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
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
“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.
“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
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!
VFC, Jr. is talking to some of the other Hollywood Fringe participants in our new series, Fringe Family Friday Interviews. Our fourth interview is with Christian Levatino, the Founder and Artistic Director of Gangbusters Theatre Company, who is presenting William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar: Death of a Dictatoradapted by Orson Welles.
What made you decide to do this show?
The main reason the gangbusters decided to do this adaptation of JULIUS CAESAR is most certainly because of Orson Welles’ 80 minute adaptation. He literally cut the show in half and made it fly.
What has been the most exciting or fun thing about working on this particular project?
The most exciting thing about this whole process has been working with such an amazing cast. We have some of the best theatre actors in Los Angeles on one stage. It is extremely exciting to have so much talent in one production.
What do you hope families will take away from your show when they see it during the Hollywood Fringe?
I hope families/audiences will become re-introduced to one of Shakepeare’s best plays. Our hope is to take all the stuffiness out of what people normally think of when they think of Shakespearian productions. It is our wish that children will come to respect and possibly go out of their way to find out more about Shakespeare’s works.
Please be advised this production is only recommended for the most intelligent and fearless of children 10 and up.
You can purchase tickets to Julius Caesar: Death of a Dictator by clickinghere
For more information on Christian Levatino, his bio ishere
For questions about our VFC jr. Preview tomorrow (Pay What You Want),click here.
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?
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
CMJ: How did you choose SA for your Fringe show this year?
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: Dana and Patrick had compiled a collection of images they loved that inspired them early on in the process, when I was still getting on board. Marcel Dzama and Henry Darger were the two primary source artists. The art we’re using is by Marcel Dzama, a parade of shameless naked teenagers marching together – the young characters of Spring Awakening are struggling with their own developing bodies and sexuality and the shame associated with such change. The image embodies what the students wish they had.
CMJ: What is it that you love about theatre and how have you channeled that into this production?
MM: I love collaboration, do-it-yourself-ness, the celebration of imagination and creativity and resourcefulness that you find in theatre. Spring Awakening has been an exercise in all of this – the members of the cast are seriously talented and thoughtful, insightful and smart. They’ve all helped form the show under Patrick and Dana’s guidance and made my job as producer much easier because they’re so enthusiastic about promoting and publicizing. They are amazing collaborators. The imagination and creativity and resourcefulness that I love about theatre are present in every scene – the found set, the handcrafted masks, the costumes and props meticulously gathered and sewn by cast members.
CMJ: How are you able to work full-time, work full-time again with the Fringe, and produce this show?
MM: Well, that’s the question! I am a bit late-to-bed and early-to-rise, but it really comes down to having super incredible supportive people in my life everywhere I look. The members of Spring Awakening, the Hollywood Fringe staff, my boss at my regular full-time job, my friends, my family, my boyfriend – everyone is supportive in a way that I know I can lean on them when I need them. I also work harder because of that support, because I don’t want to let them down. I think another motivating and inspiring thing is that I’m not so different from most people that I have the fortune of knowing here – most of my peers and friends are working on four or five things at once, and kicking ass doing it. I love that. I love people who create the opportunities they want and I want to embody that, too.
CMJ: What do you want people to take away from SA?
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.