Lori Parquet, Ariel Estrada, Layan Elwazaini, Oscar Klausner, John Lenartz, Josh Moser, Stacey Raymond, and Elise Stone in Phoenix Theatre Ensemble’s world premiere of Topher Cusumano’s The Cult Play through February 17

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is presenting the world premiere of Topher Cusumano’s The Cult Play  through February 17 at The Paradise Factory Theatre at 64 East 4th Street (next door to La Mama) in NYC.

Lori Parquet as Mama Pearl. Photo by Gerry Goodstein
Lori Parquet as Mama Pearl. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

The Cult Play follows Mama Pearl, an enigmatic woman with alleged powers and leader of a secretive Goddess worshiping religious group, The Soul Scouts. As Mama attempts to retain control of her followers after the defection of a longtime member, the Scouts each find themselves exploring the boundaries of their faith. When Mae, a rebellious new recruit, introduces The Soul Scouts to social media, she inadvertently triggers a series of events that could end Mama Pearl’s great vision of the future.

Ariel Estrada and Lori Parquet. Photo by Gerry Goodstein
Ariel Estrada and Lori Parquet. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Irene Lazaridis directs the 8-member cast headed by Lori Parquet as Mama Pearl with Layan Elwazaini, Ariel Estrada, Oscar Klausner, John Lenartz, Josh Moser, Stacey Raymond, and Elise Stone. The directing and design team includes Aiden Dreskin, sound design, Attilio Rigotti, projection and video design, Debbi Hobson, costume design, JB Douglas, environmental design, Kevin McGuire, fight director, Madelyn Sher, choreography, Mason Delman, light design, Yeritza Madera, Production intern, and Meghan McVann is production stage manager.

Stacey Raymond and Layan Elwazani. Photo by Gerry Goodstein
Stacey Raymond and Layan Elwazani. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

The performance schedule is Wednesday – Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. Tickets are $25.00; Call 212-352-3101 or visit www.PhoenixTheatreEnsemble.org. The Paradise Factory @ 64 East 4th Street Street (Bowery & 2nd Avenue)

Transportation: By Subway: 4,5,6 Train to Astor Place; F train to 2nd Avenue; N & R Train at Broadway & 8th Street. Bus 3rd Ave M103 to 4th Street; 2nd Ave M15 to 4th Street

Elise Stone, Oscar Klausner and John Lenartz. Photo by Gerry Goodstein
Elise Stone, Oscar Klausner and John Lenartz. Photo by Gerry Goodstein

Phoenix Theatre Ensemble is a non-profit theatre company now in its 14th season of presenting new and classical works. The 2017-18 season includes American Moor by Keith Hamilton Cobb (July/August @ Boston Center for the Arts); Tartuffe by Moliere (October/November in NYC), The Cult Play, world premiere of a serialized drama by Topher Cusumano (January/February in NYC); and a play to be announced (April/May in NYC). The reading series for 2017-18 will be rarely performed plays by Pirandello. www.PhoenixTheatreEnsemble.org

Elise Stone and Ariel Estrada. Photo by Gerry Goodstein
Elise Stone and Ariel Estrada. Photo by Gerry Goodstein
Lori Parquet and Elise Stone. Gerry Goodstein
Lori Parquet and Elise Stone. Gerry Goodstein

Click here for the Lia Chang Articles Archive and here for the Lia Chang Photography Website.

Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn
Lia Chang. Photo by Lori Tan Chinn

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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