ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT AND DIRECTOR

Jeffrey Fiske adapted and directed The Screwtape Letters, which has enjoyed two Off-Broadway runs, a national tour, a long run in Chicago and two runs at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC. He has also directed a production of Mark’s Gospel, which won the Jeff Award for best one person show. His script of Boudica, the true story of the woman who commanded the largest rebellion against the Roman Empire, was performed at the Bouwerie Lane Theatre Off-Broadway, and is currently part of the Babes With Blades “Fighting Words” program in Chicago. Dr. Fiske’s play Britomart, the story of the one female Knight of the Round Table, was performed at the International Spoleto Festival. For several years he was a voter for the Lortel Awards, one of the highest awards given to Off-Broadway shows. His play Clytaemnestra, a multi-media retelling of The Orestaia, earned him a one year Playwriting Fellowship with the New Jersey State Council for the Arts.

His doctoral dissertation, Toward a New Renaissance, earned accolades from the Princeton University Institute for Advanced Studies and was the subject of discussion between Pulitzer Prize Winner Daniel J. Boostin and Sam Donaldson on a special ABC News program (Dr. Fiske worked with Dr. Boorstin on the book The Creators). Toward a New Renaissance also resulted in him serving as an advisor to NASA and other space exploration organizations for two years. He has served as an advisor to and presented conference presentations at the Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Utah Shakespeare Festival, The Nebraska Repertory Company, and other regional theaters.

A college professor for nearly two decades, Dr. Fiske taught in the graduate schools of Drew University and Montclair State University, and was the advisor for many doctoral dissertations and masters theses. Dr. Fiske has his doctorate in theatre from Ohio State University.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In addition to The Loser LettersMary Eberstadt is author of several influential works of non-fiction including It’s Dangerous to Believe (2016); How the West Really Lost God (2013); Adam and Eve after the Pill (2012); and Home-Alone America (2005).  She has written for many magazines and newspapers, among them TIME, the Wall Street JournalNational Review, National Review Online, Policy Review, the Weekly Standard, and the Washington Post. Prominent essays include “Eminem is Right,” “Is Food the New Sex?,” “The Vindication of Humanae Vitae,” “Christianity Lite,” “My Irving Kristol and Ours,” and “Pro-Animal, Pro-Life.”

Mrs. Eberstadt is also Founder and President of The Kirkpatrick Society, a literary and mentoring organization for women writers that has included hundreds of members within and beyond the nation’s capital.

Her previous positions include a Hoover Institution research fellowship (2002-2013); executive editor of The National Interest; managing editor of The Public Interest; and consulting editor to Policy Review. During the Reagan administration, she spent two years on the State Department Policy Planning staff as a speechwriter to former Secretary of State George Shultz, and was a special writing assistant to Jeane J. Kirkpatrick, former ambassador to the United Nations.

A four-year Telluride scholar at Cornell University and double major in philosophy and government, Mrs. Eberstadt also became the first female factotum in the history of Deep Springs College. In May 2014, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters by Seton Hall University, where she delivered the Commencement Address.

 

THE CAST

Madeleine Murphy (A.F. Christian) graduated in May from the college of William and Mary with a B.S. in business administration in marketing. She was a very active participant in the WM theatre department, where she had the chance to perform in Avenue Q (2015), La Cafe aux Folles (2013), Dancing at Lughnasa (2013), Merry Wives of Windsor (2013), and Pippin (2012). She also performed in numerous one-act plays and acted in a few short films. Outside of university, she acted in The Sound of Music (2012) and Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream (2011).

Chellsie Memmel (Inner Demon) burst into the gymnastics spotlight in 2003 when she was named to the Pan American Games team and won five medals, including the team and all-around gold, earning the highest all-around marks of any team member during finals, and becoming World Champion in Uneven Bars. At the 2005 World Championships, Chellsie became the first U.S. woman to win the all-around gold medal since 1994. She also tied for USA Gymnastics Women’s Athlete of the Year.

Chellsie made the Olympic Team in 2008 and competed in Beijing, China where she took home a silver medal in the team competition.This year she was a judge in the Women’s Gymnastics Trials for the Olympic Games in Rio.

Chellsie loves competing for the United States, which allows her to travel the world. Some of the countries she has been to include: England, France, Belgium, Switzerland, The Dominican Republic, China, Brazil, Greece, Australia, and Japan.

Mandy Rivera (The Institute Director/The Attendants) was born in the beautiful Island of St. Croix, and now calls Virginia home. She was Co-founder and the majority shareholder of two Corporations. She held the title of President for A Commercial Green Cleaning Company and was Vice President for An In Home Personal Fitness Company. Her roles included, but were not limited to, marketing, sales, accounting/bookkeeping, social media, and networking. She recently sold her shares and is now pursuing a career of theater, entertainment, and Voice Over acting. She received her third kidney transplant three years ago, igniting a new zest for life. She has been a requested guest host for inspirational speaking to share her story of triumph, and has lectured at hospitals to groups of medical students. Some of her hobbies include traveling, snorkeling the deep blue, nature photography, painting, singing, and dance.

 

THE CREATIVE TEAM

Christopher White (Managing Director) is the Director of Catholic Voices USA and a contributor to Crux. He holds an M.A. in Ethics and Society from Fordham University and a B.A. in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from The King’s College. His writings have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Forbes, Washington Post, New York Daily News, International Business Times, The American Interest, First Things, and Human Life Review, among many other print and online publications. He is a Robert Novak Fellowship Award Winner and lives in New York City.

Irina Tsikurishvili (Choreographer) is a 58-time Helen Hayes Award Nominee and has won the award 14 times for her outstanding choreography and acting. Irina has choreographed all Synetic Theater’s productions including The Crackpots, Dracula, Host and Guest and Frankenstein, Island of Doctor Moreau,Salomé, Bohemians, Jason and the Argonauts, The Dybbuk, Faust, Frankenstein, Macbeth, Animal Farm, The Fall of the House of Usher, A Christmas Carol, Romeo and Juliet, Carmen, Dante, A Midsummer Night’s Dream,Antony and Cleopatra, Othello, King Arthur, King Lear, Don Quixote, Othello, Twelfth Night, Much ado About Nothing, Three Musketeers, Alice In Wonderland, The Picture Of Dorian Gray, Jekyll & Hyde, The Taming Of The Shrew, The Tempest, As You Like It, and much more. Ms.Tsikurishvili has taught at Georgetown University, where she choreographed Lysistrata. She continues to run intensive movement workshops and train Synetic cast members. With her husband Paata, she is the co-founder of Synetic Theater and co-founder of Stanislavsky Theater Studio. Paata & Irina were named Washingtonians of the Year in 2013. Irina Graduated from Chabukiani National Ballet Academy in Tbilisi Georgia and holds BFA in Performing Arts.

Annie Schiffmann (Marking Director) recently transitioned to social media marketing after being a professional improv comedian for over fifteen years. In addition to The Loser Letters, she currently handles the digital media for Broadway’s Next Hit Musical, Greg Triggs, and Strategic Entertainment. A self professed theatre nerd, she gets a huge thrill from reading audience reactions to a show based on what they post while leaving the theatre. Find her on Twitter @annieschiff.

Donna Reinhold (Stage Manager) is a freelance Stage Manager and the Production Manager at NextStop Theatre Company in Herndon, VA. Favorite Stage Management credits include Adventure Theatre MTC: JumanjiGarfield, Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol, Stuart Little, Jungle Book, NextStop Theatre: No Spring Chicken, Taffety Punk: Hamlet, Q1, Synetic Theater: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Jekyll + Hyde, Home of the Soldier, and Taming of the Shrew (ASM); Forum Theatre: Pluto (ASM), and Happenstance Theatre’s 2nd Annual Cabaret Macabre. Donna is also a playwright and dramaturg, and has a passion for Theatre for Young Audiences and World Premieres.

Renee Nyack (Assistant Stage Manager) is pleased to work with Catholic University. Her regional credits include: Guards at the Taj (Assistant Stage Manager) at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana! The Carmen Miranda Story (Stage Manager) at the Trinidad Theatre, Seven Guitars (Stage Manager) at Signature Theatre; Point…Blank…Period! (Stage Manager) at the Goethe Institut; Blue (Stage Manager), Inside Out (Stage Manager), Aquarium (Stage Manager), Mouse on the Move (Stage Manager), From Here to There (Stage Manager), and Wake Up, Brother Bear! (Stage Manager), at Imagination Stage; include Knuffle Bunny (Production Assistant) at the Kennedy Center; Stop Kiss (Production Assistant) with No Rules Theatre Company; for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (Stage Manager) at Studio Theater; Ruined (Student Coordinator) and Skindiver (Production Assistant) at Arena Stage; Gilgamesh & Enchanted April (Assistant Stage Manager); The Seagull (Stage Manager) at the University of Maryland. Renee received a B.A. in Theatre from the University of Maryland in 2011.

Steven C. Kemp (Scenic Designer) is a NYC-based set designer for theatre, opera and entertainment. His designs have been seen Off-Broadway at The Duke on 42nd Street, The 47th Street Theatre, Keen Company, Mint Theater Company, Second Stage, New Worlds Theatre Project, The Shop, The Cherry Lane Theatre and Playwright’s Realm. Other NYC credits include work at 59E59, HERE Arts, Clubbed Thumb, Studio 42, and the New School For Drama. Regional theatre credits include designs at La Jolla Playhouse, Asolo Repertory Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Royal George Theatre, ReVision Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Hudson Stage Company, and Gulfshore Playhouse. He has designed internationally for Le Cirque Bijou (Norwegian Cruise Line), The Physicists (Hungarian Theatre of Cluj), the recent European tour of Ain’t Misbehavin’ directed by Richard Maltby and the tour of Dixie’s Tupperware Party. Opera credits include multiple productions at Indiana University – Jacobs School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Merola Opera, Opera Santa Barbara, Opera Grand Rapids, New Orleans Opera, Opera Kentucky, Tulsa Opera, Townsend Opera, Fresno Grand Opera, Hawaii Opera Theatre and Opera San Jose where his 10 productions include the acclaimed production of Idomeneo presented by the Packard Humanities Institute and also the west coast premiere of Anna Karenina. MFA – UCSD 2008, www.stevenckemp.com

Frank DiSalvo Jr. (Sound Designer) is a writer and Helen Hayes Award nominated sound designer from southern Maryland. He has designed sound for DC area theaters including Washington Stage Guild (It’s a Wonderful Life: a Live Radio Play—Helen Hayes Award nominated, Back to Methuselah Parts I and II, Elling, Dante’s Inferno); Rorschach Theatre (Very Still and Hard to See—Helen Hayes Award nominated); WSC Avant Bard (The Madwoman of Chaillot); and The Catholic University of America Department of Drama (Legacy Street, Mage Knights of the Eternal Light, Conversations I’ve Never Had), where he received his MFA in Playwriting. His short plays have appeared in the NYC 15 Minute Play Festival, the Lakeshore Players 10 Minute Festival, and the North Park Playwrights Festival. He is the founder of Parlor Room Theater based in Prince George’s County, MD, where he has directed several plays including A Tuna Christmas, Fools, and The Nerd.

Emily DeAngelis (Costume Design) is a Costume Designer working in Opera, Dance, and Theatre. Regional credits include work with Le Petit Theatre (New Orleans), The Colony Theatre (Miami), PCPA Theatrefest, and LaJolla Playhouse.

International credits include touring dance pieces for Keigwin and Company, Parsons Dance and “The Physicists” for the National Hungarian Theatre of Cluj, Romania.

Opera credits include work with Palm Beach Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera, and Ash Lawn Opera. New York Off-Broadway Credits include work for Daryl Roth Productions, New Georges, 3LD, The Working Theatre, Prospect Theatre Company, Central Park Summer Stage, and The Classical Theatre of Harlem to name a few. New York Innovative Theatre Award nominee for Best Costume Design. Ms. DeAngelis has an MFA from The University of California, San Diego, and is currently Costume Director for The Richmond Ballet. www.emilydeangelis.com

Alberto Segarra (Lighting Design) is a Lighting Designer located in Washington, DC. Recent credits designs include: Satchmo at the Waldorf (Mosaic Theatre) Taming of the Shrew and Macbeth (Nebraska Shakespeare); Legacy Street (world premier); Br’er Cotton (world premier). Other credits include; the operas The Magic Flute and L’Occasione Fa Il Ladro (Maryland Opera Studio); Twilight LA; 1992; Once on this Island; Hair; Cabaret; Boeing Boeing; Dangerous Liasons; Glass Menagerie; La Cage aux Folles; Evita; Romeo & Juliet and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (Aquila Theatre). Mr. Segarra holds a BA from the University of Puerto Rico and an MFA in Lighting Design from the University of Maryland-College Park. He is a member of United Scenic Artist Local 829. More at: albertosegarra.com.