Claire Warden (Julia) and Matthew DeCapua (Buddy)
photo by Allison Stock

in association with the Midtown International Theater Festival presents

Philosophy professor Julia can't leave her apartment without having a panic attack and maintenance man Buddy can't fix his own problems. Throw in a dead German philosopher, a space cowboy and a secret affair and what could possibly go wrong?
This is the world premiere of a romantic comedy about wanting somebody wrong... who just might be right.

Written & directed by N. G. McClernan, performed by Claire Warden* & Matt DeCapua*
*appears courtesy of AEA


JULIA & BUDDY won "Outstanding Production of a Full-Length Play"
The last two minutes of the play can be seen in performance below, at the Midtown International Theater Festival awards party.


JULIA & BUDDY was nominated for 4 categories by the Midtown International Theater Festival:

  • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Full-Length Play Claire Warden
  • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Full-Length Play Matthew DeCapua
  • Outstanding Production of a Full-Length Play
  • Outstanding New Script for a Full-Length Play

Winners will be announced at the 2014 MITF AWARDS and PARTY on Monday, October 27, 2014 at the Actors Temple 339 W 47th Street, New York City

JULIA & BUDDY was performed at the Jewel Box Theater, New York NY from July 17 - August 2, 2014. Here is what the critics said:

"With direction by N.G. McClernan, Warden and DeCapua make Julia and Buddy respectively, become true depictions of real people, even with a fantastical script. Thus, with various philosophical questions being asked throughout the show and modern stereotypes being broken, this was a romantic comedy that was anything but predictable."
- Ashley Hutchinson, Drama-Queens

The bare stage at the Jewel Box Theatre... does not deter the new play JULIA & BUDDY from instantly making it a playground for wit, intellect and heartfelt affection as two actors inhabit the stage and begin their ninety-minute banter. Claire Warden playing Julia and Buddy inhabited by Matthew DeCapua seem to caputre and understand the age-old quip that "opposites attract" and give evidence of proof to this notion with exceptional clarity."
- Joseph Verlezza, CEOExpress

For more information about this play contact the author N. G. McClernan at

Claire Warden (Julia) and Matthew DeCapua (Buddy) talk about their characters in the play.

Production photos

Click on each photo to expand and enlarge it. Production photos by Linda Jaquez.

An Actor's Life: Rubber Cat Suits and Lorenzo Lamas

In which I talk to Claire Warden and Matt DeCapua (Now performing in JULIA & BUDDY at the MITF.)

Working with great actors is the most fun you can have and it's been a blast directing Claire Warden as Julia and Matt DeCapua as Buddy in JULIA & BUDDY, a two-hander romantic comedy being performed in the fifteenth annual Midtown International Theater Festival on July 17, 18, 19, 27 & August 2 (Get tickets here.)

I've known Claire since she showed up at an NYCPlaywrights meeting. Early on I realized she would be a great Julia, and so asked her to participate in all readings in the development of the play since 2009.

Her next project is to star as Henry in Accidental Shakespeare's "Hit and Run Shakespeare" HENRY V which I was curious about:


Why did they pick you for the role, being a lady and all?


They've wanted me to work with them for quite a while now and each time they have their shows I've been busy doing other work, but this is one of the times when I'm in the city and free and they said they needed someone really strong Shakespeare-wise and actor-wise to carry it and they thought it would be fun if that was me.

To which I say, kudos to Accidental Shakespeare for picking the strongest actor and not being all hung up on the standard gender binary. Although of course there is a long tradition of cross-dressing in Shakespeare starting with the fact that boys played all the women's roles in the original productions.

The show is August 16 at the Pearl Theater.

This isn't the only time Claire has been one of Shakespeare's guys though - in 2012 she was the Player King with the Shakespeare Forum. It was a very interesting take on the play within the play in HAMLET.


Click on each photo to expand and enlarge it. All photos by Allison Stock.

CLAIRE WARDEN (Julia) began her acting career in the UK. Among her favorite UK productions are The Trojan Women - Hecuba (MAC Theatre Co.), Women of the Sidhe - Narrator (Associated Gate Theatre) and A Midsummer Night's Dream - Helena. Recent credits (Off-Broadway): Engaging Shaw, Abingdon Theatre (Charlotte Payne-Townsend) and The Libertine, Playhouse Creatures (Molly Luscombe/Mrs Will). She is the Director of Education for the Shakespeare Forum and co-runs the Ambassador program for The Shakespeare Society. Claire also serves as fight director for JULIA & BUDDY. She is a member of AEA. More information at Always KAL.

MATTHEW DeCAPUA (Buddy) is thrilled to return to the MITF where he last appeared in Peace Now. NY THEATRE: Morning Star (Peccadillo), The Philadelphia Story (NYSTI at QTIP). REGIONAL: Dracula (Premiere Stages, w/ Lorenzo Lamas), Brooklyn Boy, The Miamians, South Beach Babylon (Florida Studio Theatre). TV: "Law & Order," "L&O: Special Victims Unit," "Blue Bloods" (recurring), "As the World Turns." WEB: "Space Dogs," "Lucy Knows Love." Graduate of University of Connecticut, proud member of AEA.

KATIE KAVETT (Stage Manager) has Broadway and Off-Broadway credits that include THE SNOW GEESE (MTC), NO-NO BOY (Pan Asian Rep), THE MOST DESERVING (Women's Project), HANDLE WIH CARE (Westside), and UNBROKEN CIRCLE (St. Luke's). She has also worked for NYMF, WVMTF, Fringe, and Frigid, as well as 4 Macy's Thanksgiving Parades and numerous award shows and events. She won the 2012 NY Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Stage Management. She is currently also stage managing her sixth NYMF show, Propaganda! The Musical. She is a member of AEA.
N.G. MCCLERNAN (author/director) has had her work performed in NY, NJ, PA, CO and Japan. Her Blessings of the Sun God was directed by Obie-winner Oliver Butler in 2003, and she has also directed her own plays including Jane Eyre, The Slash and Mistress Ilsa. She founded and runs and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.
RENEE COLE (Schopenhauer costume builder) makes her living as a Lady Gaga impersonator but kindly agreed to build the pieces necessary for the Schopenhauer costume quick-change. Her costume creation skills have of course been honed through the need to create many Lady Gaga-like pieces. Check out her Lady Gaga Experience.
JULIA & BUDDY appeared in the Midtown International Theater Festival in 2010 as a one-act play. Encouraged by the audience response the author decided to make it into a full-length play. JULIA & BUDDY is inspired by Bill Manhoff's THE OWL AND THE PUSSYCAT, an off-Broadway hit in the early 1960s starring Alan Alda and Diana Sands and a hit movie in the early 1970s starring Barbra Streisand and George Segal. Except there's a switch-up - in JULIA & BUDDY the man is the "pussycat" - not a prostitute as in the Manhoff play, although Buddy does agree with Julia's assessment of him as "a common man-slut." The owl in our play, Julia, is a panic-ridden philosophy professor with a problematic relationship with 19th Century philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer. What both plays have in common is an underlying belief that no matter how different we are, no matter how screwed-up we are, we all need the same things from each other: love and understanding.
Year 2014 marks Year 15 for the MITF...John Chatterton is celebrating in a big way. Prolific producer John Chatterton has been a fixture of the Manhattan theatre scene for two decades. For a decade and a half, his brainchild, The Midtown International Theatre Festival, has been celebrating the diversity of theatre and has become a leader in presenting powerful works from around the world - and one of the best reasons to come to New York in the summer. Visit to learn about the Short Play Lab, the Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival, the founding Midtown International Theatre Festival, the new MITF Children's Theatre Festival, and the Commercial Division.