Monday, April 28, 2014



Michelle Lupo and Tony K. Knotts Photo credit: Anthony Gusevich


Horse Trade Theater Group and StrangeDog Theatre will present the New York Premiere of ENCHANTED ARMS written by Ben Clawson, Stacie Lents, Joseph Palestina, and John Wooten, May 15-31 at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A). This evening of new plays is 
  • conceived by Ben Clawson (The High Water Mark, Luna Stage) and directed by Artem Yatsuov (Basic Help, Sell Out Award Winner, FRIGID NYC 2014) 
  • with choreography by Annalisa Ledson (NACHMO 4 NYC). 
  • Featuring: Tony K Knotts (Master Harold…and the Boys!, Luna Stage), Michelle Lupo, Tracy Shar, Annalisa Ledson, Gary MartinsShannon Sullivan, Seth Michael, Lee Ann Hoover, and David Hoffman. 
  • Lighting and Sound Design by Harrison J. Adams,
  • Original Art Work by Sara Sciarrabbarasi, and
  • Press Photography by Anthony Gusevich.
  • Stage Managed by Rachael Tucker. 
Four screwed-up fairy-tales: The Big Bad Wolf wears a short, short skirt, Rumpelstiltskin is tenured in the Ivy league, and Rapunzel is bleeding heavily from the scalp. Plus, Prince Charming seems to be developing a drinking problem.
Hot off a nearly sold-out run at Luna Stage in New Jersey, the nomadic bi-state StrangeDog Theatre Company is coming across the Hudson with their evening of new plays that grab four age-old fairy-tales and throw them into a modern dilapidated apartment building.
Featuring new works from four New Jersey powerhouse playwrights – John Wooten, Stacie Lents, Joseph Palestina, and Ben Clawson.
The production will run May 15-31 at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A); Thursday through Saturday at 8pm. Tickets ($15) are available online at or by calling Smarttix at  212-868-4444. The production is 70 minutes long, with no intermission.
BEN CLAWSON (Creator, Playwright) received his B.F.A. in Theater from Montclair State University. He is the author of numerous full-length plays, short comedies, and evenings of thematically connected one acts.  His plays have had professional productions, readings, and workshops throughout New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. and New Orleans. He has written commissioned works for the Luna Stage Company, The Montclair State University School of the Arts, and the Contagious Drama Theatre Workshop. He has been an evening winner and finalist in the Samuel French Short Play festival, national finalist for the American College Theater Festival's John Cauble One-Act Award, finalist for the Princess Grace Award in playwriting, and recipient of the Kennedy Center's David Mark Cohen award. He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, and a founder of the StrangeDog Theatre Company, with whom he has produced many of his plays.

STACIE LENTS (Playwright) is working with StrangeDog Theatre Co. for the second time after their reading of her play Written on Her Face last year. A Semi-Finalist in the Premiere Stages New Play Festival in 2010, it opened the Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey “Soundings” reading series in December and has also received a staged reading at Luna Stage. Stacie’s play Henry’s Law was featured in Mile Square Theatre’s Fall Fest last season and toured to New Jersey area high schools as part of an anti-bullying initiative through Fairleigh Dickinson University. Henry’s Law received a workshop at Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey this month and a tour is planned for 2014. Stacie returned to Mile Square Theatre’s Fall Fest this year with Laugh Out Loud (cry quietly), which Peter Filichia of TheaterMania called “the best comedy of the year” in 2008. Stacie wrote the book and lyrics for Daisy in Disguise, which ran off-Broadway through Vital Theatre Company with an original cast recording released during the run. Stacie’s play College Colors has received readings at Luna Stage and at Manhattan Theatre Club produced by coLAB Arts. Other writing credits include plays in the 2011 and 2012 New Jersey One-Minute Play Festivals, Tidal Waves in the Neighborhood, Focus, and Just in Case (a commission). 
Stacie is also an actor who has performed in both New York and regional theatre and is currently a member of the Jewish Plays Project’s Development Company. Stacie is an assistant professor of theater at Fairleigh Dickinson University where she originated the Black History, Black Voices series which she writes and directs. She previously taught at Rutgers University. 
Stacie is a member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Screen Actors Guild, and the Dramatists Guild of America. Stacie received her MFA from Rutgers, Mason Gross School of the Arts and her B.A. in Theatre from Yale University.
JOSEPH PALESTINA (Playwright) is the creator of “Joe Pal & Eggs”, a webseries that 'mock'uments the multiple facets of his life. He graduated Montclair State University with a BFA in Acting and an MA in Counseling. He recently won Best Actor for Spincach Quesadilla, a film he wrote and directed for the 48 Hour Film Project NYC. His last play, Bits was winner of Strangedogs Beer Battered Play Festival. 
He's toured the country with indie rock band Thing-One. Their music has been played on WOXY, FUV, and several college radio stations.  He's a production assistant for “The Following”, “Boardwalk Empire”, and “The Americans”.

JOHN WOOTEN (Playwright) John’s plays have been produced in New York, internationally and in numerous regional theaters across the United States. Commercial: Trophies (Off-Broadway at the Cherry Lane); International: The Mission Home (King’s Head Theatre/London) and The Role of Della (Venues in France, England, Serbia, India, Australia, Ireland, Montenegro, and Canada); Regional: Kiss the Bride (Forum Theatre), Hannah (Premiere Stages), Happy Hour (Twelve Miles West), Uncommon Enemies (TheatreFest), UnCivil War (Theatre at Lime Kiln), The Role of Della (ATL finalist and over 300 Regional productions) and Humbug (Premiere Stages). His film Cat in the Pan premiered at the Montreal Film Festival and has been screened across North America. 
Awards/Nominations: New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship, Best New Play nomination from the American Theatre Critics Association, Semi-finalist for a Nicholls Fellowship, sponsored by the Academy Awards, and multiple Best New Play nominations from the Newark Star-Ledger. Published in/by: Dramatists Play Service, Samuel French, Inc., Playscripts, Inc., Dramatic Publishing Company, Plays for Actresses, 
Playing Contemporary Scenes, and Millennium Monologues. John is the Producing Artistic Director of Premiere Stages and teaches Playwriting at Kean University.

ARTEM YATSUNOV (Director) received his B.F.A. in Theatre from Montclair State University. Along with playwright Ben Clawson and a handful of irresponsibly creative individuals he co-founded StrangeDog Theatre in 2008. In just six years StrangeDog has produced over 30 evenings of mild mayhem and honest to goodness pieces of theatre. NYC: Writopia Worldwide Playwriting Festival 2014, Basic Help by Ben Clawson (FRIGID NYC 2014, Sell Out Award), Israela Margalit’s Night Blooming Jasmine (Under St Marks), The Virilogy (Horse Trade), The StrangeDog Eat Dog and Pony Show (The Tank). NJ: Kitty Kitty Kitty by Noah Haidle (Tierney’s Tavern), Omnivores by Ben Clawson (PTNJ, World Premiere).
Artem will be seen next on stage the Edmonton and Winnipeg Fringes alongside Antonia Lassar (The Godbox; Tina and Amy: Last Night In Paradise) with the World Premiere of Pair of Animals want to marry YOU! – a two-person musical-comedy co-written with Ms. Lassar.
STRANGEDOG THEATRE COMANY is a nomadic troupe intent on creating new plays for both avid theatre-lovers and people who mistakenly think they don't like plays.

The production will run May 15-31 at UNDER St. Marks (94 St. Marks Place between 1st Avenue and Avenue A); Thursday through Saturday at 8pm. Tickets ($15) are available online at or by calling Smarttix at  212-868-4444. The production is 70 minutes long, with no intermission.

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