Drive Theatre Company's RITE OF SEYMOUR to Open 3/14

Drive Theatre Company will present the World Premiere of Allison Volk's "Rite of Seymour" from March 14 through March 30, 2014 at the Son of Semele Theater in Silver Lake, with a preview performance March 13.

In Volk's absurdist romp, 1950s housewife Helena discovers that her husband, Seymour, is no longer the eloquent poet she married. Specifically, he has devolved into a chattering monkey, which could pose a problem at the elegant dinner party Helena is throwing for the publisher interested in Seymour's work. Meatloaf, banana cream pies and mayhem ensue as Helena struggles to solve the mystery of her husband's condition, all the while playing the perfect hostess.

PERFORMANCES: March 14-30, 2014 (preview March 13)
Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm
Sundays @ 4pm
LOCATION: Son of Semele Theater
3301 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90004

TICKETS: $17 ($3 discount for students/seniors/union members). Available online at sonofsemele.org.

Playwright Allison Volk is an actress, award-winning filmmaker, and co-founder of The City Shakespeare Company. "Rite of Seymour" is her first full-length play. Volk met Drive Theatre Company Artistic Director Doug Oliphant at the National Theater Institute in 2008 and showed him a partial draft of "Rite of Seymour" in 2012, after both had moved to Los Angeles.

"I fell in love with it," says Oliphant. "She wrote the whole thing, it went through several re-writes, had a workshop in NYC with a company called Lunar Energy, then we workshopped it with Drive in September 2013. Now we're thrilled to bring this wonderfully unique and heartfelt absurdist play to L.A. audiences. It's been a fantastic journey."

Oliphant, a movement director and fight choreographer, directs the production. Lighting design for "Rite of Seymour" is by Anna Cecelia Martín, with costume design by Lynne Marie Martens. Kathleen Reinbold is Drive Theatre Company's Producing Director. The cast includes Lena Gwendolyn Hill* (Mrs. Wertze), Deborah Jensen (Mrs. Anderson), Jeremy Kinser (Mr. Anderson), Bilal Mir (Doctor), Robert Paterno (Seymour), Mary Ellen Schneider (Helena) and Ryan Siebrasse (Mr. Wertze).

Drive Theatre Company, founded in 2012, is committed to investigating performative storytelling through exploring new works and reimagining established texts. "Rite of Seymour" is the company's fifth production and second at Son of Semele Theater.

Award-wining Son of Semele Ensemble created theSoSE Hostguest production program to support the efforts of like-minded theatre artists who are making bold choices and forging new ground in their work. Selected guest productions get access to SoSE's performance space, equipment and staff at virtually no cost.

* member, Actors' Equity Association.

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