2015-2016 Season

Luna Stage Production History. Celebrating 26 Seasons!

October 8 - November 1, 2015

The Tall Girls

by Meg Miroshnik

Directed by Jane Mandel

The tiny hamlet of Poor Prairie doesn't see a lot of folks coming into town - least of all men - so when one gets off the train, everybody talks, especially since he has the only inflated basketball in town. Set in the historic 1930s Dust Bowl in the rural Midwest, The Tall Girls explores class, gender, and the history of women in sports, and asks just who can afford the luxury of play.

Cast: Vanessa Cardenas, Daisy Chase, Brigie Coughlin, Mike Mihm, Lucy Schmidt, Emily Verla.

Production and Design: Margaret Pine (Sound Design), Christopher Swader and Justin Swader (Set Design), Jake Fine (Lighting Design), Deborah Caney (Costume Design), Liz Cesario (Production Manager), and Dan Viola (Stage Manager).

Talkback Schedule: October 11th, 22nd and 29th:
Sunday, October 11th: Celebrate The UN's International Day of the Girl Child with Artistic Director, Cheryl Katz and the Cast of The Tall Girls.
Thursday, October 22nd: Join in a conversation with Dr. Lynn Couturier MacDonald, author of "'Play With Us, Not Against Us': The Debate About Play Days in the Regulation of Women's Sport".
Thursday, October 29th: Meet Carol "The Blaze" Blazejowski, Women's Basketball Hall of Famer, and former General Manager and President of the WNBA's New York Liberty.

Visit The Context Room before or after the show - Luna's new interactive way to enjoy our productions. Click HERE for more information.

Read about The Tall Girls in the Essex Daily News.
Read about The Tall Girls in the Montclair Times.

Production Photos

The Tall Girls
L-R: Vanessa Cardenas, Brigie Coughlin (seated), Daisy Chase, Mike Mihm, Lucy Schmidt, Emily Verla. Photo Credit: Christopher Drukker.
The Tall Girls
L-R: Mike Mihm, Emily Verla, Daisy Chase, Brigie Coughlin, Vanessa Cardenas, Lucy Schmidt. Photo Credit: Christopher Drukker.

Meet The Playwright

Read An Interview With Meg Miroshnik About Her Play.

Meg Miroshnik

Meg Miroshnik's plays include The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls, The Droll {A Stage-Play about the END of Theatre}, The Tall Girls, Old Actress, and an adaptation of the libretto for Shostakovich's Moscow, Cheryomushki. She is the recipient of a 2012 Whiting Award.

Her work has been developed or produced by the La Jolla Playhouse, O'Neill National Playwrights Conference, Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, the McCarter Theatre Center, Alliance Theatre, Yale Rep, the Kennedy Center, Lark New Play Development Center, Chicago Opera Theater, the Moscow Playwright and Director Center, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Circle X, The Wilma Theater, Perishable Theatre, WordBRIDGE Playwrights Laboratory, One Coast Collaboration, and published in Best American Short Plays, 2008-2009 (Applause, 2010). The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls was a finalist for the 2012 Susan Smith Blackburn prize and winner of the 2011-2012 Alliance/Kendeda Graduate Playwriting Award.

Recent productions: The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls at Yale Rep (directed by Rachel Chavkin, 2014), The Tall Girls at Alliance Theatre (directed by Susan V. Booth, 2014), and a staged workshop of The Droll at Brown/Trinity Playwrights' Rep (directed by Mia Rovegno, 2014). Upcoming: Commissions for new plays for South Coast Rep, Steppenwolf, and Yale Rep. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama where she studied with Paula Vogel.

Meg hails from Minneapolis and currently lives in Los Angeles, where she is a member of the Playwrights Union and The Kilroys.

Meet The Director

Jane Mandel

Jane Mandel founded Luna Stage and served as artistic director of the company for 20 years. She holds an MFA from New York University and has had a career in the theatre as actress, director and teacher. She developed and directed Luna's first production In The Name Of The Woman, which explores women's rituals and myths from ancient times and fast forwards through history and the critically acclaimed "We don't have enough sugar for the public" which is an exploration of racism based on people's personal stories. She is the creator of The American Project, an interactive theatre piece that asks the question, "What does it mean to be an American?" At Luna, she also directed Reckless, Rosa Loses Her Face, Burying Fiona, The Queen of Thebes, Rapture, Friends & Relations, The Other Side of Newark, Ghosts, The Normals, Little Beasts, Fair and Decent, Reparation, VITA AND VIRGINIA and is a co-creator and the director of Mi Casa Tu Casa, a bilingual musical originated at Luna Stage. An actress too, she appeared onstage at Luna in Fancies and Immoral Imperatives.


"Playwright Meg Miroshnik raises the curtain on a little known moment in history, and Luna's new Context Room is a great place to fill in the gaps the play leaves open." - Ruth Ross, NJ Arts Maven
"Even non sports-fans will lean forward when the girls practice their free throws. Watching them pass, jump and throw is exciting." - The Montclair Times
"Students from Montclair High School, Columbia High School in Maplewood and Montclair State University fill three of the five basketball-team roles, and they all handled themselves like seasoned pros. - Njarts.net
"Emily Verla is excellent as the tortured Jean, harboring a secret and clearly a better player than the others - even though she's never played before. Her performance is matched by Mike Mihm as Haunt Johnny. - NJArtsMaven
"Daisy Chase nails every laugh in the role of the boy crazy, femme fatale wannabe, Lurlene." - Pascack Valley Community Life

Meet The Cast

Vanessa Cardenas

Vanessa Cardenas is making her professional theatre debut here at Luna Stage. She is currently a BFA Acting Junior at Montclair State University with a minor in Musical Theatre. Recent theatre productions include; "#Revolution", "The Tall Girls", "Breaking The Cycle", and "The Idiot". Film: "The Carnage", "The Outskirts", "The Finish Line", and "The Asylum". Special thanks to May, Helen, Mom, and Jorge for all the support, and to Cheryl for this amazing opportunity.

Daisy Chase

Daisy Chase is a 16-year-old actress from New Jersey. She's been acting, singing, and dancing since she was 2, and making films since she was 6 years old. Her passion in life is writing/directing, but because she grew up around the theatre, acting makes her feel a sense of home. Her most recent shows have been Legally Blonde, Little Women, The Laramie Project, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, and Grease. She is ecstatic to be making her regional theatre debut in Tall Girls as Lurlene, and encourages everyone to come see the show!

Brigie Couglin

Brigie Coughlin started acting at the age of 4, where she starred as "The Chicken" in her community theater's production of "The Chicken Who Crossed The Road." After several years of local children's community theater, she began studying under Cynthia Meryl at New Jersey Youth Theater where she has been honing her acting and musical theater skills for the past three years. This past summer she was invited to participate in NYU's Atlantic Theater Company's Teen Ensemble. Her role as Inez in "The Tall Girls" is Brigie's debut performance. She is a Junior at Montclair High School and a certified ski instructor at Whiteface Mountain in Lake Placid, NY.

Mike Mihm

Mike Mihm: New York credits include Blood Potato and In God's Hat with Apothecary (Off-Broadway), Salvage, Ajax In Iraq, and Menders with Flux Theatre Ensemble, Hot Season with Strange Sun The Lark, New Dramatists, Workshop Theater, Stages on the Sound, Retro Productions, and Red Fern. Regional credits include Camino Real at PTTW Festival and Mister Roberts and A Christmas Carol at Cincinnati Playhouse. Film: Pink, Old Maid, Let It Be War, A Box For Rob, The Taking of Pelham 123, Cold Storage, The Dying Western, Killing The Joneses.

Lucy Schmidt

Lucy Schmidt is thrilled to be debuting at Luna Stage as Puppy in the Tall Girls. She is a senior at Columbia High School in Maplewood, New Jersey and hopes to continue studying acting and performance at college in the fall. Lucy would like to thank her family, friends and the fantastic cast and crew behind The Tall Girls for supporting her.

Emily Verla

Emily Verla previously appeared at Luna Stage as Mary Claire in the world premiere of Tar Beach. Off-Broadway: As You Like It (New York Classical Theatre), The Jungle Book (Theatre East). New York: premiere workshops of Devil and the Deep (Theatre East - Music by Graham Russell of Air Supply and Katie McGhie), Miss Valentine (Theatre for the Heart), and The Rain at Truman's Funeral (The Writer's Room). Regional credits include productions with Musical Theatre West, Civic Light Opera of South Bay, Twin Tiers Theatre Festival, and Princeton Summer Theater. Series regular on the web series Terrible Shows I Wish I Were In (The Sparrow and the Lion). Proud company member with Theatre East. BFA NYU Tisch, The Stella Adler Studio of Acting. Many thanks to Cheryl and Danny. www.emilyverla.com

The Tall Girls