Last Chance: L.A.'s Moving Arts' Misfits & Mayhem, To Dec. 21

News   Last Chance: L.A.'s Moving Arts' Misfits & Mayhem, To Dec. 21
Two nights; eight short world premieres.

Two nights; eight short world premieres.

That's the set-up of the first one-act festival by CA's Moving Arts company, opening Nov. 6 and running to Dec. 21. The eight plays will be divided into two evenings, running on alternate weekends.

Here's the line-up:

Evening A
Avoidance, Affinity And Affliction In The Living Room a family conflict piece by Jack Holland, directed by Moving Arts Artistic Director, Lee Wochner.

Fifteen Minutes, by Dave DeChristopher, envisions a future where everyone has his own talk show. Julie Briggs directs. Foreplay shows a father teaching his son the true meaning of love - loving your weapon. Keith Sellon-Wright directs Jon Dorf's absurdist comedy.

Knot Stew asks, "is Loretta a machine or is she just imagining it?" Answering the question are playwright John Belluso and director Michael Cooper.

Evening B
Spitting Daisies, in which a depressed young woman meets a man on the subway. Mark Kinsey Stephenson directs Kerry Kochanski's drama.

Deer Shot, by Richard Ruyle, looks at an ill-fated hunting trip. Lee Wochner directs this winner of Moving Arts' Premiere One-Act Competition.

What Everyone Knows But Me, billed as a "fast-paced sex farce" by Larry Kunofsky, is directed by Mary McGuire.

The Trunk, wherein two bumblers transport a heavy trunk, courtesy of playwright Anthony Barsha and director Michael Fairman.

Starring in the plays are Nadine Armstrong, D.G. Bannon, Brendan Broms, Mark Chaet, Frankie Cohen, Brad Henson, Zach Hopkins, Liesel Kopp, Trey Nichols, Amy Zasadny, Trudy Perry, Richard Ruyle, David Shofner, James Smith and Petra Westen. Larry Siroky serves as the festival's lighting designer.


How has Moving Arts theatre maintained its artistic integrity in L.A., a theatre town populated with Equity showcases and big-name stars? Wochner, who is also the theatre's artistic director, put it best: "We have an undying love for doing new plays."

Moving Arts, founded in 1992, was created out of necessity, "As a playwright," Wochner said, "I needed a place to work out of, my co-founder Julie Briggs and I had been treated poorly elsewhere. We wanted a place where we weren't treated that way."

Five years ago they created that place -- out of an old police substation -- and called it "Moving Arts". Since that time they have presented more than 30 plays, most of them world premieres, including the critically acclaimed Beguiled by Choice (which ran for nine months in 1994), the Drama-Logue Award-winning Fast Friends, and two one-act festivals.

"When I was 15," Wochner said, "Rolling Stone did an article about Lanford Wilson. I read it and thought 'This is dumb, why would anyone want to write plays?'. Then, in college...I took a Theatre of the Absurd class and it changed my life."

The teacher took an instant liking to Wochner and allowed him to write a play, in lieu of doing another report. The teacher was so impressed with the play, she had Wochner write another -- this time with a school grant for $500.

Wochner's plays now number 18 and include the plays Happy Fun Family (which ran at Moving Arts in September), Uncle Hem, Anapest, The Size of Pike and Remember Frank Zappa.

For tickets to the One-Act Festival call (213) 665-8961. For more information about Moving Arts visit its Regional Listing on Playbill On-Line or check out their website,

-- By Sean McGrath and David Lefkowitz

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