Digital Program – “Mama Mama Can’t You See” (2023)

Coin & Ghost presents:

Mama Mama Can’t You See

By Stan Mayer and Cecilia Fairchild
Directed & Choreographed by Zach Davidson

November 10- December 10, 2023

MAMA MAMA runs approximately 95 minutes and will be performed without an intermission


Mama Mama Can’t You See contains vivid descriptions of war and violence that that may be triggering to some audiences, particularly those with combat experience and/or post-traumatic stress disorder. This production also makes use of explicit/graphic language, simulated sex acts, herbal cigarettes, theatrical haze, strobe lighting effects, and sudden loud sounds.


Creative Team

Written by: Stan Mayer & Cecilia Fairchild
Directed by: Zach Davidson
Choreographed by: Zach Davidson, Elisa Rosin, and the Ensemble
Lighting Design: Joey Guthman
Sound Design & Original Score: Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski
Original Costume Design: Athena Lawton
Scenic Design & Music Director: Elisa Rosin
Stage Manager: Mads Felder
Intimacy Director: Carly D. W. Bones
Asst. Lighting Design: Aly Michelle
Master Electrician: Greg Crafts

Production Manager: Veronica Bowers
Publicist: Lucy Pollak
Producers: Joseph Baca, Zach Davidson, Marguerite French, Kendall Johnson, and Elisa Rosin


Stan: Stan Mayer
Lance: Ryan Nebreja
Jeff: Julián Juaquín
Doc: Zack Rocklin-Waltch
Ellis: Marguerite French
Anita: Carene Rose Mekertichyan
Wanda: Hannah Trujillo
Clem: Kathleen Leary

Marines Understudy: Zach Davidson

Whores Understudy: Stephanie Lee



Stan, Cecilia, and I first began working on MAMA MAMA in late 2017. Of course at that point, we were still imagining it as a classic C&G Frankenstein: an unruly mash-up of Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried,” Stan’s own stories from Iraq and Afghanistan, and original war stories that Cissy and Stan would invent for us. Real American mythology, with all three source materials bearing equal weight and sharing level access to the truth. And then the concept changed. And again. And again. To our credit, we allowed it to; we always let this story tell us where it wanted to go.

Which brings us to now, six years later, and a brand-new iteration of a play that means the world to me.

Like all good war stories, MAMA MAMA isn’t actually about the war, so much as it is about memory, time, and truth. Of this thing that happens sometimes, when somebody falls down dead and then wakes up twenty years later in a story you’re telling. It’s a play about women — sex workers, mothers, wives, and girlfriends — and what it means to hold space for someone else without asking anything in return.

It’s about sunlight. 
It’s about Stan’s mom. 
It’s about you, the thing you want to say right now, and the way the truth feels when it gets stuck in your throat.

Six years ago, my friends and I sat down to create a war story. What came out was a love story. For that — and for you — I am eternally grateful.

– Zach

A note on the women, from co-playwright Cecilia Fairchild 

For a long time I considered what would be the right way to refer to the women in this play, as a group. We call the men in these pages Marines, because they are, and because it is also a concise and beautiful word that conjures images of both a rolling sea and a battlefield swollen with pain and love and death. It is accurate, it is strong, and it sounds good. There doesn’t exist a reference word for the women present here, who provide sex for a living, that is as evocative, and also free of derogatory connotations in our society as it stands at this moment in time. The term full-service sex worker is accurate and politically correct in the year 2023, and although I do think the very precision of it is sort of edgy and cool, I long for a single word to describe these women – something short, hot, beautiful, theatrical, full – something worthy of the kind of service they provide. The word “whore” is often used as an insult, but in my research I found that it shares its roots for dear, loved, and desire. I like that very much. The women in this play are called Whores because they are dear, and loved, and desired – and because in their work they put their skin in the game to show dearness, love, and desire to those who place monetary value on their service.

The Cast

Marguerite French* (she/they) – Ellis/ C&G Managing Director 

Marguerite French is a recent graduate of the Interdisciplinary MFA program at UCLA’s school of Theatre, Film, and Television, where she co-produced and starred in the Rabbit Bandini film, Death, and directed the short, Intimate Beauty. Her first role after graduation was “Alison” in Francis Ford Coppola’s DISTANT VISION. As the 2015 Cirque du Soleil Directing/Marketing Fellow, she directed a commercial for the Cirque production BAZ, helped conceive the social media campaign #cirqueway, and learned to hang by her ankles from the aerial tissu. As an actor in New York, she studied with JoAnne Akalaitis, Jim Calder, Wynn Handman, and William Esper. She is a proud alumnus of Bard College.

Julián Juaquín (he/him) – “Jeff”

From New York with Colombian roots, Julián Juaquín  has  cultivated his art of acting in the Big Apple, studying at the Stella Adler studio, The Labyrinth company and performing on stage with the Harold Clurman theater. After receiving his Masters Degree in Fine Arts at The University Of Southern California, he is now a professor teaching cinema studies in the drama department. Julián had the opportunity to shake up the theater world in Los  Angeles. He worked on the 2019 production of HOW WE’RE DIFFERENT FROM ANIMALS with the Elan ensemble which won a STAGE RAW Award for “best adapted play” and was nominated in 8 more categories. Julián Juaquín continues his investigation of acting with Coin & Ghost working in numerous productions with them. Julián made an appearance on NBC’s show, STUMPTOWN. Also, He recently just finished playing Richard Alves in an upcoming film called RESPITE directed by Saro Varjabedian. Which is available on all major platforms. Jumping into different genres of the craft and continuing to  examine the human condition, Julián understands that the work is never done and we must always learn from each other. 

Kathleen Leary (she/her) – “Clem”

LA theatre credits include THE INDEX OF FORBIDDEN BOOKS, MAMA MAMA CAN’T YOU SEE (2022), and TWO GENTLEMEN* OF VERONA with Coin & Ghost; TITUS ANDRONICUS, GREEN GROW THE LILACS, DARK LADY OF THE SONNETS, and A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM with Theatricum Botanicum, RICHARD II and CYMBELINE with Chase What Flies, and THENARDIER’S INN with CAC Studios. You can see her perform Shakespeare in bars around Los Angeles with Shakes On The Rocks and Riot Shakespeare. She is the lead concept artist at Puppet Time and co-created large-scale mammoth and dinosaur puppets for SKIN OF OUR TEETH at Theatricum Botanicum, which were featured in the LA Times. 

Stephanie Lee (she/her) – Understudy

Stephanie Lee was born in Vietnam and came to the United States with her family as a refugee when she was two years old. She honors her grandfather who endured eleven years in post-war Viet Nam’s re-education camps and her Uncle Aundrey who followed the American dream to the Gulf War. Stephanie is a theatre, film, and TV actor based in Los Angeles. Mama Mama Can’t You See is her second Coin & Ghost show – she made her C&G debut playing the Jacka-doe in THE QUEST OF QUESTS! She was a company member at The Actors’ Gang Theater for eight years, where she performed in THE NEW COLOSSUS (South American and U.S. tours), THE GHOST SONATA, THE REFUGEE PROJECT (workshop production), VIOLENCE: THE ADVENTURES OF SPIKE SPANGLE FARMER, THE QUEEN FAMILY’S VERY SPECIAL HOLIDAY SPECIAL, THE HOT CHOCOLATE HOLIDAY CLUB, and APHRODITE’S HOLIDAY SHOW. Her film and TV credits include EVERYBODY IS DOING GREAT (Hulu and Paramount+), HIGH, WITHOUT REGRET (Amazon Prime), and LIFELIKE. Stephanie also directed the first high school production of YELLOW FACE written by Tony Award-winning playwright, David Henry Hwang at Culver City High School’s AVPA Theatre. She holds a BFA in theatre performance from Chapman University. Follow Stephanie on Instagram @stphanielee

Stan Mayer (he/him) – “Stan,” Co-Playwright

Stan Mayer is from Cleveland, raised by a blue-collar engineer and a Catholic school teacher. Stan was a US Marine and Intelligence Officer, serving five deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan. During his time at war, Stan lost a lot of friends, four of them from his platoon when a suicide bomber changed the course of his life. These deaths have saturated every fiber of Stan’s life and work. MAMA MAMA CAN’T YOU SEE is a meditation on that moment – a moment that resonates into eternity, a moment when the post-Norman Rockwell America turned into a dirty unnamed street alongside the Euphrates River where the bodies of young men lay slain. MAMA MAMA is an exaltation of trauma – intended to transform it, rather than transfer it – in honor of everyone who grapples daily with the echo.

Carene Rose Mekertichyan (she/her) – “Anita”

Carene Rose Mekertichyan is an artist, organizer, educator, and proud Black Armenian Angelena. Selected stage: A MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM, JULIUS CAESAR, …LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF COLOUR, THE TEMPEST, KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE, PERICLES, (Independent Shakespeare Co.), TROY (Hero Theatre), THE THREE MUSKETEERS (PVPA), SEÑOR PLUMMER’S FINAL FIESTA (Rogue Artists Ensemble), MACBETH (Northern Stage). She is Cofounder of Yerazad, Artistic Associate for Social Justice at Independent Shakespeare Co., Program Coordinator at Support Black Theatre, and proud co-author of the LA Anti-Racist Theatre Standards and Blklst Contributor. Training: Dartmouth College, BA; London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Certificate.

Ryan Nebreja (He/Him) – “Lance”

Ryan Nebreja is an LA-based performer with a background in professional bboying and theater. Recent credits include SUMO (La Jolla Playhouse/Ma-Yi Theater), SAMA SAMA (East West Players), AUGUSTINE MACHINE (Conservatoire National Superior d’Art Dramatique/CNP), ROBERTO ZUCCO (CalArts MOD Theatre), and FUTILE GESTURES (CalArts, film). In addition to acting, he has performed in the international break-dancing circuit with notable appearances in Red Bull BC One, Freestyle Session Minnesota, Seattle’s Massive Monkey Anniversary, Vegas Shakedown, and Hip-Hop Festival Columbia. M.F.A. California Institute of the Arts.

Zack Rocklin-Waltch (he/they) – “Doc”


Zack Rocklin-Waltch is a Los Angeles-based actor and playwright. He is thrilled to be joining this all-star cast in his Coin & Ghost debut. Theatre credits include: THE FIRE AT THE EDGE OF THE EARTH (Eight Ball Theatre), CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER BOY DETECTIVE (Hollywood Fringe), and EVERYBODY (University of Southern California). Zack graduated from the University of Southern California with a B.F.A. in Acting for Stage, Screen, and New Media.

Hannah Trujillo (She/Her) – “Wanda”


Hannah Trujillo is an actor, arts administrator, and teaching artist. She is so happy to be back in community with Coin & Ghost after working on BAD HAMLET and the previous run of MAMA MAMA CAN’T YOU SEE. Last fall she had the privilege of originating the role of Yolie in Octavio Solis’s world premiere of SCENE WITH CRANES. Hannah would like to sincerely thank all involved this process for their endless generosity, kindness, and empathy.

The Creative Team

Cecilia Fairchild (she/her) – Co-Playwright

Cecilia Fairchild was conceived on a moving train in a thunderstorm outside Marfa, Texas. She is a Los Angeles native, a 7th generation Californian, and she holds her MFA in acting from USC. Her play FORTUNATE SON, an adaptation of Goethe’s FAUST set in post-Vietnam New Orleans, premiered with Coin & Ghost as its inaugural production. Her short plays, BEST OF MY LOVE and FAMILY TRADITION, premiered at the Los Angeles LGBT Center in 2017. Recent performances in LA include Sam Shepard and Patti Smith’s COWBOY MOUTHat Thymele Arts and Shepard’s BACK BOG BEAST BAIT at The YARD Theater. She co-directed the Los Angeles LGBT Center’s 2016 production of FOOL FOR LOVE. In 2015, she worked closely with Ntare Guma Mbaho Mwine, writing with and performing alongside him in his short film Salt Wound for Slamdance Film Festival. Last fall, she choreographed for the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s COPLAND’S AMERICA at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. Her focus is on the collaborative possibilities of theater and film. She dances at Jumbo’s Clown Room.

Zach Davidson (he/him) – Director/Choreographer, C&G Artistic Director, Producer

Zachary Reeve Davidson is a theatre resurrectionist, smuggler, and lighthouse operator. As the Founding Artistic Director of Coin & Ghost, Zach has remixed Shakespearean comedy, Greek tragedy, Celtic romance, Mexican folklore, German legend, French opera, and American mythology. In his “spare time,” he is a sought-after arts administrator and creative consultant, having worked with a dozen organizations throughout Los Angeles including the Los Angeles LGBT Center, A Noise Within, Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble, Conga Kids, BLKLST, Overtone Industries, Son of Semele, Invertigo Dance Theatre, and more. In 2023, he was named to The Nonprofit Partnership’s “Emerging Leaders” cohort and selected as a mentor for Arts For LA’s “Activate: Protege” program. Davidson is a co-author of the LA Anti-Racist Theatre Standards, a guest lecturer (CalArts, Denver University, American Academy of Dramatic Arts), and a regular panelist (California Arts Council, LA County Department of Arts and Culture, the Garry Marshall New Works Festival, the Jewish Play Project, CalArts New Works Festival). Denver native, CalArts Mafia, on social as @reevecreates.

Elisa Rosin (she/her) – Scenic Designer, Co-Choreographer, Music Direction, C&G Associate Artistic Director, Producer

Born in Seattle into a family of theatremakers, Elisa Rosin is an actor, vocalist, composer, and teaching artist. She is a founding member of Coin & Ghost, where she co-created and performed in BAD HAMLET, TWO GENTS*, FORTUNATE SON, and the workshops of OLYMPIA, TOO FAUST TOO FURIOUS, and LEAVES. Elisa has also performed at RedCat, The Odyssey, Seattle Opera, and the Fifth Avenue Theatre, as well as with LA-favorite companies like Salty Shakespeare, Not Man Apart-Physical Theatre Ensemble, The Speakeasy Society, and Shakespeare Santa Monica. She composed part of the original score for NMA’s PARADISE LOST: RECLAIMING DESTINY, and produces/performs in burlesque shows under the stage name, “Cookie St. Cream.” Elisa studied vocal performance at California Institute of the Arts.

Mads Felder (they/them) – Stage Manager

An Alumni of The Stella Adler Art of Acting studio’s professional conservatory, they have since served as an assistant director, stage manager, and long term assistant to faculty of the studio as well as the American Academy of Dramatic art. Their original art and animations for Seonjae Kim’s RIOT ANTIGONE ; Sophocles told through women & LGBT punk band, can be found on YouTube and Spotify. They work both on stage and behind the scenes as an independent consultant and can be commissioned for graphic design, set decoration, costumes, and animations. @Mads.Felder, @truly_._madly.

Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski (he/him) – Composer/Sound Designer

Sloe is a multi-award winning sound designer. He received the 2018 Ovation Award for his sound design of the play BURNERS. He has designed hundreds of plays. A few of his notable sound designs include GOD LOOKED AWAY starring Judith Light and Al Pacino and REDEMPTION OF A DOGG starring Snoop Dogg. Sloe is also a veteran, having served six years in the United States Navy in the Nuclear Power Division. He would like to thank the incredible and amazing Gabrieal Griego for her continuous support during all of his creative endeavors. He is proud to be part of this great production.

Joey Guthman (he/him) – Lighting Designer

Joey is the grandson of Edwin Otto Guthman who earned a Purple Heart liberating Italy from totalitarian rule in WWII. His grandson now works as a lighting designer for theatre, dance, and intimate music in Los Angeles and around the world. Coin and Ghost: MAMMA MAMMA, BAD HAMLET, FORTUNATE SON. Theatre: Pasadena Playhouse, Getty Villa, Starkid, Tin Can Bro’s, Rogue Artists Ensemble, and many more. Dance: Mashup Dance, LA Dance Project, Collage Dance Collective. Music: Kronos Quartet, Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, Palm Springs Gay Men’s Chorus. Educational: Cal Rep, Pepperdine University, Occidental College, Pomona College, University of LaVerne, Notre Dame HS. BFA from Emerson College. 

Athena Lawton (they/them) – Costume Designer

Athena Lawton is a Californian artist who explores identity and the body through costume.  In 2015 they graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with a BFA in Costume Design.  Since graduating, Athena has also forged a career in film, television, commercials, music videos, theater, dance and eSports.  Since 2018 Athena has been the Lead Stylist and Costume Designer for the League of Legends World Tournament. They most recently designed the Costumes for the Sebastian Yatra Dharma World Tour, as well as his 2021 tour with Enrique Iglesias and Ricky Martin.  Athena has designed costumes for many award winning films including IN FULL BLOOM directed by Reza Ghassemi and Adam Villasenor, ASCENSION directed by Ross Waschmann, SNAKE EYES directed by Costa Ciminello, THE TOLL ROAD directed by Tom Riley, A.I. MAMA  directed by Asuka Lin, FIRST DAY BACK directed by Deshawn Plair, and series FOR THE LOVE OF JASON on UMC. Their work with performance art collective B.Dunn Movement has toured nationally and has been exhibited at MOCA.  In their free time, they make music and grow vegetables.

Carly DW Bones (she/they) – Intimacy Director

Carly DW Bones is a theatre director, intimacy director/coordinator, sex educator, community facilitator and thespomancer. She works as a freelance intimacy director and educator for theatre companies (A Noise Within, Antaeus, Boston Court, Coeurage, Coin & Ghost, East West Players, EST LA, Ghost Road, Hero Theatre, IAMA, The Road, Skylight, StarKid, Son of Semele, Skylight) and universities (CSULA, Emerson LA, Occidental, UCLA, UCR, USC, Pomona). Carly created and directed at the feminist theatre ensemble, The Illyrian Players (2011-2019). They’ve also directed at: Coin & Ghost, The Echo, EST LA, Inkwell Theater, Rogue Artists Ensemble, The Vagrancy. Connect: [email protected]

Aly Michele (she/her) – Assistant Lighting Designer

Aly Michelle is a lighting technician and designer from Texas. She is so grateful to have finally made the big move to Cali this past year to pursue her creative career further! She thanks lighting designer Joey Guthman and the MAMA MAMA team for inviting her to work on this spectacular project as the assistant lighting designer. Enjoy the show!!

Veronica Bowers (she/her) – Production Manager

Veronica Bowers currently serves as the Production Manager for Caltech’s TACIT program and Technomancer for Liquid Gold Burlesque. Previous productions include “Formulae and Fairytales” for Invertigo Dance Company (Technical Director), “Invisible Cities” with Industry Opera Company/LA Dance Project (Audio Engineer) “fellowship” with Cornerstone Theater Company (Sound Designer). 

Kendall Johnson (he/him) – C&G Associate Artistic Director, Producer

Kendall grew up in Chicago, where he first fell in love with acting. He started out as a junior in college performing in small productions and that love grew as he attended USC Master’s of Fine Arts for Acting. Completing that program and doing a three play rotation repertory is one of his greatest accomplishments. His TV credits include Amazon Prime’s A League of Their Own, NCIS:LA and NCIS: NEW Orleans on CBS, Black & Sexy TV’s Sexless. His stage credits include the Royal Shakespeare Company production of Dunsinane, Ajax in Iraq with  Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble, A Chorus Line, Macbeth, As You Like it, and The Tempest with Off Square Theatre Company in Jackson, WY.

Joseph Baca (he/she/they) – C&G Director of Community Engagement, Producer

Joseph Baca, a Los Angeles native, ventured to Williams College in Massachusetts for undergraduate studies, then also to the Accademia dell’Arte in Italy to focus on mask and physical theatre, and finally to Japan to study bunraku puppetry. Since graduating, they’ve worked with several companies including Double Edge Theatre, the Suzuki Company of Toga, Not Man Apart, and Wet the Hippo. Now based back in L.A. they use their wide range of skills installing art at the Craft Contemporary, teaching elementary students social-emotional wellness through dance, and smearing various foods all over their body at our pleasurable burlesque fundraisers.

Lucy Pollak (she/her) – Publicist

Lucy Pollak has been providing publicity services for intimate and mid-size theater companies in Los Angeles for over 30 years, as well as for independent theater, music and dance productions and large events and festivals such as the annual Emmy Award-winning L.A. County Holiday Celebration at the Music Center. She repped the debut production of Deaf West Theatre’s SPRING AWAKENING, which went on to a Tony-nominated Broadway run. In New York, she publicized off-Broadway premieres of Murray Mednick’s MAYAKOVSKY AND STALIN at the Cherry Lane, LATINA CHRISTMAS SPECIAL at the Soho Playhouse, and OUR MAN IN SANTIAGO at the new AMT Theatre. From 1981 to 1990, she was production manager/staff producer at the Odyssey Theatre, where she co-produced over 100 productions with artistic director Ron Sossi. For the 1993 Los Angeles Festival, she line-produced Reza Abdoh’s controversial QUOTATIONS FROM A RUINED CITY. She is the recipient of a Los Angeles Drama Critic’s Circle Award (MASTER CLASS), an LA Weekly Award (MARY BARNES), four Drama-Logue Awards (MARY BARNES, IDIOGLOSSIA, ACCIDENTAL DEATH OF AN ANARCHIST, IT’S A GIRL), and a Women in Theatre Recognition Award. She has served on the boards of directors of the Los Angeles Theatre Alliance, Women in Theatre and P.A.T.H. (Performing Arts Theatre for the Handicapped).

Special Thanks

Jessica Rosilyn, Matt “Doc” King, Ronin Lee, Sadie Kuwano, Matt Morales, Alex Demers, Abe Martell, Gray Schierholt, Jon Bangs, and Niki Armato
Tracey Davidson & Barry Greenberg
Elizabeth Tabish
Bonnie MacLachlan
Babs Mendenhall & Richard Marks
Jessica Amen & Will Rothhaar
Bruce Cantor
John Farmanesh-Bocca and Not Man Apart Physical Theatre Ensemble
BLKLST and the LA Anti-Racist Theatre Standards
Jenn & Greg Crafts, Studio/Stage
Deborah Brockus, Brockus Project Studios

*Appearing through an Agreement between this theatre, Coin & Ghost, and Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

Actors’ Equity Association (“Equity”), founded in 1913, is the U.S. labor union that represents more than 51,000 professional Actors and Stage Managers. Equity fosters the art of live theatre as an essential component of society and advances the careers of its members by negotiating wages, improving working conditions and providing a wide range of benefits, including health and pension plans. Actors’ Equity is a member of the AFL-CIO and is affiliated with FIA, an international organization of performing arts unions. #EquityWorks

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