Theater for the New City Presents
Flawless, a tale of enchantment
Written by Robin Goldfin
Directed by Ed Chemaly
November 9-26, 2023 (12 performances)
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 3pm
Plus, Wednesday, November 22 at 8pm
(no performance on Thanksgiving Day)
Theater for the New City
155 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
General Admission: $18
Students and Seniors: $15
Runtime: 120 minutes with one intermission
Theater for the New City Executive Artistic Director Crystal Field presents Flawless, a tale of enchantment written by Robin Goldfin, based on and inspired by an award-winning essay by Canadian writer David J. Lawless. Ed Chemaly directs a cast of seven, including David Carson*, Page Clements*, Hannah Dillenbeck, Ricardo Gomez, Deanna Henson*, John Lampe*, and Hana Lauer. Flawless will be staged for twelve performances from November 9-26, 2023, at Theater for the News City, 155 First Avenue, New York, NY 10003. *Appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association. AEA Showcase.
Flawless is staged with dance and movement by Laurie DeVito, live music composed and performed by Oren Neiman on the guitar, and Patricia Santos on the cello.
A family’s youngest daughter takes center stage as her father cares for his wife of over 50 years, who now has Alzheimer’s. Witnessing the relentless repetition of the disease and the extraordinary patience and unwavering commitment of her father’s love, Estella struggles to accept her mother as she is now. While recalling her mother’s former vitality, a world view emanates, and we see the same couple in their first year of marriage, filled with light and hope for the future. She moves through time and space to learn the flickering power of memory, and to remember what is important when the mother she loves cannot.
“Alzheimer’s and dementia affect all family members, but in different ways. The original award-winning essay by David J. Lawless includes actual conversations Lawless experienced with his wife in the last year of her life, and those conversations are recreated in this stage adaptation,” said director Ed Chemaly. “Dramatized by a brilliant cast of performers to capture the heartache of these gut-wrenching diseases, Flawless is ultimately about the importance of memory, and the beauty and enduring nature of love.”
Performances for Flawless are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm, plus a special Thanksgiving Eve performance on Wednesday, November 22 at 8:00pm. There is no performance on Thanksgiving Day.
Ticket Prices are $18 for general admission and $15 for students and seniors.
For tickets, visit: https://theaterforthenewcity.net/shows/flawless/
The runtime is two hours with one 15-minute intermission.
Robin Goldfin (playwright) is a playwright, performer and teacher based in New York. His most recent project was Suddenly, a Knock at the Door, a play based on stories by award-winning Israeli author and filmmaker Etgar Keret with original live score by Oren Neiman. Robin’s own 10-minute play The Acoustics, directed by Ken Talberth, was part of Artistic New Directions’ Eclectic Evening of Shorts. His solo play The Ethics of Rav Hymie Goldfarb, directed by David Carson, premiered in The Midtown International Theatre Festival. (“Splendidly crafted” wrote nytheatre.com). Robin’s other writing has been published in Tikkun Magazine, Zeek, and The Gay and Lesbian Review Worldwide; and in the anthologies Queer Stories for Boys: True Stories from the Gay Men’s Storytelling Workshop and One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century. As a performer, Robin danced for five years with Laurie DeVito’s She-Bops and Scats, a concert jazz-dance company and taught Simonson Jazz Dance Technique in New York and abroad. Robin has held artist’s residencies at Makor, The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and at The Mishkan Omanim (Artists Residence) in Herzylia, Israel. Robin holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Dramatic Writing from New York University and is recently retired as Clinical Professor of Writing in New York University’s Liberal Studies Program. He is a member of PEN American Center and The Dramatists Guild.
Ed Chemaly (director) is a director, actor and writer. At New York’s Metropolitan Playhouse he directed The Jewish King Lear (NYIT Award Nomination), The Easiest Way (adaptor and director) and The Spirit House. Other New York credits include Labor Day, A Doctor In Spite of Himself, shows at Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Mint Theatre, Henry Street Settlement, Spectrum Stage Co. and The Producers Club, as well as six original cabaret shows at The Village Gate, Eighty Eights and The Duplex. Regionally he directed the Deertrees Theatre Festival productions of Sleuth, I Ought To Be In Pictures and Almost, Maine; The Northeast Theatre and Electric Theatre Company’s The Odd Couple (female version), Almost, Maine, The Gibson Girl of His Dreams and Operation Opera, as well as Marriage Play at the Triangle Theatre in Philadelphia, Luv and Broadway Bound at Liberty Stage Co., a dinner theatre tour of Move Over, Mrs. Markham and a national tour of The Imaginary Invalid.
Oren Neiman (Composer/Guitarist) Oren’s compositions explore a combination of Jazz sensibility with Middle Eastern rhythms and melody. He was born in Israel and has lived in New York since 2001. Oren has released three albums as a bandleader, most recently the trio album “Serenity Now”(July 2023), and three albums with his band “Isra-Alien” – a high energy acoustic guitar duo. He also composes music for Theatre, most recently for Suddenly a Knock at the Door, which was staged at Theater for the New City in 2016. He performs regularly with his various musical projects in the NY area as well as touring wherever the music takes him. Oren was the Guitar/Mandolin chair in National Yiddish Theater Folksbiene’s award winning production of Fiddler on the Roof in Yiddish directed by Joel Grey.
Laurie DeVito (choreographer) was a founding director of Dance Space/Dance New Amsterdam where she taught for 40 years. Along with her company, Laurie DeVito and Dancers, she has taught, choreographed and performed at schools and theaters across the United States, Canada and abroad. Most notably, she has worked at NYU Tisch School of the Performing Arts, Yale University, York University (Toronto), Montreal Jazz Festival, Spirit Square Center for the Arts(NC), Gustavus Adolphus College(MN), Tel Aviv Dance Center (Israel), I.A.C. Studio (Tokyo), International Dance (Spain), and Balettakademien (Sweden). She has self-produced 8 seasons in NYC. Throughout her tenure at Dance Space she co-created Dream Catchers Children Program and produced Susan Osborn’s Seeds of Singing workshops. Laurie brings Simonson technique which is specifically designed for dancers of all disciplines and injury prevention to Gina Gibney Center and Mark Morris Dance Center. For more information please visit: lauriedevito.com
Flawless is presented by Theater for the New City. Set Designer: Lytza Colon, Lighting Designer: Heather Crocker, Costume Designer: Anthony Paul-Cavaretta, Production Stage Manager: Mary Caitlyn Deffely; Poster Design: Janice Davis, Publicity: Paul Siebold OFF OFF PR.
Meet the Cast
David L. Carson (He) started his professional Actors Equity career in 1975. Since then, he as appeared with numerous New York companies including Metropolitan Playhouse (20+ productions over 14 years), MTWorks, and American Bard (Innovative Theatre nomination for Best Actor for Gloucester in King Lear). He has appeared regionally with Virginia Premier Theatre, IUP Theatre, and toured the country with Prince Street Players. He was directed by Tonya Pinkins in Glory Kadigan’s Till We Meet Again. David has worked with playwright Robin Goldfin on many projects since 2004. With Composer Oren Neiman, the three friends spent over 5 years turning 8 short stories by Israeli writer Etgar Keret into the play Suddenly a Knock at the Door, which premiered at Theatre For The New City. David and director Ed Chemaly have worked on projects together for over 30 years. Creating Flawless over the last four years has been a “Labor of Love by a Family of Friends.”
Page Clements (She) has appeared in over 60 productions in NYC and beyond. Her many credits include productions with The Roundabout Theatre Co., The Metropolitan Playhouse, The Phoenix Theatre Ensemble, The New York Shakespeare Exchange, The Hudson Warehouse, The Electric Theatre Company, and The T Schreiber Theatre. She is an award-winning actress and coach and currently an instructor of voice, dialects, and Shakespeare at the famed T Schreiber Studio. She recently appeared in the film “Art Thief” by Arthur Egeli, premiering last June in the Provincetown International Film Festival. Page also has many directing credits, and you may see her work in a new play by Alice Jankell in January. She is a member of Actors’ Equity Association. www.pageclements.com
Hannah Dillenbeck (Dancer Em/Police Officer/Tina) is a dancer and Pilates instructor based in NYC. She is from Rochester, NY and graduated summa cum laude from the University of Oklahoma with a BFA in Modern Dance Performance and a BS in Biology/Neurobiology. Hannah dances professionally with Ballaro Dance (since 2020) and Alison Cook Beatty Dance (since 2023) and has performed as a freelance artist throughout the city with LimónLaunch (José Limón Foundation), MUMOS, Forza Dance Company, and visual artist, Reza Farkondeh. She has performed abroad at International Dance Conferences in Beijing, China and in Barcelona, Spain.
Ricardo Gomez (Alfredo/Police Officer) is a native of Colombia, S.A., and moved to the United States in 1989 on a scholarship to the New World School of the Arts in Miami, Florida for a BA. In 1993, while he was getting his MA from Hunter College he received a scholarship to the professional training program at the Martha Graham School of Contemporary Dance in NYC. He danced with Martha Graham Dance from 1993-1996. Mr. Gomez has also worked with Pearl Lang, Marijeanne Liederbach, II Piccolo Theater Dell’Opera, Mary Street Dance Theater, Deuxalamori Ballet Company, Michael Mao and Danscores. In 1996 Mr. Gomez founded the Gomez Dance Theater where he is the artistic director and choreographer. His choreography has been performed in New York at the Riverside Theater, New Generation for Dance in Purchase, New Choreographers on Pointe, the Joyce SoHo and the 92nd Street Y. Additionally, his choreography has been presented throughout South America and Europe. Mr. Gomez was commissioned by the Grupo de Danca de Almada in Portugal to create a work for their European tour, also he was invited to the “Millennium Celebration” for the Annabella Gonzalez Dance Theater as a guest choreographer. Mr. Gomez was commissioned to create a work for the Veteran’s Day dance festival at the 92nd Street Y. He has taught extensively in Colombia, Portugal and the United States. While teaching on the faculty at Escola Superior de Danca in Lisbon, Mr. Gomez introduced and instructed the faculty in a new curriculum which was integrated permanently into the university’s offerings. At present he is working on a new work inspired by the paintings of the Portuguese painter Paula Rego that is going to be performed in the festival “Danza de la Ciudad” in Bogota Colombia in 2024.
Deanna Henson (Estella) has appeared in several film, television, and theatre productions in New York City. Past credits include Relentlessly Pleasant (TIC Theatre), The Jewish King Lear (Metropolitan Playhouse), And Miss Reardon Drinks a Little (Longview Theatre), The Man Who Came to Dinner (PlayMaker’s Rep), The Impressionists (world premiere by Michael McKeever), Outfoxed (FullStop Collective), and Sensitive People (directed by Dan Lauria), to name just a few. Among her many TV credits some favorites are “Billions,” “Dexter,” “C.S.I. Miami.” Her film credits include “Suicide by Sunlight” (directed by Nikyatu Juso for Tribeca Films) and “Straight,” for which she won two best actress awards, Rahway International Film Festival and Hang Onto Your Shorts. And a nomination from Golden Door Film Festival. She holds an M.F.A. from UNC Chapel Hill, and has studied in the city with Terry Schreiber, Michael Howard and David Vadim.
John Lampe (Daniel) is a New York based actor, musician, writer and director. Onstage he has performed with the New York Shakespeare Company, New Circle Theatre Company, Frog and Peach Theatre and at many historic New York venues such as Nuyorican Cafe, The Players Theatre and the Stonewall Inn. Most recently he brought his two-man musical comedy The Tuneabomber to the Edinburgh Fringe. He is currently the Artistic Director of AND Theatre Company, where he helps to bring new works to the stage. AEA. BFA: Stephens College. Keep in touch at www.johnlampe.com
Hana Lauer (Em) is making her theatre debut in New York City having come from an extensive background of theatre training. She recently starred as Melinda in “Forgive Me Father” (Feature Film), “Manon in Mode” (Short), and is currently studying at William Esper Studio under Barbara Marchant. She has also studied at the Barrow Group and is an alumnus of Denver School of the Arts.
Patricia Santos (Cellist) is a songwriter and singing cellist who draws on her classical training to meld the cello with non- classical styles. Her music inhabits blues, rock, folk pop, and avant cabaret. Lucid Culture calls her a “dark, diverse cello rocker”, and Vance Gilbert describes her “as if Nina Simone and Yo-Yo Ma had a kid.” She is a teaching artist for Musicambia, bringing music instruction to incarcerated communities. She serves on the Board of Directors of the New Directions Cello Festival, is a voting member of the Recording Academy, and is the proud daughter of immigrants. Learn more at PatriciaSantos.com
Flawless production photos, from Top (Photographer: Paul Siebold)
Hannah Dillenbeck, Ricardo Gomez
Hana Lauer, Hannah Dillenbeck, Deanna Henson, Ricardo Gomez
Page Clements, Deanna Henson, Hannah Dillenbeck
David L Carson, Page Clements, Hana Lauer, John Lampe
Robin Goldfin photo, courtesy of the author