Wily West will be heading for Mars for the 2015 Season!
Wily West will present two world premiere plays commissioned directly for the company and being written March 15-April 26. The 9 playwrights, led by Head Writer Jennifer Lynne Roberts will write two shows simultaneously. The two plays will be directed by Ariel Craft (Artistic Director of Bread Box Theatre) and presented at the Exit Theatre this summer.
ZERO HOUR: The Mars Experiment
Would you leave everything behind, all the comforts of earthly life—friends, family, ice cream, sex—for the experiment? To live in isolation and the experience taped for a reality show for the people back home on Earth, so that you can be a pioneer, the first to colonize the planet Mars? These six humans did. They left their jobs. Some lost their families. They underwent physical and mental evaluations. They signed contracts. They trained. They made love for the last time. And at ZERO HOUR, they made peace with their decision. But that was six months and sixty-eight days ago.
Head Writer Jennifer Lynne Roberts elaborates, "Our concept is relatively simple: six, ordinary citizens have agreed to be part of the Mars Experiment: be the first to colonize Mars and be part of a reality show documenting the experience. It's taken 6 months to get to Mars. Our show picks up 68 days after landing. The plays we will be writing will explore human nature in desolation, isolation, and 'being trapped on a new planet with a finite community and no creature comforts, never to return home.'"
Director, Ariel Craft, describes the frame set for the show. “It'll be an exploration of human nature within an extraordinary circumstance, with some very specific other-worldly features.”
Jennifer adds, "This is a story about human nature, our ability to survive in extreme circumstances, and what we are willing to do/not do to ensure it."
The other show:
I SAW IT.
Did you? An anomalous event has occurred. A city in ruins. Some are saying it wasn’t an act of nature, but a creature, a shadow, a…something. Rumors run rampant, suspicions run high. The #ISawIt hashtag has gone viral. Unsubstantiated reports, conspiracy theories, panic! Does Isla have the answers everyone wants? The government thinks so. Inside an interrogation room, Isla is questioned while outside, a city tries to recover.
"These are being presented as a series of monologues. The show will be framed around the character of Isla, and we will hear from her family, some townspeople, and the government." Head Writer Jennifer Lynne Roberts explains.
"While Isla waits for the government to figure out what to do with her, she is isolated from the news and has no idea what a shit storm of chaos and incoherent stories are out there on the streets. But all she wants is to get back to her little sister. I SAW IT will be an "exploration of individual human lives changing in response to a magic/sci-fi element, rather than an investigation of the magic/sci-fi element itself."
Wily West announced the team of writers it is working with for the 2015 season. They are:
Charles Lewis III
Laylah Muran de Assereto
Bridgette Dutta Portman
Jennifer Lynne Roberts
Wily West WINS two TBA Awards!
We are thrilled to congratulate Stuart Bousel winner of the 2014 Theatre Bay Area Award for Best Outstanding World Premiere for EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! And Mikka Bonel winner of the 2014 Theatre Bay Area Award for Best Featured Female Actor in EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! We were also honored to have SHEHEREZADE 14 and SUPERHEROES receive Best Anthology nominations.
TOP 10 BEST SHOWS OF 2014!
EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! has been listed as one of the Top 10 Best Shows of 2014 by KQED and Theatre Storm!
EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! has been nominated for a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award.
Wily West presents two world premiere plays in October 2014!
Wily West gets 4 TBA Award nominations!
Wily West Productions received some important nominations for the Theatre Bay Area Awards! To have our shows recognized out of so many fine productions in the Bay Area is quite an honor. Sheherezade 14 was nominated for Best Anthology. Our production of the world premiere of Stuart Bousel's masterful romantic comedy EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! is up for Best New Play! Also Mikka Bonel is up for Best Featured Actor - Female in a Play for her role as Rebecca in EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! And our show, SUPERHEROES, Wily West's first multi-authored commission piece has also been nominated for Best Anthology.
Critical Praise for Past Productions
"I tip my hat to Morgan Ludlow, the artistic director of Wily West Productions whose beguiling new two-character play turns the celebrity interview upside down and inside out with dramatic deftness and a rare depth of perception."
George Heymont, HUFFINGTON POST
"The results range from the level of very good sketch comedy to a piece so over-the-top funny (“Marvin’s Last Wish” by Bridgette Dutta Portman) that it produced what is certainly the longest sustained audience laugh I can remember. It just kept coming in waves, as the shocked, but no doubt delighted, actors stood frozen in tableau..."
Charles Kruger, SF THEATRESTORM
"...in a story that at first seems to have a gay relationship at its core before sending out tendrils into complex webs of sexual permutations. Happy and sad are always in close proximity, but Bousel finds ways to evoke laughs that always seem appropriate for the situations. Even the most quippish wisecracks ring true for the characters, who feel like fresh creations but are somehow still familiar."
Richard Dodds, BAY AREA REPORTER
"Wily West Productions Executive Producer Laylah Muran de Assereto has assembled a talented cast and a diverse collection of one-acts that meld into a satisfying evening of fresh and lively theatre."
--BEAST IN A JUNGLE
"The four-year old Wily West is one of the reasons for that phenomenon....A company dedicated to developing and producing the plays of local writers."
Robert Hurwitt, SF CHRONICLE
"Ruth and the Sea is one of the "top 10" Bay Area productions of 2010!"
Tom Kelly, SF BAY TIMES
Chair of the Bay Area Critics' Circle
"This is a marvelous script packed with witty, character revealing dialogue! Wily West Productions can be extremely proud to have brought this world premiere to a Bay Area stage."
Charles Kruger, SF THEATRESTORM
"The play is a rocky but lively and often sharply funny outing. And, in many ways, a promising one."
Robert Hurwitt, THE SF CHRONICLE
"Bousel's witty dialogue shines, with clever nods to Austen and Wilde..."
Sam Hurwitt, THE IDOLECT
"Nymph O' Mania is delightful..."
Michael Platania, SF BAY TIMES
"Everybody Here Says Hello! is a delightful contemporary comedy... It contains some of Bousel's smartest writing and is performed by a talented, finely-tuned ensemble. If you've ever wanted to see a furiously fast-paced, fierce Feydeau farce without any slamming doors, Bousel's play definitely hits the spot!"
George Heymont, MY CULTURAL LANDSCAPE
"The funniest play this season!"
Lee Hartgrave, BEYOND CHRON
"The plays are all clever, occasionally touching, and divergent enough to sustain interest. The ensemble is first rate and is more-than-ably supported by musician Kat Down who has composed several clever original songs and incidental music which she performs with panache."
Charles Kruger, SF THEATRESTORM
"Sharp performances crisply directed by Sara Staley...
the writing has several inspired flights of zaniness..."
Robert Avila, SF BAY GUARDIAN
"Lyons has a gift for stream-of-conciousness monologue and all of the characters get to play their own great scene...a wonderfully written and staged "time-lapse" sequence...that is priceless!"
Robert Sokol, SF EXAMINER
"In Morgan Ludlow’s touching “Superman and Wonder Woman Have A Drink”, the two aging superheroes meet late one night at the superhero convention and speak gently of lost love and hope for the future."
Charles Kruegar, SF THEATRESTORM
"A quirky and amusing fantasy!"
Molly Rhodes, SF WEEKLY
"Milton has good comic chops and there are plenty of laughs to be found in this light hearted romance."
Charles Kruegar, SF THEATRESTORM
"[Nymph O' Mania] is a happy diversion for a midsummer night..."
Richard Dodds, BAY AREA REPORTER
Wily West 2014 Season!
Although Wily West has been dark the last several months, we have also been busy busy busy back here behind the curtain. We are in the thick of our 2014 pre-season activities. This year will be the 5th full season for the company. In late fall the company had their semi-annual company retreat, welcomed new members Jason Jeremy, Jennifer Roberts, and Ellen Chesnut and finalized our 2014 season.
In January Wily West had a table reading of SHEHEREZADE 14 the annual short play festival the company produces with the Playwrights' Center of San Francisco. SHEHEREZADE 14 will run in June and features short works from Jennifer Roberts, Terry Anderson, Madeline Puccioni, Madeleine Butler, Steve Koppman, Vonn Scott Bair, and Jim Norrena.
"I am really excited about the selections this year with some interesting and captivating material that will be funny and devastating, sweet and poignant. " Executive Producer Laylah Muran said. Wes Cayabyab who has been in the last five Sheherezade's is switching to a Director's role with Amy Crumpacker who joins Wily West for the first time. While Jason Jeremy, who used to be a regular player in Sheherezade back in the day, is returning to acting in the show. The cast also includes Philip Goleman coming off a string of roles with Ross Valley Players - including ARMS AND THE MAN playing now, Catherine Ludtke - who is busy being amazing in Custom Made's TOP GIRLS, Leontyne Mbele-Mbong who has been garnering audience and critical raves in African American Shakespeare Co's MEDEA, which closes this weekend. Also joining the cast are Rick Homan who composed and played music in our production of Patricia Milton's BELIEVERS in 2012, Cameron Galloway who you can see atDivaFest's DIVAS TELL ALL, and Gareth Tidball who will be here for her summer break from New York University's theatre program.
Wily West also kicked off a collaborative writing project for what became SUPERHEROES where 8 playwrights - The Playmaker's League - wrote as many short plays as they could in 6 weeks around a facilitated central theme. This creative storm resulted in 114 scripts, which were narrowed down to just 29 for a hilarious marathon reading back in February. In February we also did private readings of all of the plays for the season, finalized the Superheroes line-up (11 plays between 1 and 10 minutes each), and casting for the show. Alicia Coombes and Chelsey Little will be directing Superheroes with plays by Bridgette Dutta Portman, Jennifer Roberts, Karl Shackne, Laylah Muran de Assereto, Morgan Ludlow, Patricia Milton, Rod McFadden, and Susan Jackson and live music written and performed by Kat Downs from local band Sit Kitty Sit (whose band was at SXSW this March). We are thrilled to have performers Barrett Courtney (with his SF debut), Brian Flegel (most recently in PCSFs 24 Hour Fest, and a frequent player with Pear Avenue's reading series), Dan Wilson (of Radio Star Improv), Jenna May (recently returning to the Bay Area from Seattle), and Karen Offereins (most recently of Custom Made's THE PAIN AND THE ITCH and returning to us from last year's SHEHEREZADE 13) and actor Shelley Lynn Johnson completes the cast.. I can't wait to see them take on our superheroes; their woes, predicaments, and foes. Look for the trading cards!
Wily West will soon be announcing the casting for Stuart Bousel's EVERYBODY HERE SAYS HELLO! which will be directed by Rik Lopes and will run in rep with SUPERHEROES in July/August. The short list is pretty impressive and exciting for this multilayered character piece.
Wily West recently finished casting our fall shows running in October, and also in rep, with Krista Knight's UN-HINGED and Morgan Ludlow's DROWNING KATE and will both be directed by Wesley Cayabyab. These two shows will share some cast members and like the whole season, includes a fantastic group of actors. UN-HINGED will feature Rick Homan, Cameron Galloway, Genevieve Purdue Smith, and Scott Cox. DROWNING KATE will feature Colleen Egan,Scott Cox, and Genevieve Purdue Smith.
Quinn Cayabyab and Ellen Chesnut along with our directors have been conjuring magical and amazing design concepts for all of the shows, which will feature some pretty cool things that will be dynamic and interesting to see up on stage.
The company is also looking forward to going to the gala in May to support Morgan Ludlow and Ryan Hayes for their Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nominations for last summer's GORGEOUS HUSSY!
What A Night...
PHOTOS of Plays in Repertory
Hi-Res photos are available upon request.