Laura Kay Henderson is a queer SW MI based producer, director, actor, cinematographer, editor and foley artist. She has filmed in the United States, Canada, France, England, Italy and South Korea and has been involved in over 130 theatrical productions. She received her BA in Film Video and Media Studies from Western Michigan University, and a Masters in communication from the same institution. She is the founder of SHE Films Media, LLC, Bare Backstage Productions, LLC and the 501(c)3 non-profit Queer Theatre Kalamazoo, where she served as Producing Artistic Director from 2013-2019. She founded SHE Films Media, LLC in 2018 with the hope to provide more opportunities for new and emerging talent, to showcase female-driven work, and to positively represent the LBQ community in media. When not on set, Laura is a part-time instructor of communication at Kalamazoo Valley Community College and Lake Michigan College.
Sarah E MacLean is no stranger to the film industry. Typically they can be found in front of the camera. Sarah has been acting for the camera since she received her BA in Theatre Performance at Western Michigan University in December 1999. She has acted in 13 independent films with Chuck Bentley and The Electronic Theater Company both locally and over seas. She can also be seen in a few locally made horror films by independent filmmakers in West Michigan. Even though Sarah has been a part of creating theatre since she was a small child, Sarah has been well known in Kalamazoo, Michigan for over 20 years acting and directing at local theaters. She is the Resident Company Director of Queer Theater Kalamazoo and has acted and directed at many of the local community theatres. Sarah directed the stage version of the play Of Masquerade and Rhymes by ps lorio at Queer Theatre Kalamazoo. Sarah is thrilled to be a part of the production crew for the short Of Masquerade and Rhymes by ps lorio, adapted by Laura Kay Henderson as well as the feature film, Behind a Masquerade of Rhymes by Laura Henderson and ps lorio. When Sarah is not pursuing her passions of theatre and film, she is teaching a classroom of preschoolers or serving clients as a birth doula, Nurturer By Nature. Sarah feels very grateful to be able to save space for so many of the amazing things that make this wild adventure we call life worth living.
ps lorio, Screenwriter, Playwright, Composer, Humorist
Ahoy Mates! I speak in tongues. To be more precise, I speak in other people’s tongues. Perhaps that’s why folks seem to find my work relatable. The characters are people you know, have seen, or maybe have been. Often quirky and offbeat, each character lives their truth. Muriel and Joyce literally would not leave me alone until I wrote their story. This short film is their calling card, an introduction into their world and the strife and conflict that can beset even the best of friends. Life is just a bunch of people walking around living their stories. Everybody has one—some more interesting than others. (Subjective call) And at our very core we are voyeurs; curious to see what’s happening in other people’s lives and how they measure up to our own. My job is to tell those stories. So that’s what I try to do– with the help of the cast of characters in my head.
The producer asked me to tell you a bit about my credentials, and as I am way too shy to speak about myself, I thought I’d let Muriel & Joyce tell you a bit about me.
ps lorio, who began her writing career all the way back in the last century, is very pleased for the recent collaborations with QTK and SHE Films Media. Their first collaboration Behind a Masquerade of Rhymes, a full-length film based on the stage play by ps lorio of the same name, debuted in 2021 A Kalamazoo native, lorio began her stage career with the API Theatre Co. as a playwright and composer. She has written as a columnist for Gay Chicago Magazine and Baltimore Gay paper. Her humorous essays have been included in anthologies of Women’s humor; Kitty Libber and Kitty Libber II, and published in the Washington Post. Her novel, EXPENSES, was produced by Paradigm Publishing. While in residency with API, lorio wrote original songs or score for more than 20 productions, the centerpiece of that work being Ebenezer!; a Christmas musical based on the Dickens tale. She also composed all the music for DICK! The musical, which was co-authored with Dahlia Kaminsky-Fisher. lorio has a self-produced CD which contains numbers composed for underscores in various shows entitled of Granite and Glass. And in her younger years she performed throughout the near Midwest with Nancy Rogers and Pat Fischer in a band called Abyss.
Her travels took her to the east coast—Baltimore most specifically—where she spent 11 years studying different characters and honing her writing skills. Four Scenes: a Hungarian Trilogy was her first full length production in Baltimore and took a number of awards at the Baltimore Playwright’s Festival, including 3rd best production. Hungarian Trilogy was produced by the Mobtown Players and played to sell out audiences and received critical acclaim. Bookend that with the 2009 premiere of “Gay Deceivers” (a play set in 1909 that chronicles the invention of falsies!) produced by the Theatrical Mining Co., which won the Carol Weinberg Award for Best Play in the same festival. In between, lorio’s work has been seen on the stages from NY to LA with different production stops in between. The aforementioned Behind a Masquerade of Rhymes, which had its world premiere at API Theatre in Kalamazoo, was produced off Broadway at the Looking Glass Theater in Manhattan. The one-act by the same name was produced in NYC by LaMomma. Lorio’s other full lengths with a traveled production history include Missing Phil, 10 Reasons Big Betty is Stuck on the Side of the Road in a Little Pink Dress, PLPD; a little insurance never hurts, …and the Scent of Tiger Lilies. One of lorio’s favorite honors was to be included in an invited group of playwrights to present their work at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.
ps lorio hopes you enjoy today’s presentation and that you choose to come on board with Muriel and Joyce and be a part of this team! Anchors aweigh!
ps and everyone from Muriel and Joyce Get a Boat thank you warmly for supporting the arts in your community.
A native of Portage, Michigan, Jonathan Brandt has always been engaged in the arts. The son of a piano teacher and a truck driver, he began music lessons as a toddler, writing his first composition at age 14, and at the same time he began to pursue audio engineering and graphic design. His music has been featured in several independent films around the country and he has also written several original soundtracks for independent video games and stage plays. He has been described as “solid”, “legendary”, and “an insult to the memory of Johnny Cash”. When he’s not being compared to Johnny Cash or working on his artistic pursuits, he can usually be found stargazing, reading a book in a forest, finding strange Wikipedia entries, and lurking in cemeteries.
Jessica Bocade (she/her) is ecstatic that her first AD credit will be with SHE Films Media. Born and raised in Michigan, Jessica received a BA in Theatre Performance from Western Michigan University, and an MFA in Acting from the University of Iowa. After a few years in NYC, Jessica missed the Midwest and returned to Michigan. She’s spent the last ten years working in finance; in her off time, she volunteers with her local Junior Chamber International chapter (JCI Kalamazoo), nerds out (plays D&D, cosplays, reads, enjoys video games), crafts, and participates in the arts whenever possible. Jessica was a Production Assistant for the short film Muriel and Joyce Get a Boat with SHE Films, and looks forward to continued work with the company, as well as Bare Backstage Productions. Jessica is honored to be a part of this feature and happy to be involved in the arts once again!