All posts by Justin Rielly

Before becoming the founder of Aspie Works, JUSTIN RIELLY is an Artist-in-Residence at the Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC). He has written, produced and directed the 9/11 oral history drama "American Enigma," the one-man show "When We Were Young, We Wanted to Live" (which he also starred), the all-female ensemble show "She Will Have Her Way" and the two-character drama "Come Talk to Me." Mr. Rielly also produced and starred in the acclaimed 2013 Fringe Festival production of Spalding Gray’s "Interviewing the Audience." He also participated in the John W. Borek Presents productions "Unrehearsed," "Jesus in India," "PhotoPlay" & "Swimming To…" He also completed his first novel, "The Lovely Nature of Yum-Yum," during the National Novel Writing Month event in 2012.

‘The Writer’s Fairytale’ Comes to Rochester – Then the Fringe!

Kayleigh Yancey, Lauren Leone Baker, Marcy Savastano and Cassandra Lamantia star in the reading of Kindred Soles' "The Writer's Fairytale."
Kayleigh Yancey, Lauren Leone Baker, Marcy Savastano and Cassandra Lamantia star in the reading of Kindred Soles’ “The Writer’s Fairytale.”

Aspie Works launches into the fall with two big shows over the next month!

The collaborative duo Kindred Soles makes its writing debut with the informal staged reading of The Writer’s Fairytale, presented at the Village Gate’s Rogue Training Studio (D-218) at 274 North Goodman Street on Sunday, August 23 at 7:30pm.

A writer is challenged to create a children’s show – and she ultimately writes about the five points of a story through a fairy tale setting.  Kindred Soles is Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly and Geva Comedy Improv performer Danielle Erway, who starred in Aspie Works’ A Different Normal and Practicing Godot.  Rielly also directs and appears, alongside Lauren Leone Baker, Cassandra Lamantia, Marcy Savastano and Kayleigh Yancey.  Admission for The Writer’s Fairytale is free.

The 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival will follow, and Aspie Works will represent with Spalding Gray’s defining monologue Swimming to Cambodia.  Rielly directs and appears in Gray’s journey into the heart of making the 1984 Vietnam War-set drama The Killing Fields, and his life in Manhattan during that time.  The monologue was later filmed in 1987, directed by Oscar winner Jonathan Demme.

Swimming to Cambodia will be performed at the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Avenue) on Monday, September 21 at 8:30pm, with tickets at $10.

Aspie Works will also take part in the Fringe’s encore performance of last June’s Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference.  A summer hit at Geva, Marcy Savastano and David Henderson will reprise their roles as actor and director for this powerful solo show about the two-time Oscar-winning actress best known as Scarlett O’Hara in Gone with the Wind.  The show is produced by Screen Plays, with Aspie Works providing assistance as a co-producer.  Vivien Leigh will be presented at the George Eastman House (900 East Avenue) on Sunday, September 20 at 2:00pm; tickets are on sale for $15.

Tickets for both shows are available at the Rochester Fringe Festival’s website –

Stay tuned to or the label’s pages on Facebook and Twitter for more details!

Informal Reading of Kindred Soles’ Debut ‘The Writer’s Fairytale’ Coming August 23

To mark two years since the launch of Aspie Works, the company will present an informal stage reading of The Writer’s Fairytale, to be performed on Sunday, August 23 at the Village Gate.

This presentation will also mark the official working debut of the collaborative duo Kindred Soles, featuring playwright and Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly & Geva Comedy Improv artist Danielle Erway.  Miss Erway appeared in readings of Mr. Rielly’s previous plays A Different Normal and Practicing Godot.

Casting is to be announced, though Mr. Rielly is scheduled to direct the reading.

Stay tuned to and also on the company’s pages on Facebook and Twitter for the latest!

This is a teaser picture for the upcoming Aspie Works presentation "The Writer's Fairytale."
This is a teaser picture for the upcoming Aspie Works presentation “The Writer’s Fairytale.”

Aspie Works Returns in June with Vivien Leigh & ‘Ghost Light’


Aspie Works returns to the Rochester theater scene this month with two remarkable projects – a collaboration on the life of an Oscar-winning actor, and a new original play on an old man standing in the way of change.

Aspie Works is providing production support for Screen Plays’ Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference, to be performed at Geva Theatre Center’s NextStage on June 4-7.  Marcy Savastano stars in the title role of the legendary actress who had two career defining film personas: Scarlett O’Hara in the 1939 blockbuster Gone with the Wind, and as Blanche DuBois in the 1951 film version of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire.  Method Machine co-founder David Henderson directs.

On June 19, label founder Justin Rielly will present his new play Ghost Light – about a theater director who finds the building he lives in is up for demolition by a politician who wants to put a dollar store on the land.  Don Bartalo (who appeared as the stage narrator in A Different Normal) stars as the director, with Jeremy Sarachan (scene director in RCP’s 2014 Fringe show Same Sex Shakespeare) as the politician.  The Rape of Lucrece performers Susanna Guarino and Haven Shea co-star, along with RCP’s Richard II star Joey Edizel.  Ghost Light will be presented as part of the MuCCC Fest, to be performed at 7:30pm at the theater located at 142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester.

For more information on Aspie Works and its upcoming projects, visit this website as well as its pages on Facebook and Twitter!

Aspie Works Returns to MuCCC with ‘Practicing Godot’ on May 16

This is the official poster for Practicing Godot, written by Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly.
This is the official poster for Practicing Godot, written by Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly.

Aspie Works returns to the MuCCC on Saturday, May 16 at 2:00pm with the staged reading premiere of label founder Justin Rielly’s latest play, Practicing Godot.

The play follows the activities of two character actors who are waiting for the arrival of the director helming a new all-female production of Samuel Beckett’s landmark existential work Waiting for Godot.  Yet the actors’ different attitudes towards theater may cause a rift between them; they also deal with a stage manager who would rather be anywhere else, and an experienced actor who gets called in when things threaten to get out of control…

Rielly will direct the staged reading, featuring an all-female ensemble including Lauren Leone Baker, Danielle Erway, Shana Krisiloff and Sandra Lowe-Dusel, with Jacqueline Moe on stage narration.

Miss Baker and Miss Moe recently starred in Aspie Works’ staging of The Rape of Lucrece, with Miss Erway appearing last June in Rielly’s dramedy A Different Normal.  This is Miss Krisiloff and Ms. Lowe-Dusel’s first show for the label.

The show will be performed at the MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester, as a “pay-what-you-will” presentation.

‘The Rape of Lucrece’ Staged Reading at Rochester Brainery April 24


Aspie Works is back to kick off its 2015 theater campaign, with a staged reading of the Shakespeare poem The Rape of Lucrece on Friday, April 24 at 7:30pm at the Rochester Brainery.  Label founder Justin Rielly is producing and directing the presentation.

Set in ancient Rome, the poem follows the harrowing incident of Tarquin, the emperor’s son, attacking the royal noblewoman Lucrece – and the inevitable consequences to follow, which led to the downfall of the monarchy.

This production will feature an all-female ensemble including Lauren Leone Baker, Fiona Criddle, Nancy Fancher, Susanna Guarino, Cassandra Lamantia, Jacqueline Moe and Haven Shea.  Frequent Aspie Works collaborator Cassandra Kelly executive produces, along with the Brainery’s founders Danielle Raymo and Stephanie Rankin.

The reading will also feature a post-show discussion with community experts involved in addressing the issues of rape culture, sexual assault and domestic violence.

Tickets will be $10 for adults and $5 for students under 25 with ID; 100% of the proceeds will benefit RESTORE, an organization dedicated to helping survivors and families affected by rape, sexual assault and domestic violence.

For more information on this and other Aspie Works projects, check out this website along with its feeds on Facebook and Twitter.

So 2014 is Ending, and 2015 Waits with New Shows!

From Aspie Works Founder Justin Rielly:

Another year is about to wrap up, and 2015 is waiting in the wings!

The first half will be a rather quiet one, but stay tuned if that changes with any project news.

Activity will kick off in June with two major shows.  The first is Vivien Leigh: The Last Press Conference, with Aspie Works teaming with the acclaimed film-based theater group Screen Plays, its director Karen Tuccio (the recent Geva-staged The Man Who Came to Dinner) and leading lady Marcy Savastano as the Oscar-winning British legend.  The show will be performed on June 4-7.

The second will be the reading of the new original play Ghost Light, about a theater producer who finds his building (also his home) threatened by a politician who wants to tear it down for a dollar store – unless the theater’s resident ghost, a dead actress, has any say.

August will also feature the debut of the original The Writer’s Fairytale, using the fairytale world to describe the parts of a story – or something like that.  Shorter works will also be performed.

The 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival will have the company’s return into the work of famed monologist Spalding Gray, with the performance of his legendary work Swimming to Cambodia – which looks at Gray’s travels in Asia while making the 1984 Vietnam War drama The Killing Fields.

The year will wrap in December with the new original work A Holiday Trilogy, a collection of three holiday one-acts, to be co-produced with the Flower City Repertory Company and directed by its founder Don Bartalo.

For more information on Aspie Works and upcoming projects, keep checking this page and visit us on Facebook and Twitter!

Aspie Works Founder Revisits ‘Come Talk to Me’ November 23 at MuCCC

This is the poster for the 2014 workshop edition of Justin Rielly's play "Come Talk to Me."
This is the poster for the 2014 workshop edition of Justin Rielly’s play “Come Talk to Me.”

Aspie Works will finish its 2014 run with a workshop presentation of founder Justin Rielly’s one-act drama Come Talk to Me, to be held Sunday, November 23 at 7:00pm at the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester).

Set during a stormy day, a counselor’s secretary returns to work to find out her boss is late and all of her patients have canceled – except for one, a young bookseller suffering from a broken heart and more.   Then there is the secretary’s situation, as she returns to work after a harrowing family event.  The play follows what happens when these two lost souls end up in the same room.

Come Talk to Me was initially presented as a workshop reading in July 2013, with Rielly directing and providing stage narration.  This edition stars Natalie Walton (Classics Theater’s The Philanderer) as Ginny Clark and Jonathan Michael Griffiths (RCP’s Triquetra: A Night of Irish Plays) as Will Shepherd.  Director Cece McFarland (RCP’s 2014 edition of Same Sex Shakespeare) will perform the stage narration.

This presentation of Come Talk with Me is a “pay-what-you-will” event.  For more information, visit this page or any associated Aspie Works pages!

‘The Fever’ Premieres at the Rochester Fringe Festival

This is the official poster for Aspie Works' presentation of Wallace Shawn's play "The Fever."
This is the official poster for Aspie Works’ presentation of Wallace Shawn’s play “The Fever.”

Aspie Works will present Wallace Shawn’s solo monologue The Fever at the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival on Thursday, September 25 at 8:00pm & Saturday, September 27 at 2:00pm.  Both performances will be at the MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue in Rochester.  Tickets are available for $10, at 

The play focuses on an entitled American who travels to a Third World country and discovers social & political conflicts which lead to a questioning of his own humanity. 

Acclaimed character actor Roger Gans stars in the performance, directed by Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly, who posted the following comments on Aspie Works’ Facebook page: 

Tomorrow night is the premiere of Aspie Works’ production of Wallace Shawn’s The Fever, and I can’t begin to tell you how deeply thrilled I am to present this.

The show has many themes lined up with this label’s mission of exploring the human condition through theater: social and financial inequality, the sense of entitlement among certain people, the struggle to survive in war-torn countries, and the possibility of trying to change one’s life to be better for humanity on their own terms and for others.

The journey in getting to this show has been exhausting and rewarding all at once. Working with the talented Roger Gans as the traveler has been a joy. Roger is one of Rochester’s finest actors, and the amount of time he has put into this has been astounding, and I have learned a lot from him over these last few weeks in creating the show you will see this weekend.

I have gained a lot of knowledge in my course of learning to direct, and I say bless those who direct theater on a regular basis for I have nothing but absolute respect. Writing a show is one thing, but directing is a whole other beast entirely. You guide the actors and the setting (no matter how small the look) and make sure the dots connect to create a stimulating experience for the stage.

The journey has had its share of bumps, but I regret none of them. The road to tomorrow night has been a rewarding one, and now we – myself and Roger – are looking forward to presenting the audience with a play that may make you think, challenge you, or at the very least, see the world and human nature in a different light.

We are very proud of this play, and we can’t wait to present it tomorrow night and Saturday afternoon. We hope you can join us.

Aspie Works & Its Founder in Action at the 2014 Fringe Festival

This is the official poster for Aspie Works' presentation of Wallace Shawn's play "The Fever."
This is the official poster for Aspie Works’ presentation of Wallace Shawn’s play “The Fever.”

From Aspie Works:

Activity and rehearsals for shows being performed at this year’s Rochester Fringe Festival are ongoing, as opening night on September 18 draws near!

Aspie Works’ major show for the festival is Wallace Shawn’s searing monologue THE FEVER, starring Roger Gans as a man who questions his faith in humanity while traveling in a country filled with social and political chaos. THE FEVER will be presented on two nights: September 25 at 8pm, and September 27 at 2pm!

Company founder Justin Rielly is also taking part in two other Fringe events. One is SaMe SeX sHaKeSpEaRe 2014, the Rochester Community Players’ foray into taking Shakespeare scenes and giving them a unique gender twist. Rielly will direct the famed “O, what a rogue and peasant slave am I” soliloquy from Hamlet, with the title role being played by a woman.

Rielly will also participate in the historical theater event YOU ARE WHERE, presented and directed by Flower City Repertory founder Don Bartalo. The show takes the audience through events in Rochester history, and presented as breaking news stories. It is a local homage to the famed radio & TV series YOU ARE THERE, hosted by Walter Cronkite in the 1950s. Rielly is one of the event’s co-writers, with fellow playwright & MuCCC Artist-in-Residence Spencer Christiano.

Get your tickets for all three shows now!

The Fever

Same Sex Shakespeare 2014

You Are Where


Aspie Works Will Bring ‘The Fever’ to the Rochester Fringe!

This is the official poster for Aspie Works' presentation of Wallace Shawn's play "The Fever."
This is the official poster for Aspie Works’ presentation of Wallace Shawn’s play “The Fever.”

Aspie Works is officially in preparations for the 2014 Rochester Fringe Festival!

Company founder Justin Rielly will produce and direct celebrated character actor Wallace Shawn’s monologue play The Fever, with two performances scheduled for Thursday, September 25 at 8:00pm and Saturday, September 27 at 2:00pm.  The show will be presented at Aspie Works’ regular home, the MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue.

Acclaimed actor Roger Gans stars as an American man who finds himself in a Third World country filled with social and political crises going on.  As he watches these events unfold, he questions his own humanity and conscience – especially in terms of whether or not he has any responsibility of helping others.

The Fever is being presented with the permission of Dramatists Play Service, New York.

In other Fringe-related news, Rielly is also taking part in the historical theater series You Are Where, developed by actor-director Don Bartalo.  The show follows the crew of BBS News going back in time reflecting on events in the history of Rochester, New York.  Rielly is joined on the writing team by fellow MuCCC Artist-in-Residence Spencer Christiano (Cow Town).  You Are Where will have two performances on Friday, September 26 & Saturday, September 27, with both scheduled for 7:00pm.

Tickets for all performances are available now on the Rochester Fringe Festival’s website,

Keep checking Aspie Works’ official website, as well as its feeds on Facebook and Twitter, for the latest Aspie Works news and information!