By Ayad Akhtar
Directed by Benjamin Summers
Set in 1985, Junk tells the story of Robert Merkin, resident genius of the upstart investment firm Sacker-Lowell. Hailed as "America's Alchemist," his proclamation that "debt is an asset" has propelled him to a dizzying level of success. By orchestrating the takeover of a massive steel manufacturer, Merkin intends to do the "deal of the decade," the one that will rewrite all the rules.
Working on his broadest canvas to date, Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar chronicles the lives of men and women engaged in financial civil war: insatiable investors, threatened workers, killer lawyers, skeptical journalists, and ambitious federal prosecutors. Described as a mix between a Shakespearean play and THE BIG SHORT, the play examines the point in American history when debt overtook value as the main route toward obtaining wealth. Although it's set 30 years in the past, this is a play about the world we live in right now; a world in which money became the only thing of real value.
February 15-March 9
at the Whisenhunt at Zach Theatre
Ayad Akhtar was born in New York City and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is the author of "American Dervish," published in 25 languages worldwide and a 2012 Best Book of the Year at Kirkus Reviews, Toronto's Globe and Mail, Shelf-Awareness, and O (Oprah) Magazine. He is also a playwright and screenwriter. His play DISGRACED played at New York's Lincoln Center Theater in 2012 and premiered at the Bush Theater in London in May 2013. Disgraced won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. His play The Invisible Hand was nominated for the ATCA/Steinberg Award, and won Best New Work 2013 from the St. Louis Theater Critics Circle. As a screenwriter, he was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for Best Screenplay for "The War Within." He has received commissions from Lincoln Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. He is a graduate of Brown and Columbia Universities with degrees in Theater and Film Directing.
cast & creative
Carlo is happy to be back working with the gang at Street Corner Arts, where he previously portrayed Eddie in POCATELLO (B. Iden Payne Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy). He has also appeared in THE MADRES (Shrewd Productions); EL NOGALAR, SONG FOR THE DISAPPEARED, SOLID SAND BELOW (Goodman Theatre); RICHARD III (Wayward Productions); ST. CRISPIN’S DAY (Strawdog Theatre); COAST OF CHICAGO (Lookingglass Theatre); SUENO, WOYZECK, THE MISANTHROPE (Greasy Joan & Co); BURIED CHILD, MOJO, CHERRYWOOD (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co.) among others. As a member of SAG-AFTRA, his film/TV work includes CHICAGO PD (NBC), EMPIRE (FOX), UNDER COVERS (web series), INNOCENT (feature), ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE (feature), ROGERS PARK (feature), and more. Next up, Carlo will be directing THE CHILDREN by Lucy Kirkwood with Jarrott Productions opening this April at Trinity Street Playhouse. | www.carlogarcia.com
Carlo Lorenzo Garcia
Zac Carr is an actor, improviser, comedian, and educator who recently returned to Austin, Texas. He was most recently seen in SCA's production of WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT... He has also performed with American Berserk Theatre in the original devised play FOR TIME AND ETERNITY: THE SECRET HISTORY OF MORMONISM’S ELECT LADY AND HER SISTER WIVES. He began acting in Austin with the group Poison Apple Initiative in such plays as NEIGHBORHOOD 3: REQUISITION OF DOOM, AN OBVIOUSLY FOGGOT, and HOLIER THAN THOU. He also played a wizard in The Vortex's production of CHANGELINGS by Reina Hardy, directed by Rudy Ramirez. In 2014, he played John in Theatre En Bloc's award-winning play, COCK. He performs in Austin's only musical meta-comedy duo named SNACKS. He is currently thrilled to be with Street Corner Arts and to be working with such incredibly talented and kind artists.
Rommel is a film and stage actor, producer and architect. Recent film and theatrical credits include the Producer in THE AUDIENCE (paper chairs), Aristophanes in THE AFTERPARTY (Shrewd Productions), Hector of Troy in FIXING TROILUS AND CRESSIDA (Rude Mechs), King Henry IV in HENRY IV (Hidden Room Theatre) and Dr. Toby Sealey in THE EFFECT (Capital T Theatre). He has co-produced SCA productions POCATELLO and GROUNDED, both nominated for Austin Critics’ Table and B. Iden Payne awards, and most recently WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT ... He trained at the School at Steppenwolf, is a co-founder of Street Corner Arts and Forge Craft, an architecture firm dedicated to the design of affordable spaces for live, work and creative play. He has been nominated for and received Austin Critics Table and B. Iden Payne awards and serves as a board member with the Austin Creative Alliance. Thank you for your continued support of the arts in Austin.
Molly is an actor, director, and playwright living in Georgetown, TX, which is actually much closer to Austin than you think. She has performed in shows such as WAITING FOR LEFTY, POCATELLO, and A GREAT GOD PAN (Street Corner Arts), TREVOR and I HEART WALMART (Capital T Theatre), MIDDLETOWN (Hyde Park Theatre), and AS YOU LIKE IT (Shrewd Productions) among others. She has written plays with titles such as MS, LADY WITHOUT A BABY, ACTOR OF THE YEAR, and ON WITH THE SHOW. She most recently directed 12 ANGRY JURORS for the educational program at Georgetown Palace, where she also teaches acting classes. Her favorite thing to eat is ice cream, and the best place to get it is Ted & Wally’s in Omaha, NE.
Joe is delighted to be returning to Austin for his fifth Street Corner Arts production, having previously appeared in MEN OF TORTUGA, THE NORTH PLAN, THE GREAT GOD PAN, and SKYLIGHT. A B. Iden Payne Award recipient, Joe’s Austin area credits include CHESS (Austin Playhouse), SWEENEY TODD (Austin Theatre Project), THE SCHOOLING OF BENTO BONCHEV (Breaking String Theatre), GUEST ARTIST (Paradox Players), PRECIOUS LITTLE TALENT (Capital T Theatre), I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (North by Northwest), DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS, MAN OF LA MANCHA, and CAMELOT (Georgetown Palace). Joe and his wife, Sylvia, live in Bloomington, Illinois, where he recently vocal directed and appeared in FLOYD COLLINS (Heartland Theatre) and served as Music Director for GODSPELL (Illinois State University).
Thomas Everson, Jr.
Dave is a writer and a company member at Hyde Park Theatre (HPT). Recent acting credits include THE ANTIPODES and THE MOORS (HPT), THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME (ZACH Theatre), and ROSENCRANTZ AND GUILDENSTERN ARE DEAD (City Theatre), for which he received a B. Iden Payne award nomination for lead actor in a comedy. He is thrilled to be making his SCA debut. He would like to thank Benjamin and the rest of the SCA team for the opportunity, and Maria for her love and support.
Sweet is an American actor, author, poet, and producer. She has penned over 50 books, and dozens of screen and stage works. In film, Sweet is known for her roles in projects such as DOMESTIC HELL (Great Odin Films), PHAEDRA (El Rey Network), MRS. MAFIA (TSTV), HEALER (VLP), and REBEL WITHOUT A CREW (El Rey Network). Sweet has performed as a vocalist and poet on Channel Austin and on stage. Her theatre roles have included works such as NO PLACE LIKE GNOME (Ground Floor Theatre), ROMEO & JULIET (Blackbox Theatre), WITCHING HOUR (Ground Floor Theatre), COMING UP SHORT (Carver Museum), and NO PLACE LIKE HOME (Ballet Austin). Sweet is a former member of Austin's SOCO Women's Chorus, and a current committee member of the 14/48 Austin Theatre Festival. Off-stage and off-camera, Sweet writes for her various book series, creates poetry, and is a Social Media Strategist for the Arts. Her free time is spent teaching acting, story writing, and puppetry. With her entire heart, she appreciates your support of the Arts. | www.sweetvanloan.com
Sweet Van Loan
Michael is a member of the Austin playhouse Acting Company. Austin playhouse productions include Born Yesterday, The Importance of Being Earnest, Educating Rita, The 19 Steps, Misalliance, The Mousetrap, Frost/Nixon, The Fantasticks, Heroes, It’s a Wonderful Life:
A Radio Play, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Stones in His Pockets, Inherit the Wind, The Threepenny Opera, Moonlight and Magnolias, An Ideal Husband, The Night Hank Willliams Died, The Odd Couple, House and Garden, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Rumors, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Kiss Me Kate, Travesties, and The Dead Presidents’ Club. He directed Austin Playhouse’s production of Sylvia and co-directed Speed the Plow. For more than ten years, Michael was the Artistic Director of OnStage Theatre Company, producing, directing, and acting in over forty productions including Harvey, Shirley Valentine and Ten Little Indians. Michael was recently seen at St. Edwards University in The Crucible, in Breaking String Theatre’s production of Ghosts, and at ZACH Theatre in August: Osage County and most recently in Harvey as Dr. William R. Chumley.
Nguyen (pronounced ‘Win’) is a Vietnamese-American stage actor, film actor, and fashion model represented by Zephyr Talent Agency. She is delighted to be in her first production with Street Corner Arts. Nguyen caught the acting bug in 2009, performing with The Baron's Men, the award-winning troupe specializing in historically accurate presentation of Shakespearean theatre. Since then she has performed in numerous productions in Austin, Leander, and Wimberley, playing a diversity of roles human and non-human (LOL). In her biggest role ever, Nguyen is mother to 13-year-old Isabel and 8-year-old Philip.
Zac does a little bit of everything.
Jason is a film and stage actor, producer, editor, and owner of Veinkman & Son Productions. Recent credits include Bill in THE FAULT and Julius Brutus Booth in THE BRUTES (Theatre Synesthesia), LT. Col Nathan R Jessup in A FEW GOOD MEN (TexArts), and Oberon in MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM (City Theatre).
Lamont is grateful to join such a stellar cast. This is his debut with Street Corner Arts. Recent credits include KILLINGSWORTH (Spectrum Theatre Company) and DON’T CALL ME BROTHER (JWHILL Productions). Lamont is a company member at Spectrum Theatre Company and trained at The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, PA. Lamont thanks his support network of family and friends for their unconditional love.
Jeremy is Associate Producing Director with Street Corner Arts and has been working as an actor and at all points in between with many great companies throughout his career including: Opera Theatre of St. Louis. National Theatre of the Performing Arts; NYC. The Lyceum Theatre; London. Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Dolphinback Theatre Co, Bravo Room Productions; Chicago. Austin Lyric Opera, The Paramount & State Theatres, Street Corner Arts, Whirligig Productions; Austin. Co-founder of Push/Pull Theatre Co, Theatre J; Washington, DC. Recent acting credits include Troy in POCATELLO (Street Corner Arts), Will in THE RED HAND GUITAR (Arena Stage), Paul Bonin in A LESSON BEFORE DYING (Round House Theatre), Buck Naked in INSURRECTION, HOLDING HISTORY (Theatre Alliance), Bloody Sergeant/Young Siward in MACBETH Directed by Aaron Posner & Teller (Folger Theatre), Trinculo in THE TEMPEST (Keegan Theatre). He can most recently be seen in the award winning documentary film, TOWER directed by Keith Maitland.
Nate is thrilled to be performing in his first production with Street Corner Arts. Recent shows include GREAT EXPECTATIONS (Different Stages), CTHULU BEACH PARTY (La Fenice), THE JUNGLE BOOK (Scottish Rite), EL (Teatro Vivo) and DNA (Capitol T). Nate has been honored to receive multiple B. Iden Payne Award nominations for his work. He is a proud employee of Creative Action, performing in classrooms all over the city. Nate is beyond grateful for the continued support of his friends and family.
Scot has suffered for his art; now it’s your turn. Scot is a film, stage, and voice-over actor, and appeared most recently as all 11 Jaston Williams characters in A TUNA CHRISTMAS (City Theatre). GyOther notable roles include Nicky in THE SEAFARER (Austin Critics Table Nomination for Outstanding Ensemble Performance), Henry Law in WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING (4 Central Texas Excellence in Theatre Nominations, including Best Actor in a Play, and 6 B. Iden Payne Nominations), Kenny/Ira in LAUGHTER ON THE 23RD FLOOR, Thomas Cromwell in A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS, Felix Ungar in THE ODD COUPLE (Broadway World Nomination for Best Leading Actor in a Comedy), Stage Manager in OUR TOWN, George Hay in MOON OVER BUFFALO (B. Iden Payne Nomination for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy), Henry Drummond in INHERIT THE WIND, Adam in NEXT FALL (B. Iden Payne Nominee for Best Ensemble), and Frank Foster in HOW THE OTHER HALF LOVES. Scot would like to thank da lovely wife, Leslie, for all the love and support. | scotfriedman.com
Craig has been performing on stages in Austin since 1980. He received a B.A. in Theatre from St. Edward’s University. This is his first production with Street Corner Arts. The most recent shows he has worked on were GREAT EXPECTATIONS (Different Stages) and THERE AND BACK (Ground Floor Theatre).
Anikka is happy to be joining this wonderful cast. Most recently she was seen in SETTL (FronteraFest) and as #00 in THE WOLVES (Hyde Park Theatre) which won Best Drama at the 2018 B. Iden Payne Awards. She continues to study her craft with Laurel Vouvray at In The Moment Acting Studio. She would like to thank her two cats (and her parents and other important family members, but mostly her cats) without whom she would not be where she is today.
Benjamin is a founding producing director of Street Corner Arts (SCA) and a company member at Hyde Park Theatre (HPT) and Austin Playhouse (AP). Benjamin received his B.A. in Theatre from Davidson College. Favorite credits include John in THE REALISTIC JONESES (HPT), Will in A BRIGHT NEW BOISE (HPT), Dorante in THE LIAR (AP), John in TRAGEDY: A TRAGEDY (HPT), John Honeyman in A WALK IN THE WOODS (SCA), Doug in GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES (SCA), John Dodge in MIDDLETOWN (HPT), Paul Verrall in BORN YESTERDAY (AP), Richard Hannay in THE 39 STEPS (AP), George Bailey in IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE (AP), Valene in THE LONESOME WEST (HPT), and the title character in HAMLET (No Holds Bard). Directing credits include GROUNDED, POCATELLO (Austin Critics’ Table and B. Iden Payne nomination for Best Director), BULL, THE ALTRUISTS and WAITING FOR LEFTY (B. Iden Payne nomination for Best Director) all with SCA. When not on the stage, he teaches math at Gorzycki Middle School and is a devoted husband to Skola and father to little Emmett and soon-to-be Baby #2.
Helen is a Theatre Studies major at The University of Texas at Austin with a Minor in Business. She currently works as an Event Manager at Hogg Memorial Auditorium. Her past credits include SLUMBER PARTY by Elizabeth Doss (UTNT), TITLE LOADING by alt_caps (Fusebox Festival and Cohen New Works Festival), and DRY LAND by Ruby Rae Spiegal (Grad Studio Project). She is excited to be working on MATAWAN by Dan Caffrey in the fall with UT.