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LA RONDE Plays FringeNYC At HERE Arts Center 8/15 Thru 8/21

Big Signature Productions will present Arthur Schnitzler's La Ronde, translated by Carl R. Mueller, as part of the 2009 New York International Fringe Festival/Fringe NYC this August. The production is directed by Larry Biederman with Lighting Design by John Eckert & Sound Design by John Zalweski. Featured in the AEA Showcase Production are Ken Barnett* & Alyson Weaver*. *Denotes Member of AEA.

La Ronde means "round dance" and that's exactly what the play is, except that the dance is a sexual one: Girl A beds Boy A, Boy A beds Girl B, Girl B beds Boy B until the last beds the first, closing the circle. This "dance" demonstrates our collective insatiability. No one & nothing is ever enough. This sharp reinvention of Schnitzler's play emphasizes this futile pursuit by using only two actors to play every man & woman, a distinct theatrical style to depict each encounter & stunning innovations in design, language & storytelling. Our society is obsessed with the disposable--get what you can get & move on. From addiction to codependence, if we don't start to find satisfaction, contentment, happiness in what is here & now, we will run out of things to keep us distracted from our inability to believe that we have & are, enough. No sex is sexy enough to stop us from wanting. In that sense, La Ronde resonates just as clearly today as it did when it was first performed & banned (after being put on trial for obscenity) in 1920. So come for the sex, stay for the longing.

Arthur Schnitzler was born in Vienna in 1862 & was a celebrated Austrian doctor, playwright, novelist & critic who dealt with the theme of illusion & reality in many variations. His works were often controversial, both for their frank description of sexuality, as well as their strong stand against anti-Semitism. Meticulously keeping a diary from the age of 17, until two days before his death in 1931, his response to critics who claimed his works all seemed to repeat the same subjects? "I write of love & death, what other subjects are there?" La Ronde is among Schnitzler's best-known dramas & caused one of the greatest scandals in the history of the German theatre & provoked anti-Semitic riots in Berlin. The author banned any performances of the play in Europe until after his death & La Ronde was not performed again until 1920.

Larry Biederman is known to LA audiences for his critically acclaimed productions including Eric Overmyer's Dark Rapture at the Evidence Room & the World Premiere of Sheila Callaghan's Crumble at LATC, both of which enjoyed extended runs & "Critics' Choice" from the LA Times. Other world premieres include Keith Josef Adkin's Farewell Miss Cotton at the Black Dahlia & most recently, David Rock's Grand Delusion at the Lost Studio. He has directed for Antaeus, Theatre of NOTE, the Odyssey, the Blank & the Road Theatre, with the death metal L.A. premiere of Mickey Birnbaum's Big Death and Little Death. His staging of Bryan Davidson's Death's Messengers at the MET Theatre earned them two LA Weekly Theater Award nominations for writing & directing. Biederman spent seven seasons with San Francisco's American Conservatory Theater, directing & serving in many senior capacities on the A.C.T. artistic staff & as Associate Director of their M.F.A. program. He will next direct Lillian Hellman's The Autumn Garden for the Antaeus Company & then the LA premiere of Sarah Ruhl's The Clean House at the Odyssey Theatre.

Alyson Weaver's recent credits include La Ronde, You're on the Air, The Count of Monte Cristo & the critically acclaimed Bill W. and Dr. Bob. Regional credits include Grease, The Who's Tommy & Funny Girl (all for Theatre Under the Stars), 4:48 Psychosis (BADA) & the original production of James Gaunt's Leather Clad Chaperone. She is currently a regular (Marina) in the web series Charlie Brown + The New Black, on the Sky Showbiz sketch show "Hollywood Hangover" & can be seen in the award winning independent film Refrigerator (NYC PictureStart Audience Award - Best Actress). On Broadway, Ken Barnett appeared in the recent revival of Wonderful Town & in Julie Taymor's The Green Bird; Off-Broadway in Debbie Does Dallas, Imperfect Chemistry, Joy, Susan Stroman's A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden, Houdini & The Whore of Sheridan Square, for which he received a NYIT "Best Featured Actor" nomination. In LA, Ken originated the roles of Paul in Atlanta at the Geffen Playhouse & Matt in The Id & Bob at the Lillian Theatre & has performed in regional theatres around the country & in Little Shop of Horrors, Blood Brothers, Balm in Gilead & Mame (opposite Christine Ebersole). His feature film credits include Polar Opposites, Ira & Abby, Puccini for Beginners, The Producers & Game Six. Television: "Grey's Anatomy," "How I Met Your Mother," "Entourage," "Monk," "Guiding Light" & "Big Red" (pilot).

Lighting Designer John Eckert is the Resident Lighting Designer for the Brown University/Trinity Rep Consortium. He received the LA Weekly Award for "Best Lighting Design" for his work on Iphigenia... (A Rave Fable) with Son of Semele Ensemble & has designed around the country. Sound Designer John Zalewski has composed musical environments & narrative noise for the LA Philharmonic, South Coast Rep, CTG, Geffen, Evidence Room, Boston Court, Actors' Gang, East West Players & Long Beach Opera in LA. In New York, he has designed at Chashama, PS122 & La Mama & In Kentucky, at The Humana Festival. His recent work is Mauritius at the Geffen & The Receptionist with Megan Mullally.

Associate Producers Linda Toliver & Gary Guidinger recently produced Justin Tanner's newest comedy. Voice Lessons, starring Laurie Metcalf & French Stewart, in a 13-week sold out run at the Zephyr Theater in LA, where they have been the Managing Producers since 1988. Past projects include; Del Shore's Southern Baptist Sissies, The Trials & Tribulations Of A Trailer Trash Housewife & Sordid Lives (Associate Producers); White People Christmas, by Ernest Thompson; Harold Pinter's The Caretaker (starring Robert Mandan); Bob's Holiday Office Party by Joe Keyes & Rob Elk; Justin Tanner's Wife Swappers, Space Therapy & Teen Girl; Jim Brochu & Steve Schalchlin's the last session & The Big Voice: God Or Merman?

La Ronde performs Sat 8/15 @ 5:45pm, Sun 8/16 @ 9:15pm, Tues 8/18 @ 4:45pm, Thurs 8/20 @ 6:15pm & Fri 8/21 @ 7pm. Performances are at HERE Arts Center, Mainstage Theater, 145 6th Ave. (Venue # 17).

All tickets are $15, and may be purchased by calling (866)468-7619, visiting www.fringenyc.org or www.bigsignature.com/laronde.

 


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