About the Show
Pulitzer Prize-winner Donald Margulies weaves together nostalgia, music, and merriment in this new seasonal classic. A holiday show for people of all ages and all faiths.
Based loosely on the Grace Paley short story “The Loudest Voice”. The play tells the story of a young Jewish girl in 1935 Brooklyn who is chosen to play the part of Jesus Christ in her school’s Christmas pageant much to her parent’s dismay.
How everyone comes together to respect their own and each other’s observances forms the basis for the play.
Meet the Cast
Sofia Feola (Clara) is very excited to be back on stage. She performed in the Heights Players production of "Oliver" with her brother a few years back and also sings regularly in the St Edwards Church choir. A freshman vocal major at LaGuardia High School, Sofia has many hidden talents including cooking, baking, and gymnastics. She is thrilled to be a part of the Coney Island Christmas cast and looks forward to her future on the stage.
Sarah Groustra (Annamarie Sabatino) (she/her) is a Brooklyn-based, Massachusetts-born theater artist. She is a recent alumni of Kenyon College, a member of the 24 Hour Plays: Nationals 2022 Acting Cohort, and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. Her plays have been produced by B Street Theater Company, Playdate Theatre, and the Kenyon College StageFemmes. Sarahgroustra.com
Ran Isner (Mr. Misha Abramowitz) is very excited to make his return to the Heights Players as Misha Abramowitz. Previous credits at the Heights Players include Fiorello!, Candide, several galas and directors’ workshops. Ran is thrilled to be working with such a talented cast and is grateful to be able to tell this beautiful story. Ran would like to thank his beautiful children, Dylan and Daphne for letting him be at rehearsals and for being his biggest supporters. Most of all, he would like to t
Ryan Bergin (Ira Pushkov) is honored to be performing with the Heights Players in Coney Island Christmas. He has been studying acting at the Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute, and this is his very first play he has been involved in. He is very thankful for his parents and friends who have been supportive of his dreams!
Matt Matros (Mr. Hilton) is thrilled to be returning to the Heights Players stage after previously appearing in What the Butler Saw, Detective Story, and Gypsy. When not performing, Matt plays poker and chess and tries to get in some writing. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife Ivy, and his five-year-old son Clay.
Marc A. Hermann
Marc A. Hermann (Jackie Saurfeld) most recently served as musical director in Act One, and last appeared as Dan Packard in Dinner at Eight. Favorite Heights roles include Herbie in Gypsy, Officer O'Hara in Arsenic..., Gangster in Kiss Me, Kate, and Pat in State Fair. He has appeared on-screen in Boardwalk Empire, Bridge of Spies, ...Maisel, and has served behind-the-scenes as a historical and technical advisor. The grandson of a first-generation American of Russian-Jewish descent, who delighted
Lisa Whitten (Mrs. Abramowitz) is elated to be in her second production with The Heights Players! Lisa, a storyteller originally from North Carolina, teaches English and Improv. She was last seen in The Crucible and her one woman show Becoming a Noble Gas. She would like to thank Ted as well as the cast and crew for their support and encouragement.
Lori Elkerdawy (Young Shirley) is a NYC based actor, educator and fitness coach who is thrilled to be making her Heights Players debut! Special thanks to the wonderful cast and crew. Lori dedicates this performance to her favorite Coney Island Jewish girl, her Mom.
Laura Chartrand (Evie) is excited and thankful to be performing with this wonderful cast and crew! She was previously seen in The Heights Players production of “The Crucible” as Mary Warren.
Kiernan Black (Kathleen Briadey u/s Shirley, Mrs. A, Miss G) is excited to play the role of Kathleen in her first theatre acting debut.. ever! A local to BK heights, she came to see a Heights Players show last year and decided then that she would pursue a role in a play. She is enjoying working with the cast and crew and hopes everyone enjoys the story of Shirley just as much as she does. Kiernan will continue her work at Heights Players as Stage Manager for Xanadu!
Heather Violanti (Miss Glacé) played Servant/Prudencia in The House of Bernarda Alba at Gallery Players over the summer. Heights Players credits: Dinner at 8, What the Butler Saw, Present Laughter, The Last Night of Ballyhoo, Come Back to the Five & Dime Jimmy Dean, The Accountant’s Dream (director’s project), George M!, The Real Inspector Hound. She is grateful to Ted, Marialana, and Felisha for their support, and to Page Clements for help with the French accent.
K. Mcfarlane (Shirley Abramowitz/Mrs. Kornblum) First Heights Players production. Selected NY theatre credits include productions at the NYC Fringe Festival; Nicu’s Spoon Company; Aery Theatre Festival; The Greenhouse Ensemble; Upright Citizens Brigade. Karen-Mcfarlane.com
Andrea Bernardo (Lucille Brown) is excited to unexpectedly be in another show. She was just seen in Act One. Other favorite roles include: Kitty in Dinner at Eight, Bet in Oliver, Anybodys in West Side Story and Kate in Legally Blonde. She can be seen as a parrot at the Secret Theatre.
Jason Lee (Andy Ling) is a Taiwanese actor currently based in NYC and a Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute graduate. Previously in the Heights Players: Gypsy, Act One. Selected credits: Yell-Low (Dixon Place), Richard III (American Theatre of Actors), My Best Friend (The Drama League), Eighty 12 (Amazon Prime Video). Coney Island Christmas is his first Holiday production. He would like to thank the cast and crew for the joyful experience, and his family and friends for their love and support
Director: Ted Thompson
Assistant Director: Felisha Heng
Production Coordinator: Tom Levy
Stage Manager: Marialana Ardolino
Lighting Design: Alan Sporing
Costume Design: Amanda C. Enriquez
Set Design: Noel MacDuffie
Props: Jan VanderPutten
Sound Design: Marc A. Hermann, David Fletcher
Lighting Tech: Katie Crawford
Graphic Design: Ruthie Rosenfeld
Promotional Video: Michelle Maccarone
Directors Interview: Alex DiTrolio
Directors Interview Editor: Noel MacDuffie
Production Photos: Joe Pacifico