Wednesday, July 13, 2016

THE EARLY BIRD SPECIAL Program Information, Creative Team & Actors

THE EARLY BIRD SPECIAL Written by John J. Ronan

Directed by Dennis W. Gleason

 Time:  Present.                                             Place:  Front yard, two cars.


                       Characters in order of appearance

              Jennie…………………………. Ree Davis

              Frank………………………….. Paul J. Caliendo

              Dennis………………………… Kalen Hall

              Laura…………………………... Ashley Victoria Harris

              Jack……………………………. Zachary Tuckness

              Gale……………………………. Katherine Paulsen


Who’s Who

Paul Caliendo (Frank) was last seen in NYC at Hudson Guild Theater in Journey to the Sea of Palestine. He has appeared in many productions, including Little Women (Mr. Laurence), White Christmas (General Waverly), Legally Blonde (Callahan), Ragtime (Grandfather), Drood (Crisparkle), Guys and Dolls (Brother Arvide), My Fair Lady (Doolittle), and Arsenic and Old Lace (Lt. Rooney).  A retired music educator, Paul has performed as a pit musician for many productions. He is currently studying acting at T. Schreiber Studio. Thanks to loving wife Rosemary and wonderful children Katie and John for their support.  (


Ree Davis (Jennie) studied at HB Studio.  Stage credits include Rhoda in A Trolley Named Tsuris, Juror #9 in 12 Angry Women, Martha in Gayest Xmas Pageant Ever, Mrs. Nolan in Days of Wine and Roses, Mrs. Wire in Tennessee Williams’ Vieux Carre, Penny in George S. Kaufman’s You Can’t Take it with You, and Pamela in Noel Coward's Nude with Violin.  Film appearances include:  King of the Corner, Celebrity, 15 Minutes, The Tic Code.  Television:  As the World Turns.  Having been in a 2001 performance of Occam’s Razor at the Strawberry One Act Festival, Ree is delighted to be here again.


Kalen Hall (Dennis) has worked at many theatres in NYC: American Globe Theatre, Hudson Guild Theatre, Brecht Forum, Players Theatre, Gallery Players, and others.  He holds a BFA in Theatre Arts from Point Park University, Pittsburgh, where he worked extensively: Pittsburgh Playhouse, Pittsburgh CLO, Pittsburgh Musical Theatre, and Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre.  Kalen has also worked on several films, one of which debuted at Cannes in May.  Many thanks for the love and support from Cali.  This winter he’ll defend his Fantasy Football Championship!  (


Ashley Victoria Harris (Laura) is a Southern California native (B.A. UC Santa Barbara; M.Ed. UC Riverside), now a resident of Brooklyn and a proud member of the National WWII Museum's Victory Belles vocal trio. Selected past credits: Seussical, The Baker's Wife, Parade, (The Gallery Players), Les Miserables, The Great Gatsby, The Marvelous Wonderettes (Roxy Regional Theatre).  When not on stage, Ashley teaches History and English at Fusion Academy Brooklyn.


Katherine Paulsen (Gale) graduated from Yale in 2014 with a BA in Humanities.  Since then she has traveled the globe with her a cappella group, Whim 'n Rhythm (7 states and 12 countries), sung on two cast albums, and has been seen in numerous plays and short films in NYC, including four shows directed by Dennis Gleason (Mad About the Boy at the 13th Street Rep, American Lobster at MRT, Three Characters and the Speed of Light, and The Early Bird Special).  So many thanks to Dennis, Leroy, and, as always, my parents.


Zachary Tuckness (Jack) In New York, Zach Tuckness has played Kyle in Sick by Bekah Brunstetter and Michael The Archangel in The General of Hot Desire by John Guare at Atlantic Acting School,  Dr. Tom Pitnick in Night Visits by Simon Fill with Action Theatre Company, Rene Secretan in the world premiere of The Final Days of Vincent Van Gogh by Donald Mann at the American Theatre of Actors, Fabreze in the The Harlequin Maneuver by Don Nguyen with The Riant Theatre, and he was in the New York premiere of the two-man one-act Forgive Me, Brother by Barry Slater as Father Anthony in The Strawberry One-Act Festival (2015). Zach is excited to be working again with director Dennis Gleason at the Strawberry One-Act Festival.


John J. Ronan (Playwright) is both a playwright and poet.  He has received national honors for his poetry and is a National Endowment for the Arts Fellow.  His play The Yeats Game premiered in 2008 at Boston Playwrights’ Theater and in 2012 moved to an off-off Broadway production.  A new comedy, The Tease of Eden, will be appear in 2017.  The Early Bird Special was a finalist in the 2016 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Festival and John is very happy it’s part of the 2016 Strawberry Festival.  (  And a special thanks to Keri Landiero for her helping hand.


Dennis W. Gleason  (Director) returns to the Strawberry Festival where four of his shows have been finalists (Goodnite Lovin' Trail, On Top, Forgive Me Brother, Book Wench); last year he was the only director to run two plays (as again this season with Early Bird Special and Family Googling) and is proud that one of his cast members was awarded "Best Actor".  With a MFA in Directing, 150 directing credits, and numerous awards, he has worked coast to coast including Off Broadway, and regional, dinner, community and college theatre. Recent shows include And Then There Were None, Side Show and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. This summer he directs the double bill The Unsalable Thing/Houseless in Paradise in the New York International Fringe Festival.

Jayde Laila Fuentes (Stage Manager/Tech) is thrilled to experience the Theatre at St. Clement’s through the eyes of a stage manager.  Her most recent work consists of being the Assistant Director of the Off-Broadway production of In My Father’s House and starring in the film Countdown.  As a graduate of the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts she is using what she learned from teachers like Jay Goldenberg and Alan Rackham.


A martini to die for: the old folks are really stepping out.

Saturday, July 16th at 1pm
Monday, July 18th at 9pm
Saturday, July 23rd at 1pm

At the Theatre at St. Clement’s, 423 West 46th Street, NYC
The Riant Theatre’s Strawberry One-Act Festival


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