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Manic Pixie Nightmare

at the National Women's Theatre Festival Fringe 2023
Produced by
Jae Weit
Created by
Kimi Handa Brown
Directed by
Sophie Sam
Kimi Handa Brown

Yessenia Rivas

William Phelps

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Meet Emmylou, the type of girl who doesn't need to try to be loved (or so she wants you to think). She might be someone you know, someone you adore, someone you despise and envy, someone who seems to appear when you need her most and disappears leaving you an important life lesson, or maybe she is you. Manic Pixie Nightmare is a play for anyone who is ready to break down the barriers of gender norms and societal expectations - both internally and with their communities.

Content Warnings: Use of strong or insensitive language; mentions or alludes to romantic or sexual intimacy; portrayals of graphic violence on stage and illness or trauma

"Emmylou receives regular noise complaints, a surplus glitter is often found all over the building from her artwork, and she has a tendency to overshare her physical, emotional, and mental trauma around others. However, she pays the rent on time and once complemented my new hair cut - so I really can't complain." -Property Management

Note: Audience participation is encouraged and expected

Support Queer Theatre

Thank your for supporting queer theatre this pride month! Today and everyday we celebrate pride, especially when that means sharing art with new communities. We hope to continue sharing Manic Pixie Nightmare with audiences far and wide, and we need your help to do it. Please consider sharing or donating to our show HERE!

Land Acknowledgement

The land that North Carolina State University sits on is land that was originally stewarded by two Indigenous tribes: the Tuscarora and the Catawba tribes. We honor these tribes today by recognizing that this institution of higher education is built on land stolen from those who were here before the colonizers arrived. Additionally, this land has borne witness to over 400 years of the enslavement, torture, and systematic mistreatment of African people and their descendants. We must acknowledge the history of the spaces and places we occupy to both understand and unlearn the many ways that we have been socialized.

Special Thanks

It takes a village! We would love to extend our extreme gratitude to The National Women's Theatre Festival, NC State University, The Tank NYC, 353 Studios, 797 Studios, Brion Jones, Suzie Brown, Dean Marchant, Evan Vincent, T Pullen, Nachi Lederer, and Cara Jaye. 


Kimi Handa Brown

Yessenia Rivas

William Phelps

Neighbor & David
Sarah Wrigley

Voice of Danielle

Creative Team

Jae Weit

Producer & Stage Manager
Sophie Sam

Director & Designer

Meet the Company

Kimi Handa Brown (Emmylou)
Kimi Handa Brown (they/them) is a Multi-Hyphenate Artist from California and with their BFA in Musical Theater from the University of Utah. From screen to print to stage to studio, they spend their time doing many things. 2022 includes Intimacy Directing for Plan B’s Spring Theater Season and Choreographing for YTU’s Production of Matilda JR in Salt Lake City, Utah. New works recorded and presented online include: their play SHAKESPEAREAN SUPPORT GROUP (streaming on all platforms) and their play turned film MANIC PIXIE NIGHTMARE on Youtube (most recently screened at LABELED FEST May 2022). Said farewell to Salt Lake City by performing in Salt Lake Acting Company’s “SLACabaret: Down the Rabbit Hole.” Most recently involved in Little Red Light Theatre’s production of AN INFINITE ACHE (US Hope) and most recently seen in Kai Xing’s ASTRAL as Sky featured at the International Human Rights Festival at The Tank and Zaiden in Out of the Box’s AEA Workshop of Kelly Strandemo’s PRIMARY.
Yessenia Rivas (Frankie)
Yessenia Rivas (She/They) is an MFA graduate from the Actors Studio Drama School and was a finalist in the NBC Nosotros 'Ya Tu Sabes' Showcase. Her Off-Broadway credits include Bianca in OTHELLO and May in THE LODGER. Most recently they were seen in EL BACALAO at The Flea Theatre and ROMEO & JULIET at Under St. Marks as well as in short films ONE SUGGESTION by Alyssa Kurtzman and award-winning SHELL SHOCKED by Paula Cajiao. Other favorite roles include Irene in LA GOTA FRIA, Magpie in WE THREE, and Marisa in GIVING UP THE GHOST. You can catch Yessenia this August leading the Off-Broadway Production of COWLGIRL at the Players Theatre. They are so excited to be part of bringing MANIC PIXIE NIGHTMARE to life and to work with everyone!
William Phelps (Neighbor & David)
William Phelps (he/him) is a multidisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, NY. As an actor, he trained at Bill Esper’s Studio under his tutelage and Deb Jackel. He is a proud resident artist with New Light Theater Project and a member of the Punk-Americana band Mac McCarty & Kidd Twist. Recent acting credits include: The L Word: Generation Q (SHOWTIME), FBI (CBS), Kold x Windy (AMC), Glitch (Netflix), Canary Trap (MyBotWorks), The Usual, and Eddie Battles Evil (The Tank). He is repped by Premiere Talent Management, Emagine Content, and A3 Artists Agency.
Sarah Wrigley (Voice of Danielle)
Sarah Wrigley (she/her) is an Australian-born multidisciplinary artist, working across the stage and film artforms. She began her studies in Australia before pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Having graduated in 2022 from the Stella Adler Studio of Acting through NYU, Sarah is looking forward to continuing her work in the United States and internationally. Some of her favorite work has been undertaking the roles of Paige in Lewis Treston’s Hubris and Humiliation, Mercy Lewis in The Crucible and an ensemble-based new work titled If and When We Say Goodbye. Sarah has also enjoyed working in short films such as Drifters and Window Pain. In her spare time, she loves to play guitar, sing, practice stage combat and keep active by sports such as basketball and soccer.
Jae Weit (Producer & Stage Manager)
Jae Weit (they/them/theirs) is a trans-nonbinary multi-passionate artist, administrator, and advocate. Their work includes starring in two world premieres, managing new and existing Broadway productions, and striving to make the theater industry a more equitable environment for the LGBTQIA+ community. Jae’s work has inspired thousands of audiences and enlightened multitudes of creators and collaborators through performance, leadership, and education. Jae is a 2020 BFA Musical Theater graduate from The University of Utah and a member of the Actor’s Equity Association. Recent credits include Back to the Future the Musical, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Some Like It Hot (Broadway); Pete The Cat, #SLACabaret (Salt Lake Acting Company); Bella Luna, Star or Plane (Women's Theatre Festival).
Sophie Sam (Director & Designer)
Sophie Sam (she/her) is a trans director based in NYC. Regionally, she has directed the world premieres of Happiness is Homemade, The Question Game, and an/(one’s) ivory tower. She has also directed productions of Next to Normal, Open, and Screaming, Humming. For her work on Next to Normal, she received a Certificate of Merit from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Sophie holds a B.S. in Theatre and Entertainment Arts from Northern Michigan University, and is an alumna of the National Theater Institute. She is a proud member of Ring of Keys.