Posts filed under ‘Production’
There are few ways to thank everyone for the incredible experience we had at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Producing
and cultivating an audience for this show proved to be a team effort, and I want to thank everyone in the program below, plus the following participants: Jennifer Jejay of I Heart Hamas, Todd Blakesley & Dulce Maria Solis of Chela, Meghan McCauley of Spring Awakening, Monica Martin from ArtWorks, Anton Ray of Warrior Poet and Matt Quinn of Theater Asylum.
We were one of the plays awarded a Best of the Fringe, which includes an offer for extension. Comment below to subscribe to our mailing list or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
Many thanks as well to Theatre Unleashed, who nominated us for their Unleashed Award!
Voices From Chornobyl jr.
Written by Cindy Marie Jenkins | Directed by Aaron Kozak
Inspired by the book of interviews
Produced by special arrangement with the publisher
Stage Managers Jessica Farley & Deanna Fleysher
Sound Designer Corwin Evans
Co-Producer Rachel Stoll | Social Media Jennifer Brooks
KENDRA CHELL (Irina | June 25 & 26) was recently nominated for an LA Weekly Award for her role in the Open Fist Theatre production of The Illusion. She holds a B.A. in Theatre Arts from San Francisco State University and has studied with LAMDA, Berkeley Rep and UCB. She has worked with American Conservatory Theatre, The San Francisco Mime Troupe, The Antaeus Company and Kingsmen Shakespeare. Past credits include Arcadia, La Ronde, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, A Lie of the Mind, James Joyce’s THE DEAD and The Rover. Film and TV credits include “The Selling,” “Against the Grain,” “Venice By The Sea,” “Close So Far” and “Mary Olsen” webisodes. Kendra is a proud member of the A2 Ensemble, Antaeus’ Academy Company. http://kendrachell.com/
BRETT COLBETH (Vasily June 11, 19, 25 & 26) is thrilled to be a part of VFC Jr.! Recent L.A. theatre credits include Dakin Matthews’ The Capulets and The Montagues at Andak Stage Company, Last Fling at Circus Theatricals, and Bart DeLorenzo’s critically acclaimed King Lear at Antaeus Theatre Company. Brett was most recently seen in Antaeus’ workshop production of Love’s Labour’s Lost directed by Darin Anthony. Brett is a member of A2 (Antaeus’ Academy Company) as well as Shakespeare and Friends. He is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association. Much love to his peers, Cindy Jenkins, and wonderful family- Dad, Mom and Jackie. Enjoy the show!
SHELLEY DELAYNE (Irina | June 11, 18 & 19) was in the ensemble of a Hollywood Fringe Festival show last year (The Girl Who Would Be King) which received a nomination for an LA Weekly Theatre Award and is excited to be back at the Fringe as part of a completely different kind of show. Other non-Fringe plays in Los Angeles include: Laundry & Bourbon, Sylvia, Salome, Jake’s Women, and On the Verge.
JESSE SHARP (Vasily June 18) is a recent graduate of the MFA acting program at UC Irvine. Recent credits include: Into The Woods (Baker) Two Gentleman of Verona (Valentine) and the world premier musical Great Expectations at the Tony Award Winning Utah Shakespeare Festival. Tours include Grease (Vince Fontaine) and the fantastic kids show Henry and Mudge with Theatreworks USA. TV/Film credits include “General Hospital,” “The Man Show,” “Not Another Teen Movie” as well as several indies & webseries. He is excited to be making his Fringe debut! www.JesseSharp.net
KAPPA VICTORIA WOOD (Katya) is honored to return to Voices From Chornobyl, which has eerily become more relevant than ever. Some of Kappa’s previous work includes ‘Corie’ in Barefoot in the Park, ‘Laura’ in The Glass Menagerie, ‘Gilmer’ in Godspell and ‘Gabby’ in The Petrified Forest. Kappa would like to thank her fiancé Michael Curran for his love and support and you for supporting live theater!
BRAD BEACOM |CAROLYN BLAIS | DREW DOYLE | ENCI | AARON LYONS* | SHAWN MACAULAY* | ROBERT NEGRON* | CHANNING SARGENT | BRIAN SPARROW | KATIE SWEENEY | NICOL ZANZARELLA-GIACALONE*
*denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the professional union of actor and stage managers
JENNIFER BROOKS (Social Media) has been working on and off (mostly off) the stage for 15+ years. She holds a BA from San Francisco State, where she was the Student President of the Theatre Department. For over five years, she worked with L.A. Theatre Works, the premier radio theatre company in the country, where she was in charge of casting 10+ shows a year with top name actors of stage and screen for their radio show on NPR. She has also worked with California Shakespeare Theatre, Campo Santo and Malibu Theatre Company. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two cats.
CORWIN EVANS (Sound Designer) is a freelance designer of sound, projections and integrated experiences. He’s worked in the LA area for five years, and chances are pretty darn good he’s going to see you at some events this Fringe. He’s excited at the prospect of a prodigious amount of high-fives. Corwin is on a mission to work in almost every one of the 300+ theaters in LA. In the meantime, he enjoys the roller coaster ride of cat ownership, writes original music for theatre and/or fun, pretends to be a comedy writer on his lunch hour and works as a Concierge for Center Theatre Group. www.CorwinEvans.com/ | www.facebook.com/corwin0 | www.twitter.com/corwinevans | www.latensemble.com/
JESSICA FARLEY (Stage Manager) is fantastic and has been working in theatre and short films for over 15 years. She trained at the George Washington University and with instructors from the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Jessica is a participant in the Global Theatre Project and founding member of the Tripod Actors Collective. She’s thrilled to be working on VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL as she has worked on projects for humanitarian causes throughout the world. Jessica loves people and is especially excited to be involved in the Hollywood Fringe and would like to give a shout to her uncle Marc Spiegel, storyteller extraordinaire, who wrote and performed The Grubrag’s Ballad for the Capitol Fringe Festival in D.C. in 2010 and will again be performing 2011. Jessica is passionate about human rights and has worked with Amnesty international for about 15 years and is a coordinator for their Young Professionals network and the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Southern California, for which she often speaks publicly and engages in community outreach. Her human rights and community-building work informs her artistic pieces, which all stem from a deep dedication to the creation of meaning and the True, the Beautiful and the Good.
DEANNA FLEYSHER (Stage Manager) is a performer, teacher and director just arrived from NYC. She is very excited to be working on this project!
CINDY MARIE JENKINS (Playwright & Outreach) is a Storyteller based in Los Angeles. She is obsessed with outreach & community-building. In 2008, Cindy gave a Key Note Speech at “Remember Chernobyl,” an Annual Conference for UK & Irish Chernobyl Charities. April 2011 presentations included Stockton England and 3 locations in Los Angeles. In June the ensemble travels to San Diego to present the piece in conjunction with Inner Mission Productions. June also brings the premiere of her ten-minute play Dragon Compact as part of Moving Arts’ CAR PLAYS, presented at the RADAR LA International Theatre Festival, leading up to the TCG Conference. She is also running around the Directors Lab West June 11-18th, as a member of the Steering Committee. In March she returned to The Indy Convergence, where she workshopped MYTHistory Part .5 (www.Twitter.com/MYTHistories), a transmedia piece on perception. Previous community art installations/interactions were shown at the 1st Annual Atwater Art Walk, Summer Nights on the Boulevard, The Barnsdall Gallery, The Courtyard Gallery, the Silver Lake Jubilee (2010 & 2011) and the Children’s Festival of the Arts in Hollywood. She regularly contributes to LA Stage Times, Atwater Village Now, The Inspired Classroom, Bitter Lemons & LAFPI. www.CindyMarieJenkins.com http://www.Twitter.com/cindymariej
AARON KOZAK (Director) has been doing theater for 20 years, debuting in “Camelot” in 1990 at the Lamplight Theatre in Nacogdoches, Texas. Since then, he’s performed in over forty plays, 7 feature films, and countless shorts. He wrote, produced, directed, edited and starred in”The Show Businessman,” which was selected as an official finalist of the 2010 Las Vegas Film Festival. His directing/editing credits include Ebay’s Regifting Campaign with Andy Richter, Revelle Studios’ “Star Mashers,” MTV’s “True Life,” “The Night Audit,” “Basketball Shorts,” “The Chinnedy’s,” and “Savages.” As a playwright, he was privileged to be affiliated with the International Fringe circuit. His play “Goodbye, Love. Goodbye, Joy. Hello, Travis McElroy.” was performed at the Capital Fringe Festival in Washington, DC; and his play THE BIRTHDAY BOYS will be making its New York debut in late 2011/early 2012.
KAREN JEAN MARTINSON (Dramaturg) is a scholar, dramaturg, director, and sometimes puppeteer who freelances throughout Los Angeles. Martinson was awarded her Ph.D. in Theatre History, Literature, and Theory from the University of Minnesota in 2008. Through her academic and artistic work, she explores issues of race, class, gender, and sexuality within US American consumer culture. http://www.MissKarenJean.com
CAROLINE SHARP (Graphics & Social Media) is proud to be a part of this tremendous production. A graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama, Caroline has studied with the renowned Atlantic Theater Company in both New York and Los Angeles. Her work includes roles in The Importance of Being Earnest, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, An Enemy of The People, & the recent new musical, Group which also has performances at the Hollywood Fringe. www.CarolineSharp.net
RACHEL STOLL (Producer) is happy to be producing in the Hollywood Fringe Festival again this year. She is awesome. Special thx to Cindy Marie Jenkins and the rest of the VFC team, to my mother for supporting our April production and to Jon Armstrong for keeping me sane. www.RachelStoll.Com | www.Twitter.com/RachelStoll
Executive Producer | $200 | Barbara Blankenship Advocate | $100 | Shelley Delayne | Aaron Lyons | Sponsor | $50-99 | Kelly Banusciewitz of Beans Boutique | Alex Bruno | Hallie Faben
Patron | $0-49 | Cassandra Davis | Alicia Gibbs | Bari Hochwald | Eugene Hutchins | Mike Khachanov | Christopher Lutz | Lauren Maddox | Karen Jean Martinson | Robert Negron | Pamela Noles | Stephen Gabriel Pallo | Sherri Pender | Leonora & Scott Pitts | Steven Scott | Michael Seel | Marta Segura | Marc Stigler | Alyson Unger | Janet Whitty | Bethanee Wilgocki | David Wisehart
Abraham Tetenbaum, Bitter Lemons, Cynthia Brickman, Kumbi Butler of Heartbeat House, Joe Luis Cedillo & Company of Strangers, Rhianon Elan, Tracy Eliot, Alexandra Goodman, Dan Jenkins, Meghan McCauley, Pamela Noles, Lee Osteen II, Kat Primeau, Patty J. Robinson, Michael Seel, Richard Tatum & so many more.
much gratitude to the entire Fringe Staff
Jon Armstrong, Ezra Buzzington, Alexa Hanhram, Ben Hill, Nick Hill, Stacy Jones, Kanchan Mattoo, Meghan McCauley, David McKeever, Elizabeth Steele, Abbie Wagoner and Gavin Worth
Voices From Chornobyl Jr.
“More kids would go to college if school was taught like this.”
-11 year-old audience member
Buy tickets soon | only 2 shows remaining
“Utilizing simple metaphors, song, and language that is always clear and never condescending, complex issues such as radiation poisoning and nuclear power are defined, replacing fear with knowledge and imparting a message that is as reaffirming as it is timely.”
-Kat Primeau, Actress & Producer
“Great structure, well-acted and good use of the audience to start it all off. My only complaint is I wanted more but that came in the form of a great Q&A afterwards as well.”
-Jeff Gardner, Actor & Sound Designer
Cindy Marie Jenkins’ deft writing bridges the gap between an educational presentation and an interactive children’s show that is as funny as it is serious…. I highly recommend this show for parents and children alike. It is equal parts entertaining and important.
-Adam Emperor Southard, Writer & Parent
“Jenkins keeps the horror of the meltdown to a minimum, allowing the subdued fear and forced calm of Katya’s parents and slight allusions to post meltdown physical debilities to provide a great jumping off point for discussions post show.” -Thomas Hampton Reviews
Teaching your kids about basic arithmetic is easy. You can learn to count and add using your fingers and toes, or kernels of corn. Teaching children about power plants fueled by nuclear reactors and damage caused by radioactive spills, fires, core meltdowns caused by both human error and natural disaster; well that is a wee more difficult.
Stepping in to foster that conversation is VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL JR, Cindy Marie Jenkin’s short play inspired by the book of interviews Voices From Chernobyl, by Svetlana Alexievich.
VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL JR flirts with Story Theater conventions, allowing a family living in the shadow of the ill fated Ukrainian plant to narrate their own experiences during the crisis.
Katya is the daughter of a scientist and a nurse. She is nine, precocious, and inquisitive. The audience learns valuable lessons with her, as her dad explains that, “Our government likes to tell us all the positive things. It is up to us to find out more…”
We see events unfold through her eyes, as she worries about the firefighters and her younger neighbor. Jenkins keeps the horror of the meltdown to a minimum, allowing the subdued fear and forced calm of Katya’s parents and slight allusions to post meltdown physical debilities to provide a great jumping off point for discussions post show.
CHORNOBYL JR is not only a primer on nuclear power. It offers a fantastic way to broach power creation and consumption, pollution, trust in and truth from those in authority, and environmental based illnesses with the young theater goers you catch this show with.
Thematic content includes: Bring Kids.
VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL JR $10
6/11 TO 6/26 1pm
Purchase tickets online
Free preview performance 6/11, all shows 1/2 price for Fringe participants
by Adam Emperor Southard · June 11, 2011
The task of writing a show for children about the Chernobyl tragedy must be daunting but you wouldn’t know it from this lovely production. Cindy Marie Jenkins’ deft writing bridges the gap between an educational presentation and an interactive children’s show that is as funny as it is serious.
The particular preview that I had the pleasure to see had an adoring adult audience, but Voices From Chernobyl Jr is tailor made for children eight years and up. I highly recommend this show for parents and children alike. It is equal parts entertaining and important.
Stacy Jones, Publicity Director for the Fringe, and her Correspondents Team are accomplishing an amazing task: seeing lots of shows and filming short interviews with the creators directly afterwards. Our show is the second interview in this clip!
Here is an excerpt of our piece, by request from parents thinking about seeing the show! Remember that our preview tomorrow is Pay Way You Want for Families, and we run June 18, 19, 25 & 26 at 1pm. Thanks!
I’d heard stories, every family has the one distant cousin or favorite uncle who spoke out against the government, and I’d heard of them disappearing, or going to jail, or worse. I guess you understand more about the world the older you get, because it wasn’t much longer after that when I learned more about living near a power plant.
(coming home from school)
At the foot of the hill puffs a tractor
At the top of the hill a reactor
With Chornobyl we are strong
Our motherland can do no wrong.
Who taught you that song, Katya?
My teacher. She said that Chornobyl creates power for us to use in our homes. See?
(Runs to the light switch and turns it on and off)
We have electricity in our house because the Chornobyl power plant makes it for us.
What else did your teacher tell you?
That our motherland will become a strong force in the world because of all the power that Chornobyl creates, and we are very lucky to live so close to it.
Did your teacher say anything about safety tests?
Let me tell you more, Katya. Your teacher told you all the good things, but it wasn’t necessarily the whole story. What I want to tell you isn’t really bad, but it is a reason why we should be careful. I need to ask you not to tell anyone else about it, though. We can talk about these things to each other, with you, me and Mom, but not to anyone else, okay?
What’s next? Find out by seeing the show!
We’re rehearsing, making small changes, gathering props and costumes, working
with some vintage 1986 sounds and confirming reservations for this weekend -
Now all we need is you!
When will you attend this unique interactive show?
Help Katya find the truth, even when her parents can’t.
Tickets are normally $5 for previews, $10 shows
Special rates available for families this Saturday! Go to our Fringe site and use the discount code “preview” at Checkout to name your own ticket price.
We can’t wait to share this special event with you. This is the first of only five shows, and we only have 35 seats, so get your tickets soon. Looking forward to seeing you!
Voices from Chornobyl Jr.
· 40 min · $0 to $10 · Ages 8+ · family friendly · world premiere
written by Cindy Marie Jenkins
directed by Aaron Kozak
Saturday, June 11th cast features Brett Colbeth*, Shelley Delayne & Kappa Victoria Wood
stage managed by Deanna Fleysher
sound designed by Corwin Evans*denotes member of Actors’ Equity Association, the professional union of actor and stage managers
Last year I covered The Hollywood Fringe Festival on Bitter Lemons and essentially based which Fringe shows I saw off who engaged me on Twitter. It wasn’t a purposeful thing, until I realized it could be, and saw a plethora of great shows because of it. I also met some wonderful people, and Meghan McCauley is one of those people. Everything from her press packet to the blog to using my tweet after seeing their show as their first review kept me completely engaged, and the actual show, Pagan Play, was one of the most fun times I’ve ever had watching a story unfold onstage.
Then she goes and produces Spring Awakening, a top 5 dream play for me. I can’t wait to see it and urge you to check them out. Not a Fringe Family show, though I’m sure teens and parents could be helped by seeing it together, much like our show.–CMJ
MM: I can’t take credit for choosing the play – my friend, Patrick Riley (Co-Director and Actor), was the one who brought Spring Awakening to the table last fall. His enthusiasm and fascination with the play inspired me from the beginning. We read it together with Dana Murphy (Co-Director), discussed it briefly, and tabled it – when Patrick brought it up again a few months later, he told me that he and Dana wanted to bring it to the Hollywood Fringe Festival. The two of them are incredibly inspiring, and I was on board.
CMJ: Your choice of graphic design is unique but seems to be right on with the play. What was the process to get there?
MM: Once we pass our own adolescence, I think it’s all too easy to write off teenagers as foolish, immature, annoying, etc. These things might be true, sure – but these characters remind me that there’s also a lot of tenderness and depth to adolescents, and we owe it to them to take them seriously rather than rolling our eyes. They’re obsessive and self-centered, but they’re also curious and confused and lonely. One of the young characters of Spring Awakening cries: “I wish someone would come who I could just throw my arms around and talk to”. I want people to leave the theatre willing to be that someone to someone else – to listen, to care, to take the time for each other.
No, seriously, they are awesome! Be sure to say hi when you see them at the show or around the Fringe.
CORWIN EVANS is a freelance designer of sound, projections and integrated experiences. He’s worked in the LA area for five years, and chances are pretty darn good he’s going to see you at some events this Fringe. He’s excited at the prospect of a prodigious amount of high-fives.
Corwin is on a mission to work in almost every one of the 300+ theaters in LA. In the meantime, he enjoys the roller coaster ride of cat ownership, writes original music for theatre and/or fun, pretends to be a comedy writer on his lunch hour and works as a Concierge for Center Theatre Group.
DEANNA FLEYSHER (Stage Manager) is a performer, teacher and director just arrived from NYC. She is very excited to be working on this project!
JESSICA FARLEY (Stage Manager) is fantastic and has been working in theatre and short films for over 15 years. Most of her work has been on the East Coast as she is a native of Washington, D.C. Her favorite roles include Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Morse in Naomi Wallace’s One Flea Spare. She has also studied modern dance, flamenco and various kinds of physical theatre. Jessica is a singer and writer as well and has performed her poetry in small venues in Los Angeles and has published work in local magazines in Spanish and English. She trained at the George Washington University and with instructors from the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Jessica is a participant in the Global Theatre Project and founding member of the Tripod Actors Collective. She’s thrilled to be working on VOICES FROM CHORNOBYL as she has worked on projects for humanitarian causes throughout the world. Jessica loves people and is especially excited to be involved in the Hollywood Fringe and would like to give a shout to her uncle Marc Spiegel, storyteller extraordinaire, who wrote and performed The Grubrag’s Ballad for the Capitol Fringe Festival in D.C. in 2010 and will again be performing 2011.
Jessica is passionate about human rights and has worked with Amnesty international for about 15 years and is a coordinator for their Young Professionals network and the State Death Penalty Abolition Coordinator for Southern California, for which she often speaks publicly and engages in community outreach. Her human rights and community-building work informs her artistic pieces, which all stem from a deep dedication to the creation of meaning and the True, the Beautiful and the Good.
Our show is for ages 8 and up, but something about Cynthia Brinkman’s show Evolution of a Kiss and the storytelling involved resonates with the forgotten stories we share as well. So although not for our target audience, her show is family-friendly 16+. I saw some of her Grandmother’s story when we both did outreach at the Silver Lake Jubilee, and am very excited to see the rest! – CMJ
What will families enjoy about your show?
First, I should say that my show is best for a slightly more mature family audience like ages 16 and up only because in the third portion of the show (where I am portraying myself at age 17), I talk a lot about the M-word (rhymes with Gasterbation) and the imaginary fantasies that surround that activity. That being said, perhaps the core theme of the show, besides the universal one of hormones and first kisses is how the parental figures respond to their child’s developing sexuality. I’m most impressed with the evolution of my own mother and where she came from. Her parents were so strict and controlling and yet she managed to turn it all around with me to the point that it became embarrassing for me as a teenager to have a mother that was so liberal and open with discussing sexuality. I could really see this show as being a great conversation starter between parents and their teenagers around a topic that would otherwise be difficult to bring up. Also, since the script is based on journal entries and first-hand accounts, it is so real and so true to our collective human experience of growing up, that you can’t help but laugh with these three young women.
What was the inspiration for using journals onstage?
When I was still living in San Francisco, a friend of mine was producing a show called Get Mortified where everyday people read from their teenage journals to audiences of 200+. They had urged me to find my old journals and bring in a few pieces to read. It’s funny because while I’ve written in a journal since I was 16, I rarely ever look back to read them, so when I did go through and find excerpts about certain romantic fictional fantasies I wrote about the boy on the water polo team, my first kiss with the Fabio-esque foreign exchange student from Portugal, and the moment I realized I might like girls too – they were all so real, so vulnerable, and so raw that I couldn’t help but let out a cathartic laugh. One night, I had just come home from reading my first kisses at Get Mortified, and was missing my recently deceased abuelita (Spanish for grandma). I pulled out one of the many tape recordings I have of her just to hear her voice again and happened to listen to a tape where I was asking her about the female presence in the Mexican Revolution, but my younger, boy-crazy cousin interrupted that interview and demanded, “Grandma, tell us about your first kisses!” My grandma lit up and the story that followed was the golden inspiration for the concept of my show. I looked through my own mother’s journals which she had kept from age 16 to the day she died and I found her first kiss. After that I just got out of my own way and let these three young women write the story.
Do you feel that performing the roles of your mother and grandmother brought you closer to them?
Definitely! It’s so beautiful to get to become these women, engender their dreams, their feelings, their visions of themselves. In a way, I feel like this show is my own living “ofrenda” or altar to them. I really feel their presence with me at every rehearsal and performance. Also, in a way, I feel like I’ve become friends with the younger versions of them in the development of this show. My grandmother had a flair for the dramatic and storytelling – a root that runs deep in my blood so I love to use her words and honor her story telling. My mother died when I was 20 – just at a point in our relationship when we were about to move past the rebellion and into the friendship. Doing this show has allowed for that friendship to blossom and now as I think about the family I want to have, she continues to be a great confidant and guiding force.
What other projects would you like to do?
Since this show is only 50 minutes long, I’ve played with the idea of a Part 2 that chronicles their experiences of dating, courtship, and ultimately marriage – but that may be a ways off since I’m still just getting my footing here in Los Angeles. I just moved here 7 months ago and I feel like I’m just now beginning to look around, blink, and acknowledge that I’ve finally arrived to the place that was once just a dream for me – HOLLYWOOD! That once elusive dream is meeting the pavement and I gotta cover some ground to make it happen so getting an agent, manager, union affiliation, etc. are currently at the top of my list. It’s all exciting and for now I’m just thrilled to be a part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival and so grateful for the opportunity to bring this show to a new audience.