Para Todo Mal... Para Todo Bien

for every ill, mezcal, for everything good as well

The Mezcal Monologues

Sips # 1 - 14  released one a day August 16 - 29

The Mezcal Monologues, written & directed by Stephanie Gardner, is a series of fourteen monologues, written over a three month period (April - July, 2016).

 

Each monologue was written while sipping a glass of mezcal.  (Mezcal is an agave based liquor from Mexico, in the same family as tequilla, enjoyed for its smokier qualities.)

The 14 monologues are being released exclusively to donors of The Mezcal Trilogy.  Anyone who contributes $25 or more to the Stephanie Gardner Films production of Para Todo Mal...Para Todo Bien:  The Mezcal Trilogy will receive access to view all the monologues.  

 

To make your tax deductible donation, click on the DONATE NOW button, below.

Sip #1
Tuesday, August 16

STEPHANIE GARDNER is an Emmaus, PA and NYC based writer and director for film and theatre.  She received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Asia.  Stephanie has participated in masterclasses and screenwriting workshops where she wrote and developed feature screenplays under the tutelage of Oliver Stone (Platoon), Todd Solondz (Happiness), Richard Wesley (Uptown Saturday Night), and Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding).  Stephanie's film, If I Had A Piano (I'd Play You The Blues) has won Best of Show at the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmakers Festival and has toured internationally garnering awards and nominations at prestigious film festivals around the world.  As a freelance filmmaker and playwright, past clients include Elie Wiesel, Yale University, Urban Stages, Miller Symphony Hall and the Allentown JazzFest.  

www.thestephaniegardner.com

www.ifihadapiano.com

Sip #2
Wednesday, August 17

CHRISTINE HANNA  grew up in the Lehigh Valley. She graduated from Emmaus High School, received a Bachelor's degree from Allegheny College, Meadville PA, returning to the valley to get her Master's degree from Lehigh University. She was thrilled to have her acting debut on The Mezcal Monologues, having worked as Line Producer on Ms Gardner's award winning film, If I had a Piano (I'd Play You The Blues). Christine's enjoyed acting quite more than she expected and hopes to be involved in future projects!  Currently living in Macungie with her two teenage daughter's, Alexis and Ainsley, she enjoyed stepping into another world for a moment.  

Sip #3
Thursday, August 18

SUSAN WEAVER  has loved theatre as long as she can remember, but she's new to film acting.  If she looks familiar, it's probably because she ushers for local theatre companies and is active since 2009 on Allentown Public Theatre's board of directors.  She performed a lot in her school years (drama, choir, band) but then took up other interests.  Four years ago she stepped back on stage with V-Day Lehigh Valley's annual “Vagina Monologues.”  Currently she's in Basement Poetry's cast-devised production of “Her,” which heads to the Philly Fringe Festival in September.  A career journalist and freelance writer, Weaver is also a published poet and photographer. She's married to painter-writer Joseph Skrapits and lives in Allentown, Pa. 

Sip #4
Sip #4
Friday, August 19

MICHAEL PIZ  is an actor, singer, and improv comic from Allentown PA. He has performed in theater, film, television, and concert throughout the Philadelphia, New York, and eastern Pennsylvania regions.

Sip #5
Saturday, August 20

JOE BOWEN  is a New York City-based actor. He is thrilled to be working with Stephanie Gardner again, having appeared in her film for New York Shakespeare Exchange’s Sonnet Project (Sonnet 88). His New York credits include work with Project Shaw, Astoria Performing Arts Center, and the Duke Theater on 42nd Street. Chicago credits include 10 years as a company member of ShawChicago, the Ravinia Festival, the Royal George Theater and Equity Library Theatre. He has worked at regional theaters such as PlayMakers Repertory Company, New Harmony Theatre, Mill Mountain Theater, Manchester NH’s Palace Theatre and Meadow Brook Theater. Film: Carnal, Gless, Freudian Slip, Ten and The Age of Fiction.

http://josephbowen.biz

Sip #6
Sunday, August 21

JOHN ARTHUR FOSTER, aka Budd DiStefano, singer, songwriter, actor, began his entertainment career as a vocalist appearing in local clubs and events at the age of 7.  At the age of 12, he went on to front rock and roll bands for 14 years.  Budd moved to New York City in the early 1970s to pursue a stage career, and in 1975, he starred in the National Broadway Tour of The National Lampoon Show.  It was a hit Broadway show which became the pilot for the long running TV sensation, Saturday Night Live.   As a singer/songwriter, Budd plans to release his second album in the fall, consisting of Pop, Country, Adulty Contemporary, and Christian songs.

Sip #7
Monday, August 22

Jim Gardner is an actor at heart.  During his teen years he acted in Summer Stock theater as a local jobber.  College at Yale and law school at Harvard found him participating in many productions as both actor and director.  Then during his Navy years he acted in leading roles in regional theater.  He is married to Linda, with 4 children, 51/2 grandchildren, and two granddogs.

Sip #8
Tuesday, August 23

Alexandra Racines is delighted to take part in The Mezcal Monologues.  Previous film credits include a PSA for swine flu with Barlieb Wallace Productions and The Red Brigade, a student film at Franklin & Marshall College.  Alexandra also has an extensive theater background.  She majored in theater at Franklin & Marshall, doing shows such as Five Years from Now by Federico Garcia Lorca and Of Thee I Sing!  by Irving and George Berlin.  She was trained at Civic Theatre as a young teenager, and participated in their annual A Christmas Carol  for many years, as well as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Other theater training that she had before college include Family Playhouse, Stage Door Workshop and Emmaus High School.  After graduating college, Alexandra has taken acting and improv classes with Tesia Nicoli and Joshua Neth. She is a frequent member of the Crowded Kitchen Players, and some of her most memorable shows with them include Look Out by Brian McDermott, A Shropshire Lad by A.E. Housman, and Pints, Pounds and Pilgrims by Ara Barlieb.

Sip #9
Wednesday, August 24

Mitzy Cullen resides in Emmaus and is the proud mother of four children.  She owns and operates 187 Rue Principale, the award winning French restaurant in Emmaus, PA.  Mitzy is excited to make her screen acting debut in "The Mezcal Monologues," and describes performing the part of "Sip #9" as "an amazing, unexpectedly fun, adventure."

Sip #10
Thursday, August 25

PEDRO CARMO is  an actor from Lisbon, Portugal, where he has worked in film, television and stage, for twenty years.  He has performed plays from Shakespeare, Racine, Brecht, Camus, and Heiner Muller to such contemporary authors as Lars Norén, Paula Vogel, J.P. Shanley and Jenny Schwartz.  A number of the films he has featured in have been selected to festivals, including the Cannes Film Festival with "Mysteries of Lisbon" by Raul Rouiz and the International Toronto Film Festival with "The Other Side of Resurrection" by Joaquim Sapinho.  In New York City, where he has been living for the past four years, he continues his accomplished career with projects on Broadway, "Breakfast at Tiffany’s" directed by Sean Mathias; Television, "Pan Am", "Person of Interest" and "One Life to Live", and on film, "Hunter," "The Dry Rain", and "If I Had A Piano." After many years of directing for the stage, Pedro made his film directing debut, with the short, "Way."

http://www.wayshortfilm.com/

Sip #11
Friday, August 26

RICK BACHL worked as a Professional Architect since 1972 and recently became an Emeritus member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).  He and his wife, Carol, are the proud parents of two children, with six grandchildren.  Richard retired in 2010 after forty-two years with the architectural firm, W2A Design Group.   Since retirement, Richard has been developing his skills as an actor for film and theatre.  Film experience includes, being a featured extra in several films, including A Man On Her Mind, filmed in NYC in 2013; and Dan Roebuck’s, Getting Grace, which is currently being filmed in Bethlehem, PA.  In 2014, Richard acted in the role of Jerry in Just Like We Used To Do for Tinker Films in Allentown, Pa.  In 2016, Richard worked as a Production Assistant for the Allentown Jazz Fest music video directed by Stephanie Gardner.  Theatre experience includes acting in reading workshops for the Allentown Public Theatre, including The Man Who Invented Himself, written by Stephanie Gardner, directed by Anna Russell; and Lois's Wedding (Bruno), produced by ArtsQuest, written by Bathsheba Monk, directed by Lynnie Godfrey.

Sip #12
Saturday, August 27

KIANA GONZALEZ grew up in the artistic and culturally diverse settings of the Lehigh Valley. Currently a senior in high school, Kiana has dabbled in a series of interests provided by the Lehigh Valley community.  From instrumental performances outside of PA through El Sistema Lehigh Valley, to engaging in political advocacy work, now Kiana makes her acting debut as well!  Kiana radiates excitement for the release and further progress of The Mezcal Monologues and the forthcoming The Mezcal Trilogy, as she has had such a great experience with the production team and the performance itself!

Sip #13
Sunday, August 28

Originally from Easton, Pennsylvania,

MOLLY POWERS GALLAGHER is a Korean-born,

Irish-raised performer, writer, and educator who now resides in New York City.  She currently tours as an outreach artist with Urban Stages and has recently worked with Honest Accomplice Theatre, New Plays for Young Audiences/NYU, Writopia Labs, South Asian Youth Action, among others.  Molly is currently writing and developing a show about Patsy Mink, the first Asian-American woman elected to Congress, for Urban Stages.  She earned her MFA in Screenwriting from Boston University and a BA in History from Fordham University Lincoln Center.  Outside of the entertainment world, Molly enjoys acquiring quirky useless knowledge, strengthening her already-strong affinity for cupcakes, and visiting alpaca farms.

 

www.mollypowersgallagher.com

Sip #14
Monday, August 29

STEPHANIE GARDNER is an Emmaus, PA and NYC based writer and director for film and theatre.  She received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, Asia.  Stephanie has participated in masterclasses and screenwriting workshops where she wrote and developed feature screenplays under the tutelage of Oliver Stone (Platoon), Todd Solondz (Happiness), Richard Wesley (Uptown Saturday Night), and Sabrina Dhawan (Monsoon Wedding).  Stephanie's film, If I Had A Piano (I'd Play You The Blues) has won Best of Show at the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmakers Festival and has toured internationally garnering awards and nominations at prestigious film festivals around the world.  As a freelance filmmaker and playwright, past clients include Elie Wiesel, Yale University, Urban Stages, Miller Symphony Hall and the Allentown JazzFest.  

www.thestephaniegardner.com

www.ifihadapiano.com

Director's Statement

I first fell in love with mezcal while at the Oaxaca Film Festival, in Oaxaca, Mexico, where mezcal was distributed at every event.

The bottle of mezcal that inspired The Mezcal Monologues was purchased this past April in Pojaque, New Mexico, at a liquor store called Kokomon.  Pojaque is a Native American town north of Santa Fe, and Kokomon is one of the few U.S. based distributors that sells quality Mezcal.  Here, I bought a bottle of Ron Cooper's Del Maguey label, "The Wild Mountain Maguey," reccommended by a friend.  This was just after If I Had A Piano (I'd Play You The Blues), my Portuguese language art house film, had played as an Official Selection of the Taos Shortz Film Fest in Taos, NM.  In Taos, I was inspired by the quality selection of international films, and yes, the mezcal.

It's a miracle I found Pojaque in time to catch my plane back to Pennsylvania, and I arrived home in hand with a very special bottle of mezcal.  For about a week, I pondered over what to do with this bottle.

Do I gift it to  a friend?  Save it for a special occassion?  Throw a party?  

At the same time, the early seeds of Para Todo Mal...Para Todo Bien:  

The Mezcal Trilogy  were brewing.  I finally decided, I would use it to write monologues.  I let my subconcious explore the themes which inspired the film trilogy, and found myself frequently returning to themes of mobility (i.e. the ability or inability to travel freely from place to place, country to country); promoting tolerance and acceptance of every human being (contrasted with the intolerant speeches I kept hearing in the news);

and of course, my go to themes of intimacy, vulnerability, love, and sex.  

By the end of the process, I had written about twenty-five monologues

(in addition to some scribblings of pure jibberish) and ultimately narrowed it down to fourteen.  I rearranged the order (slightly) and made some edits so that the fourteen monologues together would flow in a subtle story arc, while seperately maintaining their individuality as stand alone pieces.

Most important to this process is bringing the actors into it.  It is by casting each actor in a  specific monologue that the individual monologues come to life in a personality of its own.  Most of the actors cast are from The Lehigh Valley, in Pennsylvania, with a few special guests direct from NYC.  

 

Sit back, relax, and enjy the Sips!

Stephanie Gardner, August 16, 2016