MXO ‘The Arts Unplugged’: Cleveland Play House Theatre Thursday Onward March 18th 2021!

BIANCA SAMS WRITER/ACTOR, Posted March 15th 2021

CPH is proud to present to you excerpts from three exciting narratives that exemplify overcoming times of struggle. Using race, ability, and socio-economic backgrounds as explored in these plays, join us for a conversation about how we can unpack and interrogate our own preconceived notions. Through their work, these three artists will share their journeys and open up our perspectives as we witness them take their struggles and move ever onward.

Content Advisory: The plays presented contain mature language, adult situations, and suggestive adult themes.


Gardiner Comfort

(Guest) is an actor, writer, and teacher who was born and raised in New York City. He holds an MFA in acting from the American Repertory Theater Acting Institute at Harvard University and has traveled the world as an actor in many productions. Select credits: Fishmen, (INTAR Theater); Be The Death Of Me (The Civilians); Julius Caesar (American Repertory Theatre and world tours); The Zero Hour (13P); A Parsifal by Susan Sontag, (PS122); Red Beads (Mabou Mines); Henry IV, Part One (BAM and Hebbel Theatre, Berlin). As part of his MFA training, he spent a semester at the prestigious Moscow Art Theatre School in Russia. He also trained with Anne Bogart’s SITI Theatre company. He has created and performed two solo shows. The Elephant In Every Room I Enter, created with director Kel Haney, was presented at La Mama and New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series and continues to tour to theaters and educational institutions across the US. He is an adjunct professor of theatre at Queens College and an advocate for the Tourette Syndrome and disability communities. He is also a certified NYC tour guide.

Liz Femi

(Guest) recurs in Ryan Murphy’s Ratched starring Sarah Paulsen (also executive producer), Sharon Stone, Cynthia Nixon, and Corey Stoll (Netflix). Written by Evan Romansky, the story is a prequel to Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Liz currently recurs as “Liz,” an ambitious writer’s assistant on the Netflix TV series Love, co-produced with Judd Apatow. Last season, she faced off David Duchovny as a grief-stricken maid in Aquarius, disapproved of patriarchy as a feminist skeptic in the Netflix feature, A Futile and Stupid Gesture, placated Amy Poehler as polite social worker on Parks and Recreation, side-stepped her bosses’ self-denial in Nick Kroll’s The Kroll Show and in Kay Ogun’s (This is Us, Queen Sugar) Imitation, an adaptation of Chimamanda Adichie’s short story. An avid storyteller, Liz created and performed a one-person play called Take Me To The Poorhouse, a comedy about a middle-class Nigerian third grader who dreams of becoming poor in order to win the love of a poor classmate. It made Ms. Magazine’s “Top 10 Shows at the Hollywood Fringe Festival,” won “Best of Fringe, Best International Show,” a “Duende Distinction,” and “NAACP Theatre Award” nomination. Born in the UK, raised in Nigeria and the U.S., Liz’s work is enhanced by her international background. She studied at the UR International Theatre Program and holds an M Ed. in Education and an MFA in Acting from Harvard University. Her theatre credits include playing 14 characters in Nilaja Sun’s critically acclaimed, No Child at Weston Playhouse, and the world premiere of Danai Gurira’s award-winning play, Eclipsed, alongside Uzo Aduba, which garnered a Helen Hayes award for Best Ensemble. Outside of tv, film, and theatre, Liz enjoys collaborating on experimental projects, such as Steve Harper’s (Covert Affairs) Send Me, a science fiction web series about a comic bookstore owner who sends people back to slavery via time travel. Liz currently lives in Los Angeles, where she enjoys making books by hand, pretending GoT’s Jon Snow placed a bulk order.

Bianca Sams

(Guest) is a Writer/Actor hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. Her work spans different genres and mediums (plays, television and feature films). She previously worked as a writer on Training Day starring Bill Paxton, The Originals with Julie Plec and Jeffrey Lieber, and Titans. She’s currently a co-producer on Charmed for CW. Her original pieces are often described as lyrical investigations of found stories out of today’s headlines or the pages of history, that ask audiences to face their own complex love affair with misery. She’s drawn to stories that question the roles of women, ethnicity, and family in modern society. Her work often deals with the search for “self” in the collective identity and also explore the underlying connective threads of mankind. She recently finished her MFA in Playwriting at Ohio University. She received her BFA from New York University’s Tisch School, where she earned the distinction of being Tisch’s first ever Triple Major (Acting, Dramatic Writing, Africana Studies). Awards & honors: Nashville Repertory Theatre’s Ingram New Works Fellow, Warner Brothers TV Writing Workshop, 2nd place for KCACTF Lorraine Hansberry, 2nd place for Rosa Parks Award, Kennedy Center/Eugene O’Neill New Play Conference fellow, 2nd place for Jane Chambers Student Playwright Award/Athe, Scott McPherson Playwright Award, The Playwright Center Core Apprentice, a finalist for the Playwright Foundation BAPF, semi-finalist for Eugene O’Neill NPC, TRI Research Fellowship at Ohio State University, and T. S. Eliot Acting Fellowship, Tracking Board 2016 Young & Hungry List, WriteHerList 2017 and Tracking Board HIT LIST 2018. Bianca is represented by Echo Lake Management and Verve.

More information and ticket information available here.