Toy Box Theatre Company Presents The Empress and El Diablo 3/16-31

Toy Box Theatre Company Presents The Empress and El Diablo 3/16-31

Toy Box Theatre Company is set to present The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex, a world premiere play written and directed by Jonathan Barsness with a live garage rock score by Colonna Sonora. The cast of six includes Juan Luis Acevedo*, Gary Ray Bugarcic*, Glory Gallo*, Jessica Giannone, Jake Paque*, and Karen Stanion*. Performances for The Empress and El Diablo will be held at The 4th Street Theatre, 83 East 4th Street for fourteen performances beginning Friday, March 16th through Saturday, March 31st, 2012. AEA Approved Showcase. *Member, Actors’ Equity Association.

About the show: "When forced to move back in with his parents, Eddie seeks the guidance of a fortune teller whose mysterious and shocking counsel isn't quite what he was expecting. The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex, follows Eddie Roberts, through dreams and reality, as he valiantly struggles with his horrifying destiny, his overbearing family, and a girlfriend who's too tired to fool around. Inspired by the writings of C.G. Jung and the Tarot of Marseilles, this production marks Toy Box Theatre Company’s tenth season. The Empress and El Diablo will be performed with a live garage rock score by Colonna Sonora."

From playwright and director Jonathan Barness: “Deep down, most of us think we're a little bit special; that our true destiny is fame and fortune. But let's face it, with 6 billion of us, that’s just not true. The Empress and El Diablo imagines a world where psychics and psychiatrists tell the truth. "You will become a crazy cat lady," "your spouse will cheat on you, repeatedly," or "most of your friends think you are annoying" are phrases rarely heard in fortune cookies and Tarot readings. But in the end, it's only the truth that will lead to change.”

The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex is produced by Toy Box Theatre Company. Director/Playwrigtht: Jonathan Barsness; Assistant Director: David Michael Holmes*; Scenic Designer: Kacie Hultgren; Costume Designer: Kate Mincer; Lighting Designer: Tony Galaska; Music Director: James Sparber; Original Score: Colonna Sonora; Production Stage Manager: Rebecca Bezaire; Fight Director: Wyatt Kuether; Assistant Stage Manager: Sara Troficanto; Graphic Designer: Anthony Falco; Web Designer: Joe Fahrenkrug; Publicist: Paul Siebold/Off Off PR.

The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex plays for fourteen performances from Friday, March 16 to Saturday, March 31, 2012, with performances Tuesdays through Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 3pm.

Tickets are $18 and can be purchased online at www.toyboxtheatre.org. For more information, please visit www.toyboxtheatre.org.

The runtime for The Empress and El Diablo: A Modern Adaption of Oedipus Rex is approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Jonathan Barsness (Playwright/Director) is a founding member of Toy Box Theatre Company. As a member of Toy Box, he co-wrote and acted in its inaugural production of Greene Grass, played the role of Stephen in Afternight Seating, adapted and direcTed Christopher Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus, wrote and acted in The Landlord, adapted and directed John Ford’s ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, and wrote and directed an adaptation of Georg Buchner’s Wozyeck. He wrote the short play Love which was produced by the Rubicon Theatre Project in Chicago.

James Sparber is the Music Director for Toy Box Theatre Company. James, along with his ensemble Colonna Sonora, earned nominations for the NYITA for Outstanding Original Music for Toy Box’s 2009 production of ‘Tis Pity She’s A Whore and their 2010 original adaptation of Woyzeck. James and Colonna Sonora have also composed and performed the score to Doorknob Company’s We Are Here After at Joyce Soho, and Toy Box’s The Short Fall. Most recently, James constructed the sound design for Motley Dance in their 2011 performance in the RAW Directions series at Dance New Amsterdam, and then with Colonna Sonora composed and performed the live score for their installation, I Want To See You Underwater, at The Causey Contemporary Gallery. James studied composition and jazz performance at Simon’s Rock College of Bard. He has performed, recorded, and produced music in many major U.S. cities, including extended stays in Nashville, Austin, and Los Angeles. In 2005, his former band Breakup Breakdown signed a deal with Warner Music Group label Cordless Records and a publishing deal with Warner/Chapell, resulting in the release of two records of his compositions. James and his publishing company, Pinball 1974, are registered members of ASCAP. He is also one of the two primary composers for the country rock ensemble, Money & King.

Colonna Sonora is a music ensemble led by Brady Bagger and James Sparber specializing in composing and performing live scores for theatre and dance. Their most recent work was with Motley Dance at The Causey Contemporary Gallery in September of 2011 for the I Want To See You Underwater installation. They have received NYITA nominations for their work on Toy Box Theatre Company’s Tis Pity She’s A Whore (2009) and Woyzeck (2010). Other recent works include Motley Dance’s performances at Dance New Amsterdam and RoofTop Dance, and Toy Box’s A Short Fall. Prior to that, they worked on Doorknob Company’s 2010 production of We Are Here After at Joyce Soho.

Toy Box Theatre Company exists to expand the reach of off-off Broadway by making theater accessible to a larger audience, particularly by attracting young, non traditional theatre-goers. Toy Box enhances plot driven narratives by incorporating various genres of the performing arts such as dance, movement, and live music to tell a cohesive story. Founded in 2002, the award-winning Toy Box produces fully staged original scripts and original adaptations of classic works. Toy Box has produced eleven plays over nine seasons, most recently finding a home on the Fourth Arts Block of the East Village. After showing significant audience and financial growth, Toy Box is introducing a two show season moving forward. Toy Box has been nominated a total of three times, and once awarded the 2008 New York Innovative Theatre Award, for “Outstanding Original Music”. Most recently, house band Colonna Sonora has been nominated in back to back seasons in 2009 and 2010 in that category. In 2005, Toy Box received an award for “Excellence in Playwriting” by the New York International Fringe Festival. The company has received financial support from The Nancy Quinn Fund, Meet the Composer, and Off Broadway Angels. Toy Box is run by two Co-Artistic Directors, a Managing Director, and Music Director. Toy Box is also supported by an advisory board of directors and a staff composed of a house manager, branding and business consultants, marketing director, and book keeper.

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