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Hulda's Night:

Legends of the Rockefeller State Park Preserve


Izzy Frisoli as Mother Hulda

David Neilsen as The Storyteller

John Isabella III as The Leatherman

Sami Saleh


Stage Managed by Laura Braun

Directed by Jenna Isabella & Gina Stanton

The Story of Hulda’s Night by Susan MH Lewenz

The Legend of the Leatherman by Gina Stanton

Legends of the Preserve by David Neilsen

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Izzy Frisoli (Mother HuldaWhat can I say, I'm pleased as punch to be returning to the magical world of LIVE theatre as part of "Hulda's Night." Special thanks to PTAC for this opportunity to portray the truly beautiful soul of Hulda, The Healer of The Hollow, AKA Mother Hulda to her friends. If you've seen me on a screen, on a stage or on a page, WOW! That's lovely. Thank you for staying a spell and sharing some creative time with me when you did! Ok! Enough about me. Go be brilliant out there! And know that Izzy Frisoli (and honestly, probably Hulda too. She seemed the encouraging type) wishes you a Halloween full of smile-inducing magicks! 


David Neilsen (The Storyteller) David is a classically-trained actor and professional storyteller who has spent the past decade telling spooky stories to adults and children alike during the glorious month of October and performing his one-man shows based and inspired by the works of H.P. Lovecraft. He's also appeared on numerous stages through the Hudson River Valley, with favorite roles including Igor in Young Frankenstein, Mr. Wormwood in Matilda, and Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest.


He is the author of three Middle Grade horror/comic/fantasies: Dr. Fell and the Playground of Doom (named an Editor’s Pick by Amazon, winner of the Silver Falchion Award for Best YA/Tween Horror or Fantasy of 2017, and a Semifinalist for Best Middle Grade / Children’s Book in the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards), Beyond the Doors, and most recently Lillian Lovecraft and the Harmless Horrors.


Before turning to slightly-creepy children’s literature, David spent a dozen years working as a writer in Hollywood, culminating in optioning a pilot to 20th Century Fox (that went nowhere), and penning the screenplay for the Straight-to-DVD film “The Eliminator” (stream it, he dares you).


He lives in Tarrytown with his family and two cats who are plotting against mankind and planning on taking over the world--just as soon as they finish their naps.

Learn more about David on his website.

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John Isabella III (The Leatherman) As a lifelong resident of Westchester, John has always enjoyed the the local folktales and Legends of the area.  Especially during Halloween when stories that both scare and mystify are told around campfires to make people tremble in their boots.  Setting aside the tricks of the season, John feels that being part of Hulda’s Night is a real treat.  He is especially happy to be bringing the Leatherman to life once again.


You may have seen John as Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing, Ziggy the Village Idiot in Young Frankenstein or The Punch and Judy Man in Scrooge the Musical.  He has also lent his voice to several characters in PTAC’s Audio Drama Series.  John is also the Technical Director of a certain Theatre Company that uses the mythological creature of rebirth as their mascot (that’s Theatre with an R.E.).


John would like to thank his family and friends for their support and express his gratitude to everyone who made this show possible: Jenna, Gina, Laura, Peter, Susan, the PTAC board, the the Park Rangers, Friends of the Preserve, and viewers like you!


Happy Halloween!

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Sami Saleh & Turbo

Laura Braun (Stage ManagerLaura is excited to be Stage Managing for Phoenix Theatre & Arts Company (PTAC).  Her first production with PTAC was The Importance of Being Earnest!


She has stage managed for several local community theater companies including ForAll Theater (Macbeth and The Incorruptibles); Spotlight Theater Productions NY (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Mamma Mia, Avenue Q and The Producers).  Past New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theatre productions include Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, As You Like It and Cuba and the Teddy Bear.   


Laura has really enjoyed working with PTAC and wants to say thank you to everyone and looks forward to many more collaborations with this amazing company. As always a special thanks to her family for all of their support.  "If all the world's a stage, there must be one exhausted stage manager somewhere!" -Tom Althouse

Jenna Isabella (Director) is so grateful to be a part of this theatrical endeavor, highlighting local legends and lore, and working alongside some very talented performers and dedicated historians and rangers. She would especially like to thank: Gina, Laura, Peter, Su, Kim, John, Izzy, David, Sami, Turbo, and her always-supportive family. Past directorial credits include: Much Ado About Nothing, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Inspector General, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. Favorite past performance credits include: Romeo and Juliet (Juliet),  Twelfth Night (Viola),  Urinetown the Musical (Hope),  Scrooge! (The Ghost of Christmas Past), You Can't Take it With You (Alice), The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolen).      

Gina Stanton (Director) is one of PTAC's co-founder and is currently the managing director for the company. Gina directed PTAC's first live MainStage production this summer: Oscar Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest, and has had a hand in just about every PTAC endeavor to date: the Audio Drama Series, PTAC Goes to the Movies, The Page to Stage Playwright Festival, and more. She has previously choreographed and assistant directed High School Musical, Jr.and Peter Pan Jr. (MESMS) and directed Louisa Vilardi's Break in PTAC's Page to Stage Playwright Festival. Her favorite on stage performances include Margaret (Much Ado About Nothing), Inga (Young Frankenstein), Helen (And a Nightingale Sang), Mary Haines (The Women), Little Sally (Urinetown), and Rapunzel (Into the Woods.) Many, many thanks to Jenna, the best TLP anyone could ever have; Laura, stage manager extraordinaire; the wonderful cast (Izzy, John, David, Sami, Turbo - you're all wonderful!); and all of the fantastic people at the Preserve, especially Peter, Kim, and Su.