Recently, I met Archie, who drove a bus for MTA for 30+ years. When I told him I was writing a show about the DC Sniper, he said, “Why the hell would you want to do something like that?” For some, October 2002 is best left forgotten, a fever dream for someone else’s distant memories.
Me? I’ve always been fascinated by it - the panic, the media coverage, the strange aura of it all. Even in today’s rhythm of fatal regularity, there’s still something wholly strange and morbidly unique about those twenty two days. And, while this piece isn’t meant to be historically accurate, I hope I’ve done my best to pay respect to the actual victims.
This script saw numerous drafts & revisions over the last two years. In addition to the creative team, I’m immensely thankful to the following individuals for their early feedback: Kurt Canfield, Eric Swartz, Madeline Key, Rachel Menyuk, Mary Keegan, Kyra Corradin, Jonelle Walker, and Catheeja Ismail. A special thanks to my editor-in-chief, Acacia Danielson, for extreme mental diligence in wading through all the excess to help me find what mattered.
Forest Treás is dedicated to my late grandmother, Wimalapathy Ismail, who always wanted me to make art with a theme, and also swore she was at that Michaels just before the Sniper.
My work as a projections and multimedia designer has always been to interrogate how we engage, ignore, enhance, relive, and remember our history. Forest Tréas has given me the unique opportunity to combine that intense interrogation with my love of directing and creating urban myths. While the events surrounding this story are far from mythical, this piece certainly brings to light in parabolic ways how a community responds to fear and violence. Themes of safety, distrust, and paranoia reverberate chillingly from 2002 to 2019 in hauntingly cyclical ways. My hope is that we all walk away with some semblance of how to protect our humanity.
I would be remiss as an artist not to mention my references and inspirations for this piece. This piece is heavily inspired by the work of Zvi Sahar and Puppet Cinema, Deconstructive Theatre Project, and countless other multimedia artists + companies whose work merges the cinematic with the theatrical to disturbingly beautiful effects.
Thanks for witnessing.
Pointless Theatre Presents: Forest Treás
World premiere of a newly commissioned work, inspired by the DC Sniper events. Written by Navid Azeez
Funded in part through a DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities grant.
DAVID S. KESSLER, Mr. Chylle
SARA HERRERA, Hiba
LEE GERSTENHABER*, Roberta
TIMOTHY THOMPSON, Chip
* Pointless Company Member ^Artistic Associate
NAVID AZEEZ*, Music/Sound Designer
JEANNETTE CHRISTENSEN, Costume Designer
MAX DOOLITLE, Lighting Designer
GRACE GUARNIERE Miniatures Designer
HAILEY LAROE, Associate Lighting Designer
EMILY LOTZ Set Designer
RACHEL MENYUK, Movement
DYLAN UREMOVICH^, Video & Projections Designer
ADRIANNA WATSON, Props Master
HAYDEN MORRISSETT*, Production Stage Manager
RACHEL SCHOR, Assistant Stage Manager
STEVE COSBY, Technical Director
Scenery built by Renegade Productions
18/19 Season graphics by Jackie Littman
SPECIAL THANKS. Etta Hulcher, Sharon Crissinger, Meaghan McFarland, Renee Nyack, Jeff Reckeweg. Ford’s Theatre, University of Maryland College Park.
Pointless Theatre's 2018-19 Season is generously sponsored by Bloomberg Philanthropies, Nora Roberts Foundation, and Share Fund. Funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
NAVID AZEEZ (Writer, Music/Sound Designer) Select Pointless: Imogen (Caius Lucius), d0t::a RotoPlastic Ballet (Navi/Writer/Music Director), Doctor Caligari (Lighting), Minnie The Moocher (Lighting). Other: The Tarot Reading (The Tinker & more), Party On! A Sensory Revelry In Romeo And Juliet (Divisor/Performer); dog & pony dc. Navid has performed and toured as a nerdcore rap artist for 10+ years, designed all the recent posters and videos for Pointless, and shouted at the TV during Jeopardy more than once.
KELLY COLBURN (Director) Pointless Premiere! Freelance interdisciplinary artist working as a director and projections & multimedia designer. Selected directing credits: The Cherry Orchard (14th St Y), Kingfishers (VKL DanceTime), Legacy & Liveness (NextNOW Festival), Untitled Homage To My Twenties in New York City (UMD Second Season), termiNATION (NextLOOK Series), and Organic (Jim Henson Puppetry Grant). Selected design credits: P.Y.G. (Studio Theatre) Blood At The Root (Theater Alliance), Silhouettes (Dana Tai Soon Burgess Dance Company), The 2018 Shakespeare Theater Gala (Shakespeare Theater Company), Matilda (Children’s Theatre of Charlotte), Small Mouth Sounds (Roundhouse Theatre), and Kiss (Woolly Mammoth). BFA Tisch ’11 | MFA UMD ’18 | kellycolburn.com
JEANNETTE CHRISTENSEN (Costume Designer) is thrilled to be making her Pointless debut! Currently based in DC, Christensen holds a BA in Theatre Design & Production from Arizona State University and an MFA in Design from the University of Maryland. Regional design credits include the Kennedy Center, Gala Hispanic Theatre, Olney Theater Center, Theater Alliance, Adventure Theater MTC, Imagination Stage, Mosaic Theater Company, The Keegan Theater and 4615 Theater Company. She has worked as a costume designer/mentor with the University of Maryland, Bowie State University, American University, and George Washington University. She has also assisted with costume designs for Wolf Trap Opera, Folger Theatre, and Studio Theatre. Find more of Jeannette's work at jchristensendesign.com.
MAX DOOLITTLE (Lighting Designer) Previously with Pointless: Gimme a Band, Gimme a Banana DC Area credits include Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Folger Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Mosaic Theatre Company, Theatre Alliance, Constellation Theatre, Imagination Stage, Kennedy Center/Second City, Forum Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre ACA, Adventure Theatre, NextStop Theatre. NYC: Ars Nova, Juilliard School, New Ohio Theatre, New World Stages. Regional: Kitchen Theatre Company, Fulton Theatre, Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival, Mississippi Opera Studio. Lighting direction for television: Anderson Cooper 360, Piers Morgan Live, and TED Talks. Aboard cruise ships: Wine Lovers the Musical. BFA Ithaca College | MFA University of Maryland | Member USA-829.
GRACE LIMBACH GUARNIERE (Miniatures Designer) Pointless Premiere! She is currently designing Goblin Secrets that will be opening this summer at Andy's Summer Playhouse. Her past scenic design credits include Little Shop of Horrors, Equinox & Solstice, Plight of the Immigrant at the University of Maryland. Check out her upcoming design of The Cunning Little Vixen at UMD next spring. guarnieredesign.com
HAILEY LAROE (Associate Lighting Designer) Pointless Premiere! Hailey works as an electrician and lighting designer in the DC area. Recent design credits include The Reluctant Dragon (Keegan Theatre), Black Pearl Sings (New Music Theatre Alliance), and Among the Dead(Spooky Action Theatre). Enjoy the show!
EMILY LOTZ (Set Designer) Pointless Premiere! Emily is a freelance designer based in Washington DC and a current instructor at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a Helen Hayes Award Nominee for Outstanding Scenic Design for Princess & the Pauper - A Bollywood Tale at Imagination Stage. Recent Credits: Always... Patsy Cline (Milwaukee Repertory Theater), The Diary of Anne Frank (Chesapeake Shakespeare Company), Fallen Angels (Nextstop Theatre Company), Love and Information and The Wild Party (UMD, College Park). Recent Assistant Credits: How To Catch A Star and She A Gem (The Kennedy Center), Macbeth (Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Born Yesterday (Ford's Theatre). emilylotzdesign.com.
RACHEL MENYUK (Movement) Select Pointless: Don Cristobal (Co-Adapter/Director), King Ubu (Puppets), Hugo Ball: A Dada puppet AdveNTurE!!/?1!!??(Assistant Director), Doctor Caligari (Jane), Sleeping Beauty: A Puppet Ballet (Ensemble), Canterbury (Nun). Rachel has worked with Live Action Theater, Infinite Stage, Wit's end Puppets and is a dancer and acting coach with the Performing Arts Repertory Company (PARC). She couldn't have done this without Erik and Charlie.
HAYDEN MORRISSETT (Production Stage Manager) Pointless: Don Cristóbal (Stage Manager), .d0t:: a RotoPlastic Ballet, King Ubu (ASM).
RACHEL SCHOR (Assistant Stage Manager) Pointless Premiere! Her most recent credits include The Who’s Tommy (The Kennedy Center), A Midsummer Nights Dream (Synetic Theatre), and The Music Man (The Kennedy Center). She is thankful to her family, Cameron, the entire Pointless family, and most of all, her kitten - Talulah. @rschor
DYLAN UREMOVICH (Video & Projections Designer) Pointless Premiere! Dylan just graduated with an MFA from the University of Maryland, focusing on lighting and projections design. Recent Credits: Native Son (Mosaic Theater Company), Analog II (SJ Ewing and Dancers; Dance Place), Bhoomi (KalanidhI Dance; Kennedy Center). UMD Credits: Citizen: An American Lyric (Projection Design), Clove (Lighting Design), Equinox and Solstice (Projection Design), and Love and Information (Lighting Design). You can view his other design work at UremovichDesign.com.
ADRIANNA WATSON (Props Master) Pointless Premiere! Being featured both on stage and behind the scenes, Adrianna Watson is excited to make her Props Master debut with Pointless Theatre. Adrianna has been seen on stage as Emily Webb in Randolph College’s production of Our Town and Harriet Stanley in The Man Who Came to Dinner. She also has a background in Hair and Makeup, working on productions including Our Town and F-ing A with Randolph College.
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Join us as we gain a deeper understanding of our collective experience brought about by the events of the DC Sniper.
June 8 Pointed Performances
June 9 Designing the Spectacle
June 10 Neighborhood Health & Safety
June 13 Processing Public Grief & Trauma
June 14 Investigating Journalistic Ethics
June 19 Building a Broadcast
These events are made possible by a grant from DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.
PATTI KALIL & MATT RECKEWEG, Co-Artistic Directors
DAVID LLOYD OLSON, Managing Director
WENDY SNOW WALKER, Deputy Director
ALISON BEYRLE, Director of Development
FRANK CERVARICH, Director of Audience Engagement
HAYDEN MORRISETT, Production Manager
RACHEL PARKS, Director of Digital Marketing
SCOTT WHALEN, Director of Public Relations
SARAH WILBY, Special Events Manager
Company Members. Navid Azeez, Mel Bieler, Aaron Bliden, Lex Davis, Lee Gerstenhaber, Frank Labovitz, Devin Mahoney, Rachel Menyuk, Sadie Rothman
EMERETI: John Hamilton & Ruth Anne Watkins
Artistic Associates. Kyra Corradin, Mary Catherine Curran, Madeline Key, Owen McCusker, Robert Christopher Manzo, Stacy Musselman, Matthew Sparacino, Nick Wilby, Michael Winch