Crowded Fire Theater Stages SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE, Now thru 4/12

Crowded Fire Theater Stages SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE, Now thru 4/12

The Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) 2014 season begins with the World Premiere of Amelia Roper's She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange, her first play to be produced in the Americas. She Rode Horses... opens with a press night on Monday March 24 (previews today, March 20-23) running through April 12 at the Thick House in San Francisco's Potrero Hill.

Directed by M. Graham Smith, She Rode Horses... is an absurdly funny, on The Edge of disaster ride through a downsized, foreclosed America. "Marked by incredibly dry humor and sharp wit, Roper's writing comes out of a Beckettian absurdism..." remarks CFT Artistic Director Marissa Wolf, "the play offers a heightened and experimental approach to language while exposing what happens when the bubble of comfort and luxury bursts." Currently writing for Yale Rep and for the 2014 Humana Festival, the Australian playwright, Amelia Roper, is a bright new voice in the American theater. The cast of She Rode Horses... features Zehra Berkman (Amy), Kevin Clarke (Max), George B. Sellner (Henry) and Marilee Talkington (Sara).

Amelia Roper poses incisive questions about money, materialism, and prejudice in She Rode Horses Like the Stock Exchange. Manners crumble with delicious comedy and bite when old resentments arise and financial disasters of catastrophic proportions are revealed. Who ultimately has power, and what does it truly bring them? She Rode Horses ... has been developed at the BLACK SWAN Lab at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, 2012, National New Play Network's MFA Festival at the Kennedy Center, 2012, Old Vic, New Voices T.S. Eliot Exchange at the Old Vic, London 2012, Ground Floor, Berkeley Repertory Theater, 2012, Moscow Playwright & Director Center, Russia in translation, 2010.

Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) presents the World Premiere of SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE by Amelia Roper, Directed by M. Graham Smith. Running March 20-April 12, with Press Night Monday, March 24 at 8 pm. (Previews March 20-23) Location: Thick House, 1695 18th St., SF (between Carolina St.& Arkansas St. in Potrero Hill ) Performances: Wed-Saturdays 8 PM Special Opening Night Monday March 24 8 pm Tickets: Prices range from $15-$35 progressively during the course of the run. We offer Pay-What-You-Can Preview performances and student/senior/group rates. Tickets: Visit www.crowdedfire.org for more information and to purchase tickets. Box Office by phone (415) 746-9238.

World premiere programming in Crowded Fire's 2014 Season is funded by generous support from the San Francisco Foundation (The Matchbox), and the San Francisco Arts Commission (The Matchbox). Crowded Fire gratefully acknowledges general operations funding from Grants for the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund and The Kenneth Rainin Foundation Crowded Fire Theater Company was founded in 1997 by a group of young artists interested in experimental contemporary theater, Crowded Fire gained early acclaim for urgent, poetic, and bold work. In 2005 The San Francisco Bay Guardian awarded CFT the Goldie Award for Theater noting, "A well-deserved reputation for challenging modern work as aesthetically rich as it is politically and socially provocative." As the company's visibility and production values have grown, we have continued to offer beautiful, risk-taking contemporary theater, and have won consistent critical recognition for our gutsy, innovative spirit. In 2012 CFT achieved significant recognition when its production of THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT by Christopher Chen (co-produced with Playwrights Foundation) received both the Glickman and the Rella Lossy Award. FLOWERS also garnered five Bay Area Critics Circle nominations.

Amelia Roper (PLAYWRIGHT) Amelia Roper is currently writing for Yale Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville's REMIX 38 for the 2014 Humana Festival, Berkeley Rep's FOOD PROJECT and Soho Rep's Writer/ Director Lab in NYC . Her plays have been produced in Australia by the Melbourne Arts Centre, St Martins Youth Arts Centre and FortyFortyHome. Roper's work has been developed by the Melbourne Theatre Company, the Old Vic in London, Berkeley Rep's Ground Floor, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, American Theater Company in Chicago, NNPN at the Kennedy Center and the Moscow Playwright and Director Center in Russia. Awards include the Cheryl Crawford Scholarship (Yale 2012), the Howard Stein Scholarship (Yale 2011), the St Martins Emerging Playwrights' Award (Australia 2007), a MUST National Playwriting Award (Australia, 2003), two Ian Potter Cultural Awards (2010/11) and a Dame Joan Sutherland Cultural Trust Award from the American Australian Association. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, a MacDowell Fellow and a recent graduate of the Yale School of Drama.

M. Graham Smith (Director) is the producer of Aurora Theatre's Global Age Project. He has directed at HERE in New York City and many venues in SF including A.C.T.'s Masters program, Aurora Theatre, The EXIT Theatre, Asian American Theatre Company, PlayGround, Playwright's Foundation, BRAVA, Berkeley Playhouse, Golden Thread, SF Opera, Bay Area Children's Theatre and New Conservatory. He directed the West Coast Premiere of Jerry Springer: THE OPERA in San Francisco as well as TRUFFALDINO SAYS NO at Shotgun Players for which he won a Best Director award from BATCC. He teaches acting in Barcelona, Spain, and at A.C.T. and Waterfront Studio in San Francisco. This season he direct the world premieres of SHAKESPEARE BUG for Killing My Lobster, and SIDEWINDERS at Cutting Ball. He's overjoyed to be making his Crowded Fire debut with Amelia Roper's outstanding play.

Kevin Clarke (Max) Kevin thanks Crowded Fire and Graham Smith for the chance to work on this piece. Recent productions include Salomania (Aurora), Woyzeck, God's Plot and BEARDO (Shotgun Players) as well as the feature film TEST, which received the 2013 Grand Jury Prize at Outfest. He co-directed Mark Jackson's adaptation of Faust Part 1 (Shotgun). Kevin is a company member of Shotgun Players, a frequent collaborator with choreographer Chris Black and a co-founder of the performance duo Hagen & Simone with Monique Jenkinson.
Zehra Berkman (Amy) This is Zehra's first time working with Crowded Fire, and she's delighted as all get out to be working with Graham and Amelia, and the rest of the fold, though she was indeed directed by C.F's artistic director Marissa Wolf in Precious Little with the Shotgun Players. Other shows with the Shotgun Players include Voyage from the trilogy Coast of Utopia; Norman Conquests; God's Ear; Faust; Macbeth; Owners; King Lear, and
Cryptogram - in the Bay Area, Master Builder; Killer Joe; Old Times; Ice Glen; Theophilus North; Hank Williams: Lost Highway; Frankie and Johnny in Clair de Lune, and Same Time, Next Year. Other theatre credits include Aurora Theatre Company, Center Rep, Marin Theatre Co., TheatreFirst, TheatreWorks, and San Francisco Playhouse where she was in Bell, Book, and Candle; Bug, First Day of School; Smell of the Kill, and Monster. Zehra is a company member of the Shotgun Players; a Script Supervisor for feature films; and a student of college, and of life.

George B. Sellner (Henry) George is excited to make his Crowded Fire debut with the Horses team! He toured northern and southern California for 15 years doing shows for Kaiser Permanente Educational Theatre, and presently spends a lot of time directing/acting with Grand Performing Arts in Dublin. He is also the founder of One Heart Music, an early childhood music program, and will be releasing a children's music album this May. He would like to thank his wife, Jadah, and daughter Zoe for their constant love and support.

Marilee Talkington (Sara) Marilee Talkington is an actor, writer, director, designer and all around experimenter. She is a proud resident artist of Crowded Fire, and has appeared in their productions of The Taming, Secretaries, Gone, as well as written and directed Sticky Time, Wormhole, and video designed Forever Never Comes. Locally, she has also performed at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre, Center REP, Magic Theatre, Playwrights Foundation, Theatreworks, and Vanguardian Productions. Her New York Off-Broadway credits include A Nervous Smile (TBTB), The Middle Ages (TBTB), TRUCE (also ran on BBC), and Sugarville: a little death. Marilee is also one of the country's only legally blind actors to receive an M.F.A. in Acting (A.C.T.).

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