Wednesday, May 29, 2013

EXCLUSIVE: Colleen Zenk Traverses Stage and Screen in Two New Roles

The inimitable former AS THE WORLD TURNS leading lady Colleen Zenk has landed two exciting new roles: Sofia DiGiacomo in NYC Brand Productions’ TAINTED DREAMS, a scripted dramedy about behind-the-scenes of producing a daily soap opera and Tallulah Bankhead, the flamboyant stage and screen icon, in the play "Looped."

Zenk describes Sofia as “an over-involved Italian mother, with all that implies. Her husband walked out on her when her children were young, and her life revolves around her only son, Anthony, a gay production assistant for a soap opera.” Zenk teases, “Sofia is all up in Anthony’s business.” Zenk will play Mom to both Dina Manzo (DINA'S PARTY and REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY) and Anthony Wilkinson (off-Broadway’s comedy hit, "My Big Gay Italian Wedding" and premiering off-Broadway in June, "My Big Gay Italian Funeral").

TAINTED DREAMS is the brain-child of two-time Emmy-winning producer/director Sonia Blangiardo who is currently serving as Supervising Producer of Prospect Park’s reboot of Agnes Nixon’s iconic soap ALL MY CHILDREN.

According to Blangiardo, “TAINTED DREAMS is a rare, realistic look at the interaction of actors, cast, and crew involved in producing a daily, scripted drama.” Blangiardo, who worked with Zenk on AS THE WORLD TURNS, goes on to explain, “With three decades in daytime, who better than Colleen Zenk to bring life to the drama, comedy, and everything in between that goes on behind-the-scenes of producing a daily soap. Colleen is so perfect for this, and NYC Brands is excited to have her on board.”

TAINTED DREAMS boasts a unique combination of high profile soap stars, reality stars, sports figures, singers and theater actors. To date, casting announcements for TAINTED DREAMS include Dina Manzo (DINA'S PARTY and REAL HOUSEWIVES OF NEW JERSEY), Alicia Minshew (ALL MY CHILDREN), Kelley Menighan Hensley (AS THE WORLD TURNS), Walt Willey (ALL MY CHILDREN), Marnie Schulenburg (AS THE WORLD TURNS), Michael Lowry (ALL MY CHILDREN), Austin Peck (DAYS OF OUR LIVES), Anthony Wilkinson ("My Big Gay Italian Wedding" and the new "My Big Gay Italian Funeral"), Lisa Marie Varon (IMPACT WRESTLING) and “Mr. PEC-Tacular” Jessie Godderz (IMPACT WRESTLING and Big Brother).

In yet more exciting casting news, Zenk has been tapped to star in the lead role of Tallulah Bankhead in the play "Looped" at the prestigious Stageworks/Hudson Theatre in Hudson, NY. Zenk becomes only the third actor to play the role after Valerie Harper on Broadway, and Stephanie Powers now on tour who took over the role after Ms. Harper’s cancer diagnosis. On playing Tallulah Bankhead, cultural touchstone of the stage and screen, Zenk reveals, “I’m simultaneously overwhelmed, thrilled, and terrified. I’m already channeling her signature greeting, ‘Hello, Dahling’.”

Colleen Zenk is best known to millions of fans as fashionista-heroine-turned-homewrecker-evil-bitch-mother-from-hell-diva-cougar Barbara Ryan on the iconic daytime drama AS THE WORLD TURNS, a role she played continuously from 1978 until the show left the airwaves in 2010. Her portrayal earned her three Emmy Award nominations: Outstanding Lead Actress in 2002 and 2011, and Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2001.

While Zenk may be best known for her role as Barbara Ryan, she has demonstrated her prowess on the big screen, small screen, on Broadway, Off-Broadway and the web. She is more than a triple threat with compelling performances ranging from comedy to drama, singing and dancing. Her new one-woman show "Still Sassy," played Feinstein's at the Regency. "Still Sassy" incorporates Zenk’s lifelong career as an actress — including three decades as a daytime star, her very public battle as an Oral Cancer survivor, her chaotic role as a divorced mother of six and a great deal of grace, humor, music, tears, joy and laughter.

Zenk made her film debut in John Huston's adaptation of the Broadway musical Annie. Her other film credits include Woman on the Ledge and You'd Better Watch Out. On Broadway she starred opposite Chita Rivera and Donald O'Connor in "Bring Back Birdie." She recently made her Nashville debut guest-starring with Johnny Rodgers. Zenk recently added producer to her resume with the Broadway revival of "Godspell." She can currently be seen portraying Agnes Snead in the indie Western web series THURSTON. Zenk will play opposite Richard Kline in DON'T KNOW JACK, exclusively for Hulu, and she is playing the title role in the upcoming indie film Libby.

An Oral Cancer survivor celebrating her 6-year milestone, Zenk continues to advocate as the National Spokesperson of the Oral Cancer Foundation. Ms. Zenk is the recipient of numerous humanitarian Awards for her activism: New York University Strusser Humanitarian Award, Hollywood, Health and Society Sentinel Award, American Cinema Humanitarian Award, Connecticut Bar Association Humanitarian of the Year and March of Dimes-Mother of the Year.

Notwithstanding an amazing career still in full-swing, Zenk says her “favorite role and top priority is Mother to my blended family of six children — four girls and two boys, ages 20 to 32.” The family also includes Sydney, a Rose-Breasted Cockatoo and newest addition, Sinbad, the Somali cat. Zenk is an accomplished knitter and delights in sharing her creations. She also enjoys gardening, antiquing and interior design. Zenk shares, “my happiest moments are singing and dancing, especially with my family.”

Distribution details for TAINTED DREAMS are not yet finalized.

NYC Brand Productions is a New York-based full-service company dedicated to producing high quality, original television, Internet, video and live theatrical shows. For more information on NYC BRAND PRODUCTIONS visit

- Join Colleen Zenk, Martha Byrne, Michael Park & Trent Dawson on the Soap Reunion 2014 Cruise


  1. So excited for Colleen Zenk with both these fantastic roles! Can't wait for Tainted Dreams.

  2. I'm so excited Ms. Zenk has joined the cast of Tainted Dreams. This cast keeps getting better and better. :)

    Can't aIf cod Tainted Dreams to begin! It sounds like it will be a great show!