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Binge Free Festival Kicks Off This October

The Festival will run from October 15 through November 6, 2022.

Binge Free Festival Kicks Off This October

Santa Monica Playhouse has been a cultural treasure in the seaside community for 62 years. Now, the Playhouse is giving love back with its Seventh Annual Binge Free Festival, three weeks of free performances, workshops, and music in Santa Monica's ONLY fringe festival. The BFF's primary focus is on Santa Monica and Los Angeles-based artists, but there will be exciting International Artists on view as well.

Santa Monica Playhouse is located at 1211 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401. This is just south of Wilshire. There is a municipal parking facility across the street. Most events in the Binge Free Festival will take place in the Playhouse's performance space called The Other Space, with select events being performed on the Playhouse's Main Stage or The Artists' Entrance Studio (as noted below). All events are FREE, but reservations are REQUIRED. Some events are family-friendly (See the descriptions below). There will be something for everyone.

To reserve your FREE tickets for an event, call 310-394-9779 ext. 1, or e-mail When making reservations, state the name of the show that you want to see, how many seats you wish to reserve, your full name, and your contact number.

The Festival will run from October 15 through November 6, 2022.

Binge Free Festival 2022 is presented through generous grants from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, the City of Santa Monica, the Santa Monica Arts Commission, and Playhouse PALS.

Covid safety protocols in effect on the days of performances will be observed.

The roster of events follows:

Saturday, October 15 - A BFF SPECIAL EVENT

Finding My Light

7:30 PM, The Other Space, 70 minutes, 10+

Through the use of 18 characters, dancing and singing, Barbara Brownell takes us on a moving and ultimately exhilarating journey as she overcomes a challenging childhood and makes her way to a successful Broadway, TV and movie career. Written & performed by Barbara Brownell. Directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson.

Thursday, October 20, 2022 - OFFICIAL OPENING NIGHT

Schmaltzy and Princie: Diary of a Not-So-Great Daddy's Girl

8:00 PM, The Other Space, 75 min, 16+

Despite lifelong aspirations of a career as an actor and writer, MaryLee Herrmann has never been able to commit to, or finish, well...anything. Even with her daddy's undying support. And the cacophony of voices in her head, the loudest of them being her 'Feary Godmother,' don't help. Now in her fifties, and with a Sundance screenwriting competition deadline looming that could be a life-changer, she clings to Anais Nin's words, "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." With less than three days to "blossom," however much a post-menopausal woman can blossom, MaryLee needs to overcome her fears, stop dreaming and start doing-and it all begins with this script. But it's called a deadline for a reason...some people are going to have to go. Directed & developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. Audiences are invited to the Opening Night post-show reception.

Friday, October 21, 2022 - (IM)PERFEKT

8:00 PM, The Other Space, 60 min, 16+

What if that which you identify with suddenly disappeared? Who would you be then? (IM)PERFEKT is a solo show about identity, beauty and labels. Sometimes you need to (literally) lose a part of yourself in order to discover who you truly are. What if you have been Perfect all along? How much precious time have you wasted living like you aren't? Actress Jannica Olin was the stereotypical blonde blue eyed Swede. Her long hair had always been a big part of her identity. Until suddenly, she lost it all. In (IM)PERFEKT, Jannica takes us on a journey of exploring and uncovering that which we think we are, have to be and maybe, ultimately aren't. Written & performed by Jannica Olin. Directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson.

Saturday, October 22, 2022 - Women of Shakespeare

1:30 PM, The Other Space, 45 min, all ages

Scenes, sonnets and soliloquies highlighting the intriguing 'Women of Shakespeare.' All from the goose feathered pen of the bard himself. Presented by the ensemble players from The California Shakespeare Company. A great show for audiences of all ages.


7:00 PM, The Other Space, 45 min, 18+

A groundbreaking musical and theatrical experience, starring Tiffany Savion! It's an exhilarating showcase - an exploration of sight and sound, and the manifestation of an untamed spirit. ¡Salvaje!

Tiffany Savion: Vocalist, actor, featured performer; Jason Fitzmaurice: Guitars; Terry Cline: Lead guitar; Erika Heet: Drums.

Sunday, October 23, 2022

How to Live Like a Millionaire When You're a Million Short

6:00 PM, Main Stage, 75 min, all ages

In her breezy, humorous style, comedienne and bestselling author Marilyn Anderson provides tons of money-saving tips on how to save thousands of dollars on entertainment, shopping, restaurants, health, beauty, home décor and more. Marilyn's book was featured in Forbes and USA Weekly and was awarded Best Book on Saving Money & Living Well of the Year.

Pain in My Asperger's

6:30 PM, The Other Space, 60 min, 15 to 100

With eight original songs and compositions, Jeremy Ebenstein offers a story of optimism and love, not only for those suffering with Asperger's Syndrome, but for all who have ever hoped and dreamed of making something of themselves. "I grew up, listing to the music of the 1950's/60's. That inspired me right along with that current music of the time, which was the 1980's for this boy. When I was 19 or 20 I finally decided to take my first voice lesson. There was this singer inside of me somewhere who wanted to be heard. I hadn't expressed this before in my short life, therefore, my parents were questioning this. Still, after several years of training/honing my musical skills in clubs, and listening to the latest music, they are now believers, as are all who hear my tracks, or see me live. I also have a one-man musical, about my life with Asperger's.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Truth Be Told

7:30 PM, The Other Space, 80 min, 16+

Starring Doyle Smiens, and directed by Ann Wellman, this solo show is Smiens' coming out story, but also a story about how he found his way back to himself, struggling with disappointment, betrayal, rejection, and despair on his journey to self-discovery. Smiens' powerful story will make you laugh, cry, as well as think, in a poignant and emotionally moving way that inspires hope. The show culminates in a Q&A with Doyle.

Thursday, October 27 (also Friday, October 28, Saturday, October 29, 2022)


DOO Theatre from Denmark

7:00pm, Main Stage, 60 min, all ages

Giuseppe L. Bonifati and Maestro Claudio Passilongo, a duo with an exceptional artistic synergy, are flying around the world with a new show-concert. This show includes a repertoire of international classics, on the notes of boleros, jazz and bossa nova, and evoke several great musical icons and successes of the past. They will fly the audience from Denmark to Italy, Spain, France, and then to Latin America, Asia, USA, entertaining the spectators with a beautiful and utterly elegant musical evening full of surprises and interactions. Presented by DOO performing arts group (IT) / Det Flyvende Teater (DK) in conjunction with The Italian Cultural Institute.

The concert is part of a larger "low and high-altitude" pilot-project of the newly founded The Flying Theatre in Billund (in co-production with DOO performing arts group), town of the second busiest international airport in Denmark and it will be performed also in airport spaces, offering an exceptional experience, optimism and faith in a new era, after the long period of isolation and lock-down.

Friday, October 28, 2022


DOO Theatre from Denmark

7:00pm, Main Stage, 60 min, all ages


7:30 PM, The Other Space, 60 min, 16+

Foster care training is the through line on which hangs the story of becoming a transracial family. As Heather Keller becomes a foster parent, she confronts the demons and absurdity of her dysfunctional traumatic childhood. Raised in poverty by a depressive mother and a stand-up comic father who became increasingly absent as his career took off, Heather and her brothers were left to fend for themselves, moving from Long Island to a small town the local kids call, "Slow Motion Goshen." The trauma and comedy of the Los Angeles foster care system are juxtaposed against the insanity of Heather's own childhood, as she assays more than 4 dozen characters, from social workers to personifying inanimate objects (the snake in the closet - a long corded telephone that becomes her mother's lifeline). Keller's comedy training with UCB, Groundlings combined with classical theatre experience allows her to explore such important issues as mental health, fertility, parenting, transracial families, adopting, fostering, and social welfare in a manner at once funny, charming, and ultimately uplifting. Written & performed by Heather Keller.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Imagination Nation Super Station - A BFF PREMIERE EVENT

3:00 PM, The Other Space, 60 min, 12 to 112

The Imagination Nation Super Station is a one-hour live improvised "variety show" that utilizes elements of improv and sketch, integrating elements of music, dance, animation, puppetry, and magic. It is an homage to the live-action Saturday morning children's shows of the 1970's with a performance of a dozen players.


DOO Theatre from Denmark

7:00pm, Main Stage, 60 min, all ages

Being Richard Greene

8:00 PM, The Other Space, 65 min, 11+

Is she a he or is he a she?...Will we find out?.. Keep watching. A child of three has her first experience with gender. The questions she faces at that young age pursue her right up to the to cope with people who don t like gender being borderless...especially in 1950...The entire show is told through Tap dance, Spoken mime, characterizations, multi-media and narration. Written & performed by Lynne Jassem who also hosts a post-show Q & A.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Forest of Love

6:30 PM, The Other Space, 85 min, 16+

Tony Cronin's "Forest of Love" is a parable on the power of Love. Told through the voice of the Totality of all Things, Forest of Love examines the nature of romantic love and its transformative power. Forest of Love was first performed at the Binge in 2019. This production will be a staged reading of a new version of this provocative and powerful work.

Monday, October 31, 2022

A Halloween Surprise

8:00 PM, The Other Space, 55 min, 12+

A world premiere ShortBurst Theatre production crafted by community members in collaboration with members of Theatre R.A.W. Created especially for BFF 2022, this event will be a surprise to everyone, but we do know that whatever Theatre R.A.W. does, it's always humorous, touching, relevant, and out of the box. Post-show Halloween reception with the cast.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Tales of Modern Motherhood...this sh*t just got real

7:30 PM, The Other Space, 1 hr 18 min, 15 to 105

Pam Levin's brutally funny one-woman show about the fear of becoming a parent, and why she seriously considered just settling for a dog. To birth or not to birth, that is the question, but what if, to NOT is a deal breaker? Pam had managed to convince her husband Brett to postpone parenting for 5 years, but now time's up and her husband's biological clock is ticking. But Pam has a different strategy, SPERM ASSASSINATION! Tales of Modern Motherhood addresses the good, bad and ugly truth of what happens behind closed doors and gives a very honest perspective on the hardest job in the world, PARENTING!

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Conversations 'Bout the Girls

8:00 PM, The Other Space, 65 min, 18+

"Veronica's Revelations," a bra shop, is the location and foundation for this exploration of the wise, whimsical wonders of women and their relationship with their breasts Vernonica has just hired Sammy, a new team member, a young energetic, Social Media guru, to assist with the store. Customers always get honest with Veronica and share personal stories with the shop-owner, divulging their truths about everything from nursing to cleavage to loss. While training Sammy, Veronica explains not only the b ras, but the customers who wear them. The show leaves audiences with a smile and deeper insight into the beautiful, painful, hilarious, and moving experience of living with breasts. The evening culminates with a frank discussion of women's issues with the audience. Written & performed by Sonia Jackson. Directed & developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. Produced by Visions of Possibilities.

Friday, November 4, 2022

CHEMO BARBIE - My Lady Bits' Journey Through Cancer

7:30pm, The Other Space, 70 min, 16+

In 2016, Heather Keller, a healthy young vegan runner, was diagnosed with breast cancer and her life changed forever. This is her heartbreaking, inspiring and ultimately uplifting story. Winner, 2017 Hollywood Fringe Encore Award. Written & performed by Heather Keller. Directed & developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson.

Saturday, November 5, 2022 (also Sunday, November 6 at 1pm)

MATTY: An Evening with Christy Matthewson

7:30pm, The Other Space, 2 hrs (with intermission), all ages

Baseball fan or not, you definitely want to see this show. "It's 100% true that you don't have to be a baseball fan to be completely engaged by Eddie Frierson's performance. He leaves the audience with a real appreciation of Christy Mathewson, and the place and time in which he was an authentic hero. On the other hand, if you are a baseball fan, you will be amazed at how much you didn't know about "Matty," his contemporaries, and the dramatic baseball events of their time." - Bob Costas, NBC. "A magnificent trip back in time! I recommend it highly!" - Keith Olbermann, ESPN. "A superb theatrical experience. MATTY hits a home run!" National Public Radio, NPR.

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Inner Freedom- A Writing Workshop

1:00 to 2:30 PM, The Artists' Entrance Studio, 90 min, 16+

Through the "Inner Freedom, a Writing Workshop," Sonia Jackson gives participants an opportunity to explore and capture their inner thoughts. Take a moment from your life and create a story, song or opening to something you can't imagine yet. Free your inner thoughts and see what they have to say. All you need is something to write with, something to write on, an open mind and an open heart and you may leave with new material. Set your inner creativity free.

MATTY: An Evening with Christy Matthewson

1:00PM, The Other Space, 2 hrs (with intermission), all ages


6:30 PM, The Other Space, 90 min, ages 16+

Three different women. Three different stories. One common denominator... HIV positive. This one woman show sheds a light on the lives of these women, the people in their lives, public perception and what we think we know about HIV. HIV doesn't discriminate. People do. Created, written and performed by Rahvaunia. Directed and developed by Jessica Lynn Johnson. Audiences are invited to stay for the post-show Closing Night reception.

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