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.

Cormac McCarthy’s ‘The Sunset Limited’ Launches Aspie Works’ 2018 Run

This is the official poster of Aspie Works and Hummingbird Theater Co.'s production of "The Sunset Limited."
This is the official poster of Aspie Works and Hummingbird Theater Co.’s production of “The Sunset Limited.”

Aspie Works launches into 2018 with Cormac McCarthy’s powerful play The Sunset Limited!

This show is a co-production with Aspie Works and Hummingbird Theater Co., starring Don Bartalo and Jahaka Mindstorm, and directed by Gary DeWitt Marshall. The play will be presented at the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Avenue), starting on Thursday, March 8.

A black ex-con has saved the life of a white professor, after he attempted to jump onto a subway train. As the two men meet at the black man’s apartment in Harlem, they have a philosophical discussion on life, death, faith and all other matters. What happens when the black man’s drive of salvation and faith is met with the white professor’s nihilism and resistance?

The Sunset Limited will run from March 8-10, at 7:30pm for all evening performances, and concludes with the matinee on March 11 at 2:00pm. Tickets are available for $12 advance and $15 at the door.

Stay tuned to and for updates on this and other projects!

Aspie Works Delivers Two Shows for the 2017 Rochester Fringe!

Aspie Works will present two shows for the 2017 Rochester Fringe Festival!

The first show is Human Politics, a performance of two original one-act plays written by company founder Justin Rielly. It will be presented twice – Saturday, September 16 at 5pm and Thursday, September 21 at 9pm – at the Black Box Theatre of School of the Arts. Tickets are $10 for both nights.

In the opener “Assumptions,” two neighbors witness a new family moving into their neighborhood – but things get personal when one of those neighbors wants to remove them. Lawrence Brewley directs, with Andrew Langton and Tim Shea starring.

The second play “Resilient (January 20, 2017)” follows Molly, a young woman who gets a visit from her mother, Gretchen, on the night of the president’s inauguration. Gretchen supports the new president, but Molly is convinced he will do irreparable damage to the country. As a result, their relationship is severely tested. Paul Johnstone, an actor from last December’s award-winning A Holiday Trilogy, makes his directorial debut with this play. Mary Megan Bringley and Lory Love Restivo star as Molly and Gretchen respectively.

Rielly directs the one-act play When Shakespeare’s Ladies Meet, a witty homage to some of the Bard’s most romantic leading ladies. The show will be presented at MuCCC on Sunday, September 17 at 2pm and Monday, September 18 at 7pm; tickets are $10 for both performances, and will be presented with ASL interpreting (a first for the company).

Six of them – Juliet, Ophelia, Desdemona, Portia, Katharine and Cleopatra – converge on the Capulet garden to share thoughts on love and relationships, especially since the more experienced ladies believe Juliet needs advice on her relationship with Romeo.

The show’s ensemble cast features Kiyomi Oliver (from Rielly’s Some Shorties and a Fake Ad) as Portia, Kate Osher as Cleopatra, Rachel Romack as Juliet, Katharine Sanford (from The Taming) as Katharine, Natalie Walton (from A Holiday Trilogy) as Ophelia, and Danica Zielinski as Desdemona; Zielinski also serves as the show’s set and costume designer.

Stay tuned to and for more information on these and other Aspie Works projects!

Aspie Works Teams with DVC for Staged Reading Event May 12-13

Aspie Works will team with DVC for a two-night staged reading event called This is Happening, set for May 12 and 13 at the Dreamer’s Corner at Village Gate.

This event is written by company founder Justin Rielly, and directed by DVC founder Mario Savastano and playwright Zoe Behncke; Rielly is also serving as executive producer.

The featured plots include a hipster couple preparing for a date, four girls getting to know each other in a train station, a Roman emperor who tests a prototype of the whoopee cushion, two potential lovers who love to talk the language of film noir, a British actor checks into a Brooklyn home to the delight of the homeowner’s daughter, and two high school seniors prepare to move on to graduation – but not before a secret is exposed between them.

Stay tuned for more details on This is Happening, and also for updates on Aspie Works’ plans for the 2017 Rochester Fringe Festival!

Aspie Works Starts 2017 with ‘The Taming’!

This is the teaser poster for Aspie Works' reading of "The Taming."
This is the teaser poster for Aspie Works’ reading of “The Taming.”

Aspie Works kicks off its 2017 campaign with a one-night-only charity reading of The Taming!

Lauren Gunderson (Exit, Pursued by a Bear) writes this all-female political satire loosely inspired by Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew – to be performed at the MuCCC on Thursday, January 19 at 7:30pm.

Katherine is a Miss America pageant contestant whose political ambitions match her big spirit. Patricia is an uptight conservative senator’s aide trying to help her boss pass legislation. Bianca is a liberal blogger who has dirt on the senator and is ready to bring him – and Patricia – down. Then there’s also a side trip into American history that may leave them in a place where America’s political status quo can be challenged and perhaps destroyed…

Jacqueline Moe directs this charity reading, after helming Aspie Works’ 2016 hit Ghost Light; the cast is TBA.

Tickets will be $5 each, with proceeds benefitting the Women’s Foundation of Genesee Valley, who are dedicated to helping women become financially self-sufficient through seven Western New York counties.

Stay tuned to this site and Aspie Works’ Facebook and Twitter feeds for more information on The Taming!

Aspie Works Returns to the Fringe with ‘The Guys’

This is the official poster of Aspie Works' presentation of Anne Nelson's "The Guys."
This is the official poster of Aspie Works’ presentation of Anne Nelson’s “The Guys.”

After a lengthy absence from the stage, Aspie Works will return for the 2016 Rochester Fringe Festival – and this year’s entry will be The Guys!

Written by journalist Anne Nelson, this two-person drama is a meditation on grief after a harrowing tragedy that changed America and the world.  An editor is asked by a fire captain to help write eulogies for some of the men he lost in the World Trade Center attacks.  As they reflect on the firefighters who went on duty and never came home, they also have to deal with their own grief and struggles to understand the events of 9/11.

Label founder Justin Rielly will produce and direct The Guys, and will feature two of Rochester’s most respected actors, Louie Podlaski and Gretchen Woodworth, on stage as the captain Nick and editor Joan.

The Guys will be presented at the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Avenue) on Friday, September 16 at 7:00pm and Sunday, September 18 at 8:00pm; tickets will be $10 for both performances.

Stay tuned to this page and Aspie Works’ Facebook and Twitter feeds for more details!

‘Ghost Light’ Hits the MuCCC on March 3!

Ghost Light full production poster LG revised Saturday  times smaller

Aspie Works hits the MuCCC stage once again on March 3, with its full production of the original play Ghost Light!

Written by company founder Justin Rielly, the play – described as a “meditation on stage” – chronicles a day in the life of Max Campbell, a successful theater director in mourning.  His latest production of The Seagull suffered a freak accident, leading to the death of an actress named Lenny – who has now become the theater’s ghost.  When Max decides to give up his building to a returning actor coming off success in New York – who also has a French-born ghost-hunting reality star for a girlfriend – Lenny is determined to stop him.  And there’s a personal connection between the director and the ghost…

Frequent Aspie Works collaborator Jacqueline Moe makes her directorial debut with this project, which features an acclaimed ensemble cast including Stephen Cena, Colleen DiVincenzo, James Lockhart and Laura Pratt.  Katie Guy serves as stage manager, with Chris Nimick in charge of the lighting design.  Acclaimed playwright Maria Brandt is the creative consultant, and Louie Podlaski designs the film’s poster.

Ghost Light will be presented March 3, 4 and 5 at the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester), with evening performances at 7:30pm and the Saturday matinee at 2:00pm.  Tickets are $8 in advance, with the price at $10 at the door.

For more details on Ghost Light and other Aspie Works projects, visit our pages on Facebook and Twitter – or keep checking this site!

‘Ghost Light’ is Coming in March – and You Can Support the Show!


Aspie Works is back at the MuCCC in March with the original play Ghost Light!

This meditation on love, grief and theater follows Max Campbell, a director grieving after an accident in his latest production claims the life of an actress.  The performer, Lenny, has now become the theater’s resident ghost.  When Max decides to give up his building with the help of a returning actor and his ghost-hunting reality star girlfriend, secrets and emotional chaos will explode – especially when Lenny gets involved.

Ghost Light was first presented as a workshop in June 2015, after two years of script writing and development.  The script was revised with consulting by acclaimed playwright Maria Brandt.

Frequent Aspie Works collaborator Jacqueline Moe (The Rape of LucreceLove in the Style of Will) directs the production, featuring a prominent ensemble cast including Stephen Cena, Colleen DiVincenzo, James Lockhart and Laura Pratt.  The crew includes Katie Guy as stage manager, Chris Nimick on lighting design, and Louie Podlaski as the poster designer.

As the show is undergoing rehearsals, Aspie Works is teaming with the MuCCC to fund the show via its Indiegogo fundraising campaign.  Proceeds donated will go towards offsetting costs, from costumes and props to marketing and promotion.

If you are not able to contribute to the show’s fundraising campaign, tickets can be purchased soon at

If you want to contribute to Ghost Light‘s fundraising campaign, check this link out:

For more details on Ghost Light and on other Aspie Works projects, visit or the label’s Facebook and Twitter pages!

‘Swimming to Cambodia’ Press on Heels of Encore Run


Aspie Works’ encore run of Spalding Gray’s seminal monologue Swimming to Cambodia will be presented at the MuCCC on December 18 and 19, with Justin Rielly reprising his Fringe work for this presentation.  Two of Rochester’s noted publications have taken notice of the work – and on one of the people behind it!

The Rochester CITY Newspaper has named Swimming to Cambodia a “Choice Event,” and you can read theater writer David Raymond’s brief article on the show here:

The Democrat and Chronicle‘s Jeff Spevak also recently had an interview with Gray’s widow, Kathleen Russo, about her late husband as she plans to take part in post-show activities following the December 18 performance:

Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and you can check to purchase.  Both shows will begin at 8:00pm.

Check out Aspie Works on Facebook and Twitter, and also on this page, for the latest on the company’s upcoming shows and radio adventures with The Justin Rielly Show!

Aspie Works Takes on Radio and a Fringe Encore to Wrap 2015!





The end of the year has Aspie Works branching into the world of radio, while also bringing back its most successful production to wrap up the year!


Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly has joined the staff of the newly-started radio station WAYO (104.3 FM), affiliated with the MuCCC.  The Justin Rielly Show is an hour-long show featuring music and guests with creative personalities, and will air Sundays at 4:00pm.  After training shows in November, its first public online show will air on December 6.  It will debut on the 104.3 FM frequency on January 10, 2016.

Swimming to Cambodia Encore Poster

After a successful stand at the Rochester Fringe Festival (and becoming Aspie Works’ highest-grossing show to date), the label will reprise Spalding Gray’s legendary monologue Swimming to Cambodia.  Rielly will reprise his on-stage work of the piece about Gray’s experiences filming the 1984 Vietnam War drama The Killing Fields and his life during that era and living in New York City at that time.  Swimming to Cambodia will be presented at the MuCCC (142 Atlantic Avenue, Rochester) for two nights, December 18 and 19, at 8:00pm both nights.  Tickets ($8 advance, $10 door) are available at

And to wrap up the year, auditions will be held on December 3 and 4 at the Black Sheep Theatre in Rochester for the original project Ghost Light!  The play follows a theater director in mourning over the death of an actress, who has now become the building’s resident ghost.  When the director decides to give up his building, the ghost is determined to stop him.  Frequent collaborator Jacqueline Moe (Love in the Style of Will) will direct, with performances scheduled for March 3-5, 2016 at the MuCCC.

Stay tuned to and to the label’s sites on Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates!

Aspie Works Brings Spalding Gray Back to the Fringe!

This is the official poster for Aspie Works' production of "Swimming to Cambodia," to be done at the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival.
This is the official poster for Aspie Works’ production of “Swimming to Cambodia,” to be done at the 2015 Rochester Fringe Festival.

Aspie Works will return to the First Niagara Rochester Fringe Festival with Spalding Gray’s landmark monologue Swimming to Cambodia!

The one-night-only staged reading will be presented on Monday, September 21 at 8:30pm at the MuCCC, 142 Atlantic Avenue in Rochester.  Tickets are on sale for $10, and available at the Fringe’s official website –

Aspie Works founder Justin Rielly directs and stars in this solo show, a meditation written and performed by Gray in 1985 and then adapted into a successful motion picture released in 1987 (directed by future Oscar winner Jonathan Demme).  The monologue chronicled Gray’s journey to Thailand to make the Vietnam War drama The Killing Fields, along with personal memories of that era and his life in 1980s New York.

Swimming to Cambodia marks Aspie Works’ third foray into Gray’s work, following Interviewing the Audience (at the 2013 Rochester Fringe Festival) and Sex and Death to the Age 14 (presented in January 2014); all Gray works are represented by Dramatic Publishing (Woodstock, Illinois) and with the approval of Gray’s estate.

Check out and the company’s pages on Facebook and Twitter for more Aspie Works news!