A New York Times Critic’s Pick, “Finks” was nominated for a Drama Desk Award and Rogue Machine’s West Coast premiere production brings together writer Joe Gilford and director Michael Pressman, both children of the Blacklisted. Joe Gilford shares the struggle his parents, entertainers Jack Gilford and Madeline Lee Gilford, endured when they were called to testify.
On the verge of TV stardom, a comic meets an actress/activist, their romance blossoms - as does their risk of being blacklisted for their political activities. The House Un-American Activities Committee, tasked with exposing communist subversion, conducted hearings which lead to more than 300 directors, actors, radios personalities, and screenwriters to be boycotted by studios. Friends were turned against friends, and family. Most who were named never recovered their careers. Those who willingly testify—naming others to the committee—will be branded as "finks."
“What is most intriguing is not that the characters chose communism; it’s that they chose to believe in an improved state. They were dreamers who became activists - they understood something was wrong. They understood they had to act or nothing would change. Both Joe Gilford’s FINKS and Tom Morton-Smith’s OPPENHEIMER look at communism in America in the 30s, 40s and 50s. These plays are not about communism but about the universal ideal that we could be better than we are,” says producer John Perrin Flynn.
Cast: Daniel Dorr (Victor Lynch, Stanley, Kazan), Thomas Fiscella (Phil Larson, Martin Berkeley, Lee J. Cobb, Budd Schulberg), Matt Gottlieb (Rep. Walter), Stephen Tyler Howell (Sgt. at Arms, Bartender, Announcer, Leading Man), Richard Levinson (poianist), Adam Lebowitz-Lockard (Bobby Ferard), Bruce Nozick (Fred Land), Vanessa Claire Stewart (Natalie Meltzer), and French Stewart (Mickey Dobbs).
Joe Gilford (Playwright), Michael Pressman (Director), John Perrin Flynn (Artistic Director/ Producer), Cecila Fairchild (Assistant Director), Stephanie Kerley Schwartz (Scenic Design), Matt Richter (Lighting Design), Christopher Moscatiello (Sound Design), Nick Santiago (Projection Designer), and Halei Parker (Costume Design).
Rogue Machine Theatre won the Ovation Award this year for “Best Season” and received, for the second time, the Polly Warfield Award for an Excellent Season from the LA Drama Critics Circle – 2016 and 2011. They were recently recognized with 12 Ovation Award nominations, including one for Best Season and two for Best Production. KCRW’s nod to Best Theatre was a highlight of the 2016 season, as was receiving a Shubert Foundation grant awarded to select theatre organizations for their artistic achievement, administrative strength, and fiscal stability along with the company’s development of new work and other significant contributions to the field of professional theatre in the United States. A recipient of the American Theatre Wing’s 2014 National Theatre Company Grant, given only to 12 theatre companies in the country, Rogue Machine (BEST PRODUCTION for three years – Ovation and LADCC Awards) presents plays that are new to Los Angeles. They recently received support from the Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, and the company garnered recognition for their work in upwards of 75 awards and nominations.
Finks opens at 3pm on Saturday, November 10th and runs at 8pm Fridays, 3pm Saturdays, 7pm Sundays until December 30th (Exceptions: no performance 11/16 and 12/21. 11/17 show is at 8pm. Added shows 11/26, 12/1 & 12/8 at 8pm). Rogue Machine is located in Electric Lodge, 1416 Electric Ave. Venice CA 90291. Tickets are $40. Reservations: 855-585-5185 or at www.roguemachinetheatre.com