Laboratorium Week Eight
Rising Sun Performance Company's Residency Program
On Governors Island
Directed and devised by Ashleigh Bragg
Conceived, devised, by Natalie Stringer
Performed by Natalie Stringer & Nate Ansbach
Saturday September 30th at Noon & 3:30PM
Sunday October 1st at Noon & 3:30PM
GUNPOWDER is a devised work-in-progress based on the lives of pioneering burlesque and vaudeville stars Lydia Thompson, Lillian Russell, and Kitty “Klondike Kate” Rockwell. Thrilling, savvy, and full of grit, these women took the young nation by storm and commanded respect, power, and autonomy in a time when the women's vote was illegal and showing a leg risked physical and moral attack. Using everything burlesque had to offer, including wit, parody, song, dance, spectacle, cross-dressing, risque costumes, and sharp political satire, these early celebrities defined their own freedom when everything was designed to break or control them...but at a price.
Ashleigh Estelle Bragg attended the Pacific Conservatory of Performing Arts, in Santa Maria, California in 2006. She graduated in 2011 from Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon with a Bachelors of Science degree in Theatre Performance. She also interned with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, for two seasons in 2010-2011. She is currently the apprentice for the College/Adult Program with the CUNY Creative Arts Team and is in her second year of graduate school at CUNY School of Professional Studies for an MA in Applied Theatre.
Natalie Stringer is an actor, singer, teaching artist, and arts administrator from Portland, OR. Currently enrolled in the Masters of Arts, Applied Theatre program at City University of New York, her work centers around the practice of drama in non-traditional settings. She’s had the joy of performing with theatres, ensembles, and musicians all over the world, including Stichting: The English Theater, the Theatre of the Oppressed group Formaat Werkplaats voor Participatief Drama, and most colorfully, Danny California’s All Star Blues Band in Bangkok. Natalie received a B.A. in International Studies and a B.A. in Drama with Honors from Seattle University, produced convenings with Theatre Communications Group, trained with Third Rail Repertory Company, the NHS Institute at Northwestern University, and Interlochen Arts, and is an Equity Membership Candidate. She works throughout the five boroughs as a teaching assistant with Marquis Studios, and as the Communications and Program Assistant with Global Arts Corps. www.nataliestringer.com.
Nathaniel Ansbach is from Winters, CA. After completing the Two-Year Conservatory program at The Lee Strasberg Theater and Film Institute here in New York City he has worked around the country pursuing his acting. He would like to thank the Gunpowder Crew and Rising Sun for this opportunity.
Drawn is a collection of scenes from New York City, life in the 1940’s, old dames and the comics.
Written and directed Laura Rohrman
With: Meghann Reynolds* , Estelle Bajou*, Misha Bouvion* , Sandi Bergen &
Plays being work shopped include:
Reporter Girl – a fun and sexy re-imagining of Dale Messick’s (creator of the comic Brenda Starr Reporter) early life in the 1940’s just as her cartooning career was taking off in New York City.
Drawn – a young woman who has close ties to a heap of old comics
The Agency -- a young woman snags a fancy internship at the oldest talent and literary agency in New York City.
* Denotes Member of Actors Equity Association
+ Denotes Ensemble Member of Rising Sun Performance Company
About the Creatives:
“Drawn” project – bios
Scenes from the play Reporter Girl
Sven Haabeth (All male roles)
"Sven Haabeth is an award winning actor, most notably seen as Myron in Rising Sun's production of Helvetica at Planet Connections 2016. His most recent work in NYC was portaying Mort'd'Mer in Steven Tenney's D4rkly Your Retrorockets Fl4re at Planet Connections 2017.
Originally hailing from Norway, Sven has starred i many a production there.Thank you Akia, Kristen, Birgit and Nina, and Jerrod Bogard.
Look out for Sven Haabeth in upcoming productions of Ibsen's Peer Gynt and Brand. www.sthaabeth.com
Misha Bouvion* (Starr/Molly Slott) worked with Prague Shakespeare Company, Ojai Playwrights Conference, A Noise Within, Theatricum Botanicum, Shakespeare Orange County, Crown City Theatre, among others. Her one woman Venus & Adonis has been performed with The Independent Shakespeare Company, UnitedSolo Festival, & FringeNYC. She has worked in independent film, TV, print, & national commercial campaigns. MFA, in acting from The New School for Drama. mishabouvion.com
Meghann Reynolds* (Brenda Starr) Meghann was most recently seen in multiple Musical Theater Factory productions, including Our Woman, Frank Thompson and Rent a White Guy. Regional credits include West Side Story, Rent, Guys and Dolls, Moonlight and Magnolias, and Merrily We Roll Along. Check out her jazz EP and web series, Amateur Dicks #notporn, at meghannreynolds.com
Estelle Bajou* (Noni)
Estelle Bajou is a Drama Desk-nominated actor, composer, and writer. She's a French-American raised in a furniture factory town in the mountains of NC, now based in The Bronx. Broadway: Once (Actor/Violinist, First Nat’l Tour). Theater: PS122, Edinburgh Fringe, LaMaMa, 59E59, A.R.T.: Boston, Barrow Street, The New Ohio, et al. TV: “Boardwalk Empire” (Actor, HBO); Ken Burns’ “Prohibition” (Violinist, PBS). Feature Film: Spielberg’s The Post (Actor/Violinist, 20th Century Fox); Fireworkers (Composer); Beneath Disheveled Stars (Composer); Chaplin of the Mountains (Actor, Set + Filmed in Iraqi Kurdistan). MFA: The New School for Drama. estellebajou.com
Sandi Bergen (Old Dale) is just coming back to acting and has been doing mostly film work. She met Laura last year when they filmed a scene from Laura’s new TV pilot. Thank you Laura for the opportunity to do some creative theater work!
Laura Rohrman (Playwright/Director) Full-length plays include: Reporter Girl (O’Neill Festival semi-finalist, Weissberger Award Nominee, Princess Grace Finalist and an AFF 2nd Rounder), My Life As You (Finalist for the Playwrights First Award) and Hoboken. One-acts include: Below 14th (Samuel French Short Play Finalist, London’s Lost Festival) and Without (Samuel French Short Play Finalist). Laura is also the founder of a program “Playwriting For Kids” with the New York City public schools where kids write and perform in their own plays. Thanks to Rising Sun and Akia for this amazing opportunity to create on Governors Island. www.laurarohrman.com