OF HOUSE: JILL ABATEMARCO, MARISA CADDICK, ALLI THISS, ARIANNE VILLAREAL, CARLEE WILSON
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
BRADFORD BANCROFT, FR. GREGORY GOETHALS, GARY GROSSMAN, DALE RAOUL, MICHAEL KEARNS, WENDY KOUT, JEFF RENO, LEE SHERMAN, WILLIAM SLOCUM