This weekend, L.A.'s Blank Theatre Company premieres insightful works by two teenage playwrights at the 2nd Stage Theatre in Hollywood. Opening Sept. 11, are Boy, by 18-year-old Beth Bigler, and Starry Night by 19-year-old Joshua Levine. Both shows will be presented as part of a single program titled "A Night Out with Young Playwrights."
Selected from works featured in Blank Theatre's Annual Young Playwrights Festival, both Boy and Starry Night deal with issues of sexual awakening, and are directed by Jessica Kubzansky and Blank Theatre's artistic director Daniel Henning, respectively.
Levine's Starry Night involves two young men who seek the courage to love and to explore their unique identity in spite of societal pressure and certain garish stereotypes the sense in the Gay Pride movement. Levine is originally from Orlando, FL, and is beginning his sophomore year at the Theatre School at DePaul University. The Blank Theatre premiere of Starry Night also marks his professional debut.
Bigler's Boy tracks a young woman’s sexual awakening as she considers other points of view, including the overbearing parents who bounce her from shrink to shrink, as well as the trauma of being sent to boarding school when her parents attempt to distance her from Ella, a '90s siren. Bigler hails from Ann Arbor, MI, and recently graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy there. Boy also won a Pinnacle Award from the National Scholastic Writing Awards. This is Bigler’s professional debut.
The cast for "A Night Out with Young Playwrights" includes John Altieri, Erik Anderson, Domenica Cameron-Scorsese, Melissa Caulfield, Warren Davis, Mary-Pat Green, Kent Linville, Jonathan Messer, Laura Pruden, Jill Ritchie, and David Tuchman. "Night Out"'s producer, Christopher Steele said he was very excited to be able to give voice to the writers. "Young people in the '90s are exploring the public face of their sexuality much earlier than previous generations," Steele said. "We are glad to be giving an opportunity for these voices to be heard and to tell their stories from the teenage perspective."
"A Night Out" with Young Playwrights began previews Sept. 8 and runs Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, Sept. 11-Oct. 16 at the 2nd Stage Theatre, 6500 Santa Monica Boulevard in Hollywood. Tickets are $17.50 for all regular performances and may be purchased in advance by calling (310) 289-2999. Info on the web is available at: www.theblank.com.
-- By Murdoch McBride