Eight cast members, a blend of 2nd Act Players’ veterans and new faces, will make up the cast of the theater’s fall production of the new, two-act drama, New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House, announced 2nd Act Players’ cofounder John N. Frank. The play looks at the American immigrant experience through the eyes of an Italian-American family in the early 1960s.
“This will be the largest cast we’ve had on stage since we did the one-act version of New Year’s Eve as our first-ever show back in 2013,” says Frank, who also wrote the script and will be directing the play. “I’m really excited to be working with such a talented cast. We had a tremendous turnout for auditions this year, seeing so many highly skilled actors, so I know this cast will be incredible.”
Award-winning actor Aayisha Humphrey will serve as assistant director and stage manager for the play, which opens Nov. 3. Humphrey directed the 2nd Act Players’ recent #MeToo Play Festival and also served as assistant director for its 2017 production of “Moving Boxes.”
“Aayisha is amazingly creative, I am so thrilled to be working with her again,” says Frank.
Cast members are Julie Mitre, Ryan Hall, Jeff Watkins, Gina Palmer, Melissa Reeves, Phil Troyk, Anne Tracy and Olivia Cinquepalmi.
Collectively they will be the Smaldone family of Brooklyn which, as the play opens, is gathering for its annual New Year’s Eve party in 1960 as change is sweeping across the country and the family itself.
“Julie, Ryan, Jeff and Gina have been in past shows we’ve done, so we’ve seen their talent on our stage before and are so happy to have them back with us for this new adventure in story telling. Melissa, Phil, Anne and Olivia are new to the 2nd Act Players and each impressed us mightily in their auditions. I know audiences will enjoy the entire cast,” says Frank.
The 2nd Act Players’ production of New Year’s Eve at Grandma’s House will run weekends beginning Saturday, Nov. 3 and ending Sunday Nov. 18 at the Northminster Presbyterian Church theater in Evanston, the home of the 2nd Act Players.