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  • September 2023


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General Admission Seats

The Anastasia File By Royce Ryton

A stage reading on bannerman island featuring Brian Petti ( The Actor ), Ron Morehead, Emily Clare Zempel. Directed by Ron Morehead with Neil Caplan.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia et al. sitting on a bed posing for the camera

Was she, or was she not the Grand Duchess Anastasia? This brilliantly executed drama presents the case for and against “Mrs. Manahan.”

Using only four actors to play Mrs. Manahan, a police inspector who later plays his own son, and an additional actor and actress who play between them thirty parts, this play is a flurry of action. Audiences are spellbound by this compelling play with a final surprising twist.

a group of people posing for a photoIn 1982 my friend Jaemes Esterly who was a director found British playright, Ryce Ryton’s play about a woman who claimed to be the Grand Dutchess Anastasia. Together with the help of my dear friend , Diana Kain, who would convince her father Manny to give her the money to produce the show. I would assist Diana with the producing and would design the set for the show. Jaemes was a brilliant director and put together an outstanding cast and a fascinating production. We opened Am Who I Am off Broadway at The Perry Street Theater in New York City. The play would later be renamed The Anastsia File. I would like to dedicate this current production of The Anastaia File (I Am Who I Am) to my dear friends Diana Kain –Sipe, her father Manny, ( who had faith in Diana), and to my late friend, Jaemes Estery who believed in the magic of theatre! Enjoy the show!


a man wearing a suit and tie smiling and looking at the cameraRon Morehead (Director/ Actor)) Last seen on Bannerman Island as John in Jeffrey Hatcher’s Scotkand Road. Throughout his career, Ron has worked with some of Broadway’s most esteemed composers including Marvin Hamlisch, Steven Schwartz (Godspell), David Shire (Baby, Closer Than Ever), and Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last 5 Years) and at venues that include Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall, and the White House. He played James Vane in Dorian Grey offBroadway, performed in Dena Hammerstein’s “Only Make Believe” Foundation Benefit Concert, and An Evening with Jason Robert Brown at Cooper Union in NYC. He can be heard on the World Premiere recording of Vernon Duke’s Sadie Thompson (Original Cast Records) and on Obie Winner Ken Jones’ Lifelines. On the Regional stage, he has performed as John Wilkes Booth in Assassins, Pippin in Pippin, Judas in Godspell, The Major General in Pirates of Penzance, Ladislav Sipos in She Loves Me, the Bellboy in Lend Me a Tenor, and many more.For Television, Ron has played Detective Patterson on I, Witness (A.B.C./ I.D.) and has made multiple appearances on Investigation Discovery’s A Crime to Remember, streaming now on Hulu.

I currently live in Cairo, NY in the beautiful catskill mountains with my wife and two beautiful, talented daughters. My wife Aysa and I, together with Jim Semmelman, created Crown Productions to bring what we do best to the community that we love.


a close up of a womanEmily Clare Zempel (Mrs. Manahan/Anna Andersen)hails from Wisconsin but has called New York home for the past seventeen years. Emily was seen in last year’s production of Jeffrey Hatcher’s Scotland Road on Bannerman Island, where she played Dr, Halbrecht. Emily recently debuted her original solo theatre piece A Hero’s Journey, which explored grief through clown, puppetry, mime, and physical theatre, while exploiting and reimagining the “hero’s journey” framework. Other favorite acting credits include: Iphigenia at Aulis (La MaMa ETC/Untitled Theatre Company #61), Julius Caesar (Bushwick Shakespeare), Hamlet (Baltimore Shakespeare Festival), Wittenberg (Rep Stage), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Milwaukee Shakespeare), and Much Ado About Nothing (Roosevelt Shakespeare). Emily holds her MFA from Brooklyn College and is a current doctoral researcher at the Shakespeare Institute. Her research explores the problems modern actors encounter when dealing with emotion in the performance of Shakespeare’s plays and, through research into the early modern period, emotion studies, and actor technique, will seek to offer tangible solutions for actors to apply in future performance. Emily has taught several university-level performance courses, including Voice and Speech, Movement, Viewpoints, and Acting.

a man wearing glasses and smiling at the cameraBRIAN C. PETTI (Actor), is an award-winning playwright/actor who has been produced internationally by such companies as Ten Grand Productions, Theatre of NOTE and 5th Wall Productions. NEXT YEAR IN JERUSALEM was the winner of the Humboldt State University National Play Contest in California. THE MEASURE OF A MAN and ON THE EXPECTATION OF WHITE CHRISTMASES are published by JAC Publishing and Promotions, and BANSHEE is published by Next Stage Press. ECHOES OF IRELAND was recently produced in County Cork, Ireland by the Skibbereen Theatre Society and is published through Eldridge Plays and Musicals. TEN SECONDS was produced by Motivational Theatre as winner of the Carlton E. Spitzer Excellence in Playwrighting Award. THE LOVE SONG OF SIDNEY J. STEIN was part of the NYC Fresh Fruit Festival and it was the winner of Las Vegas Little Theatre New Works Competition. Most recently, BANSHEE was produced by Theatre of NOTE in Hollywood, CA, LIKE DROWNING was produced by 5th Wall Productions in Charleston, SC, and HEROINES had its world premiere at Cornerstone Theatre Arts in Goshen, NY.


a man looking at the cameraNEIL JACOB CAPLAN (Producer) is the Executive Director and Founder of The Bannerman Castle Trust. He graduated from University of Maryland with a BA in theater, and studied voice at The Peabody Institute in Baltimore. Neil has worked in all aspects of theatre as an actor/singer, director and designer. He was the prop master, at Olympia Dukakis’s The Whole Theater Co. and at Crossroads Theatre Co. Neil directed, designed and produced Jeffrey Hatcher’s Scotland Road on Bannerman island. He also directed and designed Stephen King’s ‘Misery’ at the Cunneen Hackett Cultural Center. In Texas, he directed “1776,” Irwin Shaw’s “Bury the Dead” and “Noon by Terrance McNally. He was the Associate Producer and set designer for the off Broadway production of Royce Ryton’s, “I Am Who I Am.” (The Anastasia File) Neil directed 1776 on Bannerman island with Craig Schulman and Kelly Ellenwood in 2018 on Bannerman island.Neil is a licensed NYS Real Estate Broker with 30 years experience and along with his wife Darlene Swann, own and operates the Swann Inn of Beacon Bed and Breakfast.

a person posing for the camera

AUDREY RAPOPORT ( The Actress ) is an actor, improviser, director, writer, and teacher. Born and raised in Ulster County, Audrey now splits her time between NYC and her childhood home.

Audrey has performed with The Groundlings, Acme Comedy Theatre, and at the Montreal Just for Laughs Festival, Woodstock Comedy Festival, and Austin’s Big Stinkin’ Festival.  She has performed her own material in numerous shows, including her critically-acclaimed one-person show I Am Rapoport and most recently, STARF*CKERS with James Judd (NPR’s Snap Judgement).  Theatre credits include Hay Fever; Good People; Kimberly Akimbo; Sight Unseen; and They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?

TV and film credits include Bull; According to Jim; Cheers; Days of Our Lives; Another World; Bob (as in Newhart); The Accidental Tourist; and The Bigsley Project.

Audrey is the recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Natalie Schaefer Award and several DRAMA-LOGUE and LA WEEKLY Drama Awards.

She currently teaches acting, writing, and improvisation at the School for Visual Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, and Improvolution NYC.


Please Note

  • There are 72 steps to get from the dock to the historic trail and event space on Bannerman Islands, we are not handicap accessible.
  • Please check the weather and wear the appropriate clothing.
  • No outside food or drinks are allowed on the island for Theatrical performances and movies.
  • Alcohol and smoking (of any kind) are not permitted on Bannerman Island.
  • Only service dogs that are defined by the ADA are allowed.

Please note: In order to put on a show at Bannerman Island, we need to have 2 boat loads of 44 people. If you are on the first boat for the show at 6 pm, when you get to Bannerman Island, you will receive a guided tour of the island before the show. When the show is over, you will return to Beacon after the show is finished.

If you are on the second boat departing to Bannerman Island at 7 pm, you will be escorted to your seats for the show. After the show is over, you will be given a lecture of Bannerman Island, while you wait for the boat to return to pick you up. It takes about 50 minutes. We thank you for your cooperation.

Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, Anna Anderson, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia are posing for a picture