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The Second Annual Artists for World Peace on Broadway!
In an intimate evening of song and dance, some of Broadway’s best and brightest,the “cream of the crop … the top of the heap,” pool their talents to support the ongoing work of Artists for World Peace.
St. Luke’s Theater
308 West 46th Street
November 4, 2012
Photos by Claudia Hehr (click to enlarge)
Melissa Starke’s current work is from a series that she creates with a variety of painted or raw materials. Her paintings integrate recycled elements from previously discarded efforts, along with string, brown paper, and anything that fulfills the tactile assertion of these complex surfaces, which virtually ripple with conviction. The work has a layered, built upon quality that creates a series of complex relationships throughout the surface. Starke works with a limited palette to emphasize the cohesiveness of the various shapes and textures throughout the picture plane. She holds positions as department coordinator for fine arts at FIT and art project coordinator for the artists collective Urban Studio. www.usunbound.org/melissastarke.html
Garrett Klein’s recent works are assemblage paintings that focus on connecting and interacting with disparate materials as well as the affects of time. Klein explores the innate and illusory qualities of the impermanence of his materials, combining a variety of mediums, such as traditional brittle plaster elements with more contemporary and plastic polyresins. The use of posters from the streets and subways of New York City intimates the effects of time as a symbolic reflection on the New York landscape. These works are intended to suggest what happens when people confront the ineffable affects time imposes on their immediate surroundings. Klein is an active member of the artists collective Urban Studio. www.gkleinart.com
Eric Gottshall explores the ways in which light, color, and physicality communicate with both the room and viewers. He consistently leaves openings in his paintings, giving the room a literal compositional role. He hopes viewers will take into account how the wall connects with the room, connects with the air and light, connects with the spectator, and finally comes full circle back to the painting. Gottshall is currently working on his BFA at the Fashion Institute of Technology and expects to graduate in May 2013. www.ericgottshall.com
Lydia Maria Pfeffer is a painter and photographer who currently works, studies, and lives in New York. Born and raised in a small village in Austria, she grew up with art and music as leisurely, everyday activities, more in the form of tradition than academic training. She traveled the world, first settling in London and later in New York City, where she began to study fine arts. Pfeffer draws inspiration from mythology, folklore, religion, literature, and people. Considered an expressionist, she prompts an intense, unbroken continuum of destruction and creation. The outcome is a visual testimony between intuition, contemplation, and craft. Her approach is spiritual as well as formal. www.lydiamariapfeffer.com
Kenneth Park explores the differences and similarities between various cultures, incorporating the influences of his Korean roots and his adoptive home in Brooklyn, New York. The nuances in life that the connections, dissociations, and digressions of everyday social experiences dictate inform his creative process in a compelling use of color and gestural surface. Like many of his contemporaries, Park reflects on the rich history of painting, particularly the vitality and breadth of the abstract expressionist movement in New York. His technique is guided by the often fortuitous chance occurrences that result when the painter accepts the dictates of spontaneity and intuition in the decision-making process. www.sharedprocess.blogspot.com
Slavko Djuric earned a BA at the Fine Art Academy in Pristina, Kosovo, Serbia in 2002 with a focus on printmaking, drawing techniques, and media. His work combines a variety of media, including photography, printmaking, and drawing, with a focus on expressing ideas of duality, freedom, and love in their raw and most sincere forms. Djuric has taught art and design classes at both the middle- and high-school levels in Serbia and currently holds a position as a printmaking technician at the Fashion Institute of Technology. www.slavkodjuric.com
Valentina Burzanovic was born in the Bronx, NY. Her work includes painting, sculpture, and printmaking, but most recently, she has focused on a process called quilling. Strips of paper are rolled, shaped, and glued together. She is attracted to the naturalistic depth of this medium and allows herself to work intuitively through the process. She enjoys the consistency of the medium and the challenges it poses. In high school, Burzanovic interned at the Noguchi Museum as a member of the museum’s Teen Advisory Board. She has also participated in group public art installations with Urban Studio the past two years and at Art Basel Miami. She is currently working on her BFA at the Fashion Institute of Technology and expects to graduate in May 2013.
Jennifer L. Torres was born in New York and raised in Brooklyn. She trained and works in multimedia, including sculpture, photography, and printmaking. Her focus is in process painting, and she is very interested in abstract expressionism. Each painting she works on has a life of its own, and the outcome of the image can never be predicted. Using a “pour painting” process, she experiments with color, texture, and a variety of acrylic mediums as she moves a canvas around. The thought of the unknown intrigues her, and the urge to control it makes the process of her work more rewarding once the painting is finished. In 2012, Torres earned a BFA from the Fashion Institute of Technology. She still lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. www.jennifertorres.weebly.com
Deanna has appeared on Broadway in West Side Story (u/s Anita, swing) and A Chorus Line (u/s Diana, swing) and in the Las Vegas company of Mamma Mia! (swing). She teaches yoga at Yoga to the People in New York City. Deanna earned a BA in sociology at California State University of Long Beach. She thanks her family, friends, and MSA for their love, light, and faith.
Stephen has appeared on Broadway in Ghost, Billy Elliot, and Irving Berlin’s White Christmas; in Music in the Air at New York City Center Encores!; and in the national touring company of Young Frankenstein. His regional credits include productions at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, Goodspeed Opera House, Atlanta Theater of the Stars, and Syracuse Stage. Stephen earned a BFA at Syracuse University. Follow him on Twitter @StephenCarrasco, or visit www.stephencarrasco.com.
Andrew plays the role of Eddie in the Broadway cast of Mamma Mia! His regional credits include Annie and Cinderella for the North Carolina Theatre, A Christmas Carol at the McCarter Theatre, Daniel in Once on This Island at the Cortland Repertory Theatre, and Dreamgirls and West Side Story for the West Virginia Public Theatre. He holds a BFA in musical theatre from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. In February, Andrew competed in the Broadway Beauty Pageant and won the title Mr. Broadway 2012. The proceeds from that event benefited the Ali Forney Center, a homeless shelter for GLBT youth in New York City. Andrew also raises money yearly for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS by performing in and fund-raising for Broadway Bares. “Thank you Monica and Stacia for including me in your vision. Peace and love.”
Adrienne Jean Fisher
AJ, who currently appears in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia!, is overjoyed to be part of Artists for World Peace on Broadway. Among her favorite shows as a performer are Cirque du Soleil’s Banana Shpeel, Irving Berlin’s White Christmas, Broadway in San Salvador, 42nd Street, The Music Man, and The Terminator 3-D Show. AJ is the proud BGA Green Captain at Mamma Mia!, where trash turns into money for local charities. “Love to all.”
Andrea currently appears on Broadway in Once and was a member of the cast of Rent. Her regional theater credits include Christmas Carol at the McCarter Theatre, Tarzan at the North Shore Music Theatre, Venice (Center Theatre Group, Los Angeles, and the Kansas City Rep), High School Musical at the St. Louis Muny, Big River and The Sound of Music at Syracuse Stage, and Thoroughly Modern Millie and Peter Pan at the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. Andrea has participated in readings of Casanova Returns and Freckle-Face Strawberry and appeared in Rent: Filmed Live on Broadway. She sends love to family and friends.
Among Monica’s favorite credits are the Broadway production of Mamma Mia!, the Bombay Dreams first national tour, and her work as a choreographer for Broadway Bares and as a dancer and Bollywood dance consultant for the TV show Smash. She holds an M.S.Ed from Northern Illinois University. Monica currently teaches Bollywood dance classes and workshops. To learn more, visit www.monicakapoor.com. Monica sends endless thanks to Sharone, Rachel, and the AFWP organization.
Raymond J. Lee
Ray is honored to be a part of tonight’s Artists for World Peace benefit and thanks everyone involved! He most recently played the role of John in the Broadway revival of Anything Goes, directed by Tony Award–winner Kathleen Marshall. Other New York credits include Mamma Mia! (Broadway), Applause (New York City Center Encores!), Two Gentlemen of Verona (Public Theater), Into the Woods (National Asian American Theatre Company), and Victor Woo (New York Fringe Festival). His regional work includes The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Fantasticks, and The King and I. Film and TV work include Ghost Town, The Mikado Project, and NBC’s Fame. For more information, please visit www.raymondjlee.com.
Carrie, already positioned in the top 100 of the iTunes pop charts with her debut album, Echo, a lyrical blend of folk, pop, and soul, became an Internet sensation with her haunting performance of the Radiohead classic “Creep,” captured at her album release concert in April 2012 at (le) poisson rouge. She was selected for Elle magazine’s “30 Under 30: Essential Names to Know” and voted number one by readers. She has been selling out venues all over New York City and has recently been playing big shows across the country. Her performances have captured the attention of artists diverse as Alec Baldwin, Josh Groban, Megan Hilty (Smash), and Ben Schwartz (Parks and Recreation).
Carrie has a background in musical theater, and her Broadway credits include the lead role of Sophie in Mamma Mia! as well as Elphaba in the second national tour of Wicked. Her sound dances with the stars of Adele and Joni Mitchell, with a kiss blown to Jeff Buckley, but her voice is unmistakably hers alone. www.carriemanolakos.com
Marissa has appeared on Broadway in the revival of A Little Night Music with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Angela Lansbury (original cast recording), Bonnie and Clyde (original cast recording), and Les Misérables (revival and national tour), in which she performed the roles of both Eponine and Cosette. Her favorite roles in regional theater include Stella Purdy in The Nutty Professor, directed by Jerry Lewis; Maria in The Sound of Music at the Lyric Theatre; Guinevere in Camelot and Mary Jane in Big River, at the Goodspeed Opera House; Johanna in Sweeney Todd at the Geva Theatre Center; Luc in Love According to Luc at the Greenwich Street Theater; and Philia in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Lois/Bianca in Kiss Me Kate, and June in Gypsy, all at the Weston Playhouse. Marissa has also participated in numerous New York City workshops and readings. She holds a BFA in musical theater from Syracuse University. Visit www.marissamcgowan.com, and follow her on Twitter @blondemcg.
Paul HeeSang Miller
Paul currently appears in Mamma Mia! on Broadway. Regional credits include productions at the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera, North Shore Music Theatre, Kansas City Starlight Theatre, Music Theatre of Wichita, Weston Playhouse, ArtPark, and St. Michael’s Playhouse. He thanks Monica, Stacia, and “my incredible mother, Jeanne. Peace and love.”
Ryann is currently appearing in Bring It On: The Musical at the St. James Theatre. The production marks her Broadway debut. She is so lucky to have originated the role of Bridget since Bring It On‘s conception. Ryann trained in the CAP21 conservatory program at NYU. Follow her on Twitter @ryannreds or on the Web at www.ryannredmond.com.
Originally from Los Angeles, Sharone is happy to be a dancing queen in the Broadway company of Mamma Mia! after the close of the Las Vegas production. Other New York City credits include Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo (The Lark). Regional theater appearances include roles in Damn Yankees (Reprise!, Los Angeles) and Cats (Syllabub). Sharone has also appeared in readings and workshop performances of Bring It On, Cutman: A Boxing Musical, Panzee, Kris Kringle, Lessons of the Trashgang, and Portraits and in the pilot of a new TV show, Don’t Know Jack. She earned a BFA from Syracuse University. Sharone is so excited to continue to bring Artists for World Peace to the Broadway community and hopes to continue to use art to promote peace and love in the world. www.sharonesayegh.com. Twitter: @SharoneSayegh
L. Steven Taylor
L. Steven Taylor is currently appearing in the ensemble of the Broadway company of The Lion King; he also understudies Mufasa and Scar and played Mufasa in the national tour. His regional theater credits include Miss Saigon and The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the 5th Avenue Theater, Godspell at the SecondStory Repertory, A Chorus Line at the Atlanta Theater of the Stars, and Songs for a New World at the Capital Playhouse. Steven appeared in Last of the Ninth for HBO; in the movie Made for Each Other, directed by Daryl Goldberg; and with The Electric Company. “Love to Erin and Boogie.”
Traci Victoria jumps at the thought of dancing for World Peace! Born and raised by two true lovebirds on Long Island, NY, Traci is currently playing the role of Ali in Broadway’s Mamma Mia! Prior to that, she toured Asia with 42nd street, and did a bunch of other singy-dancy ‘jobs’ (for lack of a better world). She would like to thank her joy-filled family for giving her the life of her dreams! A special thanks to Merlyn Hurd, Marina Benaur and Christopher Ghiorzi for holding her hand to the top! To Health, Joy and “Artists for World Peace”! LOVE!
A native of Portage, Michigan, Blake has performed his original music in New York City at the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Lincoln Center’s Rose Studio, the Rockwood Music Hall, Sullivan Hall, the Highline Ballroom, and The Living Room. Inspiring, healing, soulful, and sexy are just a few adjectives that describe his real and heartfelt sound. Currently making his living on Broadway in Mamma Mia!, Blake also appeared in the Broadway hit Wicked. In June of 2012, he published his first single on iTunes, “Common Ground”; his follow-up single releases of “Win or Lose” and “What I Want” are also on iTunes. Blake is currently in the studio recording his debut album, which is set for release this coming New Year’s Day. “Empower yourself, empower others, live your life!!”
Alex has appeared on Broadway in Lysistrata Jones and in other New York City productions, including Bare (New World Stages), Triassic Parq (SoHo Playhouse), Lysistrata Jones (Transport Group), Mrs. Sharp (Playwrights Horizons), and The Last Smoker in America (New York Musical Theatre Festival). Regional credits include Lost in Yonkers at the Paper Mill Playhouse, Cleveland Play House, and Maltz Jupiter Theatre; Academy at the Maltz Jupiter Theatre and the Daegu International Musical Festival in South Korea; and Speech & Debate at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. Alex plays a recurring role on the HBO show Bored to Death. He is also a writer, and his musical Nighttime Traffic was featured in the New York Musical Theatre Festival 2010. Visit www.AlexWyse.com.
Originally from Southern California, Leah graduated from the Los Angeles Theater Academy, moved to New York, and was immediately cast in the Broadway production of Mamma Mia! In New York, she has danced in many Broadway Bares, Easter Bonnet, and Gypsy of the Year charity shows. Her regional credits include Molly in The Unsinkable Molly Brown, the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Chava in Fiddler on the Roof, and Elsie in After the Fall. Leah is the proud mom of a four-year-old son.