Cast Set for American Premiere of TRUCK STOP at Crowded Fire Theater This Fall

Cast Set for American Premiere of TRUCK STOP at Crowded Fire Theater This Fall

Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) is pleased to announce the cast and creative team and dates for the American Premiere of TRUCK STOP by Lachlan Philpott, opening Monday October 5, 8 pm running through October 24 at the Thick House in San Francisco's Potrero Hill. Directed by Marilee Talkington, this production marks Lachlan Philpott's first fully produced play in the United States. Philpott is an award-winning playwright in Australia whose plays have been extensively developed at American theaters including San Francisco's ACT, Crowded Fire Theater and the Magic.

TRUCK STOP is a scathing play about the real-life events of two high-school girls who prostituted themselves to truck drivers in highway rest areas. Philpott takes an unblinking look at the damaging, warped perspective that media creates when love and sex are disconnected, especially for young women who are navigating adolescence.

This gut-punch of a play TRUCK STOP, by Australia's Lachlan Philpott is directed by Marilee Talkington with dramaturgy by Laura Brueckner.TRUCK STOP has a local cast that features Jamie Asdorian as Aisha, Jessica Lynn Caroll as Sam, Jeri Lynn Cohen in the Adult Roles, and Chelsea Looy as Kelly.

The creative team for TRUCK STOPincludes scenic design by Maya Linke, lighting design by Andrew Lu, costume design by Miriam Lewis, with sound design by Brendan Aanes and props design by Devon LaBelle.

"We're thrilled to bring Lachlan's work to our mainstage after workshopping Truck Stop in our 2013 Matchbox Reading Series. It is a hauntingly beautiful piece that sticks with you as Lachlan gives voice to teenagers in a way that feels honest, raw, and without judgment," remarks Managing Director Tiffany Cothran.

Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) presents the American Premiere of TRUCK STOP by Lachlan Philpott, Directed by Marilee Talkingto. The show runs October 1-24. Press Night Monday October 5, 8 pm (October 1, 2, 3 - previews). All peformances take place at Thick House, 1695 18th St., SF (between Carolina St.& Arkansas St. in Potrero Hill), Wed-Saturdays 8 PM Special Opening Night Monday October 5, 8 pm. Prices range from $15-$35 progressively during the course of the run. We offer Pay-What-You-Can Preview performances and student/senior/group rates. Visit www.crowdedfire.org for more information and to purchase tickets, or call the Box Office by phone 415-523-0034 ext. 1.

About the Playwright: Lachlan Philpott (playwright) is a Sydney based playwright. In 2014, Lachlan premiered new works at Sydney Theatre Company, The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Melbourne International Arts Festival and Tantrum Theatre Newcastle. In addition to TRUCK STOP [Winner best play, young audiences Australian Writer's Guild Awards], Lachlan's plays include BISON, BUSTOWN, CATAPULT, COLDER [R.E Ross Trust Award], M.ROCK, SILENT DISCO [Winner Griffin Award for Outstanding New Australian play, Winner GAP Competition Aurora Theatre Co. USA, Winner best stage play, Australian Writers Guild Awards] THE CHOSEN, and THE TROUBLE WITH HARRY. He has had nine plays published.

As a playwright Lachlan has worked with Amnesty International, Australian Theatre for Young People, Belvoir Sydney, Bell Shakespeare, Brisbane Powerhouse, Canberra Youth Theatre, Checkpoint Theatre Singapore, Cre8ion,Crowded Fire Theater San Francisco, Edinburgh Festival, Feast Festival Adelaide, Focus Theatre Sydney, Glen St Theatre Sydney, Griffin Theatre Company Sydney, Hothouse Theatre Albury, IronBark London, Kansas State University, La Boite Brisbane, The Lark New York, London Pride, Magic Theatre San Francisco, Mardi Gras Sydney, The Mac Belfast, Midsumma Melbourne, Melbourne Festival, MKA New Writing Theatre, The New Theatre, NIDA, Outburst Belfast, Oval House London, Perth Theatre Company, Playwriting Australia, Q Theatre Penrith, PACT Sydney, The NSW Drama Ensembles, The Playwright's Centre Minneapolis, The Playwright's Foundation San Francisco, Rock Surfers Sydney, Sydney Theatre Company, TheatreofplucK Belfast, The Traverse Theatre Edinburgh, Tantrum Theatre Newcastle, Red Stitch Melbourne, St Martins Melbourne, The Victorian College of the Arts and The Victorian Arts Centre.

Lachlan has also done extensive work as a teacher, mentor and dramaturge at theatre companies, schools and tertiary institutions around the world. In 2013 he was awarded an Australia Council Cultural Leadership grant to study new play development models. This grant included residencies at The Playwrights' Centre and The Lark Play Development Centre in The US. As the inaugural Australian Professional Playwright Fulbright Scholar, Lachlan was recently in the USA working with The American Conservatory Theatre San Francisco. Lachlan is Chair of the Australian Writer's Guild Playwrights' Committee.

Marilee Talkington (director) is an actor, director, playwright, media designer, installation & performance artist & has contributed to the development of over 40 new works in the past 10 years. She has written and directed 7 full length plays including THE RAPE POEMS, DAUGHTER OF THE FLOODS, SUGARVILLE: A LITTLE DEATH,TRUCE (solo show), ATTRITION, WORMHOLE (3D sound play) & STICKY TIME. In the Bay Area Marilee has directed for Ambit Theater, Crowded Fire Theater, Vanguardian Productions & Playwrights Foundation. And her original works have been seen at the NY International Fringe Festival, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Exit Theater, Players Theater (NYC), Crowded Fire Theater, BBC Radio, The Marsh, San Francisco City Hall and over a dozen San Francisco museums & landmarks including the Golden Gate Bridge & the SF MoMA. As an actor she has originated nearly 35 characters in the past 5 years and has performed at A.C.T., Aurora Theater, Berkeley Rep, Center Rep,Crowded Fire, Magic Theater, Playground, Playwrights Foundation and Theaterworks. She will also been reprising her role in X's & O's (Berkeley Rep) at Centerstage, Baltimore this fall. Marilee is a proud Macdowell Fellow and a recipient of the 2011 California Center for Cultural Innovation Award, TBA New Works Award, two TBA CA$H Awards, BATCC Award and nomination and was also honored with the Carol Channing Trooper Award for Leadership and Excellence in the craft from A.C.T. where she holds an M.F.A. in Acting. Talkington is also a proud Crowded FireResident Artist for whom she has acted, directed, designed video & served as a movement & fight director.

CAST:

Jamie Asdorian (Aisha) previous theatrical work has include CALL IT OFF (director), THE HOUSE OF BERNARDA ALBA (English and Spanish), and various devised theatrical pieces. She is a Lincoln Center trained Teaching Artist, classical soprano, and long time student of Bharatanatyam dance. Jamie earned her bachelor's degree in Theatre and English Literature from San Diego State University.

Jessica Lynn Caroll (Sam) has performed in the Bay Area in HOOKMAN (Encore Theatre), THE BIG MEAL (San Jose Rep), I AND YOU and BELLWETHER (Marin Theatre Company), JESUS IN INDIA (Magic Theatre), BOEING-BOEING (Center REPertory Company), AUCTIONING THE AINSLEYS (TheatreWorks), and URINETOWN and RAGTIME (Foothill Music Theatre). She has proudly participated in new play readings with Theatreworks, Playwrights Foundation, Magic Theatre, and Aurora Theatre. Miss Carroll earned her BFA in Acting from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas, and is a member of Actor's Equity.

Jeri Lynn Cohen (Adult Roles) is a charter member of Word for Word Performing Arts Company where she has originated roles in over 15 of their productions in the last 21 years including the recently critically acclaimed STORIES BY ALICE MUNRO. Jeri Lynn has appeared throughout the Bay Area at ACT, Aurora Theatre, Berkeley Rep, A Traveling Jewish Theatre, Magic Theatre, Marin Theatre Company, The Marsh, and she has toured nationally and internationally with both The San Francisco Mime Troupe and Word for Word. This past January, Jeri Lynn was featured as a guest star on "A Prairie Home Companion" with Garrison Keillor.

Chelsea Looy (Kelly) is entering her senior year at Oakland School for the Arts with an emphasis in theater this fall. She has trained all over the Bay Area and in northern Scotland with American Conservatory Theater. Some of her favorite roles include Rochelle in TEACH FOR AMERICA (ACT), Betsy in EVERY SEVENTEEN MINUTES... (ACT), and most of all Masha in Chekhov's THREE SISTERS (OSA).

CREATIVE TEAM:

Laura Brueckner (dramaturg) is a dramaturg and arts journalist. She's keenly interested in process design, especially as it relates to new play development. She proudly serves Crowded Fire Theater in San Francisco as one of its two resident dramaturgs, working chiefly on world premieres and commissions. She is also communications manager for Theatre Bay Area, where she steers the organization's journalistic coverage of career, craft, field, advocacy, and news topics. She recently earned her Ph.D. in dramaturgy at UC San Diego, and continues to perform, write, and direct for the stage and devise conceptual/theatrical oddments for nontraditional venues.

Maya Linke (scenic design) has designed the productions: HARRY THAW HATES EVERYBODY, Shotgun Players, THE LETTERS, Aurora Theater; THE MUSIC MAN, Berkeley Playhouse; PRELUDE TO A KISS, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center; THE BEREAVED, SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE and the world premiere of THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT, (CFT); RAGTIME, Youth Musical Theatre Company; THE FULL MONTY, SWEENEY TODD, ASSASSINS, JERRY SPRINGER: THE OPERA, Ray of Light Theater; WIZARD OF OZ, OKLAHOMA, Musical Theatre Works; WEST SIDE STORY, ROMEO AND JULIET, FLOYD COLLINS, San Francisco State University; Upcoming projects; On A WONDERVERSE, CrowdedFire Theater, THE ROVER, Shotgun Players, THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, Kansas City Rep. She is the recipient of the 2012 Bay Area Theater Critic Circle Award for her set design of ASSASSINS and received her MFA in scenic design from San Francisco State University.

Andrew Lu (light design) is both a scenic and lighting designer by trade. His recent credits include: scenic designer for The MAPMAKER'S OPERA (NYMF, NYC), scenic designer for HELLMAN V. McCARTHY (Abingdon Theatre, NYC), lighting designer for A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC (Gallery Players, NYC), lighting designer for BLITHE SPIRIT (Gallery Players, NYC), set and lighting designer for STICKY TIME (Vanguardian/Crowded Fire, SF). He was nominated for the 2012 Henry Hewes Design Award for his set for LOST ON THE NATCHEZ TRACE by Jan Buttram, and the 2009 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Lighting Design for STILL THE RIVER RUNS, by Barton Bishop. He earned his M.F.A. from NYU's Tisch School of the Art.

Brendan Aanes (sound design) has designed sound and composed music for a wide variety of performances, including THE BEREAVED and THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT (Crowded Fire) 33 VARIATIONS (Theatreworks), BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, THE ALIENS, AND HONEY BROWN EYES (SF Playhouse), POLAROID STORIES (American Conservatory Theatre MFA Program), THE TEMPEST (Marin Shakespeare), MACHINE (The Crucible) and CALIBAN DREAMS (Berkeley Opera). He also engineers sound and tours with groups such as SF Contemporary Music Players, Paul Dresher Ensemble, Chitresh Das, and Margaret Jenkins Dance Company. Brendan holds an MFA in Music from Mills College.

Crowded Fire champions playwrights whose work offers a vital contribution to the American theater landscape. This production is funded by individual producer support from Carol & Burton Goldfield, Andrew Meisel, and Brad Rubenstein. TRUCK STOP was developed in part through Crowded Fire's Matchbox: Commissioning and Developing New Plays Program with support from the San Francisco Arts Commission, and the San Francisco Foundation,Crowded Fire's 2015 Season is funded by generous support from Corporate Sponsor Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and Season Producers Dugan Moore and Karena Fiorenza Ingersoll & Emrys Ingersoll. Crowded Fire gratefully acknowledges general operations funding from Grants for the Arts/SF Hotel Tax Fund and The Kenneth Rainin Foundation.

Crowded Fire Theater Company was founded in 1997 by a group of young artists interested in experimental contemporary theater, Crowded Fire gained early acclaim for urgent, poetic, and bold work. CFT regularly receives critical praise for its innovative productions and high quality programming, including recognition on several "Top Ten" year-end lists and nominations from the Bay Area Critics Circle and Broadway World San Francisco." In 2012, CFT achieved significant recognition when its production of THE HUNDRED FLOWERS PROJECT by Christopher Chen (co-produced with Playwrights Foundation) received both the Glickman and the Rella Lossy Award. FLOWERS also garnered five Bay Area Critics Circle nominations. American Theatre Magazine described CFT as "one of the most reliable local stops for high-quality new work by diverse voices...The company has been instrumental in introducing the Bay Area to new writers who push the boundaries of what theatre can be." SF Weekly lauded CFT as "a feisty company specializing in difficult, subversive works by emerging playwrights."

Pictured: Teen friendship, power, and sexuality are explored in TRUCK STOP receiving its American premiere at Crowded Fire Theater this October. Directed by Marilee Talkington, TRUCK STOP features Chelsea Looy as Kelly (left) and Jessica Lynn Carroll as Sam (right). When Aisha (center, played by Jamie Asdorian) arrives from India, the girls' lives become complicated. Photo by Cheshire Isaacs.

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