'Patience' by Current Students Closes Corkscrew Theater Festival

Zoe Contros Kearl
July 31, 2019

Corkscrew Theater Festival’s third annual summer season concludes with the world premiere of Patience, written by Johnny G. Lloyd '20, directed by Velani Dibba '20, and produced by Jon Bleicher '21. The play runs July 24 through August 3. Patience follows the story of the world’s #1 professional solitaire player, a young black man named Daniel, as he struggles to allow other people into his life while fending off an even younger challenger, a teenager named Ella. The play traces the kinship and competition between the two elite players and explores questions about excellence, opportunity, and jealousy in a high-stakes setting.

Founded in 2017, Corkscrew Theater Festival reduces the barriers to entry for early-career artists in NYC in order to showcase world premiere productions of ambitious new plays and musicals. Corkscrew is defined by its commitment to tight-knit collaboration, not only in the projects that are programmed but also around the festival itself, which incites constant dialogue and support among its community of artists through a series of initiatives. The festival presents four to five mainstage productions (plus a series of workshops and staged readings) performed in repertory over four weeks during the summer. In Corkscrew’s inaugural year, The New York Times described the festival as being “packed with young talent…in the risk-taking venture that is summer festival-going, encountering talent you want to see more of is a worthy payoff.” 

Lloyd said of the play, “When I was writing Patience, I was really obsessed with card games, and I wanted to write something that used the card game as a jumping off point to explore so many things that felt universal to me – relationships, work, our relationship with talent....And as we explored those things, it became so clear that this was also a play about giving black characters a chance to exist somewhat outside of the confines of the whiteness and straightness of western culture. It became somewhat of a Rorschach test: when you remove explicit mentions race – specifically whiteness – from a play written and created by black bodies, what do audiences implicitly see? And how do we challenge that vision?”

Performed by Joshua Gitta as Daniel, Kristin Dodson as Ella, Brenda Crawley as Mother, Christopher Rand as Jordan, and DeAnna Supplee* as Nikita.

*Appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association.

Performances of Patience will take place at Paradise Factory located at 64 East 4th St in Manhattan. Tickets are $24 and can be purchased at corkscrewfestival.org or by calling 347-954-9125.

Johnny G. Lloyd is a New York-based writer and producer. As a playwright, his work has been seen and developed at 59E59, Dixon Place, The Tank, Judson Memorial Church, Theatre Lab (Boca Raton, FL), FringeNYC and more. Lloyd was a semi-finalist for the 2018 Open-Application Commission at Clubbed Thumb and the 2017-2018 Shubert Fellow for Playwriting at Columbia University. He is the producing director of InVersion Theatre. He is currently studying Playwriting at Columbia University.

Velani Dibba is an inaugural Fellow at the Laboratory for Global Performance and Politics and a former Global Cultural Fellow at the University of Edinburgh's Institute for International Cultural Relations. Upcoming works include Apologies to the Bengali Lady at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and Falling & Loving with SITI Company. She is currently studying Directing at Columbia University.

Jon Bleicher worked in public relations for the past ten years, leading campaigns for clients across the entertainment industry, including artists like Dr. John, Elvis Costello, Kenny Chesney, and The Grateful Dead. Prior to publicity, he worked at XM Satellite Radio, where he produced and hosted a weekly show featuring independent musicians. Bleicher also has an extensive performance background, having appeared in several Broadway, Off Broadway and regional productions as a child. Recent producing credits include A Modest Proposal at Cherry Lane Theatre, The SeagullAntarabhavaApsu At Dusk, and Family Show (Columbia). He is currently an MFA candidate studying Theatre Production and Management at Columbia University.

Joshua Gitta’s (Daniel) theatre credits include the following: Rothko in Red (3Ps); Omar in Obstacle Course (Silk Road Rising); Solly in Gem of the Ocean (Tufts Drama Dept.); James Baldwin in Waiting for Giovanni (Harvard Drama Dept.). Film/TV: Josh in A Dolt's Life (Trioptic Cinema), Voice of Darren Wilson in Where the Pavement Ends. Gitta holds a BA in film from Tufts University.

Kristin Dodson’s (Ella) theatre credits include Noises OffWaiting for GodotA Raisin in the Sun, and A Midsummer Night's Dream. Film: Roxanne Roxanne (Sundance, Netflix), short film Ambition. She has studied with NY Film Academy, Weist Barron, The Negro Ensemble, Berg Studios, and at The British American Acting Academy at Oxford University. She won an Audelco “The Viv” Award for her role as Amanita in the NEC production of Daughters of the Mock. Dodson is represented by Abrams Artists Agency and is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA. She is currently an MFA candidate studying Acting at Columbia University.

DeAnna Supplee (Nikita) is a Philadelphia-born, New York City-trained actress. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Theatre Arts & English, she has also studied at the British American Drama Academy at the University of Oxford and the Actors Studio Drama School where she received an MFA in Acting. New York theatre credits include: On Strivers Row (Metropolitan Playhouse), Much Ado About Nothing (New York Shakespeare Exchange), The Trojan Women (The Flea Theater). Regional Theater: Skeleton Crew (TheatreSquared). International theatre credits include: Look/Alive (Edinburgh Fringe Festival). Television credits: Investigation Discovery's Grave Secrets. Supplee is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association.

Brenda Crawley’s (Mother) theatre credits include Anfisa, Three Sisters (Columbia University), Ann whatdoesfreemean (Nora’s Playhouse), Denise House of Karen, (Columbia Stages), Evelyn Breaking in the Boss, (NJ Repertory Theatre), Oralia Daughters of the Mock, (Negro Ensemble Company), Heroina Keys, (Broadway Bound Festival), Nurse Uncle Abram, (Little Eagle Project), La Madrecita Camino Real (Columbia Stages), Mrs. O’Neil The Sunshine Boys, (Amateur Comedy Club).

Christopher Rand (Jordan) is excited to be a part of the Patience family. He was last seen playing Tiresias in Skin Flick City, a play by Anna Jastrezmbski. Rand studied Performance Art at Tufts University and The Museum School in Boston.