By Michelle Kholos Brooks
Premiered January/February 2019
Presented by iTheatre Collaborative
Jan. 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31, Feb. 1, 2 at 8:00pm and Jan. 20, 27 at 2:00pmBased on the true events of 1979 when students in Tehran took over the American Embassy. The mother of the youngest hostage, a 19 year-old Marine, flew to Tehran in the hope of being allowed to see her son. The play imagines what happened when mother and son were reunited, and the consequences the mother faced when she returned home and was suddenly suspect in her own country. Never doubt the ferocity of a mother’s love.
Elizabeth Broeder (Tehran Mary) is so honored to be making her iTheatre Collaborative acting debut. Recent productions include Inherit the Wind (Rachel), The Great Gatsby (Jordan), My Beloved World (Selena), Taming of the Shrew (Curtis/Haberdasher) and Spin (Gwen). She is in the middle of her second season as an actor for Southwest Shakespeare Company’s educational tour; last season in Twelfth Night (Feste), and this season in Swift (Elle). She sends all of her love and gratitude to dad, mom, John, Charles, Sarah, Chris, Rosie, Jake, Kailey and you for coming out to see this play!
Marlene Galan-Woods (Barbara Timm) is delighted to be working again with the artists at iTheatre Collaborative. The role of Sarah Whitmore in Church And State staged by iTheatre last spring was one of the most important roles Marlene’s had the privilege of tackling. Marlene is a story teller at heart. She had a 20-year career as a broadcast journalist and now is grateful to give her full attention to acting. She is grateful to work on stage in Phoenix and in Los Angeles. Marlene wants to thank her coach in Phoenix Brandy Hotchner for giving her the courage “not to act”. And immense gratitude goes to her Los Angeles coach Larry Moss who made her realize that art is not only a worthy pursuit but a responsibility to humanity. Endless thanks to her family especially her daughter Ava who lets Mom be absent every now and then when she’s doing her “acting thing” and love beyond measure to her best friend, her husband, Grant Woods who supports her every endeavor.
Xavier Jacob Morris (Ebrahim) is proud to be making his iTheatre debut in Hostage. Xavier has been acting on stage and film for the past four years having last been seen onstage in Space 55's Luna Gale as Peter and on film in set for release later this year. Other regional: Footloose, Billy Elliot, Legally Blonde Film: The Voice that was Louder than Before, Boston.
Jacob Nichols (Kevin Hermening) is an artist and recent graduate from ASU. Along with performing, he has directed two short films. Video and visual media production is where he is trained, but he has also worked to design projections and sounds for live stage performances. Jacob thanks his mother, friends, Charles St. Clair, and iTheatre for all of their support.
Glenn Parker (Kenny Timm) is excited to be back with iTheatre after playing Philip Berringen in The Trial of the Catonsville Nine. Some favorite roles include Brick in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Stage Left Productions), Kyle/Dewey in Legally Blonde (Mesa Encore Theatre) Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol (Theater Works), Tim and Lloyd in Noises Off (Theater Works and Mesa Encore Theatre), Pedro in Man of La Mancha (Theater Works), Willie Conklin in RagtimeCats (Fountain Hills Theatre). Love to W for all her support and love amongst all his craziness.
Walt Pedano (Richard Hermening) is thrilled to be working again at iTC for the 6th time. He has been an Arizona resident for 19 years, but active in theater for 40+ years and close to 70 productions in 5 states and 6 cities around the country. Some of his favorite roles include; Teach in Mamet’s American Buffalo, Lenny Bruce in Lenny, Tom Dailey in That Championship Season, Tom in The Glass Menagerie, Roat in Wait Until Dark, Marc in Art, Charles in Mamet’s Race at iTC, George in Neil Simon’s Chapter Two, Uncle Bill in Sons of The Prophet at Stray Cat Theater, Bill in August Osage County for Mesa Encore, Ricky Roma in Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross at Desert Stages and Victor in Arthur Miller’s The Price. In his spare time he squeezed in a 36-year career with the Marriott Hotel Company.
Michelle Kholos Brooks is an award-winning playwright with productions staged across the U.S. and Canada. Hostage was selected as a finalist for the 2016/17 Woodward/Newman Drama Award, the Fratti Newman Political Play Contest, and was a 2017 Showcase finalist for the National New Play Network. Hitler’s Tasters, won the 2017 Susan Glaspell Award. Kalamazoo, co-written with Kelly Younger, was the winner of the 2014 Riva Shiner Comedy Award, Bloomington Playwright’s Project. It has been published by Dramatists Play Service and has been produced across the country. Family Planning made its world premier at the Colony Theatre, Los Angeles and was a finalist for the Riva Shiner Comedy Award. Chair won 2nd place in the 2015 Firehouse Theatre Festival of New American Plays. Other select works for the stage include: Hostage (Skylight Theatre Co. Los Angeles), Hitler's Tasters (Centenary Stage Co., New Jersey; New Light Theatre Project; NY) Two Parents, Two Weddings, Two Years, (Wings Theatre, New York; Laurel Grove Theatre Company, Los Angeles); See How We Are (Laurel Grove Theatre Company, Los Angeles); Love and Other Allergies (Vox Humana Theatre Ensemble, Los Angeles), Peg and Irv (Snapshots, a benefit to raise funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation) Additional staged readings and developmental support of various works by Pacific Resident Theatre, Los Angeles; The Road Theatre Company; Los Angeles; The Boston Court Theatre, Pasadena; Venue 9 Theatre, San Francisco; The Barrow Group, New York; Drama West, Los Angeles; Centenary Stage, New Jersey; Florida Repertory Theatre, Florida; Wordsmyth Theatre, Houston and the Bay Street Theatre, New York. Publications include Dramatists Play Service, Room literary magazine and The Daily Beast. Michelle is a former journalist and producer for public radio programs such as Marketplace and The Savvy Traveler. She earned a B.A. from Emerson College and an M.F.A. in Fiction from Otis College of Art and Design. Memberships include The Dramatists Guild of America, The Playwright’s Center and Pacific Resident Theatre. Michelle is also a nonresident Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council within the Scowcroft Center on Strategy and Security.
Rosemary Close (Production Stage Manager, Producer) has been involved in theater in the Valley for over thirty years. Her work dates back as far as the Arizona Contemporary Theater Company, Northwest Studios and the Glendale Little Theater to name a few oldies. Her onstage credits include: Frozen, Harvey, Chapter Two, Barefoot in the Park, Cabaret, The Balcony, The Way We Live Now, Royal Gambit, Loves Scenes from Romeo and Juliet, Reel to Real, The Collected Works of Billy the Kid, The Maids, Skimpies and The Bad Seed. Her recent directing credits include: last season’s Velocity of Autumn and Hughie, previous season’s Grounded and An Almost Holy Picture. In 1991, Rosemary began her longtime association with the New York theater company, Mabou Mines. She appeared in numerous productions with that company both in Phoenix and New York. The highlight of that work with Mabou Mines was a leading role in the multimedia stage production, Wrath of Kali, directed by the award winning and acclaimed, Lee Breuer. Currently, she is the Managing Director for iTheatre Collaborative and is proud to be a part of the impact iTheatre has made in the Phoenix downtown community.
Christopher Haines (Director, Producer) is a theater veteran with over thirty years of experience as an actor, producer, stage manager, writer, director and designer. He graduated in 1991 from Duke University and in 2016 from Arizona State. Directing credits include: (for iTheatre) White Guy on the Bus, A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay about the Death of Walt Disney, A Bad Friend, The Fish Must Die, Molly Sweeney, and Cat’s Paw. As a designer his work includes: Topdog/Underdog, A Raisin in the Sun, Gunplay, Peter Pan and Wendy, The Wizard of Oz, The Colored Museum, The House of Bernarda Alba, and Horn in the West, a 1500-seat outdoor amphitheater in Boone, N.C. In 1994, Mr. Haines collaborated with the internationally acclaimed director, Lee Breuer (founder of Mabou Mines), on his project Wrath of Kali, as the Director of Videography, both in its debut in Phoenix, AZ and in New York. Other design work in video, photography and media includes; the Daniel Lentz Group's “A Crack in the Bell,” such plays as Jack, Reel to Real, Romeo and Juliet, Sweet Thunder, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, and he has worked as the Director of Photography on the feature films Wake of the Hero and Means of Escape and was the production designer for the independent film Hack. In 2002 he co-founded iTheatre Collaborative. His work at iTheatre has garnered national attention and recognition with invited performances at the National Black Theater Festival in Winston-Salem, N.C., the Black Arts Movement Festival in Austin, TX and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, AK. For iTheatre he has produced well-over sixty productions in the Valley with numerous regional and world premieres.