Lunch Bunch

March 15–April 22, 2023
"Dragon Fruit! Black Beluga Lentils! Perfectly Soft-Boiled Eggs!"
Meet the Artists

Sarah Einspanier's plays include Lunch Bunch (last seen in Clubbed Thumb’s Winterworks and Summerworks; New York Times and Time Out Critic’s Picks; in development for television with A24), House Plant (New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door; ‘highbrow / brilliant’ in New York Magazine’s Approval Matrix; Lambda Literary Award Finalist), I LOVE SEAN (Playwrights Realm Writing Fellow), The Convent of Pleasure (Cherry Lane’s Mentor Project), Madonna con Bambino created with composer Deepali Gupta and director Caitlin Sullivan (Ars Nova’s ANT Fest and the New Ohio’s Ice Factory, curated by New Georges), Doctor De Soto and Other Stories by William Steig conceived by Miranda Haymon and co-written with Miranda Haymon and Seonjae Kim with music by Ellen Winter (upcoming tour TheaterWorksUSA), and I forgot to tell you (The Brooklyn Rail, June 2021 Issue). They have been a part of Ars Nova’s Play Group, Clubbed Thumb’s Early Career Writers’ Group, and the New Georges Jam (former co-leader) and have been a resident at Millay Arts, the Hambidge Center, Sewanee Writers’ Conference (Walter E. Dakin Fellow), Cape Cod Theatre Project (Noel Coward Foundation Writer in Residence), SPACE on Ryder Farm, the Mercury Store, and Erik Ehn’s annual Texas Silent Writing Retreat. They teach at NYU Tisch, HB Studios, and the National Theater Institute.

Tara Ahmadinejad is a director and co-founder of the live arts collective Piehole (Jerome Finalist 2021), with whom has directed and co-authored boundary-pushing live art for theaters, galleries, and digital spaces, including collaborations with the LA-based Tender Claws in AR and VR: Tendar (Sundance 2018) and The Under Presents (Oculus, Sundance 2019, Emmy Finalist). Piehole’s recent work includes Christmas Mountain, a media installation at WNYC's The Greene Space, and Disclaimer (Drama League Award Nominee, NYC Women’s Fund), written/performed by Ahmadinejad, which premiered at The Public's Under the Radar 2021. Other recent theater directing includes Mourning // Morning by Gelsey Bell (Prototype Festival, HERE Arts Center); and digital collaborations with Satoko Ichihara (Japan Society), Eliza Bent (New Georges), Rinne Groff (Clubbed Thumb), and Scarlett Kim (Oregon Shakespeare Festival). Resident Futurist at Pig Iron; NYTW Usual Suspect; New Georges Affiliated Artist; MFA Columbia University.

Janice Amaya (they/them) is an actor, theatermaker, and educator. Recent theater credits: Shhhh (Atlantic Theater Company), Mushroom (People’s Light Theater Co), Cartography (John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts), Sally Forth (Lincoln Center), Tell Them I’m Still Young (American Theater Group), The Prizefighter of P.S. 217 (New Victory Theater), Your Hair Looked Great (Abrons Arts Center). Film: Patriot’s Day (Lionsgate, Dir. Peter Berg), Up North (Dir. Stefanie Abel Horowitz), Citywide (Fishtown Films). They are a Co-Director at Pipeline Theatre Company and a founding member of The Hummm. MFA, Harvard University and the Moscow Art Theater.

Tala Ashe (she/her): Off-Broadway: English (Atlantic Theater Company / Drama Desk nom: Outstanding Actress, Lucille Lortel and Obie winner: Best Play), The Vagrant Trilogy, Troilus and Cressida, Urge for Going (The Public), The Profane (Playwrights Horizons), The Who and the What (LCT3). Regional: Head over Heels, The Happiest Song Plays Last, Troilus and Cressida (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Welcome to Arroyo’s (The Old Globe); Love’s Labour’s Lost (The Huntington). TV: “The Girls on the Bus” (upcoming), "DC's Legends of Tomorrow," "American Odyssey," "Smash," "Law and Order: CI," "30 Rock," "Law and Order." BFA: Boston University, LAMDA. @talaashe

Ugo Chukwu (Actor) Most recently seen as Cord Elam in the Broadway National Tour of Oklahoma! Other credits include What To Send Up When It Goes Down (Playwrights Horizons), Do Your Feel Anger? (Vineyard Theater), [Porto] (WP Theater/Bushwick Starr), Today is my Birthday (P73) and Lunch Bunch (Clubbed Thumb). Regional: Ripcord (Huntington Theater) and Adventure Quest (Edinburgh Fringe). TV/Film: Seasoned, Inventing Anna, The Path, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Late Night with Seth Meyers and Late Late Night with James Corden. He has also appeared in commercials for Spectrum Mobile. Ugo is also a teaching artist with the New Victory theater. @ugolessinsta.

David Greenspan (Actor) is perhaps best known for appearing in his own plays, most notably Dead MotherShe Stoops to ComedyGo Back to Where You AreI’m Looking for Helen Twelvetrees and his solo plays The Argument and The Myopia – and for performing solo renditions of Barry Conners’ The Patsy, Eugene O’Neill’s Strange Interlude, Gertrude Stein’s Four Saints in Three Acts and Stein’s lectures Plays, Composition as Explanation and What are Masterpieces. He has worked with many contemporary playwrights and is the recipient of various honors including RUTHIE and six OBIES.

Francis Mateo (Actor) Love to Love You Baby (Teatro Círculo) CallBacks2022 (Teatro Círculo) Othello (Shakespeare Forum); Hamlet (Shakespeare@); Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare Forum); Love's Labour's Lost (Shakespeare Forum); King Lear (Classical Theater of Harlem); Mother Courage (Public Theater); Red Beads(Mabou Mines); In the Name of Salome (Repertorio Español); La Canción (Repertorio Español); Bad Blood(Puerto Rican Traveling Theater). Film/TV: Cuatro Piezas (Verandi Films; Colonia (Verandi Films); The Holdouts (Savin Rock Entertainment); Fran Gil (Rayoelú Films). Education: M.F.A. Brooklyn College (New York)

Jo Mei's theater credits include, Anatomy of a Suicide (Atlantic), The Great Wave (Berkeley Rep), We are Among Us (Pittsburgh City Theatre), Babette’s Feast (off-Broadway/ Portland Stage), Fingersmith(American Repertory Theater), World of Extreme Happiness (Manhattan Theatre Club), King of Hell’s Palace (Goodman), You For Me For You (Woolly Mammoth). TV credits include “Crashing”(HBO), “Nicki”(Freeform), “Bones” (Fox), “The Good Wife” (CBS). Jo stars in and co-wrote the award-winning film “A Picture of You”; other film credits include “A Bread Factory, Part One”, “Who We Are Now”, “Adult World”, “The Grief of Others”. Member: The Actors Center. Training: Juilliard. @jotomato

Julia Sirna-Frest is a performer, director, musician. Favorite Performance credits include: [Porto] (WP Theater, The Bushwick Starr); Seder (Hartford Stage); A Tunnel Year (The Chocolate Factory); The Offending Gesture (Mac Wellman); Comfort Dogs: Live from the Pink House (JACK). She is a founding member of the Obie award winning Half Straddle Company, productions include: Ghost Rings (TBA/PICA); Ancient Lives (The Kitchen); Seagull (Thinking of you) (The New Ohio, International Tour), In the Pony Palace/Football (The Bushwick Starr, International Tour); Nurses in New England (The Ohio); The Knockout Blow (The Ontological). Composer/Performer with Chapman/Sirna-Frest and Co-Front woman of Doll Parts, Brooklyn’s Premiere Dolly Parton Cover Band, and has directed many projects written by her artistic soul mate Zoë Geltman. Member of the 2022-2024 WP Lab and New Georges Jam Cohort!

Oona Curley (Lighting Designer) is a lighting and scenic designer. Frequent/favorite collaborators include: Knud Adams, Tara Ahmadinejad, John Anselmo+Crew, Eliza Bent, Martha Graham Cracker, Jordan Fein, Morgan Green, Emma Griffin, Ásta Bennie Hostetter, Qween Jean, Jenn Kidwell, Jes Levine, Gunnar Montana, Kimie Nishikawa, Stoli Stolnack, Awoye Timpo, Annie Tippe, and Whitney White. Oona is a company member of Lightning Rod Special (Underground Railroad Game, The Appointment), Associate Artist: Bearded Ladies

Domino Mannheim (she/her) is a freelance Lighting Designer and Assistant/Associate from Tucson, Arizona. She most recently graduated in 2022 from Rose Bruford College in London with her Masters in Lighting In Performance. Some recent productions she has assisted on include A Doll’s House Broadway at The Hudson Theatre in NYC, The Devil Wears Prada Broadway at the James M. Nederlander Theatre in Chicago, and Iphigenia at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston. As a traveling designer and assistant, Domino is very grateful to have had the opportunity to work with such an amazing team and is excited to see the production come to fruition.

Ben Vigus is a NY-based sound designer. He is a core member of Piehole (Jerome finalist 2021). Recent sound: Christmas Mountain (Piehole in collaboration with New Georges, WNYC Greene Space), Underground Fairy (Japan Society), Lunch Bunch (Clubbed Thumb), Disclaimer (Under the Radar 2021, NYC Women’s Fund recipient), Bad at Birthdays (feature film by Jesse Thurston), Clambake (short film by Sammy Zeisel)

Alex Williamson (Production Stage Manager, He/Him) is thrilled to once again be a part of the Lunch Bunch journey. He previously stage managed the Clubbed Thumb production of the same name in 2019. Selected SM credits include Big, Black Sunhats (Clubbed Thumb), The Joy of Painting (Clubbed Thumb), Fuente Ovejuna (The New School), Good Grief (Athena Theatre), Dogg's Hamlet/Cahoot's Macbeth (PTP/NYC), Plano (Clubbed Thumb), HAL (The New School), Lysistrata (The New School), Arcadia (PTP/NYC). Congratulations to the entire company on what has been an exhilarating return.  

Amidst the distinct fear/feeling that the world is, always has been, always will be going to sh*t, seven public defenders seek meaning, belonging, and some semblance of order via their frenzied quest for the perfect lunch (bunch).

Reviews for Lunch Bunch:

"A dramatic Bento box full of savory dialogue and sour insights, with an appropriately sweet dessert." - TheaterMania

Under Tara Ahmadinejad's taut direction, the actors deliver crackling performances...” - Lighting & Sound America

Community Partners

The Bronx Defenders
Bronx Brewery

Written by

Sarah Einspanier

Directed by

Tara Ahmadinejad


Janice Amaya Tala Ashe Ugo Chukwu David Greenspan Louisa Jacobson Francis Mateo Jo Mei Julia Sirna-Frest

Set Design

Jean Kim

Costume Design

Alice Tavener

Original Lighting Design

Oona Curley

Sound Design

Ben Vigus

Production Stage Manager

Alex Williamson

Production Manager

Brittany Coyne

Company & House Manager

MJ Lugo


Desiree Nasim


122CC Second Floor Theater 150 1st Avenue New York, NY 10009

Presented with Clubbed Thumb