Rebel Playhouse is thrilled to present the world premiere of THE STRAY, written and composed by Arif Silverman, directed by Emma Hasselbach, and co-presented by The Theater at the 14th Street Y. The musical teaches audiences about the power of understanding with a cast of animal characters. The show runs for a limited engagement September 28 - October 6, Saturdays at 11am and 1pm and Sundays at 1pm, at The Theater at the 14th Street Y (344 E. 14th St). Tickets are $30 for adults, $20 for children, or $70 for a family 4-pack and can be purchased online at or at the door.

The Stray follows the story of three young wolves who are kicked out of their pack for being vegetarians. To build a new community, the wolves must form an unlikely friendship...with the humans! Using live music and humor, The Stray teaches audiences how growing pains can lead to positive change. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

The cast features Aja Downing* (Cherchez La Femme, LaMama); Sara LaFlamme* (The Pound: A Musical for the Dogs, Sound Bites at Signature Theatre); Joey Nasta (The Ugly Kids, The Wild Project); Imani Jade Powers (Wu-Tang: An American Saga, Hulu); Taylor Marie Rasmussen* (Charlotte’s Web, TheaterWorksUSA); Arif Silverman* (Twelfth Night, The Drilling Company); Tyler Tanner (NYC Debut); and Kui-Fang Tseng (War & Lovers, Theater Row). *Actors appearing courtesy of Actors’ Equity Association in an Equity approved Showcase.

The show features live music performed by Justin Chiao, Emily Johnson-Erday, and Arif Silverman.

The production team includes Jessica Stahmer (Assistant Director), Saima Huq (Stage Manager), Natalie Avery (Lighting Design), Addison Thompson (Puppetry Design), John Beltre (Costume/Prop Design), and Nadim Silverman (Graphic Design).


Cast & Crew

Emma Lea Hasselbach (Director) is a director, educator, and multidisciplinary theatre artist. She has collaborated at the Brick, Sitting Shotgun, Everyday Inferno, Built for Collapse, SquareOne Collective, the Tank, Fordham University, the Public Theater, Seattle Rep, Seattle Children’s Theatre and more. Upcoming: No Place (Square One Collective),The Willmar Project (The Neighborhood Theatre Project), As You Like It (NYU Grad School of Acting). @theemlea

Jessica Stahmer (Assistant Director) Is overjoyed for her first Rebel Playhouse project after being a long time fan. Directing credits include Artistic Director of The Panini Players Comedia dell’arte Troupe and co-creator/director of Sampo, an adaptation of Finnish mythology. In short - lots of slapstick and magic. 

Arif Silverman* (Playwright/Composer/ The Stray) is eternally grateful to be mounting The Stray with Rebel Playhouse and the 14th Street Y. He previously worked with Rebels on the company’s inaugural production of Old Turtle and the Broken Truth, as well as his science fictional solo play Constellarium. His play Galahad and the Dragons recently earned him the Emerging Artist Fringe Award at the BorderLight Festival in Cleveland. @arifallgall

Aja Downing* (Cocoa) is a New York City based actor and singer. The Stray marks her Rebel Playhouse Debut! Off Broadway: Cher Chez La Femme at La Mama. She is a proud member of Actors Equity.

Sara LaFlamme* (Winter) hails from southern Massachusetts and has been working professionally in NYC for almost three years. Before making her way to the city, she worked at several regional houses including Florida Studio Theatre, Seacoast Rep, Weathervane Theatre, and Virginia Repertory Theatre. Favorite past credits include Clara in The Light in the Piazza (Beatrice Vokes Theatre) and Kim in Miss Saigon (Encore Rep, Motif Theatre Award Best Lead Actress in a Musical Nomination). Follow her on Instagram! @saratheflame

Joey Nasta (Fang/Frank) is an NYC-based actor, writer and director. Off-off-Broadway: The Ugly Kids at the Wild Project (Winner! Best New Musical, Fresh Fruit Festival). Regional: My Fair Lady at Leonia Summerstage; Sweeney Todd with Eccentric Theatre Company; Hooray for Hollywood! at Paper Mill Playhouse; Cats at BergenPAC. Upcoming: Developing This is a Song about an Old Welsh Witch, a mythological solo piece. BA Fordham University. Development Assistant at PlayCo.

Imani Jade Powers* (Mira/May) is an actor/singer/writer originally from the Bay Area. She’s a recent graduate of the 3 year actor training at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, and is currently pursuing a career in theatre, film and TV in New York! For resume/reel: | IG: @imanijadepowers

Taylor Marie Rasmussen* (Shadow) is an actor and writer who hails from the Chicago suburbs. Select credits include: Hootenanny Twelfth Night (Corkscrew Theater Festival), The Sisters (SoHo Shakespeare Company), Charlotte’s Web (TheaterWorks USA), and As You Like It (RADA). Taylor holds degrees from both Georgetown University and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.  Love and thanks, as always, to the gents and the ’rents! | IG: @brave-little-taylor

Tyler Tanner (Ichabod) is excited to be making his NYC acting debut in The Stray! Past roles include: Francis (33 1/3: A New Musical), Henry (Next to Normal), Wabash (Shakespeare in Love), Will Shakespeare (Showtime with Shakespeare), and Demetrius (A Midsummer Nights Dream). Tyler is a proud graduate of Ohio University with his BFA in Acting (Class of 16). He hopes you enjoy the show!

Kui-Fang Tseng (Harper/Addison) is an actor/singer/dancer originally from Taiwan. Her NYC credits including War+Lovers (Theater Row), Into the Woods reading concert (NAAP&Prospect Theater Company), Journey to Broadway (Passport to Taiwan 2019). She's thrilled to be part of the Stray family! 

Justin Chiao (Piano/ Additional Vocals) is delighted to be working with Rebels for the first time! Born in Columbia, Missouri but grew up in Tainan, Taiwan, he moved to NYC right after high school to attend NYU Gallatin and went on to study at Atlantic and CAP21. Mostly an actor/singer, he has appeared in various children’s theatre productions such as James and the Giant Peach (ATC), Hee-Hee and The Golden Dove (Rising Sun). IG: @justinchiao

Emily Johnson-Erday (Guitar/ Additional Vocals) is a Brooklyn-based, southern-raised actor, musician, and songwriter. NYC/Regional: A Short Life of Trouble (Everyday Inferno), The Trial of Mrs. Surratt (The Wandering Theater Company), Doll House (Triad Stage). Emily co-wrote two musicals, Harpies for the Dead and Welcome to the Doll Den. Her original folk songs were selected by the Winfield Festival’s 2017, 2018, and 2019 songwriting showcase. Find her at and IG: @thebanjowitch.