Lee Blessing's Independence at Lounge Theatre

Jun 7, 2014

Veteran professional actor and acclaimed acting coach Vernee Watson makes her directorial debut at the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival with INDEPENDENCE, a wise, funny, and affecting family drama from Tony- and Pulitzer-nominated playwright Lee Blessing. The production features the talents of actors Lauren Benge, Kat Muldoon, Shelley Phillips, and Jenny Simpson and opens tonight, June 6 at The Lounge Theatre.

INDEPENDENCE premiered in 1984 to critical and popular acclaim at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. The dysfunctional Briggs family of small town Independence, Iowa is reunited when estranged eldest daughter Kess returns home at the bequest of middle daughter Jo, who has found herself at a breaking point in her ability to handle the mental instability of their mother, Evelyn. Along with youngest sister, Sherry, who is desperate to escape the family for good, the three Briggs sisters must decide whether to pursue their own personal freedom at the cost of destroying their mother's life.

Director Vernee Watson is an accomplished professional actor with an ongoing forty-five year career in the industry and over 140 credits in film and television. She is best known for playing Verna Jean on Welcome Back Kotter and Will Smith's mother on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Watson is also a highly respected acting coach. She owns and operates a professional acting school for youth talent and works with actors of all ages through workshops, seminars, and private coaching. INDEPENDENCE marks her directorial debut.

PERFORMANCES: Friday, June 6 at 8:00 PM Saturday, June 14 at 6:00 PM Thursday, June 19 at 8:00 PM Friday, June 20 at 6:00 PM Sunday, June 22 at 6:00 PM Wednesday, June 25 at 8:00 PM Saturday, June 28 at 8:00 PM

TICKETS: Tickets $15 General Admission / Available at http://hff14.org/1588 Running time: 87 Minutes (No Intermission)