Things As They Are

9/27/2010 - 10/6/2010

This sweeping portrait of Dorothea Lange examines an artist’s journey as complex as the history captured in her work. Best known as the photographer behind the iconic Depression Era image “Migrant Mother,” Dorothea fights for the lives of the people she photographs, while constantly torn between the demanding roles of wife, mother, and artist. A woman ahead of her time, living during a tumultuous period in American history, will her relentless devotion to her subjects undermine all hope of keeping her world in balance?


David Andrew Anderson (Paul)

Previous NYMF shows: “Look What a Wonder Jesus Has Done”, Colonel Moore; “Whatever Man”, Mr. Perfect. Other stage credits include “Meet John Doe”, Goodspeed; “A Christmas Carol”, Guthrie; Andrew Lippa’s “The Wild Party”, Burrs, Fitzgerald Theater; “A Wonderful Life”, George Bailey, Surflight; “Hank Williams: Lost Highway”, Hank Williams, Depot Theater; “Carmen”, Morales, Minnesota Opera; Side by Side by Sondheim, North Star Opera. David also operates his own classic big band orchestra David Andrew’s Big Band and performs as conductor and singer. When not on stage, David is a custom woodworker and crew member for Classic Harbor Line. Love to Elizabeth.

Sarah Dacey Charles (Joan/Ensemble)

Broadway: Les Miserables- Madame Thenardier u/s,  National tour: Sunset Boulevard. Regional: Fosca in Passion , Rona Lisa Peretti  in The 25th … Spelling Bee and Yvonne in Sunday In the Park…  Indy Films: The Jesus Picture,  Agnes Moorehead is God! Pilot: Captain Sweetie in The Lezboat. MFA - UC, Irvine.

Michael Deleget (Dan/Ensemble)

Michael is thrilled to see this show fully realized after performing in 2 previous readings.  Michael holds degrees from Wabash College and Indiana University.  Regionally, he has been seen as Giuseppe in The Most Happy Fella starring George Hearn at Ravinia, Jamie in The Last Five Years at Skylight Opera Theatre, Tony inWest Side Story at Maine State Music Theatre, Goodspeed’s production of Camelot, and toured with Atlanta TOTS’s production of Les Misérables.  Other credits include the Bernstein’s Mass at Carnegie Hall.  Thanks Donna, John, Jonathan, and Ariadne.  Love Alison and Family.   

Will Erat (R. Partridge/Farmer/Major Beasley/Ense...)

B'Way - "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels", "Book of Longing"(w/Phillip Glass & Leonard Cohen).  Off-B'Way - "Godspell", "I Love You, You're Perfect", "Prince and the Pauper", "Don't Quit Your Night Job".  Carnegie Hall - "Einstein On The Beach", Opera Orchestra NY.   Recordings of "Godspell" and "Book of Longing".  Proud Northwestern U grad and member of AEA, much love to K.

Kerry Flanagan (Christina/Florence/Ensemble)

Sondheim:  The  Birthday  Concert  (NY  Philharmonic-?Lonny  Price,dir.),  Jersey  Intersections   (ESPAdrills-?59E59)  Saving  Throw  vs.  Love  (Fringe- The Player’s Theater),  People  Talk  (The  Barrow  Group-? Jade  King  Carroll,  dir.),    Faraway  Bayou  (Dan  Gallagher,prod.   Stephen  Nachamie,dir.)  It’s Karate, Kid! The  Musical.  (Jake  Hirzel,  dir.). She has appeared at Joe’s Pub, The Zipper Factory and several other NYC Locations as part of the Train to Kill Gospel Choir backing Our Lady J. She also has appeared in several productions for the CryHavoc Company where she is an Artistic Associate.   She holds an MFA from New School University and is a Lifetime Member of the Actor’s Studio. 

Bob Knapp (Roy/Martin/Ensemble)

Most recently appeared as George in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at the EU Center for the Arts. Nat’l Tour; Tom Sawyer Regional; Saint JoanLes Blancs, All’s Well that Ends WellThe Merry Wives of Windsor(Huntington Theatre); Over the Tavern (Lake George Dinner Theatre); Wait Until Darkthe Odd Couple (Shadow Lawn Stage); Man of La ManchaJesus Christ SuperstarThe NerdA Christmas Carol (Colonial Theatre). Bob has also performed the One-Man shows, Einstein and Billy Bishop Goes to War. Proud member of Actor’s Equity.

Zach Landes (Young Dan)

Zack is honored to be part of Things as They Are.  Favorite roles: (Young Tarzan) National Tour, Ragtime (Little Boy), Sound of Music (Kurt), Little Maestros (Sonny),  NYC Opera: La Boheme and Cavalleria Rusticana/Pagliacci.  Soloist - 2007 US Open and Men’s Final Soloist.  Thanks to Jonathan for this opportunity.  Love to Mom, Dad Jake and Ben.

Kelvin Moon Loh (Willard/Bindlestif/Ensemble)

Kelvin is excited to be making his NYMF debut!  Regional:  Heading East (Asia Society), Miss Saigon (Houston TUTS, Arvada Center for the Performing Arts, Pioneer Theater Company),  Paint Your Wagon (Pioneer), Thoroughly Modern Millie (Gateway Playhouse), A Christmas Carol (North Shore Music Theater).  Kelvin has a degree in vocal performance from New York University and is a proud member of Actor's Equity.   Thank to The Mine, P&L, and the cast and crew of Things As They Are.

Garrett Long (Dorothea)

After a wonderful 2 1/2 year run of South Pacific at LCT, Garrett feels blessed to jump into possibly the most inpireing mind she has ever come across.  Off Broadway: Spitfire Grill (Percy Talbott) Cast Album, Drama Desk, Drama League nominations.  First National: Suessical (Gertrude Mcfuzz), NYMF: Behind The Limelight, Benice Bobs Her Mullet.  Fringe: Citizen

Adam MacDonald (Maynard)

Adam was seen earlier this year in a brief revival of Talk of the Town (Sherwood).  Other favorite roles include 'Freddy' in My Fair Lady (Nat'l Tour); the 'Prince' in Cinderella (Flat Rock Playhouse); 'Billy' - Anything Goes; 'Jefferson' - 1776; 'Cinderella's Prince' - Into the Woods. Thanks to John, Jonathan and Donna for making me a part of this! Go Bills!

Jennifer McCabe (Migrant Mother)

Off-Broadway: originated roles at Jane St. Theatre, Cherry Lane, Barrow Group, Rattlestick Playwrights, Soho Repertory, Atlantic Theater Company; co-creating solo show, America’s Daughters. Film/TV: nine features; L&O-SVU, Sex & the City. Director: seven films in festival circuit. Acting faculty at NYU, Stonestreet Studios, Purchase College, Lee Strasberg Institute, Jennifer McCabe Studios. This performance is dedicated to Sadie Heilweil.

Sam Smithyman (John Dixon)

Sam is 8 and has traveled the world. His first appearance on stage was at the age of 6 months with his Dad in 'Timsloft'. His most recent appearance was in the Indie Movie 'Violet Tendencies' playing a happy blonde boy!

Matthew Charles Thompson (Defiant Man/Ensemble)

Regional: Camelot (Goodspeed), 1776 (Paper Mill), Parade(SpeakEasy). Recent graduate of The Boston Conservatory (M.M. in Musical Theater), where his favorite projects included Chess (Anatoly), Iolanthe (Strephon) and A Bernstein Tribute with the Boston Pops.  B.A. in Sociology from Boston College and a Fulbright Scholar (Germany).  Matthew is currently seeking representation.  Proud AEA member! 

David Toombs (John Szarkowski/Officer/Ensemble)

David is thrilled to be making his New York debut in Things As They Are.  Most recently, he spent three years in Osaka, Japan as a featured singer at Universal Studios.  Other work includes American Jukebox Theater and Dollywood, both in his home state of Tennessee.

Laura Ware (Grandma Sophie/Edna/DeWitt/Ensemble)

Laura is still a recent New York transplant, having arrived here in 2007 after spending two years as Rosie in the National Tour of Mamma Mia! In California, I was in regional productions of 42nd Street as Maggie Jones and Annie as Miss Hannigan, among others. Laura holds a BFA in Acting and an MFA in Musical Theatre and is thrilled to be justifying her student loans performing in this fabulous show!

Sandy York (Imogen/Ensemble)

NYC: Cat’s Cradle (UTC#61), China Doll (Pan Asian Rep), Happy End (Theater 1010), House of Bernarda Alba (Prospect), TempestSeagull (Pulse).  Christmas Story (AL Shakes), Rainmaker(American Heartland), Christmas Carol (Trinity Rep), House of Bernarda Alba (McCarter), Round and Round the Garden(Depot), Black Comedy (Shadowland), Marat/SadeThree Sisters, (TRC). Princeton, NYSF Lab, Trinity Rep Conservatory (MFA).  Triathlete.

Creative Team

Kurt Alger (Costume Designer)

Credits include Always Patsy Cline, Chicago, Spamalot, Jesus Christ SuperstarLight in the Piazza, The Drowsy Chaperone at Maine State Music Theatre where he also serves as resident Wig Designer. Highlights include: All Shook Up, The ProducersLes MizDirty Rotten Scoundrels, Hairspray!  Kurt serves as rentals manager for Maine State Costume Rentals. Elsewhere: RENT, Beauty and the BeastThe Rhelm of Chelm, The FantasticsFollies, Oliver!, Melody Lingers On, Guys and DollsBlood Brothers, The Music Man, Drood, Forum, Reefer Madness, Rocky Horror, Take Flight,Waiting for the Moon, My Fair Lady, Inherit The Wind, Glimpses of the Moon, Jerry’s Girls, Dog Sees God, Broadway Bares, and Jerry Springer the Opera at Carnegie Hall. Previous NYMF: Caligula and work on Such Good Friends. Recently produced and designed the world premier of Born Blue directed by Anthony Rapp.

Michael Clarkston (Production Stage Manager)


Broadway: Avenue QChitty Chitty Bang BangHairspray, In The HeightsJersey BoysThe Lion King, Tour: White Christmas (Orig. Co), The Lion King (Cheetah, Los Angeles), Xanadu Live! (Los Angeles, St. Louis)

Other: Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road 35th Anniversary Concert, West Side Story 50th Anniversary Reunion Performance, Sunset Blvd. (Ogunquit), The Who’s Tommy 15th Anniversary Reunion Concert, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas(Actor’s Fund), Miss SaigonEvitaPeter PanMeet Me In St. LouisCamelotScene It! New York,

Readings: The NightingaleSlutBreaking Up Is Hard To Do

Film: The Diplomat, Freegan LoveWilderness.

Jonathan Comisar (Composer)


Jonathan Comisar began his music career in his native Rochester, N.Y., where he studied piano in the preparatory department of the Eastman School of Music.  At the age of 17, he won first prize in the Eastman Young Artists Award and performed as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra. He continued to study piano and music theory at the Oberlin Conservatory and after graduation, studied composition with Pulitzer Prize winning composer David Del Tredici.

Jonathan Comisar is an invested Cantor with a Masters in Sacred Music from the Hebrew Union College School of Sacred Music.  He is a noted composer of Jewish liturgical music and has received commissions and artist residencies from synagogues across North America.  Many of his compositions have been published by Transcontinental Music Publishing.  Comisar also has been appointed to the faculty of Hebrew Union College, where he teaches courses on arranging, orchestration, and composition.

Jonathan Comisar is a composer/lyricist in the prestigious BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop.  His musical theater piece “Things As They Are,” a musical about the life of American photographer Dorothea Lange has been selected as one of five finalists for the Fred Ebb Foundation Award.  His musical comedy “Cynthia and the Dreadful Kite” was premiered at the Public Theater as part of the Labyrinth Barn Series.

John Dietrich (Book Writer/Lyricist)


John has had a career as a professional Director / Choreographer that has spanned over 25 years. This includes a 17 year relationship with Radio City Entertainment, where he was a Director / Choreographer for the world-famous Rockettes, Rockette Special Events, as well as for the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Other work includes hundreds of shows in a vast range of entertainment genres; from television to Off-Broadway & regional theatre, from industrial shows to ice shows. He has written for Walt Disney Entertainment, as well as for Dolly Parton & Dollywood Entertainment.

He received his Masters degree from New York University, studying Musical Theatre structure & Directing theory. He also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Wisconsin. He continues to freelance as a Director / Choreographer & Writer while maintaining a position as a Creative Director/Writer for Niles Creative Group, a film production company specializing in large scale theatrically based video productions, based in lower Manhattan.

Donna Drake (Director)


Broadway: original production of A Chorus LineSophisticated Ladies Woman of the Year,  The Wind in the Willows,  5678-Dance It’s so nice to be Civilized and the original production of  The 1940s Radio Hour

Awards: an Emmy nomination, 4 Drama Desk Nominations, A Mac Award Nomination and a Theatre World Award.

She choreographed Catherine Zeta Jones for the American Film Institute Awards and currently running Off-Broadway she directed a new children’s show; John Tartaglia’s Imaginocean.

TV credits: The New Fangled Variety Show, Disney’s Johnny & the Sprites,  ABC TV’s Dear Alex & Annie,  One life to live  and The Edge of Night.

Regional credits:  The Wizard of Oz, starring Mickey Rooney & Eartha Kitt; Romance In The Dark, starring Jennifer Holliday; Nothing Like A Dame, BC/EFA 2004-06,  All the world is a Stage at Carnegie Hall.  A Chorus Line,  AIDA, Chicago,  Hairspray, Rent, Tommy, Damn Yankees, NEWSicle,  Annie,  Love Always, Patsy Cline, Smokey Joes Café,  Sweet Charity, Honk!, Beauty & the Beast, Chess. National tour & documentary  for Varla Jean Merman,  BOOBS! The musical,  Christmas with the Crawfords

Jim French (Lighting Designer)


New York credits: In The Continuum (Primary Stages); Strom Thurmond, Cleansed (Immediate Theatre); The Tempest (Sonnet Rep); ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS).

Regional: Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, City Theater Company, St. Louis Rep.  

Dance: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet, Twyla Tharp Dance, Richmond Ballet, Jennifer Muller/The Works, Chet Walker, Chitresh Das, Adele Myers and Dancers, Gabrielle Lansner, Jacob's Pillow Dance Festival.

Bobby McGuire (Press and Marketing)


Bobby McGuire spent the 90's working in various production capacities on a host of Broadway shows and Natl. tours including DREAM, A CHRISTMAS CAROL (MSG), THE WIZARD OF OZ (MSG with Roseanne), STANLEY, THE CIVIL WAR and THE SOUND OF MUSIC (Natl Tour).

At the dawn of the millenium, Bobby left the bight lights of Broadway for the blinding fluorescents of Madison Avenue working in advertising, promotions and publishing. In his non-theatrical professional life he was part of the problem with IBM, Goldman Sachs and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.  For the past four years he has been proud to be part of the solution as head of marketing, media and promotions for Broadway Cares / Equity Fights AIDS.

David Niles (Projection Design and Integration)


David Niles began his career in New York City migrating from architecture to theatre to audio recording and eventually to television. From 1972 through 1987, David was based in Paris, France, where he established a series of innovative studios and mobile production facilities. Aside from serving the European television market, David created programming for numerous clients to include: CBS, NBC, ABC, HBO, NHK and ESPN. His European work earned him the prestigious "Chevalier des Arts et Lettres" from French government.

In 1985, Niles created the first HDTV production facility in the world producing feature films, commercials and television programming in this emerging format. In 1987 Niles returned to New York to create America's first full production facility for HDTV. He acquired the famous Ed Sullivan Theater, and following complete renovation of the theater, he produced the premiere HDTV productions of many legendary artists including Tony Bennett, Mick Jagger, Aerosmith, Crosby, Stills & Nash, and Jackie Mason. He also produced the successful Broadway show, "Dreamtime.” This was the first time that HD imagery was integrated into a live performance.

Mr. Niles has received numerous awards for his contributions to the industry most notably an Astrolabium and numerous citations from the Montreux Electronic Cinema Festival, the "Chevalier des Arts et Lettres" and an Emmy nomination. He is also a member of the 200 person. Academy of Digital Television (DTV) Pioneers, The Academy of Motion Picture and Television and was a SMPTE Engineer. Presently, David and his company, NILES CREATIVE GROUP, produces, directs and edits original programming for numerous on air networks, consults for fortune 500 companies, develops new technologies and conceives, designs and executes large format projects from start to finish for companies including Comcast, Radio City Music Hall, Federated Department Stores, Panasonic, Walt Disney Imagineering and Madison Square Garden.

Alexander Rovang (Musical Director)

Alexander Rovang is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory.  Recent credits include the Chinese Tour of “Fame”, “Sawdust Palace” w/ Susan Marshall & Co., and “Monkey: Journey to the West” at the Spoleto Festival (USA). A native Nebraskan, and lifelong fan of Garrison Keillor, Mr.Rovang hopes someday to get a real job like his mother (a cardiologist) or really throw in the towel and race motorcycles like his dad.  He will probably be survived by everybody.

Ariadne Villarreal (Producer)


Ariadne Villarreal recently left her position of Senior Vice President/Global Managing Director of Production at EventQuest. She was responsible for leading, organizing and training the EventQuest production teams both here in the USA and the Middle East for the office based in Abu Dhabi. She ensured events were produced with the highest level of professionalism and that client’s expectations were met in every capacity.

Prior to EventQuest, Ariadne spent ten years as the Associate Director of Special Projects At Broadway Cares.  She produced many high profile events including shows by Jennifer Holliday and Patti Lupone at Lincoln Center, as well as five annual Nothing Like a Dame performances featuring women on Broadway, including Meryl Streep, Hilary Swank, and Whoopi Goldberg and three ABC Daytime Salutes Broadway Cares featuring Susan Lucci, Cameron Mathison, John-Paul Lavoisier, Kassie Wesley DePaiva and Tony Geary.

Previously, she worked on three continents and in many aspects of the performing arts and event management. Prior to moving back to NYC, Ariadne owned an entertainment production agency based in London. In Tokyo, Japan, she produced and choreographed shows for Paul Anka, Christopher Cross, and Diana Ross.

She lives in Brooklyn with her supportive husband, lovely son and labradoodle.