LOST IN YONKERS

Neil Simon 

Meet The Cast

Marnie Kanarek

 

I'm playing Bella Kurnitz. I have a degree in classical voice performance and have been performing in operas, musicals, and straight-plays since high school/college. I moved to Maryland from New Jersey about a year ago and have been actively performing around Montgomery County, most recently in 'Silent Sky' (Henrietta Leavitt) at Silver Spring Stage and 'Book of Days' (Ruth Hoch) at Rockville Little Theatre.

Bella is like a child, and her personality reflects that. I don't think Bella is intellectually disabled... Her intelligence is average, but hindered by her social and emotional disabilities. In some ways, she is extremely perceptive. And you see her grow - I think everyone grows in this show, but I personally think that Bella matures more than anyone throughout the play. Bella is all heart...you can't help but root for her.

Leah Mazade

 

I play Grandma Kurnitz.  In working on a character, I always try to understand why that character does what she does, which ultimately means understanding what she’s trying to achieve during the play. I have a great deal of sympathy for Grandma.  It seems to me that she is focused on (at least) two big things: ensuring the survival of her family and protecting herself from the pain of loss. The methods she employs to gain those ends certainly aren’t the kindest or the most conventional, but she believes, in large part, that they’re absolutely necessary.

 

The text of the play makes clear that she’s not an ogre: Neil Simon takes care to present some of her history and what has shaped her character,  thus revealing her motives. Part of the overall “journey” of the play, then, is how Grandma begins to change and come to something approaching a reconciliation with her children and grandchildren.

Cole Sitilides

I play Jay Kurnitz.  I started theater about three years ago. I first performed in community children’s theater shows at the Alden Theatre in Virginia. Next I was cast in my first musical, 13! The musical solidified my love for the stage and I continued in community theatre until 2015 when I was cast in Ford’s Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. After I was in a couple more community shows and student productions including To Kill a Mockingbird and Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Most recently I was in Brighton Beach Memoirs at Theatre J in Washington, D.C. 

 

I would describe Lost in Yonkers as a dramedy with a lot of layers. It’s comedic at times, it’s dramatic at times, but above all it’s truthful. It takes to the stage the idea that families are not always perfect.  The play deals with sickness, debt, tough love, and courage, to name a few, that are ever present in society today.

Cole Sitilides

I play Jay Kurnitz.  I started theater about three years ago. I first performed in community children’s theater shows at the Alden Theatre in Virginia. Next I was cast in my first musical, 13! The musical solidified my love for the stage and I continued in community theatre until 2015 when I was cast in Ford’s Theatre’s A Christmas Carol. After I was in a couple more community shows and student productions including To Kill a Mockingbird and Thoroughly Modern Millie Jr. Most recently I was in Brighton Beach Memoirs at Theatre J in Washington, D.C. 

 

I would describe Lost in Yonkers as a dramedy with a lot of layers. It’s comedic at times, it’s dramatic at times, but above all it’s truthful. It takes to the stage the idea that families are not always perfect.  The play deals with sickness, debt, tough love, and courage, to name a few, that are ever present in society today.

Cristen Stephansky

 

In Lost in Yonkers, I play Gert.  After graduating from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in 2012, I've worked as a professional actor in theater and film primarily in the DC area.  Although I often perform in new works, it is fun to perform in a Neil Simon piece because of the way he adds humor to real life situations.  

 

Lost in Yonkers is a relatable show because most people have families that are less than perfect.  It shows two boys navigating a complex family dynamic.  We are able to laugh at the dysfunction, understand what created it, and find hope that it can be healed through love and communication.

Cristen Stephansky

 

In Lost in Yonkers, I play Gert.  After graduating from the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts in 2012, I've worked as a professional actor in theater and film primarily in the DC area.  Although I often perform in new works, it is fun to perform in a Neil Simon piece because of the way he adds humor to real life situations.  

 

Lost in Yonkers is a relatable show because most people have families that are less than perfect.  It shows two boys navigating a complex family dynamic.  We are able to laugh at the dysfunction, understand what created it, and find hope that it can be healed through love and communication.

Michael Reilly

I play EDDIE KURNITZ.  I’ve been active in the DC theater scene for a little over two and a half years, mostly working with The Coil Project (TCP) in nine productions as some combination of actor, musician, radio host/producer, writer, director, and stage manager (so far).  I most recently appeared as Pyramus in The Changeling Child, TCP’s award-winning 2017 Capital Fringe Festival entry, and am currently directing two shorts I wrote for TCP’s fall anthology show, Strange Tales III: Drive-in Double Feature. 

 

I’ve also appeared with Rockville Little Theater (Lend Me A Tenor as Max, and The Great Gatsby as George Wilson), and performed as a musical opener for Silver Spring Stage’s co-production with TCP, The Greatest Holiday Special (N)Ever.  Lost in Yonkers will be my first time working with Peace Mountain Theatre, and I’m thrilled to be here.  Eddie reminds us that during World War II, all kinds of Americans played a role in the war effort.  He also reminds us that their motives may not have been patriotic in nature, and that that doesn’t necessarily diminish them.  Eddie has a good heart, and it pains him to admit that the war presented a much-needed (life saving) business opportunity.

Michael Reilly

I play EDDIE KURNITZ.  I’ve been active in the DC theater scene for a little over two and a half years, mostly working with The Coil Project (TCP) in nine productions as some combination of actor, musician, radio host/producer, writer, director, and stage manager (so far).  I most recently appeared as Pyramus in The Changeling Child, TCP’s award-winning 2017 Capital Fringe Festival entry, and am currently directing two shorts I wrote for TCP’s fall anthology show, Strange Tales III: Drive-in Double Feature. 

 

I’ve also appeared with Rockville Little Theater (Lend Me A Tenor as Max, and The Great Gatsby as George Wilson), and performed as a musical opener for Silver Spring Stage’s co-production with TCP, The Greatest Holiday Special (N)Ever.  Lost in Yonkers will be my first time working with Peace Mountain Theatre, and I’m thrilled to be here.  Eddie reminds us that during World War II, all kinds of Americans played a role in the war effort.  He also reminds us that their motives may not have been patriotic in nature, and that that doesn’t necessarily diminish them.  Eddie has a good heart, and it pains him to admit that the war presented a much-needed (life saving) business opportunity.

Michael Reilly

I play EDDIE KURNITZ.  I’ve been active in the DC theater scene for a little over two and a half years, mostly working with The Coil Project (TCP) in nine productions as some combination of actor, musician, radio host/producer, writer, director, and stage manager (so far).  I most recently appeared as Pyramus in The Changeling Child, TCP’s award-winning 2017 Capital Fringe Festival entry, and am currently directing two shorts I wrote for TCP’s fall anthology show, Strange Tales III: Drive-in Double Feature. 

 

I’ve also appeared with Rockville Little Theater (Lend Me A Tenor as Max, and The Great Gatsby as George Wilson), and performed as a musical opener for Silver Spring Stage’s co-production with TCP, The Greatest Holiday Special (N)Ever.  Lost in Yonkers will be my first time working with Peace Mountain Theatre, and I’m thrilled to be here.  Eddie reminds us that during World War II, all kinds of Americans played a role in the war effort.  He also reminds us that their motives may not have been patriotic in nature, and that that doesn’t necessarily diminish them.  Eddie has a good heart, and it pains him to admit that the war presented a much-needed (life saving) business opportunity.

Michael Reilly

I play EDDIE KURNITZ.  I’ve been active in the DC theater scene for a little over two and a half years, mostly working with The Coil Project (TCP) in nine productions as some combination of actor, musician, radio host/producer, writer, director, and stage manager (so far).  I most recently appeared as Pyramus in The Changeling Child, TCP’s award-winning 2017 Capital Fringe Festival entry, and am currently directing two shorts I wrote for TCP’s fall anthology show, Strange Tales III: Drive-in Double Feature. 

 

I’ve also appeared with Rockville Little Theater (Lend Me A Tenor as Max, and The Great Gatsby as George Wilson), and performed as a musical opener for Silver Spring Stage’s co-production with TCP, The Greatest Holiday Special (N)Ever.  Lost in Yonkers will be my first time working with Peace Mountain Theatre, and I’m thrilled to be here.  Eddie reminds us that during World War II, all kinds of Americans played a role in the war effort.  He also reminds us that their motives may not have been patriotic in nature, and that that doesn’t necessarily diminish them.  Eddie has a good heart, and it pains him to admit that the war presented a much-needed (life saving) business opportunity.

Elyon Topolosky

 

I’m playing Arty in Lost in Yonkers. This is my second play with Peace Mountain Theatre Company. I was Bert in All My Sons with this talented Theatre group.  Most recently, I have performed at various Imagination Stage plays including Mr. Macafee in Bye Bye Birdie, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, Nick in Fame, & the Cat in Honk Jr.  In some ways, my 13 year old character of Arty in 1942 is very similar to my 13 year old self in 2017. We are both teenage boys who have brothers. Arty and I have a typical sibling relationship-we get along but also step on each other's toes and have normal sibling rivalry. Teenagers in the 1940's are dealing with the same adolescent struggles as teenagers today such as seeking independence, figuring out who they are, and developing relationships.

Elyon Topolosky

 

I’m playing Arty in Lost in Yonkers. This is my second play with Peace Mountain Theatre Company. I was Bert in All My Sons with this talented Theatre group.  Most recently, I have performed at various Imagination Stage plays including Mr. Macafee in Bye Bye Birdie, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, Nick in Fame, & the Cat in Honk Jr.  In some ways, my 13 year old character of Arty in 1942 is very similar to my 13 year old self in 2017. We are both teenage boys who have brothers. Arty and I have a typical sibling relationship-we get along but also step on each other's toes and have normal sibling rivalry. Teenagers in the 1940's are dealing with the same adolescent struggles as teenagers today such as seeking independence, figuring out who they are, and developing relationships.

Elyon Topolosky

 

I’m playing Arty in Lost in Yonkers. This is my second play with Peace Mountain Theatre Company. I was Bert in All My Sons with this talented Theatre group.  Most recently, I have performed at various Imagination Stage plays including Mr. Macafee in Bye Bye Birdie, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, Nick in Fame, & the Cat in Honk Jr.  In some ways, my 13 year old character of Arty in 1942 is very similar to my 13 year old self in 2017. We are both teenage boys who have brothers. Arty and I have a typical sibling relationship-we get along but also step on each other's toes and have normal sibling rivalry. Teenagers in the 1940's are dealing with the same adolescent struggles as teenagers today such as seeking independence, figuring out who they are, and developing relationships.

Elyon Topolosky

 

I’m playing Arty in Lost in Yonkers. This is my second play with Peace Mountain Theatre Company. I was Bert in All My Sons with this talented Theatre group.  Most recently, I have performed at various Imagination Stage plays including Mr. Macafee in Bye Bye Birdie, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys & Dolls, Nick in Fame, & the Cat in Honk Jr.  In some ways, my 13 year old character of Arty in 1942 is very similar to my 13 year old self in 2017. We are both teenage boys who have brothers. Arty and I have a typical sibling relationship-we get along but also step on each other's toes and have normal sibling rivalry. Teenagers in the 1940's are dealing with the same adolescent struggles as teenagers today such as seeking independence, figuring out who they are, and developing relationships.

Christopher Tully

I play Uncle Louie.  I have been acting in the D.C. area since 1996, at various community and professional theaters in the area.  I decided to audition for LOST IN YONKERS because I love the play (I played the same part 10 years ago), and seem to do some of my best acting work with David Dieudonne directing me.


LIY is the story of a family beset by a lot of old wounds, somehow keeping together, but also coming to grips with what impact those wounds have had on the family as a whole, and on each member individually.  The balance (in the character of Louie) comes out of the notion that comedy essentially results from unreleased tension -- for Louie, the counterpoint extension arises between his James Cagney-ish bravado and both his desperation and his recognition that for "strength" Grandma gave him, it's manifested itself in ways that have left him broken, that the bravado conceals.  That's how he's basically able to play the swaggering gangster one minute, the caring uncle the next, and the frightened mark one minute after that.

David Dieudonne, Director

 

David has been acting and directing in the DC metro area for the last 20 years.  He is making his second Peace Mountain Theatre Company appearance, having last been George Deever in it's 2015 production of Arthur Miller's All My Sons.  Previous directing credits include: Blackbird and A Steady Rain (Capital City Players DC),Neighborhood 3 (Molotov Theater Group), and Night, Mother (Rockville Little Theater).  He thanks his crew for their innovation and tireless effort, and sends much love to his cast for their courage and relentless commitment to character.

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13329 Wye Oak Drive

Darnestown, MD 20878

Tel: (301) 987-2478

EMAIL

Write us with questions or concerns

peacemtntheatreco@gmail.com

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Peace Mountain Theatre Company is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County Government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

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