Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Another favorite theater of mine is Luna Stage which has located to the Valley Arts District in West Orange from Montclair (WO’s gain, their loss). After two stellar productions in the fall, Luna produces another play from their New Moon program (one from 2003 has gone on to Off-Broadway).

Cast of Mercy and the Firefly - Marcie Henderson, Alicia Rivas, Christopher Daftsios, Andrea Gallo

Luna Stage proudly announces

By Amy Hartman
Directed by Cheryl Katz

WHEN: Previews February 10, 11, 12, 13 & 17, Opening Night February 18; Closes March 13; Thursdays, 7:30 PM; Fridays and Saturdays, 8 PM; Sundays, 2 PM
Luna Stage, 555 Valley Road, West Orange
TICKETS: $20-$30, are on sale now on the Luna Stage website: or by calling 973.395.5551.

A story of finding forgiveness, even in the midst of darkness, Mercy and the Firefly follows a nun who drives non-stop from LA to Pittsburgh, back to the home and family she fled. She returns with a spirit in need, a troubled young girl, and a secret that could endanger those who love her. This timely and relevant play examines the pervasiveness—and the impact—of emotional and physical violence in our society.

Mercy and The Firefly was developed as part of Luna Stage’s New Moon Play Development Program under the guidance and dramaturgy of Luna Stage’s Director of Play Development, Cheryl Katz. Ms. Katz, who is directing the current production, says she was drawn to the piece because she believes that “it challenges us to look beyond our preconceptions of right and wrong and embrace the complexity of our shared humanity.”

Says Ms. Katz, “I love Amy’s work because she addresses tough issues, but always with such fullness of humor. Her plays—including Mercy…—are darkly funny and engaging but they also force audiences to think about some very painful realities of modern life.”

Marcie Henderson (top left), as Lucy, leads an outstanding cast that includes Christopher Daftsios (bottom left) as Oliver, Andrea Gallo (bottom right) as Viv and Alicia Rivas (top right) as Mercy. Ms. Henderson, a native of California, has performed at the Metropolitan Playhouse, LaMama and The American Conservatory Theatre. Mr. Daftsios has played numerous roles on NBC’s Law and Order and Conviction, and has toured extensively as an actor and a dancer. Ms. Gallo has performed regionally and throughout the New York metropolitan area, including with NJ Rep, Hudson Stage and The Public Theatre in ME. Ms. Rivas is currently a theatre major at Fairleigh Dickinson University and was recently featured in NBC’s Mun2: El Show-Looks Segments.

Documentary photographer Mark Manley will mount a photo exhibit in the lobby of Luna Stage to accompany the production. The exhibit will focus around community organizations whose work relates to themes explored in the play.

In addition to the exhibit, members of the organizations represented by the artwork, including Family Connections of Orange, will participate in a panel discussion and talk back after the preview performance on Sunday, February 13, at 2 PM.

Cast of Mercy and the Firefly - Marcie Henderson, Alicia Rivas, Christopher Daftsios, Andrea Gallo