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  • Tilted Field
    In Association with Son of Semele Theater
    Presents The World Premiere Of
    The Last Days of Mary Stuart
    An Electro-Opera
    Created & Directed by Becca Wolff
    Music by Byron Kahr and John Nixon of the band TONY
    Performances in Los Angeles June 21 through July 20, 2013
    Opening Night Saturday, June 22, 2013

     LOS ANGELES, CA – May 16, 2013 – Tilted Field, in association with Son of Semele Theater, presents the world premiere of The Last Days of Mary Stuart, an electro-opera, through the curated guest-production program SOSEhost. This immersive music-theater experience is conceived, written and directed by Becca Wolff, with music by Byron Kahr and John Nixon of TONY. Opening night is Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 8:00pm, with one pay-what-you-can preview on Friday, June 21st at 8:00pm. Performances run Thursdays through Saturdays from June 21 through July 20, 2013 at Son of Semele Theater, with the exception of Thursday, July 4th (there will be no performance on that date).  Shows start at 8:00pm, with a second show starting at 10:30pm on Saturdays.  General admission tickets are $15 (standing only) and VIP admission is $30 for assigned seats. Tickets will be available through SOSE starting May 20th.  Son of Semele Theater is located just west of Downtown LA at 3301 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90004. For more information please call 213-351-3507 or visit http://www.sonofsemele.org.

    In an immersive club atmosphere, The Last Days of Mary Stuart blurs the lines of history to create a musical allegory for our time. Mary Stuart is the disgraced and charismatic Queen of Scots, fast becoming an It-Girl on a meteoric rise in 16th-Century England. As she drives herself into the rift over Queen Elizabeth’s legitimacy, foreign powers threaten and youths are radicalized abroad. It is in this political hothouse that Mary Stuart grows her cult of personality that menaces the future of the English Empire and the new world in which we live.

    The lush electronic score was collaboratively created by Byron Kahr and John Nixon of the bands TONY and Whqles (pronounced “wales”) and performed by a cast of four, plus a 3-piece electronic orchestra and a four-member chorus. The sound has evolved over the two years of the project’s development from a rock idiom to the more dramatic, flexible and sweeping sounds of electronica. The vocal style is straightforward and powerful and the piece is structured in the aria/recitative mode of classical opera where the music tells the story as much as the words within it.

    Kahr, Nixon and Wolff came together over their shared interest in music-theater and desire to see that genre grow. This dovetailed with the interests of Tilted Field productions, which Wolff co-founded with fellow Yale-grad Jacob Padrón in 2010. The company decided to produce the project, beginning with a workshop at Son of Semele Theater last year. The workshop was a sold-out hit and also received a spread in VICE Magazine under the title “The Making of a Modern Rock Opera” http://www.vice.com/read/the-making-of-a-modern-rock-opera-.

    Wolff explains: “The drive behind rock musicals like Spring Awakening and American Idiot is to connect to a younger, more music-forward audience, an audience like us. We were impressed with the ambition and the clarity of storytelling in those shows, but we wanted something where the music took us out of our heads and on the journey of the narrative. Mary Stuart is the perfect vehicle because her story gives audiences the chance to experience theater the way Mary experienced life: forgetting responsibility to tradition, and truly getting carried away.”

    Credits:

    Crew –
    Director – Becca Wolff
    Writer – Becca Wolff
    Music – Byron Kahr/John Nixon
    Lyrics – Kahr/Nixon/Wolff
    Lighting Designer – Elizabeth Harper
    Production Designer – Molly Erin Sullivan
    Stage Manager – Chapel Folger
    Sound Consulting – Veronika Vorel
    Technical Director – Lenny Wolff
    Producers for Tilted Field – Jacob Pardrón/Becca Wolff

    Cast –
    Mary Stuart – Marianne Thompson
    Elizabeth – Laila Ayad
    Judge #2/Badge Man – Alex Knox
    The Kid – Daniel David Stewart

    Band –
    Drum Machines/Sequencing/Percussion – John Nixon
    Keys/Sequencing – Ryan Adlaf (also plays Judge #1)
    Guitar – Byron Kahr

    Laila Ayad (Elizabeth) –
    Laila Ayad was most recently seen as Margot in IAMA Theatre Company’s critically acclaimed production of Shiner. Other Los Angeles credits include world premieres of Reverb and Bachelorette at IAMA, where she is a founding member; New York:  TheatreworksUSA (National Tour), Why We Have a Body (Producer’s Club), Spring Awakening (Blue Heron Arts Center), A Bright Room Called Day (Studio Theater). www.iamatheatre.com

    Alex Knox (Judge #2/Badge Man) –
    Alex Knox’s recent stage credits include Eurydice at South Coast Repertory and Macbeth at The Antaeus Company. He can be seen starring in the music video for Green Day’s “Stray Heart.” His one-man play No Static At All (dir. Becca Wolff) will premiere at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this summer (http://hff13.org/1269). Knox is a company member of Tilted Field and a graduate of UC Santa Barbara and Yale School of Drama. www.alex-knox.com

    Marianne Thompson (Mary Stuart) –
    A California native, Marianne Thompson’s passion for music took her across the country to study at Berklee College of Music, where she received the Entering Student Talent Scholarship. She has performed at some of the Boston area’s most prestigious venues, including The Fairmont Copley Plaza and Four Seasons Boston. In 2011, she assembled a band and sang back-up for Sandra Bernhard’s I Love Being Me, Don’t You? at American Repertory Theater’s Club Oberon in Cambridge, MA. Thompson is thrilled to make her return to California.

    Daniel David Stewart (The Kid) –
    Daniel David Stewart recently portrayed Denny in the West Coast premiere of Sixty Miles to Silverlake (dir: Becca Wolff). Other recent theater: Little Miss Scrooge, Our Town (with Helen Hunt), Master Harold and the Boys, and The Browning Version. Recent TV/film: The Middle, Goodwin Games, Man Up!, and Cougar Town. Stewart is a proud AEA Member. www.danielstewart.me

    TONY
    TONY. It’s a name. It’s an adjective. It’s a band. We know what you’re thinking. Isn’t there already a group called Tony! Toni! Toné? Yes, but this is just one TONY, and this one TONY is from Los Angeles. Still, this one TONY has three parts. Molly is a bass. Byron is a guitar. John is a drum machine. Everybody sings. Is it psych? Is it soft rock? Is it dub? It is all of these. It is more than these. It is exactly what you want it to be. It is TONY. Listen for yourself at yourfriendtony.bandcamp.com.

    Becca Wolff, Director
    Becca Wolff is co-founder of Tilted Field productions and Artistic Director of IAMA Theatre Company in Los Angeles. Recent Los Angeles directing credits include the West Coast premiere of Sixty Miles to Silverlake (IAMA) and the world premiere of the upcoming No Static At All (Hollywood Fringe/Tilted Field). She has directed numerous world premieres regionally and in NYC, including Status Update by Dorothy Fortenberry (Center Rep, Walnut Creek) and Usher, named Outstanding Musical at the 2008 NYC International Fringe Festival.

    Elizabeth Harper, Lighting Designer
    Elizabeth Harper’s recent Los Angeles credits include American Misfit (Boston Court), Good People (Geffen Playhouse; 2012 Ovation Award Nominee), A Raisin in the Sun (Kirk Douglas, Ebony Repertory Theatre; 2011 Ovation Award and NAACP Award Nominee), Crescent City (The Industry), and The Twentieth-Century Way (Boston Court; 2011 Ovation Award Nominee). www.eharperdesign.com

    Molly Erin Sullivan, Production Designer
    Molly Erin Sullivan is an artist, curator and designer based in Los Angeles. Her clients include The Sleigh Bells (Art Direction/Prop Design for Rill Rill music video), ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives, Keck School of Medicine of USC, Native Strategies (performance art journal) and the Art/Curatorial Practices in the Public Sphere program at USC among others. www.mollyerinsullivan.com

    SOSEhost
    This production is made possible by SOSEhost, Son of Semele’s curated program that offers subsidized space, equipment and staffing to other progressive theater artists and companies. Through SOSEhost Son of Semele fosters and supports like-minded artists who are making bold choices and forging new ground in their work. For more information about SOSEhost or to apply to present your work here, visit www.sonofsemele.org/sosehost.html.

    Tilted Field
    Inspired by their roots as theater artists, the members of Tilted Field create and develop unique projects in theater, film, television, and new media. The company was founded in 2010 by Yale School of Drama graduates Jacob Pardrón and Becca Wolff and now includes company members in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and San Francisco. The company of Tilted Field includes: Ji-youn Chang, Dorothy Fortenberry, Alex Knox, Teresa Avia Lim, Michael Locher and Roberta Pereira. This summer, the company is producing both The Last Days of Mary Stuart at Son of Semele and Alex Knox’s one-man show No Static At All at the Hollywood Fringe. The company is currently developing a three-part, three-city festival featuring works inspired by the Iliad and the Odyssey, beginning with simultaneous readings in NYC, Chicago and San Francisco in late 2013.  More info www.tiltedfield.com.

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

    Posted on May 24th, 2013 lynn-hasty No comments

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