The Pillowman


Martin McDonagh’s "The Pillowman", winner of the 2004 Olivier Award for Best Play, will alternately make you laugh and scare you to death. The play mixes life and art in a theatrically dazzling brew that raises crucially important questions about censorship and the limits of artistic license. The Pillowman prods the audience, as if at knifepoint, to reconsider how modern societies set the balance between safety and freedom.

“A blindingly bright black comedy.”
- Ben Brantley, The New York Times

“The Pillowman [is] thoroughly startling and genuinely intimidating.”
- Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“A complex tale about life and art, about fact and illusion, about politics, society, cruelty and creativity.”
- Alistair Macaulay, Financial Times

“McDonagh’s least forgiving, bravest play.”
- Variety

Performances Dates: March 30 // March 31 // April 1 // April 2 // April 6 // April 7 // April 8 // April 9 (Thursday through Sunday over two weekends)
All performances at 8 P.M.
BBOX, The Gateway
1601 W. Mount Royal Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21217

Ticket prices:
MICA students - $5
General Admission - $12
Tickets sold at the MICA store,, and at the door.


Jenna Rayman


Jenna Rayman is a junior Art History major with concentrations in Graphic Design and Theatre, as well as a minor in Culture and Politics at MICA. This is her fourth performance at MICA, but her second with Rivals of the West. Previously, she's appeared as Una in the Rivals of the West's 2016 production of "Blackbird" and Amanda in MICA Thespian Club's 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie".

She hopes you enjoy the show!

Sarah Middleton


Sarah Middleton is a senior General Fine Arts Major and a Theatre concentrator at MICA. This is her second production with the Rivals of the West. She is an actress, singer, avid knitter, and can make 5 minute brownies in just under 4 minutes.

Don Vikle


Don Vikle, formally known as Braedon Wikle, is elated to be performing as Katurian in his second show with the Rivals of the West’s production of "The Pillowman". He’s worked primarily in Improvisational Theatre, yet his recent theatrical roles have included Tom in MICA Thespian Club's 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie", as well as Mark in Rivals of the West's 2016 production of "Jailbait".

Don appreciates your attendance, and would like you to sit back and ready yourself for a thrilling production. Thanks.

Taz Achey


Taz Achey is a General Fine Arts major with concentrations in Theatre and Illustration and a minor in Creative Writing at MICA. He has played roles in two Rivals productions and also served as last year's assistant director. He is thrilled to be playing Michal and looking forward to continue his work with Rivals of the West.

Chelsea Hurd

Little Jesus // Mute Girl

Chelsea Hurd is a sophomore General Fine Arts major and a member of the Masters of Art and Teaching Program at MICA. She was assistant director of the MICA Thespian Club Fall production of "The Glass Menagerie" and assistant stage manager for the Rivals of the West production of "Jailbait" and "Blackbird". She is very excited to be expanding her experience on stage this year as a member of the cast.

Rachel Hall

Katurian's Mother // Little Jesus' Mother // Foster Mother

Rachel Hall is a foundation Illustration student at MICA. She has been involved in theater both on and off stage for the past five years, assistant stage managed MICA Thespian Club's 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie", and is a member of MICA's improv comedy club. She is excited to act in her first Rivals of the West production.

Shrenik Ganatra

Katurian's Father // Little Jesus' Father // Blind Man

Shrenik Ganatra is a designer and musician. He’s a second year graduate student in the Graphic Design program at MICA. This is Shrenik’s second year performing in the Rivals of The West Theatre Company’s production.

Charlie Rincon-Rodriguez

Young Michal // Foster Father

Charlie Rincon-Rodriguez is a General Fine Arts major with a concentration in Theater at MICA. He returns to Rivals Of The West after being set to make his debut last year as the role of Mark in Rivals of the West's 2016 production of "Jailbait".


Frank Fantauzzi

Technical Director

Frank Fantauzzi is currently the Chair of Architectural Design at MICA. He has taught in numerous architecture and design programs in Canada, the United States and Finland. Parallel to teaching, Fantauzzi has also been engaged in an ongoing art practice founded in 1989. His work is multidisciplinary in nature, often collaborative and focuses on large-scale installations and outdoor constructions that explore the parallels between social and tectonic structures. He is a founding member of the collaborative.

Charlie O'Geen

Technical Assistant

Charlie O’Geen is a College Professor of Architecture (Design, Materials and Tectonics) at Lawrence Technological University in Southfield, MI, and was recently awarded a fellowship by the Kresge Foundation for his research in Detroit, MI. He holds a Bachelors of Science and Masters degree in Architecture from SUNY Buffalo as well as a Masters of Architecture from Cranbrook Academy of art. O’Geen has worked for several design-build practices and has managed construction projects in four countries (most recently for Power House Productions in Detroit). His research investigates the exploitation of existing site conditions for use as building systems. The work stands in opposition to conventional building practices which are materially consuming. Unconventionally, O’Geen’s work moves off paper and into a full-scale reality and looks to expose the opportunities of existing material energy.

Helen Garcia-Alton

Lighting Designer

Helen Garcia-Alton is a 2014 graduate of Towson University and holds a BS in Theatrical Lighting Design, she works locally as a freelance Lighting Designer. She is very happy to have been a part of this year's production, thanks to the phenomenal cast and crew.

Ella SeungJoo Lee

Technical Designer

Ella Lee is a senior Graphic Design major and Theatre concentrator at MICA. She was a part of the tech team for Rivals of the West's 2015 production of "The Man of Mode". This is her second time with Rivals. Ella enjoyed being on the props team so much, so she's back this year to experience other roles as a member.

SeongEun Kim

Technical Designer

SeongEun Kim is a senior Illustration major and Printmaking concentrator at MICA. She is interested in the process of making art from 2D to 3D, which inspired her to be a part of technical design. She enjoys creating art that brings happiness and hope for people.

Andreia Matos

Technical Designer

Andreia Matos is a sophomore Illustration student with an interest in set/production design at MICA. This is her first time collaborating on a theatre production, but she's looking forward to working on many more!

Layla MacRory

Technical Designer

Layla MacRory is a senior Graphic Design major at MICA. She is working with the technical team as a graphic designer.

Lynn Chung

Technical Designer

Lynn Chung is a junior Fiber major at MICA. This is her second time participating as a member of Rivals of the West. She enjoyed working as a costumer on the last show, and decided to expand her experience with this year's production of "The Pillowman". Her experience with theatre production has given her interest and showed her the role of a fiber artist in the theatrical arts.

Claire Xu

Technical Designer

Claire Xu is a senior Graphic Design major at MICA. She was part of MICA Thespian Club's 2015 production of "Almost, Maine" as Sandrine, and was a Rocky Horror Transylvanian for the past two years. She also designed the hair and makeup for MICA Thespian Club’s 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie".

Christine An

Technical Designer

Shirley Zhang

Technical Designer

Will Blankin

Technical Designer

Will Blankin is a long time Rivals actor and first time set designer. Having acted in MICA productions from the mystical "Dancing at Lughnasa" to the flamboyant "Man of Mode", Will is elated to contribute to this year’s madly dark spectacle "The Pillowman" from backstage. True to his theater concentration, the senior interactive arts major will be performing an original play for his thesis in BBox on April 25th and 26th featuring Taz Achey (Michal // "The Pillowman) and Nick Daly (Sir Fopling Flutter // "Man of Mode"). He hopes to see you there!

Maya Graffagna

Costume Director

Maya Graffagna is very excited to be teaching the Costume Design class for Rivals if the West. She started with Rivals as a student in 2009 with Hair and worked with them through graduation in 2012 with "Fat Pig" and "Reasons to be Pretty". She has since been working as a Costume and Graphic Designer in New York City. She is a member of the sketch comedy group Dave's Friends and is currently designing for "White Rabbit". Recent credits include "42 Night Live (Elektra Theatre)", "Ice Cream, Fro-Yo and Accusations of the Murder of John Lennon" (Hudson Guild), "Parking Lot 63" (Thespis Festival), and "Fabulous!...The Queen of New Musical Comedies" (Write Act Repertory.

Emma Rubini

Costume Designer

Emma Rubini is a senior Illustration major at MICA. She has been involved in theater for many years, both on and offstage, and this is her third Rivals production. She appeared onstage and participated in the costume team for Rivals of the West's 2016 production of "Blackbird" and "Jailbait", and played Laura in MICA Thespian Club's 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie".

Yang Xiao

Costume Designer

Yang Xiao is a junior Fiber major at MICA. She is working with the costume team.

Inga Bragadottir

Costume Designer

Inga Bragadottir is a recent transfer student studying General Fine Arts at MICA. This is her first theater production at MICA.

Crystal Xiong

Costume Designer

Crystal Xiong is a sophomore General Fine Arts major at MICA. She is a member of the costume design team for "The Pillowman".

Maggie Fu

Costume Designer

Meiqi Fu is a junior double major in Sculpture and General Fine Arts at MICA. She is a member of the costume design team for "The Pillowman".

Stevie Pniewski

Costume Designer

Mubtasin Zaman

Hair / Makeup

Mubtasin Zaman is a senior GFA major with concentrations in theatre and graphic design at MICA. This is his fourth year with Rivals of the West and he has previously worked on "Jailbait" and "Blackbird", "The Man of Mode", and "Little Shop of Horrors". He is also President of MICA’s Thespian Club and directed the club’s 2016 production of "The Glass Menagerie".

Suzanne Sferrazza

Stage Manager

Suzanne Sferrazza is a sophomore Photography major with a concentration in Theatre and a minor in Gender Studies at MICA. She is thankful to have the opportunity to work with the Rivals of the West Theatre Company for the second time. Suzanne has been involved with theatre for more than five years in both tech and production. Suzanne is stage managing her seventh show, "The Pillowman". Past shows she has stage managed include Rival’s of the West’s 2016 productions of "Jailbait" and "Blackbird".

Christopher Shipley


Christopher Shipley (PhD, University of Chicago) is Coordinator of the Theater Concentration and Professor of Humanistic Studies at MICA, where he has taught drama courses for over 30 years. He is also Co-Director of MICA’s artist residency program in Brittany, France. In 2008 he created MICA’s Rivals of the West Theatre Company and “The Play’s the Thing,” the cross-disciplinary course responsible for this year’s production of "The Pillowman".

Kris Messer

Associate Director

Kris Messer holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. She is interested in community-based and socially engaged performance and dramaturgy. She is the resident dramaturge at Cohesion Theatre Company. She is thrilled to be working with Rivals again this year. Kris teaches in the Department of Humanistic Studies at MICA.

Production Management

Christopher Shipley Kris Messer Maya Graffagna Frank Fantauzzi Charlie O'Geen Helen Garcia-Alton Suzanne Sferrazza

Production is responsible for interpreting the script and translating it into functional stage design. From initial sketches and architectural drawings to scale-models, the Art department will transform the BBOX into a space of powerful performances for The Pillowman.

Costume Design

Emma Rubini Mubtasin Zaman Yang Xiao Inga Bragadottir Crystal Xiong Maggie Fu Stevie Pniewski

The Costume Crew handles design, construction, alteration, and care of costumes, shoes, and accessories to help express the characters and enhance the overall look of the play. The costumers are very excited to be working with a large crew.

Technical Design

Ella SeungJoo Lee SeongEun Kim Andreia Matos Layla MacRory Lynn Chung Claire Xu Christine An Shirley Zhang Will Blankin

The Technical Design team department is in charge of transforming the design plans into the physical set, designing, treating, and decorating all of the surfaces in the set, facilitating the collection of objects the actors will interact with in the production from sourcing and manipulating objects as well as fabricating original pieces, while working closely with each department to create a cohesive aesthetic directing all the non-interactive furniture and stage positioning, and works closely with all other departments, designing, hanging, and lighting the show by working closely with the all departments, creating a brand identity for the play and handles publicity. In addition to creating print materials, the technical design department manages the Rivals of the West's web presence, connects with local media, and works closely with the MICA's photography and advertising departments.