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Jonathan Alexandratos

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THIS, a new play by Jonathan Alexandratos and directed by Jessica Bashline.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, November 19th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

In WORDS CANNOT DESCRIBE THIS, O must flee her home country, Albania.  To do it, she’ll need the help of one asshole, one dead rabbit, three rando strangers, and one magical strawberry implanted in her brain.  This exciting new play asks what is home when home goes away?  

This is basically the story of my mom’s parents and their cousins who fled Albania for Greece, and then Greece for the U.S.” explains Jonathan.  “It’s not a happy story. It’s one that involves abuse, refugees, smuggling people, poverty, loss, war, and discrimination. Yet, it also involves me, and everything I’m able to do now, which I’m pretty happy about.“

The play was commissioned through a New Works Grant awarded by Queens Council on the Arts to create new work that speaks to the Queens community.  

“I’m very lucky to have Mission to (dit)Mars co-supporting me with the QCA for this Launchpad Reading on November 19th.  When I proposed this play to the QCA, I described a piece that is at once Albanian, Greek, American, and, of course, Queens.”  adds Jonathan. “In Queens, and all across New York City, really, there is a massive population of Greeks and Albanians who arrived here, in many cases, because their homes were destroyed by war.”

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend the reading, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at
Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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Mission to (dit)Mars is excited to announce the selection of four new members to the 2018-2020 Propulsion Lab, a Queens based writers group serving emerging playwrights from the borough.  In addition to the new lab members, one returning member has been named a Writer in Residence and three have been named Orbiting Artists.

The four new Propulsion Lab members are Megan Bussiere (Astoria), Tim Errickson (Long Island City), Christopher Moncayo-Torres (Woodside), and Sasha Sharova (Astoria).  

For the Propulsion Lab, each playwright will focus on writing a new full-length play over the course of the year.  The new members were selected by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer and Laura Pestronk.  The writers group meets bi-monthly in Queens.

In addition to the new lab members, Mission to (dit)Mars has named Jonathan Alexandratos (Astoria) as one of our Writers in Residence and Kristine M. Reyes (Astoria), Nat Cassidy (Astoria), and Tyler Rivenbark (Sunnyside) as Orbiting Artists.  

Returning Propulsion Lab members are Scott Casper (Astoria), Mrinalini Kamath (Astoria), Lisa Huberman (Woodside), Jason Tseng (Long Island City), and Ray Yamanouchi (Astoria).

On what excites her about the new members, Meredith Packer says “As we enter into year six and welcome four new writers I am most excited to see the new energy and fresh ideas they bring into the room with our established writers.”

Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “We are confident that they will be assets to the ever-growing Mission to (dit)Mars family, and will add new perspectives to our diverse and thriving Lab.”  

“We’re so happy to welcome such a passionate, open, and kind group of people. The new playwrights amazed us with their unique voices and their varied stories, both on and off the page” says Laura Pestronk.  

The Propulsion Lab was created to meet the needs of like-minded theater artists who wanted to have a way of developing new work locally in Queens on an on-going basis.  In addition to bi-monthly meetings, the lab will include industry meet and greets with Artistic Directors and Literary Managers, three Launch Pad readings of full length plays, and All Systems Go! 7, an evening of excerpts from the new Propulsion Lab plays.

Writers in Residence positions are a way to address the growing needs of certain lab members who have been with us for some time by offering additional developmental support custom tailored to them. In exchange, our resident playwrights act as artistic associates on Mission to (dit)Mars’ behalf and help our organization in certain capacities, such as reading script submissions.

Orbiting Artists are informal positions that allow current lab members whose availability has changed due to unforeseen reasons the chance to continue participating in the Propulsion Lab on a limited basis.

BIOS OF THE NEW PROPULSION LAB MEMBERS

Megan Bussiere Astoria

Born and raised in Edison, NJ, Megan started performing and writing from a young age. She attended Kean University, where she minored in theatre and received her MA in Speech Pathology. After college she traveled the world performing in Japan, Hawaii, China, and the Eastern Caribbean. She now resides in Astoria and currently works as a private accent reduction coach with AccentsOff in midtown Manhattan. Her play Talk to Me has had two professional staged readings and was named a finalist for the 2016 Bauer-Boucher Playwriting Award through Premiere Stages. She is dedicated to writing new works centered around communication, in hopes of starting difficult, weird, and fun conversations.

Website: www.meganbussiere.com.

Tim Errickson Long Island City

Tim is a playwright and stage director based in New York City. He is the Founder and Artistic Director of Boomerang Theatre Company, an award-winning nonprofit theater.   His play Endless Summer Nights premiered with Boomerang, and was a “Pick of the Week” by nytheatre.com. His play The Firebird premiered at the 2015 Planet Connections Theatre Festivity, receiving 5 PC Award nominations. His other plays include The Messy Antigone Play, MEGA, Lies and Romance and Warm Roses.  Tim has previously developed projects with John Pielmeier, Bill C. Davis and Mike Folie, including the treatment for the feature film script “Places”. Tim studied at Hofstra University’s New College, The University of London, and Circle Rep. He served on the Honorary Awards Committee for the New York Innovative Theatre Awards from 2005-2015, and was the co-president of the Off-Off Broadway Community Dish, a service organization for the Off-Off/Indie Theatre Community, from 2004-2013.  

Website: www.timerrickson.net

Christopher Moncayo-Torres Woodside

Christopher Moncayo-Torres is an Ecuadorian-American playwright and live storyteller, born & bred in Queens, NY. He first practiced creative writing at John Jay College of Criminal Justice while pretending to study for his forensic psychology degree. He is an alumnus of Playwrights Horizons’ Perspectives on Playwriting Core Workshop. He wrote the short play “We Come Here” (Astoria Performing Arts Center / 2016 New York Innovative Theater Award for Original Short Script nomination), full-length play “Hablas y Te Salvas” (Staged reading: Astoria Performing Arts Center, 2017) and co-wrote the hip-hopera “A Sunnyside Mixtape” (Working Title Theater, 2016) which was performed under the 7 train in Sunnyside, Queens. His work has been read at InViolet Theater’s “Second Monday Social” and INTAR Theatre’s Steep Salon. He also volunteers as a dramaturg and playwright for 52nd Street Project. He is the co-founder and Managing Director of the developmental collective, Fail Better NYC.

Sasha Sharova Astoria

Sasha Sharova is a playwright and artistic administrator based in Astoria. Her plays include The Great Russian Expedition, (developed at Gallatin Summer Theatre Lab, The Lark Apprentice Roundtable and Fail Better Reading Series), and Rabbit Hunt, (developed at Fail Better).  A bi-lingual writer and a native of Russia, Sasha has served as an interpreter for The Lark’s Russia-US Play Exchange Program and as a translator and dialect coach for ABC’s Quantico. Sasha studied at NYU Gallatin under Kristoffer Diaz and Kristin Horton (BA 2016). Sasha has a passion for shinning the light on female characters and exploring their complexities, as well as exploring cross-cultural relationships. As an artistic administrator, she has focused her work on new play development and making theater accessible across the country by working with companies like The Lark, The Playwrights Realm, and Dramatists Play Service.

Click here to view bios on all our Propulsion Lab members.

 

Made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

The Noguchi Museum is one of the most magical places in Queens. The space, designed by the late Japanese-American sculpture artist Isamu Noguchi, includes an open-air sculpture garden and several galleries, each with its own feel and family of Noguchi sculptures. The works of art and the spaces in the museum are complex, mysterious, and playful. In short: this is an amazing place to spend a day creating.

The workshop will begin with a meditation practice to open up the senses, and will continue with a silent walking meditation around the galleries of the museum, followed by writing prompts and discussion to get the ideas flowing. Participants will then have time to explore the museum independently and write, draw, or do other creative work. The workshop will conclude with a sharing circle where participants can share their work from the day with the group.
Writers, artists, musicians, and creatives of any kind are welcome to attend. No experience with meditation necessary. Please bring your own writing and/or art materials.

Sunday June 15
2-5:30pm

The Noguchi Museum
9-01 33rd Rd, Queens, NY 11106

Museum Admission:
General admission: $10
Seniors (65+): $5
Students with a valid ID: $5

This workshop is being sponsored by Mission to (dit)Mars, an Astoria-based theatre collective, and Mindful Astoria, an Astoria-based meditation group.

Instructor:
Emily Herzlin is a writer and teacher with a particular love for memoir and poetry. She received her MFA in Nonfiction from Columbia in 2012. She began practicing meditation in 2003. In college she found her way to the Interdependence Project, where she now teaches meditation courses and retreats. She is a Certified MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) Teacher, and trained in MBSR at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has been teaching meditation since 2011 to groups and individuals. She works as a Mind-Body Therapist at Weill Cornell Medicine, and formerly at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She also completed a yearlong meditation teacher training program at the Interdependence Project. She is also a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality’s Jewish Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Training program. Emily is the founder and guiding teacher of Mindful Astoria, a meditation community in Astoria, Queens.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to announce All Systems Go: 6 as the culminating event for the LAUNCH PAD Reading Series this year.   This free play reading will be held at the Astoria Performing Arts Center at 30-34 Crescent Street in Astoria, Queens on Monday, June 18th at 7pm.

ALL SYSTEMS GO: 6 is an evening of excerpts from ten brand new plays by the Queens based writers group The Propulsion Lab.   The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  It is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.  

“Our writers have adeptly responded to the social and political issues happening right now with a diverse and stirring array of plays that examine so many aspects of our world today: sexuality, loneliness, race, class, religion and, above all, the importance of human connection.” said co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn

Participating playwrights for this event are Jonathan Alexandratos, Kari Bentley-Quinn, Mrinalini Kamath, Lisa Huberman, Kristine M. Reyes, Scott Casper, Tyler Rivenbark, Jason Tseng, Nat Cassidy, and Ray Yamanouchi.  

Laura Pestronk adds “This year’s Propulsion Lab dives headfirst into the deep end, grappling with strong, scary subjects with grace and fearlessness and even hilarity. I’m proud of what is looking to be our no holds barred boldest All Systems Go yet!”

The cast includes Justin Ahdoot, Lesslie Dodge Crane, Duane Fergusan, Paula Galloway, Daniel Isaac (Billions), Karen Johal, Patrick Andrew Jones, Mariana Newhard, Jim Nugent, Tara Pacheco, David Shih, Elijah Trichon, Anthony Willis, and Jr. Rachel Wong.

The evening is directed by Meredith Packer, Laura Pestronk, and Dev Bondarin.  Stage Management by Jodi Witherall.

“I can’t believe we are at All Systems Go! year six. This is by far the most diverse and exciting grouping of excerpts we have been given to present and I am so excited to share it with our theater community here in Queens.” said co-founder Meredith Packer

All Systems Go: 6 will include excerpts from the following ten new plays:

THE TWIRLY POP EXPRESS by Jonathan Alexandratos
A father and son rebuild old animatronic animals from The Twirly Pop Express, the robotic band from a now-defunct kids’ party arcade. When the robo-animals come to life, they expose the true heart of the father and son’s relationship.

21ST CENTURY HISTOTRAGMEDY: A BERNIE CAROL by Scott Casper
A look at the history, tragedy, comedy of the century thus far. In this act, Bernie Madoff is visited by three spirits, guiding us all to a possible redemption we may not deserve.

FOUNDATIONS by Nat Cassidy
A construction crew waits out a sudden rainstorm and, as they exchange stories, they begin to realize that the apartment complex they’re building might actually be haunted.

FIDDLERS by Lisa Huberman
As a left-wing anti-Occupation activist, Ava thought she had a clear sense of her identity as a secular American Jew. But when she brings her non-Jewish boyfriend home at the anniversary of her mother’s death, she is forced to confront her own biases, insecurities, and inherited traumas.

B-A-B-Y by Mrinalini Kamath
Manika, a former spelling bee participant, now all grown-up and a pediatrician, goes about having a child in an unconventional way.

THE DIVER by Kari Bentley-Quinn
Thirty years from now, New York City is hit by a massive tsunami that has changed the landscape and the citizens of the city forever. Amena Fakhoury, one of the last Syrian refugees living in the United States, has been scuba diving to find the lost items of the people who were taken in the wave, and for any evidence of the people she lost. In the meantime, the Muslim community she lives in is being oppressed, jailed and monitored by a privatized police force.

DEDICATED TO YOU (LOVE, RYAN WOO) by Kristine M. Reyes
Ryan has been secretly writing love songs for his long-time crush, Xian, who’s got the hots for Tristan, the new kid in school. In this adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac, Ryan is Asian, Tristan is white…and Ryan doesn’t stand a chance.

ALL THE PLACES BETWEEN MOONRISE AND MOONSET by Tyler Rivenbark
Witness is a poor, mostly ignored, teenager in a small rural Southern town called Warsaw. This is what he’s seen.

LIKE FATHER by Jason Tseng
A queer contemporary adaptation of Oedipus Rex. Joe asks his old friend Tyrese to help him run the bed and breakfast he and his late husband recently acquired. Eddie arrives with a secret past that threatens to disrupt Joe’s delicate present.

PURE LOVE by Ray Yamanouchi
Four people of color navigate romance and desire.

To attend the reading, please make a reservation on our website:

http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

Astoria Performing Arts Center at
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church
30-34 Crescent St. (at 30th Rd)
Astoria, NY 11102

Directions: Take the N/Q to 30th Avenue. Walk down 30th Ave toward the Trade Fair Supermarket, continue past Mt. Sinai Hospital of Queens. Turn left on Crescent Street, then right on 30th Rd. The entrance is the second set of red doors on your left.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Nat Cassidy (photo by Prospect Photography)

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with FOUNDATIONS, a new play by Nat Cassidy.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, April 16th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

Entering the world of FOUNDATIONS you’ll find there’s a new apartment complex being built in your neighborhood: Melody Gardens, offering luxury living at affordable prices. But one day, as they wait for a rainstorm to pass, the construction crew of Melody Gardens begins trading stories about the dreams they’ve been having lately, and they realize: stories are like buildings. We design them. We live in them. And sometimes, they turn out to be haunted.  Foundations is directed by Jordana Williams.

 

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

On why this eerie script was selected, co-founder Meredith Packer explains “In this play, Nat asks us to take a dark and terrifying look at something as mundane as the apartments we live in. And he makes them thrilling, thought-provoking, and nightmare-inducing.”

“Nat has brilliantly conquered the horror genre, and his plays usually keep me up all night with one eye open.” explains Laura Pestronk.  “The extremely exciting and fearful FOUNDATIONS is no exception, and it had me checking my apartment twice before drifting into a likely nightmare.”

Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “FOUNDATIONS sent more than one shiver down my spine, and proves that Nat is one of the best horror writers for the stage. Not only is this play frightening and unsettling, it features a cast of well drawn characters and edge of your seat suspense.”

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation.

The Broom Tree Theater at Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs. Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

 

Mrinalini Kamath

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with STUFF,  a new radio play by Mrinalini Kamath.  This free reading will be performed on Monday, February 5th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

Inspired by the NY Times article “The Lonely Death of George Bell,” STUFF tells the story of lives that intersect when a man dies alone in his cluttered apartment. A radio play about living alone in modern times.  STUFF is directed by Colette Robert and live foley provided by Tony Vo.

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

In describing the play, co-founder Laura Pestronk said “In STUFF, Mrinalini gets us down and dirty into the sometimes darkly comic, sometimes deeply melancholy world of hoarders. From the outside we may simply scoff at the piles of ‘garbage’ kept forever inside certain houses, but STUFF never lets us off the hook so easily.”

Kari Bentley-Quinn adds “We are presenting a brand new experience for Mission to (dit)Mars and our audience. Mrinalini has created a beautiful piece about loneliness, death, and what our material possessions that we leave behind say or don’t say about our lives”

On the unique nature of the play format, Don Nguyen explains “We wanted to immerse the audience in the world of this play which is why we decided to bring in a live foley artist to add that extra dimension to the night’s performance. It’s a whole different set of challenges than what we’re used to, but we’re up for it.”

Meredith Packer says “STUFF explores the conditions of human baggage, both physical and emotional, and how it affects our lives and those around us even after we are gone.”

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation on our website:

http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

The Broom Tree Theater at Astoria First Presbyterian
23-35 Broadway,
Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

PRESS CONTACT: Don Nguyen, 718-839-0424, missiontoditmars@gmail.com

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with THE AMERICAN TRADITION,  a new play by Ray Yamanouchi.  This free play reading will be performed on Monday, November 6th at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

THE AMERICAN TRADITION is a play set in Antebellum America.  Eleanor—cross-dressing as a white planter—and her husband, Bill—pretending to be her loyal servant—attempt to escape to the free state of Pennsylvania.  In hot pursuit of them is Walsh, a drunk planter and member of the Not All Slavers movement.  The play is directed by Axel Avin Jr.

The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.  

Commenting on the play, co-founder Kari Bentley-Quinn says “With The American Tradition, Ray boldly examines the delicate and painful history of slavery in America while seamlessly connecting it to current political rhetoric. The play is at once horrifying, thought provoking, and laugh out loud absurd.“

Meredith Packer adds “Ray’s ability to make his audience look at the harsh truths of slavery in the 1800’s and it’s legacy of systemic racism today without preaching or pretense is proof of his deft writing ability.”

“The dialogue zips along while the tension sizzles in Ray’s American Tradition, and ridiculously funny moments still hit hard as this play fearlessly takes on the horrendous history of slavery and racism in our country.“ says Laura Pestronk.

This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.   

To attend, please make a reservation on our website.

The Broom Tree Theater at

Astoria First Presbyterian

23-35 Broadway,

Astoria, NY 11106

Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

About the Launch Pad Reading Series

The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

 

This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

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    As we head into our 6th season, the time must come to raise some money to support our programs – Propulsion Lab Writers Group, Launch Pad Reading Series, and the Mindful Writing Workshops, as well as to offset out of pocket costs for social events, our website, and more as we continue to grow this organization!

    Please join us at Sek’end Sun for a night of cocktails and great raffle prizes, including:

    -Name a character in KBQ’s next play!
    -Custom monologues by Mac Rogers and Mariah MacCarthy!
    -Tickets to events at Lincoln Center!
    -The famous “Geek Box”
    -Tickets to sporting events

    and much much more!  Purchase Tickets Here


    CAPTAIN TICKET – $40 ($45 at the door) 
    Includes 4 drink tickets (select beer, wines, and well drinks) and 10 raffle tickets!

    BRIDGE OFFICER TICKET – $25 ($30 at door) 
    Includes 2 drink tickets (select beer, wines, and well drinks) and 10 raffle tickets!

    RED SHIRT TICKET – $15
    5 raffle tickets in case you cannot attend in person! (less)

    Mission to (dit)Mars is thrilled to continue the Launch Pad reading series with SAME SAME,  a new play by Jason Tseng.  This free play reading will be performed on Monday, August  21st at 7pm at The Broom Tree Theatre located at 23-35 Broadway in Astoria, NY.

    SAME SAME is a queer Asian farce focusing on Kelvin and Victor’s relationship as their lives are turned upside down when Victor’s mother, June, makes an unannounced visit. Victor isn’t out yet, so they rent an apartment on AirBnB from Tristan in order to stage it as Victor’s apartment. Familial tensions flare as flames, new and old, threaten Kelvin and Victor’s relationship. Meanwhile, June grapples with her own secrets.

    The cast includes Wai Ching Ho, Brian Kim, Ben Bartels, Daniel Patrick Smith and Siho Ellsmore with stage direction by Peter J. Kuo.

    The evening is presented by Mission to (dit)Mars co-founders Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer, and Laura Pestronk.

    Commenting on the play, co-founder Meredith Packer says “It’s so exciting to be kicking off our season a bit early this year with Jason’s play. It’s fun, touching and a great way to bring us all back from the summer.”

    Laura Pestronk adds “The amount of action-filled zany fun packed into this play has left me giddily enthralled since Jason first brought a few pages of it in for us to enjoy. Get ready to laugh, gasp, and not even begin to predict what might happen next.”

    “Jason takes the structure of a traditional farce and puts a modern, diverse spin on it with hilarious and often touching results. ” said Kari Bentley-Quinn

    This free reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

    To attend, please make a reservation on our website:

    http://missiontoditmars.com/reservations/

    The Broom Tree Theater at
    Astoria First Presbyterian
    23-35 Broadway,
    Astoria, NY 11106

    Directions: Take the N/Q to Broadway.

    About the Launch Pad Reading Series

    The Launch Pad is a free reading series of new plays by Queens playwrights.  The mission objective of The Launch Pad is to serve as a testing ground for Queens based playwrights who need to hear their plays out loud.  Because Mission to (dit)Mars was co-founded by playwrights and directors, we understand implicitly how to answer those needs.  Through this program, the utmost care is taken to foster a safe and productive environment in order to propel the play forward.

    This reading is made possible (in part) by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

    EVENT POSTPONED: Meditation and Mindful Writing at Socrates Sculpture Park

    Hi everyone,

    Unfortunately, due to events beyond our control, the Mindful Writing workshop for tomorrow is being postponed until a later date. We’re so sorry to do this last minute, but we promise we are working on a new date and will send information as soon as possible.

    Thanks for understanding. We hope to see you all again soon and will let you know when this has been rescheduled.

    Cheers,
    Mission to (dit)Mars
    Kari Bentley-Quinn, Don Nguyen, Meredith Packer and Laura Pestronk

    Meditation and Writing Workshop at Socrates Sculpture Park

    Sunday July 23, 3-6pm
    Socrates Sculpture Park

    32-01 Vernon Blvd, Astoria, New York 11106

    Meet at the main entrance (with the mural/banner above it, not the orange gates) and look for signs that say “Meditation and Writing.”

    Co-organized by Mindful Astoria and Mission to (dit)Mars

    $5-$10 suggested donation

    Socrates Sculpture Park is an open-air sculpture museum on the Queens waterfront. With rotating exhibitions of evocative sculptures and a generous offering of cultural and wellness programs open to the public, Socrates is a space designed to support and inspire artists of all genres. In short: this is the perfect place to spend a day noticing, being, and creating.

    The workshop will begin with a brief meditation to open up the senses, and will continue with a silent walking meditation around the park, followed by writing prompts and discussion to get the ideas flowing. Participants will then have time to explore the park and sculptures independently and create writing about or inspired by the landscape and/or specific works of art. The workshop will conclude with a sharing circle where writers can share their work from the day aloud.

    Writers of all genres and experience levels welcome. (Visual artists and musicians are also welcome!)

    Emily Herzlin is a writer and teacher with a particular love for memoir and poetry. She received her MFA in Nonfiction from Columbia in 2012. She began practicing meditation in 2003. In college she found her way to the Interdependence Project, where she now teaches meditation courses and retreats. Emily is a Certified MBSR Teacher. She trained in MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. She has been teaching meditation since 2011 to groups and individuals. She is the founder and lead teacher of Mindful Astoria, a meditation community in her neighborhood, and she works as a Mind-Body Therapist at Memorial Sloan Kettering. She also completed a yearlong meditation teacher training program at the Interdependence Project.