SoCal Premiere of Big Death and Little Death from Road Theatre Company
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The last date listed for Big Death and Little Death was Friday July 20, 2007 / 8:00pm.
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The year is 1944, segregation in the U.S. is prevalent and World War II is in full swing. At Port… More
Reviews & Ratings
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Top notch acting, directing and creative design elements make this play an all around excellent production. Plus, how often do you get to experience a live death metal band when you go to see a play? Don't worry, the theatre provides ear plugs...continued
Quotes & Highlights
“Some of the best production values in the city with sets that are cinematic in scope and scale…sophisticated new plays!” —L.A. Weekly
Big Death & Little Death was included in the ASK Theatre Projects 2001 New Works Festival and has had three subsequent and critically-acclaimed productions – the Woolly Mammoth in Washington, DC (May 2005), Perishable in Providence, RI (October 2005) and Crowded Fire in San Francisco (February 2007). Inspired by the true story of parents who took the heavy metal band, JUDAS PRIEST, to trial in Arizona, claiming that the band’s lyrics led to the double suicide of their teenage boys, Big Death & Little Death has been called “…a jarring, funny, and poignant portrait of contemporary America…” by the Washington Theatre Review and “…a playfully analytical bit of artillery aimed squarely at the way we live now…" by the Washington City Paper. The San Francisco Weekly wrote it’s “…reminiscent of Bogosian’s Suburbia and the brooding doomsday flavor of Donny Darko_. It’s a sharp satire that in its final moments turns into an apocalyptic fairy tale.”
Mickey Birnbaum, a Los Angeles native, was inspired to write Big Death & Little Death after seeing the 1992 documentary Dream Deceivers, which chronicled the trial of the metal band _JUDAS PRIEST _for responsibility in the double suicide of two teenage boys in Phoenix, AZ. The play inaugurated the Woolly Mammoth’s new downtown Washington, DC home in May, 2005 and was subsequently nominated for a Helen Hayes Award for Best New Play. In 2006, the play was honored as a finalist for the PEN USA Literary Award for Drama. Mickey’s most recent play, Bleed Rail, premieres at the Theatre @ Boston Court in May 2007. He has also written several short plays for the Virginia Avenue Project, a non-profit organization which works with at-risk children.
As a screenwriter, he has written scripts for Universal, Paramount, Columbia/Sony, Warner Brothers, and Dreamworks, and developed material with directors Robert Mandel, Tom McLoughlin, Wesley Strick, and Jay Roach. He wrote the screenplay for _The Tie That Binds (Interscope, 1995). He is currently adapting the novel The High-Impact Infidelity Diet for Warner Brothers and developing a project with director Steven Shainberg (_Secretary, Fur). Mickey is a founding member of Dog Ear, a Los Angeles collective of nationally-renowned playwrights (www.dogear.org), and a member of PEN USA and the Writers’ Guild of America, West. Mickey received an Inge Fellowship in 2006; he spent two months living in William Inge’s boyhood home in Independence, Kansas, teaching and working on his new play, Backyard.
Larry Biederman’s acclaimed productions include the World Premiere of Sheila Callaghan’s Crumble at LATC and Eric Overmyer’s Dark Rapture at the Evidence Room. He has directed for Theatre of NOTE, the Odyssey, the Met, the Blank, and the Black Dahlia with his World Premiere of Josef Keith Adkins’ Farewell Miss Cotton. He worked for seven seasons with the artistic staff of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre both as a director and as Associate Director of their M.F.A. program. Bay Area productions include Peter Barnes’ Red Noses as well as the West Coast Premiere of Constance Congdon’s No Mercy which he recently directed again for the 24th Street Theatre in Los Angeles. He earned an LA Weekly Theatre Award Nomination for Direction for his work on Bryan Davidson’s Death’s Messenger.
Mr. Biederman served as Head of Directing at Cal State, Fullerton and has taught at Williamstown and The Old Globe. Productions include classics from Shakespeare to Pinter, moderns from Maria Irene Fornes to Mac Wellman. Mr. Biederman directed the first reading of Big Death & Little Death for ASK Theater Projects in 2001 and recently directed a workshop of Mr. Birnbaum’s latest play, Backyard, at the William Inge Center for the Arts in Independence, Kansas.
The talented ensemble includes: Rhonda Aldrich, Zach Dulli, Jeff Lebeau, Ann Noble, Ammar Mahmood, Mark St. Amant , Jeanne Syquia, and Sean Wing. The production is supported by producers Donne McRae, Stephanie Stearns and Alicia Wollerton; executive producer Taylor Gilbert; set designer Claire Bennett; lighting designer John Eckert; sound designer David B. Marling; composer and multi-media coordinator Lee Osteen; costume designer Leah Piehl.