NoHo Arts Center Ensemble Presents PRAYING SMALL, Previews 6/10

The multi-award-winning NoHo Arts Center Ensemble (NoHo ACE) presents the West Coast Premiere of PRAYING SMALL, written by Clifford Morts and directed by Victor Warren. PRAYING SMALL will preview on Thursday, June 10 at 8pm and will open on Friday, June 11 at 8pm and will run for six weeks through Sunday, July 18 at The NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood.

This powerful new play explores the crippling results of a life lived under the crushing weight of addiction. Sam Dean is a smart, educated and charismatic man, yet he wrestles with his crippling life choices, his inability to accept life "on life's terms," his fear and rage and helplessness in dealing with his seemingly endless capacity for drugs and alcohol. Finally, his life in tatters, his self-respect trampled and his soul morally bankrupt, he reaches out for help. And slowly, we see him awaken to a new way of living. He understands the beauty of humility and begins to embrace his life again. PRAYING SMALL is a play about the catharsis of redemption, the necessity of forgiveness and ultimately, the power of change.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

CLIFFORD MORTS (Playwright) is the playwright-in-residence for NoHo Arts Center Ensemble. Before moving to Los Angeles in November of 2009, he was the playwright-in-residence for Chicago's prestigious Redtwist Theatre. Praying Small marks his fourteenth professionally produced play. Others include Liars and Angels (Redtwist), Barking at Lighted Windows (DCT-Rochester), The Flagger (Actors Theatre - Louisville), Death in Des Moines (LoveCreek Productions, NYC), Dad/Sons (Theatre 22, NYC), Eulogy (Writer's Theatre, NYC), Changing it to Brando (Writer's Theatre, NYC), Golden Eggs (Chelsea Center for the Arts, NYC), Farley and Daisy (Brooklyn Academy Of Music, NYC), Faggot in the Morning (Missouri State University), Closin' Time (Missouri State University) and Our Generation (The Kraine Theatre, NYC). In February he mounted the first public performance of his play From the East to the West which is now slated for a Chicago Premiere in June, 2011. His play, Bachelor's Graveyard is being produced with this theatre under the direction of co-Artistic Director Karesa McElheny. He is currently hard at work on two new projects: Heavyweights of the Twentieth Century, a three-act play exploring such disparate issues as AIDS, Auschwitz, alcoholism and heavyweight prize fighting over the past one hundred years and 3 Upper, a one-person play for award-winning, Broadway actor James Barbour. Praying Small has won a number of regional ‘best new play' awards over the past seven years (it was written in 2003) and in 2005 was submitted for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

VICTOR WARREN (Director - interim Co-Artistic Director NoHo Ace) is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers. Victor majored in acting and directing at Carnegie Mellon University working on East and West coasts as an Actor/director/Writer/fight choreographer. He has appeared in several episodic TV shows, numerous commercials, print and voice over campaigns and many regional plays. Most recently Guest staring on CRIMINAL MINDS, WITHOUT A TRACE, BROTHERHOOD. While pursuing his acting career he has been able to also stay active writing and directing. Some of his directing credits include Walt Whitman Speaks for the Matrix theatre in Los Angeles, the world premiere of Betterland for the Theatre Studio in New York. Recently he received Both an LA DRAMA CRITIQUES AWARD and LA WEEKLY AWARD for his work for last years production of STRANGER for the Bootleg Theatre. He was awarded Best independent short at the Canadian International Film festival for the film Alone that he wrote, acted and directed as well as a first prize from the Massachusetts Film Office Screen writing Competition for a script called Jimmy. Another first place writing award at the Rhode Island Film Festival for the script The Road Less Traveled.

Some of his favorite regional directing credits include BREAKING LEGS, 5 different productions of THE COMPLETE WORKS OF SHAKESPEARE including a tour, TALES OF THE LOST FORMICANS, TALLY'S FOLLY, WOYZECK, THE ADDING MACHINE, ONCE UPON A TIME, SYLVIA and MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM to name a few. He will also be directing a production of ROOM SERVICE for the Barnstormers Theatre in NH this summer.

The cast of PRAYING SMALL features Clif Morts, Tara Lynn Orr, Brad Blaisdell,
Rob Arbogast, Melanie Ewbank and Bonnie Cahoon.

The production has assembled an award-winning design team. The Set Design is by Lacey Anzelc. The Lighting Design is by Ovation Award-winner Luke Moyer. The Sound Design is by Kyle Puccia. The Costume Design is by Curtis C.

PRAYING SMALL will preview on Thursday, June 10 at 8pm (with a special benefit performance, talkback and reception - $50) and will open on Friday, June 11 at 8pm and will run for six weeks through Sunday, July 18 at the NoHo Arts Center, 11136 Magnolia Blvd. (at Lankershim) in North Hollywood. Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 3pm. Ticket prices are $25.00 for all performances. Student/Senior Tickets are $20. For tickets, please call 818-508-7101 x7 or visit www.nohoace.com.

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