The Killing Jar

PlaywrightJennifer Lynne Roberts
DirectorLaylah Muran de Assereto
Workshop Cast
Madison Worthington
Brian Levi
Krystle Piamonte
Ted V. Bigornia
Ely Sonny Orquiza
Other CreditsAmanda J. Lee, Dramaturg
Marnelle Marasigan, Translator
Ted Hlavac, Workshop Assistant
Laylah Muran de Assereto, Image Design
Quinn J. Whitaker, Music Curator
Jason Jeremy, Sound Design
Production DatesTBD - Summer/Fall 2018
Audition DatesTBD - Spring 2018
StaffingTBD - Winter 2017/18
Stage Manager
Props Designer
Costume Designer
Set Designer
Lighting Designer
*for work used in the show as well as part of the gallery (abstract and impressionist art)
After a successful staged reading in January, Spare Stage is developing Jennifer Robert’s THE KILLING JAR with a series of rehearsal workshops where the playwright, cast, director, and dramaturg dive into specific aspects of the play to hone the work and get it ready for production.
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About the Play

1962. It’s the cusp of the feminist art movement, the midst of the Cold War and a new Philippines Independence Day. Against this complicated backdrop is the story of the emergence of a young, female artist. Ava Bartim, an American painter and curator, arrives in the Philippines on the hottest day of the year to convince the American expatriate artist, Jefford Huso, to exhibit at the 1964 New York World’s Fair. As an admirer of his work, she is also hoping for an apprenticeship during her time at his studio outside Manila. Ava struggles to understand herself as an artist and a woman while trying to negotiate her place in the world. She soon discovers that her desire for a mentor and Jefford’s addiction to alcohol and women, jeopardize the show and Ava’s career, which hinges on this rare opportunity in a male dominated field.
Artistic Director Laylah Muran de Assereto says this about why she chose the play: “I have been drawn to this play because the language is poetic and powerful, the characters are all fully developed with complex, compelling relationships to each other and their inner lives and motivations. The playwright is taking the angst-ridden male-artist story and turning it on its head with a young female artist as the protagonist and a young Filipina scientist as her counterpart, and a deeply conflicted and layered recluse as their foil - or is he their mirror? The backdrop of expatriate artists in a country on the verge of conflict is intriguing.”


Ted V. Bigornia (De La Cruz), Bio to Come

Amanda J. Lee (Dramaturg) was born in England, she grew up on the East Coast and has been a West Coast transplant for 26 years—San Francisco is where her creative heart lives. She believes passionately in theatre being the crucible for many different voices and stories, and looks forward to sharing Spare Stage’s projects with audiences. She finds theatre to be the perfect intersection for her interests and skills—she is an actor (recently seen in the Playwrights Center 2016 Playoffs-Short Play Festival); a dramaturg (for Golden Thread Productions 2015 ReOrient Festival, and several one-person shows); a published photographer; a researcher, and recently, wrote her first play, Waiting for Van Gogh. Other theatrical activities include reading new, unproduced plays for several literary committees, including the Magic and The Playwrights Foundation. Amanda received her MA in Theatre from SF State, with a BA in English, and a minor in Women’s Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University, and she is a member of LMDA (Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America).

Brian Levi (Jefford) is honored to work with Spare Stage under its new leadership and on this important new play. Most recently in San Francisco Shakespeare Festival’s Hamlet (Claudius) and the acclaimed A View from the Bridge (Alfieri) at the Pear and PCSF’s Playoffs 2017 at The Exit, Brian has performed all over the Bay Area for many years with such theatres as Custom Made, Shelton, SF Olympians, SF Fringe, Golden Thread, Theatre Rhino, Southern Railroad, Hillbarn, Dragon, Douglas Morrisson, Altarena, City Lights, Pacifica Spindrift and Coastal Rep. Brian is a long-time TBA member and proud recipient of a 2016 TBA Ensemble Award (PCSF Sheherezade’s Last Tales) and 2015 Nomination (Pear Slices). Brian was also heavily involved with theatre while at Rice University, including productions directed by members of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Catch him next as Vanya in Altarena’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike at the Altarena in Spring 2018. Off stage, Brian is a software engineer living in Half Moon Bay. See:

Marnelle Marasigan (Translator) Bio to Come

Laylah Muran de Assereto (Director) has been involved in theatre and writing creative fiction since childhood. She was a board member with the Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco (PCSF) from 2005-2009 in various roles, and volunteered as a literary committee member until 2017. In 2009 Laylah joined Wily West Productions as their Executive Producer where she served until 2015, presenting several award winning, nominated, and critically acclaimed productions of new works. Playwriting credits include I SAW IT, a collaborative work with 8 contributing playwrights, produced by Wily West Productions in 2015. AS OF ONE, a short play for ReproRights! The Body Politic produced as a staged reading as part of 3Girls Theatre’s Women’s Work Festival in August 2016 and again at PianoFight in November 2016. ANONYMOUS ME, JAIN, and CASH FOR CAPES, three short pieces included in Wily West’s Superheroes which received a 2014 TBA Nomination for Outstanding Anthology. CENSORED IN TEHRAN, a short play included in the 2010 PCSF production Sheherezade 10. She is a member of the 2016/2017 PlayGround Writer’s Pool and is returning to SF Olympians Festival as a playwright in October at the Exit. Her directing credits include, PCSF’s PLAYOFFS 2016, ReproRights! The Body Politic (2016), SF Olympians Festival VII: The Servants night of 3 one-acts, and PCSF’s Sheherezade’s Last Tales (2015) which received the TBA Award for Outstanding Anthology. Laylah performed Celia in TALKING HEADS by Alan Bennett, directed by Stephen Drewes for Spare Stage Theatre in March 2016 and as Decima in Ex Nihilo’s live recorded radio play series TERRA INCOGNITA as in April, June, August, and October 2016.

Ely Sonny Orquiza (Fernando) is a San Francisco based actor and the Founder and Artistic Director of The Projector Room Play Readings Ensemble, a Berkeley-based indie theater troupe exploring multi-ethnic and queer narratives set in cooperative living spaces. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley's Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (Spring of 2017) where he appeared in the Bay Area premier of CHAVEZ RAVINE directed by Sean San Jose, world premier of Joe Goode's Resilience Project: REENTRY: PROCESS OF RESILIENCE, and I WASN'T WAVING: LETTERS TO THE WORLD devised with and directed by Rhodessa Jones of the Medea Project. Recent theatrical credits include: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM (Snug, Inferno Theatre), world premiere of WELGA (Arno, Bindlestiff Studio), modern-day world premier of RAMEAU: TEMPLE OF GLORY (Fury/Warrior, Cal Performances), and SHORTLIVED (Round V, PianoFight). In the summer of 2016, he graduated from American Conservatory Theater's Summer Training Congress. He plans to work with incarcerated and LGBTQ+ youths living with HIV/AIDS by applying theatre as a tool to provide a platform and a safer space to tell their stories never been told before. Follow his theatre projects on Instagram: @TheOrquiza.

Krystle Piamonte (Perlita) Bio to Come

Jennifer Lynne Roberts (Playwright) holds an MFA from California College of Arts. She’s co-founder/producer of Ex Nihilo Theater and ReproRights! Theater, and is a member of the writer’s pool for Playground. Her play, THE KILLING JAR, was a finalist for Dayton Playhouse's FutureFest 2014. Her short plays include LUNCH HOUR and THE LAST DANCE OF THE SUGAR PLUM FAIRY Playground seasons 2106 and 2017; MARS ONE PROJECT and MEET CLAUDIA, Wily West, and PHOTO DYNAMIC THERAPY with PCSF and Wily West. 2014. MARS ONE PROJECT won San Francisco Theater Pub’s Excellence in Theater Award (STUEY) for Best Short Play and was part of the Navigators Theater Company's Lift-Off New Play Series and Otherworld Theatre’s PARAGON Science Fiction and Fantasy Play Festival. Commissions include San Francisco Olympians Festival V and VI; All Terrain Theater's Women in Solodarity REPRO RIGHTS! WOMEN@RISK in collaboration with 3Girls Theatre Company: COWBOY NOIR: TALL TALES OF THE UNNATURAL for Pacific Play Company, Seattle; and wass Head Writer for two of Wily West Productions summer shows, ZERO HOUR: THE MARS EXPERIMENT and I SAW IT. Currently, she’s developing a full-length time traveler play, ACCOMMODATIONS, through Quantum Dragon Theatre’s new play development program, The Forge.

Madison Worthington (Ava) is a SF native and holds a BA in Theater from UCLA. Pursuing theatrical endeavors both onstage and off, she has worked with Bay Area companies including Playwrights’ Center of San Francisco, SF Sketchfest 2017, Just Theater, and was the Programs Intern for Theatre Bay Area in the fall of 2016. Most recently she played Marcy in Left Coast Theatre Company’s production of DOG SEES GOD and directed the US premiere of FAMILY PLAY by UK playwright Matt Fox at the Shelton Theater. Other work with the Shelton Theater includes assistant directing their 20 week run of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE in 2016 and playing Carol in OLEANNA in January of 2017. A lover of circus arts, Madison is a company member of the circus-theatre troupe Crescent Moon Theater Productions and recently performed in their show ISABELLA AND THE JEWEL DIVINE. Passionate about spreading the magic of theatre to youth, she is a teaching artist with Where Art Starts, a non-profit which brings arts programs to preschools across the Bay Area. Currently Madison is a house manager at the Marsh and is co-developing a youth program for the Shelton Theater (classes beginning September 2017!)