En Garde Arts
written & performed by Ed Napier
directed by Anne Hamburger
Peter Muir, Piano
Laura Goldberg, Violinist
Kristen Norwark, Soprano
Ed Napier (writer/performer) Originally from Kenova, West Virginia, Ed’s first play, Junior Prom, was directed by the late Herbert Berghof, at the HB Playwrights’ Foundation in New York. Other productions include, The English Teachers, directed by Robert Lupone at MCC and ‘Til the Rapture Comes, directed by Pamela Berlin, at the WPA. He’s had his work performed at other NY theatres like EST, Theatre Nada, the Westbank Cafe’, the Blue Heron, The Amateur Comedy Club, Trocadero, and the Workhouse Theatre where he was playwright-in-residence as well as others. He was on the writing staff of Criminal Minds for two seasons and sold a pilot to NBC. In LA, his work has been performed at Antaeus, Rogue Machine, and Skylight.
His artistic affiliations have included, the Playwrights’ Coalition at MCC, the Playwrights’ Unit at HB Studio, a Core Artist at the Lark Theatre, a member of the Playwrights and Directors Unit at the Actors’ Studio, and a member of the Half Moon Theatre Company in Dutchess County, NY, where he founded the literary department and served as its literary manager; he’s also an Artistic Affiliate at the Antaeus Theatre Company in LA where he started the Playwrights’ Lab and served as its moderator.
His work has been published by Dramatist Play Service, Smith and Kraus, and Applause Theatre Books. He received a Berrilla Kerr Award for Playwriting, was a Columbia Senior Writing Fellow, a Juilliard Playwright Fellow, and a Playwriting Fellow at the Lark. He was an artist teacher in the New York City Public Schools, taught in the Columbia University High School Program, an adjunct professor of creative writing at NYU for six years, and a Guest Artist at James Madison University. Ed will direct a reading of his new play, The Building, in NY in March, 2019. He is also a tenor and studied through the Juilliard Extension, with Vincent La Selva, Corradina Capporello, Alice Howland, and Donna Gill – and also with Russell Christopher (Met), Jane Olian(protégé of Ellen Faull), and Lynn Owen (CU, MSM). He has had the privilege of singing in many fantastic venues including, the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, Steinway Hall, the Bohemian National Hall, and Walt Disney Hall.
As a young man, he studied acting for a number of years with Herbert Berghof, Sandy Dennis, Carol Rosenfeld, Yevgeny Lanskoy, and most recently, Austin Pendleton and has performed in numerous Off-Off Broadway productions. He is a graduate of Columbia University (GS, ’95) and was the recipient of the Writing Program Award (the Literature/ Writing departmental prize) for his graduating class. Ed is honored to perform his solo piece, Music Lessons, for En Garde Arts’ Uncommon Voices series at The Commons Café.
Kristen Norwark (Soprano), a New York native, has a diverse background in the performing arts both on stage and behind the scenes. In 2004 she cre-ated the role of Stella for the premiere of Crazy Sunday, an opera in one act by Sean Doyle based on the short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald. She also sang the role of Miss Jessel in the 2005 NuSound Festival production of The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten. She was a member of Lyric Arts International’s 2004 and 2005 casts touring Japan, as well as the 2006 Italy cast with L’Orchestra di Marche.
In 2005 she participated in the Schlern International Music Festival, in the Italian Alps where she placed first in the voice division and second overall in the festival’s com-petition for strings, piano, and voice. She has appeared with the Western New York Chamber Orchestra on multiple occasions including the 2005 pops concert as Eliza Doolittle and as Countess Almaviva in Mozart’s Birthday Celebration Concert in 2006. She was also a featured soloist at the New Year’s Eve Concert for Peace, 2009 at St. John the Divine Cathedral. In an article in The Bostonist, she was hailed “wonderfully emotive in the lead role” as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine in 2010. Other roles to her credit include: Fiordiligi, Così fan tutte; Mimi, La Bohème; Alice Ford, Falstaff; Dama di Lady Macbeth, Macbeth; Noémie, Cendrillon; Virtù, L’Incoronazione di Poppea; Frasquita, Carmen; and Belinda, Dido and Aeneas.
She has had extensive dance training in the tap, jazz, and ballet disciplines. She has choreo-graphed, Directed, and appeared in musicals such as Chicago, Cinderella, The Addams Family, In the Heights, Sweet Charity, The Little Mermaid, Grease, Once on this Island, Alice in Won-derland, Annie, Oklahoma, The Sound of Music, The Music Man, and The Rocky Horror Show. Other directing and conducting credits include: Die Fledermaus, Dido and Aeneas, and Semele.
Peter Muir (Piano) is a versatile international pianist and recording artist whose playing has been described by the New York Times as “potent” and by Newsday as “terrific”. Originally from the United Kingdom, he studied piano with Sidney Harrison and was a prize winning student of Yonty Solomon at the Royal College of Music, London.
Since graduating from the Royal College of Music he has performed all over the world as a soloist and accompanist in both classical and vernacular music. As a soloist he has performed Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue in both the U.K. and the U.S.A as well as Liszt’s virtuoso Totentanz with the Greater Newburgh Symphony Orchestra.
His engagements as an accompanist, have included tenor Ian Bostridge for appearances in the United States, soprano Susan Burghardt in the US and Australia, and new York Philharmonic cellist, Nancy Donaruma.
Well known also for his ragtime and jazz playing, he has performed at major
festivals in the US, along with concerts and broadcasts in Britain, continental Europe, Hong Kong, and Australia where he improvised music tracks for silent movies for the Australian National Sound and Screen Archive. Dr. Muir is also an acknowledged authority on American vernacular music with a Ph.D. in musicology. His book Long Lost Blues: Popular Blues in American Culture, 1850-1920, was recently published by Illinois University Press to wide acclaim. You can learn more about him at www.PeterMuir.com
Laura Jean Goldberg (Violin), is a seasoned chamber musician, solo artist and a dynamic teacher for students of all ages. A graduate of The Juilliard School, she has performed as soloist with the BSO and is a member of the Chamber Music Faculty at The Juilliard School pre-college division. As a founding member of the Cassatt Quartet, Ms. Goldberg was a prizewinner at the Banff, Coleman, and Fischoff Competitions. She is currently performing as second violinist in “Quartet 131”. She is violinist with Random Access Music, a contemporary music group that presents the annual Queens New Music Festival in LIC. She has worked with some of the leading composers of our time, among them Henri Dutillieux, David Diamond, George Crumb, Eric Ewazen, Andrew Waggoner, Steven Mackey, and Julia Wolfe. As a performer, she has toured the US and performed in Europe and Asia. Goldberg is a guest artist at Belvoir Terrace summer camp for girls, a program that empowers young women through the arts.
Goldberg is the Founder and Director of ArtsAhimsa Music for Peace, a not-for-profit that brings music to audiences worldwide and a chamber music festival in Lenox where adult amateur musicians and professional chamber musicians play music together in a supportive community. A Board Member of Dvorak American Heritage Association and ACMP: Associated Chamber Music Players, Ms. Goldberg is committed to the future of chamber music for performers, students, and listeners.