Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company Presents:
Watch on Youtube ✦ Premiered
A tech-fabulous take on Shakespeare’s Coriolanus, Director Edward Gibbons-Brown brings us a rendition relating to our current times, both politically and technologically. This under-appreciated story of class division, economic oppression, mass communication, and political vengeance has never been more timely.
The arrogant general Caius Martius, called “Coriolanus” for his victories in war, pursues his political ambitions in a Rome wrestling with its identity in the midst of a popular uprising. However, his pride, rage, and disdain for the lower social class play into the hands of his political rivals…
Company Artistic Statement
Theatre, given its nature as a medium made of people in space, has always been a first victim during times of plague. When the COVID-19 pandemic spread through the world at the start of the year 2020, theatres closed, and millions were left unemployed. Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company was founded during this terrifying time. It is our mission to create theatre without a theatre - to create a space online that can serve as a theatrical one. Our company shall create an online space that serves the same function that theatre has served for millennia – as a place of catharsis and healing.
Support Our Company
Worlds Elsewhere is pleased to present Coriolanus on a pay-what-you-want basis. Prior to the show’s live performance, we offered virtual “tickets” with bonus access to a live talkback with the cast and crew. Ticket sales are closed, but if you still want to support future content like this from our theatre company, please go to our Donate page to make a one-time or recurring donation, or join our Patreon! Thank you for your support!
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About This Production
Recently, I was sitting at a bar here in New York talking to a theatre person I’d just met. We then connected on Instagram, and who should be one of our mutuals but Tim Briggs, who plays Coriolanus in this production. Tim has never lived in New York, and this person knew them from college, years ago in some far-off state (and not the one where Tim lives now). That kind of thing happens in New York, but not that much, and not like that. But then, this entire production has been infused with synchronicity. I like to chalk it up to being on the right track. Well, it’s a nice thought, anyway.
Here’s another nice thought: This production features simultaneous live performances coming to you from Virginia, Texas, Massachusetts, Ohio, Georgia, Washington DC, Florida, and New York (not to mention a crew from as far as the West Coast and Canada). This wouldn’t be possible in any previous era of human history–and only through a virtual production is it possible now. We’ve all become all-too-familiar with the dark and destructive potential of technology–this production explores it in depth. But I hope it will also reaffirm for you, as it has for me, that there is still an empowering and abundant side to technology, as well.
During rehearsals for this production, the dramatic release of ChatGPT explosively upended the tech landscape, inspiring reactions from the fatalistic to the downright weird, and even sending the mighty Google into a panic. To me, however, the rise of AI (something of a misnomer) raises the same questions that were raised not so very long ago by the last technology to upend human life on a global scale: social media. Questions like: Who gets to control the levers of this technology, and towards what end? There is no facet of our society not impacted by the social and economic power structures that surround us. Nevertheless, I believe that as long as we keep asking questions like those, especially through art, the answers remain ultimately up to us.
That’s a scary thought, in one sense. On the other hand, take a look at this group of people coming together from across the continent to deliver this performance tonight. Don’t they make the outlook seem a little less bleak? I know they certainly give me hope.
By the way, those synchronicitous moments I mentioned? They remind me of something else that always tends to give me hope: with or without technology, we are all, always, more connected than we know.
Enjoy the show.
~ Edward Gibbons-Brown, Director
Rome is in turmoil! The people have begun to riot, accusing the powerful nobility of hoarding grain. They are particularly angry at the arrogant General Caius Martius, but are quelled somewhat when the Roman Senate agrees to appoint Tribunes to represent the people; before long, a new threat rises to dominate the Roman news cycle: the powerful Tullus Aufidius has launched an attack!
Returning to Rome in heroic victory and now known by his new honorific title of “Coriolanus”, a campaign for political office is the obvious next step for the general formerly known as Martius. But he is none too eager to brag about his deeds — and the very thought of having to humble himself before the people and ask for their votes? It chafes. In his unbridled arrogance, Coriolanus creates an opportunity for the Tribunes.
Upon learning that the Roman citizens have revoked their votes to give him the consulship, Coriolanus flies into an antidemocratic rage. Perceiving a threat to their positions, the Tribunes rally the citizens against him, and plan to bait Coriolanus into losing his temper. All he has to do is speak mildly…but for Coriolanus, that is no easy task.
Exiled from Rome, Coriolanus throws himself on the mercy of his one-time enemy, Tullus Aufidius, asking for help in wreaking revenge upon Rome. Word reaches Rome of the new alliance…Panic! At The Forum
Rome tries desperately, and in vain, to persuade Coriolanus to spare Rome. Finally, his mother Volumnia and wife Virgilia arrive to make their appeal. But in his new alliance with the Volscians, Coriolanus cannot simply abandon his attack. At least, not without creating further repercussions…
Caius Martius/Coriolanus ............................. Tim Briggs Menenius Agrippa ....................................... Ned Read Volumnia .................................... DeBorah Elizabeth M Virgilia ........................................... Ava Witonsky Cominius ........................................... Jack Grigoli Junius Brutus .................................... Michael Takiff Sicinia Veletus ................................. Emily Ann Banks Tullus Aufidius ................................ Elijah Hernandez Titus Lartius/1st Volscian Sentinel .............. Jasmine Garcia 1st Roman Citizen/Volscian Lieutenant ............. Sam Marchiony 2nd Roman Citizen/Volscian Servingman .............. Derek Zakari 3rd Roman Citizen/Messenger/2nd Volscian Sentinel ... Nadine Hart
Cast and Crew
Tim Briggs (Caius Martius/Coriolanus, they/them/he/him) is excited to hack into queer virtual Shakespeare with Worlds Elsewhere! They hold a Bachelor of Music and a Masters in Shakespeare and Performance. Past performances include Jack Worthing in a boy band twist of The Importance of Being Earnest, Charlie Brown in You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, Timon in Timon of Athens, Gomez in The Addams Family Musical, Cain/Japheth in Children of Eden, and Greg Pierotti (and others) in The Laramie Project. He would like to thank his husband, Alex, for his unending support.
Ned Read (Menenius Agrippa, he/him) is a Washington, DC-based actor whose performance and understudy stage credits include Folger Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Studio Theatre, 4615 Theatre, Arcturus Theatre, Little Theatre of Alexandria, Source Festival, Capital Fringe Festival, and the Kennedy Center’s Page-to-Stage Festival. On-camera credits include independent films, industrials, student films, and television. Ned completed the Studio Acting Conservatory (Washington, DC) curriculum and has pursued additional training with, among others, Shakespeare Theatre, Theatre Lab, Actors’ Center, Arvold Warner Studio (Atlanta), and Acting Artists Studio (LA).
DeBorah Elizabeth M (Volumnia, she/her) is a voiceover artist, actor, model, and published poet who enjoys using her voice to tell new stories through all kinds of venues. One of her favorite productions also happens to be her first delve into theatre: A Very Covid Christmas Carol, a delicious twist on a classic story. She has studied at HB Studio of New York, mainly inspired by her fascination with the late Uta Hagen. Happy to take part in creative productions, DeBorah looks forward to expanding her repertoire into the realm of theatre. You can find her on Instagram at @ReelDeBorahM.
Ava Witonsky (Virgilia, she/her) writes and performs poetry, creates lens-based art, and teaches creative writing. As a longtime lover of Shakespeare’s verbal lightning, she is elated and grateful to interpret Virgilia alongside the incredible cast of Coriolanus.
Jack Grigoli (Cominius, he/him) is a Western MA based actor who is thrilled to be performing in his first production with WETC. Born and raised in Southern CA, he completed the actor training program at PCPA and went on to receive his BA in Theatre Arts. Favorite stage credits include: Angels in America (Roy Cohn), Don’t Dress for Dinner (Bernard), Boeing, Boeing (Bernard), Deathtrap (Clifford), The Compleat Wrks of William Shakespeare (Abridged) (Adam); Much Ado about Nothing (Benedick); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Ford); Romeo & Juliet (Romeo) and The Compleat History of America (Abridged) (Adam).
Michael Takiff (Junius Brutus, he/him) is a Yale trained actor, dancer, singer, and stand-up comic. He is author/performer of two solo theatre works: Jews, God, and History (Not Necessarily in That Order) produced at The Flea in NYC, and Black Tie: A Son’s Journey through the Death and Life of His Father, both directed by Tony nominee Brian Lane Green. He has also authored A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton as Told by Those Who Know Him (Yale University Press) and Brave Men, Gentle Heroes: American Fathers and Sons in World War II and Vietnam (Wm. Morrow).
Emily Ann Banks (Sicinia Veletus, she/her) is a proud co-founder of A Very Good Theatre Company. Selected credits include: Any Which Way… (Off-Broadway), Macbeth (The Flea Theatre), The Comedy of Errors (Boomerang Shakespeare), Measure for Measure (AVGTC) and Much Ado About Nothing (White Plains Performing Arts Center). You can find her on Instagram at @emilyannbanks.
Elijah Hernandez (Tullus Aufidius, they/them) is proud to perform in Worlds Elsewhere’s production of Coriolanus. Elijah is a graduate from the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley majoring in theatre, with their last performance in college being the same Coriolanus. Elijah is passionate about acting (which they have been doing for twelve years, stage combat, fight safety, writing and directing and hopes to continue their time with Worlds Elsewhere and other theatre productions. They are immensely grateful to the whole creative team, cast and crew for this incredible opportunity. You can find them on Instagram at @pos_itselijah.
Jasmine Garcia (Titus Lartius/First Volscian Sentinel, fae/faer/she/her) is very glad to be part of faer first Shakespeare production in over a decade. Past roles include an unhinged Kallyki in Lysistrata, intergalactic journeyer Kore in The Space Between, a Weird Sister in MacDeath (fulfilling a lifelong dream), and chaos gremlin Jack Dapper in The Roaring Girl. She’d like to thank WETC, the show’s cast and crew, and her friends and family. Look for her on most socials as @FaeRiviera and you’ll see why fae picked the neopronouns she did.
Sam Marchiony (First Roman Citizen/Volscian Lieutenant, she/her/they/them) is a polyamorous aspec demifemme theatre artist, scholar, and a founding member of both the WETC Repertory and Fantasy Worlds Elsewhere, recently appearing in Musica Universalis (Christine Daaé) and directing The Roaring Girl. Other career highlights include The Glassblower’s Daughter (Tailor), Women of Will (Playwright/Director/Rosalind), Assassins (Housewife), and The Musical of Musicals: The Musical (Director). Sam holds three expensive pieces of paper for studying theatre and feminism and operates on the greater internet as La Femme Fictionale, where they critique media and advocate smashing the kyriarchy.
Derek Zakari (Second Roman Citizen/Volscian Servingman, he/him/they/them) is an Atlanta based queer actor (agender and two-spirit, in respects to their Cherokee heritage) and member of the disabled community (Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Autism, ADHD, and OCD). This is his second production with World’s Elsewhere Theatre Company, following She Kills Monsters. His career ranges from live drag king performances to student shorts and feature films like The Reading and Guardians of the Galaxy 3. In his spare time, Derek likes to cook, hang out with his cat Harley Quinn, play video games, and foray into script writing.
Nadine Hart (Third Roman Citizen/Messenger/Second Volscian Sentinel, she/her/they/them) is an actor, writer, producer and podcast host (Disability Decoded) originally from the United Kingdom. After graduating from Circle in the Square Theatre School, Nadine has pursued and written work that speaks to her, with favorite roles including original pieces with Theatre 68 and bringing a self-created sketch show to Brighton Fringe Festival in England. She also loves mashed potatoes and making people laugh. You can find her on her website www.thenadinehart.com or on Instagram at @n_e_hart.
Edward Gibbons-Brown (Director, he/him/they/them) is a passionate and dedicated multi-hyphenate creative artist with a broad variety of experience over many years. He is pleased and honored to be working with this incredible cast and crew, and the folks at Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company on this very unique project. Edward can be reached via his website, edwardgibbonsbrown.wixsite.com/director, or on Instagram at @edwardgibbonsbrown. Edward lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he is available and willing to travel for exciting creative work…so hire him for stuff!
Shamila Karunakaran (Assistant Director, she/her/they/them) is an autistic Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian demigirl and a self professed “jack-of-all-trades”, who’s worked as a media and history researcher, creative and academic writer/editor, librarian and archivist, and amateur graphic designer and photographer over the years. Coriolanus is her second WETC production after The Roaring Girl last year, and is also her first ever Shakespeare play. She is best known for her digitization work with the Inuit Art Foundation and authoring the peer-reviewed article Muslimahs in Comics and Graphic Novels: History and Representation.
Michelle Turner (Producer, she/her/they/them) is an actor, musician, writer, and mom living in the Hudson Valley, who jumps at the chance to do Shakespeare as often as she can. She was most recently seen onstage in The Heiress with Rhinebeck Theatre Society and in 10x10, a presentation of ten new short works for New Deal Creative Arts Center in Hyde Park. She’s delighted to return to the production side of theatre for Coriolanus, her first production with WETC.
Stevie Eng (Assistant Producer, she/her/they/them) is a fourth generation Chinese American and New Jersey proud artist specializing in costumes and illustration. Professionally, she has worked as the costume shop supervisor at Playwrights Horizons and TheaterWorks USA, artistic programming assistant at New Victory Theater, and assistant puppet builder for The Nibbler at The Rattlestick. You can follow her Instagrams for cosplay @Steviestitches and art @StevieEngArt.
Ria Lodick (Stage Manager, she/her) is a stage manager in Seattle. Originally from the California Bay Area, she worked steadily as a performer, stage director, stage manager, and children’s theatre summer camp director for almost a decade. She has a Master of Education in Instructional Design, a Vocal Performance Graduate Certificate with an emphasis in Musical Theatre, and is a NDNU Music Theatre Conservatory graduate. When not dressed all in black, commanding the backstage, she loves the challenge and the art of passing information onto young minds, inspiring them to explore their own creativity and passions. This is her second time working with WETC, after stage-managing She Kills Monsters in 2021.
Addie Greenberg-Sud (Technical Director, she/her) is a software developer and digital streamer in Seattle, WA. She has been supporting Worlds Elsewhere’s technological needs since the company’s founding in 2020; credits include TD (2021 Summer Cabaret, She Kills Monsters, MacDeath, Transwarp Drive 2022, The Roaring Girl, Musica Universalis), video editing (Winter Spooky 2021), and performance (Winter Spooky 2021, MacDeath, Musica Universalis). She’s very proud to offer her skills toward Worlds Elsewhere’s mission — live theatre, for everyone, everywhere. You can find her on her website, pigsflew.com, and Github.
Ilana Greenberg-Sud (Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, she/her/they/them) has, in addition to her theatrical work, spent many an hour at fan conventions, discussing diversity and representation in media, and how the entertainment can improve. Now a part of the entertainment industry herself (in a very small way), Ilana was happy to pass on what she has learned, both from her experience as a queer person in the world, and what she has learned from others. She can now say that she intentionally has a small personal social media footprint, and has found it to be very restful.
Artistic Director / Co-Founder: Ilana Greenberg-Sud
Director of Digital: Adrianne Greenberg-Sud
Director of Finance: David Neubauer
Co-Founder: Kyle Kallgren
Native Lands Acknowledgement
Worlds Elsewhere Theatre Company is based in New York City, Seattle, and the Central California Coast,on lands home to the Munsee Lenape, Duwamish, Coast Salish, and Chumash peoples.
In addition, cast and crew members of this production are located on the lands of the following peoples:
Agawam Anishnabeg Canarsee Chippewa Coahuiltecan Coast Salish Duwamish Eastern Band of Cherokee Erie Esto’k Gna (Carrizo/Comecrudo) Haudenosaunee Kaskaskia Lenni Lenape Massa-adchu-es-et (Massachusett) Mississauga Mississaugas of the Credit Mohican Monacan Munsee Lenape Nacotchtank (Anacostan) Naumkeag Ndé Kónitsąąíí Gokíyaa (Lipan Apache) Nipmuc Pawtucket Piscataway Pocumtuc Seminole Shaghticoke Shawandassee Tula (Shawanwaki/Shawnee) Wappinger Wendat
We acknowledge that this land came into government possession through acts of genocide, as part of our commitment to work towards addressing the impacts of those acts in our pursuit of social justice, and to foster a world where such injustices are truly consigned to the past.
Tribe names provided by Native Lands Digital
For more information, consult #HonorNativeLand — US Department of Arts and Culture
Banners and Show Promotional Art by Michael P. Maerlender (Instagram: @MPMaerDesign)
Digital Environments & Animations by Edward Gibbons-Brown
Video Editing by Edward Gibbons-Brown
Gone Are the Days by Trevor Kowalski
Hearts of Steel by Edward Karl Hanson
Honey Sky by Torii Wolf
Approaching the Signal by Trevor Kowalski
Apprehension and Release by Trevor Kowalski
Time Bender by Philip Ayers
Hybrid Organism by Philip Ayers
Alternative Miracles by Christophe Gorman
Across Any Sea by Christophe Gorman
Blood Money by Hampus Naeselius
Bulletin World by Out to the World
Wandering Ahead by Trevor Kowalski
Sergeant Wise by Stationary Sign
Fractured Paintings by Trevor Kowalski
Past Deeds by Dream Cave
All from Epidemic Sound, used under their Commercial Subscription Music License
Pre-show Title Card music from Music Nicolas Jeudy / Dark Fantasy Studio, used under Premium License.