3–4:30pm / Oct 6 / Elebash Hall

Bender and Brian

Trish Harnetiaux & Knud Adams


James & Jerome

Untitled Mobile Unit Project

Donnetta Lavinia Grays

Photo courtesy of the artists
Works-in-Process are excerpts from new work, in development or recently premiered.
Q&A moderated by Curtis Russel.


Bender and Brian


Not many know the true story of Bender and Brian. Judd Nelson and Anthony Michael Hall were not the first actors cast in John Hughes’ iconic movie The Breakfast Club. Initially, two other actors played the roles, but were fired after an altercation that occurred while filming the scene when they go to take their jackets off at the same time. This pivotal day was, well, pivotal for our original Bender and Brian, as they went on to live their lives together. This is their story.

Trish Harnetiaux and Knud Adams‘ worked together most recently on Harnetiaux’s Clubbed Thumb Summerworks production of Tin Cat Shoes this past May. Other plays by Harnetiaux include How to Get into Buildings, Weren’t You in My Science Class, and Welcome to the White Room. She’s developed work at Brooklyn College, Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab, Ars Nova Play Group and Playwrights Horizons Super Lab. This past season, Adams directed Tin Cat Shoes (Trish Harnetiaux, Clubbed Thumb), Marie and Bruce (Wallace Shawn, JACK), Aloha, Aloha, or When I Was Queen (Eliza Bent, Abrons), The Workshop (Torrey Townsend, Soft Focus), and Asshole (Justin Kuritzkes, JACK).

Playwright: Trish Harnetiaux
Director: Knud Adams
Performers: Ikechukwu Ufomadu & Jacob A. Ware



INK is an art lecture, live personal essay, and electronic music concert all in one. Using the traditional slideshow art lecture as a point of departure, James and Jerome turn their attention to Islamic, Chinese, and European calligraphy and illuminated manuscripts. Parallel to this art historical narrative, they weave personal stories of their own friendship, as well as Jerome’s intimate relationship to the spoken and written word. Throughout the show, both performers alternate between speaking and performing a sweeping and intricate electronic music score.

James and Jerome (James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis) are a duo of musician-storytellers based in New York. They make hyper-literary, live-music story performances for theaters and other spaces. Their work has been presented by Lincoln Center, La MaMa, Under The Radar Festival, Joe’s Pub at The Public Theater, Ars Nova, and The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, among others. They often collaborate with directors Rachel Chavkin, Andrew Scoville, and Annie Tippe. 

Written, Composed, and Performed by James Harrison Monaco and Jerome Ellis
Directed by Rachel Chavkin and Annie Tippe
Created in collaboration with Media Designer Shawn Duan
Associate Media Design by Caroline Trewet

Untitled Mobile Unit Project


The Untitled Mobile Unit Play, a commission from The Public Mobile Unit, is a long form poem with humor, heart, and music that tells the story of a man standing before his town asking them for forgiveness after he has made a deal with a mysterious stranger on their behalf. More than a recounting of events, this piece both engages and implicates the audience in determining the man’s fate. The commission supports the development of this original piece that embodies the Mobile Unit’s core belief that “culture belongs to everyone” and considers the unique performance parameters of The Mobile Unit’s touring productions. The commissioned piece is specifically geared toward the diverse audiences the Mobile Unit serves.

Donnetta Lavinia Grays, from Columbia, SC, is a Brooklyn based actor and playwright. Plays include Last Night and the Night Before (World Premiere – Denver Center Winter 2019. Kilroys List. Colorado New Play Summit. NNPN Showcase. Todd McNerney National Playwriting Award. O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Semifinalist.), Laid to Rest (O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist. Kilroys List – Honorable Mention. Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep. Space on Ryder Farm Creative Residency.), Review or How to Eat Your Opposition (WP Pipeline Festival. O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference Finalist.) The New Normal and The Cowboy is Dying. 2018 Space on Ryder Farm Working Farm Resident Playwright and 2016-2018 Time Warner Foundation WP Playwrights Lab Member. She is under commission from The Public Theater’s Mobile Unit and WP Theater. Alumna of the Civilians R&D Group and terra Nova Collective Groundbreakers. Inaugural recipient of the Doric Wilson Independent Playwright Award.

Special thanks to Stephanie Ybarra, Roxanna Barrios, Tamilla Woodard, David Ryan Smith, and the entire team at Space on Ryder Farm.

World Premiere of Last Night and the Night Before at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts opening Feb 2019.


Curtis Russell (Moderator) is a PhD fellow in Theatre and Performance at the Graduate Center, CUNY, with a certificate in Film Studies. A member of Drama Desk, he received an MA in Theatre Criticism and Dramaturgy from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. His research focuses on performance and cinemas of the Americas.

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