Actors Co-Op to Present Tennessee Williams' SUMMER AND SMOKE, 3/2-4/17

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Actors Co-op (Ovation Award-Winner 2014 Best Intimate Theatre Musical for 110 in the Shade) announces the third show in its 2015-2016 season (and 24th year of producing theatrical excellence in Los Angeles!) with Tennessee Williams masterpiece SUMMER AND SMOKE, directed by Thom Babbes. SUMMER AND SMOKE will preview on Wednesday, March 2 and Thursday, March 3 at 8pm and will open on Friday, March 4 at 8pm and run through Sunday, April 17 at the Actors Co-op David Schall Theatre, 1760 N. Gower St. (on the campus of the First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood) in Hollywood.

A masterwork of love and survival from one of the greatest American playwrights of the 20th Century, this celebrated drama introduces us to the shy, fluttery Miss Alma, a repressed spinster hopelessly in love with the hedonistic son of the town doctor. Their relationship propels her from a world of loneliness and need to one of survival and love.


TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (Playwright) was born March 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. He described his childhood years in Mississippi as pleasant and happy, but a drastic move to St. Louis, Missouri, stripped him of some of his carefree boyhood, causing him to turn inward and start to write. He attended both the University of Missouri and the University of Iowa and earned an agent soon thereafter. Between 1945 and 1959, eight of his plays opened on Broadway: THE GLASS MENAGERIE (1945), SUMMER AND SMOKE (1948), THE ROSE TATTOO (1951), CAMINO REAL (1953), CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (1955), ORPHEUS DESCENDING (1957), GARDEN DISTRICT (1958) and SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH (1959). By 1959, he had two Pulitzer Prizes, three New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards, three Donaldson Awards and a Tony. Tennessee Williams' plays are still controversial. There are many critics who call his works sensational and shocking, but his plays have attracted the widest audience of any living American dramatist, and he is established as America's most important dramatist.

THOM BABBES (Director) is thrilled to be back at Actors Co-op. His past directing credits here include Ah, Wilderness! (Best Director - Stage Scene L.A.), The Miracle Worker and Wait Until Dark. He has also directed workshop productions of new works: Dietrich (based on the life of Dietrich Bonhoeffer) by John Martins III, The Real Real Thing by Frank Higgins and staged readings of Washington Irving's Sketchbook by Frank Higgins andSouthampton County (based on Nat Turner's slave rebellion) which Mr. Babbes wrote. Other credits: Sun City by Jim Geoghan at the Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood. A writer as well, Mr. Babbes wrote the screenplay and co-starred in the feature film "Deadly Dreams" for Roger Corman and co-wrote the film "Body Chemistry" starring Marc Singer and Mary Crosby. He co-wrote the short film "The Audition" which won Best Screenplay and Best Comedy at the 168 Hour Film Festival, and he and his writing partner wrote the comedy short "X-Treme Weekend" which has screened at multiple film festivals in the U.S. and Canada and is now a nine episode web series.

Mr. Babbes loves working with high school students and is currently the Director of Theatre Arts at Village Christian School.

The Cast of SUMMER AND SMOKE will feature (in alphabetical order): Tara Battani, Townsend Coleman, Marco Antonio Garcia, Brian Habicht, Melody Hollis, Gregory James, Markus Jorgensen, Jeffrey Markle, Deborah Marlowe, Fernanda Rohd, Keri Tombazian and Ann Marie Wilding.

SUMMER AND SMOKE has assembled an award-winning design team. Set Design is by Rich Rose. Lighting Design is by Bill E. Kickbush. Sound Design is by Cameron Combe. Costume Design is by Vicki Conrad. Hair and Make-up Design is by Krys Fehervari. Property Design is by Jason Peter Kennedy. Original Music Composed by Cooper Babbes. The Stage Manager is Lyndsay Lucas. SUMMER AND SMOKE is produced by Lauren Thompson.

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