Since its creation, the United States National Park Service has been tasked with preserving, arguably, this country's most stunning monuments to the "American Dream" – majestic swaths of untamed land, symbolizing the unbridled American spirit that forged a world power; a birthright theoretically available to all Americans, regardless of race. However, dwindling Park attendance nationwide has sent the NPS scrambling to ensure its survival. The mission? To engage those they’ve traditionally left out of the narrative of the great outdoors -- people of color.
The Woods, using comedy and acute perception, explores our learned relationships to the American landscape and the consequences those cultural narratives have on young Black Americans and asks: Going forward, might there be a way to manifest a more positive narrative surrounding the natural environment, for the sake of those next in line to inherit it?
*This show contains explicit content and is for mature audiences
Clockwise top left: Ricki Lynée, Max Morter, Ty Spencer, SJ Hannah, Ian Poake, John Racioppo*, Lisa Jill Anderson*, Hannah-Kathryn Wall
**September 1 Post-show talk-back
Moderated by Nicky Hylton-Patterson, Executive Director of the
Adirondack Diversity Initiative
50% of box office proceeds that evening will be donated to the Adirondack Diversity Initiative
Lisa Jill Anderson* (Emily): Select acting credits include: the TimeOut NY Critics’ Pick everything is super great by Stephen Brown (59E59 Theaters, dir. by Sarah Norris); Max Baker’s Hal & Bee (59E59, dir. by Sarah Norris); Inventing Anna (Netflix); pilot episode of Legit Married (which she co-created with Ahsan Ali & Stephen Brown). She is a proud company member of New Light Theater Project. LisaJillAnderson.com
Austin Boyle (Lighting Designer) is a NY based Lighting Designer and Associate. Recent design credits: The Mountaintop (Weston Playhouse), Discus (Hunger & Thirst Theatre), Let the Right One In, Radium Girls, and Dance Nation (Neighborhood Playhouse), In The Same Space (Dixon Place, Williamstown Theatre Festival), and Sylvia (New York Deaf Theatre). Recent associate credits: Richard III (Shakespeare in the Park), Long Day's Journey Into Night (Minetta Lane), and Dear Jack, Dear Louise (George Street Playhouse). AustinBoyleLighting.com
Catherine Copeland (Tech Director and Sound Designer) is starting my senior year at the University of Montevallo in the fall as a technical theatre student. Previously I have worked with The Shakespeare Project in my hometown in Alabama. Some of my favorite projects have been hand carving a staff, that I still have, and working on the Alabama premiere of The Lightning Thief. This is my first year at Pendragon and I’m super excited to be working on these wonderful shows for the summer!
Jahna Ferron-Smith (Playwright) is a recent graduate of the Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship at the Juilliard School, and current member of the Obie Award-winning playwrights collective, Youngblood, as well as Interstate 73. Her plays have been performed at Ensemble Studio Theatre and the Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival, as well as developed with The Lark, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and Page 73. Her plays include: THE WOODS. (Venturous Playwright Fellowship winner), Running While Black (Ojai Playwrights Conference: The Foundry Project), and SIR. (published by Samuel French).
SJ Hannah (Jim) was last seen onstage in Superhero w/ Houses on the Moon Theatre. Other productions include GTFOH (Orlando Shakespeare Festival), On Striver's Row (Metropolitan Playhouse), The First Deep Breath (National Black Theatre), Meaningful Conversation (New Light Theater Project), Basement (Shetler Studios), Invisible Life, The Musical, (Apollo Theater) and The Lion King (national tour). He dedicates this performance to his mom, the perfect fan. @sjyogi
Ricki Lynée (Maya) is an award-winning actress, writer, and producer. Co-owner and Head of Development at Nuanse Entertainment, resident artist with New Light Theater Project, and a recipient of the 2021 All Stars Project/Castillo Theater Fellowship for Young Artists of Color. Select credits include: birthday birthday birthday (Columbia University New Plays Festival); I’M SO HOT & meet you at the Galaxy Diner (New Light Theater Project, The Tank, Pocket Universe); The Diplomats (Fresh Fruit Festival at The Wild Project); The Conspiracists (Stable Cable at IRT Theater); The Yellow Wallpaper (St. Ann's Warehouse, LABAPALOOZA!). Film/TV credits: The Retreat & Anthology (Nuanse Entertainment); Game Brunch (CongestedCat Productions); Diabolical (Lion Television). Ricki received the "Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play" award for her work in The Diplomats. BA in Theatre from CUNY Brooklyn College. RickiLynee.com
Max Morter (Dave G.) is a rising senior at Western Carolina University’s Musical Theatre program. In his home state of Oregon, he worked extensively in community theatre projects ranging from A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Puck) to Catch Me If You Can (Frank Abagnale, Jr.). Their professional work includes the outdoor drama Unto These Hills (Dancer, Lewis Cass) and All Shook Up (Chad). He made his New York debut as Chip Tolentino in this summer’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Find him @Max_Morter on Instagram.
Ian Poake (Dave) is thrilled to be making his Pendragon debut in THE WOODS. NYC Theatre: Hal & Bee (NLTP at 59e59), In the Event of My Death (Stable Cable at IRT), The Floor is Lava (The Farm Theater); Film: An American Pickle. TV: Succession, Billions, FBI, The Punisher. Ian is starring in the upcoming short film JOLIE from Coed Studios. B.F.A Hofstra University.
Ashleigh Poteat (Set Designer) has designed scenery, costumes, and props around the country, working in Florida, Washington, New York, Nevada, North Carolina & New Jersey. BA from University of North Carolina Asheville; MFA University of Nevada-Las Vegas. Recently, her costume design for H*tler's Tasters was featured off-Broadway at Theatre Row.
John Racioppo* (Ben): Theatre: Breathing Time (Fault Line Theatre); Anna May Wong, The Actress Who Died a Thousand Deaths (Mabou Mines); In The Event of My Death (Stable Cable); Bronx Bombers (Primary Stages, cover for roles). Long-Form Improv residency at The Tank NYC. Regional: Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Rites & Reason. Film/Web: Here and Now starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Eric Bogosian’s 100 Monologues, In Reality, tabletopnotch (online D&D web series). Training: Brown University & LAMDA. JohnRacioppo.com
Olivia Ramos (Production Stage Manager) Hailing from Charlotte, North Carolina, Olivia is a rising senior at Western Carolina University where she will graduate with a BFA in Entertainment Design and Technology. She has recently devoted the rest of her college career to focus on Stage Management and Production Management. She loves the idea of bringing a director’s vision to life and working closely with cast and crew to create a positive work environment, and a safe space to produce something great!
Colette Robert (Director): Directing credits include Egress (SLAC), Solo Plays (WTF), STEW (Page 73, Pulitzer Finalist), and Behind the Sheet (EST, NYT Critics Pick). Her play, The Cotillion, will be produced in 2023 by New Georges and The Movement Theatre Company. Colette is a member of EST, a New Georges affiliated artist, and an adjunct lecturer at NYU.
Tyler Spencer (Mike) is a rising sophomore at Western Carolina University with BFA in Musical Theatre. This summer, he portrayed Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Thanks to my friends and family for believing in me and supporting me in all that I do. Much love. Gratitude to God and I am so grateful to embark on this new journey and experience. I am honored to be a part of this wonderful group of people! Happiness over everything.
Laura-Jean Swanson (Intimacy Choreographer) has worked in Mpls, MN (Guthrie Theatre) and NYC (Soho Rep). She has been associated with Pendragon for decades; her first show as an actor was in A Shayna Maidel and the latest was Pride and Prejudice. Also at Pendragon, she recently directed The Last 5 Years, Dirty Blonde, and Lost Lake. LJ also does production work through The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and is on the Theatre Faculty at SUNY Plattsburgh.
Hannah-Kathryn Wall (Kim) is ecstatic to be joining the Pendragon family! This summer, she directed Frozen Jr. for Camp Pendragon as well as portrayed Olive Ostrovsky in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. HK recently graduated from Western Carolina University with her BFA in Musical Theatre! She would like to thank her family and friends for all their love and support! Enjoy the show!
THE WOODS. is produced by special arrangement with
Bruce Ostler, BRET ADAMS, LTD., 448 West 44th Street,
New York, NY 10036. BretAdamsLtd.net
THE WOODS. was written with support from
SPACE on Ryder Farm
THE WOODS. has received development support from EST/Youngblood