The Gathering by Jack Neary

An original Zoom play

Friday, December 11, 8pm EST BUY NOW

Saturday, December 12, 3pm EST BUY NOW

Acting Out Productions presents THE GATHERING, a brand new thriller written by Jack Neary exclusively for Zoom presentation! Unlike other plays which need to be adapted to fit into the Zoom format, THE GATHERING begins its life in the Zoom universe—a universe we’ve all become so familiar with over the past year.

THE GATHERING, in 70 fast-moving minutes, shows what can happen when a simple online family get-together evolves into a gripping, terrifying nightmare as one of the family members is taken hostage by an intruder, as the other family members look on helplessly. What happens then can’t be revealed here. And when you see it, we ask that you keep the secret!

Featuring a truly wonderful cast, including Acting Out producers John and Deirdre Budzyna, Acting Out audience favorite John Manning (SLEEPY HOLLOW, FIRST NIGHT), Lizzie Cormier (SLEEPY HOLLOW), and an array of newcomers to the company—Tommy Carnes, Geoff Adams, Dave Sullivan, and Corinne and Tom Hickey. The Stage Manager is Teri Contino.

Tell your friends, your family, and your neighbors…just don’t tell what happens in Scene Two!

Recommended for ages 14+

Cast & Crew

GEOFF ADAMS (Mark/Michael) With THE GATHERING, Geoff is performing in his first play. He initially became interested in acting in high school when he enrolled in a class focusing on TV production. The class introduced students to acting, writing and directing, and prompted an interest specifically in acting. After pursuing a liberal arts degree at Southern New Hampshire University, he participated in an introductory acting class at Boston Casting. A friend suggested he audition for Acting Out and this production of THE GATHERING. He’s very happy to be part of this cast, and he hopes to continue to pursue more acting roles in the future.

DEIRDRE BUDZYNA (Christine/Barb) Deirdre Budzyna is an actress, director and producer. She has been working in the field of theater education for over thirty years. Deirdre is the co-owner of Acting Out Productions where she teaches theater to children ages 4-16 and a professor of early childhood education at Northern Essex Community College. Deirdre is thrilled to be working alongside her husband, John, who she met thirty-one years ago in rehearsal for “The Wizard of Oz”. With thanks to Jack Neary who has been a wonderful friend and collaborator over the years. And always, feeling blessed to be the mother to Colin, Erin and Maggie. Our family gatherings are always the best.

JOHN BUDZYNA (Brendon/Paul) has worked in professional and community theatre for over 30 years. Recent regional acting credits include Dick Wilkins/Ensemble in A CHRISTMAS CAROL at NSMT and Harold Hill in THE MUSIC MAN at GLMT. Firehouse acting credits include Seymour in LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, Albert in BYE BYE BIRDIE, Jesus in GODSPELL, and an actor and contributing writer with LITTLE CITY COMEDY COMPANY. Directing credits at the Firehouse in Newburyport include JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR DREAMCOAT, AVENUE Q; I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE; SPELLING BEE, SOUND OF MUSIC, TO GILLIAN ON HER 37TH BIRTHDAY and dozens of children’s shows over the past fifteen years with John holds a B.A. in Theatre from SUNY Albany and a Masters Degree in Management from Lesley College. John works during the day as the Assistant to the CEO at Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center and lives in Newburyport with his wife and family.

TOMMY CARNES (Jerry/Tom) is a Performing Arts Major currently attending Middlesex Community College. In past performances, he portrayed such roles as; Philip/ Freddie (Noises Off), Axel Hammond (The Nerd), Romeo (Romeo and Juliet), and Chuck Biggs (She Kills Monsters/ Irene Ryan Award Nomination). Now he has the honor of working under the incredible Jack Neary and would like to thank him and Acting Out Productions for this outstanding opportunity. Have a blast and enjoy the art!

ELIZABETH CORMIER (Kristin/Gayla) is very excited to be involved in this production! Past stage managing credits include The Women of Lockerbie (MCC), She Kills Monsters (MCC) and Noises Off (MCC). Past acting credits include Spring Awakening (Wendla Bergmann / Irene Ryan Award Nomination), Romeo and Juliet (Juliet Capulet), and The Music Man (Marian Paroo / Irene Ryan and Richard Maltby Jr. Award Nomination). She would like to thank Jack Neary and Acting Out Productions for giving her such an exciting opportunity and, of course, a very special thank you to the wonderful cast. Enjoy the show!

TOM HICKEY (Dan/Eddie) Tom has previously appeared in the ACTORS inc productions of 12 Angry Men as Juror #3, Our Town as the Stage Manager, 42nd Street as Julian Marsh and Jack Neary’s The Porch as Pat.  He has played featured roles such as:  Howard Wagner in Death of a Salesman for the Winthrop Playmakers, Henry Saunders in Lend Me a Tenor for the Play by Players Theatre Co., Elwood P. Dowd in Harvey for the Camelot Players and Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity for the Paint and Powder Club. His favorite role, however, is in real life, as “Grampy Tom” to his grandkids:  Kevin, Angie, Molly, Connor, Lana, Ty, Elly, Haidyn and Delia Rae.

CORINNE HICKEY (Lee/Amy) is a veteran Performer, Director and Choreographer.  Performance credits include Velma Kelly in Chicago, Anita in West Side Story, Bonnie in Anything Goes, Charity in Sweet Charity, Adelaide in Guys & Dolls, Fraulein Schneider in Cabaret, Golde in Fiddler on the Roof, Edna Edison in Prisoner on Second Avenue (Pro-Am Stage), Mavis in Stepping Out, Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Mrs. Gibbs and Mrs. Webb in Our Town, Betty in The Foreigner, Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Florence in The Odd Couple (Female Version) and Alma in The Porch, a role which was a privilege and honor for her to perform and one that has become her favorite. As a director and choreographer, her credits include 42nd Street, Sugar Babies, Grease, Oklahoma!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Fiddler on the Roof, Gypsy, Once Upon a Mattress, Carousel, Kismet, Anything Goes, Jesus Christ Superstar, Li’l Abner, How to Succeed in Business, A Little Night Music, Cole, A Christmas Carol, Amahl, and the Night Visitors and Lend Me A Tenor. For ACTORS inc, Corinne has directed: Godspell, You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown, It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Show, Nunsense, Anything Goes, Nunsense: The Mega Musical, Sandbag, Stage Left, Twelve Angry Men, Our Town, The Odd Couple (Female Version), Les Misérables, Steel Magnolias, Beauty and the Beast, Mary Poppins, and 42nd Street.

John Manning (EMC) (Victor/Patrick) is thrilled to be back at Acting Out Studios where he previously played Danny in A Touring Production of First Night and Ichabod Crane in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow! Some Other Credits Include- Walt in Ax of Love at 353 Studios and The Players Club in NYC, The Mastiff in Greater Boston Stage Company’s production of The Moors, Gander in Wheelock Family Theater’s Production of Charlotte’s Web, Demetrius in a Midsummer Night’s Dream and Rovis in First Love is the Revolution at The Apollinaire Theater, Mike Dillard in Working at The Umbrella Theater, Henry Higgins in Stage 284’s Production of My Fair Lady, and Evelyn Oakleigh in Greater Lowell Music Theater’s Production of Anything Goes. John will play Flip Whitham in the upcoming film Parallel America which will be directed and written by Academy Award Winning Writer Ernest Thompson. He also tours a One Man show about the life of Ben Franklin to schools all over New England with the national organization Historical Perspectives for Children. He got his BFA in acting from the University of Connecticut and studied at the Theater Academy in London. 

Dave Sullivan (Zach) Theater has kept David plenty busy in the Merrimack Valley for the past eighteen years. He has worked with Play by Players, Image Theater, Greater Lowell Music Theater, Actors Inc, New World Theater, Ghostlight Theater Company and the Nashua Theater Guild. He resides in Dracut with his family.

JACK NEARY (Playwright) Jack’s plays have been produced all over the United States, in Canada and in Europe. His most recent play, TRICK OR TREAT, starring Emmy-Winner Gordon Clapp, received its World Premiere at Northern Stage in Vermont in January of 2017, and completed a seven-week run off-Broadway at 59E59 Theaters in February of 2019. His AULD LANG SYNE, produced by the Peterborough Players and also featuring Mr. Clapp, was the winner of five New Hampshire Theater Awards, including best Professional Production. It has since been produced by New Century Theatre at Smith College and Gloucester Stage. Other recent plays are THE PORCH, produced (as “Beyond Belief”) by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, CityStage in Springfield, the Stoneham Theatre and the Majestic Theater in West Springfield, Massachusetts, and KONG’S NIGHT OUT, just published by the Dramatic Publishing Company, presented at the Lyric Stage in Boston, New Century Theatre and the Meadow Brook Theatre in Michigan, featuring TV’s Cindy Williams. He is co-founder of New Century Theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts, and former Producer of the Summer Theatre at Mount Holyoke College. As an actor, he has appeared on television on SPENSER FOR HIRE, LAW AND ORDER and BROTHERHOOD, and in the films THE TOWN (2011) with Ben Affleck and BLACK MASS (2015) with Johnny Depp. Last year, he returned to the stage to play Nicely Nicely Johnson in GUYS AND DOLLS at the Majestic Theatre. He is a member of SAG/AFTRA, Actors’ Equity and the Dramatists Guild. His web site is

Teri Contino (Stage Manager) Teri started working as a Stage Manager in 2008 and has worked on numerous productions at The Actors Studio of Newburyport, The Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport, and the Players Ring in Portsmouth NH. Serendipity and John Budzyna pulled her into The Gathering, her first zoom production, and she is grateful for the opportunity to make new friends, learn new things, and continue to enjoy theater.