Hollywood's Blank Theatre Company (Daniel Henning, Founding Artistic Director, Noah Wyle, Artistic Producer) has announced its 20th Anniversary Season, which will feature plays by Edmund White, David Sedaris, and Marc Blitzstein, plus 12 new plays by inspired teenagers.
The Hollywood theatre company begins its 20th Anniversary season on October 2, with the Southern California premiere of Terre Haute by Edmund White, directed by Kirsten Sanderson. It will be followed by the return of The Blank's new holiday tradition The Santaland Diaries by David Sedaris, starring Nicholas Brendon, directed by Michael Matthews, with performances beginning on November 19. Last season, Santaland sold out its entire run at The Blank's 2nd Stage Theatre, and this year will be presented at the larger Stella Adler Theatre to accommodate audience demand.
In celebration of its 20-year history, The Blank will then revive a production from 1994: the L.A. Weekly Award-winning Musical of the Year The Cradle Will Rock by Marc Blitzstein. This production also won three Drama-Logue Awards and received two Ovation Award nominations (Best Musical, Best Director of a Musical). This new production will be directed once again by Daniel Henning, and will start performances on February 5 , 2011. A complete recording of the score was released by The Blank in 1995; that recording will be re-released in celebration of this new production and The Blank's 20th Anniversary.
An exciting new American play will be announced later as the fourth production (which will take place in spring, 2011). The season will conclude with The Blank's 19th Annual Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival, June 2-26, 2011.
This season's shows will be presented at two different Hollywood venues: The Blank's 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Boulevard (on Theatre Row), and the Stella Adler Theatre, 6773 Hollywood Boulevard (at Highland).
Between October 2010 and June 2011, The Blank will introduce Los Angeles audiences to over 50 new plays through its various programming. Since 1990, The Blank has presented 42 mainstage productions, over 420 fully staged workshops of new plays (in its Living Room Series), and 208 plays by teenaged writers in its Annual Nationwide Young Playwrights Festival. Nearly all of this work has been produced in Hollywood.
20th Anniversary Season
by Edmund White
Directed by Kirsten Sanderson
October 2 - November 14, 2010 2nd Stage Theatre
Did you know that Timothy McVeigh and Gore Vidal were pen pals? What would their conversations have been like if they had ever met in person? Famed fiction writer Edmund White has imagined just that : f our prison house conversations between the nation's deadliest domestic terrorist and one of the world's most famous and opinionated gadflies. The names have been changed, the ideas have not. This intimate and fascinating portrait of two men, both firebrands who say and do as they believe, delves deeply into the idea of what it means to be American and what one believes they must do for their country.
THE SANTALAND DIARIES
by David Sedaris
Directed by Michael Matthews
November 19 - December 19, 2010 The Stella Adler Theatre
Nicholas Brendon ( Criminal Minds , Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) brings his critically-acclaimed performance of The Santaland Diaries back to The Blank this holiday season. Santaland is an outrageously funny solo play (by NPR's David Sedaris) about the author's experiences as an unemployed writer taking a job as an elf at Macy's Department Store. At first the job is simply humiliating, but once the thousands of visitors start pouring through Santa's workshop, he becomes battle weary and bitter, occasionally taking out his frustrations on the children and parents alike. For those who like a little spice with their Christmas sugar, this tale of mass marketing, stressed out sales clerks, drunk Santas, screaming kids and the general insanity of the holidays is hilarious, witty, sardonic and unpredictable; mercilessly cutting through the Christmas spirit to point out what crazy things we do as human beings during the holidays.
THE CRADLE WILL ROCK
Words and music by Marc Blitzstein
Directed by Daniel Henning
February 5 - March 20, 2011 Stella Adler Theatre
Corporations and churches use their influence to shape laws to their favor, unemployment hits new heights, and millions of Americans are losing their homes. Sound like the new millennium? In 1937, Mark Blitzstein's musical called these issues into question with his scathing satire of greed, corruption and politics in the U.S.A. So scandalous, in fact, was The Cradle that the U.S. Government tried to shut it down. But Blitzstein's humor, music and agitprop parody ruled the day and the public got to hear this terrific, fun, jazzy score. Snappy tunes, wonderful characters and deep questions about our nation will take you on a rollercoaster ride through the American patriotic psyche.
April – May 2011
The Blank will present an exciting new American play, to be announced later.
19th ANNUAL NATIONWIDE YOUNG PLAYWRIGHTS FESTIVAL
12 WORLD PREMIERES
June 2 - 26, 2011 Stella Adler Theatre
If we didn't tell you the plays were by teenagers, you wouldn't know. The 12 best plays in the nation are chosen by a panel of theatre professionals from submissions by teenage playwrights. Winning writers are next assigned a mentor and then a professional director who guide their scripts to the stage. We then cast the plays with some of Hollywood's hottest award-winning actors and present the work in a month-long festival. You have to see it to believe it!