(Syracuse, NY) Redhouse Arts Center’s Virtual Redhouse will present the Regional Premier of a play specially written for Zoom entitled Waiting for the Host which was written by playwright Marc Palmieri. This new comedy/drama, designed specifically for online performance, takes place during the beginning of the Coronavirus pandemic; as a tech-challenged church tries to hash out how to present its annual Passion Play on the internet in the age of social distancing. This will be the New York (Regional) premier and will be the first of its kind that Redhouse has produced. Artistic Director Hunter Foster is quoted in saying: “As we continue to monitor and deal with the current pandemic we are constantly thinking of ways of how we can still present theatre online in interesting and entertaining ways. With most of the public using Zoom for business meetings, parties, weddings and graduations, Waiting For the Host is another example of how we are still trying to connect and make life happen during quarantine in profound and sometimes comedic ways.”
The show will be streamed from May 28th at 7pm through June 1st. Prior to the show audiences will have two opportunities to learn more. On Tuesday, May 26th at 5:30pm, Artistic Director Hunter Foster, host of RedTalks on Facebook Live (@theredhousearts) will be joined by playwright Marc Palmieri and some of the cast to chat and converse about the play. In addition to this there will be also be a Premier Party with the cast, director, May, 28th at 6:30pm on Facebook Live (@theredhousearts).
In a season when theaters, playgrounds, schools, and churches are shuttered by a modern plague, the rector of a small church on Long Island gathers a handful of parishioners via video conference. His goal is to record a theatrical reading of the story of the Passion for the church website. As exes bicker and technology confuses, this socially distant endeavor quickly becomes chaotic. Still, in the effort, the group finds a strange, painful closeness, and that their comic and clumsy reading has become a kind of desperate prayer.
The show was directed by Artistic Director and Broadway Veteran Hunter Foster. He will be joined another Broadway Veteran Jennifer Cody who will be a part of the cast. Other cast members include Yarissa Millan, Peggy Mitchell, Robert Edwards, Steve Gamba and Brendan Didio (see page 2 of this release for actor bios). Production crew included Production Manager Daniel Whiting, Stage Manager Margot Reed and Production Assistant Josh Reid.
Pre sale tickets for the stream are available for purchase at the Redhouse website at www.theredhouse.org and they remain on sale through the the run of the show. The cost is $15 which includes all fees; once purchased you have 24 hours to view the show. If you have questions, please email [email protected].
Jen Cody (Effie) is a Rochester girl and graduate of SUNY Fredonia. She recently appeared in God of Carnage at Redhouse Arts Center and also co-directed and choreographed RENT here last year. She has performed in many Broadway shows including being a part of the original casts of The Wild Party, Seussical the Musical, Urinetown, Henry and Mudge, Pajama Game (revival), Taboo and Shrek. She also has had the opportunity to perform in incredible regional theatres across the country. Her voice can be heard on commercials and cartoons, as well as feature films. She recieved the Annie Award (animation Oscar) for her work as Charlotte La Bouff in Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog”. She is also the 2nd Vice President of Actor’s Equity Association.
Brendan Didio (Ben) is so excited to be collaborating with the Redhouse team on this project. He is a graduate of Niagara University where he received a BFA in Theatre Performance. Brendan has performed with various companies in Buffalo, NY, including Shakespeare in Delaware Park, Irish Classical Theatre, and MusicalFare Theatre.
Robert Denzel Edwards (Vincent) is extremely excited to be making his virtual theatre debut with the Redhouse! Recent credits include: Romeo & Juliet (Friar John/Abraham), Bisland & Bly (Tremaine/Cyclone Bill), A Christmas Carol
(Fred), Unicorn Girl (Connie), and Kinky Boots (Ensemble). Robert would like to thank God and everyone else who has supported him up to this point in his career. He hopes you enjoy the show! @RobertDenzelEdwards www.robertdenzeledwards.com
Steve Gamba (Theodore) is happy to be a part of this new and innovative production. He has been involved with previous Redhouse New Works in The Girl In the Red Dress, All Dressed Up And Nowhere To Go, and Bisland and Bly. Other favorite roles include The Sheriff in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Bud in The Bridges of Madison County, and Carl Magnus in A Little Night Music. He is always grateful for the opportunities afforded him.
Marguerite Mitchell (Sara) was most recently seen onstage at The Redhouse in Steel Magnolias (Shelby – SALT Award Recipient for Best Actress). Favorite theatrical credits include: Six Degrees of Separation (Elizabeth – SALT Award
Recipient for Best Supporting Actress), Oleanna (Carol – SALT Nominee), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet – SALT Nominee), The Importance of Being Ernest (Cecily Cardew), ’night Mother (Jessie Cates), and Assassins (Lynette “Squeaky”
Fromme”). In 2014 she made her directorial debut in the Redhouse LAB with Almost, Maine, and since then has directed and assistant directed four other productions for the organization. She earned her Bachelors Degree from Temple University, double majoring in English Literature and English Education, also studying British Literature at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England and Arts Administration with Drexel University in Philadelphia. In 2011, she received the NYSRA Secondary Teacher of the Year award and was nominated for ASCD’s Outstanding Young Educator Award. She is currently the Director of Education at The Redhouse Arts Center.
Yarissa Tiara Millan (Grace) is excited to be back with the Redhouse and to be included in such a cool, creative production. She’s grateful to the Redhouse for the opportunity to play along with her fellow actors and crew to bring some laughs and smiles during this current time. Other favorite roles include: Sheila in HAIR) Mimi in RENT, Emily in A Christmas Carol , and Janet in Rocky Horror. She’s grateful to her familia, friends, her Shrek, the cast and crew for bringing to life a fun joyful piece.