Dancing on Glass – Contemporary Play Performance by Gary Morgenstein That Everyone Will Relate Too!

2024-01-31 Dancing on Glass poster - 640

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Gary Morgenstein at Nathan's
Image courtesy Gary Morgenstein

On Sunday January 31, 2024 we had the privilege to preview “Dancing on Glass”, a contemporary play about family, friends, and working professionals who experience prejudice and the consequence thereof that affects many involved. “Dancing on Glass” was presented during a Zoom performance written by award-winning author and playwright Gary Morgenstein well known for his Dark Depths book series (A Fastball for Freedom, A Mound Over Hell) and many plays over the years including “A Black and White Cookie”, and “A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx” which will be returned to the New York City and Hollywood stage for more performances last year . Gary Morgenstein’s novels and plays have been featured in national media from the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Parade Magazine, the New York Post, Sports Illustrated, NPR and hundreds of new media websites all across our country!

2023 A Dugout To Peace cover
Image courtesy Gary Morgenstein. Click to purchase

An award-winning playwright, Morgenstein’s stage dramas include A Black and White Cookie, the Broadway World award-winning (Best Play) funny drama about the unlikely friendship between an African American newsstand owner and an eccentric Communist Jew. His Perry Award-winning (Best Original Play) poignant drama A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx is about a working-class family in the tumultuous 1960s, while the timely Dancing on Glass draws two broken families into an explosive public case of antisemitism and political bullying at a private school. His latest play, the romantic dramedy Walking Charlie, is about the relationship between a small business owner and a Venezuelan political refugee who are brought together by a pug dog named Charlie.

His seven novels include the critically acclaimed dystopian political baseball trilogy A Mound Over Hell (“1984 Meets Shoeless Joe”), A Fastball for Freedom (“a dystopian Field of Dreams”) and A Dugout to Peace (“Powerful and imaginative”), which begins in 2098 after America has lost World War Three to the Islamic Empire.  A Mound Over Hell | Gary Morgenstein (bhcpress.com). Gary was recently nominated for the New York Jewish Week thirty-six and is someone to watch in 2024!

2023-10-07 Hamas attacks Israel
Image courtesy The Guardian

Dancing on Glass is made very contemporary and relevant by two recent events. The first are the recent hearings at the Supreme Court Of The United States (SCOTUS) regarding university entrance criteria that adversely impacts students everywhere. The two cases provide specific focus on denying Asians and other outstanding applicants attempting admission. The obsolete criteria are unfair at best, using outdated decades old, in fact ancient methods of so called affirmative action. The cases were were accepted by SCOTUS regarding a cover up for ethnic prejudice that was practiced in the 1920’s to 1950’s against Citizens of Jewish ethnicity with antisemitism on the rise not only in the United States, but tragically around the world.

2024-02-15 Hamas steals medications from hostages with weapons in hospitals
Image courtesy The Jerusalem Post

In “Dancing on Glass”, Gary also shares the experience of a family subjected to Antisemitism, something  which has unfortunately has once again burst upon the world since the Hamas terrorist attacks perpetrated in Israel on October 07, 2023. “Dancing on Glass” is a provocative new play written by Mr. Morgenstein, a superb story about two broken families are caught up in an explosive case of academic freedom and political bullying triggered by the firing of a Jewish teacher for not being “balanced enough.” The updated January 31, 2024 “Dancing on Glass” play reading was directed by Jacqueline Youm. the reading features Jackie Kusher (Adam Seitz), Allison McAlister (Estie Seitz), Jacqueline Youm (Vanessa Bickford), Tommy Franklin (Reggie Bickford), T.J. Coan (Preston Tyler) and Kristina McKinney (Nadia Ruiz).

Jacqueline Youm
Image courtesy Jacqueline Youm

Jacqueline Youm (Director and character Vanessa) is honored to be able to interpret and direct Gary’s beautiful play. His plays deal with a lot of today’s truths and always creates interesting discourse & conversation. She is a Senegalese American actor, director, playwright, lawyer, and French, English, Spanish, Mediation, and Negotiation teacher. She is passionate and insatiable when it comes to storytelling.  Some of her favorite credits include Round House Theatre: ADENIKEH in Nollywood Dreams (Helen Hayes nom); Dominion Stage: STOOL PIGEON in King Hedley II (WATCH award); Chesapeake Shakespeare Co: HELENA in A Midsummer Night’s Dream; Best Medicine Rep: JO ANNE in The Trip (Helen Hayes nom); Laurel Mill Playhouse: CLARICE LYLE in Consecrated Ground; Silver Spring Stage: NORA in A Doll’s House Part II; Strand Theatre Company: Romeo/Juliet; Sisters Freehold: Yinghe in The Sleepover. She would like to thank her family, friends, and her community for their wondrous support! She gives her all to her ancestors and mother. You can find many of her virtual productions on Youtube (Cestjackie):  On Instagram: @jy_artiste | Facebook: Jacqueline Elisabeth “La langue est un théâtre dont les mots sont les acteurs.” Ferdinand Brunetière

Jackie Kusher
Image courtesy Jackie Kusher

Jackie Kusher portrays Adam Seitz. He recently appeared in ‘A Black and White Cookie’ for which he was nominated for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Actor’ for a ‘Broadway World Award’ 2023.

Prior to that he was nominated for a ‘Perry Award’ also for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Actor’ 2022 in the award winning Gary Morgenstein play “A Tomato Can’t Grow in The Bronx.”

In addition to the Theater, Jackie’s credits also include appearances on TV, films, and recording at RCA Studios, appearing in nightclubs both in New York and Los Angeles.

Jackie proudly lives the following philosophy; “When you have a dream that calls you, acting on that dream is what truly fulfills you. I am fulfilled.”

Allison McAlister
Image courtesy Allison McAlister

Allison McAlister portrays Estie Seitz in “Dancing on Glass”. She is an accomplished actress professionally trained at The Studio Conservancy with over twenty five theater stage credit accomplishments to date delivering a heartfelt performance as the daughter of Adam Seitz.

Her many accomplishments include twenty eight memorable performances including The Canterville Ghost, Hamlet, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Henry V, Julius Caesar and many others.

Additionally, Allison is well known for her appearances in series and shorts including Substitute Family (2022), Saving Ana (2023) and Devil’s Bargain (2022).

In “Dancing on Glass” Allison’s portrayal of Estie is wonderful, exciting and enchanting!

Tommy Franklin
Image courtesy Tommy Franklin

Tommy Franklin portrays Reggie Bickford, an attorney who interacts with Vanessa Bickford, another attorney who is representing Adam Seitz in the case of unfair discrimination on the advice of his daughter Estie in “Dancing on Glass”.

A native of Memphis, Tennessee and based in Los Angeles, California, Tommy is a superb character actor with over twenty years of memorable performances. Tommy’s many film and television credits include ”Fresh Off the Boat”, “Raising Hope”, “ER”, “Rizzoli and Isles”, ”Shameless”, and” Bliss” to name but a few of his acting accomplishments.

Some of Tommy’s Los Angeles stage appearances include ”A Black and White Cookie”, ”Macbeth”, and “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”. Tommy also Directs and is Editor for his career.

Kristina McKinney
Image courtesy Kristina McKinney

Kristina McKinney portrays Nadia Ruiz. A divorced mother of 3, she attended Rutgers University for Child Psychology prior to pursuing a career in acting.

Kristina has previously worked in fugitive recovery all over the state of New Jersey; and now lives locally, in Freehold, New Jersey.

“Dancing On Glass” will be Kristina’s stage debut in 2024 and Kristina is very excited to be a part of this wonderful entertainment product featuring a relevant contemporary focus! 

She is hoping to start a career in theater, as a local in her community, and see where it goes from there. Optimistic Kristina, is cast as Nadia Ruiz, a shy honor student of Adam Seitz who witnessed events at his school.

TJ Coan
Image courtesy T.J. Coan

T.J. Coan is a classically trained actor at Max Gartenberg, New York City, with commercial training by Pam Zaret, New York City and B.A. Communications: Seton Hall University.

Many will recognize T.J. from his television and film portrayals on “Law and Order”, “As The World Turns”, “Another World”, “Black Rain”, “A Beautiful Mind”, “School of Rock”, “Bonfire of the Vanities” and many more!

The premise of Dancing on Glass is the situation of a Jewish social studies teacher at a ritzy private school in fashionable Brooklyn who dares to teach both sides of the Israeli-Arab conflict and, for his efforts, is fired. His daughter Estie, wants him to sue, but Adam (the teacher) lacks the financial wherewithal to mount such a case.

The “Dancing on Glass” Zoom performance was performed on January 31, 2024. Click the banner poster above to see the latest version of the play or click play below to be enchanted by this cast whose acting talents are on full display to render a contemporary tale all can related to. There was a talk back session following the reading of Dancing on Glass. We include the performance reading, and the Talk Back below for your pleasure and hope that you will enjoy it as much as we did!



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