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Program - The Sandwich Ministry

CAST

JOYCE.................Jayne Taini*
HANNAH................. Jordan Hull
CLAUDIA.................Maha Chehlaoui*

SCENIC DESIGN
Carolyn Mraz

LIGHT DESIGN
R.S Buck

SOUND DESIGN
Noel Nichols

PROPERTIES DESIGN
Michael O'Hara

COSTUME DESIGN
Mylette Nora

CASTING DIRECTOR
Victoria Hoffman

PRODUCER
Gary Grossman

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER
Jessica Kilgore

DIRECTED BY
Katie Lindsay

A NEW PLAY BY
Miranda Rose Hall

OPENING NIGHT: June 1, 2024

*Actors employed in this production are members of Actors’ Equity Association.


TIME: Late September, a time of climate change
PLACE: A fellowship hall of a small Presbyterian church in America

“THE SANDWICH MINISTRY" is performed without intermission.

Funding for this production is provided by Yale's Binger Center for New Theatre and the Michael Kearns Enhancement Fund at Skylight


FROM THE DIRECTOR

Thank you so much for coming to The Sandwich Ministry.

When I first read this play, I was on maternity leave. While I was grateful for the time with my son, the news was getting more bleak every day and I felt isolated from my organizing community. I was feeling in despair and helpless to do anything to change the world my son would inherit. That’s when I read The Sandwich Ministry.  The gift of Miranda’s writing is that she unearths a question I didn’t know I had, and answers it in a way I didn’t know I needed. At a time when our trust in institutions has been broken, when our bonds are frayed by political differences large and small, and when we’re faced with a world that feels less and less hospitable to humanity every day, how do our communities hold us?

Miranda looks at this question through the lens of three women who have organized a mutual aid group making sandwiches in a church basement. They came together because of their shared passion for making a difference in the world but have since splintered apart. Hannah, a woman in her 20’s, feels abandoned by the church; Joyce, a woman in her 70’s, is facing her own mortality; and Claudia, a woman in her 50’s, is hiding a secret that will change the way her community sees her. When the institution that brought them together no longer serves them, how will they nourish their connection? When their personal crises stand in the way of being there for each other, will they be able to come back together? In a world as dire as ours, is it possible, or even desirable, to overcome the fractures in our relationships, in our friendships, in our communities?

Collaborating on this play with these talented actors and designers has been a balm to my soul. The unique task of The Sandwich Ministry is that we are telling a story about community while making actual sandwiches for the community, which will be distributed through Skylight's partner, Housing Works of California. No matter how overwhelming the world’s problems feel and how insignificant our contributions may feel in comparison, as Joyce says, "there’s always something to do." And this process has reminded me that it’s always better to ask tough questions in community rather than by myself.

May we find solace in how the women of The Sandwich Ministry answer these questions.

- KATIE LINDSAY -


FROM THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR & EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

What does it mean to bring people together to experience theater in 2024? What kind of community impact is possible from within the bounds of the stage? We at Skylight believe that the stories we tell can help people access emotional and empathic states that are not available to them in their everyday lives. The current climate in the theater industry demands, however, that productions go beyond storytelling, so we’ve been contemplating the impact and efficacy of each script and each production.

In addition to the powerful story contained in the pages that followed, Miranda’s play begins with a challenge to its producing theater: to distribute the sandwiches the play will generate to people in need. Through her challenge, she extended us an invitation to do something that would make a tangible difference in the lives of people experiencing food and housing insecurity during an unprecedented housing crisis in our state and in our neighborhood. We are incredibly grateful for the work of the Hollywood Food Coalition, Housing Works of California, and other local neighborhood mutual aid groups such as FANS for the work that they do and for partnering with us to distribute the sandwiches made on stage today.

The theater is often the site of waste. Sets are built to be torn down, theatrical lighting fixtures consume high amounts of energy, and the list goes on. The Sandwich Ministry speaks to the climate anxieties we’re all confronted with and the seemingly futile efforts available to most of us without access to inordinate amounts of capital and resources. We hope that this production and the story of these three women inspire you to reconnect with your communities.

- GARY GROSSMAN & ARMANDO HUIPE -


SPECIAL THANKS

Special thanks to Patricia Glaser and Sam Mudie, Indu Subaiya and the Los Feliz Neighborhood Council; Jill Klein, Dugald Park, and the Hollywood Food Coalition; Jason and Jay Chiumento and the volunteers at FANS; Celina Alvarez, Katherine Pimentel, Nancy Delira, and the folks at Housing Works; Rev. Keith Mozingo, Pastor Lucia Chappelle, and the folks at the Metropolitan Community Church of Los Angeles; the Los Angeles Queer Interfaith Cultural Council; Messhall; Palermo's; Robin Cloud, Carly DW Bones, Hannah Wolf, Kaci Hamilton, Shakira Barrera, and Wanda-Lee Evans.


WHO’S WHO

CAST

JAYNE (Joyce) is excited to debut at Skylight with these amazing artists giving birth to this play. LOS ANGELES: The Cider House Rules (Mark Taper Forum -Garland Award). Parfumerie (Wallis Annenberg), The Brothers Karamazov (Circle X - LADCC Award), Lost in Yonkers (La Mirada) Uncle Vanya (Pasadena Playhouse). Regional: The Normal Heart (Pioneer Square), The Beauty Queen of Leenane (Third Rail) Outside Mullingar (B Street), A Doll’s House, When We Were Married (Seattle Rep), Broadway, Oktoberfest (Empty Space), Snow Falling on Cedars, Doubt (Portland Center Stage), A Life with Father (Denver Center), A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur (Hartford Stage), Enchanted April (Pasadena & Cleveland Play House).   Favorite roles: Mother Courage (Canadian Fringe); Mrs. Alving, Ghosts, Bottom & Demetruis, A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Ruth, Collected Stories. Film: The Way Back with Ben Affleck, The Amateurs with Jeff Bridges. Recent TV: Recurring on Station 19, Ray Donovan, Shameless, Netflix’s Unbelievable with Toni Collette and Dustin Black’s miniseries When We Rise.

JORDAN HULL (Hannah) is the recipient of both lead performance and ensemble awards from the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle for her performance in the title role of Poor Clare at the Echo Theater Company. Theater: Crabs in a Bucket by Bernardo Cubria (Echo Theater Company, LADCC winner), The Second Best School Shooting by Alice Stanley Jr., executive produced by Adam Mckay and Shira Piven (The Elysian Theater). She made her television debut as a series regular on Showtime’s The L Word: Generation Q opposite Jennifer Beals. Film: Hustle leading alongside Queen Latifah, Robert Duvall, and Adam Sandler (Netflix).

 

 

MAHA  CHEHLAOUI (Claudia) is a longtime theater maker, and is honored to be making her LA debut with such a talented and welcoming community of artists. Acting credits include Food and Fadwa (New York Theater Workshop), And If You Lose Your Way (Invisible Dog - NY Innovative Theater Award nominee: Best Ensemble), Aftermath (New York Theater Workshop- Drama Desk nominee: Distinguished Ensemble), Peer Gynt (The Guthrie), Othello (Pioneer Theater). She is co-founder and former Executive Director of Obie Award-winning Noor Theatre, and has worked as a producer for theatre and film.

 


PLAYWRIGHT & DIRECTOR

MIRANDA ROSE HALL (Playwright) is a playwright and screenwriter based in Brooklyn, NY. Her plays include A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction (finalist for the 2021 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, commissioned by LubDub Theatre Co), Plot Points in Our Sexual Development (finalist for the 2019 Lambda Literary Award in Drama), The Kind Ones, and Menstruation: A Period Piece. She has written for television on Alaska Daily (ABC) and American Rust (Amazon Prime). She is currently in development on a new project with FX and Emmy Rossum’s Composition8. Miranda made her LA debut with Menstruation: A Period Piece, produced by Big Little Theatre Co. Her work has also been produced by LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater in New York, Baltimore Center Stage, the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, and Centaur Theatre in Montreal. She has written commissioned works for Yale Repertory Theater, Playwrights Horizons Soundstage, Baltimore Center Stage, Concord Theatricals, and LCT3/Lincoln Center Theater as a Berwin Lee New York London Commissioned Playwright. In 2020, she was honored with a Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Miranda holds a BA from Georgetown University and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.

KATIE LINDSAY (Director) is a director, writer, and producer. Recent directing credits include Menstruation: A Period Piece by Miranda Rose Hall (Big Little Theater Company x LA LGBT Center); Untitled Baby Play (IAMA); Orlando by Sarah Ruhl (Williamstown); and Red Emma & the Mad Monk by Alexis Roblan (The Tank, NY Times Critic’s Pick). As a writer: Beneath the Bowtie (Geffen Writers Room) and A Walk in My Neighborhood ("genius"- The LAist). Katie is the Artistic Director of Big Little Theater Company. 2019 Foeller Directing Fellow at Williamstown. Graduate of Dartmouth College. Member of SDC.  And latest, Mom to Ade. 


PRODUCTION

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 the inaugural Henry Ong Award for Leadership in the Los Angeles Theatre Community, and Stage Raw's 2016 Career Achievement Award. His career includes work at New York's Public Theatre, Café La Mama, and Sheraton Square Playhouse. He has produced over 300 stage plays and more than 60 world premiers, some of his celebrated productions are Rotterdam (3 LADCC Awards including Best Production - recently performed at CTG’s Kirk Douglas Theatre), Church & State, Dontrell Who Kissed the Sea (Steinberg/National Theatre Critics Citation), El Grande CIRCUS de Coca- Cola, The Wrong Man (3 Ovation Awards), Years to the Day, Hermetically Sealed, Bullrusher, Mad Women (LA Weekly Award), Romeo and Juliet directed by Milton Katselas (3 LADCC Awards), Dylan (3 LADCC Awards), AIDS/ US Portraits In Courage, America Adjacent, Influence, Dream Man, Beautified and La Ronde de Lunch.

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.

CEDES SIFUENTES (Production Manager) is the production manager, management associate and box office manager at Skylight Theatre. After graduating from CSUN with her Bachelor’s in Theatre Arts, she started as an intern, and was brought onto staff. 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 thankful to be a part of this company. 

BENJAMIN RAWLS (Technical Director) is the 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!

CAROLYN MRAZ (Scenic Design) has collaborated on over 70 world premiere new works such as off-Broadway musicals, regional theater productions, immersive events, performance art, and international tours, including some favorite design challenges: a magic show, a spaceship, a sexy lounge on a decommissioned ferry, a rock musical staged in a church sanctuary, and a collapsible performance tent. Carolyn teaches at California State University Fullerton. Proud union member USA 829. Please visit www.cmraz.com for a visual peek.

R.S BUCK (Lighting Design)  is a Los Angeles-based international producer, designer, and manager for live experiences. Their work focuses on creating safe-spaces for whimsical satisfaction. They hold their MFA in Experience Design and Production from California Institute of the Arts.

NOEL NICHOLS (Sound Design) is a regional Sound Designer and composer from Phoenix, Arizona. Select Designs: Avaaz (South Coast Repertory, Olney Theatre Center), tiny father (Geffen Playhouse), i love you so much I could die (New York Theatre Workshop) Uncle Vanya (Assoc Sound Design, Lincoln Center) the ripple, the wave that carried me home (Berkeley Rep/Goodman) Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill (Baltimore Center Stage) Tomás and the Library Lady, Memory House (Lake Dillon Theatre Co.) Today is My Birthday (Yale Repertory Theatre) Mojada (Indianapolis Shakespeare Company) MFA in Sound Design from Yale School of Drama. Current faculty in Sound Design at the University of Southern California. NoelNicholsDesign.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 happy to be asked back for another production at Skylight. A freelance props designer, 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, East West Players, IAMA Theatre, Sacred Fools, and Artists at Play to name a few. He also was the original Props Designer for multiple shows at CTG’s Block Party at the Kirk Douglas Theatre. Thank you for supporting Los Angeles theatre.

JESSICA KILGORE (Production Stage Manager) is currently a student in the MFA program at Cal State LA; majoring in Television, Film, and Theatre with an emphasis in Acting. When she is not acting in shows, Jessica works behind the scenes helping wherever she can. At Skylight Theatre Company she has worked on shows such as A Hit Dog Will Holler, Lavender Men, and recently stage managed Queerwise’s AIDS Threads: From Epidemic to Ecodisaster. She hopes you enjoy the show.

KAMILA BOGA (Assistant Director/Rehearsal Stage Manager) is a director, actor, and playwright. Fueled by the belief that creatives are second responders, she develops and directs expressive, ensemble-driven work that turns tension into art. Kamila attends Dartmouth College where her directorial credits include and thou shalt be healed, Dance Nation, Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties, and Dry Land. She has received multiple awards from Dartmouth including the Eleanor Frost Playwriting Prize for Flinch. Her play In Case of Bruising was commissioned and produced by Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre Company. In summer 2023, she assistant directed Dirty Laundry at the Ojai Playwrights Conference. Kamila is thrilled to work with Skylight Theatre and grateful for the opportunity to collaborate on new work.

VICTORIA HOFFMAN (Casting Director) is thrilled to continue this partnership with the Skylight family! As Resident CD for Rogue Machine, recent credits include Heroes of the Fourth Turning and H*tler’s Tasters; 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 (CAA Moebius Selection)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 Doorwww.victoriahoffman.com

@VicHoffmanLA

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PRODUCTION STAFF

PRODUCTION STAGE MANAGER: Jessica Kilgore
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/REHEARSAL STAGE MANAGER: Kamila Boga
CASTING DIRECTOR:
Victoria Hoffman
PRODUCTION MANAGER: 
Cedes Sifuentes
TECHNICAL DIRECTOR/SCENIC BUILDER: Benjamin Rawls
TECHNICAL OVERHIRE: Max Reed
SCENIC DESIGN: Carolyn Mraz
SCENIC ARTIST: Orlando de LaPaz
ASSISTANT SCENIC ARTIST :
Marygold Martinez
LIGHTING DESIGN: R.S Buck
ASSISTANT LIGHTING DESIGN: Hope Kozielski
SOUND DESIGN:
Noel Nichols
COSTUME DESIGN: 
Mylette Nora
HEAD ELECTRICIAN:
Kyle Azzopardi
PUBLICIST:
Judith Borne
VIDEOGRAPHER/PRODUCTION PHOTOS:
Seth Dorcey


SKYLIGHT THEATRE COMPANY STAFF

PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: Gary Grossman
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR: 
Armando Huipe
MANAGING DIRECTOR:
Sandee Grossman
PRODUCTION MANAGER/MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATE: Cedes Sifuentes
MARKETING CONSULTANT: Seth Dorcey
PUBLICIST: Judith Borne
SEASON GRAPHIC DESIGN:
Jonathan Olivarez Design
GRAPHIC DESIGN:
Guillermo Perez
FRONT OF HOUSE: Jill Abatemarco, Logan Ellis, Kennedy Hill, Rafael Huipe, Chelsea Knost, Spencer Porter, Juliana Mojica, 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


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