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)
A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS
By Jami Brandli
Directed by Riley Steiner
LARRY KEEN – David Gianapolus*
BARBARA KEEN – Meeghan Holaway*
SAMANTHA KEEN – Lauren Lakis*
NASSER NOURI – Erica Mathlin
MINISTER BILL TOWERS – Chet Grissom*
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).
MEET YOUR PLAYWRIGHT
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
MEET YOUR DIRECTOR
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.