MENU: PROGRAM • DIRECTORS' NOTE • ACKNOWLEDGMENTS • ABOUT THE ARTISTS
SCHOOL OF THEATRE, DANCE, AND PERFORMANCE STUDIES
By Lydia Diamond
Director: KenYatta Rogers
Scenic Designer: Abigail Bueti
Costume Designer: Ashlynne Ludwig
Lighting Designer: Chris Henrriquez
Co-Sound Designer: Neil McFadden
Co-Sound Designer: Gordon Nimmo-Smith
Projection Designer: Zavier Augustus Lee Taylor
Intimacy & Fight Director: Jenny Male
Production Stage Manager: Safiya Muthaliff
Stage Manager: Kate Wander
Fight Captain: Marcus Adams-Campbell
April 15-24, 2022
This performance will last approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes.
VIDEO OR AUDIO RECORDING OF THIS PRODUCTION IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED.
Taylor: Ayanna Hill
Kent: Jalen Wilhite
Cheryl: Kennedy Tolson
Flip: Brian Wilson
Joe: Marcus Adams-Campbell
Kimber: Kelsey Diggs
Taylor: Bria Jones
Kent: Sophia Cichetti
Cheryl: Courtney Simmons
Flip: Robbie Duncan
Joe: Stephen Lyons II
Kimber: Lisa Meyerovich
Time and setting: Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard, 2005
Set in 2005, STICK FLY comes right on the heels of a 2004 Democratic National Convention in which a Black man “with a funny name” (his words, not mine) came crashing onto the scene with a keynote address that would set up an improbable run for the highest office in America. The speech set off a firestorm of speculation and wildly premature musings of a post-racial America. That utopian view, now far in the rear-view mirror, exposed the undeniable gap between the freedoms and aspirations espoused in the founding documents of this country and the reality of racial inequality in America. In fact, (then Senator) Obama’s meteoric rise reinvigorated dialogues about the structural inequities invested in the construct of “whiteness;” inequities which eventuate in adjacency and/or access to capital, education and class.
STICK FLY was written at a time when, other than The Cosby Show, Living Single, Girlfriends and a few other sitcoms, you just didn’t see upper and middle class Black folx represented on screen and even more rarely on stage. The theatre of the ’80s and ’90s was the time of JELLY’S LAST JAM and August Wilson’s decalogue depicting the 20th century struggles of the African American family and the fight for safety, identity, acceptance and upward mobility. Now, embarking on the 21st century leg of this uniquely American journey toward full Americanness, many of the new “New Negroes” have indeed moved on up and gotten the keys to that deluxe apartment in the sky (high-high)....
STICK FLY introduces us to the potentialities and limitations of intersectionality as the characters face the special interests of the privileged few and/or the ownership class. Just as class, race and gender battle for psychic space within us, the LeVay clan must navigate the same choppy waters surrounding Martha’s Vineyard, an island that acts as both sanctuary and fortress, providing access to generations of privileged Black elites while remaining an unobtainable experience for others.
Here in Prince George’s County, the nation's most affluent majority Black county, we face similar inequities in our experiences as Black Americans. We must decipher the intersecting narratives that both hide and reveal the story of generational inheritance (both monetary and epigenetic) and which are intrinsic to the success (or failure) of understanding our role in this American experiment.
The play examines race and gender tropes through lived experiences and embodied realities of its characters…realities that crash down like the waves of the Atlantic on the shores of Martha’s Vineyard that surround the LeVay household, eroding the foundations of patriarchal controls of decorum and other rules of engagement. This play “tells the truth/shames the devil'' and has a bit of fun while doing so. It is about class, race and gender, yes, but at its core it is about family and the act of love that is discovered by remaining in the room to host those things that need to be exorcized in order to move forward. For the LeVay’s, identification of the ways in which privilege works in America and in their own lives provides a path to catharsis and caretaking as they seek authorship of their own narratives and authenticity in their own relationships.
I am grateful for these performers and this design team and I am grateful for you, our audience, for the opportunity to mix it up here in The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center at UMD. Welcome back to the theater and thank you for being a part of the conversation.
--KenYatta Rogers, director
A special thank you to Maura Keefe and Scot Reese for the opportunity to work with this script, this cast and this team. To Jenn Schwartz and Jenny Male for their steady hand and their counsel. To Safiya Muthaliff and the stage management team for their patience and professionalism. To the cast for their talent and their soul/work on this production. To the Montgomery College grads traversing the halls of The Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center for making this a second home for me. And to Michelle, Kasai and Mecca for never letting me forget what Love is.
--KenYatta Rogers, director
Marcus Adams-Campbell (Joe/fight captain) senior theatre performance major. UMD credits: Little Women (Mr. Brooke/Braxton), Martius (Citizen 3) and Fearless New Play Festival (stage directors). Outside credits: Heathers (Ram Sweeney), Mr. Burns (Homer Simpson) and many more.
Layali Aljirafi (assistant costume designer) UMD credits, Stick Fly (assistant costume designer), Heathers (Costume designer), TBD EPS (Costume designer), Little Women (assistant costume designer). Outside credits, Our National Museum of the Unforeseen Tragedy (Costumes lead, Montgomery College), As You Like It the Musical (Costumes lead, Montgomery College), Spamalot (Costumes lead, Summer Dinner Theatre).
Sophia Cichetti (Kent u/s) sophomore theatre performance major and psychology double major.
Aimee Dastin-van Rijn (assistant stage manager) junior theatre and economics (B.S.) dual degree with minors in arts leadership and international development and conflict management, Writer's House Notation. Presidential Scholar. Written and performed plays: Cepheus, Not Just Words, Kind of Love.
Kelsey Diggs (Kimber) senior double degree in theatre and English. Creative & Performing Arts Scholar. UMD credits: The Heidi Chronicles (Jill/Debbie/Lisa u/s), The Visit (Karl), Noises Off (Dotty u/s), Machinal (Mother). Outside credits: Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey).
Luis Garcia (assistant lighting designer) first year M.F.A. candidate in lighting and media design. UMD credits: Fall Dance Concert 2021: Coastal Paradox, Goldfinch, Triple Helix and To Conquer Me Home (lighting designer), Experimental Performance Series: Strangers (media designer). Outside credits: Our Town, Collaborative Theatre Project (media designer), Peter Pan, Camelot Theatre (lighting designer). Training: B.A. theatre arts from Stetson University.
Chris Henrriquez (lighting designer) first year M.F.A. candidate in lighting design. Graduate certificate in Latin American and Caribbean studies. UMD credits: Fall Dance Concert 2021: Anonymously Empty (lighting designer), Fall Dance Concert 2021: Ordinary Days (lighting designer), Hookman (assistant lighting designer). Outside credits: Edges, The Chance Theater (lighting designer), Next to Normal, The Wayward Artist (lighting designer). Training: B.A. theatre arts (production & design emphasis) at California State University, Fullerton.
Ayanna (Yani) Hill (Taylor) senior theatre major and general business minor. Artistic director of Kreativity Diversity Troupe. UMD credits: She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms (Lilith/Lilly), Flyin’ West (Sophie u/s), Machinal (stenographer; Matron).
Bria Jones (Taylor u/s) junior theatre major. This is her first show at UMD. Club member for Kreativity Diversity Troupe. Outside credits include being a dancer for Hairspray in a community theater company Frederick Towne Players in Frederick, MD.
Ashlynne Ludwig (costume designer) third year M.F.A. candidate in costume design. Other UMD credits include Noises Off (2020) and Little Women: The Musical (2021). Local credits include P.Nokio (2022) at Imagination Stage, associate costume designer for Quixote Nuevo (Round House Theatre, 2021) and assistant costume designer for White Pearl (Studio Theatre, 2019). Other professional work includes The Drowsy Chaperone (2017), The Hunchback of Notre Dame (2018), etc. at the Cumberland County Playhouse.
Jenny Male (Intimacy & Fight Director) is a certified teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors and a certified intimacy director with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators. Jenny has worked as the fight and/or intimacy choreographer for Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, Rep Stage, Everyman Theatre, Constellation Theatre Company, Factory 449, Adventure Theatre, Imagination Stage, Maryland Opera Studio and Maryland Lyric Opera. Jenny is associate professor of theatre at Howard Community College and is a member of SDC.
Neil McFadden (co-sound designer) ROUND HOUSE THEATRE: Heathen Valley (Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Sound Design), Drawer Boy (Helen Hayes Award nomination), Jack and Jill (Helen Hayes Award nomination), The Swan (Helen Hayes Award nomination), The Illusion (Helen Hayes Award nomination). WOOLLY MAMMOTH THEATRE: Boom (Helen Hayes Award nomination); The Dead Monkey (Helen Hayes Award nomination); Zero Positive (Helen Hayes Award nomination). STUDIO THEATRE: Take Me Out, Reasons to Be Pretty; Blackbird; Adding Machine; ADVENTURE THEATRE: Caps for Sale; Garfield; Three Little Birds; Tiny Tim’s Christmas Carol. FLYING V: Fights (I, II, and III), Matt & Ben. VENUS THEATRE: Witches Vanish; Aglaonike’s Tiger. Plus over 300 additional productions in over 35 professional D.C. theatres. Off Broadway: NEW VICTORY: Three Little Birds; Caps for Sale. National tour: Five Little Monkeys, Three Little Birds, Caps for Sale.
Lisa Meyerovich (Kimber u/s) third year theatre performance major. UMD Credits: Hookman (Jess u/s), Machinal (Boy, Small Boy, Barber), Arbor Day (Olivia). Outside Credits: Peter and the Starcatcher (Molly Aster), Much Ado About Nothing (Conrad).
Safiya Muthaliff (production stage manager) third-year technical theatre major. UMD credits: Hookman (assistant stage manager). Outside credits: Black Flute, IN Series (stage manager). Montgomery College: My aMeriCa 2021 (stage manager), She Kills Monsters: Virtual Realms (assistant stage manager).
Gordon Nimmo-Smith (co-sound designer) is a Maryland-based sound engineer and designer. Local sound designs include Constellation Theatre Company: The Last Five Years (streamed), The 39 Steps, Caucasian Chalk Circle (Helen Hayes Nomination) and Avenue Q; Solas Nua: In The Middle of the Fields, Little Thing, Big Thing; Rorschach: Distant Frequencies, The Toxic Avenger, Sing to Me Now; Flying V: Paperless Pulp (Audio Drama); Keegan Theatre: Parade, Legally Blonde, Hands on a Hardbody, Chicago; Adventure Theatre: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. By day, Gordon is the Audio/Video and Stage Supervisor for the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Thanks always to Alex, Mairi, and Mac the dog.
KenYatta Rogers (director) is a director and actor with over 50 professional productions of theater experience. Directing credits include productions with Mosaic Theatre, Ally Theatre, African Continuum Theatre Company, The IN Series, Theatre J, University of Pittsburgh, Point Park College, South Carolina State University, Howard University and Montgomery College. Acting credits include productions with the Kennedy Center, Round House Theatre, Arena Stage, Signature Theatre, Everyman Theatre, Woolly Mammoth, Ford’s Theatre, Olney Theatre, Folger Theatre, Trustus Theatre, Shakespeare & Company and African Continuum Theatre Company. KenYatta received his M.F.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and is currently theatre coordinator for Montgomery College’s Performing Arts Department.
Courtney Simmons (Cheryl u/s) UMD Theatre B.A. candidate. Performance focus. Regional credits: Our Lady of Kibeho (Marie–Claire) and Fiddler on the Roof (Frumah Sarah). She has also trained in dance at Studio A Dance Company, Morgan State University, and Community College of Baltimore County. She's likely somewhere singing right now and hopes you enjoy the show.
Zavier Augustus Lee Taylor /// Zavier A.L. Taylor(projection designer) is a multimedia artist and designer with a focus on interactive and impactful video design for live performance. He has a passion for being hands-on in the creation of new work. Zavier spends his time experimenting with motion graphics, visual art, video editing and sound design. Zavier owns a multimedia production company: ZALT Productions. Learn more by searching #ZALTproductions.
Kennedy Tolson (Cheryl) junior theatre performance communications double major. Business minor. UMD Women's soccer team. Big Ten Distinguished Scholar UMD credits: Hookman (Lexi u/s), Orlando (Sasha), Tiny Ruins (woman), Breath, Boom (Cat). Outside credits: Klecksography 2020: American Mythos (Vivian).
Kate Wander (stage manager) senior theatre major with minors in arts leadership and business. Creative and Performing Arts Scholar. Undergraduate Theatre Artists Society President. UMD credits: Fefu & Her Friends (stage manager), Hookman (stage manager), 2020 Fearless New Play Festival (production stage manager), She Kills Monsters (assistant stage manager), Flyin' West (assistant stage manager), The Heidi Chronicles (assistant stage manager). Outside credits: Working in DC (production assistant).
Jalen Wilhite (Kent) is a visionary, choreographer and actor. As a self-taught dancer, the 20-year old has choreographed for recording artists throughout the DMV in addition to running his own production entertainment company, JALENOGRAPHY, LLC. Jalen also creates visual productions utilizing his theatrical and dance skills. Jalen is continuing his dance education at the University of Maryland along with theater. He is expected to graduate in 2023. He will continue to invest in himself and wants to thank everyone that has been supporting him from the start.
Wilson (Flip) junior theatre and dance performance major. UMD credits: Doubled Bodies (dancer), Triumph of Horus (Horus), Orlando (Chorus, Captain), Hookman (Adam u/s).
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, DESIGNERS AND STAGE MANAGERS
Assistant Director: Alie Karambash
Assistant Costume Designer: Layali Aljirafi, Becca Janney, Cody Von Ruden
Assistant Lighting Designer: Luis Garcia
Assistant Stage Manager: Aimee Dastin-van Rijn
Scenic Coordinator: Mollie Singer
Production manager: Jennifer Schwartz
Production coordinator: Bobby Hunter
Costume shop manager: Jennifer Daszczyszak
Assistant costume shop manager & draper: Susan Chiang
Costume crafts & draper: Lisa Burgess
Costume tailor & draper: Tessa Lew
Costume draper: Katie Stomps
First Hand: Amy VanderStaay
Costume graduate assistants: Clare Lillig, Connor Locke
Costume technicians: Layali Aljirafi, Katy Cawley, Karenna Foley, Mel Mader, Nicole Panebianco, Amelia Yasuda
Technology shop manager: Jeffery Reckeweg
Lighting coordinator: Carrie Barton
Lead electricians: Taryn Carone, Malory Hartman, Lauren Hawley, Christian Henrriquez, James Newman, Zachary Rupp, Cameron Smith, Christina Smith, Erin Taylor
Student electricians: Max Abramovitz, Gabrielle Cramer, Stephen Lyons, Mel Mader, Emily Pan, Dylan Speiser, Evan Thanicatt, Hanna Zakharenko
Projections coordinator: Devin Kinch
Projections technicians: Sam Biuk, Deja Collins, Jerran Kowalski, Cassandra Saulski
Audio shop manager: James O’Connell
Audio technicians: Nick Cameron, Mike Houser, Neel Madan, Lindsay McElhinney
Props shop manager: Timothy Jones
Props graduate students: Abigail Bueti, Mark Williams
Prop shop artisan: Trey Wise
Prop shop student artisans: Marcus Campbell, Josie Danckaert, Troy Mohammad Gharibani, Adam Hawley, Roxy King
Technical director: Mark Rapach
Assistant technical director: Michael Driggers
Scenic artist: Ann Chismar
Scene shop coordinator: Reuven Goren
Lead carpenter: Earl Browne
Carpenters: Frank Bowles, Katy Cawley, Kailee Goldberg, Devin Kohn, Kelley Li, Carl Ostrenga
Student carpenters: Marcus Campbell, Elta Goldstein, Adam Hawley, Alana Isaac, Roxy King, Sabrina Lenett, Paetyn Lewis, Celia Richardson, Gabrielle Scott
Scenic charge coordinator: Ann Chismar
Scenic charge artist: Andrea Ball
Scenic painters: Bobbie Carter Dewhurst, Grey Walters
Student scenic painters: Max Abramovitz, Sarah Bennett, Natalia Corvoisier, Brooke Melton, Nicole Panebianco
Technical coordinator: Sandy Everett
Stage crew leads: Steven Bronocco, Alexix Hayes, Cole Owens
Run crew: Alexander Diaz-Lopez, Ryan Nock
Light board operator: Matthew Cheney
Projections board operator: Subhatra Sivam
Dressers: Hannah Damanka, Mirsa Oporta Hernandez
Hair consultant: Viola Costen
Sound board operator: Olubunmi Shabi
TDPS FACULTY & STAFF
Franklin J. Hildy
Van Tran Nguyen
TDPS GRADUATE STUDENTS
Ronya Lee Anderson
J. Mitchell Cronin
Mary Kate Ford
Gerson Lanza Ruiz
Gianina K. Lockley
Caroline Rocher Barnes
Carlo Antonio Villanueva
Cody Von Ruden