The Harassment of Iris Malloy

by Zak Berkman
Previews May 3 and 4
Opening night May 5
Running through May 28, 2017

A single mother places a bet on a new life after an intimate encounter with a decorated senator, and the fallout will change them both forever. The Harassment of Iris Malloy is an epic political thriller that challenges us to explore power, privilege and parenthood. Zak Berkman’s new drama is a rolling world premiere.


Alysia Kolascz (Iris)

Alysia is thrilled to be making her Detroit Public Theatre debut. She is a graduate of Albion College and regularly performs on various stages around southeast Michigan. Some of Alysia's previous credits include Pulp (Williamston Theatre), Bright Half Life (Theatre Nova), Leaving Iowa (Tipping Point Theatre), Gift of the Magi (Performance Network Theatre), I Hate Hamlet (Tipping Point Theatre), Ebenezer (Williamston Theatre/Tipping Point Theatre), Richard III (Performance Network Theatre), Rosmersholm (Magenta Giraffe Theatre), Salvage (Planet Ant Theatre), Equus (Blackbird Theatre), and Jack Goes Boating (Blackbird Theatre).

John Lepard (Senator Aarons)

John is happy to be working at Detroit Public Theatre for the first time. Over the years, he has worked at such venues as The Signature Theatre in New York, St. Louis Rep, Hartford Stage, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, The Gem in Detroit, Ford’s Theatre in Washington DC, and many of the professional theatres in Michigan. He has also been featured in over 20 films and television series. John received his BA in Theatre from Michigan State University and his MFA in Acting from the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. John is the Executive Director of Williamston Theatre and a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association.

Sarah Winkler (Cyd)

Sarah Winkler is a Co-Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Detroit Public Theatre.  She was a company member with Off Broadway's Epic Theatre Ensemble for more than a decade before moving to Metro Detroit in 2013.  Sarah has performed on stage and film in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and around the country, and is now so proud and honored to be a part of the Detroit theatre community.


Ned Baker (Sticker)

Ned Baker is so pleased to be back in his home state for his Detroit Public Theatre debut. Currently a resident of Chicago, Ned has performed there with the Hypocrites and (re)discover theatre, assistant-directed for Steppenwolf and the Hypocrites, and worked for four years as a director and a writer in Chicago Parks with the public access company he co-founded, Rabid Bat Theatricals. Thanks to Mom, Dad, and all loyal loved ones. Long live the theatre.

Creative Team

Geoff Button (Director)

Geoff received his BA in Theater Performance from Western Michigan University, and his MFA in Theater Directing from Northwestern University. He has long been an active part of the Chicago theater company The Hypocrites, where he directed Adding Machine: A Musical (Joseph Jefferson Nomination - Best Midsize Musical), Into the Woods, Coriolanus, Desire Under the Elms, True West (Non-Equity Jeff Nominations – Best Play, Best Director), as well as his own adaptation of Chekhov's Three Sisters. Also an actor, he has performed in several Hypocrites’ productions, including All Our Tragic, Woyzeck, Mud, and Equus (Joseph Jefferson Citation – Best Actor). He has taught theater at the Chicago Academy for the Arts, The National High School Institute, and in the Music Theater Certificate Program at Northwestern University. Currently he is the Casting Director/Associate Producer at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, IL.

Monika Essen (Production Designer)

Moníka Essen is an award- winning, nationally recognized artist and designer.  The recipient of the prestigious Detroit Free Press Lawrence DeVine Award for Outstanding Contribution to Theatre, she studied interior architecture and Environmental Design at Parsons School of Design and received her MFA in scenography from the renowned Hilberry Repertory Co.  Monika has designed countless productions in theatre, opera and film; just recently designing Michigan Opera Theatre’s acclaimed production of Frida and The Tender Land and iscurrently at work designing Amahl and The Night Visitors there. Some of her favorite local designs include: The Foursome and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance at Tipping Point Theatre, and American Hero and Murder Ballad here at DPT.  Additionally, she creates furniture, museum exhibits, interiors and full sensory, multi-media environments for residential and commercial clients, including the Detroit Zoo.  You can see her work at

Mike Durst (Lighting Design)

OFF-BROADWAY: Secrets of the Trade at Primary Stages, The Opponent at 59e59, Extinction at Cherry Lane, Splitting Infinity at Theater Row.  NATIONAL TOUR: It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: The Nightman Cometh.  REGIONAL: Huntington Theatre Company: Come Back, Little Sheba; Lookingglass Theatre Company: Still Alice. Great Fire. CHICAGO: The Hypocrites, A Red Orchid Theatre, Theater Wit, Timeline Theatre, Remy Bumppo Theater, The House Theatre, University of Chicago, University of Illinois Chicago.  Upcoming: Olney Theatre Center, Maryland.  McCarter Theatre, New Jersey. Court Theatre, Chicago. Mike is a lecturer of Lighting Design at The University of Chicago and a consultant on theatrical renovations. He has received two Jeff Awards (Chicago), an Ovation Award (Los Angeles), San Diego’s Craig Noel Award, and nominations for IRNE, Elliot Norton, and L.A. Drama Critics Circle awards.   Mike is a member of United Scenic Artists 829 and IATSE Local 2.

Frannie Shepherd-Bates (Sound Design)

In addition to her role at Detroit Public Theatre (for which she recently directed Sex With Strangers; Wilde Award nomination for Best Play), Frannie serves concurrently as Director of Education and Development for Water Works Theatre Company. She co-founded Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company of Detroit in 2008 and served on staff for nearly six years, founding Shakespeare in Prison in 2012. Frannie has designed sound and/or directed many productions at Metro Detroit theatres including Detroit Public Theatre, Williamston Theatre, Magenta Giraffe Theatre Company, Planet Ant Theatre, Matrix Theatre Company, the Abreact, and Shakespeare in Detroit. Her sound design for La Ronde at the Abreact garnered an award for Best Sound Design from the Rogue Critic. Frannie has been honored for her work by the Wilde Awards (Critics' Choice 2013; Best of the Bard 2015; nomination for Best Play 2016) and CBS Detroit, and she accepted an Arts Achievement Award on behalf of MGT from WSU’s Department of Theatre and Dance. She is the founder and director of DPT's Shakespeare in Prison program, facilitating an experience whereby inmates at Women's Huron Valley Correctional Facility gain crucial life skills and insight through work with Shakespeare. Upcoming directorial projects include Young Americans at Tipping Point Theatre.