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Too Much Unhappy Online | April 2 & 3, 7:30 | $5

Too much unhappy text on upholsthery.

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  • Book & Lyrics:
    Aaron Posner
  • Music & Lyrics:
    Olivia Cholewczynski, Rosalie Jung, Jillian Skara, Sara Wiser
  • Dance Arrangements & Orchestrations: 
    Nathan Beary Blustein
  • Songwriting Supervision:
    Nathan Beary Blustein, Sean Doyle
  • Audio Recording & Mixing:
    Daniel Pérez Carasol

 

Cast

  • Masha: Abigail Atlemose
  • Anya: Olivia Bloch
  • Yasha: Ben Clark
  • Pete: Spencer Coben
  • Varya: Caleigh Davis
  • Natasha: Rosie DeLuca
  • Sonia: Marley Feigin
  • Con: Miya Hamashige
  • Dunyasha: Jamie Lapierre
  • Tuz: Evelyn Micacci
  • Ella: Molly Moore
  • Dev: Layla Nabavi
  • 22: Jose Pablo Payro
  • Olga: Sarah Pollock
  • Solly: Anna Steinmeyer
  • Irina: Emma Wallach
  • Nina: Julia White
  • Mash: Sara Wiser

 

 

Musical Numbers

  • Quotidian” (Company)
    Music: Sara Wiser 
    Additional Vocal Arrangements by Olivia Cholewczynski 
    Orchestration: Sean Doyle
  • Looking Up” (Irina)
    Music: Jillian Skara
  • A Problematical Proposal” (Dev, Mash)
    Music: Olivia Cholewczynski 
  • Too Existential
    (Ella, Varya, Con, Olga, Mash, Masha, Nat, Tuz, Solly)
    Music & Lyrics: Rosalie Jung
  • Wrong Song” (Tuz, Varya, Duni, Anya, Mash, Nina)
    Music: Sara Wiser
  • Maybe This is Love” (Pete, Anya)
    Music: Jillian Skara
  • Wrong Song (Reprise)” (Yasha)
    Music: Sara Wiser
  • I See Myself” (Sonia)
    Music: Rosalie Jung
  • Too Much Unhappy” (Company)
    Music: Rosalie Jung

*Lyrics by Aaron Posner, except “Too Existential”

Musicians

Oboe: Nicholas DeVito

Cello: Madeleine Corrigan

Bass: Sean Doyle

Keyboard/Guitar: Nathan Beary Blustein

Drums: Erika Johnson

Special Thanks

Thanks to American University, the College of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Performing Arts for helping to enable a successful production season; so many other members of the faculty and staff at American University and beyond; and the cast and production team members for their hard work, creative input and solutions, and ability to pivot whenever spanners were thrown into the process during the development and production.

Cast Biographies

  • Abigail Atlemose (Masha)
    Abigail Atlemose is a freshman Musical Theater and Film and Media Arts major from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Her character Masha comes from Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Her Prior DPA experience Includes Overture (2020). Abby would like to thank her wonderful cast and crew for such a rewarding experience in her first DPA show at AU! 
     
  • Olivia Bloch (Anya)
    Olivia Bloch (she/her/hers) is a sophomore Musical Theatre major and Graphic Design minor from Roanoke, Virginia. Her character comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Her past DPA experience includes Overture (2019). Her prior experience in student theater includes Wired (AU Quills and Capes, 2020) and Superstar (AU Quills and Capes, 2019). Olivia would like to thank Aaron, Nathan, Britta, Rebecca, and everyone involved for making this a wonderful experience. Enjoy the show!
     
  • Ben Clark (Yasha)
    Ben Clark is a freshman Musical Theater major from Gaithersburg, Maryland. His character Yasha comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. His prior DPA experience includes Overture (2020). Ben would love to thank the entire team for keeping us alive through zoom, outdoor, and Greenberg filming. It has been such a challenge but they've held each other and the cast together through all of it. He would also like to thank the students of the songwriters room and cast for being the coolest and making this experience as great as it was. 
  • Spencer Coben (Pete)
    Spencer Coben is a senior International Studies major with a minor in communications from Scottsdale, Arizona. His character comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. His prior DPA experience includes: The Boy Detective Fails (2020), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (2019), Pippin (2018), Assassins (2018), and Overture (2017). His prior student theater experience includes Company (AU Players, 2019), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (AU Players, 2017). Spencer would like to thank his family, friends, and all others who continue to support his endeavors.
     
  • Caleigh Davis (Varya)
    Caleigh Davis is a senior Musical Theater major and Business Administration minor from Springfield, Virginia. Her character Varya comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. Her prior DPA Experience includes Senior Capstone (2021), Miss You Like Hell (Officer/ASM), The Crucible (Mary Warren), Blood Wedding (Ensemble), Overture (2017). Her prior student theater experience includes Pride and Prejudice (Jane Bennet) with the Rude Mechanicals, Company (April), Capes: A Musical Revue (Stylist) with AU Players, and Hamlet (Ophelia) at the British American Drama Academy. Caleigh would like to thank this incredible cast and crew for making her last show at AU, weird as it was, a wonderful experience. 
  • Rosie DeLuca (Natasha)
    Rosie DeLuca is a senior Musical Theater major and Communications Minor from Andover, Massachusetts. Her character Natasha comes from Anton Chekov’s The Three Sisters. Her Prior DPA experience includes Blood Wedding (Young Woman), The Crucible (Betty Parris), Government Inspector (Osip), The Birds (Prometheus, Bird). Her prior student theater experience includes Hamlet (Gertrude), and God of Carnage (Annette). Rosie would like to thank her loving friends and family for being so supportive of her passions during this time. This process has been anything but normal, but she is grateful for this "crappy zoom-whatever-it-is'' nonetheless. She is proud to be a part of this strong, innovative and talented cast. 
     
  • Marly Feigin (Sonia)
    Marly Feigin is a freshman Musical Theater Major from Saratoga, California. Her character Sonia comes from Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Her prior DPA experience Includes Overture (2020). Marly wants to thank her family and friends for supporting her throughout this process. She has learned so much and appreciates the entire team's effort put into the show. 
     
  • Miya Hamashige (Con)
    Miya Hamashige is a senior Musical Theater major and Anthropology minor from Santa Fe, New Mexico. Her character Con comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird. Her previous DPA show experience includes Overture (2017), Pippin (2018), Senior Dance Capstone (2018), AU Dance Company (2020), as well as The Women (2020). Her prior student theater experience includes The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (2017). Miya would like to thank the entire cast and crew for making this show possible and she would like to give a special shout out to the songwriters and Aaron for building this show from the ground up! Although this wasn't how she expected her final AU show to go, she is still grateful for the experience! 
     
  • Jamie Lapierre (Dunyasha)
    Jamie Lapierre is a freshman Musical Theater major from Burlington, Connecticut. Her character Dunyasha comes from Anton Chekov’s The Cherry Orchard. Her prior DPA experience includes Overture (2020). Jamie would like to thank her family and friends for always being so supportive. A big thank you to both the cast and crew for being so welcoming and encouraging.  
     
  • Evelyn Micacci (Tuz)
    Evelyn Micacci (she/her/hers) is a freshman Musical Theater major from Southington, Connecticut. Her character comes from Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Her prior DPA experience includes Overture (2020). Evelyn is so excited for her first DPA production at AU! She would like to thank her parents for supporting her in any way they can and her cast mates for helping create such a creative and welcoming space, even in this online format.
     
  • Molly Moore (Ella)
    Molly Moore is a senior Public Relations and Strategic Communications and Musical Theater major from Northeast Kingdom, Vermont. Her character Ella comes from Anton Checkov’s Life Sucks. Her prior DPA experience includes The Wolves (2019), The Women (2020), Capstone (2021). Her prior student theater experience includes Company (AU Players, 2019), Little Shop of Horrors (AU Players, 2019). Special thanks to Cat, Daniel, Edmée, Julia, Rebecca, Sophia, and Sultana, who invited an awkward, backwoods human into their lives and gave me a place to call home away from home. Grateful always for mom, dad, Eli, Macy, Willoughby, and Zane. “The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat fruit.”
     
  • Layla Nabavi (Dev)
    Layla Nabavi is a senior Musical Theater major and a Women, Gender, & Sexuality Studies minor from Lahaina, Hawaii. Her character Dev comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird. Her prior DPA experience includes A Call For A New Federal Theatre Project: A Senior Capstone, Carrie:The Musical, and Overture (2017). Special thanks to Aaron, Britta, Nathan and the whole cast and team for making this show possible during a challenging time.
     
  • Jose Pablo Payro (22)
    Jose Pablo Payro is a Junior Theater Performance and Business and Entertainment major from Mexico City, Mexico. His Character 22 comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. His prior DPA experience includes Overture (2018) , Carrie: The Musical (2019), Shared Space (2019), Significant Other (2020). José Pablo is grateful for all the support he received from his friends and family throughout this process. 
     
  • Sarah Pollock (Olga)
    Sarah Pollock is a senior Musical Theater major from Medford, Massachusetts. Her character Olga comes from Anton Chekov’s Three Sisters. Her past DPA experience includes The Women (Crystal Allen), Pippin (Ensemble), The Government Inspector (Doctor), and The Birds. Her prior student theater experience includes Hamlet (British American Drama Academy), Capes Musical Revue (AU Players), and CSC Acting Apprentice (2020). Sarah is thrilled to have worked on TMU and sends love and thanks to her family, wonderful cast mates, crew, and creative team!
     
  • Anna Steinmeyer (Solly)
    Anna Stienmeyer is a freshman Theater Performance and Political Science major from Highland Park, Illinois. Her Prior DPA experience Includes Overture (2020). Anna is so excited to be joining the cast of Too Much Unhappy and is especially thankful to Aaron for giving her this opportunity. She would like to thank her amazing family for always supporting her in her theater endeavors. She would also like to thank her friends at the residence inn for always being there to cheer her on and keep her spirits high. Congrats to everyone in the cast and here's to an amazing run!
  • Emma Wallach (Irina) 
    Emma Wallach is a Sophomore Musical Theater major and a Literature minor. Her character Irina comes from Anton Chekhov’s Three Sisters. Her prior DPA experience includes Overture (2019), and The Boy Detective Fails (2020, Caroline Argo). Emma would like to thank Aaron, Britta, Nathan, the Greenberg team, and Rebecca for everything they taught her and for their support during this process. She would also like to thank her family and pets for their love, support, and quietness while she rehearsed on Zoom. 
     
  • Julia White (Nina) 
    Julia white is a freshman Musical Theater and Communication major from Scarsdale, New York. Her character Nina comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull. Her Prior DPA experience Includes Overture (2020). Julia is so happy to be a part of this production and would like to thank her family and friends for their support! Rehearsing and performing Too Much Unhappy has been an amazing experience and she is so grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this incredible cast. 
     
  • Sara Wiser (Mash and Songwriter)
    Sara Wiser is a freshman Musical Theater Major from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Her character Mash comes from Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull and Aaron Posner’s Stupid Fucking Bird. Her Prior DPA experience Includes Overture (2020). Her prior student theater experience includes Players Ensemble at Stagedoor Manor, Shrek the Musical (Fiona) at the Bucks County Playhouse, as well as Cinderella (Madame) at William Tennent High School. Sara would like to thank the amazing TMU songwriter’s room for being incredibly kind and fun to work with, along with Aaron Posner for giving her the opportunity to write music for the show. She would also like to thank her family for always supporting her and putting up with her crazy rehearsal schedule.

Production Biographies

  • Aaron Posner (Director and Playwright)
    Aaron Posner is a director, playwright, teacher, former Artistic Director of two regional theatres, and an Associate Professor here at AU. Professionally, he has directed more than 150 productions at major regional theaters including Arena Stage, ART, American Players Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, Round House, Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, The Folger, Ford’s, Studio, Signature and many more. As a playwright, his re-imaging of Chekhov’s The Seagull, entitled Stupid F**king Bird, was one of the ten most produced plays in the country in 2015 and has had more than 200 productions worldwide including productions in Australia, Sweden, Luxembourg, Canada and elsewhere. His other plays include The Heal, JQA, Life Sucks, No Sisters, District Merchants, Who Am I This Time? & Other Conundrums of Love, The Chosen, My Name Is Asher Lev, The Gift of Nothing, ME…JANE, and more. He lives outside of DC with his wife, actress Erin Weaver, and his daughter, Maisie.
     
  • Britta Joy Peterson (Associate Director/ Choreographer)
    Britta Joy Peterson is an award-winning choreographer, collaborator and educator. Raised in the midwest, creatively pressure-cooked by the southwest, liberated by the pacific northwest, and cracked open by the wild west, BJP is now an east coast creative based in Washington, DC. Creative work has been seen at the Sibu International Dance Festival—Sarawak, Malaysia, Performance Mix 33—New York City, NY, Arts and Society Conference—Paris, France, European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts—Basel, Switzerland, Dance Place—Washington, DC, Triskelion Arts—Brooklyn, NY, Sonics Immersive Media Lab—London, UK, and the Kennedy Center for Performing Arts—Washington, DC.

    BJP’s research practice churns at the intersection of body, question, theory, relation and design. Current projects engage questions surrounding the climate crisis, holding space, and attunement as a strategy towards transcendent communities. BJP is an Artist in Residence at Dance Place and a DC Commission for the Arts and Humanities Fellow. BJP also specializes in dance for the theatrical stage developing fresh material for classic plays and musicals, and devising choreographies and movement languages for new theatre works.
  • BJP is an active educator, both in university and professional settings. Active research in curricular design for the dynamic arts environment continuously yields new class, workshops, and programs such as American University’s new Dance Program curriculum, launched in 2017, for which she was the co-recipient of the 2017 Anne S. Ferren Curriculum Design Award. BJP was also a recipient of the 2020 AU College of Arts and Sciences Outstanding Mentorship award She holds her MFA in Dance, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University.
     
  • Nathan Beary Blustein (Musical Director)
    Nathan Beary Blustein is a Professorial Lecturer of Musical Theatre in the Department of Performing Arts at American University. He serves as music director for AU productions, which most recently include Miss You Like Hell and The Boy Detective Fails. Dr. Blustein completed his Ph.D. in Music Theory at Indiana University last August. His dissertation is titled “Through Arrangements of Shadows: Experiences of Reprise in Stephen Sondheim’s Leitmotivic Musicals.”
     
  • Daniel Pérez Carasol (Audio Recording/ Mixing)
    After earning my undergraduate degree in telecommunications engineering from the Technical University of Madrid, in Spain, I started my MA in Audio Technology back in 2019. For two years I have been learning and exploring different aspects of audio engineering, primarily focusing on recording and mixing music.
  • Rebecca Bailey (Stage Manager)
    Rebecca Bailey is a junior Musical Theater and Public Relations & Strategic Communications major from Newport Beach, California. Her previous DPA show experience includes How to Succeed... (dance captain), Pippin (dancer), as well as Overture 2017 (ensemble). Working with this team and cast and seeing a musical be built from the ground up has been a true highlight of the past year for Rebecca. She would like to thank Aaron Posner and the entire team for putting so much faith in her and for encouraging and supporting her throughout the last five months. She would also like to thank her friends and family for all of their love, and the crew at the Arlington Ridge Starbucks for her daily inspiration and motivation. Enjoy the show!
     
  • Bret O’Brien (Assistant Stage Manager)
    Bret O’Brien (he/him/his) is a junior Musical Theatre major and Business and Entertainment miner from Mountainside, New Jersey. His previous DPA show experience includes Miss You Like Hell (Mo), Significant Other (Zach/Roger), How to Succeed… (Mr. Twimble), and Carrie: The Musical (Ensemble). His previous student theatre experience includes Little Shop of Horrors (Seymour). He would like to thank the whole cast and crew for their love and light during this show. All too often there really is too much unhappiness in the world surrounding us, so he is extremely thankful to have worked with wonderful people during this production. He would also like to shout out all of the seniors and wish them well on their future endeavors and hopes to stay connected with all of them always.
  • Kaitlyn Hamer (Assistant Stage Manager)
    Kaitlyn Hamer is a sophomore Business and Entertainment major and Theater minor from Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Her prior DPA experience includes Overture 2019 (lights). Her prior student theater experience includes Pride and Prejudice (Mr. Gardner) with the Rude Mechanicals. Kaitlyn is so excited for everyone to see how amazing this show is and how dedicated the cast and crew was in making this show come to life. She would also like to thank her family for supporting her throughout the entire process.
     
  • Rhea Mehta (Assistant Stage Manager)
    Rhea Mehta is a sophomore Theater Arts and Psychology major from Portland, Oregon. Her prior DPA experience includes Capstone: Eight Minutes (ASM). Rhea is excited for everyone to see all the work that went into Too Much Unhappy and had a lot of fun working on the project. 
     
  • Grace Perry (Dramaturg, Assistant Stage Manager)
    Grace Perry (she/her/hers) is a junior Musical Theater major and Business and Entertainment minor from Cleveland, Ohio. Her previous DPA show experience includes The Women (Edith). Her previous student theater experience includes AU Player’s A View From The Bridge (Stage Manager, 2019), and AU Quills and Capes Superstar (Director, 2019). Grace would like to thank the entire team for being so supportive and providing inspiration and creativity in this weird Zoom world. She would also like to thank her family and friends for their positivity and love throughout this entire process.
     
  • Megan Raham (Production Designer)
    Meghan Raham is a scenic and costume designer with a strong interest in the development of new work. Design credits include: Off-Broadway/ Lincoln Center LCT3 (Clay), DC: Round House Theatre (Master Harold…, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Night Alive, Fool for Love), Ford’s (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?), Woolly Mammoth (She the People, Pike St.), Folger (District Merchants, Romeo and Juliet, The Conference of the Birds), Theater J (Life Sucks), Studio Theatre (The Aliens, Red Speedo), The Kennedy Center. Chicago: Steppenwolf Theatre (You Got Older), Lookingglass Theatre (Fedra), The Hypocrites’ Frankenstein at the Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as regionally at Barrington Stage (The Chosen), Kansas City Repertory Theatre, and Center Theatre Group (LA) (Venice). Meghan is an Associate Professor at American University (see also www.meghanraham.com).
     
  • Songwriters: 
    Sean Doyle (Songwriter and Composer)
    Sean Doyle is a composer and songwriter. His various works include music for large ensembles, art song & choral music, solo & chamber works, incidental music for plays & dance, operas, and music for commercial media. He earned his DMA at the Peabody Institute (Johns Hopkins Univ) and BMus/MMus from SUNY Fredonia. Sean has taught at AU since 2015, and has served as director of the music program since 2019. www.seandoylemusic.com
  • Olivia Cholewczynski (Songwriter)
    Olivia Cholewczynski (she/her/hers) is a Sophomore Musical Theater major and Political Science minor from Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her prior DPA experience includes: The Women (2020), The Birds (2020), and Overture (2019). Her prior student theater experience includes Wired (AU Quills and Capes 2020), and Little Shop of Horrors (AU Players, 2019). Olivia is thrilled to be making her musical theatre songwriting debut in Too Much Unhappy! She thanks Aaron Posner for giving her this incredible opportunity and being a joy to work with, Nathan Blustein for making dreams come true, and Sean Doyle for the church bell sound effects. Also, a major shout out to her fellow songwriters! You guys are the best, seriously. Lastly, Olivia wants to thank her family for being the infallible support system she needed this year. 
  • Rosalie Jung (Songwriter)
    Rosalie Jung is a freshman International Studies and Film and Media Arts major from Richmond, Virginia. Rosalie’s prior DPA experience includes Overture (2020). Rosalie would like to thank the entire songwriting team, especially Professors Posner, Blustein and Doyle for creating such an encouraging collaborative environment through which these songs have been conceived. Now, the music has a life of its own, and Rosalie is so grateful and proud to have been a part of its creation.
  • Jillian Skara (Songwriter) 
    Jilian Skara is a freshman Musical Theatre major from Livingston, New Jersey. Her prior DPA show experience includes Overture (2020) Her prior student theater experience includes Wired with AU Quills and Capes (2020), and Director for The Emancipation of Fanfiction in AU Quills and Cape's 2021 New Works Festival. Jillian would like to thank Aaron for this great opportunity, Nathan for helping her visions come to life, and her fellow songwriters, Sara, Olivia, and Rosalie, for supporting her.

 

Creative & Production Team

  • Director: Aaron Posner
  • Associate Director & Choreographer: Britta J. Peterson
  • Music Director: Nathan Beary Blustein
  • Production Designer: Meghan Raham
  • Assistant Director & Producer: Emily Brolin 
  • Associate Choreographer: Graciela Rey
  • Video Editor: Asher White 
  • Videographers: Alan Cameron & Emily Brolin
  • Audio Engineer: Daniel Perez Carasol
  • Dramaturg: Grace Perry
  • Costume Coordinators: Sydney Moore, Barbara Tucker-Parker
  • Lighting Consultant: Jason Arnold
  • Technical Coordinator and Stream Engineer: Erin Sullivan 
  • Video Media and Stream Experimentalist: Sean Preston 
  • Stage Manager: Rebecca Bailey 
  • Assistant Stage Managers: Kaitlyn Hamer, Rhea Mehta, Bret O’Brien, Grace Perry
  • Operations Managers: Lisa Barr, Greg Anderson 
  • Technical Support: John Stahrr, Wyatt BalaEddy, Dan Erickson 
  • Production & Events Coordinator: Mike Burgtorf 
  • Patron Services & Events Coordinator: Sam Megill