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Crowded Fire Theater to Present American Debut of TRUCK STOP, 10/5-24


Crowded Fire Theater (CFT) is pleased to announce the 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 will be directed by Marilee Talkington and has a creative team that features dramaturgy by Laura Brueckner, scenic design by Maya Linke, lighting design by Andrew Lu, costume design by Miriam Lewis, with video design by Erikc Scanlon, sound design by Brendan Aanes and props design by Devon LaBelle. Casting for the production will be announced in the coming weeks.

"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 Talkington Run: October 1-24 Press Night Monday October 5, 8 pm (October 1, 2, 3 - previews) At: Thick House, 1695 18th St., SF (between Carolina St.& Arkansas St. in Potrero Hill) Performances: Wed-Saturdays 8 PM Special Opening Night Monday October 5, 8 pm Tickets: 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. Tickets: Visit for more information and to purchase tickets. Box Office by phone 415-523-0034 ext. 1.


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. 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. 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. 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 Fire Resident Artist for whom she has acted, directed, designed video & served as a movement & fight director.

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, Crowded Fire 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.

Erikc Scanlon (video design) is a freelance director, photographer, projection designer, producer and editor throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. Recent video and projection design includes the West Coast premiere of CARRIE: THE MUSICAL (Ray of Light Theater/BATCC AWARD), LES MISERABLES (Broadway By The Bay), AULIS: AN ACT OF NIHILISM IN ONE LONG ACT (UC Berkeley), JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (Bay Area Children's Theater), FAULTED (FoolsFury), FIREWORKS (Theatre First), WATER BY THE SPOONFUL (TheatreWorks). Erik was the Assistant Projection Designer for BRIGADOON at The Goodman and for the Broadway production of HOLLER IF YA HEAR ME.

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.

Miriam Lewis (costume design) for the theater, some of the many shows she has costumed are YEOMEN OF THE GUARD, PIRATES OF PENZANCE, and THE GRAND DUKE AT LAMPLIGHTERS, TREEFALL and THE PARIS LETTER at NCTC, FLOYD COLLINS, CITY OF ANGELS, AND JULIET, at San Francisco State University, SWEENEY TODD and INTO THE WOODS at Ray of Light Theatre, SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE at Crowded Fire and EVERYBODY HATES HARRY THAW at Shotgun Players. Miriam received her MFA in Theatrical Design from SFSU where she now lectures in costume, and is delighted be back with Crowded Fire for this amazing show.

Devon LaBelle (props design) is a CFT resident artists and has worked as props master for BLACKADEMICS, EDITH CAN SHOOT THINGS AND HIT THEM, SHE RODE HORSES LIKE THE STOCK EXCHANGE, THE TAMING, and 410[GONE]. BRAHMAN/I: A ONE-HIJRA STAND-UP COMEDY SHOW also marked her scenic design debut with the company. Over the past six years she has created and curated props for: Bay Area Children's Theatre, Berkeley Playhouse, Contra Costa Civic Theater, Golden Thread Productions, Just Theater, The San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Shotgun Players, Theatre FIRST, and The Piedmont Players.

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."

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