TU’s Director of Publicity Jim Martyka is thrilled to have two of his original short plays making their international debut at the Short + Sweet Festival in Sydney, Australia, currently running.
In Timing…All In The, John and Paul are roommates. John is very lucky. Paul is very unlucky. As they both pursue their dreams in the City of Angels, we see their lot in life manifested in their daily interactions and learn how more often than not, luck simply comes down to timing.
In An Old Secret, three special friends try to hide from society by burying themselves deep in a forest. All is going well until a good-natured but dim country bumpkin comes to visit. Now the ladies must do what they can to protect themselves and a secret no one can know…
Jim is excited to share two scripts developed with his company to an international audience, especially as part of such a prestigious festival!
About Jim Martyka
Jim Martyka is a founding member of Theatre Unleashed and serves as the company’s Director of Publicity. He has acted in several of its productions, including The Birthday Boys,25 Plays Per Hour, Boy Gets Girl, Sleeping Around, The Devil’s Bride, A Feast of Snacks,A Very DIE HARD Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life: The Radio Play, which he adapted for the stage. Jim has worked in numerous independent films, TV and national commercials. He is also the founder and executive producer of the production company Hold For Plane Pictures, which has produced 24 short films in less than four years. Jim is also an accomplished journalist, published author, book editor, consultant, playwright, musician, poet and a former Guinness World Record Holder for watching the most consecutive hours of movies without sleeping (53 and a half hours!).
About Short + Sweet
Short+Sweet is a global festival brand, presenting highly successful Theatre, Dance, Cabaret, and Song Festivals around the world. We provide audiences with exciting and contemporary works that challenge and entertain. Short+Sweet’s mission is to build theatre-going audiences around the world. Beginning as a small festival of 10 minute plays in Sydney, Australia, we have grown into a global organization. Short+Sweet has made a huge impact on the Australian theatre scene through developing new, original work with emerging artists and providing a platform for established artists to showcase their talents. Our vision is simple – a more creative world 10 minutes at a time! For more information about this year’s festival, check out their website!
Soda began her journey with STOMP at a coffee shop in South Pasadena CA flipping through Backstage with her best friend. Her friend saw the open casting announcement and convinced Soda to go for it. She went to the open call in Burbank and stood on line for three hours with 1,100 other hopeful STOMPERS. Groups of 40 to 50 people at a time were brought into the small dance studio with only a handful making the cut. This went on all week. Soda made every call back and at the end of the week, two woman and four men were cast. Soda was on her way to NYC.
After six weeks of blistered hands and feet and a handful of bruises she was ready to perform at the Orpheum. A few months later Soda was sent out on the National Tour. This was her life from the summer of 1996 to the fall of 1998 when she decided, at five months pregnant with her first child of five, that it was time to hang up her STOMP shoes and go home.
21 years later and STOMP alumni from around the world are sent emails inviting them back to where they all started. Though she was apprehensive, as it had been over two decades since her last STOMP performance, Soda knew she had to do it.
Soda took the stage this past Sunday March 3rd for two special SOLD OUT anniversary performances featuring STOMP rockstars from the last 25 years. Soda was humbled, honored, and over the moon to be a small part of a grand occasion!
About Soda Persi
Soda Persi in STOMP, circa 1996
Soda was born in Hollywood CA and spent most of her childhood in dance class and gymnastic competitions. At the age of 7 she had her first theatre experience when she was cast as a Faerie in the California Shakespeare Company’s production of A Midsummer Nights Dream. Soda was hooked! From there she was in every production in high school and college and toured with the Asian American theatre company Here’n’Now and then finally ended up being cast in STOMP at The Orpheum in NYC and the North American tour. After a couple years on the road she decided it was time to settle down and raise a family. Five kids and 20 years later Soda is back on stage and loving every moment!
STOMP, an off-Broadway show mixing percussion, movement and visual comedy, has been making music with everyday items for 25 years. Matchboxes, brooms, garbage cans, Zippo lighters and more fill the stage with energizing beats at STOMP, the inventive and invigorating stage show that’s dance, music and theatrical performance blended together in one electrifying rhythm. STOMP has been packing in audiences at the Orpheum Theatre since 1994, and is still running strong.
TU ensemble member and Resident Sound Designer Graydon Schlichter has released his latest audiobook, the unabridged rendition of acclaimed author Staci Layne Wilson’s City of Devils: 13 Tales of the Uncanny, Unlucky & Unholy: A horror anthology. Set in an around the infamous City of Angels, the tales contained in this volume boil down to this, “Los Angeles and Lucifer are a lot alike. They both seduce and lure with promises of wealth, fame, beauty or love. But those promises are often empty; and even when they’re not, there’s a price to pay.” And readers have been enjoying these creepy tales. “From the Lynchian, almost dreamlike poignancy of Tasty Waves to the gut-wrenching Lansdalian endings of the lead-off story He Was Asking for It and its follow-up Based on a True Story, Wilson pulls absolutely no punches.”
For those familiar with LA’s foibles and fascinations you’ll recognize “the anxieties, stresses, passion, humour and outright horror of living the lifestyle” of Southern California that pepper this “delightfully dark and fun” collection. As one reader put it, “Staci Layne Wilson has once again written a page turner of horror stories set in the real city of devils, which she knows so well. Shades of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King and even Dashiell Hammett permeate through the book. The stories are smart, sassy, seductive and scary.” And now established fans and newcomers alike can grab the audiobook collection of these chilling vignettes to enjoy for themselves.
About Graydon Schlichter
Graydon Schlichter has loved audiobooks almost since before he could easily pronounce the term. Declaring at the age of six that “one day that’ll be me on the tape” he got it mostly correct. Although… actual tapes are pretty rare these days. As a voice over artist, Graydon has happily recorded cranky gnomes, gruff soldiers, helpful handy folks, and others, but rare is the time when he isn’t part way through one narration or another.
For the Los Angeles Horror Anthology completionist, you can check out Hell Comes to Hollywood and the cleverly titled sequel Hell Comes to Hollywood 2 the latter featuring an original short story by Mr. Schlichter himself titled This is a Recording, both collections co-narrated by Ms. Jennifer Knighton. Leaving LA behind, take to the open road in 18 Wheels of Horror, once again featuring the talents of Ms. Knighton.
If Lovecraftian horror is more you style, don’t miss The Drinker of Suffering, by A. M. F. This disturbing, modern tale centers on one person’s search for meaning and greater Truth. The descends into the swirling darkness he discovers at the edges of everything he thought he knew. Pulp lovers might enjoy the Nick Caine Adventures, beginning with Temple of the Jaguar. An action packed romp through deepest jungle co-written, by Aiden James, and J. R. Rain. The classic thriller enthusiast should look up In Their Blood, by Sharon Potts. A chilling story of accidental death that begins to unravel into something…more. Find these and all of Graydon’s titles on Amazon, Audible and itunes, or by clicking the links above.
About Staci Layne Wilson
Staci Layne Wilson is an award-winning filmmaker Cabaret of the Dead, Psycho Therapy, The Night Plays Tricks and an Amazon #1 bestselling author So L.A. – A Hollywood Memoir. She wrote, produced and hosted three entertainment talk shows online: This Week In Movies, Inside Horror, and Dread Central Live. She has been featured on the BBC, Bravo, Reelz, M-TV, CNN (and many more) as a film historian and author.
“This list is of the entertainment industry’s best liked Bechdel Test passing scripts. The test is a very low bar to pass where 2 named women talk to each other about something other than a man. This list is here to encourage more inclusive story-telling and better dialogue on the page and in real life.”
A full list of this year’s scripts can be found here.
About CJ Hoke
CJ graduated from the University of Chicago in 2013 with double honors in unemployment French Language & Literatures and Theatre & Performance Studies. By day, she works as the script coordinator for ABC Daytime’s General Hospital. Otherwise, she’s best known for her five episodes of PencilInk Film’s award-winning dramady webseries, The Misselthwaite Archives, including one of the series’ most popular episodes, “The Secret”. Check out her website!
About Production Choice
Production Choice tells the story of an aging soap opera star who finds out she’s being replaced and decides to fight back to secure her legacy. It has placed in multiple competitions, including 1st Runner-Up in the 2017 Second City Training Center Original Sitcom Pilot Competition, 2nd Runner-Up (Comedy) in the 2018 Assistant List (A-List) Competition, Finalist in the 2017 WeScreenplay Television Competition, Quarter-Finalist in the 2018 Creative World Awards (Original Television Sitcom), Quarter-Finalist in the 5th Annual Screencraft Screenwriting Fellowship, Quarter-Finalist in 2017 Final Draft Big Break Contest (Television, Half-Hour Pilot), Top 100 Script in 2017 Emerging Screenwriters Feature/Pilot Competition, and Second Rounder in the 2018 Austin Film Festival Comedy Teleplay Competition. Rights are available.
Superior, Scene Two at Serial Killers, October 2017. Spoilers within.
Superior (working title, formerly known as The Anniversary Issue) is an ambitious and thrilling new action/drama stage play by Gregory Crafts. Join us this Sunday, February 10th for an intimate workshop reading of the latest draft! Stick around afterward to discuss the story and share your feedback! Snacks and drinks provided.
Sunday February 10th, 2018
1 PM – 3:30 PM The Belfry Stage
11031 Camarillo St.
North Hollywood, CA 91602 *Please Note: The theatre is located inside St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, upstairs from Crown City Theatre Company.
2018 Workshop Reading of the First Draft! Spoilers within.
About the Play
First developed as a ten-minute play for Theatre Unleashed’s Play/Time in 2014, the script was re-mounted in August 2016 at Short+Sweet Hollywood, then expanded into a full-length play as a part of Serial Killers at Sacred Fools Theater later that year. A reading of the first full draft was organized in January 2018.
SYNOPSIS: It’s Kevin and Stephanie Connolly’s fifth wedding anniversary, and Kevin has a night of celebration planned for them. Of course, this means he won’t be going out on his regular patrol of Metro City as his alter-ego, M-Pulse, the self-appointed Eminence of Electromagnetism. But things should be fine without him for one night, right? Wrong. One would think that there could be no secrets left between a husband and wife after five years of matrimonial bliss, but when a powerful super villain’s attack interrupts Kevin and Stephanie’s date, a hero’s unmasking bears significant consequences for the Connollys. Consequences that will resonate and redefine their relationship forever.
TU member Ann Hurd loves a good true crime drama. So she was super excited when she booked a gig on People Magazine Investigates. In this episode she plays the mother, Jenny, in this true crime retelling of the Children of Thunder cult. The backstory of these brothers can best to told by the reporters and investigation experts on the show. So be sure to tune in Monday, January 28th on Investigation Discovery at 10pm or you can catch it on Amazon Prime.
About Ann Hurd
Ann Hurd is a NY-native who is an artist of many talents. She acts. She produces. She directs. And she’s currently Theatre Unleashed’s Resident Scenic Artist and has been a member since 2013. On stage, you may have seen Ann on TU’s mainstage as Judy in the 2015 production of It’s A Wonderful Life or as Valerie in Cannibals, Alone or in TU’s Late Night Series Playtime as Lena Hudson when she played a wizard bounty hunter in Wizard Bounty Hunter. She has also written and performed her own solo performance, Remember My Name,which she is currently in the process of expanding into a one-act play. In front of the camera, Ann’s work includes a selection of Buzzfeed videos, several shorts with Hold For Plane Pictures, as well as television spots.
About People Magazine Investigates
Investigation Discovery and People magazine partner to re-examine some of the most high profile crime cases in recent history. The one-hour series brings viewers tales of betrayal, buried secrets and unsung heroes, ripped from the pages of one of the nation’s top weekly magazines. These stories transcended news and became part of pop culture, revealing shocking twists, new evidence, and unexpected resolutions. Interlaced within every episode are exclusive interviews with People’s journalists, archival footage, re-creations, and firsthand accounts by those closest to the investigations.