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THURSDAY, JUN 01 2017, 07:30 PM

Illegal Helpers (Illegale Helfer) is a play translated from the German by Neil Blackadder about the refugee crisis by Berlin-based writer and playwright Maxi Obexer. Co-directed by Stephanie Schmiderer, Markus Hirnigel and Kathleen O’Neill (who fell in love with the material), the staged reading of a shortened version of the play will be followed by a talk with the playwright and the directors.

Maxi Obexer (playwright) was born in Brixen (South Tyrol, Italy) and is an author of essays and plays for theater and radio. Her first novel “Wenn gefährliche Hunde lachen” was published in 2011. Her 2005 play “Das Geisterschiff” already deals with the issue of refugees along Europe’s borders. “Illegale Helfer” was premiered in Salzburg in 2015 and was awarded in 2016 with the Robert Geisendörfer Prize as well as the Eurodram Prize. Maxi Obexer lives in Berlin.
Find out more about Max Obexer >>>here

Stephanie Schmiderer and Markus Hirnigel have collaborated with the ACF for the past six years: Ursula Knoll’s English world-premier of her play „The Road to Happiness“ (co-directed), the staged reading „Hommage to Jura Soyfer“ (co-directed) and Radegund Hain’s play „Emilie“ (dir. Hirnigel & Naka).

Stephanie Schmiderer hails from Vienna where she works in classical and avant-garde theater. Her latest appearance there was in the one-woman play „No Moon, No Cab“ by Theresa Thomasberger at the EntarteOpera Festival. N.Y.C. stage credits include: Sartre's 'No Exit'; Jean Cocteau’s ‘The Human Voice’; Pinter's 'Betrayal'; Lorca’s 'The House of Bernarda Alba', and classics such as ‘King Lear’ and ‘The Seagull’. U.S. film credits include 'Rigodon' (Best Feature/International Independent Film Festival, Greece),  'Haber' (Best of Fest Grand Prize at LA Shorts, Grand Prize Rhode Island International Film Festival). In Austria she appeared in The Strange Case of Wilhlem Reich with Oscar winning actor Klaus Maria Brandauer.

Viennese native Markus Hirnigel moved to New York City after studying at the University of Vienna. He studied acting with Sandford Meisner at the Neighborhood Playhouse, and worked as a member of la mama E.T.C. touring Europe and Asia. He also  worked in productions in London, Oxford, Edinburgh, and Spoleto, Italy, the Salzburger Festspiele and with Elizabeth Swados in her production off “The Hating Pot” at BAM. He appeared as Vershinin in a production of the Three Sisters at the Chekhov Festival and has been working with the New Stage Theater Company, an avant-garde theater group in New York City.

Kathleen O’Neill is a New York City based director.  Some of her favorite directing credits include House of Bernarda Alba by Frederico Garcia Lorca, Mrs. Warren’s Profession by George Bernard Shaw, Gertrude Stein and A Companion by Win Wells, On the Verge or the Geography of Yearning by Eric Overmeyer, Blithe Spirit by Noel Coward and Short Eyes by Miguel Pinero.  She is very excited to be working on the Illegal Helpers.

Steven Hauck has appeared on Broadway in The Velocity of Autumn and Irena's Vow. He has featured roles in the films “Oldboy” and “The Sweet Blood of Jesus” (both directed by Spike Lee), "Collateral Beauty" and "Ocean's Eight." TV includes Spike Lee's "She's Gotta Have It," Baz Luhrmann’s "The Get Down,” and Tina Fey’s "30 Rock" and "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt."

Peter J. Coriaty has appeared in a variety of theatre prodcutions regionally and in New York City.  For TV he guest starred in The Onion Sports Network and on MSNBC‘s Special Ethics. Most recently he shot an episode of the Comedy Central hit show, "Broad City", playing a realtor named Jeb Landingstrip. Over the past summer, he played the lead, Arthur, in the Indie Short, "Insomnia". He'd like to thank the Austrian Culture Center for bringing him back to the stage in this important play.

Brandon Reilly is an actor, musician, and a New York City native. His NYC stage credits include Much Ado about Nothing and Sleepover at the New York Fringe Festival for which he won the Overall Excellence Performance Award. TV includes Law & Order, Saturday Night Live and Alexander Hamilton (PBS Mini Series). He is happy to be a part of this project.

Kaylin Clinton is excited to work again with ACF, following a lovely production of Radegund Hain's "Emilie."NYC theatre includes Night by Charles Mee (New Stage Theatre Co., dir Ildiko Nemeth, NYIT Award). Film/TV:  Cracker Jackies, Sweet Pea, webseries Wainy-Days and Yellow Brick HellVoiceover work includes audio tours, NPR stories, and various cartoons, including singing the theme song for Tip the Mouse. Performs regularly with her event band, Blue Opal Jazz.

Lucy Apicello is a proud Native New Yorker. She most recently appeared in The American Theater of Actors' production of Leaving Lanahassee by Lynn Navarra. Previous credits include the Samuel French Festival, MITF, and The New York Fringe Festival. 

Mark Byrne is an actor from Europe and has worked extensively in NY, LA, in Canada and Europe (stage & film). NYC theatre credits include the Solo show Fugue at 59E59th, Only Beauty at the Public Theatre and Fancy Footwork for the Fringe Festival. U.S. film credits include Carl(a), and most recently Waking the Wild Colonial

Vivian Meisner‘s credits include theatre, indie film, soaps, voice overs and narration. A few of her favorite works were the title role of Mr. Icky in F. Scott Fitzgerald's short play " Mr. Icky" for Dysfunctional Theater Co., the delightfully daffy Irish neighbor Mrs. McCaffrey in "Christmas Guest" for Spiral Theatre and the tough love role of Nan in the short Indie Film " Blue Eyed Mary“ directed by Olivia Newman. Vivian is currently writing a one woman piece for the fall New Work Series produced by Emerging Artist's Theatre of which she is a company member.


Maxi Obexer