Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Furious Season 6 Announced!

posted by Eric Pargac at 3:10 PM

The company introduces four award-winning playwrights to the Los Angeles area with a season of new comedies.

Furious Theatre Company announces its 2008-2009 season of shows, which will introduce a group of award-winning playwrights to Los Angeles audiences with the local premieres of four critically-acclaimed comedies. The season starts with the West Coast premiere of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize-winning U.S. DRAG by Gina Gionfriddo, which will open on Saturday, October 25 and run through Saturday, November 22 (Previews: October 18 - 24); followed by the first-ever Furious holiday show, the U.S. premiere of the “adults-only” THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Anthony Neilson, which opens November 29 and runs through December 20 (Preview: November 28); leading into the Los Angeles premiere of the 2006 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award-winning HUNTER GATHERERS by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, which will open on Saturday, January 24 and run through Saturday, February 21, 2009 (Previews: January 21- 23). All three plays will be at the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena. The final premiere (to be announced soon) will open in the summer of 2009 and will be yet another local premiere by an acclaimed playwright.

With this season, Furious has increased its effort to work with emerging playwrights in hopes of expanding the number of writers who make Furious their Los Angeles home for new plays. Part of the effort includes the recent naming of Matt Pelfrey as the company’s resident playwright. Pelfrey, who wrote the 2007 Furious world premiere of An Impending Rupture of the Belly, has just completed his first commissioned play with the company, NoGoodDeed, which will be presented with Furious as part of Pasadena Playhouse's Hothouse new play reading series. Another of the plays he developed with Furious is slated to receive a world premiere production in San Francisco, in addition to multiple upcoming productions of An Impending Rupture of the Belly across the country. Pelfrey has found this position to be both helpful to his writing process and a motivational factor in the creation of new works.

“Collaborating with Furious Theatre as their resident playwright has been a dream come true,” Pelfrey said. “Instead of working in isolation and praying to find a theater with the crucial combination of similar sensibility, great acting and a fearless commitment to new work, I can work on a play and know it will be developed with a group of like-minded artists. Not only does this motivate me to write more, but it encourages me to write the most challenging material I can think up, knowing my role as resident playwright isn't just to challenge the audience, but to challenge the Furious team as well."

The company’s artistic team is committed to the long-term goal of becoming a generator of new plays. Co-artistic director Dámaso Rodriguez explains that the success of both 2007 Furious world premieres has encouraged the company to go further in its commitment to new work.

“Working closely with writers whose work we greatly admire, and who admire the past work of the company, proved to be among our most rewarding experiences,” Rodriguez said. “The paths to both of our recent world premieres were the result of long-developing relationships formed between the playwrights and Furious. We've reached out to both Gina Gionfriddo and Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and hope this season’s productions will be the basis of a relationship that leads to future collaborations and eventual world premieres at Furious."

The 2008-2009 Furious Theatre Company Season:

West Coast Premiere
Written by Gina Gionfriddo
Directed by Darin Anthony

October 25 - November 22, 2008 (Previews October 18 - 24)

The first show in the Furious season is the West Coast premiere of the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize winning play, which recently finished an Off-Broadway run directed by Trip Cullman. This hilarious and witty, jet-black comedy follows Angela and Allison, two young women in Manhattan seeking love and happiness, but they'll settle for rent money. Along the way, they volunteer for a community advocacy group called SAFE (Stay Away From Ed) named for an elusive serial attacker terrorizing the city. (There's a hefty reward for his capture...) Their new circle of “friends” includes their ruthless, socially stunted roommate; the celebrated author of a fictional memoir; a lonely man who feels kinship with crime victims; and a mousy "Ed survivor” reveling in her fifteen minutes of dubious fame. Everybody is looking for salvation in the arms of another in a group where no one has very much to give. And who is this "Ed" anyway? No one's ever seen his face, and everyone on stage is beginning to act eerily "Ed-like"... Join Furious behind the velvet rope for Gionfriddo’s sharp, sassy and biting satire on the modern quest for fame and fortune.

U.S. Premiere
Written by Anthony Neilson
Directed by Robert Pescovitz

November 29 - December 20, 2008 (Previews November 28)

Be Furious for the holidays with their first ever holiday show. In the U.S. premiere of this “adults only” Christmas comedy, Gary discovers a real-life elf during his night shift at the warehouse on Christmas Eve and calls his friend Simon (who is still in the closet and living with his mother) to come over and see what he’s captured. A hooker with a (somewhat) heart of gold named Cherry also shows up expecting to collect the coveted toy of the season which Gary has promised her in exchange for sexual favors. Together, the three try to sort out if the elf is real or not and what exactly is the true meaning of Christmas.

Los Angeles Premiere
Written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by Dámaso Rodriguez

January 24 - February 21, 2009 (Previews January 21-23)

The Los Angeles premiere of the 2006 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award-winner finds Pam and Richard hosting their best friends, Wendy and Tom, for an annual dinner get-together. An animal sacrifice kicks off the evening, followed by a little more sex, violence, deception, wrestling, and dancing than at previous parties. A darkly comic evening where the line between civilized and primal man is blurred, and where not everyone will survive long enough to enjoy the brownies for dessert.

The 4th show of the season will be announced soon.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

En Fuego

posted by brad at 11:30 AM
We recently blogged about Matt's adaptation of The Basketball Diaries for a workshop production at NY's Godlight Theatre Company. Here's what the NY Times said about it...

Director Joe Tantalo is collaborating with award-winning playwright Matt Pelfrey designer Maruti Evans on one of the most unique theatre experiences of the year. Audiences will have the opportunity to be a part of a theatrical experience from the ground up: watching a new play being developed with the Godlight creative and acting company alongside author Jim Carroll. On a spare stage, 'The Basketball Diaries' will unfold as a three-ring circus on a faux-basketball set as Jim Carroll's cult-classic comes to life before your eyes. Special talk-back evenings will allow the audience to provide their feedback in helping to shape what will become a world premiere production.

That production closes this weekend, but the Pelfrey train continues. Here's what he has cooking around the globe right now.

In New York:
A world premiere adaptation production of In the Heat of the Night with Godlight Theatre Company, in addition to a "to be announced" full production of The Basketball Diaries.

In Philadelphia:
A production of Matt's award winning play An Impending Rupture of the Belly will be staged as part of Philly's Flashpoint Theatre Company's 2008/2009 season.

In Arizona:
An Impending Rupture of the Belly is also getting a production at Stray Cat Theatre in Phoenix as part of their 2008/2009 season.

In San Francisco:
A world premiere production of Matt's new play Pure Shock Value at Killing My Lobster.

With Furious in Los Angeles:
Matt has completed his first commission with us called NoGoodDeed. We'll be working with Matt to further develop the script by presenting it as part of Pasadena Playhouse's Hot House new play reading series this November. Matt has already started on his second commission with us, which is adapting a controversial biography about a notable Pasadenan. More to come on both of these projects soon.

With over six plays in different stages of production right now and multiple theatres committed to new works with him... expect to see many more Pelfrey productions in the next 12-18 months. Our resident playwright is hot.

Be Furious.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Furious Resident Playwright Off-Broadway!

posted by Nick Cernoch at 11:34 AM
Congrats to Furious Theatre Company's resident playwright, Matt Pelfrey, on his recent adaptation of The Basketball Diaries for the Godlight Theatre in NYC.

"Matt Pelfrey adapts for the stage Jim Carroll's remarkable book of a key period in American culture. Set in New York City, starting in 1963, Jim is an all-star basketball player at an elite catholic school leading a double life—experimenting with drugs and getting hooked, hustling gay men to support a heroin addiction, and becoming a poet and a future rock singer."

Read the full Broadway World article here!