FEATURED ARTISTS FOR COMEDY IN THE DMV:
ANDY KLINE , a Leesburg VA native, has always had an interest in Comedy. After getting his comedy start in Washington DC in 1998, Andy has been able to branch out to clubs across the country. In addition to regular appearances on 98 Rock and XM Radio, Andy has performed at The DC Improv, Magooby’s Joke House, Miami Improv, Comedy Cellar in NYC, The Seattle Comedy Underground, and The Baltimore Comedy Factory. With a mixture of strong opinions, creative insight, and common sense, Andy manages to be more than just funny, he manages to be memorable. Andy’s talents have enabled him to work with some of the biggest names in the business, including Dave Chappelle, Wanda Sykes, and Emo Philips.
VIJAI NATHAN is one of the leading Indian American female comedians making people laugh across America and internationally too. International comedy phenomenon Russell Peters calls her “One of the top two South Asian comics in the world to watch!”
She has performed in South Africa, England and Canada, and was featured at the Montreal International Comedy Festival (Just for Laughs) and the Smirnoff International Comedy Festival. Washington DC loves her too- she’s performed at the Smithsonian Museum, Kennedy Center, Constitution Hall, Library of Congress and won the award for Artistic Excellence from SpeakeasyDC.
She’s gained attention from critics from her solo-shows “Woman on Top: Tips from Mom, Dad & COSMO” & “Good Girls Don’t, But Indian Girls Do. ” Vijai grew up as a “foreigner” (or at least that what everyone called her) in the suburbs of Washington D.C. where she was born. Her material comes from her experience as an Indian girl in America – raising two immigrant parents, dating boys with mothers who wished their sons could find a nice blonde girl named “Tiffany,” and the universal quest for love, understanding and a good pair of undies.
CHELSEA SHORTE is originally from Richmond, Va. After moving to the DC Metro for work, Chelsea discovered comedy as a way to stave off the boredom of being a beautiful twenty-something.Beginning in 2010, Chelsea has been studying and performing improv at several of Washington DC’s improv theaters, including ComedySportz DC, the DC Improv, and the Washington Improv Theater.Since first taking the stage as a stand-up in early 2011, she has flourished on the local scene. In addition to producing and hosting the monthly, all-female Little Spoons Comedy Showcase, Chelsea frequently hosts and performs at various local shows in DC.
KASAUN WILSON is a stand-up comedian who has been touring colleges, churches, and theaters all around the country. While earning his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the historic Howard University (THE MECCA) in Washington, DC, Kasaun Wilson started an acting and stand-up comedy career that is still garnering him national attention today. He won DC Improv’s Funniest College Student competition representing Howard University, has opened up for some of this country’s greatest acts including Grammy Award Winner, Tye Tribbett, Greg Proops (Whose Line is it Anyway?), Gary Owen (Tyler Perry’s House of Payne and Think Like a Man) and featured for Donnell Rawlings (Chappelle’s Show), and has also been highlighted in the Washington Post for his acting work on “Sanctified” at the Lincoln Theater and “Standing on the Edge” in the DC Black Theatre Festival. Known for his quick wit and setting himself apart for being one of the country’s brightest clean comedians, Kasaun has featured in some of this country’s greatest venues including the DC Improv, the UniverSoul Circus, The Ohio State University, the Stand-Up NY Comedy Club, and the world famous Comedy Store in Los Angeles, CA to name a few. All of these great shows led to Kasaun being featured on the upcoming season of NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season 9 starting on July 22, 2015. Whether it is on the silver screen, the theater stage, or with a mic in his hand, look out for Howard University’s own Mr. Kasaun Wilson. -@mrkasaunwilson
FEATURED ARTISTS FROM DIVERSE SOLO SHOWS FROM WOMEN:
CAROLINE CLAY (LET IT FLO!) is extremely grateful to Paige Hernandez and B-FLY Entertainment for this opportunity to showcase powerful female voices of color. LET IT FLO! was developed and produced at the University of Maryland at the School of Theatre, Dance and Performance Studies as Clay’s MFA Thesis. (2013).
(Broadway): Doubt, Doubt: The National Tour (Helen Hayes Award: Best Supporting Actress), The Royal Family. (Off Broadway): New York Theatre Workshop, Signature, Playwright’s Horizons. (Regional): Yale Rep, McCarter, Long Wharf, Goodman. (D.C.): Forum Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre, Ford’s Theatre. Clay is a 2015 Nominee for Best Actress in a Play for Gidion’s Knot (Forum/NextStop Theatre.) Clay is a native Washingtonian, a graduate of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts and UMD- she now guest teaches at both. www.carolineclay.com
LET IT FLO! celebrates the achievements of the flamboyant radical feminist, Florynce Kennedy. An early architect of the Women’s Movement along with her friend Gloria Steinem, Kennedy is often known for her famous quote: “Honey, if men could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament!” This Columbia University educated attorney was at the forefront of not only the Women’s and Civil Rights movements, but was also instrumental in the creation of much of the legislation now on the books involving pro-choice abortion rights. An early artists advocate, she successfully negotiated the estates of both the late Billie Holiday and Charlie Parker in their fight with record companies to sustain ownership over their material. In addition to her autobiography, Color Me Flo: My Hard Life and Good Times, she co-authored the book Abortion Rap, and appeared in many films including, The Landlord and Born in Flames.
PAIGE HERNANDEZ (PAIGE IN FULL) is a multifaceted artist, who is known as a performer, director, playwright, teaching artist and choreographer. As an AEA actress, Paige has performed on many stages throughout the country including DC: Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Imagination Stage, Discovery Theatre, Manship Theatre (LA), Paramount Theatre (TX), The Wharton Center (MI), Playhouse Square (OH) and many others. She is currently nominated for two Helen Hayes awards including outstanding choreography (Woolly Mammoth Theatre) and Outstanding Production, TYA for Cinderella the Remix (Imagination Stage). With her company B-FLY ENTERTAINMENT, Paige tours internationally with her original shows that include PAIGE IN FULL, HAVANA HOP, and LINER NOTES. www.paigehernandez.com
PAIGE IN FULL is a visual mix-tape that blends poetry, dance, visual arts and live music to tell the tale of a multicultural girl growing up in Baltimore, MD.. The production explores how a young woman’s identity is shaped by her ethnicity and popular culture, telling a personal, yet universal, story through the lens of hip-hop.
JJANA VALENTINER (Funeral Potatoes) is a Washington, DC based actress, teaching artist, improviser, make-up artist and burgeoning playwright. She was last seen onstage as the Stage Manager in Theater J’s production of Our Suburb directed by Broadway’s own Judith Ivey. Prior to that, Ms. Valentiner was seen in Coriolanus at the Shakespeare Theatre Company in addition to a sold-out run of her one-woman show Funeral Potatoes. She has toured as Kate in The Taming of the Shrew with Montana Shakespeare in the Parks as well starring in The Only Jealousy of Emer with New York-based Handcart Ensemble. While in DC, Ms. Valentiner has worked as an actress at various theatres including Arena Stage, Folger Theatre, Round House Theatre, Studio Theatre, Imagination Stage, Rorschach Theatre, Constellation Theatre, Forum Theatre and The Hub Theatre (Helen Hayes nomination for Best Ensemble for Birds of a Feather), among others. She holds an MFA from the Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at George Washington University.
FUNERAL POTATOES: Megan finds herself caught between two worlds of cultural extremes when she is asked to be the lone speaker at her philandering grandfather’s funeral. Will she find her authentic voice as she struggles to emulate both religious and secular expectations of the ideal woman? What are her chances at lasting happiness if she doesn’t? Meanwhile, her mother is saving the world one casserole at a time while her younger, more popular sister is shipped off to “find” herself in the desert. Funeral Potatoes is a serio-comic look at the balance between piety and sexuality played out in the midst of a conservative Mormon family. DC Theatre scene calls this spunky one-woman show a “delicious collision of life smashing with conservative family values.” In a tour de force performance, Jjana Valentiner brings a host of characters to life in a fresh, funny take on the journey of self-discovery
ANU YADAV (Meena’s Dream) is a critically-acclaimed actress, playwright, theater-based educator and producer dedicated to untold stories. She wrote and performed the solo plays, ‘Capers, and Meena’s Dream which debuted to sold-out houses and currently tour nationally. She founded Classlines, a community storytelling project on wealth and poverty. She has performed with the Shakespeare Theatre Company, Imagination Stage, at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival, Studio Safdar in Delhi, and Beijing’s National Academy of Dramatic Arts. As a seasoned teaching artist she has worked with all age groups at numerous institutions including University of Maryland, Smithsonian’s Discovery Theatre, Capital Fringe Festival, African Continuum Theatre, Sasha Bruce Youth Work and Young Playwrights’ Theatre. Her work was featured in media outlets such as The Washington Post, WAMU-FM, and Washingtonian Magazine and the documentaries Walk with Me andChocolate City. She is a 2014 Western Arts Alliance ‘Launchpad’ Artist, DC Artist Fellow, Mercersburg Academy Fowle Scholar-in-Residence, and Arts Midwest Spotlight Showcase Artist. She is a Bryn Mawr College graduate, and as a Watson Fellow she studied theater and social change in Brazil, India, and South Africa. She holds an M.F.A. in Performance from University of Maryland, College Park.
During the day, nine-year-old Meena wishes that her mother could get well; and by night, the Hindu God Lord Krishna appears, entreating Meena’s help in his war against the Worry Machine. Meena’s Dream creates a fantastical world through storytelling and original music, from South Indian classical traditions to indie folk.