by S. Asher Gelman
From the team that brought your “afterglow” comes “safeword.,” a new play which reveals how the people closest to us often have the most to hide. an unlikely meeting between new york city neighbors fosters a new friendship among two couples, laden with secrets. after an incident in which everything is revealed, they must all come to grips with the pieces of themselves they keep most hidden.“safeword.” is a play about love, sex, loyalty, and trust and is presented in a raw, unapologetic, and, at times, abrasive way. An exploration of power dynamics through BDSM and food, reveals how the people closest to us often have the most to hide.
American Theatre of Actors
First Preview 11, Apr 2019
Opening Night 25, Apr 2019
In BDSM, a safeword is a code word, series of code words or other signal used by a person to communicate their physical or emotional state, typically when approaching, or crossing, a physical, emotional, or moral boundary. Some safewords are used to stop the scene outright, while others can communicate a willingness to continue, but at a reduced level of intensity. Safewords are usually agreed upon before playing a scene by all participants, and many organized BDSM groups have standard safewords that all members agree to use to avoid confusion at organized play events.
Those who practise the more permissive philosophy of risk-aware consensual kink may abandon the use of safewords, especially those that practice forms of edgeplay or extreme forms of dominance and submission. In such cases, the choice to give up the use of safewords is a consensual act on the part of the bottom or submissive.
(chris) is an actor, writer, and human rights advocate telling the stories that haven’t been told. NYC: Red Emma & the Mad Monk (The Tank, Ars Nova), Love Letters to Nobody (The Brick, The Wild Project), TB Sheets (ARTNY). TV: The Deuce (HBO), Tales of The City (Netflix). 2018 Fresh Fruit Spirit Award for “Fostering Pride, Survival, History, and Progress.” Nominated 2018 Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award. Artistic Associate, Honest Accomplice Theatre. @believeinmaybe maybeburke.com
(micah) Off-Broadway: Afterglow, She Has A Name. NYC: The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (WorkShop Theatre), 2000 Nickels (NYMF), The Last Adam, Alice, Pieces. London: Twelfth Night, Hedda Gabler, Elektra. Moscow: Ivanov. Recently seen as Berger in HAIR at Geva Theatre. BFA: CCM. MFA: Drama Centre London. Proud member of AEA. Thanks to everyone at Avalon Artists, family and friends. Follow @joecchisholm www.joechisholm.net
Traci Elaine Lee
(lauren) Off-Broadway debut! First National tour: Beautiful: The Carole King Musical (Uptown). Select Regional: Dreamgirls (Michelle), Fortress of Solitude (Marilla), Les Miserables (Eponine), Cabaret (Texas), Stagger Lee. Many thanks to Avalon Artists Group & Kate Lumpkin Casting. Endless love to God, Dad, Mom, Janelle & Bop. Instagram @tracelaine
American Theatre of Actors
314 W 54th St
New York, NY 10019
s. asher gelman(playwright, Director)is a director, choreographer, actor, dancer, playwright, and producer. Through his production company, Midnight Theatricals, he produced and directed his first original play, Afterglow, which ran for 14 months Off Broadway at the Davenport Theater. He is currently producing the Off Broadway musical, We Are The Tigers by Preston Max Allen. Originally from Chevy Chase, MD, Asher received his Bachelors Degree in Dance and Theater from Bard College in New York in 2006 and his Masters in Fine Arts in Dance from The George Washington University in Washington DC in 2012. From 2006 to 2016, Asher lived in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he became one of the founders of The Stage, Tel Aviv’s premier English language performing arts organization, serving as its first Artistic Director from 2013 to 2016. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. Asher lives in New York City with his husband, Mati. safeword. is his second play. For more information, visit sashergelman.com
mika kauffman(Associate Director) is a musical writer, director, dramaturg and performer. They received their BFA in acting from Towson University and an MFA in musical theatre writing from Tisch. Off-Broadway credits include #adulting (Director), The Great Cat Massacre (Director), Afterglow (Assistant Director), reading-performance of Paranormative (Book/Lyrics), We Are The Tigers (Dramaturg); upcoming projects include MAXA, The Maddest Woman in the World (Book/Lyrics) and Spectacle (Music/Lyrics). They are a member of Ring of Keys and SDC and recently began ALL BODIES, a producing company dedicated to supporting new work by non-binary, gender non-conforming and trans artists. www.mikakauffman.com, @mikakauffman
ann beyersdorfer(Scenic Designer) Design Credits: KNEAD (The Alliance Theatre, world premiere), AFTERGLOW, and MY NAME’S NOT INDIAN JOE (Davenport Theater, off-broadway), A REAL BOY (59E59, Off-Broadway), JONAH AND OTTO, and TRIAL OF AN AMERICAN PRESIDENT (Theatre Row, Off-Broadway),THE NIGHT ALIVE (Guild Hall, NY), THE DODGERS (Hudson Theater, LA). Associate Design Credits: JITNEY (Broadway-Tony Award Nom. for Set Design), PHISH NYE CONCERT ’16/’17 (Madison Square Garden), THE CHILDREN (Broadway), INK (Broadway), ANASTASIA (First National Tour + EU Productions) & SAMSON ET DALILA (The Metropolitan Opera). Ann is a Live Design/LDI 30 Under 30 recipient for working professionals that are on the rise in live production, a New York Innovative Theater Award 2x Nominee for Best Set Design, and a United Solo Festival Award Winner for Best Set Design. Syracuse University Alumna & proud member of USA 829. www.annbeyersdorfer.com
fabian FIDEL AGUILAR(costume Designer) was born in El Paso, TX and is now based in Brooklyn, NY. He attended Yale University for his MFA and Boston University before that for his BFA in costume design. Most recently he designed Man of La Mancha at Westport Country Playhouse and around New York City, Atlanta and Philadelphia. While in Boston he worked for various theatres, conservatories, and universities including American Repertory Theater, Boston Ballet, Moscow Ballet, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, among others. In his spare time he likes to dabble in watercolor portraiture and urban sketching or cook.
Jamie roderick(lighting Designer) Off-Broadway: Accidentally Brave (DR2), We Are The Tigers (Theatre80), Midnight at the Never Get (York Theatre) Red Roses, Green Gold (Minetta Lane), The Woodsman (New World Stages, PBS), Afterglow, A Dog Story, Ken Davenport’s That Bachelorette Show. London: It Happened in Key West. Regional: The Bikinis! (Long Wharf Theatre, Riverside Theatre, WBT), Romeo & Juliet (CSC) Midsummer, Macbeth, Hamlet (SOS). Recent credits include: Kerrigan and Lowdermilk’s The Bad Years, FMK, More Than All The World. JamieRoderick.com
KEVIN HEARD(sound Designer) Off-Broadway: The Hello Girls, Midnight at The Never Get, In & Of Itself, For The Last Time,Long Story Short, The Underclassman. Broadway (as Associate): All The Way, The Cherry Orchard, The Country House. Regional: The 5th Avenue, ACT Theatre, Guthrie Theater, Ogunquit Playhouse, Seattle Rep, TUTS, and many others. Kevin designed the sound for the International Premieres of Fun Home, Kinky Boots, and Matilda in Manila, Philippines. Kevin is the Associate Producer for BenDeLaCreme Presents. HeardAudio.com
Matt Franta(Violence Designer) Off-Broadway: We Are The Tigers, The Video Games. Other credits include work with the Guthrie Theater, Children’s Theatre Company, Marin Shakespeare Company, Long Beach Playhouse, Four Clowns, and the National Theatre for Children. Matt holds a BA in Drama/Speech from Clarke University in Dubuque, IA, and is a graduate of the International Stunt School in Seattle. He currently teaches stage combat at the American Musical and Dramatics Academy in Los Angeles. www.MattFranta.com
jillian walker(Dramaturg) is a New York-based playwright, performer, dramaturg, and thinker shifting culture through interdisciplinary forms of performance. Her works include a concert-play, SKiNFoLK: An American Show, Sarah’s Salt. (recognized by the American Playwriting Foundation in 2017), and Songs of Speculation, a lecture-performance work that explores her challenges with the historical archive. She holds an MFA in Dramaturgy from Columbia University and was recently commissioned by Soho Rep. More at www.thisisjillianwalker.com.
Kate Lumpkin, CSA(Casting Director) NY Theatre: We Are Here, We Are The Tigers, Afterglow, Cleopatra, The Bad Years, EcoVillage, Unraveled, Single Rider, Diaspora, The Other Side of Paradise, Reunion ‘69, Counting Sheep, The Excavation of Mary Anning, Agent 355, Emma: A New Musical, Love In Hate Nation, Sitting Bull’s Last Waltz, Five Points, Hart Island, Eastbound, Interstate, Honey Dipped Apocalypse Girls, Fefu and Her Friends. Regional + Tour: Bandstand (National Tour), Endlings (A.R.T), West Side Story (Kennedy Center), Evocation to Visible Appearance + A Christmas Carol (Actors Theatre of Louisville), Reunion ‘69 (Newman Center), Beau (Adirondack Theatre Festival). US/Canadian Casting team for Celebrity Cruises. Head of Education at The Broadway Collective. kate-lumpkin.com @katelumpkin
JESSICA KAHKOSKA (script consultant) is a writer, dramaturg/researcher, and performer. Her writing has been developed and presented at the Drama League, Village Theatre, Joe’s Pub, Ars Nova ANT FEST, American Music Theatre Project (AMTP), Barn Arts Collective, Chautauqua Institution, and UCROSS Foundation. Dramaturgical work includes the Cooper Union, Local Theater, Creede Rep, she is Co-Regional Vice President of the Rockies Region for Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America (LMDA). Graduate of Northwestern University.
laura malseed(production Stage Manager) is excited to be a part of safeword. Credits include Afterglow (Davenport Theatre), Midnight at the Never Get (York Theatre Company), Othello: The Remix (Westside Theatre), Cagney the Musical (Westside Theatre), and Drunk Shakespeare. Graduate of Pace University. Member of AEA. www.LauraMalseed.com
R. Christopher Maxwell(Assistant Stage Manager) hails from the bustling metropolis of Little Rock, Arkansas where he earned a B.A. in Theater Arts-Dance and Sociology at The University of Arkansas. Christopher is receiving an M.F.A. in Stage Management at Columbia University in May 2019. This will be Christopher’s first Off-Broadway contract for which he will be receiving his Equity Card. He is thrilled to be working with such a wonderful management team. Enjoy the show!
Mati Gelman(production Photographer) is a commercial and a fine art photographer. Though a scientist by education, earning a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry from the Technion—The Israeli Institute of Technology in Haifa—and a Master of Science in Chemistry from The Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv, Gelman turned to photography after moving to New York City in 2016. Mostly self-taught, Mati continued his education at The International Center for Photography and Pratt Institute. Mati recently won the ViewPoint Gallery International Photography competition for his piece “Flight” and won first place in the 2018 Chromatic Awards for his piece “Entangled.” Off-Broadway credits include creating imagery for Afterglow, Diaspora, Counting Sheep, EcoVillage, We Are the Tigers, and the upcoming Medusa. Mati’s work can be seen on his website at matigelman.com or on Instagram @matigelman.
MELANIE GUINTO(Production Manager) has worked on a variety of productions ranging from international tour to community events. Past projects include: Sweat (Regional Tour), Morning Star (World Premier), Dead and Breathing (World Premier), Million Dollar Quartet (National Tour), We Are The Tiger (Off-Broadway Premier), Sesame Street Live! (National Tour), and Marvel Universe Live! (International and National Tours). Melanie enjoys creating new theatrical productions that push boundaries and bring new voices to the front of the industry. Proud Ohio native and University of Cincinnati CCM alumna.
Evan Bernardin Productions(General and Production Management) EBP is a general management firm specializing in consulting and management for theatrical productions. Touring: Million Dollar Quartet, Charlie Brown Christmas, Counting Sheep (International Tour) Select Off-Broadway: We Are The Tigers, Eco-Village, Afterglow, Diaspora, Must. Other: The Bikinis, The Dodgers (LA), The Navigator (NYT Critics Pick). EBP has worked with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA), New York Musical Festival (NYMF), Fringe (NY & LA); collaborative projects include performances at Lincoln Center, The United Nations, The Havard Club, Cornell University, Georgetown’s Gaston Hall, The Culture Project, The Ohio Theater and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. www.evanbernardinproductions.com
midnight theatricals(producer) is a Manhattan-based production company, committed to bringing new, edgy and relevant work to the stage. Productions include the record-breaking, hit Off-Broadway show Afterglow and We Are the Tigers. Visit us at midnighttheatricals.com.
safeword, jimmy brooks, maybe burke, joe chisholm, afterglow, traci elaine lee, american theatre of actors, s. asher gelman, mika kauffman, ann beyerdorfer, fabian fidel aguilar, jame roderick, kevin heard, matt franta, kate lumpkin, jessica kahkoska, laura malseed, mati gelman, melanie guinto,