“Dragon Fruit! Black Beluga Lentils! Perfectly Soft-Boiled Eggs!”

Seven public defenders seek meaning, belonging, and some semblance of order via their frenzied quest for the perfect lunch – while battling ACS, inequality, burnout, and a big ole serving of existential dread.


Meet The Artists


SARAH EINSPANIER‘s (Playwright, they/them) plays include Lunch Bunch (last seen in Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks and Summerworks; New York Times and Time Out Critic’s Picks; in development for television with A24), House Plant (New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door; ‘highbrow / brilliant’ in New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix; Lambda Literary Award Finalist), I LOVE SEAN (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow), The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project), Madonna con Bambino created with composer Deepali Gupta and director Caitlin Sullivan (Ars Nova’s ANT Fest and the New Ohio’s Ice Factory, curated by New Georges), Doctor De Soto and Other Stories by William Steig conceived by Miranda Haymon and co-written with Miranda Haymon and Seonjae Kim with music by Ellen Winter (upcoming tour TheaterWorksUSA), and I forgot to tell you (The Brooklyn Rail, June 2021 Issue). They have been a part of Ars Nova’s Play Group, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, and the New Georges Jam (former co-leader) and have been a resident at Millay Arts, the Hambidge Center, Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Walter E. Dakin Fellow), Cape Cod Theatre Project (Noel Coward Foundation Writer in Residence), SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Mercury Store, and Erik Ehn’s annual Texas Silent Writing Retreat. They teach at NYU Tisch, HB Studios, and the National Theater Institute.


TARA AHMADINEJAD (Director, she/her) is a director and co-founder of the live arts collective Piehole (Jerome Finalist 2021), with whom she has directed and co-authored boundary-pushing live art for theaters, galleries, and digital spaces, including collaborations with the LA-based Tender Claws in AR and VR: Tendar (Sundance 2018) and The Under Presents (Oculus, Sundance 2019, Emmy Finalist). Piehole’s recent work includes Christmas Mountain, a media installation at WNYC’s The Greene Space, and Disclaimer (Drama League Award Nominee, NYC Women’s Fund), written/performed by Ahmadinejad, which premiered at The Public’s Under the Radar 2021. Other recent theater directing includes Mourning // Morning by Gelsey Bell (Prototype Festival, HERE Arts Center); and digital collaborations with Satoko Ichihara (Japan Society), Eliza Bent (New Georges), Rinne Groff (Clubbed Thumb), and Scarlett Kim (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Resident Futurist at Pig Iron; NYTW Usual Suspect; New Georges Affiliated Artist; MFA Columbia University.

March 15-April 15, 2023

Written by
Sarah Einspanier

Directed by
Tara Ahmadinejad

Janice Amaya
Tala Ashe
Ugo Chukwu
David Greenspan
Louisa Jacobson
Francis Mateo
Jo Mei
Julia Sirna-Frest

Set Designer
Jean Kim

Costume Design
Alice Tavener

Lighting Design
Oona Curley
Domino Mannheim

Sound Design
Ben Vigus

Production Stage Manager
Alex Williamson

Production Manager
Brittany Coyne

Company & House Manager
MJ Lugo

Desiree Nasim

2nd Floor Theatre
150 1st Avenue
New York, NY

Presented with
Clubbed Thumb


JANICE AMAYA (they/them) is an actor, theatermaker, and educator. Recent theater credits: Shhhh (Atlantic Theater Company), Mushroom (People’s Light Theater Co), Cartography (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Sally Forth (Lincoln Center), Tell Them I’m Still Young (American Theater Group), The Prizefighter of P.S. 217 (New Victory Theater), Your Hair Looked Great (Abrons Arts Center). Film: Patriot’s Day (Lionsgate, Dir. Peter Berg), Up North (Dir. Stefanie Abel Horowitz), Citywide (Fishtown Films). They are a Co-Director at Pipeline Theatre Company and a founding member of The Hummm. MFA, Harvard University and the Moscow Art Theater. www.janiceamaya.com


TALA ASHE (she/her) Off-Broadway: English (Atlantic Theater Company / Drama Desk nom: Outstanding Actress, Lucille Lortel and Obie winner: Best Play), The Vagrant Trilogy, Troilus and Cressida, Urge for Going (The Public), The Profane (Playwrights Horizons), The Who and the What (LCT3). Regional: Head over Heels, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Troilus and Cressida (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Welcome to Arroyo’s (The Old Globe); Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Huntington). TV: “The Girls on the Bus” (upcoming), “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow,” “American Odyssey,” “Smash,” “Law and Order: CI,” “30 Rock,” “Law and Order.” BFA: Boston University, LAMDA. @talaashe


UGO CHUKWU was most recently seen as Cord Elam in the Broadway National Tour of Oklahoma! Other credits include What To Send Up When It Goes Down (Playwrights Horizons), Do Your Feel Anger? (Vineyard Theater), [Porto] (WP Theater/Bushwick Starr), Today is my Birthday (P73) and Lunch Bunch (Clubbed Thumb). Regional: Ripcord (Huntington Theater) and Adventure Quest (Edinburgh Fringe). TV/Film: Seasoned, Inventing Anna, The Path, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Late Late Night with James Corden. He has also appeared in commercials for Spectrum Mobile. Ugo is also a teaching artist with the New Victory theater. @ugolessinsta.


DAVID GREENSPAN is perhaps best known for appearing in his own plays, most notably Dead MotherShe Stoops to ComedyGo Back to Where You AreI’m Looking for Helen Twelvetrees and his solo plays The Argument and The Myopia – and for performing solo renditions of Barry Conners’ The Patsy, Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, Gertrude Stein’s Four Saints in Three Acts and Stein’s lectures PlaysComposition as Explanation and What are Masterpieces. He has worked with many contemporary playwrights and is the recipient of various honors including RUTHIE and six OBIES.


LOUISA JACOBSON is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama where she received her MFA in Acting. She is thrilled to be making her Off-Broadway debut after appearing in a number of regional productions (Trayf, Geffen Playhouse; Romeo & Juliet, The Old Globe; Native Son, Yale Rep; The Member of The Wedding, Williamstown Theater Festival) Currently, Louisa can be seen playing the role of Marian Brook in HBO’s The Gilded Age, an original series from Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes. In addition to her training at Yale, Louisa attended the British American Drama Academy and holds a B.A. in psychology from Vassar College.


FRANCIS MATEO‘s credits include Love to Love You Baby(Teatro Círculo) CallBacks2022 (Teatro Círculo) Othello (Shakespeare Forum); Hamlet (Shakespeare@); Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare Forum); Love’s Labour’s Lost (Shakespeare Forum); King Lear (Classical Theater of Harlem); Mother Courage (Public Theater); Red Beads(Mabou Mines); In the Name of Salome (Repertorio Español); La Canción (Repertorio Español); Bad Blood(Puerto Rican Traveling Theater). Film/TV: Cuatro Piezas (Verandi Films; Colonia (Verandi Films); The Holdouts (Savin Rock Entertainment); Fran Gil (Rayoelú Films). Education: M.F.A. Brooklyn College (New York)


JO MEI ‘s theater credits include, Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic), The Great Wave (Berleley Rep), We are Among Us (Pittsburgh City Theatre), Babette’s Feast (off-Broadway/ Portland Stage), Fingersmith(American Repertory Theater), World of Extreme Happiness (Manhattan Theatre Club), King of Hell’s Palace (Goodman), You For Me For You (Woolly Mammoth). TV credits include “Crashing”(HBO), “Nicki”(Freeform), “Bones” (Fox), “The Good Wife” (CBS). Jo stars in and co-wrote the award-winning film “A Picture of You”; other film credits include “A Bread Factory, Part One”, “Who We Are Now”, “Adult World”, “The Grief of Others”. Member: The Actors Center. Training: Juilliard. @jotomato


JULIA SIRNA-FREST is a performer, director, musician. Favorite Performance credits include: [Porto] (WP Theater, The Bushwick Starr); Seder (Hartford Stage); A Tunnel Year (The Chocolate Factory); The Offending Gesture (Mac Wellman); Comfort Dogs: Live from the Pink House (JACK). She is a founding member of the Obie award winning Half Straddle Company, productions include: Ghost Rings (TBA/PICA); Ancient Lives (The Kitchen); Seagull (Thinking of you) (The New Ohio, International Tour), In the Pony Palace/Football (The Bushwick Starr, International Tour); Nurses in New England (The Ohio); The Knockout Blow (The Ontological). Composer/Performer with Chapman/Sirna-Frest and Co-Front woman of Doll Parts, Brooklyn’s Premiere Dolly Parton Cover Band, and has directed many projects written by her artistic soul mate Zoë Geltman. Member of the 2022-2024 WP Lab and New Georges Jam Cohort!


The Play Company proudly recognizes our community partner

The Bronx Defenders is a public defender nonprofit that is radically transforming how people in the Bronx are represented in our legal system and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself.

We have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally recognized model called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients. Each year, we defend over 20,000 Bronx residents with low-incomes in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake and outreach programs. Our proximity to the legal system and the experiences of our clients place us on the front lines in the fight for fairness, justice, and equality. As a result, we have the firsthand insight necessary to identify systemic problems and the expertise to spearhead long-term solutions.




All patrons will be required to wear N95, KF94 or KN95 masks. Masks must be worn at all times in the facility regardless of vaccination or exemption status. Masks will be provided at the theatre.


Thursday, March 30 at 7:00PM

Performance(s) exclusively for vaccinated and booster ticket holders. All ticket holders for the performance(s) listed aboce will  be required to show proof of a complete COVID-19 vaccination AND proof of the first booster dose at the door. All ticket holders must present a photo ID for verification. No refunds or exchanges will be granted to unvaccinated, and/or unboosted ticket buyers. 


The Play Company gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of the Kaplen Brothers Fund, as well as major support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Galaxy Gives Foundation, the Howard Gilman Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, and the Venturous Theatre Fund.