Transformative Journeys

Transformative Journeys, Solo Development Series PROGRAM


An in-person festival of work-in-progress by extraordinary storytellers chronicling personal pathways towards transformation.

Produced by The Barrow Group
October 13 - 30, 2022
Performed at The Barrow Group, 520 8th Ave, #901, New York, NY 10018


Short Stories
Thursday, October 13, 20, and 27
featuring Charles Day, MJ King, Amita Sharma, Demonte Thompson, Varina Sammurtok, Bilgin Turker, Anastasia Washington
An evening of short stories featuring our previous Restorative Stories participants. This event is in-person and also features online performers.

Friday, October 14 and 28
featuring K. Lorrel Manning*
Together and apart, a boy and his mother navigate their way through trauma, Prince, divorce, and their relationship with God.

Victoria’s Grapefruit
Saturday, October 15, 22, and 29
featuring Victoria Labalme
A comedic and theatrical tale of a tree, a grapefruit, and a room without color.

A Dismantling
Sunday, October 16 and 30
featuring Martin Moran*
Unhinged, unemployed, and utterly flummoxed, one guy tries to make sense of an era of loss, reckoning, and infinite possibility.

Bluebird of Happiness
Friday, October 21 and Sunday, October 23
featuring Barbara Garrick*
In this work-in-progress, Barbara Garrick chronicles the events before, during, and after a seismic shift that rocks her world. It is a story of hope, healing, and victory.

*Appearing courtesy of Actor’s Equity

Portrait of Charles Day, actor Short-Stories

Charles Day, actor Short Stories- is a native New Yorker who was born in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.  His love of the arts developed while attending Broadway shows with his grandparents, which led to his enrollment at LaGuardia High School of Music & Art.  After graduating he joined the City Kids Repertory Company where, mentored by Malik Yoba, he performed at many venues around New York City including Carnegie Hall and Madison Square Garden.  He has appeared in several off-Broadway plays including the Royal Shakespeare Company’s production of Julius Caesar at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Charles’ journey as a writer began by participating in writing workshops facilitated by the Brooklyn Public Library and Bryant Park’s Reading Room Writer’s Program.  In January of 2020 his short story, The Floating Violin, was translated into Spanish and published on the Guardianes de la Memoria podcast, as part of an episode called Un regalo para ti (A Gift for You).  In the spring of 2020, he completed his first full-length play, For All We Know, under the tutelage of Scott Organ at The Barrow Group.  Charles is honored to be part of the Restorative Stories Workshop.

Portrait of Barbara Garrick, Bluebird of Happiness actress

Barbara Garrick*, actor Bluebird of Happiness - has been developing Bluebird of Happiness in Seth Barrish’s Solo Class online at The Barrow Group since 2020. She is grateful to Seth & Lee Brock for the opportunity to share her first piece of writing. As an actor, Barbara was last seen on Broadway as Lady Bird Johnson in The Great Society starring Brian Cox at LCT. Other Broadway credits: Eastern Standard, A Small Family Business, Stanley, and A Thousand Clowns. She has appeared in over 20 feature films including: Sleepless in Seattle, The Firm, Far From Heaven, Working Girl, and Miami Rhapsody. On TV she has played, DeDe Halcyon in all the Tales of the City series and Alison Perkins on One Life to Live on & off from 1984-2013 amongst many other TV projects. She has done nine world premieres of plays and a lot of Off- Broadway and Regional work. Barbara would like to thank her logical and biological families for their enduring support.

Actress, playwright, storyteller and director M.J. Kang

M.J. Kang, actor Short Stories -  is a playwright, actor, storyteller and director. She has acted across stages in Canada, the US and London, UK. Currently, she is part of the Playwrights Group at Company of Angels, working on the feature film, Moving Day, produced by Cotton Bush Productions, and directing long form narrative genre improv with various organizations and groups around the world. She has won The Moth story slam three times as well as the National Storytellers Network slam and Story Collider story slam. Her personal stories have been featured on PBS' Stories From The Stage, USA Today's Storytellers Project and RISK! podcast and live shows. She was born in Seoul, Korea, raised in Toronto, Canada and currently lives in Los Angeles.

Portrait of actress Victoria Labalme

Victoria Labalme, actor Victoria's Grapefruit - first entered The Barrow Group world over 20 years ago, studying with Seth Barrish & Lee Brock. She is beyond thrilled to be back. TV/film/stage appearances include: Sex & The City, NHK’s documentary on acting with Harvey Keitel & Robert DeNiro, Mike O’Malley’s 30 Years from 30, Caroline’s on Broadway, Catch A Rising Star, HBO’s Workspace, Gotham Comedy Club, Toyota Comedy Festival/The Public Theater, and scores of commercials including a Super Bowl spot. Additional: Inductee into the Speaker Hall of Fame with hundreds of performances around the world; Founder of Rock The Room® & Risk Forward®; Author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling creative, full-color book, Risk Forward. Victoria also conceived & co-produced the documentary film, Muppet Guys Talking, which premiered at SXSW. She is a writer-performer of the solo shows Voices in the Dark and Icebergs in Africa (produced by TBG at The Garrett) and is very excited to return to TBG with her newest solo show, a work-in-progress, titled Victoria’s Grapefruit.

Portrait of actor, writer and director K. Lorrel Manning

K. Lorrel Manning*, actor Lost...Found - is an award-winning writer/director (film/television and theatre), actor and musician. His first feature film Happy New Year, based on his critically-acclaimed play and award-winning short film of the same name, had its World Premiere at the 2011 SXSW Film Festival and has screened at over 25 film festivals since. Most recently, Manning wrote and directed three short films for Guggenheim Studios: The Great Love Rosemary, Pure & Heart. All three films had their world premiere at the Rhode Island International Festival in August 2016. He is currently prepping his second feature film, along with a couple of shorts. As a theatre director, Manning has directed over thirty Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway productions, most recently a new, critically-acclaimed adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People (co-written with Seth Barrish),  The Unrepeatable Moment, and a revival of John Patrick Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea. Manning’s numerous plays include A&J Rule the Universe (Off-Broadway, 2006), Wool (New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship), The Gift (La Jolla Playhouse, 2007) and the aforementioned An Enemy of the People (Barrow Group, 2017). He is currently developing the theatrical project Awake (a collection of short plays and monologues about race). Manning’s other plays have been developed at various theatres throughout New York City, including the Roundabout Theatre, Rattlestick Theatre, the Lark Theatre, and the Barrow Group Theatre Company. A proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA, K. Lorrel Manning holds a BFA in Acting/Playwriting from the University of Georgia, and an MFA in Film from Columbia University.

Portrait of actor and writer Martin Moran

Martin Moran*, actor A Dismantling - is currently appearing as Tom Keeney in the Broadway revival of Funny Girl. He received a 2004 OBIE and two Drama Desk nominations (including best play) for The Tricky Part, based upon his memoir which won the 2005 Lambda Non-Fiction Prize and The Barnes and Noble Discover Award. His one man-show, All the Rage, was awarded the 2013 Lucille Lortel Award and an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Off Broadway Solo Show. His multi-character play, Theo, was featured in the 2018-2019 season at Two River Theater. Other Broadway and Off-Broadway performances include roles in: Spamalot, Cabaret, Titanic, Wicked, Bells Are Ringing, How to Succeed in Business…, Big River, Sing Street, Floyd Collins, A Man of No Importance and Cider House Rules. He wrote the book and lyrics for the 2012 Inner Voices solo musical, Borrowed Dust, with composer Joseph Thalken. Moran’s writing has appeared in Ploughshares, the Pushcart Prize anthology and the New York Times. His second memoir, All the Rage, was released in 2016 by Beacon Press.

Portrait of actress and writer Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma, actor Short Stories - is an actor and writer based in Brooklyn. She trained in the Meisner Technique and completed the improv program at UCB. Growing up, she was drawn to storytelling and film due to a lot of idle suburban boredom, and renting every film possible from the local Blockbuster Video. A brown girl who grew up in Iowa, and then the outskirts of Detroit, she has some unique stories to share about being an American.  In her free time, she tries to write as much as possible.  You can learn more about her at

Portrait of actor and musician Demonte Thompson

Demonte Thompson, actor Short Stories - is a true student of the arts. Growing up in Detroit, Michigan, Demonte's first introduction to the stage was in church as a young child, it wouldn't be long after that he would realize it's where his passion lies. His first love was acting, having done his first play outside of church at 12 and his first film at 14. Demonte would later find a love of writing and filmmaking in high school at the Detroit School of Arts where he studied film production along with drama. By his senior year Demonte really fancied himself an artist above anything else branching out into rap music and even releasing some singles independently. By the age of 18, he moved to New York City to attend The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, where he he is now an alumni. Demonte is currently based in Queens, NY and working as a full time creative in film, theater, music, and acting.

Portrait of actress, writer and director Bilgin Turker

Bilgin Turker, actor Short Stories - is an actor, writer and director in theatre, film and now Zoom. You can catch her in films, Mount Joy (Indie City Films), and The Ones That Have Fallen (Five Sigma Films). Some past stage work includes Elaine Kaufman in Steinbrenner (Urban Stages), and Fadya in The Basement (ANDTheatre Company). She recently played multiple characters in a Zoom reading of The Deliverer for The Vancouver Horror Show. In her free time, she writes, takes classes, and walks her dog Jett.

Portrait of actress and writer Varina Sammurtok

Varina Sammurtok, actor Short Stories - is readjusting to life on land after 11 years living on a boat with her husband and son. She is also celebrating her 51st trip around the sun with creative intention, putting focus back on her storytelling through writing and acting. Her favourite things include chocolate, coffee & poutine, and spelling such words as “favourite” and “harbour” with a “u.”

Portrait of actress, comedian and filmmaker Anastasia Washington

Anastasia Washington, actor Short Stories - is a biracial actress, comedian, filmmaker. A former child actor (under a different name, because, Hollywood) and LA native, she saw the industry at its best and worst. Now as an adult she hopes to be the change she wishes to see in the world. You can find Anastasia making bold diverse content through writing and filmmaking. Even in these unique times, during the year 2020 she has produced and starred in her one woman show, 50 Shades of Mixed: Confessions of your Ethnically Ambiguous Best Friend, which ran at the Black Voices Festival and is now doing an encore at Solo Fest. She also produced, directed, wrote and starred in a web series called Disordered, which takes on eating disorders and more from a non-skinny non-white-girl perspective. In the coming months, she intends to produce a comedy special that focuses on waking people up and humorously giving lessons on her experience as a BIPOC in the industry. As well as doing a comedy album. She has written a few pilots focusing on family dynamics and growing up in the industry. She is also working on feature films that discuss colorism, discrimination and true crime, all through horror and comedy. She's the female Jordan Peele who's not gonna quit acting. Anastasia has the privilege to be a member of SAG/AFTRA, AWD, WIF, and WOC Unite.


Seth Barrish, co-Director
Lee Brock, co-Director
Allison Raynes*, Production Stage Manager
Michael Giese*, Assistant Stage Manager
Liz Frost, Coordinator
Charlotte Sandford, House Manager
Emily Thaler, House Manager


Robert Serrell - Executive Director
Seth Barrish and Lee Brock - Co-Artistic Directors
Farrah Crane - Director of Programming
Quinn Vogt-Welch - Admissions/Development Manager
Candace Clift - Customer Service Manager
Xander Jackson - Facilities Manager
Mark Woollett - Finance Manager
Lauren Lay,  Hannah Monsour, Kevin Molica, and Emily Thaler - Front Desk Associates



Vaughn Buffalo - Chair
Amy Lawrence - Vice-Chair
Carly Hugo - Treasurer
Jonathan Lipnick - Secretary
Christina Denzinger, David Diamond, Missy Hargraves, Poorna Jagannathan, Kristina Louey, Nan Molofsky, Matt Parker, Shaifali Puri, and Priscilla Shanks.

*The Barrow Group's artistic programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature.

**This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.