red fern theatre red fern theatre
red fern theatre
red fern theatre
red fern theatre
red fern theatre

melanie red fern theatre
Michael Cherry Andrea Day
red fern theatre
melanie red fern theatre melanie
Annie Keating Emilie Elizabeth Miller
melanie red fern theatre melanie
Patrick Pizzolorusso Thomas Poarch
melanie red fern theatre melanie
Laura Anderson Melissa Bartley
melanie red fern theatre melanie
Jenn Dees Amanda Donelan
red fern theatre melanie
Julia Sirna-Frest Caroline Reck
red fern theatre melanie
Leo Adamov  


Michael Cherry - Minister/Dancer
Andrea Day - Woman
Annie Keating - Rebecca
Emilie Elizabeth Miller - Claire
Patrick Pizzolorusso - Stephen
Thomas Poarch - Man


Laura Anderson
Melissa Bartley
Jenn Dees
Amanda Donelan
Julia Sirna-Frest
Caroline Reck


Leo Adamov

Production Team

Melanie Moyer Williams - Director
Carmen Bowker - Costume Designer
Andrea Davey - Choreographer
Jesse Dreikosen - Set Designer
Jessica Greenberg - Lighting Designer
Amy Mathews - Puppet Designer
Kristen Lee Rosenfeld - Composer/ Music Director

Laura Luciano - Stage Manager
Edan Rein - Stage Assistant

Lauren McDonnell - Marketing
Bridgid Ryan - Marketing Assistant
Chris Flecker - Illustrator

The Long Christmas Ride Home
By Paula Vogel
Directed by Melanie Moyer Williams
Featuring Laura Anderson, Melissa Bartley, Michael Cherry, Andrea Day, Jenn Dees, Amanda Donelan, Annie Keating, Emilie Elizabeth Miller, Patrick Pizzolorusso, Thomas Poarch, and Julia Sirna-First.

Past, present and future collide on a snowy Christmas Eve for a troubled family of five. Humorous and heart-wrenching, this beautifully written play by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of How I Learned to Drive proves that magic can be found in the simplest breaths of life.

The Long Christmas Ride Home was performed from March 8-19, 2007, at the 78th Street Theatre Lab, NYC.

Performance Dates:
Thursday, March 8th @ 8pm
Friday, March 9th @ 8pm
Saturday, March 10th @ 8pm
Sunday, March 11th @ 3pm
Thursday, March 15th @ 8pm
Friday, March 16th @ 8pm
Saturday, March 17th @ 3pm AND 8pm
Sunday, March 18th @ 3pm
Monday, March 19 @8pm

Cast Bios:

Laura Anderson, Puppeteer

Laura is thrilled to be making her debut with The Red Fern Theatre Company.  She has previously performed at Tony Award Winning regional theatres, The Guthrie, The Children's Theater Company, and Theatre de la Jeune Lune.  Previous puppeteering includes CTC's production of "Whale," where she trained in Balinese shadow puppetry.  Laura has a BFA in drama from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied with the Atlantic Theater conservatory.  She would like to thank her parents, Greg and Penny, sister Alysia, and Bryan for their continuous support and love.

Melissa Bartley, Puppeteer

Melissa Bartley recently relocated to New York. She was last seen at Williamstown Theater Festival Workshop as Glory in Almost, Maine and Cothurnus, Masque of Tragedy in Aria de Capo.  She also performed as a solo singer in the late night cabaret to rave reviews. She created her own puppet show as an independent project. Though holding a BA in Theater, she considers the beginning of her education as an apprentice of Bread and Puppet Theater Company. She recently had the pleasure of working with Peter Schumann (Bread and Puppet) again on an experimental project about the fall of the Qing dynasty with Chinese Theater Works. She has built puppets with Emily DeCola and Basil Twist for the Houston Grand Opera’s performance of Hansel and Gretel.  She is currently creating the complete cast of creatures in Homer’s Odyssey.

Michael Cherry, Minister/Dancer

In New York, Michael most recently appeared as Polonius, the Gravedigger and Osric in Hamlet with the Reduxion Theatre Company. His Shakespeare credits also include Mamillius/Time in The Winter's Tale, Hamlet/Florizel in ShakesBare (both with Sonnet Repertory Company) and Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream at Yale University, his alma mater. Regional credits include Mame (Walnut Street), West Side Story (North Shore Music Theatre) and Gypsy (Maine State Music Theatre). Michael also toured as Young Scrooge in A Christmas Carol with the Nebraska Theatre Caravan and created the role of Guy in Death of a Damn Nation for the New Works Series at Columbia University.

Andrea Day, Woman

Andrea is excited to be making her New York debut with The Long Christmas Ride Home .  Recent credits include Macbeth (American Globe Theatre),  Nicholas Nickleby Parts I &II (California Shakespeare Theater), The Rivals (PSU) Benefactors (PSU)  and Dutchman (PSU).  Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, Andrea completed her MFA at Penn State University in May 2006.

Jenn Dees, Puppeteer

Jennifer Dees is a graduate of Emerson College in Boston and a new arrival to the city. Originally from Atlanta, companies with whom she has worked include Art Within, Synchronicity Performance Group, the Aurora Theatre, and Stage Door Players.  She is currently working on a film for Plywood Pictures entitled THE CULT OF SINCERITY.

Amanda Donelan, Puppeteer

Amanda Donelan is a graduate of Hofstra University from which she received a B.F.A in Theatre.  She is currently a member of the Queen’s Players where she performed in her most recent shows, Rachel in Beautiful Noises and The Companion in Coal’s of Fire.  Amanda’s other New York Theatre credits include performing with Turtles Shell Production’s as Savannah in Everyman, a show performed within their 8 Minute Madness One Act Festival and with The Big Little Theatre (Michael Chekhov Theatre Company) as part of the Ensemble Cast of Happy Hour.  She would like to send a thank you to her family and friends for all of their continued love and support.

Annie Keating, Rebecca

Annie is a graduate of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts where she studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. Most recent projects include playing a stoner in the film, Couches, and a reporter on Chapelle's Show.  She appeared many times with The Ensemble Studio theatre and has also studied with The Barrow Group.  This is Annie's second time under Melanie's direction, having performed the role of Kim in the Philadelphia production That is the Question.

Emilie Elizabeth Miller, Claire

Emilie is one of the co-founders of the Red Fern Theatre Company.  She is formally trained as an actor and the Red Fern Theatre Company is her first production endeavor.  Emilie graduated from Sarah Lawrence College with a concentration in Theatre Arts and Film History.  She trained at the British American Dramatic Academy where she studied with Julian Glover, Tom Hollander and Fiona Shaw.  Emilie has also trained with Shakespeare & Company in Lenox, MA under the direction of Jason Asprey, Corinna May and Jonathan Croy.  She has received extensive training in Kristin Linklater’s voice method, Shakespearean dance, the Suzuki Method and improvisational comedy.  Emilie has also been certified in stage combat.  Emilie’s favorite roles include: Lucia (A Shayna Maidel); Isabella (Measure for Measure); Nora (A Doll’s House); Shelly (Fishing); Akmahtova (Akmahtova); Mindy (Five Women Wearing the Same Dress).  Emilie has appeared in the NYC Fringe Festival.  Film and television credits include: Sex & the City; Social Grace (dir. B.D. Wong); The J.A.R (Azan Films - soon to be released); MTV Productions.  Emilie appeared as Kimberly in Patient A, the Red Fern Theatre Company’s premiere production and most recently as Lainie in the RFTC's production of Two Rooms.

Patrick Pizzolorusso, Stephen

Patrick has studied Improv with Second City and the Magnet Theater, as well as Comedia with the San Francisco Mime Troupe.   Past NYC credits include: Eye Candy (MariaColacoDance as part of NYC fringe 2006); Richard III (The Looking Glass Theater);  Adventures of Young Jesus (OnComing Traffic Improv Theater); Taming of the Shrew (Shakespeare in the Park(ing Lot)); Tape and The Laramie Project (Adam Roebuck Productions).

Thomas Poarch, Man

Thomas is a former Peace Corps English teacher (Africa); cowboy line dancer/DJ; magazine research editor; and Notary Public. Some TV credits include: As The World Turns; All My Children; and Central Park West . Some theater credits include: Best Little Whorehouse in TX (Governor) - Natl. tour; Urban Cowboy (Marshall) - Broadway reading; workshop of Benjamin Strouse's musical, Whatever Man (Lucius Odium); and the underground hit, Take This Show and Shove It!, in which he starred and co-wrote with Broadway writer/director Phil Oesterman. Film credits: many short films and recently, the independent feature, The Ones You Love (Gary). He is a graduate of New York's Upright Citizens Brigade improvisational theater and is a current cast member of the  National Comedy Theater - NYC.

Julia Sirna-Frest, Puppeteer

Julia was most recently seen in The Beautiful Pooper Scooper as a part of Taget Margin Theatre's Hellenic Labratory.  Other NY credits include; Les Freres Corbusier's HELL HOUSE, A Man Called Spade with Bee Sting Theatre and The Terrorists and the Horrorists with Bread and Puppet theatre.  She graduated from Cornish College of the Arts in 2005 with a BFA in acting and original works.  She would like to thank her parents and William.

Caroline Reck, Puppeteer

Caroline recently re-immigrated to the States from France, where she graduated from Ecole Lecoq. In Paris, she worked for the puppetry company “Sous Un Otre Angle” and was Artistic Director and host of “Cabaret Le Cochard.”  Recent productions include This Savage Parade (AUS), La Quete pour la Gorgon (FRA), and Nutmeat, a Fairytale (Avignon Festival, NYC Fringe). Next up she will play the Mason for Stone Soup Theatre Art’s production of Stone in April at the Actor’s Theatre Workshop.

Leo Adamov, Violinist

For the past six years, Leo Adamov studied violin at the Rotterdam and Utrecht Conservatories in the Netherlands where he was also an active freelance performer in many different projects ranging from chamber music at the Concertgebouw to the Netherlands Philharmonic to recording with a Turkish pop star to playing Bossa Nova with a chamber orchestra, as well as Wagner’s Ring Cycle at the Netherlands Opera in Amsterdam. Leo moved to New York in 2006 looking for new challenges and seeking to participate in creative and unconventional projects such as this production.

Production Bios:

Melanie Moyer Williams, Director

Melanie Moyer Williams, a graduate of Duke University and co-founder of the Red Fern Theatre Company, is excited to see The Long Christmas Ride Home finally in production!  This past fall she directed Two Rooms by Lee Blessing as well as Stars in a Dark Sky for Lime Rock Press, Inc.  Last summer, Melanie directed Henry Kissinger by John Attanas with Woodframe Productions where they received rave reviews at the NY Fringe Festival.  Last year, she directed A Tribute to Andrew Lloyd Webber with the Youth Symphony Orchestra of El Salvador in El Salvador with Wanderlust Theatre Company.  She directed That is the Question in the Philadelphia Fringe Festival, and it was named to the “Best of the Fringe” list.   Melanie also directed Medea excerpts as well as musical directed Iphigeneia for CYPRECO and the New York Public Library.  For the Michael Chekhov Theatre Company, she directed Five Women Wearing the Same Dress, When the World Was Green and Icarus’s Mother.  Other favorite directing credits include A Tribute to the Blues (Wanderlust Theatre Company) Red, Hot and Cole; Oleanna; What the Butler Saw and assisting Director Susana Tubert on the NY premiere of Joyce Carol Oates’ Bad Girls for the Director’s Company.

Carmen Bowker, Costume Designer
Originally from Australia, Carmen is a Fashion Design Graduate of East Sydney Institute of Technology. Having done her share of time in the rag trade this is her first official foray into the arena of theatre & costume.

Andrea Davey, Choreographer

Andrea Davey is excited to be collaborating with Melanie and Amy again, and is thrilled to be working for the first time with Red Fern. She choreographs the Anonymous Ensemble's "The Best," an episodic multi-media rock epic that has been produced throughout New York City and Australia. She has also choreographed for the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, the Camden Shakespeare Company, Duke University, and Humboldt Senior High. Her most successful collaboration to date has been her marriage to Eirik, to whom she dedicates her contribution to this show.

Jesse Dreikosen, Set Designer

Jesse Dreikosen is excited to be working with The Red Fern Theatre Company for the second time having designed the set for their production of “Two Rooms” by Lee Blessing in the fall.  He recently moved from Miami where he was the resident set designer for three seasons at New Theatre, in Coral Gables, Florida.  Favorite shows at New Theatre include Madagascar (Carbonell nomination), Paradise, and The Sunken Living Room, which were co-produced with Southern Repertory Theatre and will be produced once again in New Orleans this January.  Other recent credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Of Mice and Men, and Forever Plaid for the Texas Repertory Theatre Company in Houston, Texas; The Triumph of Love and The Taming of the Shrew for The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey; The Importance of Being Earnest and Proof for Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.  He has also assistant designed at The Indiana Repertory Theatre.  This coming summer will be the second time his work will be on exhibit at the Prague Quadrennial in the Czech Republic.  He received his M.F.A. from Purdue University and has received both regional and national awards for his designs.

Jessica Greenberg, Lighting Designer

Jessica is thrilled to be designing for The Red Fern Theatre Company for the first time. Most recently Jessica has worked with Century Productions NYC, Calamity Carolers, Hartford Stage, City Stage, and Stagedoor Manor.  Later this season she will be working with The Rising Sun Performance Company lighting a new ensemble piece. Especially interested in new scripts, she has produced several new play festivals; as a director, she loves staging political pieces with physicality, humor, and great roles for women. Past lighting designs include (Don't Go) Home for the Holidays, Ana 3/11, A River Apart, Venus, Pride and Prejudice, As It Is In Heaven, and premiers of The City That Cried Wolf and Dreaming Inside the Lover's Eye. Jessica received her BA from Hampshire College with a self-designed concentration in lighting, directing, and producing.

Amy Mathews, Puppet Designer

Although Amy studied traditional art in Japan, these are her first puppets. Primarily an actor, some recent credits include Solange in Jean Genet’s The Maids, Dorrine in Tartuffe, and Sally Bowles in Cabaret. She founded The Draupadi Ensemble after studying traditional dance and mask making in Bali, Indonesia. Thank you AB and POMD for all your help.

Kristen Lee Rosenfeld, Composer/Music Director

Kristen has had her work performed and commissioned previously in New York City by the Atlantic Acting School.  Her one-act musical, The Nightingale, premiered at Sprouts Children's Theatre in Washington State, where her music has also been heard at The SecondStory Repertory, Studio East and Youth Theatre Northwest.  As a musical director, Kristen has worked in New York and regional theatre, and some projects include The Gospel at Colonus and A Day in Hollywood...Ukraine (Seattle Times Footlights Award).  She recently music directed an award winning production of Les Miserables at JP Taravella High School in Coral Springs, FL.  In New York, Kristen has worked with Prospect Theatre Co, Wanderlust Theatre Co, Harmony Theatre Co, Manhattan Children's Theatre and Family Opera Initiative.  She is happy to be working again with Melanie and to be making her Red Fern debut.

Laura Luciano, Stage Manager

Laura Luciano is thrilled to be back with Red Fern.  She is a graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz where she received a BA in both performance and design technology.  Her most recent credits include Polaroid Stories (director/SUNY New Paltz), Striking Chords (playwright/Creative Place Theatre), Dust (production assistant/Soho Think Tank), Henry Kissinger (stage manager/NY Fringe Festival) and Two Rooms (stage manager/Red Fern Theatre Company).

Edan Rein, Stage Assistant

Lauren McDonnell, Marketing
Lauren McDonnell is excited to be working with the Red Fern Theatre Company. Lauren is a graduate of Auburn University with a degree in Public Relations and currently works for Yahoo!. She is also the webmaster for the Broadway actress, Stephanie J. Block. Many thanks to Melanie and Emilie for this continued opportunity to work with Red Fern!

Bridgid Ryan, Marketing Assistant

Bridgid is a recent graduate from Penn State University and has just moved to New York City.  After majoring in Japanese and Spanish in Centre County, PA, Bridgid decided to move to New York in order to use her language skills.  After several terrifying corporate interviews with Japanese companies, Bridgid realized she could not ignore her desire to pursue theater.  She is currently in an apprenticeship at New Perspectives Theater Company- and is thrilled that Melanie and Emilie offered her this internship opportunity with Red Fern.  Bridgid hopes to stay in New York and learn all she can about the stage- and the goings on of making wonderful productions like this one.

Chris Flecker, Illustrator

Chris's time at Freeze CMI, Wine and Spirits Magazine, IN New York Magazine, and Kenneth Cole Productions cultivated a dedication to teamwork, taught him the value of client collaboration, and instilled a respect for the merit of deadlines.  Studying under working Illustrators provided a haven for his conceptual thinking to grow and flourish and allowed him to challenge and expand boundaries.  He graduated in the top of his class at Pratt Institute with a degree in Communications Design.  Young and in-the-know, Flecker ignores it all and forges ahead in a style that is both implausible and knowledgeable, harsh yet delicate, yin but yang, detailed yet simple. A student of social satire, his approach to human interaction is driven by Carravagio, Bill Watterson, Ben Sargent, and Gary Larson.  Chris is a resident of the NYC area and would be glad to meet with art directors interested in his work and hiring his services.