Meet Alex Scelso (Frog)

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1) “Here’s a bundle of sticks old wisdom has forgotten. Together they are strong, Apart, they are all rotten.”

2) I remember as a child being really scared of bad luck. So I was always careful around mirrors and if there was a penny on the ground, it made my day. I used to have nightmares practically every night when I was little, so my mom hung up a dream catcher to allow the positivity to come into my room at night, but it would trap and keep out the monsters and bad energy. Oh yeah, and reminding me every night that there were bars on our windows, triple locks on the doors and that there is nothing we have that anyone would want to steal.
3) I love working with an ensemble and this play definitely calls for that. Every character in the world of the play, animal, human or demon, is interconnected and must coexist. Plays that involve family relationships have also been making a huge impression on me lately.
4) I am a Brooklyn guy born and raised. Ukrainian and Austrian descent on my mom’s side and Italian from my dad’s side.

Meet Nanda Abella (Mother)

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1. your favorite quote from Ti Jean
From Ti Jean to the devil: “Temper, temper. Or you might lose something. Now what next?”
 2. a superstition you recall from your childhood
oh my….so many. Okay. My favorite one is this one: Never have an hydrangea plant at home if you have daughters and they’re not married yet. Otherwise, they will remain single. Funny enough, I’ve always both liked hydrangeas and thought that remaining single was not a bad option in itself, but my mom was very determined when it came to this superstition. She only got an hydrangea plant –because she also likes them– when her youngest daughter got married (that would be me).
 3. what drew you to this play?
The opportunity to dive into a new world –the world of the Caribbean culture and its folktales– and also the complexity and richness of Derek Walcott’s text.
 4. Where are you from?
Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Meet Alyssa (Firefly)

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alyssa headshot1. your favorite quote from Ti Jean
“No, I would have known life, rain on my skin, sunlight on my forehead. Master, you have lost. Pay him! Reward him!”
2. a superstition you recall from your childhood
Make a u turn when a cat that looks even remotely black crosses.  Even if that means taking the long way home.
3. what drew you to this play?
I met Antonevia at a friend’s performance and as we sat together and began to talk, I became entranced by her humor and interest in so many disciplines.  When she told me she was working on a Derek Walcott play, I was eager to help, since he is one of my favorite writers.  I read the script and was hooked.  Then, when I showed up at rehearsal, the rest of the cast drew me in and made me look forward to sharing this piece with them every day.  I have learned so much about the way that performers can work together and energize each other.  Also, I have gained a deeper knowledge of lighting and sound production.  I feel so lucky to have met such an amazing, nurturing group of people.
4. Where are you from?
StatenJerzy, the land of oil tanks, highways and italianisms.

Meet Anel Carmona (Cricket)

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Meet Anel Carmona (Cricket)
1. Favorite quote from “Ti Jean and His Brothers”
“He who with the Devil tries to be fair
Weaves the net of his own despair.”

2. A superstition you recall from your childhood.
My parents told me once as a joke that if I stepped in the lines of the junctions in the sidewalk I would turn into a spider. I was to young to understand that it was a joke, so I would avoid those lines with all my might.

3. What drew you to this play?
I love this kind of fantasy Theatre that is barely done in NYC. I really enjoy working with elements of Physical Theatre, masks and acrobatics.

4. Where are you from?
Guadalajara, Mexico!!

“Ti Jean and His Brothers” Cast and Crew

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Glenn Provost – Devil, Old Man, Planter

Lee Baptiste – Gros Jean

Antonevia Ocho-Coultes – Mi Jean

Octavia Chavez-Richmond – Ti Jean

Nanda Abella – Mother

Jaine Huenergard – Bolom

Alexander Scelso – Frog

Anel Carmona – Cricket

Leonie Bell – Bird

Alyssa Rapp – Firefly

Stephen M Hill – Goat, Werewolf

Vito Giancaspro – Creative Set Designer

Tim Dugan – Mask Consultant

Gillian Rougier – Sound Operator

MA’s Playhouse – Costume Design, Lighting Design


The World of Ti Jean

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Director, Antonevia Ocho-Coultes has re-imagined this classic Walcott piece. It is a fairy tale like so many others that explores the fight between good and evil. It follows the journey of three brothers who each try their hand at defeating the devil, in an attempt to free themselves from their present poverty stricken predicament. The forest comes alive as all of nature rises to the challenge of this battle. It tackles the themes of power, wealth, the status quo and knowledge for its own sake, with such frivolity and depth, that it transports you at once to another world and yet grounds you in the realities of all times.

The production employs mask and animal work,  as well as other world instruments in its bid to express the universality of this world. It’s as much fantasy and fate that a re-imagined look at the postcolonial Caribbean status quo can offer and much much more.

“It has been so exciting to explore this forest with its multicultural inhabitants and its complex yet dynamic challenges” Antonevia says. The show opens Jun 20th and runs for four performances. For tickets go to


MA’s Playhouse seeks to showcase the voice of the Caribbean, through showcasing the work of Caribbean/Caribbean American playwrights, actors, and artists. It seeks to produce new as well as established works. It encourages intercultural understanding in its multicultural approach to theater and prides itself on the production of culturally and emotionally driven works.

Ti Jean and His Brothers comes to Brooklyn (Jun 21-27)

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MA’s Playhouse presents: “Ti Jean and His Brothers”, a timeless contemporary Caribbean folktale play from Nobel Prize author, Derek Walcott.


MA’s Playhouse brings Ti Jean and His Brothers to the stage for four exclusive performances. It opens on June 20th at 6pm at The Maroney Theater located at 180 Remsen Street  (7th fl. of Saint Francis College). Run time is approximately 1hr 40min with an intermission.

 Ti Jean and His Brothers will run On June 20th and 21st at 6pm, On June 26th at 7:30 pm and On June 27th at 8:30pm. All tickets are $20.00 (or $10.00 for industry members with resume/headshot/business card). Tickets are available through Brown Paper Tickets. Media comps, photos, videos and interviews for Ti Jean and His Brothers are available upon request from 347 410-6382 or by emailing

Tickets available at

Casting Notice for Upcoming Play, “Ti Jean and His Brothers”

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Devil/ Planter/Papa Bois – Seeking male who moves well and has a good command of language. Shakespeare exp is a plus

Gros Jean – Strength-Seeking male (20’s-30,s)

Mi Jean – Intellect Seeking Male (20’s-30’s)

Ti Jean – Wisdom Seeking Male (early 20’s)

Cricket/Chanteur/Dancer – Male/female – voice and dance experience is a plus

Frog/Chanteur/Dancer – Male/Female – voice and dance experience is a plus

Bird/Chanteur/Dancer – Male/Female – voice and dance experience is a plus

Firefly/ Chanteur/Dancer/Field – Male/Female – voice and Dance experience is a plus

    Bolom: Male/Female- Dance or movement experience is a must.


Crew (Seeking)

Lighting Designer – Costume Designer- Sound Designer-Set Designer

This play goes up at the end of June. The performance dates are the 20th, 21st,26th and 27th of June. Rehearsals are from Tuesday to Saturday evenings in May.

Audition by appointment. Please submit a headshot and resume asap to

Interview with Lauren K. Alleyne- author of “Difficult Fruit”

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Lauren K. Alleyne, author of "Difficult Fruit"

I recently had the wonderful opportunity to interview Lauren K. Alleyne, the author of “Difficult Fruit”, a gripping poetic collage of her life’s journey thus far. It is compelling in its earnestness and rich in vibrant imagery. The interview went as follows:

1.Where are you from?

I am from cane fields and Convent, mango trees and cocoyea brooms; from my parents and my siblings, from the sea. I am from steel pan and calypso, Panorama and Parliament take overs. I am from David Rudder and Ras Shorty I. I am from pelau and roti, Mario’s and KFC. I am from ‘not enough’ and ‘make do’, from cut tail and church every Sunday, from friendships that string through time and distance. I am from Trinidad and Tobago, from New York, from Iowa, from Qatar, from Scotland, from this whole and wondrous world.

2.How if at all has your childhood in the Caribbean influenced your writing today?

It’s impossible not to be influenced by the place you grew up in! So many things from my childhood and the place of my birth and upbringing have left their mark on my writing– the Trini’s love of a good ole talk, the melodiousness of our accent, the inventiveness of a cuss out, the political savvy and social engagement of calypso, the abandon of Carnival, the love of ritual and religion, all of it has made me the writer I am.

3.Why the name Difficult Fruit?

The name “Difficult Fruit” comes from the long poem, “Eighteen,” and what’s at the heart of that poem, which I consider the heart of this collection is the idea of things coming to bear—in the case of that poem, a suppressed memory, but also a self strong enough to face that memory when it arises. When I decided on this title (there have been many titles!), I thought it captured everything I wanted to talk about—change, growth, transformation, the notion of coming into one’s own, which is never an easy task, but is a critical one. 4.How long have you been writing poetry? I’ve written for as long as I can remember, but the most formal writing outside of school that I did was write calypsos for my younger sister. I remember my piano teacher saying O, so you write poetry, when I told her this, and me with typical teenage scorn witheringly letting her know it was no such thing. When I came to NY for college, I wrote all the time as a way of marking occasions, feelings, and even then, I never thought I was ‘writing poetry’ just that I was clearing my head. It was really in Creative Writing class in college that I took in probably my junior year, that I really began to think of the craft of poetry, and moreover that poetry itself was something I could pursue as a discipline, and the rest, as they say, is herstory!

5.What do you hope your reader to take away from this work?

I really believe that readers take away from a work what they need, which is why our tastes change as we do, and our feelings about a book or poem we loved or hated might be altered the next time we encounter it. That said, I hope that whatever journey the poems take their readers on, that it is one that moves through struggle toward hope, that makes space for both celebration and grief, and that opens them in some deep and meaningful way.

For more information or to purchase a copy of Difficult Fruit please go to