Body of Water Press Release

From: ATheatreNearU.Org
Subject: World Premiere of the intense and poignant teen musical, Body Of Water
Date: April 18. 2014


Music and Lyrics by Jim Walker
Book by Tony Kienitz
Produced by Tanna Herr
Directed by Tanna Herr and Tony Kienitz
Vocal Direction by Pierce Peter Brandt
Choreographed by Kaylie Caires

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (April 18, 2014) — The Peninsula’s premier film and theatre academy for teens, A Theatre Near U presents the sensational new work, BODY OF WATER, starring a troupe of triple-threat teen performers. In this gritty musical drama, a group of kids escape the terrors of a civil war by hiding out in an isolated mountain cabin. Together they wait for further instructions from their parents and families. But with each passing day, as the silence from their past grows louder, their dreams for the future begin to wither and dry. Striking out on their own may be their only hope for survival. BODY OF WATER plays June 13 – June 28, 2014

Performances at Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center, Bldg. D, 3rd floor, 2 Marina Blvd. (at Buchannan St.), San Francisco.  For tickets ($15-$20) and information the public may email – or simply visit our website

Producer/Director Tanna Herr says, “The experience of putting together a musical from the ground up has been nothing less than exhilarating. We have brought together teens from different schools, cities, and backgrounds to form a cohesive family of artists. We began with the question, ‘What happens when young people attempt to survive on their own in a country fraught with War?’ I am extremely proud of the answers we discovered and look forward to sharing this exciting piece of theatre with our audiences.”

BODY OF WATER has a cast that ranges in age from thirteen to eighteen. Five short years. And yet, those five years of life are universally important and unforgettable to anyone who survives them. Thirty-five to forty? You might have something fantastic happen, sure, but will forty to forty-five have the same impact? Rarely. BODY OF WATER is A Theatre Near U’s inaugural production and in it the scenario allows for teenagers to portray characters their own age and explore topics that are uniquely present in those magical, angst-filled years. Coupled with the rich and evocative music of singer/songwriter Jim Walker, the show is Generation Z’s take on Sex/Drugs/Rock n’ Roll.

This production of BODY OF WATER features the talents of (with notable past roles included):

Aaron Slipper as Bosh – (Mr. Darcy Pride and Prejudice, Prince Charming Into The Woods)
Sara Gray as Jennifer – (Tracy Turnblatt Hairspray, Sandy Grease)
Winston Wang as CJ – (Ralph Lord of the Flies, Duke Orsino Twelfth Night)
Cara Parker as Willa – (Little Red Riding Hood Into The Woods, Rosalind As You Like It) 
Ido Gal as Henry – (Teddy The Homecoming, Shaw Moore Footloose)
Bella Wilcox as Vienna – (Lady Macbeth Macbeth, Dorothy The Wiz)
Ali Arian Molaei as Charlie – (Ren Footloose, Sheridan Whiteside, The Man Who Came To Dinner)
Elizabeth McCole as Cole – (Edna Turnblatt Hairspray, Rizzo Grease)
Jackson Wylder as Buster – (Nick Bottom Midsummer’s Night Dream, Willard Footloose)
Alia Cuadros-Contreras as Alice – (Penny You Can’t Take It With You, Gertrude Seussical)
Juan Santos as Leven – (Soccer Player #3 The Royal Falcon)
Jasmyn Donya Molaei as April – (Lily St. Regis Annie, Patty Simcox, Grease)
Shayan Hooshmand as Shorty – (Oliver Twist Oliver, Charlie Brown You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown)
Audrey Forrester as Emily – (Belle Beauty and the Beast, Annie Annie)

A THEATRE NEAR U’s Artistic Director, Tony Kienitz has written the book for BODY OF WATER as well as sharing directorial duties with Tanna Herr. Originally from Los Angeles where he acted extensively in film, television and stage (including a starring role in Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories), Tony, since moving to the Bay Area, has directed dozens of youth theatre productions (The Stinky Cheese Man and Footloose being two of his favorites) as well as writing two other original stage works, Firebird (premiered at The Palo Alto Children’s Theater) and The Royal Falcon (which had its debut at Chapman College).

Tanna Herr, Producer and Co-Director of BODY OF WATER is a graduate of UCLA’s Department of Theatre Arts and The American Film Institute’s Master Directors Program. Her film, Mr. Willard Swallows a Fly, received many awards (including Best Comedy Short) and accolades in a worldwide tour of film festivals. She, too, acted on screen and stage in Los Angeles before returning to her childhood home in Palo Alto. Since her return she has directed over 40 plays, both adult and youth productions, most memorably, Legally Blonde with the Sunnyvale Players and Hairspray at the Historic Hoover Theater in San Jose.

Portland based, Jim Walker, has released over 20 cds of original music under the name, JVA, on his own independent label, JVAMUSIC. This wealth of material was drawn upon to help create BODY OF WATER. Jim has scored the films, Cover Girl Murders, Redline (and many others,) and has had his songs featured in films such as Breathless, Lurkers, and Floaters. His song, Something to Remember Me By, was heard throughout the film, Three O’Clock High. Teaming with musician Tim Ellis, the duo of Tim & Jim play between 150-175 acoustic shows per year. They have opened for Crash Test Dummies, The Temptations, Warren Zevon, Little Feat, Boz Scaggs and others.

BODY OF WATER Vocal Director Pierce Peter Brandt is a recipient of two DramaLogue (Backstage West) Awards and a Goodman San Francisco Critics Award, as well as numerous accolades from critics and audiences alike for his performances in leading roles across the US and Canada in Sir Cameron Mackintosh’s original Broadway productions of “Les Misérables” and “Martin Guerre” (original New York cast), the national touring company of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” as well as in numerous productions at professional regional theaters throughout the country. As a teaching artist, Pierce is the founder of Performance Singing, which provides private training, master classes, and workshops in song acting and performance for singers and actors, he is on the faculty at San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater, he is an instructor at TheatreWorks, and he has taught master classes and workshops for adults and teens at theatrical institutions throughout the country.

A THEATRE NEAR U is a film and theatre academy for artistic teens eager to participate in the advanced study of film and theatre acting, directing and writing. A Theatre Near U offers training in these disciplines at a level not found elsewhere in our community. It is a place where those who take their craft seriously can work with peers equally devoted and passionate.


WHAT: A THEATRE NEAR U presents the edgy and raw teen musical, BODY OF WATER starring a troupe of triple-threat teen performers. It is the story of a rag-tag group of kids who escape the terrors of a civil war by hiding out in an isolated mountain cabin. Together they wait for further instructions from their parents and families. But with each passing day, as the silence from their past grows louder, their dreams for the future begin to wither and dry. Striking out on their own may be their only hope for survival.

WHEN: June 13 – June 28, 2014
SHOWS: Fridays at 7:30 pm
Saturdays at 7:30 pm
Sundays at 2:30 pm
WHERE: Southside Theater at Fort Mason Center, Bldg. D, 3rd floor,  2 Marina Blvd. (at Buchannan St.), San Francisco.

TICKETS: $15 – $20 (opening night gala $35.00)

INFO: For additional information or inquiries email Tony Kienitz at —

PHOTOS: Click here for page with downloadable, high-res photos.