Ticket sales for this event ended Sat, Sep 22, 2018
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The Event Pass includes admission to every production in the Festival (including readings). Save $30!
The Flex passes are booklets with 4 or 8 tickets. Each ticket is good for one admission to any event. Save up to $15 per ticket!
Fully staged productions
TRUE WEST - August 31-September 9, 2018
This American classic explores alternatives that might spring from the demented terrain of the California landscape. Sons of a desert-dwelling alcoholic and a suburban wanderer clash over a film script. Austin, the achiever, is working on a script he has sold to producer Sal Kimmer when Lee, a demented petty thief, drops in. He pitches his own idea for a movie to Kimmer, who then wants Austin to junk his bleak, modern love story and write Lee's trashy Western tale.
BURIED CHILD - September 13-22, 2018
The setting is a squalid farm home occupied by a family filled with suppressed violence and an unease born of deep-seated unhappiness. The characters are a ranting alcoholic grandfather; a sanctimonious grandmother who goes on drinking bouts with the local minister; and their sons, Tilden, an All-American footballer now a hulking semi-idiot; and Bradley, who has lost one leg to a chain saw. Into their midst comes Vince, a grandson none of them recognizes or remembers, and his girlfriend, Shelly, who cannot comprehend the madness to which she is suddenly introduced. The family harbors a dark secret—years earlier the grandfather, Dodge, had buried an unwanted newborn baby in an undisclosed spot, creating a cloud of guilt which is dispelled only when Tilden unearths the child's mummified remains and carries it upstairs to his mother. His act purges the family, at last, of its infamy and suggests the perhaps slim possibility of a new beginning under Vince, whose estrangement from the others has spared him the taint of their sin.
COWBOY MOUTH - September 6-16, 2018
The play is about Slim and Cavale, two aspiring rock stars living in sin together. Cavale kidnapped Slim at gunpoint and held him captive in her motel room for an unspecified amount of time; the two have fallen in love, in spite of the fact that he has a wife and child in Brooklyn. Unable to move, yet at complete unrest, Slim swings from blaming Cavale for the disaster that is his life to begging her to tell him stories about French poets. Cavale is a former mental patient of some kind. She remembers electric shocks and having to wear metal plates around her club foot when she was younger. She also muses about playing the ugly duckling as a child, being forced into the role without even the satisfaction of emerging as a beautiful swan at the end. The two call on an imaginary Lobster Man for sustenance and entertainment. It's a play full of dichotomies, and easily swings from one extreme mindset to another. It theorizes that the American Dream does little more for the individual besides spoil his happiness.
CURSE OF THE STARVING CLASS - September 5, 2018
The setting is a farmhouse in the American West, inhabited by a family who has enough to eat but not enough to satisfy the other hungers that bedevil them. The father is a drunk; the mother a frowzy slattern; the daughter precocious beyond her years; and the son a deranged idealist. As the family decides to sell the house to raise money, the mother talks of running off to Europe or Mexico; the father sobers up and tries to take control; the daughter is blown up in the family car; and the son is left brutalized and bloodied. In the end the characters become a metaphor for the underside of American life—benighted innocents pursuing a dream that remains beyond their reach.
HEARTLESS - September 9, 2018
Sally lives with her mysterious family in a cavernous home overlooking Los Angeles. When a visitor arrives, Sally’s dark secrets—and the secrets of those around her—threaten to come to light.
FOOL FOR LOVE - September 19, 2018
The scene is a stark motel room at the edge of the Mojave Desert. May, a disheveled young woman, sits dejectedly on a rumpled bed while Eddie, a rough-spoken rodeo performer, crouches in a corner fiddling with his riding gear. When he attempts to console May, who is distressed by Eddie's frequent absences and love affairs, she seems, at first, to soften—but then she suddenly attacks him. As the recriminations pour out, and the action becomes at times physically violent, the desperate nature of their relationship becomes apparent—they cannot get along with, or without, one another, yet neither can subdue their burning passion. The poignancy of their situation (they are half-brother and half-sister as well as lovers) is pointed out by the play's two other characters: a hapless young man who stops by to take May to the movies and becomes the butt of Eddie's funniest yet most humiliating jokes, and a ghostly old man (perhaps their father) who sits in a rocking chair at the side of the stage, sipping whiskey and commenting wryly on what he observes. Eventually May and Eddie tire of their struggle and embrace—but it is evident that the respite is temporary and that their love, the curse of the past which haunts them, will remain forever damned and hopeless.