Theatre Unleashed to Launch 2015 with Mac Rogers' Ligature Marks
In 2014, Theatre Unleashed staged more hit shows than it had in years, brought back some of its most popular concepts, launched a film division, completely renovated its home space known as The Belfry Stage, found itself nominated for multiple awards from both Broadway World and Hollywood Fringe and further established itself as a pillar of both the NoHo Arts District and the theatre community as a whole. In 2015, we're looking to do more. That work starts with the Main Stage opener Ligature Marks, the dark and sometimes unsettling "comedy" from critically-acclaimed, award-winning New York playwright Mac Rogers. In this intimate and disturbing piece, Terry and Jill are stuck in a twisted, dysfunctional romance. The problem is they can't live without each other. Thanks to the thrilling and sadistic online game "Noir," now they won't have to. The show runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. from Feb. 12-March 7. "I'm intrigued mostly about the power struggle, the manipulation, and the overall dependency that is on display throughout this piece," said Director Jacob Smith. "Audiences can expect to be wrapped up in a fucked up love story that will simply not go the way they'd expect. Our goal is to have them take their first breath when it's done." Ligature Marks made its West Coast debut at last year's Hollywood Fringe. It is one of several plays by Rogers (Sovereign, Blast Radius, Advance Man, Fleet Week, Frankenstein Upstairs) to receive acclaim from New York festivals and top critics. Another of his hit shows, Viral is currently playing at Bootleg Theater.
Ligature Marks also kicks off the first full season for the company's new AD Jenn Scuderi Crafts, the first female the company has had in that position. TU has also added three other execs: Sammi Lappi as Company Manager, Ann Hurd as Director of Committees and Lee Pollero as Director of New Media. When planning 2015, Scuderi Crafts and the Exec Team wanted the company to approach a very important theme with its slate of shows.
"We have a season that joins a conversation that society seems to be having at the moment: the place men and women hold in that society and how they relate to each other and the world," she said. "The words 'rape culture,' 'yes all women,' 'he for she,' 'feminism,' 'anti-feminism' and so many other heated phrases are commonplace today, and I feel our season fits well into that discussion."
Along with Ligature Marks, the company will also present Boy Gets Girl, the psychological thriller from Rebecca Gilman that shows the power of a stalker on a woman's state of mind, and Shakespeare's "problem play" Measure for Measure. Helmed by classics veteran director Jeff Soroka, TU's version will strip down the purity of the Bard's main character as she is used and torn apart in an immoral and corrupt world. The company will also feature one-acts and shorter works from its Writer's Group that will also tackle this important topic.
"We are always striving to raise our production value in every way, but more importantly we are consciously making an effort to add our artistic voice into a poignant and relevant global conversation," Scuderi Crafts said. "Theatre is a living, speaking and breathing art. We at Theatre Unleashed hope our endeavors will open new talking points for our audience."
That's not to say all will be so "heavy" with TU this season. The company will continue to bring comedic offerings and lighter fare, including some Late Night shows, 24-Hour Theatre Events, the return of The Dead Beat Poets Society and Passages and of course its seasonal main stay KAWL Presents It's a Wonderful Life: A Radio Play for the Stage. The company will also once again take part in the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Plus, TU will offer several very creative fundraising events throughout the year. We're going to be busy...and we're very excited about that! For more information, check out www.theatreunleashed.org.
DETAILS: LIGATURE MARKS Written by Mac Rogers Directed by Jacob Smith Produced by Theatre Unleashed SYNOPSIS: Terry and Jill are stuck in a twisted, dysfunctional romance. The problem is they can't live without each other. Thanks to the thrilling and sadistic online game "Noir," now they won't have to... This dark and sometimes unsettling "comedy" comes from critically-acclaimed, award-winning New York playwright Mac Rogers. After debuting out west during a brief stop at last year's Hollywood Fringe Festival, "Ligature Marks" now gets a well-deserved Main Stage run courtesy of Theatre Unleashed as the opener to a packed 2015 season. DATES AND TIMES: February 12-March 7; Thursday, Friday, Saturday - 8 p.m. LOCATION: The Belfry Stage, Upstairs at the Crown, 11031 Camarillo St., North Hollywood, CA 91602 TICKET PRICES: General Admission: $20 *Tickets for opening weekend are just $15! **Pay What You Want if you donate $5 at the box office for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. For further information, call (818) 849-4039 or visit www.theatreunleashed.org.