The newly launched site times with an awareness campaign we are leading with international environmentalists, writers and film makers to mark the 30th anniversary in April of the deadly Chernobyl nuclear accident. The awareness raising campaign will be called “Chernobyl is Forever” and will include a series of projects which will recall and reassess the impact of the Chernobyl accident.
The first in the series is a time lapse video piece by videographer Michael Garrett called ‘Chernobyl: 30 years of Decay’
It can be viewed on our new Home Page at
Chernobyl: The Story
One of the most frequently asked questions after the show- adult or children’s script – is Where is the nearest nuclear power plant to LA?
On our way to San Diego for our last Anniversary Reading, I drove past it. After thinking so much about it, I can’t believe I didn’t plan to stop there on the way. My carmate and ensemble member Carolyn Blais was nice enough to snap some pictures on our way home. Not bad for going 75 MPH.
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!
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!
*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!
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 LiaisonsDangereuses, 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
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
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!
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?
VFC, Jr. is talking to some of the other Hollywood Fringe participants in our new series, Fringe Family Friday Interviews. Our third interview is with Jay Alvarez, who is presenting his one man show at the Fringe, Be Careful! The Sharks Will Eat You!
What made you decide to write a children’s show and put it into Fringe Family?
I never set out to do a show. My father had passed away and a couple of years before he passed my nephew had taped him recounting the story of our escape. I had grown up with these stories and also had been surrounded by similar stories.
One day I was sitting at Franklin Canyon Park in Beverly Hills by the lake where Opie throws the stone in the old Andy Griffith show and I was listening to the recording and I just started to write. I found that it was just flowing through me, it wasn’t an effort to write which was interesting because I don’t consider myself a writer. For a couple of weeks I went back to that lake almost every day and wrote. It became therapeutic as it was a very down time for me as an actor. Anyway I wrote it and thought in the back of my mind that it might make a good play or something. One day I finished writing, I put it away and it sat in my computer for two years. Two years later after moving back to NYC I serendipitously met my very talented director Theresa Gambacorta and I mentioned that I had written this piece, it was the first time in two years that I had mentioned the piece, one thing led to another and we started working on it. It’s an interesting side story how we met, sometimes things are just meant to be……….
What has been the most exciting or fun thing about working on this particular project?
What was most exciting about working on the piece was the rehearsal process. It became about peeling away the excess and finding the essence of the piece. Exploring each character’s truth. Theresa took the piece and sliced and diced it to where we got it to a tight 65 minutes. We spent several months exploring and I’m glad we did. I think we were able to give a sense of this period in history through one family. We scheduled the piece for three performances last June and I thought that would be it but I was wrong I’ve been doing it in NYC and Miami since then. This is a gift that my father left me.
What do you hope families will take away from your show when they see it during the Hollywood Fringe?
I have a very dear friend who brought her somewhat moody teenage niece to see the show. A couple of days after seeing the show she called her aunt and said “you know aunt Judy seeing the show made me think of how many people we pass on the streets each day that must have wonderful stories they live with and we just “pass them by.”
I often have people come up to me after the show wanting to tell me about their grandmother that escaped Russia or an aunt from Hungary. I had a very young Jewish woman who knew her grandmother had escaped Germany and wished she knew her story. I am very humbled by these reactions.
I would hope young and older audiences alike would see courage and determination and most importantly the idea that Love concurs all. I would hope that American born kids understand what so many go through to get to our shores that immigrants are not here to take anything away from us that instead they come with gifts to offer. I would hope that immigrant kids who cling to their heritage to the exclusion of their American side discover that becoming American only adds to who they already are, they can embrace two cultures fully, I certainly have done so. I am Cuban and no one can take that away from me but boy I am so American as well and I love it!
Are there any shows you are planning to see at the Fringe?
I’m so excited about The Fringe! I’m starting my exploration of what I want to see. Since we only have so many days and such a huge smorgasbord I’m going to start with my research. But I would say go out there and experience the world within the few blocks where we will all be presenting such diverse experiences.
Helping create and discover what this family from Chornobyl wears is another real first for the project. We cobbled together a good look for a 2006 workshop of the now-“adult” script, had a
wonderful Costume Designer for the 2007 Demo, Christy Hauptmann, and she really took the vision by the horns. Since then, we’ve only presented readings, so truly looking into costumes is a welcome treat!
Thinking about costumes for our Fringe Family show brought me back to a lot of interesting research, and opened my eyes to a whole new group of blogs and stories about people in Ukraine.
This is the best one I found, mostly because it so beautifully shows both the vast changes through each generation but also confirms that styles are essentially ten years behind ours and a little more colorful than we are used to seeing. I am by no means an expert on fashion, and am open to other interpretations. Do you agree or see something more?