Experimenta! Theatre Festival
To celebrate the Tenth Anniversary of its Experiments Playreading Series, La MaMa E.T.C. will present Experimenta!, a festival that presents a sampling of its work in full productions, at La MaMa Experimental Theatre Club (First Floor Theater) from 18 Oct - 4 Nov 2007.
The plays to be presented are: Auditioning Angels by Pieter-Dirk Uys, The War Zone Is My Bed by Yasmine Beverly Rana, Plains by Stacia Saint Owens, Waiting for Mert by Michael Zettler, Tentagatnet by Peter Dizozza and Schrodinger's Cat by Stan Kaplan.
The Experiments Series was started during the 1998-99 season to emphasize the literary element of La MaMa. To underline this, the festival launches on the date of La MaMa's 46th birthday, the 18 Oct.
In the history of the Experiments series, 95 plays have been read to-date. Six have been subsequently produced at La MaMa and many others have been produced at other theaters and been published.
George Ferencz has been a resident director of La MaMa for 25 years and is Founding Curator of the Experiments Series.
In a statement Ferencz said, "This festival is a cross section of what we've done, not the five or six best plays." He adds, "Some were too big for the festival, meaning that their casts were too large." Nevertheless, the series lineup is an embarrassment of riches: a selection of plays of unusual quality, with works that are exciting in their social activism, new stage language, innovative structure and humor. The mission of the festival has been to develop playwrights as well as the plays. We pick writers that we believe in and give them a home."
The plays are:
- Auditioning Angels
Playwright: Pieter-Dirk Uys
Cast: Sheila Dabney, Peter McCabe, Sonja Perryman, Will Rhys and Jenne Vath.
Synopsis: In a vast public hospital, where celebrity face-lift facilities are more important than hallways crowded with AIDS patients, a prominent, powerful family must sort out the supposed rape of an eight year-old girl. Working through a catharsis of pain and anger, they discover new compassion and learn to believe in angels.
- The War Zone Is My Bed
Playwright: Yasmine Beverly Rana
Cast: Alexander Alioto, Sheila Dabney, Jason Howard, John-Andrew Morrison, Candace Reid, and Jenne Vath.
Synopsis: A two-act play about love affairs and spiritual destruction in war-torn Sarajevo, Kabul and Dubrovnik.
- Plains / Waiting for Mert (Double Bill)
Playwright: Stacia Saint Owens
Cast: Nick Denning, Juliet O'Brien and Julie Rosier.
Synopsis: In 1876, during the era of the Homestead Act, two characters manipulated by language--a Missouri born sod buster and his German born wife--set their own grit against the blazing heat, frigid cold, hunger and weird mirages of the Great Plains.
Waiting for Mert
Playwright: Michael Zettler
Cast: Alexander Alioto and Peter McCabe.
Synopsis: Two burglars lie dead on the new carpet with axes in their foreheads, and the pistol-wielding third intruder finds himself in a standoff with an ax-throwing homeowner. The men are fearless toward each other, yet they find common ground--even friendship--in their shared fear of their own wives.
- Tentagatnet / Schrodinger's Cat (Double Bill)
Playwright: Peter Dizozza
Cast: Leslie Ann Hendricks, John Andrew Morrison, Sonja Perryman and Chris Zorker.
Synopsis: A conservative married couple, living quietly on a mountainside in Connecticut, confront their 'mirror radicals' -- a seemingly satanic couple-- when they accidentally cross the spikes of an old army surplus pup tent, turning it into a Tentagatnet. The twist point of the tent--where the three dimensions fuse into a flat surface of two dimensions--allows each of the two couples to 'cross over to the other side.'
Playwright: Stan Kaplan
Cast: Alexander Alioto and Peter McCabe.
Synopsis: A dentist on-the-run poses a question with his valise, which may or may not contain evidence of his being a ruthless family murderer.
The Experimenta! plays will be performed by veterans of the series. Scenic Artist is Mark Keogh. Lighting design is by Federico Restrepo. Costume design is by Emmy-winner Sally Lesser. There will be unique soundscapes for each show, some recorded (by Bob Jewett and Obie-winners Gengi Ito and Tim Schellenbaum) and some live (by Peter Dizozza).
Originally published on