NEW YORK – April 26, 2021 – Hailed as “gritty and real,” the powerful second episode of the new explosive and timely eight-episode scripted television series Joyland – which takes viewers back to the tumultuous 1960s where today began – has dropped on the YouTube channel.
Episode 102 tackles racial protests, hate crimes, political corruption, the looming start of school busing to achieve integration and an underdog battling the establishment to bring a pro basketball franchise to Brooklyn in the new American Basketball Association (ABA).
Joyland begins in July 1964 in New York City, aflame with racial protests after a cop has shot an unarmed African American teen, and at a Catskills bungalow colony, the iconic summer getaway for New York’s working and middle class.
Developed by critically-acclaimed novelist-playwright Gary Morgenstein, Emmy Award-winning veteran network executive Russell Friedman and the award-winning Broadway performer and director DeMone Seraphin, Joyland is unique to its genre in that it was completely shot on Zoom.
Said Morgenstein, Friedman and Seraphin: “In these post-pandemic times, we’re redefining the way a television series can be developed. Why spend a million dollars on a pilot that will more than likely be shelved? Why not present an entire eight-episode season by combining the Zoom medium and YouTube as a platform to showcase a gripping and timely story of ordinary people swept up in extraordinary times confronting issues that remain unresolved in 2021.”
The cast features: Ellen Adair (Karen Lapidus); Rory Alcantar (Tiny Tim); Sandra Bargman (Edna Morton); Tiffany Beckford (Lateesha Bass); J. Dolan Byrnes (Kenneth Lapidus); Tarra Connor-Jones (Evelyn); Jamyl Dobson (Julian Bass); Bernard Dotson (Elijah X); Michelle Fahrenheim (Deb Dent); Michael A. Green (Tony); Thomas Kane (Ray O’Brien); Nicole Korbisch (Neely Adams); Jackie Kusher (Arnie James); Ron Leir (Father Dowd); Darren Lorenzo (Mr. Wilt); Alison Mahoney (Franny); Robert Wesley Mason (Larry Lapidus); Madalyn McKay (Sheila); Robert McKay (Red Harrison); Angelo Mercado (Juan); Matt Provenza (Bob Cousy); Erich Rausch (John Kelly); Mike Roche (Joe Padrewski); Xavier Rodney (Connie Hawkins); Cassie Saunders (Laurie Lapidus); Roslyn Seale (Tyra Bass); Tony Serio (Punch Sulzberger); Morry Schorr (Chaim Herzog); Patrick Taafe (Ned Irish); Alphonso Walker Jr (Black Muslim); Timothy Weinert (Marty Dent); LB Zimmerman (Audrey Saks).
Technical producer/editor: Paul Litwak. Stage Manager: Cassie Saunders.
JOYLAND CREATIVE TEAM
Gary Morgenstein’s novels and plays have been featured in national media from The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Parade Magazine, New York Post, Sports Illustrated to NPR. His sixth novel “A Fastball for Freedom” (the ‘Empire Strikes Back’ of the series”), the sequel to his critically-acclaimed dystopian baseball-science fiction “A Mound Over Hell” (`1984 Meets Shoeless Joe’), was recently published by BHC Press. In addition to the new post-pandemic play “A Black and White Cookie,” he is the author of the stage dramas “Saving Stan” and “A Tomato Can’t Grow in the Bronx,” and the off-Broadway sci-fi rock musical “The Anthem.”
Russell Friedman began a 30+ year career as a television executive after graduating from the University of Maryland, where he studied Radio, TV and Film. The Emmy Award-winning Friedman has worked for the Syfy Channel, USA Network, PGA Tour Productions, ABC Sports, NBC News and Specials, and ESPN in his long and varied career.
DeMone Seraphin is a Helen Hayes Award nominee for his direction of TOPDOG UNDERDOG. Other directing credits include the Off-Broadway revivals of SPLIT SECOND and THE EXONERATED, the world premiere musical “ONCE UPONZI TIME: A Tale of An American Scheme” at the McCarter Theatre, Off-Broadway premieres of “YOURS TRULY, ELLA! A Celebration of The Ella Fitzgerald Songbook,” “BACK O TOWN”, the German premiere of August Wilson’s JITNEY and the regional revival of the musical RUNAWAYS. As an actor DeMone has appeared on Broadway, nationally, and internationally in MISS SAIGON, RENT, RAGTIME, J.C. SUPERSTAR, AIN’T MISBEHAVIN, and MAN OF LA MANCHA. DeMone is the Primary Producing Partner of the Avent Bard Theater in Washington, DC.