"Initiative" at the INK'D Festival

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As a part of their INK’D Festival of New Plays, the Playwrights Realm presents 2018 writing fellow Else C. Went’s Initiative. This 29-hour reading will culminate in a presentation on Thursday, April 18 2019. This reading will be directed by Emma Rosa Went.

It's the early 2000s; the internet is still young, the millennium still under warranty, and the new Harry Potter book is coming out soon. Fridays after class, high school students Riley, Clara, Em, Tony and Kendall play D&D fantasy games. Em sorta likes Clara, Kendall sorta likes Em, Riley likes Em's brother Lo, and Tony just likes 4chan. A mid-term transfer introduces gender-dysphoric Ty into the group and the game, but a small-town tragedy brings the fantasy world, and the real one, to a standstill.

Courage! To The Field!

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A (mostly) new play in verse, by Else C. Went (after Shakespeare), and directed by Emma Rosa Went. At the Tank from April 25-28th, and May 2-4, at 7pm. Buy tickets here!

Courage! To The Field! tells the story of Shakespeare's Henry IV Part 1 through the eyes of periphery characters, the wives and servants whose voices tend to disappear when the lofty instruments of war begin to sound. Courage! is a wild conversation with Shakespeare himself, which seamlessly weaves original verse and characters with the classic text to show that there is room enough in myth for everyone.

This production of Courage! To The Field! is made possible through a Tim Bond Production Grant from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Courage! was originally written as an entry to the ASC Shakespeare's New Contemporaries 2018, and was named a semi-finalist.

Saving Throw: Part One, Initiative

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Playwrights Realm 2018 writing fellow Else C. Went leads a week-long development workshop of their play Saving Throw: Part One, Initiative from November 13th through 17th. With guidance from director Emma Went, and producers and artistic staff from the Playwrights Realm, Initiative will be workshopped featuring a cast of young actors - including Greg Cuellar, Josh Caras, Kita Updike, Olivia Rose Barresi, Spencer Hamp, Andrea Lopez, and Harrison Densmore.

Initiative is the first section in Else C. Went’s two-part ensemble epic on adolescence, set in coastal California at the turn of the millennium and the dawn of the internet age. Initiative will be presented in April 2019 as part of the INK’D New Play Festival.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore

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With the Judson Theatre Company. Presented at the Hannah Center Theater in Southern Pines, NC, October 18th - 21st.

Featuring Sally Struthers, Kim Coles, Joyce Reehling, Olivia Rose Barresi, and Ashley Brooke. Directed by Daniel Haley, produced by Morgan Sills and the Judson Theatre Company.

A hilarious contemporary comedy from Nora and Delia Ephron, the authors of Sleepless in Seattle, When Harry Met Sally, and You’ve Got Mail. Proving that a great show is always in fashion, Love, Loss, and What I Wore has been an international hit since its NYC premiere in 2009. With its compulsively entertaining subject matter, this intimate collection of stories by Nora and Delia Ephron was based on the best-seller by Ilene Beckerman, as well as the recollections of the Ephron’s friends. The show uses clothing, accessories, and the memories they trigger to tell funny and poignant stories that all women can relate to - creating one of the most universal and enduring theatergoing experiences in recent memory.

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As You Like It

At the Scranton Shakespeare Festival. July 13, 14, 15, & 29.

A banished Duke and his followers seek refuge and peace in the Forest of Arden (a mysterious, secluded “golden world”) where two young women on the run from court find freedom in disguise and love in the forest... As You Like It is the universal invitation; Shakespeare's anarchic, musical comedy of love-at-first-sight and the power of nature, where discord finds harmony, where evil is converted, where all identity is possible.

Featuring: Olivia Rose Barresi (Rosalind), Will Ormsby Cary, Daniel Holme, Irina Kaplan, Julia Larsen, Garrett K. Lyons, Conor McGuigan, Joe McGurl, Ben McNamara, Tamara Sevunts, Logan T. Sutton and Camille Upshaw. Directed by Emma Rosa Went.

The Same Shirt Show


An Exploration of Masculinity in the Western Canon, as Performed by Two Women Wearing the Same Shirt, A Theatrical Revue OR: [THE SAME SHIRT SHOW]

ONE NIGHT ONLY: Dixon Place, February 23rd 2017 at 7pm.

Co-Created by and starring Julia Larsen and Olivia Rose Barresi. "Directed" by Emma Rosa Went.

A "post-feminist" comedic exploration of literature, co-dependency, and the importance of costume. Or something.

Julia Larsen and Olivia Rose Barresi tackle some of the most iconic scenes for men in western dramatic literature, from Shakespeare to Mamet… all while occupying a single XXXXL polo shirt. Bound together on a journey, both by serious feminism and by the actual polo shirt, they will attempt to answer the following question: Are two women better than one… man? Featuring sword-fights, hat-gags, possible songs, and the true meaning of (male) friendship.

Is this a vanity project? No one with vanity would do this.

The New Sincerity

Produced by New Wave Theater Collective. At the Nubox Theater at the John Desotelle Studio (NYC). November 17th-19th, 2017.

Let's change the world, but first let me take a selfie... Rose Spencer has just achieved the ultimate young intellectual's dream: becoming a staff writer for a prestigious New York literary criticism journal. She sees a way to participate in what may be the defining activist moment for her generation at the same time, but too quickly she must learn to recognize the difference between sincere action and skillful self-promotion. The New Sincerity is a poignant comedy about fighting for the greater good, whilst tweeting about it.

Featuring Olivia Rose Barresi (Rose Spencer), Michael Patrick Trimm, Jenna Kray, and Al Patrick Jo. Directed by Chris Morrissey, AD Ida Biering. Lighting by Wes Richter, scenic design by Stephanie Cain.

East Haddam

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Produced by the Cave Theatre Company, a reading of Adam Syzmcowicz's new play. October 29th 2017, at the Tank Theater in NYC. Directed by James Masciovecchio.

Something odd is happening in East Haddam. The Secret Agents are tracking the Green Swamp Lady. And Michael is back in town. He's probably an angel. And there's a unicorn too. And those clowns. What are they about? But maybe all that matters is if Julie can convince the high school freshmen she teaches that Romeo and Juliet were not in love.

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Three Seconds

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Residency at Maine's Barn Arts Collective. Workshop October 8th-15th 2017, public performance Saturday October 14th at 7 PM. Featuring work and performances by The Renovationists.

Is loneliness something in the blood? Or is it something in the air? As life at White Rock Lighthouse shifts tidally back and forth across a century, Emory meets the only person who could inspire him to change his fate. Two distinct timelines weave into one family story of loneliness, thwarted hope, and the ocean.

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Play by Corbin Went. Directed by Emma Went. Featuring Harrison Densmore, Julia Larsen, Olivia Rose Barresi, Patrick Harvey, Zoe Goslin, and Finn Kilgore.

Under-Song for A Cipher

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A evening of readings at the New Museum of Contemporary Art. Performed in the Sky Room, August 3rd 2017.

The readings featured were written or selected by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, on the occasion of her exhibition “Under-Song For A Cipher.” A cast of New York–based performers read texts by authors including Charles Baudelaire, James Baldwin, and Yiadom-Boakye herself in this special summer public program.

From the New Musuem's archival page of the event: "Yiadom-Boakye’s creative practice moves between visual art and literature. As both a writer and a painter, she creates quotidian and otherworldly characters who emerge and develop on the page or the canvas, remaining distinct to the medium in which they were rendered. For this program, Olivia Rose Barresi, Carol Carter, Maurice McPherson, and Yvonna Pearson read poetry, short stories, and scripts selected by Yiadom-Boakye, exploring what emerges when these texts become unmoored from their time and place of origin."

Henry V

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Shakespeare in the Square presented the Bard’s most thrilling history play on Saturday, July 22, 2017 at 7pm. In Hamilton NY, at Arts at the Palace. Directed by Dan Hasse.

Founded in 2010, Shakespeare in the Square is a company dedicated to performing classics to the hilt. SITS has produced ten of Shakespeare’s plays in Washington Square Park. SITS Company Members have worked on Broadway (The Heidi Chronicles, This is Our Youth), Off-Broadway (Punchdrunk, Theatre for a New Audience), TV (“Law and Order,” “The Affair” on Showtime), and Regional Theater (Signature Theatre, American Shakespeare Center).

“Washington Square Park is never more alive and enchanting than when these merry, nimble players are at work there. Shakespeare smiles.” – Terrence McNally

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Cold Brook

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Written by William Fichtner and Cain DeVoreCold Brook is a forthcoming indie drama film co-produced by Roadrunner Inc., Anamorphic Media, and Trilight Entertainment. The drama was filmed in Buffalo and Cortland County, New York.

Fichtner directs and stars in the piece, which also features Sons of Anarchy's Kim Coates and Lost's Harold Perrineau. The executive producers are Cain DeVore and Sean HusVar. Edd Lukas is the Director of Photography.

You can see a clip of my work in the film on my Video page.

Henry V


1 Shakespeare play. 17 actors. 48 hours. And not much else. 48-Hour Shakespeare presents Henry V at the Spaces at Manhattan Theatre Club, on November 13th 2016. Produced by Matthew Minnicino. Featuring Olivia Rose Barresi as Henry V.

Executed in the style of Shakespeare's original companies, a motley crew of theatre makers will assemble for the first time on the morning of Saturday, November 13th, parts assigned and lines as well-memorized as can be, and put together a play in less than two full days - with no budget, no designers, and (somehow) no director.

Henry V is on thin ice. Newly crowned king of a divided England, with a rocky reputation thanks to the scandals of his youth and a lot to prove, our boy needs a miracle to unite a realm of disparate peoples with nothing in common into a band of brothers. But when a princely provocation arrives from the French Dauphin, England and its king finds their cause: the conquest of France. So what if the odds are 10 to 1?

Saving Throw

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A staged reading of Corbin Went's play Saving Throw at the Tank. August 25th, 2016. Directed by Emma Rosa Went. Featuring Olivia Rose Barresi, Maybe Burke, Gerard Courtney Chamberlain, Harrison Densmore, Emily Hooper, Julia Larsen, Finn Kilgore, and Ethan Nguyen.

The fantasy world of Lothgrad provides Emory and his friends an escape from the crushing reality of adolescence. While they find solace in a world with rules that can be double-checked against a handbook, real life -- and real people -- are not always so simple. As Summer vacation approaches, the small stresses of life begin to test the tight-knit community of outcasts and nerds. Small stresses become big fractures, and it will take more than online personality quizzes and Super Nintendo to keep the fellowship together; it will take true bravery. A heartfelt drama, Saving Throw takes an understated look at how we keep each other safe in our darkest hours.

Richard II


1 Shakespeare play. 17 actors. 48 hours. And not much else. 48-Hour Shakespeare presents The Tragedy of King Richard II at Simple Syrup in Brooklyn, on August 14th 2016. Produced by Matthew Minnicino. Featuring Olivia Rose Barresi as Henry Bolingbroke.

Executed in the style of Shakespeare's original companies, a motley crew of theatre makers will assemble for the first time on the morning of the Saturday before performance, parts assigned and lines as well-memorized as can be, and put together a play in less than two full days - with no budget, no designers, and (somehow) no director.

Richard is King of England, and he likes it that way. But all suns that rise eventually set. When, in the fallout from his uncle's death, he decides to banish from England his powerful and popular cousin Henry Bolingbroke, the dominoes of dissent start to fall. As the weeds of rebellion creep through the garden of Richard's kingdom, a nation is divided, and a king learns the true price of his crown.

Much Ado About Nothing

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Easy Leap Theatre Company presents Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing at the Brick, August 3rd through 5th, 2016. 

Directed by Emma Went. Featuring Hailey Bachrach, Olivia Rose Barresi, Simoné Elizabeth Bart, Natasha Cole, Isabella Dawis, Zoe Goslin, Elissa Levitt, Irina Kaplan, Ashley Morton, and Jaine Ye.

Much Ado About Nothing, often billed as a "battle of the sexes," is here produced with an all-woman cast and explores masculinity and the performance of gender in Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy. With Olivia Rose Barresi as Benedick, and Ashley Morton as Beatrice.

Visit this website's Video page for a performance clip of the gulling scene.

The Winstons

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Fundamental Theatre Project presents three staged readings of Andrea Ciannavei's The Winstons, as a part of their Mass Rhetoric: New Works Festival. June 28th-30th 2016, at the Leonard Nimoy Thalia Theatre at Symphony Space.

Directed by Valorie Curry. Featuring Natalia Escobar, Chinasa Ogbuagu, Alison Blair, Julia Hochner and Olivia Rose Barresi.

The Winstons are five women in an industrial kitchen in Brooklyn in the final hour before they incinerate the Wall Street Bull. As they prepare, internal conflicts, suspicions, and racial and class tensions within the group threaten to tear them and their plan apart.


The Tank in NYC presents Corbin Went's Boxcar, January 21st through 30th 2016. Directed by Emma Rosa Went. Featuring Olivia Rose Barresi, Sarah Keyes, Finn Kilgore, and Travis Staton-Morrero.

Firefly and Ida, cosmic couple, and Geraldo, a burnout musician, lead a life on the rails. From an early age, Firefly and Ida have hopped trains across the country - but as the couple realize they have been traveling longer than they have ever stayed put, Ida finds herself searching for the meaning of this life she has written and rewritten. Teen runaway Alexis jumps onto the train late one night, and reignites Ida's chaotic passion.

The train rattles westward, towards the Pacific and a tiny town on the cliffs above the ocean, and all the travelers must contend with the selfishness of liberty. Boxcar blends intimacy and poetry, gender and power, truth and more than truth, all set against the vastness of the American landscape.

Watch a clip of Boxcar's opening scene on this website's Video page.

The Michigan Assassin

  Stanley Ketchel, right, boxing with opponent Billy Papke (1908) 

A reading from Ridley Creek Productions. Written by Matt McKenna, and directed by Ed Renninger. Presented at the John Desotelle Studio in NYC on 18th, 19th and 20th of December, 2015.

An epic about the life and times of turn-of-the-century boxer Stanley Ketchel, so nicknamed "The Michigan Assassin" over the course of his fighting career. Featuring Austin Archer*, Mike Backes*, Amanda Bailey*, Greg Bell, Alexander D Carney*, Carl Clemons-Hopkins*, Mark A. Keeton*, Caitlin McColl*, Michael Brian Ogden*, Jon L Peacock, Tom Paolino, Alana Rader*, Brandon Alan Smith, Edward Tolve*, Matthew Tyler, Michelle Vezlij*, and Olivia Rose Barresi.