Furious Theatre's 'HUNTER GATHERERS' Extends at Pasadena Playhouse Thru 2/28

Furious Theatre Company has announced that the critically-acclaimed Los Angeles Premiere of HUNTER GATHERERS, written by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb (boom, Colorado) and directed by Dámaso Rodriguez (Canned Peaches In Syrup, Furious Theatre; Orson's Shadow, Pasadena Playhouse) IS EXTENDING THROUGH SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at the home of Furious Theatre Company, the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena.

This is the first Furious production produced under a negotiated contract with the Actors' Equity Association, which significantly increases actors' weekly salaries and includes contributions to the union's pension fund.

The Los Angeles premiere of the 2006 Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award-winner finds Pam and Richard hosting their best friends, Wendy and Tom, for an annual dinner get-together. An animal sacrifice kicks off the evening, followed by a little more sex, violence, deception, wrestling, and dancing than at previous parties. A darkly comic evening where the line between civilized and primal man is blurred, and where not everyone will survive long enough to enjoy the brownies for dessert.

Furious' new contract with Equity is part of a long-term professional development initiative that began in 2004 with a multi-year grant from the Los Angeles County Arts Commission. Furious Co-Founder and Co-Artistic Director Eric Pargac explains that the project was designed to steadily increase artists' fees in an effort to professionalize and strengthen the company. Support for the program has grown to include a matching grant from the City of Pasadena.

"We started this initiative as a way to better support our artists," Pargac said. "Equity's 99-Seat Plan (the union agreement used by most small theatres in Los Angeles) only requires a nominal stipend for the actors, but we've always believed that the way to build a strong company is to steadily grow artists' fees to meet professional standards. We are thrilled to have the support of the L.A. County Arts Commission and the City of Pasadena in this effort. We feel this type of commitment to our artists results in a better product on stage, which in turn will foster more support from the community."

PETER SINN NACHTRIEB (Playwright) is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works include boom, Hunter Gatherers, Colorado, Meaningless, and The Amorphous Blob. Hunter Gatherers received the 2007 American Theatre Critics Association/Steinberg New Play Award for best new play to premiere outside of New York and the 2007 Will Glickman Prize for best new play in the Bay Area. His work has been seen (or will be seen) off Broadway and across the country at Ars Nova, SPF, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Seattle Rep, Cleveland Public Theatre, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep, the Bailiwick Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actor's Theatre, Dad's Garage, and the Magic Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, Killing My Lobster, Playground and Impact Theatre in the Bay Area. He is currently under commission from Encore Theatre Company (SF) and South Coast Rep and was a 2008 Resident Playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco. Peter holds a degree in Theater and Biology from Brown and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.

DÁMASO RODRIGUEZ (Director) is the Associate Artistic Director of Pasadena Playhouse. He is also a co-founder and the resident director of Furious Theatre Company, artists in residence at the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre. He directed Pasadena Playhouse's recent hit production of Orson's Shadow by Austin Pendleton and will direct the 2009 Pasadena Playhouse revival of The Little Foxes by Lillian Hellman. His directing credits for Furious Theatre include: Saturday Night at the Palace: Revisited, Canned Peaches in Syrup (World Premiere), An Impending Rupture of the Belly (World Premiere, four LA Weekly Theatre Award nominations including Production & Direction), Grace (Los Angeles Premiere, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards including Production & Direction), Back of the Throat (Los Angeles Premiere), The Fair Maid of the West Parts I & II (World Premiere Adaptation), The God Botherers (West Coast Premiere), The Shape of Things (Los Angeles Premiere),
Scenes from the Big Picture (U.S. Premiere), Chimps (U.S. Premiere), The Playboy of the Western World, and Saturday Night at the Palace (U.S. Premiere, two NAACP Theatre Awards including Best Director). As a co-founder of Furious Theatre, Dámaso received the Pasadena Arts Council's Gold Crown Award and the Debut Award from Back Stage West.

The cast of HUNTER GATHERER features: Doug Newell (Back of the Throat, The Night Before Christmas), Sara Hennessy (The God Botherers, Grace), Vonessa Martin (Back of the Throat, The Shape of Things), Steven Schub (In Arabia We'd All Be Kings, Elephant Theatre; The Accomplices, The Fountain Theatre).

HUNTER GATHERERS has assembled an award-winning design team. The Scenic Design is by Kurt Boetcher. The Lighting Design is by Christie Wright. The Sound Design by Cricket Myers. The Costume Design by Christy Hauptman. Fight Choreography is by Brian Danner. The Stage Manager is Katie Davies.

HUNTER GATHERERS is EXTENDING through SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28 at the home of Furious Theatre Company, the Pasadena Playhouse Carrie Hamilton Theatre, 39 S. El Molino Ave. in Pasadena. Performances are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.; Sundays at 7:30 p.m. (there is no performance on Sunday, March 1). Tickets can be purchased online at www.furioustheatre.org or by calling the 24-hour ticket line at 1-800-595-4849.

Single ticket prices are $30; Students $10 rush.

The critically-acclaimed Furious Theatre Company are artists in residence at the Pasadena Playhouse committed to edgy, innovative and original works. The company debuted in April 2002 after they were generously granted the use of a 9,000 square foot section of Armory Northwest, a former plastics factory. The company converted the raw warehouse into an alternative performance space. Risers were constructed, the lighting grid hung and stage curtains built, all by the ensemble. In that converted warehouse, they rapidly produced five plays in 12 months. These productions earned 6 NAACP Theatre Award nominations, two LA Weekly Award nominations and numerous critics' picks from the Los Angeles media. The company also received the Pasadena Arts Council's Gold Crown Award and The Debut Award from Back Stage West. In September 2003, the City of Pasadena reclaimed the Armory Northwest and Furious needed to move. After a 13-month search, the Pasadena Playhouse granted Furious a 4-year residency at its Balcony Theatre (recently renamed the Carrie Hamilton Theatre), the Playhouse's 99-seat second stage. Since its 2004 debut at the Playhouse, Furious Theatre Company has produced 11 premieres, including the World Premieres of Alex Jones' Canned Peaches in Syrup and Matt Pelfrey's An Impending Rupture of the Belly (4 LA Weekly Award nominations) as well as Los Angeles Premieres of Neil LaBute's The Shape of Things, Yussef El Guindi's Back of the Throat (LA Weekly Award Winner: Best Playwright) and Craig Wright's Grace (Los Angeles Drama Critic's Circle Award Recipient: Best Production, Best Direction, Best Writing). Furious Theatre Company is led by co-founders and Artistic Council members: Sara Hennessy, Shawn Lee, Vonessa Martin, Eric Pargac, Brad Price and Dámaso Rodriguez.

For more info visit www.furioustheatre.org.

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