Dead Skin premieres at Hollywood Fringe Festival

May 1, 2022
Dead Skin at Zephyr Theatre

Diversity Entertainment, producer Jessica Orcsik, and playwright Laneikka Denne are thrilled to present the international premiere of Dead Skin. A hybrid text of queer and hetero "love" stories challenging what it truly means to love and be loved; at seventeen. It is a coming-of-age story of a mother and daughter navigating the toxicity of their own relationships, searching for the truest form of love; an inherent maternal connection. Written and starring State Theatre Company x Flinders University Young Playwright's Award winner Laneikka Denne and Directed by Stage Scene LA's Outstanding Direction Award Peter Blackburn; this coming-of-age opens June 2 and runs through Hollywood Fringe Festival Saturday, June 25, 2022.

Dead Skin is told from the perspective of seventeen-year-old Andie. She is a human sponge for connection, unaware of the neglect she's endured from all spheres of her life, causing her immense intimacy issues; a simple touch to her hand sends Andie into a spiral of hyper-sexuality and self-hatred simultaneously. Approaching her eighteen birthday, Andie decides that she needs to find her mother to cure her maternal pain. Andie sees visions of her mother everywhere and plays out how her mother and father met in the convenience store she works at. This plot is mirrored by Andie falling for her best friend Maggie (played by Ashlee Juergens), her first queer love, in the same convenience store.

Her dad's younger wife, Audrey, tries to help Andie navigate this journey of self-discovery, but Andie refuses to see the humanity masked underneath Audrey's bimbo bravado. As these visceral, parallel love stories progress, Andie's romanticized vision of those around her begins to crackle. At the crux of Andie meeting her idealized vision of her mother, Andie's whole world explodes when she discovers her mother is dead. Her understanding of the world is actually a skewed hallucination of what she wanted it to be. Andie is left in the aftermath of her first psychotic break. In her psychosis, with no one, except Audrey, the one person who genuinely loves Andie. Andie is forced to choose whether she will fall into a cycle of self-destructive psychosis or if she will deal with her mental health and discover true, raw, visceral love for the first time in her life; Andie's own sense of self.