8567 Coral Way #355
Miami, FL 33155
Cultural Arts Center
10950 SW 211 Street
Cutler Bay, FL 33189
FOR BETTER... by Eric Coble
November 9 - December 9, 2007
Thursdays - Saturdays at 8 pm and Sundays at 1 pm
(Additional performances on Sundays at 5:30 pm
on Nov. 8, 25 and December 2;
and Wednesday at 8 pm on November 21. NO performance on THANKSGIVING!)
A National New Play Network World Premiere
Directed by Ricky J. Martinez*
Production Stage Manager: Betsy Paull-Rick
Set Designer: Jesse Dreikosen
Costume Designer: K. Blair Brown
Lighting Designer: Patrick Tennent
Sound Designer: Clint Hooper*
Production Stage Manager: Betsy Paull-Rick
Assistant Stage Manager: Vanessa Thompson
Set Construction: TLC Events Group
Cast of Characters
Wally Baedeker - Kevin Reilley
Karen Baedeker - Kay Ostrenko*
Francine Dexter - Kim Ostrenko*
Michael Dexter - Christopher Vicchiollo*
Stuart Tramontane - John Manzelli*
Lizzie Monohan - Evelyn Perez
* members of Actors' Equity Association
» Photo Gallery
For Better... is co-sponsored by Northern Trust and Meg & John Daly
Time and place
Various locales across the globe. Now.
Now, in this plugged-in world of email, text-messaging and camera phones "Do a bride and groom really need to be in the same country to go on a honeymoon?"
Karen and Max are getting married. At least, if their jobs will ever let them be in the same city at the same time. A romantic comedy for the digital age, FOR BETTER
is a hilarious new farce that pokes fun at our overdependence on the gadgets in our lives. Part of the National New Play Network's Continued Life of New Play Program,
we will co-premiere FOR BETTER with Curious Theater in Denver and Southern Rep in New Orleans.
Eric Coble (Playwright) Eric Coble was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and bred on the Navajo and Ute reservations in New Mexico and Colorado. His plays include Bright Ideas, The Dead Guy, and Natural Selection and have been produced Off-Broadway, throughout the U.S., and on several continents, including productions at Manhattan Class Company, The Kennedy Center, Playwrights Horizons, Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival, Alliance Theatre, The Cleveland Play House, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Laguna Playhouse, Stages Repertory, Great Lakes Theater Festival, and the Contemporary American Theatre Festival. Awards include the AT&T Onstage Award, National Theatre Conference Playwriting Award, an NEA Playwright in Residence Grant, a TCG Extended Collaboration Grant, and two Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Grants. Eric is a member of the Cleveland Play House Playwrights Unit, as well as a writer for several nationally broadcast radio programs, and currently has three screenplays in the labyrinth of Hollywood.
"Eric Coble's hilariously funny, psychologically astute portraits hit home with rib-tickling acuity" - New York Times
"Coble's work is a tour de force with physical and verbal comedy to spare" - The New Yorker
"A Playwright to Watch: An unqualified original with rich and idiosyncratic works A spirit of playful invention pervades Coble s repertoire." - American Theatre Magazine
"Coble's comedies are, of all things, genuinely funny" - Newsday
Kevin Reilley (Wally Baedeker) was recently seen at the Broward Stage Door Theatre in two consecutive plays, as Mr. Green in Visiting Mr. Green and as Nunzio in Over the River and Through the Woods. This performance of For Better... marks his first appearance at New Theatre and he expresses his great pleasure to be working in such talented company. Earlier this year, Kevin played Lingk in the critically acclaimed production of Glengarry Glen Ross at the Mosaic Theatre, and followed immediately with Caryl Churchill's A Number at the Promethean Theatre. Other recent appearances include The Elephant Man and Amadeus at the Mosaic Theatre, and Fahrenheit 451, The Pillowman, and A Bad Friend at GableStage, and Barefoot Boy with Shoes On and The Diary of Anne Frank at the Public Theatre. For his performance in Mad Cat Theatre's production of Portrait, Mr. Reilley was honored with a Curtain Up Supporting Actor Award. Back near the beginning of time, he studied at the Neighborhood Playhouse and at the National Shakespeare Company Conservatory.
Kay Ostrenko (Karen Baedeker) was last seen in her self-written and directed one-woman show, A Common Thread, at the Hermosa Beach Playhouse in Southern California where she lives. Previously seen at Performance Space NBC, HBO workspace and the Caldwell Theatre. Other favorite theatre credits include Fiddler on the Roof starring Lanie Kazan and Charity in Sweet Charity at the Parker Playhouse for which she received a Carbonell Honorable mention. Ms. Ostrenko has appeared five times in sketches on The Tonight Show starring Jay Leno. Last season she was seen on two episodes of Dirt starring Courtney Cox and an appearance on Cold Case. Kay has recently published a book, The Deep Hole, that she wrote and illustrated. Kay wishes to express her gratitude to Ricky Martinez and New Theatre for the opportunity to work with her sister Kim on stage again. She dedicates this performance to her mother and father who are still married after 64 years and to Melody Serene May for their continued love and support.
Kim Ostrenko (Francine Dexter) is thrilled to be back at New Theatre where she was last seen in On The Verge (many moons ago). Kim, a native Miamian, recently performed in The Boy From Russia at the Actor's Playhouse. Kim's other credits include: City Theatre's Summer Shorts Play Festival, Lend Me A Tenor at the Caldwell Theatre (Carbonell Award best ensemble), The Gulf of Westchester and Fish or Cut Bait at Florida Stage, Praying with the Enemy at the Coconut Grove Playhouse, and Metamorphoses at the Carousel Theatre in Knoxville, TN. Kim has been honored with 4 Carbonell Awards and 2 nominations. Recent film appearances include Chat, Bachelor Party 2 and the critically acclaimed Boynton Beach Club, directed by Susan Seidelman. She has also appeared in numerous regional & national commercials. She would like to thank her parents for their humor, love & support.
Christopher Vicchiollo (Michael Dexter) has been performing in South Florida since he got here from the cold North of Chicago 12 years ago. He is thrilled to make this his seventh performance with New Theatre having performed in Cymbeline, Julius Caesar and Saint Joan in this past summer's Shakespeare and Friends Festival, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, The Winter's Tale and Much Ado About Nothing this past season. Previous performances include Six Degrees of Separation, Little Mary Sunshine, White Liars, Way of the World, The Apple Tree, a host of original plays by Edge's Jim Tomanney and participation in Hollywood Boulevard's Shakespeare Festival which led to 5 substantial roles (Petruchio, Oberon and Mac Duff, to name a few). Chris encourages all walks of life to pursue their own expression; because without it, we are mere animals.
John Manzelli (Stuart Tramontane) is very excited to be back at New Theatre, where he had so much fun a few years back in Affluenza! John has returned to South Florida after 5 years in New York City and has had a very busy year. In addition to serving as Fight Choreographer for GableStage, City Theatre, and New Theatre's Julius Caesar and Cymbeline, John also performed with The Inside Out Theatre in Manuscript, made his South Florida directing debut with By Any Other Name...Romeo & Juliet, helped found the Naked Stake Theatre Co, and served on the faculty of both New World School of the Arts and Florida Atlantic University. John would like to thank his new wife Jen for taking him 'For Better...'
Evelyn Perez (Lizzie Monohan) is a native of Miami, Florida. She received a BFA from Florida International University, as well as, an A.A. from Miami Dade Community College. Evelyn has worked at a number of prominent Florida theatres, including Coconut Grove Playhouse, Actors' Playhouse, Hollywood Playhouse, GableStage, Florida Stage and Teatro Avante, to name a few. In the last 3 years, Evelyn has also acted in a number of locally produced independent films, namely Hyparxis Production, two of which were in the running for Project Greenlight and The Cannes Film Festival. This will mark Evelyn's New Theatre debut.
Ricky J. Martinez (Director) is New Theatre's Artistic Director. He is a Miami-born Cuban-American proudly residing and working in South Florida. Schooled at the New World School for the Arts, he studied with Jorge C. Guerra, Richard Armstrong, Lee Michael Cohen, Richard Janaro, Carol Cadby, Clay James, and Kimberly Daniel.
Betsy Paull-Rick (Production Stage Manager) is pleased to return to New Theatre after serving as PSM for over 20 consecutive productions at the Mosaic Theatre in Plantation. No stranger to the other side of the footlights, South Florida audiences may remember her as Judy in A Chorus Line, Jeanne in Hair, Tiny Tim in Scrooge, or Diane in 42nd Street, among others. Recent directing and choreography credits include Hair and Fanny & Sadie, both at the Tamarac Theatre. Betsy is the proud recipient of a Curtain Up Award nomination for Best Choreography for A New Brain, the Musical. Many thanks go to Ricky and Eileen, as well as to the rest of this incredible company. As always, much gratitude and love goes to Rob, Jon and Michael.