January 28–March 4, 2018

Off-Broadway Premiere

a co-production with The Bushwick Starr
in association with New Georges
by Kate Benson
directed by Lee Sunday Evans
with Noel Joseph Allain, Kate Benson, Ugo Chukwu, Jorge Cordova, Leah Karpel, and Julia Sirna-Frest


“A stealthily ferocious, comfortingly hopeful, very funny new play. An exhortation to get out of your head and live, in thoughtful pursuit of joy.” The New York Times

“Laugh-out-loud hilarious.” New York Magazine

“Hugely worth seeing.” Four Stars! A Critics Pick! Time Out New York

“Magical, mischievous, and just plan hilarious.” Theatermania

A woman walks into a bar. Her name is Porto. She’s a regular. She likes this bar: serious food, serious wine, serious bartender–a staple in a gentrifying Brooklyn neighborhood (perhaps Bushwick?). Her friends, her wine, and her artisanal snacks are there; her doubts about being a Modern Woman are put on snooze. A handsome stranger walks in and orders something special. Disruption ensues: an upside-down romantic comedy unfolds inside and outside her head. Desires of all kinds are awakened with a ferocious thump. A nice smile is a nice smile, but can we enjoy the sausage once we know how it’s made?

WP Theater teams up with The Bushwick Starr in association with New Georges to present the Off-Broadway debut of the sold-out hit [PORTO] by Kate Benson and directed by WP Theater Lab Alum Lee Sunday Evans, whose last collaboration, the Obie Award-winning A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes, was a smash success at WP in 2015.


[PORTO] was initially produced by WP Theater Lab Alum Rachel Karpf, John Del Gaudio and The Bushwick Starr, where it received its world premiere in their 2016-17 Season.

Kate Benson

(Playwright/Narrator) Kate Benson is a writer and actor living in Brooklyn. Plays include: [PORTO] (The Bushwick Starr), A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes (Obie winner), (New Georges with the Women’s Project Theater), Super Magic Wild Forest (Clubbed Thumb Biennial Commission), and Desert (for Now). She has an MFA from the Brooklyn College Playwriting program.  Performances include: I’ll Never Love Again (Bushwick Starr), Tiger, Tiger (on the Nature of Violence) (Dixon Place), Fondly, Collette Richland (Elevator Repair Service at NYTW), Nomads (the Incubator), Good Person of Szechwan (the Public & LaMama), and home/sick (the Assembly).

Lee Sunday Evans

(Director) Lee Sunday Evans Recent Credits include: Bull in a China Shop by Bryna Turner (LCT3), [Porto] by Kate Benson (Bushwick Starr), Caught by Christopher Chen (Play Co.), Macbeth (Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival), Wellesley Girl by Brendan Pelsue (Humana Festival), D Deb Debbie Deborah by Jerry Lieblich (Clubbed Thumb), A Beautiful Day in November on the Banks of the Greatest of the Great Lakes. by Kate Benson (OBIE Award – New Georges/Women’s Project). Her work has been presented/developed at: Baryshnikov Arts Center, Sundance Theater Lab, BAX, CATCH, LMCC, Robert Wilson’s Watermill Center, Juilliard. Lee received the 2016 Susan Stroman Directing Award from The Vineyard Theater. Upcoming: Miller, Mississippi by Boo Killebrew (Dallas Theater Center), Dance Nation by Clare Barron (Playwrights Horizons).

Noel Joseph Allain

(Doug the Bartender) Noel Joseph Allain is the Founding Artistic Director of the Bushwick Starr Theater. New York credits include [Porto], Heartbreak, the food was terrible, On a Clear Day I Can See to Elba, Jericho, Luft Gangster, Queerspawn , Motel Cherry, How Much Is Enough, The Wife, Sa Ka La, Tender, and Now That Communism is Dead, My Life Feels Empty. Regional credits include Asher in My Name Is Asher Lev (Cleveland Playhouse), Tom in The Glass Menagerie (Arizona Theater Company), Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice (Playmakers Rep), and Transition with Reggie Watts and Tommy Smith (On the Boards). Awards: Indie Theater Award for Outstanding Actor in a Featured Role for Luft Gangster and Xammie for Best Male Actor for The Glass Menagerie. TV: Blue Bloods, Law and Order:SVU, Damages, Guiding Light. FILM: The Outpatient, Marcy, InContact TRAINING: Juilliard

Ugo Chukwu

(Raphael the Waiter) Ugo Chukwu‘s Recent credits include Today is My Birthday (Page 73), Ripcord (Huntington Theater in Boston), Adventure Quest (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), [PORTO] (Bushwick Starr) and Minor Character: Six Translations of Uncle Vanya at the Same Time (New Saloon; NYIT award winner – BEST ENSEMBLE).  Ugo has also been in numerous readings, and workshops with various companies such as Target Margin, Ars Nova, Atlantic Theater, The Flea, Clubbed Thumb, Playwrights Horizons, The New Group, EST, and more.  BFA at Brooklyn College. www.ugochukwuactor.com

Jorge Cordova

(Hennepin) Theater: Porto (Bushwick Starr, upcoming: Women’s Project/New Georges), Universal Robots (Gideon Productions/Sheen Center), Lady Day (The Little Shubert), Family Play: 1979 – Present (Collaboration Town), Bonedive Scrounger (The Brick). Television: “Seven Seconds” (Netflix, Fall 2017), “Blue Bloods” (CBS), “Madame Secretary” (CBS). Film: “The Visit”.

Leah Karpel

(Dry Sac) Off-Broadway: The Harvest (LCT3); Pocatello(Playwrights Horizons); Porto (Bushwick Starr). Regional: Miller Mississippi (Dallas Theatre Center); Residence (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival); AppropriateThe WhaleWe Are Proud to Present…(Victory Gardens Theatre); Buena VistaThe Glass MenagerieThe Hot L Baltimore (Steppenwolf Theatre); The Diary Of Anne Frank (Writers Theatre); The Commons of Pensacola (Northlight Theatre); 4000 Miles (Long Wharf Theatre);  Punk Rock (Griffin Theatre); Ten Chimneys (Milwaukee Repertory). Film/TV: Chicago Med; PatriotOlympia.

Julia Sirna-Frest

(PORTO) Julia Sirna-Frest was most recently seen as Margit in Seder at Hartford Stage.  NYC: [Porto]  (The Bushwick Starr); A Tunnel Year (The Chocolate Factory); The Offending Gesture  (The Connelly); Comfort Dogs: Live from the Pink House (JACK); Founding member of the Obie award winning Half Straddle Company, productions include: Ghost Rings (TBA/PICA); Ancient Lives (The Kitchen); Seagull (Thinking of you) (The New Ohio, International Tour), In the Pony Palace/Football (The Bushwick Starr, International Tour); Nurses in New England (The Ohio); The Knockout Blow (The Ontological). Composer/Performer for theatre rock duo Chapman/Sirna-Frest: Welcome to the Gun Show (Ars Nova); IceBand (HERE Arts Center/Target Margin)  Co-front woman of Doll Parts, Brooklyn’s Premiere Dolly Parton cover band.  www.juliasirnafrest.com

The Bushwick Starr

The Bushwick Starr is an Obie Award-winning nonprofit theater that presents an annual Season of new performance work.  We are an organization defined by both our artists and our community, and since 2007, we have grown into a thriving theatrical venue, a vital neighborhood arts center, and a destination for exciting and engaging performance.  We provide a springboard for emerging professional artists to make career-defining leaps, and we are a sanctuary where established performance companies come to experiment and innovate.  Our past Seasons have included new work from groundbreaking artists such as The Mad Ones, Clare Barron, Dave Malloy, The Debate Society, the TEAM, and Half Straddle.

“The work they program is boldly experimental.  It’s also a lot of fun… a bright spot on the Off Off Broadway map” – New York Times

“A home for gutsy experimental work.” – 2012 Village Voice OBIE Award for Outstanding Work

“Brooklyn’s hottest incubator. One of New York’s best-curated off-off venues.” – Time Out New York

New Georges

New Georges, founded in 1992, is a strategically small theater company with a national reputation as a productive home and launchpad for exuberantly theatrical women artists – individually, as collaborators, and as a community.  We cultivate our boundary-pushing aesthetic in a nimble, artist-driven production environment: committing to projects early on, equipping them with processes rooted in strong collaborations, and providing steady artistic support.  We serve and sustain the largest ongoing working community of women theater artists in New York City — more than 200 playwrights, directors, actors and designers – with premiere productions; play and artist development programs (such as the New Georges Jam and the Audrey Residencies); and The Room, our permanent workspace and the year-round hub of our activities.  Our 22-year commitment to providing our artists with free or low-cost workspace in The Room is unique among small theaters and has incubated thousands of new plays.

Honors for New Georges, our plays and our people include 3 Obie Awards, the Lilly Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn and Kesselring Prizes.  And the influx of New Georges artists into the field over the last 25 years has had marked impact on the representation of women nationwide in theater, film, television and arts education.

  • [PORTO]

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