Lloyd Khaner's LIFE BOAT To Premiere In March
Collected Effort is thrilled to announce the world premiere of Lloyd Khaner's LIFE BOAT which will be performed in March 2019 at Theater 54 at Shetler Studios and Theaters as part of The Riant Theater's Strawberry Theatre Festival. The play is directed by Benjamin Viertel (Bedaggered, Loserville).
LIFE BOAT is based on a true story of when a young boy is killed by a company's product placing the audience in the middle of the biggest crisis a small business can undergo. The employees of the William Brown Pest Control Company in Long Island, NY have all gathered to celebrate the holidays and the recent news that the four-year-old boy hospitalized for poisoning at the hands of the company's product is recovering and should be back on his feet soon.
Suddenly, local journalists descend upon the company's holiday party forcing the executive committee to the basement as they negotiate the terms of a financial deal as compensation for the company's negligence. The exterminator who laid the poison arrives with news from the family. The boy has died and the family has demanded that the person at fault step up and take responsibility or the entire company will go bankrupt.
The Committee now must decide who is most responsible. This proves to be difficult as all the members hold secrets that link them directly to the death of four-year-old Richard. Both heartbreaking and topical, this modern morality play tells the story of six complicated people, pushed to extremes in ruthless competition for survival. The decision they must make: save themselves or save the company.
Lloyd Khaner, who studied Playwriting at New York University and now is the CEO of Khaner Capital Management says, "I wrote this play because I read a story about a family that demanded corporate responsibility for the death of their child, not a payoff." There is a rising tide of societal anger readying itself to crash the greedy shores of willfully negligent companies. We are all vulnerable and we are starting to realize it. Caught in the crossfire are millions of people laboring under intense pressure, demanding that they choose between keeping their job and maintaining their individual integrity. Sadly, sometimes the wrong choice proves fatal.
"What I love about LIFE BOAT is how very human it is," says director Benjamin Viertel, "each character is complex, guilty yet sympathetic, and is confronted with a tragedy that forces them to reconsider their actions and their own futures."
The Riant Theater is focused on providing a nurturing environment to develop new plays and outstanding artists, through several programs, including The Strawberry Theatre Festival which occurs twice a year, in the Spring and Summer. The festival culminates in an Awards Ceremony and all plays compete for awards including Best Play, Best Director, and Best Actor and Best Actress. This year's festival features 8 plays and is held from March 13th - 24th, 2019. The Strawberry One-Act Festival will also continue its tradition of staging both world and New York premieres of short theatrical works presented as part of The Strawberry One-Act Competition. Nicknamed "the 'American Idol' for playwrights" by the New York Daily News, The Strawberry One-Act Festival features a playoff-style competition of plays received through submissions from across the country. Audience members vote for their favorite play among those presented each evening to determine which plays advance to the Finals, which are judged by a jury of industry experts. In addition to the opportunity for finalists to be selected for publication in print in the festival's anthology The Best Plays From The Strawberry One-Act Festival, awards are presented for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Costumes in addition to Best Play, which comes with a $1,500 prize and a development deal for a full-length play produced by The Riant Theatre.
Lloyd Khaner works in finance as an asset manager in New York City. Prior to his 25+ years in investing, his theater life began after college with a comedy writing class at Playwrights Horizons Theater School. His One-Act plays were produced in the Upstairs Theaters at Playwrights Horizons and at the West Bank Café in NYC. While earning a master's degree in Dramatic Writing at New York University, Lloyd wrote/co-wrote two scripts that went on to win short film festivals. Coming out of NYU, he received a screenwriting fellowship with Universal Studios and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment in Los Angeles. Upon completion of the fellowship, Lloyd returned to New York to run his family's finance business. He continued to write a column called Lloyd's Wall of Worry as well as other investment-oriented articles. Lloyd is graduate of Tufts University and a member of the Dramatist Guild.
Benjamin Viertel is a freelance director based in NYC, grew up in France with an Italian mother and German father. As co-founding Artistic Director of Third Space, Ben has directed both theater and film projects. Ben's work has been seen at Atlantic Stage II, The York Theatre, Abrons Arts Center, The New Ohio, The Brick, Playhouse on the Square, Bristol Valley, IRT, NYC Fringe, and he has worked at BAM, Roundabout Theater Company, Huntington Theater, The New Group and The Civilians. He is a Manhattan Theater Club's Directing Fellow, a Resident Artist at Abrons Arts Center, and a member of The Kennedy Center Director's Lab, and The Civilians' R&D Group. Benjamin is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University.
Performances will be March 22nd at 9pm, March 23rd at 8pm and March 24th at 4:10pm at Theatre 54 at Shetler Studios and Theatres, located at 244 West 54thSt, 12th Fl in New York City. Tickets can be purchased at: https://www.therianttheatre.comor by calling (646) 623-3488.