Meet team gwen and ida

David S. Kessler - Writer/Co-Producer

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David S. Kessler cannot believe his good fortune to be able to team with Nu Sass Productions (thank you Aubri!) and everyone on Team Gwen and Ida. He has written numerous sonnets, including one in 45 minutes for WNYC’s The Next Big Thing, songs for the short-lived Fidel’s Marching Marimba Band, three novels for nobody in particular, and numerous scientific papers. He spent almost four decades at the National Zoo, many of them as a small mammal biologist. Uncle Funsy Productions: Writer/Performer/Producer: Wombat Drool, One Mutual Happiness, Numesthesia (all at Capital Fringe Festival). The Arcanists: Medium (writer/performer): The Tarot Reading IV, The Tarot Reading V. He will be appearing as Mr. Chylle in Pointless Theatre’s Forest Treás June 2019. Love and gratitude to his wife, Patricia, and his son, Benjamin, for their support and encouragement.

Aubri O’Connor - Gwen/Co-Producer

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Aubri O'Connor is the Founder and Artistic Director for Nu Sass Productions. She is a proud Oberlin College alum ('04), and has been creating theatre in DC since 2009. Her recent credits include Dead Dog's BoneCan't Pay, Won't Pay!, and 50 Ways to Date Your Aubrey. She is thrilled to reunite with Lynn on this project, and is humbled at the work David has put in to this project. She thanks her Bear and her father for their unfailing support in all things she does.

Lynn Sharp Spears - Director

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Lynn Sharp Spears is an award-winning Director, Actor, and Artist, whose work has been seen in professional theaters, national touring companies, TV and film since 1987. She is on the Board of Directors for The International Center for Sustainable Development and is also the resident artist for Sustainable Design Group. She is very excited to be returning to NuSass to work on this play about incredibly creative women with strong, talented actors! Thank you David Kessler for your unique voice and for trusting me with your baby!

Rebecca Ellis - Ida

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Rebecca Ellis (Ida Lupino) is thrilled to be in this production as it combines two of her favorite things: theatre and classic films. Since moving here from Chicago, Rebecca has appeared with Peter's Alley (Sally, Talley’s Folly; Becca,Rabbit Hole; Callie, Stop Kiss), LiveArtDC (Clara Bow, Becoming IT; Yelena, Drunkle Vanya), Brave Spirits (Incest Rep) and Chesapeake Shakespeare (Ophelia, Hamlet; Margery Pinchwife, The Country Wife), among others. Much love and thanks to Lynn, David, Aubri, Matty and the cats!

Matty Griffiths - Jack

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Matty Griffiths is a freelance actor, director and, formerly, Executive Director/Founder of City Artistic Partnerships. Recent roles include; Boolie-Driving Miss Daisy(Anacostia Playhouse), Peach/Fag/LePrecious-How to Win a Race War(The Klunch), Greg/Kelly-Flood City(Theatre Alliance), Rabbi Barry-Constructive Fictions(Cap Fringe), Janitor-Dry Land(Forum Theatre & will be seen as; Hemingway in Clothes for a Summer Hotel, April 4th thru 28th(Rainbow Theatre Project)

Favorite directing credits include; Blues For A Royal Flush, Moscow, Interrogation, My Princess Bride, Feed Me, Edible Rex, Don’t Die in the Dark, The Santaland Diaries, & But Love Is My Middle Name. 

Charles Lasky - Stage Manager and Sound Designer

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Bridgid Burge -Scenic/Props/Costume Designer  

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Bridgid Burge is delighted to be working with Nu Sass for the first time! Bridgid is a freelance scenic designer, and hails from Michigan. Her recent design credits include The Great Commedia Hotel Murder Mystery with Faction of Fools, Baggage with Gallaudet University, Equivocation with Silver Spring Stage, and How to Keep an Alien with Solas Nua Inc. Bridgid also returns regularly to Michigan to design for Thunder Bay Theatre. You can view Bridgid's work at

Helen Garcia-Alton - Lighting Designer

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Helen Garcia-Alton (Lighting Designer) is a second year graduate candidate in lighting design at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. Hailing from Venezuela by way of Maryland, she is a proud DMV millennial who is excited to be back in town for the Summer, designing Gwen and Ida and later Be More Chill with Monumental Theatre Company and Nice Work if You Can Get It with the Community College of Baltimore. Most recently Helen has designed MASS/RABBLE with Submersive Theatre LLC and Carmen with the University of Tennesee's Opera program. She was recently awarded the 2019 award for Best Lighting Design for Orphan Sea with Cohesion Theatre Company, by Baltimore Independent Theatre Review, and 2nd Place at the SETC theatre conference for Graduate Lighting Design for Single Carrot's A Public Reading of An Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney.

Rachel Manteuffel - Understudy/House Manager

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Rachel Manteuffel is so excited to be here working with Nu Sass. She's worked recently with Bob Bartlett in a laundromat, Pinky Swear, The Washington Rogues, Prometheus Theatre and Doorway Arts Ensemble. In her other life she's a writer, mostly for The Washington Post. Next up she'll be a dinosaur in Enron with 4615 Theatre. Thanks for coming.    

Caelan Tietze - Production Manager