Key Art by Maya Sherer 

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SHOSHANA IN DECEMBER
book by Rose Oser, lyrics by Weston Scott, music by Matt Fukui Grandy 

directed by Vanessa Flores

music direction by Kiki Lipsett

Shoshana is not one to play with fire. Things are good with Danny, great with Danny, nothing could be better than Danny. But when Cecily invites her on a winter rendezvous, Shoshana leaps into a world that no longer feels straightforward. Will exploring outside the bounds of monogamy bring Shoshana closer to Cecily, to Danny, to finally enjoying the worst month of the year? SHOSHANA IN DECEMBER is a new poly-holiday musical about Hanukkah, Christmas, and the traditions we create for ourselves.

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a new tradition

A queer, Chanukah, Christmas musical just like the ones you grew up with.   Custom Made invites you to  a new tradition for our times.

Sara Felder

Rebecca

Sara (she/her) is delighted to be at Custom-Made with these generous actors and the smart and funny creative team.  As a performer and playwright, Sara has created a body of work that juggles personal narrative, social justice and circus routines. Her shows – about queerness, Israel/Palestine, mental illness, grief – are all comedies. Sara is the script consultant for Dear San Francisco, now playing in North Beach. Big love to Dev and Jesse. This one’s for Frances Felder, z”l, watching from the best seat in the house.

John Mannion

(Michael/Randy)

John Mannion (he/him) recently emerged from a 20-year off-stage hiatus. Since resurfacing, he’s been busy – appearing at Hillbarn (Gypsy), Tabard (The Odd Couple), Foothill (Drood, Roe, Diary of Anne Frank), Z Space (Shoshana in December (2021 workshop)), Palo Alto Players (All Together Now), and Sunnyvale (Big Fish). Decades ago, John was a musical theater director (Stanford), improv/sketch actor (Mumblypeg, ComedySportz), and rock musician/vocalist. An advertising executive by day, John regularly performs in Zoom rooms around the world. Massive thanks to his talented wife and daughters, mother, in-laws, co-workers, Studio A.C.T., and the Custom Made team for their warm welcome and encouragement.

Kaitlyn Ortega

Cecily

Kaitlyn Ortega is a SF based *performer* 😉 who recently moved back from New York. Prior to this, they worked with Faultline in their production Where the Boys Are and they are excited to work with them on this brand new musical! Other Bay Area credits include: Ways to Leave a Body (Cutting Ball Theatre), The Cassandra Project (Troupe Theatre), Phosphorescence – Staged Reading (Z Space), Music/Scene (Pianofight), and Far Away (ACT Fellowship Project). Huge thanks to Rose, Matt, Weston, Vanessa, Kiki & all cast and crew for an amazing process. 

 

Lena Sibony

Shoshana

Lena Sibony (she/her) is so excited to be a part of this incredible new musical. She graduated in 2021 from UCLA where she directed and performed in numerous productions. She has previously worked with SF Playhouse, Contra Costa Civic Theatre and Berkeley Shakespeare Company. A proud Grinch, she is thrilled to be celebrating Hanukkah onstage and off this year. 

Evan Wardell

DANNY

Evan Wardell (he/him) is a Musician and Audio Engineer who works at music venues across the bay including The Bandshell in Golden Gate Park and Hyde Street Studios in the Tenderloin. He’s written and recorded 3 studio albums under his own name (look him up on spotify) and he plays in SF based psychedelic western band, The Green Door. He has worked in theater as a designer and tech with Faultline Theater, and a 5 year stint as a house tech at Pianofight, San Francisco’s coolest indie theater venue. Shoshonna In December marks his debut as an actor in a full-length theatrical production.

Stephanie Rae Wilborn

ELAINE & Dance Captain

Stephanie Wilborn has a BFA in acting from CSU Fullerton. For the last 10 years she has dedicated her work and organizing within theater education and LGBTQ non profits.  Ensuring BIPOC youth have access to resources that have historically been ignored. Stephanie is a credentialed teacher, and is passionate on equitable art education.  Stephanie is also a drummer. This is Stephanie’s first time on stage in over 5 years and she’s thrilled her debut with this beautiful show that Rose has created.

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Samantha Alexa

Props Designer

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Meredith Joelle Charlson

Choreographer & Stage Manager

Meredith (she/her) is a San Francisco based choreographer and an associate member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC). Favorite credits include the world premiere of “Tinderella: the modern musical” at The Custom Made Theater Co. and FaultLine Theater (Choreographer), “Bright Star” at Palo Alto Players, “Into the Woods” at A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory (Choreographer), and the world premiere of “A Walk on the Moon” on A.C.T.’s main stage (Assistant Choreographer). Meredith was a trainee for Kibbutz Contemporary Dance Company in Northern Israel, and currently teaches in A.C.T.’s Young Conservatory. She believes that every body can dance. www.meredithjcharlson.com

Ted Cordano Jr.

Sound Designer/Audio Engineer

Ted is a new and up-and-coming theater technician who officially started his professional career last May (2022). He has been studying and working in film and theater since high school and recently graduated from Loyola University of New Orleans. He is a jack of all trades but focuses more on sound, stage management, and video editing. He wants to thank Custom Made Theater for the opportunity and his family for their support.

Vanessa Flores

Director

Vanessa Flores (she/her) is a playwright, short story writer, screenwriter and performer with an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts (2016). Her plays have been produced by SF Playground, SF Olympians, Double Backbone, and Aluminous Theater. In August 2018, her full-length play Where the Boys Are was produced by FaultLine Theater. In 2019, she premiered Uneasy, a web series about two women of color trying to maintain their challenging lifestyle as artists in Oakland, CA. In 2020, Vanessa launched Other Hand Media, a multi-media storytelling company creating on the basis of experimentation, vulnerability, and play. She is currently the CEO of Kinda Shitty Jewelry, a Word for Word Core Company Member, as well as a writer, singer, and keyboardist for the San Francisco based funny-girl-band, Lentil.

Matt Fukui Grandy

Composer 

Matt Fukui Grandy is a keyboardist, music director, and composer in Oakland, California. He is a co-composer of The Red Shades: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera, co-composer of Totally Normal: A Queer Frenemy Musical Comedy (music by Adrienne Price and Matt Fukui Grandy, book by Adrienne Price and Kelly Anneken). He co-orchestrated Tinderella: the modern musical, which has been produced by FaultLine Theater and Custom Made in SF, and Stumptown Stages in Portland. He co-wrote and recorded the theme song for NPR’s Live from the Poundstone Institute podcast, hosted by Paula Poundstone. Band credits include keyboards in the funk/soul/ rock band “Californicorns”, producer/keyboards for “Peach Thief”, a trans alt folk band, and keyboards in the rock band “The Damn Fanatics.” He was the resident theater music director at Salesian Boys’ and Girls’ Club, a non-profit after-school organization. He will be attending Berklee College of Music in January 2023. As a proud Japanese-American hapa, he is passionate about increasing representation and diversity in historically monolithic field.

Muffy Koster

Intimacy Choreographer

Muffy Koster (she/her) is an acting teacher, intimacy director, and actress living on Ramaytush Ohlone Land, San Francisco. Her work focuses on developing new, process-oriented performance techniques that make theatre safer and more imaginative for artists and audiences alike. She’d like to thank Rose, Ciera, Vanessa, and the cast for their trust.

Maxx Kurzunski

Lighting Designer

Maxx Kurzunski (he/him) has made their life about lighting; lighting for theater, dance, conferences, weddings, events and concerts. Maxx founded FaultLine Theater, producing so many new plays over their nine year tenure, and lighting almost all of them. With Custom Made Theatre, Maxx held the position of production manager for a while as well as resident lighting designer, working on thirty some shows in various capacities. In the magical world of dance Maxx has worked with the incredible Tim Rubel Human Shakes and Animi Motus in Germany, and has been Oakland Ballet’s Lighting Director since 2017. Maxx lit this writing team’s first musical: Tinderella and produces Tinder Disrupt with Rose. Offstage Maxx is a woodworker amongst other materials. Without theater over the last few years, Maxx embarked on an absurd project to design and build a sustainable off-grid cabin on a small permaculture farm. maxxkurzunski.com

Jord Liu

Pianist/Accompaniment

Jord Liu (she/her) is a theater maker, musician, and creative technologist whose work centers collaborative engagement with art. Her work has been featured with the the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, the National Asian American Theatre Company (NAATCO), Musical Theatre Factory, and PACE University in New York, Shotgun Players in Berkeley, FaultLine Theater and Z-Space in San Francisco, and Underscore Theatre in Chicago.

Kiki Lipsett

Music Director

Kiki (she/her) is a musician, performer, and music educator. Having grown up in the Bay Area, she trained as a vocalist and pianist, and she has an extensive background in musical theater performance. Kiki has taught music and performance in education programs, in hospitals, and on many retreats and workshops. She frequently performs as a cantorial soloist in Jewish communities throughout the Bay Area as well. Kiki writes, directs, produces, and performs in an annual, politically satirical, feminist, musical Purim comedy all in rhyme. She is thrilled to be expanding her Jewish-holiday-inspired-musical theater repertoire to include Shoshana in December!

Nolan Miranda

Costume Designer

Nolan Miranda (he/him) is thrilled to be working with Custom Made Theatre Company! He is a graduate of The Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising with a degree in Fashion & Costume Design. He has been costuming San Francisco productions since 2009. Some notable design works include The Red Shades, The Book of Will, Urinetown, and A Christmas Carol. Nolan was born and raised in the Philippines, and has lived in the Bay Area since the year 2000. In addition, he is a co-founder and owner of Bab Boi, a catering company specializing in playful Filipino eats.

Rose Oser

Book Writer

Rose Oser (she/they) is a theater producer, playwright, and performer. She is the book writer of Shoshana in December (NEA ArtWorks recipient) and Tinderella: the modern musical (world premiere April 2018 co-produced by FaultLine Theater and Custom Made, Portland premiere March 2022 at Portland’5 Brunish Theatre). She was the Interim Producing Director, previously Associate Artistic Director, of Z Space, where she recently produced The Red Shades: A Trans Superhero Rock Opera by Adrienne Price, Jeanine Adkisson, and Matt Fukui Grandy. More at roseoser.com.

Matthew Ownes 

Scenic Designer and Technical Director

Matt Owens (he/him) is a San Francisco-based scenic designer, technical director, and interior designer. He has worked as a theatre-maker both locally and in New Zealand. Matt is the in house Technical director for Custom made, most recently was the technical director for Ray of Light theatre’s “Kinky Boots”, designed for Hillbarn’s “Ain’t Misbehavin'”, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”, and “Heathers”, Altarena’s production of “La Cagé”. You can see more of his work in Hillbarn theatre’s “Elf” and Oasis’ production of “the Golden Girls the Christmas episodes”

Weston Scott

Lyricist

Weston Scott (he/they) is a lyricist best known for Tinderella, a recipient of nine Bay Area Crtics’ Circle nominations and a Theatre Bay Area Finalist for Outstanding World Premiere Musical. He also co-created and co-starred in JFK ’n Me, which ran monthly at PianoFight for two years. Their musical about President William Howard Taft received a TBA CA$H Grant. As a performer, you can check out Green Eggs…and Man? wherever you listen to podcasts, or see him onstage currently in Shotgun Players’ production of Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812. Wes is an Associate Artist of FaultLine Theater and a proud member of the Dramatists Guild. 

Hannah Westbrook

Intimacy Choreographer for Supernova

 

Hannah Westbrook (she/her) is a dancer and choreographer based in the Bay Area (CA). She has performed nationally and internationally with Tim Rubel Human Shakes and animi motus, and has appeared on stages across California in works by Tim Rubel, Elisabeth Kindler-Abali, Stephan Koplowitz/AXIS Dance Company, Tara Pilbrow, and more. Hannah is a graduate of UC Berkeley where she was honored with the Departmental Citation for outstanding undergraduate accomplishment in Theater, Dance & Performance Studies, and performed in the ensemble of Anna Halprin’s Parades and Changes. Hannah’s dance film work has been screened in festivals across the country including the San Francisco Dance Film Festival, Dare to Dance In Public, Tiny Dance Film Festival, Greensboro Dance Film Festival, DanceBARN ScreenDANCE Festival, and I’m Bored, What’s Next? westbrook.dance

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