Jessica Kubzansky stages the new work, opening Jan. 5 at the California company's Moulton Theatre for a run through Feb. 3.
Billed as a "fast-paced, suspense-filled thriller," according to an announcement, the drama centers on "an African graduate student [named Azmera who] comes to Dr. Philip Malaad, a respected psychiatrist and renowned specialist in clinical hypnosis, seeking relief from her panic attacks which began shortly after she observed a violent incident in her native country. After 'trancing' her, Dr. Malaad begins to suspect whatever she believes she witnessed may actually be concealing a repressed memory, one with profound consequences for many thousands of people unless someone quickly intervenes."
The subject matter is not unfamiliar to its playwright. "It's easier for me to write about mental health because I am a psychologist as well as a playwright. It gives me a leg up as far as authenticity," stated Clyman. "I know about hypnotherapy, and I talked to a hypnotherapist who works in this manner. It's not abracadabra. They sit across from you and create paradoxes which will alter your relationship with reality, and without knowing it you'll be much more open to suggestion."
The cast of Tranced features Los Angeles-based actors Eriza Tazel (as Azmera), Thomas Fiscella (Dr. Philip Malaad), Ashley West Leonard (Beth, a journalist) and Andrew Norba (Logan, Director of African Affairs).
Clyman, who penned previous Laguna hit The Secret Order, has also written the plays Where the Sun Never Sets, The Hill-Matheson Affair, The Lower Cortex and When The Bough Breaks. Tickets to Tranced at the Laguna Playhouse, 606 Laguna Canyon Road in Laguna Beach, CA, are available by calling (949) 497-2787. For more information visit lagunaplayhouse.com.