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Talkbacks Added Post Show To THE EMPTY NESTERS At Zephyr Theatre

Talkbacks Added Post Show To THE EMPTY NESTERS At Zephyr Theatre

Helicopter parents facing the question of what they want to be when their kids grow up is the focus in the new comedy-drama The Empty Nesters at the Zephyr Theatre by award-winning playwright Garret Jon Groenveld.

The Empty Nesters hosts two intimate post-show discussions, included with tickets, on February 10 and 15 about coping and celebrating as empty nesters with the stars of the show, real-life empty nesters John (JW) Walker and Pamela Gaye Walker. JW is one the producers of Incredibles 2, a current Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature. The film is currently the highest grossing film about parenting in box office history.

The first talkback is on Sunday, February 10, with special guest Dr. Dianne Sundby, author of You Know You are An Empty Nester When ...; the second will be on Friday, February 15, and is a talk with therapists Gianna Maunu and Vera Eck, moderated by Sarah Williams, the co-host of the Life Changes podcast.

The play, The Empty Nesters is a warm and witty look at a couple who drop their youngest child off at college and then take what may be a life-changing trip to the Skywalk at the Grand Canyon. The play is helmed by Los Angeles based director Richard Seyd.

The guest on Sunday, February 10, is Dr. Dianne Sundby, author of You Know You are An Empty Nester When ... and a clinical psychologist who addresses career change concerns. She has taught at USC, directed clinical service programs, and supervised psychological research projects. Her book came to fruition as the author grappled with the free time she suddenly had available once her youngest child left for college. How she saw herself and others transition from the "known world" of kids at home to the "unknown world" of empty-nesting fills the pages of this book. While this transition can be uncomfortable and difficult, Dr. Sundby, presents it as an opportunity for empty nesters to chuckle at themselves as they forge ahead into this "new world."

In addition, Sundby has consulted extensively in the United States and abroad on issues concerning management and employee selection and development. She has written on topics related to her work and co-authored a creativity assessment exercise, which has been used by several organizations to facilitate career and personal growth. Her three children all survived their parents' Empty Nest transition.

The second talk will be on Friday, February 15, and is with therapists Gianna Maunu and Vera Eck, moderated by Sarah Williams, the co-host of the Life Changes podcast.

Gianna Maunu is a Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Encino, CA. She is dedicated to approaching transitions in life with an emphasis on growth and emotional safety. From this focus, Gianna created Larkhood, a community of parents transitioning to Life After Raising Kids. Gianna offers individual therapy, couples therapy and support groups for men and women looking to connect to themselves and their relationships as they transition out of parenthood.

Vera Eck is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, a certified Imago Relationship Therapist and Consultant. Imago Relationship Therapy is widely known as one of the most effective couples counseling modalities. Vera received her Master's Degree in Clinical Psychology and has spent more than two decades helping individuals, couples and families improve their relationships. Vera pursued her academic studies at Northwestern University, the University of Texas at Austin, and Antioch University. Additionally, Vera has specialized experience working with people in recovery, helping them deal with all facets of addiction and codependency.

Sarah Williams is witty host of The Life Changes Podcast that explores life changes. Since moving to the City of Angels Sarah has had the opportunity to work with CBS, Fox Digital, E Network, and Yahoo Productions.

In The Empty Nesters, hard working parents Greg and Frances stop for a visit to the Grand Canyon's breathtaking Skywalk, a not-to-be missed sight, after delivering their final child to college in Phoenix. But instead of seeing a limitless horizon full of fresh possibilities, one half of the couple faces an empty chasm, while the other begins to wonder if freedom is only a loss of solid footing. The play received a warm reception in its Bay Area PlayGround debut at The Thick House in May 2015, with audience members exclaiming they identified with the dilemma, and also returning to share the experience with their grown children. It subsequently was performed in San Francisco in spring 2016 at Z Below.

John Walker incidentally is a current Oscar nominee - he is one of the producers of Incredibles 2, as well as the films The Incredibles (Academy Award-Best Animated Picture,) Tomorrowland, and The Iron Giant. As an actor he has an extensive theatre background that includes 30 stage productions with his wife, Pamela Gaye Walker.

Appearing as the wife who instigates a startling conversation, Pamela is an award-winning actress, whose credits include Buckets O' Beckett, with John Mahoney, Mercury Theatre, Chicago; Sea Marks, Royal George, Chicago (Joseph Jefferson Award Nomination); Hannah Free, The Jewish Wife, Victory Gardens, Chicago, (Actress of the Year); World Premier of Theresa Rebeck's What We're Up Against, Magic Theatre; John Gabriel Borkman, After The Revolution, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley; The Last Schwartz, Zephyr Theatre, L.A.; Brooklyn Boy, TheatreWorks, Palo Alto; Little Shop of Horrors, and Children of a Lesser God, Peninsula Players, Door County, WI.

She played Georgia O'Keeffe in Alfred Steiglitz Loves O'Keeffe at FCT, L.A. (Best Actress & Best Production), as well as at venues large and small around the country. She directed the film Trifles with an all-Pixar cast and crew, has written many screenplays, as well as written and directed the films Improvising the Future and Shakti's Retreat. Her work in film and television includes Wooly Boys with Peter Fonda, The Incredibles, Last Rites with Randy Quaid, Mercury Rising, Family Law, and Saved By The Bell.

The Walkers co-produced John Logan's Hauptmann at New York's Off-Broadway Cherry Lane Theatre before John moved his career into feature films. He also had a seven-year stint as Managing Director of the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theatre.

The Empty Nesters performs at the Zephyr Theatre, 7456 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, 90046, through February 17. Tickets are available through www.EmptyNestersPlay.com or by phone at 866.811.4111. Performances are Thursdays through Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 3pm.


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