Hollyhock House presents a J.U.S.T. Toys Production FEFU AND HER FRIENDS

This May, in celebration of Frank Lloyd Wright's 150th anniversary, UNESCO World Heritage List-nominated Hollyhock House presents a J.U.S.T. Toys Production in association withCircle X Theatre Co. of a very unique immersive event, FEFU AND HER FRIENDS, written by María Irene Fornés, with choreography by Zsófia Nemes, musical composition by Daniel Szabo and directed by Kate Jopson. FEFU AND HER FREIENDS is the first play EVER to be performed at the iconic house, which is located in the heart of Barnsdall Art Park, a vibrant, artistic and recreational destination. With just 20 guests admitted to each of the 12 performances, attendees will enjoy a truly intimate front row experience at the play, which previews on Thursday, May 4; with a press opening on Friday, May 5 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, May 28 (4800 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, 90027).
On a seemingly ordinary day, a group of women gather to plan a philanthropic fundraiser. As the evening unwinds, the world dips into the surreal and their secrets, fears, and frustrations with society and each other come to light. Featuring an international cast of women, Forne?s' 1977 play explores how women across the world are subtly pressured to conform to an ideal of meekness and femininity.
The synergies between Aline Barnsdall and the women in FEFU AND HER FRIENDS are uncanny, leading to wonderful historical resonances between the rich history of the House and the play. Fefu is a strong, eccentric, upper-class woman, who deliberately defies convention and could have easily been based on Aline. The playwright, Maria Irene Fornes, fits the type of artist Aline envisioned commissioning for her experimental theatre complex had it come to fruition. Now in her 80s, Fornes reframed feminism in the 1970s and her work continues to inspire new generations of artists.
In collaboration with Hollyhock House and generous support from the Barnsdall Art Park Foundation, a portion of the proceeds from the performances will go towards the restoration of the guesthouse, Residence A that is currently underway.
HOLLYHOCK HOUSE is a significant part of Los Angeles' storied architectural history. A National Historic Landmark, Hollyhock House was commissioned by Aline Barnsdall and designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright in 1919-1921. Originally intended as part of a avant-garde theatre complex, the project stalled after the house was finished. Barnsdall gifted the house to the City of Los Angeles in 1927. Hollyhock House underwent extensive renovations and re-opened to the public in 2014. Fefu and Her Friends will be the first-ever theatre performance at the house, finally making Aline Barnsdall's vision a reality. Hollyhock House is now among a group of Frank Lloyd Wright buildings currently nominated by the United States to the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage List.
Barnsdall Art Park Foundation is a 501c(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to nurture Barnsdall Park as a dynamic and vibrant artistic, cultural, and recreational destination for Los Angeles and the world.
As a leading, progressive arts and cultural agency, DCA empowers Los Angeles' vibrant communities by supporting and providing access to quality visual, literary, musical, performing, and educational arts programming; managing vital cultural centers; preserving historic sites; creating public art; and funding services provided by arts organizations and individual artists. Formed in 1925, DCA promotes arts and culture as a way to ignite a powerful dialogue, engage LA's residents and visitors, and ensure LA's varied cultures are recognized, acknowledged, and experienced. For more information, please visit culturela.org
KATE JOPSON (Director) is Associate Artistic director of the acclaimed Circle X Theatre Co. and Artistic Director of The Flagship Ensemble, a company that produces environmental works. Formerly, she was a producer for Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre, a 30-year-old site specific company in LA. Her work has also been seen at La Jolla Playhouse's site-specific Without Walls Festival. As a National Arts Strategies Creative Community Fellow, she is working with playwright Octavio Solis to adapt Chekhov's The Cherry Orchard to reflect the struggles facing her rural hometown. Her performance of Second Skin on Santa Monica Beach was named "Best Theatre of 2016" by LA Weekly.
MARÍA IRENE FORNÉS (Playwright) was born in Havana, Cuba on May 14th, 1930. She emigrated to the US in 1945. Her first play, Tango Palace (1964) premiered at the Actors Workshop in San Francisco, directed by Herbert Blau. By this time, she was already established within the small but influential avant-garde Greenwich Village arts community. Fornés wrote over forty plays. She was among the Off-Off Broadway artists which included Lanford Wilson and Terrence McNally, who gathered at the Judson Poet's Theatre, La MaMa, and the Café Cino. These were busy years in which she wrote ten works, including a brush with Broadway - The Office (1966) while Promenade (1965), with music by Al Carmines, was an early commercial success. In 1972 Fornés worked with Ed Bullins, Rosalyn Drexler, Adrienne Kennedy, Sam Shepard and Megan Terry to create New York Theatre Strategy, a space where playwrights could try out their ideas and have control over their work. In 1977 Fefu and Her Friends was produced under her direction at New York Theatre Strategy. At this time, Fornés began her long collaboration with INTAR, where she began her search for a 'Hispanic sensibility.' In her highly influential workshops there, she taught many aspiring writers. In the 1980s and '90s Fornes wrote and directed Evelyn Brown (1980), The Danube (1981), Mud (1983), Sarita (1984),The Conduct of Life (1985), Abingdon Square (1987), What of the Night? (1990, Pulitzer finalist)Enter The Night (1993), and her last play, Letters From Cuba (2000). Fornés has been awarded many prestigious prizes and honors, including nine Obie Awards.
ZSÓFIA NEMES (Choreography) is a Hungarian choreographer and artistic director of PR-EvolutionDance Co. She started her career as a dancer, working at Sarbo Dance Theatre, Figures Dance Theatre, and as soloist of Contemporary Ballet in Szeged, Hungary. She has served as guest choreographer to many companies including The National Theatre of Szeged and the Hungarian State Opera. Her choreography has received the Tisza-Volán and Fülöp Viktor Awards. She has experimented with abstract minimalism, the grotesque, and absurdism, but her current work blends meditation with dance therapy techniques. In her native Hungary she leads workshops on meditanz, mixtour and partnering.
DANIEL SZABO (Musical Director) is an LA-based performer-composer- educator. He grew up in the culturally stimulating environment of Eastern-Europe where his artistic path had been shaped by the amalgam of wide-range music influences, such as classical, jazz, pop, and folk. After being trained at the Franz Liszt Academy of Budapest, he earned his Masters degree at the New England Conservatory, and his Doctorate at the University of Southern California, in the fields of jazz piano, classical composition and film scoring. In the composition field, he was trained by such prominent artists as Bruce Broughton, Vince Mendoza or Stephen Hartke. Among the credits of Szabo is the documentary that he composed and produced at the studio of "A-list" Hollywood composer Thomas Newman who was also his mentor in the past years. As a prolific performer, Szabo has recorded and performed with many greats of the jazz world, including Peter Erskine, Chris Potter or Kurt Rosenwinkel. He has won the International Martial Solal Jazz Competition and the Montreux Jazz Piano Solo Contests, and his trio has toured to prestigious jazz venues worldwide. Szabo is currently a Lecturer at UCLA.
The cast of FEFU AND HER FRIENDS will feature an international array of actors from six different countries: Julia Ubrankovics, Tunde Skovran, Talia Davis, Christine Uhebe, Claudia Zielke, Guerin Piercy, Kacie Rogers, and Caro Zeller.
FEFU AND HER FRIENDS is produced by Josh Haroutunian, JR Bruce, Kate Jopson, Tunde Skovran, Julia Ubrankovics and features the following design team: Lighting Consultant is Kristin Swift. Costume Design is by Melanie Watnick.
Properties Design by Lily Bartenstein. The Production Stage Manager is Deena Tovar.
FEFU AND HER FRIENDS will preview on Thursday, May 4 and will open on Friday, May 5 at 8pm and runs through Sunday, May 28 at Hollyhock House, 4800 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angeles, 90027.
Performances are Saturdays, Sundays & Mondays at 8pm; with an added performance on Friday, May 26 at 8pm.
4800 Hollywood Blvd. in Los Angles, CA 90027.
Tickets are $60. For tickets, buy online at http://circlextheatre.org/fefu

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