Created and Directed by Anna Brenner, with the ensemble: Ross Cowan, Rami Margron, Rachael Richman, and Mary Tuomanen. Designers: Oona Curley, Elizabeth Atkinson, and Hannah Wasileski.
Part murder mystery, part spiritual quest, The Karamazovs is a new play inspired equally by Dostoevsky’s novel, and by my own siblings and our relationship while our father was dying.
It’s a story that looks backward and forward, at all the ways we try to become whole and free even as we are inextricably linked to each other. Developed with the ensemble in a playful marriage of the experimental and the classical, through text, movement, music (and a total disregard for the arcane gender roles of the novel) we ask the vital question of how to be a good person in today’s world.
photos by Tatiana Stolpovskaya
In This Hope: A Pericles Project
In This Hope: A Pericles Project is part play and part ritual. Led by an all-female/multi-cultural ensemble, the production excavates the layers of the past to reveal something completely in the present.
The story of being forced to flee a homeland, journey over the sea, discover love and experience great loss has been passed on since antiquity and still resonates to this day. With Shakespeare’s epic PERICLES as the starting point we come together, with our audiences, to uncover the power of memory and storytelling.
November 8 – December 2, 2018
Spooky Action Theatre
1810 16th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
Dramaturg Hannah Hessel Ratner
Director Anna Brenner
Performers Lida Maria Benson, Rocelyn Frisco, Raghad Makhlouf, and Lori Pitts.
Designers Colin K. Bills, Pei Lee and Roc Lee.
Assistant Director and Dramaturg Jess Phillips
Artistic Consultant Isaiah Matthew Wooden
Stage Manager Emma Heck Production Manager KayCee Tucker
This project is made possible with the support of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the 2018 Bly Creative Capacity Grant
Written and Directed by Anna Brenner
Devised with the ensemble: Cass Collins, Nate Grams, Megan Hill, Elisa Matula, and Maria McConville
"Do one thing a day that scares you."
Dramaturgy: Jess Applebaum Set: Blanca Anon Sound: Matt O'Hare and Brian Wenner Lights: Yi Zhao
the undergroundzero festival The Living Theater, New York, July 2012
Cast: Elka Chowdhury, Kelveen Fabian, Elizabeth Kline, Sarah Lazarus, Glenn Morizio & Austin Spero
Scenic Design: Deb O Costume Design: Danica Martino Lighting Design: Chad McArver Sound Design: Luqman Brown
Developed at Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab and PlayPenn
Based on Robert Altman's film
Adapted and Directed by Anna Brenner
Cast: Melissa Brown, Rachael Richman, Selene Beretta, Eliza Bent, Cass Collins, Lisa Dennett, Rebecca Hirota, Maryalyn Jabour, Mike James, Natalie Kuhn, Todd Licea, Emily Madison, Elisa Matula, David Olan, Rachael Richman, and Ryan Stinnett
Set: Julia Przedmojska
Costumes: Dasha Martikainen
Lights: Eric Southern
Projections & Sound: Matt O'Hare and Pia Blumenthal
Dramaturgy: Hannah Hessel
Riverside Theatre, 2011
Photos by Carol Rosegg
Are We Here Yet?
Enter the American mind: afraid, allergic, contradictory, and forever searching.
Directed by Anna Brenner Devised with the company: Melissa Brown, Nick Dillenburg, Gabel Eiben, Hannah Hessel (dramaturgy), Otso Huopaniemi (writer), Mike James, Rachael Richman, and Teana David
Set: Scott Dougan Costumes: Dasha Martikainen Lights: Bruce Steinberg
undergroundzero festival at Performance Space 122 New York, 2010
Devised with the ensemble Directed by Anna Brenner and Jess K. Smith
Performers: Gabriel Barron, Melissa Brown, Ross Cowan, Mike James, Yael Nachajon, Rachael Richman
Set: Julia Przedmojska Lighting: Dante Olivia Smith Photos by Marissa Sher
Center for Performance Research, Brooklyn New Voices in Live Performance, curated by Ann Marie Lonsdale, 2013
The Hotel Colors
by Eliza Bent The Bushwick Starr, 2013
Six travelers, both young and ancient, spend one night in a rundown hostel in the outskirts of Rome. Speaking in direct translation from Italian into English the eccentric voyagers form a temporary community and unexpected friendships as they fail, and flail, in their attempts to communicate.
Cast: Christine Holt, Alessandro Magania, Linda Mancini, Federico Rodriguez, Kourtney Rutherford, and Howard Thoresen
Set: Blanca Anon Lighting: Yi Zhao Costumes: Asta Hosteter
Cast: Melissa Brown, Jane Fromme, Philip Guerette, and Ryan Reilly
Set: Julia Przedmojska Costumes: Asta Hostetter Lighting: Yi Zhao Sound: Elizabeth Atkinson Photographs by Isaiah Downing / Yi Zhao
"Almost 70 years after it premiered, The Glass Menagerie remains one of the great American plays. This powerful, moving and very human production shows why." - Todd Wallinger CS Independent
Won't Be A Ghost
by Francis Weiss Rabkin
composer: Leslie Allison
WON’T BE A GHOST is a personal, performed essay and an experiment in documentary theater, accompanied by a live choir. Based on research into the life of St. Sebastian (“the unofficial queer saint”) and the trial of Army Intelligence Analyst/WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning, the piece examines the queer body, sacrifice, and bearing witness.
Performers: Ethan Dubin, Ryan Reilly, Francis Weiss Rabkin; Choir: Rachael Balcanoff, Arla Berman, Kate Ehrenberg, Sophie Traub, Claire Wilcox
HERE, Smith and Tinker, curated by Sarah Rose Leonard, 2013
Drama League Residency, 2014
Prelude Festival, curated by Jackie Sibblies Drury, 2014
Written by Moliere. Translated by Tony Harrison
Directed by Anna Brenner
"The more I know of him the more bizarre it seems to me his slavish passions are. Given the kind of star Alceste's born under, the fact he loves at all's an earthly wonder." - Philinte
"And that's the way that you feel That's the way that you feel If that's the way that you feel, honey, then That's the way that you feel" - The Kills
Featuring: Matt Biagini, Michael Guagno, Fatih Genckal, Elisa Matula, Maylin Murphy, Mike James, Wil Petre, Johanna Weller-Fahy, Ross Cowan, Rachael Richman, and James Rutherford
Set: Nicolas Benacerraf Costumes: Asta Bennie Hostetter Lights: Yi Zhao
Photos by Yi Zhao
AUDIENCE AWARD WINNER of the 2009 undergroundzero festival at PS122
by James Ryan Caldwell
1919. The next Stettheimer soiree is not-to-be-missed. Duchamp might be there, Gertrude Stein’s brother certainly will. And Florine Stettheimer is showing a brand new painting. Her famous friends can’t wait to judge.
Cast: Tina Mitchell, Megan Hill, Elisa Matula, Van Hansis, Elliotte Crowell Simian, Benjamin Pelteson, Christopher Hirsh, James Ryan Caldwell, Amar Srivastava, and Craig MacArthur Doležel*
Set: Peiyi Wong Costumes: Isabelle Coler Lighting: Victoria Bausch Sound: M. Florian Staab Props: Jiin Choi
Dixon Place, 2015
After People Like You
by Jason Pizzarello
Four estranged friends meet again on a late night subway ride through an apocalyptic New York City. Their secrets and sufferings eventually emerge in this gripping and spare play about people struggling to trust the goodness they once so easily possessed.
Developed in a workshop production at Classic Stage Company, 2013
Cast: Lily Dorment, Maria McConville, Davy Raphaely, Joel Ripka
Set: Blanca Anon Sound: Elizabeth Atkinson Costumes: Kristin Fiebig Lighting: Yi Zhao
Photos by Yi Zhao
“Under the direction of Anna Brenner, this play is a brilliant and thought-provoking expedition into four human hearts torn not only from the recent events which shook the world to its deepest core, but also by simple actions that question the essence of an individual's sense of humanity. …I would say that this show is indeed important, as well as masterful and necessary for people to see.” –Kristen Morale, BroadwayWorld.com
look away a new play inspired by Franz Kafka by John Douglas Weidner directed by Anna Brenner
“I got it…I’ve finally got it this time. No. It is lost. Now the world seems a mystery to me yet again.”
Cast: Erica Abbott, Asher Bailey, Ephraim Birney, Gus Birney, Virginia Logan, Elisa Matula, Eric Murdoch, Kelly Narcum, Jonathan Riddleberger, Christopher Salazar, and Emily Young
Set: Tuffer Weidner Projections: Hannah Wasileski Costumes: Evan Prizant Lights: Kevin Hardy Dramaturgy: Lucille Cashion and Erik Grathwohl Choreography: Erica Abbott and Kelly Narcum Stage Manager: Sarah Helgesen
Kafka Fest Shapiro Theater, New York 2009
Our Greatest Year
by Robert Attenweiler and Scott Henkle
OUR GREATEST YEAR is an innovative blend of live stage action and projected motion comics that follows Harvey Pruit, and his new wife, Elton, as they return to Cleveland, OH to care for his ailing father, watch another tortured year of Cleveland professional sports and learn about loss, losing, and the myths we create to make sense of both.
Cast: Rebecca Benhayon and Eric Slater
The Brick, Brooklyn, 2011
Dobama, Cleveland, OH 2012
"Anna Brenner’s empathic direction brings this unflagging pessimist and his mystified wife to vivid life" - Eric Grode, The New York Times