Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Etcetera, LTW's Late-Night Series, Announces 2011-2012 Season

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 9:46 AM

Etcetera, the late-night theater series over at Live Theatre Workshop, has released its 2011-2012 season.

For my money, Etcetera does some of Tucson's best theater, hands-down, and the new season looks rather intriguing.

Here are the deets.

The Book of Liz
by the Talent Family, Amy Sedaris & David Sedaris
June 30-July 16, 2011
Directed by Christopher Johnson
Opening night: Thursday, June 30, 2011 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

Sister Elizabeth Donderstock is Squeamish (a loose relation to Pennsylvanian Dutch), has been her whole life. She makes cheese balls (traditional and smoky) that sustain the existence of her entire religious community, Clusterhaven. However, she feels unappreciated among her Squeamish brethren and decides to try her luck in the outside world. Along the way, she meets a Cockney-speaking Ukrainian immigrant couple who find her a job waiting tables at Plymouth Crock, a family restaurant run almost entirely by gay recovering alcoholics. The alcoholics love her. The customers love her. Her Danderfrock fits right in. Things are going great for Liz, until she's offered a promotion to manager. Unfortunately, Liz has a sweating problem, and to get the job, she'll have to fix it. Meanwhile, back at Clusterhaven, Liz's compatriots just can't seem to duplicate her cheese ball recipe, and it's going to cost them their quaint, cloistered lifestyle. They are panic-stricken and desperate, and sure she sabotaged the recipe. Does Liz go through with the operation? Can the Squeamish be saved? Will the cheese balls ever taste good again? The answers to these and so many other questions can be found in the new comedy from the Talent Family, David and Amy Sedaris.

“...a delightfully off-key, off-color hymn to clichés we all live by, whether we know it or not."
-The New York Times

“…may well be the world's first Amish picaresque…hilarious…”
-The Village Voice

“…acidic laughs…linguistic delight…”

David Sedaris made his comic debut recounting his strange-but-true experiences of being a Macy's elf clad in green tights, reading his SANTALAND DIARIES on National Public Radio's Morning Edition. Sedaris' sardonic humor and incisive social critique have since made him one of NPR's most popular and humorous commentators and a bestselling author in the United States and abroad. The great skill with which Sedaris slices through euphemisms and political correctness proves that he is a master of satire. Everywhere he goes David Sedaris delights his audience with his irreverent style and great humor. In addition to his commentaries on NPR, David Sedaris is the author of the best sellers BARREL FEVER, NAKED and HOLIDAYS ON ICE. David and his sister, Amy Sedaris, have collaborated under the name The Talent Family and written several plays which have been produced at La Mama and at Lincoln Center in New York City. These plays include STUMP THE HOST, STITCHES, ONE WOMAN SHOE, which received an Obie award, INCIDENT AT COBBLER'S KNOB and THE BOOK OF LIZ.

Amy Sedaris is an actor, writer and comedienne, and the sister of author David Sedaris. Together they are “The Talent Family.”

by Deirdre O’Connor
August 4-20, 2011
Directed by Steve Wood
Opening night: Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

Through the course of one dizzying night at a club, JAILBAIT follows the parallel stories of two fifteen-year-old girls, desperate to grow up, and two thirty-something men who are looking to be twenty-one again. High-school sophomores Claire and Emmy make a game of posing as college students in order to meet older men. Brash bachelor Mark thinks a night out with attractive girls will be just what his friend Robert needs to recover from his recent breakup. When this unlikely foursome collides, they discover some surprising and dangerous compatibilities. But when Emmy encounters the sexual expectations of the slick Mark, and Claire finds herself surprisingly drawn to the heartbroken Robert, both girls must decide how far they are willing to go while playing at adulthood. Smart, funny, and disturbing, JAILBAIT asks the question: When do you really become an adult?

“…a terrific little play that finds something funny, shocking and sad about two fifteen-year-old girls who grow up fast when they con their way into a Boston club…O'Connor is amazingly good at rendering the tonal pitch and vocal rhythms of overheard dialogue…”

“…a complicated and darkly comic cautionary tale about the illusion of intimacy at any age…keenly honed dialogue, punctuated by little lies and poignant pauses.”
-Time Out New York

Deirdre O’Connor’s plays have been produced or developed with The Cherry Lane Theatre, Naked Angels, St. Ann’s Warehouse, The Lark, The Playwrights Foundation, among others. Her full-length plays include JAILBAIT, ASSISTED LIVING and THE DEATH OF MAY MCALLISTER. Deirdre was a 2008 Cherry Lane Mentor Project Fellow mentored by Michael Weller. Deirdre was a 2008-2009 Lark Playwrights Workshop Fellow. She is a graduate of Hampshire College and Columbia University's MFA Playwriting program, where she was the recipient of the John Golden Playwriting Award.

Persephone or Slow Time
by Noah Haidle
September 1-17, 2011
Directed by Christopher Johnson
Opening night: Thursday, September 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

Meet Demeter, an exquisite statue of the Greek goddess, as she's being created during the Italian Renaissance. Those who admire her see only stone and fortitude, but her thoughts and desires are all too real; she pines for her lost daughter's return and for the love of her sculptor, Giuseppe. Giuseppe, however, is too busy lusting after the city's most popular artist's model to notice Demeter's pain. Fast forward five hundred years: Demeter stands in a present-day American city park. She has become a symbol of hope amidst illicit activity and a target for more than just pigeon droppings. Witness to human foibles both hilarious and horrifying, Demeter is desperate for someone—anyone—to hear her thoughts. And when her life seems bleakest, redemption comes in the unlikeliest of forms.

“[An] imaginative, funny and deeply serious allegorical play about eternal yearning…the work begins with a playful idea that turns into something else entirely as Haidle explores the role of art as a refuge — and witness — in a chaotic, cruel and mortal world.”

“[Haidle is] formidably talented, with a sort of freewheeling intuitive daring…he has a firm command of the theatrical idiom to back up his ambition for originality.”
-The New Yorker

Noah Haidle’s plays have been or will be produced at South Coast Repertory, The Long Wharf Theater, The Goodman Theater, The Woolly Mammoth Theatre, The Huntington Theater and The Roundabout Theatre Company. Haidle is currently working on a new play commission from The Goodman Theater and a screenplay for Scott Rudin Productions. He is a graduate of Princeton University and The Juilliard School, where he was a Lila Acheson Wallace playwright-in-residence. He is the recipient of three Lincoln Center Le Compte Du Nouy Awards, the 2005 Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights and an NEA/TCG theater residency grant.

by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
October 27-November 12, 2011
Opening night: Thursday, October 28, 2011 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

"Sex to Change the Course of the World"—A grad student's online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to his subterranean research lab under the pretense of an evening of "no strings attached" sex. But when a major global catastrophic event strikes the planet, their date takes on evolutionary significance and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Will they survive? What about the fish in the tank? And who is that woman pulling levers and playing the timpani? An epic and intimate comedy that spans over billions of years, boom explores the influences of fate versus randomness in the course of one's life, and life as we know it on Earth.

“Mr. Nachtrieb has a gift for darkly funny dialogue and an appealing way of approaching big themes sideways. [boom] winds up speaking, quietly and piquantly, to our enduring fascination with and need for myths about the beginning of life as well as its end.”
-The New York Times

“Sex! Planet-ruining cataclysms! Loads of booze! We're ready for whatever strange places boom wants to take us.”

“A dark-themed, light-toned toned allegory of survival and change: a piquant theatrical effort to give evolution a taste of creationism's narrative magic.”
-Time Out New York

“A grandly whacked-out apocalypse fantasy…one of those charmed evenings.”
-Washington Post

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include BOOM, HUNTER GATHERERS, COLORADO, T.I.C. (TRENCHCOAT IN COMMON), and MULTIPLEX. His work has been seen Off Broadway and across the country at Ars Nova, SPF, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Seattle Repertory, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Public Theatre, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, the Bailiwick Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actor’s Theatre, Dad’s Garage, and in the Bay Area at Encore Theatre, Killing My Lobster, The Magic Theatre and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. HUNTER GATHERERS received the 2007 American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg New Play Award for best new play to premiere outside of New York and the 2007 Will Glickman Prize for best new play in the Bay Area. He is under commission from South Coast Rep and is a Resident Playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco. Peter holds a degree in Theater and Biology from Brown and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

by Margaret Edson
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, 1999
January 12-28, 2012
Directed by Christopher Johnson
Opening night: Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying and teaching the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing, intensely rational. But during the course of her illness—and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital—Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience.

“...a brutally human and beautifully layered new play…you feel both enlightened and, in a strange way, enormously comforted.”
-The New York Times

“A dazzling and humane new play that you will remember till your dying day.”
-New York Magazine

Margaret Edson lives in Atlanta, Georgia where she is an elementary school teacher. Between earning degrees in history and literature, she worked in the cancer and AIDS unit of a research hospital. WIT is her first play.

The Good Body
by Eve Ensler
February 23-March 10, 2012
Directed by Christopher Johnson
Opening night: Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

With THE GOOD BODY, Eve Ensler, author of THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, turns her unique eye to the rest of the female form. Whether undergoing botox injections or living beneath burqas, women of all cultures and backgrounds feel compelled to change the way they look in order to fit in. THE GOOD BODY merges cross-cultural explorations with Eve's own personal journey coming to terms with her "less-than-flat, post-forties stomach."

“Passionate, funny, frank, revealing, even shocking, and genuinely committed to improving life on this planet.”
-San Francisco Chronicle

“Ms. Ensler wants to soften the ever-fraught relationship between American women and their bodies, to expose the destructive formulas that lead them to assuage their insecurities by punishing their flesh…rich in pointed, amusing details…forthrightly funny…bristling with wisecracks [and] exotically harvested snippets of wisdom.”
-The New York Times

Eve Ensler's Obie Award Winning play, THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES, translated into over 35 languages and running in theaters all over the world, including sold-out runs at both Off-Broadway's Westside Theater and on London's West End (2002 Olivier Award nomination, Best Entertainment), initiated V-Day, a global movement to stop violence against women and girls. Her play NECESSARY TARGETS, set in a Bosnian refugee camp, opened Off-Broadway at the Variety Arts Theater in February 2002, after a hit run at Hartford Stage. Other plays include CONVICTION, LEMONADE, THE DEPOT, FLOATING RHODA AND THE GLUE MAN and EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES. THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES and NECESSARY TARGETS have both been published by Villard/Random House, as will Ms. Ensler's upcoming two new plays and books, THE GOOD BODY and I AM AN EMOTIONAL CREATURE. In May 2003, she received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree from her alma mater, Middlebury College.

Thom Pain (based on nothing)
by Will Eno
Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005
April 5-21, 2012
Directed by Leslie J. Miller
Opening night: Thursday, April 5, 2012 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

A one-man tour-de-force about a bee sting, a dead dog and the girl that ran away. Thom Pain is just like you, except worse. He is trying to save his life, to save your life—in that order. In his quest for salvation, he'll stop at nothing, be distracted by nothing, except maybe a piece of lint, or the woman in the second row.

“Astonishing in its impact…It's one of those treasured nights in the theatre—treasured nights anywhere, for that matter—that can leave you both breathless with exhilaration and, depending on your sensitivity to meditations on the bleak and beautiful mysteries of human experience, in a puddle of tears. Also in stitches, here and there. Mr. Eno is a Samuel Beckett for the John Stewart generation…To sum up the more or less indescribable: THOM PAIN is at bottom a surreal meditation on the empty promises life makes, the way experience never lives up to the weird and awesome fact of being. But it is also, in its odd, bewitching beauty, an affirmation of life's worth…a small masterpiece.”
-The New York Times

“Eno has emerged as one of the most original young playwrights on the scene. He is one of the few writers who can convert discomfort and outright agony into such pleasure.”
-Time Out New York

“It's hard to imagine more dazzling writing on any stage…Eno is light, rhythmic and meticulous.”
-London Daily Telegraph

Will Eno’s internationally heralded play THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) recently completed a year-long run at the DR2 in New York, produced by Bob Boyett and Daryl Roth; following a sold out run at the August 2004 International Edinburgh Festival (Fringe First Award and the Herald Angel Award), and a subsequent transfer to the Soho Theatre in London. The play is now being produced across the United States, as well as Italy, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark, Israel, Mexico and many other countries. THOM PAIN (BASED ON NOTHING) was a finalist for the 2004 Pulitzer Prize in Drama. Will’s play THE FLU SEASON received the 2004 Oppenheimer Award for the best debut production in New York by an American playwright. Will’s plays have been produced by the Gate Theatre, the SOHO Theatre and BBC Radio, in London; the Rude Mechanicals Theater Company and Naked Angels, in New York. His plays are published by Oberon Books and Dramatists Play Service, and, as well, have appeared in “Harper’s,” “The Antioch Review,” “The Quarterly” and “Best Ten-Minute Plays for Two Actors.” Will is presently at work on an adaptation of Ibsen’s PEER GYNT. He is a Helen Merrill Playwriting Fellow, a Guggenheim Fellow, an Edward F. Albee Foundation Fellow, and was awarded the first-ever Marian Seldes/Garson Kanin Fellowship by the Theater Hall of Fame, as well as the Alfred Hodder Fellowship at Princeton. Will Eno lives in Brooklyn, New York.

by Toni Press-Coffman
May 3-19, 2012
Directed by Glen Coffman
Opening night: Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 7:30 PM
All other shows play Friday and Saturday nights at 10:30 PM
Produced by Special Arrangement with Dramatists Play Service

Kyle Kalke, an astronomer since childhood, a high school "science nerd," falls in love with flamboyant, outspoken, openhearted Zoe, who—astonishingly—loves him back. When she is kidnapped and murdered, Kyle barricades himself by devoting himself more feverishly to the cosmos and losing himself in loveless sex. TOUCH is about a man in despair questioning whether there is any point to rediscovering passion, risking connection, groping toward the touch that will rekindle joy.

“…a gripping, heart-wrenching, tender drama whose scenes shift seamlessly, character to character, past to present.”
-The New York Times

“So often these days, theater aspires to nothing more than sheer escapism. But now and then, a deeply touching play comes along. TOUCH is one of those.”
-Miami Herald

“Toni Press-Coffman's play celebrates the beauty of survival with eloquence and grace.”
-Portland Oregonian

Toni Press-Coffman is the author of 20 plays, including THAT SLUT!, TWO DAYS OF GRACE AT MIDDLEHAM, STAND, TRUCKER RHAPSODY and DEAN THE SUBLIME. She is a past recipient of an NEA/TCG Playwright Residency and has had her work developed at the Sundance Institute and Minneapolis’ Playlabs. Her work has been seen at theaters across the country including the Phoenix Theatre, Exit Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, as well as the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Born and raised in the Bronx, Press-Coffman now lives, writes, acts, teaches and serves as Borderlands Theater’s Literary Manager. She serves on the Literary and Executive Committees of the National New Play Network.

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