Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Theatre Conspiracy celebrates 20th anniversary season, announces subscription discounts

Theatre Conspiracy celebrates its 20th season this year. Bill Taylor - one of my favorite people - deserves a tremendous round of applause for the work he's done. One of my favorite shows - of all time - right up there with Gulfshore's "Earnest," is the TC production of "Bad Dates," the show that made me fall in love with Lauren Drexler.

Buy some tickets.

He's even made it easy for you - and there are discounts. I know ya'll love discounts. Plus he gives me 1,894 words about the season, the plays, the playwrights and all that jazz.

One of this season's can't-miss shows is going to be "The Whale," the story of a 600-pound man, which will star Mr. Bill himself. I'm also looking forward to the New Play Contest winner "All My Raisins in the Son," "Becky Shaw" and "The Beauty Queen of Leenane."

To celebrate the 20th anniversary season Theatre Conspiracy is discounting its regular season subscription price by more than 20 percent. You can get 5 shows for $72 or 4 shows for $60. Individual tickets are $20 each. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8 p.m. with one Sunday matinée for each show at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling Theatre Conspiracy’s box office at 239-936-3239 or by visiting www.theatreconspiracy.org.

Tell Bill I sent you! Or not.

Complete press release below.


Theatre Conspiracy is proud to announce its 20th anniversary season of premiere shows at the Foulds Theatre, Lee County Alliance for the Arts. Beginning with the a world premiere production from its Annual New Play Contest and finishing with a Florida premiere, this year’s lineup is full of award winning plays never before seen in the area.

"Each year we try to provide audiences a unique theatrical experience" says Producing Artistic Director Bill Taylor. "None of these shows have been done in the area before. It is a very exciting year for us in many ways. We are also bringing in some professional actors from outside the area. Kim Crow, who was seen in WIT at Florida Repertory Theatre will be performing in BECKY SHAW. Also we are negotiating with gentleman who originated one of the roles in BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE and you can't beat our price for season subscriptions this year!"

To celebrate the 20th anniversary season Theatre Conspiracy is discounting its regular season subscription price by more than 20%. You can get 5 shows for $72 or 4 shows for $60. Individual tickets are $20 each. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays at 8PM with one Sunday matinee for each show at 2PM. Tickets can be purchased by calling Theatre Conspiracy’s box office at 239-936-3239 or by visiting www.theatreconspiracy.org.

Theatre Conspiracy is proud to continue its mission to produce and promote the work of the next generation of talented American playwrights. The theatre is a very difficult business for anyone involved but even more so for playwrights. The opportunities that were once present for having new works produced have, over time, continually declined. By producing new works Theatre Conspiracy is not only providing a venue that will bring them to life, but, helps create a more promising future for theatre in America by providing a more nurturing environment for the greatest asset theatre can have: great playwrights.

Theatre Conspiracy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit Florida corporation, headed by Producing Artistic Director Bill Taylor. Funding is derived from ticket sales, advertising sales and donations. During its 19 years it has been described as "innovative, exciting, daring," and "a treasured member of the area's theatrical community."

October 18-November 2. Matinee on October 27 at 2PM


Winner! Theatre Conspiracy’s 15th annual new play contest.

Winner! Neil Simon 3rd Annual new play contest.

ALL MY RAISINS IN THE SON tackles high school - or at least the teachers. An eager new teacher gets quite the education when confronted with the quirky personalities and deadly serious politics of the public high school teacher's lounge.

November 22 – December 15. MATINEE on December 15 AT 2PM

BECKY SHAW by Gina Gionfriddo

Winner! Barrymore Award for outstanding play

Finalist! Pulitzer Prize

Becky Shaw was described by The New York Times as being "as engrossing as it is ferociously funny, like a big box of fireworks fizzing and crackling across the stage from its first moments to its last."

When Suzanna decides to set her best friend Max up on a blind date with her husband's

mysterious co-worker, Becky Shaw, she sets into motion a series of cataclysmic events forever

changing all of their lives. Mixing sharp wit and humor with the taut suspense of a psychological thriller, Becky Shaw is a comedy of romantic errors that keeps audiences at the edge of their seats guessing what will happen next.

January 3 – 25. MATINEE January 19 AT 2PM

RELATIVELY SPEAKING three one-act comedies by Ethan Coen, Elaine May and Woody Allen

Four-time Oscar winner Ethan Coen and two-time Oscar nominee Elaine May join with Woody Allen for a one-of-a-kind evening of entertainment.

In TALKING CURE, Ethan Coen uncovers the sort of insanity that can only come from family.

In GEORGE IS DEAD, Elaine May explores the hilarity of death.

In HONEYMOON MOTEL, Woody Allen invites you to the sort of wedding day you won't forget.

February 7 – February 23. February 23 Matinee at 2PM


Winner! of 4 Tony Awards

Winner! Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play,

Winner! Drama League Award for Best Play

Winner! Lucille Lortel Award Outstanding Play

Winner! Outer Critics Circle Award Best Broadway Play

Nominee! BBC Play of the Year

Nominee! Tony Award for Best Play

Nominee! Drama Critics Circle Award for best play.

Set in the mountains of Connemara, County Galway, THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE tells the darkly comic tale of Maureen Folan, a plain and lonely woman in her early forties, and Mag, her manipulative aging mother, whose interference in Maureen's first and possibly final chance of a loving relationship sets in motion a train of events that leads inexorably towards the play's terrifying dénouement.

March 14 – 29. MATINEE ON March 23 at 2PM

THE WHALE by Obie Award winner Samuel D. Hunter

Winner! 2013 Lucille Lortel Award, Best Play
Winner! 2013 Drama Desk Special Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre
Winner! 2013 GLAAD Media Award, Outstanding New York Theatre
Nominee! 2013 Drama League Award, Outstanding Production of a Play
Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Awards, Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play
Nominee! 2013 John Gassner Award, Outstanding New American Play

Since the death of his boyfriend, morbidly obese 600 pound Charlie has confined himself to his small Idaho apartment and is eating himself to oblivion. With his health quickly failing, Charlie becomes desperate to reconnect with Ellie, his estranged and angry teenage daughter whom he has not seen in 17 years. He would give her anything: his love, his money….maybe even his life.

Obie Award-winning American playwright and television writer Gina Gionfriddo, proclaimed by Variety as "some kind of genius," graduated from Barnard College in addition to completing Brown University’s MFA playwriting program. During her time at Brown, she studied under the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Paula Vogel. Her previous writing credits include Off-Broadway’s After Ashley (2004) and U.S. Drag (2002), in addition to many episodes of "Law & Order", "Law & Order: Criminal Intent", and "Cold Case". Her work has earned her a number of prestigious awards and accolades including the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights, and a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Ethan Coen's two previous plays are Almost an Evening and Offices, both of them evenings of one-acts produced by the Atlantic Theater Company and directed by Neil Pepe. Ethan Coen has written a collection of stories, Gates of Eden, and a collection of poems, The Drunken Driver Has the Right of Way. With his brother, Joel, he has made 15 movies including Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing, Barton Fink, The Hudsucker Proxy, Fargo, The Big Lebowski, O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Man Who Wasn't There, Burn After Reading, A Serious Man, and adaptations of Cormac McCarthy's No Country for Old Men and Charles Portis's True Grit.

Elaine May began in Second City, where she formed a successful partnership with Mike Nichols. The two appeared in clubs, on TV, and Broadway. Ms. May earned a Drama Desk Award for her play Adaptation, a one-act which she directed along with Terrence McNally’s Next. She wrote, directed, and starred in her first film, A New Leaf, with Walter Matthau. She wrote and directed Mikey & Nicky, starring Peter Falk and John Cassavetes. She directed The Heartbreak Kid, wrote and directed Ishtar, and received an Oscar® nomination for the screenplay of Heaven Can Wait. Ms. May’s acting credits in film include Small Time Crooks, California Suite, Enter Laughing and In the Spirit. She reunited with Mike Nichols to write screenplays for The Birdcage and Primary Colors (British Academy Award) and joined with In the Spirit producer Julian Schlossberg to do Death Defying Acts, After the Night and the Music, Taller Than a Dwarf, Adult Entertainment and Power Plays in which she appeared with Alan Arkin.

Woody Allen has spent most of his career as a filmmaker. He has occasionally written for Broadway and occasionally written and directed off-Broadway. He's the author of several books and has just completed shooting his 43rd film in Rome. HONEYMOON MOTEL is the fourth one-act play of his to be produced.

An award-winning playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter, Martin McDonagh was born in London to Irish parents and is considered one of the most important living Irish playwrights, though he has lived most of his life in England. McDonagh’s first six plays are located in and around Ireland’s County Galway where he spent his holidays as a child, and are separated into two trilogies: The Leenane Trilogy, which includes The Beauty Queen of Leenane (1996), A Skull in Connemara (1997), and The Lonesome West (1997); and The Aran Islands Trilogy, which includes The Cripple of Inishmaan (1997), The Lieutenant of Inishmore (2001), and The Banshees of Inisheer (never published, at McDonagh’s insistence). His first non-Irish play, The Pillowman, is set in a fictitious totalitarian state and premiered at London’s National Theatre in 2003. His most recent play, set in the U.S., is A Behanding in Spokane (2010). McDonagh is a four-time Tony Award nominee (The Beauty Queen of Leenane, The Lonesome West, The Pillowman, and The Lieutenant of Inishmore) and the winner of both an Academy Award (Best Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter) and a British Independent Film Award (Best Screenplay for In Bruges). He is the recipient of a British Academy of Film and Television Arts Award (Best Original Screenplay for In Bruges), a Laurence Olivier Award (Best New Play for The Pillowman), and a Critic’s Circle Theatre Award for Most Promising Playwright. McDonagh has also garnered both the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild Awards for Best Film Script (In Bruges) His most recent film, Seven Psychopaths, was released in October 2012.

Samuel D. Hunter’s plays include A Bright New Boise (OBIE Award for Playwriting, Drama Desk Nomination for Best Play; original production at Partial Comfort Productions, NYC; second production at Woolly Mammoth Theater Company), The Whale (Playwrights Horizons, Victory Gardens, and South Coast Rep; original production at the Denver Center), Jack’s Precious Moment (Page 73 at 59E59), Five Genocides (Clubbed Thumb), A Permanent Image (Boise Contemporary Theater), and Norway (Boise Contemporary Theater, Phoenix Theater of Indianapolis). He has active commissions from Seattle Rep, South Coast Rep, Lincoln Center, and Manhattan Theater Club. His plays have been developed at the O’Neill Playwrights Conference, Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Bay Area Playwrights Festival, JAW West, Ojai Playwrights Conference, and the Pacific Playwrights Festival. He is the recipient of the 2008-2009 PONY Fellowship, the 2011 Sky Cooper Prize, two Lincoln Center Le Compte du Nuoy Awards, and will be a resident playwright at Arena Stage in 2013. He is an ensemble playwright at Victory Gardens, a core member of the Playwrights Center, a company member of Partial Comfort Productions, and an alum of Ars Nova’s Playgroup. Internationally, his work has been translated into Spanish and presented in Mexico City and Monterrey, and he has worked in the West Bank with Ashtar Theatre of Ramallah and Ayyam al-Masrah of Hebron. At Ashtar, he co-wrote The Era of Whales which was performed in Ramallah and Istanbul. He holds degrees in playwriting from NYU, the Iowa Playwrights Workshop, and Juilliard.

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