red fern theatre red fern theatre
red fern theatre
red fern theatre
red fern theatre

red fern theatre
Robert Buckwalter George Colligan
red fern theatre
red fern theatre
Joanna Fanizza Tracey Gilbert
red fern theatre
red fern theatre
Jake Glassman Dylan Guerra
red fern theatre


Robert Buckwalter – Ralph
George Colligan – Dylan
Joanna Fanizza – Jenny
Tracey Gilbert* – Janet
Jake Glassman* – Evan
Dylan Guerra – Mike

Creative / Production Team:

Adam Szymkowicz – Playwright
Scott Ebersold – Director
Andrew Mannion – Scenic Design
Izzy Fields ‐ Costume Design
Derek Van Heel – Lighting Design
Andy Evan Cohen – Sound & Projection Design
Joseph Travers – Fight Director
Tyler Spicer – Assistant Director
Alex Ghaffari – Production Assistant

Jodi M. Witherell
Production Stage Manager

Melanie Moyer Williams
Executive Artistic Director

Ken Hall – Managing Director

Rare Birds
Image by Michael Ferrell of Ferrell27 Creative

Director is a Member of Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
*Actors appear courtesy of Actors Equity Association.

Equity Approved Showcase.







By Adam Szymkowicz
Directed by Scott Ebersold

Cast included: Robert Buckwalter, George Colligan, Joanna Fanizza, Tracey Gilbert*, Jake Glassman*, and Dylan Guerra

Sixteen-year-old Evan Wills is an avid bird watcher who wears colorful songbird shirts to school despite the constant antagonism it brings him. Evan's mother just wants Evan to be normal, and happy--and normal--and get along with her new boyfriend. While Evan summons the courage to talk to Jenny Monroe (whose locker is next to his), troubled bully Dylan has something darker in mind. After some stupid choices and unexpected results, Evan learns that the worst thing you can do in high school is admit you love something. RARE BIRDS is a play about adolescent violence and your mother's new boyfriend.

RARE BIRDS ran March 23 - April 9, 2017, in association with the Theater Series at the 14th Street Y, located at 344 East 14th Street between First and Second Avenues.

In association with the Theater Series at the 14th Street Y:

New York IT Awards

RARE BIRDS 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!

RARE BIRDS is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.


RARE BIRDS is made possible by a generous grant from The Dramatists Guild.

The Dramatists Guild Fund


For this production, the RFTC has chosen to partner with the End to Cyber Bullying (ETCB) Organization.

The End to Cyber Bullying (ETCB) Organization is a state certified, non-profit organization founded by Samuel Lam and David Zhao on May 1st, 2011, in the hopes of creating a social networking world devoid of cyberbullying. By raising awareness and informing members of both our community and of our globe, ETCB hopes to help teens, parents, educators, and others to identify, prevent, and ultimately stop cyberbullying. We hope to BE THE CHANGE and spread the positivity of change, instead of negativity caused by cyberbullying, online.

Headquartered in New York City, ETCB is a safe haven where bystanders, past victims, and ordinary people, interested in helping, mobilize to help victims of cyberbullying, as well as to spread the knowledge and inspiration we provide - whether across the street, across the country, or across the world. For more information visit,

Cast Bios:

Robert Buckwalter, Ralph


George Colligan, Dylan

George graduated with a BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University this past May. After graduating, George performed in The Comedy of Errors and The Tempest with the Camden Shakespeare Festival. George recently moved to New York after finishing work on Northern Stage theater company's production of Macbeth. George is excited to be making his New York debut with Red Fern Theatre Company's Rare Birds. George is thankful for the support from his family, friends and teachers. Contact George at

Joanna Fanizza, Jenny

Joanna Fanizza is thrilled to join the cast of The Red Fern Theatre Company's production of Rare Birds. A New York City- based actor and singer, her favorite credits include Li'l Bit (How I Learned to Drive), Georgie (Spike Heels), Mary Hatch-Bailey (It's a Wonderful Life Radio Play) and Domina (A Funny Thing Happened…). She has studied with Eric Morris, as well as Anthony Vincent Bova, Brian O'Neill, Tim Philips, and most recently Sarah Baskin and Anthony Meindl of AMAW. Joanna is grateful for the opportunity through this production to be raising social awareness and promoting positive conscious change. "The reason birds can fly and we can't is simply because they have perfect faith, for to have faith is to have wings." – J.M. Barrie

Tracey Gilbert, Janet

Off Broadway: DILLINGHAM CITY (Playwrights Horizons); ACTS OF LOVE (The Lion Theatre); THE ADDING MACHINE (The Public). Off Off Broadway: BRIGHT ROOM CALLED DAY; CONEY; THE PLAY ABOUT MY DAD; BARGAINS AND BLOOD (NY Fringe Festival - Outstanding Ensemble Citation); MOTHRA IS WAITING; WHEN IS A CLOCK; HAPPY ENDINGS; THE STANDARDS OF DECENCY PROJECT; BUSTED JESUS COMIX; A BUSH CAROL; BEDBUGS!!! (NYMF - *Outstanding Ensemble Citation); THE TRAGIC AND HORRIBLE LIFE OF THE SINGING NUN (NYMF – *Best Actress Citation); BURNING HABITS; and numerous others. Additionally she wrote and produced a one-woman show titled LITTLE KNOWN FACTS which she performed at The Beechman. Regional: THE LILY'S REVENGE (Sundance Theatre Lab); FUN & NOBODY (The Next Theatre); THE LOVE OF DON PERLIMPLIN & BELISA IN THE GARDEN (Bailiwick Rep); and WEDDING BAND (Onstage Atlanta - Winner of Best Supporting Actress Award). TV: As The World Turns. Tracey is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati/College Conservatory of Music. AEA, SAG-AFTRA. For more information go to

Jake Glassman, Evan

Jake feels extremely lucky to be a part of Rare Birds. Most recently, Jake played Percy Jackson on the national tour of TheatreworksUSA's The Lightning Thief. Favorite regional credits include The Addams Family, Dogfight, Billy Elliot, Rent, and Hamlet. Venues performed at throughout the city include 54 Below, Joe's Pub, Waldorf Astoria, NYMF, NYTB, and Radio City Music Hall. Jake is a graduate of the New Studio On Broadway at NYU Tisch and proud member of AEA. Thank you to Red Fern and love love love to friends and family forever and always. @phillyglass.

Dylan Guerra, Mike

Dylan is thrilled to be making his debut with Red Fern Theater Company! He has worked regionally throughout Miami and Dallas, making New York his home in the summer of 2016. Favorite productions include: Mr.Marmalade, Aunt Dan and Lemon, A Map of Virtue, and his NYC playwriting debut "The Blender" at La MaMa Summer Shares. He holds a BFA in theater from Southern Methodist University. You can check out more of his projects at or follow him on different social media accounts @DylanGuerra! Thanks to his friends and family for their continued love and support!

Artistic/Production Team:

Adam Szymkowicz, Playwright

Adam's plays have been produced throughout the U.S., and in Canada, England, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Greece, Slovenia and Lithuania. His work has been presented or developed at such places as MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LCT3, LAByrinth Theater Company, The Lark, Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, Primary Stages and The New Group, among others.

Plays include Deflowering Waldo, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, My Base and Scurvy Heart, Herbie, Incendiary, Clown Bar, Fat Cat Killers, The Why Overhead, Adventures of Super Margaret, Elsewhere, Where You Can't Follow, A Thing of Beauty, UBU, Mercy, Rare Birds, Violent Bones, Sarah Sarah Sarah, Good Morning Good Night, Kodachrome, Alcott, Such Small Hands, Marian, The Haddam Plays and Nerve.

Adam received a Playwright's Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean's Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writer's Guild of America, and was a member of Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group, the MCC Playwright's Coalition and of the first Ars Nova Play Group.

He was the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects' Square One Series. He has been to The Orchard Project and to JAW at Portland Center Stage, served twice as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center, and took part in The Dramatists Guild Fund's Traveling Masters program. Szymkowicz received a grant from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, and has been commissioned by South Coast Rep, Rising Phoenix Rep, Texas State University, The NOLA Project, Single Carrot Theater, and Flux Theater Ensemble.

His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Playscripts, Original Works Publishing, and Indie Theater Now and featured in New York Theatre Review '07 and '09, NYTE's Cino Nights, Geek Theater, and numerous Smith and Kraus books.

He has written articles for Howlround, New York Theatre Magazine and The Brooklyn Rail and has interviewed over 875 playwrights on his blog. He has a web series called Compulsive Love (NYTVF). Szymkowicz is the Literary Manager at The Juilliard School, supporting the playwriting program there.

For more, go to

Scott Ebersold, Director

Scott Ebersold is a theatre director and recently Artistic Associate at Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company. Throughout his over 20 years of directing theatre he has enjoyed directing classics, contemporary works, devised pieces and world premieres with an exceptionally broad palette of theatrical styles from intimate multi-disciplinary video performances to large-scale commercial productions. In January Scott will direct the U.S. Off-Broadway premiere of Jonathan Larson Award Winner, Max Vernon's new musical The View Upstairs. It is inspired by the UpStairs Lounge fire, a 1973 arson attack at a New Orleans gay bar that killed 32 people and that was until recently the deadliest massacre in U.S. LGBT history. In the spring he will direct the New York premiere of Adam Szymkowicz's Rare Birds about adolescent violence and teen bullying. He is currently working with Lauren Whitehead to develop a new play American Courage, inspired by Brecht's Mother Courage, that is set in a black community during the War on Drugs.

Scott has joined forces with many playwrights to bring new plays, adaptations and musicals to the stage. At CSC, he worked with playwright Chuck Mee to develop a “First Look” series of readings of his adaptation of Greek tragedy, Imperial Dreams. In 2014, Scott worked with Lauren Whitehead to update Tony Kushner's A Bright Room Called Day and presented a new version (with Mr. Kushner's approval) that warned of the imminent rise of a yet-to-be-named extreme right leader (Columbia Stages, Connelly Theatre). Other credits include: Children at Play by Jordan Seavey (Advocate's “Top 10 Gay Plays”), Nerve by Adam Szymkowicz, NYMF's Explorers concert (Signature Center), America, You Kill Me by Joshua Conkel, Paper Cranes by Kari Bentley-Quinn, The Gifts of the Magi (Tilles Center for the Performing Arts), as well as Edgar and Patrick by Ken Urban (Drama League). He has directed many plays by Alejandro Morales including: the silent concerto (Outstanding Director, FringeNYC), the october crisis, marea (HERE Arts Center), and expat/inferno (Outstanding Production, FringeNYC).

Additionally, Scott has directed classics plays such as Chekhov's Three Sisters, Brecht's Baal and Anne Carson's adaptation of Euripides's Orestes. Working with an ensemble, Scott devised an immersive, interactive, multi-media production of The Calmative based on the writings of Beckett and Nancy Cunard. Continuing to explore the use of projected media in live performance he co-wrote and directed Elevation that examined the refracted effects of grief in the face of personal tragedy. It was originally developed at the Vineyard Arts Project and later presented at the Schapiro Theatre as a joint project of Columbia University and NYU.

He assisted directors Tina Landau at Steppenwolf Theatre and John Doyle on the revival of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Allegro at Classic Stage Company. Scott is a member of Lincoln Center's Director's Lab, a former member of Tectonic Theatre Project's Literary Department, a Directing-Mentor at Tisch School of the Arts, and honored by Shubert Foundation through Columbia University. Scott holds a BFA from New York University and an MFA in Theatre Directing from Columbia University.

Andrew Mannion, Scenic Design

Andrew Mannion previously designed Irreversible for Red Fern Theatre Company. Recent designs include the world premiers of Curvy Widow and Brave New World at NC Stage in Asheville, NC. Andrew is an Assistant Professor of Scenic Design at Western Carolina University. Upcoming designs for WCU's 2016-17 season include King Lear, Hair, and Angels in America. Originally from Baltimore via New York, Andrew has designed for various companies including including Playhouse on the Square, Mt. Baker Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Stella Adler School for Acting, and 440 Studios. He also assisted on Broadway with The Nance (Tony Award for Best Set Design), Orphans, The Big Knife, Kung Fu, The Last Ship, and The Realistic Joneses. From 2013 to 2014, he was the resident scenic design associate at Encores! Off-Broadway.

Izzy Fields, Costume Design

Izzy is a New York based costume designer for opera, stage, film and tv. Recent New York theatre credits: THE OREGON TRAIL, THE WEDGE HORSE, AT THE TABLE, BREATHING TIME and THE FAIRE all for Fault Line Theatre Company. THE GOLDEN BRIDE, LIES MY FATHER TOLD ME and FYVUSH FINKEL LIVE! all at National Yiddish Theatre. THE CRUCIBLE, THE TRESTLE AT POPE LICK CREEK and THE LOVE OF THE NIGHTINGALE all at Atlantic Theatre Company. A MIDSUMMER NIGHTS DREAM at Secret Theatre; CONSENT at Roundabout Black Box; AMERICAN DANCE MACHINE at Joyce Theatre; SHIPS at The Wild Project.

Derek Van Heel, Lighting Design

Derek's designs have been seen at The Alvin Ailey Theatre, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Metropolitan Museum, Off-Broadway, and the kinds of basements, bars, churches, and teeny-tiny rooms where New York theatre is often forged. Recent designs include Madama Butterfly (Palm Beach Opera), Then Silence (Scandanavian American Theatre Co; US Premier) Manon (Curtis Opera), La Cenerentola (Shreveport Opera), The International (Origin Theatre; World Premier), The End and The Beginning (The Civilians), The Miracle Worker (Montana Rep; National Tour), and Butoh Medea (Ren Gyo Soh), which has performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, and other festivals in the U.S. and Europe. Upcoming projects include Péter Eötvös' Angles In America for New York City Opera, and a new dance/media piece by Einy Aam Sparks, entitled Drip, which will have dual premiers in NYC and Oslo, Norway this fall. BFA: University of Montana. MFA: NYU Tisch.

Andy Evan Cohen, Sound & Projection Design

Andy Evan Cohen (Sound Design) is an award-winning composer and sound designer for theater and films. Recent credits include off-Broadway's In Bed With Roy Cohn, I Know What Boys Want, A Midsummer Night's Dream (MasterWorks), and Ay Carmela! (Repertorio Español); An American Soldier (59E59, Edinburgh Fringe, Kennedy Center); scores for the web series Off Off Kilter and the indie film Show And Tell Tango; and many NYC indie theater credits including NYIT Award-Winning productions by Theater4The People (In Vestments), Nylon Fusion (Unmentionables), New Light Theatre Project (In The Soundless Awe), T. Schreiber (Natural Life, Harper Regan), and many others.

Joseph Travers, Fight Director

Joseph has worked creating fights, stunts and action sequences for stage and screen for over twenty-five years. Recent work includes the Broadway production of Bronx Bombers, the Off-Broadway world premiers of The View Upstairs and Bill Porter's While I Yet Live, and the 2016 season at the Virginia Shakespeare Festival. He also staged fights for the world premiers of Adam Rapp's Essential Self - Defense, Sarah Ruhl's Dead Man's Cell Phone and the U.S. premier of Ethel Smyth's 1906 opera The Wreckers. His work has been seen at Irish Repertory Theatre, Playwrights Horizons, Primary Stages, New York Theatre Workshop, Ensemble Studio Theatre, New Repertory Theatre and on tour with the National Shakespeare Company. On film, he has served as stunt coordinator for The Depths, Lifted, and A-Alike and as stunt coordinator and sword master for the fantasy epic Tower of Silence.

Jodi M. Witherell, Production Stage Manager

Jodi was most recently seen as PSM for Adam Szymkowicz's Marian, or the True Tale of Robin Hood (Flux Theatre Ensemble) and That Which Isn't (Theater Accident). Favorite credits include: miscellaneous work on Mac Rogers' Universal Robots and The Honeycomb Trilogy (Gideon Productions); All Systems Go: Mission 4 (Mission to (dit)Mars); The Listeners (The Brick); Moby Dick (Fireboat Productions); Rizing, Salvage, Once Upon a Bride…, Jane the Plain, Honey Fist, Hearts Like Fists, Deinde, Ajax in Iraq, The Lesser Seductions… and many others with Flux; as well as shows with The Gallery Players; Avalon Studios; The St. Bart's Players; Working Man's Clothes; Pembi Players; Playwright's Company; Audax Theatre Group; Streetlight Productions and The American Globe Theatre.

Tyler Spicer, Assistant Director

Tyler is an NYC based Director who loves re-imagining classics and fostering new musicals. Directing: PharmaBro, LadyM. AD: Publicworks' Twelfth Night, Who's Your Baghdaddy?.