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The Year of the Solar Eclipse
Who are we when the sun goes dark?
Written and directed by Aileen Kyoko
Benefitting Planned Parenthood
Presented by Aileen Kyoko and Ezra Bynum
Friday 7/13 @5:45pm-7pm
Wednesday 7/18 @7:45pm-9pm
Wednesday 7/25 @9:45pm-11pm
Sunday 7/29 @3:45pm-5pm
Monday 7/30 @5:30pm-6:45pm
Saturday 8/4 @12:45pm-2pm
When three friends gather to watch the solar eclipse, they have no idea how their own lives are about to enter unexpected cycles of light and dark. Days before her 30th birthday, Ivy’s long term relationship comes to an abrupt end leaving her no choice but to face rebuilding a new life. Angelina’s free-spirited lifestyle is interrupted when she re-connects with Ivy’s cousin. Elle is about to get married but still has demons to face. What we are left with is a year of surprises, healing, loving and self-discovery. Step into this dramedy about friendship, falling apart and the secrets we hide.
Aileen Kyoko (Playwright, Director, Co-Producer) Aileen Kyoko is a half Japanese and half American actress, playwright and director. As a multi-ethnic artist, she wants to tell stories that reflect the diverse world in which we live. She loves exploring the complexities of human beings and the messy and beautiful relationships we create with one another. Aileen has written, directed, acted and produced the following theatre productions in New York City: Going Home (Playwright’s Loft), Hotel Sonder (The Davenport theatre) and You Don’t Have to Go Home (The Producer’s Club). Aileen was also a contributor to the project:girl film series as an actress and writer. Aileen trained at the Maggie Flanigan Studio. She also loves kombucha, going on 3-hour walks around New York and listening to the same songs on repeat. Aileen is thrilled to have her first full-length play premiere at the Planet Connections Theatre Festival.
Ezra Bynum (Co-producer/Will) Ezra Bynum is excited for his Planet Connections Theatre Festivity debut. Ezra can be seen next in Hot Summer Nights in which he appears opposite William Fichtner and Academy Award Nominee Timothee Chalamet. He has appeared on network TV, and a list of other films. His representative theatre roles include Joseph Asagai in A Raisin in the Sun, Chicken in Kingdom of Earth and Eddie in Hurlyburly. Prior to moving to New York, Ezra attended UMass Amherst and Monmouth University where he earned a scholarship to play football. Ezra is a graduate of the Maggie Flanigan Studio where he studied under Senior Acting Teacher Charlie Sandlan.
Connie Saltzman (Ivy) Connie Saltzman is an actor, director, and singer-songwriter from Bucks County, PA. You can see her on Season 3 of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, opposite Robert DeNiro in The Comedian, and as the award-winning lead in the independent thriller Honeybee, out on Amazon & iTunes. Off-Broadway credits: Implications of Cohabitation (Clurman Theater), Hotel Sonder (Davenport Theater), A Touch of Forever (FringeNYC). She is also the director of project:girl, a film series about girlhood that premiered at HBO’s ITVFest 2017. In addition to acting & directing, she loves writing songs about overly personal topics and plays her music around New York.
Ashleen Rowan (Elle) A native New Yorker, Ashleen moved back to NY after receiving her B.A. in acting from DeSales University in 2014. Previous credits include Lucetta (Two Gentlemen of Verona, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), Courtesan (A Comedy of Errors, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival), and Ellie (Ghost Stories, Jenny Wiley Theatre). She would like to thank the Planet Connections team and everyone involved in The Year of the Solar Eclipse for the opportunity to play with this stellar group! Love to Evan.
Matthew Tyler (Artistic Director) Matthew Tyler is a NY-based screenwriter who has written feature films and TV dramas for the likes of Working Title Films, Universal Studios, Creature Productions, and every size production company in between. When he’s not writing or artistic directing, he pours his creative energy into Change Better, a nonprofit he co-founded in 2015, where he now serves as Creative Director. He received his Masters in Fine Arts from Columbia University.
Matthew S. Ramirez (Noah) Matthew S. Ramirez just completed the 2 year Professional Acting Training Program at The Maggie Flanigan Studio. Matthew is also bilingual speaking fluently in both English and Spanish.
Cornelius McMoyler (River/Donald) Cornelius McMoyler moved to New York for rock and roll. He then went screaming back to his first home, acting. He is thrilled to be working with fellow alumni. Cornelius is a graduate of the Maggie Flanigan Meisner Conservatory. Film: Killing McCarren, Cicada. Stage: Out of the Basement (Araca Project).
Michael Coppola (Jason) is a rare native New Yorker, and Meisner trained actor, is a ten year veteran of the NY theatre, TV, and film scene. Some of his past credits include Morgan in Ben Holbrook’s play, Sinners on a Southbound Bus, which won the FringeFAVE award for best in show for the Kraine Theatre at the 2016 NY Fringe Festival. Austin in Annie R. Such’s play, Come and Take It, which won best play at the Nu10 Theatre Festival. Jimmy Provatti in Van Fisher’s play, Code of Silence, which bookended the Strawberry Theatre Festival at the St. Clements Theatre. As well as, the role of Johnny in Hotel Sonder: The Knot, which was previously produced by Aileen Kyoko and co. Michael is extremely excited to be reunited with so many people from the Hotel Sonder cast and production team, and looking forward to making magic with them once again!
Natasha Hakata (Shannon) is an NYC-based Texan, whose select credits include: Sophie in RUINED (The Heights Players); Sigmund Freud in LOU (Theatre 4the People); THIS JUST IN! (Crashbox Theater Company); Leela NYC Festival (Dixon Place, QED). She has trained at the Atlantic Acting School, and also holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology (UT Austin) and master’s degree in occupational therapy (NYU).