Genre: Drama
©Lawrence Benjamin
by Lori Payne

A chance meeting with a stranger on Catherine Street inspires action in Marcelle Bloomer, and she makes a crusade of burying abandoned newborns. But funerals cost money, even if the coffin is the size of a shoebox.

Marcelle's only daughter is the self-appointed custodian of the Bloomer name. Jade Bloomer-Gaines resents her mother's work with the newborns, especially when Marcelle begins to spend the family's money on the burials. Just as Jade predicts, the Bloomers fall into financial ruin. Meanwhile, Jade's new husband Leonardo Gaines gradually loses his grip on reality. Nevertheless, Marcelle continues to work as her own family unravels before her eyes.

Preview:   08/01/07
Open:   08/01/07
Close:   08/04/07

All shows 7:00 pm
Theater:   Manhattan Repertory Theatre
Address:   303 West 42nd Street
New York, NY
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Cost:$20 USD or Call: Manhattan Repertory at (646) 329-6588
Company: Lori Payne         Official Web Site:
Erika Myers As Jade Bloomer-Gaines
Erika Myers is a native of Greenville NC. Since five years old, Erika has performed as a gymnast, pianist, singer, dancer, and actress. All of those roles paved the way to making entertainment Erika's true calling. Erika received a Bachelor's of Science in Psychology and a minor in Dramatic Arts from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While there she continued to be active in the arts serving as Artistic Director for the Opeyo! Dance Company. Erika was also very active in the Lab! Theater Company, UNC's oldest and most active student theater groups as well as Ebony Readers Onyx Theater.

After graduating from UNC, Erika moved to NYC to pursue a professional career in the arts. Since then, Erika has performed at several well-known New York area theatrical venues. Through Corner Wars, Erika's first Off-Broadway performance, she had the pleasure of working with Mel Williams who in the past has been cited as one of the top 55 directors in the country by the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. Erika also received great reviews from her role as 'Tashna in Corner Wars and for her roles in Shakin' the Mess Outta Misery.

Erika's talent is not limited to the stage. She has made appearances in many independent films and shorts, as well as industrials. She has also appeared on several sitcoms such as Chappelle Show, Whoopi, Change of Heart, Dawson's Creek, and Maury (reenactment). Erika is an extremely versatile and talented actress that brings creativity to any role. Her motivation and determination are what separates her from most and what makes her an artist to watch for!

Karen Page As Marcelle Bloomer
Karen Page is a native of St Louis, Missouri. She is host of Riant! Riant! Arts and Entertainment, and co-host and judge of the popular new improv show Who's Got Game?. Theatre credits include: Grandma Gracie in Dinner at Grandma's, Marta in Evening Gloves, Claudette Stokes in Bling, Kitty Larkin in Six Degrees of Separation, and Lady Northumberland in King Henry IV Pt.2. Recent film credits include: Milky in Milk, and Maxine in The Trouble That Lies Within.
Steven Bennett As Leonardo Gaines
Steven Bennett caught the acting bug at the age of 15 in New Rochelle, while doing a play written by his sister for her performance art school Bennett Academy of the Arts. At the age of seventeen he auditioned for a small part in Kevin Kline's movie "The Emperor's Club" and although he was not cast, it helped build his confidence for the road ahead. At 18, Steven's abilities were accepted at The School for Film and Television in Manhattan. The summer before enrolling he spent three months with the late great Tina Sattin, the first acting coach of Denzel Washington, in Mount Vernon, NY.

After two years at SFT, in 2005, Steven was cast in the Jerry Roebuck produced play "Harlem Coffee Shop" which ran at the Beacon theater. After the run Steven was cast in the acclaimed off-broadway play, "Platanos and Collard Greens" as the lead, Freeman. He ended the run with the show in June of 2007. Steven recently played famous author James Baldwin in Arthur Alleyne's "Scribblin' at the Automat." His varied resume includes voiceover work, independent films as well as work on stage.

Glen Murphy As Merlin
Glen Murphy (Writer/Actor), a native Brooklynite, has been writing and acting for the past couple of years. Glen's first passion is writing and his first play, "New York Nights", made its debut in an earlier incarnation at the Lower East Side 's House of Tribes Theatre. This showcasing of his production allowed him to recreate and hone "New York Nights" to the point that the play was picked to be showcased during Absolute Theatre's Urban Fairytale Festival along with a short play that was co-written with Charles E. Drew Jr. entitled "A Rican Piece". Aside from his writing, Glen acting is intense in its realism as he takes a character and delves into the deepest part of their psyche to deliver a memorable performance. As always, Glen is happy to be able to connect with the audience through his talents and is extremely proud to be a part of this production.

Plays written by Glen Murphy:

"New York Nights", "New York Nights II - The Baby", "A Rican Piece" with Charles E. Drew Jr., "The Letter", and "Love Thy Father" "Rip and the Van Winkles" "The Trip To Heaven"

Lori Payne Writer/Director
After receiving a Bachelor's Degree from the University of New Orleans, Payne worked as a freelance writer in New Orleans, choosing to tell stories where arts and activism intersect. Her stage plays reflect her training in both journalism and the arts, and an understanding of things that make us human.

Catherine Street follows Payne's comedic trilogy Ulterior Side Dishes, which was produced at the Nuyorican Poets Café in 2006. Ulterior Side Dishes was also produced as a radio drama by the WBAI host and journalist, Dred Scott-Keyes. Recent venues include the Strawberry One-Act Festival and The American Theatre of Harlem in 2005, and the Arthur Seleen Theatre in 2006. Lori is currently studying playwriting under the tutelage of Anthony 'Tee' Saralegui, dramaturge and author of the book Writing One Play.