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A new play written by Gemma Cooper-Novack

Directed by Whitney Tenney Pak

Come Like Shadows

As the Gold Rush brings thousands of new settlers to San Francisco, a secretive young woman begins to work at a high-end brothel in the burgeoning city. As she draws closer to her companions there, the past and present hungers of men--socially, politically, romantically--begin to cast a shadow upon the brothel. Come Like Shadows offers an alternate take on the history of Shakespeare's most infamous character, Lady Macbeth.

This is a world premiere workshop production. Along with enjoying the show, audiences will be given the opportunity to look deeper into the process of theatre creation with the creative team at Breadcrumbs Productions.

The 2022 workshop production closed on November 6. Keep an eye out for our May 2023 production!


The Development Story

Learn about the development of Come Like Shadows as the director, writer, and Breadcrumbs creative team discuss the inspiration behind the piece, the challenges of building new theater, and their creative process.


Playwright's Note

Come Like Shadows asks when we find safety in those shadows and when the light of power burns.

Breadcrumbs Productions came to me with their development of a scenario, characters, and traces of history, and I was charged with bringing a script to encompass them.


As I delved deeper into the characters, the Shakespeare script that inspired them, and the years in which they would have lived, I found one of the many corners of the world that was, for a few moments, ruled by women (and those who, as Madam says, are not exactly men). This isn’t utopian; rather, these characters have come together out of some combination of love and insecurity, and have to choose whether, when, and how they will harm others to protect themselves from larger (patriarchal) structures still intent on harm.


As Macbeth itself asks when and why we will trade our honesty and our love for power, so I hope Come Like Shadows asks when we find safety in those shadows and when the light of power burns.


The Cast

You may have seen these local artists who have contributed to creating daring and innovative theatre within our area and beyond.



Emily Elizabeth (she/her) is excited to be back on stage with Breadcrumbs Productions in this beautiful new piece of theatre. Emily is a multidisciplinary theatre artist, and film actor. While she finds her joy on stage, she is also a voice artist, most recently heard as Olivia in the audio drama “Forgive Me.” She is an award nominated producer, and headed an all-female production team for “Independence.” She was last seen on stage with Breadcrumbs in “Grimm Cinderella,” and also portrayed Constance Wilde in the premiere of “A Picture of Oscar Wilde.” Emily is passionate about finding and offering professional, sustainable opportunities for artists in Central New York through her work as Executive Director.



Binaifer is grateful be a part of the creative process and the artistic team of Come Like Shadows at Breadcrumbs Productions. She has performed in India, Boston, Off-Broadway (Lion Theatre), and in Syracuse with variety of theatre companies, independent film projects, and commercials. Most recently, she performed in Redhouse production of “The Angels in America: Part I” (The Angel) and before that in the world premiere of Khalil Gibran’s adapted stage play, “Jesus Son of Man” (Mary – Mother of Jesus). Other favorite roles: “Antigone and Letters to Soldiers Lost” (Antigone); “Romeo & Juliet” (Nurse); “Marie and the Nutcracker Prince” (Tsarina Alyx); “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Puck); “August Osage County” (Violet); “The Elephant Man” (Mrs. Kendall); “Importance of Being Earnest” (Lady Bracknell); “Twelfth Night” (Olivia); “A Doll’s House” (Nora). Binaifer has written and performed in her original piece “Fragments” and “Tower of Silence” as part of the Virtual Play Festival. We all carry rich stories of our own, of which we are both the narrator and the audience. Thank you for supporting live theatre.



Mary (they/them) is very proud to be back on this stage after several years. Born and raised here in Syracuse, Mary was a very active Professional in the CNY Theatre scene before earning their BFA in Music Theatre and moving to Manhattan in 2018. After a year in NYC, Mary toured North America with the First National Broadway Tour of 'The Spongebob Musical' as a Swing covering upwards of 12 tracks in the show. Mary has also spent several years working as an Arts Educator and Vocal Coach, having taught at several accredited Universities including Boston Conservatory, Nazareth College, and The Hartt School. Mary has spent most of the pandemic contemplating how to center Sustainability and non-exploitive practice both in Life and the Theatre Industry moving forward. This has culminated in founding the ‘Syracuse Coalition Theatre’, an equitable /safe/ space for multi-hyphenate Artists of ALL ages - find out more info at ‘’. Mary is a passionate, Queer/Mixed Race Activist, Musician, and published Author who is constantly looking for ways to collaborate and facilitate genuine community. Thank you for coming out to see us! @marynickson //


The Man

Tanner Efinger (he/they) is the Founding Artistic Director of Breadcrumbs Productions. He is a theatre maker, arts advocate and community organizer. Select original works include Marie & The Nutcracker Prince (Producer/Performer), The Picture of Oscar Wilde (Writer), 1918 (Writer/Director), and High As Sugar (Writer/Performer). Other regional and international credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Oxford University Press), Hamlet (Boston Theatre Company), The Marriage of Figaro (Boston Lyric Opera), Footloose & Rough Crossing (Cortland Repertory Theater). He has taught devised theatre at LeMoyne College, Shakespeare programs at Oxford University, as well as various improvisational theatre and acting classes with numerous schools and organizations. Tanner is the co-owner of Wunderbar, a queer bar and theatre in downtown Syracuse. His long term goal is to help develop Central New York as a place for artists and queer people to migrate to because of the depth of opportunity. For more information, please visit



Emilee Edick is excited to be apart of this production of Come Like Shadows! Emilee participated in theatre, including musicals, all throughout high school, in productions like A Chorus Line (Shelia), Into the Woods (Baker’s Wife), Twelve Angry Jurors (Juror 8), and Little Shop of Horrors (Audrey). Emilee was recently in a production of Radium Girls (Grace Fryer) at the CNY Community Arts Center. Emilee has trained at the New York State Summer State School of the Arts (NYSSSA) School of Theatre, and Bennington College where she studied within the drama/acting program.

Inside the Minds of the Performers

Listen to the members of the cast discuss their characters, the challenges they have faced in this production, and their thoughts on the future iterations of Come Like Shadows

Come Like Shadows

Come Like Shadows
Come Like Shadows_Binaifer Dabu

Come Like Shadows_Binaifer Dabu

Play Video
Come Like Shadows_Emilee Edick

Come Like Shadows_Emilee Edick

Play Video
Come Like Shadows_Emily Elizabeth

Come Like Shadows_Emily Elizabeth

Play Video
Come Like Shadows_Mary Nickson

Come Like Shadows_Mary Nickson

Play Video

A Note on Sex Work

Sex work isn’t inherently dangerous, but the laws that criminalize it make sex workers make sex
workers vulnerable to both state and interpersonal violence.

Come Like Shadows centers on sex workers in San Francisco during the Gold Rush. Here in
Syracuse in 2022, things are a lot different. As a local sex worker and activist, I wanted to give a
quick snapshot of the current day, especially because there are so many myths about sex work.

The vast majority of sex workers are independent -meaning they don’t work in brothels or for
pimps, madams, or anyone else - though there are exceptions. The internet has made it easier
and safer for sex workers to find clients. That’s why internet freedom is so important to the
safety and autonomy of sex workers.

Sex work isn’t inherently dangerous, but the laws that criminalize it make sex workers make sex
workers vulnerable to both state and interpersonal violence. That’s why it’s so important that
sex work be decriminalized. Legalization – as opposed to decriminalization – would create
regulatory burdens and does little to decrease the danger for the most marginalized sex
workers. Only decriminalization has been proven to improve health and safety.
Decriminalization is an important issue and sex workers need everyone in the community to not
only educate themselves (and each other) about it, but also to become active in the fight for
policy change.

Finally, I want to mention an organization that may be of interest to CLS audiences. Red Canary
is a collective of Asian and migrant sex workers that formed after the death of Queens
massage worker Yang Song


The Law & Sex Work: Four Legal Approaches to the Sex Sector

Associations between sex work laws and sex workers’ health: A systematic review and meta-
analysis of quantitative and qualitative studies

Human Rights Watch

Red Canary Song



Director's Note

Find yourself included in our story as both viewers and witnesses to the moments of love, fear, loss, lust, and betrayal

When I first read Gemma Cooper-Novack’s script for Come Like Shadows, I was immediately drawn into the world she had created on the page. Both realistic in its depiction of historical places, people and events, and mysterious in its allusions to the source material, Gemma’s story weaves its way through memories to bring us to the pivotal moment in which an infamous character earns her infamy. What a thrilling challenge! And one that gave me clear glimpses of theatrical imagery, while confounding me on how to represent Lady’s journey through her own memories and trauma.


Early in the process I arrived at the concept of following Lady through time by following her from place to place as she pursues safety at all costs and runs from the trauma that threatens to ruin her. By using the different corners of the Wunderbar theater to depict the spaces that make up Lady’s world, we watch as safety resides in comfortable spaces until those spaces are no longer safe. While we are asking you to move your gaze with us, and view these moments in unconventional ways, I hope you enjoy this journey as much as we have, and find yourself included in our story as both viewers and witnesses to the moments of love, fear, loss, lust, and betrayal that Lady leaves in her wake.


Beyond the thrill and challenge of creating the theatrical world in which the characters in Come Like Shadows reside, this was a unique opportunity to collaborate with a playwright on a new work and create something with a truly wonderful team of artists. I am honored to have a hand in bringing this first glimpse of this work to life with the Breadcrumbs team and our incredible actors, and I sincerely hope you enjoy your time with this story as much as I have. I also hope you follow us as we grow and evolve, and find Lady, Mercy, Madame, and Mack (etc…) again in the spring!


The Creative Team

Our creative team is also comprised of accomplished local artists.


Whitney Tenney Pak (Director) is an actor, director, and teaching artist based in Syracuse, New York by way of Los Angeles, CA. She is Associate Artistic Director of Circle Squared Collective, a theatre company creating new and devised work. Most recent projects include the virtual production, This Land, an exploration of the 2020 Election created bi-coastally using interviews from voters all over the country. In 2014, she trained with Tectonic Theatre Project (The Laramie Project) in their system of devising, Moment Work, and has collaborated to produce multiple shows using this method of creating new work in the years since. She currently teaches in the Drama Department at SU, and has taught and directed for the Education Department at Syracuse Stage. Previously in LA, she taught and directed for multiple youth theatre organizations, and most recently was director of the theatre program at Cantwell-Sacred Heart of Mary School. She previously worked with Breadcrumbs in pre-pandemic days, and is thrilled to be returning to direct this wonderful new work!


Declan Rapp (Producer/Light Designer) is absolutely ecstatic to be joining the Breadcrumbs Productions team for this performance of Come Like Shadows. Declan has broad experience working in theater, with experience ranging from musical theater performance to lighting design. Recently, his work was seen in Le Moyne College’s productions of Godspell (Light Design), I Hate Hamlet (Scenic Design), The Squirrels (Stage Management/Sound Design), and The (One-Act) Play That Goes Wrong (Light Design). Past directorial and performance credits include Dancing to the Rhythm of a Hidden Flame (Writer/Director/Designer), Hand to God (Director), 9 to 5 (Dick/Ensemble), and Bare: A Pop Opera (Priest). Declan currently works as a freelance theater artist in Syracuse, New York, and you can see examples of his previous work on Instagram @declanrappdesign.


Hannah Dolan (Assistant Stage Manager) is a local Syracuse theatre artist and graduated from Syracuse University’s Department of Drama in 2021. Her most recent collaborations include SU Drama’s The Crucible, as well as collaborating with SU Drama’s student run organization- Black Box Players where she served as Special Events Coordinator, Production Assistant, and 24-hour play festival playwright. Other involvement includes Syracuse Stage’s Theatre for Young Audiences and New Playwright’s Festival. Hannah is thrilled to be serving as Assistant Stage Manager for Breadcrumbs Productions.


Andy Hughes (Set Designer/Light Designer) is very excited to show you his first professional set design. His work has mainly been focused on light and sound design, but is very grateful to flex his creative muscles on a new part of live theatre. Notable productions of his have included The Parting (light design), The Medium (light design), and Bare: A Pop Opera (light design). Andy hopes you enjoy the show and looks forward to hearing your feedback!


Gemma Cooper-Novack (Writer) was the resident playwright with The Theater Offensive’s Creative Action Crew (2015-2016), generating new plays (including Reporting Live from Under the Rainbow and Through the Glory Hole and What We Found There) based on the work of a queer youth performance ensemble. Once I Was a Kingdom was presented on Zoom for the Women+ in Theatre Conference. Recent workshops include Break (About Face Theatre, Chicago, IL, 2018), This Not That (The Depot for New Play Readings, Hampton, CT), and You Want Them to Look Away (Breadcrumbs Productions, Syracuse, NY, 2020). The Dating Game was performed in New York and Boston in 2015. Her light opera adaptation of Sense and Sensibility, co-written with Joshua Tyra, has been workshopped at colleges in New York and Chicago. Her play Blindside was produced in Chicago in 2008. Gemma’s poetry book We Might As Well Be Underwater was published by Unsolicited Press in 2016. She is a Visiting Assistant Professor in Literacy Education at Hobart & William Smith Colleges and a member of the Dramatists Guild of America.


Cosette Myrick (Stage Manager) is a recent Le Moyne College graduate, and is proud to be working and living in the community of Syracuse. She has a wide variety of stage managing credits during her time at ESM High School and Ithaca College. Those credits include Chess: In Concert, Les Miserables, Guys and Dolls, and We Are The Ants. At Le Moyne College, she acted as Ensemble in The Squirrels, and Felicia Dantine in I Hate Hamlet. She is a Digital Outreach Specialist at Terakeet, and in her free time does freelance video work and content creation. She also creates foodie content highlighting local businesses, and gluten-free eats. You can follow her on Instagram @gottatacoboutit!

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Amaan Khan (Costume Designer) is a senior Theater Design and Technology major at Syracuse University from Benton, ME. Previous credits include costume design on Our Dear Dead Drug Lord dir. Puaseisei Patu-Tanielu, costume design on Lungs dir. Maxwell Evans, costume design on Eurydice dir. Savannah Devlin, and costume design on As You Like It dir. Rodney Hudson. Amaan's work can be seen next on Syracuse University's Department of Drama production of Barbecue. @amaankhandesigns.


Marshall Breaux (Assistant Costume Designer) is a junior theater design and technology major with a concentration in costume design from Houston, TX.


Gina Holsopple (Sound Designer) is an award winning singer/songwriter and is the owner and lead teacher at Gina Marie Music Studio in Central New York. With 20 years experience teaching private music lessons and vocal coaching, Gina and her studio have taught thousands of lessons to students of all ages. Currently, she and her team provide over 100 lessons per week—both in person and online. She has served as the Musical Director for many area community theater productions: including Suessical Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., and Narnia. Gina also works as "mom"ager of Rueby Wood, most recently the lead of the Disney+ film "Better Nate Than Ever." Rueby also traveled for a year and a half with the first National Broadway Tour of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the role of Charlie.


November 4th


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November 6th


This project is made possible with support of the County of Onondaga through the Tier 3  Grant and Marketing for Economic Development Grant with the support of the County Executive and administered by CNY Arts; and NYSCA's Support for Organizations Grant.

Tickets Closed

Tickets Closed

Tickets Closed

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