News: Announcing the Full Cast of my production of Tennessee Williams’s “Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws”

As I reported earlier, Mink Stole and Everett Quinton are set to star in the production I’m directing of one of Tennessee Williams most wildly creative plays, Now The Cats With Jewelled Claws. Casting has been completed for the upcoming production, and a full creative team assembled.

Now the Cats will be premiering at the 6th Annual Provincetown Tennessee William Festival, September 22-25, 2011, before opening the 50th Anniversary Season at The Club at LaMaMa ETC, for a run from October 27-November 6, 2011.

The opening stage directions read “A luncheon table at the window of a restaurant. Outside the window, there is a deserted street, with the marquee of a cinema visible. The feature playing at the cinema is Defiance of Decency, which is followed by four stars.” Conversations in a restaurant between two socialite women friends, a roughed up pregnant waitress, two young gay hustlers with pink leather jackets emblazoned with “The Mystic Rose”, and a lecherous, prophetic restaurant manager. Apocalyptic, funny, musical, physical, wild, futuristic, shamanistic. Tennessee Williams at his experimental best.

Regina Bartkoff has been cast as Bea (opposite Mink Stole’s Madge), Joseph Keckler and Max Steele have been cast as the young hustlers, Erin Markey will be playing the waitress and Charles Schick has been cast as the Hunched Man. Music will be by Trystan Trazon. Set design will be by Jonathan Collins, lighting by Yuriy Nayer and costumes by Ryan J. Moller.

Regina Bartkoff is a painter and actress, and was born and raised in New York City, the daughter of a subway motorman.

Joseph Keckler is an interdisciplinary performer, actor, and classically trained singer. His original performance pieces and concerts have recently been presented at venues such as SXSW Music, The New Museum of Contemporary Art, The Stone, and Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, among others. His debut EP, “Featured Creatures” was released by Transeuropa in Italy last year. Joseph recently completed residencies at Yaddo and MacDowell Artist Colony, and his performance texts have been explored at Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Joseph has also had the privilege of appearing in numerous operas, new performances, and plays. In April he played a hallucination named The Boss’ Wife in Aaron Jafferis and Byron Au Yong’s music-theatre piece Stuck Elevator at the Sundance Theater Lab. Joseph has also been a member of composer John Moran’s theater company, last playing the part of Death in Saori’s Birthday. Other recent roles include the soldier Demetrius in Dan Fishback’s You Will Experience Silence and a cameo as Rolf, a weird balladeer, in Tina Satter’s Family. Joseph’s most recent play, Jobz, directed by Josh Hecht, premiered in May with soloNOVA at PS122. His previous full-length piece, Human Jukebox, directed by Elizabeth Gimbel, enjoyed successful runs at La MaMa ETC and Dublin Fringe in 2008-2009. This summer Joseph will appear in Kevin Malony’s staging of Tennessee Williams’ Summer and Smoke. Joseph’s forthcoming solo-opera-weirdo-experiment, A Voice and Nothing More, will premiere at Amsterdam’s Bellevue Theatre in September. Joseph is a member of Actor’s Equity Association.

Max Steele is a performer and writer. He has presented work at the New Museum, Deitch Projects, Dixon Place, Envoy Enterprises, PPOW Gallery, and the Queens Museum of Art. In addition to writing the psychedelic porno poetry zine Scorcher, his writing has been featured in Dossier Journal, Spank, Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art, East Village Boys and Birdsong. He performed in Dan Fishback’s You Will Experience Silence at Dixon Place in 2008, and played Becky on the Logo sitcom “Jeffery and Cole Casserole”.

Erin Markey is a Brooklyn-based writer/performer. She recently starred in the NYC premiere of Tennessee Williams’ Green Eyes at the Hudson Hotel. She is a series regular on LOGO’s Jeffery and Cole Casserole TV show. Her solo musical, Puppy Love: A Stripper’s Tail played and extended at PS 122. She is a company member of Half Straddle and her work in FAMILY was heralded as “the scariest performance of the year” in 2009 by Time Out NY. As a playwright, she was invited to the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and is currently developing her newest work, The Dardy Family Home Movies by Stephen Sondheim by Erin Markey, to premiere at the San Francisco International Film Festival’s Kinotek Series in the Fall of 2011. As a cabaret and performance artist, she regularly presents work at Our Hit Parade with Kenny Mellman, Bridget Everett and Neal Medlyn at Joe’s Pub (The Public).

Charles Schick is a painter and actor, and was born in Chicago, the son of a U.S. Civil Service employee.

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