FullStop Blog

Get to know the playwrights from the 2011 Play Development Series!

Emily Peters

EMILY PETERS is the author of It Always Feels Farther

CHRISTINE DREW BENJAMIN is the dramaturg of both these readings. She was able to sit down with both of these wonderful women last night and speak to them a little more about their work:

CHRISTINE: So hi! I’m with Emily Peters, who is the playwright of It Always Feels Farther. Hi, Emily!


CHRISTINE: So I’m going to ask you a couple questions, and we’re going to have fun. The first question I have for you is, what are five words you would use to describe your play?

EMILY: That’s not a hard first question at all, Christine.

CHRISTINE: Separate words.

EMILY: Hopeful. Realistic. Risky. Heartfelt. Did I say honest already?

CHRISTINE: Yes? Maybe…

EMILY: Well maybe I’ll give you six. Gosh this is really hard… Unifying.

CHRISTINE: Great. Thank you! So your play has to do with themes of love and relationships and the trials and tribulations that go into them. Is that based off personal experiences, or friends, or what kind of inspired this play to be written right now?

EMILY: I experienced a long distance relationship and I know a lot of friends who had versions of that themselves… that was sort of the jumping off point, so the technical inspiration, but then I realized distance is a thing that can exist even when you’re sitting right next to someone and that was extremely interesting to me as well. So the themes of closeness and distance, and how they interact is what got me excited about the piece.

CHRISTINE: It’s written in a way that kind of combines… I’m trying to think of how to tell the readers or whatever that there’s quotes, it has some type of magical element through it… is that a style you write typically or is this something new you’re experimenting?

EMILY: I’ve always really liked direct audience address, so that was really helpful in grad school when I had to write songs where actors would sing to the audience. That was a really interesting experience to bring in my sort of musical mentality and my book writing mentality to a play, and I knew I wanted to have these direct audience addresses… that’s actually what I started with before I even got into any scene work, I wrote a lot of character monologues, and then in terms of incorporating all the different elements, because of grad school at NYU, where we had to write a thesis that was protagonist drive and linear, I wanted to write something that was not that. So that’s where I got into this ensemble form or more or less of theater that the piece is currently in.

CHRISTINE: So how’s the process been throughout this development series for FullStop?

EMILY: It’s been fantastic. I feel really lucky to have been totally supported and that I could show up every three or four months and Lucy and everyone would give me these actors and they would read my work, and a writer loves deadlines, so with my work and travel schedules it would be difficult to find time to write but if I knew I had a deadline coming up, that would be so helpful, and that would be when I would get a lot of work done, and get to hear a lot of it all at one time. It’s been a really rewarding process and interestedly enough, you know, Megan and I weren’t together for most of the year throughout all this, so it’s been great to collaborate in person and work on this piece like that together now.

CHRISTINE:  Great! Okay now for a random fun question. If you could pick one character from your play that you would go on a date with, who would it be and where would you go?

EMILY: I would actually probably hang out with Ava. She’s pretty cool, and honestly the first thing that came into my head was bowling. I haven’t gone bowling in a really long time, and I think she would get like crazy into it. She might like even secretly have her own bowling shoes because a) I feel like she would but b) she wouldn’t want to put on the nasty ass bowling shoes you that you have to put on when you go to bowling alleys, and it’s just seedy enough that she can make fun of it but it’s also fun enough that she can have bad pizza and cheap beer.

CHRISTINE: I like that! Oh, so I meant to ask you this earlier, but there are strong elements of Greek family visible throughout your play, does that come from your own heritage?

EMILY: Yeah. One part of my family is Greek, so I have experience with the language, the traditions, and the family aspects of that, so that was definitely another personal aspect of my life that found it’s way through my writing.

CHRISTINE: Because it comes through so natural that I was assuming there was some relation. Okay, so getting down to the final questions. The quotes you use throughout your play, did you just find those or what has been the process been to motivate those as a through-line?

EMILY: Well when I first knew I wanted to write about distance, I initially started thinking about the way we communicate, and I was really drawn to the historical aspect of that and looking at these primary source documents of people that didn’t have Facebook, or texting, or statuses, or “tag boyfriend” here… “wish you were here.” So I just started looking up, you know, Googling historic love letters/famous love letters to see what I would find, and it’s amazing to find the ones that are really sweet. You know you’ll see one in the play that’s not so nice and seeing how the people who would write these letters, and they may not reach the person they were writing to until three or four weeks later, and by then they may be having a whole other host of feelings but they can’t just text those feelings or pick up the phone like so many of us do now, so what was that dynamic like when you were forced to only communicate by written word. It’s so different now.

CHRISTINE: Okay, last question. What is your favorite love letter either in the play or one you found that didn’t include?

EMILY: I think the love letter that opens the play. It’s a love letter from Abigail Adams. She speaks about friendship, and that’s a very big theme between her and John Adams. They had this beautiful friendship in addition to this beautiful love that… when friendship is the basis of love, that’s when you find the strongest connection, and she speaks about that even though the time has changed and we have grown older, when you look inside my heart you’re still going to see that my love for you is unchanged. And I just think it’s so honest and so pure.

CHRISTINE: Well thank you, Emily! I can’t wait so be a part of your reading Friday night.

EMILY: Thank you, Christine!

CHRISTINE: Megan, your play includes a lot of beautiful imagery throughout it…

Megan Weaver

MEGAN WEAVER is the author of Cause of Failure

MEGAN: Thank you

CHRISTINE: Is that something you use a lot throughout your plays, or is this a new concept?

MEGAN: Well what’s interesting is that this is my first real play, so it’s hard to answer that question about context, but I’m an extremely visual person and always have been in everything. I imagine things as I read them, I imagine things as I write them, and I see things in colors and associate colors with people, times and places, so that just… I just think that’s my nature. Just extremely visual person…

CHRISTINE: That’s great.

MEGAN: And I’m also very literal.

CHRISTINE: Well that definitely comes through! Now, your play also involves a relationship between a mother and daughter dealing with the effects of CHF (congestive heart failure). Could you expand on that and explain the significance CHF has had upon your life? Is it a personal experience?

MEGAN: Yes it is. The play was inspired by my own experience with my mother and in fact a lot of those visual elements throughout the play come from dreams I’ve had over the past ten or fifteen years, as I’ve had similar experiences to some of the characters in the play in relationship to my own mother who had congestive heart failure and passed away from that a year ago.

CHRISTINE: So it’s your own personal story coming through with that?

MEGAN: Yes… I’m feeling funny because I feel like I’m on the radio.

CHRISTINE: Yes. Me too.

MEGAN: Well that’s something. Yes, it began out of me having a deadline and needing to write something that I knew…

CHRISTINE: Yes. That was my next question. When did you begin writing this?

MEGAN: I began writing this at the National Theater Institute. The task of writing a one-act play and I had to write what I knew… I had only a few hours to write this one act play, I was against a deadline, and had these ideas swirling in my mind, so I just drew very heavily on my own personal experience and created the foundation of this play. And then over the past several years that was almost six years ago… hold on we’re going to pause. Sorry about that, we’re back. Let me just start over. So the play did come out of my own personal experience with my mother who was diagnosed with congestive heart failure when I was sixteen, so I was in high school. My brothers, I have two older brothers, and they were out of the house by that point, and my mother’s marriage to my stepfather was falling apart so I did feel a very strong need to… or just a strong instinctive responsibility to hold the family together. And she was misdiagnosed for several months before they found the correct diagnosis, so that parallels with that scene in the play and it was a long journey. She actually passed away when I was 26, and when I was 22 I wrote this play. And in this play, the mother passes away after ten years, so it was an interesting experience for me to realize when my mother actually did pass away to think back and I sort of knew how long it would take. It was very creepy actually. So the play was originally my response to the experience I was having with my mom. And I wrote it at a point in my life when it was the first time I had ever ventured out from home to go across the country to the NTI where I was given this assignment. So it was my first time away from home and I did feel a lot of guilt and a lot of responsibility to my mother who was living alone for the first time, and I was extremely far away and by that point she didn’t have anybody else. So Maggie’s struggle was definitely born out of my own personal struggle, trying to find out how to grow up and be an adult and follow my own passions and the direction my own life was taking me, which was geographically three thousand miles away from my ailing mom, and as she grew sicker, I had to discover the point when it was time to come back home. And I found that point, and I came back home and I spend the last two or three months of her life with her before she passed away. So there’s a lot of interplay and part of the writing process in this development series with this play had been in the aftermath of my mother’s death, and as I look forward to my future in theater trying to recognize the value of this play as a potential piece that had a life beyond my own computer, and starting to allow the play to develop from the trajectory of my own personal story. So that’s what I’ve kind of been focusing on in the last year, developing this play into a full length piece that can stand on it’s own two feet, away from me and away from my own experience.

CHRISTINE: So how’s the process been in the room right now for this reading coming up?

MEGAN: The process has been a lot of reading out lot, because every time I hear it there has been a great deal of discussion afterwards, so it’s been really exciting actually because over the past year we’ve done several readings of the piece with actors that show up to the reading and they donate their time, which is so generous, but they haven’t seen the script before so simply a cold read, and they’re assigned roles on the spot, so it’s really an exercise for the playwright but since we actually held auditions and cast the role, we’ve had the same actors reading the parts at every rehearsal. The actors have developed ownership of these roles, and an affinity with their characters so the conversation really shifted from sort of general responses to the play to very specific responses to each journey of each character and what makes sense. So that’s been extremely helpful to have that shift in tone in the rehearsal process. Last week we had a rehearsal where we got the piece up on its feet and we began experimenting with different ways of staging. The play is obviously full of a lot of impossible elements and great magical theatricality, and so we wanted to experiment specifically with ways those moments might be interpreted by a director using movement, using actors in space in ways this production might be staged on little or no budget. So when you read the script you think, “wow this will cost a fortune to put up. There’s a giant larynx, there’s a heart that is huge and tiny, there’s water, there’s disco, there’s just all kinds of expensive things happen. So part of the goal of this process was to discover how to evolve an impossible piece of theater into something that is produce-able and attractive to theaters to produce. Because I think the story is extremely attractive and sort of the detriment is, “okay but how the hell do we do this.” So that’s been one of the questions we’ve been exploring, and the answers that we found are really exciting because in the hands of a creative and flexible director, the piece can really open up under any budget, we learned.

CHRISTINE: Great. Okay, last question. What are five words you would use to describe your play?

MEGAN: That’s so limiting. I want to say… magical, brutal, journey, growing up… I know growing up is two words.

CHRISTINE: I’ll give it to you.

MEGAN: Okay so magical, brutal, journey, growing up, and I’m going to cheat and use two words for my last one and say, well maybe three words actually… internal battle externalized.

CHRISTINE: I like! Well good, that was very informative, and I can’t wait to see the reading on Saturday night.

MEGAN: Well thank you, Christine! It’s been a pleasure.

Get to Know… Christine Benjamin, Assistant Producer

How long have you worked with FullStop?
Since I was recruited back in April sometime. This is the first time I have been involved with a FullStop production, although I have been a huge fan/supporter for a long time!

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
Researching ways for New Yorkers to be more eco-friendly, promoting green living, and getting to know some really fabulous people along with way.

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?
I am the Education Intern at New York Theatre Workshop, where I help shape the minds of our youth… and make some awesome spreadsheets.

Why did you get into theater?
Well, I got into theater at the prime age of three, when I was cast as baby bear in Goldilocks and the Three Bears. That was purely because I love to entertain people, but then later in life I learned that theater could be a means of influencing change and inspiring others towards a greater understanding of new ideas. I realized that around the age of four.

What is your vision of utopia?
You know, like how everything is depicted in 1984? The exact opposite of that.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
Hire Al Gore as my advisor. That and continue to research/collaborate with a bunch of environmentalists, scientists, ecologists, etc. in order to learn more about what we as individuals can do to help solve global warming.

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?
Make everyone drive hybrid cars, or eliminate the use of cars/gasoline altogether, flush all the cigarettes down the drain, legalize gay marriage everywhere, find a way to stop gangs and violence, and make yoga mandatory for everyone every morning.

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?

Get to Know… Diana Oh, “Rototil”

How long have you worked with FullStop?
Clean Sheets, Girl Words! How long has that been!?

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
Watching the Chicklettes.

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?

Teaching myself Ukulele, writing love songs, spontaneous dance parties (hit me up if you’re of the like minded!), hitting on people, writing emails to myself, collecting lucky coins.

Why did you get into theater?

Because I don’t like being bored.

What is your vision of utopia?

Dance parties.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
You know, I don’t even know how to begin answering this question. Umm…don’t eat meat. And ride more bikes. Walk. Laugh more.

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?

Tell everyone to be comfortable in their own skin! And make an indie movie starring me.

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?

Never been to Brazil or Jacksonville. But I’m always chilling in Funky Town.

Get to Know… Pedar Bate, “Jack”

How long have you worked with FullStop?
My first production with FullStop was the stage reading of Pat Shaw’s Unville Brazil in December 2010.

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?

I love getting to collaborate with such awesome awesome people.

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?

I am currently getting things together to return to Ohio State University in autumn to obtain a teaching certificate in Choral Music Education.

Why did you get into theater?

I love singing and performing and I believe that the arts enrich all of us and connect us to each other’s humanness in some of the most basic ways.

What is your vision of utopia?

A place where everyone loves everyone else, unconditionally.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
I have no idea where to start.

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?

This just seems like too much responsibility for me. I love pie, though. Tons of pie. All the time. Also more money for music and theatre and the rest of the arts. Like funding. For theaters and schools.

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?

Neither, but I have been to many parts of Florida.

Get to Know… Alexandra Bassett, Music Director

How long have you worked with FullStop?
The Collective! I’ve been working with FullStop since its primordial days: a group of students training together at the National Theater Institute. I’ve since written, acted, directed, designed marketing media and now musical directed collaborating with these rockin’ artists!

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
I’ve loved working with the cast to explore and arrange Pat’s tunes!

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?
I perform puppet shows for children as a part of Puppetonia at Symposia; I write music, which you can hear at alexandrabassett.biz; and work part-time for Teddy boutique.

Why did you get into theater?
I saw Lysistrata at Epidevros in Greece. I was blown away by its communion of crass and culture; its political commentary and witty repartee.

What is your vision of utopia?
I’ve been kneading this question using various recipes in my mind to find no pleasant equilibrium…and realize that inadvertently I have been connecting the concept of utopia with euphoria all along. And this is wrong. A human utopia (a perfect social, economic, political, and moral community), at this juncture in history, rather requires structure and continuous work to maintain its structure. And so it would require people of like mind to live and work harmoniously. So far, the proven way to get humans as unanimous as possible behind a cause is to ask them to step up when the going gets dire. So I ask, when do we deem our global habits dire? We will soon have to create utopia to unanimously give conscious care to the Earth we’re daily raping, to think of our children by maybe not having children, to change our practices to be much less lucrative and much more full of care, in hopes of a lasting continuum. This is not euphoric for the human psyche as I’ve known it. This is scary.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
I’d begin by amassing proposals from scientists around the world. Ecologists, biologists, chemists, bioengineers, physicists, astronauts…what’s it gonna take to do this now?
This reminds me of a White House memo I came upon:
I’d motivate them to get it done through collaboration or competition…whatever works faster, better, and forever.

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?
Kiss a lot o’ babies, shake a lot o’ hands, take a lot o’ maybes and make ‘em into plans…

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?
Drove through Jacksonville once. Never been to Brazil. But oh man, I am game to Tango.

Get to Know… Andrew Squier, “Churchill”

How long have you worked with FullStop?
This is my FullStop debut!!!!

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
Working with such a talented, intelligent, and dedicated cast and creative team

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?
I’m a web programmer/designer, which is prefect for Churchill. Also, I practice a lot of yoga.

Why did you get into theater?
I was in choirs and such when I was a kid, so when my school was doing ‘Oliver!’ the director asked me to audition, and he cast me as Oliver! I haven’t been able to escape since…

What is your vision of utopia?
Governmentally subsidized art. A free and progressive socialized community of man.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
Eliminate the need for cars by increasing the effectiveness of public transport. Eliminate the use of pesticides and genetic engineering in plant and livestock growth. Tell people to chill.

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?
Make me king of the world and we’ll see.

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?
Nope, but I’ve been to Belize, and Bronxville….

More Eco-Friendly Theater

Our friends at Superhero Clubhouse are doing a series of ecology-inspired plays! The first is:

URANUS (a play about waste)
Written & Directed by Jeremy Pickard
Created by Superhero Clubhouse

William Herschel is furiously building (and destroying) telescopes so that he might get closer to his beloved new discovery. Two young backpackers are mysteriously transported to a planet made entirely of Earth’s garbage. A derelict called Gaea searches among piles of her treasured trash for a waste rock that has the power to restart the world. Told with physical poetry and moronic humor, URANUS is a hodgepodge of history, myth and make-believe.

June 7 (7p) @ The Bushwick Starr*
June 10 (3p) @ Figment Festival on Governor’s Island**
June 11 (12p & 4p) @ Figment Festival on Governor’s Island**
June 12 (12p & 4p) @ Figment Festival on Governor’s Island**

*The Bushwick Starr, 207 Starr St. (b/w Irving & Wyckoff)
**Directions and festival details at newyork.figmentproject.org

Tix are FREE

Cast and Creative Team Bios


Pedar Bate (Jack) is thrilled to be playing with everyone on this show. He received a Bachelor of Music from The Ohio State University and he also appeared in FullStop’s FOREPLAYS 2011 as well as the stage reading of Unville Brazil. Thanks again to everyone at FullStop Collective: cast! crew! and development team! Also thanks to all in my family for their awesome support, and to Meredith, for just being awesome. I love you!

Becca Landis (Mil) is excited to be part of Unville Brazil. Since receiving her MFA in Acting from Brooklyn College, Becca continues to live and act in New York. She also teaches acting at an after-school drama program in Brooklyn. She is a member of the “American Federation of Television and Radio Artists” (AFTRA) union and an Actors Equity Membership Candidate. Becca can be seen next playing Viola in Twelfth Night with Bakerloo Theatre Project. Other credits include:  Elinor in Land Escaping, Mayella Ewell in To Kill a Mockingbird, Julia in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and Mary Jane Hanrahan in Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train. www.beccalandis.com

Meredith Lark (Jill) is thrilled to be doing another production with FullStop Collective! She was previously in FullStop’s staged reading of Unville Brazil and FOREPLAYS 2011. Meredith is from Toledo Ohio she studied Theatre at The Ohio State University (2009) and the National Theater Institute (Spring 2010). Meredith was a member of the Sketch Comedy group Sketch by Number (Sketchbynumber.org). Some of her favorite past credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Hair, Working, …Charlie Brown, Godspell, and Almost Maine. Love and thanks to Mom, Dad, Ariel and Pedar!

Christopher Norwood (The Stranger) graduated from CAP21’s Musical Theater Conservatory in 2006. He is thrilled to be a part of this production, working with these terrific people. Favorite roles include Keith Haring in Radiant Baby, Miller in Waiting For Lefty, and Clerimont in Epicene, Or the Silent Woman. He is also currently working on his first album as a singer/songwriter titled “Ineffably Simple.” Thank you to all my teachers and friends who have always been there with a steady hand and an honest perspective. And thank you to Victoria, for being you.

Diana Oh (Rototill): How to Be Patient (Charlie, State of Play Productions), The Un-Marrying Project (Tzipora/Wendy, Purple Rep), The Foreplay Play (Isabel, Manhattan Repertory Theatre), Sausage Fest (Anouk, FullStop Collective), Clean Sheets (Monkey Man, FullStop Collective), Girl Words (Ophelia, FullStop Collective), Epitaph, The Musical (Josephine, Emerging Artist Theatre), Finding the Way (Lauren, Manhattan Theatre Source), A.K.A. (Child, Cornerstone Theatre Company), Amadeus (Constanze Mozart, M.C.P.A.). As a writer she has been featured in Tony Award Winner Bill Finn’s Ridiculously Talented Lyricists and Composers… Series at the Merkin. NYU Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program, MFA (Elphaba Thropp Fellow), Smith College, BA, and National Theater Institute alum. Member of the Dramatists Guild. www.dianaoh.com

Charity Schubert (Chicklette) moved from Shreveport, Louisiana to NYC in May of 2009. A graduate of Centenary College of Louisiana, Charity holds degrees in Theater and French. In NYC she has performed in a variety of readings produced by Women’s Project, terraNOVA Collective, FullStop Collective, Native Aliens Theatre Collective, and New York Madness. Since moving to New York she has studied at the Einhorn School of Performing Arts at Primary Stages, The Network, and The New York School of Burlesque. Charity is thrilled to be working with FullStop Collective.

Elizabeth Seldin (Chicklette) is thrilled to be back with FullStop in Unville Brazil! Past FullStop credits include Clean Sheets and FOREPLAYS 2011. Other Credits include You’re a Good Man (Snoopy), Cyrano De Bergerac (Duenna), and Annie Get Your Gun (Union Theater, London, Female Swing-Time Out Top Five). Love to all who support such incredible projects like this one.

Andrew Squier (Churchill) New York debut! FullStop Collective debut! Other New York credits include Came Tumbling After (Assistant Director, Manhattan Repertory Theatre). Associated Artist with Anikai Dance. Training: National Theater Institute, CAP21, Tufts University BA Drama and Dance. Thanks to FullStop for this amazing opportunity. Love to Mom, Dad, Anne, Robbie, and Nana. www.andrewsquier.com

Lauren Weinberg (Chicklette) is so whimsically happy to be a part of this beautiful production! This past year included three productions with FullStop Collective, as well as performing in the NY international Fringe Festival, BoCoCa Arts Festival, The Barrow Group, and the Alvin Ailey Extention. B.F.A. in Musical Theatre from Penn State. Flelp you all!

Creative Team

Patrick Shaw (Playwright) lives in New York where he writes, acts, dances, and makes music. His plays have been produced at Galapagos Art Space, Hudson Guild, NY Fringe Festival, Flushnik Art Space, and Gorilla Tango (Chicago), and his play, HAMLETTES, was a finalist for the Lark Workshop and was recently published by Playscripts, Inc.  His play A Miracle Study was also a semifinalist for the National Playwrights Conference.  Over the past few years, he has performed in a number of plays including Under Milk Wood, Romeo and Juliet, Negative Space, Gone Eatin’ (dance), “Parallel Play” (dance film), and “Kitchen Hamlet” (film).  A graduate of Kenyon College and the National Theater Institute, Pat regularly performs with Spessard Dance, Bakerloo Theater Project (Troy/Pittsburgh/NY), and is a founding member of FullStop Collective (New York).

Brian Hashimoto (Director) is a director, photographer, and producer based in New York. Directing Credits include: Rank Jumping, Foreplay or Redplay and Porn.edu (part of FOREPLAYS*, Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn); Clean Sheets* (Vintage Loft, NYC); Driving: A Lesson (Strawberry One-Act Festival, NYC); La Boheme (Connecticut Lyric Opera, New London, CT); 4 Directions and The Flying Machine (The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center); and The End, Maturity Limit, and Standing Ground (Young Playwrights’ Festival at The O’Neill). Brian received his B.A. in Drama from Ithaca College and is an alumnus of the National Theater Institute. Additionally, he has trained at the St. Petersburg Theater Academy in Russia as well as Balinese Mask at Studio 5 in Brooklyn, NY. www.brianhashimoto.com

*Denotes FullStop Production

Alexandra Bassett (Musical Director) is very happy to be collaborating once again with Pat Shaw! A Greek-American theater artist and musician, she directs and develops new works and writes plays with music. Her theater works include: American Agency, Sausage Fest, Lust Trust, Negative Space, and Techno. Please check out her original music at www.alexandrabassett.biz. A founding member and associated artist of FullStop Collective, she has been Artistic Curator of their FOREPLAYS theatrical event for two years.  She attended the National Theater Institute F’05 under the tenure of David B. Jaffe, and is an alumna of Georgetown University, where she was musical director of the GraceNotes for three years. She is pursuing her MFA in playwriting at Columbia University in the fall.

Megan Weaver (Assistant Director) is a founding member and Co-Managing Director of FullStop Collective, and a proud alum of the National Theater Institute (Fall 2005). She has also served as Artistic Director of Dramatic Productions at Mystic Seaport and an adjunct professor of theater at George Fox University. Directing credits include The Push to Mate (FullStop Collective FOREPLAYS 2011); Eurydice (GFU); Measure for Measure (TSI/Playtime Classics); The Lover (O’Neill Theatermakers); Tin Foil Soldier (National Theater Institute); and Vaudeville Vanya (NTI/SITI Company). www.MeganWeaver.com

Gary G. Howell (Stage Manager) is happy to be back home working in the city after spending the majority of his 2010 out on the high seas (in the Bahamas) with Disney Cruiselines; Gary starred as Buzz Lightyear in the musical production of Toy Story, as well as thee Featured Blowfish in the Under The Sea/Little Mermaid number. As a graduate of Ithaca College’s BFA musical theater program, Gary is happy to be back working alongside other Ithaca Alumns Elizabeth Seldin (and former college roommate) Brian Hashimoto, as well as, creating beautiful art and song with the amazing people of FullStop Production – and even looks forward to jumping in (at a moments notice) again and again as the future presents them. Lastly, Gary notes that his girlfriend, Princess Belle, was the voice of reason and inspiration that finally convinced him to come out of hiding and once again start becoming a part of this amazingly vibrant community of theater New York has to offer. Hugs and high fives to his entire cast!

Lois Catanzaro (Lighting Designer) Recent credits include Tomorrow Morning at the York Theater (Off-Broadway), The All American Genderf*ck Cabaret and The Un-Marrying Project with Purple Rep, Velma Gratch and the Way Cool Butterfly with Vital Children’s Theater. www.LCatLighting.com

Jacquelyn D. Marolt (Set Designer) is a set designer and scenic artist who is thrilled to be designing her second FullStop production. She previously designed Hangman School for Girls at Manhattan Theatre Source. Jacquelyn’s recent set designs include Pirates of Penzance at Smith College and Intimate Apparel at New Century Theatre.

Chris Kadis Moscato (Sound Designer) is a composer, multimedia artist and sound designer. Since 2006, he has worked both in the commercial and art worlds with works performed throughout the US and in Asia. Chris is excited to have worked for the first time with FullStop Collective on Unville Brazil. www.chriskadismoscato.com / www.concretetimbre.com

Abbie Chase (Costume Designer) is a costume designer and director whose works have appeared most recently at New Century Theatre in Massachusetts and Slant of Light Theater in Connecticut where she is also a member of the board. Abbie holds a B.A. from Smith College.

Leta Tremblay (Producer) is a director, producer, and stage manager living, working, and breathing in New York City. As a director, she specializes in stylized movement with bold, simple visual and auditory elements. Recent NYC directing credits include: The Foreplay Play (Manhattan Repertory Theatre), Snow White Zombie (2010 EstroGenius Festival), Hangman School for Girls (Manhattan Theatre Source), Fore-Shadow-Play (Galapagos Art Space). As a producer, she has successfully mounted FullStop Collective’s HAMLETTES at FringeNYC 2010 and FOREPLAYS 2011 at Galapagos Art Space, FullStop Collective’s second annual FOREPLAYS event. As a stage manager, she has worked with HERE Arts Center, The Cherry Lane Theatre, The Chocolate Factory, NAATCO, ExPgirl, And Artistic New Directions to name a few. Leta is a graduate of Smith College and the Eugene O’Neill National Theatre Institute where she trained with the Wooster Group and SITI Company. Founding member and Producing Director of FullStop Collective.

Tom Meredith (Technical Director) is thrilled to be involved with FullStop again. His previous FullStop credits include HAMLETTES (Set Designer), Girl Words (Production Stage Manager) and Diving in December (Stage Manager).

Christine Drew Benjamin (Assistant Producer) is originally from Petaluma, California, recently moved to New York City, and is currently serving as the Education Intern at the New York Theatre Workshop. She spent the past year working as the Literary Associate at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. While there, she assisted in the planning of the 2010 summer season, which included the National Puppetry Conference, National Music Theater Conference, and National Playwrights Conference. She served as the Dramaturg for the Young Playwrights Festival along with the reading of Natasha’s Dream by Yaroslava Pulinovich. During the summer, she also worked as the Dramaturg Assistant on the musical Eden by Jonathan Levi and Mel Marvin, and the play Comes A Faery by James McLindon. Prior to working at The O’Neill, she graduated from California State University, Fullerton with a BA in Theatre Arts, Emphasis in Playwriting, and a Minor in Gender Studies. http://christinedrewbenjamin.weebly.com

Get to Know… Patrick Shaw, Playwright

How long have you worked with FullStop?
5 years? I’ve been working with FullStop since before we were sure we would be called FullStop and have acted, directed, and written for the group. It’s been a joy.

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
My favorite part of writing plays is always when I get to show up and just watch rehearsal. For me, it’s the best feeling in the world to see how such a smart, creative crew of artists can teach me how my story works. This process for me has been especially enjoyable since I’ve gotten to play accompanist for most of the rehearsals, so my life has been filled with MUSIC!

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?
I have this amazing day job. I work for the Eugene O’Neill Center as one of the recruiters for the theater training program where most of us FullStoppers first met each other, the National Theater Institute. This involves traveling around the country for months at a time, teaching hundreds of workshops in improvised movement and theatrical composition, and talking with students and faculty about a program and art form I love.

Why did you get into theater?
I got into theater through a fluke of extra-curricular activities, social groups, and a sneaking suspicion that I really don’t like doing that much else. I love making art among friends.
In addition to being fun, I do think there’s something societally important going on here as well. I listen to music as I write emails, read subway advertisements, and have conversations. I watched the second half of the Panic Room on HBO a few days ago and didn’t even wonder what happened before I got there. My cell phone is ALWAYS within arm’s reach and I use my facebook-feed app as a consciousness place-holder. I am exceedingly distractible and am usually too distracted to care. That’s why I think plays are more necessary than ever for America. The live theater is one of the only places I can go where I show up just to listen, watch, and quietly consider one full continuous story from beginning to end in the space of a few hours. What a great thing to do for our brains!

What is your vision of utopia?
Oooo that’s tricky. Off the top of my head: A world (I think it would have to be global) where the health, welfare, and freedom of the citizens are protected by the state, and where people can pursue productive, meaningful lives in a responsible society. I think in order for anything like this to happen, there would have to be a societal mindset of humility, compassion, and responsibility. I also personally believe that we would need to develop some kind of symbiotic relationship with the natural environment.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
Some people think it’s already too late to reverse what we’ve done. (Is it the 29th day yet?) If it is possible solve this prob, it will no doubt take hiring many many seriously genius people, and at some point, I would probably to require a great number of people with great amounts of money to dramatically change the way they do business in ways that may be less lucrative for them, at least temporarily.

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?
First of all, I hope I’d be smart enough to recognize that I’m under-qualified for the position. But if I had to, I’d probably redistribute vast portions of the world’s wealth so people living in the third world could have things like clean water, mosquito nets, and cliff bars. No doubt, I would make really bad business decisions, but hopefully for the sake of good social welfare. I would almost certainly have to be incredibly unfair to make the world more fair. Not that unfairness in the world is a new thing….
And I second Hashimoto’s nuclear proliferation.
Also, we’ll be expanding music and arts programs in elementary schools.

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?
I have lots of wonderful family in Florida, and although they all love it, I find the state’s general aesthetic (sunsets aside) to be careless, inefficient, and – overall – hideous.
I’ve never been to Brazil, though. In fact, sans spell check, I would probably spell Portuguese “Portugese.” I do hear it is a lovely country to visit, and I know their government is designing very creative programs to deal with their huge social/economic problems. But really, the show is not about Brazil at all, so I don’t feel terribly under-researched. It’s about noticing when your hunk of clay is a little overworked and that maybe it would be better to just start over from scratch. Or maybe rather to know that if you were brave enough to take the first scary step you KNOW you need to take, the world would stand a chance of supporting humans a little longer.

Get to know… Chris Moscato, Sound Designer

How long have you worked with FullStop?
This is my first project with FullStop.

What has been your favorite part of the rehearsal process so far?
Getting to collaborate with Alex and Pat. You don’t always get as much feedback from the musical director and composer!

What are you doing when you are not acting/directing/designing?
Improvising music

Why did you get into theater?
A few friends brought me along for the ride. After a weekend workshop at Double Edge Theatre, I was sold on it.

What is your vision of utopia?
A place free of Ego.

If you were king/queen of the world, how would you solve our global warming crisis?
Funding projects for alternative energy sources

Along those lines, what else would you do as king/queen of the world?
Too much responsibility! I don’t know…

Ever been to Brazil? How about Jacksonville?
I haven’t been to Brazil or Jacksonville. I would love to go to Brazil, but with my budget, I’ll settle on Jacksonville!