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Lester Collins Takes Five

Lester Collins Takes Five
by Mel Nieves

LAByrinth Theater Company member and two time Princess Grace Playwriting Fellow semi-finalist, Mel Nieves, along with award winning director, Bianca Puorto, (Wimberly – Outstanding Director Midtown International Theatre Festival) and actors, LeLand Gantt (Requiem for a Dream/Malcolm X/Lifetime member of The Actors Studio) as Lester Collins, an aging one time saxophone player who has traveled the world and back with several jazz bands and Omar Bustamante (Shades of Blue/The Blacklist) as a struggling young musician holding on to his dreams of one day being a real jazzman.

Performance Date: October 23rd

Who’s Who

Mel Nieves (Playwright)
Mel Is an actor-playwright and a long time member of the LAByrinth Theater Company and The Actors Studio Playwright-Director Unit. He is also in residency with LITCouncil Men Of Color Playwright Residency. He is a two time semi-finalist for The Princess Grace Playwright Fellow.

Bianca Puorto

Bianca Puorto (Director)
Bianca Puorto is a Brooklyn based director from Montreal, Canada. Select credits include: Roger and Vanessa, Two Rooms, Safe Sex (On Tidy Endings). New works include: Wimberley by Julia Rae Maldonado, Triggered by Thomas Dunn and Little Lights by Lacy Marie Meyer. She also had the honor of directing the premier of Oh, Danny Boy, a new play by Edward Allan Baker. Bianca earned her MFA in Directing from the Actor’s Studio Drama School. She is a member of Barefoot Theatre Company and the Labyrinth Theater Company Intensive Ensemble. Most recently Bianca assistant directed Hurricane Party, under Maria Dizzia, at The Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City. She has also worked extensively with The Collective NY and the Tribeca Film and TV Festivals.

Omar Bustamante

Omar Bustamante (Roylan)
Omar is excited to work once again with Mel Nieves and the cast and crew! He was last seen in Mel’s play Prospect Ave as Octavio for CTH’s Future Classic Series at Lincoln Center. Other recent credits include Platforms for the Labryinth Theatres Barn Series at Cherry Lane. TV credits include Shades of Blue (NBC) as well as the Blacklist (NBC).

Leland Gantt

LeLand Gantt (Lester)
LeLand is writer and performer of Rhapsody In Black, an autobiographical solo show developed at The Actors Studio (Best Storyteller award, United Solo Festival in 2014). Mr. Gantt highlights playing both Iago and Othello, creating the roles of Benny the Jet in Keith Glovers’s In Walks Ed, and Tempest Landry in Walter Mosley’s The Fall Of Heaven (world premiers, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park) and playing Pontius Pilot in Stephen Adly Guirgus’ Last Days Of Judas Iscariot at La Mama, ETC. Off Broadway/Broadway: Marion McClinton’s Police Boys (Playwright’s Horizons); Oyamo’s Killa Dilla and Let Me Live (Drama Desk and Audelco Featured Actor award nominee), and the revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom starring Whoopi Goldberg. Film/Television: Requiem for a Dream, Malcolm X, Presumed Innocent, and HBO’s The Affair.