This Winter Horse Trade and EXIT Theatre return to bring you a festival that is uncensored, unjuried and totally downtown.

Breadbasket Productions

The Question House

 

Wed 2/25
7:30 PM
Sun 3/01
8:30 PM
Mon 3/02
10:30 PM
Fri 3/06
6:00 PM
Sat 3/07
8:30 PM

If you were trapped in a house where you could speak only in questions, how long would you survive? In a race against time, God, and declarative statements, the intrepid employees of The Question House are ready to find out…or are they?

 

 

The Question House was a winner of the Eleanor Frost Playwriting Award at Dartmouth College.

Playwright Tara Dairman was recently named a finalist for 2008-09 Jerome Fellowship at the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. She has also been a finalist for the Heideman Award at the Actors' Theater of Louisville and a semifinalist for the Princess Grace Playwriting Award.

The Question House is an award-winning one-act comedy in which everyone must speak only in questions…or else! It has been produced at Dartmouth College and HB Studio and received a concert reading at La MaMa E.T.C. This production is brought to you by Breadbasket Productions (the company behind the hit PB&J in the 2007 NY Fringe Festival) and the HB Ensemble.

In the fall of 2007, The Question House, by Tara Dairman, was brought to Edith Meeks, Artistic Director of the HB Ensemble, as a possible Ensemble project by Ensemble member Cam Kornman. Cam had been in a reading of it at La MaMa E.T.C., and she absolutely loved the play. Edith asked Catherine Siracusa to organize a reading for one of the Ensemble meetings. After the reading, Catherine and the rest of the cast wanted to take it further...so Edith scheduled a date in for a workshop production of The Question House in May 2008.

Catherine cast the production with Ensemble members (several of whom had been in the original reading). Rehearsal space and performance space was provided by HB Studio as was any other technical help and advice. Every aspect was handled by Ensemble members, including stage managing, costumes, choreography,  props, sound design, graphic design, house managing, light, and sound operators...

HB Studio presented an HB Ensemble workshop production of the The Question House by Tara Dairman, directed by Catherine Siracusa, on May 17 & 18, 2008, at 8 PM at HB Studio, 120 Bank Street, New York, NY. It was a resounding success. So everyone involved in this production was absolutely thrilled at the chance to do The Question House again, this time presented by Breadbasket Productions, with members of the HB Ensemble, at the 2009 Frigid New York Festival.

Breadbasket Productions is committed to producing engaging, challenging, and entertaining theatre. Our first production was PB&J by Tara Dairman, directed by Cyndy A. Marion, in the 2007 NY International Fringe Festival. We are sponsored by The Field, a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, 501(c)(3) organization that supports the performing arts in New York City, so all contributions made to us through that organization are tax deductible to the extent allowed by the law. Please contact breadbasketproductions@gmail.com to learn more or to make a contribution.

The HB Ensemble is a company of actors drawn by audition, once per year, from the HB student body. Through intense work and dedication to their craft, the members of the HB Ensemble continue to distinguish themselves here in New York and beyond with productions that are insightful, touching, and wonderfully entertaining.
Learn more at www.hbstudio.org/ensemble.
“The Herbert Berghof Studio began in 1945 and aims for a meaningful dramatic expression of the times and country in which we live. To help establish a theatre of experimentation based on classic tradition, the Studio is dedicated to the development of individual artists who may actively contribute to a theatre of national character. Conceived as an artistic and working home, it offers an outlet for practice and growth for the professional theatre artist and an opportunity for the young to establish roots in their intended craft. The Studio's guiding principle is creative freedom, which has as its logical consequence responsibility to a noble art.” – Uta Hagen

Critical praise for PB&J, by Tara Dairman (2007 New York International Fringe Festival):
"Tara Dairman's absurdly hilarious script is equal parts Arsenic & Old Lace and Cabin Fever with a Lorena Bobbitt slant. …Under the elegant direction of Cyndy Marion, five actors deliver delicately prosaic and absurd dialogue loquaciously reminiscent of, say, Stephen Fry, but without the pretense. …PB&J is laugh-out loud funny. It's smart. It's even a little touching and intense at times. It's everything it promises to be and a little bit more, and it's certainly worth the time and ticket price to go see it."
– nytheatre.com
"Worth seeing—if only for its cocky plotline."
– Time Out New York
"PB&J is most effective in its many monologues that break the fourth wall. Playwright Tara Dairman has a flair for direct storytelling." – OffOffOnline.com
“PB&J is a witty, engaging piece of theatre…This engagingly quirky drama manages to combine an imaginative, non-realistic premise with a core of human emotions and problems. This is quite a difficult balance to achieve.”
– Soho Theatre, London

Critical praise for "Tara Has Written a Play" (Fishamble Theatre Company, Dublin, Ireland, 2003):
"Tara Dairman’s 'Tara Has Written a Play' skips nicely from real to surreal.…she focuses on experimentation with structure and dialogue with a charming and often surprising outcome."
– The Sunday Tribune
"The winner by far was Tara Dairman’s 'Tara Has Written a Play'…it was inventive, dramatic, funny, and creative."
– www.wow.ie

Cast and Crew

Cam Kornman* (Margaret) Cam has appeared in many New York theatre productions.  She is thrilled to be performing with the HB Ensemble in Tara Dairman’s wonderful The Question House, a play she has been burning to do ever since she first read it as part of  La MaMa’s Moonlighting Series.
Howard Green* (Harvey Krytz) Howard is a veteran of New York and regional theatre, performing with the New York Shakespeare Festival (Richard III and the Henry VI cycle), the American Place Theatre (The Ceremony of Innocence), the Actor’s Studio (The Silent Partner), the Lincoln Center (Cyrano de Bergerac), the Washington Shakespeare Festival (Troilus and Cressida and The Winter’s Tale), the Berkshire Theatre Festival (Family Business) and the Philadelphia Playhouse in the Park (The Poison Tree), among others. On the PBS television series, Theatre in America, he appeared in Paradise Lost and The Ceremony of Innocence. Most recently, he was seen in an Off-Broadway production of Waiting for Godot and in The Comedy of Errors at Shakespeare on the Sound. He has been a member of Actors Equity Association since performing with Uta Hagen and Herbert Berghof as a college student at The University of Michigan. He is a member of the HB Ensemble.
Tom Tinelli (Officer Franco) Tom was last seen in Peter Coston’s 6:47 Adagietto and Jean Grillo’s Off to the Races (part of a 26 play festival) at the HB Playwrights Foundation Theatre in NYC. Other recent New York performances include T.S. Eliot’s Cocktail Party (dir. Edward Morehouse), The Question House (performed at HB Studio, dir. Catherine Siracusa), Sean O’Loughlin’s Baggage and Stanley Taub’s The Arrival (both pieces directed by Jim Boerlin), The Master and Margarita (dir. Aleksey Burago), John Guare’s Lake Hollywood (dir. Amy Wright), Kevin Kerr’s Unity 1918 (dir. Carol Rosenfeld), Sharon Wajswol’s The Seven Year Clause (dir. Rasa Allan Kazlas), Chekhov’s Vaudevilles (dir. Carol Morley), The Landlord/Tenant Wars (dir. Carlos Gorbea), David Rimmer’s New York (dir. Laura Esterman), The American Clock (dir. Austin Pendleton) and Horton Foote’s The Dancers (dir. Kate Bushmann). Tom has performed in productions throughout New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania spanning 20 years. He has been studying at HB Studio since 2001 under the direction of Austin Pendleton and Jim Boerlin. Tom also studied at New School University with Andrew Palmer and Fordham University with Michael Massee. He holds degrees in Engineering and Mathematics from Columbia University and Fordham University. Tom would like to thank his director Catherine Siracusa for the opportunity to be re-united with Officer Franco and this wonderful cast.
Snezhana Chernova (Bingham) Snezhana is a graduate of the St. Petersburg Academy of the Theater arts in Russia. In New York she studied with legendary Uta Hagen. Last seen in Lady With a Lapdog With Jokes and A Happy Ending. Other theater projects include The Uncle's Dream, Desire Under The Elms, An Absolutely Happy Village, Ah! My Dear Andersen, Picnic On The Battlefield. Her favorite role is Margarita in The Master And Margarita  by M. Bulgakov, dir. by A. Burago. Her film and TV credits include The Emperor's Romance, Alaska Kid, The Child Within, Proof Of Birth, America's Most Wanted, The Casualty.
Nick DeSimone (Charlie Peat) Nick just finished playing opposite Lois Smith in the staged reading of The Shaker Chair directed by Ulu Grosbard at The Ensemble Studio Theatre. Other NY credits include Natey in Rye n’ Ginger (Theater For The New City); Nick Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Goodheart Lab); Lopakhin in Amy Wright’s Lab production of The Cherry Orchard; Cyberlove (dir. Arthur French); Between Two Worlds (EST); Lovers & Other Strangers (Gene Frankel Theater); Truth Is (Abingdon Theatre); Buck Fever (Amy Wright Workshop); Date-O-Rama (ATB); and a zillion readings all over town including The Public Theatre and Manhattan Theatre Club. For HB Ensemble: Master and Margarita (dir. Aleksey Burago, opp. George Bartenieff); Picnic On The Battlefield (dir. Aleksey Burago); New York (dir. Laura Esterman); The Long Goodbye (dir. Amy Wright); Summerfolk (dir. Austin Pendleton); and The Question House. For HB Playwrights Foundation: It Happened In The New Marvelous with Judd Hirsch; Between Two Worlds (dir. Marcia Jean Kurtz); Caged Visions (dir. Rasa Allen Kazlas); Norman Kline’s Chip & Fish (dir. Karen Ludwig) for the October ’08 Reading Series; Christmas in New Jersey as Harry the Cat and Miracle On I-84 as Bob in the HBPF 2007 Christmas Show; and various roles in The Waiting Room Plays. This past June, Nick directed his first play, Without Tongue, for ATB. FILM/TV: Free Parking (Triboro Pictures); The Pirate Fort (Gen Art); Mac The Charm (opp. Larry Pine); Triangle Fire; Rate-Your-Date; Black Ice; Lunch With Aliens; Forgiven; I Will Avenge You, Iago!; ABC’s Visions (opp. Giancarlo Esposito); and the Webseries Chaos In Gotham. Nick will be featured in the upcoming children’s book When You Visit New York City by Amy Bronwen Zemser. TRAINING: Ed Morehouse, Jeanne Kaplan, Sam Groom, John Monteith, Ron Stetson, and The Neighborhood Playhouse Summer Conservatory.   
Catherine Kjome* (Paramedic #1) Catherine was born in Laramie, WY and raised in St. Paul, MN. She most recently played Audrey Hepburn in D.U.I- a moving violation at Manhattan Theatre Source.  Other NYC credits include: Wiring, Chekhov's Vaudevilles, Festival Fools, The Millionairess (HB Studio/Playwrights Foundation), Matinee Night, A Body Without a Head (MTS), The Magical Forest of Baba Yaga (Urban Stages), 3-D World (Mazer Theatre) and Rikki Tikki Tavi (Manhattan Children's Theatre). She has played a cat, a muskrat, a snake, a boy, and old movie stars as well as poetic, ditzy, tragic, and strong-willed women, and is thrilled to reprise her role as a spirited Paramedic. She has been featured in many independent films, was a professional ballet dancer, and has performed throughout "the village" as lead singer of NYC rock band SOME GIRLS. Catherine was always a very inquisitive child…  Thank you to Catherine Siracusa, an inspiring artist and director. AEA, AGMA
Philip Kushner* (Paramedic #2) Philip is a graduate of the University Of Massachusetts, where he majored in theatre. He was featured in the film Kinsey. While he has many local and regional theatre credits, the one he’s most proud of is starring in his self-written play First Time, Long Time, which was produced as part of the Strawberry One-Act Festival. Phil has also been performing stand-up comedy in many clubs in and around New York City.
Tara Dairman (Playwright) Tara is thrilled to see The Question House come to life once more in this wonderful production. Her other plays include PB&J (dir. Cyndy A. Marion, 2007 NY International Fringe Festival; Princess Grace Award semifinalist), Tara Has Written a Play (produced at Project Arts Centre by Fishamble Theatre Company in Dublin, Ireland and published by New Island Books in Fishamble Firsts: An Anthology of First Plays by New Playwrights), and The Wedding Cake (Heideman Award finalist, Actors Theatre of Louisville’s National Ten-Minute Play Contest), and all of which were developed at La MaMa E.T.C. A founding member of the Breadbasket Writers’ Group and a finalist for a 2008-09 Jerome Fellowship at The Playwrights’ Center, Tara is currently at work on a new play and a children's novel.
Catherine Siracusa (Director) Catherine is an artist, an actress, a costume designer, and an award-winning author and illustrator of children's books. A member of the HB Ensemble since 2005, she made her directorial debut with the HB Ensemble workshop production of The Question House in May 2008. As an actress, her New York theatre credits include:   Lake Hollywood, dir. Amy Wright, The American Clock, dir Austin Pendleton, New York, dir. Laura Esterman, The Dancers, dir. Kate Bushmann (HB Playwrights Theatre); The Siblings, dir. Edward Elefterion (Midtown Int'l Theatre Festival); A Friendly Fiasco, dir. Fred Timm (Bad Plays Festival); Better Babies, dir. Elizabeth Bove, Among The Missing, dir. Amy Wright (Turnip Festival). Indie films both short and long include: Fourhand, winner best film, Cape Cod Section, 2008 Woods Hole Film Festival; The Radium Follies, 2006 San Francisco & Seattle Int'l Film Festivals; Coyote; Sky People; Luvrgrl; Now It Can Be Told, A Video Opera; Anne Flournoy's The Louise Log #5 & #10 on You Tube.
Charlotte Bence (Assistant Director)
Shaun Bennet Wilson (Graphic Design) Recent NY theatre: Summerfolk (dir. Austin Pendleton, HB Playwrights Foundation), The Letter (Emerging Artists Theatre, dir. Rasa Allan Kazlas), The Conjugality Test (Midtown Intn’l Theatre Festival), The Sanctuary (American Theater of Actors), Monday Morning Baseball (The Turtle's Shell Theatre), Baby Talk (Strawberry One-Act Festival) and The Odyssey (Creative Educational Systems). Film: Pieces of Cake, Mothers' Day Special. Shaun happily works as an actor, director, writer, and production committee member within the HB Ensemble. Training: AMDA, Stella Adler Conservatory of Acting, and HB Studio. Many thanks to JC and Bubala. www.shaunbennetwilson.com
Jen Danby* (Sound Designer) Jen is a member of the HB Ensemble. With the Ensemble: Delfina Treadwell in Valparaiso (dir. Rasa Allan Kazlas); Catherine in an in-process workshop of Charles Mee’s Fetes de la Nuit (dir. Edith Meeks, with Michael Blake); and Wife in Chekhov’s “The Chorus Girl” in Lady with a Lapdog with Jokes and a Happy Ending (dir. Aleksey Burago). Theatre: Meg in Chekhov's Rifle (reading, HBPF); Homing (staged reading, HBPF, dir. Jack Hofsiss); Revolution; The Skriker; Accidental Death of an Anarchist; Springtime; and the American premiere of A Taste of Ashes (staged reading, Repertorio Español). TV/Film: All My Children; The Book of Daniel; and True Hollywood Sitter (Melinda). Jen holds degrees from UT Austin (BA Drama); C.W. Post/LIU (MA Acting); and CUNY (Ph.D. Theatre). HB training: Aleksey Burago; Austin Pendleton; Helen Gallagher; and Mark Blum. AEA, SAG, AFTRA. www.jendanby.com

* Appearing courtesy of AEA. Equity showcase approval pending.

Audience Choice Awards
The Question House
Star Rating
audience Comment

Audience Member

5
Hilarious and very clever concept.
Abby Schafer
5
Clever & Hilarious
Ben Deutsch
3
Great Script
Cyndy Marion
5
Fantastic, witty writing
Jessica Wells
5
Very well written
Emily Lee
5
Very funny and memorable
Joseph