Dallas Playwright Jeff Swearingen's STIFF Slates Off-Broadway Run
Dallas-based heavy hitters have joined producers Bren Rapp and Andy Baldwin on their quest to get multi-award winning Dallas playwright Jeff Swearingen's quintessential industry farce, STIFF, Off-Broadway.
Tony Award winning producer Terry D. Loftis (most recent credits include the musicals Bandstand and The Visit) and one of the most successful arts fundraisers the area has seen, Gregory Patterson (WaterTower Theatre, American Ballet Theatre, Los Angeles Opera) have signed on to the team that will mount a 12-performance showcase run of the madcap original comedy, February 21 - March 3, at the TBG Theatre at The Barrow Group Off-Broadway.
In 2014, STIFF hit Fun House's stage as a youth production with some of the most highly acclaimed young actors in the area mounting what became a critical and local phenomenon resulting in sold out and held over performances. The awards cycle for D-FW theater found STIFF as a multiple award winner with standout nods for writing, directing and acting with the play and its youth actors winning awards previously claimed by adults and the play, its writer/director and its cast topping every "Best Of" list for that season's offerings. Earlier this year the company mounted a staged reading of the play with adult professional actors in New York City as a step towards mounting a full professional production in the market. The reading drew a packed crowd with key influencers in the New York marketplace taking note. The beginning of 2018 will bring the showcase run, fully mounting the adult professional production as the next step in a progression for this work with a trajectory of an open ended Off Broadway run by the end of 2018.
In a play easiest to describe as Bullets Over Broadway meets Weekend at Bernies, Jeff Swearingen's STIFF takes place during the Broadway boom of the 1950's. Producers, writers and directors all have big dreams and theatre critics/columnists have the power to make those dreams come true. None was more powerful than Mickey Blake. When Blake is found dead in the Tin Box Theater after a performance of the off-off Broadway production of "The Blighted Heart", a trio of hapless but determined theater folk refuse to let their dream be deterred. Producer Saul Solomon, Writer Robert Grey and Director Stanley Miller hatch a plan to fake the review of their show and hide Blake's death just long enough to let it hit the stands. A producer, writer and director working as a team? Is it even possible? Just when they think they have it all under control, the overly enthusiastic producer, self-deprecating writer and middleman director are hit with a surprise that sends their ruse into overdrive and binds this unlikely band of brothers together in the face of the mayhem that ensues.
New York auditions for Jeff Swearingen's STIFF will be held November 7- 9, 2017 at the Actors Equity Association building and Shelter Studios in Manhattan with call backs set for November 20.
ABOUT THE SHOWCASE:
Fun House Theatre and Film Presents Jeff Swearingen's STIFF
Lead Producer: Terry D. Loftis
Produced by Bren Rapp, Andy Baldwin and Gregory Patterson
Written by Jeff Swearingen
Directed by Andy Baldwin
Preview: Wednesday, February 21
Run Dates: February, 23- March 3
At TBG Theatre at The Barrow Group, 312 West 36th Street, 3rd floor, New York, NY 10018
Over the last 7 years, Fun House Theatre and Film has established itself as one of the most groundbreaking independent theatre companies in its region based on its novel approach to teaching serious young actors the craft of acting. Simply put, Fun House produces great theatre that just happens to be cast with kids, not children's theatre. Having churned out over 20 original productions in its history along with standards of the modern American ( adult) canon and Shakespeare, the concept, created by Founding Partner and President, Bren Rapp and Artistic Director, Jeff Swearingen along with the company of young actors have raised eyebrows and won every award in the area, normally relegated for adult professional productions, making Fun House Theatre and Film among the most decorated and respected companies in a market of over 200 independent theatre producers. Their young actors are some of the most sought after for casting by the region's standout Equity houses and many of their original works ride atop the list of critically acclaimed and awarded plays coming out of the area over the last decade.