DISRUPTION Mines Dark Comedy Out of Collective #Metoo Moment in World Premiere at Z Below

DISRUPTION Mines Dark Comedy Out of Collective #Metoo Moment in World Premiere at Z Below

The brand new play-written by AJ Baker and produced and presented by 3Girls Theatre Company-is a fast-paced whodunit intent on turning a few tables as it tells a tale of sexual harassment, a metabolic miracle drug about to go public, social media, and corporate espionage, all at a time when our national conversation is focused on sexual politics and power in the workplace

Previews April 5 & 6 at 7pm; opening night, Saturday April 7 at 8pm and runs through April 28; Sunday matinee performances at 3pm, all evening performances at 8pm; Z Below, 450 Florida Street; Tickets; $35-$55; purchase at 3girlstheatre.org **

San Francisco, February 14, 2018 - 3Girls Theatre Company is proud to present Disruption, a brand new play by the company's Artistic Director, AJ Baker. A darkly comic, fast-paced whodunit for our collective #metoo moment, it tells a tale of sexual harassment, a metabolic miracle drug just about to go public, social media, and corporate espionage, all at a time when our national conversation is focused on sexual politics and power in the workplace.

When an anonymous whistleblower threatens to go viral, visionary CEO Andrea Powell has just one day to save her company and herself from a public relations disaster that promises to destroy them both. As the accusations morph from corporate espionage into sexual harassment, Andy and her team find themselves in a tense, high-stakes duel against an unexpected opponent.

Baker began working on the play in 2016 during the months leading up to the election. Disappointed but not surprised by the amount of "hard core gender bias" she saw, she realized that much of the public still can't even imagine a woman at the top of an org chart. "Women who want power-and who succeed in getting it-are seen as 'exceptional' in the worst possible way," she says. "That is, they aren't 'normal', and therefore they aren't entitled to play by the same rules or be judged by the same standards as powerful men. In Disruption, I wanted to explore how this dynamic looks from the inside."

Set in the hi-tech start-up culture of Silicon Valley, where it has become de rigeuer for every new product to be touted as "disruptive", Baker wanted to focus on how the conflict at the center of the story threatened to disrupt the life and career of the main character, Dr. Andrea Powell, who herself is a disruptor of the status quo. "But as the play developed, it turned out there were many more levels of disruption woven into the story than even I had imagined," she says. "So the title definitely made itself known during the writing."

One aspect of the play that is in itself disruptive is the fact that it is a powerful woman who is deemed the harasser by a male colleague. "There are so few women at this level now that we've heard very little about this kind of 'reverse' sexual harassment," says Baker. "But as women gain power, it makes sense that they'll be just as vulnerable to these kinds of accusations as their male counterparts. When I began the play, there was no #metoo movement, but once it emerged, there was no escaping the desire of the play to include it."

Disruption is partially informed by Baker's work as an attorney in a specialized law practice where she solely represents individual senior executives, company founders and venture partners in executive compensation transactions. "So the world of the play is, in fact, the world of my day job."

Creative team and cast
Written by AJ Baker | Directed by Louis Parnell *
Dr. Andrea (Andy) Powell, MD | Sally Dana *
Laszlo Elza | Timothy Roy Redmond *
Vivan Starr | Nancy Madden *
Judge Manny Diamond | Louis Parnell *
Cris Friend | Heather Gordon *

*Member of Actors' Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers.

What: 3Girls Theatre Company Presents Disruption
When: Previews April 5 & 6 at 7pm; Opening night: Saturday April 7 8pm; Runs through April 28 (Sunday matinees at 3pm, all evening performances at 8pm)
Where: Z Below, 450 Florida Street, San Francisco
Tickets: $35-$55; 3girlstheatre.org **

**3Girls Theatre Ticket Policy: if a performance is not sold out, tickets will be available at the door; in addition, in these only-at-the-door situations, 3Girls Theatre will make available a pay-what-you-can discount for those who cannot afford the full ticket price.

About AJ Baker (Writer)
3GT Artistic Director, Co-founder and Resident Playwright AJ Baker has served as Executive Producer for all of 3GT's New Works Festivals and full productions, overseeing the presentation of more than 50 plays and staged readings since 2011. AJ's plays have won numerous awards and been presented in San Francisco and New York. Full length plays include DISRUPTION (world premiere April 2018, Z Below; 3GT 2017 Festival Prize winner); ENTANGLEMENT (world premiere Nov. 2016, Z Below; 3GT 2015 Festival Prize winner); THE RIGHT THING (world premiere March 2012, Thick House); THE ANNIVERSARY EFFECT (Semi-Finalist, 2015 Bay Area Playwrights Festival; Top-10 Finalist, Capital Repertory Theatre's 2014 Next Act! New Play Summit (Albany, NY); Finalist, 2014 3GT New Works Festival); GLICKMAN'S THIRD ACT (Semi-finalist, 2011 Bay Area Playwrights Festival). A proud member of Dramatists' Guild and long-time participant in the Will Dunne Dramatic Writing Workshops, AJ has also served on the board of PlayGround and as an independent producer for 429 Productions. She is a partner in the San Francisco law firm Levine & Baker LLP.

About Louis Parnell (Director)
3GT Associate Artist and Board Member Louis Parnell has worked extensively as an actor and director with numerous companies in the Bay Area, including American Conservatory Theatre, Campo Santo, Center Repertory, CentralWorks, The Magic, Marin Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, TheatreWorks Silicon Valley?, Thick Description and Traveling Jewish Theatre; as well as with many smaller nomadic companies. In 2018, he appeared in the SF Playhouse production of BORN YESTERDAY, and will also direct and act in 3GT's world premiere production of DISRUPTION. For 3GT, Louis has appeared in leading roles in ENTANGLEMENT, THE COUCH and THE RIGHT THING. His long list of Bay Area acting credits includes leading and featured roles in: SF Playhouse's productions of THE NETHER, INTO THE WOODS, ART, ?BELL, BOOK & CANDLE, CABARET, CORONADO, MAN OF LA MANCHA, THE FANTASTICKS and ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. Other roles at local theaters include ?AFTER THE FALL, ANGELS IN AMERICA, THE BOYS IN THE BAND, IT HAD TO BE YOU, SPEED-THE-PLOW and TALLEY'S FOLLY. Favorite directing gigs include ENTANGLEMENT, MOMENTS OF TRUTH, AMERICAN BUFFALO, DEATHTRAP, FOUR DOGS AND A BONE, HURLYBURLY, PRIVATE EYES, RECKLESS and REUNION. He has been honored with 11 BATCC nominations for acting or directing (4 wins) and 5 DramaLogue and Dean Goodman Choice Awards. He has also performed in numerous film, television and commercial roles including TRAUMA, NASH BRIDGES, AMERICA'S MOST WANTED and the PBS documentary RALPH ELLISON: AN AMERICAN LIFE which was an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival. He is a long-time Board member at SF Playhouse, was a founding member of Genesius Theatre Company and The Actors Theatre of SF, and is a proud member of Playground at Berkeley Rep, SAG-AFTRA and AEA.

About 3 Girls Theatre Company
3Girls Theatre Company develops, produces and promotes new plays written by women in their prime. More info at 3girlstheatre.org

Photo: Sally Dana as Dr. Andrea (Andy) Powell, and Timothy Roy Redmond as Laszlo Elza in Disruption at Z Below; credit: Mario Parnell

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