the cell

Todays Date: 11/26/22
Last Update: 03/15/14 02:44:47 PM
Address: 338 W. 23rd Street
New York, NY    10011

Phone: 646/861-2253

History of Productions View Current and Upcoming

The INTERNATIONAL  | Open: 04/03/14 Close: 05/04/14
the cell presents
the World Premier Production of Origin Theatre Company's

Directed by Christopher Randolph


Hard Times  | Open: 01/09/14 Close: 02/02/14
HARD TIMES, written by Larry Kirwan (of Black 47), soulfully revitalizes the songs of Stephen Foster while telling a story of Foster's troubled life during a time when Irish and Afro-American cultures clashed.

"knockout entertainment... bursts with vitality"
--The New York Times

"full of unquestionably delightful music"
--The Village Voice


Peter/wendy  | Open: 05/30/13 Close: 06/22/13
Her romantic mind was like the tiny boxes, one
within the other, that come from the puzzling East, however many you discover
there is always one more....

Conceived and directed by Jeremy Bloom, the plight of Peter takes
on new life in an anxiety-ridden,
deadly adventurous world of love, fairy dust and twilight. Featuring Bloom’s
signature low-tech, inventive image staging, Peter/Wendy reveals the
nuances of Neverland.  

Blackboard @ The Cell January 2013 - Bottle Trees  | Open: 01/14/13 Close: 01/14/13
Written by Danielle Eliska Lyle

Directed by James Anthony Tyler

Sammy and Phil have been best friends since childhood, sharing just about everything--except who they love most. Someone crosses the line and it takes deceit and revenge to backfire into self-destruction for everyone to realize the power in the spirits.

"And memory
That warm slop of honey,
Seeping. No way to stop it and its gorgeous hurricane of bees."
-cynthia cruz

writer. director.
a wolverine. NYU MFA grad in dramatic writing.
lover of film, television and theatre.
freelance writer and producer.
did a few amazing things, but looking forward to the mind-blowing extraordinary.
tweeting @danielleeliska


Cowboys Friends Festivus Fests!  | Open: 12/13/12 Close: 12/15/12
Happy Festivus! Come celebrate with us!

Next in the life of the play Cowboys (Straight, Queer, Quixotic, & Otherwise Allegorical) Michael Marceline

featuring Lila Donnolo*, Jesse Manocherian*, John Charles McLaughlin*, and Jed Peterson*

With the generous support of our donors, we've been able to hire three actors, a musician, and a stage manager to present staged readings of our play during two parties at the cell theatre. Come to one or, heck, come to both!

Expect festivities, music, games, new material, egg nog!, and a bit of nosh.

Festivus for the rest of us (we promise to skip the airing of grievances - we've got much more fun things planned),
Lila Donnolo & Michael Marceline, Producers

Cowboys (Straight, Queer, Quixotic, & Otherwise Allegorical)
is an incubator project at:
the cell, a 21st century salon

State of Play Productions, Producing Sponsor

member Actors Equity Association


Blackboard @ The Cell November 2012 - Am I White  | Open: 11/12/12 Close: 11/12/12
Blackboard Reading Series'
Blackboard @ the cell

~Devoted to the Black Playwright throughout the African Diaspora~

by Adrienne Dawes
directed by Kevin R. Free

When Neo-Nazi terrorist Wesley Connor returns to prison after a failed bomb plot, he is confronted with the two identities that threaten his position within the White Order of Thule most: fatherhood and his own mixed race heritage.
Inspired by the true story of Leo Felton and Erica Chase, Am I White travels between linear narrative, recurring dreams and minstrel show nightmare to discover if a singular self exists in post-modern, "post-racial" America.

Adrienne is the recipient of the 2004 Stanley and Evelyn Lipkin Prize for Playwriting, a Marchbanks Family Foundation Grant, a Fringe Festival Commission Award, Seed Support Grant, and Finer Point Funding Grant from Scriptworks. She was named a semifinalist for the 2003 Mildred and Albert Panowski Playwriting Award and 2012 Risk is THIS Festival (Cutting Ball Theatre). Most recently, her play Am I White was recognized as a finalist for the 2012 O'Neill National Playwrights Conference and 2012 Bay Area Playwrights Festival.

Adrienne Dawes' plays include Am I White, You Are Pretty, Jesus Loves Good Christians, edgewater stoner and Heritage, Her-i-tage and Hair-i-tage.
Her work has been produced by American Repertory Theatre of London, Live Girls Theatre!, Little Fish Theatre Company, New Jersey Repertory Company, Hyde Park Theater, St Idiot Collective, and American Theater Company (Chicago, IL). Her plays have been published by Playscripts, Smith & Kraus, Heuer Publishing and Vintage Books.


Hard Times  | Open: 09/13/12 Close: 09/29/12
Written by the author/playwright/lead singer of Black 47 Larry Kirwan, Hard Times weaves together Stephen Foster's journey with his sexuality and his relationship with his wife, and the fusion of Irish step dancing and African American shuffle into American tap dancing, against the backdrop of New York's infamous Five Points on a night of racially charged Civil War draft riots in 1863. It will feature the re-imagined songs of the enigmatic "father of American music" Stephen Foster, with additional material by Kirwan.


Pousada Azul By Nathan Yungerberg  | Open: 09/10/12 Close: 09/10/12
Blackboard's September Feature is "Pousada Azul" by Nathan Yungerberg

Pousada Azul is a quaint, modest guest house overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, amidst the saturated colors of Salvador da Bahia, Brazil. One rainy season in 2002, African American Expats Karen Wallace, self-appointed gatekeeper of Bahian culture and Tobias Walker, her fabulous gay husband, intertwine with their sole guest-Benjamin Douglas, a handsome but evasive New Yorker. They are visited by Karen's best friend Eliciana Santos, a vivacious Baiana who's carrying her first child, whose birth as foretold could possibly heal Karen.


Some Old Black Man By James A. Tyler  | Open: 08/13/12 Close: 08/13/12
Blackboard's August Feature is "Some Old Black Man" by James A. Tyler

Set in the small religious town of Greenwald, Mississippi, Some Old Black Man, is the story of irascible, anti-religious, 82 year old Donald Jones. He is a man resistant to change, but as his health declines he faces the inevitable.


T.s. Eliot's The Waste Land  | Open: 05/04/12 Close: 05/12/12
Written by T.S. Eliot in the midst and aftermath of civilizational and personal upheaval, "The Waste Land" is a dramatic and bitter meditation on social catastrophe. The Straddler's staging of "The Waste Land"--performed by an African American Tiresias, an overeager nautical sidekick, and a seedy musician--combines elements of vaudeville, melodrama, and the minstrel show as it explores the comedy and absurdity of a text that continues to illuminate our times.

Reflective of the The Straddler's interdisciplinary approach, the production builds upon an essay in the fall2008 issue of the company's literary magazine, "Send up da Clowns: The Waste Land."

T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land"
with Carol Thomas, Todd Pate and Greg Bennetts
directed by Dan Monaco

About The Straddler
The Straddler is an interdisciplinary organization founded in 2007 with the intent of examining and transforming contemporary culture. The company's literary magazine (and namesake), The Straddler, is published twice a year and has been hailed as "a venue of intellectual security for those who have been starving for writing that is dangerous...and unapologetic." (NewPages) Looking as much to the past as to the present for insights into an age where repetition and cultural diminishment are the norm, The Straddler sifts through illuminated bits of western and American culture. Pieced together, The Straddler believes these fragments offer images of the potential for a more dignified cultural future.


The Irish Cell  | Open: 03/01/12 Close: 03/19/12
the cell combines the one-act plays of Larry Kirwan, lead singer of Black47, and Seamus Scanlon, writer of Irish short stories, into an evening of provocative, inimitably Irish theater.

Larry Kirwan's Blood is based on the actual disappearance of James Connolly, trade union organizer and leader of the Irish Citizen Army on January 19, 1916. He returned four days later, his only comment, "I have been through hell." Connolly had been captured by the rival Irish Republican Brotherhood, led by Padraig Pearse and Sean McDermott. What happened in that small room changed the course of Irish history.

Sixty-eight years later in another room - a drinking club in Belfast - in the aftermath of the hunger strikes, the bombing of Margaret Thatcher's cabinet and the introduction of a more ruthless and disciplined Irish Republican Army cell structure, a no-less tense situation plays out. Seamus Scanlon's Dancing at Lunacy is a fictionalized story set in 1984, Belfast, centering on an IRA internal security investigation. The alleged informer and an aging commanding officer are in a confrontation with a young sociopath with a penchant for pistols, The Sex Pistols, dancing, Barry's Tea and ruthless efficiency.

Dancing At Lunacy and Blood explore the highly charged issue of Irish Republicanism and how it still affects the Irish psyche.


The Irish Cell  | Open: 03/01/12 Close: 03/17/12
The cell theatre combines the one-act plays of two Irish cultural icons – Seamus Scanlon, writer 

of Irish short stories, and Larry Kirwan, lead singer of Black47 – into one evening of provocative,
inimitably Irish theater.
On January 19, 1916, James Connolly international socialist and leader of the Irish Citizen Army
disappeared. He returned four days later, his only comment - "I have been through hell." He had
been captive in a small room by the Irish Republican Brotherhood. What happened there would
change the course of Irish history.
Sixty-eight years later in another room - a drinking club in Belfast - a no-less tense situation plays out
Blood and Dancing At Lunacy explore the highly charged issue of Irish Republicanism and how it
affects the Irish psyche to this day.
Seamus Scanlon’s Dancing at Lunacy is set in the early 1980’s, Belfast, and centers around an IRA
internal security investigation. The alleged informer, an aging commanding officer is in a confrontation
with a young sociopath with a penchant for pistols and The Pistols and bringing about change.
Larry Kirwan’s Blood is set in January 1916. When James Connolly, union organizer and leader of
the Irish Citizen Army, went missing for four days having been captured by the rival Irish Republican
Brotherhood whose leaders were Padraig Pearse and Sean McDermott. His only comment was "I
have been through hell." In Blood Kirwan explores those missing days and the effect they would
have on Ireland in the years to come.
PRESS DATES are Thurs, Mar 1st, Fri Mar 2nd, and Sat Mar 3rd.
Opening Night is Saturday, March 3 (8 p.m.) 
Thursdays at 8 p.m.
Fridays at 8 p.m.
Saturdays at 8 p.m.
There will be an additional performance and talk-back on Tuesday, Mar 13th at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $12 and are now available online at or by calling 1-800-838-3006.
Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the cell, ½ hour prior to performance
Heroes And Other Strangers  | Open: 11/03/11 Close: 11/19/11
The cell, Nancy Manocherian (Founding Artistic Director)and Kira Simring (Artistic Director)are pleased to announce the encore production of the Fringe Hit Zac Jaffee’s HEROES AND OTHER STRANGERS, directed by Christian Haines. HEROES AND OTHER STRANGERS will play a limited engagement at the cell (338 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011). Performances begin Tuesday, November 1 and continue through Saturday, November 19. Opening Night is Thursday, November 3 (8 p.m.). Special press performance is Tuesday November 1.


It's 1971. Lenny is perfectly content with his life. He works at a camera shop in New York's Greenwich Village. He's not in the war, not fighting against it, not tuning in, turning on, or dropping out. He's not doing anything but standing on one side of a camera watching it all pass him by. But when a neighborhood girl disappears, Lenny finds himself searching for two runaway teenagers in San Francisco, where he finds hippies, revolutionaries, lovers, killers, heroes and other strangers, and, as it turns out, himself.

A noir tale told through a psychedelic lens.


Manocherianand Simring of the cell chose to produce Heroes and Other Strangers after seeing it performed in the 2011 FringeNYC Festival because “we beamed with the satisfaction of experiencing a great story, well-told. Jaffee's play has the rare quality of blending the old with the newwhich is at the heart of our mission as A Twenty First Century Salon, a collective for artists to incubate and present new work.”



Scott Andrews is the stage manager.


HEREOES AND OTHER STRANGERSplays the following regular schedule:


 Thursdays at 8 p.m.

 Fridays at 8 p.m.

 Saturdays at 8 p.m.


There will be an added performance on Tuesday November 1.


Tickets are $15-18 and are now available online at or by calling1-800-838-3006. Tickets may also be purchased in-person at the cell, ½ hour prior to performance


Running Time: 75 minutes






ZAC JAFFEE(Playwright/Performer) co-­â€produced and acted in Complete in the 2009 FringeNYC and FringeNYC Encore Series. Zac is a frequent collaborator with aMios Theatre Company performing regularly in Shotz. at Under St. Marks. Recent credits include The NYCyle Vol. 2 with aMios, the world premiere of Severance with Barracuda Theater Company, and several readings at The Barrow Group. Zac relocated to New York City from San Francisco in 2009 and his San Francisco Bay Area acting credits include Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, B St. Theatre, Impact Theatre, Encore Theatre, foolsFURY, Oakland Public Theater, Word for Word Performing Arts Company, Traveling Jewish Theatre, and AlterTheater. He co-­â€wrote and directed the short play Now which won first place in Water, Water, Everywhere: A Ten-­â€minute Play Competition, a fundraiser for 826 Valencia.


CHRISTIAN HAINES(Director) is the Artistic Director of aMios, a New York-­â€based theatre company currently in residence at Theatre Under St. Marks. Through aMios’ monthly showcase, Shotz, Christian has commissioned and produced over 80 five-­â€minute plays, and in the company’s quarterly NYCycle, nine half-­â€hour plays. Directing credits include Icarus’ Mother by Sam Shepard, Strictly Convenience by Conan Moats, Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck, and several Shotz. Christian is a graduate of the National Theatre Conservatory in Denver, Colorado and has been seen as an actor in Bartleby the Scrivner, Cloud 9, King John, 5th of July, This is Our Youth, Murder, Woyzeck,
The Altruists, Snake in Fridge, The First Time Out of Bounds, Brundibar,
and more. His mentors include: Larry Hecht, Jean Shelton, Chris Phillips, and Chris Smith.



About the cell: A Twenty First Century Salon™

Since its inception in 2006, the cell: A Twenty First Century Salon™ (Nancy Manocherian, Founding Director; Kira Simring, Artistic Director) has been, and continues to be, an incubator for creative projects.  Through its strong commitment to cultivate undiscovered artists, the cell has created residencies for diverse groups including the Tandem Reading Series, Center for Contemporary Opera and The Blackboard Reading Series. the cell is located in the heart of Chelsea, New York City.  For more information, please visit


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Listings Information:

Who: the cell

What: Heroes and Other Strangers

Where: the cell, 338 West 23rd Street New York, NY 10011

When:November 1 – 19, Th-Sat at 8pm (added performance on 11/1)

How:  $15-18 or 1-800-838-3006

San Francisco. 1971. A tale of mystery, adventure, and running away.

About the Company: Kampfire Films PR

 A full service Marketing and Public Relations agency founded by Katie Rosin, offering exceptional and custom campaigns for each client’s unique needs and projects. Rosin was instrumental in the launch of the Broadway musical Brooklyn and the National Tour of Mother Load. She worked on the publicity team for the comedian, Jerry Seinfeld, and his movie Comedian. Antonio Miniño later joined the Kampfire Team, after having produced and marketed various fashion shows, theatrical productions, as well as produced and hosted for the award winning Fashion TV. Together they have represented companies of all levels, genres and aesthetics in the Arts. Kampfire Off-Broadway highlights include: GLAAD Award Nominee, She Like Girls, Ohio Theater; …Another Man’s Poison, Jay Sharp Theater; Swimming With The Polar Bears, 45 Bleecker Street; Much Ado About Nothing & American Rapture, Beckett Theater; Glimpses of the Moon, Algonquin Hotel; IT Awards recipient, Elizabeth Rex, Center Stage; Mother Load, Sage Theater; Wasps in Bed, Beckett Theater; Anaïs Nin: One Of Her Lives, Beckett Theater; Triple Threat: 2007 Drama Desk Nominee (mis)UNDERSTANDING MAMMY: The Hattie McDaniel Story, Theatre 5. Kampfire clients include: 3Graces Theater Co., Astoria Performing Arts Center, BOO-Arts, Maieutic Theatre Awards, New York Innovative Theatre Awards, New York Neo-Futurists, Nicu's Spoon, Oberon Theatre Ensemble, Pascal Productions, and Planet Connections Theatre Festivity.


A Midsummer Night's Dream  | Open: 07/05/11 Close: 07/31/11
The Hiveand the cell have joined forces to present a modern re-imagining of Shakespeare’s classic, A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, which casts Hermia and Lysander as lesbian lovers with Demetrius and Helena as a gay couple. This is not your grandmother’s MIDSUMMER, but a MIDSUMMER for 21st century NYC.  This production exposes contemporary America's sexual hang-ups and resistance to gay marriage.  Concepts of what constitutes gender, sexual-orientation and power will be explored and exploded!

 MIDSUMMER, the inaugural performance ofShakespeare in the Rear @ the cell, has audiences follow Shakespeare’s lost lovers in and out of doors as they make their way through an urban wilderness. From the cell’s magnificent townhouse interior to its brand new outdoor garden salon, we join the lovers as they journey from a lavish if oppressive high-society gala to a wild outdoor bacchanal of every fetish imaginable--filled with delectable and dangerous fairies straight out of everyone’s fantasies and fears.  

Bad Evidence  | Open: 07/07/11 Close: 07/31/11
the cell and The Hive have joined forces to present a smoldering portrait of contemporary relationships.

A faltering marriage compels a husband and wife to make a pact - to confess searing truths in the heat of passion.  The exposure leads to a confrontation with four of their friends, and even deeper revelations.    

La Boheme (Spoken)  | Open: 02/24/11 Close: 02/25/11
Jeremy Bloom’s La Boheme (Spoken) is a lyrical dialogue loyally adapted from Puccini's original libretto to his iconic opera La Bohème. The result is a larger-than-life play, about young artists, mostly broke, hyper, and always on the brink of inspiration and death. The musical roots (repetitions and rhyme) and the awkwardness of translation enable a language that is poetically charged. Adapted by Brian Rady, and conceived & directed by Jeremy Bloom.


Written by Giacomo Puccini (22 December 1858 – 29 November 1924) – An Italian composer whose operas, including La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterflyand Turandot, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La bohème, and "Nessun dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.


Conceived and directed by Jeremy Bloom – Directing and assisting credits include Metropolitan Opera, The Flea, NY Fringe, NYU Grad, Walkerspace, The Tank, The Access Gallery, Midtown Festival (award winner), and Planet Connections (award winner).  Jeremy is a resident artist with the cell and Evenstar Films.  Original works include Leaves of Grass, Peter~Wendyand The Wendy Complex.  Currently in development, Walt and Emily: Between the Rooms.


Adapted by Brian Rady – A poet and playwright, who has authored and directed several lyrical multimedia plays including Anchor Women, Joan Mitchell Says I Love You, The Memory Furies, and The Harbormaster. He currently assists the curatorial team at The Kitchen Center for Art and Performance in Chelsea.


Featuring:Ben Weber(Marcello), Lachrisha Brown(Musetta), Stephen Stout (Rodolfo),Stephanie Bratnick (Mimi),Katherine Folk Sullivan (Colleen),Brian Rady (Schaunard),Tommy Crawford (Alcindoro),Ian Quinlan (Benoit),Brett Aresco (The entire chorus)


 Guitar accompaniment by Stephanie Sherlane