Open Fist's First Look Festival: New Works by Neil LaBute & Others
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The last date listed for First Look Festival was Sunday September 16, 2012 / 2:00pm (In the Canopy of the Forest).
By Neil La Bute
Directed by Amanda Weier
Neil LaBute explores the way endings come to pass in this evening of short, sharp plays. Infidelity, sexuality, race, class and loss are examined and skewered under the lense of LaBute’s taut and affecting language. Laugh, wince, relate and ponder, this is Neil LaBute at his best.
Neil LaBute is famous for his controversial looks at gender, class, race and critical examinations of the institutions that protect, destroy and define us. He began his career as a theater major at Brigham Young University, continuing onto the University of Kansas, New York University, and eventually London’s Royal Court Theatre. LaBute first major success In the Company of Men (1997), won the Sundance Filmmaker’s trophy, awards for LaBute’s screenplay and Aaron Eckhart’s performance.
Amanda Weier’s recent acting credits include A Wolf Inside the Fence, Room Service, Stage Door (LA WEEKLY nom. Best Actress) and The Normal Child (Best of Fringe nom). Directing credits include A Life of Ease and the critically acclaimed west coast premieres of Autobahn and Blue Night in the Heart of the West.
**__Everything is Enough
__**Written by Elizabeth Berger
Directed by Gita Donovan
Things are going well for Dennis Max. He has a loving wife, a good job and a beautiful daughter. But when Dennis learns that his older sister and her newly adopted daughter are coming to stay with him, he begins to act strangely. Before long, a miscalculated conversation with a local salesgirl sets off a chain reaction of events that threatens to upend Dennis’s entire life.
Elizabeth Berger grew up in Queens, NY and earned a BFA in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts. Since graduating in 2007, she has worked primarily in film and television. Elizabeth and her writing partner Isaac Aptaker have written for the NBC show Friends With Benefits and are currently writing for the ABC show The Neighbors and adapting the novel The Future of Us into a feature for Warner Brothers.
Gita Donovan’s Los Angeles directing credits include Sylvia by A.R. Gurney, Songs of Sin, a musical based on the life of Anais Nin, Soar by Jennifer Maisel, and the world premiere of 11, September by Paul Kampf.
**__Nobody Likes Jews When They’re Winning
__**Written by Maia Madison
Directed by Diana Basmajian
Nobody Likes Jews When They’re Winning: a new comedy about an interfaith couple who wants to get married and live happily ever after, so long as her Jewish family doesn’t find out. By taking a deeper look into how Jews are portrayed in Hollywood and, therefore, perceived in the world, our heroine learns how important and intrinsic her Jewish identity is to her and the real meaning of family.
Maia Madison’s writing credits include The Pick Me Theory – A One Woman Show adapted into a pilot, Second Shot, Antonia Brown, The Key, Elephants and Donkeys and Whiz Bang starring Mayim Bialik. She has trained at Northwestern University and with The Groundlings.
Diana Basmajian is the Associate Producer for the uneXplained, a new documentary series premiering on A&E/Bio. Diana has also directed and developed shows with Tony-winners Shuler Hensley, Lea Salonga, and Austin Pendleton; Emmy-winner Eileen Fulton; and Tony-nominees Kate Baldwin and Aaron Lazar, among others.
In the Canopy of the Forest**__
__**Written by Joseph Fisher
Directed by Benjamin Burdick
A haunting and beautiful play about friendship, love, and the lengths that people will go for each. Set in modern day, the play follows three friends- as they try to track down a mysterious assailant through the dangers of the city to the canopy of the forest. Mr. Fisher’s last play, A Wolf Inside the Fence, was nominated for 5 LA Weekly Awards including Best New Play.
In 2004 Joseph Fisher finished his fourth and final year as playwright-in-residence at Stark Raving Theatre where they produced world premieres of his plays Prometheus Bound, Tundra, Cupid & Psyche and Faust. Us. Joseph is a recipient of the Playwrights First Award, the Charlotte Woolard Award, a 2002 grant recipient from the Kennedy Center’s Fund for New American Plays and has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists in New York since 2002.
Benjamin Burdick is thrilled to be directing again at The Open Fist Theatre Company. He last directed A Wolf Inside the Fence which was nominated for 5 LA Weekly Awards, including Best Director and Best Ensemble. Benjamin is a graduate of Yale University.