Unbound Productions Presents WICKED LIT 2014, 10/03-11/08
Unbound Productions Executive Director Jonathan Josephson, Artistic Director Paul Millet, and Producing Artistic Director Jeff G. Rack have announced details for WICKED LIT 2014, the 6th annual immersive theatre event that will take place at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery in Altadena, California. The production will run from October 3-November 8, 2014 and feature world premiere adaptations of Las Lloronas (The Weeping Women), inspired by the Mexican folktale "La Llorona" ("The Weeping Woman") and actual events, adapted by Josephson (2013 Humana Festival of New American Plays) and directed by Millet (Smoke and Mirrors, 2012 LA Times Critic's Pick); Bram Stoker's Dracula's Guest (the previously unpublished first chapter of the novel Dracula), adapted by John Leslie (Theatre 40 Company Member) and directed by Rack (special effects for Planet of the Apes), and The Monk, inspired by the 1796 novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis, adapted by Douglas Clayton (The 24th Annual LA Stage Alliance Ovation Awards), and directed by Debbie McMahon (Grand Guignolers). The production will also include a pre-show and interstitial "frame" inspired by the German Wulpurgisnacht festival, conceived and directed by Charlie Mount (Against the Wall, 2014 LA Times' Critic's Pick) and Aurora Long (On the Edge Theatre Productions).
The cast of 22 will include 8 veterans of Unbound Productions as well as many actors who are new to the company. Returning actors include:
John T. Cogan - The Unnamable (WL10, WL11)
Bianca Gisselle - The Cask of Amontillado (WL11), The Masque of the Red Death Experience (WL13)
Melissa Perl - The Unnamable (WL11), The Dead Smile (WL12)
Eric Harris - The Chimes (WL10, WL11) The Dead Smile (WL12) The Lurking Fear (WL13)
William Joseph Hill - Pigeons >From Hell (WL09), Cask (WL10, WL11), Count Magnus (WL12)
Eric Keitel - The Body Snatcher (WL11), Two Pictures in One (History Lit), The Dead Smile (WL12), The Tell-Tale Heart (ScareLA 2013), The Lurking Fear (WL13)
Richard Large - The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (WL09), The Chimes (WL10, WL11), A Ghost Story (TCG Conference 2011), Count Magnus (WL12), The Tell-Tale Heart (ScareLA 2013), The Lurking Fear (WL13)
Michael Perl - The Chimes (WL10), Casting the Runes (WL11), A Ghost Story (TCG Conference 2011), The Yellow Wallpaper (History Lit), Wake Not the Dead (WL12)
New actors to Unbound Productions include Elyse Ashton, Joe Camareno, Angel Duran, McKenzie R. Eckels, Kyle Fox, Katelyn Gault, Anna Gabrielle Gonzalez, Dustin Hess, Angie Hobin, Ember Knight, Sonny James Lir, Lisa McNeely, Tina Van Berckelaer, and Wendy Worthington.
Said Millet, "Every year, we push ourselves to instill WICKED LIT with more surprises and more creative ways to tell great classic stories. We have become known as a Halloween event but we take great pride in our commitment to playwrights and our theatrical work. Las Lloronas, Dracula's Guest, and The Monk are the 21st, 22nd, and 23rd plays to receive their world premiere production from Unbound."
WICKED LIT 2013 played to 99.6% capacity over six weeks and drew nearly 2,200 patrons to Altadena. The immersive event was named "Best Halloween Attraction of 2013" by Hollywood Gothique (ahead of Universal Studios' Halloween Horror Nights and Dark Harbor at the Queen Mary) and Broadwayworld exclaimed "I see why the shows sell out every year!"
WICKED LIT 2014 will run six weeks with additional midweek performances added, increasing the capacity to nearly 3,000. Behind-the-scenes "Insider Tours" will be led after every performance for an additional fee, allowing a small number of guests to get insight from the creators of the show while touring the Mausoleum.
"The audience and critical response to our show has been astounding," said Josephson. "Our Insider Tours will give our patrons unprecedented access to our creative process. We have also made other customer service improvements to the show, such as enhanced restrooms and a more interactive lobby experience."
WICKED LIT audiences will experience three short plays as they are led through the grounds of the mausoleum and cemetery by StoryGuides. WICKED LIT is a walking show - patrons must be able to comfortably walk a minimum of 2,000 paces and climb stairs in order to experience this production. WICKED LIT 2014 contains mature themes, theatrical violence, and sexual situations - the production is recommended for audiences ages 13+. The running time will be approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes with two intervals.
The first annual WICKED LIT production was staged in 2009 on the grounds of Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. Since that time, over 6,000 patrons have enjoyed full productions of adaptations of authors such as Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Robert E. Howard, Washington Irving, Robert Louis Stevenson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and many others at Mountain View Mausoleum and Cemetery and installation events throughout Southern California.
The mission of Unbound Productions, the theatre company that produces WICKED LIT is to reimagine timeless stories for new audiences by creating immersive, theatrical adaptations of literature.
Visit wickedlit.org for complete pricing and scheduling details. WICKED LIT is also on Facebook.
Las Lloronas, inspired by the Mexican folktale "La Llorona" and actual events
Adapted by Jonathan Josephson
Directed by Paul Millet
The Mexican folk legend La Llorona ("The Weeping Woman") tells the story of a desperate mother who murders her children by drowning them in a river. But what compels her to commit such an atrocious act? Fear? Insanity? Spite? Conveyed through dialogue, storytelling, dance, song, and music, this new adaptation will plunge audiences into five different perspectives of this haunting cautionary tale. Beginning with the legend's historical origins in 16th Century Mexico and ending in modern day Los Angeles with a story that was based on actual events, this theatrical event is unlike anything ever produced by Unbound Productions.
Bram Stoker's Dracula's Guest
Adapted by John Leslie
Directed by Jeff G. Rack
Plucky Brit Jonathan Harker has travelled to Romania to meet with a mysterious Count about selling his vast estate - but he can't get a cab. He is only a few miles from his destination in the Transylvania mountains, but on Walpurgisnacht, no one in the village is willing to leave their home and get him up the hill. What are the villagers so afraid of? Originally written to be the first chapter of the groundbreaking horror novel Dracula, Bram Stoker's chilling short story Dracula's Guest was published posthumously by Stoker's wife in 1914.
The Monk, inspired by the novel by Matthew Gregory Lewis
Adapted by Douglas Clayton
Directed by Debbie McMahon
Matilda has journeyed to Italy to seek the help of a clergyman who is known not only for his skills as an orator but for his ability to help those oppressed by the church. To what lengths will she go to secure her future - and at whose expense? This stylized , lyrical production examines the faces of sin in all of its many forms.
And the Frame for Wicked Lit 2014:
The Spirits of Walpurgisnacht
Written and Directed by Charlie Mount and Aurora Long
The evening's pre-show entertainment will include a haunting spirit cabinet experiment featuring the famous Bavarian clairvoyant Gerlinde Mesmer, magic, mentalism, and ghostly surprises. And hopefully, by evening's end, we will have had no wicked supernatural visitations. But one never knows!