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Open Fist Theatre Co Presents FIRST LOOK FESTIVAL OF PLAYS, Kicks Off 7/29

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The Open Fist Theatre Company presents their second FIRST LOOK FESTIVAL OF NEW PLAYS, with new works written by Ty Taylor, Douglas Crawford, Ron West, Joseph Fisher, William Mesnik, Phillip William Brock, and Laura Richardson and directed by Martha Demson, Benjamin Burdick and Amanda Weier. The Festival is being produced by Charles Otte with associate producers Laura Flanigan and Ben Burdick and individual productions produced by Caitlin Renee Campbell, Martha Demson, Scott Paulin, Rebecca Rosenak, Ina Russell and Teresa Wills. The Festival will begin on Thursday, July 29 and runs through Sunday, September 18 at The NEW Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd. (former home of The Actor's Gang) in Hollywood.

The festival is a 2 month celebration of contemporary American theatre and music. Material has been carefully selected from around the country, and seven new works will be represented in production or in staged reading/concert format. There will be three full productions and four staged reading and concert events.

The works include:
STAGED PRODUCTIONS:

THE EXISTENTS

Book by Douglas Crawford and Jason Wooten
Music and Lyrics by Ty Taylor
Directed by Martha Demson
Preview: Thursday, July 29 at 8pm
Opening: Friday July 30 at 8pm
Performances: Saturday July 31at 8pm, Sunday, August 1 at 7pm, Saturday August 14 at 8pm, Thursday August 19 at 8pm, Friday August 20 at 8pm. Sunday, August 1 and August 22 @ 7pm. Matinee performances; Sunday August 15th @ 2pm & Sunday August 22 @ 2pm

A new rock musical about a band striving to be more than the sum of its parts.

Ty Taylor: has shared stages with Tina Turner, Eric Clapton, Brian May, Slash and more. He has two top ten hits with his previous band Dakota Moon on Elektra Records. He was a top finalist on CBS's mega-series Rockstar:INXS. Broadway - Joseph, Grease, Cats, The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber Concert and Songs for a New World. Vegas - We Will Rock Rock. LA- Pippin (Mark Taper) Chess (Ford Amphitheatre) and Damn Yankees (Reprise.) He is also the author and composer of the upcoming children's book/CD I'm Ready. He is graduate Carnegie-Mellon University. His current band sells out speak-easies all around LA. www.VintageTrouble.com

Douglas Crawford (Co-Creator/Co-Author) has performed principal roles on Broadway in Jersey Boys and Grease!; originated leading roles in The English Premiere and North American Premiere companies of Notre Dame de Paris and We Will Rock You, respectively, in Las Vegas; and starred in L.A.productions of Tommy (with Alice Ripley), Jesus Christ Superstar (with Ted Neeley and Jack Black), Hair, Lies & Legends... and Jekyll & HydE. Douglas' film and television credits include the film The In-Between, the soap opera Sunset Beach, VH-1's Behind the Music, numerous guest-starring spots, commercials, and appearances on The Tonight Show. He is currently preparing to premiere his original one-man musical, Wouldn't it Be Good, in New York this August. In addition, his other, new musical, Lost and Found, looks to premiere in New York later this year as a fully-staged, celebrity, All-Star benefit.

Jason Wooten (Book) currently plays Woof in the Broadway revival of Hair. Other Broadway credits include The Rocky Horror Show, Jesus Christ Superstar, Footloose, Dance of the Vampires, Grease, and The Times They Are A Changin'. He has sung with Queen, Kenny Rogers, Sebastian Bach, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Joan Jett.

MARTHA DEMSON (Director) received her principal theatrical education from Yale University and Sanford Meisner. For the past decade, she has held the position of Artistic Director at Los Angeles' Open Fist Theatre Company. Directing credits at the Open Fist include: PAPA (deGroot), Abingdon Square (Fornes), Beautiful City and Escape From Happiness (Walker), Casanova (Congden), Vieux Carre (Williams), God's Country (Dietz), The Flight of the Earls (Humble), After Easter (Devlin), Female Parts (Fo/Rame). Recent non-Open Fist directing credits include Eden (O'Brien) for Buzzworks, Les Belles Soeurs (Tremblay) at USC and Ourselves Alone (Devlin) Off-Broadway. Producing credits at the Open Fist include: the multi-award winning The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union (Grieg), Travesties (Stoppard), The Time of Your Life (Saroyan), Fen (Churchill), The Devil with Boobs (Fo) and How to Explain the History of Communism to Mental Patients (Visniec) in LA, NYC and Edinburgh.

A WOLF INSIDE THE FENCE
by Joseph Fisher
Directed by Benjamin Burdick
Preview: Thursday August 5
Opening: Friday August 6 at 8pm
Performances: Saturday August 7 at 8pm, Thursday August 12 at 8pm, Friday August 13 at 8pm , Saturday August 21 at 8pm , Thursday September 2 at 8pm, Friday September 3 at 8pm, Friday September 10 at 8pm , Saturday September 11th @ 8pm
Matinees: Sunday August 8 at 2pm, Saturday August 21 at 2pm & Sunday August 29th @ 2pm

Marion is a child left behind but when her Oregon public school system tries to
help, both get more than they bargained for.

JOSEPH FISHER (Writer) His plays have been produced at The Center Theater Group, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage, The Cherry Lane Theater NYC, Kitchen Dog Theater, Stark Raving Theatre, and Artists Repertory Theater. Joseph is a recipient of the Playwrights First Award, the Charlotte Woodard Award, a 2002 grant recipient from the Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays and has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists in New York since 2002. In addition to playwriting Joe has also worked as a screenwriter on many feature films including "Beverly Hills Chihuahua", "College Road Trip", "Enchanted", "Underdog", "The Game Plan" and "Race to Witch Mountain". Joseph currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

BENJAMIN BURDICK (Director) is thrilled to be making his directorial debut for The
Open Fist Theatre Company. Benjamin began directing in the world of improv with The Viola Question. Other stage credits include Betrayal, Neil Simon's Fools, and The Fever. Benjamin also recently co-directed the television pilot Hung Jury. His most recent acting credits include:
Film- The Stranger, Walking Tall 3, Manticore, Tattoo: A Love Story TheBoard Room. Television- The Mentalist, Monk, Conspiracy (Series Regular), 24, Las Vegas, Entourage, CSI, Born Free . Theatre- Light Up The Sky, Travesties (LA Weekly Award Winner for Best Comedy Performance), Blue Night in the Heart of the West, Autobahn, The Real Thing. Benjamin is
a graduate of Yale University.

A LIFE OF EASE
Written by Phillip William Brock
Directed by Amanda Weier
Preview: Thursday, August 26 at 8pm
Opening: Friday, August 27 at 8pm;
Performances: Saturday August 28 at 8pm; Wednesday, September 1 at 8pm; Saturday September 4 at 8pm, Thursday, September 9 at 8pm, Thursday, September 16 at 8pm. Friday, September 17 at 8pm and Saturday, September 18 at 2pm
Matinees: Saturday, September 4 at 2pm; Sunday, September 5 at 2pm; Sunday, September 12 at 2pm; Saturday, September 18 at 2pm

In contemporary Oklahoma a grandson feels a kinship with his grandmother, little does he know how deep that kinship runs.

PHILLIP William Brock (Writer) a former OFTC member, is an actor and writer whose play The Normal Child won both the Moving Arts Theatre Company's playwriting contest, and the Arts and Letters Prize for Drama in 2006. He has developed television shows for Paramount, 20th Century Fox Television and HBO Independent Productions, among others. His short fiction has been anthologized, and he has a novel coming out in the fall.

AMANDA WEIER (Director) Directing credits include the critically acclaimed West Coast Premiere of Neil LaBute's Autobahn and the L.A. Premiere of James Stock's Blue Night in the Heart of the West. Amanda also proudly served as Assistant Director for the World Premiere of Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage. Her recent stage credits include playing Terry in Stage Door, Celeste in Where's My Money?, Ms. Lowell in Light Up The Sky, Dorothy Thompson in The Room and Stephanie in The Idiot Box. Film/TV credits include the film Alien Abduction & several episodes of Scare Tactics. Writing credits include Stray (Slamdance/Skyline Finalist) and Goose-Stepping with Bound Feet. Amanda is a Directors Lab West alum, a graduate of Northwestern's Theatre & Creative Writing programs, and she has a certificate in directing
from The Royal Court Theatre's International School.

STAGED READING AND CONCERTS:
PALOMA by Anne Garcia-Romero

SATURDAY, AUGUST 7 at 2pm
& SUNDAY, AUGUST 8 at 7pm

ANNE GARCIA-ROMERO (Writer) her plays include Earthquake Chica, Mary Peabody In Cuba, Desert Longing, Juanita's Statue and Santa Concepción. Her plays have been developed and produced most notably at the New York Shakespeare Festival/Public Theater, Arielle Tepper Productions' Summer Play Festival (Off-Broadway), The Mark Taper Forum, Hartford Stage, Borderlands Theater and South Coast Repertory. She has received commissions from the Public Theater, The Mark Taper Forum, and South Coast Repertory. She has also written for Peninsula Films, Elysian Films and Disney Creative Entertainment. She's been a Jerome Fellow at the Playwrights Center of Minneapolis as well as a MacDowell Colony fellow. She's taught at USC, Cal Arts, UC Santa Barbara, UC Riverside, Loyola Marymount University, Wesleyan University and Macalester College. Her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing, NoPassport Press and Playscripts. She holds an MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and is an alumna of New Dramatists.

SONGS OF SIN by William Mesnick
SATURDAY, AUGUST 14 at 2pm
& SUNDAY, AUG. 15 at 8pm

A musical retelling of the nativity story, BOTH combines modern music and pop imagery with the Biblical story of the birth of Christ.

WILLIAM MESNICK (Writer) is an actor-playwright-musician who has created several genre bending music-theater pieces, including Three Songs, his critically acclaimed drama about folk-singers during the blacklist (Fremont Centre Theatre, 1997, revived in 2002, garnering "Critic's Choice," in the L.A.Times, "Critic's Pick" in Backstage, and an LA Weekly Award "Best Ensemble" nomination), and Muckrakers (an evening of presidential campaign songs and family dysfunction), which debuted during the 2000 election.In 2004, Mesnik teamed up with Guilford Adams (member of L.A.'s popular TROUBADOURS) to produce both his autobiographical 1970's psychedelic comedy, Lundquist In The Sky With Diamonds, and a theatrical deconstruction of The Basement Tapes entitled Down In The Basement.


ANY RESEMBLENCE
Written by Ron West
SATURDAY, AUGUST 28 at 2pm
& SUNDAY, AUGUST 29 at 7pm

RON WEST (Writer) is an alumnus of The Second City where he has written and directed many shows, including the critically acclaimed Curious George Goes to War. The People vs. Friar Laurence, the musical by Phil Swann and Ron West, has recently been published by Samuel French. Friar debuted in Los Angles in 2003 and was produced at Chicago Shakespeare in 2004 and 2005. In 2008, the Open Fist produced the Swann/West award-winning musical deLEARious. Ron's adaptation of The Comedy of Errors, set in London in 1940 during the Battle of Britain, won the Joseph Jefferson Awards for best production, best direction, and best adaptation in 2008. Starting with Durang's Titantic in 1996, this is Ron's 13th production with the Open Fist. He spent this spring and summer playing a lot of softball.

LADY LIBERTY by Laura Richardson

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 11 at 2pm
& SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 12 at 7pm

Laura RichardSON (Writer) is a member of the Open Fist Theatre Company whose play Come Back, Little Horny, premiered at The Lost Studios and was directed by Open Fist's very own Martha Demson, and received a WOW! In Stage Scene LA. Richardson's theatrical play, Do Do Love, premiered at the Open Fist Theatre in 2007 and received "Critic's Choice" in the Los Angeles Times. Her one woman show, Sweety's Big Experiment, had its world premiere in Los Angeles at Actors Art Theatre where it garnered a "Critics Pick of the Week." Most recently Richardson's play, Chronic Pain, ran at the award winning Theatre East, her play, Lady Liberty, was chosen for a reading at The Abington Theatre in New York City, Life Eats Mikey and Kitty Cornered, were both recognized by the Writer's Digest and Writer's Network play contests, and her screenplay, Do Do Love, placed in the Scriptapalooza contest. She is a member of the Open Fist Theatre, Actors Art Theatre, Playwrights 6, and the Dramatists Guild.

PRICING for FIRST LOOK FESTIVAL

TICKET PRICES for the FIRST LOOK FESTVIAL are as follows:
Single ticket price for one show: $23.00
Single ticket sale for two shows: $30.00
PRODUCTION PASS: For all three productions: $45.00

Preview Prices are $15.00.

All performances take place at the Open Fist Theatre, 6209 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood.

For tickets, please call (323) 882-6912 for details or visit www.openfist.org to purchase tickets online or to view complete schedule.


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