LOS ANGELES--The plague will hit Los Angeles, poetically and theatrically, with the opening Friday, June 12, of One Flea Spare, Naomi Wallace's 1997 drama of class and gender conflict set during the 1665 plague of London.
The show is the first premiere presentation for The Lost World, a production company which has previously staged classic plays at L.A. venues. The show will take place at The Ruth B. Shannon Center for the Performing Arts, on the campus of Whittier College.
Known primarily for award-winning productions of plays by writers including Horton Foote ( The Habitation of Dragons at the Zephyr on Melrose Avenue), The Lost World has become an Equity company and assumed permanent residence at the Shannon Center.
Naomi Wallace, a poet and native of Kentucky, has written The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (staged at this year's Humana Festival at Louisville), a new stage adaptation of William Wharton's Birdy staged in Philadelphia, and the recently-released film Lawn Dogs.
One Flea Spare is winner of the Obie for Best New Play and was named "one of the 10 best plays of the year" by Time magazine. It is set in 1665 London, telling the story of a poor sailor and a waif who seek refuge in a residence only to discover themselves quarantined for a month with the master and mistress of the house. In this study of the classes, the gentry and underclass must wait together for either freedom or death. The Lost World production of One Flea Spare is directed by Crystal Brian and features Andrew Brye, Stephanie Dunnam, Patrick Egan, Stephanie Trosen and Cameron Watson. The design team includes Seanne Farmer and Kim Russo (sets), David Palmer (lights) and Robert Velasquez (costumes).
The show opens on Friday, June 12 for an open-ended run in The Studio Theatre of The Shannon Center, at the corner of Painter and Philadelphia in Whittier. Performances are 8 PM Thursday through Saturday, and 2 PM Sunday. Tickets are $15. For more information, call The Shannon Center Box Office (562) 907-4203.
-- By Michael Farkash
Southern California Correspondent