Meet the Playwrights of the New Comedy Festival: Part IV

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Leila Teitelman is an up-and-coming playwright from the east coast. Just in her mid-20’s, Leila’s work has already been seen at the National Theatre Institute, the Kennedy Center, the National Playwright’s Conference, and the Hearth Theatre Company. Her most recent work, Baby Cakes, will be the first play to kick off our New Comedies Festival, starting June 28. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with the playwright and discussed her process and the festival itself. 

Where are you from?

I’m from Keene, New Hampshire.

How did you find playwriting? 

I’ve been participating in theater my entire life and had always intended to continue, but I first discovered my love of playwriting while I was a student at The O’Neill Theater Center on a semester away from school.

How did this play come to life?

This play came to life in a unique way. My very good friend, Emma, had a dream of a woman who baked cakes for mothers, and I thought… hmmm… that’d make a good play. So I took it and ran. I guess I should give her the intellectual rights.

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Why is this a good play for 2018?

I think we still have a long way to go in terms of holistic representations of women, and more specifically mothers, on stage. There are tropes of the experience of motherhood that I see over and over again and are truthful, but don’t really encompass the intimacy, loneliness and humanity of this particular experience. Along with that, here in America, we are still struggling with maternity leave, unfair treatment or penalization of mothers in the workplace, and the unequal division of home labor.

How did you find out about New Comedies Festival at B Street Theatre? 

I am connected with a couple people who work at B Street and I saw a post about this opportunity. I was unsure of submitting this play because it’s not uproariously funny, but thought the relationships of these women could be a fun thing to explore in a festival like this.

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The Cast of Baby Cakes: Lisa Lacy, Margaret Kemp, Tate Hanyok, Taylor Fleer, Darek Riley, Amy Kelly, Elisabeth Nunziato, & Elyse Sharp

 

What makes this festival different from other New Work Festivals in the country?

What makes this festival different is that the playwright is privy to all the rehearsals and has time to gather information about the piece before the actual performance. It’s also very cool that B Street is considering these plays for full production. That’s a really exciting opportunity that is rarely given.

What’s your favorite time of day to write?

I like writing in the morning, just so I don’t get distracted and forget to do it later on.

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Director of Baby Cakes, Tara Sissom 

Who are the playwrights that inspire you? 

As a youngster, I was really inspired by Churchill and Brecht but recently have loved the works of Clare Barron, Sibyl Kempson and Paula Vogel.

What’s a way that you get through writer’s block? 

Watching theater always inspires me to write theater. If I’m really stuck, usually I can read a new play or see a production and I’m re-invigorated.

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Baby Cakes kicks off the first ever New Comedies Festival at the B Street Theatre today at 5:00 PM and runs on Saturday, June 30 at 2:00 PM. Check out this hysterical, heart felt play, and remember, anyone who sees all four readings will get the chance to vote for which play they’d like to see on the Mainstage next season 

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Meet the Playwrights of New Comedy Festival: Part III

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James Christy has had tremendous success as a playwright. He has written several films and plays, most recently, A Great War, which received four Barrymore nominations. He’s here this week as part of inaugural New Comedies Festival to workshop his new play, The Forever Question. The play tells the story of a couple deciding whether they should have a second child or not. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with James to discuss his play, the festival, and his process.  

Where are you originally from?

I’m from a suburb of Philadelphia, whose football team won the Super Bowl this year.

How did you find playwriting?

I began writing plays because my big sister made me. I lived and worked at Access Theater,a small black box theatre my sister founded in downtown New York City. It was late on a Friday night when she was programming a night of one acts. She needed a short play by the end of the weekend. I fumbled my way through three or four drafts through a highly caffeinated weekend and got her something by Sunday night. I was shocked by how much I enjoyed the process. That particular scene came quickly and more or less fully formed. The characters surprised me and made me laugh. The production went well and the play went on to win the Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Heideman Award for best short play. Of course nothing remotely like this happened again. The process of writing a play is complicated and can be painful, but I still love it. Writing plays is how I try to make sense of the world.

James Christy.

How did this play come to life?

I have three kids. I never expected to be a person that has three kids. When I tell someone (especially a single person) that I have three kids they look at me like I’m from outer space. Like, why would anyone voluntarily do that to themselves? And I don’t have an answer for that. We parents might instinctively know that the decision was the best they ever made, but it doesn’t mean we can articulate that in any meaningful way. This play is my effort to do that.

Why is this play good for 2018?

I don’t know if it’s particularly good for 2018, but I think the concepts are pretty universal. If you have parents, if you have kids (or even just plan to have kids someday) I think it might be entertaining to watch people struggling with these issues.

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Christy’s Love & Communication at the Playwright’s Center

How did you hear about B Street Theatre’s New Comedy Festival?

Something called the Playwrights Center.

What makes this festival different from others? 

I really don’t know enough to say what’s different about this festival, but I will say that I’m profoundly grateful to be part of a comedy theatre festival. I sometimes feel the theatre community devalues comedy, as if comedy is not a strong enough element to make great theatre. I feel like it is and should be and am grateful for this opportunity.

What’s your favorite time of day to write?

Morning.

Who are the playwrights that influence you?

Checkhov, Stoppard, Mcdonagh

How do you get over writer’s block? 

Spending time with my children makes me too exhausted to have writers block.

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The Forever Question has public staged readings on June 28 at 5:00 and June 30 at 5:00 PM. Come see this hysterical new play, and remember, if you see all four new comedies this weekend, you get the chance to vote for what you want to see on our Mainstage in 2019. Check out the interview with Leila Teitelman, our final playwright, tomorrow. 

Meet the Playwrights of the New Comedies Festival: Part II

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Robert Caisley is a renowned playwright in the United States.  His play, Masterpiece of Comic….Timing, premiered at B Street Theatre in 2016 and he was the resident playwright at B Street later that year. His new play, more better beautiful, will be a part of the 2018 New Comedies Festival here at the Sofia. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with the playwright to discuss his process and the festival.

Where are you originally from? 

I was born in Rotheram in South Yorkshire in the United Kingdom in 1968. I moved to North America in 1980, so I’ve lived on this side of the Atlantic much longer than the other.

How did you find playwriting? 

When the conscious thought first entered my imagination, “I want to be a writer,” the most obvious example that presented itself to me was the form most available in my childhood home. My father was, and still is at age 76, an actor—and his play scripts filled our bookshelves, replete with marginal notes recording his character’s intentions and blocking (in that arcane language actors use for notations: “Enter UR, X to DL bar, pour whisky, X to C for mono; Exit R on B/O.”) This was all tantalizing to me. I greedily read the plays, and then attended the productions. My youth was a steady diet of Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, Agathe Christie, Priestly and Shaw. School trips in those days consisted of either an outing to a stately home (think Downton Abbey) or to the theatre. We were exposed to both highbrow and lowbrow offerings: a pantomime one week, Shakespeare the next. I think I was 10 years old when I saw The Cherry Orchard for the first time. I had no idea what it was about, but it was incredibly moving to me. I also witnessed my father suffer a heart attack in Hellman’s Little Foxes and was convinced of the veracity of the situation. Our national writer was a playwright, not a novelist, so the country of my birth provided the right ambiance. Plus, it helps that I was painfully shy as a child, so I would often retreat to the shelter of my imagination.

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How did this play come to life? 

Normal Mailer calls writing the “spooky art.” Most writers I know are either unsure of where a particular idea comes from, or reluctant to discuss it in case that mysterious flow of words dries up on them. Sam Shepard was once asked by a young reporter where the idea for his latest play came from, and he answered: “Plays don’t come from ideas, ideas come from plays.” Now, he very well may have been having some fun with the reporter, but I think it’s a fairly canny description of the writing process. For me, I have to begin writing the play in order to understand what it is I’m writing about; I have to give the situation an opportunity to unfold by degrees, and the characters a chance to  start asserting themselves, before I feel entirely comfortable in their presence. And “comfortable” is perhaps the wrong word for it—because I often feel out of sorts throughout the entire first draft process. But I think your question is more focused on the germinal stage. The initial inclination to write. In other words, what was the yeast starter? I keep a notebook where I scribble down anything of interest: little observations, snatches of dialogue, quotes from books that I’m reading, etc. I was leafing through one of my notebooks and found a quote I had written down. It was by Samuel Beckett: “My mistakes are my life.” I didn’t think anything of it at the time I made the notation, but for some reason, it made an instant impression on me re-reading it. I found it both profoundly moving, and darkly humorous; teasingly strange, and immediately recognizable. I wasn’t sure at the time how it might inform a new play, but it was the first conscious thought that would eventually develop into more better beautiful.

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Masterpiece of Comic…Timing! by Robert Caisley at the B Street Theatre

Why is this play good for 2018?

This is one of those questions that’s impossible to answer. If I succeed in making a compelling case for why the play is good for 2018, I run the risk of sounding hucksterish. If I fail to provide an adequate response, I will come across as indifferent and unenthusiastic. So please forgive me if I sidestep all accountability by simply saying, this play is like a moderately priced table wine. It’s intended for you to open and enjoy today, not to be stuck down in the cellar in hopes it will mature with age. I can’t think of any references in the play that would seem outmoded five years from now, or anachronistic if performed five years ago—except for the fact that it wouldn’t have been in existence five years ago!

How did you hear about the New Comedies Festival at B Street Theatre?

B Street produced a play of mine two seasons ago, and I have remained in contact with several company members, and watched excitedly as the new building emerged from an earthy crater to the dynamically stunning 40,000 square foot performing arts complex at The Sofia. I knew the new building would bring new programming with it, and so I was eager to submit when the festival was announced. I think I submitted three or four scripts, and this is the one that was selected.

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Director of more better beautiful Buck Busfield with Cast Members Dave Perini  Stephanie Altholz

What makes this festival different from other new works festivals in the country?

I’ll be able to answer this question far more extensively after I’ve attended the festival. However, having worked with B Street before, I can offer a projection of what my experience will be like. This may sound simplistic, but for someone who writes comedy, you’re looking for a certain kind of actor. I firmly believe that comically gifted actors are especially sensitive registers of emotion. They are keenly aware of the musicality of text, treating the script with the same precision a musician would a score. If you can play high comedy, you can play anything. B Street has a dazzlingly talented in-house company of actors that are a pure delight to write for. In fact, two of the plays I submitted to the festival I specifically wrote with company members in mind.

What’s your favorite part of the day to write?

I write from around 10 AM until mid-afternoon, without a break for lunch, five to six hours a day when I’m at full-stride. I will edit the pages that I write that same afternoon or evening, and then go back the next day to make those changes and press on. It’s a circular type of progression, one of accretion and revision, accretion and revision.

What other playwrights influence you?

It’s a cliché, I know, but it’s true: Chekhov, Albee and Pinter have had the greatest influence on me. I teach a regular series of seminars on these writers at the University of Idaho, and they formed what I would consider as my formal education in playwriting. More recent influences are the British writers Simon Gray and David Hare. I have read everything Hare has written: his plays, screenplays, essays, criticism, his autobiography—I can’t get enough of him.

How do you personally get out of writer’s block?

I actually don’t believe in writer’s block. What I mean is—sometimes the dialogue spills out at such a torrential rate you can barely keep up; other times you’re so constipated you’re straining for every word. There never seems to be a good reason for this. So I’ve learned to pay attention to what my body is telling me—you know, to let the legs walk you away from the desk if it’s not coming to you… and to run back as quickly as possible when it is. I think it was Saul Bellow who described the “twin pleasures of reading and writing.” He felt that you were exercising exactly the same muscle. So I do like to begin and end each day with reading (usually novels or non-fiction, not plays) and this does tend to grease the wheels in a helpful way.

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more better beautiful will be showcased on June 28 at 9:00 PM and July 1 at 2:00 PM. Check out all the plays in the festival and get the opportunity to vote for what you would like to see in the 2019 Season. Tickets are available at bstreettheatre.org. Check out tomorrow’s blog interview with playwright Jim Christy. 

Meet the Playwrights of the New Comedy Festival: Part I

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Briandaniel Oglesby knows Sacramento well. He was born here, and spent his childhood in Davis, CA. Now, Briandaniel is coming home to workshop his play Small Steps at B Street Theatre’s first annual New Comedies Festival. Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with the playwright to discuss his hometown, the process of writing this play and the excitement buzzing around the New Comedies Festival.

Where are you from? 

BRIANDANIEL: Down the street! I was born in Sacramento, raised in Davis.

How did you find playwriting?

I lashed myself to writing in grade school and I spent my senior year of high school doing the theatre geek thing and performing with Acme Theatre. In undergrad, I got a small grant to write a play titled My Avisia Winger; with this play, a group of my friends (including B Street’s former technical director Steven Schmift and local scenic designer Ian Wallace) and I started Barnyard Theatre. I went to UC Riverside for an MFA in Creative Writing for fiction, but often wrote plays. I realized I always felt much more at home in theatre, so I got a second MFA from the University of Texas at Austin’s playwriting program.

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How did this play come to life? 

Small Steps started as a handful of ingredients in a ten-minute play bake-off in Austin. One ingredient—everything has to fit inside a carry-on bag—struck me. What if everything you could take with you on a journey for the rest of your life had to fit into that bag? What would you leave, what would you take? How is the bag a metaphor for the crap we carry with us, our own personal baggage? And, of course, where could you go? Well, to Mars, of course. As  I worked on it—in Davis, Austin, at the JAW Festival in Portland, at the Playwright’s Week at the Lark—the play carved out pieces of me. At times, it’s a love letter to a friend who left; at times, it’s about me leaving Sacramento to pursue this crazy playwriting thing, my own personal Mars; at times… it’s a series of complaints about dating.

Why is this play good for 2018? 

The desire to leave the planet seems very much 2018, doesn’t it? While Skip is certainly trying to move toward the future when he volunteers to go to Mars, he’s also trying to leave something behind. I think a lot of us want to shed the fountain of awful on Earth.

There’s something about this moment, too, when there’s a sharp desire to etch our names onto the surface of Mars. Billionaires have been flinging rockets and even a Tesla into space in hopes of writing themselves into history, and a handful of folks are racing there. This play is for that imaginative moment when we actually land on the red planet, when we can still fantasize about it. There’s an ache in this play-one connected to how technology can alienate us as it appears to bring us together—that I think is very much in the present. It’s also a story about a gay man, with a specific experience of disconnection and loneliness that many gay men feel right now.

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The Cast: John Lamb, Evan Lucero, and Kathy Morison. Director: Sean Patrick Nill

How did you hear about B Street Theatre’s New Comedies Festival?

I’m from this area and it’s been my goal to work at B Street. I keep track of what’s going on at the theatre. I write a lot of comedies now, but most are for young folks and Small Steps is very much not; and besides, Small Steps tries to balance camp and heart while also being an actor driven show. I feel that style fits very well with the B Street Theatre.

What makes this Festival different from other new works festivals in the country?

The possibility of having a production. Many theatres look to New York or Humana or Williamstown or known playwrights for new productions, and many festivals only look to develop or showcase work. The fact that B Street Theatre is guaranteeing a production is unique.

What’s the best part of the day for writing?

Early in the morning or late at night.

Who are the playwrights that influence you?

My mentors Steven Dietz and Kirk Lynn and Suzan Zeder; and then Annie Baker, Paula Vogel, Mary Zimmerman, and Tony Kushner. I’m also inspired by my friends—Bay Area Playwright Christopher Chen, LA Playwrights Brenda Varda and Meghan Brown, Austin Playwrights Alison Gregory, Sarah Saltwick, Pat Shaw, and Reina Hardy.

What is something you do to get through writer’s block?

Free write!

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Small Steps will be performed this Friday and Saturday. Come see this imaginative, fun adventure, and remember, if you see all four staged readings, you get vote on which play you’d like to see performed next year. Stay tune for tomorrow’s blog when we talk to Robert Caisley. 

The Happy Trees of The Ladies Foursome with Samantha Reno

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In revisiting a past success the question becomes how can we make it lively for patrons who’ve seen the production before? We can’t touch the script, but we do have a great deal of creative freedom when it comes to set design. Resident Scenic Designer Samantha Reno worked on the original production of The Ladies Foursome in 2014. She can relate to what patrons are going through, which is why she embraced the challenge by making 18 watercolor paintings that correspond to each hole of golf in the play.  The following is an interview with Samantha as she offers insight into process as a scenic designer.

You worked on the set for the 2014 production of The Ladies Foursome. What were some of the limitations you had to overcome with that set design?

Oh, where to begin? In The Ladies Foursome the audience is invited to peek into the lives of four women over 18 holes of golf, and the playwright more or less structured the play as one scene per hole, or eighteen separate scenes. In the old space this meant we had no choice but to the strip the production down to the bare basics of storytelling because it simply wasn’t possible to do any sort of scene transitions— or more than one original look— without wing space, a fly system, a tall grid, or even experiment too much with the platform composition.

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Rendering of the 2014 production

So what could we look at as an audience member under those circumstances? Well, I wanted to make sure that whatever I designed was pleasing to the eye, and that the space was at least dynamic enough to move four actors around the stage in a way that suggested they were moving through a golf course in a 23-foot deep by 16-foot wide space— not an easy task. We ended up installing artificial grass and cannibalizing some leftover green carpet to sculpt a fairway. To offset the green, I designed some stylized tree flats with blues and violets. Along with a cheerful backdrop, it was a successful look as it blended elements of realism with my own style of painting.

The result was a very clean design for the old Mainstage, which everyone was happy with, myself included. I just always felt it was unfortunate that we couldn’t do more with it.

In designing on the 2018 production what changes did you want to make given that you had more space to work with?

Lots of changes! What is fun about working with The Sofia’s new thrust is that I was able to do more with the platforming and still create an intimate space that is B Street Theatre’s brand. I could sculpt organically shaped platforms that took on the circular flow of a real golf course, and that way we could keep the actors moving and interacting with their environment. We were able to experiment with different shades of grasses, as you’ll see, to punch up the saturated colors anyone can experience on a bright day in the summertime.

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Rendering of the 2018 production

I was also able to add more personal touches to this set with greenery, tall grasses, plants, and trees. This really softened the platforms’ hard edges and grounded the set. Best of all, using full stage projections, we really could suggest eighteen holes of golf through a series of original watercolors that echoed the backdrop from the 2014 production.

Did more space to design the set in The Sofia cause any issues that you had to resolve?

I don’t think the audience will have any trouble engaging with this set, but keeping it contained was the main challenge. An aspect of the new Sofia that we are all learning to evolve with is the stage’s sheer size. Of course we thank our lucky stars everyday for the extra wing space, but when you only have four actors on stage it becomes your mission as a designer to keep the set from sprawling and dwarfing those four characters.

To do this, I purposefully limited the design to just the thrust portion of the stage and drew an invisible line for myself that I wouldn’t let my pencil cross. Other techniques I have used include painting the surrounding space black to make the platforms feel like they’re on a visual island, and creating a “picture frame” around the projection paintings rather than let the images span the entire stage. I hope the audience feels that this supports the story being told on stage by centering focus on the thrust. Of course, I could talk about the nuts and bolts of design all day.

Tell us about the paintings you did that correspond to each hole in the course.

I have to admit, I am still catching my breath from the marathon that is doing 18 paintings in a two-week period. Next time I do a project like this I’ll need an oxygen tank! Obviously, I wanted to capitalize on our abilities to change the scenery without building a lot of physical elements, so from early on the production team knew we wanted to flex our muscles with our new projector. My background is primarily in the fine arts so whatever we did I wanted the evidence of my hand in the backdrops like we did in the 2014 production.

 

 

However, there are practical considerations to doing 18 paintings in a two-week period, so I had to set parameters for myself. First, I would do them in watercolor. It’s a medium in which the artist is supposed to embrace its spontaneity and flow, and while it requires the same careful study as oil painting, its roots are in eighteenth century journaling and sketch work, which I felt was appropriate for this show. They were never meant to be masterpieces individually, just to capture a golf course these characters have played many times before in an impressionistic manner. They are definitely a lot of fun to look at altogether.

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Second, probably more crucial than my choice of medium, I could only spend no more than three hours apiece on each painting. Well, that already adds up to a 54-hour work week on landscapes alone! With my other responsibilities to mounting this design, it meant that my brushwork had to be fresh, precise, and bright. Under these circumstances you learn to embrace every little imperfection and “happy accident” (to quote the legendary Bob Ross), and introduce unexpected colors such as rose or violet to make the greens pop.

The scenes themselves are cobbled together from various golf courses— to make it interesting for me, a non-golfer, I would add and remove elements at a whim, play with lighting and long tree shadows, and sneak in a mountain or two. Most of the landscapes are a nod to Canadian golf courses, as the playwright is from Canada, so you’ll see lots of pines and blue mountains.

It’s a project that took a lot of discipline from me, but I’m really glad I was able to do it this way. I hope the audience gets a kick out it too!

See The Ladies Foursome on the Mainstage through July 22. Tickets are available through the Box Office.

 

The Ladies of “The Ladies Foursome”

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One of B Street’s most popular plays is returning! With The Ladies Foursome opening this Friday, Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill sat down with Tate Hanyok, Rebecca Dines, Tara Sissom, and Amy Kelly to discuss the show’s legacy, the new production and the craziness of producing 18 holes of golf. 

Do any of you golf?

Tate: Isn’t it obvious?!

[Everyone laughs]

Tate: No I do not golf. But I love being introduced to a world I know nothing about. It expands your experiences. Maybe I’ll come out of this experience with some more golf knowledge. At least the basics.

Tara: I have been to the driving range thanks to my boyfriend!

Rebecca; My whole family golfed. My brother was a golf champion. I was in Ballet. But in high school, we got to choose which sport we wanted to do for physical education. And in my senior year, I chose golf. And we’d whack away on the green while the teacher would drink a beer in the club house. It was fun. But from playing with my family, I know how hard it is and how mentally challenging it can be.

Amy: I do not. But my swing has definitely improved since the last time we’ve done this show. Last time, it looked like I was playing baseball or killing someone with an ax.

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How much fun has it been to rehearse and perform this show?

Rebecca: It’s so much fun to work with an all woman cast. The fact that it’s a whacky, zany comedy with the infamous Tara Sissom and the famous Amy Kelly and the cutest person ever Tate Hanyok, it’s been a laugh a minute. We’ve created a great tone for this play where we can be creative and fun with each other.

Amy: I’ve never laughed so hard. Both times I’ve done this show, both casts have considered getting adult diapers, because we’re always so close to wetting ourselves. When you get four funny ladies, it’s always fun. The most challenging thing is remembering where you left your golf bag—everything else is just fun.

Tate: I’ve discovered abdominal muscles I never knew I had because I’ve been laughing so hard.

Tara: It’s been a blast to watch Amy struggle to remember the show. It’s been great to see Rebecca and Tate find this show. And it’s always great to work with Dave. Broad comedies are in B Street’s wheel house and in this space, this material that’s so familiar, it’s great. Plus it’s not as hot as it was in the old space, which is just awesome!

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Tara and Amy, what’s it like to reprise these roles?

Amy: It’s different. The stage is so much bigger. There’s this great transitional device using our silhouettes. We just have so many more options. And Tate and Rebecca are so great. It’s been wonderful to see these talented women find their characters and make me laugh.

Tara: I’ve only done a reprise once before. And it was nothing like this. It was a much smaller role. But this experience has been surreal. Just knowing a play so well. By the end of the first week, I was off book. Sometimes during rehearsal, if someone was struggling with lines, I would know the lines. It’s been really nice.

Tate and Rebecca, what’s it like to do this production after its successful run in 2014?

Tate: There is a slight intimidation. It’s a show that people love and you want to deliver. But, it’s also my return to the theatre after many years of film and television, so just doing a play again is such a joy. When Dave asked me to come up and do this play, I immediately said, “Yes!” And then I read the play and I got so nervous, cause I realized I never leave the stage. But it’s so great to return to the stage, especially at the B Street Theatre which has been my home for so long. It’s so cool!

Rebecca: Well, this last production didn’t have this theatre. I love this theatre. It’s so luxurious. But really, I never think about it. It doesn’t matter to me who’s done it before, where it’s been done before. I bring my own creativity to the part. The nice thing is problems seemed to be solved easier because they’ve done it before. But (in a Katherine Hepburn voice) at this time in my life, (back to normal voice), anytime I’m given a part, I make it mine.

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What’s your favorite part of your character?

Tate: Dory’s duality. She presents herself in a way that isn’t necessarily who she is. And audiences love her arch and the small pieces of truth she reveals throughout the play.

Amy: Margot is an extremely attractive woman. That’s an important part of the script.

[Everyone laughs]

She’s crass. She speaks her mind. She loses her mind! I mean, I get angry and wrestle with a golf bag. That’s the type of women that I love to portray.

Rebecca: I love that Connie is a man chaser. She has no shame. She’s a flirtatious, fun career woman. She is a modern woman. I love that.

Tara: Tate says whatever comes to her mommy mind. She taps into a judgmental side of myself that I try to stay away from. It’s great portray a character that gets around the societal norms.

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Why is this play good for 2018? 

Rebecca: It’s a play that features an all woman cast. And in this industry, that can be rare. Usually there’s five roles for men, and one role for a woman. And it can be frustrating. So it’s great that B Street is producing a play that features four fantastic women who talk about their lives.

Tara: It has this charming nostalgia. It goes over some important subjects, particularly about women… but it’s something that you can bring a teenager too, and they can be a part of these conversations that these women have.

Amy: Anything that has to do with women, talking about their lives, their families, their jobs, not talking about mundane things… it’s important for audiences to see. Plus, it’s great to laugh with powerful, strong minded women. Plus, it’s a comedy. We need comedies today with all the other nonsense going on.

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The Ladies Foursome opens this Friday with previews occurring all week. Come see these funny ladies tell a heartfelt story. Tickets are going fast! Call the Box Office and grab those seats while they’re still around. 

B Street Weekly: June 10 – 17

Even when our Mainstage is in a dark week, a lot still happens at The Sofia. The preview for our Intern Showcase play, A Yippie’s Day in Disneyland, a photo shoot through Goodman photography, a stop in at Capital Public Radio, and the Sacramento Ballet’s production of The Genius of Balanchine. Scroll down to see this past week’s fun at The Sofia.

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It’s always nice to have a beautiful theatre. The Sofia looks so nice in the summer time.

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Acting Intern Olivia Schaperjohn starred in the preview production of A Yippie’s Day in Disneyland. The audience loved it and the 2017-2018 Intern Class is ready for their two productions on Monday June 18. Come check out their great work.

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A ton of photographers and fashion models came by Tuesday for a #GoodTuesdayz photo shoot at The Sofia. Tons of beautiful shots. This one was taken just outside the theatre. Thanks @rischyrisch for showcasing our lovely theatre.

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Another showcasing our upstairs lobby, taken by the @chasingolivesphotography.

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And finally, @diablomantense capturing the natural light that shines into Gallery A. Thank you to all the photographers and models for taking part of #GoodTuesdayz at The Sofia.

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Tech has arrived for The Ladies Foursome. Long days perfecting a show that our patrons love. The show previews this week and opens June 22nd.

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The Sacramento Ballet returned to The Sofia for its last show of the 2017-2018 season, The Genius of Balanchine. Phenomenal dancing from a phenomenal company.

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Our beautiful new banners are on display on the streets of the Sutter District. Check them out and if you haven’t yet, come see our beautiful theatre.

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Artistic Associate Sean Patrick Nill and Acting Intern Olivia Schaperjohn stopped by Insight at Capital Public Radio to discuss A Yippie’s Day in Disneyland and the benefits of the B Street Theatre internship for young theatre artists.

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Our 2019 Season was announced Friday to a room full of generous donors and supporters. More information will be disclosed this week.

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Thanks @k.brandonbaumann for coming to see ballet for the first time at The Sofia. The Sacramento Ballet has done amazing work for years and we’re so happy you got to experience them for the first time in our theatre.

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Long time Artistic Directors Ron Cunningham and Carrine Binda embrace after the final curtain for The Genius of Balanchine. Thank you to all your years of service and the amazing work you’ve done for the Sacramento community.

The Ladies Foursome opens Friday, with previews occurring June 19, June 20 and June 21. We also will be hosting Shawn Colvin on June 20 , Roy Rodgers & the Delta Rhythm Kings on June 22, and Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra on June 23. The 2017-2018 Intern Class will be presenting A Yippie’s Day in Disneyland this Monday June 18 at 6:30 and 8:30 and the New Comedies Festival will officially kick off this next Sunday on June 24. Come to The Sofia and check out the amazing programming we are offering.