Press Release: Juniper Productions Launches #CocktailPlays, an Inaugural Experience that Infuses Art and Spirit
Are you ready for a drink…and an evening of live performance? Juniper Productions has commissioned four of Philadelphia’s most innovative playwrights, Alisha Adams, Josh A. Campbell, Mark Costello, and Bill D’Agostino, to premiere sweet, savory, and spicy works as part of the company’s inaugural theatrical experience, #CocktailPlays. The evening of short plays will be presented at Philadelphia Distilling (25 East Allen Street, Philadelphia) for five performances on September 18 through September 20, 2017. Press are invited to raise a glass at the 8PM performance on Monday, September 18.
#CocktailPlays is the first theatrical project by Juniper Productions. Founded by Sonya Aronowitz, Juniper Productions is inspired by the deep talent of Philadelphia theatre artists. The company distills an original, independent “art spirit” to the making of performance work that’s extraordinary, exciting, and relates to everyday life. By engaging new audiences in non-traditional venues, Juniper Productions hopes to forward Philadelphia as a creative hub for new works.
Directed by Marcia Ferguson, the production features Darcel Caldwell, Tyler S. Elliott, and Grayce Hoffman performing multiple roles in four world-premiere short plays:
What We Talk About by Mark J. Costello
Martini with a lemon twist: Make that two.
Disclosure by Bill D’Agostino
Manhattan: Straight up, no ice.
Distill by Josh A. Campbell
Dark ‘N’ Stormy: Hold the lime.
Binders by Alisha Adams
Maple Kiss: With a dash of syrup for dessert.
Guests are invited to arrive before show time to enjoy the new Philadelphia Distilling. Theatregoers can try a signature libation at the distillery’s craft cocktail bar and explore the first Pennsylvania-based craft distillery since Prohibition.
#CocktailPlays will perform Monday, September 18 at 8PM, Tuesday, September 19 at 6PM and 8:30PM, and Wednesday, September 20 at 6PM and 8:30PM. General admission is $20 and $15 for students. In addition, Juniper Productions is offering a special “Four Plays and a Cocktail” Package for $30, which includes a speciality cocktail with admission to #CocktailPlays. The first 50 people who purchase the “Four Plays and a Cocktail” Package will receive a free 50 ml. bottle of Bluecoat Gin at the door.
Tickets can be purchased at: www.juniper.agency
Juniper Productions presents #CocktailPlays
World-premiere works by Alisha Adams, Josh Campbell, Mark Costello, and Bill D’Agostino
Monday, September 18 at 8PM
Tuesday, September 19 at 6PM and 8:30PM
Wednesday, September 20 at 6PM and 8:30PM
25 East Allen Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Tickets: $20 General Admission
$30 for “4 Plays and a Cocktail”
Featuring: Darcel Caldwell, Tyler Elliott, and Grayce Hoffman
Directed by: Marcia Ferguson
Lighting and Sound: Julia Novack
Set and Props: Christopher Haddad
Stage Management: Taiwo Sokan
Darcel Caldwell (Performer) is thrilled and proud to be a part of #CocktailPlays after a long absence from Philadelphia theater. Her Philadelphia experience includes productions with Playworks, Theater International Exchange and several independent productions. A native of Rockford, IL, she worked with the New American Theater there and while living in Dallas, TX performed with New Arts Theater, Dallas Minority Repertory Theater and Afro-American Artists Alliance. To round out her artistic interests, she currently sings with the Anna Crusis Women’s Choir.
Tyler S. Elliott (Performer) is so honored to be a part of Juniper Agency’s inaugural production. A 2015 graduate of Swarthmore College, Elliott has most recently appeared as Asher in Asher Lev (South Camden Theater Company) and as Kurogo in You For Me For You (InterAct Theater Company). Past credits include First They Came (PYP and Found Theater Company), Konstantin in The Seagull (Swarthmore Theater), and Nas in Mercury Fur (Brainspunk Theater Company). He will be appearing as Elvis in the Women’s Theater Festival this Fall and as Peter in Diary of Anne Frank (People’s Light) this Spring. He would like to thank the director, producer, playwrights, and cast for their unbelievable work, creativity, and passion and his family for their unwavering support and love.
Grayce Hoffman (Performer/Associate Producer) is a local performer, producer, and teaching artist raised in Limerick, Pennsylvania. She earned her degree in Theatre Arts with a minor in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania in 2016. In February 2017, in conjunction with White Pines Productions, she produced and performed her first original play, Game. Set. Match. She spent the 2016/17 season as an apprentice with InterAct Theatre Company, and has worked as production manager for Philadelphia Young Playwrights (Existential Depression), The Greenfield Collective (Tilda Swinton Adopt Me Please), and InterAct Theatre Company’s One Acts Festival. She is ecstatic to be working as the associate producer for Juniper Productions with creative director Sonya Aronowitz and the #CocktailPlays team.
Alisha Adams (Playwright) began writing plays with the LA-based Padua Playwrights. Her plays include The Men From The Girls (The Armory, Portland Center Stage), MEGA and Accidents of the Bread (The Department of Safety), Go Yeri Ston/Will Hear a Stone (MFA Playfest Temple University), Unring a Bell (Finalist, 2016 Raw Stages New Works Festival), and Other Tongues (High Desert Test Sites, Philadelphia Women’s Theater Festival). She was an inaugural Fellow of the Media Institute for Social Change, a 2012-13 Emerging Artist in Residence at Plays & Players Theater, a 2015 Douglas Byers Memorial Fellow at Signal Fire Arts, and a 2016 Writer in Residence at 100W Corsicana. With the support of a Leeway Foundation Art & Change Grant, she is currently forming a women’s choir in Kensington. She is a member of The Foundry Playwrights Lab and has worked as a teaching artist in schools and community organizations throughout Philadelphia.
Josh A. Campbell (Playwright) is a graduate of the University of the Arts in Philadelphia with a focus in playwriting and producing. In Philadelphia, he has worked as a director, dramaturge, and producer for various organizations including Philadelphia Young Playwrights, Azuka Theater, and the Ira Brind School of Theatre Arts. As a playwright, his works include Surviving the Dream, On the Seventh Day, and Liberi Tutti. He has received commissions for community engagement / social activism work from Act II Playhouse and the Painted Bride Arts Center. He was finalist for the 2016 Jerome Fellowship and Many Voices Fellowship. Awards include the 2014 Ira Brind School of Theater Arts Excellence in Playwriting Award and the 2010 Centerstage Young Playwrights Festival Finalist. He was a 2015 BAU Institute Otranto Arts and Culture Literary Fellow.
Mark J. Costello (Playwright) is a candidate in the MFA playwriting program at Temple University, and is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. His plays have been recognized by the Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, Write Now, and the Great Plains Theatre Conference, and his dramaturgical and critical writings earned him a fellowship to the O’Neill Critics Institute in 2010. He has dramaturged and assistant dramaturged productions for companies all over Philadelphia, including Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Arden, and he participates in new play development with playwrights at all levels of their career and training.
Bill D’Agostino (Playwright): Bill‘s plays include the five Murray the Elf mysteries, Sleeping Handsome, and the upcoming My Very Own Polar Bear (Act II Playhouse); Fairy Tale High School, Robin Hood, and Teen Sherlock (Montgomery Theater); and Making Gnocchi with Grandma, which was named a semifinalist in the 2015 Write Now competition. Bill was the producer of The White Mountains, a theatre project based on the industrial legacy of Ambler, Pennsylvania, which received a 2015 Philadelphia Geek Award. Bill is the Communications and Education Director for Act II Playhouse. He received his MA in Theatre from Villanova University, and his bachelor’s degree in theatre from Brown University.
Marcia Ferguson (Director) is an actor, director and educator. She has co-created, performed in, and/or directed six original productions for past Edinburgh and Philadelphia Fringe festivals, as well as numerous plays in Philadelphia and elsewhere. Memorable roles include Lady Anne in Restoration (nominated for a Barrymore award), several roles at The Wilma Theatre for Blanka and Jiri Zizka, wacky recurring roles on Tokyo television, and spies, Moms, women with headaches, shady wives and bad dancers in various commercials and independent films. Highlights as director include Aeschylus’ The Eumenides for Fringe 2016, and productions of Synge, Sophocles, Ionesco, Churchill and Fornes. She is a full-time faculty member in the Theatre Arts Program at Penn, which she directed from 2013-2016. She is grateful and profoundly delighted to collaborate with all the wonderful artists in this project. (Special thanks to Sonya and Timothy!)
Sonya Aronowitz (Creative Director/Producer): Sonya’s dual passions for the arts and entrepreneurship bring a highly original and independent spirit to the production of new work for performance in Philadelphia. She founded The Producers’ Fund in 2016, which brings together lovers of the theater to make grants to Philadelphia theaters and producers of performance work of Philadelphia-based female theater artists. This exposed her to the deep talent in Philadelphia and sparked the creation of Juniper Productions this year. Sonya is a produced playwright whose work has been seen on stages in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Louisiana. Additionally, she has had careers in public relations (London Theatre School and other non-profits), freelance journalism, charitable gift planning (Princeton University and Bryn Mawr College), and financial services (Merrill Lynch). Her newest project, Juniper Productions, was founded in 2017, and infuses deep artistic integrity and broad strategic thinking to cultivate the performing arts in Philadelphia and beyond.
Juniper Productions: Inspired by the deep talent of Philadelphia theater artists, Juniper Productions distills an original, independent spirit to the making of performance work that’s extraordinary, exciting, and relates to everyday life. We focus on building new work from the ground up. We engage new audiences in non-traditional venues. And we infuse deep artistic integrity and broad strategic thinking through all our work. Our vision is forwarding Philadelphia as a creative hub for new works of performance.