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Produced by JB² & The RDS Team
2017 yall, what a year. We’ve been up, and we’ve been down, real down – down in the flaming pits of hell. We’ve been burning, fighting, skewered and speared. We’ve locked eyes with Lucifer himself and challenged him to a duel. Sweat coursing over our throbbing biceps, veins bulging from our necks, chrome and iron flashing to and fro. Step back and run your fingers through your blood soaked hair and bury your blade as deep into the scorched earth as your might allows: it’s RDS time. Save your strength, the next battle is just over the horizon.
20-year-old college student Jesse attempts to enjoy a post-finals beach week with her friends, but soon realizes the trip is more of a haunting memory than it is a vacation. Inspired by the Stanford rape case, The Lighthouse reveals the tumultuous aftermath of one of the most horrifyingly frequent university tragedies. This surrealist play is about the thing that happens all the time but that no one wants to talk about. This is for you.
by Amanda Kohr
[MORE ABOUT AMANDA AND LIGHTHOUSE]
Step into the darkness of the human mind when an esteemed psychologist explores the inner workings of a macabre little girl who obsesses about a creature called “The Mouse Man”.
by Michael Herman
[MORE ABOUT MICHAEL AND MOUSE]
Charity, prized daughter of a radical anti-gay church, struggles with her faith after failing to convert a nice Jewish boy over Twitter. With the guidance of her alter ego, Judy Garland, and a curious bartender, Charity sees the light, leaving her church and its hateful ways behind.
Losing My Religion (in 140 characters or less)
by Hannah Langley
[MORE ABOUT HANNAH AND RELIGION]
Have you ever been confused about your sexuality or gender identity? Do you have a tendency to set your Facebook page to Pirate mode? Then come see this jolly farce that may answer both questions,
Pirate’s Weekend: Three Nights in a Harbor! Get yer tickets quick before ye coffers are plundered.
Pirates Weekend: Three Nights In A Harbor
by Makena Metz
[MORE ABOUT MAKENA AND PIRATES]
Amanda Kohr is a Los-Angeles based playwright hailing from Northern Virginia. Her plays have been workshopped and performed with the Two Cents Theatre Company, the U Witch Theatre Company, the Stratford Players Theatre Company, Barefoot Theatre Company, and several others. She is a two-time semi finalist of the NPP award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. Her play “The Lighthouse” was most recently workshopped at the Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez, Alaska. Inspired by adventure, Amanda works as the editor for Wanderlust.
IMPETUS FOR LIGHTHOUSE:
There were a number of factors that contributed to the creation of this play. I grew up accepting sexual assault—the act was so prevalent that it swam below the radar under the perception as normalcy. By 16 I had been manipulated into unwanted sexual situations, assaulted, and cat-called. This was average—part of being a girl. I didn’t realize anything was wrong until a dialogue was started in college, and my friends and I shared so many similar stories. Some of us had been drugged, called names. He did this, he said that. All of us arriving at the same conclusion: Why had we been so silent? Sexual assault was happening everywhere, and no one (including myself) was doing anything about it.
After I graduated, I read the book Missoula by Tom Krakauer. The book is a meticulously written narrative investigating the staggering number of sexual assaults at the University of Montana, and touching on several others. The end result illustrates a fact many of us don’t know, or ignore: Rape and sexual assault are happening all over the nation, and the victims are blamed while they perpetrators glorified for their sports and grades. Privilege, even unearned, can justify rape. This system is so real and integrated into society, that it can seem impossible for women to generate the courage to do anything. When we do did fight back, we are ostracized. How are we supposed to make progress if we are squashed for trying? After rape and sexual assault, women attempting to seek justice have to jump through layers upon layers of hoops: biased officers, inconsistent friendships, a disgusting judicial system, inner criticism, and our own trauma seeping into our personal and professional lives.
A year after I read Missoula, the Brock Turner case flooded the news. The heartfelt and beautifully written letter from an anonymous “Emily Doe,” and victim of the case, went viral. I was furious with Brock Turner (as well as his father, the judge, and so many more), and deeply impressed with this woman’s bravery, that it forced me out of my silence. Rape culture is real, and many of us contribute to it. The only way to not contribute to rape culture is to actively speak against it. My hope is that The Lighthouse, with it’s namesake inspired by that beautiful letter by Emily Doe, serves as a voice for this crucial, national dialogue.
Michael Herman is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter in the greater Los Angeles area. Since his MFA in writing from the University of Southern California, his plays have been produced across the country in collaboration with Roustabout Theatre Troupe and the Hollywood Fringe Festival. In addition to playwriting, Michael is also one of the writers behind James Franco’s latest film The Mad Whale in collaboration with Elysium Bandini Studios. He has two literary publications (Contract Terror and Speechless) and one comic book (Unlawful Good: An Anthology of Crime). Through these publications, he has come to believe there is no art more precious than collaboration.
IMPETUS FOR MOUSE:
I was scrolling through my Facebook feed a few months ago, when I saw a strange video. It showed a young boy in Disneyland and his parents were telling him to hug Donald Duck repetitively before the boy did so. “Go hug the duck. Hug him.” And I thought…well, that’s odd. It’s normal (in fact treasured) in our society for a young child to hug a complete stranger in a duck suit. Having worked as an actor at the Universal Studios park myself, I know the kinds of people behind those character masks. They are usually theatre majors – playful, vain, sexual. And the boy was hugging that. Hugging this unknown – he loved it and was afraid. It was this bizarre encounter of fear and love that brought Madison to life. I then coupled that strange sensation with my adoration of dystopia and the unknown, and the monster that is Mouse Man was born.
Hannah C. Langley is a playwright, screenwriter and novelist from Valencia, CA. She holds a BA in English Literature and will receive her MFA in Dramatic Writing from the University of Southern California in the Spring. So potential employers in the audience, hit her up!
Hannah’s work tends to focus on young women on the brink of discovering their own power and agency with humor, heart and theatricality. Her second full-length play, Ambitious Card, was featured in the Fountain Theatre’s Spring 2017 Rapid Dev Series and she’s excited to be back working with her favorite theatre in Los Angeles.
IMPETUS FOR RELIGION:
I had been researching the Westboro Baptist Church for a while but I didn’t know how to write the story until Trump announced his run for President in January of 2016. The play became a love story about free speech, hate speech and how we can have better conversations with people who are—tough.
IMPETUS FOR PIRATES:
I like to write epic, active, and meaningful stories. My plays usually bring the audience into the play’s world, with characters that take us on an epic journey. I strive to stay away traditional settings like bars, apartments, or living rooms on Christmas. I like to write stories that have a clear theme, grand scales of settings, and characters that are dealing with real, relatable problems, for a 21st Century audience. As a LA Native, I like to write stories with themes that a West Coast audience might identify with, as we need to make an effort to get more people to the theatre on this coast, rather than the East or in the Midwest. This play addresses a lot of concerns that my generation and more are having: Are sexuality and gender a spectrum or black and white? Are people in the LGBTQ community marginalized by the labels or by lack there of? Is society still a male oriented place and why are women still being subject to rampant sexism in every corner of it in this day and age? And who better to explore these issues than a bunch of rambunctious Pirates?
The best plays that fit the guidelines will then be asked to participate in a reading. Each week three playwrights will have the opportunity to have a single scene read – a scene they feel best represents their work as a whole.
This program is about shining a light on the new voices in Los Angeles Theatre, and giving new plays and/or new playwrights a chance to showcase their work.
Send plays and questions to email@example.com