Matt Werner (c0-Writer)
is a senior technical writer for Google, and is the author of multiple books about the arts scene in the San Francisco Bay Area, including Oakland in Popular Memory and Bay Area Underground. His writing for Google has been translated into 40 languages and quoted in dozens of publications, including The Wall Street Journal.
While at Google, Matt launched the redesigned Android enterprise site and Talks at Google site, among many others. Matt specializes in taking complex ideas and making them easy to understand for a wide audience. He's also the editor of the satirical website Oakland Unseen, where Matt collaborated with Ise Lyfe on the satirical news web series about Oakland. Outside of working at Google and on Agnus, Matt is writing and producing Burning Man: The Musical. Upon releasing the video of the opening number, the piece went viral, receiving tens of thousands of views in the first week. The video also attracted coverage from 130+ media outlets, with Time Magazine saying, “Steve Jobs would watch this video,"Newsweek calling it “bizarre, possibly brilliant,” and Playbill noting “It's a little bit In the Heights, a whole lot of Rent, with maybe some Godspell and Les Miz thrown in.”
After running two strong crowdfunding campaigns for the musical, he's received coverage from publications like the San Jose Mercury News that "Burning Man may be headed for Broadway."
Matt has worked more jobs than he can count, including, as a poetry translator, freelance journalist, fact checker for McSweeney’s, radio DJ, salad and dessert chef, and as a painting contractor. He recently completed the #BARS Workshop at The Public Theater led by Hamilton’s Daveed Diggs. Matt is a graduate of UC Berkeley (BA in English, Phi Beta Kappa, Highest Honors) and the University of Edinburgh (Masters in English, Winston
Ise Lyfe (agnus Eli/co-Writer)
(TEDTalk, HBO Def Poetry, Huffington Post, New York Times) is an award winning educator, conceptual artist, justice advocate, and author from Oakland, CA –
now living in Los Angeles. Additionally, he is one of the leading Spoken Word artists in America, with a broad fan base stemming from his appearances on several
commercial market platforms. Also, his social and political commentary, which exist in the realms of published works, major network guest commentary, and university lecturing are widely viewed and used as educational tools.
He holds over a decade of experience in every form of educational institution – including public and private schools K-12, mental health facilities, after-school
programming, drug rehabilitation, juvenile halls, adult correctional facilities.
He is the Executive Director of Lyfe Productives, a highly retained California based product development firm with a client portfolio that includes Kaiser Permanente,The National Fair Housing Alliance, University of California Regents, Comedy Central, and Deloitte.
For his latest conceptual art project, Brighter Than Blight, Lyfe transformed a blighted condemned housing project into a life-sized exhibition and artistic
narrative on housing as a human right. From its onset, the project was ambitious and massive – but at completion was hailed as not only unprecedented but also as a stellar success! Ise also wrote the charter and strategy map that led to the establishment of a Department of Race and Equity for the City of Oakland, CA.
His famed Hip-Hop Theater production, Pistols and Prayers (based on book of the same title) premiered at the Tony Award winning Berkeley Repertory Theater and
brings together on one stage Spoken Word, American Folk Spirituals, Classical music, Hip-Hop, and Theater to address American apathy and resilience through the
lens of the generation born into the 1980's/1990's crack epidemic. It is a powerful collage of thought-provoking, socio-political commentary, blended with a glimpse into the author's coming of age as a man, artist, and advocate for social change.
In 2016, Ise gave the sole artistic Spoken Word Theater performance at IBM’s TEDTalk convention in San Francisco, CA. His performance titled, Flag in the Mud,
accompanied by master cellist Michael Fecskes will address gentrification and displacement driven by the current Tech boom in the Silicon Valley.
* Ise Lyfe's hometown of Oakland, CA awarded him with one of its highest honors by dedicating his birthday, December 28th, as 'Ise Lyfe Day' in the City of Oakland.
Brian lee Burke (Dr. Richard Bo)
is making his New York City Off-Broadway debut in Agnus. Brian was last seen in San Diego, California's ground-breaking spoken word poetry opera Ordinary Magic. Revered roles include Pale in Burn This, Simon the Zealot in The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, and Hamlet in Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Brian is extremely humbled to be working with this particularly talented and driven cast and crew on such an important and relevant work as Agnus.
Khalil Kain (Warden Layton Reeves)
was born and raised in New York City. He is a veteran actor best known for his turn as "Raheem" in the urban classic film JUICE. Khalil has been in eight feature films, last seen in Tyler Perry's "For Colored Girls". Khalil Kain has had consistent work on television. He played the character Darnell as a series regular on the show Girlfriends for six seasons. Khalil directed a production of Sam Shepard's BURIED CHILD at Aaron Davis Hall on the campus of City College in Harlem USA. Khalil has now penned his first play LAMBS TO SLAUGHTER, which has been workshopped at the Cell as part of the Blackboard Reading Series and CMORE Festival. In March of 2018 Khalil will be directing his first feature film titled MASTERS.
Rachel King (Becky Bo)
is so excited to be a part of bringing this play to life! Since moving to NY two years ago she has had the privilege of singing at Carnegie Hall (with Michael Feinstein) and at 54 Below. Other favorite theatre credits include “Young Frankenstein” (The Muny), and world premieres of both “Empire” and “We Are The Tigers” in Los Angeles. Rachel King is also a singer-songwriter with two debut singles & music videos streaming online now!
H. Foley (Detective Douglas Seals)
is a New York based comedian and actor who got his start on the Philadelphia comedy scene. Foley fuses personal stories and hilarious observations in a unique, yet relatable, charismatic package. He has appeared on The Jim Gaffigan Show, Full Frontal With Samantha Bee, Netflix's Iron Fist, Gotham Comedy Live, Gotham, Difficult People, Comedy Central, TBS, FOX, TV Land, Netflix, AXSTV, Hulu, and Sirius XM. He has also appeared is such films as Night Comes On, Set It Up and Passaic. He performs regularly in New York City, and is the host of The Center City Comedy Podcast.
Cedrice Webber (Monet Wu)
is honored to make her first Off Broadway debut in Agnus. She is one of San Diego's leading R&B and Soul vocalists holding residencies at prominent venues. Cedrice is a Tedx speaker who shared the illusive mystery of our identity at the Copley Symphony Hall. Her involvement in community organizations and directing the San Diego Children's Choir keeps her inspired by art, truth, and connection. She made her professional debut as the leading role in a spoken word opera Ordinary Magic at Joan Kroc Theatre. www.cedricemusic.com
Erik Parillo (JUDGE 74K1)
has worked in regional theater for many years in roles ranging from Sydney in “Deathtrap” to Tesman in “Hedda Gabler”, from Sherlock Holmes in “The Final Adventure” to Lord Augustus in Oscar Wilde’s “Lady Windermere’s Fan”. He won Best Supporting Actor in Austin for his role in “Love, Valour, Compassion” at The Zach. He also performed with a troupe as Claudius in “Hamlet”, and Trigorin in “The Seagull” in both Russia and Ukraine. In TV and film he’s been seen in Law and Order: SVU, Pan Am, three bygone soaps, many independent films, and several episodes of a web series called Mythos.
Kiran Rhe (Sequoyah/Attorney 1)
is an established indie film actor (Where Hearts Lie, Cassanova Was a Woman, C Street, The Mend), and core company member of the interactive performance troupe, Cirque du Nuit- of the You Are So Lucky experiences, featured in Vogue. She is currently studying Improv with the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. Kiran was classically trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Shakespeare Theatre Company, and received her degree in Theatre and Dance from Pace University. She hails from D.C., though she’s spent much of her life in the U.A.E., Saudi Arabia, and the Virgin Islands. When she isn’t performing, she is an activist, traveller, and educator.
Natasha Edwards (Guard 1/Attorney 2)
is ecstatic to be joining this stellar team! BFA Musical Theatre, Emerson College. Previous credits include The Teacher From the Black Lagoon (national tour), Mary Mary (Cape May Stage), Into The Woods (Baker’s Wife), Finian's Rainbow (BTF), NY Fringe, and her Off-Broadway show, Natasha and The Bass Line. Thanks to Ise for his trust in me, Meg/Katie for their faith in me, James/Mum/Dad for always believing in me, and Rob for all his love and support. Meg Pantera, the Agency. www.NatashaEdwards.net
Lester Perez (Guard 2)
was raised in South Central Los Angeles of Honduran descent. First discovered a desire to perform on stage through a talent show in grade school. Studied theater at Los Angeles City College before taking his talents East to SUNY Buffalo. Lester has performed in local community theaters, church skits, independent films as well as school productions such as Zoot Suit and Hair Rock Musical. Lester enjoys watching stand up comedy, also likes to recite his favorite songs and dance Latin music.