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Repulsing the Monkey: a new comedy set in a bar, at a bar, about so much more than bars

Sep 15 Through Sep 26 | Wed |
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Family ties ignite in Repulsing the Monkey, a new, heartfelt comedy by Michael Eichler about siblings who struggle to honor their parents' legacy as the specter of gentrification looms. With the sudden inheritance of their parent’s bar, Janey (Kim Katzberg) and Danny (Sergey Nagorny) are besieged by prospective owners from the coasts who seek to purchase Jablonski’s and make it their own. Emily Elizabeth Bennett, Kaila Wooten, Samuel Barnes Jaffe, and Asha Devi hilariously capture the would-be gentrifiers, who think little of erasing the bar’s character and discarding its history. As they compete over their vision for the space, Danny and Janey struggle to make a decision that will change their lives and the spirit of their hometown forever, while confronting their past and facing their future. Should they keep the unprofitable bar and honor their folks, or sell to developers from the coasts for a hefty profit?

Staged at The White Horse Tavern (25 Bridge Street, NYC) for 15 performances from September 15-26, 2021, Repulsing the Monkey sees the 1641 historic tavern, located between the skyscrapers of NYC’s Financial District, become Jablonski’s, a shot and beer tavern set in a rapidly gentrifying Pittsburgh. Daniel Leeman Smith directs.

COVID-19 Vaccine Statement: Audience will need to be fully vaccinated with an FDA or WHO authorized vaccine and must show proof of vaccination at their time of entry into the show. “Fully vaccinated” means the performance date must be at least 14 days after the second dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine, or at least 14 days after a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine. Masks will also be required for audiences inside the theatre, except while eating or drinking.

Repulsing the Monkey will be staged for 15 performances on the following schedule: Wed., Sep 15, 7:00-8:20 p.m. (preview); Thurs., Sep 16, 7:00-8:20 p.m. (preview); Fri., Sep 17, 8:00-9:20 p.m. (preview); Sat., Sep 18, 8:00-9:20 p.m. (opening night); Sun., Sep 19, 3:00-4:20 p.m. & 7:00-8:20 p.m.; Tues., Sep 21, 7:00-8:20 p.m.; Wed., Sep 22, 7:00-8:20 p.m.; Thurs., Sep 23, 6:00-7:20 p.m. & 9:00-10:20 p.m.; Fri., Sep 24, 6:00-7:20 p.m. & 9:00-10:20 p.m.; Sat., Sep 25, 3:00-4:20 p.m. & 7:00-8:20 p.m.; Sun., Sep 26, 3:00-4:20 p.m.

The runtime is 80 minutes with no intermission.

General admission tickets are $40. $75 for VIP table seats with 2 included beverages, as well as food and beverage service before and after the performance. For tickets, visit

The White Horse Tavern is located at 25 Bridge Street, New York, NY 10004.

Creative Producer: Ali Kennedy Scott; Lighting Designer/Stage Manager: Kathrine R. Mitchell; Publicist: Paul Siebold/Off Off PR.

Michael Eichler (playwright) is a Buffalo, NY born playwright living in San Diego, California. His blue-collar roots and experiences with powerlessness led him to a lengthy career as a community organizer. In that role he worked with low-income people to transform communities across America. Years later, Michael discovered playwriting as an outlet for his anguish when his wife was diagnosed with Cancer. The play he wrote as a result – his first ever – was selected and produced as part of an international play festival (happily, his wife recovered). That inspired him to write a succession of plays that have been well received by audiences throughout the United States. Michael’s plays – which are centered on problems faced by working class families – have been produced in partnership with many community-based nonprofit organizations. The productions have raised thousands of dollars for these organizations and shed light on the issues they are addressing.

Daniel Leeman Smith (director) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist working primarily as a director, playwright, and arts educator. He is devoted to the exploration of community, education, activism, and art and endeavors to use theatre as a catalyst for the restoration of civic dialogue. He was the 2014 recipient of the NYC Pride Award. Daniel built his directing career in regional and educational theatre and became a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in 2017 and an Associate Member of SDC the same year. He has worked in the field of arts education for over a decade and currently serves as the Entrepreneurial Artist Lead at the NYU Production Lab where he creates experiential learning based curriculum and co-facilitates the Creative Career Design Fellowship, among other programs. Daniel holds a BFA and MA from Oklahoma City University and completed the graduate training program in Physical and Devised Theatre at the SITI Company Conservatory. He is currently pursuing a Doctorate of Education in the program of Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities at New York University. Daniel is a proud citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Ali Kennedy Scott (creative producer) is an Australian producer and theatre-maker based in NYC, dedicated to building connection and promoting wonderment across the globe. She is Vice-Chair of the Board of Anne Bogart’s SITI Company, a member of the Board of the Broadway Women’s Fund and a creator/performer who has toured work across 3 continents including her multi-award-winning solo play, ‘The Day the Sky Turned Black’, (“Enthralling” NY Times) and ‘Just Not That Woman’ – a solo play about magic and the 2016 US election. As director/writer she created a lauded Artist-in-Residence program for 6 schools in Western Sydney, as an actor and stand-up comedian she’s performed at the NY’s famous Comedy Cellar, La MaMa, New York Theatre Workshop, The Wild Project, Abingdon Theatre and the Edinburgh Fringe. She holds a First-Class honors degree in Economics from the University of Sydney, is a graduate of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and is an MFA (Cultural Leadership) candidate at NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Arts). In addition to creative pursuits, Ali is a management consultant advising Fortune 500 companies and new ventures on business strategy.

Kathrine R. Mitchell (lightning designer) NYC: Kennedy: Bobby’s Last Crusade (Projections at St. Clements); Odd Day Rain (TADA!); Bright New Boise (Atlantic Theater School), Inferno Project: Lust & Gluttony, Inferno Project: Greed & Wrath (New Circle Theatre Company); Stranger Than a Rhino, The Beautiful, But You're A Man ( NYC Fringe), The Cherry Orchard and Playboy of the West Indies (NYU). Regional: Avenue Q, Greater Tuna, November, and The Last Night of Ballyhoo (Oklahoma City Rep); The Magic Flute, The Grapes of Wrath (Sugar Creek Opera). Film: Alpha, The Schvitzing, For Ella with Love.

Meet the Cast

Emily Elizabeth Bennett (Ethan) After graduating from Atlantic Acting School, she has appeared in local productions such as AlphaNYC's Power Line and The Trojan Women and has participated in readings for new works, such as Gina Femia's We Are The Gods. More info and materials at Instagram: @em_beth

Asha Devi (Sophia) is a West-Indian and American actress, activist, and educator based in NYC. She is a recent graduate of NYU Tisch, where she earned a BFA in Drama, and has also trained at NYFA, The Terry Knickerbocker Studio, and the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. As an artist, she is committed to honest and empowering work, and is especially interested in questions concerning ambition, maternity, and self-efficacy. Seen recently in Huma Dreaming (Huma Abedin) at Dixon Place, Hamlet Curse Quote (Ally) at the Tank, and on screen in “Rising Lotus” (Nalina).

Samuel Barnes Jaffe (Dylan) is so excited to be performing live again! Jaffe is a Brooklyn based actor, singer, Purchase grad and Pokemon Master. Pre-COVID, Jaffe was on tour with Chamber Theater Productions and performing all around the city, including Midtown's the Producer's Club, the Dixon Place, and ARS Nova. During the Pandemic, he moved to his hometown of Silver Spring Maryland and spent some time with family and old friends. He also kept himself busy with frequent play readings, such as Moon Over Buffalo (Paul), Sordid Lives (Ty), and Deathtrap (Clifford).

Kim Katzberg (Janey) is a Brooklyn-based actor and writer who has been creating genre-bending, darkly comedic works for theater since 2010. In 2011, Katzberg’s breakout solo show Penetrating the Space (“Glowing, vulnerable, haunting” NY Times) at Dixon Place and HERE, was the life-changing endeavor that gave her a place within the theater world. She debuted her second play, Darkling, at IRT Theater. Katzberg workshopped her third play Terry: Recovering Pet Detective in Ars Nova’s ANT Fest 2015. Renamed ‘Strays,’ it premiered in 2016 at The Brick Theater, winning the 2016 NYIT Award for “Outstanding Original Short Script.” Strays is published in The Best American Short Plays, 2015-2016. Katzberg workshopped her most recent play, Dad in a Box, at Dixon Place in 2019, prior to a run at HERE and an encore at The Wild Project in January 2020. Katzberg won the 2019 NYIT Award for “Outstanding Solo Performance.” She is currently developing a brand new solo show which will premier during her April 2022 residency at The Wild Project. Katzberg received a BFA in Acting from NYU and an MFA in Acting from Columbia University.

Sergey Nagorny (Danny) is a classically trained actor and a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York. His resume includes such productions as Covers, KNOCK, and Old New Year, as well as Ask Joseph, Miracles: Lost & Found, Dancing on the Edge and Night Shadows. He has had co-starring roles on such TV shows as The Americans, Limitless, Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, MacGyver, The Blacklist, and Showtime's "The Comey Rule". Joining this production immediately following his successful Off-Broadway debut in "The Last Boy" by Steve Fisher, Sergey is very excited to perform in the historic White Horse Tavern.

Kaila Wooten (Kylie) is an actress, musician, and teacher. Previous roles include Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors with Tisch New Theater and Chorus in Prometheus Bound at The Tank. (NYU ‘19)

Venue: The White Horse Tavern

25 Bridge Street Map