Full disclosure: My safer-at-home pandemic therapy has been, in large part, taking my plays out of the virtual drawer and collecting kick-ass artists to play with them online. (That, and an old-fashioned or two at cocktail hour.)
So it might not be a surprise that that the first full-length that called out to me was set in a bar. 😉
A comedy about negotiations, acceptance and belonging, The Big Red Naugahyde Booth (or, Would-be Elks) tracks the cocktails and confessions of a group of larger than life women who regularly meet to drink and dish. But on this particular evening of excess, what’s brought to the table raises issues much bigger than the bar bill.
As the power of red naugahyde comes into play, a girls’ night out becomes an surreal exploration of female bonds in a changing world.
I hadn’t really looked at this play since we had a great time with it in EST/LA‘s Winterfest (directed by Matt Elkins) a few years back. So I was excited when Jenn Scuderi Crafts generously offered a cold read in April through Theatre Unleashed‘s virtual reading series.
And after hearing it again, I dived into re-writes and reached out to my friend, director Laura Stribling; we convinced some of our favorite actors to jump onboard with us and it’s been a blast exploring this territory as we live through the surreal, every day. Can’t thank Laura and extraordinary artists Jully Lee, Susan Louise O’Connor, Erin Walker, Cathy Carlton, Paula Weston Solano, Peter Pasco and Sarah Jo Provost enough for being so incredibly generous. (And special thanks to Nic Few!)
Let me know if you can join us for a casual, cocktail hour read on Saturday, August 22 at 5pm PT.