The world premiere of a new play by Michelle Carter (HOW TO PRAY)
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A shooting. A séance. Fondue. In the tradition of Kieron Barry’s THE OFFICIAL ADVENTURES OF KIERON AND JADE, Bridge Street presents the world premiere of yet another brand-new comedy – this one by Michelle Carter, whose HOW TO PRAY was a big audience favorite during our 2017 Season.
In Carter’s new play BETTER, 20-year-old Emily’s life is turned upside down when her mother commits a shockingly violent act. She leaves school, takes a job at a fondue restaurant, consults a medium, and, like the good student she’s always been, searches for answers. How will she be able to endure her pain? What might she be capable of? Does she deserve happiness? And will things ever get better?
This quirky comedy on serious subjects will be directed by Sara Lampert Hoover (BST’s “Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune”), and features actors Montana Lampert Hoover as Emily, Brian Linden as Emily’s dad Ben, Lori Evans as Medium Molly, Carla Lewis-Ruig as Luisa (Emily’s co-worker at The Melting Pot Fondue Restaurant), and Eric Fleising as Emily’s boyfriend Michael. The production will also feature an original musical score composed by Catskill’s Rodney Alan Greenblat!
MONTANA LAMPERT HOOVER* (Emily) is very excited to be making her Bridge Street Theatre debut. Montana is a New York based actor, singer, and puppeteer. Recent acting credits include: In the Parlour (American Slavery Project), The F%@#ing Wright Brothers (NY Fringe), Old Names for Wildflowers (The Tank), Double Falsehood (Letter of Marque), Revelations (NYWinterFest), She: A Choreoplay (HERE Arts), HVMLET (SheNYC), Hand To God (Kitchen Theatre Company), Out There! (Bluelaces Theater Company), Battle of Central Park (The Tank). She is very proud to be lending her hands and her voice (while hiding behind a chair) to create the voice and movement of Teddy on Queer Kid Stuff! (Youtube) Also a proud Sarah Lawrence College graduate. Find Montana @mlamperthoover on Instagram and Twitter or on her website: www.montanalamperthoover.com
CARLA LEWIS* (Luisa), classically-trained (Shakespeare & Company) performed in Shakespeare repertory, regional theatre, and off-Broadway equity showcases. Beloved roles include Duchess of Gloucester (Richard II), Calpurnia (Julius Caesar), Maggie (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof), Eleonora in Strindberg’s Easter and award- winning activist Sochua Mu in SEVEN- a documentary play recently performed at the United Nations. Favorites include gender-fluid opportunities, Northumberland (Richard II); and Grumio inTaming of the Shrew). Besides classical work, Carla’s passion is new play development and she has performed extensively in Hudson NY and the Berkshires for HRC Showcase Theatre (The Spanish Prayer Book), Aglet Theatre Co (Ghostwriter), and spends spare time reading for new playwrights in Manhattan, New York State, California, and New England. Carla is absolutely thrilled to be playing Luisa Ortega in Better at Bridge Street and to be working with such an amazing artistic team. She is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.
BRIAN LINDEN* (Ben) is happy to make his Bridge Street Theatre debut. Based in New York City, he recently appeared there in Othello[s] at The Shakespeare Forum, in Liliana Porter’s THEM at The Kitchen, and as the Father in Six Characters in Search of an Author as part of Raison d’Ê̂tre: An Evening of Pirandello with J Jewell Productions. He has collaborated with the artist Pablo Helguera at BAM Next Wave Festival, the Guggenheim Museum, and Mildred Lane. Regionally, he has performed at Shakespeare festivals in Nebraska, Pennsylvania, San Francisco, and Idaho. He is a member of Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, North Carolina, where his work includes Tom Stoppard’s Darkside based on Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer, and David Edgar’s Iron Curtain Trilogy at the Cockpit Theatre in London. On TV, he has appeared on “Law & Order: SVU” and “Conan” at the Apollo Theater. Thanks to his friends John and Steven, love to his companion VRS, and in memory of CBX.
ERIC FLEISING (Michael) is a young actor originally from Montreal, Canada. He is a recent graduate from NYU’s Tisch Drama program, where he obtained a BFA in Theatre. During his time at NYU, Eric attended the Atlantic Acting School, Stonestreet Studios, and completed his last semester abroad in London studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA). He appears as Wayne Henley in the independent horror film The Killer Clown Meets the Candy Man and in Onur Tukel’s upcoming film Your Dying Eyes. His most notable stage work was as Edmund in King Lear and Henry VI in Dickheads, an amalgamation of Henry VI part II and III and Richard III, performed at RADA. Eric is incredibly excited and honored to be playing the role of Michael in the world premiere of Better, and hopes you will enjoy the piece as much as he does.
SARA LAMPERT HOOVER (Director) Previously at BST: Frankie & Johnny In The Claire du Lune. American Slavery Project: Throw Pitchfork. Kitchen Theatre Co: Bright Half Life, Throw Pitchfork, Peter and the Starcatcher, Dancing Lessons, Black Pearl Sings! Neat, The Tricky Part, Souvenir – 2008 SALT Award “Best Summer Production”, The Clean House, Yellowman, Precious Nonsense, The Syringa Tree, A Servant of Two Masters, Crumbs from the Table of Joy, Pretty Fire, and Molly Sweeney. Vermont Stage Co: Three Days of Rain and Doubt, I Am My Own Wife. Other production credits: Falsettos, Sweeney Todd, Proof, 4 by Beckett, Side Man, The Insect Comedy, The Gnadiges Fraulein. Assistant directing credits: Sight Unseen (Manhattan Theatre Club, Daniel Sullivan, Director) and The Dybbuk (Syracuse Stage, Barbara Damashek, Director. Member: SDC
* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.