Custom Made in NY

Did you know that The Custom Made Theatre Company also has a presence in New York?  Maintaining relationships with San Francisco alumni and cultivating new artist collaborations, Custom Made offers readings, films, and even full productions in NYC. Keep an eye on this page for upcoming events.

Who’s Who

Custom Made’s NYC branch is headed up by executive director, Leah S. Abrams, who calls Hamilton Heights home.  Transplanted company members / staff Jennifer Dean, Marci Ring, and Eric Rice provide producing and program support, with Ms. Dean curating the annual Works By Women Film Festival.

With so many Custom Made company members trekking to the east coast, we are thrilled to be able to provide a continued theatre family.  Participating SF alumni artists include Jennifer Dean (film “To Live Forever”), Giana DeGeiso, David Fierro (“The Knick,” “Red Oaks”), Gabriel Grilli, Katherine McDowell, Mary McGloin, Lisa-Marie Newton, Corinne Proctor, Rona Siddiqui, and Eric Rice.  Playwrights familiar to our SF family include Stuart Bousel (dir., “Six Degrees…,” “Grey Gardens”), Rachel Bublitz (“Of Serpents & Sea Spray”), Gino DiIorio (“Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant,” “Release Point”) and Mark Eisman (“Shove,” “Sightlines”).

The NYC theatre community has been a hospitable one, and we’ve been fortunate to welcome many new artists, including Brendan Connellan, Gemma Doorly, James Harkness (“Beautiful” on Broadway), Kevin Marron, Nicola Murphy, Patrick Panicko, Rachel Rath, Bill Richert, Seamus Scanlon (The McGowan Trilogy), Laoisa Sexton, and so many more, including 20 women filmmakers.

We’re always looking for more talent to join us – sign up today!

Monthly Reading Series

Last Reading of 2016:  Reno-based Gary Cremeans’ New Canula, accepted to the NYC Fringe!

Monday, October 10th at 8:00 p.m. at Ryan’s Daughter, Upstairs – 350 East 85th St. (@ 1st)

Gary Cremeans’ New Canula is an unromantic two-person dramedy in one act.  Directed by Giana DeGeiso.  With David Fierro* and Eric Rice*.

J Dubbs has lost everything: his money, his future, his self-respect, and now his beloved Grandma Betty. He played by the rules and the rules played him. He is a beaten man who is taking control of the only thing he can in his sad life – his death.

But his plans are thwarted when Marion “ Bull” DesCarzo breaks into his apartment, fresh from a bank robbery, on the run from the cops and the mob, looking for a place to hole up for a while. In a very real sense, his life is over as well.

Add in the homespun wisdom of deceased Gramma Betty, a hairdryer, John Wayne, and classic comedy with heart, and you’ve got a sense of what New Canula is all about.

“Don’t miss this provocative blast from the comic past… NEW CANULA is a thinking-person’s hour of gallows humor and wisecracks.” -Galen Watson, ArtSpotReno

“It is a sensitive issue  -suicide – but daringly, and delicately handled. The serious story is mixed with humor-displacing the discomfort at the outset with room for hope.” -Kathy Grimm, Sierra Scribes

*member, Actors’ Equity Association

Custom Made Off-Broadway

In March 2017, Custom Made is thrilled to make its Off-Broadway debut at 59E59 with Gino DiIorio’s “Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant” which received its world premiere at our SF home this past winter.

Featuring the original cast of San Francisco’s Dave Sikula as Samuel Beckett and NY-based Brendan Averett* as Andre the Giant, this “total delight” (Theatre Eddys) of a new play that “spins comic gold,” (Horwitz, For All Events) was invited by 59E59 Theaters, recently home to SF Playhouse’s Off-Broadway premiere of Ideation, for its NYC premiere.

The Off-Broadway run, made possible by executive producers William and Ruth Isenberg, will open in early March 2017 and feature work by the San Francisco production’s artists, including Beth Hall (stage management), Maxx Kurzunski (lighting), Ryan Lee Short (sound), Brooke Jennings (costumes), Erik LaDue (scenic), Florence McCafferty (props), and Jon Bailey (fight choreography), as well as NYC production designer Dara Wishingrad.  Custom Made executive director, Leah S. Abrams, continues to direct the play.

Custom Made has been involved with Sam and Dede since the beginning, presenting its first public reading in collaboration with the cell in NYC.  From there, the company produced a later draft reading in San Francisco; submitted it to the National New Play Network’s (NNPN) annual Showcase of New Plays where it was a finalist and picked up by NNPN member company, Kitchen Dog, for their New Works Festival; and recently closed the world premiere at the company’s new SF Union Square home where it was hailed by critics as “intelligent, witty, and bright.” (Connema, Talkin’ Broadway)

With guiding principles aligned with Custom Made’s own mission, 59E59 was founded in 2002 to present Off-Broadway productions by not-for-profit companies from across the United States and around the world. Owned and operated by the Elysabeth Kleinhans Theatrical Foundation, a not-for-profit foundation, 59E59 aims to provide a space for emerging and established not-for-profit theater companies to reach new audiences and expand the range of theater available in an Off-Broadway setting. 59E59 Theaters is committed to fostering diversity in its theater programming.

San Francisco critics have noted about Sam and Dede:

  • “Brendan Averett and Dave Sikula are brilliant as André and Samuel Beckett… Leah S. Abrams beautifully and smoothly directs.” –Richard Connema, Talkin’ Broadway
  • “Rarely have I heard an opening night audience laughing with such glee at a new play, clearly wanting more.” –Barry Horwitz, For All Events
  • All (playwright, director, designers, actors) combine forces for several of the most fascinating, final minutes that I have recently (and maybe ever) spent in a theatre.” –Theatre Eddys

This series of scenes between a giant – a man who cannot hide, and a writer obsessed with silence, in a world as absurd as a Beckett play finds its next life with NYC audiences next spring.

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