Women of Manhattan

by John Patrick Shanley

AUTHOR'S NOTE:

This play is about friendship and solving problems. For that reason I think it would be best to do it in a spirit of simplicity and warmth.  Let the scenery look like scenery. Let the acting come from a place of humanity, and not be a feat of technique. Please don't be mean, arch or slick. Please do be loving, natural, vulnerable, and a little rough around the edges.

 

Martha Gehman 

DIRECTOr 

Ms. Gehman grew up in New York City,  daughter of actress Estelle Parsons. She holds a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College. In her early 20s she became a young member of the Actor's Studio during an extraordinary time in its history,  immersing herself in the art and craft of acting under Lee Strasberg, Arthur Penn,Ellen Burstyn ,  Ann Jackson , Vivian Nathan and Sandra Seacat. As an actress she's worked at Manhattan Theatre Club (Michael Blakemore dir./The Day Room),The Public Theater (NYSF) Romeo and Juliet / dir. Estelle Parsons, Cinders dir . John Madden, Circle Rep, Love Diatribe/ Harry Kondolian and  numerous other off Broadway theaters. The Royal George  in Chicago/I Hate Hamlet dir. Christopher Ashley, and the National tour of The Best Little  Whorehouse in Texas directed by Peter Masterson and Tommy Tune. Directing credits include The Magic Theater in San Francisco ,( Back When, Back Then by Raymond J. Barry), also at Stark Raving Theater in Portland, and Theater for the New City, NYC. The Met Theater, Los Angeles. Written and performed two one person shows: Fringe Festivals: Seattle , NYC, Los Angeles. Film/TV/Resume/Reviews:  www.marthagehman.com Teacher/ Acting Coach 20 years. Clients include Lead actors on: Grace and Frankie, I robot, Justified,Gotham, Chicago Fire, Chicago Justice, The Family,Satisfaction , American Gothic, Imposters, to name a few.

Ashley Khakshouri

producer

Ashley Khakshouri is an LA native who graduated from UCLA with majors in English, French and Theater. She has also studied Baron/Brown Studio’s two-year Meisner program and the Alexander Technique with mentor, Michael D. Frederick. As a part of The Broadway Theatre Group, she is passionate about fulfilling her grandfather’s vision of restoring Broadway in Downtown Los Angeles to its historical glory as the city center of entertainment, art and culture. Ashley is determined to revive Broadway’s theaters for the enjoyment of the community and future generations. She will be producing John Patrick Shanley’s Women of Manhattan.

 
 
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Samantha Ressler

Actor / Producer & Co-Founder of we the women - "JUDY"

Samantha Ressler is an LA native and graduate of Brown University. She attended the Atlantic Acting School & London Dramatic Academy in addition to the conservatory training she received at Brown. As a creator of content, Sam created, wrote, starred in and produced "That's What She Said" which was acquired by Conde Nast Entertainment and released recently on their original channel, The Scene. She created and co-directed a short form documentary for Vice called "Strange Love." As an actress, she recently completed a run of "Blackbird" in the lead role of 'Una' at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in addition to "Closer" at The Ruby Theatre in Hollywood playing ‘Alice.’ Her Film and TV credits can be found here

As a human and woman, she is thrilled to launch her passion project “We The Women” and hopes to do many more events like this in the future.

 

 

Nathalie Love

actor / producer & Co-Founder of we the women- "BILLIE"

Nathalie Love is a woman and actress. She hopes to keep exploring and growing as a person, as an actress and believes that art is the path towards hope and healing. She looks forward to continuing to create in the future with collaborations like this one.

Nathalie was most recently seen in the feature film 20TH CENTURY WOMEN alongside Elle Fanning and Annette Bening. Her film SOUTHBOUND premiered at Toronto International Film Festival and AFI in 2015. Conde Nast entertainment just bought her digital series, THAT’S WHAT SHE SAID, which Nathalie starred and produced with friend, collaborator and co star in this production of Woman of Manhattan - Samantha Ressler.  For additional credits go to here.

She is so grateful for this incredible community of strong, intelligent, supportive women who have come together to make this play and event possible. To Dan her fiancé and her amazing friends and family. She thanks you for being the greatest support. She hopes you enjoy the show! 

 

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Jackie Shea

Actor / producer - "Rhonda Louise"

Jackie Shea: Actress/Writer/Wellness Advocate - NYC native, graduate of conservatory program at LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts with major in drama in addition to William Esper's  two year Meisner technique intensive. Jackie has appeared in many stage productions including "Sylvia," "The Pomo Sex Romp,"  "Romeo and Juliet," and "The Laramie Project."   Film credits include "Half Magic," "The Hike," and "Lori Sheedy, F*** You." She has filmed two pilots, "The IP Section," and "Diary of a Henchman," and many commercials and print campaigns. As a writer, Jackie focuses on reaching those suffering from trauma and chronic illness based on her own life experiences. Her monthly health column,  is featured on everup.com, and she writes weekly on Too Sick and Naked, a prequel to her one woman show. Her company, Wellness Companions, is very active in helping young women suffering from illness around the world. Jackie is ecstatic to be a part of this project surrounded by such talent, passion, and the will to help others.

 
 
 

Armen Weitzman

Actor - "BOB"

Armen Weitzman is a comedian and actor who has been seen in LoveThe Sarah Silverman ProgramChildrens HospitalRole ModelsSchool for ScoundrelsBurning Love and Oceans 13 amongst other film and television programs. He was recently on the short-lived MTV show, Zach Stone Is Gonna Be Famous, as the title character's best friend.[3] He currently co-stars as the servant Garfield in the Comedy Central show Another Period.

Bechir Sylvain

Actor - "DUKE"

Bechir Sylvain is a Haitian-American actor who studied theatre first at Miami Dade college and received a full scholarship to the prestigious acting program at Southern Methodist University his sophomore year. You can see Bechir in national commercials or his many guest star roles on shows like: ABC’s Uncle Buck, Angels of Hell on CBS, Fuller House on Netflix, Thunderman’s on Nickelodeon and Family Time on Bounce TV to name a few. Full-length features include the Hallmark drama; The Ultimate Life, and the comedic horror; Life after Beth. Sylvain is the Co-Founder and Board member of Miami based theatre company, Ground Up and Rising and is a proud member of the heartfelt and award winning Theatre 68. Bechir would like to thank his friends and family for all their love and support and last but not least his wife Shannon who fuels his passion every day, which helps him to do what he loves most. 

 

 
 
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Taska Cleveland

set design / art directioN

Taska Cleveland is a Los Angeles based interior designer and artist. She received her BFA in Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2008. Upon returning to Los Angeles she entered the interior design industry and has worked for notable interior design firms such as Commune Design and currently Studio Shamshiri.

 

 
 
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Alina Perkins

art production / SET DESIGN

Alina is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina. She studied painting at Instituto Universitario Nacional Argentino, theatre with Norman Briski and Juan Carlos Gené, and Filmmaking at Escuela Superior de Cinematografía. She works in different mediums and fields, such as painting, sculpture, and music. With her art collective Conchetinas, they´ve had exhibitions in several galleries and institutions like Centro Cultural Recoleta, Centro Cultural España, Appettite (New York), Fondo Nacional de las Artes, Galeria Miau Miau, Universidad Católica, among others.
She received a scholarship from C.I.A (Centro de Investigaciones Artísticas) directed by Roberto Jacoby and Judi Werthein and was invited to participate at the San Pablo Biennale, under the project of R. Jacoby “El Alma Nunca Piensa sin Imágen”
She wrote and directed two plays. One of them “El Rinoceronte y La Mesa”, written in collaboration with Fernanda Laguna, was presented at the Performance Biennale, South Limit, in Buenos Aires, and starred renowned artist Marta Minujin among other 20 actors and artist.
With her band Lavial, where she sings, composes and plays the synthesizer, she realesed an album, several videoclips and toured all around Argentina and México city. Their last show was at the auditorium of the Latin American Museum of Buenos Aires, MALBA. 
At the moment she lives and works in Los Angeles and she is very excited to be collaborating in Women of Manhattan, and reuniting with her first love, theatre. 
More info: www.alinaperkins.com

Molly Paddon

Glamour

Molly Paddon was raised in a small New England town by parents who believed in respect above all else. Years of Quaker education only strengthened these principles. 

In her Philadelphia boarding school, Molly was taught invaluable lessons of free thinking, peaceful resistance, and the innate equality of every human. All the while, Molly day dreamed of moving to Hollywood to do makeup for the movies. 

In her 10 year career, Molly has strived to saturate her makeup practice with the core values she was taught as a young person. Molly believes makeup is a tool of great power, allowing women (and men!) to more easily harness what makes them incredible. A woman who feels beautiful in her own skin is a truly unstoppable force. 

PS: Just say no to contouring. 

 
 
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Eleanor Wells

Costume designer 

Eleanor Henderson Wells was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended a young people's conservatory for theater from the age of eight to eighteen. Studying at Yale Theater and Stella Adler, a conservatory in NYU's Tisch program, Eleanor ultimately completed her studies in Art History at Occidental College. After graduating, Eleanor began a career acting in film and television. Her expertise in vintage clothing (acquired from growing up in a costume shop) and passion for dressing up led her to her latest profession as stylist. She currently dresses clients for stage and red carpet events in addition to fashion editorials in such publications as Vice and Galore Magazine. Her theatrical credits include the music video 'Trouble' for Grammy award winning band Cage the Elephant. 
Music is also a big part of Eleanor's life. She produced a music video for Collapsing Scenery and hosts and throws underground music events. She regularly performs with the artist DJ Harvey and has appeared at such festivals as FYF and Coachella. She was featured in both Vice and Absolut Vodka's series on tastemakers in Los Angeles.

Eleanor will be applying her background in theater, fashion, and events to the wardrobe and art direction of the reception area following the play. She feels very privileged to work with such an inspiring group of women and thanks you for supporting our cause. Enjoy!

 
 
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Nana Ghana

FEATURED Director / filmmaker

Futuristic fashionista, avant-garde artist, writer-slash-model, actor, DIY filmmaker, humanitarian—any way you choose to describe her—Nana Ghana wants you to know that beauty, emotions, intellect and compassion inspire her every creative endeavor. 

Born in Ghana, West Africa, she is the 24th daughter of the sitting King,  Nana moved to the United States at the age of thirteen. After graduating high school, she studied acting at New York’s HB Studio and was a regular player and member of the Shea Acting Group in Harlem. Nana’s acting and modeling career eventually brought her to Los Angeles where she attended the Piero Dusa Acting Conservatory. Her commercial work includes American Apparel, Dove, UNICEF, Boost Mobile, Fuse and Chrysler, 

As a Model she has been featured in several magazine editorials like Nylon, Vanity fair, Vogue, Elle , Grazia magazine, Vogue Italiaand numerous campaigns such as Gucci, & for all mankind Jeans, American Apparel,  Appleand most recently the face for Stella McCartney winter campaign and she has landed film and television roles in Harmony Korine’s Gift of Ages alongside James Franco, Oliver Stone’s Savages to name a few.

Most recently It was between acting gigs and photo shoots where Nana discovered a deep-rooted love for film, she became very intrigued about been behind the camera, Nana’s interested in people, curious about humanity who we are and where we come from and the conditions of our lives that makes us who we are, especially as women, she saw the camera as her way to get to know better understand connect and share, she enrolled in the director program at UCLA extension where she gain more knowledge about cinema language, Now her first film LA Woman Rising , her Ode to her city Los Angeles and the Amazing women in it.

She is a regular face of the SoCal art/film scene. And while she continues to call Los Angeles her home, her soul belongs to the world at large.

 

 
 

Followed by a screening of...

 

LA Woman Rising

LA WOMAN RISING is an experimental documentary that follows 50 real women waking up in the morning-inside the belly of Los Angeles. These woman are not only waking up and getting ready for the day, but they are rising to make their dreams come true. This uncertainty and hope is what all these LA Women share and have in common, weaved around original poems written and spoken by GOLDEN GLOBE winner James Franco. 

Directed by Nana Ghana

 

The World is Dreaming Through Us

THE WORLD IS DREAMING THROUGH US is a short feminist look book video for 323’s F/W 17 collection. It’s a series of images, movements, visions, and shared moments related to the themes of unity and oneness, a woman’s divine connection to the earth and to one another, and honoring, loving, and valuing all physical bodies.

Directed by Austin Kearns, Produced by Victoria Fayad