A tragic, true love story. Heloise lives in a medieval world ruled by men. But her will is her own.
Most historians focus on Abelard, the philosopher, but few of them focus on Heloise, his great love. Our story highlights the mind and will of Heloise—a rare female voice from the medieval world that is more modern than one might expect.
* HELOISE by Michael Shenefelt has been officially selected for the
Performances will be at the
in the renowned THEATRE ROW on 42nd Street,
the heart of the THEATER DISTRICT:
Heloise is a young woman when she meets Peter Abelard—the most famous philosopher of 12th-century France. He is shrewd, ambitious, and politically threatening to the Church. But her family then exacts a terrible revenge. The tale of Heloise and Abelard is one of the world’s great love stories, but it is also a philosophical story, because the two lovers press a crucial question with great force against the Church: the proper relation of reason to faith.
Originally from Rhode Island, Sophia now lives in Brooklyn. Off Broadway: Vilna (Theatre at St Clement’s), understudy in Public Enemy (The Pearl Theater Co) Regional: The Bungler, Henry IV Part I, Shakespeare LIVE! (The Shakespeare Theater of New Jersey); Antony and Cleopatra (Orlando Shakespeare Theater); King Lear, CSC2’s Romeo and Juliet (Commonwealth Shakespeare Theater); Breaking Legs (Ocean State Theater Company); Look for her this fall in the film, 21 Brides starring Chadwick Boseman.
Ezra Barnes is the Founder of Shakespeare on the Sound and served as its Artistic Director for thirteen seasons. He received the 2018 Connecticut Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Director for Diary of Anne Frank at Playhouse on Park. Actor with numerous Off-B’way credits (Breakfast With Mugabe, To Kill a Mockingbird, etc.).
Sean Edward Evans is a New York-based actor from Los Angeles. His recent stage work includes "Conrad" in Aaron Posner's Stupid Fucking Bird, "Camillo" in Shakespeare's The Winter's Tale and “Cohen” in Steve Martin’s The Underpants where he was nominated for a Broadway World Regional Award for Best Actor. Studio trained, Sean has starred in many independent shorts and web series including “The Mailroom,” directed by Sarah Hamblin (The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.)
TV/Film: The Plot Against America, City on a Hill, The Good Fight, New Amsterdam, The Blacklist, Frasier, Law and Order, Terry Tate Office Linebacker, Double Header, The Guiding Light, As The World Turns.
Theatre: The Stage Manager in A Wilder Christmas at Peccadillo Theatre; Algernon in The Importance of Being Earnest at The Pearl Theatre; U. S. Grant in Grant and Twain at PS21; Tolstoy in The Gospel According to Jefferson, Dickens and Tolstoy: Discord at Chester Theatre; Prospero in The Tempest at Vermont Shakespeare; Malvolio in Twelfth Night at Pig Iron Theatre; Iago in Othello at Philadelphia Area Repertory.
Education/Training: BFA Acting, New York University; Stella Adler.
Off-Broadway: Romeo & Juliet (Classic Stage Co.), I'll Be Damned (Vineyard Theatre), Restoration Comedy (Flea Theater). Recent credits include: Will Shakespeare in Shakespeare In Love (Illinois Shakespeare Festival), Antony & Cleopatra (Folger Theatre), Antigone (Miami New Drama),Native Gardens (Florida Rep), Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare Theatre of NJ). He holds a MFA in Acting from Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Academy for Classical Acting at The George Washington University.
Jay William Thomas was born in Lexington, KY. Jay attended Western Kentucky University and obtained a BFA double Major in Acting and Directing. Jay resides in New York, NY and has worked on stage, in film, & television. He is best known for his work in "Dementia 13" a remake of Francis Ford Coppola's cult classic produced by NBC universal. Jay has produced his own short film "FOR HOPE" currently competing in the festival circuit. Jay is currently working on a new script called #ROMANCE about millennial relationships and how social media influences them. Jay most recently performed and produced a two night contemporary scene performance called "Sew Buttons on Ice Cream" that was a charity benefit for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Jay would to thank the Heloise artistic team for putting together this amazing group of people. Lastly, Jay would like to thank Chessa for her unending support.
Off-Broadway: Incident at Vichy (Jewish Rep); David Edgar’s Mary Barnes (New York premiere); Visions of Kerouac; Marathon ’33 (Lion Theatre Company). Regional: Denver Center Theatre Company; Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; Shakespeare Festival of Dallas; GeVa Theatre, Rochester, others. He is a member of the Brooklyn-based site-specific Brave New World Repertory Theatre, for whom he has played Giles Corey in The Crucible, Gonzalo in The Tempest, and Justice Shallow in The Merry Wives of Windsor (Terrace). Mr. Brenner is a baritone who sings with Grace Chorale of Brooklyn.
Damani Varnado, a Northern California native, is currently based in New York City. He started his training under the tutelage of James Dunn at The College of Marin, with a focus on Shakespeare. He received scholarships from Irene Ryan and Robin Williams to attend the North Carolina School of the Arts, where he studied Theatre, Film and Movement. He has worked with The Classical Theater of Harlem in Alfred Preisser’s production of The Trojan Women. He played Julius Caesar in the Mo Sun production at The Beckett Theatre Festival. And he has found a niche in European TV advertisements—and was a featured actor in the film I Am Not My Mother. Most recently, he was featured in the CBS Television show Bull.
Marika Proctor is a Brooklyn-based actor and writer. Most recently, she appeared in As You Like It at the Guthrie Theater. Marika was a member of the Professional Training Company at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she worked with playwrights Jaclyn Backhaus, Brian Otaño, Dipika Guha, and Jason Gray Platt as part of the Humana Festival. She has performed her original, character-driven pieces “Otto in D Major” and “Pete Presents” in New York and regionally.
NY: Juliet + Romeo (Pocket Universe), Regional: Taming of the Shrew and Romeo and Juliet (Vermont Shakespeare Festival), Orson Welles/Shylock (Redhouse Arts Center), UK: world premiere of Whistleblower (Off West End). She also does voiceover, independent film, and has appeared in web content for Elite Daily and Glamour Mag. Lauren holds an MFA in Acting from East 15 Acting School, London.
Michael Shenefelt teaches philosophy at Liberal Studies, New York University and is the author of The Questions of Moral Philosophy (Prometheus) and co-author of If A, Then B: How the World Discovered Logic (Columbia). An earlier version of HELOISE was a semi-finalist at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center.
Jessi Blue Gormezano has casted numerous Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broaway, Regional, and International plays. Her awards and honors include the Drama League Nomination for Best Supporting Actress in The Dingdong; NY Times Critic's Pick for Public Enemy; and Stupid Fu**ing Bird, winner of Fringe First, Edinburgh Fringe Shortlisted for the Freedom of Expression Award 2015 by Amnesty International Trans Scripts.
Lisa Renee Jordan's elected design credits include: Fetes de la Nuit (Ohio Theatre); Drama Desk Nomination – Outstanding Theatrical Experience; Beloved (Scandanavian American Theatre Company); The Plantation (Brave New World– Governor’s Island); Shesh Yak(Rattlestick); Temple of the Souls, (MultiStages); Romeo & Juliet (Bryant Park Shakespeare); Witching Hour, and Triangle (Williamstown Theatre Festival); Neglect, and Thicker than Water (EST); Lysystrata (Edinburgh Fringe); Member of United Scenic Artists Local 829.
Jen Varbalow has been a Teaching Artist, Scenic Artist and Scenic Designer in NYC for over 20 years. She is currently a teaching artist with Inside Broadway, Roundabout Theatre Company, and Town Hall. Past credits include designs for New York Deaf Theater, NYMF, MultiStages, The Workshop Theater, Bryant Park, Drilling Company/Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, Resonance Ensemble, The Artful Conspirators, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Theatre Garden, Pulse Ensemble Theatre, DR2 Theatre, Queens Theatre in the Park. Jennifer has also worked as a designer on the animated Xmas windows at Macy’s Saks, Lord and Taylor, Warner Bros and Marshall Fields. She worked as a Scenic Artist at The Public Theater, Manhattan Theater Club and various scene shops
Joyce Liao won an Peggy Ezekiel Award for Outstanding Achievement in Lighting Design. Her lighting design helped Soul of Shaolin garner a Tony nomination in the category of Special Theatrical Event and a Drama Desk award, Unique Theatrical Experience.
Montgomery Mauro is an Actor, Director, Producer and the Co-Founder of No2Mauro Productions. His extensive knowledge in production has enabled him to work in almost every facet of production in film, TV and Off-Broadway theater. Montgomery has successfully produced, managed, and executed a varied portfolio of live events such as Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway plays, and Film Festivals.
Heidi White has a doctorate in philosophy from the New School for Social Research. She teaches philosophy and intellectual history at Liberal Studies, New York University where she serves as Faculty Senator and as chair of the Politics, Rights, and Development concentration. She is a recipient of the NYU Distinguished Teaching Award and is a former U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer.
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