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NewFest: 
New Play Workshop

RAGE

By Greg T. Nanni
Directed by Rebecca Miller Kratzer

NOTICE (3/2/2022): 

Due to unavoidable covid-related circumstances, the final performance of RAGE has been canceled.

The Box Office has emailed Wednesday ticket holders with their options. If you are a ticket holder who has not received an email from the Box Office, please email tickets@emersontheatres.org to request a refund. Please contact the Box Office with any questions. 

Two anonymous trolls fall in love online as they conduct internet witch burnings as part of a perverse social justice movement known as The Conflagration. Against the group's rules, they decide to meet in person and discover they've been lying to each other and themselves about who they really are. An exploration of love in a time of cancel culture propagated by a generation full of rage.

FEB 27–MAR 2, 2022
Greene Theater
All performances open to the public

A note on COVID safety: Please know that as an audience member for any of our performances, you will be required to wear a mask and present your vaccination card before entering the performance space. Additional safety requirements may be added at any time at the discretion of Emerson College, the City of Boston, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Any prospective ticket buyer with concerns about health safety protocols is encouraged to call our Box Office at 617-824-8400.

CONTENT ADVISORY: This production contains depictions of expletive, violent, misogynistic, and homophobic language, as well as depictions of staged violence and death.

THE VIDEOTAPING OR MAKING OF ELECTRONIC OR OTHER AUDIO AND/OR VISUAL RECORDINGS OF THIS PRODUCTION AND DISTRIBUTING RECORDINGS OR STREAMS IN ANY MEDIUM, INCLUDING THE INTERNET, IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED, A VIOLATION OF THE AUTHOR(S)’S RIGHTS AND ACTIONABLE UNDER UNITED STATES COPYRIGHT LAW. 

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Production Photos by Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo. View full album.
On this page you'll find detailed programmatic information
as well as notes from directors, designers, and the cast
about how our production of NEW PLAY WORKSHOP
took shape over the past few months.
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A note from
Rebecca Miller Kratzer, Director

The first time I read RAGE, I was rattled. Greg T. Nanni’s battle cry for the outcast and the disempowered mirrors our world in such a prescient and disturbing way.

 

So many of the themes in the play parallel our current turbulent times: information silos and extreme polarization, glaring inequities between the poor and the rich, threats against our democracy during a time of severe political unrest, fake news, conspiracy theories, and the disintegration of reality as we know it—as well as the nagging realization that we all sometimes “feel invisible in a world tailored to the influential.” It’s enough to make anyone want to scream. 

 

RAGE poses the exciting challenge of creating a digital world in an analog space. Though we often feel dull and numbed after staring at screens all day, this piece invites a heightened theatricality as we attempt to create a world where the contradiction of deep connection and immeasurable distance live side by side. It also poses the challenge of holding these characters accountable for their actions and denouncing the harmful effects of cancel culture while also acknowledging the powerful outlet the internet provides for those who feel helpless, enraged, vulnerable, or scared. I feel that theatre artists must be the storytellers who give voice to the difficult questions that must be engaged with even though answers remain elusive and out of reach; to work through discomfort to witness and embody multiple uncomfortable and often ugly truths on stage. 

 

It takes an ensemble to embody and execute a play, and I was floored by the Emerson theatre community’s willingness, openness, generosity to take this journey with Greg and me. Their incredible investment, hard work, sensitivity, and artistry have been an inspiration, privilege, and joy to experience. 

 

Thank you to Greg for trusting me with this story and for your artistic partnership. Thank you to Annie Levy, David Colfer, and everyone at Emerson Stage for taking a chance on RAGE and for your support throughout this process. Thank you to assistant director, Madison Goldberg for your insightful wisdom, the incredible stage management team lead fearlessly by Carleigh Allen, the amazing design team who saw and heard things in this play I could never have imagined, and this profound ensemble of actors who must be applauded not only for their immense talent but for their extreme flexibility and deep collaboration. All of your work will forever impact this play’s journey. 

 

Finally, I thank you, the audience, who have arrived ready to take a chance on a new play. Your presence is invaluable to this workshop process. 

 

Welcome to the Conflagration!

ABOUT REBECCA MILLER KRATZER

Rebecca Miller Kratzer (she/her) is a New York–based director of theatre and opera. She works across and through mediums to develop new work, dismantle notions of genre, and interrogate the canon. She’s directed at Opera Saratoga, NEMPAC Opera Project, Opera del West, Fordham University, The Footlight Club, and Columbia University. Upcoming engagements include The Golden Cage at Theatre Row NYC, a Young Artist Position with The Glimmerglass Festival, Bright Star at Montclair State, and projects with LIU and Longy. Rebecca is a Resident Stage Director at Helios Opera and has worked with Katie Mitchell, Whitney White, Annie-B Parson, The New York Times, Big Dance Theatre, BAM, The Bushwick Starr, and The Tank. MFA Columbia. rebeccamillerkratzer.com

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A note from
Greg T. Nanni, Playwright

We live in a rage filled country. You can tell the second you open your web browser. As we continue into the era of echo chamber politics, of individuals choosing to live in a bubble of information that supports their world view, that through various algorithms blocks out all other interpretations, it’s plainly visible— the frustration is growing because reality isn’t matching what it could be, what it should be, what it must be. 

 

This past decade, I’ve been fascinated by the power the internet can grant to normal people, and the actions that power inspires. Now more than ever it is easy to feel powerless in the real world, and to find agency on the internet. Whether it’s through finding a conspiracy theory that centers you as a savior, joining in on the wave of fury in the cancellation of a person due to their cultural sin, or just simply making a false user name and trolling threads just to get a rise out of people. Who are these people those actions sing their siren call to?  How do they thrive in the communities that created from these actions? When things go too far, how do they defend themselves as they harm others? And if they meet in person, can they hold their real selves up to the personality they created online, the personality of who they could be, what they should be, what they must be? 

 

This play is an exploration of these people intersected with the notion of mob justice of the witch burning era whose imagery has been evoked by politicians when discussing cancel culture out of fear of such a power by the people they represent. Because it can bring justice. But at what cost? 

 

Thank you to Annie Levy and the staff of Emerson Stages for taking on RAGE for their new play workshop. Thank you to my director Rebecca Miller Kratzer for always pushing this piece towards excellence, to the amazing designers of Emerson College of whose talent immensely impressed me, to the passionate actors who gave breath to this play, to my assistant Sabrina Sexauer and our dramaturg Preslee Krout for their generous support and research, and to the student production team whose professionalism matched some of my industry working colleagues. Thank you all for lifting Rage gently from one step to the next, in this play’s great journey to find itself.

ABOUT GREG T. NANNI

Greg T. Nanni is a playwright, comic book writer, and marketer, and proud Philadelphian living in New York City. He is a member of Witherspoon Circle and the Cut/Edge Collective. He performs his own solo shows Fat and The Depression Show! on demand. Full length plays include: Loneliness (Columbia University 2020 Workshop Production), New World Radio (Columbia University 2021 Thesis Production), The Bear Is Here (Bay Area Playwrights Festival Semi-Finalist), Vacations, and Angst. He is a recipient of the MFA in Playwriting at Columbia University, where he was awarded the Dean’s Fellowship. Up next: Love (Among Dreamers) (Columbia University Thesis Production), June 24–26, 2022.  Gregnanni.com

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A note from
Preslee Krout, Dramaturg

NO ONE'S VIRTUOUS:
Emerson Stage’s New Play Workshop From The Playwright’s PerspectiveECTIVE

Preslee Krout (Dramaturg): So with RAGE, you began it pretty early in your career as a short, and then it developed further into the longer piece?

 

Greg T. Nanni (Playwright): Yeah! I wrote it as a 15 minute play, and then I put it away. The scream moment is the only thing that's really stayed....That was an idea that I had, of two people promising they would do something with each other and then not doing it in real life. I just felt that it added to the performative existence that is your online persona....

 

I went to a class at Columbia called American Spectacle, led by Lynn Nottage. In that class she had us visit different theatrical-like events that aren't theater. So one session you would go to a wrestling match and you would observe how a wrestling match develops dramatically, and analyze the structure of storytelling that wrestlers have. The same thing happens at a megachurch and art installations. Usually, she takes people to a protest or a rally or something like that to see how activists build a story. The megachurch exercise was actually act one of this play. 

 

I'll have the same two characters, these two people who are lost and are kind of just internet trolls and angry at the world. I'll have them join this online cult, and see what that looks like. Then as I kept working on it, I was like, oh, this is kind of like that feeling at a megachurch. So, all of the Leveller's monologues are very much based on the megachurch in that format of the introduction. The lure to get you to come in the group singing or chanting. Then, ultimately, they sing together, chant together, pray together, except it turns into they're all burning somebody. And I wrote the rest of it in that class where the ideas all melded together. 

ABOUT PRESLEE KROUT, BFA '22 Theatre and Performance
(she/her/hers)

Emerson Stage credits: Marie Antoinette (Assistant Director/Dramaturg), Interior of The Artist Without Her Sister (Assistant Director), and the upcoming NewFest Short Works (Director/Playwright). Emerson College credits: Emerson Independent Video (Director); emShakes’ Cornflower Blue (Playwright), Humble Boy (Producer), The Moors (Producer), and Six Characters in Search of an Author (Stepdaughter); RareWorks Theatre Company’s And She Dwelt Upon The Wall (Playwright); and Mercutio Troupe’s Stalling (Camille). Big hugs Mum, Marissa, and Elena for being the greatest support system through this process.

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Meet the
Scenic Designer

JOE MORALES, BFA '23 Theatre Design/Technology
(he/him/his)

Emerson Stage credits: Next to Normal (Associate Lighting Designer), Marie Antoinette (Co-Projections Designer), Baltimore (Lead Electrician), and Marisol (Lead Electrician). Special thanks to everyone who helped me grow as a designer during this process, and especially the shop for supporting me throughout this design process.

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Meet the
Co-Props Leads

LARA BRINKMAN, BFA '25 Theatre and Performance
(she/her/hers)
DYLAN CHIN
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Meet the 
Costume Designer

MADDIE YAZEL, BFA '22 Theatre Design/Technology

Emerson Stage credits: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and What Remains Hidden (Is Still Known). Emerson College theatre credits: Rareworks Theatre Company’s Phoenix and Elephant’s Graveyard. Other credit: Greater Boston Stage Company's Young Company Shrek. Maddie is thankful and proud to be a part of this brilliant show. This is Maddie’s last show with Emerson Stage and they would like to thank the entire cast and production team, the costume shop, and their friends for their endless support. maddieyazel.com

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Meet the
Lighting Designer

CALLIE MOOS, BFA '22 Theatre Design/Technology
(they/them/theirs)

Emerson Stage credits: Good Breeding (Production Electrician), This Golden Day (Co-Production Electrician), Everybody (Lead Electrician), Working: The Musical (Assistant Lead Electrician), Marie Antoinette (Associate Lighting Designer), and Flora: The Red Menace (Assistant Lighting Designer). Emerson College theatre credits: EVVY39 (Assistant Lead Electrician) and EVVY40 (Co-Production Electrician). Callie would like to thank their assistants and the electrics team for their work, and their Design/Tech friends for helping them fall in love with lighting. calliemoosartdesign.com

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Meet the 
Sound Designer

SARAH MILLER, BFA '24 Theatre Design/Technology

Emerson Stage credits: Marisol (Assistant Sound Designer), Spring Awakening (Assistant Production Sound Engineer), The Late Wedding (Assistant Sound Designer), Baltimore (Assistant Production Sound Engineer), Marie Antoinette (Assistant Scenic Designer), and Next to Normal (Production Sound Engineer). Thank you to my momma, my dad, and all my lovely friends for everything they do to support me.

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Meet the 
Stage Manager

CARLEIGH ALLEN, BFA '22 Stage and Production Management
(she/her/hers)

Emerson Stage credits: This Girl…Nothing (Production Supervisor), Next to Normal (Company Manager), As You Like It (Company Manager), Marisol (Associate Production Supervisor), and Corduroy (1st Assistant Stage Manager). Emerson College credit: Musical Theatre Society’s Big Fish (1st Assistant Stage Manager). Regional credits: Boston Ballet’s The Nutcracker (Stage Management Intern). Thank you to Tim, Deb, Blake, Fiby, and Kate for all their support and trust. 

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ANNAJEAN GIONTA—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, SEE-NO-EVIL/WITCH I.

BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Female Understudy). Emerson College credits: First Lady Suite (Eleanor Roosevelt) and Musical Matchgame: Broadway Divas (Liza Minnelli). Thank you to family, friends, cast, and crew for your constant support and love.

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ABBY GRIFFITH (she/her/hers)—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, ASSY-MCGEE/WITCH III/CUSTOMER 1. BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Past credits: Alice in Wonderland (Alice), The Crucible (Elizabeth), and The Imaginary Invalid (Toinette). She is so excited to be a part of this show. Welcome to the fire.

Meet the
Cast

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ABBIE ANDERSON (she/her)—MOANA-EATS/WITCH II.

BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: New Fest Short Works: Arizona Rain (Danielle/Bea). Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Society’s 2021 EFA Cabaret, andEmerson Dance Company participant. Off-Broadway credits: Prospect Theatre Company's Evergreen (Ensemble); Jon Provan's Social Studies (Margaret); Broadway Workshop's Sweet Charity (Frug Dancer/Suzanne) and Sister Act (Sister Mary Lazarus). Thanks and love to Mamma, Jack, Dad, and William.

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ANNAJEAN GIONTA—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, SEE-NO-EVIL/MOANA-EATS/WITCH I.

BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: This Girl Laughs, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Female Understudy). Emerson College credits: First Lady Suite (Eleanor Roosevelt) and Musical Matchgame: Broadway Divas (Liza Minnelli). Thank you to family, friends, cast, and crew for your constant support and love.

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ABBY GRIFFITH (she/her/hers)—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, ASSY-MCGEE/WITCH III/CUSTOMER 1. BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Past credits: Alice in Wonderland (Alice), The Crucible (Elizabeth), and The Imaginary Invalid (Toinette). She is so excited to be a part of this show. Welcome to the fire.

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SOPHIA INEZ (she/her/hers)—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, Jaz (FRANKLY-I-DONT-GIVE-A).

BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Siobhan) and Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick). Thank you for all the love and support.

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ANNA KOSIAREK (she/her/hers)—SEE-NO-EVIL/WITCH III. BFA '22 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: The Last Days of Judas Iscariot (Loretta). Emerson College credits: emShake's Helen (Io) and Kidding Around's She Kills Monsters (Agnes). Thank you to the ones who love me, who inspire me, who hold me.

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JON LUKE LASSA (he/him/his)—Derek (RAGE-AGAINST-42).

BFA '23 Theatre Education and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: She Kills Monsters (Chuck Biggs), The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Ed Boone), A Hanukkah Story (Erik Garber), and Moksha (Frugavore). Independent credit: Charlie Rackett and the Evil Sorcerer Killer (Charlie Rackett). Thanks to Carina Milano, Mom and Dad, Kidding Around, and Bethany Nelson for all the love, support, and passion for theatre.

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ANTONIO MELE—LEVELER, BFA '23 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: Marie Antoinette (Understudy). Other credits: Weston Drama Workshop's Big Fish (Edward Bloom), Legally Blonde (Professor Callahan), and Cabaret (Herr Schultz); and Framingham High School's Mamma Mia! (Bill Austin). Thank you to my family and friends for their endless support.

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AMANDA MEYERS (she/her)—ASSY-MCGEE/Customer 1. BFA '23 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe’s Spooktacular! (Pauline/Eve); RareWorks Theatre Company’s The Clinic (Noreen); emShakes’ Much Ado About Nothing (Dogberry); Musical Theater Against the Grain’s Hold for Room Tone (Jenna); and Emerson Independent Video’s Holly Jolly Christmas (CJ). With endless love and gratitude, thank you Mom and Dad for the support and trust you’ve invested in me. I hope we bring you laughter and tears tonight that make it all worth it.

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SEAN MYERS (he/him/his)—BALLZINDORF/WITCH I/Customer 2. BFA '24 Theatre Education and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Mercutio Troupe’s The Trial of Errors (Eddison) and Hold For Room Tone (Lucas). Other credit: BlackCasts SWEAT (Chris). Big thanks to those that have supported him, Friends, TIP, and The Problematic Bachelors.

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KATE RILEY (she/her/hers)—Jaz (FRANKLY-I-DON’T-GIVE-A).

BFA '24 Theatre Education and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credits: Musical Theatre Society’s First Lady Suite (Evelyn Lincoln), EFA Cabaret 2020 (Soloist), and Tavern Song (Associate Producer). Other credits: Summer Institute for the Vocal Arts’ Songs for a New World (Surabaya Santa) and RENT (Ensemble); and Weston Drama Workshop’s The Spongebob Musical (Patrick Star). Love to the family, the suite, my teachers, and this amazing team.

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CONALL SAHLER (he/him/his)—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, LEVELER/BALLZINDORF/CUSTOMER 2. BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage credit: This Girl Laugh, This Girl Cries, This Girl Does Nothing (Male Understudy). Emerson College credits: emShakes' Ismene: Staged Reading (Polynices, Creon); and Imagination Stage Performance Ensemble’s Footloose (Willard), Beauty and The Beast (Gaston), Pippin (Charlemagne), The Little Mermaid (Prince Eric), and Mamma Mia! (Harry Bright). I would like to thank my friends and family for their endless love and support.

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TRISTAN WEBSTER (he/him/his)—Conflagration Ensemble/Understudy, Derek (RAGE-AGAINST-42).

BFA '24 Theatre and Performance. Emerson Stage debut! Emerson College credit: Mercutio Troupe’s The Trial of Errors (Ascot). Thanks to Syds for your constant support.

Meet the 
Artistic and Production Staff

Assistant Director MADISON GOLDBERG

Assistant to Playwright SABRINA SEXAUER
Assistant Scenic Designer MARIEL RICHARDSON
Wardrobe Supervisor MUNROE SHEARER

Assistant Wardrobe Supervisor OLIVIA MILLER
Assistant Lighting Designers OLIVER HAWKE AND ELIJAH GOLDBERG
Co-Production Electricians MILLER KOPPANG AND TIM SCALZO

Assistant Lead Electrician DAVIS KRANCHALK
Production Sound Engineer SHELBY MARSH

Assistant Stage Manager BLAKE BERGGREN
Production Assistant KATE STEPHAN

Production Assistant FIBY DICHTER
Production Supervisor KIRSTEN DAVIS

Assistant Production Supervisors EMMA ALVAREZ-ROTH

Assistant Production Supervisors DEVON CLARK
Company Manager ALEX TAWID DI MAGGIO

Assistant Company Manager EMELINE SHEPARD

Run Crew

MONICA APREUTESEI, ANDREW BOVA, HALEY COLLIER, HANNAH FREEMAN, CHAD FRUSCIONE, SARA KELLEY, CARLY MENTIS, DAVID SCHELL, JESS IMMEL

Meet the

Emerson Stage Staff

STAFF

Artistic Director—Annie G. Levy
General Manager—David Colfer
Production Manager—Timothey Sullivan

Technical Director—Kristin Knutson

Props Director—Ryan Bates

Costume Shop Supervisor—Richelle Devereaux-Murray

Resident Sound Designer—Elizabeth Cahill

Head Carpenter—Connor Thompson

Scenic Painter—Joe Keener

Scenic Carpenter—Sam Kisthardt

Sound Technician—Steven Deptula

Assistant General Manager—Alix Bigley

Assistant Costume Shop Supervisor—Brian Choinski

Draper/Cutter—Laurie Bramhall

Assistant Properties Manager—Lauren Corcuera

ADVISORS

Stage and Production Management—Debra A. Acquavella
Scenic Design—Luciana Stecconi

Scenic Painting—Joe Keener

Costume Design—Chelsea Kerl

Lighting Design—Scott Pinkney

Sound Design—Elizabeth Cahill

Electrics—Mark Fortunato

Fight/Intimacy—Ted Hewlett

Dramaturgy—Marissa Friedman

STUDENT STAFF

Emerson Stage Office Assistants— Shannon Horsey, Alex Tawid Di Maggio, Jake Tolentino, Esther Chilson, Karli Fisher, Carly Mentis, Samantha Duggan
Production Management Assistants—Carleigh Allen, Anthony Feola, Olivia Tighe

Videographers—Benjamin Bernard and Jacqueline Thom

Scene Shop Staff— Jonah Barricklo, Sean Dougherty, Marco Giacona, Emerson Hart, Sam Kisthardt, Baz Kouba, Dylan Norris, Mercedes Suarez

Scenic Artists/Painters—Elizabeth Fuire, Sofia Goldfarb, Sophie Hartstein, Yue Hua, Jennifer Naar, Ayaana Nayak, Fernando Rueda, David Staats, Garrett Trae

Paint Shop Assistant—Leah Heath

Stitchers— Tayla Dixon, Caitlin Fitzgerald, Amaya Gonzalez-Mollman, Caitlin Johnson, Lorence Jones-Perpich, Dominic Letterii, Greta Morgan, Amaris Rios, Ava-Sofia Settoon, Munroe Shearer, Molly Shaughnessy, Beatrice Ward

Costume Shop Office Assistant—Zhiyan Jin

Crafter/Dyer—Madeline Yazel

Laundry Assistants—Aleah Bloom and Angelina Parillo

Stock Attendants—Lucile Lyon and Megan Decker