“Afterglow” is a raw, one-act play exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men and the broader implications within their relationships.
Josh and Alex, a married couple in an open relationship, invite Darius to share their bed one night. When a new intimate connection begins to form, all three men must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged.
The Loft at the Davenport Theatre
354 w 45th St
New York, NY 10036
BRANDON HAAGENSON (Josh) New York: My Big Gay Italian Wedding/Midlife Crisis (St. Luke’s/Snapple), The Vanity (Clurman – Theatre Row), FringeNYC, Manhattan Repertory. Touring: Disney’s Beauty & the Beast (Lumiere u/s). Regional: Chicago Shakespeare Theater, NC Theatre, North Shore, Ocean State, Gateway, Stages St. Louis, Disney Cruise Line. B.F.A. Millikin University. All the thanks to Asher and this incredible team! Love to MDJ.
DAVID MERTEN (Darius) is so thrilled to be making his Off-Broadway debut with Afterglow. Regional Theatre: The Two Gentlemen Of Verona (Scranton Shakespeare Fest.), And Then There Were None (Judson Theatre Company), Williamstown Theatre Festival Acting Apprentice. Proud graduate of Ball State University’s BFA Acting program. Love to my phenomenal family, friends, Atlas Talent, and the amazing Kate Lumpkin. @dfmerten
JOE CHISHOLM (Alex) is excited to join the cast of Afterglow. Last seen Off-Broadway in the US premiere of She Has A Name. Recent NYC Credits: 2000 Nickels (NYMF), The Last Adam, The Astonishing Times of Timothy Cratchit (WorkShop Theatre). BFA: CCM. MFA: Drama Centre London. Proud member of AEA. Thanks to Avalon, family and friends! Follow @joecchisholm www.joechisholm.
TIM YOUNG (u/s Josh, Darius, Alex) is honored to be joining the cast of Afterglow. His previous credits include the original Broadway casts of Dear Evan Hansen and Next To Normal, David Bowie’s Lazarus at NYTW, as well as the film The Greatest Showman, currently in theaters. Tim is the co-director of and performs weekly in The Mary Variety Show At Club Cumming. Special thanks to Rich and Mike at Whole Artist Management. @soundsliketimyoung // soundsliketimyoung.com
S. ASHER GELMAN (Playwright/Director) S. Asher Gelman is a director, choreographer, actor, dancer, and playwright. Originally from Chevy Chase, MD, Asher received his Bachelors Degree in Dance and Theater from Bard College in New York in 2006 and his Masters in Fine Arts in Dance from The George Washington University in Washington DC in 2012. From 2006 to 2016, Asher lived in Tel Aviv, Israel, where he became one of the founders of The Stage, Tel Aviv’s premier English language performing arts organization, serving as its first Artistic Director from 2013 to 2016. He serves on the Advisory Board of the Richard B. Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College. Asher lives in New York City with his husband, Mati. Afterglow is his first play.
ANN BEYERSDORFER (Scenic Design) is a scenic storyteller for theater, film and opera. Her designs have been featured throughout NYC and regionally at Theater Row, The Davenport, 59E59, NYMF, Guild Hall East Hampton, Sharon Playhouse, The Hudson Theater LA, and a national tour. Select Associate Design (des. David Gallo): Jitney (Broadway-Tony Nomination), PHISH NYE Concert (Madison Square Garden), Peter Pan (Beijing), Cinderella (Moscow). www.annbeyersdorfer.com
JAMIE RODERICK (Lighting Design) Off-Brodway: The Woodsman (New World Stages, PBS’s Theater Close Up), A Dog Story, Ken Davenport’s That Bachelorette Show, My Big Gay Italian MidLife Crisis, Liberty: A Monumental New Musical. Regional: The Bikinis! – A New Musical Beach Party (Long Wharf Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Westchester Broadway Theatre), Romeo & Juliet (Commonwealth Shakespeare Company) Macbeth, Hamlet (Shakespeare on the Sound), Billy Eliot (Ocean State Theatre Company). Recent credits include: Kerrigan and Lowdermilk’s The Bad Years, More Than All The World (Theatre for a New City) Resident Lighting Designer: Broken Box Mime Theatre. JamieRoderick.com Disney’s Aladdin, The Glass Menagerie, Motown: The Musical and Bring it On: The Musical.
FABIAN FIDEL AGUILAR (Costume Design) is a New York City based designer and has most recently designed Seven Spots on the Sun (Rattestick Playwrights Theater), A View from the Bridge (A Light Fantastic), set and costume for The War Boys (Access Theater, East coast premiere), Sotto Voce (Portland Stage) and Midsummer (Araca Project). He is a recent graduate of Yale School of Drama, where his credits include The Moors (a Yale Repertory Theater world premier). His other credits include Preston Montfort—An American Tragedy and The Master and Margarita (Yale School of Drama); Midsummer, Love Holds a Lamp in This Little Room, Orlando (Yale Summer Cabaret ’15: Rough Magic); He Left Quietly (SummerWorks Performance Festival, Toronto) among others. He has worked for various theatres, conservatories, and universities in Boston including American Repertory Theater, Boston Ballet, Moscow Ballet, Beau Jest, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, among others. Fabian Aguilar received his BA from Boston University.
ALEX DIETZ-KEST (Sound Designer) Recent credits include: Trial of an American President (Theatre Row) Sinners on a Southbound Bus (Ruddy Productions), Farragut North, Sleuth, Night Alive and The Lyons (Curtain Call Theatre), Troll King Rises (Columbia University). He has a Theatrical Production Arts B.F.A. from Ithaca College.
KATE LUMPKIN (Casting) is a New York based Casting Director with Kate Lumpkin Casting and is the founder of The Slate Society. She has also been associated with Celebrity Cruises Casting, FOX East Coast Casting, Michael Cassara Casting and Jessica Daniels Casting. Collectively, as a casting professional, she has worked on over 40 TV/Film productions and 60 theatrical productions across the country. For more information please visit www.kate-lumpkin.com.
MIKE ROSS (Dramaturg) is a New York-based dramaturg, librettist and lyricist. Recent credits include Groundhog Day (Librettist’s Assistant, dir. Matthew Warchus) and The Bad Years (Additional Lyrics, dir. Stephen Brackett). He is a recent graduate of Harvard University, where he wrote four original plays and two musicals. @mcrossisnotapun.
NINA KAUFFMAN (Assistant Director) is excited to make her Off-Broadway debut with Afterglow. Originally from Baltimore, Nina is a director, writer, and lyricist with a BFA in acting from Towson University and an MFA in musical theatre writing from New York University. She’s an associate member of SDC. Her writing credits include three musicals, Paranormative, Naught, and Mixed Media.
LAURA MALSEED (Production Stage Manager) is excited to join the team of Afterglow. Credits include Othello: The Remix, Drunk Shakespeare, Cagney the Musical, How 2 B A New Yorker, Tink!, Pryor Truth, Unmentionables. Graduate of Pace University. Member of AEA. www.LauraMalseed.com
WILL CHALONER (Assistant Stage Manager) NYC Credits Include: The Bad Years (Kerrigan-Lowdermilk Workshop), The Traveling Lady (Cherry Lane Theatre), On the Verge (Walkerspace), Peter Pan (BroadwayAsia Workshop), STOMP (Orpheum Theatre), Debbie Does Dallas (5th Floor Theatre Company), Wikimusical (NYMF), Adoration of the Old Woman (INTAR Theatre), American Hero (Second Stage Uptown). Member of AEA. Education: BA, University of Mary Washington.
EVAN BERNARDIN (General Manager) Credits include: The Dodgers, We Are The Tigers (Ovation nomination), The Navigator (Drama Desk Nomination), and More Than All The World. He has worked with the New York Musical Festival (NYMF), Broadway Cares Equity Fights AIDS (BCEFA), and The Make A Wish Foundation; collaborative projects include performances at Lincoln Center, The United Nations, The Harvard Club, Culture Project, The Ohio Theatre, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. www.evanbernardinproductions.com
ABM (Advertising/ Marketing/ Social Media) Led by Amanda Bohan, ABM is a full-service advertising & marketing firm specializing in theatre, arts & culture, with expertise in marketing & promotions, traditional & online advertising, social media, and creative services. ABMAgency.com
MIDNIGHT THEATRICALS (Producer) Midnight Theatricals is a new, Manhattan-based production company, focused on bringing new, edgy, and relevant work to the stage. Visit us at midnighttheatricals.com.
DAVENPORT THEATRE Housed in a remodeled firehouse conveniently located in the heart of Manhattan’s theatre district, the Davenport Theatre offers two unique performance spaces. The Davenport Theatre is named after Delbert Essex Davenport, a producer, publicist, author and lyricist in the early 20th century. Known for his publicity and marketing stunts (including dropping flyers out of planes), “Del,” as he was called, was a theatrical entrepreneur and the great-grandfather of theatre owner Ken Davenport.
“Hit of the Off-Broadway Season”
“A Steamy, Stripped Down Look At Gay Intimacy”
– HUFFINGTON POST
“Succeeds as it titillates.”
– GAY CITY NEWS
“Penetrates the psyche in a way that many gay men will find relatable. A gritty tale of commitment on the cusp of questioning its boundaries, the incredible acting and intense writing propels the audience’s minds and hearts into their emotional plights.”
“Necessary in the modern era.”
“Vivid and honest depictions like these foster a greater understanding of the way we live now.”
“Compelling. Highly charged and extremely sexual. They certainly know how to grab our attention.”
– FRONT MEZZ JUNKIES + TIMES SQUARE CHRONICLE
“I HIGHLY recommend slating an evening with your lover, your best friend, multiple lovers or even by yourself to take in this experience and feel the emotional chords it strikes within you.”
– ONE GAY AT A TIME
“Fresh and riveting. S. Asher Gelman has set the bar high with his first play, Afterglow. Gelman is nuanced as both a director and a writer. The nudity—and it is extensive—is presented with a charged eroticism rather than gratuitous titillation. There is no long-term afterglow for the characters in Gelman’s play. But for the audience there surely is. It comes from experiencing an impressive calling card from a gifted new playwright and director.”
“If you’re looking for penis, you’ve come to the right place.”
– THEATRE IS EASY
“I love the play, i’ve been there two times this week ☺️💪🏻”
“Fantastic show! The cast was stellar, direction and use of he space was fantastic! At times you will relate to every character. What a moving night of theatre.”
“AN EXQUISITELY Choreographed and DIRECTED PLAY FOR EVERYONE!!!!”
“Nope. I’m not crying. YOU’RE CRYING!!! What a beautiful piece of theatre #AfterglowPlay is. Taking a slow walk back to the hotel to reflect and move past the feelings I’m experiencing, but there could not be a more relevant show on modern day dating, marriage, and commitment issues. In a world where choosing one is looked upon as inconvenient, this is a glimpse into the inevitable truth that wanting your cake and eating it too could result in ending up more lonely and broken than you can imagine. I’ve never felt more vindication from a show than I have with this and it’s incredible. DO NOT miss this. No matter what your orientation, there are imperative lessons to be learned and observed here by all. #KnowYourWorth”
“‘Afterglow’ is a zeitgeist of our time. Poignant and ultra contemporary play by S. Asher Gelman about emotional, intellectual, and physical connections between three men. A married couple and their one-night-stand, when a new intimate connection begins to form, must come to terms with their individual definitions of love, loyalty, and trust as futures are questioned, relationships are shaken, and commitments are challenged. Highly recommend!”
If you’re in NYC and haven’t seen @afterglowtheplay yet, don’t miss out! So glad I got the chance to see it last week. Since coming out, I’ve always been intrigued by the diverse types of relationships we see across the gay community. I loved seeing Afterglow’s take on the ups and downs of one couple’s relationship, and for every question I’ve ever had about open relationships, monogamy, having kids as a gay man, etc…it was such a relatable story to watch.
If you’re a gay man in NYC, go check it out…and if I haven’t sold you, there’s hot naked men and a shower scene 💦😝🤗
What an absolutely incredible play, and 3 superb actors. I was memorized. This hit so close to home as I have been in similar situations. After I walked out of the theater all I could do is replay each scene in my mind and how much I identified with each of the characters. The writing of this play is nothing short of excellent, and I want to wish it a very long run, as it deserves to be seen and experienced. The staging and directing and ambiance of the entire show was superb. The subject matter is so relevant and was portrayed with harsh truth and even a lot of love but that is what it comes down to “the heart wants what the heart wants”. Definitely check it out if you can.
A beautiful, messy, timely, humane look at emotions and modern relationships in gay men. The script does a wonderful job at examining open relationships, and everything that comes with them, without passing judgment on them. The design elements were absolutely perfect in the space. The cast was wonderful; Brandon Haagenson’s naturalism on stage was incredible in the vulnerability that is crucial to the play. I will definitely be seeing this again.
It’s a poignant love story crafted in a gay way but actually relevant to all relationships. I love the intimate setting and beautiful casts, but mostly the storyline. I hope more and more people from all genre would come and see this show.
It was a rewarding and enriching night in the theatre. It will stay with you long after it ends. A limited but recently extended run. Trust me. You will not be disappointed. Further proof – I’m going to see it again.
It’s a thoughtful and compelling dissertation on the redefining of romantic coupledom in gay New York City by writer and director S. Asher Gelman, a first time playwright. He clearly understands gay culture and the way twenty and thirty year old New York homosexuals speak to one another and think about their world.
The world premiere production of S. Asher Gelman’s Afterglow has announced a free ticket lottery dedicated to all women who would like to come see the show. Entrants will have a chance to win tickets to a special performance to be held on January 31 at the Loft at the Davenport Theatre. A discussion with the women of Afterglow will be held directly following the performance.
From the second the curtain drops to reveal three completely naked men onstage, it’s clear “Afterglow” will be a must-see among New York theatergoers who appreciate the male form.
“I think we got to the theater a lot of the time to escape our reality and be transported somewhere else for a couple of hours, and then we leave the theater and maybe we’ve had a great experience, but ultimately it doesn’t affect us,” he said. “I want to continue to create art that makes us think, puts us in uncomfortable situations and forces us to have a difficult conversation, whatever that may be.”
Talk About Gay Sex, Host, Steve V. Rodriguez talks to Asher Gelman about open relationships.
In today’s political climate, it’s important for artists to emerge and express the world we live in, no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
The whole point of art is to hold a mirror onto nature, to show the experiences of humanity at its purest form — its beauties, vulnerabilities, and imperfections. Considering the tumultuous times we’re in, audiences seem to be searching for some kind of escapism. What better way to escape than by going to the theater?
In the great minefield of difficult conversations to have with your partner, this one is probably right up there. How do you even start to talk to the person you love about possibly … maybe … I don’t know … sharing your bed with other people? How do you establish the boundaries of an open relationship? And what happens when those boundaries are crossed?
“A few years ago I had a boyfriend in addition to my husband,” says playwright Asher Gelman. “It lasted about two months and then it ended.” Badly.