The Appointment

ABOUT

A new musical by Lightning Rod Special
Created by Alice Yorke with Scott R. Sheppard, Alex Bechtel, Eva Steinmetz, and the ensemble
Directed by Eva Steinmetz

April 18, 2019—May 4, 2019

90 minutes, with no intermission

Good Neighbor Program Directions Accessibility Calendar
Read Synopsis

Lightning Rod Special returns to New York after the run of OBIE Award-winning Underground Railroad Game at Ars Nova.

The Appointment is a musical satire about the American abortion debate. Associated risks include dizziness, cramping, choreographed musical numbers, emotionally manipulative informed consent handbooks, God's wrath, and rampant misogyny.

Side effects will last for the foreseeable future. Don’t worry. That’s perfectly normal.

Creator/Performers Alex Bechtel*, Katie Gould*, Jaime Maseda, Lee Minora, Brett Ashley Robinson, Scott R. Sheppard*, Brenson Thomas, Alice Yorke*
Lead Artist Alice Yorke
Composer Alex Bechtel*
Production Designer Oona Curley*
Costume Designer Jillian Keys
Lighting Designer Masha Tsimring
Associate Lighting Designer Becky Heisler McCarthy
Sound Designer Elizabeth Atkinson
Associate Sound Designer Taylor Jedlinsk
Props Designer Alicia Crosby
Choreographer Melanie Cotton
Stage Manager Sara Marinich
Music Director Amanda Morton
Production Management/Technical Direction Flannel & Hammer Scene Shop
Community Engagement Coordinator Paloma Estevez
Co-Producer Meredith Sonnen
Drummer Mike Reilly
Bassist Debbie Tjong

*Lightning Rod Special Company Member


NEWS

  • ALEX BECHTEL is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist dedicated to the creation of new works of music, theatre, and musical theatre. A newly-minted LRS Company Member, Bechtel has worked with the company since 2012’s Hackles. Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Music Direction for The Walnut St Theatre’s My Way, Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical for his performance in Theatre Horizon’s Into the Woods, and both Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical and Outstanding Original Music for The Arden’s The Light Princess. Bechtel has been awarded an Independence Fellowship in the Arts and was twice a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award. Bechtel is the composer/lyricist of Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto for People’s Light and Theatre Company, composer/original cast member of The Light Princess at The Arden Theatre Company, and creator/composer of The West, Philadelphia Nocturne, and Cheer Up, Dostoevsky. Hear more at alexbechtel.com

  • KATIE GOULD is one of the founding members of Lightning Rod Special. She has worked as a performer creator on many LRS projects, including Let the Dog See the Rabbit and Sans Everything. She is a graduate of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training, from which LRS blossomed. Katie is also the owner of KG Strong, a woman-powered, body-positive strength studio in the BOK building in South Philly.

  • JAIME MASEDA is an artist living and working in Philadelphia. He is one half of No Face Performance Group, a collaborative partnership with NYC-based artist Mark McCloughan. Working with a revolving group of associate artists, they’ve been making performances using a wide variety of processes and sources since 2007. Jaime has also performed/created with Pig Iron, Mel Krodman & Kelly Bond, Miguel Gutierrez, Magda & Chelsea, Azuka Theatre, Orbiter 3, George & Co., and Alex Torra. Next: Indecent at the Arden, May 22 – June 23.

  • LEE MINORA is a theater maker, solo performer and actor based in Philadelphia. Her original solo works have been seen at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival, San Francisco’s FURY Factory, Good Good Comedy, The Brick Theater and The Wilma Theater where she was an artist in residence. She is a Haas Emerging Artist Finalist, a Barrymore Nominee and a two time recipient of the Jilline Ringle Performance Grant. Up Next, Lee’s show White Feminist will be presented as part of The Care and Destruction Festival in London.

  • BRETT ASHLEY ROBINSON is an actor/deviser based out of Philadelphia. She has performed and created work at InterAct Theatre Company, Quintessence Theatre, The Wilma Theatre, The Arden Theatre Company, The Flea, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Public’s Under the Radar Festival, Ars Nova, Premier Stages, Geva Theatre Center, American Repertory Theatre, and the Ensemble Studio Theater. She is also a proud graduate of The Pig Iron School of Advanced Performance Training.

  • SCOTT R. SHEPPARD is an OBIE Award-winning theater artist living in Philadelphia and New York City. He is a Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special. Recent credits: Underground Railroad Game (co-creator/performer), named by the New York Times in 2018 as one of the top 25 plays in the past 25 years, currently touring nationally and internationally; Pig Iron Theatre Company’s 99 Breakups and Period of Animate Existence (deviser/performer); PITC’s Gentlemen Volunteers (performer); George & Co.’s Holden (co-creator/performer); and Arden Theatre Company’s The Stinky Cheeseman (performer, Barrymore nomination). Scott is a recipient of the Independence Foundation Fellowship, an OBIE Award winner for Best New American Theater Work, Edinburgh Fringe First Award. Proud graduate of the inaugural class at Pig Iron’s School Performance and Guild Hall resident artist for 2018. Next up co-creating Nosejob in Drama League Residency for 2019, SPEECH with Misha Chowdhury, and Very Smart and Fragile Boys with Andrew Neisler.

  • BRENSON THOMAS is a Philly-based theatre maker, performer, and writer. A recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA in Theatre program, Brenson studied with Dan Hurlin, David Neumann, Sibyl Kempson, Stew, and Raja Feather Kelly. Prior to SLC he served as the Assistant to the Director of Dance at the University of the Arts, and performed at 11th Hour Theatre Company, the Walnut Street Theatre, and the Arden Theatre. When he’s not inhabiting the fetus world, Brenson serves as an Academic Advisor at UArts. Much love and gratitude to LRS and their wonderful collaborators, and to my family and Kevin for allowing me to love them.

  • ALICE YORKE is a Philadelphia-based actor, creator, director, and producer. She is a Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special, with whom she created and performed in Hackles, Let the Dog See the Rabbit, and Sans Everything. She is the lead artist on their most recent work, The Appointment, a dark satire of the misogyny in the American abortion debate. She recently directed White Feminist by Lee Minora, a scorching indictment of white women’s participation in feminism, the hit of the 2018 Fringe Festival. Her performance in The Gap at Azuka Theatre was recognized with a Bonaly Award for excellent performance and a Barrymore nomination for outstanding supporting performance. For five years she has been seen across music venues in Philly and New York as Red 40 and the Last Groovement’s wild dancer Candy Scrapple. She is a proud graduate of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.

Elizabeth Atkinson / Sound Designer

ELIZABETH ATKINSON is delighted to be working with Lightning Rod Special for the first time. Liz is currently residing in Philadelphia, after many years in Pittsburgh where she was Resident Sound Designer at the City Theatre Company. Her freelance career includes regional theatre credits at Arden Theatre Company, The Wilma, Theatre Exile, Simpatico Theatre Project, InterAct Theatre, Inis Nua Theatre, People’s Light and Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Quantum Theatre, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette named her sound designer of the year in 2003, 2006, and 2007. Liz has also had the honor of exhibiting at the 2007, 2011 and 2015 Prague Quadrennials.

ALEX BECHTEL / Composer / Lead Writer

ALEX BECHTEL is a Philadelphia-based theatre artist dedicated to the creation of new works of music, theatre, and musical theatre. A newly-minted LRS Company Member, Bechtel has worked with the company since 2012’s Hackles. Barrymore Awards for Outstanding Music Direction for The Walnut St Theatre’s My Way, Outstanding Ensemble of a Musical for his performance in Theatre Horizon’s Into the Woods, and both Outstanding Lead Actor in a Musical and Outstanding Original Music for The Arden’s The Light Princess. Bechtel has been awarded an Independence Fellowship in the Arts and was twice a finalist for the F. Otto Haas Award. Bechtel is the composer/lyricist of Sleeping Beauty: A Musical Panto for People’s Light and Theatre Company, composer/original cast member of The Light Princess at The Arden Theatre Company, and creator/composer of The West, Philadelphia Nocturne, and Cheer Up, Dostoevsky. Hear more at alexbechtel.com

Melanie Cotton / Choreographer

MELANIE COTTON is a Philadelphia native and a graduate of the Freedom Theater Performing Arts School. She was a principal dancer and contributing choreographer for Montazh PAC and a principal dancer with Rennie Harris: Puremovement. Melanie has been featured in Bill Irwin’s Happiness Lecture, 1812 Productions’ It’s My Party: The Women in Comedy Project, In The Heights at Walnut Street Theater, co-collaborator/ performer for Pig Iron’s The Swamp is On, as well as choreographer for The Best Songs in the World for the Polyphone Festival. Most recently she was choreographer for Arden Theater’s productions of The Legend of Georgia McBride and Touch Tones.

Alicia Crosby / Props Designer

ALICIA CROSBY is a Philadelphia based designer, creator and performing artist who specializes in new and devised works. Alicia has recently designed props for Pig Iron Theatre, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Bristol Riverside Theater and Team Sunshine. Alicia is a performer/creator of Dear Diary LOL with Antigravity Performance Project and Lead artist of a new Pussy Pop Rock band, Girl Poop. Alicia is a graduate of the Pig Iron School and has earned a BFA from Tyler School of Art. www.aliciacrosby.com

Oona Curley / Production Designer

OONA CURLEY  is a New York based lighting and scenic designer and Lightning Rod Special company member. Previously with LRS: Underground Railroad Game (Hewes Design Award Nom). Recently in Philly: Nina Simone: Four Women (People’s Light), Sweeney Todd (Curtis), Poison Cookie (Bearded Ladies), Mahagonny/The Medium (Curtis), ¡Bienvenidos Blancos! (Team Sunshine), The Light Princess (Arden Theatre), Andy: A Popera (Opera Philadelphia/Bearded Ladies). Elsewhere: Lashed but not Leashed (Martha Graham Cracker/Guthrie), Bonnie’s Last Flight (Next Door NYTW), Macbeth (Trinity Rep), Macbeth in Stride (The Public/UTR), Paradise Blue (Long Wharf), Circus – Wandering City (BAM), Good Grief (Vineyard), Magic Flute (Indy Symphony Orchestra), Tin Cat Shoes (Clubbed Thumb), The Homecoming Queen (Atlantic Theater Co.), in a word (Lesser America). Associate artist with Bearded Ladies Cabaret. Recipient: J.S. Seidman Award for Design Excellence, Weston Award for Design, Zonta Award for Theatre Arts. Nominee: Princess Grace Award. MFA NYU/Tisch. www.oonacurley.com.

Taylor Jedlinsk / Associate Sound Designer

Jillian Keys / Costume Designer

JILLIAN KEYS is a UArts graduate (2011), and former Walnut St. Theatre Apprentice (2011-2012). Along with managing the Drexel University Costume Shop and doing childrens theater at Upper Darby Summer Stage between seasons, she has designed costumes for Pig Iron Theater Company, The Arden, 1812 Productions, Orbiter 3, The Walnut St. Theatre, Theatre Exile, Act II Playhouse, The Lantern Theatre, Inis Nua, EgoPo, InterAct, The Berserker Residents, Azuka Theatre, Applied Mechanics, and Simpatico Theater Project among others. For other fun facts please visit: jilliankeys.com

SARA MARINICH / Stage Manager

SARA MARINICH (she/they) is a Philadelphia based artist and stage manager. They are the Artistic Fellow at The Wilma Theater for the 2018/19 season. Sara has worked with Opera Philadelphia, The Bearded Ladies Cabaret, Lightning Rod Special, Subcircle, Red 40 & The Last Groovement, and Ninth Planet. They are a graduate of The University of The Arts and are a member of The American Guild of Musical Artists. More about Sara at smarinich.com

Becky Heisler McCarthy / Associate Lighting Designer

Amanda Morton / Music Director

AMANDA MORTON is a Music Director and Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts. Select credits include: The Bridges of Madison County (Philadelphia Theatre Company); Anne of Green Gables (Merry Go Round Playhouse); Passing Strange (Wilma Theater, Barrymore recipient); KPOP (Ars Nova); A Period of Animate Existence (Pig Iron Theatre Company); The Color Purple, Peter and the Starcatcher, A New Brain, Into the Woods (Barrymore recipient), Spring Awakening (Theatre Horizon); A Year With Frog & Toad (Barrymore nomination), The Secret Garden, Passion, Parade (Arden Theatre Company); Grey Gardens, Broadcast, Kiss of the Spider Woman, A New Brain, Side Show (11th Hour Theatre Company); Malpractice Makes Perfect (York Theatre Company); Peter & I (American Theatre of Actors); We Tell the Story: The Songs of Ahrens & Flaherty (Lortel Theatre). Upcoming: Minors (Lantern Theater Company); Into the Woods (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). She has a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from Ithaca College.

SCOTT R. SHEPPARD / Lead Writer / Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special

SCOTT R. SHEPPARD is an OBIE Award-winning theater artist living in Philadelphia and New York City. He is a Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special. Recent credits: Underground Railroad Game (co-creator/perfomer), named by the New York Times in 2018 as one of the top 25 plays in the past 25 years, currently touring nationally and internationally; Pig Iron Theatre Company’s 99 Breakups and Period of Animate Existence (deviser/performer); PITC’s Gentlemen Volunteers (performer); George & Co.’s Holden (co-creator/performer); and Arden Theatre Company’s The Stinky Cheeseman (performer, Barrymore nomination). Scott is a recipient of the Independence Foundation Fellowship, an OBIE Award winner for Best New American Theater Work, Edinburgh Fringe First Award. Proud graduate of the inaugural class at Pig Iron’s School Performance and Guild Hall resident artist for 2018. Next up co-creating Nosejob in Drama League Residency for 2019, SPEECH with Misha Chowdhury, and Very Smart and Fragile Boys with Andrew Neisler.

MEREDITH SONNEN / Co-Producer

MEREDITH SONNEN is a freelance Project and Production manager for TV, theatre, and architecture. Recent projects include Skittles the Musical, The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, and Poison Cookie Cabaret with The Bearded Ladies. Love to the family and community.

EVA STEINMETZ / Director / Lead Writer

EVA STEINMETZ is a Philadelphia-based theater artist and administrator. An avid collaborator, Eva works with companies and individuals to develop their own original productions. Local collaborations include The Polyphone Festival (Hart Island Requiem), Alexandra Tatarsky (Sign Felt), Chris Davis (Anna K.), the Pig Iron Theater Company (Zero Cost House; Twelfth Night; A Period of Animate Existence; The Caregivers), Team Sunshine Performance Corporation (JapanAmerica Wonderwave), and Opera Philadelphia (Birdland; Sky on Swings). As lead artist of her ensemble theater company, The Eva Steinmetz Project, she has directed and produced two full-length original pieces: SHUTTLEFISH (2017) and The Trial (2018). Eva participated in (and is immensely grateful for) the Collaborative Arts Mobility Project, 1812 Theater Company’s Jilline Ringle residency, and the HATCH residency. She was also a performer/creator in Josephine Decker’s film, Madeline’s Madeline.

Masha Tsimring / Lighting Designer

MASHA TSIMRING (Lighting Designer) is a NYC-based lighting designer for performance. Recently: Kleptocracy (Arena Stage); Minor Character (Under the Radar/New Saloon); Noura (Playwrights Horizons); Intractable Woman (PlayCo); Romeo & Juliet/Our Twon (Alabama Shakespeare); Pride & Prejudice (Pittsburgh Public); Electric Lucifer (The Kitchen); Sarabande (LA Dance Project); The Garden of Forking Paths (Nichole Canuso Dance Co); Frontieres Sans Frontieres (Bushwick Starr); Ultimate Beauty Bible (Page73); The Marriage of Figaro (Charlottesville Opera); The Wolves (Marin Theatre Co); The Gap (Azuka); Into the Breeches! (Chautauqua Theatre Co.); As You Like It (CalShakes); Constellations (Wilma); My Fair Lady (Playmakers Rep); MFA – Yale School of Drama. www.mashald.com

Alice Yorke / Lead Artist and Writer / Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special

ALICE YORKE is a Philadelphia-based actor, creator, director, and producer. She is a Co-Director of Lightning Rod Special, with whom she created and performed in Hackles, Let the Dog See the Rabbit, and Sans Everything. She is the lead artist on their most recent work, The Appointment, a dark satire of the misogyny in the American abortion debate. She recently directed White Feminist by Lee Minora, a scorching indictment of white women’s participation in feminism, the hit of the 2018 Fringe Festival. Her performance in The Gap at Azuka Theatre was recognized with a Bonaly Award for excellent performance and a Barrymore nomination for outstanding supporting performance. For five years she has been seen across music venues in Philly and New York as Red 40 and the Last Groovement’s wild dancer Candy Scrapple. She is a proud graduate of the inaugural class of the Pig Iron School for Advanced Performance Training.

FLANNEL & HAMMER SCENE SHOP / Technical Direction/Production Management

FLANNEL & HAMMER SCENE SHOP is a Philadelphia based business. The company was founded by Lauren Tracy (Flannel) and Joe Daniels (Hammer). With over 10 years’ experience and 100 productions under their (tool) belts they have the knowledge and skills to bring any scenic construction to life. Their work can be seen onstage here and all season with Azuka Theatre, Inis Nua Theatre, Simpatico, and Theatre Exile.