Unexpected Stage Company's OBLIVION Takes the Stage at New Bethesda Venue

As part of its eighth season, Unexpected Stage Company presents Carly Mensch's Oblivion, a comedy which challenges assumptions about parenting, religion, and the nature of spirituality. The production will run July 13 to August 6 in the Fireside Room, an intimate 40-seat venue, at the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation building, located at 6301 River Road in Bethesda. General admission tickets, priced $10 to $27.50, are on sale via phone at 800-838-3006, online at www.unexpectedstage.org, and at the door subject to availability. A special Pay-What-You-Wish preview performance is scheduled for Thursday, July 13, at 7:30 p.m. For information, please call 301-337-8290 or visit www.unexpectedstage.org.

What do you do when you learn your child doesn't share the same values as you? Uber-hip Brooklynites Pam and Dixon take pride in their secular, philosophical approach to parenting. When their 17-year-old daughter Julie decides to become a Christian, their laid-back, open-minded facade is exposed. Called "smart, sassy, and rewarding" by The New York Times, Carly Mensch's Oblivion takes a wry look at the nature of belief in these changing times, and reveals that growing up isn't just for kids anymore. The cast of Oblivion features Zach Brewster-Geisz as Dixon, Jonathan Frye as Bernard, Ruthie Rado as Julie, and Mindy Shaw as Pam.

Oblivion is written by Carly Mensch, best known for writing and producing television shows including GLOW, Orange is the New Black, Nurse Jackie, and Weeds, and for her plays Now Circa Then, All Hail Hurricane Gordo, and Len, Asleep in Vinyl. The production is directed by Unexpected Stage Company co-founder Christopher Goodrich. The creative team also includes Kristen Jepperson (set design), Andrew Dodge (lighting design), and Matthew Mills (sound design). Zach Brewster-Geisz looks forward to rehearsals: "What I love about Oblivion is that, though it deals with weighty issues such as religion, it does so through a really lovely story about a family. Plus, it manages to do so while speaking to the 'growing pains' of both millennials and my own Generation X. I can't wait to sink my teeth into it."

Oblivion marks Unexpected Stage's first full-scale production in the Fireside Room of the River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation Building. Speaking of this intentional move to the 40-seat venue, Goodrich explains, "The intimacy of the space is incredibly exciting for us as artists. Audiences usually tell the truth, which means they are reacting honestly. They are constantly communicating with an actor, even if they aren't always heard. In this way a bond is created. When actors are this close to their audience, the actor cannot lie. And that honesty strengthens this bond between theatergoer and performer." Goodrich and Jepperson are planning a seating arrangement with every seat no more than ten feet from the stage, enhancing the immediacy of experience.

Oblivion By Carly Mensch July 13 - August 6 River Road Unitarian Universalist Congregation - Fireside Room 6301 River Road, Bethesda, MD Show Schedule: · Thursdays and Fridays at 7:30 p.m. · Saturdays at 2 pm and 7:30 p.m. · Sundays at 2 p.m. General Admission Tickets: $10 - $27.50 Pay-What-You-Can preview performance: Thursday, July 13 at 7:30 p.m. Discounts available for students, seniors, military, and groups.

ABOUT UNEXPECTED STAGE COMPANY Celebrating its eighth season in 2017, Unexpected Stage Company is a professional regional theater company founded by Christopher Goodrich and Rachel Stroud-Goodrich. The company dedicates itself to honoring the intricacies and intimacies of the complete human experience and, to that end, seeks to unite people, place and storytelling in order to explore interconnection. Past productions include Deb Margolin's 8 STOPS, Helen Hayes Award Recommended Candy and Dorothy, Helen Hayes Award Recommended The Lady in the Van, Women's Voices Theater Festival entry Trish Tinkler Gets Saved, and Kooman and Dimond's Dani Girl (3 Helen Hayes Award nominations). Visit www.unexpectedstage.org and www.facebook.com/unexpectedstage.

This project is supported in part by funding from the Montgomery County government and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County. Unexpected Stage Company is funded by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive. Funding for the Maryland State Arts Council is also provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Unexpected Stage gratefully acknowledges The Center for Organizational Excellence for its generous support. Oblivion is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.


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