2015 Best of the Bay Winners! – Critic’s Choice
“They find more humor in their unscripted hijinks than most actors ever find in the most celebrated of comic texts. If you love to laugh, you ought to give them a look.” -Mark Leib, Creative Loafing
Now in their 9th season at American Stage, take a comedic look at the totally made-up stories behind your favorite songs. Laugh-out-loud funny and 100% improvised, these 2015 Best of the Bay winners will bring to life an uproarious and ridiculous cast of characters.
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ABOUT THE PLAY: Leni Riefenstahl is a dancer, actor, and perhaps Germany’s most influential director. Joseph Goebbels is the charmingly brutal Minister of Propaganda, intent on consolidating power for the Nazi Party. When the ambitious minister hires the even more ambitious filmmaker to shoot the greatest propaganda movie ever made, it will pull two brilliant and dangerous minds into one of most productive, powerful, and deeply antagonistic relationships in the history of film. Leni & Joseph explores the wild true story of two giants as they flirt, fight, and shape the lives and deaths of millions.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Jacob’s work has been produced and developed at The Flea Theater, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, The New Ohio, Atlantic Theatre Stage 2, and others. His play series The Suicidal Comedies – consisting of Chemistry, Coping, and Cracks – has been produced around the country and has won the Kennedy Center’s Jean Kennedy Smith Playwriting Award, the Excellence in Playwriting Award and FringeFAVE at the NY Fringe Festival, Producer’s Pick at the Cincinnati Fringe Festival, and Producer’s Encore Pick at the Hollywood Fringe. Jacob was a 2017 Playwright Observer at the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference, is a member of The Shelter, and is currently an MFA candidate at NYU for Dramatic Writing.
ABOUT THE PLAY: 21st century newlyweds Allie and Maggie have just moved into an old house that’s been in the family for generations. Vesta, a young bride-to-be of the 19th century, lives in that house with her parents. Through the quantum vagaries of time, Allie and Vesta become visible to one another, past and future co-existing in a small parlor room. While multiple souls echo across time, resonating with alternate versions of themselves, Allie teaches Vesta of modern female emancipation, changing the lives of both women in the process.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Tess Light’s plays tend to incorporate any or all of the following: sarcasm, death, sarcastic death, Buddhism, foodism, poetry, song, and Shakespeare. In 2017 she won the Julie Harris Playwriting Award Competition (Maxwell and Janet Salter Award) for her comedy BILLY JOEL HOLDS THE KEY TO THE AFTERLIFE. Prior distinctions include the Arts & Letters Prize for Drama (EXPECTANT PAUSE, 2015) Theatre Conspiracy’s New Play Contest (TOWER OF MAGIC 2012), and semi-finalist for the O’Neill National Playwriting Conference (TO CONCEIVE GODS, 2015). Her most recent production was THE SUPPER HOUR IN HELL (Overtime Theater, San Antonio TX). Find her on the New Play Exchange: Click Here.
ABOUT THE PLAY: Alexa, a home shopping host, is at the top of her field and ready to take the leap into network broadcasting. After routine wisdom teeth extraction, she wakes up deaf. (It can happen—inspired by a true story.) Now Alexa faces many choices which will change—or end—her life. Does she get a cochlear implant when she’s just reacted so drastically to surgery? Would it be better to learn American Sign Language? Can she continue her career in television or should she find another path?
Everyone has a different opinion from her brother, who wants the implant right away for her network audition, to her more cautious husband. Alexa must sort through everyone’s beliefs, including her own, as a speech pathologist leads her to see that silence is a wonderful way to learn to communicate.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Brooke Downs has an MFA in Creative Writing from Brigham Young University. She now teaches a variety of writing and literature courses there.
ABOUT THE PLAY: In a quiet New Jersey beach town, four women are about to have a very unusual reunion. Kari, Rachel, Janet, and Joy are the 1988 graduates of a center for teenagers with eating disorders. Thirty years later, their lives have taken vastly different directions, but there is still one secret that unites them…
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT: Alex Rubin is a New York-based writer for stage, TV, and film. Alex’s plays and songs have been produced in readings and concerts at The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Theater for the New City, Primary Stages, The Steinhardt School at NYU, Temple University, Hofstra University, 54 Below, The Davenport Theater, Peter Schneider Productions, Wide Eyed Productions, The Rep Group, Little Black Dress INK, Acadia University, Lama Theater Co.’s Fest of the Best, Samuel French OOB Festival, Renegade Theatre Festival, and more.
She has had residencies at SPACE on Ryder Farm and The National Winter Playwrights Retreat and is a BMI Musical Theatre Workshop lyricist. Alex was a semi-finalist for the 2015 Davenport Songwriting Competition, The O’Neill Summer Conference, and Red Women’s Theatre Award. She was a finalist for ESPA Drills, Sanguine Theatre Co.’s Project Playwright, the Jane Chambers Award, Wide Eyed Productions’ Reading Series,and AACT NewPlayFest. She is the 2013/14 Big Vision Empty Wallet Playwriting Fellow, a member of The Creators program and a member of the 2nd Annual Playwrights Collective Writers Group. Alex is the winner of the Francis Ford Coppola Award and The 85th Annual Writers Digest Award in Playwriting. This year, her work will be featured at The Drama League’s Directorfest under thedirection of fellow Ilana Ransom Toeplitz and in William Street Rep’s Lab Series.