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My 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival Picks

I’ve enjoyed attending the Hollywood Fringe Festival since it started, and always searched for more ways to let audiences in on the fun. Now living in a new city, I understand even more how it’s hard to just jump into a Fringe Festival, even if you’re really into it.

These are the shows that I would put on my #HFF16 Dance Card during this first week of previews and through opening, if I were in town. Click the title to find the show on the Fringe website.

Enjoy!

Cindy Marie Jenkins, Founder & Consultant of See It or Skip It LA

From Reputation

Neva  “People are dying of hunger in the streets and you want to put on a play?” I saw this NEVAplay (different production) at CalArts REDCAT in 2011 and was thrilled to see Diana Wyenn directing it now.

Patriot Act is written and performed by Michael Schlitt, whose show Jesus Ride I adored a few years ago at Fringe. He is incredibly sharp, funny and theatrical. I would not miss this if I were in town.

Thug Tunnel by Robot Teammate and the Accidental Party. They had a great show last year and this one doesn’t look like it will disappoint: In the not-so-distant-future, greed, pollution, and The Ancient Fire of Death and Despair have made Earth’s surface uninhabitable, forcing the human race to survive underground in a criminal society known as THUG TUNNEL.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) with an all female cast who are incredibly funny.

Simon Coronel: Alien of Extraordinary Ability. That’s how he’s designated by the U.S. Department of Immigration. An Australian Illusionist who often frequents the Hollywood Fringe, Simon always entertains. Sometimes, he throws his knowledge of Mandarin in there, too.

All the Best Killers are Librarians. I mean, the title. Then I learn it is from Serial Killers, the late night serial competition at Sacred Fools, and I’m hooked.

Bull and Smoke are both by Rogue Machine, who never seem to disappoint with new plays.

 

Just Because I Dig This Kind of Thing

Troy Before I knew it was a Fountain Theatre production (looks like part of a development series), this is a rare instance of the play description gripping me. (It should be noted that I am a Greek geek to the extreme.)

Photojournalist and war correspondent, Arthur Hess, has made his living taking photos of some of the world’s most violent places. But when his eldest daughter is publicly murdered, it is the photo he takes of her corpse that threatens to destroy both his family and his name. Inspired by The Oresteia, TROY is a play about the perplexity of grief in a war that is happening both far away and in our living rooms.  

Fairy Tales Against Humanity Like children’s theatre gone horribly wrong, “Fairy Tales Against Humanity” is a new half-scripted/half-improvised show. This is one of those big Fringe #ChanceIt shows. It could be horrendous but it could be hilarious. I’d probably #DrinkBeforeIt.

Here There Be Dragons: A Journey from Fear to Freedom with Ukrainian Dog and Shredded Cheesedid you read that title? Taking chances on shows like this are why Fringe Festivals exist, in my opinion.

50 Shades of Shakespeare – Twelfth Night with four actors. It’s been done, but you, the audience, picks who plays who. I’d easily give this show 45 minutes of my life. Learn More at www.lanewcourttheatre.com

Keep up w/ See It or Skip It LA Correspondents’ Picks here

Indie Art: Save Me, a Hedda Gabler adaptation

I am a Hedda Gabler addict. As a teenager, Henrick Ibsen’s Hedda expressed to me how incredibly stifling life can feel when you have no control over your future, when you’re expected to be and act a certain way. I had incredibly supportive parents but still felt that tug to become what they wanted instead of go into a direction I knew was right but was not sure where it would lead.So the theater company Lucid by Proxy’s new adaptation (their first production in three years) intrigued me from the start. Save Me is a modern re-telling of Ibsen’s formidable heroine/antagonist with movement and song interludes.

Shannon Nelson as Hedda Gabler

Shannon Nelson as Hedda Gabler

Valerie Rachelle & Rick Robinson’s adaptation combined with Shannon Nelson’s portrayal create a Hedda who could match even the most devious of the Mean Girls from school: her power lies in a honey which coats villainy with empathy. This particular Hedda has lived her whole life as a Senator’s daughter, until some scandal caused his downfall. The scandal remains somewhat nebulous, though likely connected to his wife’s departure. In the first moments of the play, the audience witnesses Hedda in a private sexual dance with her dead father’s handguns, which we learn later were a gift from the N.R.A. That single detail clarified just how deeply conservative the Gabler family and their surrounding associates are, and much about the original play also came into focus.

Her new husband George Tesman is played by Ed Robinson as a very nerdy, devoted lover only slightly verging on pushover. That’s a hard balance, and one of the few times I could believe in Tesman as more than what Hedda sees in him: someone to serve a supporting role in her survival within a world she finds tedious. Tesman, too, only has one path before him: publish and gain a professorship or perish into poverty.

saveme_5_nelson_sochet

Shannon Nelson & Jack Sochet

Jack Sochet as Thomas Brack is delightfully sinister, creating an unholy alliance with Hedda to break up her boredom and satisfy an increasing need to keep hold of various people’s puppet strings, until he needs them. The contemporary context of conservative school chums finding their way into adulthood made me uncomfortable at first. Empathizing with people with whom I rarely converse in today’s bi-partisan world was off-putting, in the way that only good art can do.

I don’t see a lot of theatre specifically focused on the difficulties of growing up conservative, unless they are tales of a liberal mind ‘breaking free’ from their upbringing in some way. To its credit, Save Me hardly delves into the politics as we see them in headlines today (subtly revealing key details through character, mostly successfully), and so my own opinions didn’t build a wall between myself and the characters. This group of young adult’s choices feel incredibly limited, much as the original Hedda must have felt to Ibsen’s audiences.

It’s easy for people to accept and dismiss a Hedda Gabler in the original time period. Women just didn’t have freedoms back then, fathers and then husbands were almighty in a female’s life, a woman leaving her husband would be a socially threatening scandal; so Save Me, placed into this world that could and probably does exist today, creates frightening implications.

Even more importantly, Valerie Rachelle & co-writer Rick Robinson’s piece provoked my own thought about the original material as well as people with whom I don’t have much if anything in common. Empathy tends to be overused among theatre artists, yet is the most accurate word to describe my experience. It’s easy and safe for audiences to feel empathy towards people with a slightly different upbringing or cultural heritage, if well presented. Much harder nowadays is to let an audience member into a world where they’re vehemently inclined to disagree with the political motivations, the implied societal ideas about a woman’s place, and make us care deeply about what happens to all the characters involved.

For the first time in a long line of Hedda Gabler productions, the end seemed inevitable yet still surprising. The new couple huddled over manuscripts felt a little hopeful for a future interested in a legacy of truth, leaving a befuddled Brack to utter Ibsen’s last words in a state that matched the befuddled confusion of Romney’s supporters on election night last year.

Many in the ensemble deserve mention for their work, including Annalisa Erickson as Aunt Julia, Natasha Harris as Thea Elvstead and Justin Lujan as Evan Lessing. Based on the description, I expected a few more movement interludes than we saw, but also felt the Hedda solos worked much better than when Thea and Evan or Hedda and Evan expressed their feelings through some harsh choreography. I understood why we saw those three characters’ inner lives at those moments; I just felt that Hedda’s solos integrated into the whole production better.

Lucid by Proxy has one more weekend of Save Me performances, Tonight, Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sunday at 5pm. Tickets and more info below.

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the story

Save MeLucid by Proxy returns after three years with this stunning original re-imagination of Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler, conceived, written and directed by LbP Founding Producer Valerie Rachelle.

In Save Me, Hedda, the daughter of a prominent, recently deceased politician, fights for her own sanity as she navigates a secret love triangle of her mild, professorial husband, a passionate and obsessive writer, and a smooth, cynical political operator. It is Lucid by Proxy’s 19th production, and our return to Los Angeles theater after three long years.

This contemporary retelling uses a soulful soundtrack and actor-driven movement pieces to help tell the story, layering them in with traditional theatrical storytelling to create an experience that connects the audience viscerally to Hedda’s journey.

Note: Save Me contains harsh language, sexual situations and loud noises, and so may not be appropriate for all audiences.

dates, times & tickets

November 8 – December 7, 2013
Fridays & Saturdays at 8PM, Sundays at 5PM

The Complex Theater
6476 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038

General Admission: $20

Click here to buy tickets online through Brown Paper Tickets
or call 1-800-838-3006

cast & crew

Hedda: Shannon Nelson
George: Ed Robinson
Brack: Jack Sochet
Evan: Justin Lujan
Thea: Natasha Harris
Julia: AnnaLisa Erickson

director: Valerie Rachelle
asst. director: Tyler Scheef
movement asst.: Siobhan Doherty
costumes: Ellen King
set: David Nett
lighting: Gabriel Rodriguez
sound: Rick Robinson

Indie Arts Listings

LIVE:

barrymore
WHO: Good People Theater Company

BARRYMORE by William Luce

, with Gordon Goodman in the starring role as John Barrymore

WHEN:
Preview on Friday, November 8 @ 8pm
Opening on Saturday, November 9 @ 8pm
Then running 3 weekends November 15 through December 1

Fridays @ 8pm

Saturdays @ 2pm and 8pm

Sundays @ 7pm

WHERE: Greenway Court Theater
544 N. Fairfax Ave between Melrose and Beverly
WHY CARE? Practically speaking, Gordon is of those classic hard working Los Angeles Equity actors of a certain age–a guy who’s built up more than 100 acting credits over the years.  But he’s not often carrying a whole show.  Many who know him feel he’s under-rated or under-appreciated.  And we think that is about to change.  John Barrymore is someone Gordon has long wanted to explore–as an actor and a psychologist–and we’re confident Gordon is going to give us one those “performance of a lifetime” moments.
goodpeopletheaterco.orgFacebook.com/GoodPeopleTheaterCompany

WKOG small profile pic

The World Premiere of
What Kind of God? 


by Steve Julian

A gifted boy pleads for love. His only family member cries out for safe passage. One priest turns a deaf ear while another wages war against his own demon. How can any victim fight the world’s largest religion and come out whole? How many shepherds does it take to keep one lamb safe?

Directed by Aaron Lyons
Thursday, Oct. 10 & 17 @ 8pm

Friday, Oct. 11 & 18 @ 8pm

Saturday, Oct. 12 & 19 @ 8pm

Sunday, Oct. 13 & 20 @ 3pm

Starring (in alphabetical order): Brett Donaldson, Emily M. Faris, Steve Julian, Robert Keasler & Katherine McGehee *
* Appears courtesy of Actors Equity Association
whatkindofgodtheplay.com

corey-experience-2

The Corey Blake Experience – Improv Comedy

When? Saturday, October 12, 2013

No but when? 10:15-11:30 PM

Where? Neon Venus

No but where? 7023 Melrose Ave., Hollywood, CA 90038

How much? $5

Facebook invite? Facebook!

Santa Monica Rep’s WaveFest

WaveFest is a series of short plays presented in 3 waves. Every wave runs for two weekends and consists of five new plays (plus some surprises) from some of the most exciting and talented local playwrights around.

The Interview

Not everyone is qualified to be a parent. A play by Susan Josephs, directed by Diana Wyenn.

WORLD PREMIERE // OCTOBER 4 – 27, 2013 
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sundays at 5:00 pm
@ STUDIO/STAGE // 520 N Western Ave, Los Angeles [map]

http://www.theinterviewplay.com/

LIVE – IMMERSIVE:

invisiblecitiesCome to Invisible Cities in your best costume on 10/31 for a chance to win a pair of Sennheiser headphones!The Industry creates ambitious world premiere productions that expand the traditional definition of opera, merging artistic disciplines and building new paradigms for collaboration. The Industry aims to engage a wide demographic and cultivate curiosity through the unexpected audience experience.

Tickets: http://invisiblecitiesopera.com/tickets/

ART for SOCIAL GOOD:

odysseyartboundArtbound tweeted this link to me – using The Odyssey to allow prisoners to re-imagine their own returns home. #ArtHealsTheater has the power to change lives. Also, great targeted tweeting, @KCETArtbound !
Using Homer’s “Odyssey” to think about modern life is not a new idea. But using Homer’s “Odyssey” to get incarcerated young men to re-imagine their returns home from correctional facilities is new, and it’s what The Odyssey Project has been doing for three years now. Learn all about this initiative here:http://bit.ly/17BL2or

TRUST

by Steven Dietz, directed by Scott Marden at Theatre Unleashed’s new home.

October 3rd-November 9th, 2013
Thursdays-Saturdays at 8pm*
No performance on 10/31. Special performance Sunday, 11/3 at 7pm

The Belfry Stage, Upstairs @ The Crown
This venue is located upstairs and is not handicapped-accessible

Proudly Supporting

proudly supporting write girl

WriteGirl – Helping girls write their way to more positive futures.
Bring a new journal or ream of printer paper to the box office for Trustand Name Your Ticket Price to see the show! Click here to RSVP.

CALL FOR ART:

redcatREDCAT’s Studio: Fall 2013

REDCAT is seeking original performance works for the next edition of Studio, REDCAT’s quarterly series of new works in progress in dance, theater, multimedia and music. If you have a project 15 minutes or under and would like to be considered – apply now.

Applications are due by 5:00PM: WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2013
Showings are scheduled for: SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 2, 2013
Performance dates: SATURDAY, DECEMBER 7 at 8:30 PM & SUNDAY, DECEMBER 8, 2013 at 7:00PM

Visit our website: http://www.redcat.org/about/artist-opportunities and complete the online application.

FILM:

Releasing Heart – A Short Film in it’s entirety for a limited time on the interweb! This little short premiered at the 2013 No Budget Film Festival where it screened at the beautiful Vista Theatre! Even though this movie was made for ZERO dollars, we will be sending out to more festivals to see how far it can go.

If you enjoy, spread the word and like our page!
http://youtu.be/1ePdA9IZ-Ts

COMICS:

crazy maryCrazy Mary

by Michael Colbert (Author) , J. K. Woodward (Illustrator) , Ryan Sergeant (Illustrator) & 2 more
Don’t call her crazy to her face. Several years ago Mary was a professional soldier who volunteered for an upgrade program dubbed “Project Dragonfly”. The project upgraded the subjects with enhanced strength, speed and combat ability.
It didn’t go well for Mary.
Shortly after the upgrades Mary started seeing things… insane things. A world of melting walls and living fire, vortexes of thought and colored radio waves, sentient metaphors and beings that existed in an invisible layer of reality. She could communicate with these beings. She made deals with some of them.
Or she had simply gone insane.
Either way she was useless to the project and the military so she was cut loose and vanished shortly thereafter.
A few years later she re-emerged in the New York area of Megalopolis as a “freelancer” specializing in bounty hunting and search and rescue. Her upgrades give her an advantage in competing against other freelancers, Lawcom and her targets… most of the time. She can still see the weird layer of reality and her trinity of supernatural advisors helps … most of the time.
Or she could just be crazy and very lucky.
Or a bit of both.

VIDEO:

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Email info: cindymariejenkins@gmail.com

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This one’s for the parents….and those who aren’t so sure

I’ve been a tad out of the blogging loop lately, and mostly because I’m 16 weeks pregnant while work has never been better. Huzzah! Hurrah! I’m excited!…..and sleepy.

I have a lot of drafts to complete and post, but here are two projects that really grabbed my attention lately. I’m sure you can see why.

(Also, if you have something on Facebook to share, tag The CMJ Stories and it will go on my page. Also @CindyMarieJ on twitter).

    NOT EVERYONE QUALIFIES TO BECOME A PARENT…

Picture

BEYOND THE USUAL presents
THE INTERVIEW
a play by Susan Josephs // directed by Diana Wyenn Parenthood exists under the firm control of the federal government and it is now easier to get accepted into Harvard than become a mom or dad. Still, first-time applicants Jenna and Steven have beaten the odds and landed a coveted final interview with the U.S. Department of Parenting and Child Welfare. However, when they sit down with their state-licensed interviewer and the questioning begins, all three quickly realize that nothing could have prepared them for what they will learn about themselves—and each other.WORLD PREMIERE // OCTOBER 4 – 27, 2013 
Fridays & Saturdays at 8:00 pm; Sundays at 5:00 pm
@ STUDIO/STAGE // 520 N Western Ave, Los Angeles [map]PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE

—–

I exchanged some Social Media consultation with Deepti Gupta last month (as part of her donation to an indiegogo campaign), in anticipation of the release of her short film Happy and You Know It. Being on her VIP list brings some fun perks, including a sneak peek I can share with you. If you want to be a VIP, just contact her!

HAPPYthefilm logoHere’s your first special perk for being our VIP guest – a SNEAK PEEK of the trailer! Our official trailer comes out next week on OCTOBER 1st. You of course will get to see if first!

Happy and You Know It – trailer sneak peek from Hamari Films on Vimeo.

Wanna see more?
Get on our VIP list
Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
Our website

In the next month, leading up to the worldwide online release on November 7th, we will share with you all kinds of fun stuff about the film. 

Do make sure you’ve liked us on Facebook and followed us on Twitter. Our hashtag is #HappyTheFilm

Thank you and enjoy the sneak peek. 

Cheers,

-Deepti
#HappyTheFilm

The Baby Dance Broadcast

THE BABY DANCE Broadcast

Live at 7pm PT

Lisa CliftonLisa Clifton (Co-Producer/Rachel) A proud member of Theatre of NOTE since 2003, some of Lisa’s area stage highlights include:Up by Bridget Carpenter, Spring Dance by Horton Foote, The Holy Mother of Hadley New York by Barbara Wiechmann and An Evening of Elaine May & Mike Nichols and Don’t Forget to Remember by Patricia Parker. Lisa can also be seen in the current webisode series, The Act Now Stage. TV highlights include; Hawthorne, CSI and Criminal Minds.

David Johann Kim  DirectorDavid Johann Kim (Director) David is an LA based director, filmmaker, actor, teacher and coach. As a filmmaker, David’s long form short film Lossed recently received worldwide distribution. His film, $/Dreamwon a Motor City Film Festival Award in Detroit. He founded Horizon Children’s Theatre which was named Artist in Residence for the Kennedy Center’s IMAGINATION CELEBRATION. As an actor, he has performed at regional theatres on both coasts including: NY Theatre Workshop, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, The Huntington Theatre, Lincoln Center Institute, Syracuse Stage, La Mama NYC, El Teatro Campesino, The Magic Theatre and NYS Theatre Institute. David received critics choice awards for his performances in John Steinbeck’s East Of Eden and Han Ong’s Reasons To Live as well as for Neil LaBute’s Bash directed by Les Waters. David has taught and coached actors in New York, LA, San Francisco and San Diego. He received his MFA in Acting from UC San Diego. David is thrilled to be part ofTHE BABY DANCE team.
 
Rebecca Sigl (Wanda) Rebecca is an actor, writer and theatre educator’ and she couldn’t be more pleased to be a part of The Baby Dance. Rebecca is a proud company member of Theatre of NOTE, where credits include the west coast premiere of Holy Ghost and the world premiere of He Asked for It. Film credits include Notes from the New World, an adaptation of Dostoevsky’s Notes from the Underground, and last year’s 11/11/11. When not at NOTE Rebecca works as the Program Administrator for The Unusual Suspects, an arts education organization for at-risk youth. She is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Theatre.
Baby_Dance_eventbrite

THE BABY DANCE

FACTS & CALENDAR INFORMATION

PERFORMANCE DAYS
Preview, Friday, March 1 at 8:00
Regular Performances begin Saturday, March 2.
Fridays & Saturdays 8:00 pm
Sundays 7:00 pm

WHERE
The Lounge Theatre 2
6201 Santa Monica Blvd. (corner of Santa Monica and El Centro)
LA, CA 90038

ABOUT
A Los Angeles couple who have everything, but can’t have children, agree to adopt the unborn
child of a poor, Louisiana couple who have four kids but can barely support them. The couples’
desperate choices lead to an insightful, poignant and, often funny, drama that challenges the
audience’s views on poverty, adoption and disparity between the classes.

TICKETS
$15 Preview, Friday, March 1
$20 available in advance on-line at: www.thebabydance.eventbrite.com
$25 at door

Bullying in the Arts Ep4: Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them

Artists at Play is a collective of creative professionals who have come together to curate quality theatre in Los Angeles. We present theatrical productions missing from the local landscape that tells the stories of communities underrepresented in Los Angeles theatre. The audience experience is our priority, and we aim to make theatre accessible to everyone.

Their current production, Edith Can Shoot Things & Hit Them, tackles bullying from POV of kids who are already pretty much on their own. Hear Producer Julia Cho on the topic (and forgive my low energy due to illness):

http://ArtistsAtPlayLA.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/AAPlay
https://www.facebook.com/ArtistsAtPlay/info

Audience Reactions
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Don’t miss a segment @CindyMarieJ

 

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