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For an interview contact: Gia Vangieri, [email protected],
201-470-2388; B Roll Footage Available


Statistics show that female playwrights represent less than 17% of staged productions. This June, the Hollywood Fringe Festival will break from this statistic to present a new play by ZK Lowenfels (known as ‘Z’).

The 20-year-old prodigy will make her playwrighting debut with Sewer Rats at Sea – a daring genre-bending production that is a playfully crooked cross between clever bar banter and a JD Salinger novel.

The drama plays out at sea as characters trapped on a yacht find their secrets slipping out. The tension mounts as one final, all-important secret looms ahead, a truth that will shipwreck the status quo and cast preconceptions into freezing water.

Encouraged by rave reviews from readers including playwright and 24-time NAACP award nominee David E. Talbert who called the script “A masterpiece!” ‘Z’ recruited the help of her closest friend, young producer Gia Vangieri, and the muscle of veteran Fringe director Aaron Lyons (Pulp Shakespeare, Rise) to help bring her words to life in Los Angeles this summer.

Director Lyons, surprised by the age of the playwright also commented “It’s a fantastic script with such a strong base. It hits you on so many levels.”

This is the fourth annual Hollywood Fringe Festival, celebrating emerging arts in a variety of venues. Performances are self-produced by local, national and international arts companies and independent performers.

“The Fringe Festival is a great opportunity to showcase ZK’s brilliance,” commented Aaron Lyons, a veteran director of the festival.

Tickets go on sale May 1.

At age 5 she studied and wrote poetry under the instruction of her best friend, her grandmother. Writing a poem a week her work was published for the first time at age seven.

At eleven, ‘Z’ infatuated with Shakespearean sonnets, wrote long scripts entirely in iambic pentameter. At 13-years-old (high school sophomore), she was tasked with translating Rostaud’s Cyrano de Bergerac from French to English—and her poetry was performed in the high school’s production.

During her first college years, ‘Z’ became inspired by the works of her great-grandfather, avant-garde poet Walter Lowenfels and explored the more experimental getting published in established literary magazines (Emprise Review, Out of Ours, Penny Ante Feud). Fueled by the works of some of her great-grandfather’s friends and fellow troublemakers (Beckett and Henry Miller, among others), she began stretching ideas of genre and content.

The Gilman Scholarship brought her to London for her studies. There she experienced the vivacity of professional theater. She became determined to fight her way into that world (17% female). Beyond broke but even more inspired, she wrote Sewer Rats at Sea from her mattress on the floor, living on rice cakes and oatmeal, and using Costco boxes as makeshift furniture.

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