My Projects

Performance of a new play by Kristina Poe with Barefoot Theatre Company

A new play by Kristina Poe with Barefoot Theatre Company

I had a incredible time performing this role as an actor in the new play by Kristina Poe. The cast was a blast and Shira-Lee Shalit was phenomenal as a director. Alway enjoy when directors allow bold choices to happen in the rehearsal process.

Acting Blog


Welcome to our virtual / paperless PROGRAM!!! We're thrilled to present you the cast and crew of this exciting opener for our bareNaked Reading Series...

Barefoot Theatre CompaNY
Season 2013-2014
bareNaked Reading Series
Molly Marinik, Program Director
Jennie West, Co-Producer

proudly presents
written by
Kristina Poe
directed by
Shira-Lee Shalit


Janey ………………...……Elisabeth Canavan*
Jake…………………..…………..…Jason Furlani
Olivia ……………..….……Stephanie Janssen*
Oliver….…..…….........…..Salvatore Inzerillo*
Chasya….….........…..Linda Larkin-Vazquez*
Eugene…………..…………….Douglas Taurel*
Mindy……………….……………..Raye Cyphers
Stage Directions……Ramón Olmos Torres
*member AEA
Musical Guest: Laura Butler

The Back Room at Jimmy’s No. 43
43 East 7th Street

Francisco Solorzano, Producing Artistic Director
Christopher Whalen, Producing Director
Sol Crespo, Company Manager

ELIZABETH CANAVAN has appeared in The Little Flower of East Orange (with Ellen Burstyn and Michael Shannon) at The Public Theater, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (with Eric Bogosian and Sam Rockwell) at The Public Theater, Our Lady of 121st Street at The Union Square Theater, Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (NY and London), all by Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman; Black Lace by John Patrick Shanley at The New Ohio Theater, Love Sick by Kristina Poe,Thinner Than Water by Melissa Ross, Philip Roth in Khartoum by David Bar Katz, Penalties and Interest by Rebecca Cohen, Eugene O'Neill Playwrights Conference, The 52nd Street Project, Summer Play Festival. TV: “Law and Order,” “Law and Order: SVU,” “Sex And The City.” She has appeared in many independent films and has had two short films produced. Liz a proud member of Labyrinth Theater Company and The Actors Studio.

JASON FURLANI   A native of Schenectady, NY, Jason has asserted himself as a veteran in the New York theatre world, having had successful productions of his work with various companies, on numerous stages in NYC, and is currently a Playwright in Residence, with Barefoot Theatre Company.

While in residence with Barefoot, Jason was proud to see his full length plays A LONG HARD RAIN, and FAMILY TREES, presented as part of Barefoot's bareNaked Los Angeles Reading Series. Prior to his tenure with Barefoot, Jason was in residence with the Blue Collar Theater Company, who staged productions of his full-length comedy, THE BIG VIG, at the Bank Street Theatre, and, his full-length play LEADED at the West End Theatre, as well as, his ten minute play SUSAN IS A PINHEAD, which had its debut as part of the Blue Collar “Shorts” Festival. Other companies/stages that have featured Jason's work include: Zena Group, the Kraine Theatre, and The 42nd Street Workshop. This summer, Jason's one act ROCKET'S RED GLARE, was featured in the Subversive Theatre's 2012 Subversive Shorts Festival in Buffalo, NY. His most recent completed full-length work, MIKE'S FIRST PRIZE, was developed as part of his membership in the Actors Studio Playwright/Director's Workshop (Carlin Glynn, Director.)

Along with Jason's work in the theatre, his original short screenplay, FLOATING SUNFLOWERS, was produced by Barefoot Studio Pictures, and its release is imminent. Additionally, Jason's feature screenplay, REXFORD ALL-STARS, is a finalist at the Peach Tree International Film Festival, placed "second" in the 2012 All Sports Los Angeles Film Festival, and, was an Official Second Round Selection of the 2011 Austin Film Festival's Screenwriting Competition. He has also recently been taped to write the screenplay for the feature film, VENICE (Polaris Pictures.) Jason wrote the script for both of the Families of Freedom fundraising events (a 9/11 charity) hosted in successive order by Chevy Chase and Carol Kane.

STEPHANIE JANSSEN is a New York based actress and playwright. Recent stage work includes Clive at the New Group, Ivanov at Classic Stage Company, Death of a Salesman on Broadway (dir. Mike Nichols) and Mrs. Warren's Profession on Broadway at The Roundabout. Also in New York, she appeared in Israel Horovitz's New Shortswith Barefoot, as well as Crave as well asA Light Gathering of Dust with Potomac Theatre Project, among others. Regionally, she has worked at The Denver Center Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville/ Humana Festival, Gloucester Stage Company, and the Guthrie. Her play The Umbrella Plays was recognized with an Outstanding Play Award at the New York Fringe Festival, and was subsequently produced in Luxembourg. TV/ Film includes Law & Order and Everything is Ordinary. Stephanie graduated from Middlebury College, and received an M.F.A. in acting from NYU. Barefoot Theatre Company Ensemble Member.

SALVATORE INZERILLO is a member of The Actors Studio and The LAByrinth Theater Company in New York City. Theatre credits include; Rocky Pioggi in “The Iceman Cometh” with Nathan Lane and Brian Dennehy directed by Robert Falls at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago, Charlie in “In Arabia We’d All Be Kings”, Charles D’amico in “Jesus Hopped The ‘A’ Train, St. Simon in “The Last Days Of Judas Iscariot” written by Stephen Adly Guirgis and directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman and Dutch in Dutch Heart Of Man by Robert Glaudini at The Public Theater. He has performed internationally on London's West End, The Donmar Warehouse under Sam Mendes and The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Television appearances include; Damages, The Black Donellys, Law & Order, and Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Film work includes; Federic Cannoli in “Jack Goes Boating" directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman.

LINDA LARKIN is a 2011 Disney Legends Award recipient for her work as Princess Jasmine in Walt Disney’s Aladdin, as well as The Return of Jafar, Aladdin and The King of Thieves, the Emmy-nominated 100-episode Aladdin television series, and the new spin-off of the Disney Princess franchise, Sofia the First. Her voice can be heard in countless toys, games, and interactive media products, and in Disney theme parks around the world. Ms. Larkin's theater, film and television credits include Teresa’s Ecstasy (Cherry Lane Theatre), Noises Off (Alley Theatre), I Hate Hamlet (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Notes from the Confederacy (Cherry Lane Theatre), Law & Order CI, Joshua opposite Sam Rockwell (Sundance, Fox Searchlight), The Next Best Thing opposite Madonna (Paramount), and the forthcoming web series,Cookie.

DOUGLAS TAUREL Stage: Drone Warfare(Culture Project), Immigration( Culture Project), The Deputy(Theatre for a New Audience),An Enemy of the People(Barrow Group Theatre), Sin(Barrow Group Theatre),Suddenly Last Summer (White Horse Theatre), Horovitz Theatre Festival (Barefoot Theatre), BareNaked Reading Festival ( Barefoot Theatre), Of Mice and Men (Urban Stage),True West (N.Y. Irish Arts Center & Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Ned (Edward Albee’s Workshop), King Lear (Houston Shakespeare Festival), The Box (New York’s Fringe Festival),. TV: Damages, Nurse Jackie, NYC 22, The Americans, Person of Interest, Law & Order, All My Children, PBS’ Culture of Silence.

RAYE CYPHERS completed the 2-year Meisner training program at the William Esper Studio under Barbara Marchant. She recently performed in a reading of The Vote in Orange (as Jaquí) as part of an awards ceremony for the insignia of Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres on Playwirght Israel Horovitz from the Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, with Kevin Kline, Bobby Cannavale, Judith Ivey and Angelina Fiordellisi. Raye is an Artistic Associate of the Barefoot Theatre Company and has performed with Barefoot in staged readings at the Cherry Lane Theatre as part of the BareNaked Reading series including Parkslope and Pound for Pound. She performed with Bruce High Quality Foundation in a production of The Flowers of Washington Square Park at the Ray Smith Studio and as a lead dancer in the Height's Players production of Brigadoon. She earned her BArch at Cooper Union, trained at the Joffrey Ballet School and is a longtime member of the Ice Theatre of New York with 10+ years of competitive Figure Skating. She is the creator and co-producer of the anti-hydrofracking campaign to raise awareness of the need protect NY water supplies entitled “ANYBody of Water”.Barefoot Theatre Company Ensemble Member.

Ramón Olmos Torres: NY Theater:a cautionary tail (the Flea), The Water Children (Goodly Rotten Apple Productions), The Play's the Thing (HB Playwrights),#serials@theflea (the Flea). Readings /Workshops: LARK, Stable Cable, ESPA Primary Stages, Purple Threads Ensemble, Truffle Theatre Co., Spookfish Theatre Company. Film & TV: 2013 NBC Diversity Showcase (New World Stages); Getting Go, the go doc project (SPEAKproductions), SMASH (NBC), Guard(NYU Tisch), Bowes Academy (MINORapocalyse).

KRISTINA POE spent the first twenty years of her theater career stage managing Off-Broadway and regionally, and most recently was the company manager at LAByrinth Theater Company. She wrote her first play, LOVE SICK, after becoming a member of LAByrinth. It was produced in both L.A. (one of the top ten reviewed plays of 2011) and NYC, and was just published by Dramatists Play Service. Her play, THE RESTLESSNESS OF DESIRE, closed out LAByrinth’s 2012 Barn Series and was a Semi-Finalist for the O'Neill Conference. She recently received a grant from Cherry Lane’s Celebrating Women Playwrights program to continue development of her newest play, THE IDEA OF ME. She attended UNCSchool of the Arts.

Shira-Lee Shalit is an award-winning director, writer and actor, chosen by Steven Spielberg out of 12,000 directors as one of 12 Finalists for the Fox/DreamWorks TV show, ON THE LOT. For the LAByrinth Theatre Company’s Intensive and Intensive Ensembles, Shira-Lee has directed works by John Patrick Shanley, Frank Pugliese, Kenneth Lonergan and Halley Feiffer, and has directed for Barefoot Theatre Company’s ROCKAWAY Benefit, Nylon Fusion Collective, Vertigo Theater Company, The Jewish Plays Project, Stonestreet Studios, NY Madness and the Writers Guild East Screenplay Series. This past summer, she directed a production of a new play, STANDBYS for the Thespis Theater Festival. A Presidential Scholar of the Arts Awardee and Finalist in the Student Academy Awards for her first film, FULL CYCLE, Shira-Lee has written and directed many shorts and webseries. Her feature film debut, A-LIST starring Academy Award Nominee Sally Kirkland and Daphne Zuniga, won the Audience Award at the Milan International Film Festival and a Gold Remi for Best Comedy at WorldFest Film Festival. Shira-Lee was named one of Shoot Magazine’s ‘Up and Coming Directors To Watch’ for her short film, OPEN AIR, which was selected for 45 film festivals and won 6 awards. She received her BFA at NYU and her MFA at Columbia University. Shira-Lee teaches master classes for The LAByrinth Theater Company and is on faculty at Columbia University’s Graduate Film School and NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.

LAURA BUTLER (LIVE MUSICIAN) is a New York-based actress and singer-songwriter, originally from Ohio. She has performed in venues all over New York, and recently released her first album, "Crushing Blue Cupcakes," available on iTunes, CDbaby, Amazon, and her website. Her music is described as "a jazzy-folk delicious blend with the warmth of Norah Jones, uniqueness of Joni Mitchell, phrasing of Billie Holiday, versatility of Judy Garland, and poignancy of Edith Piaf. 0 calories." Laura recently hit #1 on the Local Folk Charts on ReverbNation. You can check out more of her work and latest updates on her website:

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Acting Workshop

This past weekend me and some of my friends (incredibly talent group of actors) got together in our acting workshop to work on our craft and sharpen our skills.  We were led by my good friend and talented director Stephen Jobes. We worked on scenes from Pinter,Williams, Albee and Shanley and the work was moving, funny and incredibly inspiring!

As actors, the one thing that we have complete control over is how sharp we keep our craft. You never know when the right audition is going to come along and if you are not ready, have not been practicing and sharpening your choices as an actor, the odds are stacked against you.

Under Conditions of Stress, you do what you learned under training!

80% of the value of an audition, scene or play can be distilled to 20% of the choices you make as an actor. What does that mean? Well, there many tools you can use as an actor to help obtain success but if you focus on the two most important questions, WHAT YOU WANT and WHY YOU WANT IT, success is easier to obtain. The Pareto rule states that 80% of all events are caused by 20% of the causes, I find this holds true in acting as well. The law in universal to everything in life.

What is that we some desperately want in the scene? Why we so desperately want it? By focusing on these two basic questions, we keep things simple and uncomplicated for ourselves. As an actor you can only really do one thing at a time so if you know what you are doing and why you are doing it, our choices are stronger and cleaner. The more complicated and scattered your thoughts, the more unmanageable the task is in the scene. Keep it simple and focused.

When fighting for what your characters WANTS, remember that your character is ENORMOUSLY RIGHT ALWAYS!

Robert Kaflin Play Reading: The Diamond Cutter

Slowing down in play readings
My second play performing with Robert Kaflin and the second time I played a German character with a German accent.  Play readings I find are hard in that you are kind of not walking and not running. Meaning you are on your feet almost like in a full production but you still have your script in your hand and usually have had only one day of rehearsal, maybe two.  So this makes it hard to really bring out your character intentions because your trying to act but your not really off books so at times you lose yourself technically in the script. Your like stuck between both worlds.
So I have found it is best to fully memorize what you have trouble saying and then use the script with what you feel more comfortable with. Your brain usually is able to perform more freely with what it is more comfortable with and your memory is even stronger.   It also helps to have a very kind and gifted director like Robert Kaflin.
And always,  listen to your instincts! Your body knows and if you have an idea, share it with the director, playwright and producer.  And slow down so that you don't trip over dialougue as acting sometimes can be like a huge dance in your mouth especially when doing a difficult accent like German. All ees gooot!


Suddenly Last Summer, Dir- Cyndy Marion

Suddenly, Last Summer is a one-act play by Tennessee Williams It opened off Broadway on January 7, 1958. 

The play features Catharine Holly, a young woman who seems to go insane after her cousin Sebastian dies on a trip to Europe under mysterious circumstances. Sebastian's mother, Violet Venable, trying to cloud the truth about her son's homosexuality and death, threatens to lobotomize Catharine for her incoherent utterances relating to Sebastian's demise. Finally, under the influence of a truth serum Catharine tells the gruesome story of Sebastian's death by cannibalism at the hand of local boys whose sexual favors he sought, using Catharine as a device to attract the young men (as he had earlier used his mother).

Milk Can Theatre- Nominated for a Innovative Theatre Award

Nominated for a Innovative Theatre Award
Written by Lorraine Cink • Directed by Riv MasseyFeaturing: Jenny Bennett, Jed Peterson*, Douglas Taurel*
Emilia continually insists there's something wrong with her, even though the doctor can't find anything. But since it's her birthday, Emilia must be right, mustn't she? Happy Birthday, Emilia!
Performed at Urban Stages and was nominated for an Innovative Theatre Award for Best Ensemble.

BareNaked Reading at the Cherry Lane Theatre

bareNaked Reading Series (no sets, no props, just words) at The Cherry Lane Theatre with a new short play by Mike Reiss (The Simpsons) and a full-length play by Jason Furlani.

Waiting For Waiting For Godot by Mike Reiss(Simpsons)

directed by Pamela Seiderman
Douglas Taurel, Lisa Anderson, Jeremy Brena, Lynn Cohen, Ronald Cohen, Mark G. Cisneros, Charles Everett, John Gazzale,Minna Taylor and Andrew McLarty reading stage directions.

Barefoot Theatre reading: Smashed, dir Francisco Solorzano

New plays by incredible playwrights.

The Sackett Presents Barefoot Theatre Company'sworkshop series - SMASHED! Join us for Joe Pintauro's controversial short play Dirty Talk.

Playwrights featured: Danelle Eliav, Kyle Bradstreet, Dan Graff, Tim Plaehn, Mark von Sternberg, Kristin Wheeler, and Joe Pintauro

Featuring: Jeremy Brena, Lisa Anderson, Charles Everett, Samantha Fontana, Thomas James Lombardo, Ian Kerch, Patrizia Hernandez, Gil Ron, Dan Graff, Francisco Solorzano, Therese Plaehn, Kristin Wheeler, Andrew MacLarty, Jennie West, Douglas Taurel.Directed by: Nicole Haran, Brian Roff, John Hurley, Luke Leonard, Vincent Ingrisano, Francisco Solorzano, Kristin Wheele.

Lola Lola by Peter Michalos, Dir. Ed Schiff

Creationism Vs. Evolution. Do we come from Apes? Is there a Fossil Link?

Creationism teaches that God created man materially, but Jesus said, "That which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit , GOD, is spirit (John 3:6). Paul said, "...the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other ..." (Galations 5:17). Though Jesus and Paul clearly taught that Spirit and flesh are contrary, creationism holds to an opposite view and attributes the creation of matter to Spirit.

Evolution is based on the belief that matter, not Spirit, is real substance; that nothing can evolve into something; that non-intelligence can become intelligent. Evolution may describe the illusion of material existence, but it does not explain the real, spiritual creation.

Ain't Ethiopia" at Multi Stages New Works Finalist Festival. Dir. Elfin Frederick Voge, Art. Dir. Lorca Peress

The Spanish Civil War was a major conflict that devastated Spain from 17 July 1936 to 1 April 1939. It began after an attempted by a groups Spanish Army generals against the government of the Second Spanish Republic, then under the leadership of president Manuel Azaña.

The nationalist insurgency was supported by the conservative Spanish Confederation of the Autonomous Right, monarchists known as Carlist groups, and the Fascist Falange. The war ended with the victory of the rebel forces, the overthrow of the Republican government, and the founding of a dictatorship led by General Francisco Franco. In the aftermath of the civil war, all right-wing parties were fused into the state party of the Franco regime.

Tidings Brought To Mary, Dir. Peter Dobbins

Presented by the Storm Theatre and Blackfriars Repertory Theatre at the Paradise Factory, New York, March 2009.

Paul Claudel (6 August 1868 – 23 February 1955) was a French poet, dramatist and diplomat, and the younger brother of the sculptor Camille Claudel. He was most famous for his verse dramas, which often convey his devout Catholic faith.

Claudel was always a controversial figure during his lifetime, and remains so today. His devout Catholicism and his right-wing political views, both unfashionable stances among many of his intellectual peers, made him, and continue to make him, unpopular in many circles.

The most famous of his plays are Le Partage de Midi ("The Break of Noon", 1906), L'Annonce Faite a Marie ("The Tidings Brought to Mary", 1910) focusing on the themes of sacrifice, oblation and sanctification through the tale of a young medieval French peasant woman who contracts leprosy, and Le Soulier de Satin ("The Satin Slipper", 1931), his deepest exploration of human and divine love and longing set in the Spanish empire of the siglo de oro,

Aaron Bacon, Dir. by Nick Gaglia

Recently finished wrapping up the film Aaron Bacon directed and written by Nick Gaglia.
  • The poignant story based on his experience in a cult-like rehab. This film exposes corrupt rehabilitation centers which prey upon vulnerable teens and their parents and are still widespread throughout the world.
Aaron Bacon's journey to North Star began in Phoenix, where his parents had watched him spiral downward into regular drug use, with slipping grades, conflicts with gang members and bouts of depression. He smoked marijuana daily, and experimented with LSD, speed and hallucinogenic mushrooms. Aaron promised to quit drugs if he would be allowed to switch from private to public school, and his parents agreed. But when his grades and attitude continued to plummet, his parents showed him a brochure for a wilderness camp run by North Star. He tore it up in their faces.
Critics call them "hell camps;" satisfied parents call them the best thing that ever happened to their son or daughter. Companies take rebellious kids aged 12 to 18 into the backcountry for several weeks, teach them how to live off the land, and overcome their bad habits and bad attitudes. The assumption is, they then go home to Mom and Dad as responsible young adults.

Three Sisters at Columbia University

Finished performing Vershinin in Chekhov's Three Sisters at Columbia University.
  • Three Sisters was directed by Mikhael Garver
Three Sisters is a play by Russian author and playwright Anton Chekhov, said to be inspired by the three Brontë sisters. It was written in 1900 and first produced in 1901.
Three Sisters is a naturalistic play about the decay of the privileged class in Russia and the search for meaning in the modern world. It describes the lives and aspirations of the Prozorov family, the three sisters (Olga, Masha, and Irina) and their brother Andrei. They are a family dissatisfied and frustrated with their present existence. The sisters are refined and cultured young women who grew up in urban Moscow; however for the past eleven years they have been living in a small provincial town.
Chekhov's initial inspiration was the general life-story of the three Brontë sisters, i.e., their refinement in the midst of provincial isolation and their disappointment in the expectations they had of their brother Branwell.
Moscow is a major symbolic element: the sisters are always dreaming of it and constantly express their desire to return. They identify Moscow with their happiness, and thus to them it represents the perfect life. However as the play develops Moscow never materializes and they all see their dreams recede further and further. Meaning never presents itself and they are forced to seek it out for themselves. Considered a classic, this play is periodically revived to suit extraordinary stage actresses, but the breadth and scope of the roles require that the entire company be extraordinary. Although the play's rise and fall seem to follow the arc of Irina's story, the star role, for her passion and her humor, is usually Masha. However, as with all of Chekhov's plays, any one of the characters, in the right actor's hands, can blaze with uncommon humanity, and the simplest moment can become a sudden revelation.

The Hairy Ape at Columbia University

Finished performing Paddy in O'Neill's The Hairy Ape at Columbia University.
  • The Hairy Ape was directed by Adriana Baer
The Hairy Ape displays O'Neill's social concern for the oppressed industrial working class. Despite demonstrating in The Hairy Ape his clear belief that the capitalist system persecuted the working man, O'Neill is critical of a socialist movement that can't fulfill individual needs or solve unique problems. The industrial environment is presented as toxic and dehumanizing; the world of the rich, superficial and dehumanized. Yank has also been interpreted as representative of the human condition, alienated from nature by his isolated consciousness, unable to find belonging in any social group or environment.
The play tells the story of a brutish, unthinking laborer known as Yank, as he searches for a sense of belonging in a world controlled by the rich. At first Yank feels secure as he stokes the engines of an oceanliner, and is highly confident in his physical power over the ship's engines. However, when the weak but rich daughter of an industrialist in the steel business refers to him as a "filthy beast," Yank undergoes a crisis of identity. He leaves the ship and wanders into Manhattan, only to find he does not belong anywhere—neither with the socialites on Fifth Avenue, nor with the labor organizers on the waterfront. Finally he is reduced to seeking a kindred being with the gorilla in the zoo and dies in the animal's embrace.