Congratulations to Miranda Jackel!

The production was directed by Deb Jackel. The talented cast included: Mathew Johnson, Annie Unger, Meilin Gray, Jessica Darrow, and JessAnn Smith.

Ladies in Waiting tells the story of how auditions can be rough enough without annoying actresses wrecking your prep. Girls audition and give their all to the theatre and yet sometimes it’s not enough. It’s an unfair business, sometimes you get passed up for a role to Lindsey Lohan.

Deb Jackel- Director for Ladies in Waiting

Deb Jackel is thrilled to be directing this fun and clever production written by her favorite playwright! 🙂 She is so grateful to the cast for all their hard work and dedication. Deb has been teaching Meisner-based acting, audition, and cold reading technique at the William Esper Studio since 2000. She is the 2011 Winner of the Backstage Readers’ Choice Awards for both Favorite Audition Technique Teacher and Favorite Cold Reading Teacher. She has led audition workshops at Rutgers University’s Mason Gross School of the Arts, NYU Tisch School of the Arts’ Meisner Studio and throughout New York City. In 2010, Deb co-created “The Empowerment Weekend for Actors” with Alaine Alldaffer (casting director, Playwrights Horizons), an intensive weekend workshop devoted to the psychological and spiritual approach to the art and business of acting and auditioning.

The Manhattan Medium by Anne V. Grob

What was the inspiration for this play?
Since my freshman year at NYU and living in The Village, I have been fascinated with the history of the area and the people who lived here, from the famous and not so famous, artists, writers and actors, to those buried beneath Washington Square Park.

When I read an article about the Long Island Medium’s visit to the Cherry Lane Theatre because it was believed to be haunted, I thought this a perfect story blending the historical and the theatrical.

And I wanted to tell the story within the context of modern day, referencing our current political climate, the struggles of theatre to remain alive, and the passion of those who also honor history and live for the arts.

What do you love about NYC?
How much room do I have to answer that question?! Everything everyone loves about NYC and more—the theatre of course, the museums, restaurants, neighborhoods, parks, architecture, but beyond that, the strong connection to my past and my family history energizes me whenever I’m here. I can stroll by Macy’s and know that my mom worked here during the war, I remember when my parents took me and my brother to see the Christmas Show at Radio City, I recall getting lost in Central Park with my BFF from high school, my drama teacher taking us to see Hello Dolly with Carol Channing, my very first Broadway show, cutting class with my roommate to take the train up to Bryant Park for an anti-war demonstration in 1968, and in more recent years, returning to NY for family events and bringing my daughter here to attend my alma mater. Add all that to the fact that I get to write and produce a play at The Players Theatre SPF, this being my 5th year, is the delicious icing on the cake!

What was your greatest challenge about writing your play?
I wanted the heart of the story to be revealed in a way that the audience could connect to it with intimacy and believability. I took a risk by using the meta elements of creating a site specific setting and breaking the fourth wall. I’m happy to say that my talented director and wonderful cast pulled it off with comedic flair, superb dramatics, and great success! Thank you all for making my dreams come true!

Leslie C. Nemet as Toni- The Manhattan Medium

Leslie has performed in Broadway workshops, Off-Broadway, television, film, radio and webisodes. She performed 15 roles in the Off-Broadway show “Olympics Uber Alles” and directed and performed in “Alpha Betty” here at The Players Theatre last week. She is currently in the long-running show “Housewives Of Secaucus”, which will be at 54 Below on June 29th! Film work includes Academy Award winning films as well as playing George Clooney’s Hairstylist in “Money Monster”. Leslie is the Pizzeria Woman on “Sesame Street”, recently appeared as the Notary on the TV show “Bull” and is currently working on several web series’ including “On The Prowl”. Does the letter L or N mean anything to you? 

Simone Grossman- Assistant Director for Ladies in Waiting

Simone is thrilled to be part of the Ladies in Waiting team! Regional theatre credits include: Grey Gardens, The Prime of Ms. Jean Brodie, and Far Away at the Studio Theatre, A Christmas Carol at Ford’s Theatre and Hermia in A Misummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe in London. TV/Film: Deadly Sins, The Cause, Collective Unconcious, The Strange Ones. 

Mathew Johnson Harris as Donny- Ladies in Waiting

Matthew is ecstatic to be apart of this production. He has performed all over the country as a singer and dancer. Matthew studied theatre at The Boston Conservatory and at The Collin Theatre Center. He is currently deepening his acting chops by attending The William Esper Studio. Matthew is also a group fitness instructor at several top boutiques in NYC.

Jessica Darrow as Miranda- Ladies in Waiting

Jessica is from Miami, Florida. Some of her theater credits include: Lucy in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Amalia in Absolutely! (Perhaps) and Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare’s Globe. She is currently a Bat at The Flea Theater. She was trained at Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University.

Meilin Gray as Annaleigh- Ladies in Waiting

Meilin is a New York-based actress. She recently starred in the play 410[GONE]. Recent film credits include Mandi in My Radical Valentine, Catalina in Ticket Cop and Laurel in In Her Eyes. Current projects in the works include jazz-sitcom Giant Steps and short film Yuki. She was trained at The William Esper Studio.

Emmanuel Uceta as Aaron- My Fair Bourgie

Emmanuel is a New York born-and-raised actor who has extensive experience in theatre, independent modeling and independent film. Emmanuel has previously modeled for New York-based indie clothing label, Lfant, and starred in Sudden Strangers, a Cannes Film Festival film (2015), but he is excited to be back on stage performing. He can be found further at and @emmanuelduceta on Instagram to follow along on his adventures.

Tom Rizzuto as Remy- My Fair Bourgie

Tom is a filmmaker, writer and actor from Northport, New York. He has made numerous short films and sketches and is currently in the process of editing his second feature film; Hideouts. In addition to film work he has appeared on stage several times and is delighted to be in this production of My Fair Bourgie. In love with New York City, he currently lives in Brooklyn with his collection of sports coats. His hobbies include history and literature, and is a frequent traffic court defendant.