Announcing our next Launch Pad reading of the season: The Hazards of Loving While Broken

Photo Feb 26, 1 45 19 AM

Mission To (dit)Mars is pleased to present in our second reading of the season

The Hazards of Loving While Broken

By Mariah MacCarthy

Directed By Jordana Williams

Featuring Jesse Geguzis, Diana Oh, and Kristen Vaughan

Mel loves Kerry’s son, who happens to be dead now. When Mel goes to stay with Kerry in her beautiful beach house, past and present loves collide. Can love emerge from grief? Or do broken people just break each other further?

Tuesday, March 25th @7 pm
Location: The Secret Theatre – The Little Secret

4402 23rd Street, Long Island City, New York

We are very excited to bring you a play by another one of our incredibly talented Propulsion Lab members! It’s a new work that we’re really excited to share with the Queens community. And by then let’s hope New York is shaking off the last of it’s winter doldrums and maybe, maybe Spring is showing up to the show.

Please RSVP – we expect this one to fill up quickly.  Please let us know how many seats you need. This event is 100% free to the public – just the way we like it!

About The Secret Theatre
Secret-Theatre-logo1

The Secret Theatre hosts theatre, musicals, dance, music, opera, film, video, classes, rehearsals, art openings, parties, film festivals and more.  They produce both in house, co-produce and accept rental submissions. 
Both of their current spaces are available for hire for rehearsals and performances – for more information on the venue, please visit The Secret Theatre.

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Kristine M. Reyes

Featured Artist: Kristine M. Reyes

This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Kristine M. Reyes
Kristine M. Reyes – Taken under the Hell Gate Bridge in Astoria Park

Title\Occupation
Playwright. I’m an associate artist at Diverse City Theater Company and a company member at Leviathan Lab.

Where were you born?
Born in Manila, Philippines, but raised in NYC since the age of seven.

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
I moved to Astoria three and a half years ago, when I got married. The joke was, it must be true love for a native Manhattanite to move to Queens. No dig against Queens, of course, but New Yorkers are very borough/neighborhood-proud.

How did you get involved in theater?
Theater was something in my life from a young age because my mom is a great admirer of the performing arts; she would take me to shows as a kid – everything from Broadway to shows in little run-down theaters. My elementary school (shout-out to P.S. 41!) also had a strong arts program, so I vividly remember chorus class and putting on our 6th grade production of 42nd Street (I was a chorus girl) with our music teacher Rayme.

So theater was always something I enjoyed, but more as an audience member than as a participant. I think I’m one of those rare playwrights who didn’t start out as an actor, but I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. It didn’t occur to me to try my hand at writing plays until college. It was a screenwriting class that eventually led to playwriting, actually. I realized that all I wanted to do was focus on the characters and write dialogue between them. Something clicked, like an “a-ha” moment, and it’s what I’ve been doing ever since.

Tell us about the play you’re working on in the Propulsion Lab?
It’s currently untitled and I’m still figuring things out as I write, but the play is about a conservative Asian-American woman who’s in her first relationship with a woman. She’s still very much in the closet, so it’s about how she navigates that double life and tries to maintain balance in all her relationships.

What do you love most about Queens?
I love that Queens is the most diverse borough in New York City – we’ve got people from all over the world who’ve settled down and created their lives here. It’s a microcosm of the microcosm that is NYC – but more affordable and less pretentious.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
It’s not so much a moment, but getting off the 7 train and stepping out onto Main Street in Flushing’s Chinatown gives me that feeling. I don’t know if there’s any other ethnic neighborhood in America where you feel like you’ve been transported to that country – the signs are in Chinese, the majority of the people walking around are Chinese, you hear people speaking Chinese – you really feel like you’re in, well, China. Manhattan’s Chinatown is such a tourist attraction, so it has a different vibe. But Flushing’s Chinatown feels like an “only in Queens” place to me.

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?

Café Triskell is one of my favorite restaurants in the city, period. My husband and I love going there on date nights because it’s cozy, the food is excellent, it’s affordable, and the chef/owner and his wife are really nice. Another favorite is Sanford’s – it’s upscale American food at diner prices, and it’s open 24-hours. We also love that ramen has made its way to Astoria – Hinomaru is near us and, in my opinion, rivals most of the ramen joints in Manhattan.
My favorite places in Queens are Astoria Park (lovely grassy knoll with a great view of the water, plus 4th of July fireworks); The Museum of the Moving Image (great exhibits and movies for any film buff at any age); Gantry State Plaza (beautiful view of Manhattan); The Queens Museum (the Panorama of the City of New York is a must-see); and the Unisphere (it’s an icon!).

Current/Upcoming projects?
I’ve been developing a full-length play called Stage/Mother that I hope to have a reading of later this year. I’m also in the very early stages of working on some non-theater writing projects that I’m really excited about, but can’t discuss yet (ooh intriguing!).In the meantime, you can check out my website for updates and information about my plays: kristinemreyes.com

Featured Artist: Christopher Diercksen

This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Christopher Diercksen
Christopher Diercksen

Title\Occupation
New Play Director, Dramaturg, Development Producer\Baby Toy Salesman

Where were you born?
Glenn Ridge, NJ though I grew up in West Caldwell.

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
Astoria, 2.5 years

How did you get involved in theater?
Through music, originally. Sang in church choir from the time I was 3. Every summer the little kids would put on a musical and the high school kids would tour a musical over winter break. It was the cool thing to do actually, a massive operation. I got to travel to London, Vancouver, Seattle, New Orleans, all over Texas, and Southern California with really good shows. My first real part came in 3rd grade when a 5th grader got the chicken pox leading up to the christmas pageant and they picked me to fill the void.  Matthew The Lowly Shepherd Boy. I can still remember the song.

What do you love most about Queens?
This is a hard question but i think a good answer is the wider sidewalks and shorter buildings. It means more visible sky and less crowding. Also the N train follows the perfect route through manhattan. Plus the population is so diverse.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
So my Egyptian owned laundromat is run by mostly Spanish speaking ladies who all love to chit chat and watch telenovelas. One day I walked in on a jovial conversation between one of my favorites of the women and a man with a heavy Greek accent being translated by a Brazilian; Spanish to Portuguese accented English to Greek accented English to Portuguese accented Spanish. There was so much laughter. I really liked that.

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?
The Thirsty Koala; SevaAntika; and Butcher Bar for food. William Hallett; Astoria Bier and Cheese; Sparrow; Bohemian Hall; Dutch Kills for drinks. Shannon Pot; The Irish Rover for sports and drinks. Also I love the museum of the moving image and PS1. Also the secret theatre for plays.

Current/Upcoming projects?
Directing The Unlikely Ascent Of Sybil Stevens by Kari Bentley Quinn at the Secret Theatre, February 6 – 23! Here’s a link: http://www.secrettheatre.com/SybilStevens_info.html

After that, I have a couple of pots on the stove but the lids stay on for the moment. 😉

Featured Artist: Lisa Huberman

This is a series of posts featuring our artists who are making things happen in and around our great borough of Queens.  Please check back weekly for new posts.

Lisa Huberman
Lisa Huberman

Title\Occupation
Playwright

Where were you born?
At my parents’ house in Youngstown, OH.

Which Queens neighborhood do you live in and for how long?
I’ve lived at the border between Woodside and Sunnyside for two and a half years. I also lived in Astoria by the river in a tiny place near the Socrates Sculpture Park for a hot minute when I just needed to escape from Jersey City in a hurry.

How did you get involved in theater?
Theatre is a part of my family’s heritage.  It saved my grandpa from a life of juvenile delinquency in the 1930s and I grew up going to the local community theatre and being in shows there with my dad.  I can hold entire conversations with the men in my Dad’s family composed of lines from Guys and Dolls, The Fantasticks, and The Producers. Though I have a mixed relationship to musical theatre today, something about those lyrics feel like home.

Tell us about the play you’re working on in the Propulsion Lab?
Right now it’s called LIFE PLAY and it explores what happens when a woman’s private sexual fantasies begin to intersect with the identity she’s created in her current relationships.  Not only do these desires seem to contradict her beliefs as a feminist, but her background in activism fighting sexual oppression and poverty.  After her boyfriend confronts her with kinky material in her internet search history, they embark on a journey that pushes them to push many limits and face uncomfortable truths.

What do you love most about Queens?
When I was trying to get out of Jersey quick, I was at first overwhelmed with the sheer number of options for housing in New York.  But then I thought, you know what? I don’t know any jerks who live in Astoria.  While I knew jerks in pretty much every neighborhood in the city, everyone I knew in Astoria was a wonderful person.  And I’ve found that to be true in Woodside/Sunnyside as well.  Maybe it’s being from the Midwest–but I like being able to smile at strangers on the street and not have people look at me like a weirdo.

I also love the food–not just globe-spanning selection of restaurants, but also grocery stores that cater to every culinary persuasion without making you fork over your entire .  I kind of feel bad for Manhattanites for not having a lot of good grocery stores.

Do you have an “only in Queens” moment you’d like to share?
The “Vote Here” sign at my local polling station printed in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Hindi.

Your top Queens picks (food, entertainment, sights, etc)?

Grocery Stores:  Homemade tofu at the H Mart on Roosevelt in Woodside, Patel Brothers in Jackson Heights, baklava at Parrot Coffee Grocery on Queens Blvd in Sunnyside, giant bags of dried chickpeas at Trade Fair.
Restaurants: Pita Pan (or Pita Hot) on 30th Ave.,  Vesta on 30th Ave. (get the warm banky for brunch)  Tangra in on Queens Blvd., La Adelita on Roosevelt. 3E Thai in Astoria on Broadway.

Current/Upcoming projects?
Working on getting a full reading of “Life Play” up sometime in the next two or three months.  In the meantime ,you can purchase my plays “Under the Rainbow,” “High and Uptight” and Egyptology on the Monologues Database http://www.notmyshoes.net/monologues/.  I’m also halfway through teaching a playwriting workshop with the kids at in the Theatre Program at the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools in East Brunswick, NJ.