SEAN CAWELTI & MORGAN REBANE
OPENING NIGHT: AUGUST 26, 2023
Time & Place: Lake Stevens, Washington. 2022.
“HUNGRY GHOST" is performed without intermission.
*Actors employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association.
Creating & producing new plays is not for the faint of heart. It takes a lot of energy and strength to step into the creative unknown, an act that is at the start of any group coming together to make a new play. I want to salute and thank Skylight Theatre Company and their whole team: Gary, Armando, Tyree, Cedes, Ben, Shuwen and Rosa, for stepping in and up to make this new play happen. I want to thank our cast of warriors who have braved the waters of "I don't know" as we figure out what this new play wants to be. And the designers who have added their magic to the mix as this new play baby finds its legs for the first time. "I don't know" is the most creative & most uncomfortable place to be and this whole team has embraced and balanced those feelings and not stopped working, no matter how many changes came at them. I am inspired by all of them and honored to be in the room. And finally, I want to thank our playwright, Lisa Sanaye Dring, for her brilliant creativity and willingness to step into the rehearsal room with curiosity & vigor to find her play. I am thrilled to share this play with you, the thoughts and actions that have led it to you are incredible. Thank you for supporting new plays. It is vital to our theatre eco-system and moves our whole culture forward.
- JESSICA HANNA -
Hello and welcome to Skylight Theatre Company. If you’ve been to our theatre this year, you know that we’ve dedicated our 2023 Season—our 40th anniversary season—to spotlighting extraordinary women in theater. Making theater with Lisa Sanaye Dring and Jessica Hanna is to witness master artists at work. The themes and questions they explore in Hungry Ghost are deep, complex, messy, and emotional. Meanwhile the conversations surrounding the work have been meaningful, generous, and kind. At the core of our inquiry is solitude: what kind of clarity and freedom does solitude offer?
In the most pivotal moments in our lives, we are often confronted with the question: what do you want? That’s because the decisions we encounter in these life changing situations can be in the grayest areas. “Should I stay and work on a relationship or is it time to go? Is now the time to have a baby or should we wait? — What do you want?” The more possibilities, the tougher it is to find the answer to this very simple question. Especially when the opinions of our friends and family enter the picture. One of the reasons a hungry ghost is perpetually in a state of aching emptiness because it reaches for things that don’t actually provide it relief or fulfillment. Is that human nature or do we drift out of alignment only when our goals and desires are refracted through our relationships? Is solitude required to be in touch with our truest and fullest self?
We are proud to end our season with Hungry Ghost. When we first read the script, it opened more questions than it answered—it stoked a conversation that we couldn’t let go. We hope it does the same for you.
- ARMANDO HUIPE -
Hungry Ghost was originally developed as a part of the Humanitas/Stage Raw Award and received further development in Boston Court Pasadena’s Playwrights Group. It received additional support from the Asian Pacific Friends of Theater (APAFT).
We’d also like to thank the following people, who have helped shape this piece: Amielynn Abellera, Yasmin Almanaseer, Hugo Armstrong, McCready Baker, Shem Bitterman, Adrian Centeno, Jennifer Chang, Hannah Chodos, Annie Connole, Caitlin Craggs, Jake Dillman, Adam Esquinazi Douglas, Weston Gaylord, Nikki Heskin, Henry Huang, Cordelia Istel, Tova Katz, Scarlett Kim, Jessica Ko, Jessica Kubzansky, Christopher Larkin, Thomas Lenk, Mireya Lucio, John Anthony Loffredo, Sallie Merkel, Steven Leigh Morris, Zharia O’Neal, Albert Park, Eliana Pipes, Jen Ray, Rob Ripley, Irving Ruan, Brant Russell, Pia Sazani, Alison Siko, Morgan Smalley, Margaret Shigeko Starbuck, Chris Till, Hannah Trujillo, Kirsten Vangsness, Jasmine Vigil, Gina Young, Ryun Yu & Jenapher Zheng.
This performance is supported by the LA County Department of Arts and Culture as part of the LA County Performing Arts Recovery Grant, the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, the Tony Abatemarco Production Fund at Skylight, and the Michael Kearns Enhancement Fund at Skylight.
TASHA AMES (AMANDA) is thrilled to finally be working with the Skylight Theatre and Jessica Hanna; two LA theatre legends. Born and raised in Southern California, she attended NYU’s Tisch before graduating from USC (BFA Theatre). Theatre highlights: Do You Feel Anger? and Trevor (Circle X), Hooded Or Being Black For Dummies (Echo Theater), Miss Lilly Gets Boned and Honky (Rogue Machine), Kimberly Akimbo and Rabbit Hole (Malibu Stage--Ovation Winner "Featured Actress"), Crimes of the Heart (Rubicon). You can find all her tv/film credits on IMDB if you're interested in that sort of thing 😉 An eternal music seeker, she also works as a music supervisor/coordinator in television and film. She co-hosts the podcast Sibling Grievery and dedicates this play's exploration of grief to Amy, Gabriel and, especially, always and in all ways, to her brother, Colton.
JENNY SOO (DEAN) is grateful to be returning to the Skylight after previously performing in the play West Adams. She has performed in various theaters all over LA, including Gloria at the Echo Theater Company, for which she won a Stage Raw Award for Best Female Comedy Performance. Other favorite LA theater credits include: Dry Land, Hot Cat and most recently, The Untitled Baby Play. Film/TV: Parks & Rec, LA to Vegas, and Reverie. BFA: NYU, MFA: A.R.T./MXAT Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard. Thanks to Jess, Lisa, Gary and Victoria for having me on board, and a special thanks to Todd for being on kid duty.
BEN MESSMER (HERMIT) has performed in productions with multiple theater companies in LA including A Noise Within, The Evidence Room, Calamity Theater, Cornerstone, PRT, Bootleg Theater, and Ray Bradbury's Pandemonium Co. He is an associate artist with the Rogue Artists Ensemble and has performed in WoodBoy Dogfish, D is for Dog, and the Gogol Project for them.
LISA SANAYE DRING (Playwright) will have two world premiere stage productions running simultaneously this year at Skylight Theatre Company (Hungry Ghost) and at the La Jolla Playhouse with Ma-Yi Theater Company (SUMO). She has recently worked on multiple projects with Meow Wolf and was a member of the Geffen Playhouse Writers' Room. Lisa was honored as a recipient of the 2020/21 PLAY LA Stage Raw/Humanitas Prize. Her play The Wicked One was a finalist for the Relentless Award, a finalist for the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, a finalist for the Seven Devils Playwrights Conference and a semi-finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference. Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, a piece she co-wrote with Chelsea Sutton, was nominated for 8 Ovation Awards including Best Production (winner of 5). Lisa's work has been developed/produced by LA’s top theatre companies, and nationwide. She was a member of East West Players’ Playwrights Group and has been awarded fellowships at MacDowell, Blue Mountain Center, and Yaddo. Her play SUMO was recently named as a finalist for the O'Neill Playwrights Conference and was a part of La Jolla Playhouse's DNA New Works Series. Lisa graduated from the University of Southern California. She was awarded the 2021 Dorothy and Granville Hicks Residency at Yaddo, which honors one promising young writer a year. Lisa is working on commissions for Antaeus Theatre Company and Rogue Artists Ensemble. She has been nominated for an Emmy for her work as a writer and director.
JESSICA HANNA (Director) is a Los Angeles based Director & Producer & Space Maker. She is Producing Artistic Director of Outside In Theatre, a new non-profit theatre company working at the intersection of Theatre and Digital, based in Highland Park, CA. A graduate of The Theatre School at DePaul University in Chicago, she is a member of The Kilroys, Chair of SITI Company’s Board of Directors and she co-founded Bootleg Theater. Her focus as a director has been on new work development. Summer 2022 she directed Justin Elizabeth Sayre’s Lottie Plachett Took a Hatchet in Los Angeles and at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2022. As well as the world premiere of Sayre’s 3 Little Girls Down a Well at Under The Radar Festival 2023 at The Public Theatre NYC. In LA she has directed at Circle X (world premiere of Deathplay, written & performed by Lisa Sanaye Dring), Celebration Theatre (Ovation Award winning Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, 2018), Bootleg Theater, Inkwell Theatre, UCLA, CalState University Long Beach, Occidental College, CalArts and CalPoly Pomona. As well as teaching Viewpoints at CalState LA’s Theatre Dept. In Santa Fe, NM: Hostage by Michelle Kholos Brooks (Adobe Rose Theatre) and Kristin Goodman’s #UnderTheInfluence (Santa Fe Playhouse). Opera: As One (Orlando Opera). Upcoming: Justin Elizabeth Sayre’s Lottie Plachett Took a Hatchet in a full Los Angeles run at The Los Angeles LGBT Center, opening October 7, 2023. JessQueen.com for more info.
SKYLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY provides storytellers from diverse backgrounds with access to opportunities and support they need to produce plays and grow. Skylight was recognized as "a leader in play development" by the LA Times in 2020 and a "powerhouse of new play development" by Dramatist Magazine in 2014. Theater companies across Los Angeles and the country have produced plays developed at Skylight. Since 2017, two Skylight world premieres have been produced Off Broadway and a third, Bronco Billy – The Musical, is premiering on London's West End in January 2024. Over the years, our productions have won awards such as the Ovation Award, LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Stage Raw Award, and the prestigous Steinberg/ATCA New Play Citation.
GARY GROSSMAN (Producer, Producing Artistic Director) 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 among others.
ARMANDO HUIPE (Executive Director) is the executive director of Skylight Theatre Company. Prior to working with Skylight, he served as producer for the national Latinx Theatre Commons, a flagship program of HowlRound Theatre Commons at Emerson College, where he led organizing efforts for the visibility and capitalization of Latinx theaters across the country. He has also worked with companies such as REDCAT, Center Theatre Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the LA Phil, Latino Theater Company, Yale Cabaret, and United States Artists. He earned an MFA in Theater Management from Yale School of Drama and a BA in English Literature from UCLA.
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. You can also catch her on episode 7 of "Bosch: Legacy on Freevee."
CEDES SIFUENTES (Production Manager) is the production manager and management associate at Skylight Theatre. She graduated from California State University of Northridge with her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts. Starting as an intern, she was brought onto staff and worked as the assistant stage manager. Some of her credits include Skylight’s productions of, A Hit Dog Will Holler, Apartment Living, and Lavender Men. She loves her theatre family and is very thankful to be a part of this company.
BENJAMIN RAWLS (Technical Director) is the NEW Technical Director at Skylight Theatre! An actor and creative himself, he is so excited to be able to help the immensely talented performers, designers, and staff here at Skylight realize they’re technical vision for the work they care so much about. He is also the Head Sound Engineer and Dark Night Producer for Loft Ensemble Theatre Co in North Hollywood. Enjoy the show!
YURI OKAHANA-BENSON (Scenic Design) is a scenographer based in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Tokyo, Japan, she has been working both nationally and internationally. Her work has also been shown in a book SCENE SHIFT : US Set Designers In Conversation, published from Routledge. Recent theatrical design credit includes; Sense and Sensibility at Costa Mesa Playhouse, SMILE at IAMA Theater Company, The Curious Incident of a Dog in the Nighttime at Saddleback College, and many more. She also has been teaching and mentoring both BFA and MFA students at various universities around the greater L.A. area. MFA in Scenic Design from CSULB. More info available at www.yuriokahana.com and IG @11URI30.
BRANDON BARUCH (Lighting Design) is an Ovation Award-winning lighting designer specializing in theater, opera, dance, and immersive performance. His design work has been seen at Center Theatre Group (Mark Taper Forum and Kirk Douglas Theatre), The Wallis, El Portal Theatre, REDCAT, The Ford Amphitheatre, Getty Villa, 5 Star Theatricals, Long Beach Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Chicago Opera Theater, Apollo Theater Chicago, New York City Center, Jerry Orbach Theatre and across Southern California, regionally, internationally, and off-Broadway. Every summer, Brandon designs Liquid Light Flight, a sustainable, solar-powered trapeze and aerial arts festival at Wild Arts Collective in New Paltz, NY. www.brandonbaruch.com
NICHOLAS SANTIAGO (Video Design) has worked for numerous universities and theatre companies around Los Angeles including the Pasadena Playhouse (Ham), Skylight Theatre (Church & State, Obama Ology), Rogue Machine (A Permanent Image), USC (Trojan Women, On the Town), The Chance Theatre (Big Fish, American Idiot), The Road Theatre (Nowhere on the Border, A Delicate Ship), LA LGBT Center (The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life Revisited, Menstruation), and the Fountain Theatre (Arrival & Departure, The Cost of Living). He has received numerous awards including a LA Drama Critic’s Circle award for his work on Rogue Machine’s A Permanent image, an Ovation Award win for his work on The Fountain Theatre's production of The Cost of Living, and an OCTG and Stage Raw Award for his production of American Idiot at The Chance Theatre. www.nsantiagodesign.com
JOSEPH "SLOE" SLAWINSKI (Sound Design) is a multi-award winning sound designer. He has designed a multitude of productions including God Looked Away with Judith Light and Al Pacino, Redemption of a Dogg with Snoop Dogg and Hungry Ghost, the wonderful production you are here to see. He would like to thank the incredible and amazing Gabrieal Griego for her continuous support during all of his creative endeavors. He is proud to be part of this great production.
SEAN CAWELTI (Illusion Design) is a creative director, puppet/video designer and creator of immersive and site-specific experiences. They are the founding Artistic Director of Rogue Artists Ensemble and has received awards for design and direction including the UNIMA Citation of Excellence and Center Theater Group’s Sherwood Award. Sean has designed puppets, masks, props and video for theater, music videos, museums, concerts and arena tours. Sean is a member of USA829. www.seancawelti.com
MORGAN REBANE (Illusion Design) is an award winning designer, fabricator, and puppeteer based in LA. His film Portable won first place at the LA 48hr Puppet Film Festival 2021. Morgan received an LA STAGE Alliance Ovation honor in Puppetry Design for Kaidan Project (Rogue Artists Ensemble co-produced with East West Players). Morgan has also created and designed work for Netflix, Cartoon Network, Story Pirates, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Long Beach Opera, Chicago Opera Theater, South Coast Repertory, and Cornerstone Theater Company. MorganRebane.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!
CARLY DW BONES (Intimacy Director) is a theatre director, intimacy director/coordinator, sex educator, community facilitator and thespomancer. She works as a freelance intimacy director and educator in the Los Angeles area for theatre companies (A Noise Within, Antaeus, Boston Court, Coeurage, Coin & Ghost, EST LA, Ghost Road, Hero, IAMA, The Road, Skylight, StarKid) and university theatre programs (Cal Lutheran, CSULA, Occidental, UCLA, USC, Pomona). Carly created and directed at the feminist theatre ensemble, The Illyrian Players, from 2011-2019. They have also directed for: Coin & Ghost, The Echo, EST LA, Inkwell Theater, Rogue Artists Ensemble, The Vagrancy. Connect: firstname.lastname@example.org
ARIANA MICHEL (Stage Manager) is a proud theatre graduate from Cal Poly Pomona and after being in New York for Manhattan Theater’s stage management fellowship program, she is thrilled to be stage managing another show with Jessica Hanna as she was the first director Ariana worked with as a student stage manager. Selected theatre credits include Mobile Unit’s Comedy of Errors at The Public NYC, Summer 1976 (MTC), Let Me Down Easy (CPP), and Polaroid Stories (CPP). Ariana is blessed to be surrounded with positive creative energies and wants to empower young women of color to take on more leadership roles.
VICTORIA HOFFMAN (Casting Director) Resident CD at Rogue Machine Theatre. Recent Credits include Come Get Maggie & On The Other Hand We're Happy (LADCC Winner Best production); For the Love of a Glove at The Carl Sagan & Ann Druyan Theater; Kiss of the Spider Woman at A Noise Within; Curious Incident at Greenway Court; Judas Kiss& Streetcar for Boston Court. Film projects include the AFI Thesis films Zenaida (LAAPFF Official Selection) and The Fishmonger; Dog Lover at the DTLA Film Festival (among many). Currently Manager of Casting at the AFI Conservatory. Acting credits include Julius Weezer for the Troubies and TV pop ups in Abbot Elementary and The Shrink Next Door. www.victoriahoffman.com @VicHoffmanLA
STAGE MANAGER: ARIANA MICHEL
ASSISTANT STAGE MANAGER/PROD. INTERN: SHUWEN CAO
ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: TYREE MARSHALL
CASTING DIRECTOR: VICTORIA HOFFMAN
PRODUCTION MANAGER: CEDES SIFUENTES
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR: BENJAMIN RAWLS
COMMUNITY IMPACT INTERN: ROSA RIVERA
SET CONSTRUCTION: CHRISTOPHER HOFFMAN, WILBUR URBINA
ILLUSION CONSTRUCTION: JACK PULLMAN, EMORY ROYSTON
SCENIC DESIGN: YURI OKAHANA-BENSON
SCENIC DESIGN ASSISTANT: NICOLE BERNARDINI
SCENIC BUILDER: DEREK HECKER
SCENIC ARTIST: ORLANDO DE LAPAZ
SCENIC ARTIST ASSISTANT: MARYGOLD MARTINEZ
LIGHT DESIGN: BRANDON BARUCH
VIDEO DESIGN: NICHOLAS SANTIAGO
SOUND DESIGN: JOSEPH SLAWINSKI
COSTUME DESIGN: MYLETTE NORA
INTIMACY DIRECTOR: CARLY DW BONES
HEAD ELECTRICIAN: TBD
PUBLICIST: JUDITH BORNE
VIDEOGRAPHER: SETH DORCEY
PRODUCTION PHOTOS: GRETTEL CORTES, ALEX NEHER
PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: GARY GROSSMAN
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: ARMANDO HUIPE
MANAGING DIRECTOR: SANDEE GROSSMAN
ARTISTIC ASSOCIATE: TYREE MARSHALL
PRODUCTION MANAGER/MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE: CEDES SIFUENTES
MARKETING CONSULTANT: PATTY ONAGAN CONSULTING
PUBLICIST: JUDITH BORNE
SEASON GRAPHIC DESIGN: JONATHAN OLIVAREZ DESIGN
GRAPHIC DESIGN: GUILLERMO PEREZ
SCRIPT READER: REBECCA TESSIER
FRONT OF HOUSE: JILL ABATEMARCO, MARISA CADDICK, BRITTNEY DE LEON, RAFAEL HUIPE, CEDES SIFUENTES
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
TONY ABATEMARCO, BRADFORD BANCROFT, FR. GREGORY GOETHALS (chair), GARY GROSSMAN, WENDY KOUT, DALE RAOUL, JEFF RENO, LEE SHERMAN, WILLIAM SLOCUM
Emeritus Members: BOB ISRAEL, MICHAEL KEARNS, CHIP ROSENBLOOM