BWW Previews: SQUEEZE MY CANS To Benefit Scott Smith Scholarship Fund at Dezart Performs
Ever wondered what got into L. Ron Hubbard? Well, the wait is over. For two performances only, October 7 and 8, Dezart Performs presents SQUEEZE MY CANS: Cathy Schenkelberg's acclaimed one-woman show chronicling her journey into-and-out-of Scientology. A benefit for Dezart Performs and the Scott Smith Scholarship Fund, the performances will take place in a special one-time partnership at the Desert Rose Playhouse.
"It's so perfect that SQUEEZE MY CANS will benefit the Scott Smith Scholarship Fund as Scott was the one who told me about Cathy's show," said Michael Shaw, Dezart Performs Founding Artistic Director. "Besides having been a very dear friend, Scott directed and performed numerous times on Dezart's stage and was a member of the Dezart Performs' board of directors."
Smith, a well-known theatre professional in the Coachella Valley, died on March 1, 2018 of a sudden heart attack. Established following his death, the Fund honors a local Palm Springs high school drama student with a scholarship towards their further educational study.
"Scott and I met in the Midwest tour of Hair together," recalls Schenkelberg, noting that it was Smith who encouraged her to turn her experiences in Scientology into a show. "Two weeks before Scott died I was at his home. We were at his kitchen counter having a martini and he said, 'Cathy, you did it! You said you were going to write a show and now you've toured it almost three years.' Then, two weeks later, while I was en flight to perform SQUEEZE in Dublin, Ireland, Scott died."
In SQUEEZE MY CANS, we follow Schenkelberg from the beginning as a young actor from a big family in Nebraska trying to find her place eventually ending up in - and escaping from - the Church of Scientology. Debuting at the 2016 Hollywood Fringe Festival, Schenkelberg's harrowing personal experience as a member of the Church of Scientology was hailed as "moving, hilarious, heartbreaking and redemptive. You experience for yourself how Scientology devours money and lives" (Chicago Reader). "Schenkelberg easily switches characters and time periods with dizzying energy, that is both exhilarating and electrifying" (Edge Media). SQUEEZE MY CANS "is of the best performed, brilliantly written, elegantly directed one-person shows I have ever seen" (Buzz News)
SQUEEZE MY CANS, written and performed by Cathy Schenkelberg, will run Monday and Tuesday, October 7 and 8 at 7:30pm at the Desert Rose Playhouse (69620 E Palm Canyon Dr, Rancho Mirage). Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at www.dezartperforms.org or by phone by calling (760) 322-0179.
Going on a dozen years, the award-winning Dezart Performs has brought theatre that has enlightened, entertained, educated and enchanted Desert audiences. This year's upcoming 12th Season, taking place at the Pearl McManus Theater (at the historic Palm Springs Woman's Club / 314 S Cahuilla Road, Downtown Palm Springs) continues the trend. Starting with the raucous Tony Award-nominated dark comedy HAND TO GOD by Robert Askins (November 8 - 17), the season switches to drama with the acclaimed off-Broadway hit DANIEL'S HUSBAND by Michael McKeever (January 10 - 19). Rounding out the season are the Pulitzer Prize-winning working-class drama SWEAT by Lynn Nottage (February 28 - March 8) and the comedy/drama EVERY BRILLIANT THING written by Duncan MacMillan, with Jonny Donahoe (April 3 - 12).