Bitter Flower Program
The plays run approximately 40 minutes without intermission, followed by an interactive “Parlor Talk.”
Have some tea, ask some questions, or just listen.
Each evening, we welcome special guests to our parlor!
Wednesday, Nov 16th: Anita Gonzalez, Robin Lenhardt (Topic: Women’s Suffrage, Racial Justice)
Thursday, Nov 17: Annie Wiegand, Jonathan Girling, Shea Springer (Topic: Disability and Design)
Friday, Nov 18: Jennifer Natalya Fink (Topic: Hear from the Playwright)
Saturday, Nov 19: Daisy Steinthal, Han Miller, Nayab Shiraz, Kat Bouker (Topic: Reflections from Student Artists)
Note from the Artistic Director
Welcome to the Davis Performing Arts Center for Bitter Flower, the second show in our
2022-23 season of W/RIGHT TO BE HUMAN. This year, all of our productions explore what
rights, rites and writings make us (or un-make us) human. It’s also a season of celebrating
contemporary playwrights, including, of course, our very own Jennifer Natalya Fink
(English, Disability Studies)! Jennifer has been an associated faculty member of Theater
and Performance Studies for over a decade. It is great to finally have a chance to formally
collaborate on her work at the Davis Center.
This is our first Mainstage collaboration with Anita Gonzalez, Professor of Theater and
Performance Studies and African-American Studies, and a co-founder of Racial Justice
Institute. We are grateful for Anita’s vision, expertise, and artistry.
I must also express my deepest respect and gratitude to our student behind-the-scenes
staff. Working on a new play (not to mention crafting an interactive-immersive event!) is
always a labor-intensive, challenging task. They worked tirelessly to create the world that you are about to enter.
We honor the Indigenous peoples whose land became the Greater Washington area,
especially the Piscataway, Anacostank, Pamunkey and others. We also acknowledge that
Georgetown campus was built on the labor of enslaved people.
Having stated this, land acknowledgement 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 a first step, but what’s next? What would Ida say?
What biases and assumptions may be lurking behind our well-meaning statements?
Thank you again for joining us today, and please check out our full season. We hope to see
Natsu Onoda Power
Artistic Director, Davis Center
Professor of Performing Arts
Note from the Playwright:
Bitter and Sweet: Replaying our Racist History
The suppression of Black voters by white nationalists. The murder of Black men by white cops. The control of all women’s bodies by the state. The exertion of white privilege by white women, while Black and BIPOC women do the heavy lifting of structural change. November 2022?
No, December 1900.
Over tea in a cozy parlor in the dead week between Christmas and New Year’s Day, Jane Addams and Ida B. Wells-Barnett clashed over the same issues we confront today. These two phenomenal women—Ida B. Wells-Barnett, prominent journalist, anti-lynching and civil rights crusader, co-founder of the NAACP and the Black women’s suffrage movement, and Jane Addams, founder of Hull House and the settlement house movement, queer freethinker and leading suffragist—changed the world. But they couldn’t change each other’s minds. Though they worked toward a common goal—women’s suffrage—they took radically different strategies toward that end. Addams relied on racist tropes that perpetuated violent myths about Black masculinity; Wells-Barnett insisted that white America confront its racism, and argued that only by doing so could women of all races gain true equality.
It’s easy to idolize Ida and demonize Jane. But as I studied the painting of Jane’s lesbian lover, which she carried everywhere she traveled, and gazed at photos of Ida in her fabulous hats surrounded by her six children, I discovered the flawed and florid, sweet and bitter characters at the heart of this political drama. Bitter Flower asks us to confront the racist foundations of the women’s suffrage movement so that now, when our rights are once again being challenged, a truly equalitarian movement can flower.
—Jennifer Natalya Fink, November 2022
Note from the Director:
Bitter Flower reminds us of how fights for women’s rights do not always coalesce with fights for racial justice. Ida B Wells-Barnett and Jane Addams, two powerful women fighting for social advancement, clash in the parlor of the Hull House in Chicago. What does the community think about the bitter flower of their relationship? A chorus of hats responds.
The production experiments with style and form. Composer Jonathan Girling adds an eerie atmosphere to what would be an ordinary dialogue in a parlor. Lighting designer Annie Weigard and sound designer Shea Springer create an imagistic world that comments on the dissonance between the two suffragists. Student actors bring youthful perspective and vitality to the play’s unfolding conflicts.
This project is a unique collaboration between the Department of Performing Arts, Georgetown’s Racial Justice Institute, the Center for Disability Studies and the Arena Stage. We bring students together with professional musicians, composers and designers to collaborate on illuminating a story caught in time, to reveal persistent schisms between idealistic and practical realities of achieving justice.
Anita Gonzalez, November 2022
Jane Addams: Lily Touret is a Senior in the MSB studying Marketing and Finance. This is her first college performance and she is so grateful for the opportunity to participate in this play as well as her Professor Natsu Onoda Power who helped her discover her passion for visual performance arts and recommended her to audition. She is looking forward to exploring a new art medium and delving into the acting world!
Ida B. Wells-Barnett: LaHannah Giles is a Senior in the college studying American Studies. This is LaHannah’s first theater performance and she is really excited to explore her passion for the arts in a new medium. In her free time, she loves to dance and write poetry. She would like to give a shout out to Professor Anita Gonzalez and Professor Emma Jaster for their inspiration.
Sally: Natalie Price-Fudge is a freshman in the college. She is currently undeclared but is leaning towards a dual major in Government and History with a Film and Media studies minor. This is her first experience with the theatre program at Georgetown and she is looking forward to making more fun memories performing in college. She is excited to be able to share Bitter Flower with the community and would love to give a big thank you to the wonderful crew and everyone who gave her the opportunity to participate in such an amazing production!
Lead Ensemble: Jamia Ross is an undergrad student in her last semester at Georgetown University! Her family has roots in Baltimore, MD although she was raised in New Jersey! She is majoring in Health Care Management & Policy Analysis, but her interests are far being solely science based! Apart from her studies in politics and the sciences, she has a deep appreciation for fashion and visual design and travel. She has helped behind the scenes in various Georgetown Theatre programs, but this is her first performance as a performer!
Ensemble: Daisy Fynewever is a Freshman in the College. She is currently Undeclared, but thinks she will pursue a Justice and Peace Studies or Environmental Bio major with a Spanish minor. Daisy was involved in occasional theater productions in high school (both on stage and back stage), and is excited to be a part of Bitter Flower! She is grateful to the Georgetown theater community for being so welcoming, and to the cast, crew and production staff for making the show come to life.
Ensemble: Winnie Ho is a sophomore in the College studying Theatre. Her first introduction to acting was through BTE’s night of Black Musical Scenes. From there on out she has been in PaperPlay!, Sweat, and now, Bitter Flower. She is excited to be part of the cast and would like to thank all the production staff for helping make the show possible!
Violinist: Laura Frazelle settled in Virginia after graduate school, where she has worked extensively as both a performer and educator. She has been a core member of the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra since 2016, and served as a core violinist in the Richmond Symphony for the 2021/2022 season. She previously served as a per-service contracted section violinist with the Richmond Symphony for the 2018-2019 season. She has performed with many groups in the tri-state area, including the Baltimore Symphony, Virginia Symphony, Post-Classical Ensemble and many others. She served as Assistant Principal 2nd violin with the American Pops Orchestr (new window)a from 2015 to 2020. A notable educator, Ms. Frazelle received the Virginia String Teachers Association’s 2021 Outstanding String Teacher of the Year Award in recognition of her private studio. Previously, she served on the Suzuki faculty of the Levine School of Music, and served on the faculty at the Greater Washington Suzuki Institute in 2017 and 2021. Ms. Frazelle holds a Master of Music in Violin Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. In addition to music, Ms. Frazelle enjoys reading, baking, and spending time with her family and dog. She resides with her two young sons and husband Daniel, the Assistant Principal Clarinetist of the United States Navy Band.
Violist: Dr. Megan Yanik holds degrees from Rice University, the New England Conservatory, and the University of Michigan, and enjoys a diverse career as a performer and teacher. She has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, as well as the Boston, Detroit, Baltimore, Toledo, and Richmond Symphonies. An avid chamber musician, Megan is principal violist for the Grammy-nominated Inscape Chamber Orchestra. Formerly on faculty at Bowling Green State University, Megan is the Chair of the Music Department at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop in Washington, D.C. where she resides with her husband, saxophonist Jonathan Yanik, their two children, and their dog Schubert.
Cellist: Ben Capps enjoys a versatile performing career as a soloist, chamber musician, orchestral principal, collaborator and creator. Capps has appeared as recitalist and principal cellist at major performance venues throughout the world, touring extensively as a solo recitalist and chamber musician, as well as principal cellist. Capps can be heard as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral principal on LP Classics, Innova Records, Tzadik Records, Sony, and Naxos. He was also featured on Vermont Public Radio and in concert performing the complete cello sonatas of Beethoven, Mendelssohn & Brahms. Capps is dedicated to contemporary music and artforms, experimental sounds, electronics, and world music. NYC born, Capps holds degrees from the Manhattan School of Music, New England Conservatory and Juilliard – where he served as teaching assistant to David Soyer and Bonnie Hampton. He currently teaches at Georgetown University as Assistant Professor of Chamber Music. When not playing cello or teaching music, Capps enjoys listening to and composing music, ocean sports, and camping.
Designer & Staff Bios
Director: Anita Gonzalez (Ph.D.) is a professor of performing arts and African American studies at Georgetown University and a co-Founder/co-Director of their Racial Justice Institute. Her edited and authored books are Performance, Dance and Political Economy, Black Performance Theory, Afro-Mexico: Dancing Between Myth and Reality, and Jarocho’s Soul. She directs, devises and writes theatrical works that focus on telling women’s stories and histories. She has written works for Boston Opera Collaborative, Chicago Dramatists, The Vagrancy, Brooklyn Tavern Theatre, Gala Hispanic Theater and Houston Grand Opera’s Songs of Houston series. Her innovative stagings of cross-cultural experiences have appeared on PBS national television and at Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors, The Working Theatre, Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, New York Live Arts, Tribeca Performing Arts Center, and other national and international venues. Gonzalez believes the art of storytelling connects people to their cultures. Over 40,000 students have taken her massive open online courses Storytelling for Social Change and Black Performance as Social Protest. She is a member of the National Theatre Conference and the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab and sits on the Board of Directors of the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation. Gonzalez advocates for beautiful art crafted for social activism and consciousness raising.
Playwright: Jennifer Natalya Fink is a professor of English and core faculty in disability studies at Georgetown. Her plays have been produced across the country, most recently at Burning Coal Theater in North Carolina and Mad Cow Theater in Florida. She is an award-winning novelist and nonfiction author, most recently of All Our Families: Disability Lineage and the Future of Kinship. Fink is passionate about intersectional feminism, disability justice, hybrid genres, racial and gender justice, tea, queering everything, and hats. You can find her in her office in New North or in the New York Times.
Assistant Director/Costume Coordinator: Daisy Steinthal is a senior in the School of Foreign Service studying Culture and Politics with minors in Theology and Economics. She has been involved with theatre at Georgetown since her freshman fall and is so grateful to help develop Bitter Flower in her last year on campus. She would like to celebrate the cast and production team for their incredible work. She also wants to say a special thank you to Anita, Dorothy, Alicia, and Natsu for their care and guidance throughout this semester. She hopes you enjoy the show!
Composer and Musical Director: Jonathan Girling Theatre credits include: The Kite Runner (Broadway, USA, 2022; Nottingham Playhouse & Liverpool Playhouse, UK, with West End runs), Winter’s Tale (National Theatre, London, 2018 & 2019), Macbeth (National Theatre 2017 & UK tour 2018), The Jew of Malta (Royal Shakespeare Company), Anya (RSC), The American Pilot (RSC), White Out (RSC), Sleuth (NP & West Yorkshire Playhouse), Charlie Peace and Families of Lockerbie (both Nottingham Playhouse), Playhouse Creatures (New Vic), Intemperance (New Vic), Aesop’s Fables (two shows, nine plays, Unicorn Theatre) Margaret Catchpole (Eastern Angles), Three Wheels (Birmingham REP/ACE), Flight of Hope (People Show), Dreaming (BSA), and Nine Lives (Bridge Theatre, London, & Leeds Studio).
Jonathan won the Artists’ International Development Award (British Council & Arts Council England (ACE)), collaborating with Anita Gonzalez and Joel Valentin-Martinez on Living Lakes in Chicago, Ann Arbor, and New York.
Other commissions include: Gogmagog (English National Opera), Lights Out (New York Arts), Grimm Tales (City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, BBC Radio 3), Flight to the Ford (CBSO), The Long Lost Son (Evelyn Glennie & Armonico Consort) and Black Heart & A Little Madness (BBC Singers). His music is broadcast and played worldwide through Audio Network, and he has worked for television networks, winning various awards, including a Royal Television Society Award.
Stage Manager: Kat Bouker is a junior in the College from Washington, DC studying American Studies and Disability Studies. She has been stage managing for 6 years. She has previously worked with the Mask & Bauble Dramatic Society on their productions of Antigone and DBMOAF 36. This is her first time stage managing for the Department of Performing Arts and she has enjoyed it! Kat is grateful to have collaborated with such a wonderful cast and crew and is proud to be a part of the theater community at Georgetown. She would like to thank Alicia DiGiorgi for her mentorship throughout this process.
Head Deck Crew: Lucas Lin is a junior in the SFS studying International Economics and minoring in French and Statistics. He is from Rockville, Maryland and performed in Paperplays!, Biloxi Blues, and various DMBOAF ensemble roles. He is excited to support theater at Georgetown through Deck Crew, and is interested in promoting representation of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community in theater and public service.
Scenic Coordinator: Han Miller Would like to encourage you to donate to Georgetown Mutual Aid by venmoing @GeorgetownMutualAid
Lighting Designer: Annie Wiegand (she/her) Off-Broadway: I Was Most Alive With You (Playwrights Horizons). Regional: The Upstairs Department (Signature Theater Company); Eclipsed (Milwaukee Repertory Theatre), Steel Magnolias and Under the Breeches (Alabama Shakespeare Festival), Steel Magnolias (Dallas Theater Center), The Who and The What (Huntington Theatre Company), The Children, Matt and Ben, Brahman/I, and Small Mouth Sounds (Kitchen Theatre Company), The Bridges of Madison County (IRNE Nominee for Best Lighting Design) and Tribes (Speakeasy Stage Company). Off-Off-Broadway (select): Ink’dWell, I Wanna Fu•k Like Romeo & Juliet (New Light Theatre Project at 59E59 Theatres), Follies (Astoria Performing Arts Center – NYIT Nominee for Best Lighting Design). Teaching: Professor, Theatre and Dance Program, Gallaudet University. Annie is the first and only professional Deaf lighting designer in the US theater industry. AnnieWiegand.com
Dramaturge: Nayab Shiraz is a sophomore in the College from Dallas, Texas studying Economics with a minor in Business Studies. This is their first time being part of production for the Department of Performing Arts. Nayab is grateful to be a part of an amazing cast and crew and is excited to have the opportunity to work on this production. She would also like to give a special thanks to Inaara Shiraz and Sadiq Shiraz for their love and support.
Director of Production: Alicia DiGiorgi is excited to be back for her second season with TPST. Previous TPST credits include Paperplay!, Cabaret, Violet & Dog Act. 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.
Costume Shop Manager: Dorothy Driggers Barnes 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.
Wardrobe Supervisor: Jake Teall is a senior in the College studying Theater & Performance Studies, Film & Media Studies, and Business Administration. He is happy to support the development of this new work.
General Manager: Todd Michael Porter(he/him): Prior to joining Georgetown University in spring 2022, Todd Michael Porter served as Assistant Dean at the Juilliard School, and has worked at colleges and universities across the country for the past two decades. A classically-trained cellist, Todd Michael has performed with the Green Mountain Mahler Festival, The Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestral, the Samaritan Doctors Orchestra (principal), the Queer Urban Orchestra (assistant principal/general manager), and freelance work including Arena Civic Theatre (Turners Falls, MA) and Blue Hill Troop (New York, NY). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Ball State University, and a Master’s Degree in Arts Administration from Baruch College where he was awarded the Marlow Prize in Arts Leadership.
Community Engagement and Development Manager: Stanley Bahorek is a producer, actor, and teacher. He is the co-founder and Creative Producer of Mind’s Eye Producing (www.mindseyeproducing.com). 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 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. He holds a BFA in musical theater from The University of Michigan, and an MA in arts administration from Baruch College.
Community Engagement Assistant: Hana Amdeta is a senior in the College majoring in Government and minoring in Philosophy. Passionate about Black history, music, community events, and gender justice, the opportunity to support Bitter Flower’s outreach, marketing, and communications thrilled her. While this musical is her first theater involvement, she is grateful that Anita invited her and that the cast and crew welcomed her.
Woodshed’s Director of Creative Projects: Mia Massimino (she/her) comes to the Racial Justice Institute with a background in performance, visual arts, and youth organizing. Currently based in Philadelphia, PA, and Washington, D.C., Massimino is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Michigan, where she received a BFA in Interarts Performance with a minor in Gender and Health. Massimino is a community artist and educator committed to using art as a revolutionary tool. She applies this ethic to her work with Call Your Mom, an interdisciplinary performance collective she co-founded in 2014 with Sophie Goldberg, Emma Bergman, and Elif Cadoux. Known for interdisciplinary, immersive works, Call Your Mom uses video, installation, movement, and participatory performance to create reflective spaces for audiences. Call Your Mom was recently in residence at Bunakra (Simrishamn, Sweden), and has shown work across the U.S. and abroad at venues that include Cucalorus Festival (Wilmington, NC), Centro NAVE (Santiago, Chile), Artscape Sondheim Prize Exhibition (Baltimore, MD), and more.
ASL Interpreter: Amanda Welly currently lives in Maryland and received her Master’s in Interpreting from Gallaudet University. She has been working on her theater interpreting specialty since 2013 and has credits with TDF in collaboration with Broadway, Quest Visual Theatre, The John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts, and Lincoln Center. She is excited to be involved in this production.
ASL Interpreter: Kevin Dyels is a full time ASL interpreter and a board member of NAOBI-DC, a Black Interpreter Association. Originally from northern California, he has split his career between interpreting and interpreting management positions on a national level. Kevin holds a managing partner position at a performing arts interpreting company called First Chair Interpreted Productions which provides interpreters for over 125 theater productions and concerts locally each year.
RJI Community Outreach: Kendall Bryant (they/them) is an undergraduate senior majoring in Business Management and minoring in African-American studies. They are a proud native of gorgeous Prince George’s County, Maryland. With experience and interest in many different fields, schools of thought, and media, Kendall is a multidisciplinary artist ultimately invested in the work of building community and transformative futures through radical imagination.
Ida B. Wells-Barnett
ASSISTANT DIRECTOR/COSTUME DESIGNER
DIRECTOR OF PRODUCTION
RACIAL JUSTICE INSTITUTE (RJI)
DIRECTOR OF CREATIVE PROJECTS
SCENE SHOP STAFF
COSTUME SHOP MANAGER
COSTUME SHOP STAFF
Avery Van Natta
SOUND ENGINEER/ MIXER
Quill R Kukla
American Sign Language Interpreting services provided by Welly Interpreting, Mandy Welly, Kevin Dyels.