A Merry Little Christmas by Jami Brandli

A Merry Little Christmas Poster

Monday, August 1  @8PM


The Road on Lankershim – UPSTAIRS THEATRE

5108 Lankershim Boulevard

North Hollywood, CA 91601

(Street parking or paid lot parking at 5125 Lankershim Blvd)



By Jami Brandli

Directed by Riley Steiner



LARRY KEEN – David Gianapolus*

BARBARA KEEN – Meeghan Holaway*

SAMANTHA KEEN – Lauren Lakis*

NASSER NOURI – Erica Mathlin


SHIRLEY TOWERS – Amber Marie Bollinger

DANA KEEN – Hallie Cooper

*Appears courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association



A Merry Little Christmas is a working class family dramedy about the Keen family dealing with the death of their daughter, Dana, a navy corpsman who recently died in the Iraq War.  Larry copes with a tumbler of scotch or five, Barbara stubbornly sets an extra plate setting, while their straight-edge teenage daughter, Samantha, secretly uses Twitter to create a protest on the George Washington Bridge.  Much to Larry’s annoyance, the self-righteous Pastor Bill Towers and his fragile wife, Shirley, invite themselves over for Christmas Eve dinner, and then Nasser, an Iraqi refugee, arrives at their door unannounced. They quickly learn he was Dana’s trusted military interpreter and that Dana has given Nasser as a “Christmas gift.”  As they fight over to keep Nasser or not, tempers fly and secrets are revealed.  Will the Keens be pulled further apart or will they find grace and redemption in this unexpected gift?



No reservations or advance tickets. Admission is by donation ($15 suggested).




Jami Brandli Image

JAMI BRANDLI’s plays include Technicolor Life, S.O.E., M-Theory, ¡SOLDADERA!, Sisters Three, A Merry Little Christmas and BLISS (or Emily Post is Dead!) which was named in The Kilroys Top 46 List. Her work has been produced/developed at New Dramatists, WordBRIDGE, The Lark, New York Theatre Workshop, Great Plains Theatre Conference, Launch Pad, The Antaeus Company, Chalk REP, among other venues. Winner of John Gassner Memorial Playwriting Award, Holland New Voices Award and Aurora Theatre Company’s GAP Prize. Technicolor Life premiered at REP Stage as part of the 2015 Women’s Voices Theater Festival.  Jami teaches dramatic writing at Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program. www.jamibrandli.com




Riley Steiner has been an actress since the Stone Age, selling myriad products in dozens of commercials, dying on General Hospital, and sharing the stage with Anthony Hopkins. Upon discovering her love for teaching and directing, she recently returned to school, earning her MFA degree in Shakespeare and Performance from Mary Baldwin College in Virginia. Steiner teaches Acting, Shakespeare, Dramatic Literature, and History of Theatre at the New York Film Academy, ironically located in Burbank. Her recent directing projects have included her own play Tucumcari at the James Whitmore theatre and Measure for Measure at the New York Film Academy. She is thrilled to be back at the festival this year both as director and actor.