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SPRAWL: A WRESTLING PLAY 

An honest look at the world of high school wrestling, and the pressures that come with it. 

Written by Michael Ronca

 

WHEN & WHERE:

 

November 16 – 19, 2023

The Tank – New York, NY

 

PRODUCTION TEAM:

 

Directors – Jordan Westfall & Danika Jackson

Producer – Danika Jackson

Prod. Stage Manager – Julia Gangemi

Asst. Stage Manager – Corinn Morgan

 

Lighting Design – Joshua Miguel Ewing

Fight Choreographer – Parker Sack

Vocal/Movement Coach – Barbara Adrian

Choreographer – Troy Barnes

Intimacy Director – Kat Shaw

 

Sound Design – Kiara Negroni

Set Designer – Emory Kemph

Costumes – Pearl Gopalani

 

CAST (in order of appearance)

Matt – Joe Marano

 

Nick – Parker Sack

 

Will – Andrei Dolezal

 

Antonio – Devin Lee

Phil – Christian Clements

 

Ricky – Cameron Walker

 

Chris – Gideon Klapow

 

Mitch – Christopher DeSantis

Coach Staples – John Joseph Squires

 

 

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OVERVIEW:

I first met Michael Ronca in May of 2023 while playing Sam Byck in Assassins at Gallery Players in Brooklyn (Michael made an excellent John Wilkes Booth). It was during the production's tech week that I learned of Sprawl's existence via Michael's bio in the show program, and flabbergasted, I begged him to let me read it.

Thankfully, he did –– and man, it did not disappoint! Sprawl is witty, cuttingly poignant, darkly realistic, and probably most impressively: so familiar, and yet so fresh and new. I mean, it's not every day that full blown, real collegiate-level wrestling is shown on stage in a play. Nor is it everyday that men, let alone young men, are depicted on stage with body issues and eating disorders; or as being held accountable for their toxic social behaviors and emotional shortcomings. But Sprawl does exactly this and more, creating nine richly defined, sharply distinctive characters that each have their own individual journey –– most of which, frankly, end in tragedy.

This production was in many ways a workshop; a world premiere of the play in its entirety, and proudly played four sold out performances at The Tank in midtown Manhattan. Hopefully, that was only the beginning, and this incredible new show is destined for an even longer, more expensive run elsewhere in New York. It truly deserves it. 

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