A SHOT AWAY: Personal Accounts of Military Sexual Trauma
By Donna Fiumano-Farley
Directed by Melanie Moyer Williams
Cast featuring Laura Anderson*, Dana Berger, Grant Chang*, Elizabeth Flax*, Jessica Myhr*, Jeff Pierce*, Tara Ricasa*, Jackie Sanders*, Rafe Terrizzi, and Ian Way
Tina Priest is dead. Is it suicide? Or, is it because, just weeks before, this American soldier reported she had been raped on her Army base in Iraq. Her mother and twin sister are left many doubts and unanswered questions.
Priest is not alone; six other soldiers recount their experiences as survivors of military sexual trauma. A Shot Away is a docu-drama about sexual assault in the US military; based entirely on interviews with American soldiers who have been sexually assaulted by their "fellow" soldiers. In their own words, the soldiers explore this ongoing epidemic in our military and examine what can be done to address and prevent instances of sexual assault and rape in the military.
A SHOT AWAY was performed March 31-April 17, 2011, at the LABA Theater located at the 14th Street Y at 344 East 14th Street between First and Second Avenues.
The following performances included talkbacks with survivors:
Saturday, April 9 and Sunday, April 10
We were joined by two survivors whose stories are portrayed in the play: Panayiota Bertzikis and Kris Miller. They spoke about their experience and what we can do to prevent it from happening again. Bertzikis is also the Founder of our Philanthropic Partner, the Military Rape Crisis Center.
Saturday, April 16
Joy Priest, mother of PFC Tina Priest, Meallie, and Panayiota Bertzikis whose stories are all portrayed in the play spoke about their experience. Meallie spoke for the first time publically about her assault. Bertzikis is also the Founder of our Philanthropic Partner, the Military Rape Crisis Center.
Press Representation by Katie Rosin / Kampfire PR.
For press inquiries, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 917-438-9223. www.kampfirefilmspr.com
A SHOT AWAY played to critical acclaim and sold-out performances. It also made TIME OUT’s Off-Off list!
Hear what the critics had to say:
"With a stellar cast and strong dramatic narrative, A Shot Away is both informative and relevant, now more than ever." ~The Resident Artist
Jonathan Mandell, Backstage, highlights "Jackie Sanders in a standout performance." In its challenge to give a voice to the voiceless, he claims "A Shot Away is sure to help."
“Red Fern Theatre Company is to be commended for their mission of fostering this kind of documentary performance.” ~ Ed Malin, nytheatre.com
For an interview with the playwright and director on NYTheatre.com, click here.
|A SHOT AWAY is registered with the New York Innovative Theatre Awards, new awards specifically for
Off-Off-Broadway theatre, and your vote will make a difference. Vote for us at www.nyitawards.org!
We participate in the TDF voucher program.
Military Rape Crisis Center:
For this production, the RFTC has chosen to partner with the Military Rape Crisis Center.
Founded in 2006 by Active Duty Coast Guardsman, Panayiota Bertzikis, the Military Rape Crisis Center is the only rape crisis center established to meet the unique needs of military sexual trauma survivors. Bertziks started the Center to help fellow survivors from her barrack room at Coast Guard Boston after she was assaulted. They are now the nation's leading advocate for survivors of Military Sexual Trauma. They offer free and confidential support groups and conduct evidence-based research on Military Sexual Trauma. For more information, please visit http://www.stopmilitaryrape.org/.
This program was supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.
This program was also made possible with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, a State agency.
A Shot Away was made possible by generous grants from the following foundations:
The Dramatists Guild Fund
The Puffin Foundation
The Josephine Foundation
Laura Anderson*, Panayiota
Laura was last seen at the Cherry Lane Theatre in the League of Professional Theatre Women's play series: Turning Points. A Minnesota native, she has been seen at Tony-Award winning regional theaters: The Guthrie, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, and The Children's Theater Company. RFTC Credits include: The Long Christmas Ride Home, Who Will Carry the World, Miss Evers' Boys (pianist), and Gentrifusion (Production Manager). NY Theater: The Children, Sail Past Molokai, Seven.11 Convenience Theater, Sticky Series, and various stage readings. Film/TV: 6 Degrees, The Utopia Files, Haunting Evidence, As the World Turns, Law and Order: SVU, and Sugar and Spice. Laura studied with the Atlantic Theater School and Strasberg while attending NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. She would like to thank Panayiota for her bravery and hopes that she can do her story justice. It is truly a privilege to be a part of educating people on such an important issue. Mom, Dad, Alysia, Nick, and Kenneth love you hundreds!
Dana Berger, KC
Dana Berger is a graduate of LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts in NYC and Duke University (B.A. in Theater Studies). She received a New York Innovative Theatre Award Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance for playing eight characters in the one-woman show Washing Machine (the show also received a Drama Desk Nomination for Outstanding Lighting Design). Other previous roles include Greta in Born of Conviction (Dir. Kara-Lynn Vaeni), Bernice in This Is The Peaceable Kingdom (Target Margin Theater), Pepper in Population: 8 (The Process Group, 2009 NY Fringe Festival), Anne Frank in Syracuse Stage's Backstory! production, Sophie Scholl in Stars in a Dark Sky (Red Fern Theatre Company, 2008 NY Fringe Festival) and Karen in the world premiere of Don DeLillo's 'Mao II'.
Grant Chang*, Amando
Grant was last seen in Abingdon Theatre's the Nanjing Race. Credits include Mame with Sandy Duncan at the Barrington Stage Co., Leviathan Lab's Filipino Drama Club Sings!, 2G's Concerts of Excellence at the New York State Theater and at Lincoln Center, Rockwell's' The King and I. Featured as a principal salsa dancer in Bacardi's World Passion Commercial and a principal ballroom dancer in LUXE SOAP's Commercial with Rachel Weisz. Films: FEEL, Off Jackson Avenue, The Cut Runs Deep, Scenes From the New World,indie shorts IF, Smoke and Mirrors, Entangled, and the upcoming Dark Horse directed by Todd Solonz. TV credits: All My Children, Saturday Night Live, Late Night with Conan O'Brien, Guiding Light, several Law and Order Criminal Intent, the Philanthropist, and guest starred on Law and Order. Grant is a long standing faculty member at Peridance Capezio Dance Center.
Elizabeth Flax*, Shirley
Elizabeth Flax is a veteran actor of television and stage; performing contemporary and classical roles Off-Broadway and regionally; appearing in commercials and films.
Off-Broadway credits have included “A Piece of My Heart (Red Fern Theatre Co.), “Music, Deep Rivers My Soul” (Jazz at Lincoln Center, World Premiere),”Coriolanus: Shakespeare Unplugged” (Judith Shakespeare Co.), “Mademoiselle Colombe”, “Waltz of the Toreadors” (Century Center).
Regional theatre credits include “Death and the King’s Horseman” (Syracuse Stage),”The Old Settler”, “The Little Foxes” (Triad Stage), “Betty’s Summer Vacation” (Pittsburgh Public Theatre), “A Piece of My Heart” (Stamford TheatreWorks), “Proposals” (Barter Theatre), “Another Part of the Forest” (Cleveland PlayHouse),”A Cup of Change” (Walnut Street Theatre Co.),”Rumors” (Theatre Virginia).
Television and film appearances - Law & Order: SVU (recurring E.R. Nurse Carey Hutchins), Law & Order: CI, Law & Order, The Sopranos, Everyday People, Third Watch, NY Undercover, NY News, All My Children, Another World.
As a Director she was nominated for the AUDELCO Award-Winning “The American Jesus Christ”, Mutt Repp Co. (included in the Lincoln Center Library Theatre on Film Collection). Other directing credits include Red Fern Theatre Co., TroupeNY, Black Theater Festival/Theater Center Philadelphia, Big/Small Theater Co. and Society Hill Playhouse.
Jessica Myhr*, Marianne
Red Fern debut. New York: Caesar & Cleopatra (Charmian, Cleopatra) – Theatre Row, The Cherry Orchard (Anya) – Resonance Ensemble, House of Desires (Dona Ana) – Storm Theatre. Regional: Logomaniacs (world premiere), The Three Musketeers (Queen of France), Hamlet (Ophelia) – Actors Shakespeare Company, The Diary of Anne Frank (Miep) – Northern Stage. TV/Film: All My Children, Speed of Love, Julia, Send in the Clown. Jessica has an MFA in Acting from Rutgers University under William Esper. www.jessicamyhr.net
Jeff Pierce*, Michael
A North Carolina native, Jeff earned his B.A. in Mass Communication and Journalism from Elon University, N.C. He went back to hone his skills as an actor at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
Jeff did a three year tour of duty in the Broadway First National Tour of MISS SAIGON, understudying and performing many times as Chris, the romantic lead. A theatre veteran, he has enjoyed playing Lancelot in Camelot, Sky in Guys and Dolls, Curly in Oklahoma!, Joe Hardyin Damn Yankees and Frankie in Forever Plaid in numerous productions across the country. Off-Broadway, he was nominated for a Best Featured Actor in a Play at the Midtown International Theatre Festival (MITF) for his portrayal of Bill Clinton in Hillary and Monica: the Winter of Her Discontent. Jeff played the title role in the MAC nominated Bring Back Birdie for the Opening Doors Theatre Company at the Duplex. Also in New York he played Felix in the classic comedy favorite, My Three Angels by Samuel and Bella Spewack. Also at the MITF, Jeff performed his critically acclaimed one man show Southern Man.
Other personal favorites include Billy in Carousel, Reverend David Marshall Lee in The Foreigner, Billy Crocker in Anything Goes! and Miles Gloriosus in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. Jeff received critical acclaim for his performance as Blane, “the ex-hustler with a heart of gold,” in the World Premiere of Trolls at the Coast Playhouse in West Hollywood. He can be heard on the original cast recording. Keep an eye out for him as George (A.K.A. “Oswaldo”) in the film, The Deviants, now on DVD.
Jeff is thrilled to be debuting with the Red Fern Theatre Company in such a compelling piece. He currently lives in New York City with his lovely and talented wife, Colleen and their two adorable cats, Guido and Magwitch. Visit his website at: www.JeffPierce.net and don’t forget to check out www.SouthernManThePlay.com
Tara Ricasa*, Danielle Priest
Tara is proud to make her NY debut with Red Fern Theatre. Most recently, she appeared in ¡Salsalandia! (La Jolla Playhouse). Offstage, she can be found playing capoeira. She also works with The Seany Foundation to help fight childhood cancer. Tara hails from San Diego, CA and received her BA from UCLA’s School of Theater. She would like to thank her family and friends for all their support. Member of Actors’ Equity.
Jackie Sanders*, Joy Priest
Jackie recently completed performing in The Public Theater’s maiden voyage of The Mobile Shakespeare Unit in “Measure for Measure,” directed by Michelle Hensley. Also at The Public, “Kicking A Dead Horse” with Stephen Rea, written and directed by Sam Shepard. Jackie originated the roles of Mickey in the musical “Cowgirls” at The Old Globe Theatre and Off-Broadway and Lily McBain in Charles Busch’s “Swingtime Canteen” at Bay Street Theatre and Off-Broadway. Also with Charles Busch, “The Women” at the Tamarind Theatre in Hollywood and Charles’ annual production of, “Times Square Angel” at Theater for the New City. Jackie also works with La Comédie Française New York, performing the work of contemporary French playwrights; and leads a French jazz quintet called Bordeaux Blues. Tours include “A Chorus Line” (Val); “42nd Street” and “Sugar Babies;” Film: “Mona Lisa Smile” TV: “Live from Queens” (Lifetime Network).
Rafe Terrizzi, Soldier
This is Rafe's first production with the Red Fern Theatre Company. New York Credits: The Tempest and The Bacchae with The Hudson Warehouse, Clinton's View with Blue Collar Productions and As You Like It at Columbia University. Regional Credits: The Importance Of Being Ernest with The Camarillo Theatre, Flight Of Angels at The Emeril Theatre and Henry IV, Part II at Shakespeare in Delaware Park. Rafe also writes and produces music at The Audio Bunker. He will be releasing an electro-soul record this spring with his group, Steelhorse and Badger.
Ian Way, Soldier
Ian is delighted to be making his New York stage debut with A Shot Away. Professional credits include: Merry Wives of Windsor (Slender) with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, St. Joan (Dunois’ Page), Frost/Nixon, and Sherlock Holmes: the final adventure with St. Louis Repertory Theatre. Other Credits: Much Ado...(Borrachio/Friar Francis), Tartuffe (Damis), A Comedy of Errors (Dr. Pinch) and Cabaret (Cliff). Film and TV: One Life to Live, A Wendy’s Restaurants commercial , The Beach and I’m So Glad We’re Friends with NYU film department, and I Hate Tom Petty and independent feature film premiering early summer 2011. A proud graduate of Webster Conservatory where he holds a BFA in Acting, Ian is an Equity Membership Candidate and a member of AFTRA. Ian also plays lead guitar for the local band ‘The Maledictions’. Ian would like to thank his manager Susan Campochiaro-Confrey and very special thank you to Viki for all of her support. www.ianway.com
Production Team Bios:
Donna Fiumano-Farley, Playwright
Donna spent the past four years interviewing soldiers and writing A Shot Away. She is very grateful to all the brave women and men who shared their stories for this play and to the Red Fern Theatre Company for bringing it to the stage. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and two sons and can be reached at DonnaFiumano@yahoo.com.
Katherine Akiko Day, Scenic Design
Katherine has a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.F.A. in Stage Design from the Yale School of Drama. She designed costumes for The Master Builder and the set for The Servant of Two Masters at YRT. Most recent NYC credits: set and costumes for Red Fern's Gentrifusion, costumes for Red Fern's Good Egg , props for Dramatis Personae, and costumes for The Odyssey. Katherine will be designing The Servant of Two Masters at the Shakespeare Theatre DC.
Elizabeth Barrett Groth, Costume Design
Selected Credits: Set and Costume Design- Sparkling Object (Canal Park Playhouse), Muse, Late: A Cowboy Song,;One for the Road,;The Five Fists of Science (Yale Cabaret). Set Design- Up Up, Down Down (NYTE), Circus in a Box (Canal Park Playhouse), Macbeth, American Catnip (Yale School of Drama). Costume Design- Eclipsed (Yale Repertory Theatre), Jelly's Last Jam (Yale School of Drama), The Maids, 4:48 Psychosis, Fly By Night, The Mystery of Irma Vep (Yale Cabaret). Costume Design and Assistant Costume Design at the Folger Elizabethan Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Huntington Theatre Company, Boston University Opera Institute, A.R.T. Institute, and the Berkshire Theatre Festival. She received her MFA in Design from the Yale School of Drama.
Ken Hall, Dramaturg
Ken is thrilled to be working with Red Fern in his return to New York City theater, following a nearly decade long absence. Ken graduated from Duke University and worked as a professional stage manager for several years before becoming an elementary school teacher. Working with Melanie, Donna and the cast has been a intellectually stimulating learning experience (and a lot of fun!). Thanks to my family and friends for their support!
Kel Haney, Artistic Associate
Kel has developed new work with such theatres as Ensemble Studio Theatre, Youngblood, New Dramatists, Ars Nova, The Directors Company, 52nd Street Project, Ma-Yi Theater Company, Vampire Cowboys, Desipina & Company, NY Fringe Festival & Westport Country Playhouse. She has collaborated with such playwrights as Robert Askins, Laura MariaCensabella, Carla Ching, Emily Conbere, Dorothy Fortenberry, Jon Kern, Matt Schatz and composer Michael Kooman. www.kelhaney.com
Barbara Harrison, Assistant Director/Rehearsal Stage Manager
Barbara has directed, assisted, and developed plays at Lark Play Development Center, Red Fern Theatre Company, FringeNYC, IRT, The Gallery Players, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Burning Coal Theatre Company, and The Network One-Act Festival. Awards: Chatham County Arts Council Grant Recipient & Carolina Student Arts Grant Recipient. Currently, Barbara’s directing The Day the Devil Passed Through Harper County by Daniel Carroll as part of EBE Ensemble’s festival Elephants on Parade 2011 which opens April 7, 2011.
Michael Aaron Jones*, Production Stage Manager
Michael recently made is NYC debut stage managing The Crucible Off-Off Broadway at the Gallery Players. Michael has spent the last several years living a nomadic existence working for regional theatres like the Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, Utah Shakespeare Festival, Nebraska Theatre Caravan, The Shakespeare Theatre Company in DC, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and the Clarence Brown Theatre Company. For the past two years he’s worked with the world famous Radio City Rockettes on the Radio City Christmas Spectacular National Tour. He earned his M.F.A. in Stage Management from the Alabama Shakespeare Festival and is proud to be a member of Actors’ Equity Association and the Stage Managers’ Association. He’d like to thank Tim for all his love and support. www.themikejones.com
Megan Eileen Kosmoski, Properties and Viral Marketing
Megan Eileen Kosmoski received her BA in Drama from the Catholic University in Washington DC with her thesis in directing. She has also studied at the Shakespeare Institute in Stratford-Upon-Avon with an emphasis in Shakespeare in Performance. She is overjoyed to be back Props Designing for Red Fern! Design credits include: Properties: Gentrifusion (Red Fern), Good Egg (Red Fern), Little Women (SOTC, DC) and Costumes: Red Noses (WSC), Dr. Faustus (Capitol Fringe), Photograph 51 (Active Cultures Theatre), and Fallen Angels (TheaterVision).
She has worked with theaters in both DC and New York, including Washington Shakespeare Company, Raise/Raze, OperAlterna, Active Cultures, Hudson Stage Guild, TheatreVision, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Mad Cap Players, and Summer Opera Theatre Company (DC). Visit her at http://megankosmo.webs.com.
Katie Rosin / Kampfire PR, Press Representation
Katie Rosin/Kampfire PR was instrumental in the launch of the Broadway musical Brooklyn and the National Tour of Mother Load. She worked on the publicity team for the comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, and his movie Comedian. Highlights include: IT Award recipient Children of Eden, GLAAD Award Winner, She Like Girls, IT Award recipient Elizabeth Rex, Center Stage; Drama Desk Nominee (mis)UNDERSTANDING MAMMY: The Hattie McDaniel Story, Theatre 5. www.kampfirefilmspr.com For information, discounts and more text KAMPFIRE to 99222.
Christine J. Schmidt, Assistant Director/Rehearsal Stage Manager
Christine is a playwright and all around theatre enthusiast receiving her BFA in Dramatic Writing this May. She has held internships at New Dramatists, the Lark, and is currently with Performance Space 122. Her plays have been produced several times in the tri-state area. This is her second production with Red Fern!
Colin J. Whitely, Sound Design
Colin’s credits include Beirut by Alan Browne (Athena Theater Company), Factory Girls by Frank McGuinness (Atlantic Theater Company), Breakfast with Mugabe byFraser Grace (Centenary Stage Company), Henry VI: Part III by William Shakespeare(Wide Eyed Productions), Paternity by Winter Miller(Cherry Lane Theater) Letters to the End of the World by Anton Dudley (At Hand Theater Co.), True West by SamShepard (The Athena Theater Company) and much more.
Melanie Moyer Williams, Director and Executive Artistic Director
Melanie, a cum laude graduate of Duke University, is also Founder and Executive Artistic Director of the Red Fern Theatre Company. Her credits for the company include the New York Premiere of Shirley Lauro’s ALL THROUGH NIGHT, +30NYC, MISS EVERS' BOYS (NYIT and AUDELCO Nominations), AN IDEAL HUSBAND, A PIECE OF MY HEART, WHO WILL CARRY THE WORD?, THE EXONERATED, THE LONG CHRISTMAS RIDE HOME, FOUND A PEANUT, TWO ROOMS, AND PATIENT A. Most recently, she directed in the ONE MINUTE PLAY festival at the APAC. In the last year, Melanie has also directed a staged version of Handel’s MESSIAH for Pocket Opera NY and worked with Shirley Lauro on a reading of her new play, THE RADIANT at the Actors’ Studio and Ensemble Studio Theatre. Other NY Credits include MEMORIAL DAYS and the World Premiere of HENRY KISSINGER (FringeNYC) by John Attanas; MEDEA excerpts for CYPRECO and the New York Public Library; FIVE WOMEN WEARING THE SAME DRESS, WHEN THE WORLD WAS GREEN and ICARUS’S MOTHER. She directed THAT IS THE QUESTION in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival (named one of the Best in the Festival). Internationally, she has directed A TRIBUTE TO ANDREW LLOYD WEBBER with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador in El Salvador with Wanderlust Theatre Company. Prior to moving to New York, Melanie was also a founder and Managing Director of the Camden Shakespeare Company in Camden, Maine.
Marie Yokoyama, Lighting Design
Credits: (M)asking Questions (California Repertory Theater), King Cat Calico (Son of Semele), Compulsion (Yale Repertory Theatre), Celebration (TheatreHAN), Walkabout Yeolha (Columbia University), Sparkling Objects (Canal Park Playhouse),Gentrifusion (Red Fern Theatre), The Rubber Room, (Artistic New Direction) and Eclectic Shorts. (Artistic New Direction) Lobby design credit: Haunting the Reynosos (Theatro IATI). Set design credit: Dream Babies. (Riant Theatre) She is a graduate from Yale School of Drama with a M.F.A.