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Fefu and Her Friends by María Irene Fornés

by María Irene Fornés

Directed by Rachel Dickstein

Featuring the work of students in the Theatre & Performance BA program in collaboration with the Theatre Design/Technology BFA program

The Center for Media, Film, and Theatre, Performance Theater (downstairs)

Sat, 10/29 @ 1:30pm
Sat, 10/29 @ 7:30pm
Weds, 11/2 @ 7:30pm
Thurs, 11/3 @ 7:30pm
Fri, 11/4 @ 7:30pm
Sat, 11/5 @ 1:30pm
Sat, 11/5 @ 7:30pm


Fefu | Lillian Perez*
Cindy | Sydney Nocerino*
Christina | Ahona Dias
Julia | Solangel Galindo
Emma | Dixie O’Connell*
Paula | Joann Maxwell*
Sue | Cayd Barrera
Cecilia | Emma Baker

Cindy, Fefu and Emma | Emma Baker
Cecilia and Sue | Shiloh Blue
Christina, Paula and Julia | Eva Doyle

*denotes senior project capstone performance

Creative & Production

Assistant Director & Music Director | Grace Castle
Dramaturg | Tess Walsh
Assistant Dramaturg | Ashley Limjoco

Production Stage Manager | Stephanie Nicole Rhodes
Stage Manager | Carly Friedman
Assistant Stage Manager | Katie Thorn
Production Assistants | Kylie Cottrell, Claire Frawley, Ellie McIntyre, Nate Tohill

Scenic Designer | Charli Rose Burkhart
Assistant Scenic Designer | Jess Marr
Scenic Charge | Peyton Fuchs
Props Charge | Emily Mustillo
Assistant Props Charge | Glo Jackson

Lighting Designer | William Keener
Assistant Lighting Designer | Zach Dulny
Master Electrician | Theo Silverman
Lighting Board Operator | Nolan Belcher
Deck Electrician | Victor Marsh

Sound Designer | Ben Free
Assistant Sound Designer | Shiloh Blue
A1 | Chloe Casavant

Technical Director | Dom Bogetto
Production Carpenter | Sofia Lavion
Lead Technical Designer | Kaitlyn DiDomenico
Lead Shop Carpenter | Carly Genovesi
Rigger | Israel Hart
Assistant Rigger | Ethan Chichester

Costume Designer | Anat Goldberg Yossefy
Assistant Costume Designer and Wardrobe Supervisor | Mae Russell

Concierge Team | Celine Goris Luna, James T. Anderson, Rebakkah Ruffin, Kim Crossway, Octavia Robinson, Tionne Watson

Fefu and Her Friends is part of the Fornés Festival produced by the Playwriting program and the Conservatory of Theatre Arts this fall. See the Festival’s website for a full calendar of programs celebrating the work of one of America’s greatest playwrights and most influential writing teachers.

Content Advisory

This production contains use of a prop gun, a gunshot sound effect, the portrayal of hallucinations, and mention of sexual assault.

Director’s Note

The brilliant María Irene Fornés described her masterwork, Fefu and Her Friends as “deal[ing] with the mechanics of the mind, some kind of spiritual survival, a process of thought.” The character of Fefu invites her guest Christina in the first minutes of the play to examine this life within by looking under a stone in damp soil: “That which is exposed to the exterior is smooth and dry and clean, that which is not … underneath, is slimy and filled with fungus and crawling with worms…. It is another life that is parallel to the one we manifest… It you don’t recognize it, it eats you.”

I have long shared this fascination with making theatre that puts the dark, messy and extreme thoughts from within the mind centerstage. And what a pleasure and a thrilling challenge it has been to help shape a world onstage with these brave artists that is ripe with the joy, terror and intimacy of that inner life. Fornes wrote that she set the play in 1935 so that we could see these characters as they are, not labeled or diagnosed as the post 1960’s psychoanalytic landscape might have done to women at the time. While written over 40 years ago, Fefu offers us profound insights into how to defy stultifying and prescriptive categorizations of gender, sexuality and self. Thanks to the Purchase students who dove head first under the stone and never looked back. And thanks to you in the audience for joining us tonight to experience this remarkable play.                  -Rachel Dickstein

Creative Team Profiles

Cast bios

Emma Baker (she/her) is a third-year theatre and performance/arts management double major from Dansville, New York. SUNY Purchase credits include Marisol (Stage Manager) and My Body, My Health, My Choice (Meredith). She would like to thank her family for always supporting her, and the cast and crew of Fefu!

Cayd Barrera is a third year BA theatre and performance student from Cape Cod, MA. Purchase acting credits include: My Body, My Health, My Choice! (Avery), as well as a number of Purchase student films. They want to thank their friends, family, and the wonderful stage management and production teams.

Shiloh Blue is a third-year theatre and performance student. She has experience in all facets of the performing arts, including as a playwright, actor, musician, and production assistant. Past collaborators include the Firebird Theatre Project, TDF, and Nancy Manocherian’s Cell Theatre. Endless love to her family, boyfriend, and friends.

Ahona Dias is a fourth year theatre & performance BA actor born in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She currently resides on Long Island, New York with Purchase Rep credits: Dance Nation (Connie). Other credits include: Guys & Dolls (General Cartwright & ensemble), Radium Girls (Irene Rudolph), The Little Mermaid (Adela & ensemble), and The Laramie Project (Catherine Connelly). Many thanks to her family and friends who continue to support her unconditionally.

Eva Doyle is a second-year theater and performance major from Sag Harbor, New York. Purchase Rep credits include: Crystal Clear (Ellie). Other credits include Play on! (Phyllis Montague) and Don’t Drink the Water (Kilroy) at Pierson High School. Many thanks to her family and everyone she got to work with!

Solangel Galindo is a third year BA theater and performance student with a concentration in acting. Purchase Rep credits include The Silent Observer (Brenda) and Cutting Hair (Elena). Other credits include Rufus is Missing (Haley) and Seven Guitars (Vera). Many thanks to her mentors who have been a great influence to her and her family who have supported her in her on-going journey.

Joann Maxwell is a fourth-year theatre and performance student concentrating in acting with a minor in playwriting and she is from Connecticut. Purchase rep credits include A Walrus In The Body Of A Crocodile (2/Emma), The Christians (choir member), Mac Beth (Macduff). Outside credits include The Three Sisters (Chebutykin), Into The Woods (Jacks mom), The Glass Menagerie (Tom). She would love to thank everyone who was and is there for her while on this journey: her friends, her family, the amazing cast and crew, her cat Loki, and her lovely girlfriend who inspires her everyday.

Sydney Nocerino (She/Her) is a fourth-year theatre and performance and journalism double major with a minor in playwriting, from Queens, New York. Purchase Credits include The Wolves (#7) and Dance Nation (Amina). Many thanks to her friends and family!

Dixie O’Connell is a fourth year Theatre and Performance major hailing from the Jersey Shore. Past acting credits at SUNY Purchase include: The Christians (Elizabeth), The Wolves (#13), Mac Beth (Witch 1), A Robot Wrote This (Margueritte Spangler), How I Learned to Drive (Male Greek Chorus), and Dance Nation (Maeve). Fefu and her Friends is her senior project! They would like to thank Purchase for the mems, the wonderful team for their work, as well as her friends and family for their support.

Lillian Perez is a fourth year theatre and performance major from Jamaica, Queens. Purchase credits include Lady Percy (Henry IV), Zuzu (Dance Nation), #1 (A Walrus in The Body of a Crocodile), and Choir Member (The Christians). Other credits include Ruby (Getting Out) and Siobhan (The Curious Incident of The Dog in The Nighttime). She would love to thank her amazing friends, family, and her girlfriend for always supporting her no matter what.

Creative & Production bios

Grace Castle (Assistant Director) is a fourth year theatre and performance, and literature double major from Derby, Vermont. Purchase credits include Marisol (Asst Dir). Other recent production credits include Galatea by MJ Kaufman (Asst Dir/ CCO) and Little Women (PSM) with HCTA. They would like to thank the women in her family who taught her to find beauty in the underside of the overturned rock. 

Tess Walsh (Dramaturg) (they/them) is a third year double major in THP and Anthropology from Brooklyn, NY. Purchase dramaturg credits include: Eurydice, How I Learned to Drive, Marisol, Mac Beth, and POV Fest. They’d like to thank the production team and cast, all angels and saints, and María for her words and vision.

Stephanie Nicole Rhodes (Production Stage Manager) is a fourth-year BFA Stage Manager from Long Island, New York. Stephanie’s credits include Mac_Beth (Production Stage Manager), Senior Showcase 2022 (Production Stage Manager), Waiting for Godot (Stage Manager), A Walrus in the Body of a Crocodile (Production Stage Manager) and Purgatorio Wonderland (Stage Manager). She is very excited to be working on this phenomenal show! She would like to thank her incredible team for grilled cheese and tomato soup.To her partner, I love you infinity repeating. Break a leg!

Carly Friedman (she/her) (Stage Manager) is a fourth year theatre and performance major from Manhattan, NY. Purchase credits include: The Christians (PSM), A Walrus In The Body Of A Crocodile (SM), Springtime (PSM), Sam (PSM), and Henry IV Part I (ASM). She’d like to thank Steph and Katie for being such an amazing team. She is so very proud of all our hard work! She sends so much love to the cast and crew for their dedication to this process and to her family and friends for their unwavering love and support, near or far. 

Charli Rose Burkhardt (Scenic Designer) is a Scenic Designer from Kings Park, NY and currently a senior in the BFA Theater Design/Tech major at SUNY Purchase. Past credits include: Cinderella and Sound Of Music at Philipstown Depot Theater (Scenic Designer), Scapin (Scenic Designer), Henry IV Part 1 and Life is a Dream (Assistant Scenic Designer) at SUNY Purchase. She would love to thank her family and friends for supporting her work and passion for creating new worlds for all to enjoy. She hopes you enjoy the immersion you are about to experience in Fefu and Her Friends!

William Keener (Lighting Designer)

Ben Free (Sound Designer) is a fourth-year lighting designer from Tolland, CT. Purchase credits include: Make It Play (Sound Designer), A Walrus in the Body of a Crocodile (ALD). Additional credits: Fences (ALD), Assistant Head Electrician at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival. They thank family and friends for their love and support. 

Dom Bogetto (Technical Director) is a fourth-year Technical Director from Bridgewater, NJ. Purchase credits include We Are Proud to Present… (Production Carpenter) and Dialogues Des Carmelites (Lead Shop Carpenter; Automation Operator). Dom would like to thank his family and friends for their support.

Anat Goldberg Yossefy (Costume Designer)

Director Profile


Rachel Dickstein devises, directs, and writes opera, theatre, and dance-based performance. Rachel founded the Obie-winning theatre company Ripe Time over twenty years ago to develop and produce ensemble-based, embodied adaptations from literature. The company has received commissions from BAM, ASU Gammage, Center Theatre Group, and Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. Past Ripe Time work includes SLEEP (BAM Next Wave, Yale Rep) with Naomi Iizuka, THE WORLD IS ROUND (BAM, Obie Award) with Heather Christian, SEPTIMUS AND CLARISSA (Calloway, Drama Desk, Drama League noms) with Ellen McLaughlin, FIRE THROWS with Jewlia Eisenberg, BETROTHED with Vijay Iyer. Opera and New Music works include: BLOOD MOON by Garret Fisher/ Ellen McLaughlin, DESIRE by Hannah Lash/Jack Quartet, Kamala Sankaram/ Susan Yankowitz’s THUMBPRINT, and Vijay Iyer/Mike Ladd’s IN WHAT LANGUAGE? Upcoming: IN[FINITE] TIME with Rinde Eckert, PRETTY MACHINE with Eliza Bent, COMPASS (ASU Gammage’s Beyond Series in April 2023) and Towards Embodied Performance: Directing and the Art of Composition under contract with Routledge. BA Yale College. Chair, Associate Professor, Theatre and Performance, Purchase College, SUNY.

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