Marta Velasco and Javier Siutin MELT
New Theatre
8567 Coral Way #355
Miami, FL 33155

Performing at
South Miami-Dade
Cultural Arts Center
10950 SW 211 Street
Cutler Bay, FL 33189

(786) 573-5300

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A NERVOUS SMILE by John Belluso
February 21 - March 23, 2008

A NERVOUS SMILE by John Belluso Florida Premiere

» Photo Gallery

Special ASL Interpreted Performance
on Saturday, March 22 at 8:00 pm


Directed by Ricky J. Martinez

Set Designer: Michael McKeever
Costume Designer: K. Blair Brown
Sound Designer: Ozzie Quintana
Lighting Designer: Savim Abaza
Assistant Lighting Designer: Evan Uribe
Production Stage Manager: Betsy Paull-Rick
Assistant Stage Manager: Ashley Fernandez
Set Construction: TLC Events Group
Box Office/House Manager: Juan Sanchez
Apprentices: Jessa Thomas & Teresa Ronquillo

The Cast

Clint Hooper*   -   Brian
Barbara Sloan*   -   Eileen
Annemaria Rajala*   -   Nichole
Harriet Oser*   -   Blanka

* members of Actors' Equity Association

A Nervous Smile had its World premiere in the 2005 Humana Festival of New American Plays at ACTORS THEATRE OF LOUISVILLE.


Presented through special arrangement with Dramatists Play Services, in New York.

Strained to the breaking point by caring for their severely disabled daughter, Emily, a wealthy New York couple, weigh their own happiness against that of their child-with shocking consequences. Emily's lyrical poetry, the bitter volleys of the couple's disintegrating marriage, and the appraisals of the outside world frame the narrative of this insightful play. A Nervous Smile is a brutal portrait of love, lust and despair set against Belluso's fiery brand of social satire.

John Belluso (Playwright) was an award-winning playwright and pioneering champion for artists with disabilities. A wheelchair-user since the age of 13, he often put his own experiences with disability at the center of his dramatic work. Belluso used rigorous humor and historical perspective to study disability within our culture. His plays include: A NERVOUS SMILE (produced by the Actor's Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival of New Plays), THE BODY OF BOURNE (produced by the Mark Taper Forum), HENRY FLAMETHROWA (produced by Trinity Repertory Company, Victory Gardens Theatre and Studio Dante), THE RULES OF CHARITY (produced by the Magic Theatre), PYRETOWN (developed at NYSF/Public Theatre's New Work Now Festival, produced by Geva Theatre, Victory Gardens and Keen Company), BODY SONGS created with legendary theatre director Joseph Chaikin (Eugene O'Neill Center/NPC, workshopped at the NYSF/Public Theatre), GRETTY GOOD TIME (produced by the Ensemble Studio Theatre, Perishable Theatre, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and the Falcon Theatre). Several of his plays are published by Dramatists Play Service.

Awards and Honors include an NEA/TCG Playwright-in-Residence Grant for a residency at the Atlantic Theatre, the AT&T On-Stage Award, the Mark Taper Forum's Sherwood Award, as well as grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Berrilla Kerr Foundation, the Blanche and Iriving Laurie Foundation and honorable mention for the Kesselring Prize. In addition, from 1999 to 2005 he served as the Director of the Mark Taper Forum's Other Voices Project for Disabled Theatre Artists, one of the nation's only professional developmental labs for theatre artists with disabilities. He was affiliated with Playwrights Horizons and The Public Theater, and was a Resident Playwright at New Dramatists. Mr. Belluso received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts Dramatic Writing Program where he studied with Tony Kushner, John Guare, Tina Howe, and Eve Ensler, among others. He died at age 36 in New York City.

Clint HooperClint Hooper (Brian) is excited to be working at New Theatre again... Clint is excited to be working at any theatre again - and is looking forward to the challenge that A Nervous Smile presents. Since his first appearance on the South Florida stage when he played Robbie Ross in Lord Alfred's Lover at the Shores Theatre, Clint has performed in numerous productions including A Midsummer Night's Dream, Lend Me a Tenor, Once Upon a Mattress, Lloyd's Prayer, and Moliere's The Miser. Most recently, Clint appeared as La Tremouille in Saint Joan and as Francis in the New Theatre premiere of Lincolnesque for which he received a Carbonnell nomination for Best Supporting Actor.

Barbara SloanBarbara Sloan (Eileen) is no stranger to New Theatre having performed in last summer's Shakespeare Festival as Calphurnia in Julius Caesar, and as the Queen in Cymbeline, and in Mario Diament's The Book of Ruth, Blind Date and Lost Tango, Michael McKeever's A Town Like Irving, as well as Far East, Madame Melville, and as Vivian Bearing in Wit. She has performed in numerous productions across South Florida garnering five Carbonell Nominations. Three of those nominations were for her roles at New Theatre, as well as 2 New Theatre Awards for Wit and The Diaries. Other favorite plays include the one woman show 2.5 Minute Ride (Mosaic Theater), Strange Snow, The Real Thing, and Burn This (GableStage) and The Disputation (Coconut Grove Playhouse).

Annemaria RajalaAnnemaria Rajala (Nichole) is thrilled to be returning to New Theatre and to be working with such a talented cast! Annemaria is a native of Finland; she relocated to Miami to attend New World School of the Arts, where she earned a BFA in Musical Theatre Performance. South Florida credits include, Saint Joan, Cymbeline, Julius Caesar, The Winter's Tale, Much Ado About Nothing, Ladies and not-so-Gentle Women, Merchant of Venice, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, The Diaries (Bill Hindman Award: Best Actress), Midsummer Night's Dream, King Lear, and Times Like These (Carbonell Nomination: Best Actress) all at New Theatre, Red Light Winter at Mosaic Theatre, Tongue of a Bird and Dancing the God with the Women's Theatre Project and La Cage Aux Folles, White Christmas, Fiddler on the Roof and The Sound of Music at Actors' Playhouse. She was also part of the creation of Poem - the Battle Between Fear and Desire with the Giovanni Luquini Performance Troupe. Annemaria is a proud member of the Actors' Equity Association.

Harriet OserHarriet Oser (Blanka) is a proud member of Actors' Equity, SAG and Aftra, is delighted to return to New Theatre, where she received the Best Actress Award for her performance in Youth and Asia. She recently appeared in Blowing Rock, N.C. in Journey to Mitford and at the Caldwell in The Clean House. She is a nine-time Carbonell Award nominee for her portrayals in Summer Shorts, Concertina's Rainbow (Curtain Up Award), Lost in Yonkers, Les Laisons Dangereuses, Gigi, Brighton Beach Memoirs, Broadway Bound, and Diary of Anne Frank. Some other South Florida appearances include Full Monty, Corpse, Veronica's Room (Actors Playhouse), Over the River and Through the Woods, The Countess, My Three Angels, Unexpected Guest (Caldwell), and Hanging Fire (Florida Stage). At Flat Rock, N.C., she appeared in The Cocktail Hour and Rockers with Ann B. Davis. She was recently seen in the film Canvas with Marcia Gay Harden and is a Goodman Theatre graduate.

Betsy Paull-Rick Betsy Paull-Rick (Production Stage Manager) is pleased to return to New Theatre after serving as PSM for over 20 consecutive productions at the Mosaic Theatre in Plantation. No stranger to the other side of the footlights, South Florida audiences may remember her as Judy in A Chorus Line, Jeanne in Hair, Tiny Tim in Scrooge, or Diane in 42nd Street, among others. Recent directing and choreography credits include Hair and Fanny & Sadie, at the Tamarac Theatre. Betsy is the proud recipient of a Curtain Up Award nomination for Best Choreography for A New Brain, the Musical. Many thanks go to Ricky and Eileen, as well as to the rest of this incredible company. As always, much gratitude and love goes to Rob, Jon and Michael.

Ashley FernandezAshley Fernandez (Assistant Stage Manager), currently a freshman at Miami International University, is pleased to return to New Theatre for her seventh production. Favorite shows here include Saint Joan, Likeness, and Sin Full Heaven, among others. She made her first New Theatre onstage debut last summer in Shakespeare's Cymbeline. Ashley wishes to thank Clint, Ricky, and Eileen for everything they have done for her. She would also like to give specials thanks to Betsy.


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