Home / WILL YOU COME WITH ME? Digital Program
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PlayCo presents the U.S. premiere of

Will You Come With Me?

Written by
Ebru Nihan Celkan
Directed by
Keenan Tyler Oliphant
Translated by
Kate Ferguson

Featuring
Layla Khoshnoudi
Maribel Martinez

Set Design
Afsoon Pajoufar

Costume Design
Enver Chakartash

Lighting Design
Reza Behjat

Sound Design & Original Music
Avi Amon

Projections Design
Stefania Bulbarella & Dee Lamar Mills

Production Stage Manager
Christina M. Woolard

Production Management
Stuart Parman

Casting
X Casting, Victor Vazquez C.S.A.

Press Representation
Blake Zidell & Associates

May 11 – June 5, 2022

MITU580 • 580 Sackett St, Unit A – Ground Floor • Brooklyn

 

A Note From PlayCo’s Kate Loewald

Dear Friends,

Welcome! After two years in the digital space we are so happy to be in communion with you again, and to share this experience of Ebru Nihan Celkan’s play.

Ebru’s strong voice grabbed us from the moment we first encountered her work in 2019. The urgency of change that has been viscerally present for other communities around the world increases every day here in the U.S. This piece speaks with tenderness, ferocity, conviction and poetry to the intertwining of personal and political struggle.

Director Keenan Tyler Oliphant’s multi-disciplinary, multi-media vision of making theatre is rooted in the contemplation of human complexity. He is a kindred theatre spirit, committed to expanding understanding of what theatre can be from a global perspective, and to challenging traditional forms and expectations. Keenan has assembled an extraordinary creative team and cast to collaborate on bringing this play to the New York stage.

Live theatre has not gone “back to normal”. It requires patience, flexibility and resilience more than ever. We’re so grateful to everyone on the production team for their vision and dedication despite the many obstacles we’ve encountered, and to you for coming out to join us and complete this experience. We’re so glad you’re here with us.

 

 

 

Kate Loewald
Founding Producer

A Note From Playwright Ebru Nihan Celkan

Dear Audience;

I’m Ebru Nihan Celkan. I’m the author of the play you’re about to watch and I have a request for you. Can you imagine it with me? One day, you wake up in the morning and learn that everyone who says “Central Park” has been taken into custody or declared terrorists in all newspapers. Lawsuits are brought against those who recall the “99% Movement,” and those who say Martin Luther King Jr’s name are called agents of foreign powers. If you say the names of people, parks, regions, you may be arrested; an investigation may be initiated, you may be the target of dirty propaganda; you can be unemployed, marginalized and lonely, exposed to social lynching.

You start to believe that the walls have ears and eyes. And you write a play which includes the park where you had the best days of your life, without mentioning the name of the park. You write because you believe that there are some people out there beyond all borders who will strengthen your resistance and understand you. You write because you want to activate hope.

Today, I wish you to think about what you see and hear on stage, as well as what you don’t see and hear.

Hope to see you in the park where Umut, Ahmet, Deniz and Janina meet.

Ebru Nihan Celkan

Playwright

 

Cast & Company (in alphabetical order)

UMUT……………………………………………………….Layla Khoshnoudi
JANINA……………………………………………………….Maribel Martinez

Will You Come With Me? is performed without an intermission.

 

Artists’ Biographies

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EBRU NIHAN CELKAN (Playwright, she/hers) received a Bachelor’s Degree in Labour Economics in 2001 from Uludağ University and an MBA degree in 2008 from İstanbul University. Since 2009 she has been writing and directing plays. Celkan became one of the 4 playwrights selected from around the world within the scope of the Krieg Im Frieden – Piece by Piece War Project, designed by the Maxim Gorki Theater in 2017. In 2019, she was awarded the Jean-Jacques-Rousseau scholarship given to writers who opened up freedom of expression in works of culture and art by Schloss Solitude. In 2020, she wrote the text “Der Weltschmerz”, which focuses on Cultural Diversity and Gender, as part of the Stuttgart-Ludwigsburg City authorship scholarship. Celkan, residing in Istanbul, continues to share her theater, writing and Gender Equality, Cultural Diversity and Inclusive Approach works with people in different geographies of the world. She has published four collections of plays, including Triggerman and Tilt.

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KEENAN TYLER OLIPHANT (Director, he/him) is a theatremaker and director from South Africa whose work is in the lineage of the communal theatre-making and storytelling traditions of South Africa. As a theatremaker, he recalls his traditional Southern African storytelling lineage by simultaneously exchanging with histories and futures to create spaces of healing, investigation, mourning, and celebration through performance. Keenan endeavors to create work that is powerful in its relation to contemporary experience, and that challenges social and political conventions while engaging with performance as a ritual expression of the spiritual. Keenan is the Associate Director of Hadestown (Broadway), Oratorio for Living Things (Ars Nova), and was the assistant director for the Bengson’s work The Broken Ear Set-list (St Ann’s Warehouse). Keenan is a Clubbed Thumb Directing Fellow, a Drama League Directing Fellow, and an Alumni of the Columbia MFA Directing for Theatre program.

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AVI AMON (Sound Design & Original Music, he/him) is an award-winning, Turkish-American composer, sound artist, and educator. Avi’s multi-genre work has been developed or presented by: HBO Films, Spotify, Tribeca Film Festival, New York Theater Workshop, Page73, The
Civilians, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Danspace, Actors Theater Of Louisville, St. Louis REP, Target Margin, The O’Neill, Edinburgh Fringe, and Spoleto Festival USA, among others. Avi is the resident composer at the 52nd Street Project, an inaugural fellow with THE WORKSHOP at the Hendel Center for Justice & Ethics, and teaches at NYU Tisch. www.aviamon.com.

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REZA BEHJAT (Lighting Design) was
born and raised in Iran where he worked
with some of the most prominent directors
for several years before moving to the
United States in 2014. Off-Broadway: Wish
You Were Here (Playwrights Horizons);
The Vagrant Trilogy (The Public); Out
of Time
(The Public/NAATCO); English
(Atlantic); P.S. (Ars Nova); Disclaimer (The
Public’s UTR); Henry VI (NAATCO); Hamlet
(Waterwell). Regional and others: Hudson
Valley Shakespeare Festival, Guthrie
Theater, PlayMakers Rep, Actors Theater
of Louisville, Baltimore Center Stage, Geva
Theatre, Alabama Shakespeare, New
Georges, Long Wharf Theater, etc. Awards:
Knight of Illumination Award (Nina Simone:
Four Women, 2019).

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STEFANIA BULBARELLA (Projections
Design, she/hers) is a Video and Projections
Designer from Buenos Aires, Argentina
based in Brooklyn, New York. Off-
Broadway credits: Space Dogs (MCC),
Turtle on a Fence Post (Theatre 555),
Semblance (New York Theatre Workshop),
The Watering Hole (Signature Theatre).
www.stefaniabulbarella.com

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ENVER CHAKARTASH (Costumes
Design, they/them) is a British-born
Turkish Cypriot costume designer. Enver’s
work has been presented internationally
at numerous venues including: BAM,
The Public Theater, Steppenwolf, Centre
Pompidou, the Barbican and the Sydney
Opera House. Most recently, Enver
designed: English (Atlantic Theater
Company/Roundabout Theatre Company);
Wolf Play (Soho Rep.); and Tina Satter’s Is
This A Room
on Broadway. Other recent
works include: Tina Satter/Half Straddle’s
Ghost Rings; The Wooster Group’s A Pink
Chair, The B-side, The Town Hall Affair,
Early Shaker Spirituals
; Young Jean Lee’s
Straight White Men; Reggie Wilson/Fist &
Heel Performance Group’s POWER.

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LAYLA KHOSHNOUDI (Umut, she/
hers) MFA, Brooklyn College. Select
Theater: Men on Boats (Clubbed Thumb/
Playwrights Horizons); Dance Nation (Playwrights
Horizons); Bull in a China Shop
(LCT3); Dido of Idaho (Ensemble Studio
Theater); Wyoming (Lesser America); I
am Gordafarid
(Noor Theater). TV: Instinct
(CBS); FBI (CBS); All Hail Beth (BricTV),
My Ex is Trending (YouTube). FILM: Long
Nights, Short Mornings; Bad at Birthdays,
Nadia Jaan; Androgen; Bookends
.

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MARIBEL MARTINEZ (Janina, she/ella)
is a Black-Latinx actor/storyteller based in
New York City with Dominican and Puerto
Rican roots. A few of her favorite projects
over the last few years have been Black Joy
Project
with JAG Productions, workshops
of Rosa Fernandez’s play A Skeptic and
A Bruja
, and Cin Martinez’s Moonlighters;
She has played at Shakespeare Theatre
Company, American Conservatory
Theater; Folger Theatre; Cincinnati
Playhouse in the Park, Hudson Valley
Shakespeare, amongst others. TV credits:
Evil, New Amsterdam, The Watcher. She
in community with the Latinx Playwrights
Circle and with Dominican Artists Collective
as a part of the Artistic Producing Team.

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DEE LAMAR MILLS (Projections
Designer, they/she) is a lens-based artist
and motion designer with their eyes on
a bright star somewhere far beyond the
perimeter of this universe. Recent: New
York Hall of Science, The Shed (Open Call),
Clubbed Thumb, Interior Design, MAP (Adidas,
Collina Strada, GQ). dddiiiooonnn.com
For Mom – in vivid memory.

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AFSOON PAJOUFAR (Set Design, she/
hers) is an Iranian, NYC-based designer of
stage and environment for play, opera, and
live performance. Afsoon’s artistic practice
is often focused on the intersection of
space, human body and new technologies
including XR and live video. Her works
have been presented in venues and
festivals including Theatre for a New
Audience, Brooklyn Academy of Music
(BAM), New Ohio Theatre, Bard Fisher
Center, HARVARD TDM, MIT, KITCHEN
THEATRE, and PRELUDE festival. She
received her MFA in Scene design from
Boston University and is a proud member
of USA829. afsoonpajoufar.com

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CRISTINA (CHA) RAMOS (Intimacy Director, she/ella) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist with a metric montón of books, swords, and altars in her NYC apartment. Cha works in and around the city as an intimacy and fight director, dramaturg, playwright, performer, and instructor. Current projects include: associate intimacy direction for Company on Broadway, dramaturgy for new works by José Rivera, Leslie Ayvazian, and Matthew Minnicino, performing with the Vixens En Garde, teaching with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators, and ongoing development of her own original plays Fire Burn Them and Like to the Gods. More info at www.CallMeCha.com.

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CHRISTINA M. WOOLARD (Production
Stage Manager, she/hers) stage manages
for theatre, dance, and live events. Previous
credits include Notes on My Mother’s
Decline
(The Play Company), Space Dogs
(MCC), Preparedness (The Bushwick
Starr), Passing Through (Goodspeed
Musicals), Wilder Gone (Clubbed Thumb),
Trainspotting (Brass Jar Productions),
Wasted Love (Born Dancing), American
Hero
, and A Doll’s House, Part 2 (George
Street Playhouse). Pandemic activities
included stitching PPE with the Broadway
Relief Project. Proud AEA member and
alumna of Rutgers University.

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X CASTING, VICTOR VAZQUEZ, C.S.A. (Casting, he/him)
is the founder and lead Casting Director of
X Casting (www.xcastingnyc.com) and sits on the
national board of the Casting Society
of America. He has cast projects for
Broadway, Off-Broadway, London’s West
End, and Film. He is the proud son of
Mexican immigrants.

 

Actors’ Equity Association (“Equity”), founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers. Equity fosters the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions.
www.actorsequity.org

 
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Community Programming & What’s Up Next

Community Programming

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Community Partners

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About PlayCo

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.

Production Staff

Company & House Manager
Daniel George

Box Office Managers
Ella Baldwin, Margot Gage, Mary McDonnelly

Props Supervisor
Daniel Brothers

Intimacy Director
Cha Ramos

Assistant Stage Manager
Siena Yusi

Board Operator
Jaydin Linton

Assistant Sound Designer
Eamon Goodman

Sound Associate
Hannah Birch Carl

Projections Drafts
Hannah Tran

Sound Engineers
Mobéy Lola Irizarry & Ana Minujin

Video Sound Mixer
Jose Villaman

Projections Programmer
Stivo Arnoczy

Projections Editors/Animators
Stivo Arnoczy & Stephen Dransfield

Assistants to the Director
Mahayla Laurence & Sarah Shin

Production Advisor
Ian Guzzone

Technical Director
Stuart Parman

Additional Production Management Support
Babz Law

Lead Electrician
Caitlin Brown

Electricians
Captain Jack Tunney & Leonel Mendoza

Lighting Programmers
Dalia Sevilla, Bryce Harnick, Duncan Davis,
Lauren Parrish, Phoenix Sweeny, Captain Jack Tunney

Additional Scenic Materials provided by
Creative Metal Fabrication

Additional Lighting Equipment provided by
Tribeca Lighting

Additional Video & Sound Equipment provided by
Five Ohm

Production Assistant
Melanie Ashby

Carpenters
Vincent Cota, Ian McLaughlin, Henry Ellison,
John Sim, Stephen Clark, Christian Aspiazu, Antonio Hanarain
& Brandon Mundo

COVID Safety Manager
Vanessa Vivas

Assistant COVID Safety Managers
Benjamin Kent Pimental & Paul Turner

Press Representation
Blake Zidell, Moze Halperin

Production Photography
Julieta Cervantes

Production Videography
Casey Stein

Key Art
Desiree Nasim

Casting
X Casting, Victor Vazquez C.S.A.

Staff

Robert G. Bradshaw
Managing Director

Trip Cullman
Associate Artist

Carolina Đỗ
Community Engagement Associate

Steven Gillenwater
Business Manager

Kate Loewald
Founding Producer

Janie Paw
Social Media Assistant

Mateo Rodriguez-Hurtado
Producing Assistant

Annie Jin Wang
Communications & Marketing Manager

Blake Zidell & Associates
Press

Readers Group
Wesley Ahn, Taylor Barrett Gaines, Ana Graham,
Jeremy Tiang, and Antonio Vega

Board of Directors

Carmine Boccuzzi
Chair

Michael Dweck
Treasurer

Kate Loewald
Secretary

Trip Cullman
Bruce Geismar
Ruth Hendel
Lawrence Kaplen
Victoria Reese
George Sheanshang

Philip Levy, in memoriam

Special Thanks

Charlene Adhiambo
Terry & Moris Amon
Chenae Bullock and Tahnee Ahtone, Moskehtu Consulting
Zeynep Gökisaoğlu Casner
Rebecca David
Sanaz Ghajar
Ian Grunes, BNG
Kate Moore Heaney
Sibel Horada
Christa Jackson
Justin Nestor
Handan Ozbilgin
Joanna Spencer
Molly Theobald
Cindy Trinh
Salma S. Zohdi

 

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.

General operating support for The Play company is provided by the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

The Play Company gratefully acknowledges the support of the following:

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PlayCo Supporters

Producers Circle

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Bob Donnalley
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Leanne Tavoso

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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
George Sheanshang
The Shubert Foundation
Leanne Tavoso
The Twelve Labours Foundation
The Venturous Theatre Fund

Visionary ($5,000-$9,999)

SLA Foundation
Axe-Houghton Foundation
Lucille Lortel Foundation
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Alexandra Shiva & Jonathan Marc Sherman

Producers ($2,500-$4,999)

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Sustainers ($1,000-$2,499)

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Partners ($500-$999)

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Friends ($100-$499)

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Trip Cullman
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Young Kim
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Donors ($1-$99)

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Elizabeth O’Brien & Jay Craven
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William Westerman
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Michael Yuen-Killick
Alan Zucker