Unbound Productions to Stage World Premiere Readings of MYSTERY LIT and THE DOLL, Summer 2014
Unbound Productions, Executive Director Jonathan Josephson, Artistic Director Paul Millet, and Producing Artistic Director Jeff G. Rack have announced details about their World Premiere staged reading of MYSTERY LIT, adapted by Josephson from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories (May 22, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. and May 24, 2014 at 2:00 p.m.) and the World Premiere production of Algernon Blackwood's THE DOLL, adapted by Rack and directed by Millet (July 11-26, 2014; Fridays-Sundays, 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.). Performances of MYSTERY LIT will take place at Pasadena Central Library and are supported by the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Department. THE DOLL will be performed in and around Strub Hall (a 100-year-old Italianate Beaux Arts home) on the campus of Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus in Pasadena.
MYSTERY LIT is a mash-up of three classic Sherlock Holmes stories - "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Red-Headed League," and "The Adventure of the Copper Beeches." Audiences will meet three strikingly similar, yet theatrically different characters - each who bear a remarkable resemblance to the world's most famous detective. From there, the audience will journey through the three classic tales - simultaneously.
Unlike other cycles from Unbound Productions, MYSTERY LIT is a stand-alone, evening-length play with a running time of nearly 70 minutes. The staged reading will be performed in several different locations throughout the library, so attendees must be ambulatory and able to stand for as long as 10 minutes without sitting down. Said Christine Reeder, Librarian at City of Pasadena, "We are excited to have this new theatrical adaptation of Mystery Lit: The Sherlock Holmes Project performed at the Pasadena Central Library."
Said Millet, "MYSTERY LIT is the third 'Lit' in our canon, after Wicked Lit and History Lit. We are also developing an adaptation of A Christmas Carol that will be presented as a staged reading later this year."
Algernon Blackwood's THE DOLL is the third incarnation of a Wicked Lit installation. Installations are events where one Wicked Lit play is produced as a stand-alone event in a perfectly atmospheric venue. Previous installations include the sold out runs of Mark Twain's A Ghost Story at the Millennium-Biltmore Hotel and Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart at the LA Mart.
"We have been working with Mayfield for almost a year on several different projects," said Rack. "We have led a series of writing workshops that have assisted in the development of a new adaptation of Animal Farm by Mayfield students. That collaboration has led to the Mayfield Senior School being the 5th Wicked Lit venue in our history - starting with Greystone Mansion in 2009 and continuing at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery, the home of Wicked Lit for the last four years."
Set in Victorian England, THE DOLL tells the story of Jane Jodzka and Miss O'Brien, two dutiful caretakers within the home of the beleaguered Colonel Masters. When the Colonel's young daughter, Monica is given a package that arrives mysteriously at their doorstep, a force enters the house that turns their quiet little world upside down. The play will be staged inside and around Strub Hall - an Italianate Beaux Arts home at the heart of the eight-acre Mayfield campus. The home was built between 1914-1919 for an oil magnate, and purchased for the Society of the Holy Child Jesus by Dr. Charles and Vera Strub in 1950.
The mission of Unbound Productions is to create new theatrical adaptations of classic literature and produce them in non-traditional venues. Unbound's first-ever production was Wicked Lit 2009, staged on the grounds of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Since that time, over 6,000 patrons have enjoyed full productions of adaptations of authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Robert E. Howard, Washington Irving and Robert Louis Stevenson. Unbound has also produced History Lit at the Pasadena Museum of History, Wicked Lit Installations at the LA Mart and Millennium-Biltmore Hotel, and Flash Performances at the West Hollywood Library and the WeHo Barney's Beanery.
Visit www.unboundproductions.org for complete pricing and scheduling details. Wicked Lit is also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WickedLit.
Adapted by Jonathan Josephson
A mash-up of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's
A Scandal in Bohemia, The Red-Headed League, and The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
Join us for this interactive staged reading that will move you throughout the stunning Central Library!
Thursday, May 22 at 7pm
Saturday, May 24 at 2pm
Total running time: approximately 70 minutes
Admission is free but reservations are encouraged
Reserve seats at www.unboundproductions.org
Pasadena Central Library - 285 E Walnut St, Pasadena, CA 91101
Supported by the City of Pasadena Cultural Affairs Department
A World Premiere Wicked Lit Installation!
Adapted by Jeff G. Rack
Directed by Paul Millet
Adapted from the story of the same name by Algernon Blackwood
Plus a Wicked Lit staged reading to be announced!
Featuring students from Mayfield Senior School
July 11-26, 2014
Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays at 7:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m., and 9:00 p.m.
Total running time: approximately 70 minutes
Tickets range from $20-30
Buy tickets at www.unboundproductions.org
Mayfield Senior School of the Holy Child Jesus
500 Bellefontaine St, Pasadena, CA 91105
Jonathan Josephson :: Mystery Lit, playwright/adaptor - For Unbound Productions, Jonathan has adapted Washington Irving's The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (WL09, WL13), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The New Catacomb (WL13), H.P. Lovecraft's The Lurking Fear with Jeff G. Rack (WL13), Charles Dickens' The Chimes (WL10, WL11), Mark Twain's A Ghost Story (WL12, Biltmore Hotel), M.R. James' Count Magnus (WL12), and Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party for History Lit. Jonathan also directed Edgar Allan Poe's The Cask of Amontillado (WL10, WL11), A Ghost Story (WL12), and Two Pictures in One for History Lit. Jonathan's original plays have been produced at The Actor's Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival 2013), Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Rep Lab 2014), San Jose Repertory Theatre (SJREAL), The Chance Theater, The Shelterbelt Theatre, and many other theaters across the country. Four of his short plays - 27 Ways I Didn't Say 'Hi' to Laurence Fishburne, Tupperware, Of Love and Shampoo, and Dostoevsky - have been named as Finalists for ATL's Heideman Award and his play The Giant and the Pixie was named a Finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Jonathan's short plays are published by Playscripts, Original Works Publishing, and YouthPLAYS and have been produced throughout the U.S. as well as in Canada, Scotland, and Cameroon. Jonathan received his BA in Theatre: Playwriting from UCSD and is a proud member of The Dramatists Guild of America and a Lifetime Member of the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights.
Paul Millet :: The Doll, director - For Unbound, Paul has directed The Lurking Fear (WL13), The Masque of the Red Death Experience (WL13, also conceived), Count Magnus (WL12), The Body Snatcher (WL11, also playwright), and The Chimes (WL10, WL11) at Mountain View Mausoleums & Cemetery; A Ghost Story for the 2011 TCG National Conference at the Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore Hotel; and The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (WL09) and The Fall of the House of Usher (WL09, also playwright) at Greystone Mansion. Paul also directed The Yellow Wallpaper as a part of History Lit at the Pasadena Museum of History and co-directed (with Jeff G. Rack) Charles Bukowski: Back at Barney's (2012), a spontaneous flash performance of poetry. Paul also adapted The Tell-Tale Heart for ScareLA at the LA Mart. Other credits include the world premiere of Albie Selznick's show with magic, Smoke & Mirrors (16-month run at The Promenade Playhouse in Santa Monica & The Road in North Hollywood); Jump/Cut (West Coast Premiere) at the Arena Stage for the Arts in Hollywood; Incorruptible and Southern Comforts (Los Angeles premiere) at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills; Driving Miss Daisy, The Curious Savage, and The Prisoner of Second Avenue at the High Street Arts Center in Moorpark; Southern Comforts at the Indian Wells Theatre; and the two original one-acts, Alpha Best and Best Chance, Chance Best for Variations on a Theme: The Best at The Chance Theater. As a former member of the Eclectic Company Theatre (ECT), Paul directed the critically acclaimed productions of Don't Dress for Dinner, Spike Heels, A Weekend Near Madison, the world premieres of Exmagare and The Unsinkable Bismarck, as well as the late night serial Ambition. Paul is a proud member of SDC, TCG, and LA Stage Alliance.
Jeff G. Rack :: The Doll, playwright/adaptor - For Unbound, Jeff directed The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (WL13), co-wrote an adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft's The Lurking Fear (WL13) with Jonathan Josephson, directed Edgar Allan Poe's The Tell-Tale Heart at LA Mart/ScareLA, adapted and directed F. Marion Crawford's The Dead Smile (WL12), M.R. James' Casting the Runes (WL11), H.P. Lovecraft's The Unnamable (WL10, WL11), and Robert E. Howard's Pigeons From Hell (WL09) at Greystone Mansion. Also for Unbound, Jeff directed a flash performance of a scene from Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 inside the West Hollywood Library in celebration of Ray Bradbury month, and co-directed with Paul Millet a flash performance of Charles Bukowski's poetry at Barney's Beanery as part of Pacific Standard Times' Art in LA (check them both out on YouTube). Jeff also wrote the adaptation of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper and directed Katherine Mansfield's The Garden Party for History Lit. Other directing credits include Molly Sweeney in Ventura, and the LA premiere of Jeffrey Hatcher's Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for Theatre 40, continuing his association with the Beverly Hills theater having directed the west coast premieres of Pen and The Mystery Plays. He is also their resident set designer. Probably best known to Los Angeles theatre patrons for his award-winning set designs, Jeff has designed and built over 150 sets for productions from Santa Barbara to Edinburgh, Scotland. He enjoys designing and creating unique items for stage and screen, which has included miniatures for Armageddon and Con-Air, the Back to the Future DeLorean cars for the Universal Studios ride, a full-size robot puppet for Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage (for which he received an LA Weekly Award), and quirky props for Stuart Gordon's Ovation Award-winning Re-Animator - The Musical. You can see a video featurette about Jeff and his set design work here.
ABOUT UNBOUND PRODUCTIONS: Founded by Jonathan Josephson, Paul Millet, and Jeff G. Rack, the mission of Unbound Productions is to create new adaptations of classic literature as a way of reimagining great stories for new audiences. With its flagship theatre festival Wicked Lit, Unbound takes pride in engaging in ambitious storytelling and creating surprising and impactful theatrical experiences.
ABOUT WICKED LIT: The scope of Wicked Lit is to create dynamic new adaptations of classic horror literature. Wicked Lit launched its inaugural production in 2009 at the haunted Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. The second and third annual Wicked Lit productions took place at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena. A special production of Wicked Lit (Mark Twain's A Ghost Story) was produced at the Los Angeles Millennium Biltmore Hotel in conjunction with the 2011 Theatre Communications Group National Conference. In addition to full productions, Unbound has mounted over 75 staged readings of Wicked Lit plays since 2008. Readings have taken place at theaters, libraries, schools, festivals, and special events all over Southern California including the Pasadena ArtWalk, West Hollywood Book Fair, Long Beach ComicCon, and many others.