Shows and Events Calendar

December 4 - December 21, 2014

Tilt the Unlit Candle by Ben Clawson

A World Premiere by the author of The High Water Mark
A Co-Production with StrangeDog Theatre

Directed by Artem Yatsunov
It's time for the annual Christmas Eve service in a small town at an even smaller church. Last year didn't go well, and this year isn't shaping up much better. The congregation is too old, the pastor is too young, and the choir is badly out of tune. Plus, there's a drunk who refuses to get off the church steps. Join these wacky revelers as they attempt to celebrate the holiday season and figure out just what the heck it is that they all seem to be searching for.

Tilt The Unlit Candle contains some mature language. Parents are advised to use their discretion. Please contact our office with any questions or concerns.

Cast: Tim Artz, Scott Cagney, Kelley Evans, Megan Greener, Tony Knotts, Michelle Lupo, Jerome R Shuler Jr., Liz Zazzi

Production and Design: Production and Design: Julian Evans (Sound Design), Libby Stadstad (Set Design), Rachel Budin (Lighting Design), Deborah Caney (Costume Design), Liz Cesario (Production Manager), and Dan Viola (Stage Manager).

Meet The Playwright

Ben Clawson

Ben Clawson

Ben Clawson received his B.F.A. in Theater from Montclair State University, NJ in May of 2007. He is the author of numerous full-length and one-act plays that have had professional productions, readings and workshops in New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C. and New Orleans. His full-length plays include Spilling Stuff and Breaking Things, Bootstraps, Omnivores and most recently The Dangers of Electric Lighting. He has also written several evenings of short comedies including The Virilogy, We'll See Tomorrow, Cave/Men, Things that Happen in Bars, New.Tricks, and Attention Span of a Fly which reopened the historic Paramount Theater in Asbury Park in Summer 2007. He has written commissioned works for the Luna Stage Company, The Montclair State University School of the Arts, and the Contagious Drama Theatre Workshop. He has been an evening winner and finalist in the Samuel French Short Play festival, national finalist for the American College Theater Festival's John Cauble One-Act Award, finalist for the Princess Grace Award in playwriting, and recipient of the Kennedy Center's David Mark Cohen award. He is a founding member of the StrangeDog. Theater Company, with whom he has produced many of his plays.

Meet The Director

Artem Yatsunov

Artem Yatsunov

Artem Yatsunov received his B.F.A. in Theatre from Montclair State University. In 2008, along with the playwright Ben Clawson, actor Scott Cagney, and a small handful of irresponsibly creative individuals, Artem co-founded StrangeDog Theatre Company. Over the past six years StrangeDog has produced nearly 40 evenings of serious nonsense, nights of mild mayhem, and occasionally even some honest to goodness pieces of theatre. Favorites: Clawson’s Omnivores (PTNJ), Basic Help (FRIGID Festival, NY), The StrangeDog Eat Dog and Pony Show (The Tank, NY; What?Exit, NJ); Noah Hidle’s Kitty Kitty Kitty (Tierney’s Tavern); Claire Went To France (Hamilton Stage), and Enchanted Arms (Luna Stage). Artem is the Artistic Director of StrangeDog Theatre Company.

StrangeDog Theatre Company

StrangeDog is a nomadic troupe of actors and writers led by Ben Clawson and Artem Yatsunov. The company is intent on creating new plays for both avid theatre-lovers and people who mistakenly think they don't like plays. www.strangedogtheatre.com

Production Photos

Cast Photo Credit: Brianna McIntyre
Photos by Steven Lawler.

In The Press

Reviews

Meet The Cast

Tim Artz

Tim Artz

Tim Artz - Film: Manchurian Candidate, Jonathan Demme dir., Borough of Kings, Elyse Lewin dir., Stonewall, Nigel Finch dir., End of the Road (short) Television: Law and Order: Criminal Intent (twice) New York Undercover, Guiding Light, One Life To Live New York Stage: East Jesus (The Man), American Place Theatre, The Misanthrope (Basque), Classic Stage Company, Peter Francis James, dir., The Big Doolie (Odis “Beef” Midzusky), The Connelly Theatre, Jenn Thompson, dir.. Regional: 'Tis Pity She's a Whore (Ricardetto), Baltimore Center Stage, Irene Lewis dir., Centennial Casting (Doo-Doo), Virginia Stage Company, Chris Hanna dir., Bootstraps (Dougan), Luna Stage, A Moon to Dance By (Angelo Ravagli) New Harmony Theatre Scott LaFaber dir., Macbeth (Captain/Lenox) Kings County Shakespeare Company, Loves Labours Lost (King Ferdinand) Kings County Shakespeare Company, A Streetcar Named Desire (Stanley) Syracuse Stage/Virginia Stage, Charlie Hensley dir., A Streetcar Named Desire (Stanley) Northern Stage Theatre Company, Brooke Ciardelli dir., Twelfth Night (Antonio) Sanibel Playhouse, Dennis Delaney dir., Salome (First Soldier) Two River Theatre Company, Noises Off (Tim) Two River Theatre Company Dennis Delaney dir., King of the Moon (Eddie) Seven Angels Theatre Company Dennis Delaney dir., Biloxi Blues (Wykowski) Sierra Repertory Theatre, United States Marine Corps. Infantry Machine Gunner Small Arms Expert.

Scott Cagney

Scott Cagney

Scott Cagney is an actor/comedian with a BA in Theatre from Montclair State University, where he was also Artistic Director/ President of a student run theatre group, called Players, for two years.  Scott is a Founding Member of StrangeDog Theatre and has performed in many of their productions, including: Buff - SubUrbia, Loudjack - Bootstraps, Ray - Spilling Stuff and Breaking Things, Lewis - Omnivores, Brian - The Virilogy, Mr. Person - Kitty Kitty Kitty, and Dog - Claire Went to France. Other credits: Kaffee - A Few Good Men, Bottom - A Midsummer Night's Dream, Larry - Anna Christie.  In 2008 Scott was the recipient of the ACTF Region II Best Partner Award.  Scott is also a stand-up comedian and a founding member of the sketch comedy group Take Care Now.

Kelley Evans

Kelley Evans

Kelley Evans (Trish) is a NYC Based actor from CA. She is thrilled to be making her Luna Stage & StrangeDog debut. Recent credits included; a devised piece at the CollabFest (Triskelion Arts), Save the World (Gallery Players), The Lower Depths (The Producers Club), The Drunken Sisters (Williamstown Theatre Festival). Recently wrapped a sketch comedy pilot Irony World and Oxygen Network's My Crazy Love. She studies improv at The Pit. Free time filled with yoga, coffee and Bill Murray. Kelley holds a B.F.A from NYU Tisch. XO to her family.

Megan Greener

Megan Greener

Megan Greener: This is Ms. Greener's mainstage debut at Luna Stage. Other Luna appearnances: Tar Beach (staged reading), and special performance of Ben Clawson's Basic Help. New York theatre credits include: understudy for world premiere of Terrence McNally's And Away We Go (Pearl Theatre), world premiere of Ben Clawson's Basic Help (Frigid NY Festival - Sell Out Award), Titus Andronicus (Lavinia), A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Much Ado About Nothing. Other theatre credits include: Ben Clawson's Claire Went to France (Hamilton Stage), Kitty Kitty Kitty, The Shape of Things, Our Lady of 121st Street, Richard III (Alliance Repertory Theatre), and more. Education: Maggie Flanigan Studio (Meisner conservatory), and a B.A. in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University. Megan is a company member of New York-based theatre company, Hamlet Isn't Dead, and is also the associate artistic director of the Fine Arts Connection in Pine Brook, NJ. For more information, visit www.megangreener.com.

Tony Knotts

Tony Knotts

Tony Knotts (Brendan) received his B.F.A. in Acting from Montclair State University in 2012 and is thrilled to be back at Luna Stage. Mr. Knotts past credits include (NYC): Enchanted Arms (Charles), Claire Went to France (Johnathon), Night Blooming Jasmine (Ibrahim/Gabe), Regional: Master Harold and the Boys (Hally), Of Mice and Men (Curley), Film/TV: SciFi's School Spirits (College Student), La Traviatta (Craig).

Michelle Lupo

Michelle Lupo

Michelle Lupo is thrilled to be originating the role of Sue in Tilt the Unlit Candle. Since graduation from the William Esper Studio where she studied with David Newer, Michelle has performed in many film and theatre projects. Projects include StrangeDog’s Enchanted Arms, where she originated the roles of Steph and Tina (Luna Stage and Under St. Marks), Maidan Diaries, a biographical play about the present day crisis in Ukraine where she portrayed Journalist (Jersey City Theatre Center) and the indie film, Small World, directed by Tim McNeela, in which she was featured as Lynn. Michelle has also appeared on The Meredith Vieira Show. She is currently touring with Pushcart Players, playing multiple roles in Alice in Wonderland. Michelle would like to thank Luna and StrangeDog for this opportunity, and her family for their continued love and support.

Jerome R Shuler Jr.

Jerome R Shuler Jr.

Jerome R Shuler Jr. is an actor, singer-songwriter from Jersey City and recieved his BFA in Acting at Montclair State University. Jerome's past credits include Various Roles in the Educational Touring Company at George Street Playhouse (2012-2013) The Princess and The Paparazzi in a night of one acts at Luna Stage (Prince), Donald in The Dangers of Human Interaction (Strange Dog Beer Battered Play Festival) and Raymond Parks in Rosa's Ride (Flying Ship Productions). Mr. Shuler recently released his EP "Mister Shuler" on iTunes and Spotify under the monkier J Shuler.

Liz Zazzi

Liz Zazzi

Liz Zazzi - Luna Stage debut. In NYC, Liz has done everything from iconic fare (original run of Tony N' Tina's Wedding) to world premieres (Off-Broadway's Miracle on South Division Street). Cabaret credits include The Public Theatre's No Shame series, and Backstage Bistro Award-winning political satire group, Bad Attitudes. Regional work includes stints at Seven Angels (CT) and multiple appearances at Rockland County, NY's beloved Penguin Rep. She’s worked extensively in NJ, notably at NJRep, where she was cited for The Adjustment (Best Actress, Star Ledger), Centenary Stage, 12 Miles West, What Exit?, TheBickford, and The Theater Project, where Liz garnered another Best Actress, Star Ledger (Pterodactyls), For "10 Solid Years of Solid Acting" Peter Filichia (Star Ledger) awarded Liz a "NJ Obie" in 2009. She has been blessed to make her living doing what she loves, not only on stage, but in film, TV, commercials and voice-overs. Proud member of Actor's Equity, SAG-AFTRA. Thanks, Artem, Ben, Cheryl, and most of all, Gary.

Tilt the Unlit Candle by Ben Clawson

Upcoming Calendar

Nov. 2 - Nov. 19

Mainstage
By Laura Maria Censabella

November 13, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series
by Emma Stanton

December 11, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series
by Chris Cragin-Day

January 8, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series
by C.A. Johnson

Feb. 1 - Mar. 4

Mainstage
A World Premiere of a New Musical Commissioned by Luna Stage

February 12, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series
by Justin Taylor

March 12, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series
by Matthew Kelly

Apr. 5 - May. 6

Mainstage
By Craig Alan Edwards

April 9, 7:30 pm

New Moon Reading Series
by Sherry MacDonald