Celebration Theatre's CT TUESDAYS Workshop Series Opens with CONSENT, 10/2

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Celebration Theatre has announced the first script to be work shopped in its CT Tuesday Series, a west coast presentation of CONSENT by Frank J. Avella and directed by Celebration Theatre's Artistic Director, John Michael Beck. CONSENT will begin with an invited preview on October 2 and then run for three more Tuesdays at Celebration Theatre, 7051B Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.

CONSENT examines the many types of bullying certain teens face, both obvious and subtle. It focuses on a troubled sixteen-year old trying to come to terms with his sexuality in the face of ridicule and prejudice. The play explores the responsibilities we all have to communicate with our youth and teach our children to celebrate their differences instead of denigrating them. CONSENT also warns against taking advantage of the trust teens place in the adults they look up to. Each performance will be followed by a 20-minute talk back with the playwright, director and cast.

CONSENT was read at the Dramatists Guild Friday Night Footlights Series in February 2011 where it was well received. A revised and expanded version had a SRO staged reading on August 5, 2011 at Chelsea Studios in NYC and an encore on October 11, 2011 (at the National Comedy Theatre to benefit The Trevor Project) that took the work to a new level.

CT TUESDAYS is a forum where new works are work shopped for 3-5 Tuesday nights (and sometimes Wednesdays). Scripts produced in this program have already had a staged reading and have been identified to move forward in the development process. A minimalist production using the set and lighting plot of the current Celebration main stage show, the production's focus remains on the script but now actors have rehearsed for a number of weeks and have memorized their lines. After each Tuesday performance, the audience is invited to participate in a 20 minute talk-back with the actors and playwright. The playwright is then encouraged to go over his notes and feedback and make any adjustments before the next performance...or not.

FRANK J. AVELLA (Playwright) just completed his sixteenth full-length play, NEMESIS, about a daughter's diabolical plan to seek revenge on her absent gay father. Frank's play VATICAN FALLS, set against the explosive backdrop of the Catholic sex abuse scandal, will have a NYC benefit staged reading Spring 2012. The play was originally workshopped in NYC and Cincinnati. The Spring 2011 production in Rome, Italy was cancelled one day before it's scheduled opening amidst controversy and death threats. In 2010, Frank wrote THE MAD ONES, which explores a closeted-gay movie star's dilemma with keeping his sexuality a secret. The play was successfully workshopped in August and September of 2010 and was given a staged reading in June of 2011 in NYC. Frank also recently completed the edgy and honest play LESS THAN SIX DEGREES (and its sister play LESS THAN 2 DEGREES.) He wrote the book for BLUEBIRDS IN MY BELFRY, a musical about Hollywood star Betty Hutton, that bowed in Sanford, NC in January 2008 and sold out every performance. Frank is Artistic Director of the NYC-based Impetus Ensemble (www.impetusensemble.com)

The CAST of CONSENT features: Brian Pugach, Nell Teare, Rob Salerno, Kristi Slager and Travis Leland. The DIRECTOR of CONSENT is John Michael Beck who also serves as the Artistic Director of Celebration Theatre. The STAGE MANAGER is Rebecca Eisenberg.

CONSENT will preview on Tuesday Oct 2 at 8pm and will run Tuesdays, Oct 9, 16, 23, 2012 at 8pm. There will be a 20-minute talk back with the cast, director and playwright after each show.

Celebration Theatre is a community of artists dedicated to presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work that examines the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer experience. We endeavor to challenge society's perception of this community and give a vibrant voice to its evolving identity.

The theatre is located at 7051B Santa Monica Blvd. (1/2 block east of La Brea Blvd.) in Hollywood. For more information, visit www.celebrationtheatre.com.

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