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Babette’s Feast

Babette's Feast conceived and developed by Abigail Killeen, written by Rose Courtney, adapted from the short story by Isak Dinesen

directed by A. Dean Irby

Featuring BFA Acting Company 47 and Theatre Design/Technology and

performed for a limited audience in The Abbott-Kaplan Theatre, The Performing Arts Center, Purchase College, SUNY

Friday, October 22, 2021 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, October 23, 2021 @ 1:30pm & 7:30pm
Wednesday, October 27, 2021 @ 7:30pm
Thursday, October 28, 2021 & 7:30pm
Friday, October 29, 2021 @ 7:30pm
Saturday, October 30, 2021 @ 1:30pm & 7:30pm

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Devyn Akers | Hans/Postman
Noelle Backman | Martine
Keymer Cuesta | Dean/Espen
Eli Gardner | Loewenhielm
Max Garfin | Lars/Alf (Fish Buyer)/Dresser
Sanise Lebron | Young Loewenhielm/Lief (Red-Haired Boy)
Arielle Moore | Lady of the Court/Mrs. Loewenhielm
Ndeye Daro Niang | Babette
Daija North | Erna/Henrick (Bread Seller)
Precious Omigie | Astrid
Katie Parkinson | Phillippa
Justin Parrish | Papin/Groom
Eklan Singh | Hans/Dagfin (Fishmonger)


Production Stage Manager | Arcadio Lozano
Stage Manager | Leah Dollinger
Assistant Stage Manager | Kristen Benner

Scenic Designer | Brett Cotov
Assistant Scenic Designer | Julia Janovsky
Scenic Charge | Pauline Walsh
Assistant Scenic Charge | Paige Sider
Props Charge | Abbie Perez

Lighting Designer | Hailey O’Leary
Assistant Lighting Designer | Lucas Kery
Master Electrician | Caelyn Speicher
Lighting Board Operator | David Fitzpatrick
Followspot Operator | Ethan Chichester 
Followspot Operator | Natalie Saint-Rossy 

Costume Designer | Ali Caruso
Assistant Costume Designer | Kei Kurakake
2nd Assistant Costume Designer | Sabrina Ehrnstein
Wardrobe Supervisor | Hannah German

Sound Designer | Miles Miranda
Assistant Sound Designer | Anthony Marinaro
A1 | John Hoag
A2 | Casey Gibbons

Music Director | Juwon Lim
Opera Coach | Zachary Olmoz
Pianist | Matthias Schmidt
Pianist | Mark DiNardo
Rehearsal Pianist | Charlie DeRose

Technical Director | Kyle McMahon
Production Carpenter | Madi Morrisey
Lead Technical Designer | Chris Bohne
Production Flyman | Israel Hart
Automation Operator | Christopher Grainer

Run Crew | Paul Towley, Jagger Vera & Ellie McIntyre

Director’s Note

Before “Babette’s Feast” emerged as Karen Blixen’s play, it was a film by Gabriel Axel, and before that a short story by Isak Dinesen. It tells the story of two elderly spinster daughters of a deceased religious leader, who are now trying to hold their aging and argumentative congregation together. On their doorstep one rainy June night, 1871, arrives Babette, a distraught refugee of civil war in France, seeking a job as a maid. The two ascetic sisters are conflicted by this request because they see it 1.) as an extravagance, 2.) she’s a foreigner, and 3.) she’s ROMAN CATHOLIC! However, their Christian charity will not permit them to turn her away. Oh yeah, “Babette can cook”!

As a Director and Teacher, part of my mission at Purchase College is to bring a collection of different voices to our campus community. From August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” to Tennessee Williams “Orpheus Descending” to “Babette’s Feast”. It is important to tell stories from many perspectives that represent the wideness of the human experience. Working with the Junior Acting Company on this play, we bring to the stage late 19th century Jutland, Norway, we bring the austerity Martin Luther devotees, we bring the acceptance and forgiveness of a closed society. Dinesen, Axel, and Blixen show us how sacrifice is a virtue that transcends cultures and religions, and they invite us to examine the healing and transformative properties of food and the artistic and divine nature of those who prepare it.

Bon Appetit

Creative Team Profiles

Cast (in alphabetical order)

Devyn Akers (Hans/Postman) WHATS GOIN ON! I’m Devyn Akers I’m from DC. I’ve been acting since the 6th grade. I would like to thank the production team for their hard work and dedication on this process. I would like to thank my company who I love dearly and thankful for to be doing this show along side them! Last I would like to thank Dean for opening up a door for all of us to understand and enjoy the world in which we have embarked on! Fun Fact: I am a basketball phenomenon!

Noelle Backman (Martine) is a third year actor in the BFA Acting conservatory. She has played a series of lead females, from Ismene in the Greek trilogy Oedipus, Hippolyta in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream, as well as Bosnian Woman in Truth and Reconciliation. In Babette’s Feast, Noelle appears as the elder sister Martine.

Keymer Cuesta (Dean/Espen) is a third year BFA acting major from Brooklyn, NY and of Afro-Dominican descent. His past credits include Jean-François Millet in Is He Dead? and most recently in Truth and Reconciliation.

Eli Gardner (Loewenhielm) is a third year BFA actor from Annapolis Maryland and Brooklyn New York. Purchase credits include Serbian Man 2 and Northern Irish Man B (Truth and Reconciliation). Some outside credits include Adam (DNA) with Piper Theatre and Judas Iscariot (The Last Days of Judas Iscariot) with LaGuardia High School. Eli would like to give special thanks to his family, his teachers Jill and Hank, and everyone who’s supported him along the way!

Max Garfin (Lars/Alf/Dresser) is a third year BFA actor from Manhattan, NY. Past Purchase credits include Truth and Reconciliation (Man 1 and Man A), Ivanov (Ivanov), and Three Sisters (Tuzenbach), and has appeared in several professional independent films. He would like to thank his friends and family for their continued support.

Sanise Lebron (Young Loewenhielm/Lief) is a third year acting major in Purchase’s Theater Conservatory program. She is from the Bronx, New York and has the pleasure of playing Young Lowenhielm and Lief. Past Purchase credits include: Truth and Reconciliation (Wife). Other credits include: The Bennett Academy of Performing Arts, King of the Rodeo (Bobby Lynn). She would like to thank her family and friends for their constant support and love. Dinner is Served.

Arielle Moore (Lady of the Court/Mrs. Loewenhielm) is a third-year BFA acting major from Harlem, NY. Past Purchase credits include: Truth and Reconciliation (Man/Mama). Other credits include A Little Night Music (Petra) at LaGuardia High School. She sends so much love and gratitude to her supportive family, friends and mentors.

Ndeye Daro Niang (Babette)is a third year BFA actor from Harlem, New York. Purchase Rep credits include: Truth and Reconciliation (Daughter/Woman). Other credits include the Stella Adler Studio of Acting, and placing third in the New York Shakespeare competition. Many thanks to all her close friends and companions who support and uplift her!

Daija North (Erna/Henrick) is a Brooklyn native, in her third year at Purchase’s Conservatory of Theatre Arts. Past Purchase credits include Truth and Reconciliation (Widow). She sends love and hugs for all the support.

Precious Omigie (Astrid) is a third year BFA actor from Brooklyn, New York. Purchase Rep credits include: Truth and Reconciliation (Child/Grandma)! Thank you to her family and friends and those who have been supportive!

Katie Parkinson (Phillippa) is a third year BFA actor from Seattle, Washington. You may have previously seen her in Truth and Reconciliation as Woman. She is sending lots of love and thanks to her family back home, especially her dogs.  

Justin Parrish (Papin/Groom) is a third year BFA actor from Los Angeles, California. Purchase Rep credits include Truth and Reconciliation (Granddad). Some of his other credits include HAIR (Berger), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Ed), DNA (Richard), and The Dream of the Burning Boy (Dane) at Valencia High School. He thanks his parents and all of his friends who support him!

Eklan Singh (Hans/Dagfin) is a third year student in the BFA Acting Company 47 of SUNY Purchase. He is very excited for everyone to bear witness to this heartwarming tale of a kind and loving community. He has had a divine time working with his cast and hopes that the audience can charge in the fun we have had in rehearsing this show. Enjoy the performance!

Design & Production

Arcadio Lozano (Production Stage Manager)is a fourth year BFA stage manager from Guadalajara, Mexico. Purchase credits include: Blood Wedding (ASM), Dialogues of the Carmelites (SM) & Eclipse (PSM). Other credits include: Disney’s: The Lion King, Billy Elliot: The Musical, The Addams Family, La Traviata & The Despertares International Ballet Gala. ¡Gracias a mi familia y amigos, SIEMPRE!

Brett Cotov (Scenic Designer) is a fourth year Design/Technology student from Long Island, NY. Purchase Credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Assistant Scenic Designer), Bastille Day (Props Charge), Dialogues of the Carmelites (co-Scenic Artist), and A Bright Room Called Day (Assistant Props Charge). Brett would like to thank his family and friends for their love and continued support. 

Hailey O’Leary (Lighting Designer) is a fourth year BFA lighting designer. Past Purchase Theatre credits include Purgatorio Wonderland (LD), Dialogue of the Carmelites (ALD), and The Misanthrope (SD). She sends her love to those who journeyed with her. 

Ali Caruso (Costume Designer) is a fourth year BFA Costume Design Major from Beacon, NY. Purchase credits include: Helen (Assistant Costume Designer), Fen (Wardrobe Supervisor), and The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Assistant Costume Designer). Lots of love to her family and friends who have always been her biggest supporters ♥️

Miles Miranda (Sound Designer)

Juwon Lim (Music Director)

Kyle McMahon (Technical Director)

Director Profile

A. Dean Irby headshotA. Dean Irby is a New York City–based director, actor, and educator. In his distinguished career, which spans more than three decades, he has acted and directed on Broadway and Off Broadway, for the New York Shakespeare Festival, Negro Ensemble Company, Arena Stage, New Federal Theatre, and Crossroads Theatre, and at numerous regional and university theatres. He is the recipient of two Audelco Awards for his direction of the original production of Home for the Negro Ensemble Company and Boogie Woogie and Booker T. for the New Federal Theatre. Irby is also the former acting coach for The Cosby Show and has appeared in more than 30 television commercials.

About the Conservatory of Theatre Arts

In our teaching and art, the Conservatory values inclusiveness, equality, and excellence. Upholding all of our training is our aim to train and graduate citizen artists: multifaceted people with a strong sense of purpose in approaching an arts education.

What is a citizen artist? Citizen artists seek to discover how their unique voices can contribute to our world. They understand what it means to be an artist, and what they are here on earth to say and do and make.

The Conservatory trains future citizen artists in three degree programs:

+ BFA Actor Training. The BFA is an intensive professional training program offered to a highly select and diverse group of students. The professional training is anchored in four years of study in acting, voice, speech, and movement, complemented by offerings in dramatic literature and analysis, history of the theatre, stage combat, improvisation, mask work, acting for the camera, and the business of acting. As one of five schools in the Consortium of Professional Theatre Training Programs, Purchase is one of a handful of colleges in the world capable of training artists at this level—and of drawing a faculty from the ranks of professional theatre

+ BFA in Theatre Design/Technology. Emphasizing studio and classroom training, our professional training program in theatre design/technology gives students the guidance and support of established and theatre industry professionals. Many of our alumni are recognized at the top of their field, and have received Tony, Emmy, Obie, and Drama Desk Awards, among other honors. Quite literally, Purchase grads are working in or have worked in every theatre on Broadway, in all tristate venues, and with countless touring productions

+ BA program in Theatre and Performance. From traditional theatre to cutting-edge interdisciplinary work, the theatre and performance major encourages creativity, intellectual curiosity, social engagement, and critical thinking. The core requirements combine scholarship and practice to provide students with a strong foundation in theatre history and dramatic literature, with mandatory stagecraft/production courses. Theatre and Performance majors are encouraged to expand the scope of their education by studying abroad, as well as pursuing coursework in other programs of study within the School of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Purchase College