a solo play adapted and performed by Jonah Scott Mendelsohn
based on Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog by Paul Monette
Jonah Scott Mendelsohn
Actor and adapter
Jonah Scott Mendelsohn is an actor, singer, and writer based in New York City. He grew up in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and studied at Vassar College and the O’Neill Theatre Center in Waterford Connecticut.
His stage work spans new plays in New York City, and lead roles in regional theaters. Favorite roles include Stuart Gellman in Tony Kushner’s Caroline, or Change (Astoria Performing Arts Center, AUDELCO winning production for Best Revival of a Musical); Pete, a pregnant man, in Tumor by Sheila Callaghan; Paul in Company by Sondheim and Furth at the Philipstown Depot Theatre, and the killers in Shakespeare's Richard II with Walking the dog Theater in Hudson, NY.
His writing includes a variety of poetry, and two pieces for the stage: Jonah - a choreopoem, based on the biblical story, first presented at West End Synagogue; and A Mostly Perfect Education: Things They Don't Talk about at Commencement, a one-man show about his experiences as a Women's Study minor at Vassar College, which began development in Martin Moran's personal narrative workshop at the Barrow Group.
Jonah is currently training to become a Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner.
Directing experience off-Broadway and off-off Broadway includes: Cyrano de Bergerac, The Vocal Lords, King Lear (OOBR Award), The Good Lover, Desdemona: A Play About a Handkerchief , Baby with the Bath Water, Romeo and Juliet , Cellular Freedom, live industrial show for Time Warner Telecommunications, Dorothy Parker: Just a Little One. Executive producer: The Odyssey, Laberintos/Labyrinths, The Trojan Women. Hôtel des deux mondes (U.S. premiere), Don Juan, and We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!
Acting credits: FILM: Popcorn Man (festival awards from Melbourne International Film Festival, and Hiroshima International Film Festival), and Philly Flash. STAGE: The Cherry Orchard, Baby with the Bathwater, Much Ado About Nothing, The Medieval Mystery Plays Parts I and II, The Odyssey, and Alan Ayckbourn’s Sisterly Feelings. MFA in acting from Temple University.
Arts education: Floyd served as Associate Education Director for Theatre For A New Audience (1990-1995), and founder of Stages of Learning and the Chekhov Theatre Ensemble (1994-2010); Adjunct Professor, Long Island University; and author of STAGEiT! Shakespeare, a curriculum for teachers and students.
In recent years, Floyd has worked as a transformational leader for several nonprofits focusing on education, arts, youth and children, health and human services, and L.G.B.T.Q.+ communities. His leadership has been recognized by AMNY Metro, PoliticsNY, Gay City News, and City and State New York.
Ben Mehl is an actor and teacher living in New York. He has taught and directed at the NYU Graduate Acting Program, where he received his MFA and completed a teaching mentorship. He teaches at the New York Film Academy, HB Studio, and has also taught at The Public Theater, Red Bull Theater, Vim Vigor, Clown Gym, the Refugee Youth Summer Academy, the New School and as a private coach. He is a member of The Actors Center and a volunteer at the 52nd Street Project.
Acting credits include: TV: YOU, THE GOOD WIFE, SUPERNATURAL INVESTIGATOR. Film: VIRAL BEAUTY, THE FLY ROOM, OFF-DUTY.Off-Broadway: THE GOVERNMENT INSPECTOR, SCHOOL FOR SCANDAL; (Red Bull Theater); PERICLES, COMEDY OF ERRORS (Public Theater). Regional: THE CRUCIBLE, YENTL (Cleveland Playhouse); TROUBLEMAKER (Berkeley Repertory Theatre); SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION (Williamstown Theatre Festival); HENRY V (Two River Theater); LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST (Chautauqua Theater Company). Other New York: DANNYKRISDONNAVERONICA, JULIUS CAESAR (Wheelhouse Theater); AT THE TABLE (Fault Line Theatre); HABIT (P.S. 122).
Memoirist, poet, and gay rights activist Paul Monette was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, and earned a BA at Yale University. He taught at Milton Academy and Pine Manor College before moving to Los Angeles with his longtime partner, Roger Horwitz, in 1977, where he became active in the city’s gay rights movement.
Frequently elegiac, Monette’s poems narrate the trauma and pain of the AIDS crisis. His poetry collections include West of Yesterday, East of Summer: New and Selected Poems 1973-1993 (1994), Love Alone: 18 Elegies for Rog (1988), and The Carpenter at the Asylum (1975). Monette is also the author of the memoirs Borrowed Time: An AIDS Memoir (1988) and Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story (1992), which won the National Book Award. His novels include Halfway Home (1991) and Taking Care of Mrs. Carroll (1978).
Monette died at his home in Los Angeles of AIDS complications in 1995. The Monette-Horwitz Trust, which he and Horwitz founded, offers awards to individuals working to eradicate homophobia. Monette’s papers are archived at the University of California, Los Angeles, library.
Shelley Wyant - original workshop director
Shelley Wyant is a teacher, director and performer. She has worked as an actor in New York and regionally. The Mask has been Ms. Wyant's special teaching tool and since 1981 and she has offered workshops and residencies in both neutral and character mask at many universities and conservatories such as Yale, Brown, Smith, NYU, Lincoln Center Institute and Bard College.
Ms. Wyant is a founding member of Actor's and Writers of Olivebridge, NY. In 1990, she founded MaskWork Unlimited whose critically acclaimed works using masks and giant puppets have been performed in the Hudson Valley, New York City and internationally. She holds an MFA in directing from Brooklyn College and a BA from Brandeis University.
In 2010, Ms. Wyant went to Bucharest, Romania as a Fulbright Senior Specialist Scholar teaching neutral and character mask at The National University Of Theatre and Film I.L.Caragiale. Also in 2010 Ms. Wyant began her association with Jana Sanskriti in West Bengal, India. She is a trustee of The Stone Ridge Library as well as president of The Stone Ridge Library Foundation.