Six years ago, a ten-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his little brother. Now, we meet his whole family. Marja-Lewis Ryan’s timely new drama One in the Chamber opened July 12 at The Lounge Theater in Hollywood. Ovation Award Nominated Playwright and HBO Audience Award Winning Screenwriter Ryan brings to life a dysfunctional family drama that explores the effects of gun violence in one American family.
The play echoes themes of Ordinary People and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. As reported at www.reviewplays.com, this is “...a powerhouse of a play, superbly acted and directed, with writing that will resonate long after the final curtain.”
We meet Jennifer (Emily Peck), a court appointed social worker, who is sent to assess Adam’s (Alec Frasier) home life six years after he accidentally shot and killed his little brother. She interviews his precocious seven-year-old sister Ruthie (Fenix Isabella), troubled older sister Kaylee (Kelli Anderson), workaholic father Charles (Robert Bella) and drug and alcohol addicted mother Helen (Heidi Sulzman) before finally meeting Adam.
The piece smartly personifies the delicate hot-button topic of gun violence in America. As Ryan explains, “I am not interested in politicizing the gun rights issue. I am drawn to the exploration of family dynamics under various circumstances.”
Ryan is no stranger to theatrical family dysfunction. Her first play Dysnomia, which also debuted at The Lounge Theater, centers on a suburban housewife and mother of two who comes out of the closet (Ovation Nomination for Playwriting, Critics Pick in Backstage, “GO” from LA Weekly, and Recommended by The LA Times).
Cast member Emily Peck starred in the indie hit The Four-Faced Liar and in 10x20 Off-Broadway at The Atlantic Theater Company. Robert Bella has worked on over 100 plays for the stage and radio as an actor, producer, director, and writer; he is also a founding member of The Atlantic Theater Company in NYC. Heidi Sulzman’s select credits include Ryan’s Dysnomia, Bones, and The Waitress.
Set design for One in the Chamber is by Michael Fitzgerald; PR by Philip Sokoloff, Daniel Carlisle, and PR4Stage; and Lynne Peck, Robin Greenspun, Ed Ryan and Racquel Lehrman, Theatre Planners associate produce.
One in the Chamber plays on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. through September 7th. General admission is $25. The Lounge Theater is located at 6201 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. For information and to purchase tickets, go to www.plays411.com/chamber or call 324-960-7724.