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Actors Co-Op Brings The Mystery Of Irma Vep To Crossley Theatre

Actors Co-Op Brings The Mystery Of Irma Vep To Crossley Theatre

Actors Co-op (Ovation Winner 2018 Best Direction of a Musical - Intimate Theatre) is proud to present Charles Ludlam's The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful, directed by Carla Cackowski, produced by Carly Lopez. This hilarious two-actor, multi-character comedic thriller is a nod to the classic Gothic melodramas and early fright flicks of the 30s and 40s. The play will run October 4 through November 10 at the Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre in Hollywood.

The cast features the talents of John Allee and Isaac Wade.

The production team includes Greg McGoon (Scenic & Projection Design), Jessa Orr (Scenic & Projection Design), Vicki Conrad (Costume Design), Martha Carter (Lighting Design), David B. Marling (Sound Design), Lori Berg (Prop Design), and Eric White (Stage Manager).

About Playwright Charles Ludlam

Charles Ludlam, born in Floral Park, New York and raised in Greenlawn, New York, attended Harborfields High School and performed in plays with the Township Theater Group, a community theatre in Huntington. During his senior year of high school, Ludlam directed, produced, and performed plays with a group of friends, students from Huntington, Northport, Greenlawn, and Centerport. Their "Students Repertory Theatre", housed in the loft studio beneath the Posey School of Dance in Northport, seated an audience of 25, sold out for every performance. Their repertoire included Kan Kikuchi's Madman on the Roof; Theatre of the Soul; a readers' theatre adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology; and plays by August Strindberg and Eugene O'Neill. Ludlam joined John Vaccaro's Play-House of the Ridiculous, and, founded his own Ridiculous Theatrical Company in 1967. His first plays were rudimentary exercises; starting with Bluebeard, he began writing more structured plays, which were often pastiches of gothic novels; works by Federico Garcia Lorca, Shakespeare, and Richard Wagner; and popular culture and old movies. These works were humorous with serious undertones. In March 1970, Ludlam's Bluebeard was produced at La Mama Experimental Theatre Club, where Vaccaro's company was in residence. Ludlam and Mario Montez performed in this production. Charles Ludlam's most well-known play is The Mystery of Irma Vep - A Penny Dreadful. In 1991, Irma Vep was the most produced play in the United States; and in 2003, it became the longest-running production ever staged in Brazil.

About the Production Team

CARLA CACKOWSKI (Director) is delighted to be making her Actors Co-op debut with this wonderfully ridiculous play. Recent credits include directing shows at The Second City (LA), Curious Comedy Theater (Portland, OR), and Stephnie Weir's one woman show, Vanona Ray at the Comedy Central Stage. She regularly tours around the world performing comedic improv with her two person show Orange Tuxedo. Recent tours include the Copenhagen International Improv Festival, the Vancouver International Improv Fest, and the Warsaw Improv Festival. Carla proudly serves on the Board of Directors at Kickstand Comedy, a non-profit theater that seeks to serve the needs of the community, providing programming and educational outreach that helps people laugh, connect, and thrive together.

Carly Lopez (Producer) is thrilled to be producing her third mainstage production at Actors Co-op! Previously, Carly produced A Man for All Seasons and The Christians. When not producing at Actors Co-op, Carly is an actor and active member of Actors Co-op. Recent theatre credits include Harriet in Jane Austen's Emma, Sally in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and Phebe in As You Like It, Ophelia in Hamlet. You can also find her project managing Children's parties, events & Theatre Camps. Education/Training: Alex D'Lerma & James Eckhouse (on-camera), Celeste Pechous (improv), BA in Musical Theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University.

About the Cast

John Allee* (Jane, Lord Edgar) Previously at Actors Co-op: A Man for All Seasons, The Man Who Came to Dinner, 33 Variations (Ovation Award nominee - Best Ensemble, Ovation Award - Best Production). John is an ensemble member of The Antaeus Company where he has appeared in The Cripple of Inishmaan, Cloud 9 (LADCC Awards for Best Production, Best Ensemble), Uncle Vanya, The Crucible, You Can't Take It with You, Peace in Our Time (Ovation Award for Best Production), The Malcontent, and numerous public readings. Other stage highlights: Much Ado About Nothing (Kingsmen Shakespeare Co), Little Shop of Horrors (Arizona Theatre Company), Assassins (Los Angeles Theatre Center), Alone Together (Pasadena Playhouse), A Midsummer Night's Dream (LA Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Houston Grand Opera), One Thousand Cranes (Mark Taper Forum), Chaplin (Pre-Broadway/Dorothy Chandler Pavilion). Recent TV/Film: Recurring role of Pasha on Flesh and Bone (Starz), The 5th Quarter, Sounds of Silence. John is also an award-winning singer-songwriter and recording artist. His latest album is Bardfly, jazz interpretations of songs from Shakespeare.

Isaac Wade (Lady Enid, Nicodemus, Alcazar, Pev Amri) Previously at Actor's Co-op Dr. Jekyl & Mr. Hyde, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Around the World in 80 Days, and The Turn of the Screw. He also appeared with the Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble in I, Gelosi, Quixotic, Adeline's Play, The Heretic Mysteries, Trog & Clay: An Imagined History of the Electric Chair, and Group: A Musical. He also appeared in cARTel's production of Amongst the Trees. He can also be heard in several radio plays with Tsunami Radio Theater. More info at

About Show Times and Tickets: October 4 - November 10. Fridays and Saturdays 8:00 pm; Sundays 2:30 pm; Saturday Matinees 10/12 & 10/19 at 2:30 pm. Tickets: $35.00. Seniors (60+): $30.00. Students: $25.00. Group rates are available parties of 6 or more. To buy tickets or make reservations please visit or call (323) 462-8460. Actors Co-op Crossley Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St. 90028 (on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood) in Hollywood 90028.

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