I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play

Critics

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Reviews: 3

Audience

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Reviews: 2

The Attic Collective is bringing its unique blend of whimsy, clowning, and magical realism to Los Angeles audiences this February with its production of I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play directed by Rosie Glen-Lambert. Written by The Attic Collective’s literary manager Veronica Tjioe and the company’s artistic director, Glen-Lambert, the play addresses hoarding, an American phenomenon, which is often stigmatized but rarely discussed. Opening on Friday, February 7th, the production will run for four weekends at Studio/Stage in the greater Hollywood area, closing on Sunday, March 1, 2020. I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play will run every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening. On Fridays and Saturdays the show will commence at 8:00 p.m., and on Sundays at 6:00 p.m. Tickets cost $25 for general admission and $35 for VIP tickets that include preferential, central seating and one free drink at the bar. The theater is located at 520 N. Western Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90004. For more information, please visit The Attic Collective’s site at https://www.theatticcollectivela.com/roachplay.

SYNOPSIS:
When does clutter become a problem, and whose problem does it become?
I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play addresses hoarding, an American phenomenon which is often stigmatized but rarely discussed. After the sudden death of their infant child, Ellen and Stephen find themselves faced with the difficult task of moving on from the objects that remind them of the incident. For Ellen, this proves to be too overwhelming of a task, leading to years of compulsive accumulation. Juxtaposed with the play’s realism is a second layer of the play which utilizes clowning, comedy, and a cockroach musical to steer the audience through the many different ways hoarding is perceived and portrayed in society.

The Roach Play cast features Sutton Arabe, Brandon Blum, Tyler Bremer, Meg Cashel, Kat DeVoe-Peterson, Julia Finch, Hailey McAfee, Luke Medina, Conor Murphy, Bart Tangredi, and Veronica Tjioe. Rosie Glen-Lambert directs, the set is designed by Lex Gernon, costumes and props by Rebecca Carr, lighting design by Joey Guthman, sound design by James Ferrero and makeup design by Mallory McAfee. The technical director is Austin Kottkamp, the stage manager is Angel Hernandez and graphic design is by Sunil Hall.

This version of I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play is a revamped adaptation of a piece originally devised by The Attic Collective that was presented at Son of Semele in August 2018. Since this initial production, the company worked collaboratively to rework the script through a series of workshops, which included improvisation and detailed research. Tjioe and Glen-Lambert incorporated these discoveries into the script, and this new production features significant changes from the first staging.

In 2019, the company’s successful run of The Last Croissant at the Hollywood Fringe Festival received numerous accolades, including the coveted “Top of the Fringe” award and the award for “Best Ensemble.” The show also received the “Best of the Broadwater” award, leading to an extended final performance to a sold-out house. The company also received nominations for the Steve Kent Award for inspiring political or social change and the Larry Cornwall Award for outstanding music in a play.

ABOUT:

THE ATTIC COLLECTIVE –
The Attic Collective is a community of diverse young artists whose approach to live performance strives to redefine theatre, both in who it is for and what it can be. The collective’s work investigates the human experience with equal parts joy and profundity; by utilizing magical realism, clowning, movement, music, and an emphasis on design. The work tackles universal questions through a lens of wonder and discovery. The collective offers its audiences universes unbound by the rules of reality as a sanctuary of escape to, and not from, their own emotions. The Attic Collective creates theatre for theatre-lovers, theatre-haters, theatre-skeptics, theatre-believers, theatre professionals, theatre novices, or, put more simply: they create theatre for everyone.

ROSIE GLEN-LAMBERT (Co-Playwright, Director) –
Rosie Glen-Lambert is a Los Angeles-based director and collaborative artist, and the proud Founder and Artistic Director of The Attic Collective. With The Attic Collective she has led successful productions of The Last Croissant (Hollywood Fringe: Top of Fringe, Best Ensemble Theater, Best of the Broadwater), Roach 1.0., What Happened to Where I’ve Been and Dead Dog’s Bone: A Birthday Play (Hollywood Fringe: Best Direction Nomination, Encore Producer’s Award Winner). Other work has included Roger Guenveur Smith’s Otto Frank (Portland Center Stage), Denim Doves (Sacred Fools), Genesis (Inkwell), John Ross Bowie’s Four Chords and a Gun (World Premiere, Bootleg). Glen-Lambert is the Literary Manager at Inkwell Theater as well as an associate company member at Sacred Fools. She is thrilled, as always, to be working collaboratively to bring new live theatre to Los Angeles. Glen-Lambert has a B.A. from UC Santa Cruz. www.rosieglenlambert.com

VERONICA TJIOE (Co-Playwright, Ellen) –
Veronica Tjioe is an actor, playwright, and a proud member and Literary Manager of The Attic Collective. Her playwriting credits include The Last Croissant (winner Best of the Broadwater, Best Ensemble Theatre and Top of Fringe 2019 Hollywood Fringe Festival) and Dead Dog’s Bone: A Birthday Play (2012 Dharma Grace Playwriting Award, Encore Producer’s Award, 2015 Hollywood Fringe). The award winning productions were produced by The Attic Collective, and the plays have been produced in San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle and other cities around the world. Her acting credits include The Attic Collective: The Last Croissant, Roach 1.0 and What Happened to Where I’ve Been. Other roles have included: Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Santa Cruz) and The Tempest (Say Yes Collective). Her latest play, The String’s The Thing will have a workshop at Inkwell Theatre in May. Tjioe has a B.A., M.A. from UC Santa Cruz.

Reviews

Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites

The Attic Collective continues their streak of quality entertainment with this outstanding production.

sweet - Matthew Robinson - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Avatar

Knew nothing about this piece beforehand, but decided to tag along with a friend last minute. Still not sure what I saw. Spent the past 15-years in NYC and saw A LOT of absurdist, avant-garde theatre Off-Broadway, so when I see something that boggles my mind, that carries a bit of weight. I'm in a weird position of not really enjoying what I saw but appreciating the effort and imagination that went into creating it. I mean - the show has next to nothing to say. It's not particularly deep, doesn't raise any profound questions, and barely even scratches the surface of what hoarding is or means (I question whether or not anyone involved with the production did any research into the disorder outside of a quick Google search). Seems like the creators cared more about being 'out there' and 'millennial' than they did about giving an audience something of value. But there is A LOT of creativity here, some really strong performances, and the definite feeling that you're watching something you won't see anywhere else. So - I am glad I saw it, but don't know how to recommend it? I am just hoping this play represents the last gasp of millennial hodgepodge before the creators grow up and leave Neverland.

sweet-sour - Jason Gelbart


Stephen Fife

Nevertheless, I admired the ambition and inventiveness of The Attic Collective, especially costume/prop designer Rebecca Carr and scenic designer Lex Gernon. Young companies like The Attic are important to the eco-system of Los Angeles theater, and I look forward to seeing what projects they tackle next in the (hopefully) very near future.

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


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

If I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play teaches us anything – consciously or unconsciously – it’s that less is more. While audiences will likely take away personal nuggets of insight, they’re buried in a theatrical hodgepodge that, like its protagonist, accumulates without knowing how or when to stop. Like any hoarder knows, when the roaches come out, the time to reassess has long since passed.

sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

If you're looking for unbounded creativity and a balls-to-the-wall approach to theatre, I DECIDED I'M FINE is right up your alley. An eccentric, absurdist, relatively dark look at a woman whose grief cripples her to the point that she becomes a chronic hoarder, the play presents a compelling story and some truly inspired performances from Veronica Tijoe, Tyler Bremer, and an insanely talented supporting cast. Coupling that basic conceit with a REEFER MADNESS-style construct, complete with a musical number where cockroaches sing Woody Guthrie, it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it will certainly entertain you and leave you feeling as if you experienced something truly unique.

sweet - Billy Ray Brewton


Patrick Chavis - LA Theatre Bites

The Attic Collective continues their streak of quality entertainment with this outstanding production.

sweet - Matthew Robinson - LA Theatre Bites - ...read full review


Stephen Fife

Nevertheless, I admired the ambition and inventiveness of The Attic Collective, especially costume/prop designer Rebecca Carr and scenic designer Lex Gernon. Young companies like The Attic are important to the eco-system of Los Angeles theater, and I look forward to seeing what projects they tackle next in the (hopefully) very near future.

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


Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema

If I Decided I’m Fine: A Roach Play teaches us anything – consciously or unconsciously – it’s that less is more. While audiences will likely take away personal nuggets of insight, they’re buried in a theatrical hodgepodge that, like its protagonist, accumulates without knowing how or when to stop. Like any hoarder knows, when the roaches come out, the time to reassess has long since passed.

sour - Marc Wheeler - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


Avatar

Knew nothing about this piece beforehand, but decided to tag along with a friend last minute. Still not sure what I saw. Spent the past 15-years in NYC and saw A LOT of absurdist, avant-garde theatre Off-Broadway, so when I see something that boggles my mind, that carries a bit of weight. I'm in a weird position of not really enjoying what I saw but appreciating the effort and imagination that went into creating it. I mean - the show has next to nothing to say. It's not particularly deep, doesn't raise any profound questions, and barely even scratches the surface of what hoarding is or means (I question whether or not anyone involved with the production did any research into the disorder outside of a quick Google search). Seems like the creators cared more about being 'out there' and 'millennial' than they did about giving an audience something of value. But there is A LOT of creativity here, some really strong performances, and the definite feeling that you're watching something you won't see anywhere else. So - I am glad I saw it, but don't know how to recommend it? I am just hoping this play represents the last gasp of millennial hodgepodge before the creators grow up and leave Neverland.

sweet-sour - Jason Gelbart


Avatar

If you're looking for unbounded creativity and a balls-to-the-wall approach to theatre, I DECIDED I'M FINE is right up your alley. An eccentric, absurdist, relatively dark look at a woman whose grief cripples her to the point that she becomes a chronic hoarder, the play presents a compelling story and some truly inspired performances from Veronica Tijoe, Tyler Bremer, and an insanely talented supporting cast. Coupling that basic conceit with a REEFER MADNESS-style construct, complete with a musical number where cockroaches sing Woody Guthrie, it's not going to be everyone's cup of tea, but it will certainly entertain you and leave you feeling as if you experienced something truly unique.

sweet - Billy Ray Brewton