Meet Jonathan Bruce King & The Gallery Players

Jonathan and I have been chatting about this past season at The Gallery Players. This season has been a great representation of American theatre.  Here it is:

Malini: The Gallery Players celebrates 50 years this year with you as their season producer. The season reflects many genres of theatre (Gypsy, The 39 Steps, A Few Good Men, Marry Me a Little, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Sweet Bird of Youth, Ragtime, and the upcoming Black Box New Play Festival). How did you and your team decide on the shows?

Jonathan: This season is indeed quite varied. We tried to pick shows that were fitting of a 50th season. As a result, we chose very challenging pieces for a 99-seat theatre to perform. Each show presented a unique challenge and one that gave us a chance to explore new things such as the intricate sets for Sweet Bird of Youth, the many locations of Gypsy to the 35 person cast of Ragtime. The desire was to have the season reflect Gallery’s roots but also show where we want to go with more intricate and audience delighting design, cast and production elements. We wanted to find shows that could wow our audience and how them where we want to take the theater and push the limits of what 99-seat theater can be for the audience.

Malini: The company has a rich history. Harvey Feinstein’s Torch Song Trilogy has its roots there. Seth Rudetsky and many other Broadway folks have performed there. What drew you to this theatre company?

Jonathan: It is actually! I’m a huge fan of both Harvey and Seth, and when I heard that they got their start in our theatre, it further solidified my desire to work there. I think what I have loved is coming into an environment that is there to help artists train and develop their craft. It’s been such a great place to learn producing. I’m so grateful to our Artistic Director, Mark Harborth, and the president of the board, Dominic Cuskern, for the amount of support they’ve given me and the leeway to learn.

Malini: What is your goals as an artist?

Jonathan: First, aesthetically, I try to make art that can only be done in a theater, live. Whether this be some kind of improv, immersive elements, or even just surrounding the audience with singers, I try to make sure that this is something you have to attend to understand. I love live performance and I want my audience to have a reason to see my work rather than watching a streaming video. In a more philosophically, my goal as an artist is to create art that has what it needs to succeed. I’m a big believer in creating a piece that is both sustainable, economically and artistically, that gets exactly what it needs but doesn’t have to get what it wants to tell its story and reach its audience.

Malini: What’s next for the company?

Jonathan: We have big plans! The week after we close ragtime we are presenting a workshopped production of a new musical by Cristina and Robert Farruggia, On the Air. It’s a great new piece and is a first for both Gallery Players and its Overtures reading program. Next season should be a great one as for the first time we’re doing four musicals. I can’t tell you what they are just yet, as our announcement has been held until May 9th at our theater’s 50th Birthday party in Park Slope.

Jonathan-Bruce King hails from the beautiful and slightly foggy, Oakland, CA. Originally trained as an actor at Washington University in St. Louis, he now works as the season producer at Gallery Players in Park Slope. Producing select off-off broadway credits include Bottled Up (DCTV), A Doll’s House (Access Theatre), In the Heights (Gallery Players) and Ragtime (Gallery Players). Outside of his work in theatre and the consulting world he enjoys escaping New York for the sunny wonderland that is the west coast, attending lunches at the Coffee House Club, and reading his favorite points and miles blogs. Artistically he tries to be involved with theatre that is immersive and shows off all the amazing opportunities afforded by live performance.

Meet Daaimah Mubashshir & Everyday Afroplay

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Name: Daaimah Mubashshir

What is your current project? Everyday Afroplay

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

EVERYDAY AFROPLAY (EDAP) is a collection of tiny plays exploring contemporary ideas of blackness both globally and in an American-specific context. What’s happening here is kind of outrageous and impossible – there are 5 directors, a choreographer, 10 + actors, and designers working with me on 25 plays. JACK, which is located in Clinton Hill is so perfect for EDAP because there is so much room to experiment and test boundaries.

What’s next for you?

Since I got back from MacDowell Colony in January it’s been non-stop. I got the opportunity to present at Judson Memorial Church, Little Theatre, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Sanctuary at Here Arts, and NY Madness Festival. After Everyday Afroplay, I’ll be returning to my desk for rewrites, doing some traveling and probably taking a couple of naps.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

Frontières sans Frontiéres at Bushwick Starr.

Any advice for your peers?

Instead of advice I’ll reveal what’s working for me:

  1. Actively supporting my colleagues work; openly sharing how I secured opportunities with them because Karma is real.
  2. Sharpening my “Trust my instincts” skill set.
  3. Getting comfortable with asking for more.
Want More?
Instagram: @everydayafroplayDaaimah Mubashshir is a NYC playwright and excited to return to JACK this year. Everyday Afroplay was developed at The Bushwick Starr and The MacDowell Colony. Other plays have been presented by Little Theatre, NY Madness, Classical Theatre of Harlem, Sanctuary at HERE Arts, Going to The River Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Fire This Time Festival, and Rising Circle Theatre Collective.

Show Information:

When: Thursday, April 27 – Sunday, April 30
Where: JACK
Address: 505 1/2 Waverly Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11238
Website/Ticketing URL:

Meet Ariel Francoeur & The Navigators

Name: Ariel Francoeur

What is your current project? Producing the Fundraiser Performance for my company’s first full-length production, The Aurora Project. The company is The Navigators – which produces feminist Science Fiction Theater.

Where are you performing your show and why is it a good fit for your production?

The fundraiser is at Lovecraft on the Lower East Side. With it’s HP Lovecraft theme and ambiance, it’s a haven for geek genre lovers, and with it’s private rooms downstairs, it’s perfect for benefit events like ours, which will have: readings of 10-minute sci-fi plays by women, sci-fi themed trivia and music, and stand-up comedy.

What’s next for you?

After this I’ll go into full-on Producer mode for The Aurora Project – while also planning our new play festival that takes place at the end of the summer. As a director, I’m also in the development stages with a few scripts, and the pre-production phase of a project in the fall.

What is the name of the last show you saw?

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill, performed by Artists Entrained.

Any advice for your peers?

Stay in one place for awhile.

Want More?

Website: and
Twitter:  @_TheNavigators_
Instagram: arielf_isforfeminist

Ariel Francoeur, originally from Vermont, is a director – producer – actor committed to bringing the feminist perspective to modern storytelling. She strives through innovative productions of theater and film to commune with audiences who are new to art and profound group experiences. Ariel received her MFA in Directing from The University of Iowa, where she spent three years directing and developing new work in conjunction with the Iowa Playwright’s Workshop. Her work has also been seen regionally in Maine, Connecticut, Kentucky, Colorado, and Indiana, and in New York at The Chain Theater, Atlantic Stage 2, Manhattan Rep, ATA, Lookingglass Theater, and more. She is the Producing Director of the Navigators Theater Company, which produces new works of Feminist Science Fiction Theater in New York City. Associate member SDC. The Navigators, a Feminist Science Fiction Theater Company, is hosting a benefit performance for their first Main Stage Production The Aurora Project.

Benefit Information:

When: Tuesday, April 11 from 7:30 pm to 11:00 pm
Where: Lovecraft Bar
Address: 50 Ave B, on the corner of Ave B and East 4th Street, NYC. F Train to 2nd Ave, F Train to Delancy Street, or J/M/Z to Essex Street.
Website/Ticketing URL: Click here to secure your $15 tickets

The evening will include Science Fiction themed live music, comedy, and trivia, readings of 10 minute Science Fiction plays by women playwrights, and great conversation with members of the theater community. The cost is $15, plus a two drink minimum or meal. A great deal for a show and a benefit! Reservations highly recommended.