A Note from the Playwright
Thank you for joining us. I am deeply proud to be a part of what Krista and OBTC are doing with their One to One Virtual Theatre. It’s a brave and exciting gamble. There is a temptation to step back in times of chaos, lean into those things we understand and know, and in the first months of the pandemic, that is exactly what I did. Held my family close. Treasured our health, ability to pay our bills and sleep at night. As the pandemic wore on I realized I needed to stretch myself, to use my voice in new ways. Personal and societal growth is uncomfortable, if you’re doing it right, at moments, it’s terrifying. But it’s necessary. Just like Kevin, in What Brought Me Here, it’s not enough to appear flawless, we must do the work and leave this world better for us having lived in it. I hope this play gives the audience a moment to step out of their concerns and remember we are connected, through love, sadness and ultimately, gratitude. Each voice matters. Each expression of thanks. I am grateful for each person who reaches across their discomfort to offer me their truth. It is the greatest gift.
-Alyson Shelton, playwright
Meet the Team
Wendy Katz Hiller (Director) is delighted to be working again with Open Book, in this new, virtual world! She has previously directed three plays on their actual, physical stage: Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Doubt, and Time Stands Still, as well as directing for BoxFest Detroit and Theatre Nova’s 10-minute Play Festival. Wendy is perhaps better known for her on-stage work having performed in three shows at Open Book, most recently portraying Lindel’s sister Masha in Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. Trained in acting at New York’s National Shakespeare Conservatory, Wendy received a “Wilde Award” for her performance as Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals with The Michigan Shakespeare Festival. She would like to thank Krista for this wonderful opportunity, Alyson for her beautiful, honest script, and Lindel for his talent and willingness to try something so new.
Lindel Salow (Performer) has been profoundly fortunate to be a part of Open Book for the last several seasons and was last seen as The Old Man in Fool for Love. Past OBTC work includes: Roger/Voice Two in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, Vanya in Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, Sagot in Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Rudolf Bauer in Bauer. He has also appeared at Puzzle Piece Theatre’s The People’s Temple, Ambition Facing West, and White People as well as at the JET, Performance Network and the Attic Theaters. Outside of performing, Lindel is an accomplished make-up artist with his artistry appearing in the PBS special, “Pavlo, Mediterranean Nights”, the Sam Levinson film “Another Happy Day” and in the work of Hollywood photographer Steven Kahn. He also enjoys spending time studying maritime history (and giving the occasional lecture), dabbling in stereo photography and isn’t adverse to general mischief making, with his spouse Chuck close behind egging him on!
Alyson Shelton (Playwright) is thrilled to collaborate with her college scene partner Krista Schafer Ewbank on What Brought Me Here. Returning to the theater with such a talented group of artists at Open Book is a bright spot of 2020. Alyson wrote and directed the award winning feature, Eve of Understanding. Currently, she’s finishing up Issue #1 of Reburn, a comic with artist Elise McCall. Her essays have appeared on MsMagazine.com, Hobart Pulp, Survivor Lit and Little Old Lady comedy blog. She lives in Los Angeles with her family where she juggles Zoom calls, reads and swims in the ocean. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @byalysonshelton or check out her website, www.alysonshelton.com.
Krista Schafer Ewbank (Artistic Director) is the founding Artistic Director of Open Book. She loves having an artistic home and providing a place for other artists to work and play, and has been particularly proud of keeping live performance going in new ways during a global pandemic. Krista received the Wilde Award for her performance in Emilie, and was previously nominated for her performance in Boy Gets Girl as well as for her direction of Peter and the Starcatcher. A native Michigander, Krista holds a degree in theatre from Northwestern University and has worked in theatres across the country acting, teaching, and directing.
Maria Tejada (Production Manager) is a professional stage manager who has worked with several Michigan theatres including Water Works Theatre, Planet Ant and six years at Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC even traveling to Macao, China with the production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Maria graduated from Grand Valley State University with degrees in Theater and Spanish. She is a facilitator with Detroit Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in Prison program, the Company Manager for Roustabout Theatre Troupe and she is so excited to now be a part of Open Book Theatre Company!
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