Cohesion Theatre Company
Adapted by Robert Kauzlaric
Based on the novel by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Directed by Melissa LaMartina
Stage Managed by Chuck Green Sr.
There is no intermission. Runtime is 90 minutes.
Molly Margulies ……………. Victoria
Steven Howison …………. Alphonse
Hannah Fogler ……………… William
Kim Le ………………………… Justine
Cynthia Miller ……………… Caroline
Caitlin Rife ……………………. Helena
Jamil Johnson …………………… Erich
ARTISTIC AND PRODUCTION STAFF
Melissa LaMartina …………….……………… Director
Chuck Green Sr. ……...……………. Stage Manager
Jess Rassp ………………..….. Lead Puppet Designer
Chris Reuther ………………….……. Puppet Designer
Maria V. Bissex …………..….……. Costume Designer
Meghan Taylor … Wig, Hair, and Makeup Designer
Sierra Ho ……………………………… Scenic Designer
Alisa Glenn ………………………. Properties Designer
Daniel Weissglass …………………. Lighting Designer
Queen Wolf ………………. Music and Sound Design
Brad Norris …………………….. Fight Choreographer
Poster Design by Mika Nakano
This show deals with the themes of grief, depression, and death including suicide and murder. There is also a simulated hanging on stage. Please be advised.
United Evangelical Church, Mika Nakano, CCBC, Marcia Norris, and all who helped us to make this production possible.
This adaptation of Frankenstein was originally produced by Lifeline Theatre (Chicago, IL) in 2018.
After the death of his wife, C.S. Lewis wrote in his diary, “No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
When my father died unexpectedly, I grew obsessed with the contemplation of grief. And the grieving process. It haunts me. I think about it every day, and I long suspected that I had a project specifically about grief in me, just waiting to surface.
Then, several years ago I re-read Frankenstein, and I knew at once it would be the vehicle for what I wanted to explore. And the more I learned about Mary Shelley and the unspeakable losses she suffered while writing and revising her novel (multiple children, her sister, her husband), the more I saw in the story a metaphor for a grief experience: a death leads to the birth of a powerful force that the protagonist can’t control. They run from it, lash out at it, try to bargain with it or pretend it doesn’t exist. But they never come to accept it.
And so it destroys them.
When I began to imagine an adaptation, I envisioned my Creature as a living personification of Grief and how it haunts our lives. How it assaults us. How it demands more from us than we can give. How it can overwhelm us with feelings of guilt or persecution, and drives us from the ones we love. I imagined it growing in strength and power as it consumed more and more of its creator’s psyche. I imagined a dreamlike experience. An unsettling immersion. An emotional journey rather than a literal one.
We had a lot of conversations about grief during the process of creating this show. It was fascinating to hear the designers and actors talk about their experiences and traditions and rituals. It made me realize how little we actually talk – meaningfully and personally – about death and grief, despite how much of it we’re surrounded by. My hope is that this piece will engender some conversations about grief: what it is, what it feels like, what it does to us. How it can truly mess us up. And how we find our way through it.
This one’s for Russ. I miss you, dad.
- Robert Kauzlaric, 2018
Hannah Fogler (William) is an Actor, Stage Manager, Teaching Artist, and Makeup Artist in the DMV area. She is thrilled to be returning to Cohesion, having previously performed as First Witch/Third Murderer in the Fundraiser production of Pirate Macbeth and as Jenny/Marge in Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play. Some of her other favorite roles include Curious George in Curious George: The Golden Meatball at Red Branch Theatre Company, Aemilia/2nd Merchant in Comedy of Errors at Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, and Creon in Antigone at Glass Mind Theatre. She would like to thank Melissa, Jess, and Brad for being the geniuses they are (and for letting her be part of this incredible show), the cast and crew for making the whole experience magical, and her friends and family for their constant love and support.
Kim Le (Justine) is a local performance artist who has collaborated with several theatres (Cohesion Theater Company, Submersive Productions, Baltimore Rock Opera Society) in a variety of roles: as an actor, puppeteer, writer, and front-of-house manager. Her performance background is primarily in improvisational comedy. Kim joined the Baltimore Improv Group in 2015 and currently performs on a regular Harold team, in addition to several independent projects and troupes. In addition to training at several improv theaters across the country, she has also studied clowning.
Jamil Johnson (Erich) is excited to be making his Cohesion Theatre debut, a Baltimore native who started theater locally in high school with companies such as Phoenix Festival Theatre (High School Musical) and Cockpit in Court (Hairspray). Jamil then studied and received his BFA in theatre from New England College in Henniker, New Hampshire where he also directed two productions (Dog sees God), (Bachelorette) and assistant directed the schools main stage production (Angels in America part 2: Perestroika). His other theatrical credits include: Midsummer Nights Dream (NEC theatre), Approaching Zanzibar (NEC theatre), Stranger Kindness (The Acme Corporation), Fucking A (Iron Crow Theatre), Fiddler on the Roof (Spotlighters Theatre), Equus (NEC theater). This summer find him in the production of "Merry Wives of Windsor" at Baltimore Shakespere Factory.
Cynthia Miller (Caroline), an actor-writer, has a passion for theatre, film, and the backstory in producing creative content. Recent theatre credits include Baltimore Center Stage (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof) and Spotlighters Theatre (Love, Loss, and What I Wore). Recent production credits include Strand Theatre (Dramaturg) and DC Capital Fringe (Stage Manager). When not working on her screenplay submissions (Nichols fellowship & Tribeca All Access, get ready!) or short plays (vying to be selected by a theatre festival near you!), Cynthia finds ways to invest in the dreams of other creative POCs. She eagerly anticipates a return to musical theatre: to become a Haitian demi-god of death, mostly because she wants to dance, belt, and use one of her 5 accents, and to finally nab that elusive role as a street urchin down on Skid Row. Cynthia holds an MA in Liberal Arts from The Johns Hopkins University.
Steven Howison (Alphonse) is a Baltimore based actor and voice-over artist with 30+ years of professional performing experience. His regional credits include work with Imagination Stage, Landless Theatre Co., Charm City Players, The MD Renaissance Festival, and many more. His career has also given him the opportunity to perform in places like New York, Washington D.C., Pennsylvania, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Indiana, Ohio, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, New Mexico, Illinois, Wisconsin, Germany, and Great Britain. As a voice-over artist and audio book narrator for Audible and Graphic Audio, his performances are experienced by people all over the world. Steven has also been trained in magic, mime, improvisation, stage combat, singing, dancing, and yes...puppetry.
Caitlin Rife (Helena) is a Baltimore actor, dancer, and singer who has been lucky enough to work with a number of incredibly talented local artists including Stillpointe Theatre Company (Urinetown: The Musical), Baltimore Rock Opera Society (The Terrible Secret of Lunastus and RATS!), and Interrobang Theatre (Heavy Hors D'oeuvres 3). This is her first performance with Cohesion Theatre Company, and she couldn't be more excited about it!
Molly Margulies (Victoria) is an actor and artist, currently pursuing her MA in Digital Arts at Goucher College. She has been performing and collaborating in the Baltimore theater community since 2009 with such companies as the Baltimore Rock Opera Society, Effervescent Collective, Annex Theater, and Feral Woman. She is thrilled to be working with Cohesion Theater and this incredible cast of warm and talented souls.
PRODUCTION TEAM BIOS!
Melissa LaMartina (Director) is a Baltimore-based director, actor, producer, and designer making her Cohesion debut. With a keen interest in creating immersive experiences, she's updated Greek tragedies (Medea—Mobtown Players), converted cult classics (A Bucket of Blood—Yellow Sign Theatre), and even partied with puppets (Monster World—Baltimore Rock Opera Society). When she's not directing, she dons her favorite fright wig to host Shocktail Hour, a monthly schlock cinema series at Golden West Cafe, and last year she had the pleasure of introducing environment-focused short films for the pilot episode of MPT's Storyline. You can frequently find her on stage with various theatre companies in Baltimore and DC, and on screen in homegrown horror such as Call Girl of Cthulhu, for which she won Best Actress at the Scare-A-Con Film Festival in New York. Next up, she'll be rollerblading into the 90s with the WNUF Halloween Sequel.
Chuck Green Sr (Stage Manager) has been enamored by the theater since an early age. Not a performer, Chuck uses skills developed in his Project Management background to be involved in the production process of a show as Stage Manager. Chuck had his first opportunity as Assistant Stage Manager on the Baltimore Rock Opera Society's production of Chronoshred- The Adventures of Stardust Laserdong and continues to work with BROS' productions as well as other local theater companies (Interrobang, Stillpointe Theatre, and Cohesion Theatre Company)
Jess Rassp (Lead Puppet Designer) is a Mask and Puppet Maker, Performer, and Scenic Artist living in Baltimore. Jess' background in painting and sculpture fuels her fabrications and design work. She has also explored physical theatre in puppetry, dance, and mask movement. Jess transforms simple materials such as hoops, chicken wire, gauze, and coffee filters into puppet creatures that visually capture natural forms and movements. In addition to intensive studies in theatre and fine arts, she received her B.A. in English Literature from Brandeis University. Jess is currently Artistic Director of Cohesion Theatre Company. You may see her scrambling around Charm City working with: Submersive Productions (BATS!, H.T. Darling's Incredible Musaeum), Cohesion Theatre Company (La Llorona / The Orphan Sea, Mr. Burns, Sally McCoy, Men on Boats, Schoolgirl Figure), Single Carrot Theatre (Savage/Love, Midlife, Year of the Rooster), Chesapeake Shakespeare Company (Alice in Wonderland, The Winter's Tale, Othello).
Chris Reuther (Puppet Designer) is an artist whose background in Illustration informs his work in puppetry, creature design, and visual storytelling. Inspired by myths, fictional stories and natural history, Chris received his B.S. in Art and Design from Towson University. You can find him designing and performing puppets and creatures for the Baltimore Rock Opera Society (Brides of Tortuga, Incredibly Dead!), Frith and Inle (Watership Down), Submersive Productions (H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum), and various small productions in Baltimore.
Sierra Ho (Scenic Designer) is a professional carpenter and scenic designer who loves to wake up early and make a lot of noise. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Interdisciplinary Sculpture with a minor in Art History, but decided that the fine art world was an exclusive club in which she never really fit in. From A Bottle Of Got 2B Rockin’ It Encore Fresh Dry Shampoo: Want to skip a day? Shake your dry hair. Invisible work refreshes the sprayer.
Replace the cap. Do not use while smoking. Open flame heat may be kept out of reach of children. Puncture deliberately. Now you’re ready to rock another day!
Alisa Glenn (Properties Designer) is a freelance artist working in Baltimore MD. She often works within the theatre community doing puppetry, prop, and costume design. She can also be found doing puppet shows and parades of her own design at places like Black Cherry puppet theatre, the Creative Alliance Lantern Parade, and the Light City Festival.
Daniel Weissglass (Lighting Designer) is so excited to be back at Cohesion Theatre where he last designed for Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play. He has recently designed for Rapid Lemon, Interrobang Theatre, and works in production roles at Baltimore Theatre Project, the Baltimore Improv Group, and The Baltimore Concert Opera Series. Love to his family, Jen, Pam, and the many pets.
Maria V. Bissex (Costume Designer) is an independent costume designer and owner of MVB Costumes based in McLean, VA. Maria recently received WATCH nominations for her designs for Baskerville (Greenbelt Arts Center) and The Crucible (Silver Spring Stage). Other favorite projects include Wig Out (Studio Theatre—Wardrobe Supervisor); Crazy Mary Lincoln (Pallas Theatre Collective—Costume Designer); Godspell (NextStop Theatre Company—Costume Designer); Macbeth (The Heights School—Costume Designer); Little Mermaid, Romeo and Juliet (Springbrook High School—Costume Designer); Into the Woods, She Kills Monsters (Herndon High School—Costume Designer); The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (Writer/Director). AMDG mvbcostumes.com
Queen Wolf (Music and Sound Design) is a 4 piece rock band from Baltimore MD. They can normally be found writing and performing very loud guitar music at clubs in and around Maryland, on festival stages like Light City and Artscape, and their music has been featured in horror movies such as "Call Girl Of Cthulhu". Their members play in various other projects, from Balkan folk to dance music to Django jazz to grindcore, and they operate a very small recording studio. Queen Wolf is very excited for the opportunity to explore a more experimental and filmic approach to composition for this production of Frankenstein. www.queenwolf.com
Brad Norris (Fight Choreographer) worked as a freelance Director, Actor, Lighting Designer, Fight Choreographer and Technician in the Chicago Theatre and Dance Community for nearly a decade before moving to Baltimore in 2009 to marry the woman he loves. Since then Brad has worked as Artistic Director of the Jewish Theatre Workshop, Events Manager at Baltimore Center Stage, and in many freelance roles around the region. He now works as the Production Manager for CCBC's Performing Arts Department across all three of their campuses, as well as being a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Cohesion Theatre Company. Brad directed 13 Dead Husbands, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, and Sally McCoy for Cohesion so far, as well as working as Fight Choreographer, Scenic Designer, and more for many Cohesion productions. He is also a proud member of the Submersive Productions team, and is an amazing player piano player. His wife Suzannah is everything. His three children are pretty great too.