West Coast Premiere of Jeff Talbott's The Submission, With Eric Kerr and Sam Jackson, Opens Nov. 10
By Michael Gioia
The Submission, Jeff Talbott's award-winning work that explores issues of race and artistic ownership when an eager playwright hires an actress to portray his nom de plume, opens in its West Coast premiere Nov. 10, following previews that began Nov. 2, at the New Conservatory Theatre Center in San Francisco.
Directed by Ben Randle, the cast features Eric Kerr as Danny, Chris Morrell as Trevor, Alex Kirschner as Pete, and Sam Jackson as Emilie. Performances continue through Dec. 16.
Here's how New Conservatory Theatre describes the work: "Shaleeha G'ntamobi's stirring new play about an alcoholic mother and her card-sharp son trying to get out of the projects has been accepted into the nation's preeminent theatre festival. Trouble is, Shaleeha doesn't exist. Danny Larsen has entered his play into the festival as Shaleeha, and must now keep the ruse going in order for the play to be produced. When Danny hires local actress Emilie to stand-in as the writer of the play, he quickly realizes that she is not looking for a casual role. Danny soon fears that he's lost control not only of the play, but of his actress and the lies he's spun around his partner and friends."
Under the title Festival Play, The Submission was a semi-finalist for the 2010 O'Neill Playwrights Conference. Arthur Laurents (Gypsy, West Side Story, "The Way We Were") presented Talbott with the Laurents-Hatcher prize of $50,000 (plus $100,000 to MCC Theater) for The Submission in 2011. Its world premiere was directed by Walter Bobbie in an Off-Broadway MCC Theater staging that starred Rutina Wesley, Eddie Kaye Thomas, Will Rogers and Jonathan Groff. Samuel French publishes the play, which also won the 2012 Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for new work.
Other members of the San Francisco creative team include artistic director/producer Ed Decker, costume designer Liz Weston, set designer and technical director Kuo-Hao Lo, prop designer Jamie Thomas, lighting and projection designer Christian Mejia, sound designer Stephen Abts, graphic designer Ed Halvey and stage manager Lizabeth Stanley.
An "Onstage Insight" discussion with the actors and director will take place after the Nov. 18 performance and include special guests.
New Conservatory Theatre Center's mission is to "champion innovative, high quality productions and educational theatre experiences for youth, artists, and the queer and allied communities to affect personal and societal growth, enlightenment, and change."
New Conservatory Theatre Center (Walker Theatre) is located at 25 Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco, CA. For more information and tickets, click here.
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