Friday, November 18, 2011

posted by Nick Cernoch at 10:47 AM

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

"Science Night Talkback" in Case You Missed It or Want to Hear It Again...

posted by Doug Newell at 12:40 PM
Here's the audio from last Friday's talkback. Special thanks to Steve Julian, David Seal, Andrew Straw and the cast! If you want to skip ahead in the audio the topics being discussed are listed in the comments at the bottom.

boom - "Science Night" Talkback by furioustheatre

Friday, May 28, 2010

boom Review Quotes

posted by Nick Cernoch at 1:07 PM

Back Stage by Les Spindle

"Critic's Pick!"

“…hilarious and thought-provoking…”

“…a quirky romcom that morphs into a tension-filled apocalyptic parable.”

“Brimming with originality and wit…”

“Nachtrieb's engrossing play is given an exemplary L.A.-premiere staging, thanks to the efforts of director Dámaso Rodriguez and a splendid three-member cast.”

“Cernoch achieves a richly varied performance, including superbly dexterous physical comedy.”

“Goodchild excels at revealing intricate layers of her troubled character while finding the zany humor in the dialogue.”

“Duffy is marvelous as the chatty hostess who initially comes across as businesslike but soon begins showing her own emotions, adding fun and insight to the unfolding drama.”


Pasadena Star News by Frances Nicholson

“deliciously wacky take on the end of the world”

“…delightfully silly look at a scientific Armageddon.”

“Cernoch and Goodchild make these characters sympathetic, silly and honest all at once: just enough humanity to connect with the audience, just enough silliness to keep the atmosphere light.”

“When she (Julia Duffy) leaves her established duties to connect with the audience, things become ever more wildly improbable, and delightfully funny.”

“Director Damaso Rodriguez has given the piece a fine intensity…”

“For a satisfying, unique chuckle, ‘boom’ makes for a charming, but still humorously thought-provoking evening.”


L.A. Times by David C. Nichols

“Director Damaso Rodriguez maintains a cracked balance between Jules and Jo’s ostensible reality and Barbara’s role in the proceedings.”

“Cernoch and Goodchild ride well-contrasted comic techniques to the same unsettling ends, while Duffy is priceless, every gesture and elliptical pause registering at least nice nuances.”

“…a valiant Los Angeles Premiere by Furious Theatre Company.”


Pasadena Weekly by Leigh Kennicott

“…the intrepid Furious Theatre Co. ensemble continues to churn out hit after hit…”

“…thought provoking, funny and clumsy in an engaging way.

“The ending will surprise some and provide food for thought to all…”

“Furious Theatre finds success in the tightness of its ensemble, and Dámaso Rodriguez knows how to pull the best from his actors.”

“…a heady cocktail of clever wordplay…”

“…should you want to laugh while contemplating society’s present and future, ‘boom’ is the play for you.”

___________________________________________________ by Sharon Perlmutter


“…the role of Barbara was written for exactly Duffy's style of comedy. Part self-important teacher, part ditz—Duffy's Barbara is easily flustered and adds just the right tone…”

“Nick Cernoch brings an earnestness to him, such that his singlemindedness of purpose seems almost noble.”

“Goodchild emphasizes Jo's selfishness throughout, making her stray moments of vulnerability surprising.”

“Dámaso Rodriguez's direction is solid, as usual…”


LA Weekly by Tom Provenzano

“…there is always a sense of sly comedy…”

“…the appeal and skills of the three actors under Damaso Rodriguez's airtight direction create such an enjoyable theatrical evening…”

Thursday, May 27, 2010

"boom" Music

posted by Doug Newell at 10:36 AM
L' Trimm inspired? No, but you may like the songs anyway.

Listen to music from the show HERE

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Are You Ready For The boom?

posted by Dan Steele at 10:44 AM

For more info and tickets, go here.

For more Furious YouTube videos,

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Countdown To The boom

posted by Dan Steele at 10:47 AM

For more info and tickets, go here.

For more Furious YouTube videos, go here.

Labels: , , ,

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A Sense of Impending "boom"

posted by Dan Steele at 8:31 PM

That's "boom" with a small "b," as playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is quick to point out. That small "b" is critical to understanding the feelings rooted in this amazing play, next up from the Furious Theatre Company. Smallness, insignificance, purposelessness and the rebellion against all three come into stark focus through as many characters in one of the most produced plays of the past theatre year.

Those feelings were exactly the focus of Damaso Rodriguez's first read-thru in the Library at the Pasadena Playhouse. He asked everyone to explain the first time they felt small, sharing his own experience of seeing the moon for the first time. Julia Duffy mentioned finally seeing the ocean at the age of 19, a far cry from the land of 10,000 lakes from which she hails. Our Sound Designer, Doug Newell, mentioned seeing a jumbo tron, once mammoth on TV, then dwarfed in person against the stadium of a Houston Astros baseball game. Ensemble members' memories varied, turning at times religious (St. Peter's Basilica at The Vatican), to scientific (how can airplanes actually barrel through the sky like that, anyway?), to existential (an only child learning that the cosmos actually DON'T revolve around her). I mentioned the fact that most of matter is just empty space, a mind-warping fact that to this day still makes me feel infinitesimal against the complexities of the universe.

This play and those sentiments remind me of a poem, "The Hollow Men" by T.S. Elliot which finishes,

"This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper"

Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes blogs about our rehearsal process counting down to the impending "boom" opening May 22nd at the Carrie Hamilton Theater at the Pasadena Playhouse!

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Music for "Men Of Tortuga"

posted by Doug Newell at 10:36 AM

Jump on over to and have a listen to the music I created for "Men Of Tortuga." You'll probably find some assorted music and videos from past Furious shows as well.

Friday, February 26, 2010


posted by Furious Theatre Company at 9:19 AM

For more info and tickets, go here.
For more Furious YouTube videos, go here.

Monday, February 08, 2010

5 Years in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre

posted by Damaso Rodriguez at 9:25 PM
Last night was the "final" curtain call (for the time being...) on the Pasadena Playhouse main stage. As readers of this blog and followers of the theatre scene in L.A. know the last 10 days have been a whirlwind at Pasadena Playhouse. The fact that such a venerable institution is forced to shut down is a major setback to the arts in Pasadena, the greater L.A. theatre community, and of course to many an individual associated with the institution. Furious has been caught up in what will surely prove to be a major course-changing event in our company history. What's next? Can our show "Men of Tortuga" (2 weeks into rehearsal when the harsh and swift news of the Playhouse's fate came down) continue as planned? Is staying in the CHT (as we'd prefer) even possible? We hope to have answers within the next two days. Whichever way this turns out, the events of the past several days have made me reflect on our time at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre and at the Pasadena Playhouse. 15 productions in 5 life-changing years. A few random, but important highlights?

Fall 2003- We're called into a meeting with Sheldon Epps and Lyla White at the Playhouse's offices on Lake St. The pitch: "What would you think about taking residence in our second stage? No strings attached. Rent free." I remember it as an out-of-body experience. Too good to be true. We'd been homeless for a year (opting not to produce until we found an ideal situation). Several months later, we had a key to the stage door, and started rehearsals and a low-budget mini-renovation of the space. The Playhouse never got enough credit for how bold a move this was.

2004 - Labor Day weekend. The ensemble moves in. We are going to rip out the existing 140 seats and 10ft. deep stage, at least triple the stage depth, and remove all the seating replacing the old seats with some from our old space. We are doing this while rehearsing Scenes from the Big Picture by Owen McCafferty. It has a cast of 21 and 43 scenes of Belfast life. We want to start big, make our mark. The big idea was to completely change-over a theatre space, and produce a giant play without staff and real budget all in 6 weeks or so. Almost all of us still had day jobs. Foolish? We ran into major electrical problems as we hit tech. This show nearly broke us. In the final days before opening, we slept in shifts on the floor of the lobby fruitlessly trying to "make the lights do what we were telling them to", finish the program, finish the set, the sound design, etc. Melissa Teoh, ensemble member and set designer, went to Target and bought everybody toothbrushes and toothpaste---no one had been home to brush their teeth. I remember too changing clothes in the lobby multiple times as the next day's rehearsal arrived so that the guest actors wouldn't know we'd been there all night and the following day. In the end, it turned out well enough. And while we certainly survived the show, we had little time to recover. Another big idea was that we would produce 4 plays in 9 months. At that time, everybody worked on every show. It was the same 10 people swapping responsibilities. In the end, we opened 5 plays in about 12 months. We slowed down in subsequent years. Quality of experience over quantity.

2005 - We had to lobby to get the rights to the first L.A. production of The Shape of Things by Neil LaBute. Sheldon Epps helped out with a phone call. This was the first time we experienced the leverage that our Playhouse relationship would give us. Also, as our second production at the Playhouse, we had not recovered from the stress and strain of our over-reaching first production. The Shape of Things went extremely smoothly. I remember a significant moment during tech rehearsal when we were standing around (several of us) calmly discussing which gel color to use for a a scene. We had figured out how to get our lights to do what we told them to do, and things were calm enough where the subtlest change in color mattered--we had stopped just trying to survive, and were enjoying ourselves.

Summer 2005 - We started getting paid. The show happened to be The Fair Maid of the West, but the significance is that it was the production on which everybody top to bottom "got paid". Not much, but something that felt significant. This was possible because our more visible position at the Playhouse had helped us attract an impressive board of directors, who knew how to fund-raise, and of course our rent-free situation allowed us to allocate funds to the artists instead of rent.

Quality over Quantity - We only produced 4 plays between 2006 and 2007, two per year. Each production wound up on multiple best of the year and awards lists, and 3 out of 4 plays earned awards for their playwrights.

Blackouts - Ever since our arrival into the space, it's been slated for an imminent renovation. And it needs one. Periodic blackouts have been part of the experience of working at the theatre. See here and here.

Guns - Contrary to popular opinion, no one has to die on stage in order for a play to get a Furious production. However, there have been several gunshots fired in the Carrie Hamilton in the last five years. For two memorable misfires, see here and here.

Staff - In 2007, we took the leap and were able to hire 3 of our ensemble members to staff positions (a full-time general manager, and two part-time positions). We've been able to maintain our g.m. position, but the tough economy forced us to cut one of our part-time staff jobs last year. Still, this was a milestone.

The switch to an AEA contract - we had operated on an Equity "waiver" agreement since our first production, but each year we increased the actors' stipends, and began paying for rehearsal (which is not required by the 99 seat plan). In 2009, we moved to a contract and intend to remain on one whether at the Carrie Hamilton or elsewhere.

Kids, lots of kids - There are several couples in Furious. When we began at the Playhouse, there was one Furious baby. A little over five years later...10 Ensemble offspring. And while they have made life better for us all I think it's safe to say, they've also made the act of producing theatre...trickier. In other words, no more sleeping on the floor of the theatre. See "Acting and Motherhood, also here and here.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

A Note from Sheldon Epps

posted by brad at 10:23 AM
Here is a letter to the public (via the Los Angeles Times) from Pasadena Playhouse Artistic Director Sheldon Epps regarding the pending closure/reorganization of the theatre.

I read a story once about the great painter Pablo Picasso. Apparently there were many times when, in the process of creating one of his great works of art, he would find himself frustrated, confused, overwhelmed, or somewhat defeated by what was in front of him as he painted. This could happen either at the beginning of the process, or after many weeks or even months of work on a painting. At those moments he sometimes found that the best, though sometimes difficult choice was to toss the problematic canvass, and in his words, “Begin again.” Though this could be painful to do, it was by starting with a clean canvas that he was able to get past whatever the challenges were, get the painting that he wanted on to the new canvas, and as a result, create some of his most successful works of art.

Pasadena Playhouse is a great arts institution. We are fortunate to consistently create valuable works of theatrical art with such artistry and skill that -- when we are truly blessed -- our work can touch on greatness. The Playhouse is also a vital community service organization which trains young artists and new audiences, and opens the minds of thousands of young people to the power of the arts. Both of these tasks, creating great art and serving our community, are at the very heart of our mission, and we fulfill that mission with admirable expertise.

However, there are entanglements, obligations, and literal burdens that the theatre has been saddled with for many years that are the result not of what we do in the present, but of poor and misguided decisions in the past. While we have been able to move forward in spite of those challenges over the past decade and come out shining artistically, the fact is that a tsunami of events has now caused these challenges to feel insurmountable, and in fact impeded in a severe way our capacity to do what we do best. Our ability to function incredibly well as a theatre company attracts substantial resources from sales, from contributed income, and from government and foundation support (not to mention a high level of respect and admiration in our field). Unfortunately, far too often those resources must go to obligations created in that nefarious past, rather than to the support of the current art on our stage, and the valuable activities that make us vital right now.

The proposed reorganization will have its own set of challenges, questions, and complications to work through. But it is a way to “Begin again”! This could well be a means for us to expunge the burdens of the past and move forward with a clean canvas. If we can do this properly, with determination, with the pride and dignity that we deserve to display, this plan could well give us a valuable fresh start and allow us to focus our full energies on what we do best. It could give us the valuable opportunity to get back to the pure and valuable joy of creating theatrical art devoted to the promise of the present rather than the burdens of the past. Imagine the possibilities.

-- Sheldon Epps

We'll continue to post news here about the Playhouse's situation as well as what it all means to the future of Furious.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Furious Saddened by Pasadena Playhouse Closing

posted by Nick Cernoch at 2:03 PM
Furious Theatre Company is deeply saddened to hear the news about the closing of the historic theatre that has generously given us a home for over 5 years. Our relationship with Pasadena Playhouse has done amazing things for our company, and we'll be eternally grateful for our time here as part of the Playhouse family. Our sympathies go out to our friends on the Playhouse staff who are losing their jobs. Although this news presents some immediate challenges for our organization, we are determined to continue with our current season as planned. We are moving forward with our upcoming production of Jason Wells' MEN OF TORTUGA and will explore all options to keep its February 20 opening on schedule in the Carrie Hamilton Theatre. Furious is aware that the current situation will present obstacles but it is our hope that the generous support we have received from our patrons and donors will continue to be there to lift us up in what is sure to be a greater time of need. While it is uncertain where our company will be producing in the future we remain committed to bringing "furious" theatre to Los Angeles audiences.

To read more about this breaking news, follow the LA Times story here.