FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Theatre, Arts, Education, Events, Calendar, etc,
PRESS CONTACT: Cameron Eng, 415-531-5855, firstname.lastname@example.org
PRESS PHOTOS: Available at foulplaysf.com/lefthanded
Foul Play presents the World Premiere of Nikita Schoen’s
July 14 – August 13, 2011
Fridays and Saturdays @ 8pm
Press Previews on 7/8 & 7/9 @ 8pm
GALA on 7/14 @ 8pm (includes champagne toast and after shows nibbles)
NEW: Monday, 8/1 is Industry Night! Tickets are only $15!
The EXIT Theatre
156 Eddy Street, SF
GENERAL: $20 - $30 Sliding Scale
Available at the door and online at BrownPaperTickets.com/event/177619
PREVIEWS: $10-15 Sliding Scale
STUDENT / STARVING ARTIST: $15*
*email us for the passcode
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, JULY 2011 — Foul Play Productions announces the culmination of their inaugural launch of the New Writers’ Program—the world premiere of Nikita Schoen’s LEFT-HANDED DARLING. Following a year of workshops and development, LEFT-HANDED DARLING centers on the unusual upbringing of Calliope Darling, and her unique definition of beauty. Set in the Dustbowl era, LEFT-HANDED DARLING captures the sights and sounds of the sideshow and the dilapidated grandeur of the Vaudeville aesthetic, while probing the complex psychologies of both the reviled, the rarified and the rejected. This mesmerizing tale of murder and make-believe is an astonishing debut for first-time playwright Nikita Schoen, and a must-see theatrical endeavor from the minds who brought you Attack of the Killer B-Movies and Stale Magnolias.
Nikita Schoen, a future student at the California College of the Arts and an artist of many sorts (including choreography, painting, acting and poetry), takes her first steps into playwriting under the mentorship of Foul Play’s New Writers’ Program. Inspired in part by Tod Browning’s film Freaks, an immersion into the world of sideshow history and her own ardent attachment to the conjoined, the limbless and the hirsute, Schoen has crafted LEFT-HANDED DARLING, a play populated with delightful deviations from normalcy. Michelle Talgarow, director, heads an impressive team of artists to bring Calliope’s (and Schoen’s) world to life and create FP’s most lavish production to date.
LEFT-HANDED DARLING runs July 14 – August 13, 2011, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm at the EXIT Theatre, 156 Eddy Street, SF. Tickets are $20-30 sliding scale with discounts available to students and starving artists; available on BrownPaperTickets.com/event/177619. More information at FoulPlaySF.com/lefthanded and email@example.com.
"Surreal flourishes such as the mysterious puppet entity, Dr Chang, a hauntingly lifelike parasitic twin, Don Seaver’s dissonant soundscape, and a stellar courtroom scene staged by the sideshow performers, create an atmosphere of thoughtful unease that lingers long after the final bow."
-- Nicole Gluckstern, SF Bay Guardian
"A psychological tragedy with a tinge of gore, and layers of subtext that stew in the mind long after the spectacle is over... sensational story...strong performances and ornate costumes to rule in Schoen’s extravaganza."
-- Valerie Demicheva, The Guardsman
"Loved it.... Innovative!"
-- Marilynn Fowler, KPOO, You can download Marilyn Fowler's in-depth interview with Nikita Schoen and Sean Owens here and listen as they talk about the first draft, the staged readings, and the challenges of taking a script from the page to the stage.
"Schoen's childlike indulgence, her affinity for Greek mythology, and her knack with the surreal are reminiscent of the author Sarah Ruhl, who also began writing plays at a young age.
Schoen's writing is rich and sensual; to explain death to Calliope, Sugarchurch asks her, "What happens to cotton candy in the rain? What happens to June bugs in July?" Schoen also delivers bawdy freakishness in a courtroom scene filled with sideshow characters, and she adds more than one gruesome twist."
-- Kate Conger, SF Weekly
PRESS PREVIEW NIGHTS: July 8th & 9th, Friday and Saturday shows at 8pm.
OPENING NIGHT GALA: Thursday, July 14th @ 8pm; Tickets $25. The Gala includes a champagne toast and gourmet nibbles.
INDUSTRY NIGHT: August 1st, Monday show at 8pm for our friends in theater who cannot make it on our regular show nights.
LEFT-HANDED DARLING was written by Nikita Schoen; directed by Michelle Talgarow; produced by Foul Play (Sean Owens and Cameron Eng); designed by Peter Q. Parish, Richard Board and Kathryn Wood with an original score from Don Seaver; and features Mikka Bonel, Kimberly MacLean, Mikl-em, Amanda Ortmayer, Sean Owens, and Don Wood.
— END —
ABOUT FOUL PLAY: Since 2008, this SF based production company, founded by Sean Owens and Cameron Eng, has been dedicated to curating insightful, innovative, and accessible theater. They've brought you Attack of the Killer B-Movies (I & II), and the runaway hit comedy, Stale Magnolias. Their focus is on working with the vibrant, local talent to create unique and powerful theatrical events, with an economically resilient production style. Foul Play is a proud partner of the Gaiety Project, with the NWP representing the first steps into its education curriculum.
ABOUT THE NEW WRITERS’ PROGRAM: Foul Play’s NWP is a playwright mentorship program that seeks out unique new voices in Bay Area theater, guiding them through the rigorous process of translating script to stage, and providing them with the tools required to flourish in the world of play production. The year-long program begins with workshops focusing on the newly crafted text itself and culminates in a world premiere.
ABOUT THE GAIETY PROJECT: The Gaiety Project is the self-sustaining 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides a nexus for unique, only-in-SF art groups to gather, creating a Sanctuary for the Lost Arts—an enduring, nurturing environment for the city's growing arts-and-culture district.
A NOTE FROM PLAYWRIGHT, NIKITA SCHOEN
Thank you for joining us as we step into a different sort of world...
In writing Left-Handed Darling, I got a chance to explore a few areas of history that have always intrigued me, all while adding a murderous twist. The first incarnation of the script was constantly referred to as a kaleidoscopic memory play. It allowed each character to revel in their history, and very raw places of being, while transporting the audience back and forth between Calliope’s realities before and after her life is so irrevocably altered. In the final draft, however, instead of following the thread of gritty violence and exploitation that had inspired the initial script, a personal compassion prevailed, and family tragedy took the more prominent place.
To be different, whether physically or inwardly, in a world that might prefer to compartmentalize and rationalize everything, with neat little labels no less, is an obstacle. To reconcile, to use abnormality as advantage, I believe, is a feat.
My heartfelt thanks to Cameron Eng, Sean Owens and Michelle Talgarow for their assistance in development and belief in me as I wrote my first script, and to the cast for their dedication, not only to the story, but the very words themselves. I’d also love to thank everyone who’s been in on the process from our very first readings.
That said, enjoy the show.
NIKITA SCHOEN, playwright
MICHELLE TALGAROW, director
SEAN OWENS, production
CAMERON ENG, production and graphics
DON SEAVER, original score and sound designer
PETER Q. PARISH, set designer and puppetcrafter
RICHARD BOARD, light designer
KATHRYN WOOD, costume designer
HEATHER WATROUS, special effects make up
STEFFANOS X, master carpenter
TERESA HERNANDEZ, stage manager
MIKKA BONEL, dance captain
YOONIE JUNG CHO, Korean vocals
AMANDA ORTMAYER as Calliope
MIKL-EM as Sugarchurch
DON WOOD as Phillip / Marlon & Ed
KIMBERLY MACLEAN as Constance / Annie
MIKKA BONEL as Venus / Miss Goodbreed
SEAN OWENS as Floyd / Frances
RICHARD BOARD (light design) has been a lighting designer for dance, theatre, music and film for the past 20 years. He is honored to be once again collaborating Foul Play! His design and technical credits include Knee Jerk Dance Project, Hermesdorf and Wells, Jessie Bie & Steamroller and the European tour of Yugoslavia suite with Bob Ostertag. His Foul Play credits include Flynn deMarco's the Bride of Frankenstein--in Glorious Black and White!
MIKKA BONEL (Venus / Miss Goodbreed) made her theatrical debut at the age of five playing a chicken in The Tailor of Gloucester at Cinnabar Theater. Graduating from San Francisco State with a BA in the arts, she has since dabbled in many theatrical worlds including opera, musical theater, dance, teaching, directing, choreography and is currently co-producing her own theater through HurLyBurLy. Her favorite performances have included playing the lead in Eleanor (through Dark Porch Theater), Lisa in Akin (through RIPE Theater), Autolycus in The Winter’s Tale (SF Sate), and Producing/Co- Directing Caligari (HurLyBurLy). Future excitements include continual work with her new company, HurLyBurLy (co-founded with Rik Lopes). Mikka wishes to thank Sean Owens, Cameron Eng and her wonderful director Michelle Talgarow for this incredible opportunity and is indebted to her husband who tolerates her coming home in the wee hours of the evening.
CAMERON ENG (production, graphics) has been producing since the early Aughts starting with the KLUBSTiTUTE KOLLECTiVE (Virgin Queen Contest, Faux Queen Pageant), making his move to theater under the guidance of the fine folk of Impossible Productions and the Dark Room Theater (Clue, the Princess Bride, Young Frankenstein & more). In 2008, he finally teamed up with idol, Sean Owens, to form Foul Play Productions (the Attack of the Killer B-Movies I & II, the Wicker Man, Stale Magnolias) and the Gaiety Project. He is proud and honored at the culmination of the New Writers’ Program and would like to thank his talented cast and crew, the incredibly patient Nikita Schoen, and Terrance, his right-handed darling.
TERESA HERNANDEZ (stage manager), is excited to be working with the lovely and talented Michelle Talgarow and the wonderful folks at Foul Play Productions. Prior credits include Lucky Girl, An Affair of Honor (DIVAfest), The Gravedigger's Tango (Second Wind Productions), Kita y Fernanda, Generic Latina (Teatro Luna), and Los Calices Vacios (Aguijon Theater). Teresa is an artistic associate with Teatro Luna in Chicago. Special thanks to the fabulous cast that made this such a fun journey!
RICHIE LILLARD (assistant costume), actor/designer, has traveled the United States and Europe. Bringing with him a style that is unmistakable. He has been seen singing in a night club in London as Freddie Mercury from QUEEN and as Louis XVI in San Francisco venues. As a designer Richie is inspired by styles of the eighteenth century and is able to create for a modern society. For more information you may find him on facebook.com/RichieLillard
KIMBERLY MACLEAN (Constance / Annie) has been a consistent presence in Bay Area theatre as an actress, director, singer, improviser, and instructor since moving here in 1991. She is currently a member of the mainstage company at BATS Improv and teaches full time as the Director of Theatre Arts for a local high school. Living her early life in Sarasota, FL, where Barnum and Bailey wintered, she literally used to run away to the circus. Although grandma would still be mortified by an "undesirable" in the family, Kimberly is proud to have come back to her circus dreams through this production. She'd like to thank her friends & family for their love, laughter, and support and the Foul Play Productions team for trusting her with two magical roles.
MIKL-EM (Sugarchurch) is a writer, performer, DJ, and event producer based in SF. Off-stage he has a weekly radio show on RadioValencia.FM called Can Haz DJ, and he is a regular contributor to Laughingsquid.com and Hi Fructose magazine. Mikl is thrilled to be working with this amazing team of friends old & new, and to be at The EXIT once again where last century he appeared in The Bastard Chronicles (the first ever Banana, Bag & Bodice show) & produced his own show: Absurd Night Live. He thanks Nikita for the extensive, articulate, perspicacious vocabulary which he’s enjoying very very muchly; Michelle for the outstanding direction; and the rest of the team for their hard work & awesomeness. And thanks to Danielle for absolutely everything else, cuz if not that then not this. He can be frequently seen at The Dark Room where he heckles at Bad Movie Night and has appeared in shows like Batman, Young Frankenstein, Ten Commandments, Caddyshack, Wicker Man, & Zippy the Pinhead as characters like The Joker, The Monster, Griffey, God, and Al Czervik, amongst others; and in September Mikl will board the Starship Enterprise for a voyage to a very hippy place via the Dark Room stage, you should come along & watch.
AMANDA ORTMAYER (Calliope) has been a part of the EXIT Theatre family for 6 years. Most of her work has been as a light designer, set designer and production manager. She is thrilled to be performing with some of her favorite people in the world. She is a proud supporter of Foul Play and all of their ventures. She is also a member of RIPE Theatre and has worked with many local San Francisco companies.
SEAN OWENS (Floyd / Frances, production) is tremendously pleased to have assisted in the development of this play, and welcomes Nikita as a colleague onto the SF playwriting scene. Sean is a co-founder of Foul Play Productions and a caretaker for the Gaiety Project with his friend and partner Cameron Eng. Since the success of Stale Magnolias and the 2nd Attack of the Killer B-Movies in 2009, Sean has enjoyed his duties as truck-stop hostess and storyteller Cora Values. He is currently at work on two plays, Death and Texas (the sequel to Stale Magnolias) and Sang Froid, a comic retelling of In Cold Blood.
PETER Q. PARISH (set design, puppetcraft) has been designing sets, masks, props and puppets for theater productions in and around San Francisco for the past 15 years. He is a member of RIPE Theatre and has worked with Word For Word, HurlyBurly Productions, Upon These Boards, A.C.T.'s MFA program, and other Bay Area companies. He currently teaches art, ceramics, shop and stagecraft at San Andreas High School in Marin county. "Chang" is dedicated to his two beautiful girls, Cordelia and, yes, Kalliope.
NIKITA SCHEON (playwright) is thrilled to have been given this exciting opportunity. She has acted in and choreographed for other Foul Play productions, and Left-Handed Darling marks her first time as playwright. Nikita will be entering California College of the Arts this fall for the Writing and Literature program.
DON SEAVER (original score, sound composition) has gone from songwriting with a country/western band in Dallas to composing a ballet score for the Paul Taylor Dance Company, to numerous theatrical scores and sound designs winning several Bay Area Critics' Circle Awards along the way. 2010 saw the release of his latest CD, Lessons Learned, featuring a fairly wide range of styles, from jazz to funk, from piano ballads to guitar rockers. You'll laugh, you'll cry, and you might even dance.
MICHELLE TALGAROW (direction) has served the Bay Area theatre community as a performer, director, and collaborator for over 15 years. She has directed staged adaptations of Blue Velvet and The Birds for Foul Play's series Attack of the Killer B-Movies. She recently performed in a staged reading of Eugenie Chan's play Madame Ho for Cuttingball Theatre and The Playwright's Foundation. Other recent work have been with Mugwumpin and 11th Hour Ensemble. She is a member of RIPE Theatre. She is fortunate to be a part of an amazing project and would like to extend her deepest gratitude to her cast, crew and production team for all their hard work.
HEATHER WATROUS (special effect make up) is currently pursuing a BA in the arts from San Francisco State University where she is exploring her passion for Special Effects Make-up. She is thrilled to be involved in this exciting project. Recent projects include two student films; scarring make-up for Daisies for Jessica, and torture make-up for Below. Other work can be viewed at YouTube.com.
DON WOOD (Phillip / Marlon & Ed) is so happy to be working with all of these artistically incandescent hunks of humanity. Was last seen as Merle Dagnat in Cora's Christmas Corral. On film he was Tracy in H.P. Mendoza's Fruit Fly and Tom Sukanen in Chrystene Ells's Sisu: the Death of Tom Sukanen. He is "Figgy" in the comedy duo "Lemmy and Figgy" with Michelle Talgarow. Later this year he'll be Gaston in Steve Martin's Picasso at the Lapin Agile at Town Hall Theatre in Lafayette.
KATHRYN WOOD (costume design) has been active in Bay Area theatre for over twenty years, working variously as actor, director, and costumer. Happily, she has spent much of that time working with Sean Owens and the Exit.
STEFFANOS X (master carpetner) is honored at this opportunity to build his first set.