A scene from Angels Among Us, running at Yorktown Stage Oct 6–9. By Inner Lite Photography/ Courtesy of Hanging Cow Productions
Cortlandt Manor’s Elise Maurine Milner is bringing her powerful production, Angels Among Us, to Yorktown Stage.
Theater runs in the blood of Elise Maurine Milner. Founder and executive/artistic director of Hanging Cow Productions, the Cortlandt Manor-based playwright, producer, and educator has been crafting shows for quite a while. “I am a very ambitious, 100 percent self-made playwright and producer who wrote, directed, and produced Off-Broadway shows in New York City for the last 15 years,” says Milner. “I started my company with 22 cents in the bank and with no formal theater degree — just a girl with a dream, lots of drive, some random theater college credits, and a ton of ambition.”
Her company, Hanging Cow Productions (derived from a misreading of the words “hanging low” by Milner’s mother), has long been bringing a host of daring drama to the region. Milner and Hanging Cow have produced 15 original, full-scale shows, with 350 performances this year alone. Milner also teaches others how to stage their own productions, through her Back Door to Broadway workshops.
October 6–9, audiences can experience one of Milner’s most potent works, Angels Among Us, at Yorktown Stage in Yorktown Heights. “It’s about five people having probably one of the worst days of their lives and five other characters who, in an inadvertent, seemingly accidental way, step in and change the course of their lives forever,” says Milner.
“It’s a really powerful story about how when you need someone most, they are there, and how that can change everything very unexpectedly,” she says. “So, even on your worst, darkest day, never give up hope. There could be something that happens that day that is life-changing.” Ahead, Milner hopes to get a TV series about her native state of Nevada off the ground, continue her workshops, and move some of her plays from Off-Broadway to Broadway.
When asked why she writes and produces at such a clip, Milner is quick to reply. “Part of it is my plays giving people the tools and hope to keep going no matter the cost,” she says. “Because we all have voices to give and share with others, voices that can help people carry along and fulfill whatever it is each of us has to do while we’re here. It is a spiritual journey for me to be able to write and to put material out there that is meaningful and thoughtful.”