June 29, 2021 Iteration
Written by William Burke
Co-directed by William Burke & Bryn Herdrich
Jehan O. Young
Musician for Iteration 4 and 5
Hajnal K. Pivnick
Video Systems Designer for Iterations 3, 4, and 5
Project Manager for Iterations 4 and 5
A Note From PlayCo’s Kate Loewald
Welcome to the fifth iteration of Is it Supposed to Last? Since the spring of 2020 William Burke and his endlessly inventive colleagues have been developing this piece to explore how we can connect and be together at this moment in time. In a string of monthly shows beginning last January, the show has taken in our isolation, our attempts to be good and kind, and how we sometimes fall far from that, shifting and adapting along with the parameters of our lives.
William brought this project to PlayCo as part of our mini-commissions project shortly after theaters shut down. Thanks to funding from the Venturous Theatre Fund “Plays for Now” program, we were able to continue working on it and expand the team. If you’ve been with us from the start, thank you for coming along for the ride. If you’re new here, WELCOME! We’ve been building all along toward a party that contains both our glitchy uncertainty and our joy as we emerge into springtime and, we hope, some restorative communing. Now, finally, we’re able to welcome audiences in person as well as online.
Thank you for being here. We’re so happy to see you.
A Note From Writer/Co-Director William Burke
Hi. You are here. Which is…wherever you are. And you’re also here here. So you’re two places at once. Which in different times might be hard. But now you might have normalized it. But it’s still a good thing and it’s a victory that you made it.
This is the final of five versions of engagement. Although circumstances dictate that we approach you through zoom I would encourage you to think of how your engagement changes moment to moment and thought to thought as these talented actors and designers give you something to chew on. Maybe in the future we’ll be together. Maybe we won’t but let’s start this and enjoy the arch of communal viewing.
When Kate and Melissa approached me last spring to write a play for these times and for these new platforms that we as theatre artists have available to us, I was skeptical that my brand of non-linear performance would be able to hold the focus of a homebound audience staring at a screen. BUT they buttered me up a little and convinced me that maybe we could maybe find ways to transcend our small screens and still find a sense of gathering that wasn’t forced and filtered through the sadness of what we’ve lost but more focused on the power of the relationships we’ve already made.
More than theatre I miss the dirty NYC black box theatre and the lobby and the meaningful random run in. The rush of downloading information in the 15 minutes before the show actually begins can be messy and thrilling and needed. This is not an attempt to replicate but an invitation to come with and experience a series of happenings together and apart. Not making a big deal of it but participating as only a theatre community can. So…in the end (or beginning) thank you for being here and here here. We’ll see how it all goes.
WILLIAM BURKE (playwright, co-director, performer) is a playwright, director and curator living in Brooklyn. His productions include the food was terrible (The Bushwick Starr), PIONEERS!#goforth (JACK), COMFORT DOGS: Live from the Pink House (JACK) and FURRY! (JACK) FURRY!/LA FURIA! (The Bushwick Starr). With Target Margin Theater: I Made a Mistake, EXPLODITY! and DAY!Night?fuck (The Stahl Center at Stoney Brook University) He has developed his plays/presented readings at The Black Swan Lab (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), The Bushwick Starr, University Settlement, NACL, All For One Theater, Little Theatre (Dixon Place), The Prelude Festival (CUNY Grad center) and CATCH. Co-Chair of the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jackie Sibblies Drury, Head of Artistic Development and Co-Curator of the Starr Reading series at The Bushwick Starr and a co-curator for Little Theatre at Dixon Place. William studied playwriting at Brooklyn College with Mac Wellman, Anne Washburn and Erin Courtney.
GUILLERMO CONTRERAS (production manager) is an NYC-based actor and writer originally from Waukesha, WI. Recent projects include: Where Are You? (2020 Mabou Mines/SUITE Space, Performer & Deviser), The Siblings Play (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, APM), Novenas for a Lost Hospital (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, APM), Triplight (Joe’s Pub, Performer), Indeed, Friend! (Clubbed Thumb/Playwrights Downtown, Performer), and Prototypes (The Downstairs at La Mama, Dancer). Guillermo also voices the character Gustavo in Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto: The Cayo Perico Heist. Major commercial campaigns include: Carl’s Jr., Citizens Bank, and Head & Shoulders. Currently, he is working on an original short film, There Was Plenty of Time Before Us, due out later this year. Guillermo holds a BFA in Drama from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
CAROLINA ĐỖ (performer) is an actor, playwright, producer and proud daughter of Vietnamese freedom fighters and refugees. She’s a community organizer and advocate for art that facilitates healing in marginalized communities. Her acting credits: Broadway: NYT’s Critics’ Pick LINDA VISTA (u/s), GRAND HORIZONS (u/s). She’s worked with numerous NYC theater companies, including: PlayCo, Loading Dock, The Tank, New Dramatists, Naked Angels, New Collectives. TV/Film: FBI: MOST WANTED, SVU, CHILDREN OF THE DUST, CATFIGHT, QUEENS THE SERIES. Her play, MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER, was a semifinalist for Space on Ryder Farm and a 2020 finalist for BRICLab. Co-founder and co-Artistic Leader of The Sống Collective. BFA: Brooklyn College. She’s dreaming up a TV series about joyful badass Asian women. @carolinakaydo, www.carolinado.com
AARON GONZALEZ (video systems designer) is a NYC-based Director, Actor, Designer, Stage Manager and graduate of University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of Drama. Projection Design: GHETTO KLOWN (Lyceum), Set Design: DANCING GIRL (SheNYC), FRESH GROUND PEPPER FESTIVAL (New Ohio), THE SHELTER 10 YEARS LATER (Gene Frankel), 12 ANGRY MEN, THE MOTHERF*CKER WITH THE HAT (Strasberg Institute). Resident Director/ASM: BILLY ELLIOT National Tour. Associate Director/Ensemble BILLY ELLIOT (MUNY, Music Theatre Wichita, Gateway Playhouse) Stage Management: THE LION KING (Minskoff), TIME STANDS STILL (MTC & The Cort), LATIN HISTORY FOR MORONS (Studio 54 & Public Theatre), Eugene O’Neill Music Theatre Conference. Production Management: Brian Cox’s UNIVERSAL, AN EVENING WITH NOEL FIELDING (US Tour). Technical Direction: THE SIBLINGS PLAY, NOVENAS FOR A LOST HOSPITAL, LEWISTON/CLARKSTON, LOCKDOWN (Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre), RECENT ALIEN ABDUCTIONS (Play Co), TUMACHO, PLANO, SUMMERWORKS (Clubbed Thumb), REV23 (Prototype Fest), RIDDLE OF THE TRILOBITES (New Victory), RRRED/NEUROSIS (DR2). Video Sup: KPOP (Ars Nova). Actor: BULL on CBS. Technical Director of Tech Without Tears, a full service Production Management and Technical Direction company based in NYC. Recipient of Independent Theatre Award for Lighting Design. Recipient of SheNYC Festival Award for Scenic Design. I.T. Award Nomination for Video Design & Scenic Design.
BRYN HERDRICH (co-director) creates storytelling events and directs new theatrical work. Past collaborations with William Burk include VARIATIONS ON THE MAIN (JACK) and UNTITLED AMERICAN FLAG CRAFT PROJECT (The Brick Theater). Other recent credits include: PENNY THOUGHTS (Prelude Festival), MY LIFE HAS BEEN EXTRAORDINARY (Joe’s Pub), ARE WE THERE YET (The Bitter End), and INTERABANG (Ars Nova ANT Fest). She has been the Associate Director of THE SOUND INSIDE by Adam Rapp at Studio 54. Member of Soho Rep’s Writer/Director Lab, MTC Directing Fellow 2018-2020, WTF Directors Corps, and the SDC Observership Class of 2018-2019, and serves on the Artistic Advisory Council of JETco. Upcoming: BUST with writer Jeesun Choi through the Soho Rep Lab.
XAVIER KHAN (Video Systems Designer) New York: 72 MILES TO GO… (Roundabout Theatre Company), THE UNDERLYING CHRIS (Second Stage), THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES (Atlantic Theatre Company), WEST SIDE STORY (Carnegie Hall). Select Regional: Cleveland Play House, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Great Lakes Theater, Berkshire Theatre Group, Weston Playhouse, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. Developments: RUNNING WHILE BLACK and MIKE PENCE SEX DREAM (Ensemble Studio Theatre), OPET DIARIES (Dramatists Guild Foundation), and THE CHINESE LADY (Cleveland Play House).
CAROLYN MRAZ (co-designer, she/they) is a set designer and educator. She loves inventive yet dramaturgically-sound uses of space for performer and audience alike, as well as spectacular yet utilitarian visual methods of story-telling. In these particular times of COVID, racial justice uprisings, and political unrest, Carolyn is most interested in how she can better listen to and support stories that have been unheard and underrepresented. Some favorite design include: CABIN, SPACEMAN, I’LL NEVER LOVE AGAIN, and THE BLACK CROOK (all Hewes award-nominated in NYC), KID PRINCE and PABLO (Kennedy Center), THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Northern Stage, VT), and PORGY AND BESS (Spoleto Festival USA). Carolyn is an associated artist of Target Margin and Clubbed Thumb in NYC, and A Host of People in Detroit. An Oberlin alum with an MFA from NYU/Tisch, Carolyn is an USA 829 union member and teaches at Williams College. www.cmraz.com
Hungarian-American violinist HAJNAL PIVNICK (musician) has developed a career as a performer and curator promoting community-driven music by modern and living composers. Her work has been recognized through foundational support from New Music USA, the Barlow Endowment, and the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. She is co-artistic director of Tenth Intervention, a collective of musicians that explores the intersection of performance and experiential art, and its potential to reflect social issues. As a soloist and chamber musician she has performed in festivals, conferences, and concert series in the United States, Cuba, and Europe. In addition to her work as an educator, she is also the Program Manager of Musicambia, which brings music learning and ensemble performance to prisons throughout the United States.
JENNY BETH SNYDER (project manager) is a New York City-based Director, Production Manager & co-founder of FGP NYC. Recent projects include: DANCING GIRL (SheNYC Festival, Dir); BRIAN COX’S UNIVERSAL (North American Tour, Company Manager); RECENT ALIEN ABDUCTIONS (PlayCo, PM); LEWISTON/CLARKSTON (Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, PM); FGP FESTIVAL! (New Ohio, Creative Director); FOLK WANDERING (Art NY, PM); PORTO (WP Theater, PM); OH MY SWEET LAND (PlayCo, PM); 12 ANGRY MEN & MOTHER FUCKER WITH THE HAT (Lee Strasberg Institute, Dir.); PLANO, SUMMERWORKS 2017 & 2018 & 2019 (Clubbed Thumb, PM); YOU DO NOT LOOK, (Signature Theater, Dir.); BEARDO (Pipeline Theatre Co, PM); THE RED ROOM, (The Shelter, Dir.); IT’S LATER THAN I THINK (United Solo Festival, Dir); IDEAL (59 E 59th, Dir). BFA, NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Member of the Lincoln Center Theater Director’s Lab 2013.
SUGAR VENDIL (composer) is a composer, pianist, and interdisciplinary artist based in Lenapehoking/New York City, on stolen land of the Lenape people. Her artistic practice is strongly rooted in rigorous discipline as a musician and gradually expanded into performance that integrates music, movement, and unconventional approaches to the piano. She is a proud second-generation Filipinx American. Vendil was awarded an ACF | Create commission to write a work for Boston-based duo Box Not Found (May 2020) and was awarded with a 2020 Fellowship at the National Arts Club. She was a 2019 Artist-in-Residence at High Concept Labs in Chicago and was awarded a 2019 Chamber Music America commission to write a new work for her ensemble, The Nouveau Classical Project, which she founded in 2008. Vendil was a finalist in National Sawdust’s 2019 Hildegard Competition. ETHEL premiered her new string quartet in December 2019 as part of their Homebaked commissioning program. She was a 2019 resident artist at Mabou Mines and an artist in residence at Target Margin Theater. She holds a Master of Music degree in piano performance.
CHEYANNE WILLIAMS (co-designer) is is a theater maker, technical director, designer, and performer based in New York City, whose multi-disciplinary work seeks to expand traditional roles of making. Irreverent of predetermined roles of theater, Williams has acted in, technical directed, designed, and built shows. Most recently Williams collaborated with Kaneza Schaal as Technical Director for CARTOGRAPHY, a project that explores the commonalities of migration in disparate communities from high schoolers in Cleveland to domestic workers in Abu Dhabi. Selected upcoming work includes Technical Direction/Assistant Scenic Design for HUSH ARBOR, a contemporary opera premiering at The Momentary, and Scenic Design for QUAKE, commissioned by the French Cultural Council. BA: Wesleyan University, Theater.
A classically-trained actor, traditional West African dancer and arts manager, JEHAN O. YOUNG (performer, she/her) emerged from the shadow of Stone Mountain, Georgia, which inhabits the stolen territories of the Cherokee, Creek and Muscogee Nations but originally hails from the unceded land of the Ohlone and Yuhaviatam in what is systematically considered Northern and Southern California. She presently resides on Lenape ground, now known as New York. Holding a BA & MFA in Drama & Acting from Spelman College and Columbia University, respectively, Jehan continues to perform on stages across New York City in countless esteemed basements with working pipes and a black curtain.
Community Programming & What’s Up Next
Carroll Hall is a warehouse space, garden, lounge, a skylit indoor room, catering kitchen, and discreet wooden “treehouse.” Discovery, wonder, and the unexpected are big themes. Whether an eccentric insect or vignette through a wall opening, we revel in curiosity.
2 Vandervoort Place, Brooklyn, NY 11237
the wild project
wild project is a theater, film, music, and visual arts venue that presents diverse, engaging, inspiring, and entertaining works to the vibrant and growing community of Alphabet City in New York’s East Village. The company is dedicated to creating an environment that supports the artists, and to cultivating artists that support the environment. With an eco-conscious approach to presenting the dynamic works of hundreds of emerging artists each year.
195 E 3rd St, New York, NY 10009
Joy Flower Pot NYC
For over a decade of establishment in the Lower East Side, our little shop is proud to consistently offering an ever-evolving collection of plants, pots and flowers arrangements for local community.
40 Hester St New York NY 10002
WP Theater is the nation’s oldest and largest theater company dedicated to developing, producing, and promoting the work of women+ at every stage of their careers. WP empowers women+ artists of all kinds to reach their full potential, challenging preconceptions about the kinds of plays women write and the stories they tell.
we’re onto the next thing now / brooklyn pan pizza / sidewalk seating available if you bring a parka / noon to 7pm tuesday to saturday / bakery / coffee / natty natty wines / deli & provisions to go
406 Rogers Ave. Prospect-Lefferts Gardens
Brooklyn, NY 11225
Noon to 7pm. Closed Sundays & Mondays says GG
Pine Box Rock Shop
Housed in a former casket factory, we’ve proudly served as a neighborhood hub since October 2010. Pine Box is your go-to spot for local craft beer and innovative cocktails, curated and open mic comedy performances, live music, karaoke, DJ’s, televised sports and more.
12 Grattan St, Brooklyn, NY 11206, USA
Monday – Friday: 3pm – 7:30pm
Weekends: Noon – 7:30pm
Open daily for takeout or delivery
Contributors for Previous Iterations
Musician for Iteration 1
Video Systems Designer for Iterations 1, 2, and 3
Project Manager for Iterations 1, 2, and 3
Jenny Beth Snyder
Who We Are
The Play Company commissions, develops and produces new plays, from the U.S. and around the world, to create contemporary theatre that reflects and responds to both our New York City home and today’s interconnected world. We support ambition and experimentation in both form and content. We champion new and marginalized voices to expand the repertoire of artists represented on U.S. stages. We commit to affordable access and collaborative community engagement, welcoming inclusive audiences to join us in exploring the meaning of our time through live theatre experiences.
PlayCo received a 2007 Obie Award for our “unique contribution to the Off Broadway community”. Our organization, artists and shows have been honored with Obie, Lucille Lortel, American Theatre Wing, Drama Desk, Drama League awards and nominations.
Robert G. Bradshaw
Community Engagement Associate
Social Media Assistant
Renée E. Schwartz
General Management Assistant
Annie Jin Wang
Communications & Marketing Manager
Blake Zidell & Associates
Velani Dibba, Taylor Barrett Gaines, Ana Graham, Jeremy Tiang, and Antonio Vega
Board of Directors
Carmine Boccuzzi & Victoria Reese
Kyra Tirana Barry
Philip Levy, in memoriam
Is It Supposed To Last? is made possible by the support of the Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation.
The Play Company gratefully acknowledges the leadership support of The Kaplen Brothers Fund.
This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council, and The New York State Council on the Arts.
The Play Company gratefully acknowledges the support of the following:
Carson & Joseph Gleberman
Mary Ann & Bruno Quinson
Alexandra Shiva & Jonathan Marc Sherman
Angels ($10,000 and above)
Kyra Tirana Barry
Carmine Boccuzzi & Bernard Lumpkin
The Booth Ferris Foundation
Patricia & Michael Dweck
Michael Fedele & Doug Wurth
Alice & Bruce Geismar
Ruth & Stephen Hendel
The Howard Gilman Foundation
The Kaplen Brothers Fund
New York State Council on the Arts
NYC Department of Cultural Affairs
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
Red Crane Foundation
The Samuel Levy Foundation
The Shubert Foundation
The Twelve Labours Foundation
The Venturous Theatre Fund of the Tides Foundation
Lucille Lortel Foundation
Mary Ann & Bruno Quinson
Victoria Reese & Greg Kennedy
Alexandra Shiva & Jonathan Marc Sherman
The Brandston Jacobson Foundation
Chelsea Congdon & James Brundige
C. Cybele Raver & Clancy Blair
Peter Risafi & Steve Wheeler
The Spencer Foundation
Katherine Alford & Robert Johnson
Sean T. Buffington
Laurel Durst & Edward Strong
Sarah & Matt Frazier
Susie & Paul Friedman
Molly K. Heines & Thomas J. Moloney
The Henry Luce Foundation
The John Golden Fund
Debra Keates & James Swenson
Roslyn & Jerome Meyer
Linda Cicely Morgan
Jennifer Sage & Nicolas Grabar
Leslie & Richard Weigel
Sian & Howard Zelbo
Actors’ Equity Foundation
Pamela & Dawn Dearden
Dramatists Play Service
Mary Louise & Jon Dembrow
Jody Falco & Jeffrey Steinman
Helen & Alexander Haris
Sharon & Dina Karmazin Elkins
Carol & Marc Lane
Jeffrey Lewis & Karin Miller-Lewis
Kathryn Matschullat & Allan Arffa
Maria Mileaf & Neil Patel
Claudia Rader & Thomas Hartman
Hope & John Reese
Lauren Worsham & Kyle Jarrow
Frederic Berner & Liz Manne
Jennifer Corman & Anne Erbe
Roslyn & Robert Haber
Lauren Hughes & Jonathan Loewald
Will Hunter & Matt Sisneros
Jacqueline Katzman & Bernard White
Carol & Philip Lapin
Ann & Francis Loewald
Mauricio Lomelin & Michael Lobel
Erin Martin & Frank Schaefer
Lee Riffaterre & Frank Boyle
Stephanie Kerley Schwartz & Michael Schwartz
Joshua Shapiro & Heller Berman
Shelley Temchin & Thomas Parker
Lauren Weigel & Erich Jungwirth
Peter Young Kim
Heather & Andrew Beer
Crystal Finn & Andy Bragen
Martins & Lev Jukna-Parsons
Elizabeth O’Brien & Jay Craven
Matthew Paul Olmos
Jaynie Saunders Tiller
Robert Suzzi Valli & Rob Bradshaw