(Author of This is us, Orange is the new Black, Shameless)
This poignant new comedy throws two very different women into an unlikely, but fierce friendship. On maternity leave for the first time, Jessie and Lina tiptoe to their shared backyard for a precious coffee and a chat during naptime. Their intimacy is disturbed when a stranger asks if his wife, who seems to struggle with motherhood, could join them…
A comedy with dark edges, this play takes an honest look at the absurdities of being home with a baby, the power of female friendship, the dilemma of going back to work, and the effect class has on parenthood.
with Verena Müller, Roxana Rahnama, Lukhanyo Bele, Evelyne Tollman Werzowa
directed by Evelyne Tollmann Werzowa
produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY INC. of Woodstock, Illinois
Four months ago, Jessie was a corporate lawyer with a glamorous Manhattan life. Today, she is in dirty yoga pants, covered in breast milk, trying to comfort a screaming newborn. Isolated in a sleepy Long Island suburb while her commuter husband works long hours, Jessie is desperate to talk to anyone besides Food Network. So when she spies a fellow new mom and neighbor, Lina, at the local Stop & Shop, she vaults over the cantaloupe to introduce herself.
Happy to have found each other, the two moms agree to meet for coffee during naptime in the sweet spot behind their adjoining yards where both their baby monitors get reception, and a fast friendship is born. Jessie and Lina may be from vastly different financial backgrounds – Jessie is Ivy-educated and of the manor born; Lina has a night-school nursing degree and terrible credit—but they have one huge thing in common: they’ve been cracked open by the love they feel for their newborns. One coffee quickly becomes a daily coffee, as Jessie and Lina laugh through the highs and lows of motherhood.
But their intimacy is punctured when a stranger who lives in the mansion up on the cliff appears in the yard, asking if they would include his wife, a new mom who is having “a hard time,” in their coffee klatch. Reluctantly, the duo tries to become a trio, but with very mixed—and surprising—results.
After all, this is a town where the haves and the have-nots live in very close company; up on the cliff is Sands Point, one of the most expensive Great Gatsby-esque neighborhoods in the whole country. How could that woman possibly be having a “hard time”?
Jessie - Verena Müller was born and raised in Vienna. During a stay at an international language school in California she had a chance to persue her long craved passion for acting . She starred in school plays and started her acting training. Back in Vienna, Verena finished her acting studies at the Actors Workshop Vienna. Ever since she's been acting in different theater- and filmproductions. She was seen as 'Buhlschaft' at a production of 'Jedermann' of Bühne Weinviertel at Brandlhof in Radlbrunn. Just recently she performed in the Bretterhaus Wien production of "Faust III" stationtheater at Castle Schleissheim near Munich. She is touring the Austrian Winequarter with Franz Josef Weiss with a rehearsed reading and songs „Wein, Weib & Gezank“.
Lina - Roxana Rahnama was born in Vienna. She is half Iranian and half Austrian. From a young age on she started acting in theater and worked at ORF's kid's program as actress and hostess. After her graduation from Film & Media in Vienna she continued her studies of Media & Arts in California. There she was involved in several filmprojects as an actress and assistant director. She wrote and starred in the multiple awarded shortfilm “Mis’TIC”. Furthermore she played in the also awarded film “Teheran Tabu”. Her theater credits include last year's “Saubere Mädchen, dreckige Schlampen” at Kosmos Theater in Vienna. Roxana works as an actress and filmmaker in Austria and the US. After Thiasus Productions’ ‘The Vagina Monologues’ this is Roxy’s second time with Thiasus.
Mitchell - Lukhanyo Bele was born in East London, South Africa. After finishing high school, he followed his love for acting and went to study performing arts at New Africa Theatre Association in conjunction with UCT and Stellenbosch where he completed his NQF Level 5 in Performing Arts. While starring in a school play 2001, he was spotted by a talent agent and has been working in the industry ever since. Lukhanyo has been acting in different theater, television and film productions, both in Africa and Europe, as well as other parts of the world. He has portrayed roles such as Jim in Huckleberry Finn adventures, Ken Saro Wiwa in Crudeland, Abdulah in Tatort Virusand Avelino dieMinensucherinto name a few. His upcoming work includes two films, Berlin Alexander Platzwhere he plays a refugee, directed by Burhan Qurbaniand a Netflix Michael Bay Production 6 Undergroundwhere he portrays a doctors-without-borders character alongside Ryan Reynolds. Lukhanyo is currently being seen at Theater Freiburg, Germany where he plays a young British fish griller in a play called Die Kücheby Arnold Wesker. Lukhanyo has lived in Vienna for 6 years, this is his first involvement with Thiasus Productions.
Adrienne - Evelyne Tollman Werzowa
is a writer, actress, director, and producer. She attended LACC Theatre Academy. Evelyne has had four of her plays produced in Los Angeles. Her political satire play The Pig and Ireceived great reviews LA weekly giving her pick of the week. Her short film Poor Petercan be viewed on Funny or Die. Evelyne has performed in many independent films such as her own work Somebody's Motherand Poor Peter. Other films include Delusions of Grandeur, Woman on Firewhich won best Iranian film. Evelyne appeared in Wallace Shawn's infamous play Aunt Danand Lemonin the 2011 Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Evelyne has appeared in Athol Fugard's play My Children! My Africa, Hanjoby Mishima, The Balconyby Jean Genet to name a few. Evelyne has a few screenplays in development. "Old Time Girl", "Cricket Song", and "My Wedding At Auschwitz" all have placed Semi-Finalist in Zoetrope, Fresh Voices, Table Read My Screenplay contests. Somebody's Motheris on Amazon Prime and had its World Premiere at Cinequest and Revelation Film Festival. Her film The Stand Up Dollis her documentary directing debut in festivals this year 2019. Evelyne moved from LA to Vienna with her Austrian husband and son in summer 2018. She appeared in Vienna Theater Project’s “Crossing Jerusalem” and is the face for Austria in the new commercial for the EU.