SONG OF SONGS

A LoveRomp

Take a tumble through the greatest love poem ever written – Song of Songs. It’s a trip through the imagination of a girl finding first love, inspired by the classic poem with an original score channeling Leonard Cohen, The Decemberists, Elliott Smith and Neutral Milk Hotel. Unusual percussion, indie folk guitars and lush harmonies meld with drama, dance, masks and puppets to create a world that evokes both the handmade and the majestic. Song of Songs is a fantastical journey discovering love with the young, the jealous, the sacred, the silly, the surreal and the sublime.

ARTISTIC TEAM

BOOK, LYRICS, DIRECTOR - Jason Slavick

Jason Slavick is the Artistic Director of Liars & Believers. He is a director, writer and educator. For the LAB, he conceived and directed Who Would Be King, Yellow Bird Chase, and ICARUS, which premiered in Cambridge, played Outside The Box in Boston and made an acclaimed New York debut at the 2013 New York Musical Theatre Festival (honorable mention for book and design). Jason directed 28 Seeds, he co-wrote and directed, Song of Songs: a LoveRomp, and wrote and directed Le Cabaret Grimm: a punk cabaret fairy tale {sans fairies}, which premiered in Boston and played at the 2012 New York Musical Theatre Festival (best featured performer and best design, honorable mention for choreography). Jason also directed the LAB’s experimental project, Talk to Strangers. Jason wrote and directed Heaven & Hell u2013 The Fantastical Temptation of the 7 Deadly Sins, a musical excursion commissioned by The Boston Conservatory. As a company member of Boston Theatre Works, Jason directed Othello (Elliot Norton Award nominated for Best Production and Best Actor), The Tempest, Antony & Cleopatra, and Macbeth. He developed and directed Emily Mann’s critically acclaimed Meshugah, Olga Humphrey’s Veronika Vavoom Volcanologist, and his own play J: a one-act improvised tragi-comedy. He also directed numerous developmental workshops and readings including Joyce Carol Oates’ The Tattooed Girl. Jason has directed throughout New England, in Tel Aviv, and in Philadelphia. Besides the shows above, Jason has written and directed The Golem, Icaphish, and Alice: a Grotesque Turn in Twelve Scenes. Jason has taught at colleges and schools throughout New England. He earned his MFA in directing from The Trinity Repertory Conservatory in Providence, where he was awarded the inaugural Pell Scholar Award.

There he had the great fortune to work with Oskar Eustis, Brian Kulick, and Kevin Moriarity. Jason also studied at the Dell Arte International School of Physical Theatre, the Eugene O’Neill National Theatre Institute, and the Warsaw Theatre Academy in Warsaw, Poland.

COMPOSER, MUSIC DIRECTOR - Cassandra Marsh

Cassandra is a critically acclaimed pianist, vocalist and musical director. As a pianist and cabaret artist she has performed throughout Boston and the country, including such venues as: The Napoleon Club, Dedo’s, Club Cafe, The French Library, The Duplex, The Majestic Theatre, Club Passim, and North Shore Music Theatre. She received her BFA from Ithaca College with additional studies at The Royal Conservatory Toronto, The Longy School of Music and The American Music Center. She has musically directed over 50 shows both regionally and professionally, including the 1st National Tour of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. As an educator Ms. Marsh has taught at The Merrimac Repertory, The Middlesex Summer School for The Arts, Winthrop School of Performing Arts and The North Shore Music Theatre. Currently, she teaches piano, voice and theory privately. Her students have gone on to such schools as: New York University, Boston Conservatory, Ithaca College and Berklee School of Music.

She has written and produced three one-woman shows and is currently working on her latest installment, The Unashamed Accompanist. She also composed and wrote the book for Alice, a musical adaptation of the Lewis Carroll story which has been produced by the Boston Baked Theatre Company and The Middlesex Summer School for the Arts. Her song, My Hometown, was written for the Boston production of Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding. As a singer/songwriter she is currently working on her second full-length CD, a follow-up to Spellbound With Hope, due out on the Whirlygirl label. Cassandra is an experienced church musician and has served as the Minister of Music for the last six years at the First Church of Winthrop United Methodist. She is also a community activist and founding member of the Winthrop Coalition for Peace and Justice.

CHOREOGRAPHER - Michelle Chasse

Michelle Chasse was principal dancer with Portland Ballet, Ballet New England, and other local companies. Ms. Chasse trained at the Boston Ballet School, studied privately with Maestro Vincenzo Celli, and was on scholarship at the School of American Ballet in New York City. She graduated cum laude with a B.F.A. in Dance Performance from the Boston Conservatory, where she was the first recipient of the prestigious Ruth Sandholm Ambrose Award. Since then she has studied and performed with ballet, concert dance and Broadway legends from around the world. Ms. Chasse has performed as a guest artist with Franklin Performing Arts, Granite State Ballet, and was a featured ballet dancer in a VH1 video starring Michael Crawford, and has been a featured jazz dancer and model for numerous television commercials and industrials. She has performed openings for Gregory Hines and Harry Connick Jr., among others. Her choreography was seen in the Boston Conservatory Musical theater productions Where’s Charley?, Side Show (New England Premiere), Anyone Can Whistle, Street Scene, Crazy For You, and Wild Party. She served as Associate Choreographer for the Boston Conservatory’s production of Chicago, and as Principal Choreographer for the world premieres of Andrei Petrov’s The Captain’s Daughterand Joe Jackson’sHeaven & Hell, as well as the Conservatory’s critically acclaimed 2003 production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide. Ms. Chasse is the 2004 recipient of the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award from the Boston Conservatory. She has also performed and choreographed for the nationally recognized Boston Gay Men’s Chorus, and is a highly sought after guest artist performer and master teacher. Ms. Chasse is on the dance faculty at the Boston Conservatory, where she serves as Dance Instructor, Resident Choreographer, and Musical Theater Dance Coordinator, and on the faculty of the Jeannette Neill Dance Studio.

LIGHTING DESIGNER - Aaron Sherkow

Aaron Sherkow has been designing shows since 2001. He has designed for theatre, dance and opera companies around Wisconsin, including Cornerstone Theatre, Danceworks, Nevermore Theatre, Attic Theatre Inc and Chamber Theatre. In 2008, he moved to Boston to pursue his MFA in Design at Boston University. He received his BA in Theatre with a Music minor from Lawrence University in 2004. In 2006, he joined the staff of Ripon College’s Theatre Department. He is currently on the design faculty of Lawrence University.

COSTUME DESIGNER - Kendra Bell

Kendra is on the theatre faculty of Tufts University. She has worked for Huntington Theater Company, Stonehill College, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Glimmerglass Opera, and Hubbard Street Dance. Some of her design work includes Song of Songs (LAB), The Fantasticks (Prometheus), Cosi Fan Tutte (Millikin University), and Peter (Braintree Films). She holds a BFA in Studio Art from Millikin University and a MFA in Theatrical Design from Rutgers University.

PRODUCTION MANAGER, STAGE MANAGER - Marc Ewart

Marc Ewart has worked in many departments of theatre production throughout his education and start of his career. He attended Franklin Pierce College in Rindge, NH where he graduated in 2005 cum laude with a B.A. in Theatre Arts with a concentration in directing. During his four years at F.P.C. he performed in many productions while also working in the costume and prop shop. There he appeared in productions of You Can’t Take It With You, The Laramie Project, Vertical Talking, Blood Brothers, and The Death of Don Juan. In 2003 he was honored to be a cast member in but the rain is full of ghosts by Robert Lawson, which attended the American College Theatre National Festival and performed on stage at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. He has worked on many productions around Boston in many different departments including stage management, carpentry, set design, lighting design, costume design, and also selling tickets in the box office. He currently works freelance technical theatre and ushering in the Boston area. He is also the site manager of Pioneer Village: Salem 1630 in Salem, MA. With Liars & Believes he has stage managed Song of Songs: A LoveRomp and was ASM for Le Cabaret Grimm. He attributes much of his success in technical theatre to owning a pick-up truck.

MASK MAKER - Eric Bornstein

Eric Bornstein (MLA Harvard 2000 Fine Arts) is an award winning mask maker, who has studied with masters Agung Suardana in Bali, and Donato Sartori in Italy. He received his MLA in Fine Arts along with the Thomas Small prize from Harvard University. His masks have appeared at the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, the Fuller Craft Museum, the Kennedy Library/Museum, the Boston Lyric Opera, the Boston Ballet, the Society of Arts & Crafts (Newbury Street), King Richard’s Faire, Revels, and First Night Boston. He teaches classes in making and performing, and offers performances and residencies to schools throughout the state through Young Audiences of Massachusetts. Local and national media have described him as “a man of many talents” and his masks as “phantasmagoric,” “magnificent,” “Stunning, finely crafted, first-rate,” and “gorgeous.” For more information please visit behindthemask.org.

CAST

Esme Allen

Esme Allen is a New York based actress thrilled to be making her Boston theatre debut in Song of Songs.  Recently she was part of the Youth Ink! ensemble at the McCarter Theatre in  Princeton, NJ. A recent graduate of the California Institute of the Arts, Esme’s MFA Acting. Her credits include Beyond the HorizonCat on a Hot Tin RoofHedwig and the Angry InchThe Bacchae and The Living Room, a one-woman show that she both wrote and performed. International credits include Jack, or the Submission and The Whole Arrangement performed at the 2007 Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  Television and Film credits include The Good Wife (CBS), Ask the Bartender (FOXNEWS) and the award winning musical/ independent horror film Zombie Love. Esme also creates her own collage-based artwork which she will be exhibiting this spring in Salem, Mass.

Austin Auh

Originally from Wisconsin, Austin Auh graduated from Brandeis University with a double B.A. in Music and in Psychology. He has performed with CT Free Shakespeare in productions such as Much Ado About Nothing (Balthazar) and A Midsummer Night’s Dream(Faerie). In Boston, Austin has performed in Boston Actors Theater’s SlamBoston and 11:11 Theater Company’s premiere of Poe; a fevered dream (Hop Frog/Jester). He appeared in the LAB’s production of Le Cabaret Grimm (Dove/Ensemble) last year and is very excited to work with the LAB once more. Austin is an Equity Membership Candidate.

Rachel Bertone

Rachel Bertone is thrilled to be performing again with The LAB after last being seen in their production of Le Cabaret Grimm. Theater credits: Kiss me, Kate (Lyric Stage Company), Funny Girl (Fiddlehead Theatre), Missy Martin in The Awesome 80s Prom, Zaneeta in The Music Man, Joseph…, The King and I, Annie, 42nd Street, Singin’ in the Rain, No, No Nanette, Hello, Dolly!, Mame (Reagle Music Theatre). Holding a BFA in Dance from The Boston Conservatory, she has performed with The Boston Ballet (La Fille Mal Gardee, Don Quixote, The Nutcracker), Prometheus Dance, Ballet Rox, Windhover Dance Company and The Yiddish Players (Harvard University). Film credits include starring in an industrial for the Federal Reserve in Boston as well as appearances in the films Stiffs and My Best Friend’s Girl. Recent choreographic credits include A Little Night Music (The Metro Stage Company; BroadwayWorld Best of Boston Winner for Best Choreography), Seussical Jr. (The Boston Children’s Theatre), and projects for Partners HealthCare and Fidelity Investments. Her next project will be choreographing The Lyric Stage Company’s production of Animal Crackers which will open this May. She also teaches at The Boston Ballet’s City Dance Program and is the Associate Director of the Reagle Music Theatre Youth Program.

Hayley Jane

Hayley Jane moved to Boston in 2005 from her home in California. After performing in a few theater productions in L.A. she chose to pursue a music career in Boston. She has been performing with her band, Hayley Jane and the Primates, for the last three years. Last year she was lured back to live theater with the American Repertory Theater’s production of Sleep No More in which she played the bar owner and singer, Ms. Elsie Price. Since then, she has been excited to dive back into theater and Song of Songs was a very unique was to do it.

Dylan McGill

Dylan McGill, a Cincinnati native, is making his Performance Lab/Liars and Belivers debut. He will be graduating with a B.F.A. in Theater from the Boston Conservatory this May. At the conservatory Dylan was lucky enough to participate in Sweeney Todd, See What I Wanna See, Network, and Dog Sees God, among others. He is also a published writer and artist. Dylan is thrilled to be a part of this collaboration, and thanks everyone involved. And his mom, Maryanna.

SOUNDTRACK

HISTORY

Song of Songs: a LoveRomp premiered in June 2011 at the Boston Center for the Arts in Boston, MA. A sneak peek event was held on April 4, 2011, following its second workshop, at The Enormous Room in Cambridge, MA.

This show was supported by Combined Jewish Philanthropies and Wanderings and Wonderings at Hebrew College

For more information contact us at info@liarsandbelievers.com