The Northern Westchester Examiner

The Westchester Collaborative Theater (WCT) Performance Space Opens Its Doors in Ossining with World Premiere

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On Friday, March 3, the Westchester Collaborative Theater’s new WCT Performance Space will open its doors for the first time with the world premiere of Lot’s Wife, a provocative new play by award-winning playwright Albi Gorn. The inaugural production in WCT’s newly acquired and renovated space at 23 Water Street in Ossining, the play retells the biblical saga of Lot, his family and their struggle to save Sodom by finding ten devout souls who will prevent God’s wrath from destroying the city. Lot’s Wife runs over four consecutive weekends through Saturday, March 25.  WCT Executive Producer Karina Ramsey is directing the mainstage production.

The ensemble of WCT actors performing in Lot’s Wife includes: Michelle Daneshvar, Justina Dieck, Jason Fineberg, Julie Griffin, Donna James, Jessica Hickey, Kurt Lauer, Pat O’Neill, Ron Schnittker and Ralph Vandamme.

Gorn noted that while the story is taken from the ancient pages of Genesis, it is sure to resonate with audiences today. “God threatened to destroy Sodom for its xenophobia, its hostility towards outsiders and strangers. Unfortunately, today’s headlines are full of the same sentiments,” he said.

Another significant theme is survivor’s guilt, a phenomenon experienced by many Holocaust survivors. Said Gorn, “I spun the story to explore the demands of faith, revealing that the price of survival may be dear.”

The play ultimately concludes that the path to salvation is achieved only by simultaneously letting go of the past and remembering it.

Gorn is glad that the production coincides with Women’s History Month. Married to a feminist and an unabashed feminist himself, Gorn first conceived of the play while participating in a women’s Bible study group when he began to wonder why God turned Lot’s Wife into a pillar of salt simply for “looking back.”

“Lot’s wife isn’t even dignified with a name and is seemingly punished for a very innocent and natural act. This play attempts to reinterpret the story portraying her in a much more positive light,” said Gorn, adding that the role of God is played by a woman.

Though the piece was nascent 20 years ago, Gorn credits WCT for bringing it to fruition since it was developed and dramaturged through WCT’s ongoing workshop process that enables member actors and writers to bring new pieces to life.

Lot’s Wife will be performed at the new WCT Performance Space, 23 Water Street in Ossining, with evening performances at 8 p.m. on Friday March 3, 10, 17 and 24; Saturday March 4, 11, and 25; and Thursday March 16. Matinee performances will run Saturday March 11, 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. and Sunday March 5, 12 and 19 at 3 p.m. Talkback sessions with the playwright and cast will follow the matinee performances on Sunday, March 12 at 3 p.m. and Saturday, March 25 at 2 p.m.

Limited seating available; advance purchase is strongly suggested.  Tickets are $25 general admission with discounts available for WCT/OAC members, seniors, students and groups of 5+. Tickets for opening night March 3, which includes an after-party, are $40.  All tickets are available for purchase online at

The WCT Performance Space will feature year-round entertainment at its new venue including some of the Hudson Valley’s best theatrical and musical talent. It will be a destination for area residents seeking high quality entertainment in Ossining’s revitalized downtown area.

The playwright, the director and WCT

Albi Gorn has had plays produced nationwide and won numerous national playwriting awards at over a dozen theater festivals on the state, regional and national level. His play, It’s About Forgiveness, made the Finals of the All-England Theatre Festival, he was a finalist in the Samuel French Festival and won top honors at the Strawberry Festival, and the Aery 20/20. Gorn’s plays were staged at the NYC Fringe Festival in 2009, 2010 and 2011. He is a member of Westchester Collaborative Theater, Axial Theatre Company, Aery Theater Company and the Dramatists Guild. He lives in Hastings-on-Hudson with his wife Cantor Robin Anne Joseph, his son Kobe, and daughter Jennie.

Karina Ramsey, executive producer of Westchester Collaborative Theater, is a resident of Ossining.  She has directed several productions for WCT including numerous staged readings and the 2015 Living Art Event.

The Westchester Collaborative Theater is a multicultural, cooperative theater company located in Ossining, NY, dedicated to developing new work for the stage and bringing live theater to the community. It is comprised of local playwrights, actors, and directors who employ a Lab approach in which new stage works are nurtured through an iterative process of readings, critiques, and rewrites. When work is ready for production, it is produced for the public at various local venues.

WCT is committed to furthering theater arts in our community. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and a recipient of production grants from ArtsWestchester and New York State Council on the Arts.

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