Through a dear playwright friend Darrah Cloud, Shayna books the role of Jordan in a 29-hour-staged reading of the new musical AMERICAN SIDDHARTHA. The reading is directed by Nick Demos, and the musical features music by David Newman and book by Darrah Cloud & Nick Demos. An industry presentation will be Friday, September 29th at Pearl Studios in NYC.
Shayna heads to Saratoga Springs, NY to play Hermia in MIDSUMMER with Saratoga Shakespeare Company. Check out this season's company here! The show will run July 18-July 29th, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 6pm, on the Alfred Z. Solomon Stage in Historic Congress Park, Saratoga Springs-- admission is free! Here's a LINK to WNYT News Channel 13's July 9 feature on the production, in which Shayna performs an (awkward) snippet of a scene! And more exciting news: this production gives Shayna her Actors Equity Association card.
Shayna films some original scenes with fellow actor and friend Julian Gordon. Check out the full scenes below, and head over to the "Media" page to check out her new reel.
GOD OF VENGEANCE is a NY Times Critics' Pick! And Charles Isherwood specifically mentions Shayna, noting that she plays Rifkele with "lovely sensitivity." Other quote highlights from the review include: "GOD OF VENGEANCE holds the stage formidably in its own right... The cast's commitment brings the work's flashes of lyricism to powerful life... The purity of the affection between [Manke and Rifkele] is beautifully played, and Asch's sympathetic depiction of their love is affecting in its honesty." Read the full review here, and check out quotes from other reviews under "media!"
November 2016-January 2017
After tackling the role of Basha in New Yiddish Rep's staged reading of GOD OF VENGEANCE this past June, Shayna is thrilled to give the lead role of Rivkele a shot in the fully-staged production of the play, to be presented at La MaMa from December 22-January 22. Written in Yiddish in 1906, GOD OF VENGEANCE follows Yekel, a Jewish brothel keeper, and his wife as they strive to protect the innocence of Rivkele, their young daughter. Set in a brothel and featuring a lesbian relationship, the play was considered a seminal work of Jewish culture by some, while others derided it as an obscene betrayal of that same culture. The production coincides with the announcement that Paula Vogel's INDECENT (the new play based on the controversy and scandal that surrounded GOD OF VENGEANCE when it opened on Broadway in 1923) will head to Broadway in Spring 2017. New Yiddish Rep will stage the play fully in Yiddish, with English super-titles. Shayna is elated to begin rehearsals for this beautiful piece of theater which explores themes such as sexuality, responsibility, agency, & prejudice-- oh, and she's also excited (and terrified!) to perform on stage in Yiddish!
Shayna joins New Yiddish Rep for another endeavor, and this time actually gets to speak some Yiddish! To coincide with The Vineyard Theatre's production of INDECENT, New Yiddish Rep will stage a reading of GOD OF VENGEANCE in its original language as part of the Jewish Play Project's Festival of New Jewish Theater. INDECENT, written by contemporary playwright Paula Vogel, is based on the controversy and scandal that surrounded GOD OF VENGEANCE when it opened on Broadway in 1923. The readings will be presented with English super-titles, as SALESMAN was, and will be held at The Theater at The 14th Street Y (344 E 14th St, at 1st Ave). Suggested donation $18; more info found here.
Shayna is thrilled to announce that New Yiddish Rep's DEATH OF A SALESMAN has been nominated for a 2016 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Play! And, that's not all: lead Avi Hoffman (Willy Loman) has also been nominated for Outstanding Actor in a Play! Exciting stuff. See the full list of nominees here.
Shayna is delighted to announce that she will be reprising the role of Chava in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF in March, this time at La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro, Ohio! It's hard to believe that a little over one year ago she was rehearsing for a different production of this show in snowy Vermont. Shayna is thrilled to get the chance to tackle this beautiful role and this beautiful story a second time, and also to return to Ohio, where she spent 2013-2014 as an acting intern with Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. FIDDLER will run March 3-May 1, 2016. More details here.
Shayna is thrilled to begin rehearsals with New Yiddish Rep for an exciting, innovative adaptation of DEATH OF A SALESMAN, in which she will play Miss Forsythe. In this production, the Lomans are depicted as a family of Jewish immigrants: they speak only Yiddish with each other in the home (there will be English super-titles), and then switch to English when outside. This concept beautifully and tragically highlights the alienation Jewish immigrants felt in America: even basic communication often felt like a struggle. David Mamet, renowned playwright, has remarked on this very topic: "'Death of a Salesman," its author, setting and subject: the business, and the agony of assimilation, are all Jewish... It is an example of that poetic realism that was the voice of the second-generation American Jewish writers: Miller, Odets, Sidney Kingsley - a struggle between hope, confusion, aspiration and circumstance." SALESMAN will run at the Castillo Theatre (543 West 42nd Street) from October 8-November 22, 2015. Tickets can be purchased here and/or by calling (866) 811-4111.
With TITUS performances in full swing, Shayna begins rehearsals for the female lead in THAT WAS THEN, a 60s-style soul musical featuring the hits of greats such as Otis Redding and The Rascals. The script highlights how difficult it was for a young man to pursue the arts at this time: either drop out of school and risk the Vietnam draft, or sacrifice his dream for safety and further education. Shayna has loved the tunes of the 60's since she was a little girl, and couldn't be more excited to tell this beautiful story through those songs. The musical will be featured in the Thespis Theatre Festival at the end of August; see more details here!
Thanks to a casting director's recommendation, Shayna joins Hudson Warehouse as an immediate replacement for the role of the Nurse in their outdoor production of TITUS ANDRONICUS! The show will run July 30-August 23 at The Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument in Riverside Park (89th St. & Riverside Drive). Blood and gore, galore! No tickets necessary; admission is pay what you can! More information here.
While in Cincinnati last year, Shayna participated in a reading of Arlene Hutton's play PARHELIA and was lucky enough to work with the playwright during the process. This May, Shayna begins rehearsals for the first NYC reading of Ms. Hutton's play, LETTERS TO SALA, in the role of Blima. The beautiful play takes place in Poland, Germany, and Czechoslovakia in the 1940s, and NYC in the year 2005, and details the life of a Holocaust labor camp survivor and her family. This first reading will take place on May 19 at 7pm at New Dramatists. More information here!
Shayna heads to Vermont in mid-January to play Chava in ArtisTree Theatre Company's production of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF! Shayna was obsessed with this musical as a child (seriously, she used to walk her Barbies out of her bedroom singing "Anatevka"... depressing, right?!), and she cannot wait to get started! FIDDLER will run February 5-15, 2015. Check it out.
It's the most wonderful time of the year! Shayna begins rehearsals as Fan/Martha Cratchit for Queens Theatre's production of A CHRISTMAS CAROL. She is also serving as dialect coach for the show. A CHRISTMAS CAROL will run December 11-21. Tickets are available at www.titantheatrecompany.com or by calling the Queens Theatre box office at (718) 760-0064.
Shayna auditions for the off-Broadway musical HEREAFTER (currently playing at The Snapple Theater Center), and gets an unexpected offer from creator/producer Vinnie Favale (VP of late-night programming at CBS) to be his assistant on the show. She gladly accepts (though it was certainly not what she originally had in mind!), and has been honored to see a different side of the business while working on such a beautiful piece of theater. HEREAFTER runs every Saturday at 4:45pm at The Snapple Theater Center, 1627 Broadway. Visit the website here to purchase tickets! Special discount code: FOFV.
Shayna plays Eva in an original piece called DAUGHTERS OF LEDA in the Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City.
Shayna finishes up her year at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park as well as her final project in Cincinnati: SLUT SHAMING at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival. She returns to NYC, making a pit stop along the way at her alma mater Hamilton College to perform in an alumni theater festival.