NEWS AND UPDATES
EST/LA WINTERFEST 2023
NEW PLAY FESTIVAL
What an eclectic mix of stories, storytellers, and styles in this year's Winterfest! Congrats to all.
I was delighted to perform in Laura Stribling's RIVERS and to direct Jim Lunsford's FRAY.
DRUNK AT THE BASE OF THE BODHI TREE
September 2-4, 2022
This Labor Day weekend will be the premiere of a new play by Julie Hébert, Drunk at the Base of the Bodhi Tree, directed by Laurel Ollstein, featuring Lauren Campedelli in a four-person cast, including Diana Burbano, O-Lan Jones, and Vincent Cusimano.
A drunk, injured lounge singer is thrown from a car, left in a ditch on a remote patch of mountainside in Ventura County. Another woman, a naturalist seeking solitude, discovers the wounded singer. They instantly can’t stand each other but are forced to spend the night together on the mountain—with its divine spirits, natural threats and human dangers never far off.
The work will premiere as part of the Fringe of the Woods Festival at an outdoor theater produced by Mile High Theater.
Tickets and festival info: https://milehightheater.com
EST/LA IGNITE PROJECT - FIRST FLAME
July 17, 2022
This talented bunch of lads brought my first stab at a play to dynamic life at EST/LA Ignite Project's First Flame readings--excerpts from 8 pieces developed in a 10-week workshop, from newbie playwrights like me to well-established writers.
Director Bob Burgos (2nd from left), actors Jacob de Heer-Erpelding, Jerry Brown Jr., Ben Michaels, William Duffy, Brandon Crockett
WRAPPED FILMING ON UNKIND CUT
July 10, 2022
A guy goes to a vasectomy appointment and the comedy-horror ensues! Writer/director Marc Pitre ran a very fun and efficient set for this short film, Unkind Cut.
ASSISTED LIVING @ EST/LOS ANGELES
June 18 & 19, 2022
Appearing in playwright Tom Stringer's emotionally raw and beautiful play Assisted Living, directed by the brilliant Bob Burgos, with the stellar Bob Lesser playing my father (Bob!).
For more info and tix, click here.
June 4, 2022 @ 4 pm & 7:30 pm
Some of the most inspiring work I've been involved with--TheatreWorkers Project's LIFER program:
Here is the culmination of our most recent reentry workshop, in which we led the formerly incarcerated men in writing and theater exercises. A playwright then shaped the writing into a poetic collage that they will perform themselves (as a staged reading) for two performances at A Noise Within on Saturday, June 4 at 4 pm and 7:30 pm.
Tickets are $5, reservations are recommended: anoisewithin.org/phoenix
It runs about 30 minutes with a discussion with the guys and workshop leaders afterward.
Streaming live November 12 & 13, 2021
I directed a dramaturgical workshop and reading of a new play by Samantha Marchant for Inkwell Theater LAB.
FIREWATER: a reimagining of the Prometheus myth told from the point of view of fire and her sister, set in a time after the gods have abandoned mankind.
The amazing cast: Sara Acevedo, Max Faugno, Jully Lee, Sierra Santana, Miebaka Yohannes
Streaming May 17 - 22
I directed a virtual reading of a beautiful new play by a talented young playwright for The Blank Theatre’s Living Room Series.
SOHNI MAHIWAL by Simran Bal is an 18th century Punjabi folk tale/tragic romance told in modern vernacular that highlights the universality and complexity of love (in its many expressions) and follows individual struggles for control in a world that offers anything but.
Register for a virtual WATCH CODE here.
WRITERS IN THE WRITING GROUP MUST WRITE
Streaming March 26 - April 1, 2021
Appearing in Elizabeth Logun's smart, scrappy, eloquent and funny play about loss, creativity, mourning and moving on. Part of Ensemble Studio Theatre's 2021 Digital Shorts Festival.
Premiers March 27, 2021 (streaming thereafter)
Written and performed on Zoom by residents of the Francisco Homes, a transitional housing community for individuals on parole from serving life sentences.
RITUALS is the culminating performance from TheatreWorkers Project's “Lifer: Stories from the Inside/Out,” a program that enables residents to share their stories through a documentary theatre project. I provided workshop support and dramaturgy.
11 SECONDS (AKIRA KUROSAWA IN HELL)
March 23, 2021
Today is Akira Kurosawa's birthday and the talented Karen Huie wrote a play imagining the liminal time Kurosawa spent in Meido, Japanese Hell, when he attempted suicide.
A virtual reading of 11 SECONDS is streaming thru Sunday 3/28 as part of The Blank's Living Room Series. Proud to be creative producer for this fascinating play.
"NIGHT SHIP" DROPS
October 1, 2020
"Night Ship," my episode of the chap.three digital series CITY KITTIES, dropped today. City Kitties is an anthology of 52 one-minute-long standalone shorts about the many intricacies and varieties of female friendship that were written, produced, crewed, and acted in by a team of nearly 150 women.
June 27, 2020
I'd been working with the wonderful TheatreWorkers Project on a prison reentry program when the pandemic shut down our in-person workshops meant to culminate in live performance.
TWP pivoted--and on Saturday, June 27 we had a live online screening of 150 DAYS, written and performed by formerly incarcerated men whose life sentences were commuted. They humble and move me.
150 days refers to the waiting time from commutation to release.
THE YEAR OF THE RAT KICKS OFF
This Will Be Our Year by Ali MacLean
Guinea Pig Apocalypse by Tony Pasqualini
Only Human by Chris DiGiovanni
Training with TheatreWorkers Project
- Project Prison & Reentry Arts Techniques Training
- Began apprenticeship with LIFERS: Life Stories from the Inside/Out, a theater arts reentry program for formerly incarcerated men
Development with Blank Theatre
Accepted position on Artistic Committee for Blank Theatre’s new play development program, The Living Room Series
WORLD PREMIERE OF DRIVING WILDE
Aug. 22 - Sept. 21
Associate Director/Intimacy Choreographer
Driving Wilde is Jacqueline Wright’s very free, very contemporary, shockingly frank and surreal adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s classic novel The Picture of Dorian Gray. Wright transforms the gothic horror story into a present-day meditation on the pursuit of beauty.
Click pic for tickets and information.
DIRECTING SHIVA FOR ANNE FRANK
June 2019 - Hollywood Fringe Festival
A one-woman tour de force by force of nature Rachel McKay Steele. Shiva for Anne Frank celebrates Jewish identity, girlhood, community mourning, life, and begs the question of whether or not one Jewish comedian can and should relate herself to Anne Frank.
Click pic for tix & info.
APPEARING IN SMILING CAT CANDY HEART
Previews Apr. 27 & 28 / Opens May 3 – May 26
No emojis were harmed in this Jennie Webb one act, part of:
MOVING ON: The 2019 EST/LA One Acts
Five new short plays by Los Angeles playwrights.
Fri & Sat at 8pm, Sun at 2pm
[Double-cast: Lauren in all except 5/5, 5/11, 5/18. 5/19, 5/25]
DIRECTING INTERCESSION IN LA FEST
March 4, 2019
Mental illness, divine intervention, and kitty cats. While in a manic state from recently diagnosed bipolar disorder, Vik attempts to receive and deliver a sacred ancestral message, while their friends and roommates Sil and Lana navigate how to ensure Vik’s safety and wellness on the night before they must move out of their apartment.
I'm thrilled to helm this short play by Maia Villa, one of the six young, talented, and queer East LA writers showcased in EST/LA's LA Fest this year.
Click flyer for tix and more info on festival.
MY FILM DIRECTING DEBUT
November 14, 2018
I directed my first film! A Good Shake is a comedy short by Team Rebelution Films for the Four Points Film Project's make-a-film-in-72-hours international competition. The talented team was led by wonder-women producer/actors Poonam Basu and Esther Mira.
CATCH ME IN RESA FANTASTISKT MYSTISK OCTOBER 28!
October 15, 2018
I'm thrilled to be performing Sunday, October 28 at 7 p.m. with the comedy geniuses Burglars of Hamm in their Hollywood Fringe hit Resa Fantastiskt Mystisk at Sacred Fools' Broadwater Stage.
This previously unknown masterpiece by Swedish playwright/provocateur Lars Mattsun (1849-1912) is directed by maverick Todd Merrill and all tix are only $15.
WEBSITE LAUNCHED—AT LAST!
September 24, 2018
I have finally joined the World Wide Web—and just in time for my birthday. Searching for production pics and reviews has forced me to get organized and clean out the cobwebs, and reminded me of all the wonderful productions and people I've had the opportunity to work on and with. Happy birthday to me and my website!
Photo: Rick Smith