Our second ColLab production was an exploration of a selection of songs from Dave Malloy’s Ghost Quartet, featuring professional actors, live music, and dancers participating in a dance painting practice to create visual art pieces. The performance and art pieces were presented on June 3rd, 2023 at 7:30pm and 8:30pm, and visual works were available for auction throughout the evening.
This multimedia, interdisciplinary project was conceived by E Gomez, a queer trans/non-binary director in NYC. E has been an avid and vocal supporter of Dave Malloy’s works, and is passionate about honoring what has come before, while also bringing a new perspective to light.
Part of this Ghost Quartet exploration included an invitation for audiences to join us for one or BOTH of the evening’s performances. If you chose to purchase tickets to both performances, our stellar cast takes on new roles, and performs with new set pieces and staging.
Friends, family, phantoms, welcome.
Thank you for taking a chance and leaving your homes to experience something new. It may seem insignificant, but each and every one of you have made my night by being here. This is my first solo directing gig in NY, and I couldn’t be happier with the circumstances. To create with such people, with the support of Kristal, Sophie, and the Off The Lane crew, to feel safe, and nurtured, I mean, a dream come true feels like an understatement.
As a queer, trans/non-binary director, it brings me insatiable joy that I get to share this with all of you during Pride month. To thrive in small ways every day is a gift that I do not take for granted.
Tonight, we are dipping our collective toes into the ocean that is Dave Malloy’s catalogue. This is my amuse bouche, and I’m thrilled to share it with you. At times you may feel thrown around. You may feel confused. You may wonder why you care about stars and soldiers and bears and bad men. Fantastic. It may be overwhelming. Amazing.
But while we have this all whirling around, at its core, Ghost Quartet is about sisters. It’s about soul. It’s about even through 700 years, finding each other. (But more on that later).
Whatever you feel, I’m so glad you do.
It means you’re alive. And I’m so glad you are.
In short, Welcome. And thank you.
This work, as well as all my artist endeavors, is dedicated to Sohrob Keynejad: The best of us.
MEET THE COMPANY
STEVIE ALLEN (Performer)
Stevie Allen (they/she) is an NYC-based actor, writer, and creative—they wear a lot of hats, in short. Stevie is a rising senior at CAP21’s Musical Theatre BFA program and is set to graduate in May of 2024. They have performed, technically designed, and stage managed professionally in New York City, Long Island, and Sacramento. Stevie is overjoyed to work with an unbelievably talented team, and to be directed by one of her lifelong friends. Endless thank yous, E. Select Credits: “Lizzie” (NYS premiere), “GUMMIES: A New Play” (in partnership with the Shubert Organization’s Artistic Circle), “In the Heights” (Dir. Stephanie Klemons), “Ella: First Lady of Song” (Dir. Lee Summers). To their friends, and especially to her partner and her mom—all the love in the world. Enjoy the show! IG: @stevieeallen
SOPHIE BRUBAKER (Producer)
Sophie Brubaker is a spunky California-raised, NYC-based actor, producer, and event host! Around the city, you’ll find her auditioning with her acoustic guitar, producing secret events with her social storytelling company, In Confidence, developing the ColLab program at Off The Lane, and managing the social media for Uproar Theatrics. She works regularly in theatre, film, television and social media content creation. Sophie is a believer in art and theatre as a catalyst for human connection. We have an opportunity and obligation as artists and people to better understand and love each other. In her extra time, you’ll find Sophie belting Hannah Montana, drinking cappuccinos, and being a little too busy. www.sophiebrubaker.com IG: @sophiebrubaker
JULIA GAZZARA (Dancer)
Julia Gazzara (she/they) is an actor, dancer, choreographer, writer, director, designer, painter, make-up artist, amateur hair stylist, body positivity spokesperson, cat mom, and dad friend. Currently based in Brooklyn, she originally hails from New Jersey (go birds) where she studied dance her whole life. They received their BFA in Drama from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts and studied at Playwrights Horizons Theater School and Stonestreet Studios. Julia is so excited to be a part of this production of Ghost Quartet working in two of her favorite mediums! IG: @_juliagazzara_
E GOMEZ (Director)
E Gomez (they/them) is a trans/non-binary director based in Washington Heights. NY credits include: WeWhoWander’s Before the Ball Drops and… well, this! This is E’s solo directorial debut. Thank you to Sophie, Stephanie, Kristal, and the OTL crew who made this possible. Also, thanks Mom and Dad for answering my late night phone calls. This production, like all their other works, is dedicated to Sohrob Keynejad. IG: @ethethespian
SPENCER GONZALEZ (Performer)
Spencer Gonzalez is a young artist based in NYC. Since graduating from The Manhattan School of Music with a degree in Musical Theatre, Spencer has performed in several brand new plays in Off and Off-Off Broadway theaters. Some recent favorites include “Ghostlight” at The Tank, “Indian Summer” with Columbia University and “Here There Be Dragons” at The Players Theatre. Spencer is also Artistic Director for the site-specific theatrical ensemble, We Who Wander.
COOPER GRENKE (Dancer)
Cooper Grenke is a bicoastal performer specializing in dance and choreography. He attended Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, California, where he trained in modern and ballet techniques under Rachel Berman, previously of the Paul Taylor Dance Company. Cooper is currently based in New York City.
TYLER JESSEY (Performer)
Tyler Jessey is an NYC based actor and is thrilled to be working with this wonderful cast and crew! His recent credits include “Romeo & Juliet” with New Relic Theater, and “The Bard’s Birthday Bash” with We Who Wander. Shoutout to his cat, Totoro, for being purrfect. He wants to thank YRL, for being the most supportive partner in the universe, and to all of you for coming out tonight!
JAZ KOFT (Percussionist)
Jaz Koft (he/him) is an NYC-based actor, musician, songwriter, and music director. He is a rising senior at CAP21/Molloy University pursuing a BFA in Musical Theatre. Jaz has played in two youth orchestras in his hometown of Rochester, NY, and was the principal timpanist in the 2019 NAfME All-National Symphony Orchestra. He also played in several jazz bands throughout grade school. This is his first professional percussion performance, and he couldn’t be happier about it! Thanks to Stevie for bringing him along, and Zelia for putting up with all the drumming. IG: @jazkoft
JENNA LEVERE (Performer)
Jenna Levere is an NYC based actress who made her off-broadway debut in “Sherry’s Bop” at the Players Theater. Jenna also got to make her 54 Below Debut in “The History of Godspell” and her Greenroom 42 debut in “Together Again…Again” She has performed in a special orchestra concert of “South Pacific” at Sutton Parks (u/s Nellie) and performed in the play “Latebar” at the Chain theater. www.jennalevere.com.
GEORGE LUTON (Pianist/Music Director)
George Luton (he/they) is an award-winning and internationally regarded music director, pianist, and composer. OFF-BROADWAY: “More Than This World” (The York Theatre), “Move Meant” (Prospect Theatre Company). NYC: “Alice,” “Of Sleepless Nights” (The Tank); “Mean Girls” (Theatre On the Go!); “(Pre)Scripted” (Balance Arts Center). REGIONAL: “Mary Poppins,” “Once Upon a Mattress” (Island Theatre Workshop); “Hair,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “Spring Awakening” (Purple Summer Productions); “Paradise Blue” (Gloucester Stage); “Nottingham: The Legend of Robin Hood” (Moonlight Productions); “Earhart,” “Stiltskin,” “Resting On Our Laurels” (Stage 284); “The Abolitionist’s Refrain*” (Punctuate 4). WORKSHOP: “Grace and the Ghost” (54 Below); “The Trojan Women” (Columbia University); “The Spitfire Grill,” “Melancholy Play: A Chamber Musical” (The Powerhouse Theatre); “The Rocky Horror Show,” “Formerly Known” (Susan Stein-Shiva Theatre); “The Cherry Orchard,” “Machinal,” “A Little Night Music,” “The Northern Skies,” “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film); “The Conditions of Readiness,” “Facework” (In Vivo Productions). Learn more on socials @GeorgeLuton.music and at www.GeorgeLuton.com
ANTHIME MILLER (Cellist)
Anthime Miller (they/them) is an internationally acclaimed composer, cellist and teaching artist based in Brooklyn, NY. Anthime is the composer-in-residence for The Circle Theater of New York and SMPL and a regular composer and actor with the National Theater of Luxembourg. Anthime is the Principal Cellist of the Regina Opera Company and plays with New Amsterdam Opera, Protestra, City Lyric Opera and many other orchestras and chamber ensembles throughout the Eastern United States and Western Europe. www.anthimemiller.com @anthimemillermusic
STEPHANIE NIELSEN (Choreographer)
Stephanie Nielsen is a multidisciplinary performer from Benicia, California. She began her dance training at age seven, and has since trained in ballet, color guard, and modern techniques. She continued her dance training at the University of California, Davis, where she graduated with a B.A. in Theatre and Dance and a minor in Communications in June 2021. Throughout her education at UC Davis, Stephanie trained as an actor and singer, and has choreographed multiple original works. She is currently based out of New York City. Stephanie joined the Stoopid Dance Company, part of the TICM Dance/Theater Company, in Fall 2020 as one of its original company members.
YASMIN RANZ-LIND (Stage Manager)
Yasmin Ranz-Lind is a NYC based actor, singer and theater maker! She is excited to be taking on a behind-the-scenes role with Ghost Quartet! Recent credits include Allerleirauh (Princess/Chambermaid) with Bookworm Theatrics, Romeo and Juliet (Assistant Director) with New Relic Theatre and Twelfth Night (Maria) at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. Huge thanks to the stunning Sophie, brilliant E, Tyler always and Off the Lane for all the amazing work they do! BFA: Syracuse University. yasminranzlind.com IG: @yasminranzlind
CADEN THOMAS (Dancer)
Caden Thomas is a recent graduate from Southern Utah University (SUU) with a degree in Dance Performance. Caden performed in eleven productions at SUU, in which he choreographed for two. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Senior in Dance award (2021), Thunderbird Performer of the Year award (2021), Tour-de-Force award (2019), the Outstanding Tap Performer award (2019), and is a three-time Broadway Coat recipient. Caden was able to found and serve as Artistic Director for the Southern Utah University Dance Organization during his time at SUU. Caden is currently living in New York as a freelance performer and studied in the LimónLaunch program with the José Limón Dance Foundation.