Student Alumni to Appear in Chasing The New White Whale, Making its World Premiere at the Award-Winning La MaMa, on November 24

Published: November 20, 2018

Speech Communication & Theatre Arts Professor, Arthur Adair,

 Takes the Helm as Director

four students

Arthur Adair, Assistant Professor, Speech Communication and Theatre Arts, has cast four of his former outstanding acting students, Khari Constantine, Victoria A. Villier, Sabrina Fara Tosti, and Trey Adams in the new play, Chasing the New White Whale, by Michael Gorman. The play uses Melville’s 19th-century monster as a metaphor for the modern plague of opioid addiction, and the ruinous effects of the opiate epidemic on the commercial fishing industry. It opens November 24 and runs through December 9 at La MaMa, located at the iconic Ellen Stewart Theatre.

“There is no greater thrill than being able to work with Alumni in the professional arena, it is the true culmination of the work we began at Queensborough” said director Adair, who was an Artist-in-Residence at La MaMa from 1997-2007, “They are soaring in rehearsals, and thriving, among a company of seasoned actors, as artists in their own rights.”

Sabrina Fara Tosti, ’08, said, “I really love “diving into” this play. My character shifts from fisherman to phantom. I also work with other actors to move different parts of the set, such as the boat.” Sabrina, who moved on to obtain her baccalaureate in theatre from Hunter College, said, “Queensborough’s theatre department fostered a rare sense of community that cannot easily be replaced. We all stayed together.”

Victoria A. Villier, ’15, a lead actor in the play, said, “Queensborough gave me a solid foundation to compete and succeed in this crazy career! As an acting student I was constantly challenged and given opportunities off-stage to work as wardrobe mistress and stage hand.”

Khari Constantine, ’15, who is back for his second stint at La MaMa with Professor Adair, said, “For me Queensborough was all about developing skills, taking on responsibility and making connections that have proved to be lasting and meaningful.”

Trey Adams said, "The Queensborough theatre department transformed my outlook on the method of acting. The faculty provided me with a true sense of what it means to be an actor; to think of acting as living onstage. Working on this production, with seasoned actors, is a remarkable experience.”

Professor Adair joined the Speech, Communication and Theatre Arts department in 2007, after receiving his M.F.A. in Theatre Directing from CUNY/Brooklyn College. His professional credits are extensive, in all facets of theatre construction – acting, directing, playwriting, and set, sound, and light design. At La MaMa, he presently serves as Education Outreach Coordinator for the Off-Off-Broadway history series, Coffeehouse Chronicles, and is a member of the celebrated, Great Jones Repertory Company.

This spring at Queensborough, he will direct his adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, in an exciting in-the-round, environmental staging. At Queensborough, Professor Adair has directed Far Away by Caryl Churchill, Ubu Roi by Alfred Jarry, In the Blood by Suzan-Lori Parks, Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, 12 Angry Jurors by Reginald Rose adapted by Sherman L. Sergel, A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare, and The Private Life of the Master Race by Bertolt Brecht.

Preview performances for CHASING THE NEW WHITE WHALE are Saturday, Nov. 24 at 7 P.M., and Sunday, Nov. 25 at 3 P.M., prior to the official press opening on Monday, Nov. 26th. CHASING THE NEW WHITE WHALE will perform Thursday through Saturday at 7 P.M., and Sunday at 3 P.M., playing its final performance on December 9, 2018.

Discount Code “CUNYQCC” for members of the Queensborough and CUNY community. General Admission: $19;   Students/Seniors $14

General   Admission:   $25;   Students/Seniors:   $20;   La   MaMa   also   offers   10@$10, these are the first ten tickets for every performance at $10 each, first come first served, advance sales only.

Running time: 75 minutes, no intermission. For tickets, visit: lamama.org; or call OvationTix at 212.352.3101

MIKE GORMAN is the newly appointed Playwright in Residence for La MaMa’s 57th Season and  Director  of  The Forty  Hour  Club,  a resident  company  of La MaMa,  formed  by  a collective of independent  artists dedicated to creating work that asks the question, "To what consequence?" The productions focus on the economic, environmental and systemic destruction facing working communities and the paramount issue of sustainability. He made his debut at La MaMa in 1994 as a member of performance duo “The Fabulous Giggin’ Bros.” with their evening of short plays “Biffing Mussels”. He has since had more than a dozen productions staged at La MaMa, Including “If Colorado Had an Ocean…(2014); “The Honor and Glory of Whaling” (2007-8); and “UltraLight” (2000)—the three plays in his trilogy.

La MaMa Production Web Page:

http://lamama.org/new_white_whale/

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