poster idea.jpg

"This place is a dungeon of hate.

Like a pinball machine of hate.

I want to play basketball. "


Independent Study traces the unlikely friendship of a first-generation college student and her former professor, each struggling privately with a brother's radical choice and the onslaught of the internet’s opinions. The play grapples with tribal allegiance, tribal violence, as well as digital hate and its repercussions in physical space. Simultaneously it explores the limits of teaching and the burning insistence of the best students to make classroom ideas manifest in the world.


PRODUCTION STILLS

(Photos by Asya Gorovits)

creative

BEN GASSMAN (Playwright)  is a playwright from Queens. SAM’S TEA SHACK, a solo piece he co-wrote with the actor Sam Soghor (dir. Meghan Finn) was the inaugural production in The Tank NYC’s new 56-seat theater in Sept. 2017 and was reprised two months later at the Atwater Village Theater in Los Angeles. Other recent productions include 40s & CHESTNUTS (dir. Tara Elliott) at Brooklyn College and GOOD CITIZENS IN PUBLIC SPACE (dir. Dev. Bondarin) at APAC and Museum of The Moving Image. Currently, Culinary Theater, a company Ben formed with director Brandon Woolf in 2017, is at work crafting the perfect neighborhood sandwich and deconstructing it as lunch-theater. There will be a work-in-progress showing at the Prelude Festival this October. Ben’s previous work has been produced at 3LD, the Bushwick Starr, Dixon Place, Silent Barn, and 13th St. Rep and has been supported with residencies and grants from Yaddo, NYU Florence, Casa Zia Lina, the Yiddish Book Center, LMCC, and The Jewish Plays Project. www.bengassman.com

BEN GASSMAN (Playwright) is a playwright from Queens. SAM’S TEA SHACK, a solo piece he co-wrote with the actor Sam Soghor (dir. Meghan Finn) was the inaugural production in The Tank NYC’s new 56-seat theater in Sept. 2017 and was reprised two months later at the Atwater Village Theater in Los Angeles. Other recent productions include 40s & CHESTNUTS (dir. Tara Elliott) at Brooklyn College and GOOD CITIZENS IN PUBLIC SPACE (dir. Dev. Bondarin) at APAC and Museum of The Moving Image. Currently, Culinary Theater, a company Ben formed with director Brandon Woolf in 2017, is at work crafting the perfect neighborhood sandwich and deconstructing it as lunch-theater. There will be a work-in-progress showing at the Prelude Festival this October. Ben’s previous work has been produced at 3LD, the Bushwick Starr, Dixon Place, Silent Barn, and 13th St. Rep and has been supported with residencies and grants from Yaddo, NYU Florence, Casa Zia Lina, the Yiddish Book Center, LMCC, and The Jewish Plays Project. www.bengassman.com

RAN XIA (Director)  is an interdisciplinary theatre artist originally from Shanghai, China. Her works have been produced at IRT ( Pomegrenade ), HERE, Dixon Place, The Brick ( [ai] ), The Wild Project, etc, and of course, The Tank (previously  Echo ;  Tao  at Dark Fest 2018). A frequent collaborator of Exquisite Corpse Co. (audio/visual installation  Echo  at the Memory House, on Governors Island), a current Resident Director at The Flea, and a resident artist at Access Theater. Assistant Directing credits include:  The Great Leap  (by Lauren Yee, Dir. Taibi Magar at the Atlantic Theater), and  Refrigerated Dreams  by Carrie Mae Weems, Nona Hendryx, Francesca Harper, and Niegel Smith at Joe's Pub. A contributing writer at  Theatre Is Easy  and  Exeunt .  ranxia.info  |  thearcticgroup.org

RAN XIA (Director) is an interdisciplinary theatre artist originally from Shanghai, China. Her works have been produced at IRT (Pomegrenade), HERE, Dixon Place, The Brick ([ai]), The Wild Project, etc, and of course, The Tank (previously Echo; Tao at Dark Fest 2018). A frequent collaborator of Exquisite Corpse Co. (audio/visual installation Echo at the Memory House, on Governors Island), a current Resident Director at The Flea, and a resident artist at Access Theater. Assistant Directing credits include: The Great Leap (by Lauren Yee, Dir. Taibi Magar at the Atlantic Theater), and Refrigerated Dreams by Carrie Mae Weems, Nona Hendryx, Francesca Harper, and Niegel Smith at Joe's Pub. A contributing writer at Theatre Is Easy and Exeunt. ranxia.info | thearcticgroup.org

ELISABETH NG (Producer)  is a New York based theater artist. She was awarded the International Center for Women Playwrights 50/50 award in 2016 for her commitment to diversity in producing. As a director, Elisabeth has created site-specific installations on commission for the Video Art and Experimental Film Festival and the After School Festival. She is a member of The Playwriting Collective, where she works to promote representation for working class playwrights. www.elisabethng.com

ELISABETH NG (Producer) is a New York based theater artist. She was awarded the International Center for Women Playwrights 50/50 award in 2016 for her commitment to diversity in producing. As a director, Elisabeth has created site-specific installations on commission for the Video Art and Experimental Film Festival and the After School Festival. She is a member of The Playwriting Collective, where she works to promote representation for working class playwrights. www.elisabethng.com

GABRIELLE GIACOMO (Production Stage Manager)  is an NYC based stage manager and props designer set to graduate from NYU TISCH this spring. Select Credits | Stage Management:  The Lion in Winter  (Staged Reading; Shakespeare in the Square). Props Master:  Fun Home  (White Plains Performing Arts Center),  A View From the Bridge  (Brave New World Repertory Theatre),  Tuck Everlasting  (NYU New Studio on Broadway),  A New Brain  (The Gallery Players),  The Hunchback of Notre Dame  (WPPAC). Props Assistant:  Book of Will  (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival),  Twelfth Night  (HVSF),  Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice  (HVSF). She would like to congratulate the  Independent Study  team and to thank her parents and drama educators for their continued support, especially Michaela Gorman, Danielle Gennaro, Christine Parente, and Benjamin Gassman.

GABRIELLE GIACOMO (Production Stage Manager) is an NYC based stage manager and props designer set to graduate from NYU TISCH this spring. Select Credits | Stage Management: The Lion in Winter (Staged Reading; Shakespeare in the Square). Props Master: Fun Home (White Plains Performing Arts Center), A View From the Bridge (Brave New World Repertory Theatre), Tuck Everlasting (NYU New Studio on Broadway), A New Brain (The Gallery Players), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (WPPAC). Props Assistant: Book of Will (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Twelfth Night (HVSF), Kate Hamill’s Pride and Prejudice (HVSF). She would like to congratulate the Independent Study team and to thank her parents and drama educators for their continued support, especially Michaela Gorman, Danielle Gennaro, Christine Parente, and Benjamin Gassman.

ELIZABETH M. STEWART (Lighting Designer)  is a New York based designer. She has worked throughout the city in venues ranging from art gallery basements to off-Broadway theatres. Recent credits include  The Boehner Sisters  (The Tank LadyFest),  Hedda  (Theatre for the New City), The Diana Tapes  (HERE Arts, Stockwell Playhouse),  Don't Dress for Dinner  (Curtain Call Theater),  Letters in the Dirt  (The Brick, The Tank, Silent Barn),  Piano Tales  (Assoc. LD), and  Ajijaack on Turtle Island  (Assoc. LD). This past summer, she was a lighting design fellow at the Hangar Theatre, where she lit  Snow White, Ajax, Far Away,  and  Playing Peter Pan.   elizabethmstewart.myportfolio.com

ELIZABETH M. STEWART (Lighting Designer) is a New York based designer. She has worked throughout the city in venues ranging from art gallery basements to off-Broadway theatres. Recent credits include The Boehner Sisters (The Tank LadyFest), Hedda (Theatre for the New City),The Diana Tapes (HERE Arts, Stockwell Playhouse), Don't Dress for Dinner (Curtain Call Theater), Letters in the Dirt (The Brick, The Tank, Silent Barn), Piano Tales (Assoc. LD), and Ajijaack on Turtle Island (Assoc. LD). This past summer, she was a lighting design fellow at the Hangar Theatre, where she lit Snow White, Ajax, Far Away, and Playing Peter Pan. elizabethmstewart.myportfolio.com

AN-LIN DAUBER (Production Designer)  is a collaborative, curious, compassionate, experimental set and costume designer. Notable designs include  Seven Guitars  (Yale Repertory Theatre),  An Acorn  (Brown/Trinity Rep),  Displaced: A Response to Qurban  (Boston Conservatory at Berklee),  Caged  by the New Jersey Prison Cooperative (Passage Theatre Company),  Measure for Measure  (EPIC Theatre Ensemble),  You Can’t Kiss A Movie  (HERE Art Center),  Blood Wedding  (Williams Project),  The Oresteia  and  Othello  (Yale School of Drama),  In the Red and Brown Water  (Yale Cabaret). MFA Yale School of Drama. BA Stanford University in Art History, Honors.  www.anlindauber.com .

AN-LIN DAUBER (Production Designer) is a collaborative, curious, compassionate, experimental set and costume designer. Notable designs include Seven Guitars (Yale Repertory Theatre), An Acorn (Brown/Trinity Rep), Displaced: A Response to Qurban (Boston Conservatory at Berklee), Caged by the New Jersey Prison Cooperative (Passage Theatre Company), Measure for Measure (EPIC Theatre Ensemble), You Can’t Kiss A Movie (HERE Art Center), Blood Wedding (Williams Project), The Oresteia and Othello (Yale School of Drama), In the Red and Brown Water (Yale Cabaret). MFA Yale School of Drama. BA Stanford University in Art History, Honors. www.anlindauber.com.


cast

IMG_20180906_130128-01.jpeg

Andrea Negrete

GG

Andrea is a chicanx actor, facilitator, writer, and collaborative creator from South Texas. Recent credits include: The Opportunities of Extinction (Cherry Lane), Tell Me A Story (CBS), Saints Go Marching (Signature Theatre), and Let's Get Ready Together (The Tank). She’s part of the Creative Arts Team at CUNY where she is dedicated to developing the social/emotional literacy and critical thinking skills of young people.
She’s a graduate of Vassar College where she double majored in Drama and English and is represented by FSE.

Kelly+Headshot.jpg

Kelly Bartnik

PROF MEL

Kelly is a NY-based choreographer, performer, director, teacher and producer.  She was an original cast member of both the Boston and NY productions of Sleep No More, originating the role of Bald Witch.  She has also had the pleasure of performing with Optika Moderna, Witness Relocation, Cora Dance, Melissa Briggs Dance, South Brooklyn Shakespeare, Woodshed Collective, Switch N Play, and Shelter Theatre Group among others. Her own work has been presented at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange/BAX, BRIC Studio, Dance Theater Workshop (formerly), Dixon Place, Joyce Soho, Dogtown Dance Theater, James Madison University, Long Island University, Arena Stage and The Publick Playhouse. She currently teaches Movement for Actors at NYU's Playwright's Horizons, Advanced Contemporary at Mark Morris Dance Center, and Composition at Queens College.  She previously taught Advanced Movement at Sarah Lawrence College and was director of BAXCo, the teen repertory dance company at the Brooklyn Arts Exchange. She holds her MFA in Choreography & Visual Arts from Wilson College and is a founding member of GK1 Productions, a video production company specializing in dance films. She is currently mounting and directing a new long-term Immersive series entitled HERE and most recently performed as an original cast in the new Immersive experience, Waking La Llorona, presented by the Old Globe Theater and La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego. www.kellybartnik.com   www.hereny.com

Gareth030final.JPG

Gareth Tidball

CHORUS

Gareth is an actress and theatremaker originally from Oakland, CA. She is a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where she received training from the Meisner Studio and the Classical Studio. In 2015, she was chosen by the Classical Studio to be the recipient of the Tisch Outstanding Achievement Award. Since completion of her training at Tisch, Gareth has been seen in readings, workshops and productions within the NYC Metro area. Some of her favorite acting credits include Othello with the Manhattan Shakespeare Project, One If By Land with the renowned drama outreach program Stages on the Sound, and America is Hard to See with the award-winning Life Jacket Theatre Company.

IMG_1480.jpg

Sharlee J. Taylor

CHORUS

Sharlee is originally from Atlanta, GA. After studying Theater and Linguistics at UC Berkeley, she received her MFA from the A.R.T./Moscow Art Theater School Institute at Harvard University - there, she understudied as Flo in Mark Rylance's Nice Fish, as well as performing in Young Jean Lee's The Shipment, and Dying For It. After graduation, Sharlee moved to New York to pursue acting. She has developed a diverse resume, including Host work with Skillsoft (Industrial), starring in the Russian television series "How I Became Russian" (Television), and working as a model with well known brands, such as Maybeline, LongHorns, and Zero Waste Daniel (Print/Commercial). Sharlee is recently shot “We Were Young,” her first independent feature film shooting in Orlando, FL. Sharlee is also terminally addicted to the cult of cats.

image1.JPG

Finn Kilgore

CHORUS

Finn is an actor born and raised in Brooklyn, who holds an MA from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. He has worked in theaters all around the city, and is thrilled to return to the Tank for Independent study. Recent roles include Laertes in Hudson Warehouse’s Hamlet, Old Scratch in Old Names for Wildflowers at the Tank theater, and Hades in Pomegrenade at the IRT.

Alphonso Walker Jr.

BOZO / CHORUS

Alphonso is an American actor for the stage, television and film currently living in New York City. His latest credits include producing and starring in a new, immersive revival of DUTCHMAN by Amiri Baraka, The MAAFA Suite: A Healing Journey, The Exonerated, and WATER, a play telling the multi-generational story of water and its tumultuous relationship within the African American community. Alphonso starred in Buffalo Niagara’s Film Festival award winning feature length The Glass Floor. He can be found on Instagram at: AWALKERJR

Sean.Hinckle.2.jpeg

Sean Hinckle

ZEKE / CHORUS

Off Broadway: Beneath the Gavel (59E59 Theaters, Bated Breath Theatre Co.). Off-Off Broadway: Hamlet (New York Shakespeare Exchange), Romeo and Juliet (Lower East Side Shakespeare Co.), Titus Andronicus (New York Shakespeare Exchange); Pushing Daisy (Secret Theater). Regional: The Christians (Mill Mountatin Theatre), Playmakers! (Florida Studio Theatre), Oklahoma! (New Theater Restaurant), Macbeth (Reduxion Theatre Co.). Sean received his BFA in Acting from the University of Oklahoma. Endless thanks to the production team for the opportunity to be a part of this project!

ybd.jpeg

Yair Ben-Dor

BOPPO / CHORUS

Yair is an Israeli-American actor, residing in NYC for the past 8 years. After graduating from the Lee Strasberg Film & Theatre Institute, Yair began a tremendous journey in acting participating in many theater performances around the city and shooting a wide variety of films and TV spots around the US. Some of his proud credits include: Quantico, Blue Bloods, Cocked and Locked, Border X and many more. Yair also writes, directs and appears in self produced films and series such as Suddenly, Banana and Running Local. For more information please visit www.yairbendor.com