Ann Randolph's LOVELAND Set for Kogod Cradle Series at Arena Stage, 3/18-4/23
Building on critical acclaim for her one woman show, writer/performer Ann Randolph (Squeeze Box) will join the 2013/14 Kogod Cradle Series at Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater in a special extended presentation of her latest American comedy Loveland, an "unforgettable, over-the-top comedy that forces people to think" (The Huffington Post). Following each performance, Randolph will guide audience participants through a mini writing workshop to explore the transformative and healing power of expressed personal grief. The combined performance and post-show experience will mark the launch of Randolph's national Good Grief Tour, an interactive experience that aims to spark a national discourse on grief with audiences around the country. Loveland, directed by Joshua Townshend, runs March 18-April 13, 2014 in the Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle.
Randolph brings humanity to the role of Frannie Potts, an irreverent oddball trapped on a plane as she travels from California to Ohio to attend a family member's funeral. Accompanied by a cast of hilarious characters, all portrayed by Randolph, we witness the tragedy, beauty and humor that unite us all in grief. Compared to the late Gilda Radner (The San Francisco Examiner) and called "a genius" by comedy master Mel Brooks, Randolph's fearless performance exposes the laugh-out-loud combination of absurdity and wrenching emotion that results when grief strips us of our inhibitions.
"Death, dying and loss are such taboos in our society," notes Randolph. "Yet, as painful as they are, these experiences often have a ridiculous and deeply funny side. Audiences find their own stories reflected in Frannie's journey in a way that is surprisingly cathartic. To watch an audience of strangers become a community beautifully holding space for each other is nothing less than sacred. I believe that acknowledging our losses, both privately and collectively as a country, allows for profound healing, and I'm thrilled to launch the Good Grief Tour in D.C."
Using solo performance and humor as a coping mechanism for challenging life experiences is nothing new to Randolph. Her prior show, Squeeze Box was produced by Mel Brooks and the late Anne Bancroft and enjoyed a successful Off-Broadway run before touring the United States and headlining at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Squeeze Box garnered both the Los Angeles Ovation Award and the LA Weekly Award for "Best Solo Show." Her other solo works include Down Home, Shelter and Miss America for which she won the LA Weekly Award for "Best Solo Performer." A favorite spoken word artist, Ann has won the LA Moth and been a regular on LA's long running spoken word series, Tasty Words, SPARK, and Gorgeous Stories. Her personal essays and interviews have been featured on NPR, PBS and the BBC. She is also a nationally recognized educator and keynote speaker touring throughout the U.S. and speaking and performing at universities, conferences and mind/body spirit centers. Her widely popular "Write Your Life" workshops are offered in cities across the U.S. Randolph has also made numerous TV and film appearances and has been hired by Brooksfilms to create an original movie based on her play Squeeze Box. For more information on Ann Randolph visit annrandolph.com.
Loveland is one of six projects selected for the 2013/14 Kogod Cradle Series as part of the American Voices New Play Institute. As part of the series, Randolph will benefit from the opportunity to rehearse, perform and discuss her work in the Mead Center's intimate 200-seat Arlene and Robert Kogod Cradle, a space specifically designed to support the development of new and emerging American theater. As with all of the Kogod Cradle Series artists, Randolph has worked closely with Institute Dramaturg Jocelyn Clarke to further develop the play. For more information on the 2013/14 Kogod Cradle Series visit arenastage.org/artistic-development/new-play-institute/the-cradle-series.