Meet the Cast and Creative Team for “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!”

Meet the Cast and Creative Team for the Los Angeles New Court Theatre’s first ever Musical Production:

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!

Buy Your Tickets for this hilarious production by clicking here

CREATIVE TEAM

EMILY A. FISHER (DIRECTOR)

Emily is thrilled to be back with the LANCT, this time as a director! You may have seen her in several New Court shows, including Fools, A Piece of My Heart, and Speech & Debate. Her previous directing/choreographing credits include: The Moonlight Room (St. Louis), The World Goes ‘Round (Insight Theatre Company), Pique Dame (Union Avenue Opera), The Long Red Road (Webster University) and Only Remembered, an original piece commenting on how war affects the lives of all.  Other credits include: The Music Man, Thoroughly Modern Millie, 100 Saints You Should Know, Carousel, Equus, Damn Yankees, The Sound of Music, Lucky Stiff, Loves Labours Lost, and Moon Over Buffalo. She is currently performing in Dames at Sea in Ashland, Oregon. www.emilyafisher.com


NATHAN LEE BURKART (CO- DIRECTOR)

Nathan is a native from Janesville, WI and has been involved with theatre in some way his entire life.  He has worked professionally on-screen and on-stage including projects with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, The Beloit New Court Theatre, Jack and Jill (produced by and starring Adam Sandler), Women Behind Bars (WE Entertainment), and has worked with the great Edward Albee personally with a reading of Me, Myself, and I at Playwrights Horizons (NYC). Other stage credits include: Warren in This is Our Youth (LANCT), Sebastian in Twelfth Night (LANCT), Antipholis in The Comedy of Errors, Ellard in The Foreigner, Stanley Jerome in Broadway Bound, Arnold Epstein in Biloxi Blues, Snoopy in You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown, and Tom Trainor in No, No, Nanette.  Commercially he has had multiple national spots for McDonald’s, along with ads for Chase and Hyundai. Directing credits include: Speech & Debate (LANCT), The Prettiest Girl in Lafayette County, and an original sketch piece titled The Final Cut. He received his BFA from Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis, MO.


JENNIFER LIN (MUSICAL DIRECTOR)

Jennifer Lin holds a degree in Music Composition from UCLA and works as a music director and accompanist throughout Southern California. Credits include Things to Ruin, Fellowship! The Musical Parody of The Fellowship of the Ring, Bronies! the Musical, Sweet Charity, See What I Wanna See, The Wild Party, as well as The Pokémusical, which won Best Musical in the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival. In addition to working in theatre, Jennifer teaches at Experience Music Academy and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. Many thanks to LA New Court Theatre for letting her be a part of this show!


JOSH GANNON (STAGE MANAGER)

Josh is excited to be stage managing ILYYPNC! He joined the company earlier this season by stage managing the first show, Little Man. He is enjoying learning more and more about putting a theatre production together, and loving that he can finally speak about himself in the third person. Theatre is the best. He would like to thank Nathan and Emily for the opportunity to work with them.


CAST

THE WOMEN

Jennifer Losi
Jennifer Losi

JENNIFER LOSI

Jennifer is overjoyed to be back on the New Court stage in another dream role, after playing Olivia in Twelfth Night. Other favorite credits include City of Light (Laura), Pirates of Penzance (Mabel), Once in a Lifetime (Susan Walker), Accelerando (She), and the world premiere of American Storm (Bonnie). Jen holds a degree in theatre from Washington University in St. Louis, and promises she’d never try to change you.

Sara Gonzales
Sara Gonzales

SARA GONZALES 

This is Sara’s first show with LANCT and she couldn’t be more excited about it! Sara recently graduated from Webster Conservatory with her BFA in Musical Theatre. Since then, she has been keeping busy performing in cabarets and Children’s musicals, such as Rapunzel at Glendale Centre Theatre. She’s also had the honor and pleasure to perform and workshop multiple new musicals. She recently was a part of NMI’s popular 15 minute musicals at the Lonny Chapman. She was also seen in the workshop performance of City of Light at the Beverly Hills Playhouse. She’s looking forward to returning to the City of Light world, when she performs at the 2015 ASCAP/Dreamworks workshop with Stephen Shwartz, Sara also dabbles in the world of Jazz music, winning several national awards and performing internationally. Much love to M,D,G and D. ENJOY THE SHOW!

Rachel Pallante
Rachel Pallante

RACHEL PALLANTE

Rachel is elated to be making her LANCT debut while escaping the harsh winters of Chicago, where she resides. This marks her 10th musical production since graduating; including, cabarets, new works, and two American Premieres. Outside of playing pretend, Rachel enjoys biking, hula hooping, and singing female vocals in Chicago’s Grateful Dead tribute band, Paradise Waits. Thanks to Mum, Dad, and all my fearless friends. MAKE ART! rachelpallante.com


 

THE MEN

Ainsley Emrys
Ainsley Emrys

AINSLEY EMRYS

Ainsley is excited for his Los Angeles stage debut with I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change! Other stage shows include Jerry in The full Monty (where he received the nomination by Broadwayworld.com for Best Lead Actor in a Musical), Curly in Oklahoma!, as well as many others. If you’d like to see more check out some of his sketch comedy: Ainsley Emrys on YouTube.

 

Josey Montana McCoy
Josey Montana McCoy

JOSEY MONTANA McCOY

Josey is a proud LA New Court company member and is super happy to be a part of its first musical! Hailing from the Bluegrass state, Josey graduated from the University of Kentucky (BA, Journalism). He loves his UK Wildcats and is a Green Bay Packers Shareholder. LA credits: Floyd Collins (Ovation Award Nominee – Best Featured Actor), Bronies! The Musical, The Pokémusical, Justin Love, Fools, & Sweet Charity. Other favorite credits: Ragtime (National tour), Big River, Into the Woods, All Shook Up, & Hairspray. Josey sends thanks to his awesome family, amazing LA friends and his love Josie, whom should definitely not change!

Tyler Beveridge
Tyler Beveridge

TYLER BEVERIDGE

Tyler recently moved to Los Angeles from Houston, Texas. He is excited to do his second show with the LANCT, after appearing in last season’s opener, Twelfth Night. He graduated from Webster University with a BFA in Acting. He has performed in such shows as The Winter’s Tale, Putnam County Spelling Bee, On the Razzle, and Our Town. In his spare time he enjoys laughing, hanging out with his friends, and looking for the next great opportunity.

 

 

ILYYPNC Poster

Chatting with: Bekah Brunstetter


The Los Angeles New Court Theatre chats with
:

BEKAH BRUNSTETTER

Little Man
Little Man

Director and Los Angeles New Court Board Member, Kyle Hester, chats with Little Man playwright Bekah Brunstetter about her upcoming play, her own class reunion, and writing for television.  Little Man will be having its world premiere October 17-26th at the McCadden Theatre Center in Hollywood, CA.  It is produced by Eddie Vona and is presented by the Los Angeles New Court Theatre.

To buy tickets click here.


Director Kyle Hester: Can you talk a little bit about how the idea of the play came to you?

Playwright Bekah Brunstetter: When I got the invitation to my high school reunion, I immediately decided I was going to write a play about it. I really like giving myself assignments and living my life while ALSO calling it research. It felt like a good way to turn a potentially hilarious and awkward experience into a MASTERPIECE! Or at least a play. I started working on it before the actual reunion, then finished it after. I was fascinated by my own strong desire to definitely fly back home and definitely miss work and definitely attend this reunion. I realized that I felt like I was a much better version of myself now than I was in high school (I was quite overweight and wore 97% old men’s clothes from Goodwill and was pretty self-conscious and not confident, but I guess, weren’t we all?) and so I wanted to go to the reunion and show that. Prove that. So I was thinking a lot about that when writing the play. Mostly I was thinking about people who peak in high school vs. people who don’t, and how the things that happen to us in those four years leave incredibly deep scars that we spend our adult lives trying to surgically remove.

KH: Exactly, and a lot of your plays deal with characters who find themselves on the borderline between adulthood and youth, and concern their decisions to either hang back or move forward. Is this a theme that you’ve been consciously exploring?

BB: Absolutely. As you get older, you keep waiting for that moment when you feel like a grown up — but it never comes. Sure, you start to notice that maybe like, you’re buying yourself nicer sheets, are taking adult gummy vitamins, are caring less about what people think of you, but I mean you never quite feel the intelligence or emotional maturity that you associate with your perception of adulthood. And honestly — I don’t know if we ever will. I have such clarity now on what was going on in my head in middle and high school, so I find myself writing and thinking a lot about those times. Maybe when I’m 50 I will understand myself now. I hope!

KH: One of my favorite parts of the show is Ken Strong’s portrait, which is in the background of pretty much every scene. I love the two weird levels it operates on: both as an awkward centerpiece to the play, making an already kind of cheap event tackier somehow, but also profoundly deepening the reunion with a kind of memento mori, as though he had somehow peaked so hard in high school he literally couldn’t live in the real world. Where did he come from?

BB: I love that character/set piece, too. And can I just say: the portrait you made is beyond perfect and my new favorite prop and also thing in the whole world. Ken is an odd blend of fiction and reality: at my high school, there was a really lovely guy, Kent: very popular, very smart, and from what I recall, also very kind. He was liked by everyone and was kind and fair to everyone. He had tons of promise, but he was tragically killed in a car accident shortly after college graduation. At my reunion his absence was looming. His absence was felt, and sort of — ripped us all to a place where we were questioning our own lives. He was dead, we were alive. What were we doing with our lives? We deserved our lives? As I started crafting Little Man, I thought it would be interesting/terrible if this same guy was the guy who made Howie’s life miserable. That felt complicated to me in the best way.

KH: I was struck by the role that money and career success plays in these characters’ lives and their perceptions of how happy they are. Jed, Wendy and Andy are barely scraping by, Melissa’s parents just stopped paying her rent, and Howie lives in a weirdly uncomfortable luxury born out of his entrepreneurism. The Millennial generation has in some ways been defined by its relationship to wealth and class, its struggle to find employment in the wake of the Great Recession and its choice to reject or embrace the more traditional lifestyle of the generation that came before. Can you talk about that a bit in relationship to your work?

BB: I think the money thing relates to the thing I was rambling about regarding how we never feel like grown ups, not ever. Money provides security, but what I’ve found (after being broke for so long, and then finally starting to make some dough from TV work) is that mo’ money, mo’ problems, if you will. With money comes greater anxieties, and also a fear that your priorities and values are going to shift. A fear of becoming more material or shallow. I think about that a lot. I don’t want to ever become complacent. Howie’s got more money than he knows what to do with — but he still feels empty. As for the rest of the characters, there’s something so frustrating and sickening about growing older, like years are passing, but you don’t have the money to buy the things that match the age you are supposed to feel, or provide for the family that you made.

KH: You’ve been writing for television for several years now. How has your background in the theatre informed your writing on TV, and vice versa, anything you’ve learned on TV that has influenced your writing for the stage?

BB: I’ve found TV writing to be incredibly challenging, because as a playwright, I’m not very structure-oriented, I’m much more focused on language, characters, stage images and explosive moments. I’ve definitely had to re-train my brain to think story, how to twist one in a surprising way. I’d that say theater has taught me first and foremost how to communicate with actors and directors, and in terms of the actual writing, how to avoid cliche/really think about the specifics of moments and the people inside of them that make magic. With TV, time is certainly money — you write, but then you’re trimming and trimming and trimming to get the script down to a certain page count. Every scene must be moving the story forward. That’s been something that’s been hard to shake as I work on plays, but honestly, I think it’s been a good lesson for me to learn — now when I’m working on a play, I’m a bit more economical, and I think my storytelling instincts have gotten better, which is to say, I actually have them now.

KH: You’ve talked before about your preference for ambiguity and theatricality, for worlds with weird rules or undefined settings, as long as they’re grounded in some kind of reality. What about that appeals to you?

BB: For me, a play should be grounded in the real world, because that’s how I can access it emotionally, and so that it can be accessible by a broader audience — it’s very important to me for my plays to be relatable, for people to be able to see themselves in the plays happenings and characters. But also, plays should NEED to be plays. They should not be quick TV scenes, cinematic. They should hopefully explode in a surprising way and go deeper emotionally. There should be awkwardness and time travel and in the genius stage directions of Sarah Ruhl, characters suddenly turning into almonds. Just because. Because Plays.

KH: One last question! Everyone watching at home is dying to know: who did you wear to your reunion?

BB: Right after grad school I went straight into temping, all sorts of weird and oddly rewarding jobs — one week, I was assigned to organize clothes for an Eileen Fisher sample sale (for those who aren’t familiar with the brand, it’s a collection of very expensive and very sort of large and floppy and wonderfully soft clothes for middle-aged women) and at the end of the week, we were allowed to TAKE WHATEVER WE WANTED. I scored this black shirt dress thing that maybe is supposed to be a top for a middle-aged woman, but I wear like a straight up child’s dress. And this, my friends, is what I wore to my reunion. Also I should note that the day before my reunion, I hurt my back just by WALKING UPHILL in my parent’s neighborhood, so beneath said dress, I wore a back brace and spent the first few hours leaning against a wall. As the chardonnay went in, away went the pain.


 

For more information about Bekah Brunstetter check out her website by clicking here.  We hope to see you all at Little Man this coming October!

ABOUT BEKAH BRUNSTETTER’S “LITTLE MAN”

TICKETS CAN NOW BE PURCHASED USING OUR ONLINE BOX OFFICE


LITTLE MAN

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: BEKAH BRUNSTETTER

Bekah hails from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Plays include Going to a Place Where You Already Are (South Coast Rep Commission), Cutie and Bear (Upcoming, the Roundabout) A Long and Happy life (Naked Angels Commission), Be A Good Little Widow (Ars Nova, Collaboraction, The Old Globe), Oohrah! (The Atlantic Theater, Steppenwolf Garage, the Finborough Theater / London), Nothing is the end of the World (except for the end of the world) (Waterwell productions), House of Home (Williamstown Theater festival) and Miss Lilly Gets Boned (Ice Factory Festival.)

She is an alumni of the CTG Writers Group, Primary Stages writes group, Ars Nova Play Group, The Playwright’s Realm, and the Women’s Project Lab.

She has previously written for MTV (Underemployed; I Just want my Pants Back) and is currently a Story editor on ABC Family’s Switched at Birth.

BA UNC Chapel Hill; MFA in Dramatic Writing from the New School for Drama. (biography from www.bekahbrunstetter.com)


Kyle Hester
Kyle Hester

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: KYLE HESTER

 Kyle is a graduate of NYU Tisch, where he studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. Previous directing credits include Assassins and The Play About the Baby. Thank you to his family for their love and support, Eddie for his tireless work as both producer and sensible sounding board to the director, Bekah for both writing and allowing us to produce her extraordinary play, and LANCT for the opportunity to bring it to the stage.


 

CAST: 

Eddie Vona
Eddie Vona

Eddie Vona (Howie) is originally from Hollywood…Florida! He is more than excited to work with LANCT again as both actor and producer this time around. He attended The Stella Adler Studio at NYU Tisch and is a founding member of Street Shakespeare (streetshakespeare.org). Past credits include: Speech & Debate (LANCT), Lend Me a Tenor and This Is Our Youth (The Hangar Theatre), Dinner at Eight (dir. Robert Moss). Special thanks to Bekah, Nathan and my darling. www.eddievona.com


 

Brandon Bales
Brandon Bales

Brandon Bales* (Andy) is an actor and writer who has appeared in the world premiere of Terrence McNally’s Some Men at the Philadelphia Theater Company, OffBroadway in 13P’s production of Have You Seen Steve Steven? (also at the Sundance Lab), as well as the world premiere of Leegrid Stevens’s The Dudleys! LA theatre credits include Sarah Doyle’s Feeling Feeling (Fringe) and Joseph Fisher’s In the Canopy of the Forest (Open Fist). TV: Review, The Black Donnellys, and Law and Order (both regular and SVU flavors). Brandon’s cocreated short series American Friends was recently featured at Funny or Die.


 

Jordan Mann
Jordan Mann

Jordan Mann (Wendy) is a Nashville native with a background in improv and dance. She graduated NYU Tisch, and continues to study at the Art of Acting Studio and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. Her previous roles include That Girl Right There, Who Just Crossed Behind Leighton Meester! and I Should’ve Taken The Drugs: A Live Action Birth Story (starring role circa 1989). She asked to leave you with this proverb, When it comes to bacon, yes.

 


 

David Silavin
David Silavin

David Silavin (Jed) is originally from Sunnyvale, California. After graduating from Saint Mary’s College with a BFA in Acting, he moved to LA in 2012 for the Art of Acting Studio’s Two Year Professional Conservatory. His recent theatre credits include Tracers, Reasons to be Pretty, and Big Love. David is thrilled to join LANCT for their production of Little Man!

 


 

Marianna Caldwell
Marianna Caldwell

Marianna Caldwell** (Stefanie) is a native Iowan, who recently moved to LA from New York City, where she graduated with her MFA in Acting from Columbia University. She is beyond thrilled to be part of the premiere of this wonderful play with LANCT. Previous credits: The Tempest (Classic Stage Company), The Government Inspector (3Legged Dog), Measure for Measure, The 39 Steps (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival). Love to my CUGA family, esp. Greg. www.mariannacaldwell.com


 

Josie Adams
Josie Adams

Josie Adams* (Melissa) returns to the LA New Court Theatre, having performed in Fools, the company’s first production. National tour credits: A Christmas Carol, Magic Tree House. TV & Film: 90210 and Big Eden. Theatre (selected): Emma (St. Louis Rep), 25th Annual…Spelling Bee (Grandstreet Theatre), Campaign (The Met Theatre) and The Producers (MacLeod Playhouse). She is a proud Montana native with a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory. Much love to her family and Josey!

 

* Denotes member of SAG-AFTRA

** Denotes member of AEA, the professional union of actors and stage managers.


Little Man Poster