A New Brain

Music & Lyrics by William Finn

Book by William Finn & James Lapine

Directed by Khanisha Foster

Musical Direction by Gregory Nabours

Choreography by Alli Miller-Fisher

Presented by Celebration Theatre

In association with the Los Angeles LGBT Center

April 29 – June 24, 2023

Davidson/Valentini Theatre

A timely revival of the Finn & Lapine show about second chances and the urgency of art, Celebration Theatre brings us into the world of this queer musical of “captivating eccentricity” (New York Times) with an intimate experience of pathos, humor, and just a little bit of magic—to bring us back to life.

Composer Gordon Schwinn collapses into their lunch and awakes in the hospital, surrounded by their lover, mother, co-worker, doctor, and nurses. Coming face to face with their own mortality, Gordon sees their greatest fear: will they die with their greatest songs still unwritten? A New Brain reminds us that the power of music, love, and the creation of art can never be lost.

With a gender-expansive casting vision from Celebration and director Khanisha Foster, thoughtfully imbued into a buoyant score and “fascinating story” (New York Post) from the Tony Award-winning authors of Falsettos and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, audiences have the unique opportunity to see A New Brain in Los Angeles as it has never been done before.

Celebration Theatre

Celebration Theatre is one of the nation’s oldest LGBTQIA+ theatres. Founded in December 1982 in a Silverlake storefront, the nonprofit was expressly organized as a community theatre “of, by, and for gay and lesbian people and their friends.” Since then, the Los Angeles-based company has mounted theatrical productions representative of, and in support of, the queer community: with a sharp focus on inclusion, visibility, and pride. GLAAD, NAACP, LA theatre awards and many other benchmarks for excellence have recognized the theatre and its artists— performers, writers, directors, designers, musicians, and producers. Scores of LGBTQIA+ luminaries have graced Celebration’s stages over the years as it continues to provide an inspiring and empowering forum for professional and emerging artists, giving voice to the evolving experience of queer culture. CelebrationTheatre.org

Performance Information

95 minutes, no intermission

Suitability Suggestions
A New Brain is appropriate for all audiences.

Masks are currently required for all performances.

Creative Team

Directed by Khanisha Foster** (she/her)
Musical Direction by Gregory Nabours (he/him)
Choreography by Alli Miller-Fisher (she/her)
Produced by Nathaniel Mathis (he/him)
Scenic Design by Stephen Gifford† (he/him)
Lighting Design by Matt Richter (he/him)
Costume Design by Allison Dillard (she/her)
Sound Design by M Glenn Schuster (they/them)
Properties Design by Michael O’Hara (he/him)
Stage Management by Ruthie Geronimo (she/her)
Casting by Jami Rudofsky, CSA (she/her)
Assistant Director: Nico Pang (they/them)
Assistant Choreographer: Camal Pugh (he/him)
Assistant Stage Manager: Nick Zephyrin (he/him)
Associate Producer: Mark Giberson (he/him)
Publicity: DEMAND PR, David Elzer (he/him)
Social Media Manager: Sarah Mullis (she/her)
Co-Fight & Co-Intimacy Directors: Zack Payne (he/him) and Rachel Flesher (they/she/he)
Production Photographer: Jeff Lorch (he/him)
Production Videographer: David Haverty (he/him)
Sound Mixer: Dennis Peraza


Gordon Schwinn: Amanda Kruger* (they/them)
Roger Delli-Bovi: Yassi Noubahar* (she/her)
Mimi Schwinn: Gina Torrecilla* (she/her)
Rhoda: Sadé Ayodele (she/her)
Mr. Bungee: Richardson Cisneros-Jones* (he/him)
Lisa: Whitney Avalon* (she/her)
The Minister: Jason Ryan* (he/him)
Dr. Jafar Berensteiner: Mitchell Johnson (he/they)
Nurse Nancy / Waitress: Gabi Van Horn* (she/her)
Nurse Richard: Ryan O’Connor* (he/they)
Cover/Swing: Hannah Crews (they/she/he),
Tal Fox* (she/her), Emily King Brown* (she/her),
Laura Obiorah (she/her), Jason Ryan* (he/him),
and Sal Sabella (he/him)
Dance Captain: Mitchell Johnson (he/they)


Piano/Conductor: Gregory Nabours (he/him)
Drums & Percussion: Gianluca Palmieri (he/him)
Cello: Alec Glass (he/him)
Reeds: Michaell Bustamante (he/him)

A New Brain is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals. concordtheatricals.com

* Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

** The Director is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, a national theatrical labor union

† The Scenic Designer is represented by United Scenic Artists – Local USA 829 of the International Alliance of Theatrical

Celebration Theatre Staff

Artistic Director: Brittney S. Wheeler (she/her)
Executive Director: Christopher Maikish (he/him)
Director of Production: Michael O’Hara (he/him)
Associate Producing Director: Nathaniel Mathis (he/him)