FOUNDRY THEATRE WORKS' OCCUPATION
IT’S AMERICA. ALMOST NOW. MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER, SOLDIER. When, after a coordinated terrorist event, the government has taken over for “our own good” and the Occupation is five years in. Fear and paranoia have reduced us to a concentrated version of ourselves. All the men are gone, taken. They have been either forced to protect the borders, detained, or dead. In this shattered nation, who runs the world?…GIRLS.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
CONTACT: Jenny Ashe
“No lists of things to be done. The day providential to itself. The hour. There is no later. This is later. All things of grace and beauty such that one holds them to one’s heart have a common provenance in pain. Their birth in grief and ashes.”
— The Road, Cormac McCarthy
Merri Biechler’s “Occupation” is an exploration of human endurance in a terrorist ravaged country. This world is separated into Patriots and Civilians with only the women left to do the work and quietly begin the revolution. An underground movement of young women calling themselves Civilians, raise their voices in a graceful, factious chorus of survival. Each one unapologetically grasping to their own unwavering belief whether it be for or against the new revolution. They all have a position, a focus, a job.
We follow five women as they grasp for hope and humor in their new role as survivors. One Defends. One Searches. One Delivers. One Tattoos. One Buries.
In this new America, a woman’s work is never done. But she’s no longer strapped to a man, she’s strapped to a bomb.
Written by an acclaimed women playwright and featuring a powerful all female ensemble, “Occupation” is directed by David Robinson and features Jennifer Ashe, Brynn Alexander, Monica Baker, Theodora Marcelline, and Olivia Powell. Produced by Ashe for The Foundry Theatre Works, the show begins a five performance run on Sunday, June 5th 3:00pm, at the Asylum 6470 during the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Additional performances are Thursday, June 9th at 9:00p.m, Saturday June 18th at 3:30pm, Sunday June 19th at 7:30pm, and Sunday, June 26th at 5:30pm. Running time is 80 minutes. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased online at http://hff16.org/3709 starting May 1. For more information, please visit http://foundrytheatreworks.org or http://www.hollywoodfringe.org.
What they said about last year’s Fringe Production …or Dare – Wherein Lies the Truth? “This Foundry Theatre Works production is one of the true gems of Fringe Fest 2015, wrought by an LA company that has put together an adroit, synergistic alliance of playwrights, director and ensemble.” Julio Martinez
“thought-provoking, honest, and engaging.” “A deceptively simple, beautiful night of theater.” “terrific examples of simple yet complex character interactions?” “had me engaged from the start” “Bravo!”
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
MERRI BIECHLER (Playwright) is a playwright, actor, educator, and the Managing Director of Brick Monkey Theater Ensemble, a professional theater company located in Southeast Ohio. She is the recipient of a 2014 Boomerang Fund for Artists award. Her plays have been workshopped and produced around the country with Fringe favorite Tammy Faye’s Final Audition receiving its fifth production this summer. Her play Occupation was a Seven Devils Playwrights Conference semifinalist; P73 Playwriting Fellowship semifinalist; and Perishable Theatre’s International Women’s Playwriting Festival finalist. She is delighted to working with Foundry Theatre Works again!
DAVID ROBINSON (Director) has served as artistic director of the Foundry Theater Company since 1998, helming critically acclaimed productions including “The Porch” and “Miss Write.” A member of the Director’s Lab West, directed the West Coast premiere of Joan Didion’s “The Year Of Magical Thinking”,“The Unexpected Man” by Yasmina Reza and Mike Rad’s “The Crackerjack.” He has directed The Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, where he was named Director of the Year by Time Out Magazine. In Los Angeles, Robinson has directed for The Greenway, The Hudson, The Secret Rose, Acme Comedy Theatre and The Upright Citizens Brigade, among others.
JENNIFER ASHE (Producer/Tattoo Mother) is a founding member of the Foundry Theatre Works. In hff15 she produced and acted in “The Whole Truth” and “Cornered”. This year worked on Zombie Joe’s “Year of the Monkey” and 2cents’ INKFEST “It Leaches” “Post Office” and “Stringmates” Some favorite Foundry productions: “Elsa: Whore of the Yukon,” “The Celery Conspiracy” and “Wellness Shakes.” She was a member of NYC’s Manhattan Class Company, and enjoyed 10+ years on stage there. She began her career in the original cast of ABC’s “Loving,” and spent many happy years on “As the World Turns” as Meg Snyder Reyes Landry.
BRYNN ALEXANDER is a Los Angeles actor/ singer/ writer /producer. In New York she studied under Bill and Suzanne Esper and Wynn Handman. She originated the role of Suzanne in Velvet Rope and was on Fox network’s “The Following”. She just finished a play festival at Rogue Machine as was seen in INKFEST at the Hudson Theater. Currently, she can be seen in such Indie films as “Dutch Kills” and “What if my wife Died in Yoga Class”. She is working on her first short film; Les Connards. She is very excited to be a part of the cast of Occupation!
MONICA BAKER is thrilled to be a part of the Occupation cast! Originally from Michigan, Monica moved to Boston to earn her Bachelor’s in Acting from Emerson College. Additionally, Monica has studied with the Atlantic Theatre Company, UCB, Killian McHugh, Kalmenson and Kalmenson, and with Craig Wallace. She works extensively as a voice over actress, and can be heard as the voice of Maria in the online educational children’s series “WonderGrove Kids”. You can also see her in several Buzzfeed videos and web series. Her most recent film is the horror flick “Fear Itself”, set to premier October 2016.
THEODORA MARCELLINE – was born in Trinidad & Tobago. She received critical acclaim for her performance as Helene Gasana in Eric Henry Sander’s “The Heliopause”, which was one of many stage productions with The Link Theatre Foundation and she is a frequent performer for the Sally Shore Short Fiction Series. She also wrote and directed the short film “Grey Matters” which screened at the Los Angeles International Short Film Festival and the New York Short Film Festival. Theodora also directed and produced the promotional trailer, “Invisible” for Actor/Director Bill Duke, which was instrumental in green lighting the film “Cover”. She is currently a fellow of Film Independent’s Project Involve.
OLIVIA POWELL (TAP DANCE DAUGHTER) received her training in acting and theater for social justice at Cornell University and Fordham’s London Dramatic Academy. She is thrilled to be at work on this play, digging into a vision (or nightmare) of women as survivors in an occupied America. She recently appeared at Zombie Joe’s Underground Theater in The Year of the Monkey and The Sophisticated Rogue. Look for her as a guest-star in the soon-to-premiere web series The Linda Show on Youtube @thelindashowla.
THE FOUNDRY THEATRE WORKS was founded in 1992 as a place for actors, writers and directors to create and explore new works. The group provides its members with a creative and critical arena in which to develop compelling dramatic and comedic material.