PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Opening Night Party for the West Coast Premiere of ‘Broomstick’

Jenny O'Hara in 'Broomstick' at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny O’Hara in ‘Broomstick’ at the Fountain Theatre

The Fountain enjoyed a night of magic last Saturday, Oct 18th, with the opening night of the funny and sinister solo play Broomstick starring the bewitching Jenny O’Hara. The performance was wonderful and mesmerizing, followed by a lively catered reception upstairs in the cafe. Written by John Biguenet and directed by Stephen Sachs, Broomstick is a delightful play about an eccentric old lady who lives in the deep, dark woods who folks in town believe is a witch. A treat for the Halloween season, Broomstick runs to Nov 30th.

After the opening night performance, a party was held in our upstairs cafe highlighted with food, drink and hearty cheers of celebration.  Joining actress Jenny O’Hara at the party were the Fountain production and artistic team, director Stephen Sachs, producers Simon Levy and Deborah Lawlor, associate producer James Bennett, designers Andrew Hammer (set) and Jessica Edwards (lighting), dialect coach Tyler Seiple, Jenny’s daughter Sophie Ullett, friends Jane Anderson and Tess Ayers, actress Jacqueline Schultz, and Fountain subscribers and audience members. A great time was had by all.  

Enjoy These Snapshots from the Opening Night Party  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Broomstick  Now Playing to Nov 30th  (323) 663-1525   MORE  

Playwright John Biguenet on the Magic of Language in ‘Broomstick’

Jenny OHara in Broomstick at the Fountain Theatre

Jenny OHara in ‘Broomstick’ at the Fountain Theatre

Wickedly Entertaining West Coast Premiere Stars Jenny O’Hara at the Fountain Theatre

John Biguenet’s new play, Broomstick, opening at the Fountain Theatre this Saturday in its west coast premiere, features a witch who might be in the habit of cooking children or perhaps giving enemies “a little push or two” down a well to their death. Where does Biguenet’s delightfully dark side come from? It started when the New Orleans writer was a child himself, growing up without air-conditioning in a working-class patch of Gentilly.

“If you grew up in New Orleans, like I did, you know that there is darkness in the world – and that some things can only be seen in darkness. Daylight obscures so much. I had to plunge into that darkness to write a play that’s both terrifying and comic.”

“Like a lot of New Orleans locals, I’m obsessed with old things and with the past that clings to everything here, ” he confesses. “Put all that together, and you end up haunted. I’m not the only New Orleans writer to feel it. Ghosts and witches are a natural subject here. “

Playwright John Biguenet

Playwright John Biguenet

Biguenet began working on Broomstick in 2009, while he was finishing his Hurricane Katrina trilogy (which will be published by LSU Press in 2015). In the plays Rising Water (2006). Shotgun (2009) and Mold (2013), he recounted the flooding, its physical damages and the toll it took on individuals. But in Broomstick, the powerful force is language and the magical spell it can cast.  

“My witch can’t turn a tree into a fireball – special effects don’t interest me, anyway – but I could give her the power of language. Theater is all about language, and, when you think about it, language also is the source of a witch’s power. She can cast spells. She can curse us. When she cackles it raises the hair on your neck. And she can seduce with her stories.”
Jenny O'Hara

Jenny O’Hara

Biguenet adds to the magic with a trick of his own: The entire play is actually a poem, written in rhymed iambic couplets. 

Biguenet first experimented with verse in his Katrina plays. Using poetic devices helped him – a storm victim himself – as he struggled to establish emotional distance on his material.

“Broomstick” takes those subtle verse experiments to another level, however.

“I hid the rhymes in ‘Broomstick,'” Biguenet said. “In previous productions, it often took 10 or 15 minutes for audiences to realize what was happening. The effects of rhyme and meter came over listeners slowly, almost subliminally, wrapped in sentences full of pauses and exclamations. I wanted it to sound natural – and to sounds like a fairy tale, too. I wanted a mystery worthy of a real witch.”

In Broomstick, the witch’s story is in part a confession. But it’s full of her wisdom, and Biguenet thought an older woman would serve as a remarkably free observer of the world.

But the witch is more folk storyteller than philosopher, and not at all passive. She’s frightening when chopping carrots with a cleaver as she recounts a tale of another old woman reputed to have claimed a few fingers. The language in the play is poetic, rhythmic and beguiling like a spell and at times vivid like a horror story.

Jenny O'Hara in 'Broomstick' (rehearsal photo by Ed Krieger)

Jenny O’Hara in ‘Broomstick’ (rehearsal photo by Ed Krieger)

Broomstick won a National New Play Network award and is opening in several cities this season as part of a NNPN Rolling World Premiere. It opens this Saturday night at The Fountain Theatre, starring Stage/Film/TV veteran Jenny O’Hara.

The play is perfectly suited to the fall season of ghosts, haunted houses, black cats and pumpkins.

“I’d be happy for it to be the Halloween play,” Biguenet says.”After a show at the world premiere at New Jersey Repertory Company, a woman from the audience told me she was a witch and that it was a very accurate portrayal,” Biguenet says. “She wanted to reserve 20 tickets so she could bring her coven the next week.”

Of the upcoming opening at the Fountain Theatre, he beams, “I’m sure it will be a great production.”

photos by Ed Krieger

Broomstick Now Playing to Nov 30  (323) 663-1525  Get Tickets

Fountain Theatre Earns 6 Ovation Award Nominations Including Best Season and Best Production of a Play

"My Name is Asher Lev"

Anna Khaja, Joel Polis and Jason Karasev in “My Name is Asher Lev”

The Fountain Theatre is pleased to announce that it has received six 2014 Ovation Award nominations, including in the prestigious categories of Best Season and Best Production of a Play. Fountain productions eligible for the 2013-14 Ovation voting season were our riveting revival of The Normal Heart, and our acclaimed Los Angeles premieres of  My Name is Asher Lev and The Brothers Size.  The Ovation Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, November 2 at 7pm at the historic San Gabriel Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel.

Often hailed as LA’s version of the Tony Awards, the peer-judged Ovation Awards recognize excellence in theatrical performance, production and design in the Greater Los Angeles area.  For the 2013-2014 voting season, there are a grand total of 195 nominations for 78 productions, presented by 49 companies. There were 318 total productions registered from 137 companies. 

Gilbert Glenn Brown, Matthew Hancock, Theodore Perkins in 'The Brothers Size'.

Gilbert Glenn Brown, Matthew Hancock, Theodore Perkins in ‘The Brothers Size’.

The LA Times has referred to the Ovation Awards as the “highest-profile contest for local theatre.”

The Fountain Theatre has been honored with the following 2014 Ovation Award nominations:

  • Best Season - The Normal Heart, My Name is Asher Lev, The Brothers Size
  • Best Production of a PlayMy Name is Asher Lev
  • Best Lead Actress in a Play – Anna Khaja, My Name is Asher Lev
  • Best Acting Ensemble for a Play – Jason Karasev, Anna Khaja, Joel Polis, My Name is Asher Lev
  • Best Acting Ensemble for a Play – Gilbert Glenn Brown, Matthew Hancock, Theodore Perkins,  The Brothers Size
  • Best Choreography – Ameenah Kaplan, The Brothers Size 

The preeminent Best Season category honors a company’s overall excellence throughout an entire season. Over the years, The Fountain has dominated the Best Season nominations category. This year now marks the 5th time that The Fountain Theatre has been nominated for Best Season since the category was created 6 years ago, winning the award in 2011. The Fountain has also won the Ovation Award for Best Production of a Play 5 times. 

Stephen O'Mahoney, Tim Cummings

Stephen O’Mahoney, Tim Cummings in ‘The Normal Heart’.

For a full list of all the nominees click here.

Shop at Ralphs and Support the Fountain Theatre — It’s Easy and Costs You Nothing!

shopping cart dollarsWho would have guessed that buying a gallon of milk at Ralphs will help  support a playwright at the Fountain Theatre? Or a carton of eggs and loaf of bread will help pay for our costumes? A box of Cheez-Its will support building stage scenery?  

It’s that time again! As of Sept 1st, you must RE-ENROLL your Ralphs card to continue donating to the Fountain Theatre. Everyone must RE-REGISTER your Ralphs Rewards card and RE-ENROLL to the Community Rewards program and re-assign your card to the Fountain Theatre for another year.

Go to www.ralphs.com, sign in, go to “my account” then “account settings” and re-enroll the Fountain Theatre (#84796). You are set for another year of having Ralphs donate to the Fountain every time you shop.

ralphs-rewards

What? You’ve NEVER registered your Ralphs card? You know nothing about their Community Rewards program? It’s easy and allows you to support the Fountain Theatre every time you buy groceries and — best of all — costs you nothing! 

It’s easy! Go to www.ralphs.com and “create an account”. To link your card to the Fountain go to “Community Rewards” and follow instructions to assign your card to the Fountain Theatre (#84796). Then every time you shop and swipe your Rewards card, Ralphs donates a percentage of your grocery bill to the Fountain Theatre. The more you shop, the more they give. A no-brainer easy way for you to support the Fountain and it costs you nothing! 

IF YOU HAVE NOT REGISTERED YOUR REWARDS CARD ONLINE

  1. Log in to www.ralphs.com
  2. Click on ‘Create an Account’
  3. Follow the 5 easy steps to create an online account
  4. You will be instructed to go to your email inbox to confirm your account
  5. After you confirm your online account by clicking on the link in your email, return to www.ralphs.com and click on ‘my account’ (you may have to sign in again first).
  6. View all your information and edit as necessary
  7. Link your card to The Fountain Theatre (#84796) by clicking on:
  8. Community Rewards
  9. Edit my community contribution and follow the instructions
  10. Remember to click on the circle to the left of Fountain Theatre (#84796).

 IF YOU ARE ALREADY AN ONLINE CUSTOMER

  1. Log in to www.ralphs.com
  2. Click Sign In
  3. Enter your email address and password
  4. Click on ‘My Account’ (In the top right hand corner)
  5. Click on Account Settings
  6. View all your information and edit as necessary
  7. Link your card to Fountain Theatre (#84796) by clicking on:
  8. Community Rewards
  9. Edit my community contribution and follow the instructions
  10. Remember to click on the circle to the left of Fountain Theatre (#84796).

Thank you for supporting us! Any questions? Call us at (323) 663-1525

JOB OPPORTUNITY: House Manager for the Wickedly Fun West Coast Premiere of ‘Broomstick’ at Fountain Theatre

witch_house_by_totalnol-d4r6kd1Looking for a part-time job? Want to be involved with an award-winning theatre company? Not afraid of witches, ghosts and things that go bump in the night? Have we got the job offer for you.

The Fountain Theatre is looking to hire a House Manager for our upcoming production of Broomstick starring popular Stage/Film/TV actress Jenny O’Hara And what a house it’s going to be! 

'Broomstick' set design by Andrew Hammer

‘Broomstick’ set design by Andrew Hammer

Broomstick is a funny and sinister solo play about a wacky old lady who lives in the deep, dark forest who just may happen to be a witch.

House Manager duties include seating patrons, distributing programs and interactive audience relations. Seeking friendly articulate individual with warm manner, good “people skills”, and strong ability to navigate issues when they arise.

Performances are October 4 – November 30. Performance are Thursday-Saturday 8pm, Sunday 2pm. Shifts are approximately 2 1/2 hours. There is pay.

Interested? Please email query to: info@fountaintheatre.com

Jenny O'Hara in 'Broomstick' (rehearsal photo by Ed Krieger)

Jenny O’Hara in ‘Broomstick’ (rehearsal photo by Ed Krieger)

More info on Broomstick

Fountain Theatre Wins 26 Awards from StageSceneLA For Excellence in 2013-14

The Fountain Theatre has gobbled up 26 Theater Awards from Stage SceneLA for our acclaimed 2013-14 productions of The Normal Heart, My Name is Asher Lev and The Brothers Size. StageSceneLA editor Steven Stanley announced the winners this week after seeing and reviewing 268 productions from September 1, 2013 through August 31, 2014. The overall awards list is long and there are multiple winners in many categories.  All of it demonstrating, as Steven Stanley affirms, that “theater in Los Angeles and its surrounding communities is alive and thriving and quite often simply as good as it gets. “

These 2013-14 Fountain productions received the following awards:

The Normal Heart 

Tim Cummings and Bill Brochtrup in 'The Normal Heart'.

Tim Cummings and Bill Brochtrup in ‘The Normal Heart’.

  • Production of the Year – The Normal Heart
  • Best Director, Drama – Simon Levy
  • Best Performance, Lead Actor – Tim Cummings
  • Best Performance, Lead Actor – Bill Brochtrup
  • Best Performance, Featured Actress – Lisa Pelikan
  • Best Performance by an Understudy – Ray Paolantonio
  • Best Performance, Featured Actor – Matt Gottlieb
  • Best Performance, Featured Actor – Fred Koehler
  • Best Performance, Featured Actor – Stephen O’Mahoney
  • Memorable Performance, Featured Actor – Dan Shaked & Jeff Witzke

My Name Is Asher Lev

Jason Karasev, Anna Khaja and Joel Polis in 'My Name Is Asher Lev'.

Jason Karasev, Anna Khaja and Joel Polis in ‘My Name Is Asher Lev’.

  • Best Production, Drama – My Name is Asher Lev
  • Best Director, Drama – Stephen Sachs
  • Best Performance, Lead Actor – Jason Karasev
  • Best Performance, Featured Actor – Joel Polis
  • Best Performance, Featured Actress – Anna Khaja
  • Best Costume Design – Shon LeBlanc
  • Best Lighting Design – Ric Zimmerman 
  • Best Scenic Design – Jeff McLaughlin 

The Brothers Size

Gilbert Glenn brown  and Matthew Hancock (photo by Ed Krieger)

Gilbert Glenn Brown and Matthew Hancock in ‘The Brothers Size

  • Best Director – Shirley Jo Finney
  • Best Ensemble Cast, Drama
  • Best Choreography, Play – Ameenah Kaplan
  • Memorable Lighting Design – Pablo Santiago
  • Best Scenic Designer – Hana S. Kim

Multiple Productions: 

  • Sound Design/Composer of the Year – Peter Bayne, The Brothers Size, The Normal Heart
  • Best Props Design – Misty Carlisle – Asher Lev, Brothers Size, Normal Heart

Our thanks to Steven Stanley and StageSceneLa for this acknowledgement.  We appreciate and applaud his enthusiasm and support for theatre in Los Angeles.   

For the complete list of StageSceneLA Award winners click here.

Production photos by Ed Krieger

 

 

PHOTO SLIDESHOW: Closing Party for Acclaimed LA Premiere of ‘The Brothers Size’

'The Brothers Size' company celebrates a wonderful run.

‘The Brothers Size’ company celebrates a wonderful run.

On Sunday, September 14th, the Fountain Theatre celebrated the finish of the wonderful run of our LA Premiere of  The Brothers Size with a party in our upstairs cafe. Actors, audience and company members gathered for food, drink and good times following the exhilarating  and deeply moving final performance.  The acclaimed 3-month run earned rave reviews everywhere, including hailed as Critic’s Choice in the LA Times. 

Enjoy These Snapshots from the Closing Party

This slideshow requires JavaScript.