The Alamo

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In the blue collar Bay Ridge section of Brooklyn sits a rundown neighborhood institution called The Alamo; the last great American bar. The owners, Munce and Carmen, along with some of their regulars watched, from the roof, as the World Trade Towers fell, taking down their relatives, friends, and neighbors. Today, with an aging clientele, the place is fighting to keeps it’s doors open and the only hope seems to be the arrival of artist/gentrifiers who are moving into the neighborhood and wanting to adopt the bar as an entertainment hangout. Bay Ridge locals and Alamo regulars don’t want to surrender their bar, much less their neighborhood, to these young neo-carpetbaggers without a fight. Touching on themes of, nativism, racism, and war, The Alamo paints a humorous yet heartbreaking portrait of eight working class Bay Ridge natives who always seem to find themselves on the front lines of change in America.

 

During their second decade of bringing Los Angeles audiences outstanding entertainment, Ruskin Group Theatre continues to celebrate the essence of arts and humanity, within the microcosm of theatre. Supporting new writers and the development of new plays is an important part of the Ruskin season.

 

Ian McRae’s The Alamo was inspired by an op-ed piece called “The Hard Lessons Of Iraq” by David Ignatius, published in The Washington Post on the tenth anniversary of the invasion. The ten-minute piece found a slot at the Actor’s Theatre in New York and The Eight Tens At Eight in Santa Cruz, California, which propelled him to create this full-length play. Ian was an apprentice with Sanford Meisner and has taught at The Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre. He was a member of Cucaracha Theatre in NYC where several of his plays were produced.

 

“I wrote this play because I was angry about the way we became involved in war with Iraq, and lies about the WMD’s. Ultimately, who picks up the tab for the mistakes that our foolish leaders continue to make? I was hoping it could add something to a conversation about how we can find ways to treat each other better” – Ian McRae: Playwright

Ian McRae Playwright

 

Director Kent Thompson is widely known for directing both classics and new plays. He is a vital advocate and developer of new plays and served as Producing Artistic Director of the Denver Center Theatre Company (2005-2017) and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (1989-2005). Kent created the Colorado New Play Summit, the Women’s Voices Fund, Off-Center (for immersive, interactive theatrical experiences) and the Southern Writer’s Project. He has produced close to fifty world premieres that have subsequently been staged by theatres such as Playwrights Horizons, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Chance Theatre, Victory Gardens, Old Globe, Donmar Warehouse (U.K.), and more. Thompson has was a trustee and board president of Theatre Communications Group for 8 years and has served on numerous peer panels, including Doris Duke Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Panel (also Chair), Fulbright Scholars Panel, and Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

 

“The Alamo is an authentic and touching portrayal of an Italian-American neighborhood in Brooklyn. Both funny and dramatic, it features vivid characters whose lives haven’t turned out quite the way that they had hoped. Each of them carries scars of the past (from Vietnam to 9/11, and choices long gone) as they fight for their place in a world under the assault of millennial gentrification. I love this play, because Ian McRae writes with such passion, compassion, and humor, about a forgotten group of people—blue collar Americans”  – Kent Thompson; Director

Kent Thompson Director

 

The Alamo opens at 8pm on Friday, February 24th and continues Fridays – Saturday at 8pm, Sundays and 2pm through March 31, 2018. Ruskin Group Theatre is located at 3000 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Tickets are $30 ($25 for students, seniors, and guild members) and can be purchased in advance by calling (310) 397-3244 or online at www.ruskingrouptheatre.com . Ample free parking available on site.

 

Meet Our Cast

 

Bobby Costanzo (Joey) is thrilled to be a part of this very talented ensemble and to help launch the world premiere of Ian McRae’s brilliant play “The Alamo”. Bobby last appeared on stage in the hilarious Cold War satire, “Mutually Assured Destruction” at The Odyssey. He is the artistic director of The Emergent Theatre Company in Chicago.

Bobby has appeared in numerous TV Shows as a series regular as well as guest star. Prominent among them are “Alfonse Giardella” in the first season of “NYPD Blue” and Joey’s father in “Friends”. Memorable film roles include “Sal” in “City Slickers”, and the “Head Waiter” in “Forget Paris” alongside Billy Crystal. Also “Harry” in the original “Total Recall”. Bobby will be seen as “Uncle Bud” in the upcoming series “Champions” on NBC, debuting March 8th.  

Stage Credits; “Guys and Dolls”, Harry the Horse at Music Center “Unexpected Guests” Directed by Charles Grodin on Broadway

 

 

Eileen Galindo (Carmen) appeared in IAMA Theatre Co’s SPECIES NATIVE TO CALIFORNIA last season.  Other notable theatre: LOVE LOSS AND WHAT I WORE [Laguna Playhouse], TICKLED PINK opposite Rita Rudner [Laguna Playhouse], GIRLS TALK opposite Brooke Shields [LA], THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA opposite Chita Rivera [Taper, LA], THE CLEAN HOUSE [ICT, Long Beach] Eileen currently recurs on “Mr Student Body President” [Go90] and the reboot of “Sigmund and the Sea Monsters” [Amazon]. Notable voiceover performances include 15 years as Dora’s Mommy on “Dora The Explorer” and 7 years on Disney’s “Phineas and Ferb” as Mrs. Garcia-Shapiro.  What else you wanna know? www.eileengalindo.net Opinions occasionally expressed @GalindoEileen

 

 

 

Tim True (Munce) is pleased to be making his debut at The Ruskin Group Theatre.

Tim has performed in Seasons with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Intiman Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakesearean Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and many others.

Television credits include:  Big Little Lies, Scandal, Workaholics, Modern Family, Grimm, Portlandia, Criminal Minds, Agent, Carter, and the HBO movie All The Way.

Tim is pleased to be making his debut at The Ruskin Group TheatreTim has performed in Seasons with The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, Intiman Theatre, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, and many others. Television credits include:  Big Little Lies, Scandal, Workaholics, Modern Family, Grimm, Portlandia, Criminal Minds, Agent, Carter, and the HBO movie All The Way.

Milica Govich (Mary)  is very happy to be making her Los Angeles theatre debut at the Ruskin Group Theatre.  Mila worked on the Broadway stage, appearing in Hello, Dolly! starring Carol Channing (Broadway and National Tour, Chateet Theatre, Paris). Her many regional theatre credits include The Sisters  Rosensweig (Schoolhouse Theatre, Croton Falls, NY); In the Detroit area: All My Sons, The Odd Couple (female version), A Christmas Carol, Pump Boys and Dinettes, Meshuggah-Nuns!, Beyond the Rainbow, And Then They Came for Me, Harris Cashes Out (Meadow Brook Theatre); Sonia Flew, The Clean House, In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play, The Three Penny Opera (Performance Network Theatre);  Broadway Bound, Falsettos, Palmer Park (Jewish Ensemble Theatre); Barefoot in the Pa
rk (Waterworks Theatre); and Let it Be, Rain Dance, Orphan Train (Jeff Daniels’ Purple Rose Theatre) where she served as an Associate Artist. Her work on stage has garnered her numerous awards and nominations.  Mila’s work in film and TV includes Ansel Elgort’s mother in the box office sensation The Fault in Our Stars; Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice; Eloise; Temporary., Hung; Three Rivers; To Live and Die in Dixie; Super Sucker; Jinn; Restitution; and Trust.  Mila studied with Freddy Kareman in NYC, and has continued her studies in LA with Risa Bramon Garcia and James Eckhouse.  She holds an MFA in acting from Ohio University and a BS Ed from Duquesne University. Mila is an adjunct professor at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan, where she coaches Actors. Mila continues to work professionally both in the Midwest and in Los Angeles, where she recently relocated with her husband John.  They are happy to be closer to their son Nicholas who resides in Los Angeles.  www.milicagovich.com

Julia Arian (Micaela / Alternate) Born and raised in Los Angeles, Julia graduated from the University of Southern California’s School of Theatre after spending the majority of her younger years as an elite gymnast.  After taking some time to
work in film, she is thrilled to be making her return to the Ruskin stage in The Alamo.  Julia is a company member at the Ruskin Group Theatre and is forever indebted to everyone there who continues to believe in her.  She would also like to thank her friends and family – for putting up with her, but, mostly, for loving and supporting her as she chases her dreams.

Kelsey Griswold (Micaela / Alternate) is delighted to make her debut with the Ruskin Theatre Company! She graduated Cum
Laude from Oklahoma City University with a BFA in Acting, while also studying all at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London, and  Kingston University (U.K.) emphasizing in Shakespearean studies.  Recent television credits include: Sex, Drugs, and Rock & Roll, American Crime Story: The People vs. O.J. Simpson, and has done numerous films for the Lifetime Network.  In 2013, Kelsey was named Miss Oklahoma and 2nd Runner Up to Miss America.  She is proudly represented by Triniti Management and Joseph Le Agency.

 

John Lacy (Dominic / Joey Understudy) has been a working actor in Los Angeles for over 30 years. His television credits include recurring roles on AMC’s post Civil War drama, Hell On Wheels, ABC’s groundbreaking melodrama, Desperate Housewives, and the long-running crime drama, Criminal Minds. John can presently be seen in FX’s heartbreaking mini-series, AmericanCrime Story: The Assassination of Gianni Versace and in the upcoming Shonda Rhimes lawyer series, For the People. His stage credits include multiple productions with the acclaimed Actors Gang, Getting Frankie Married…and Afterwards and The Curse of the Starving Class with The Open Fist Theatre Company, and more recently as ‘Big Daddy’ in the controversial Newhall Repertory East production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. John just completed his directorial feature film debut, the present day western noir, Custody, which he wrote for and cast directly from his vibrant acting studio,The Lacy Group.

Jack Merrill (Tick) Graduated from New York University. Founding Member and former Artistic Director of Naked Angles Theater Company where he appeared in original productions of The Substance of Fire by Jon Robin Bates, Asylum by Steven Sater, Nebraska by Keith Reddin, Chicken Potential by Peter Hedges and Jeff Weiss’ Obie Award winning legendary late-night soap opera Hot Keys. Jack made his Broadway debut in Larry Gelbart’s Mastergate directed by Michael Engler.Film: Limerence, The Female Brain, Kings, Trust Me, Paul Haggis’ The Valley of Elah, My Last Love, The A-List, Pipe Dreams, Maze, Giving it Up, Casanova Falling, Ed’s Next Move, David Mamet’s Things Change and John Sayles’ Eight Men Out. TV: Swedish Dicks, Steve the Intern, Revenge, Hanna Montana, Numbers, Shark, Grey’s Anatomy, Joan of Arcadia, Sex in the City, The OC, Third Watch, Law and Order and New York Undercover. Pilots: The Partridge Family and Polly & Marie. Jack thanks Lesly Kahn and Frank Williams for keeping him focused.

Nancy Georgini (Claudine) is excited to be making her debut with the Ruskin Group Theatre.  Nancy’s credits include Sweet Tea, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, Fight Night At Massapequa, Bleeker Street Theater, Twelve Angry Women, Manhattan Theater Source, The A Train Plays, Sylvia & Danny Kaye Playhouse, Spontaneous Combustion, Manhattan Theater Source.  Dumas & Son Limited, MaryMount College, BodyChop, Months on End, The Neighborhood Playhouse Lab, Not Enough Rope, The Lambs Theater, Jakes Women, The Producers Club. European Tour: Cabaret, Kit Kat Girl. Regional: Will Rogers Follies, Bucks County of PA. La Cage aux Folles, Ann, Pocono Playhouse, West Side Story, Millbrook Playhouse, PA.  TV: One Life to Live, several commercials. Film:  Shotgun Diaries, Ten Personal Questions, 24 Hours At the Golden Apple.  Nancy has a BFA from The University of South Florida and is a graduate of The Neighborhood Playhouse.  Much gratitude to John Ruskin, Ian McRae and Kent Thompson.

Laura Bolcik (Mary / Understudy) – is pleased to be part of The Alamo.  Previously at the Ruskin, she performed the role of Jane in Small Steps, Laura in The Wall, the title role in Fairy Godmother, Tina in America’s Past-Time, Laura in Hot Latte, Marilyn in Time Is Running Out, and Laura in Aging Badly.  For Fresh Produce’d LA, Laura played Sharon in Potluck.  She reprised the role of Fairy Godmother for Interact LA’s production of the play of the same name.  Laura played a role written for her in Sacred Fools’ production of The Quest For Cannabis.  She has performed in two films, Lucid and Evil Odds.  On television She has been seen as Sally in Ryan’s Hope and a nurse on One Life To Live.

James McCoy (Tick / Dominic Understudy) A versatile talent, James recently appeared in FX Network’s Emmy Award winning limited series “Feud”, directed by Ryan Murphy and starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon.  In addition, his skills have earned him lead and supporting roles in Syfy Channel’s “Syfy Survival Guide” and feature films including “Near Myth: The Oskar Knight Story” and “Seekers”.  

Inspired b the work of Sanford Meisner, James came to Los Angeles after 10 years on staff at Berklee College of Music.   A graduate of the Ruskin School of Acting, James honed his craft with John Ruskin and Michael Myers and later continued with Doug Warhit.  Having recently written the television pilot “Sunk” and feature film “Sacred Sky”, James is pleased to return to the stage at the Ruskin Theatre where, in 2016, he performed “Connections” by Jane Martin.  

Originally from Portland, Oregon, James spent the last 25 years in Malawi, the Dominican Republic, Vermont and Boston.  He resides in Santa Monica with his wife Christine, whom he met while serving as a percussionist with The Afro Brazilian band, Samba Tremeterra.    

Writer(s) & bio:

Ian McRae was an acting student of Sanford Meisner. He then went on to apprentice with Mr. Meisner as a teacher, eventually going on to teach his technique at The Neighborhood Playhouse School Of The Theatre. He was a member of Cucaracha Theatre in NYC where several of his plays were produced. His work has also been produced in Los Angeles ,Santa Cruz, and San Francisco, CA.

The Alamo began as a one man,  twenty minute play, called Strawberry Fields. It was inspired by an op-ed piece called The Hard Lessons Of Iraq by David Ignatius, published in The Washington Post on the tenth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. I cut it down to ten minutes and it found a slot in Actor’s Theatre’s, The Eight Tens At Eight in Santa Cruz, CA. The production inspired me to turn it into a full length play. When I lived in Brooklyn there was a deli across the street from my apartment building called The Alamo, The Last Great American Deli, I stole the name from them.

Director & bio:

Kent Thompson is a theatre director, producer, consultant, and author.  He served as Producing Artistic Director of two major regional theatres in the U.S., Denver Center Theatre Company (2005-2017) and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (1989-2005).  Known widely for directing classics and new plays, he has been a vital advocate and developer of new plays.  He created the Colorado New Play Summit, the Women’s Voices Fund, Off-Center (for immersive, interactive theatrical experiences) and the Southern Writer’s Project.  Thompson has produced 48 world premieres that have subsequently been produced by several theatres, including Playwrights Horizons, Goodman Theatre, South Coast Rep, Mark Taper Forum, Chance Theatre, Victory Gardens, Old Globe, Donmar Warehouse (U.K.), and more.  Thompson has served as a trustee and board president of Theatre Communications Group (national organization of American Theatre) for 8 years.  He has served on numerous peer panels, including Doris Duke Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Pew Charitable Trust, National Endowment for the Arts Theatre Panel (also Chair), Fulbright Scholars Panel, and Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust.

Designers and bios:

Nicole Millar (Stage Manager) is a graduate of the Meisner two year program at the Ruskin School of Acting and continues her craft in the Graduate Master Class. She also studied level one UCB LA (2015) Comedia d’el Arte with Danny Passer (2004). She graduated with a Diploma Merit from West London College in “Performing Arts & Media” (1991) England.  She moved to the states to continue her acting career which now, also includes working in Stage Production. Production credits at the Ruskin Group Theatre include: The World Premiere of; The Rainbow Bridge, by Rob Nelson; The Gun, by Jusitn Yoffe; It’s Time, by Paul Linke; Sneaky Ole Time, By Steve Mazur & Lyrics by Paul Overstreet; The Face In The Reeds, by Robin Russin; Talhotblonde, by Kathrine Bates; Paradise, a Bluegrass Musical, by Bill Robertson, Tom Sage & Music by Cliff Wagner; Sideway’s, the Play, by Rex Pickett; The Tragedy of the Commons, by Stephen Metcalf; and Come Sundown, by Tony Cronin.  US Premiere; A Gambler’s Guide to Dying, by Gary McNair.  The revival of The Raisin in the Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry; El Grande de Coca-Cola, by Alan Shearman & Ron House; West Coast Premiere productions include: Green Eyes, by Tennessee Williams and The Housing Room, by Conrad Bromberg.  Other credits include:  A Raisin in The Sun, by Lorraine Hansberry; Leaving Home, by David French; The Lonesome West, by Martin McDonagh;  Siddown…Conversation’s with the Mob, by Sam Kass; and Ovation Award recommended A Memory of Two Monday’s, by Arthur Miller.  

Enjoy the show!

Edward Salas (Lighting Designer) has been designing lights, sets and sound for the stage in the Los Angeles area for over 25 years. He has toured the country as a production designer and has also had the pleasure of designing theater in Mexico and Scotland. He is currently on staff at Pierce College, and has been sharing his experience with students for 15 years. Some of his favorite lighting designs include the LA premier of Durang Durang at the Hollywood Court, the world premier of Ian Forest at the Electric Lodge, the LA premier of Tennessee Williams’ American Blues at the Hudson, The world premier and tour of Nijinsky Speaks by Leonard Crowfoot, West Side Story at Pierce College and the Gun at the Ruskin Group Theater. He is thrilled to be illuminating this talented work.