Examples of organized groups devoted to a charismatic leader are littered throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. These groups use misinformation, propaganda, financial demands and guilt to lure followers to their cause. Regardless if the group is secular or religious, these tactics represent a pattern. There is a seductive quality to these associations that attract individuals from all walks of life. Consequences are often severe for those who attempt to separate or when the group reaches an apocalyptic end.

Cultus (the Latin root of cult) will explore the historical origins of cults and cult leaders and examine why people are susceptible to joining cults today. The exploration will range from religious groups such as The People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate to secular and political groups such as QAnon.

Quarry Theatre will present a workshop* of Cultus in September 2021 with a fully staged performance in early 2022. 

*Update: Due to new COVID-related guidelines where we have been rehearsing and planned to perform, Quarry Theatre will present a filmed version of the Cultus workshop online later this fall. Follow us and subscribe to stay up to date on Cultus and our other projects.

About cultus

the ensemble

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Zak Rosen

Zak Rosen is a recent graduate of Yale University where he double majored in Theater Studies and Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Acting credits from college include Swiss Cheese in Mother Courage and Her Children, Lorne Samuels in Turquoise, Presley in The Pitchfork Disney, Puck in A Midsummer Night's VR, Brutus in Julius Caesar (Yale Dramat), and Radical Faerie in As U Like It (Yale School of Drama). Zak has also worked as an Artistic Associate at the Yale School of Drama Cabaret where he has stage-managed, directed, and produced. He is incredibly excited to be back in Baltimore and to be working with Quarry Theater.

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Melissa Scott

Melissa has performed in many stage productions including Doubt, A Doll's House, Jake's Women, and An American Daughter. In addition to performing, she is also a book editor having proofed/edited manuscripts in various genres. A native of Long Island, NY, Melissa is extremely excited to return to acting after a long hiatus. She is thrilled to be a part of this production and is looking forward to the next chapter here in the DMV area. www.needasecondeye.com

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Sean Laraway

Sean Laraway is an Actor, Writer, and Stage Manager from Virginia Beach. After graduating from Stevenson University with a Bachelor's degree in Theatre and Media Performance and a Minor in English, he was accepted into the Everyman Theatre Education Apprenticeship Program. A former Stage Manager for Quarry Theatre and Single Carrot, Sean always chases after new areas of Theatre to explore and continue his development. He has recently performed for The Carver Project as well as the Greenbelt Arts Center. 

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Madalyn Howard

Madalyn Howard (Maddie) is a locally based actress in the Baltimore county and city areas. She is currently a senior Theatre and Media Performance major and Psychology minor at Stevenson University. Some of her previous shows include Stevenson University’s Finding FlorenceHedda Gabler, 2020: A Vision of Musical Theatre (stage management), and most recently she was seen virtually in The War of The Worlds. She’s very grateful and excited to be participating in her first theatrical experience outside of Stevenson. She hopes you enjoy the show.

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