About and Appreciation

About Team Pink Hulk

Written and Performed by Valerie David
Directed by Padraic Lillis and Maris Heller
Original Production Stage Manager and Sound Designer: Elizabeth Strauss
Original Lighting Designer: Alex Moore
Original House Manager: Hazel Bonilla

Valerie David’s Mission Statement

With The Pink Hulk, Valerie has inspired and empowered audiences globally since its 2016 debut. Her mission is to inspire cancer patients and survivors and their loved ones to never give up hope, even in the worst of circumstances. Her play is not just about cancer—it is about empowering those facing any adversity in life.

The Pink Hulk’s mission is to also educate, empower, and curb the crippling fears facing women and men with cancer through the performing arts, and using theater as a unique, humorous, entertaining, thought-provoking vehicle to inspire while helping to educate and foster healing.

The Pink Hulk is based on Valerie’s personal story of surviving cancer 3 times, and it includes post-show audience talkbacks, and through Valerie’s performances, she raises money for domestic and international cancer organizations. Her talkbacks include discussions with thought leaders who are superheroes in their fields. Offering empowering insights, tools and resources for today and the future. Her expert panelists in the fields of medicine, health/wellness and entertainment present on a variety of topics from self-care to patient advocacy to medical advancements and more.

About the Writer and Performer
Valerie David Pink Hulk - Lauren Adler PhotoValerie David

She is an actor, playwright, writer and editor. Her greatest accomplishment in life is being a
THREE-TIME cancer survivor. Valerie was diagnosed and treated for Stage III Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in 1999, Stage II Breast Cancer in 2014 and 2015, and Stage IV Breast Cancer in 2018. As of April 2019, she has beaten cancer again! Valerie reactivated her superhero within, and exactly 5 months after receiving hormone treatment only in pill form–no surgery, no radiation, no chemotherapy, Valerie no longer has active disease. There is no trace of her cancer. As she has had minimal side effects from her hormone treatment, Valerie has kept up a full schedule of performances–nothing has stopped her. Valerie’s inspirational solo show, The Pink Hulk, has been accepted into almost 50 different play festivals worldwide since its 2016 debut, won multiple awards and has been touring since its very first performance, impacting audiences with the show’s universal message of hope and empowerment. She has performed in over 25 different cities and globally, including in England, Sweden, Iceland, and Finland. She is a true superhero. Now more than ever The Pink Hulk must be seen–it is a true testament to the power we have within to fight back any adversity in life–and TO NEVER GIVE UP! And Valerie did not, and her message to you is to do the same—never give up and always have hope!

A graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, her credits include the Off-Broadway production of A Stoop on Orchard Street, Cookie in Rumors and Claudia Shear’s Blown Sideways Through Life. Films: How I Became that Jewish Guy, which premiered at a November 2015 NYC Film Festival, and Bridges and Tunnels. Valerie volunteers as a motivational speaker at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training events and Make-A-Wish Foundation. As a marathon cyclist, she cofounded Cycle of Hope, which raises money for national and international cancer organizations through bike marathons. Her most recent biking event raised almost $5,000 for the American Cancer Society and the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

Memberships include the Dramatists Guild, League of Professional Theatre Women, TRU, AEA and SAG-AFTRA. She also performed improv throughout New York City with improv groups Faceplant, Cronuts and Cherub. With more than 20 years of experience as a writer and an editor, she also teaches improv to high school students at the Annual Virginia State Thespian Conference. She wrote and starred in the one-woman musical Bring On a Man!; and starred and cowrote with Jim Tuohy the two-person show Two-mur Humor: He’s Malignant; She’s Benign and starred and cowrote with Maria Licari the two-person show Wanted: A Few Good Men.

About the Directors
Padraic Lillis & Maris Heller

Padraic Lillis is the founding Artistic Director of The Farm Theater. He was awarded Best Direction of a Solo Show for Valerie’s The Pink Hulk solo show at Planet Connections Theatre Festivity. Padraic has also been awarded the NY IT Award for Outstanding Director for Lindsay Joy’s Rise and Fall of a Teenage Cyberqueen, Overall Excellence Award from NY International Fringe Festival for Lee Kaplan’s Bully, Best Overall Production of a Solo Show and Planet Advocate Award for his solo show addressing suicide awareness Hope You Get To Eleven or What are we going to do about Sally?, and is a member of the Indie Theater Hall of Fame. Other solo shows he has directed are Adina Taubman’s award-winning, A Line In The Sand (a documentary show about Columbine), Kelly Kinsella’s When Thoughts Attack, and How To Do A One Person Show, and he has written and performed his solo show How To Survive Crack Addiction. He is a published playwright with Dramatist Play Services and Indie Theater Now. His film Hand Over Hand, which he wrote and directed, was awarded Best Short Film at the Milan International Film Festival. Padraic was awarded the Dayton Hudson Distinguished Artist Fellowship. He is a member of Labyrinth Theater Company and a lifelong Yankee fan.

Maris Heller has performed at Soho Repertory Theater, Primary Stages, The Gene Frankel Theater under the direction of renowned director Gene Frankel and has directed at the American Place Theater with founder/director Wynn Handman. Maris is a founding member of The First Amendment Comedy and Improvisation Co., and has directed numerous original works including solo performances, cabaret and, most notably, a special for PBS, “The Consuming Passions of Lydia Pinkham and Rev. Sylvester Graham”.  Maris has been invited as a guest artist to conduct master classes for advanced drama students at The City College of NY. She has held acting workshops for seniors through ‘Project Find’ and taught “Acting: A Living Experience”, at the College of New Rochelle. She received her Master’s Degree from San Francisco State University School of Drama.​

Dramaturg of Superhero Reactivated
Cynthia Adler is a writer-performer and socio-political satirist. Her nine-character one-woman show “Downloaded – and in Denial,” got rave reviews in New York and the Northeast, was featured in a half-page article by Chris Hedges in The New York Times, and was voted “Best Show of the Year” at the Big Arts Festival in Sanibel, Florida. Cynthia has been one of the top commercial voice-overs and narrators in America having worked extensively with HBO, Discovery Channel, and PBS. Cynthia was the voice of many cartoon characters for Hanna Barbara, and for the animated feature “Fantastic Planet.” She also created new voices and characters for The Muppet shows in London. Cynthia has dubbed leading roles in numerous foreign films. Film credits include, “Che Cosa?” for Italian Television “Hangin’ Out With Cici”, for ABC, George Romero’s “Knightriders”, and “Banana’s Is My Business” for PBS.


Superhero Supporters – Thank you!

Brady Adair and Gavin Strumpman, Cynthia Adler, Ilana and Norm Adler, Jennifer Adler, Lauren Adler and Yuval Cohen, Suzanne Alfaro, Jane Altman, Elizabeth (Lisa) Andrews. Alease Annan, Melissa Attebery, Dana Audia, Jordan Auslander, Michelle Bagwell, Liz Bailey Bryant, Nancy and Steve Barlow, Christopher Barnes, Barbara Barrow, Mr. and Mrs. Dan Bash, Greg and Louise Battaglia, Linda Berhman, Simcha Borenstein, Michelle Best, Laura Bleau, Ed and Diana Bond, Mary Boyer, Beth Boylan, Celia Bressack, Thomas Brinkman, Mr. and Mrs. Howard Brown, Melissa Brown, Lynn Carroll, Matthew Casarino, Sabrina Cedeno, Linda Ciccarone, Maria Cohen, Spence Cook, Shamika Cotton, Gary Cowling, Maria David, Gary & B. J. Davis, Lisa Demakos, Kip Dennis, Dina Di Maio, Lois Dilivio, Sarah Drain, Jack Dyville & David Gillam Fuller, David Emmert, Mr. and Mrs. Scott Evans, Amy Sherwood Evins, Paula Ewin, Ali Farahnakian, Maureen Ferry, Mallary Field, Mr. and Mrs. Gary Fulmer, Helene Galek, James and Susan Gartner, Denise Goate, Veronica Goins, Emma Goldman-Sherman, Madeleine Goldfischer, Erika Goodman, Robin Greenstein, Elizabeth Rucker Griffith, Victoria Guthrie, Rick Hardy, Barb Heller, Maris Heller, Ross Hewitt, Jim Holdren, Contance Howlett, Patrice and Pleasant Hughes, Esther Hyun, Karen & Mark Ingle, Kathy Jackson, Mr. and Mrs. Andy James, Joel E. Smilow Charitable Trust, Dawn Kalil, Scott Katzman, Alyssa Kauffman, Frank Kelly, Fay Kennedy, Roxanne Kestner, Larry Knapek, Kevin Kolack, Cassandra Kubinski, Mark Lambeck, Kristina Latour, Annie Lawrence, Wendy and John Lees, Maria Licari and David Cohen, Ann Link, Lilli Link, Jake Lipman, Marlene Lipman, Kate Lohman, Brett Lowell, Stacey Luftig, Melissa Maichle, Gabrielle Maisels, T.J. Mannix, Jack David Marcus, Molly Marinik, Alice McCalla, Mr. and Mrs. Rob McDowell, Adam McGovern, Meg McSweeney, Aaron Meadow, Mr. and Mrs. David Mendell, Valerie Menzel and Gerd Ballner, Christy Miele, Hershey Miller, Karen Modica, Danielle Montezinos & Tom Harris, Alfred Mordecai, Richard Murad, Candice Myers, James Naveira, Gayle Nadler, Network For Good, Laurie Naismith, Bob Ost, Silvija Ozols, Lee-Ann O’dell, Soone Park, David Paul, Bill Persky, John Phillips & Andrew Resto, Celia Pilkington, Nancy Pollak, Don Pursell, Robert Reed, Robert and Suzan Reed, Elizabeth Reigles, James Roberts, Lynn Roddy, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Roth, Saranne Rothberg, Millie Rossman-Kidd, Mark Ruffalo, Joanne Sage, Victoria Saltzman, Elise and Irving Scherr, Kevin Schultze, Dianna Screen, Dr. Richard Seaman, Joel and Carolyn Seiff, Jennifer Sermas, Mr. and Mrs. David Shamoon, Sam Shamoon, Leslie and Aaron Shapiro, Brian Shaer, Kimberly Sheris, Tova Sherman, Deb Shoss, Vivian Shpigler, Camille Siegel, Karen Singer, Nancy Slonim Aronie, Joel and Joan Smilow, Ellen Smith, Keith Randolph Smith, Jennifer Smith, Nikolai Solonski, Yvette Somekh, Frannie Faith Southworth, Lucia Stern, Monica Steuer, Mr. and Mrs. David Stucky, Diane Synder, Joanne Szuminski, Sharon Talbot, Bethann Talty, Adina Taubman, Alice Thompson, Adam Thorburn, Simi Toledano, Larry Toppell, Truist, Mr. and Mrs. Leon Thrane, Dawn Tucksmith, Dan and Adriana Tuczinski, Ann Turner, Noel Twitchell, Ludovica Villar-Hauser, Claudia Villanueva, Michael Wenger, Katherine Wessling, Leslie Williams, Joshua Young, Dr. and Mrs. Nathan Zasler, Pamela Zino, Anonymous (61)

    Special thanks to:

    Padraic Lillis, Maris Heller, Molly Pearson, Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann of Urinetown the Musical, Lee Kaplan, Rich Adler of RMP-Rich Media Play, Lauren Adler, Alex Moore, Elizabeth Strauss, Paul Adams, the New Works Series, Emerging Artists Theatre Company, TADA Theatre, Planet Connections, FringePVD, Mary’s Place By The Sea, David and Ellen Galkin, Camille Siegel, Robin Rice Lichtig, Celia Bressack, Keith Randolph Smith, Debbie Jones, Jake Lipman, Brady Adair, Nancy McClernan, Lois Dilivio, Ali Farahnakian, The Peoples Improv Theater, Michelle Thomas and the 10K improv program, The Cronuts, Cherub Improv, Faceplant Improv, Dr. Carol Portlock, Stacie Cororan, Ernestine Jacobs, Dr. Bernard Kruger, Dr. Janice Marks, Dr. Kimberly Van Zee and her staff, Dr. Gabriella D’Andrea and her staff, Dr. Alice Ho and her staff, Dr. Jean Santamauro and her staff, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Dr. Natalie Stevens and her staff, Dr. Kathryn Keaty, Assembly Member Daniel O’Donnell, Callie Wilson, BGB Group, Bill Persky, Elizabeth Murray, Bridget Leicester, all my friends and family, David David, Rhoda David, Jennifer David Hincks, Pam David Stucky, Nancy Slonim Aronie, Frannie Faith, my OMEGA Family, Mikael Short, JC Sullivan, American Talent Management, LPTW, Dramatics hair salon, Earth Cafe, Jay Strong and the Sarah Lawrence SLC NY Metro Alums Playwright group

    A very special thank you to Mark Ruffalo, who is a true superhero and cherished friend.
    And a very special thank you also to Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell and his staff for all of their support–so grateful!

    The Pink Hulk is in loving memory of my beloved Aunt Bobbie (Barbara Marks, April 3, 1937—January 7, 2016) and my dear family friend, Vivian Murad (December 3, 1945—November 16, 2013). 

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    Mikael Short

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