FRIENDS WITH GUNS

Critics

LemonMeter

88 %

Reviews: 8

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

Fri Mar 29, 8:00pm
Sat Mar 30, 8:00pm
Sun Mar 31, 2:00pm
Fri Apr 05, 8:00pm
Sat Apr 06, 8:00pm
Sun Apr 07, 2:00pm
Fri Apr 12, 8:00pm
Sat Apr 13, 8:00pm
Sun Apr 14, 2:00pm
Fri Apr 19, 8:00pm
Sat Apr 20, 8:00pm
Sun Apr 21, 2:00pm
Fri Apr 26, 8:00pm
Sat Apr 27, 8:00pm
Sun Apr 28, 2:00pm
Fri May 03, 8:00pm
Sat May 04, 8:00pm
Sun May 05, 2:00pm

THE ROAD THEATRE COMPANY
Presents the Third Show of its 2018-2019 Season!

THE WORLD PREMIERE OF
FRIENDS WITH GUNS
Written by STEPHANIE ALISON WALKER
Directed by RANDEE TRABITZ

Limited Engagement opens Friday, March 15
at The Road on Magnolia!

You think you know your friends, your neighbors, your spouse, but what happens when you suddenly find out they have a garage full of guns? This new dark comedy explores the complicated issue of gun proliferation when two young liberal couples are forced to confront their assumptions about who should own a gun and why. The time of easy answers regarding this issue is long gone. In the wake of current events, we are all forced to reexamine our strongly held beliefs about gun ownership. Friends With Guns explores the question of what we can compartmentalize…and what we can’t. It examines what happens when guns enter the conversation. It pulls the curtain back on liberals with guns. It asks what happens when suddenly one person in a marriage does a 180 on the gun issue. And it does all of this through a female lens.

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST

STEPHANIE ALISON WALKER (Playwright) Her plays include: Friends With Guns (Chapel Theatre Collective, The Road Theatre, Uprising Theatre,) The Abuelas (Teatro Vista in Chicago February 2019,) The Madres (NNPN Rolling World Premiere with Teatro Vista, Skylight Theatre, Moxie Theatre and Shrewd Productions and premiered in Spanish in Mexico with La Troupe in San Miguel de Allende,) The Art Of Disappearing (16th Street Theatre,) American Home (Little Candle Productions) and more. Honors include: Craig Noel Award Nomination for Outstanding New Play for The Madres, Dramatists Guild Foundation Writers Alliance Grant Recipient, Blue Ink Award (winner,) Ashland New Plays Festival (two-time winner,) BETC Generations Prize (winner,) O’Neill Playwrights Conference (two-time finalist,) CTG/Humanitas Prize (finalist) and more. Stephanie is a proud NNPN Affiliate Artist, Dramatists Guild Member, member of the Playwrights Union and the Antaeus Playwrights Lab. She lives in Los Angeles with her brilliant husband Bob and their spirited sons.

RANDEE TRABITZ (Director) is a director based in Los Angeles. She recently returned from NYC’s Dixon Place with long-time collaborator John Fleck and his acclaimed Blacktop Highway. Randee’s work has been seen in Berlin and Greece, large venues like MOCA’S Geffen Contemporary, California Adventure, Cal Plaza, LA Opera, Disney Cruiselines and the Performing Arts Center in Santa Clarita, but her heart is in intimate theater, specializing on new plays with writers like: Stephanie Allison Walker, Julie Hebért, Bridget Carpenter, Jessica Goldberg, Jamie Brandli, Jennie Webb, Elizabeth Dement, Susan Merson, Doug Cooney, etc. Her work has garnered some prizes, (LA Weekly Award, Garland and Ovation Awards, Finalist Short and Sweet Festival) and been awarded grants (CAD, Durfee and Flintridge). She also teaches and directs at a variety of universities, most recently Cal-State Los Angeles, and Cal Tech.

The cast of FRIENDS WITH GUNS will feature (in alphabetical order): Brian Graves as Josh, Kate Huffman as Shannon, Arianna Ortiz as Leah and Christian Telesmar as Danny.

The Design Team for FRIENDS WITH GUNS is as follows: Set Design by Stephen Gifford; Lighting Design by Derrick McDaniel; Sound Design by David B. Marling; Costume Design by Michele Young. Properties Design by Heath Harper; Fight Director/Armorer is Jen Albert. The Production Stage Manager is Erick Marquez. FRIENDS WITH GUNS is produced by Michelle Gillette, Chet Grissom and Susie Lever.

Calendar Listing:
FRIENDS WITH GUNS
Written by STEPHANIE ALISON WALKER
Directed by RANDEE TRABITZ

Opens: Friday, March 15 at 8pm;
Runs: Friday, March 15 – Sunday, May 5, 2019
Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 8pm; Sundays at 2pm

Previews:
Tuesday, March 12 at 8pm;
Wednesday, March 13 at 8pm
Thursday, March 14 at 8pm

The Road on Magnolia
10747 Magnolia Blvd., North Hollywood, CA 91601

Tickets: $34.00
Previews: $15.00
Students/Seniors: $15.00
Sunday Performances are Pay-What-You-Can
For tickets – visit www.roadtheatre.org or call 818-761-8838

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Reviews

"Timely and thought provoking, the world premiere presentation of Stephanie Alison Walker’s Friends with Guns offers passionate arguments for and against gun ownership and what empowers women. Powerful acting and muscular writing provide a night of meaty entertainment."

sweet - Mary Mallory - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Stephen Fife
"There are some interesting directions that the story could take, but Ms. Walker pursues one in which guns become a metaphor for the problems between Shannon and Josh. This is where I checked out, because guns for me are not a metaphor. But beyond this personal objection, I also found many scenes to be overly long, making the same points over and over. There’s a scene between the two husbands that seems to go on forever, while nothing changes. I don’t know what director Randee Trabitz was going for here and elsewhere, but it wasn’t working."

sweet-sour - Stephen Fife - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"Under the detailed, fast-paced direction of Randee Trabitz, the ensemble cast delivers finely etched characters of considerable, compelling emotion, who rocket to a climax without dénouement."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


"I loved this play. The characters are bold and beautifully written. The ying and the yang of them all give this piece a simple clear truth and a strikingly honest glimpse into what we really think of each other and how deep the damage can go. ...Always revelatory, never boring, pushing us to think more and feel everything. This play is just as good as everything else they produce and the performances are absolutely spectacular. Randee Trabitz directs them all with tenderness, heart and heat…bravo!!"

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


"We’ll be keeping our eye out for future work by this creepily insightful playwright—that is to say, it’s creepy how you just don’t see how sneakily some possible new ways of looking at reality all of a sudden start staring you in the face... Despite my own reaction to the play—perhaps because of it—I believe this is a highly important play for our time. It almost demands an audience talkback after each performance to process what we have witnessed. In the meantime, I’ll be upping my donations to gun control groups in the “hope against hope” that somehow, sometime it may do some good."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"Shannon and Josh are having dinner with new friends Leah and Danny. Abetted by abundant wine, they declare themselves "best friends" and make a plan to celebrate the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving, together. The mood changes abruptly, however, when Danny mentions that he has a gun collection locked up in his garage. At that point Josh jumps up and cancels not only the plans for Thanksgiving but the friendship as well. Josh, as it turns out, is violently antipathetic to guns and the people who use them."

sweet-sour - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily News - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"If it looks as though Josh and Shannon’s marriage is falling apart before our eyes, do we see this as a metaphor for the country? “You’re worried you’re losing your wife,” Leah tells him, “because she’s discovered her strength.” Will we destroy ourselves over gender relations, on top of guns, never having found a way toward resolution? Is there any hope at all? With all these issues so powerfully laid before us in the theatre, I can safely say I have never before been to a play that so thoroughly confronted and confounded my own assumptions. And I’m not sure I even appreciate that—which is finally, at least for me, the most troubling aspect."

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Stephanie Alison Walker’s Friends With Guns provides no easy answers to our nation’s ongoing Red State Blue State debate. What it does do is present both sides’ arguments so provocatively, your response may well be as visceral as mine. One thing is certain. This is one gut-puncher of a play."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review


"Timely and thought provoking, the world premiere presentation of Stephanie Alison Walker’s Friends with Guns offers passionate arguments for and against gun ownership and what empowers women. Powerful acting and muscular writing provide a night of meaty entertainment."

sweet - Mary Mallory - Tolucan Times - ...read full review


Stephen Fife
"There are some interesting directions that the story could take, but Ms. Walker pursues one in which guns become a metaphor for the problems between Shannon and Josh. This is where I checked out, because guns for me are not a metaphor. But beyond this personal objection, I also found many scenes to be overly long, making the same points over and over. There’s a scene between the two husbands that seems to go on forever, while nothing changes. I don’t know what director Randee Trabitz was going for here and elsewhere, but it wasn’t working."

sweet-sour - Stephen Fife - Stage Raw - ...read full review


"Under the detailed, fast-paced direction of Randee Trabitz, the ensemble cast delivers finely etched characters of considerable, compelling emotion, who rocket to a climax without dénouement."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


"I loved this play. The characters are bold and beautifully written. The ying and the yang of them all give this piece a simple clear truth and a strikingly honest glimpse into what we really think of each other and how deep the damage can go. ...Always revelatory, never boring, pushing us to think more and feel everything. This play is just as good as everything else they produce and the performances are absolutely spectacular. Randee Trabitz directs them all with tenderness, heart and heat…bravo!!"

sweet - Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros - NoHo Arts District - ...read full review


"We’ll be keeping our eye out for future work by this creepily insightful playwright—that is to say, it’s creepy how you just don’t see how sneakily some possible new ways of looking at reality all of a sudden start staring you in the face... Despite my own reaction to the play—perhaps because of it—I believe this is a highly important play for our time. It almost demands an audience talkback after each performance to process what we have witnessed. In the meantime, I’ll be upping my donations to gun control groups in the “hope against hope” that somehow, sometime it may do some good."

sweet - Ed Rampell - Hollywood Progressive - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"Shannon and Josh are having dinner with new friends Leah and Danny. Abetted by abundant wine, they declare themselves "best friends" and make a plan to celebrate the upcoming holiday, Thanksgiving, together. The mood changes abruptly, however, when Danny mentions that he has a gun collection locked up in his garage. At that point Josh jumps up and cancels not only the plans for Thanksgiving but the friendship as well. Josh, as it turns out, is violently antipathetic to guns and the people who use them."

sweet-sour - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily News - ...read full review


Eric A Gordon
"If it looks as though Josh and Shannon’s marriage is falling apart before our eyes, do we see this as a metaphor for the country? “You’re worried you’re losing your wife,” Leah tells him, “because she’s discovered her strength.” Will we destroy ourselves over gender relations, on top of guns, never having found a way toward resolution? Is there any hope at all? With all these issues so powerfully laid before us in the theatre, I can safely say I have never before been to a play that so thoroughly confronted and confounded my own assumptions. And I’m not sure I even appreciate that—which is finally, at least for me, the most troubling aspect."

sweet - Eric Gordon - People's World - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"Stephanie Alison Walker’s Friends With Guns provides no easy answers to our nation’s ongoing Red State Blue State debate. What it does do is present both sides’ arguments so provocatively, your response may well be as visceral as mine. One thing is certain. This is one gut-puncher of a play."

sweet - Steven Stanley - StageSceneLA - ...read full review