Mel Johnson Jr. (Director)
Though easily recognizable from his “Total Recall” co-starring role opposite Arnold Schwarzenegger, Mel is equally comfortable these days discussing the production of his new one man show “Frederick Douglass In The Shadow Of Slavery” which recently had it’s extremely successful world premiere in California at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center.
While living in Los Angeles, Mel was the Executive Producer of Shadow Entertainment’s Urban Horror label “Big City Pictures”, he produced four feature films: “Ragdoll”, “The Horrible Dr. Bones”, “Killjoy” and “The Vault”. Mel was also the Artistic Director of The Imagination Workshop, a group of actors, writers, and directors that work within the psychiatric community and with kids at risk. During his tenure, The Imagination Workshop won the first Ovation Award given to a company for “Outstanding Community Outreach.”
Mel has countless credits from a resume that reflects his work on stage, screen and television. As a theater director his work is best embodied by the award winning “Give’em Hell Harry” starring JASON ALEXANDER, “Oscar To Oscar”, “The Me Nobody Knows”, “The Ballad of Lizard Gulch” and the critically acclaimed “The Last White Man in the World”. Most recently he directed the World Premiere of Tom Dugan’s one man show “Robert E Lee, Shades of Gray” at Richmond Virginia’s Carpenter Center.
In addition to his film work, Mel’s acting credits includes Broadway stints in “On The Twentieth , "Eubie!" “The Rink”, “Big Deal”, “The Lion King”, "Hot Feet", "Jekyll and Hyde" and next season, He will be featured in the revival of "Kiss Me Kate". Mel has a long-standing relationship with The New York Shakespeare Festival, where he most recently starred in the revival of the musical “Two Gentleman Of Verona” for The Festivals, Shakespeare In The Park. On television he was a regular on David Lynch’s “On The Air” and guest starred on numerous other T.V. shows from "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine" to most recently, "The Blacklist" and "Jessica Jones".
Steve Monarque (Playwright/Composer)
Steve is a New York-based actor, writer and director. He grew up in the suburban New Jersey community of Pompton Lakes.
As an actor Steve is best known as regular cast member “Johnny Ventura” from the syndicated series "Friday the 13th" which remains a favorite for many horror TV fans worldwide. He has appeared in well-known films including No Small Affair and Sixteen Candles. He was the lead in a special MTV video for the popular song "25 or 6 to 4", by the rock band Chicago. Steve starred in two award-winning TV movies, "ABC Afterschool Specials: Stoned”, co-starring with Scott Baio, and "CBS Schoolbreak Special: The Day the Senior Class Got Married”, co-starring with Paul Dooley. He also starred in the late-eighties romantic comedy film Under the Boardwalk, as tough guy surfer "Reef Yorpin". After landing a role in the Chris Carter movie Fencewalker, he appeared on "Close to Home", "ER" and "Law & Order: Criminal Intent".
As a writer, Steve’s play That's Life was workshopped at the Egyptian Theater in Los Angeles. His writing/directing effort "Free Country" won best play in the 2009 Strawberry One Act Festival and won best short film at the New York City Int’l Film Festival (2011).
Founder of MonaVision Films, Steve’s latest writing/directing project Simpler Times, starring Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara in their last onscreen appearance together, has taken home multiple awards around the festival circuit and is distributed by ShortsTV.
MonaVision Films presents
a full-length play with music
by Steve Monarque
directed by Mel Johnson Jr.
Michael Bomengo & Jeffrey Honigman
Thomas Baker, Warren Bub, Laura Carbonell,
Jim Conroy, Ray DeMattis, Jonathan Gregg,
Mel Johnson Jr., Steve Monarque, Peter Reznikoff
stage manager: Emely Zepeda
The year. 1985. John Buck, the legendary “local” rock'n'roller, has failed in the music industry and life. Now a down-and-out, suicidal alcoholic, John desperately returns to the local dive bar in his small New Jersey town and finds he’s not welcome home. Ready to end it all, he meets a mysterious 1940’s cat, who comes to life through a Karaoke machine and croons him into believing the meaning of real love. “That’s Life” features an original score of rock’n’roll, 80’s pop, acoustic ballads and a rockin’ audience participation Karaoke contest.