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what could YOU forgive?

Join us for an OFF THE PAGE production of MARLA AND HER PRAYERS, by Kim Merrill, directed by Elysa Marden.

OFF THE PAGE is a special program to get full-length scripts on their feet—fully rehearsed, with actors off book, and limited design aspects—so that we can assess the play as all plays are intended—Off The Page! Thus, the playwright is able to make adjustments and revisions to strengthen the work before it is considered "finished".

Kim Merrill's darkly comic play digs deep into the soul of Marla as she wrestles with a dead gay son, his teenage killer, a born-again mother, and her own inner demons. Touches of magical realism and an original score are guides along the pathway of this lyrical and gloriously absurd investigation into life's most profound mysteries.

OFF THE PAGE is a critical step in the playwriting process that used to be accomplished with out-of-town tryouts. Instead of the dozens of readings writers receive nowadays, plays would be put on their feet pretty quickly in a series of short runs in multiple East Coast cities, and rewriting would happen as they went. This has become prohibitively expensive in the last few decades, and in fact, even the very term "out-of-town-tryout" has been dropped from our theatrical lexicon. It is impossible to know how many scripts read around town NEVER get off the page.

The production features Ephraim Birney*, Anne Fizzard*, Jane Ives*, Dawn McGee* and Jose Antonio Melian*. Christopher North is Composer and Sound Designer; Meganne George is Production Designer (Set/Costumes), Deborah Constantine is Lighting Designer; and Carolina Arboleda is Stage Manager.


Wednesday-Friday, April 2-4, 7:30pm; Sunday, April 6, 2:00pm

NOTE: ADDITIONAL SEATS AVAILABLE for Sunday, April 6, 7:00pm
at New Perspectives Studio, 458 West 37 Street (@10th Avenue)


NOTE: Please use the "Instructions to Merchant" or NOTE option on PayPal to indicate the date for your ticket purchase!


ELYSA MARDEN (Director). For the New Perspectives Women's Work LAB: short plays by Christine Toy Johnson, Andrea Lepcio, Jaqueline Goldfinger, Marisa Petsakos, and Alexis Roblan. She directs in New York City, regionally, and internationally. She recently directed Tarragona by Gary Giovannetti at the WorkShop Theater Co. She has developed new plays with Liz Amberly, P. Seth Bauer, Mariana Carreno, Steven Fechter, Dana Leslie Goldstein, Henry Guzmán, Arlene Hutton, and Glyn Maxwell at such venues as New Dramatists, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, Verse Theatre Manhattan, Mabou Mines, Women’s Project, York Theatre Co, and the A-Train Plays.

KIM MERRILL's (Playwright) plays have been produced by NJ Repertory, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Theater for the New City, Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey, Manhattan Theatre Source, Culture Project, New Perspectives, and other off-off-Broadway venues. Workshops and readings at New Georges, PlayLabs at the Playwrights Center, Cleveland Playhouse, Geva Theatre, Cherry Lane, Women’s Project, LaMama Experiments, Miami’s City Theatre, and Athena Project. Her work has received an Edgerton Foundation New American Play Award (2009), EST/Sloan commission (2007), Playwrights First Award (1998), Pilgrim Project grant (2001), and been a finalist for O’Neill, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Jane Chambers and Heideman Awards. This fall (2013) she received residency support from the Helene Wurlitzer Foundation in Taos, NM. Her play Finding Claire is published by Dramatists Play Service, and she is a member of Dramatist Guild, A.E.A., and the Ensemble Studio Theatre playwright unit.

CHRISTOPHER NORTH (Composer/Sound Design) is a composer for Film, TV, Theater, Dance and various ensembles (jazz, chamber music, orchestral, etc.) He's also a singer/songwriter (eclectic rock and children's music inc. Disney & Sesame Street), bassist and multi-instrumental musician (on Broadway/Grammy award-winning recordings.) He thrives in Brooklyn, having released 12 albums (with 5 more out this year), scored 8 feature films as well as countless shorts, most of which are currently screening/distributed around the world (DVD, Netflix, Itunes.) VARIETY says he's a "notable asset." His 1st feature Everything's Jake, starring Ernie Hudson as a homeless musician, can be seen on STARZ. His 6th feature, Bible Quiz, won Best Documentary at Slamdance 2013 in Park City, UT and will be showing on The SUNDANCE Channel. Christopher is thrilled to be a part of this production, and especially excited to be continuing his longtime collaboration with Elysa (including 1998's The Husbands and 2005's The Forever Waltz.)

EPHRAIM BIRNEY (Adam) A senior at Professional Performing Arts School. He made his professional debut in Good Person of Szechwan, orginally at LaMama and then on to the Public Theater this past Fall. Other credits include ANON(ymous), Our Town, Caucasian Chalk Circle (PPAS); Nothing is The End of the World...(Waterwell's New Works Lab); Sweeney Todd (Kidz Theater); Zombie Prom (Broadway Workshop); Fiorello! (Wingspan Arts).  Look-alike Harry Potter for premier opening at the Ziefield Theater. TV: Are We There Yet? Ephraim is a drummer/ukelele/guitar/bass/vocals/songwriter and works with his band. He is writing his first play.  A shout out to Connecting Talent.

ANNE FIZZARD (Doreen) is thrilled to be working with the wonderful cast and creative team of Marla and Her Prayers at New Perspectives. Training: summer school, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London); graduate, American Academy of Dramatic Arts (NY). Also interned at Ensemble Studio Theater, acted in the Women's Project and Productions Directors Forum, and studied acting with Alfred Molina and Laura Esterman.Longtime member of the Drama Desk-nominated WorkShop Theater Company, of which she is an Artistic Associate. Some favorite WorkShop roles: Linda Tripp in Verbatim Verboten (opposite Olympia Dukakis as Monica Lewinsky), Ina in Miss Lulu Bett by Zona Gale, Freida in The Bow-Wow Club by Levy Lee Simon, Eileen in Moonlight & Love Songs by Scott C. Sickles, five characters in Beat Chick by Joanne Joseph/Prudence Wright Holmes, Edna in HA! (The Whole Shebang) by Rich Orloff. and numerous one-acts. Plays millionaires and academics in corporate training exercises. Member, AEA/SAG-AFTRA/ACTRA. Web:  Facebook Twitter:

JANE IVES (Penny) studied with the great Stella Adler, Michael Howard and Alice Spivak. Most recently she appeared in NPTC's Women's Work Short Play Festival DEAD RECKONING, and as Hallie Flanagan in staged readings of Enter Hallie by Dan Jacobs and Susan Quinn in Brooklyn and at the Waldorf Astoria. Favorites: Smitty's News and The Shaper, Actors Theatre of Louisville; Orpheus Descending, Williamstown; Three Sisters, Williamstown and NYC; The Seagull, NYC; Crimes Of The Heart, Quilters and The Dining Room, premiere season of the Fulton Opera House; Top Girls, NYC; The Sleep Of Reason, Wilma; Brave Brood by Robert O'Hara, NYC; The Workroom, NYC; On The Verge, Ithaca; Night Games and A Frog In His Throat, York Theatre Company, Best Little Whorehouse in America, Actors Studio. Jane is delighted to be reunited with Kim Merrill having performed in Ms. Merrill's MFA thesis at Columbia University, Freezer Burn directed by Robert O'Hara, some 20 years ago!


DAWN MCGEE  (Marla) Credits include: Theatre: Youngblood’s Asking For Trouble ’11-‘13 & many Brunch plays (EST), The Untitled Degradation Play (Rising Phoenix), The Average-Sized Mermaid (FringeNYC), The Asphalt Kiss (59E59), Chekhov’s Rifle, w/Austin Pendleton (World premiere), Making Ends Meet (American Globe Festival – outstanding actress award), Grace & Glorie (DTF), Todd Brogan’s Sketch Show (The PIT).  Film/TV: Being Flynn (scenes w/ Robert De Niro), Bobby Dogs (PRISM Award), Wasted, “House Of Cards”, “Louie”, “Are We There Yet?”, “The Onion News Network”, “As The World Turns” (recurring), numerous national commercials & Mary Ann Quinn in Grand Theft Auto V (best actress award).  Thank you Kim, Elysa, Melody & the entire Marla team. Member: Ensemble Studio Theatre, NJ Rep. SAG-AFTRA/AEA

JOSÉ ANTONIO MELIÁN (Jesse):  Proud member, AEA, SAG/AFTRA.  Theater: Pinkolandia (INTAR), Nelson2Rodrigues (Repertorio), Barbarians (Williamstown), As You Like It (MD Shakespeare), The Hungerers (Precarious), among others.  He voices the Spanish soundtrack for HBO Sports specials, provides simultaneous interpretation of civic events for NY1 Noticias and broadcasts NFL games in Spanish for CBS.  Many thanks to Melody, Elysa, Kim and everyone who made this possible.

MEGANNE GEORGE (Production Designer): Broadway: A Wonderful Life (Actor's Fund Benefit). Kennedy Center: mabou mines’ Dollhouse. Off-Broadway: For mabou mines: Dollhouse (international tour, 2012 Elliot Norton Award nomination, Best Design Large Theatre); Finn (NYSCA commissioning grant); Red Beads; Cara Lucia (American Theatre Wing Hewes Nomination); Children of Ararat, Two Little Indians, Superpowers, Orpheus and Eurydice; Hurray for Iceboy. Regional: Grey Gardens, The Graduate, As Bees in Honey Drown, No Way to Treat a Lady, UnNecessary Farce, Radio Gals. Intn’l: Choreophorae (European Capital of Culture Fest ‘06), Kilkenney Arts Festival: Lucia's Chapter's, A Prelude to a Death in Venice. Other NY: John Goldfarb Please Come Home (FringeNY Best Costume Design ‘07). Nine seasons with Bronx Opera; 10 with New Perspectives including Hamlet, MOTHER OF GOD!; The Taming of the Shrew (OOBR Award), Macbeth. Romeo & Juliet, Lemon Meringue Facade by Ted Lange, and many others. Film/TV: mabou mines' Dollhouse (producer, Arte, France); Don't Nobody Love the Game (PBS Independent Lens).

DEBORAH CONSTANTINE (Lighting Design) is pleased to be working with New Perspectives again. Her most recent design work was the off-Broadway production of The Banana Monologues at The Acorn Theatre. Other designs include Crowns, Moonlight and Magnolias, Anna in the Tropics (Capital Repertory Theatre); Race (Capital Repertory Company and Northern Stages); Barrymore, Little Women, the Musical and Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Pirates of Penzance (Bristol Riverside Theare, Bristol, PA). Theatre companies include Williamstown Theatre Festival, Hangar Theatre, Two River Theatre Company, Hartford Theatreworks, Blue Light Theatre Company, Bronx Opera Company, Urban Stages, and Primary Stages.

CAROLINA ARBOLEDA (Stage Manager) received her BA in Arts and Sciences from Hunter College with a concentration in Theatre and Psychology. She is the recipient of the Robert LoBianco Award for Stage Management and the Friars Foundation Scholarship. Most recently she worked as Production Stage Manager on The Pillowman (FITR Productions), City Non-Specific (La Micro Theater, FringeNYC), KEEPINGABREAST (Manhattan Theatre Mission) and Bending All The Rules (Midtown International Theatre Festival.) She’s delighted to be working on Marla and Her Prayers.



This program is supported, in part, with public funds from the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the NYC Council, and in part with fund from the NYS Council on the Arts, a State agency.