Amy’s Horse - Episode Ten
Crawl and Perfect. Two plays by Crystal Skillman


In a first for Amy’s Horse, both plays in this episode are written by the same person, Brooklyn-based playwright Crystal Skillman. Who else could write two brilliant shorts that are both set on the front stoop of New York homes? We’re calling it, SkillmanPalooza!

The first play is Crawl, set in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn. Two brothers, played by Maurice Jones and Sheldon Best, struggle with their father's legacy, and the realities of their own complicated relationship.

Our second piece, Perfect, takes us across the East River to Manhattan. While waiting for a locksmith, mother and daughter, played by Saundra Santiago and Karina Arroyave, experience the distance between them, and how close their bond really is.

CRYSTAL SKILLMAN

Crystal Skillman is the author of Crawl and Perfect.

She is an award winning Brooklyn based playwright. Her play Another Kind of Love, about a family of punk rock singers, featuring original music by Heidi Rodewald (Passing Strange), just played at the Chopin Theater in Chicago in a production with Infusion Theater Company which earned rave reviews, including the Chicago Reader which called the play a “Masterpiece” and the Chicago Tribune which noted “Skillman has crafted a poignant portrait of a family that can't run away from its own desires or demons — they simply have to learn how to find new songs for old pain.”

Her three recent plays, King Kirby, co-written with Fred Van Lente, Geek! and Cut, have all earned Critics Picks from The New York Times. Wild earned three 2014 New York Innovation Theater Award nominations for its sold out production at IRT Theater (following a critically successful run in Chicago with Kid Brooklyn Productions and Off Broadway in MCC Theater’s Playlabs at the Lucille Lortel.) Skillman’s other plays include: The Vigil or The Guided Cradle, winner of the 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-Length Script, and her new play, Rain and Zoe Save the World, about two teenage activists on a cross-country mission. Musicals with award-winning composer Bobby Cronin include: (Un)Lucky in Love and the musical theater adaption of the film Mary and Max, to be directed by Outer Critics Circle Award-winning Stafford Arima with mask design by Joseph Osheroff and puppetry design by Acheson Walsh Studios. Mary and Max will be workshopped with Broadway Dreams at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts in Philadelphia this August.

Crystal was recently awarded the Clifford Odets Ensemble Play Commission to write a new play for the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute, directed by Shaun Peknic, which will be produced Fall 2015. Geek will premiere in Las Vegas in February 2016 with Onyx Theater; King Kirby will premiere in Seattle with Ghost Light Theatricals in January 2016. You can hear the full King Kirby play with the original NYC cast (featuring Steven Rattazi) on the special MidTown Comics Podcast.

Crystal is represented by Amy Wagner and Ron Gwiazda at Abrams Artists Agency in NY, and James Beresford with Shepard Management in the UK. She is a proud member of EST, where she started her career as a playwright in Youngblood. EST Productions/Commissions include: Tooth (Youngblood), Flow, and The Ballad of Phineas P. Gage (EST/Sloan Commission, HERE/Drama of Works Production). Other memberships include: Women’s Project Lab and the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab. Her work can be found at her publisher Samuel French, as well as indietheaternow.com.

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SHELDON BEST

Sheldon plays Ty in Crystal Skillman’s, Crawl.

Off Broadway and New York: Classical Theatre of Harlem: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck); 59E59 and Penguin Rep: Freed (John Newton Templeton); LAByrinth: Paradox of the Urban Cliché; Ma-Yi & Vampire Cowboys: Soul Samurai; Vampire Cowboys: Geek! and Alice in Slasherland; 59E59 & Scripts Up: Years of Sky.  Regional: Baltimore Center Stage: Dance of the Holy Ghosts (Marcus); Studio Theatre of DC: Sucker Punch (Leon);Denver Center: Superior Donuts (Franco); Geva Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Lysander); NC Shakespeare Festival: Romeo and Juliet (Romeo); Cleveland Play House: The Life of Galileo (Andrea Sarti); Underground Railway: Harriet Jacobs (Tom); Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Much Ado About Nothing (Claudio); SpeakEasy Stage: The History Boys; Berkshire Theatre: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.  Television: CBS’s “Person of Interest.”  BA: Brandeis University.
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MAURICE JONES

Maurice plays Alex in Crystal Skillman’s, Crawl.

Broadway: Julius Caesar, Romeo & Juliet. Off Broadway: Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout). Regional: As You Like It, Ruined, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Taming of the Shrew, A Christmas Carol (Denver Center); Butler (Barrington Stage Company); Julius Caesar (Folger Shakepeare Library); Lives of Reason (Two River Theatre) The Learned Ladies (STNJ); Richard III, Charley’s Aunt, Fahrenheit 451, Topdog/Underdog, The Good Woman of Setzuan, Nicholas Nickleby, Our Town (National Theatre Conservatory); Glengarry Glen Ross, Six Degrees of Separation, Line, Suzan Lori Parks’ 365 Days/365 Plays (Cabaret Theatre); Ragtime, Once On This Island (Livingston Theatre Company); Television: "30 Rock", "Conviction". Film: "Winter’s Tale", "And So It Goes". Training: Rutgers University and The National Theatre Conservatory, MFA.
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SAUNDRA SANTIAGO

Saundra plays Viviana in Crystal Skillman’s, Perfect.

She is best known for her role as Detective Gina Calabrese on the hit 1980s television show Miami Vice. She spent three years playing the role of crime boss Carmen Santos on the long-running CBS soap opera Guiding Light. Coincidentally, she appeared simultaneously in a recurring role on The Sopranos as Tony Soprano's next door neighbor, Jeannie Cusamano, and as her twin sister, Joan.

Saundra also had a role in the movie Beat Street (1984) as Carmen Carraro, the girlfriend of Ramo the graffiti artist, and appeared as teacher Louisa Rodriguez in the made-for-TV film sequel To Sir, with Love II (1996), opposite Sidney Poitier.

Additionally, on television, Santiago did a short-term role on the ABC soap opera One Life to Live after leaving Guiding Light. She was a guest star on Law & Order in the 1992 episode "Prince of Darkness" and in the 2004 episode "Veteran's Day”. In 2009, she returned to One Life to Live, taking over the role of Carlotta Vega. In 2011, she took a guest role as Patti D'agostino in the Person of Interest episode Witness. In 2014, she portrayed Marciela Acosta, the wife of gang leader Javier Acosta, in the Fox TV Series Gang Related. In 2016, she played the role of Carmen Baez the mother of Detective Maria Baez in "Stomping Grounds" the 13th episode of the 6th season of the CBS police procedural drama Blue Bloods.

She recently appeared in the film, The House That Jack Built, which is now available on Video on demand and DVD.
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KARINA ARROYAVE

Karina plays Julie in Crystal Skillman’s, Perfect.

She has lived in New York City since arriving here from Colombia at age 1. She is best known for her role as ‘Jamey Farrell’ in the FOX TV show 24 and also appeared in 2005’s Best Picture Winner CRASH. Other film and TV credits include MYSTERIES OF LAURA, BLUE BLOODS, 187, FLAWLESS, FALLING DOWN, LEAN ON ME, NYPD BLUE, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1988 – 1994), LAW & ORDER, ALL MY CHILDREN, THE PRACTICE, JUDGING AMY, CHICAGO HOPE, TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, and WITHOUT A TRACE.

She studied acting at LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts and then with Anthony Abeson and Lori Peters. Later she studied comedic acting at the Groundlings in Los Angeles and with Richard Kline in NY. Karina’s most recent stage credit was as “Barb” in Adam Bock’s SWIMMING IN THE SHALLOWS at The Kitchen Theatre. She made her stage debut as “Marisol” in MARISOL at the Louisville Humana Festival. Later, she appeared on Broadway as “Frederica” in Jane Bowle’s IN THE SUMMER HOUSE at The Vivian Beaumont Theater. Other theatre credits include: Quiara Alegria Hudes’ WATER BY THE SPOONFUL at The Arden Theatre, Stephen Adly Guirgis’ MOTHERFUCKER WITH THE HAT at The Kitchen Theatre, Tony Glazer’s STAIN on Theater Row, Jose Rivera’s SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS at The Public Theater and Eduardo Machado’s ONCE REMOVED at both the Long Wharf and Merrimack Rep Theaters. Most recently she has appeared in the films LOST CAT CORONA, HOLY ROLLERS, ADAM, as Elizabeth Pena’s daughter in ADRIFT IN MANHATTAN, and the short film FAMILY ON BOARD (Official selection: New York City International Film Festival, Big Apple Film Festival, Williamsburg International Film Festival, Pennine Film Festival and Chesapeake Film Festival). The film won Best Short, Best Actor and Best Director at The New York International Film Festival and was submitted for Academy Award consideration. Check out the trailer and purchase a DVD at FamilyOnBoardMovie.com.

Karina is also a playwright and screenwriter. Her first play WONDER WOMAN WEARS RAGGEDY ANN PAJAMAS was one of four finalists in 2008’s National Latino Playwriting competition. It received 3 public readings. First at Labyrinth Theater’ Summer Intensive, and later at Theater for the New City (as part of their New City/New Blood series) and at Queen’s Theatre in the Park (for their Immigrant Voices Project). She studied playwriting with Jeff Stanley at NYU, Robert S. Montgomery at The New School, and Lisa Soland at The All Original Playwrights Workshop in Los Angeles. Karina has been writing poetry since the age of seven and also writes monologues, short stories and non-fiction.

Karina’s second play THE LOVE JUNKIES OF HELL’S KITCHEN made its world premiere as part of Theater for the New City’s “Dream Up” Festival in 2012. In addition to playing the main character and writing the play, Karina directed and produced it as well. The play was Executive Produced by John G. Avildsen (director of Rocky, The Karate Kid, Lean On Me). Karina has branched out into screenwriting with her first short film, KARLY UNTANGLED.


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CHRIS FLOCKTON

Chris is the host and Executive Producer of Amy’s Horse.

On stage, he has appeared in roles both serious and comedic at regional theatres around the country, and off-Broadway. In addition, Chris has appeared in several TV pilots and featured roles in film and TV, including Law & Order SVU and The Guiding Light.

Chris was a member of New York's acclaimed Rumble in the RedRoom sketch comedy ensemble for 4 years, and later wrote and performed with his own sketch comedy group, The Belgian Summers.

He has appeared in dozens of TV commercials including spots for Diet Coke, Range Rover, IBM, HSBC, The Wall Street Journal, and Pilot Pens.

As a voiceover talent he has provided the voice for countless TV and radio spots, and is a regular promo voice for cable networks including BBC America and ESPN.

Since 2003 Chris has been the narrator and personality behind VH1's top-rated show, The Fabulous Life. The Fab Life takes a fast-paced, and decidedly tongue in cheek look at celebrities, their excessive lifestyles, fashions and more.

A new season premiered in March 2014 on VH1. The entire catalogue of 120 shows is broadcast in over 30 countries.

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BRIAN O'NEILL

Brian is the New York based producer of Amy’s Horse.

He is a long time resident of New York city where he has worked continually in all aspects of the entertainment industry as a writer, actor, director musician and filmmaker for over twenty-five years. He currently serves on the faculty of The New York Film Academy as an acting instructor where he teaches multiple disciplines including Acting Technique, Acting For Film, Audition Technique and Scene Study. He is a member of the Actors Studio Playwrights and Directors Workshop.

His first full-length play, GRASS ISLAND, was a 2004 recipient of the Julie Harris National Playwrighting Award, and has received readings at the Actors Studio in New York City, directed by James Naughton and featuring Ellen Burstyn and Marcia Gay Harden, and at The Berkshire Theatre Festival as part of their formal Friday Reading Series. His play, TO SEE THEM SAY, was recently selected as a 2012 O’Neill Summer Theatre Conference semi-finalist. In the Spring of 2013 his short screenplay THE RENOVATION received Honorable Mention at the California International Shorts Festival and his latest script, VIVA, RADILLA, received the Best Short Screenplay Award at the 2013 Woods Hole Film Festival, and was recently named as a finalist in the New Hope Film Festival’s 2014 screenplay competition.

As an actor, his theater roles include stints at Yale Rep, New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, North Carolina Shakespeare, The Flea Theater, and many others He has appeared in guest and co-starring star roles in television shows such as “Law and Order,” “The Sopranos”, “ The Corner (Emmy Award Best Mini – Series) “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,” “Law & Order: Criminal Intent,” “The Jury,” “Damages”, “,” Person of Interest”, and “Unforgettable”, “The Following”, “Elementary”, “666 Park Avenue”; Believe”, and in several feature films including “The Lost Words”, “Laws Of Attraction” (with Julianne Moore), “Brooklyn Rules” (with Alec Baldwin), “Chapter 27” , “The Bourne Legacy”, and The Coen Brothers “Burn After Reading”, and the upcoming “East Of Acadia”.

Brian’s feature film directorial debut, “H.O.L.E. – The Disillusionment of Mike & Eva,” which he wrote and produced, has received awards at the New York Independent Film & Video Festival, the Berkeley Video & Film Festival, and the Bare Bones International Film and Video festival.

Brian has, with his long-time collaborator Skipp Sudduth, recorded two albums of original folk-rock music for their acoustic ensemble MINUS TED. His solo CD FREE WORLD was recently released and available for download at iTunes, CD Baby and E Music.

You may also find him online as part of the Onion News Network where he guest hosts the much-admired series In The Know.

www.brianhughoneill.com
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ROLANDO GORI

Rolando composed the all original music for Amy’s Horse.

New York City-based composer, pianist and producer Rolando Gori was born in Rome and raised in Canada. He began making music at an early age, improvising melodies on his toy electric organ to keep his mother company as she did her chores. His childhood home was saturated with both classical and popular Italian music, and he would soon become smitten with the Anglo-American pop-rock of bands like Depeche Mode, The Cure and New Order. His earliest musical education came at the age of 10 when he discovered the full range of the piano and taught himself popular songs off the radio.

At 17, Rolando enrolled at the Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto) where he studied under renowned pianist Earle Moss and immersed himself in the music of Chopin and Beethoven. At Concordia University (Montreal) he learned composition from Alan Crossman, and continued piano studies with Linda Friedland. His formal education was classical, yet he continued to be strongly influenced by the 20th Century art music of Stravinsky and Britten, as well as more popular music artists, such as Radiohead and Beck.

In Montreal, Rolando met renowned director Robert Verenieks and began composing professionally for the West Side Players Theater productions, discovering his passion for dramatic music. His first serious foray into the world of cinematic music was for a United Nations documentary by director Francis Mead, about the 2003 attack on the UN headquarters in Baghdad. In 2009, Rolando met director Mark Cabaroy and worked with him for several years, scoring his independent short films. Mark's eclectic film ouvre allowed Rolando to try his hand at several styles of film music, including comedies and suspense dramas. Through Cabaroy, Rolando met producer Edward Washington, who facilitated a successful introduction to Roy T. Anderson in the Spring of 2011 when Rolando was hired to write the orchestrally rich score to Akwantu, a critically acclaimed documentary about the Jamaican Marroons. More recently, Rolando has rekindled his joy in writing music for theatrical productions, working closely with director Monica Hoyt and the writing team of Michael K. White and Dianna Stark. He is currently producing new albums with award-winning songwriter Spencer Chandler, as well as the inimitable cabaret powerhouse Carolyn Montgomery-Forant.

Rolando received his BFA in Composition & Theory with honors from Concordia. His music has been heard in feature films, documentaries and narrative shorts, as well as in live performances by chamber ensembles, theater companies and dance troupes throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Alongside his wife, Heidi Siegell, he runs MUSA212, producing independent musicians at their project studio in Hell's Kitchen.
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JOHN BEACH

John Beach is our Announcer, and also Senior Vice President in Charge of Jingles.

He lives in a delightful sound-proof shack in Chappaqua, New York. Surrounded by deer.
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SPECIAL THANKS

Thanks to Tracy Sallows, Nelson Avidon, and Wally Dunn for their assistance in casting this episode!

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