ONE FLEA SPARE
Note from the Artistic Director:
Welcome to the Davis Performing Arts Center for One Flea Spare, the final show in our 2022-23 season of W/RIGHT TO BE HUMAN. This year, all of our productions explored what it means to be human, with a focus on words and language. Words have the power to name what is right, claim what our rights are, and make things right. We write them down, read them out loud, embody them, put them on stage. It is also a season of celebrating living playwrights such as Naomi Wallace — whose works I have admired for years.
The play is directed by Professor Maya E. Roth, the founding artistic director of the Davis Performing Arts Center and founder of the Theater & Performance Studies Program. A leading artist-scholar of feminist theater in the US, she brings invaluable expertise. Check out her One Flea Spare Project, in which she interviewed Wallace and her collaborators; the recording of this interview is available on this digital playbill (scroll to the end)!
This is the very first full theatrical production in our Gonda Theater since 2019, a truly momentous undertaking. I must acknowledge our Design and Production team, a mix of professionals and students, led by our Director of Production, Alicia DiGiorgi, Technical Director Holden Gunster, and Costume Shop Manager, Dorothy Barnes-Driggers. My gratitude and appreciation also go to administrative and support staff: Community Engagement, Patron Services, Facilities, Finance, Public Relations, Maintenance, and more. No theater can materialize without the labor of those whose hands make it happen backstage.
Lastly but perhaps most importantly: We honor the Indigenous peoples whose land became the Greater Washington area, especially the Piscataway, Anacostank, Pamunkey, and others. We also acknowledge that the Georgetown campus was built on the labor of enslaved people.
Having stated this, land acknowledgment does not undo the injustices of the past, or give reparations. It is only meaningful if it is a call to action. Recognizing our individual role in the fabric of colonization and injustice is the first step, but what’s next?
Thank you again for joining us today, and please stay tuned for our 2023-24 season. We hope to see you again.
— Natsu Onoda Power, Ph.D.
Professor and Artistic Director of the Davis Performing Arts Center
Note from the Director
“We all went to sleep one morning and when we awoke the whole city was aglow with fever. Sparrows fell dead from the sky into the hands of beggars.”
—Morse, Act 1 Scene 1
As artist and scholar, I fell in love with Naomi Wallace’s plays because they are ghosted by loss, transformed by uncanny images and relationships, revealed by poetic and deeply bodied language, seared by existential, feminist, and political stakes. Whether set during the Great Plague in London of 1665 as here, in “the heart of America” (where she grew up), or the contemporary Middle East amid occupation and war, as in her Fever Chart trilogy, Wallace writes cross-sectional plays that constellate psychic and social stakes, interweaving. Often her diverse characters are inspired by social history and radical imagination. As One Flea Spare models, Wallace’s plays work by paradox; they are simultaneously intimate and epic.
Written in 1995, One Flea Spare, is internationally acclaimed, yet underproduced in the US—in no small part because it interrogates class and empire. One can think of this play as an allegory for how social ruptures can simultaneously lay bare human needs —for touch and to die with dignity, for instance–and expose structural violence and systemic failures. There is a tension in this play between Death as the great equalizer —memento mori—and marked disparities in life experience, driven by wealth/class/social forces.
Yet, too, this play is challenging to artists and audiences. It works by juxtapositions, highly theatrical and spare, with audacious character journeys, profound social ruptures, and a poetics of estrangement and satire as much as empathy. For American audiences that’s hard; for international ones, that makes for vital political theater. One Flea Spare understands lives as bodied, systemic forces as lived, imagination as human and necessary for social change; often, as here, her plays center working class shape-shifters, like Morse, yearning for more. Our semi-immersive staging highlights that. We focus not only on what happens in the home, but beyond it.
It has been my great joy to work on this play with such a gifted, generous team of artists and people, from first-year students to graduates with majors in the College, Grad School and SFS in the cast, to diverse guest artists in DC, to my curatorial collaborators who studied the play with in my fall seminars to our impressive production staff working together on making theater, again, mixing methods, fluencies, lives, histories. For me, the project connects research with teaching with social praxis, a chain of engagements that began with the Playwright and Collaborators in a multicampus initiative two years ago and which lands, quite differently, with You, our Audience.
Trespass and disruption, estrangement and empathy: Wallace’s playwriting stirs these, shaping an unusual dramatic—and audience— journey. Ultimately, engaging Wallace and her work presses critical, creative, and social inquiry. Our performance has inspired, and been fed by, the cross-sectional, interdisciplinary, and creative possibilities the University offers through our research and teaching labs.
In the world of this play, I see disparities and hands: the danger of touch and the desire for it
I smell vinegar and sweat
I touch burnt skin and lace
I taste drips of orange and fear
I hear the intake of breath and wry laughter while the death bells toll outside.
— Maya E. Roth, Ph.D.
Della Rosa Associate Professor, Georgetown University
Join us in conversation after these shows:
SATURDAY, MARCH 25TH FOLLOWING 2 PM PERFORMANCE
Artist talk. Scenic designer Kathryn Kawecki (Assistant Professor, Bowie State University), director Maya Roth (Associate Professor, Theater and Performance Studies, Georgetown University), and actor Ali Shahbaz (Georgetown University School of Foreign Service ‘22).
WEDNESDAY MARCH 29TH FOLLOWING 8 PM PERFORMANCE Social Contexts and Psychic Reverberations: London 17th Century Plagues, Our Pandemics. Sarah Stiles (Teaching Professor, Department of Sociology, Georgetown University), Timothy Newfield (Assistant Professor, History and Biology, Georgetown University), director Maya Roth (Associate Professor, Theater and Performance Studies, Georgetown University), and actor Ali Shahbaz (Georgetown University School of Foreign Service ‘22).
Mr. William Snelgrave- Ali Shahbaz A proud Hoya, Ali is excited to return on stage in One Flea Spare. He enjoys storytelling and has written for The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, Newsday, and Forbes. In recognition of the timeliness of this production, Ali is grateful to the Director, Maya Roth, for embracing the complex layers of this script as the cast and crew bring to life a sometimes chilling, sometimes lighthearted but always unapologetically human story of love, longing and loss.
Mrs. Darcy Snelgrave- Anna Dewey is a first-year at Georgetown, planning on majoring in English and minoring in Theatre and Performance Studies. In the fall, she played Zetta Stone in the department’s production of Dog Act and has recently been a cast member in the senior thesis, A Sea Change. She has deeply enjoyed being in this production, and all of the learning experiences it has fostered. She would like to thank the cast, crew, and directorial staff who have made One Flea Spare possible. Enjoy the show!
Bunce- Sasha Montefiore is a Sophomore in the College currently planning on studying English, Film, and Spanish. In the fall, he played Don Adriano de Armado in Mask and Bauble’s Love’s Labour’s Lost. From there he went on to briefly act in A Christmas Carol and in Jake Teall’s Senior Thesis A Sea Change, which he found to be a unique and beautifully creative process that he cherishes. He loves entertaining and is so excited to perform as Bunce in One Flea Spare. He would like to thank the crew, staff, cast, and everyone involved.
Morse-Anna Kummelstedt is a second-year at Georgetown, majoring in Science, Tech and International Affairs (STIA) and minoring in International Development. In the Fall, she played the Princess in Mask and Bauble’s production of Love’s Labour’s Lost. This semester she was AD in the senior thesis, A Sea Change. One Flea Spare is Anna’s acting debut in a Department show and what an experience it has been! She is so excited to share with the Georgetown community the show that she, alongside the amazing cast, crew, and directorial staff, has put together.
Kabe- Jason Roeder is thrilled to be making his Gonda Theatre debut as Kabe. Currently a masters student in German history, Jason is rekindling his passion for being on stage which had been part of his life since high school. Prior to moving to DC, he engaged in community theater while living in Monterey, CA. He is excited to make his return to the theater and to have a ball with such a fantastic cast and crew. He sends his love to everyone in this production as well as his parents and sister for all their support throughout the years.
Director- Maya E. Roth specializes in feminist plays, cross-cultural adaptations of classics, and new work development. Recent research includes her adaptation of Aphra Behn’s The Rover (2020), staged with Georgetown artists, and her multi-year developmental dramaturgy for Iraqi-American Playwright Heather Raffo on Noura (Shakespeare Theatre Co, Playwrights Horizon NY premieres 2018). Since 2007, Maya has stewarded the Jane Chambers Prize for Feminist Playwriting, which led to her co-edited volume, Lesbian & Queer Plays from the Jane Chambers Prize (2019). Her critical writing appears in playbills, scholarly journals, and edited collections, such as Feminist Theatrical Revisions of Classic Works, Theatre of War and Exile, and her International Dramaturgy: The Theatre of Timberlake Wertenbaker (2010). Maya is honored to have won the Georgetown College Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award. She was the founding AD of the Davis Performing Arts Center, stewarded the TPST Program’s development, and, from 2012-16 chaired the Department of Performing Arts. Maya finds great joy in teaching, creative collaboration, and the ocean. She thanks her sassy, sweet son Yul and kind spouse Bill, as well as the Ensemble. Her Ph.D. is from Berkeley.
Scenic Designer- Kathryn Kawecki is a Mid-Atlantic-based theatre artist who regularly designs for 1st Stage in Tysons Corner, as well as other DC/Baltimore area theaters, including CATF, Flying V, Chesapeake Shakespeare Company, and the Hub. She is also a judge for theatre Washington’s Helen Hayes Awards. Upcoming Mid-Atlantic projects include The Farnsworth Invention and Swimming with Whales. Recent Mid-Atlantic designs include set and costumes for Proof (2016 Helen Hayes Award Nomination), Now Comes the Night, The Good Counselor, Old Wicked Songs, Lobby Hero, Trevor, and The Oregon Trail; sets for Anne of the 1,000 Days, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Late Wedding, and Ages of the Moon; costumes for You… or Whatever I can Get. She also works nationally in Colorado and in the North East; Colorado projects include: The History Room, Elijah (Henry Award Nomination), Faith!, The Glass Menagerie, for CRT, LOCAL and BETc, respectively; Northeast projects include: dollHouse, RENT, My Fair Lady (IRNE Award Nomination), Romeo & Juliet, Avenue Q for New Rep, Stoneham Theatre, and Lyric Stage, respectively; New York projects include sets and costumes for The Taste of It (Innovative Theatre Award Nomination), Broken Fences, and America Amerique for Ballybeg and the JENA co, respectively. She has previously been an Adjunct Professor/Costume Designer for Gettysburg College working on projects including: You Got Older, Harvest (KCATF Respondent Recognition) and A Chorus Line; she has guest designed and taught for academic Theatre Departments including UMBC (Criminals in Love & The Game of Love and Chance), Providence College (The Imaginary Invalid, Lysistrata, Poor Murderer), Boston Conservatory (Jesus Christ Superstar), and North Dakota State University (The Cherry Orchard). For Bowie State University/BSU Theatre, she has designed A Song for Coretta and Cinderella, The Remix.
Lighting Designer- Kristin A. Thompson is happy to return to Georgetown, having previously designed lights for Violet, the Musical; Amanuensis; and In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play. Some other companies Kristin has designed lights for include: 1st Stage, Adventure Theater MTC, Carroll Community College, Contradiction Dance, Faction of Fools, Flying V Theater, Happenstance Theater, Howard Community College, The Hub Theater, Imagination Stage, Round House Theater, Stevenson University, Theater Lab, and Venus Theater. When not sitting in the dark shining lights on other people, she spends her time with her two favorite people, Paul and Grey. She wishes to continue to deliver the fascinating emotions she once had felt from theater now as a member of the crew.
Sound Designer- Navi (he/they) is a non-binary Sri Lankan many media artist, a Helen Hayes nominated sound designer, and the one making music and sounds for this show! A self-taught creator, they’ve released five albums, and performed & toured as the lead vocalist for multiple bands. As a theater artist, they starred in & wrote the music for Pointless Theatre’s d0t:, and have devised on stage with The Arcanists (The Tarot Reading), We Happy Few (Frankenstein), Dog and Pony (Romeo and Juliet for the deafblind), and more! They’re an alumni company member with Pointless Theatre, where – in addition to Art Making™ as a lighting designer, composer, sound engineer, performer, puppeteer, production manager, graphic designer & marketing content creator, they wrote Forest Tréas – an absurdist reflection on the 2002 DC Sniper crisis. Currently, they’re running the R&D wing of Flying V as an Artistic Lead, exploring the vast reaches of performance, technology, and nerd culture! @/$yourlocalnavi
Director of Production- Alicia DiGiorgi is excited to be back for her second season with TPST. Prior to Georgetown Alicia served as the Director of Production and Head of the Stage Management program for Point Park University’s Conservatory of Performing Arts. She has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association since 2004 and stage managing professionally for over 20 years. She also had the privilege to substitute stage manage for the Hamilton Philips Tour at The Kennedy Center. Alicia has enjoyed working with THE REP at The Pittsburgh Playhouse, City Theater Company, Bricolage, barebones productions, Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theatre, The Pittsburgh Public Theatre and Unique Staging Solutions.
Stage Manager- Jasmine Gibbs is excited to be back with Georgetown University after having previously Stage Managed Dog Act in the fall. She met Natsu Onoda Power while working as Wardrobe Supervisor for Olney Theatre’s 2019 production of Tiger Style! Her past credits include Stage Manager for Silk Road Dance Company, Wardrobe Supervisor for the University of Maryland’s The Heidi Chronicles, and Sound Board Operator for Maryland Youth Ballet’s annual production of The Nutcracker. Not only does she support the theatre, but she supports herself while she’s not working with hobbies that include sewing, dancing, learning the Korean language, and reading. She wants to thank her partner Andrew, and her mother for always supporting her passions.
Costume Shop Manager- Dorothy Barnes-Driggers is a costume designer, technician, and educator. Currently, the costume shop manager at Georgetown University and the costume coordinator for Maryland Lyric Opera, Dorothy teaches classes on sustainability and costume practicum. Her past design credits include Snow day for Arts on the Horizon, Mary Poppins at Central Piedmont Summer Theatre, Madeline’s War at the Volks Theatre in Vienna, Austria. Dorothy has been featured by vogue.com for her bespoke wedding dress design and creation. Beyond her work in design and education, Dorothy has worked as a costume technician at The Washington National Opera, Folger Theatre, The University of Maryland, and The Santa Fe Opera.
Costume Designer- Stephanie Parks is thrilled to join the team for One Flea Spare! Stephanie is in her third year pursuing an MFA in Costume Design at The University of Maryland. Her UMD credits include As You Like It, Later the Same Evening, Hookman and Overscore. Before UMD, Stephanie was the resident costume designer and costume shop manager at The Hippodrome State Theatre in Gainesville, FL. Hippodrome credits include Million Dollar Quartet, Scrooge in Rouge, and Miracle on South Division Street. Stephanie is a founding member of Submersive Productions, an immersive theater company based in Baltimore, MD. Submersive credits include RECHOllection, Mesmeric Revelations and H.T. Darling’s Incredible Musaeum. As a technician, Stephanie has worked on and off Broadway. Broadway credits include Cinderella and Motown.
Fight Director- Jonathan Ezra Rubin works regularly as a Fight & Intimacy Director throughout the DC-Metro Area. A three-time Helen Hayes Award and one-time WATCH Award Nominee for Outstanding Choreography, Jonathan was the first Helen Hayes Nominee whose choreographic work on a production included Intimacy Direction. He is a Certified Teacher with the Society of American Fight Directors, as well as the organization’s Treasurer. Jonathan has choreographed most of Flying V’s shows, as well created fights and/or intimacy for Mosaic Theater Company, The Studio Theatre, Signature Theatre, GALA Hispanic Theatre, Adventure Theatre-MTC, 4615 Theatre Company, Silver Spring Stage, Lumina Studio Theatre, Georgetown University, Goucher College, and many more. Jonathan is a proud Associate Member of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Society, a national theatrical union and teaches classes and choreographs under his company Fire & Ice Movement Arts.
Assistant Director- Magdalen (Maggie) Cammaroto is a recent Georgetown alumna. Since graduating with a major in psychology and minors in theatre & theology, she has been performing professionally as well as teaching across the DMV. This spring she will appear in NextStop Theatre’s production of In the Heights. She is also a certified yoga instructor and looks to pursue a career integrating body-breath healing into the arts.
Assistant Director- Olivia Martin is thrilled to be spending Senior Spring supporting Maya on this process! Maya taught Olivia’s very first class of college and helped kickstart a wild ride of a theater journey here. Selected TPST credits include stage management on An Acorn and Cabaret, and Olivia directed a production of RENT for nomadic theatre this past November.
Intimacy Consultant- Kate Al-Shamma Kate moved to Georgetown in 2018 after teaching and performing in the San Francisco Bay Area for more than 25 years. Her Ph.D. is in Theatre, and her M.A. is in Communication. In the area of Theatre, Kate specializes in Shakespeare, Choreographic Image Theatre, and the Performance of Oral History. She is a theatre director as well as an acting, voice, and movement coach. In the area of movement. Kate has expertise in field methodologies and has spent years engaging in Performance Ethnography. In the area of Communication, Kate has conducted extensive research in Performance Studies, Voice Science, and Rhetoric. At GU, she teaches “Public Speaking” and “Advocacy” with an emphasis on personal encounters and community building. Also, she teaches “Public Speaking and Performance” with an emphasis on relaxation techniques that facilitate vocal and physical expressivity.
Dialect Coach- Anita Maynard-Losh is the Director of Community Engagement/Senior Artistic Advisor at Arena Stage, where she is in her 19th year and directed this season’s Holiday by Philip Barry. She has been a dialect coach at Arena Stage, the Kennedy Center, the Washington National Opera, and for the Broadway revival of Ragtime. Anita trained and taught at the American Conservatory Theatre (San Francisco), was faculty at Webster University (St. Louis), and was the associate artistic director of Perseverance Theatre (Juneau). She has worked extensively in indigenous communities in Alaska, and her production of Macbeth was performed in English and Tlingit at the National Museum of the American Indian. (Her project essay was published in Weyward Macbeth: Intersections of Race and Performance, Palgrave MacMillan.) Anita has been a director/deviser for Arena’s Voices of Now program, locally with ensembles of grieving teenagers, and internationally in India (2012, 2014), Croatia (2015, 2019), and Bosnia-Herzegovina (2019).
Curation/Dramaturgy/Community Engagement- Daisy Steinthal is a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying Culture & Politics with minors in Theology and Economics. She has been an avid participant in Georgetown theatre since her freshman fall, working on more than 10 processes during her time on campus. Her most recent credit and pride was directing the inaugural production of Miscast, a philanthropy concert that raised over $3,000 for DC public schools this January. She would like to thank her assistant Jacqueline for all of the help and her positive, enthusiastic attitude. She would like to thank Maya and Stanley for being her point people and allowing her to be a part of the OFS team.
Curation/Dramaturgy/Community Engagement Assistant– Jacqueline Luque is a freshman in the College of Arts and Sciences hoping to study English with a minor in Film and Media. Before Georgetown, she performed in a variety of productions ranging from plays to musical concerts. Since her experience in the 2022 Fall seminar “Contemporary Plays with Stakes in the Past”, she has taken to exploring the literary composition of plays through dramaturgical analysis and enjoying the productions DC has to offer. She is glad her curatorial web surrounding the complex themes of One Flea Spare can be used as a visual aid to illustrate the interconnected nature of the play and hopes it will add to the viewers’ experience of the show. She would like to thank Maya for giving her the opportunity to become engaged with this play in a new context and for reigniting her spark for the performing arts. She would also like to thank Daisy for allowing her to help out on the Lobby project – it has been a pleasure working with you this past week.
Community Engagement and Development Manager- Stanley Bahorek Prior to joining Georgetown University in the fall of 2022, he served as Artistic Associate at Baruch Performing Arts Center. He is the co-founder of Mind’s Eye Producing (www.mindseyeproducing.com) which has executed over 80 events and helped nonprofits to raise over a half-a-million dollars since 2020. Currently, he is the strategy lead for redesigning the preeminent climate resilience conference in San Francisco. He co-produced the world premiere productions of Charles Mee’s soot and spit and the new play Sheila by The Associates in New York City. As an actor, he most recently appeared in the 2020 revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Company on Broadway and played ‘Barry’ in the Emmy Award-winning Netflix show Master of None. He has taught at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy and Princeton University and holds a BFA in musical theater from The University of Michigan, and an MA in arts administration from Baruch College.
Mr. William Snelgrave
Mrs. Darcy Snelgrave
Maya E. Roth
Kristin A. Thompson
Costume Shop Manager
Jonathan Ezra Rubin
Curation/Dramaturgy/Community Engagement Assistant
Community Engagement and Development Manager
Scene Shop Assistants
Costume Shop Assistants
Avery Van Natta
Hair and Make Up
Assistant Scenic Design
The One Flea Spare Project
For more information on the Department of Performing Arts faculty and staff please click here.