Has sailed for now!
Thanks to our fans, friends, donors and rowdy audiences who made our run (and weeklong extension) at Access Theatre a huge success!
Making new friends can be hard, especially when there’s a demon tracking your every move. Death Cruise, a musical comedy, follows the staff of an Arctic cruise ship as they are tested and tormented by a demon desperate to corrupt their souls. Featuring a cast of actor-musicians, this offbeat musical explores themes of hope, friendship, and eternal despair!
Cast & Creative
Kyle Acheson (Judson) is a composer and performer from Ohio. He serves as music director for Thicket & Thistle. Recent composition work includes This Play Was Not Written By a Woman by Emilyn Kowaleski, Coattails & Paradise by Nicholas Haefner and Atlas Pit by Alex Burkhart. Recent performances include a workshop of This Ain't No Disco by Stephen Trask & Peter Yanowitz (Atlantic Theatre 2017). Kyle composed music for The Waterman (Ars Nova ANT Fest, 2016), What's Your Wish? (NYMF 2018) and Death Cruise. His solo album Sun River was released in 2014. BFA from the Webster Conservatory for Theatre Arts. He sends his love to his wonderful parents and his family of friends in New York.
Sam De Roest (Seth) is an actor/writer/improviser that lives in Brooklyn. Sam is a founding member and Head Writer of the actor-musician ensemble Thicket and Thistle. His most recent credits include Waterman: A Forgotten Cascadian Myth, What's Your Wish?, and RaeRoest (Sam's improv team). Sam is thrilled to be debuting Thicket and Thistle's newest show, as Seth the demon.
Jonathan Eric Foster (Nate) is a director, writer, and actor from Houston, Texas. He received a BFA in Musical Theatre from Webster Conservatory in St. Louis and moved to NYC in 2012. His recent projects include: writer and director of What’s Your Wish? (NYMF 2018), The Waterman (Ars Nova) Friar in Romeo and Juliet in Bryant Park, Feste in Twelfth Night and Pisanio in Cymbeline (Drilling Company). In 2012 he received a Kevin Kline nomination for his role as Josh in the world premiere of FALLING. Jonathan’s first feature film, TRYST, is now available on Amazon.com!
Joshua Stenseth* (Blaise) Joshua is an actor, aspiring good samaritan, and an especially gifted napper. He is a graduate of Minnesota State University in Moorhead, The Curious Comedy Training Center in Portland, OR and UCB NYC's improv program. He has worked in many regional theaters, on television, and in film. New York credits include Allegro, Scarlet, Zombie Strippers, and What's Your Wish? (nomination for best actor in a musical, NYMF 2018). He also directed Thicket and Thistle's The Waterman for Ars Nova's AntFest. Joshua has been a company member of Thicket & Thistle since 2015.
Titus Tompkins* (Supervisor and Quiet Craig) is a Brooklyn-based actor/muso. His recent credits include Triplight (Joe’s Pub), the opera Katabasis (The Getty Museum), and Merchant of Venice (Arts and Ideas at Yale). Off-Broadway: The Winter’s Tale (TFANA), Peer Gynt and the Norwegian Hapa Band (MaYi). Titus performed in the NYMF production of The Goree All-Girl String Band under direction of Ashley Brooke Monroe, and is currently performing in Bisland & Bly in NYMF this year.
Juliana Wheeler (Juliette) Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Juliana is approaching her two-year anniversary in New York and with Thicket and Thistle. She graduated from Portland Actors Conservatory, and has since performed in everything from sketch comedy, to Shakespeare, to musicals. Most recently, she starred in a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, before arriving in New York and making her Off-Broadway debut in thicket and thistle’s What’s Your Wish? She loves being a part of this company and is ecstatic to present Death Cruise to the masses.
Lindsay Zaroogian* (Bailey) is a graduate of the BFA musical theatre program at SUNY Fredonia. She performed as McKenzie/The Fairy in T&T’s What’s Your Wish? at Fringe al Fresco and TNNY’s production at the West End Theatre. She also appeared as the band leader in The Waterman at Ars Nova’s ANT Fest 2016 and Bailey in the reading of T&T’s newest show, Cruisical!. Other credits include: Cowgirls (Rita), Rent (Mimi), Fiddler on the Roof (Tzeitel), Marvelous Wonderettes (Missy), I Love You Because (Diana). www.lindsayzaroogian.com
*These actors are appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association.
Ashley Brooke Monroe (Director) is a Brooklyn-based theatre director whose primary interest is in developing new plays and musicals. Recent credits include Julius Caesar (CSC), Tommy’s Girls (Fordham/Primary Stages), Fun Home (Cape Rep), and Orlando (Fordham). She assistant directed the Broadway production of Indecent and has assisted Sam Gold on the Tony-winning musical Fun Home, Broadway revival of The Glass Menagerie and The Mystery of Love and Sex at Lincoln Center. She often creates site-specific work, including What We’ll Do by Sheila Callaghan, Red Sky at Night by Blake Bishton and Age of Extinction by Willie Johnson. She has developed work with NYTW, The Public, Musical Theater Factory, The Flea, Soho Rep, IRT, and New York Theatre Barn. Originally from Austin, Ashley holds a BFA in Dramaturgy from the University of Oklahoma.
Jaye Hunt (Stage Manager) Recent: Bleeding Kansas (Sound Bites), East Heaven High (tour), Pop Punk High (le poisson rouge), Emerson Loses Her “Miand” (NY Winterfest). Co-host of the podcast “One More Thing." Mother of two incredible cats. www.jayehunt.com
Shannah Harris (Assistant Stage Manager) is a Stage Management student at Fordham University who is so thankful to be cruising with Thicket & Thistle. Previous credits include Where Does the Light Go? (PSM), Orlando (ASM), The Charlatans (ASM), Tyler! A Musical Horror (ASM), DIMES (AD), and Macbeth (PA). A big thank you to Jaye and Ashley Brooke, and all her love to 1132 PLDW.
Andrew David Greer (Managing Director) is an award-winning playwright, author, filmmaker, and actor. Recipient of The Richard and Mica Hadar Foundation Acting Scholarship, Greer has studied at Emerson College, The Atlantic Theater Company, The Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, and the New York Film Academy. He is a company member of The Living Theatre, Alchemical Theatre Laboratory, and The Troupe Theatre. He's performed sketch comedy at The National Comedy Theater, The Broadway Comedy Club, and The Player's Theatre. His plays have been produced at FringeNYC, The Lower East Side Festival, Manhattan Repertory Theater, and MCC's Summer Play Party. His films have been showcased at The Art of Brooklyn Film Festival, New Filmmakers Showcase at the Anthology Film Archives, and Two Moon Art House & Café in Brooklyn. He's created web content for Rockstar Cafe and Infinity Ball Productions. Most recently, Greer published his first novel, LEGENDS OF ELD: THE DRAGON OF ELFWOOD, the first book of five in a fantasy series. Andrew will be directing Who’s Paying? a new comedy that will premiere at The Rogue Theater Festival. Shout out to his hot wife, Briana and their mischievous son, Liam.
Tina McCartney (Costume Designer) design credits include The Tempest (Revolucion Latina), Julius Caesar (Classic Stage), GREGORIAN (Working Artists Theatre Project), and Goree All-Girl String Band (NYMF). Recently on Broadway, she served as Associate Costume Designer on Lobby Hero and Bandstand, and as Assistant Designer on Beetlejuice The Musical. Tina co-designed The 72nd and 73rd Tony Awards on CBS. A graduate of The Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, Tina lives in NYC with her husband Trevor Nelson.
Natalie Avery (Lighting Designer) is a New York-based lighting designer. Recent design credits include: The Crucible, The Dybbuk, The Angel of Allegheny County, Machinal, and How to Make Friends and Then Kill Them.
Melanie J. Comeau (Choreographer) is a dance- and theater-maker who loves sweater weather and Dunkin' like every good Western MA native. She went to ballet school in Pittsburgh, science school at Harvard, and is heading out on the national tour of Bandstand this fall! Much love Ashley, Sara, and T & T!
Sara Gibbons (Choreographer) is a New York based choreographer. She served as the Assistant Choreographer on the Broadway and Off-Broadway productions of Indecent and most recently as the Associate Choreographer for productions at the Huntington Theater (MA) and the Ahmanson Theatre (CA). Her collaborations with Doug LeCours as the duo TALL GIRLS DANCING have been presented by Brooklyn Arts Exchange, Center for Performance Research, and Movement Research at the Judson Church, as well as various colleges in the Northeast. As a performer, she has worked with Heidi Henderson, Kendra Portier, Ash R.T. Yergens, and David Dorfman. She holds a BA in Theatre & Dance and educational policy from Colby College.
Alex J. Gould (Fight Director) is an actor/fight director in New York City. Fight Director: Dido in Idaho (Ensemble Studio Theater), Julius Caesar (CSC/Columbia MFA) Agnes (Lesser America), The Nibbler (Rattlestick Theater), The Place We Built (The Flea Theater), The Terrfiying (Abrons Art Center), The Comedy of Manors (Adirondack Theater Festival), Horse Girls (The Cell), Happily After Ever (59E59). He's also choreographed for The New School, Fordham/Primary Stages, Partial Comfort, St. Peter's University, and Pulse Ensemble Theater. Regional: Williamstown Theater Festival. Edu. AMDA
The concept for Death Cruise arose in 2016 out of a series of creative retreats taken by the company. The show continues Thicket & Thistle's signature actor-musician dynamic, relying on heart, wit, and theater magic to delight and transport audiences.
It was performed as a reading under the name Cruisical! as part of Loading Dock Theater Company's Forklift Developmental Reading Series in April 2017, and a 15-minute excerpt of the show was performed as part of New Light Theater Project's Darkroom 14 Developmental Series. At this point, the story was more in the style of a murder mystery with nearly a dozen characters.
T&T then embarked on a year-long residency at Access Theater's Residency Program in 2017-18. New themes and characters started to emerge. The cast size was tightened to a seven-member ensemble, and this working period was filled with creative exuberance. The residency culminated in a new draft of the show and a staged reading at The Alchemical Theatre in early 2019.
Death Cruise was awarded a generous grant through the New York State Council of the Arts to stage a production. After a successful IndieGoGo campaign, the full budget was raised and pre-production began.
The 2019 debut production of Death Cruise will be directed by Ashley Brooke Monroe and stars Kyle Acheson, Sam DeRoest, Jonathan Eric Foster, Joshua Stenseth, Titus Tompkins, Juliana Wheeler and Lindsay Zaroogian, who all play a dizzying array of instruments to make up the show’s musical accompaniment.
Photos from Darkroom 14 at Access Theatre courtesy of Emily Adar and Ryan McGilloway