Beth Henley's Laugh, a Slapstick Send-Up of Silent Films, Gets World Premiere in DC

News   Beth Henley's Laugh, a Slapstick Send-Up of Silent Films, Gets World Premiere in DC Laugh, a new play by Pulitzer Prize winner Beth Henley, is getting its world-premiere production at Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C.

The production, which officially opened March 15 following previews that began March 11, is directed by David Schweizer. It continues through April 19.

The cast includes Helen Cespedes, Creed Garnick, Evan Zes, Jacob Ming-Trent, Emily Townley and Felicia Curry.

Heres's how Laugh is billed: "The West. The 1920s. Mabel's had a hard few weeks. A dynamite accident at a gold mine has left her wealthy but orphaned, and she's shipped off to a calculating aunt whose nephew is charged with seducing her to control Mabel's fortune. This hapless courtship reveals a shared love of silent movies and a plan for greater things. A story of mishaps and moxie, the romance of Hollywood and ultimately a Hollywood-caliber romance. A world-premiere slapstick comedy."

"When I first read Laugh, Beth Henley's slapstick homage to 1920s silent films, I was taken by its exuberance and daring," artistic director David Muse said in a statement. "It's a fearless play: a gold mine explodes in the first five minutes, and the piece as a whole covers years and increasingly dire — and ridiculous — circumstances. It's funny, unpredictable, and has real heart. The production promises to be as inventive as her writing, underscored with live music by composer Wayne Barker and brought to life by an ensemble of accomplished physical comedians under the direction of David Schweizer. I'm excited to welcome Beth and her team of collaborators to Studio as we launch her play into the world."

Henley is a Pulitzer Prize winner for Crimes of the Heart. Her writing credits also include The Miss Firecracker Contest, The Wake of Jamey Foster, The Debutante Ball, The Lucky Spot and Abundance. Her most recent plays are Signature, Control Freaks, L-Play, Impossible Marriage and The Jacksonian. Laugh features compositions by Wayne Barker, costume design by Frank Labovitz and set design by Andromache Chalfant. Elena Day is movement consultant and Adrien-Alice Hansel is dramaturg.

Visit studiotheatre.org for more information.

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