JOHN CARIANI | PLAYWRIGHT
John Cariani is an award-winning actor and an accomplished playwright. As an actor, he has appeared on and Off Broadway, at regional theaters across the country, and in several films and television shows. His first break came when he was cast in the off-Broadway play "It's My Party (And I'll Die if I want To)", starring Joyce Van Patten and Academy Award Winner F. Murray Abraham. In 2004, he made his Broadway debut as Motel the tailor in the Broadway Revival of "Fiddler on the Roof" starring Alfred Molina. His performance earned him an Outer Critics Circle Award and a Tony Award nomination. His stage work aside, John is probably best known for his work on television. From 2002-2007, he played CSU Tech Julian Beck on NBC's long-running drama Law & Order (1990). He also had recurring roles as Professor Otto Bahnoff in the final season of CBS' Numb3rs (2005) and as reporter Michael Falk on the IFC's The Onion News Network (2011). He has been fortunate to work in feature films with the likes of Robert De Niro, Christopher Walken, and Edward Asner.
As a playwright, he is best known for his first play, "Almost, Maine," which premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2004, opened Off Broadway in 2006, and is now featured in Smith and Kraus' "New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2006." Since its debut Off Broadway, "Almost, Maine" has become one of the most frequently produced plays in the United States, with over 2500 productions to date. It has also been translated into nearly twenty languages. His second play, 'cul-de-sac," was produced by Transport Group in 2006 and is still in development; his third play, "Last Gas," premiered at Portland Stage Company in 2010, was produced by Geva Theatre Center in 2014, and is newly published by DPS; his latest play, "LOVE/SICK," premiered at Portland Stage Company in the spring of 2013, was produced by Hartford TheaterWorks in 2014, and will be opening Off Broadway in the winter of 2015.
Originally from Presque Isle, Maine, John is a graduate of Amherst College. He lives in New York City.
MICHAEL SCHIRALLI | DIRECTOR
For Half Moon Theatre: A Christmas Carol, I Love, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti, The Fantasticks, It’s A Wonderful Life, The World Goes Round, Ten Minute Play Festival (Marriott Pavilion) Side By Side By Sondheim, The Magic Fish and the popular Dutchess Divas extravaganzas. Some recent Off-Broadway credits include: Nico Underground (NY Times critic’s pick), The critically acclaimed A Chanukah Charol(New World Stages) and David Simpatico’s Prom Queen (Playwrights Horizon). Other notable productions: Sleepless Variations with Mary Testa & Michael Starobin (Barrington Stage), Jackie Hoffman’s solo shows including The Kvetching Continues (Time Out Award) and The Tragic And Horrible Life Of The Singing Nun (NYMF, 3 awards), Varla Jean Merman shows and videos including Enough About Me: An Unauthorized Biography, Coco Peru shows including: Undaunted (GLAAD Award), The Vendler Television Playhouse (Guiding Light TV Cast), Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice with David Rackoff (Culture Project), Born Again Again! with Tammy Faye Starlite (Ars Nova), Valentine’s Day Massacre (Drama Dept.), Nothin’s Easy and Nobody’s Happy with Colette Hawley, Gas, Food, Talent (West Bank), Darlene Love’s True Love (N.Y., L.A.), Songs for a New World (with Beth Leavel and Jason Robert Brown),Damaged Care (U.S. House of Congress), Everything’s Coming Up Moses with Seth Rudetsky, MTW’s Holiday Extravaganza with Kristin Chenowith, Free & Equal (Yip Harburg Foundation) and the feature film, Varla Jean And The Mushroomheads.
MICHAEL BORRELLI | Cast as Joe Jones
Michael Borrelli is a stage and screen actor based in the New York area. He has appeared in 19 productions at the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival in roles ranging from the fatuous Cloten in Cymbeline to love-struck Orsino in Twelfth Night, which aired as a televised event on PBS. Michael has also worked in film and television. In addition to a recurring role on "As the World Turns," Michael has guest-starred on the CBS drama “Blue Bloods.” In 2011, Michael was featured alongside Jenn Harris, Kate Gerston, Jeff Hiller and Richard Kind in the pilot "Bad Seed", which won the award for Best Web Series at the NYTV Festival. Additionally, Michael starred in "High Street Plumbing" written by Noah Haidle, which won a National Board of Review Film Award for Comedy. He is currently filming upcoming independent feature films “Eleanor” and “Barrio Boy.” Michael holds a BFA in Dramatic Arts from The College of Santa Fe, studied with Larry Moss at his studio in Los Angeles, and is a member of The New World Shakespeare Lab.
KATIE HARTKE | Cast as Irene Jones
Katie Hartke is a co-founder of NYC-based Esperance Theater Company, where she played Olivia in Twelfth Night, and Lady Capulet and Lady Macbeth in Youth & Ambition (or the morality mash of Romeo, Juliet and The Macbeths). Regional: Katie spent 10 seasons with the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, where her favorite roles include Viola (Twelfth Night), Imogen (Cymbeline), Lucrece (The Liar), Rosaline (Love’s Labours Lost), and Helena (A Midsummer Night’s Dream). Other regional credits include Love/Sick (Arc Stages), Love/Sick and Clybourne Park (Shadowland), A Christmas Carol (Portland Stage), Maggie in Cat on A Hot Tin Roof (Middlebury Actors Workshop). New York: Desdemona in Othello (Epic Theatre Ensemble), Cass Harris in Wonder of the World (Core Theatre Comp.), Life Is A Dream (Flux Theatre Ensemble), and A Tiger in Central Park (NY Fringe). TV/Film: Boardwalk Empire, Guiding Light, College Humor, The Circuit, and various commercials and voice-overs. Training: Catholic University, Circle In the Square Theatre School. Proud member of Actors’ Equity. Much love to her husband Ryan and daughter Zoe.
SEAN HAYDEN | Cast as Brian Johnson
Sean Hayden has been seen on several Broadway national tours including Lincoln Center’s The Light In The Piazza and Mamma Mia! Off Broadway he was in Confidentially, Cole. Favorite regional roles include Anthony in Outside Mullingar (Hudson Stage); Joseph Pitt in Angels in America: Millennium Approaches; Dan in Next to Normal; Sam in Mamma Mia! (John J. Engeman Theatre); Lancelot in Camelot (Sacramento Music Circus); Billy Bigelow in Carousel; Iachimo in Cymbeline; Cliff in Cabaret; and Clindor in Tony Kushner’s The Illusion. He has played principal roles with Dallas Shakespeare Festival and Ft. Worth Shakespeare in the Park. He is a proud resident of the Hudson Valley and spends his spare time renovating his farmhouse in Ulster County.
SAMANTHA JONES | Cast as Christy Smith
Samantha Jones is thrilled to join the cast of Cul-De-Sac and excited to bring Christie to life. With Half Moon, Jones played Sonia is Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike and most recently joined the ensemble cast of A Christmas Carol where she portrayed several characters. Last Fall, she guest starred in the premier of Bull on CBS opposite Michael Weatherly, and will soon be featured in the thriller Super Dark Times (dir: Kevin Philips) which is included in the Tribeca Film Festival this Spring. Through her career, improvisation has always been the foundation of her approach to roles. When she relocated to the Hudson Valley only 3 years ago, she founded Hudson Valley Improv. This show is dedicated to her dear friend and brilliant director Michael Schiralli. www.therealsamanthajones.com
MOLLY RENFROE KATZ | Cast as Diane Johnson
Molly Renfroe Katz is a founding member and the Executive Director of Half Moon Theatre. On Broadway, she played Stiffy Byng in By Jeeves (music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, book/lyrics/direction by Alan Ayckbourn). National tour and regional theater credits include the first national tour of City of Angels (Bootsie) and The Man Who Came to Dinner at The Cleveland Playhouse. She was a member of New York’s critically acclaimed adobe theatre company, where her roles included The Handless Maiden (Handless Maiden), The Eight Reindeer Monologues (Blitzen), Deception (Susan) and Blink of an Eye (Kiki), among others. She also was featured in Notes to Marianne at NYSAF’s Powerhouse Theater. Molly has also appeared at Carnegie Hall, the Metropolitan Opera House, The Kennedy Center, Goodspeed Opera House and The Vineyard Theatre. Film and TV credits include Hillary in The Dark Half by Stephen King, dir. George Romero, and the ABC-TV MOW Guilty Til Proven Innocent. Addt’l TV credits include One Life to Live and All My Children. She also anchored Sci-Fi channel’s FTL Newsfeed for two years. Molly trained under William Esper in New York and is a graduate of Wesleyan University.
BRUCH REED | Cast as James Smith
Bruch Reed is grateful, honored and excited once again to premiere a John Cariani play, having previously appeared in inaugural productions of Last Gas (Opera House Arts of Stonington, Maine) and Love/Sick(TheatreWorks of Hartford, Connecticut; awarded Best Ensemble by Connecticut Critics Circle). Off-Broadway credits include the world premieres of Michael Boothroyd's Women and Children First at Paradise Factory and Vincent Sessa's Body of Words at Theater for the New City, Lombardi with Harbor Lights Theater, Shaw's St. Joan with Gingold Theatrical Group and Light Up The Sky with Peccadillo Theater. Regional credits include Kevin Cohea's original musical Sundown Town at TheatreSquared in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Mr. Reed has worked as an actor in Chicago for 15 years with such companies as Mary Arrchie, Goodman Theatre, Steppenwolf, Northlight, Court, Theatre Wit, Remy Bumppo, Writer's Theatre, Chicago Dramatists, ShawChicago, Illinois Shakespeare Festival, CCPA, European Repertory, Defiant, Roadworks, Famous Door, greasy joan & co., About Face, Shakespeare’s Motley Crew, and Red Hen Productions. In 2013, he had directed Tandy Cronyn at the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, Tennessee in the one-woman show The Tall Boy by Simon Bent, which was remounted for the 2015 United Solo Festival, winning the Best Adaptation Award. Special thanks to talent manager Kevin Thompson of Thompson Talent for introducing me to the Cariani world. Proud member of Actors' Equity Association since 2002.