The Schoolhouse Theater
goes viral with
The Pandemic Players
IN A WORLD WITHOUT THEATER, The Pandemic Players will do their best to replace it through a series of Zoom-readings. While you won’t have the thrill of fighting over the armrests in a theater, you will still have the transformative experience of a live performance.
What are the Pandemic Players? Well…in the time of Covid19 it is The Schoolhouse Theater’s slightly cheeky slightly rude fist in the face of all we are fighting right now. So many gifted artists have come through the doors of the Schoolhouse and many of them have agreed to regroup informally as a sort of theatrical Woodstock to celebrate what’s best in the theater. First and foremost, it is a family. We are happy to bring our family to you.
The Pandemic Players take you through the history of plays: Comedy and tragedy, farce and intrigue, political and romance. Every week since July, professional Broadway actors perform a cold reading – unrehearsed and for the first time LIVE. The viewer experiences the charm, the uncertainty and the dynamic creative energy that gifted actors go through on the first day of rehearsal in what is known as The First Reading. At the end of each reading/rehearsal/performance, Artistic Director Bram Lewis talks with the actors about their experience, then opens the microphones and cameras to the audience so they can share in the curtain call.
ESTELLE BAJOU is a NYIT-winning Actor, Drama Desk-nominated Composer, Visual Artist, and Educator based in Harlem. Broadway: Once. TV: “Boardwalk Empire”; Ken Burns’ “Prohibition”. Film: Charming the Hearts of Men (opposite Anna Friel); Spielberg’s The Post; Chaplin of the Mountains; Fireworkers; Beneath Disheveled Stars. Shorts: Glimpses, klutz., Starring Austin Pendleton; Lullaby for Ray; Henry Buys a Hat. Theatre: Labyrinth Theater Co, PS122, Edinburgh Fringe, LaMaMa, 59E59, One Year Lease Theater Co, 14th St Y, New Ohio, NJ Rep, FringeNYC, A.R.T. (Boston), Barrow Street, three National Tours. At nineteen years old, she earned a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She then earned an MFA in Acting from the School of Drama at The New School. Member: SAG-AFTRA, AEA, American Federation of Musicians, and the Brooklyn Waterfront Artists Coalition. www.estellebajou.com
SARAH BIERSTOCK is delighted to be a part of the reading of “Whose Life is it Anyway?” She is an actor, singer, playwright, mother of two toddlers, drinker of wine, eater of too much ice cream, and an attempter of laughter and humanity through all things pandemic and beyond. www.sarahbierstock.com
TODD BUTERA (Dr. Thomas Stockman, An Enemy of the People) Butera’s theater credits include Fault Lines (Eddie) at The Kraine, Funeral Games (Fury/Paris) at The Public Theater, Macbeth (Mac Duff) at Frog and Peach Theater, Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick) and As You Like It (Jaques) at the Hudson Warehouse. He has performed at both the NY Fringe Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Film/TV: All My Children, Redrum, Orson Wells Sells His Soul and A Death in Bethay. Member of SAG-AFTRA-Equity. www.bmgtalent.com
NATHANIEL P. CLARIDAD Off-Broadway/NYC credits include Here Lies Love (The Public Theater), Taylor Mac's 24-Decade History of Popular Music (St. Ann's Warehouse), The Awesome 80’s Prom, work with NYShakespeare Exchange, NYMF, PS122, N.A.A.P.; International: Laser Beak Man (Dead Puppet Society/Brisbane Festival & tour - Sydney Opera House, HOTA, & Melbourne Arts Centre), Taylor Mac’s…(The Forum, Melbourne Festival); National Tour: Alice (The Kennedy Center); Regional: The Kennedy Center, PlayMakers Repertory Company, Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Florida Studio Theatre, Cape Fear Regional, Imagination Stage, Hangar Theatre, Barrington Stage. Directing credits include Southern Rep, The One Minute Play Festival, ShakesBEER, The Drama League. MFA: UNC-CH.
GINGER GRACE: is delighted to be working with the Pandemic Players! Work with the Schoolhouse Theater includes Eleanor Roosevelt in Eleanor Roosevelt: Her Secret Journey, by Rhoda Lehrman, and The Color of Light, by Jesse Kornbluth (both directed by Bram Lewis). Other credits include: National Tour: The Presidents (opposite Rich Little). Off-Broadway: The Glass Menagerie (Top Ten Best Revivals of 2019, TheatreScene.net, directed by Austin Pendleton & Peter Bloch, at The Wild Project); The Saintliness of Margery Kempe (Perry Street Theatricals); Miss Julie (The Pearl), and Faust, and Aeschylus’s Elektra (CSC Repertory) (all 3 productions directed by Christopher Martin). NY Theater: New Perspectives Theatre, Mother of Invention, Mississippi Mud. Regional: The First Ladies Coalition (written by Ms. Grace; directed by Austin Pendleton) most recently performed at the Bridge Street Theatre, Catskill, NY; and in the W.H.A.M. Festival, NYC; Inside Emily Dickinson: Her Poetry & Her Life (written by Ms. Grace); The Belle of Amherst; Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Penobscot Theater, directed by Mark Torres); Doubt (WSCC). New plays in New York: Jason Jung’s PANIC!, Jenny Lyn Bader’s In Flight, Fengar Gael’s Devil Dog Six, Deborah Savadge’s The Favor. Film: Wedding March (WINNER: Hollywood International Moving Pictures Festival, 2019), 6-minute Mom, Frat Star, SHEER.
SHELLE DAVIS (AEA) has been a NY based actor since 1999, appearing in theatre, film, television and podcast, as well as performing live and in-studio as lead vocalist with several NYC based rock and jazz bands. She appeared in The Shadowbox, with The Regeneration Theatre Company last February, as The Interviewer, and is a voice-over artist, most recently appearing in the podcast, Uncanny County. She is thrilled to have been part of the Schoolhouse Theatre's recent reading of Ibsen's, An Enemy of the People.
JASON GRIFFITH Over two decades, Jason has worked with directors such as Don Cheadle, Phillip Noyce, Ethan Cohen, Rupert Holmes, Kimberly Pierce, Doug Liman, David Simon & Ovi Vargas. Notable voice work includes Sonic the Hedgehog and Shadow the Hedgehog for all things SEGA, Cilan in Pokemon, Tony Stark in Iron Man: Extremis, and Usopp in One Piece. TV credits include Blue Bloods.
MEREDITH HANDERHAN: is happy to have been found by the Schoolhouse! Working predominantly in Film and TV, I always value my theater roots. Thank you to Bram for finding and keeping me! Schoolhouse credits include Gladstone Hollow:The Farm Play and the recent Pandemic Player reading of The Female Odd Couple. Selected Theater credits include Fool for Love, FlyGirls and Miss Witherspoon. Selected film and TV credits include The King of Staten Island (Dir. Judd Apatow), The Last O.G, Law and Order:SVU, and The Detour. (AEA/SAG/AFTRA) meredithhanderhan.com
ANDRÉ HERZEGOVITCH (The Photographer, Vieux Carré) Andre was last seen Off Broadway as Edgar Degas in a successful run of The Independents, a new play about Edgar Degas and Mary Cassatt. NYC Theater: Vieux Carre directed by Austin Pendleton w/ Mississippi Mudd Productions, Bury The Dead directed by Geoffrey Owens at HB Ensemble Theater. Regionally: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (Gooper), Company (Harry), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Barfée), Small Town Confessions (Tito Watts), Beyond The Fringe (Dudley), Tartuffe (Tartuffe). Film/TV: The Post, The Marvelous Mrs Maisel, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. Member of SAG-AFTRA. www.Andreherzegovitch.com
MARK HOFMAIER came to New York from neighboring Philadelphia where he was an early member of the Philadelphia Theater Company. He studied acting with Wynn Handman, Michael Howard, Paul Austin, Tim Phillips, and Nikki Flacks; and acted in a variety of Off-Broadway productions, including plays by N. Richard Nash, Hugh Wheeler, John Ford Noonan, and Diane Kagan. and leading roles in network television dramas such as “Law and Order” and “Monsters”.
He has been a member of, and active participant for many years with a New York repertory company of actors, playwrights, and directors called the Workshop Theatre Company. He has performed, among other roles, Agamemnon in a modern adaptation of Iphigenia, by P. Seth Bauer, and in original work by Donald Steele (Graceland, winner of New York Fringe festival) and Kathy Chetkovich (She Said, She Said).
Recently Mark portrayed Jerry in Pinter’s Betrayal and the “other” half of Gurney’s Mrs. Farnsworth – the husband, as well as the first Mate Molloy in a musical adaptation of Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi. Mark is married with two children to actress/director Susanna Frazer.
TIM JEROME. I have been performing professionally on-stage since 1968 with 18 Broadway shows (one Tony nomination) and 12 feature films to my credit. I have also performed in regional theaters and on tour throughout the country exclusively in principle roles. In 2019, I played Henri Matisse in The Schoolhouse Theatre production of Jesse Kornbluth’s THE COLOR OF LIGHT.
In 1983, I founded a company, National Music Theater Network, Inc., with a mission to encourage the development of new theatrical musicals. Under my presidency, the company founded the New York Musical Theatre Festival (NYMF). In 2010, I founded MainStreet Musicals, Inc., to expand new works development into regional communities and colleges around the U.S. In 2017, we launched an on-line performance competition – MainStreet CALLBACKS - for young performers transitioning from college into the profession. I have served as an elected Councilor (Board Member) for Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, and as 1st Vice President of the American Guild of Musical Artists.
ALLIE KLEIN is making his Pandemic Player debut in Bedtime Story by Sean O’Casey.
New York theater credits include The Magic Hole (St. Marks Theater), Thom Paine (HB Studio), True West (HB Studio), Andromeda Speaks (Actors Studio), Gruesome Playground Injuries (HB Studio), and The Devil Tree Part II: Just Desserts (Players Theater). He also performed in Trainspotting at the Unicorn Theater in Pittsfield, MA. Web work includes The Chosen Family Show, The Thing About Brooklyn and Sh#t Show (Currently in production). Klein appeared on the television program, AXS TV Standup House.
MICHAEL KOEGEL (Peter Stockman, An Enemy of the People) is the Artistic Director of The Phoenicia Playhouse. He has recently directed productions of Marjory Prime, Boeing, Boeing, Oleanna, and Moon Over Buffalo. He is a writer, story-teller and occasional actor.
DANIEL MARCUS For Bram Lewis’s Phoenix Theatre at SUNY/Purchase, “Comedians” by Trevor Griffiths and “Sonya” opposite Julie Harris. Broadway: “The Pirates of Penzance”, “1776”, “Pal Joey”, “A Christmas Carol”, “The Woman In White”, “The Apple Tree” for Encores/City Center and “Urinetown” in which he originated the role of Officer Barrel. Off-Broadway includes “The Golem” and “La Boheme” (both for Joseph Papp’s Public Theatre) and “Adding Machine” and “Our Town” directed by the brilliant (and MacArthur ‘genius grant’ awardee) David Cromer. TV and Film includes “Law and Order: SVU”, “You Don’t Know Jack” and a recurring role as Maury Tuttlebaum the guy who runs the morgue in Marvel's “Jessica Jones” on Netflix.
For more amusement, visit Daniel Marcus’ Gilbert & Sullivan overtures: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLt3mODH--MDItZeua4TA8oBkToBrGGAbt
CAROLE MONFERDINI: Appeared last spring in The Schoolhouse Theatre’s production of The Color of Light as the Mother Superior. Other theatre highlights include long runs in: The Club at the Circle-in-Square, directed by Tommy Tune (OBIE award for performance); Charles Busch’s record-breaking hit, Vampire Lesbians of Sodom; & playing Diana Vreeland in Mary Louise Wilson’s one-woman show Full Gallop, off-Broadway at the Westside Arts Theatre & in the national tour, among others. On Broadway she stood by for Dame Diana Rigg in the National Theatre of G. Britain’s production of The Misanthrope and appeared with Anne Jackson and Eli Wallach in the national tour of Waltz of the Toreadors. She has appeared in regional theatre in 24 states. Film work includes Next Stop, Greenwich Village; The Bell Jar, The Brass Ring; Hank Boyd is Dead and Love, Repeat (currently in post-production). She is a member of Actors Center and Ninth Floor.
MARC MORITZ is thrilled to be making his first appearance (albeit Virtual!) for The Schoolhouse Theater. Marc originated the role of Talk Show Host in the Broadway production of the Stephen Sondheim / Hal Prince Musical, Merrily We Roll Along. Other Shows/Roles include: Twelfth Night (Grumio) Boy (Barnes) , Diary of Anne Frank (Otto), Amadeus (Emperor Joseph) Scottsboro Boys (Interlocutor), Into The Woods (Mysterious Man) , Sunshine Boys (Lewis)Theaters : Pittsburgh Playhouse, Goodman , Long Wharf, New Harmony, Dobama, Karamu, Porthouse, Off The Wall , Idaho Shakespeare, Riverside Shakespeare, Cleveland Playhouse, Great Lakes Theatre Festival. Marc was the Founder / Director of Cleveland's successful Improv Troupe - GIANT PORTIONS and has taught Improv at ImprovOlympic and Second City in Chicago. Marc has taught acting at AMDA and CAP 21 in NYC and is the Midwest Affiliate for MainStreet Musicals ( http://www.mainstreetmusicals.org) , a NY -based Non-Profit organization committed to nurturing new works regionally. Marc was in the Returning Professional Program at Kent State University where he received his MFA. He has two beautiful children - Sarah and Joseph.
DIANA PAPPAS theater credits include: Faye Medwick in Chapter Two (Arizona Theater Co., Dir. Marsha Mason). Molly MacGregor in The Full Monty (Broadway National Tour). Liz Imbrie in High Society (Westchester Broadway Theater). Woman #2 in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Capitol Repertory Theater). Patsy Cline in Always…Patsy Cline (Capitol Repertory Theater and Bristol Valley Theater). Dance Like No One is Watching (one-woman show. Bristol Valley Theater). Marian in Swingtime Canteen (Art Park at the Church). Helsa Wenzel in Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 (Bristol Valley Theater). Mickey in Leader of the Pack (Candlewood Playhouse). Glimer in Godspell (Downstairs Cabaret Theater). Sister Rober Anne in Nunsense 2 (Downstairs Cabaret Theater). TV and Film credits include Ugly Betty and Ghost Stories. Comedy includes Stand Up NY, Living Room Live, and Upright Citizens Brigade. Professional experience: CEO, This Place is Nuts in NYC. She holds a BS in Criminal Justice.
CARTER REDWOOD (Le Chevalier Raphael Danceny, Les Liaisons Dangereuses) Cater Redwood has appeared in two other Schoolhouse Theater Zoom readings: Vieux Carré and in Whose Life is it Anyway? Theater: Fences and Gertrude Stein Saints!, Film/TV: Blue Bloods, The Good Wife, Madam Secretary, The Yellow Birds, Mafia, The Transfiguration, and The Recall.
LOIS ROBBINS is a native New Yorker and an accomplished actress. Ms. Robbins was most recently seen in the independent film The Aspern Papers, alongside Vanessa Redgrave, Jolie Richardson and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. She also stars in the film Shepherd, directed by Lynn Roth. In August 2019, Ms. Robbins starred in her self-penned off-Broadway play titled L.O.V.E.R, at The Pershing Square Signature Center. Directed by Karen Carpenter, the play is a riff on childhood, adolescents and finally adulthood from a grown-up woman’s point of view. In 2018, L.O.V.E.R. had its Los Angeles stage premiere at the Zephyr Theatre and was also accepted into the United Solo Festival in NYC, playing to sold out audiences. To learn more visit https://www.loisrobbins.com
ELISABETH S. RODGERS (Florence Unger, The Odd Couple and Catherine, The Great Catherine) Regional credits include: Antony & Cleopatra, The Winter's Tale, Love's Labour's Lost, and Romeo & Juliet in rotating repertory (Blackfriars Theatre); All My Sons and How the Other Half Loves (River Rep); Jesus Hopped the A Train (Stageworks/Hudson); The Pavilion (Merrimack Rep); A Christmas Carol (Virginia Stage); A Comedy of Errors and A Midsummer Night's Dream (Saratoga Shakespeare Company); Miracle on 34th Street (NYSTI); Fields of Ambrosia (George Street Playhouse); and Macbeth (NJ Shakespeare Festival). NY credits include: King Lear (Hip to Hip); Women Without Men (Mint Theater); Great Catherine (Protean Theatre Co.); When We Dead Awaken (Century Center); The Richard Foreman Trilogy (Ontological/St. Mark's); and White Water (The Performing Garage). Her television credits include: Another World, Knights of Prosperity and Law & Order: SVU; and she has been seen in a few very independent films. As an audiobook narrator, she has recorded over 150 titles for such publishers as Audible, Blackstone, Brilliance, Hachette, Harper and Recorded Books.
FRANK SHINER is an actor trained in both modern and classical techniques. He holds a degree in theater from Kings College and studied for 6 years with Joel Friedman who was the founding director of Joseph Papp’s New York Shakespeare Festival. Frank has appeared in many soap operas, plays, and original musicals. He is also a singer with two album releases and a musical show which has played in NYC at 54 Below, Iridium Jazz Club and The Cutting Room, among others. Frank is the winner of the LA Music Award for “The Real Me” and his sophomore album, “Lonely Town Lonely Street“, was in consideration for a Grammy award in seven different categories.
Frank would like to thank The Schoolhouse Theater’s Bram Lewis for all he does for artists and for the arts.
LINDSAY SHINER is a senior BFA acting major at Baldwin Wallace University in Ohio. She plans on moving to LA after she graduates in May 2021 to begin the pursuit of her career in TV and film. Some of her favorite roles include Adriana in The Comedy of Errors, Ismene in The Burial at Thebes, The Maid in American La Ronde, and Actor 4 in Painting Vincent. She enjoys ceramics, binging Netflix series, pumpkin ice cream, and every dog that ever lived. She had an absolute blast reading as Cécile de Volanges in The Pandemic Players’ Dangerous Liaisons. She is beyond grateful to be part of this and she thanks Bram a thousand times for this opportunity.
ALAN SKLAR (The Lady with the Lapdog). Sklar has been a professional voice actor for over 25 years. His career primarily consists of narrating videos for corporate, medical, and financial clientele. His voice can be heard of TV and radio commercials. He has narrated 200 audio books, most of which are available in thr Westchester Library system. Sklar has been on The Schoolhouse Theater Board since 2015. He confesses that his dreams is to be an opera singer (Italian repertoire, please!). He can often be head honing his bass-baritone operatic skills in the upstairs shower of his Westchester home. www.alansklar.com.
JACK UTRATA is a Manhattan based actor, videographer/editor, owner of Utrata By Design Productions videography and editing services. Credits include: The Schoolhouse Theater: The Color of Light, The Dog in The Dressing Room; Off-Broadway/New York: Like Money in the Bank (Theater Row), Pillars of New York (St. Lukes Theatre) Twelfth Night (Access Theater); National Tour: Paw Patrol Live: Race to The Rescue; International: Taylor Mac's 24 Hour Decade History of Popular Music (Australia), Paw Patrol Live (Canada); Regional: Cabaret (Playmakers Rep), Recent Tragic Events (CAST), A Tuna Christmas (CAST); Film: Law of Attraction (Upcoming); Education: BA UNC at Chapel Hill,
More at www.jackutrata.com; Follow @jackutrata.
OVI VARGAS (Director/Dramaturge/Writer/Actor/Choreographer) Is an Award-winning, Actor, Director, Choreographer and Playwright. A graduate of the BostonConservatory and a veteran of over 300 shows. He has also worked nationally and internationally as an actor, director, choreographer, playwright, dramaturge, and has served as artistic director of Stoneham Summer Theatre, Mission Hill Theatre Company in Boston and the Glove Theatre in up state New York. Ovi has also served as the resident director at the Third Eye Repertory, the Westside Repertory in New York, Madmen and Dreamers in New York and Millbrook Playhouse in Pennsylvania. Recent projects include; the off-Broadway productions of CHILDREN OF CHILDREN and FERRY TALES, the first New York revival of URINETOWN, he wrote and directed the independent film COBRA’S WISH, and wrote and directed the off-Broadway stage productions of LATIN HEAT and SEX! THE MUSICAL. His award winning play RED HOOK was optioned for Broadway. Other current projects include a Sitcom pilot under consideration, titled THE GOOD FELLA, a one-hour dramatic series called THE LINE and a coming of age period film, also under consideration, title KING OF THE MAYPOLE and the animated feature title THE CHRISTMAS TREE. ,His latest play ROAMIN’ CATHOLIC (A comedy) recently premiered at Footlights Theatre at In Falmouth Maine. Ovi also previewed his musical revue; WINE, WOMEN AND SONG this past winter in New York. Selected past New York directing credits include: A LIE OF THE MIND, THE DINNING ROOM, THE BIG FUNK, LEADED, STEEL MAGNOLIAS, THE NERD, GODSPELL with Stephen Schwartz and the thirtieth anniversary production of HAIR in New York just to name a few. Recently, Ovi took the prize for best director and best choreographer for the production of INSOMNIA at the MIDTOWN INTERNATIONAL THEATRE FESTIVAL. Until recently, Ovi was the Artistic Director of THEATRE BY THE BAY in New York and is currently Director in residence at THE PHOENICIA THEATRE.
NIK WALKER is an actor, cinephile and theme park nerd. Currently leading the Broadway cast of Ain’t Too Proud (after 3 years as Aaron Burr in the Broadway and touring companies of Hamilton), he’s also been seen in Motown the Musical, Peter and the Starcatcher, and on TV in Law and Order SVU. A writer and content creator, he is the playwright behind The Bloody Boston Trilogy, cohost of the talk show The Chaos Twins on BroadwayWorld, and his movie podcast, Little Justice, is streaming with the Broadway Podcast Network. Nik is also an adjunct professor, teaching contemporary scene analysis at NYU. @nikkywalks