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Announcing: Blank Theatre 22nd Annual Young Playwrights Festival Now Accepting Submissions


Blank-Theatre-Young-Playwrights-Festival-logoThe Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival is now seeking submissions nationwide from playwrights 19 years of age and younger. The submission deadline is March 15, 2014. Winning plays will be presented by professional actors and directors in June, 2014 at the Stella Adler Theatre in Hollywood, CA.

Celebrating its 22nd anniversary, The Blank Theatre’s Young Playwrights Festival is a nationwide competition that produces the work of twelve young writers each year. Since 1993, the festival has produced 248 plays by playwrights 19 and younger from 27 states.

Each winning play will have four performances in a weekend run. The productions are made possible in part by grants from Ralph M. Parsons Foundation, The Plum Foundation, The Rosenthal Family Foundation, Sheri and Les Biller Family Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission and City of Los Angeles — Office of Councilman Tom LaBonge. Hollywood’s Blank Theatre has had its work featured on MSNBC, CNN Showbiz Today, Entertainment Tonight, BBC, CBS, ABC, NBC, PBS, NPR, in Entertainment Weekly magazine, and in the Financial Times of London.

“Every year I am amazed at the depths to which these teenagers go in their writing. They are brave, bold and uninhibited,“ said Noah Wyle (star of television’s ER and Falling Skies), Artistic Producer at The Blank. “The winners are thrilled to see their plays presented by professionals, but these professionals are often given a great gift in return: a renewed sense of artistic purpose. We learn from the playwrights as they learn from us.”

The rules for the festival competition are as follows: playwrights must be 19 years of age or younger on March 15, 2014; original plays and musicals can be any length, on any subject. Scripts must be legible and pages must be numbered and unbound. Submissions may be emailed to submissions @, or hard copies mailed to YPF, c/o The Blank Theatre, PO Box 1094, Los Angeles, CA, 90078 (and must be postmarked or emailed by March 15, 2014). There is a limit of three (3) plays per playwright. All plays must include a cover sheet with the play’s title, playwright’s name, date of birth, school (if any), mailing address, contact phone number, e-mail address and the play’s production history (if any).

Each playwright whose work is accepted will be assigned a mentor: professional writers who will help the youngsters hone their work for performance. Past mentors have included Tony Award-winning playwright Terrence McNally, Tony Award-nominated composer Michael John LaChiusa, writer Jeff Greenstein (Will & Grace), Irene Mecchi (writer, The Lion King, Brave), Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), television and film director Garry Marshall, among many others. The playwrights then experience the thrill of seeing their plays performed by industry professionals in fully staged productions.

Past festivals have featured well known actors such as Jerry O’Connell (Jerry Maguire), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Noah Wyle, Molly Shannon, Tiffani Thiessen (White Collar), Matthew Moy (2 Broke Girls), Tom Lenk, Nicholas Brendon, and Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy The Vampire Slayer), Megan Ward, Heather Morris and Max Adler (Glee), Josh Radnor and Alyson Hannigan (How I Met Your Mother), Sherri Shepherd (The View), Kelly Lynch, Debra Messing, Parvesh Cheena (Sean Saves The World), Angel Parker (Lab Rats), Constance Zimmer (Boston Legal), Tony Award-winning actress Daisy Eagan, Emmy Award-winning actor Edward Asner, and many others.

In past years, some winning plays have gone on to have a life on The Blank’s mainstage for full-scale production. Should this happen, the playwright is treated as a full professional, from signing an option agreement to being paid royalties for his/her play. The Why, a play by 19-year-old Victor Kaufold, received a Los Angeles Stage Alliance Ovation Award nomination for ‘Best Writing – World Premiere’ as a result of The Blank’s production. Kaufold is the youngest nominee in his category in 23 years of Ovation Award history. Three-time Festival winner Stephen Karam was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and three-time winner Austin Winsberg saw his musical First Date open on Broadway in 2013.

For more information, visit the festival’s website at or The Blank Theatre’s website at

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Announcing: EST/LA Presents ‘The Ugly One’ by Marius Von Mayenburg – Opens Feb. 15 – Atwater Village Theatre Speakeasy

“You are ugly. It’s a fact. I can’t believe you didn’t know.”

Ensemble Studio Theatre/LA
Presents the West Coast Premiere of
By Marius von Mayenburg
English Translation By Maja Zade
Directed by Gates McFadden


The Ugly OneEnsemble Studio Theatre/LA has announced the West Coast premiere of The Ugly One, a comedy by Marius von Mayenburg (English translation by Maja Zade), directed by Gates McFadden. Starring Robert Joy, Tony Pasqualini, Eve Gordon, and Peter Larney, The Ugly One will play one preview performance on February 14 and is set to open Saturday, February 15 with performances at 5pm and 8pm. The limited engagement will run through March 24.

The Ugly One is a comedy that tells the story of Lette, a successful engineer who after decades of contentment is suddenly confronted with the news that he is, in fact, unspeakably ugly. He sets out to change his looks and finds out that nothing can be taken at face value. The Ugly One is a whip-smart social satire from one of Germany’s most exciting contemporary playwrights that lampoons our culture’s quest for beauty.

Marius von Mayenburg is a playwright, translator, dramaturg, director and one of the most widely produced German playwrights. His plays have received productions at the Schaubühne/Berlin, the Royal Court Theater in London, and other major theaters around the world. His first play Fireface (Feuergesicht), premiered at the Kammerspiele in Munich and was subsequently produced at the Kleist Theater in Frankfurt and at the Deutsches Schauspielhaus Hamburg. For Fireface, Mayenburg received the Award for Emerging Playwrights Kleistförderpreis für junge Dramatiker and the prize of the Frankfurt Writer’s Foundation Preis der Frankfurter Autorenstiftung. All of Mayenburg’s plays (more than 10) have been produced in Germany as well as worldwide. He is currently dramaturg and playwright-in- residence at the Schaubühne/Berlin.

Translator Maja Zade was raised in Germany and Sweden and studied English literature at London University and Queen’s University in Canada. She has translated works by Marius von Mayenburg, Roland Schimmelpfennig, Lars Norén and Falk Richter into English.

Director Gates McFadden is also Artistic Director of EST/LA. Plays produced under her tenure include Julie Hebert’s Tree, Nicholas Kazan’s Mlle. God, Tom Jacobson’s House of the Rising Son, Crack Whore Galore and House of Gold. Her acting credits include six years and four films portraying Dr. Beverly Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation, Taking Care of Business, and The Hunt for Red October. McFadden’s numerous acting credits include Cloud Nine, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, How to Say Goodbye, Emerald City, The Homecoming, To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday, Viva Detroit, and EST/LA’s The Shore. On TV: Marker, Mad About You, and numerous guest roles. A well-known teacher of the techniques of Jacques Lecoq, her faculty positions have included AADA, Brandeis, Harvard, NYU, Tisch School of Arts, The Stella Academy in Hamburg, and University of Pittsburgh.

Set and projection design for The Ugly One are by Hana S. Kim, lighting design is by Pablo Santiago, costume design is by Catherine Baumgardner, sound design is by Joseph ‘Sloe’ Slawinski, and the stage manager is Marissa Drammissi. Producers for EST/LA are Mina Sharpe and Gabrieal Griego.

There will be one preview performance of The Ugly One on Friday, February 14 at 8pm and opening is set for Saturday, February 15 with performances at 5pm and 8pm. The running schedule will be Saturdays at 5pm and 8pm, Sundays at 7pm, and Mondays at 8pm through March 24. Preview tickets are $15 and regular tickets are $25. All seats are general admission and may be purchased online at or or by calling (323) 644-1929. The Speakeasy at Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Avenue, in Los Angeles.

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Announcing: ‘Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera’ in Concert – Tuesday 2/4 at King King Club – Will Benefit Celebration Theatre




TONYA & NANCY LOGOA one-night-only concert performance of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera has been set for Tuesday, February 4 at 8pm at Hollywood’s legendary King King Club. The concert will take place just a few days before the start of the 2014 Olympics, which is also the 20th anniversary of the lead pipe assault heard ‘round the world and their subsequent skate-off at the 1994 Winter Olympics. The librettist is Elizabeth Searle and music by Michael Teoli, the concert version of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera will be choreographed and directed by NAACP and Ovation Award-winner Janet Roston. Proceeds from the evening will go to support Celebration Theatre.

Based on the infamous knee-attack scandal, Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera tells the story of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan, two girls going for the gold and two lifelong dreams colliding on the Olympic Ice. This high energy and darkly comic show takes the audience on a wild, hilarious, and insightful ride. The true over-the-top tale contains operatic themes with twists so outrageous they seem invented; the struggle of the seemingly good girl and bad girl, one from the trailer park and one from a loving home, who meet each other head on; the bad boy who sells out his girl; and the three clowns who bungle a crime. The piece explores our celebrity-crazed-society, the public’s hunger for salacious scandal, and the media’s drive for tabloid fodder.

Steve Almond at WGBH in Boston called Tonya & Nancy, “One of the most exciting spectacles I’ve ever seen.” The Boston Herald enthused, “When Tonya & Nancy lands a moment … it’s like watching a skater land that perfect triple Lutz.” And The Boston Phoenix called show, “Absurdly funny … surprisingly poignant.”

The February 4 concert staging of Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera will include a full rock band, vocals, and visuals to tell the stranger than fiction story of the two Olympic skaters. The ensemble is (in alphabetical order) Michael Ballestero, Jordan Kai Burnett, Sarah Chaney, Joe Donohoe, Michael Shaw Fisher, Maegan McConnell, Jesse Merlin, Suzanne Petrela, Michael Shepperd, Jeff Sumner, and Laura L. Thomas. Executive producer for the concert is Paul T. Boghosian, producer is Ryan Bergmann, and associate producer is Rebecca Eisenberg.

Founded in 1982 and now in its 31st season, Celebration Theatre is a community of artists dedicated to presenting innovative, provocative and relevant work that examines the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer experience. It provides a supportive forum for professional and emerging writers, directors, designers and performers, giving voice to the full experience of gay culture. The theatre endeavors to challenge society’s perception of the community and give a vibrant voice to its evolving identity.

Tickets for Tonya & Nancy: The Rock Opera on February 4 and February 5 at 8pm are $20 in advance and $25 on the day of the show. Doors open at 7pm for bar service. A live DJ will be spinning before and after the performance. Tickets are on sale now and may be purchased online at or by phone at (323) 960-9234. The King King Club is located at 6555 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, 90028.

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