Banned Plays

Where do you go to get an evening filled with noshes and wine, as well as: murder, nudity, sex, revenge, betrayal, nudity, turmoil, social obscenity, lust, passion, political anarchy, did I say nudity yet?, ok, nudity? No, I am not talking about your refrigerator and HBO.  I'm talking about GuerriLA Theatre's production of Banned Plays.

Company in a scene from Oh, Calcutta!

Banned Plays is now playing at Area 101 for a limited engagement of 12 performances only -through It opened Friday January 27th and will run through Saturday, March 4th. This 90-minute exploration into censorship, which was researched and compiled by GuerriLA Theatre, is a collection of ten scenes from plays which have been banned over the centuries for political, social, religious, sexual and multiple other reasons. Banned Plays is produced by Jennifer Lamar and directed Michael Donovan. Doors open 45 minutes prior to curtain for complimentary cocktails and hors d'oeuvres.

Banned Plays  is a compilation of  pieces that have been all but forgotten, yet deal with subjects that are still relevant Banned Plays is a journey through a series of stories of love, lust, betrayal, despair and salvation as well as a reminder of the dangers of censorship.

Jodi Bianca Wise, Tim Karasawa in a scene from The Beard

The audience is taken all the way back to Oscar Wilde's Biblical story of Salome which was condemned as "blasphemous and pornographic." Revisited plays include Henrick Ibsen's Ghosts, which was banned in England for failing to show respect for the institution of marriage and it's public discussion of venereal disease. And The Captive by Edouard Bourdet, which in 1926 was the first play on the American Stage regarding a lesbian relationship.  A New York politician arrested the cast for offending public morals.

Not all of the scenes from Banned Plays are from a time that many of us can't remember. The 1960's were a time of change and turmoil, a time when people were pushing boundaries and in San Francisco in 1965 the two lead actors of The Beard by Michael McClure were arrested and charged with "obscenity and conspiring to commit a felony."  These are just a few of the plays introduced and re-introduced with short synopses and explanations of why they were "banned."  While some of the issues raised may seem mild by today's standards others touch on social and political issues that we find ourselves still facing.

Kelly Ann Ford, Patrick Hancock in a scene from Salome

In the tradition of Shakespeare's traveling "players," GuerriLA Theatre is a mobile troop of professional actors presenting modern short plays detailing intricate aspects of the human condition in various venues from private homes to photo studios, and hair salons. These pieces, performed with simplicity and efficiency, require no special technical needs or sets. GuerriLA Theatre was founded in 2002 by Jennifer Lamar with the mission to provide artists with a consistent opportunity to create, refine, perform and exhibit their work while simultaneously giving to the community. Part of the proceeds from each of their performances go to charity. Past recipients include amfAR, Save the Children, St. Vincent de Paul Society, (disaster relief), and the ROAR Foundation. GuerriLA Theatre is a non-profit 501(c) organization.  Banned Plays marks GuerriLA Theatre's fifth production.

You can tell this is a labor of love for everyone involved. The cast worked hard and was extremely enthusiastic giving all they had to this production.

Cast members include Dayna Cussler, Kelly Ann Ford, David Goryl, Patrick Hancock, Tim Karasawa, Jennifer Lamar, Andrew MacBeth, Billy St, John, Jerry Weil, Caroline Westheimer, Jodi Bianca Wise.

Jerry Weil, Kelly Ann Ford in a scene from Waiting for Lefty

Banned Plays
Produced by Jennifer Lamar
Directed by Michael Donovan
Researched and Compiled by GuerriLA Theatre
12 Performances Only! January 27 to March 4 at Area 101

Dates: Fridays at 8:00 and Saturdays at 7:30
(90 minute run-time)
Beverages and Bites served 45 minutes before curtain
Provocative language and tasteful nudity
NO ONE under 18 admitted!

Theatre: Area 101, 1051 N. Cole Avenue Stage B, Hollywood 90038
Parking available on the street or valet @The Complex on Santa Monica Blvd.

Tickets: $25.00 in advance
 $27.50 at the door  
Purchase tickets at www.guerrilatheatre.com
No Fee Applied!!

Jerry Weil, Billy St.John, Tim Karasawa, Andrew Macbeth, David Goryl in a scene from Boys in the Band

Photo Credit: Brendan Eisan

 

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