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JL Open Productions

“Freedom begins with an idea.”


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A Jewish man - his bald spot - the Virgin Mary?  Oy!



JESSE LEVY (Writer, Director, Producer) hails from New York City where he was a writer and member of the sketch comedy group Wetdog.  He also directed the brilliant dark comedy Rise Above All as part of the Village Gate One-Act Festival.  In Phoenix he was a writer and performer on the cable comedy show, Station Breaks.  He directed Strinberg’s Playing With Fire for radio theater and, on stage, the world premier screwball comedy Screwball Comedy written by Michael Burkett and Joe Axton.  Since moving to L.A., aside from his acting work, he has written and directed for the sketch comedy show Absolute Sketch and produced the critically acclaimed Dirty Work, both at the Alliance Repertory Theatre.  He worked both seasons as the drama coach and the on-set voice of Eddie the talking dog on the Nickelodeon show 100 Deeds for Eddie McDowd.  StigmatZa marks his digital video directing debut.

BILL ANDO (Co-Writer) makes his living as a freelance magazine writer.  He has co-written a television pilot that is being passed around, and a feature length screenplay.  He has performed stand-up comedy and produced comedy shows in New York and Florida.  He is now working on a science fiction feature to be shot on digital video in South Florida later this year.  His is the gentile voice in StigmatZa.

DAVID KEATS (Jeff Gottlieb) is also from New York City. He appeared in dozens of plays off and off-off Broadway including Shakespeare, Chekov, Shaw, Ibsen and Wilde.  He worked extensively with the Westside Rep., the Meat & Potatoes Co., ATA and a number of other theater companies.  In 1999, he moved to L.A. and joined the Alliance Repertory Company.  There he was cast in Absolute Sketch.  He followed this with the role of Herb Stemple in the Alliance’s production of Night and Her Stars, a production which garnered stellar reviews and took the 2001 Ovation Award for Best Ensemble as well as the ADA awards for Best Drama and Best Director.  His work was noticed by the writing/directing/ producing team of Glen Morgan and James Wong, who cast David as an MRI Tech in the Jet Li film, The One.  His most recent project was playing Sam Fried in the Alliance’s Coyote on a Fence.  David is single and lives with his dog, Ally who he actually found in an alley.

ROBIN MIDDLETON (Rita) was 8 years old when she saw her first play presented by the local junior high school in Lawton, Oklahoma.  She received her Master’s in Acting and Directing from Oklahoma State University.  She moved to Dallas where she appeared in TV movies, commercials, industrials, stage and print work.  She also taught creative dramatics and improvisation at the Dallas Theater Center.  She returned periodically to Oklahoma to produce and direct a traveling, children’s theater program for the State Arts Council of Oklahoma.  Moving to New York, she studied at the prestigious Circle in the Square.  She appeared briefly on All My Children and for three and a half years on The Guiding Light.  During this time, she also appeared in several lead roles in off-Broadway shows.  After moving to L.A. she appeared in the newsroom spoof “This Just In.” This led to other TV roles including The Drew Carey Show and Grace Under Fire.  She has also created roles in three world premier plays.  Robin produces as well and currently has three films in development with her production company, Blue Egg Productions.

MICHAEL IMMEL (Producer, Roger) has been a professional actor since 1978 when Dick Sherman of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mary Poppins fame gave him his first union contract.  He has performed in theatre, commercials (such as the Danka Man series), TV programs and films around the world from Tokyo to Berlin to Vancouver.  Along the way he has worked alongside such notables as: Rene Russo, Robbie Coltrane, Fran Drescher, Adam Sandler, and Elmo the Muppet.  His longest association, and the most rewarding, was working as the second banana to Bozo the Clown on WGN-TV’s longest running locally produced children’s show.  As Spifford Q. Fahrquarrr (yes, that’s three r’s) he accrued not only many pastries to the visage and much seltzer down the pants, but also two Emmys as on-camera talent.   StigmatZa marks his first venture into producing.

STEPHEN LISKA (Hugo) studied with The American Conservatory Theater at their first residency at the Pittsburgh Playhouse.  Moving to New York, he appeared in plays ranging from Shakespeare to experimental new works in venues such as Off-Broadway, repertory, regional theater and summer stock.  His film work includes Star Trek III; The Search For Spock, Beverly Hills Cop II, Diabolique, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon 3 and most recently Timeline due out in 2003.   His television credits include co-starring with Susan Lucci in the MOW: The Bride Wore Black, a series regular on Dangerous Women, and a recurring role on Young and The Restless.  His work as guest star on an episode of Chicago Hope was submitted for an Emmy nomination and last season he appeared as Sergei Ivankov, Head of the K Directorate on the series, Alias.  Stephen is also a member of the Alliance Repertory Company.  His recent appearances there were in Night and Her Stars and Seduced.

GENE JOHN WILLIAMS (Dr. Phillips) As a promising young talent, Gene realized, wisely, that he’d need to take time off from his burgeoning career if he were ever to accomplish his dream of making a spectacular comeback.  Before his generation-long hiatus, Gene – who trained extensively with Lee Strasberg, Al Morgenstern, and George Morrison – had appeared on Broadway for producer David Merrick in The Natural Look.  He was also in such Broadway hits as Long Day’s Journey Into Night and Any Wednesday, which was directed by George Morrison.  Gene teamed up again with director Morrison on The Unexpected Education of Horse Johnson.  Off-Broadway, he worked with top-level directors like Mike Nichols (in The World of Jules Feiffer) and Ulu Grosbard (in A View From The Bridge).  Among his Hollywood credits, he is particularly proud of having worked for the legendary George Cukor in I Never Sang For My Father.  He is also featured in Light Fantastic, a film by Ulu Grosbard.  You can hear the youthful Gene playing the role of Happy on the Caedmon recording of Death of a Salesman, with Lee J. Cobb, Mildred Dunnock, and a young Dustin Hoffman.  This version of the play, recently released on CD, was also directed by Ulu Grosbard.  Gene has recently re-emerged as a member of the notorious City Garage Theater in Santa Monica, California.  He has appeared there in Mariage Blanc and Top Dogs.  His film comebacks include the soon-to-be-released independent feature The Cloning of Christ and Murder in Boystown which begins shooting soon (both by Stephen Shypitka). And of course, StigmatZa.  “The best thing about starting over,” says Gene, “is getting another crack at that mid-life crisis.”

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