MEET THE CAST OF CHRISTMAS GUEST
This is Jim’s second production of Christmas Guest and the 4th production with Paula J Riley. The play is a byproduct of a keen sense of observation and an interest in the rapidly changing ethnic communities of New York City. Based on a real life family, Jim was drawn to the story of a man (Thomas McGrath) whose wife abandons him with eight children during a time of cultural upheaval. “The story is an inversion of the archetypal ‘husband leaves wife with a house full of hungry children’ tragedy,” he said. “Thomas had to take the role of ‘Mr. Mom’ thirty years before the term was coined and the highly conflicting emotional stew this creates is the dramatic collision of Christmas Guest.”
A former journalist, Jim wrote for The New York Times, Investor’s Business Daily, and other publications. He has covered a wide range of topics ranging from peace negotiations between warring street gangs in Yonkers to ‘lifers’ raising guide dog puppies at Bedford Hills Correctional Center and the roots of Caribbean music. He has traveled widely and covered the occupation of Bosnia-Herzegovina by the United States and NATO troops in 1995. His other plays include Milk for Gall, and Proceed to Checkout. He has written four screenplays, one of which is the adaptation of the book The Sixth Family by Peter “Pete the Greek” Diapolous. Jim holds a Ph. D in mass media and communication from Temple University, and is professor of writing and communication at Delaware Valley College in Doylestown.
Marina Barry* as Faith
Marina Barry, originally from San Francisco,
has a BFA from the Univ of Utah and an MFA from FSU (Asolo Theatre) in performance. Regional and Off B'way credits. Favorite roles include, Lorraine Sheldon from The Man Who Came To Dinner, Cecily Cardew from The Importance of Being Earnest, and her one person show on Lillian Russell. Marina wrote and produced A Single Shot, done at the American Theatre of Actors. She studies Argentine Tango with Alicia Cruzado. AEA–SAG–AFTRA.
Maria Silverman* as Carmen
Maria made her professional debut on Broadway in Michael Mayer’s Tony Award-winning revival of A View From the Bridge. Since then, she has appeared in over 40 productions, including 17 world premieres. Highlights include Off-Broadway productions of Tales from the Tunnel and Beachwood Drive; Mia in Saviana Stanescu’s Ants, Rev. George in the Audelco-Award nominated Women in the Pit, Gertie in the NYIT-nominated House of Mirth, and Dee in No Place to Be Somebody directed by the great Woodie King Jr. Maria was most recently seen at the Actor’s Studio in a reading of Lanie Robertson’s The Gardener alongside Larry Pine and Ed Setrakian, directed by Christopher Scott. B.A. in Theatre and Chinese from Yale University and postgraduate training at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts. Mariasilverman@hotmail.com.
Stuart Aion* as Thomas
Stuart has been acting in and out of NYC for over 30 years. He is a proud member of AEA, SAG-AFTRA. Stuart has performed on the small screen, the large screen and stages of all shapes and sizes. He has been nominated for numerous awards but finds acting...the ultimate "award" and reward! Stuart has trained with various teachers over the years: Lee Strasberg Institute, Sandy Meisner Technique, Mervyn Nelson Studio just to name a few. He recently appeared in Spiral's debut production Stories My Grandmother Told Me by Ted Swindley.
Jesse May* as Michael
Jesse May locates his home in Iowa's train tracks and capacious skies and in Wisconsin's verdant St. Croix river valley—he was born in and attended Grinnell College in the former and grew up wandering through and wacking at the trees of the latter. An alumni of the National Theatre Institute and the St. Petersburg State Theatre of the Arts Winter School conservatory programs, Jesse has been ensconced in NYC for many years now, working Off-Broadway with the Mirror Repertory Company (The Contrast, and Austin Pendleton's H6R3 with Lynn Redgrave); appearing in commercials for Pepsi (notably, with a monkey) and TimeWarner; and in the Queen Latifah film The Cookout. Other roles include playing a Pig in TOSOS' production of Pig Tale and FHB Productions' Avalon for which he won a Spotlight On Award playing the role of Gwydion.
Vivian Meisner* as Mrs. McCaffrey
Vivian's credits include Off and Off-Off Broadway, regional and stock theatre, indie film, soaps, commercials, industrials and print. Recent work: First Mothers as Lillian Carter, Nelle Reagan and Mary Washington for Pages of History; Rosie in Rosie the Retired Rockette for Estrogeneous; Martha in Arsenic and Old Lace and Mr. Icky in Mr. Icky by F. Scott Fitzgerald for Dysfunctional Theatre Co.; Frances in the premiere of Elephant Girls Off-Broadway for Emerging Astists. As a company member she has acted in and directed many of EAT's one-act plays in their festivals. Vivian's newest adventure is writing.