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New Play BIG ROCK Premieres In Seattle

With great excitement, Onward Ho! Productions today announces the World Premiere production of local playwright Sonya Schneider's new play Big Rockas well as its full ensemble casting. Big Rock will run at West of Lenin in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood March 16-31, and tickets are now on sale online at http://bit.ly/BIGROCKplay.

In Sonya Schneider's Big Rock, Signe Sands, an up-and-comer in the world of modern art, has fled the demands of her career in New York City to take refuge at her father's home on a remote Pacific Northwest island. Immediately faced with the harsh reality of their strained relationship, and the realization that as her star rises, his may be falling, Signe meets an islander with dreams of his own that inspire new points of view. As her time on the big rock comes near its close, Signe must make a choice that could change the course of her life.

Big Rock features a local ensemble cast of three including Todd Jefferson Moore as Sands, Meg McLynn as Signe, and Evan Whitfield as Hamish. Todd Jefferson Moore has been seen locally inThe Ramayana at ACT; The Wizard of OZ, The Edge of Peace, and Crash at Seattle Children's Theatre; Crime and Punishment and Grapes of Wrath at Intiman; OPUS, Dancing at Lughnasa, Thom Paine at Seattle Rep; and Midsummer Nights Dream, Electra, and Pericles at Seattle Shakespeare Co.

Todd is a recipient of the Glenn Falls Award for Sustained Achievement and he currently teaches playwriting for ACT's Young Playwriting Program. Meg McLynn's local credits include Seattle Shakespeare Company, Book-It, Seattle Symphony, ArtsWest, Seattle Opera, Seattle Public Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theatre, Theatre22, and 14/48: TWQTF, as well as the feature films "Different Drummers," "7 Minutes," and "Colton." She is a concert soloist with Purple Phoenix Productions as well as a faculty member at Cornish College of the Arts and Freehold Theatre Lab. Evan Whitfield has performed on Seattle stages including ACT, Seattle Children's Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theatre, Seattle Shakespeare, 14/48, Strawberry Theatre Workshop, NCTC. Seattle may recognize playwright Sonya Schneider's name from her 2010 theatrical collaboration with Intiman Theatre, The Thin Place, or the 2014 production of her play Royal Blood, which The Stranger called "a satisfying, captivating theatrical experience."

She is currently developing a new musical titled Special, which had its first workshop at ACT Theatre in 2017 and one of its songs featured in Village Theatre's Festival of New Musicals' Northwest Songwriters Showcase in Summer 2017. For her latest work, Sonya has put together a team of immensely credited Seattle-based artists to tell the story that is Big Rock.

"This is the third play of mine that visionary director Laurel Garcia and I have worked on together, and my husband and producer Stuart Nagae has been my champion over many years," Sonya commented. "I feel immense freedom and gratitude working with both of them, and together, we have assembled an exciting creative team and cast for Big Rock. When I began writing this play, I had recently dealt with a period of artistic disillusionment. The story here comes out of that experience and the notion of persistence in the face of challenge. It's my hope that those who see this play will feel encouraged to persevere, dare to be wrong, and to create!"

The creative team for Big Rock includes director Laurel Pilar Garcia (Sonya Schneider's Royal Blood), scenic design by Julia Welch (Seattle Opera, ACT Theatre, Rebel Kat Productions, Intiman, WET, ArtsWest, UW Drama, Village Theatre), sound design by Robertson Witmer(Seattle Shakespeare Company; ACT; Seattle Children's Theatre; Seattle Rep, Teatro ZinZanni, Intiman, NCTC), costume design by Sarah Mosher (West of Lenin, Taproot, Seattle Pacific University), with technical direction by Adam London (Intiman, ACT, Seattle Opera).

About Sonya Schneider

Sonya's plays include Royal Blood (West of Lenin), The Thin Place (Intiman Theatre), WAKE (The Little Theatre), and Boy Lies (developmental reading at Canoe Social Club). She graduated with an English degree from Stanford University and has studied playwriting at Oxford University and the University of Washington. Her new musical Special is currently in development and was last work shopped at ACT Theatre in April 2017 and one of the songs, "Hole in Heart," was featured in Summer 2017 at Village Theatre's Northwest Songwriters Showcase. She lives with her husband and two daughters in Seattle, WA. About Laurel Pilar (Director)Laurel Pilar Garcia most recently directed Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl for Seattle Pacific University.

She directed the World Premiere of Royal Blood by Sonya Schneider at West of Lenin and the Northwest premiere of Sweet Nothing, a (grim) fairytale by Stephanie Timm for Macha Monkey at Annex Theatre (2012 Gregory Award Nominee for Outstanding New Play). She has directed readings of Upon the Fragile Shore by Caridad Svich for Theater Simple and Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl for Lincoln Center Directors Lab.

Additional credits include the World Premiere of WAKE by Sonya Schneider at the Little Theatre for Onward Ho! Productions; The Diary of Anne Frank for the Driftwood Players; Zapatista for Teatro Milagro in Portland, Ore.; Two Rooms by Lee Blessing at the Freehold Studio Series; Dinner with Friends by Donald Margulies and A Christmas Carol, both at Whidbey Island Center for the Arts. She is a member of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and received her B.A. in Theatre Arts from Lewis & Clark College.


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