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  • The Theatre @ Boston Court Presents
    O-Lan Jones: 20 Years of Theatre and Music
    Featuring Selections From Her Operas & Musicals
    Boston Court Performing Arts Center in Pasadena, CA
    Saturday, October 20, 2012

    LOS ANGELES, CA – October 9, 2012 – The Theatre @ Boston Court presents O-Lan Jones: 20 Years of Theatre and Music, for one night only, on Saturday, October 20, 2012 in Pasadena, CA.  Nine songs by O-Lan Jones have been selected for the performance from the following five productions: After Stardrive, Katy Cruel, The Dybbuk, The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater, and The Woman in the Wall.  Selections include Appalachian duets, operatic solos, and tribal pieces, which will be performed by recurring cast members from Overtone Industries, Jones’ experimental production company that creates original music theater and opera.  As a special treat, the evening will also feature the first public performance of Jones’ improvisational group, The Spontaneous Combustion Choir.  Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students/seniors.  The performance begins at 8:00pm at the Theatre @ Boston Court (70 N. Mentor Ave., Pasadena, CA 91106; 626-683-6883).  For more information, please see http://www.bostoncourt.com/events/143/o-lan-jones

    “We’re introducing 20 years of my creative production in 55 minutes,” says O-Lan Jones, adding “I’m thrilled that Boston Court invited us to bring this work to a wider audience.”

    The evening is all about Jones, a cultural legend and creative force who has composed three short operas; two full-length operas; five musicals; created original music, songs, and sound designs for more than 30 theatrical productions; and has scored two short films. She was also the musical director and arranger of Joel Lipman’s rock-’n’-roll extravaganza Celebration of the Lizard, which featured 49 Doors songs.  Jones is also the Founder and Artistic Director of Overtone Industries, which the Los Angeles Times called “audaciously experimental entertainment.” Additional biographical information for Jones is below.


    O-Lan Jones: 20 Years of Theatre and Music features music from five productions for which Miz Jones composed music, four of which were produced by Overtone Industries:

    • After Stardrive (1978; Marina Theater, San Francisco)*
    A woman has a visitation from an extraterrestrial being that changes her vision and allows her to see into people’s thoughts and fantasies.

    Katy Cruel (1980; Intersection Theater, San Francisco)*
    Inspired by the title song, said to be written by a camp follower (prostitute) during the Civil War.  Includes songs written in the Appalachian vein.

    The Dybbuk (1998; Helms Bakery, Culver City)
    A young bride is possessed by a malicious spirit and captured in another world in this traditional love story.  Directed by Charlie Stratton for the Wilton Project.

    The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater (2001; [INSIDE] the Ford, Los Angeles)*
    A civilized woman goes back to her mother’s home in the jungle where she is confronted by wild lion goddesses that inhabit secret places.  Part of [INSIDE] the Ford’s inaugural season.

    The Woman in the Wall (2012; Masonic Lodge, Culver City)*
    Inspired by the practice of medieval nuns, who volunteered to be immured for their whole lives in a room with one window on the church and one open to the world.

    * An Overtone Industries production.

    Spontaneous Combustion Choir –
    In addition to selections from the aforementioned productions, the event also features the first pubic appearance of Jones’ Spontaneous Combustion Choir, an improvisational choral group made of Overtone Industries players.  The Spontaneous Combustion Choir grew from a rehearsal method, developed by Jones, that allows for all types of singers to create beautiful, cohesive choral music together, in the moment.  Each unique piece, performed by the choir, is inspired by an initial idea or phrase, written down on a piece of paper and transformed into a melodic phrase by the initiating singer of each piece.  The Choir will ask the audience to provide “words of inspiration.”  The Spontaneous Combustion Choir’s relevance is its ability to create great joy and sense of accomplishment in people as they learn to add their own voice to a piece and see how it is an integral part of the whole.  The results are instantaneous.

    The audience will also have a chance to participate in creating spontaneous music together with The Spontaneous Combustion Choir at the end of the concert.

    Credits –
    – O-Lan Jones, Composer
    Brent Crayon, Music Director/Accompanist
    John Ballinger, Percussionist

    Choir Members –
    Patty Cornell* (Shrek, Bob Funk, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater)
    Loren  Fenton* (recent CalArts graduate; Lorca in a Green Dress)
    Michael Harris* (Session Man, The Burning Zone, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, Embers at Grand Performances)
    Alan J. House* (Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, Mateo Denali Band, Embers at Grand Performances)
    Gretchen Johnson (Who Wants To Be An Opera Singer?, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, The Woman in the Wall, The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater)
    – O-Lan Jones* (see bio below)
    Matthew McCray* (Boston Legal, Will & Grace, Death of a Salesgirl, Eternal Thou, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, Embers at Grand Performances, Sons of Semele)
    Deon Sams* (Unsolved Mysteries, Americas Most Wanted, The Young and the Restless, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands)
    Cesili Williams* (The Color Purple, 10 Things I Hate About You, Hot in Cleveland, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, Embers at Grand Performances)
    Silvie Zamora* (Ken Roht’s 99 Cent Only musicals, Chickspeare, Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, The Woman Who Forgot Her Sweater, Embers at Grand Performances)

    * Indicates Spontaneous Combustion Choir Members

    O-Lan Jones –
    O-Lan Jones is a full-service artist – an award-winning composer, actor, sound designer, and writer.  Miz Jones is also the Artistic Director of Overtone Industries, a company that creates new mythological operas and theatricales; including Songs and Dances of Imaginary Lands, a collaboration of 21 librettists and 11 composers performed in a 25,000-square foot abandoned car dealership. The critically acclaimed Songs and Dances was called, “ambitious and possibly ground-breaking” by Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times.  Also recently, she wrote The Woman in the Wall, a medieval opera presented at the Culver City Masonic Lodge in March 2012.

    Raised by a free-spirited Philosopher Queen in various ghettos across America (Los Angeles, Chicago, Austin, New York) with stops in London and the jungles of Yucatan where they lived in a hut in a village of 80 Mayan Indians, Jones began her professional acting career at 16 in the hotbed of New York’s off-off Broadway scene in the late ’60s and early ’70s.  When she was 19, she married playwright Sam Shepard, with whom she has a son, Jesse Shepard, author of Jubilee King, a collection of short stories published by Bloomsbury Press.  Shepard and Jones divorced in 1983.  Since that time, of the more than 80 plays she’s acted in, only two have been performed prior to her involvement in them; part of her lot in life is to serve as an accomplice to new/experimental projects.

    Since moving to Los Angeles in 1990, she has had a broad range of roles in film and television.  Equally at home in comedy or drama, she is often asked to walk the line between the two.  In features, she has worked with directors Tim Burton, Jonathan Demme, Ivan Reitman, Paul Schraeder, John Schlesinger, Oliver Stone, Peter Weir and Paul Bartel who directed Shelf Life, a movie she wrote and starred in with Andrea Stein and Jim Turner.

    Her screen credits include Mars Attacks!, Edward Scissorhands, Natural Born Killers, and The Truman Show.  Her television credits include Lonesome Dove, Seinfeld, The X-Files; and a season as a series regular on CBS’s Harts of the West, which starred Beau Bridges and Lloyd Bridges.  Last year, she sang a major role in Terry Wolverton and David Ornette Cherry’s opera Embers at Grand Performances.

    Upcoming Projects –
    Next up, Miz Jones plays a receptionist at a sperm bank in the new film Syrup, a dark comedy directed by wunderkind Aram Rappoport, starring Amber Heard, Kellan Lutz, and Shiloh Fernandez, opening in New York City on November 1, 2012.  As part of Son of Semele’s Creation Festival, opening in January 2013, she plays a healer in the weird, Wild West Joshua Tree desert, in Serpentine Pink by Megan Breen.

    Overtone Industries –
    Overtone Industries creates vivid, original myths and fables, bringing them to life in the form of multi-disciplinary opera and music/theatre.  Overtone is passionate about live performance and its power to generate transformation, as performers and audience participate together in each unfolding moment.  It believes that artistic expression is an essential part of living, a catalyst for both artists and audience members to understand themselves in a fresh new way.  The organization believes it is essential to give each project the time and devotion it requires to come to life, by exploring new relationships among words, vocal music, traditional and invented instruments, theater, art installations and contemporary movement.  Overtone Industries builds work to last.  http://www.overtoneindustries.org

    The Theatre @ Boston Court –
    The Theatre @ Boston Court is dedicated to presenting works that are creative, bold and daring.  The organization strives to challenge the audiences of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley with diverse programs in an intimate setting.  @ Boston Court houses and produces passionate, artist-driven theater that challenges both artist and audience.  The organization urges its artists to fearlessly and passionately pursue their unique voice and vision.  Play selection encompasses a wide variety of genres (classics, musicals and world premieres, with a special emphasis on nurturing playwrights and new play development), which are inherently theatrical, textually rich, and visually arresting.  @ Boston Court is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

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    For more information, photos or to schedule an interview, please contact Green Galactic’s Lynn Tejada at 213-840-1201 or lynn@greengalactic.com.

    O-Lan Jones; Photo credit: Halldor Enard
    Posted on October 9th, 2012 lynn-hasty No comments

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