and the Case of the Disappearing Kid

Written by Gina Femia

Directed by Janelle Zapata Castellano

Stage Manager: Cordelia Senie

Production Manager: Kate Lagana

Set & Light Design by Jak Prince

Original Sound & Music by Jacob Subotnick

Movement Coach: Rachel Weekley

Makeup: Charisse Simone

Lead Producer: Jazmyn Arroyo

PR: Jay Michaels Arts & Entertainment

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This production includes original costume design by Laura Mae Baker (2019) and original props design by Sophie Costanzi (2019) with additional design by Janelle Zapata Castellano (2020). 


Xavier Rodney

Charisse Simone

Lara Fox


(In speaking order)


Rachel Weekley

Alexis Plaza

Ashley Rogers 


Xavier Rodney was home grown and raised in Brooklyn, NY. He first started acting as a last minute replacement lead in a kindergarten performance. Since then he has striven to hone and perfect the craft, linking the two synchronously. When not writing, directing, editing and producing, (all the while consulting for many other series), he can be found helping to enhance yours. From Carpentry to Tech Repair if your question is "Can X do this?" the answer is probably, "uh sure, why not?" He enjoys film-making, comedy, hugs and all things awesome.  


CHARISSE SIMONE is making her Frigid Festival debut as Mahogany Brown. Charisse is a model/actress/voice over artist. She is so excited to be a part of this production and incredibly grateful to all of her friends and family who have supported her in her return to the stage.


Lara Fox is an actor-singer-dancer who is thrilled to reprise the fascinating character of Sunshine in Gina’s brilliant play!
Off Broadway: Mahogany Brown and the Case of the Disappearing Kid, Generation (Laz)Y, Polybius, Heaven and Earth, Every 28 Hours, Illustrated Christmas Sweater, Queen of Everything. Regional Theater: Midsummer Night's Fantasy, A Funny Thing...Forum, The Grimaldis, 10 Days to Happiness, Santa's First Magical Ride, The Merry Widow, The Magic Flute, Laramie Project, Wit, Romeo and Juliet. TV: Celebrity Ghost Stories, Evil Lives Here, Deadline Crime With Tamron Hall, On the Case With Paula Zahn, Grave Mysteries, The Perfect Murder, Ministry of Evil, Killer Unknown. Lara also does sketch comedy with the hilarious group To Karen, With Love!


Rachel Weekley graduated from Ohio University with a BFA in performance and trained with The American Mime Theater. Upcoming performances include Vulcan Theatre’s Macbeth as Movement Coordinator and Macduff March 11th- 15th. They are a company member of SCOWL, a stage combat oriented wrestling league. Come see Laddermageddon March 26th, 27th, 28th.
If you’d like to see more of their work, you go to or on Instagram @rachel.weekley.


Alexis Plaza is a fourth year student at Rutgers University Newark. Though she is mainly and actor, she has taken a break from the stage to pursue other skills. She currently is focused on finishing her Video Production degree, in hopes to become a film editor. Alexis comes from a four year conservatory high school and has found that art is her passion. When she’s not behind the camera, editing, or performing, you can always catch her dancing to any beat- including the one from her own drum.


Ashley Lauren Rogers, award winning writer and trans rights activist. Recently a Trans Theatre Lab fellow 2019, the Literary Director for Step1 Theatre Project, artist in residence at Middlesex County Vocational Technical School 2018-2019. Works performed at Dixon Place, MITF, the Brick, Joe’s Pub and others. “Becky’s Christmas Wish,” was a finalist for the City Theatre National Short Play Award, Miami, work has been produced in Wisconsin, Cincinatti, Maine, Iowa, New Jersey, Detroit, and Minneapolis. Featured on Fusion TV’s Peabody Award Nominated Sex.Right.Now, panels for Revry.TV. Creator Is It Transphobic and The Right to Play Podcasts.



Gina Femia has written 32 full-length plays which have been developed/produced by Page 73, Playwrights Horizons, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Center Theatre Group, New Georges, Powerhouse, Theatre of NOTE, Great Plains Theatre Conference and Project Y, among others. She is a 2019-2022 Core Writer with the Playwrights Center, 2019 Writer-in-Residence with Spicy Witch Productions, and a current member of Page 73’s Interstate 73. She’s an alum of EST Youngblood, Pipeline Theatre’s PlayLab and New Georges’ Audrey Residency. Her play, ALLOND(R)A is included on the 2019 Kilroys List. Winner: Leah Ryan Prize and Doric Wilson Award. Find out more:


Janelle is a producer and director from New Jersey. Her passions lie in creating platforms for underserved artists to present their work, which lead toward her co-Founding of Step1 Theatre Project. She seeks to tell honest stories that are not traditionally told, and wants to help create a world where art creation is accessible to all. She's thankful for the opportunity to work toward the goal of fostering a community of artists, where the objective is to grow together.


Cordelia is newly returned from Paris, France, where she spent six years working in theatre and studying art history. Since returning, she stage managed a workshop of BLACKOUT by Shann Smith, performed at the Playroom Theater in New York City. She then joined Death of Classical in June as the stage manager for The Angel’s Share 2019, performed in Greenwood Cemetery in Brooklyn. Last summer, she assisted PH Masks in their production of Interview at the 2018 Festival d’Avignon, directed by Thierry Harcourt, and joined the Paris Fringe team as Technical Director. Additional credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Tapis Théâtre, Paris), Jubilee (Paris Fringe), Pimm’s Mission (59E59 Theaters, NYC), Flow dir. Roi Escudero (Planet Connections, NYC), Playwrights For a Cause (Planet Connections, NYC), and Gonzo dir. Peter Vickers (Paris Fringe). Cordelia is thrilled to be joining the Step1 team to help bring Mahogany Brown to life!


Jacob is an NYC based composer and sound designer who has designed over 125 Off and Off-Off Broadway productions. Selected NYC Theater: The Elephant Man (Nominated: Outstanding Original Music NYITA 218); The Ballad of Rodrigo (Nominated: Outstanding Original Music NYITA 2015); Virus Attacks Heart (Nominated: Outstanding Sound Design PCTF 2014); Tulpa or Anne and Me (Winner: Outstanding Sound Design PCTF 2011)


Jazmyn Arroyo is the Co-Founding Artistic Director of Step1 Theatre Project as well as a producer and performer who is passionate about the visibility and success of underrepresented voices in theatre. Jazmyn holds a BA from Rutgers-NJIT Theatre Program in Newark, NJ and has been involved in the NYC theatre community for ten years. During this time, she enjoyed performing in various productions as well as holding many different staff and volunteer positions for organizations like Planet Connections Theatre Festivity and The Tank. Although she enjoyed acting, she found a sense of urgency to assist and showcase underrepresented artists. She founded Step1 Theatre Project with the intention of not only producing work by underrepresented talent but assisting them with fully accessible resources and programs. She is determined to continue building an organization that can offer more tangible support and she is working every day towards realizing that vision. 


Step1 would like to thank Gina Femia for bringing this beautiful story into the world,
everyone involved in the 2019 production of Mahogany Brown,
the A.R.T./New York Creative Space grant, and all of our donors and supporters who made this show possible. 

© 2020 by Step1 Theatre Project.
Step1 Theatre Project is a fiscally sponsored project of Fractured Atlas and a proud member organization of the League of Independent Theatre and A.R.T./New York.