By: Kathryn Higgins

An off-off Broadway production of:

“A Picnic sur la Grasse”

A Couple Meets Some Friends for the Weekend and Things Go Awry!

Who’s Who in the Cast and Crew
Ashley Mimsey-Whittenton (Anais): I am ecstatic to be playing Anais in this totally excellent production. And working with EboneY — it’s such a dream — except when he smokes those weird cigarettes right before the kissing scene. EboneY! Here’s a shout out to my parents: Hey Dad: Told you so about the acting classes. No more bitching about that, OK? And it’s pronounced “An-a-is,” not “An-anus” or “An-ass” for all your smart alecks out there. Credits: America’s Next Top Model (contestant, season 3), Naughty Bar Girls (girl), Zombies from Hollywood (victim/zombie), Frat Party (girl in pool scene), Deluxe Bathing Suits (catalog model).

EboneY (Blair): I’m like, eXhilarated to be playing Blair, I’m totally dowN with it. Especially when I get to kiss Ashley Mim-Whit. Yo, Ashley! She da bomb! And that long part in the third act when I’m offstage…Well, we’ve got a damn good game of cards happening in the back there. I mean a daMn good game! I had to really work on my pecs to play this role, if you know what I mean. All that nudity! Well, only partial nudity for me but Ashley — I’m like, yO biTch, put it in its place! Credits: American Idol (contestant, season three, if you look close enough you can see me), Street Dancing (high school production), Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (straight guy), America’s Funniest Home Videos (video of the guy with the beer bong). And I’d like to thank that Esquire dude for the really cool article and photo shoot. Look for me there in oCtober.

Cindi King (Sue): I’m elated to be in this production, even though I am playing Sue. I’m used to more of a challenge, you know? So it gets really irritating when Shirley keeps taking away my cell phone during rehearsals. I’m not twelve years old, for chrissakes. Credits: Wicked (regional), High School Musical (high school production), South Pacific (understudy).

Stephen Baldwin (Butch): Yeah, here I am, playing someone sexy in this play. Lucky you! Credits include: The Usual Suspects, Celebrity Big Brother, Big Brother’s Little Brother, SlapShot 2: Breaking the Ice, Zebra Lounge, Oddville: MTV, Bio-Dome. And I’d like to take this opportunity to personally thank the Lord for the humility and success and just general virtuosity that He has bestowed so appropriately upon me.

Ashley Peeks (housemaid): Yeah, I’m the other Ashley. Not that Ashley. Though I can’t say I’m that embarrassed about it. I’m not envious, no. Especially when people ask me to take my clothes off and Ashley (the other one), says, “No, it’s me who takes her clothes off!” Yeah, I’m really glad I went to Julliard and NYU acting school and did all those internships and got all that coffee for all those lech producers, it really paid off, right? So, right, that’s me in the background with the feather duster. Enjoy! Credits: Waiting for Godot, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Lysistrata, Oedipus Rex, The Cherry Orchard, bobrauschenbergamerica, My Vagina Has a Conversation with Me, etc., etc., etc.

Andy McDits (Joe): I was euphoric to get the part of Joe in this fine production. You might not know it from the script but once you see me playing Joe you’ll understand that he’s a character with a real history — an alcoholic father, bipolar mother, difficulties with learning disabilities in high school, but, despite it all, a cum laude college graduate. Did you know Joe spends his free time rescuing animals from shelters and collecting stamps? Credits: The Suite Life of Zack and Cody (laugh track), Hannah Montana (laugh track), Cops (perp), Wonder Pets (pet), Alvin and the Chipmunks (crowd extra).

Shirley Barker (Director): I am absolutely exuberant to be directing this wonderful play. A play about love and loss; about people who get hurt and people who forget their pants. And to work with this fine cast of young people! And by “young” I don’t mean vain, shallow, selfish and inexperienced. What I mean is they’re so full of potential. Yes, if you look hard enough you’ll see all sorts of latent possibility. Latent just like a caterpillar before it builds its cocoon, when it’s voraciously eating everything in sight with its insect mandibles, engorging its segmented body and its thousands of larval muscles that it uses to hump from one meal to the next, a meal that might consist of leaves or detritus or other caterpillars or my winter coat. A caterpillar that at times may regurgitate its digestive juices or produce bad smells through its extrudable glands to repel attacking enemies. A caterpillar that might camouflage itself as a bird dropping to escape detection. Not so pretty, right? But then, look, it spins itself a cocoon by excreting some kind of glue and then its tubular body sort of decomposes and recomposes and, if you’re lucky, a beautiful butterfly will emerge. Although sometimes it’s a big ugly hungry moth, like the one that was trying to get into my closet last night. I had to squish it — don’t you hate having to squish one of those really fat juicy moths? Credits: Shakespeare in the Park, Shakespeare on the Sound, Shakespeare on the Pier, Shakespeare at the Mediocre Junior College, Modern-Day Shakespeare Interpretations.

Frank Congeali (Lighting): I was eager to be Head Lighting Guy in this production until I got to know the cast, then I became enervated. Thank god for Bilbo — that’s what we call Shirley’s personal assistant — he’s a little short. I think his real name is Seth or Armando or something like that. Anyway, thank god for him and for Lexapro and for coffee. And, okay, for tequila. Shirley keeps saying, “It’s a romantic comedy, not a zombie movie,” and I keep saying, “I’m a lighting guy, not a fricking magician,” and “Some people just should not be naked in public.” But who listens to the lighting guy? Credits: WKXQ’s Fatslob and Manwhore in the Morning, rogue performance art exhibitions at Ground Zero, Central Park and the east side Benihana’s, Shakespeare with Shirley (Othello and A Midsummer Night’s Dream).

XtC (set design): I was effervescent to be included in A Picnic Sur La Grasse! Honestly, I nearly wet my pants! Not to say that I haven’t been involved in a lot of productions, but I always give it my all, you know? My ALL. Now, if you look closely at this set you will see a rainbow — see if you can find it! Credits: Queer Eye for the Straight Guy (queer guy), Cirque de Solstice/Yonkers, La Cage aux Folles, Rampant Nudity II, Halloween Parade float design — Greenwich Village.

Blondelle (costumes, makeup, hair): I’m exotic. And I have to be energetic to do costumes, makeup and hair. Geez, this was a cRAPload of work, as EboneY would say. Credits: Halloween Parade downtown, Mama Mia, Dyspepsia, South Pacific, Colonoscopy (Donald Trump’s), Westminster Dog Show.

Nicky Infantino (security): I was edgy when I heard I’d be doing security on this detail. But I’m always edgy. Except when I’m playing cards and bustin’ heads. I haven’t had to bust any heads. Yet. I have played some cards — a good way to make some extra cheese. Credits: rogue performance art exhibitions at Ground Zero, Central Park and the east side Benihana’s (busted ’em up), Halloween downtown (busted up some queers), Manhattan red velvet rope detail.

Ashton Snitfield (playwright): Oh, do I have to say something here? I was hoping to just collect a paycheck and keep a low profile. Sorry!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *