THE SURVEILLANCE TRILOGY

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Award-Winning Theatre Company

Announces Their Fall World Premiere Selection

By Leda Siskind

THE SURVEILLANCE TRILOGY

Suspense - Espionage - Artificial Intelligence

September 19 - October 14, 2019

Performances Monday, Thursday, Friday, & Saturday 8PM & Sunday 2PM

LOS ANGELES (Sept. 15, 2019) – Theatre 40 is delighted to announce their fall World Premiere production by Leda Siskind, THE SURVEILLANCE TRILOGY, is in full-tilt rehearsal mode.  This is the 2nd show in the 2019/20 Series at Theatre 40, and also the 2nd play by Siskind, who’s acclaimed production of All My Distances Are Far also premiered at Theatre 40 and is now published by Steel Spring Stage Rights.  The three piece show will premiere September 19, 2019. The production is produced by David Hunt Stafford.  Tickets on saleat:  www.Theatre40.org

YouTube Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n8rl_v8m-aA&feature=youtu.be

ABOUT THE SHOW

In 1953 Los Angeles, a couple returns home to discover they’re being spied upon by government informants. 2017 Havana, a doctor and his patient grapple with the debilitating effects of espionage that have nearly shuttered the U.S. Embassy. 2019 Encino, a screenwriter discovers her artificial intelligence assistant is listening in with an agenda all its own. This play reveals the past and present ways our relationships, our electronic devices, and our very lives can be spied upon — and turned against us.

THE CAST 

"Until All of This is Over"

A Man: Landon Beatty

A Woman: Jocelyn Hall

"The Havana Syndrome"

The Man: Warren Davis

A Woman: Stacey Mosely

"Are You Listening?"

Jezz: Charlotte Evelyn Williams

Shira: Sequoia Granger

Simon: Max Pescherine

More About ‘The Surveillance Trilogy' Three-Act

Until All of This Is Over

The play is set in 1953, the year Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were executed for being Russian spies. The ‘Blacklist’ – the infamous stigmatization of Hollywood writers and actors – was in full force. There was also a ‘grey’ list: those employees of government and state agencies suspected of being Communist were also subject to scrutiny. ‘Lavender’ raids against gay and lesbian federal workers were taking place in Washington D.C.  Back in the ‘Forties, it wasn’t unusual for liberal 20-somethings to join the Communist Party; Russia had been our ally during World War II and the Party spoke out against racism, economic inequality, and Fascism.  All that freedom of thought was caught up in the net of McCarthyism by the early ‘Fifties. My father, a house painter and ardent Communist, was tailed by the F.B.I. from the ‘Forties until the ‘Sixties. According to his forty-six page dossier, there were about eleven informants (coded by number, names redacted) who spied on my father for the F.B.I: neighbors, peers, and paid professionals.  The couple in this play is based on friends of my father.

The Havana Syndrome

I first learned about the Havana Syndrome from a New Yorker magazine article (November 19, 2018) and subsequently read up on all the known and unknown facts, arguments and counter-arguments about what happened – or didn’t happen – there. At the present time, The State Department is adhering to the possibility that the internal injuries suffered by the twenty-plus embassy workers were the result of high-pitched crickets. All the information about the Syndrome presented in the play is true, including what happens to the doctor at the Hotel Nacional.

Are You Listening?

My interest in the artificial intelligence ‘assistants’ began with a casual perusal of the Internet, where I found funny videos and tapes of A. I. assistants giving nonsensical answers to silly questions – and also articles and reports of how they have recorded conversations and are capable of spying on their users. Corporations such as Yahoo and Apple have aided the National Security Agency, whose mandate is to spy on foreigners but also holds a vast amount of information on American citizens. I wondered how an ‘assistant’ could be used as a weapon in a complex, emotionally charged relationship…

THE TEAM

Written by Leda Siskind

Directed by Amanda Conlon

Set Design by Jeff G. Rack

Lighting Design by Brandon Baruch

Sound Design by Joseph 'Sloe' Slawinski

Costume Designer by Michele Young

Stage Manager Don Solosan

Presented by Theatre 40

Produced by David Hunt Stafford

The Surveillance Trilogy will open September 19 – October 14, 2019, at Theatre 40.  Located in the Reuben Cordova Theatre on the campus of Beverly Hills High School, 241 South Moreno Dr., Beverly Hills, CA. 90212. Performances will be Thursday, Friday, Saturday 8PM, Sunday 2PM and Monday 8PM.  Running 95 minutes with intermission.

NOTE:  Friday, Sept. 20th performance will be at 7:30PM

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 1st.  General admission:  $35.00

Tickets and information at: www.theatre40.orgor call (310) 364-0535

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BIO’S

LEDA SISKIND – Playwright

As a playwright, director, and professional actor, with credits on Broadway, off-Broadway, and Los Angeles theatre.  All My Distances Are Far, a full-length play about troubled teens, was produced at Theatre 40 and is now published by Steele Spring Stage Rights.

Theatre 40 audiences will remember Leda as Willa Mae in the wacky comedy A Bad Year for Tomatoesand as Edith in the American premiere of the Israeli drama Two Sisters.  Other Theatre 40 performances include Night Watch and Kin,as well as the Odyssey Theatre's production of Kvetch.  She has appeared on Broadway with Derek Jacobi in The Suicide and Off-Broadway in such varied productions as Hamlet, Under Milkwood, and the one-woman show of Why I Live At the P.O. The Liar's Punishment, her one-act play, was chosen by The Pacific Palisades Task Force on Homelessness for a benefit performance at the Pierson Playhouse and at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.  Leda holds a BFA from Cal Arts, an MFA from UCR, and is a proud member of Equity and the Dramatists Guild.

AMANDA CONLON – Director

Amanda Conlon is the Artistic Director of Bucket List Theatre where she directed last year’s critically acclaimed SILENCE! The Musical (Better Lemons Critics Choice Award, Broadway World Favorite Shows of 2018, LA Weekly Best Spooky Events). Other Los Angeles directing credits include All in the Timing (Stage Raw ‘Top Ten’ and ‘Recommended’), Pageant Play, [title of show] and Missmatch (Hollywood Fringe Encore! Producers' Award, Better Lemons Must-See Musical). Amanda conceived and directs regular installments of Bucket List Cabaret (Broadway World Favorite Shows of 2018). NYC directing credits include A…My Name Will Always Be Alice, Little by Little and Red & Slim Have Issues. The Surveillance Trilogy marks Amanda’s directorial debut at Theatre 40.

Landon Beatty grew up performing in musicals in Alabama before moving out of state to attend the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, where he graduated with a BFA. While in school and immediately after, he danced with Providence Ballet Theatre as a guest artist and also with Terpsicorps Theatre of Dance before moving to New York to perform with the comedy troupe, Les Ballet Grandiva.  He then moved west to be on stage with the oldest and longest running show in Las Vegas, Donn Arden’s Jubilee, before finally landing in Los Angeles where he has been lucky enough to participate in some amazing and award winning projects. Landon is new to Theatre 40

Warren Davis is happy to be back at Theatre 40 where he appeared last year as Sydney Webb in Engaging Shaw. Warren began his acting career in Chicago, where he appeared at The Goodman Theatre (The Visit), Drury Lane Oakbrook (The Nerd), Drury Lane South (Love, Sex and the IRS),  National Jewish Theatre (Rocket to the Moonand The Wizards of Quiz), and Lifeline Theatre (The Little Sister) among others.  LA credits include Fugu(West Coast Jewish Theatre), Currency(Inkwell Theatre), Orphans (LA New Court Theatre), Bulrusher(Skylight Theatre / LDTE), The Diary of Anne Frank(NoHo Arts Center), A Christmas Twist(SeaGlass Theatre), The Crucible (Lillian Theatre), The Car Plays(Moving Arts at Segerstrom Center for the Arts),  The Chinese Massacre(Circle X),  All Steps Necessary(Inkwell Theatre), R.U.R.and Slaughterhouse Five(Action! Theatre) and The Book of Liz (Blank Theatre). TV credits include “The Middle”, “Criminal Minds”, “House”, “ER”,  “LAX”, and “Strong Medicine”.   He can also be seen in the sci-fi cult feature “Yesterday Was A Lie” and a new feature film currently playing the festival circuit, “Across the Ocean.”

Sequoia Granger is thrilled to play such a challenging role in this production of The Surveillance Trilogy. Sequoia has been part of the arts since she was 3 years old studying acting at the McActing Academy. Recently she performed a featured role in the movie “South Central Love”. She is looking forward to expanding her growth into theater.

Jocelyn Hall  received her M.F.A. in Acting from Cal State Long Beach, teaches Acting at California Lutheran University, and has performed in well over 40 plays throughout Southern California. Some of her favorite roles include Horatio in Hamlet, Hermia in A Midsummer Nights Dream, Mary Anne in The Kentucky Cycle, and Cody in the world premiere, Fierce Backbone production of Gorgeous. She is also a graduate of the IO West Improv program and performs sketch comedy at various theatres in Los Angeles with her IO West House Sketch team, Duke. Check her out at: www.thejocelynhall.com

Stacey Mosely started her career at the age of 10 in NY and has spent most of her life on a stage or a set. She has Recurred, Guest Starred and Co Starred on shows on many networks including CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX, TNT & Netflix. Some of her favorite credits include Atypical, Grey’s Anatomy and SMILF. She’s also appeared in numerous commercials campaigns, most recently Aldi Grocery Stores and an anti-opioid campaign in Ohio covering tv, radio and print. Stacey is currently in production for her own comedy web series, Missed America. She spends the rest of her time volunteering for gun violence prevention organizations and hanging with her husband and her 3 sons (2 boys, 1 dog).

Reviews

Shari Barrett

Told in three separate one-act stories, the World Premiere of Leda Siskind's play THE SURVEILLANCE TRIOLOGY explores the ways in which private citizens have become victims of ever-present eavesdropping by forces able to be kept secret until the damage has been done. Directed by Amanda Conlon at Theatre 40, ultimately you may just walk out at the end wondering just how you are being watched and for just what purpose, especially when you turn your cell phone back on and begin interacting with it.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The Surveillance Trilogy takes place on Jeff G. Rack’s large, subdued set and features seven skilled actors who breathe impressive life into Siskind’s socially conscious plays, making for a challenging and provocative night of theater.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

The world premiere of Leda Siskind’s thought-provoking, topical The Surveillance Trilogy is perfectly timed—opening the same week that Edward Snowden’s book Permanent Record has been published and the Trump administration is mired in an alleged whistleblower scandal...

sweet - Ed Rampell - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar

The stories that are told are based upon true facts that were later documented, giving this stage play a rather eerie persona. It’s not scary in any sense, but it’s enough to register that something knows more about you that you may realize!

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review


Shari Barrett

Told in three separate one-act stories, the World Premiere of Leda Siskind's play THE SURVEILLANCE TRIOLOGY explores the ways in which private citizens have become victims of ever-present eavesdropping by forces able to be kept secret until the damage has been done. Directed by Amanda Conlon at Theatre 40, ultimately you may just walk out at the end wondering just how you are being watched and for just what purpose, especially when you turn your cell phone back on and begin interacting with it.

sweet - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


Avatar

The Surveillance Trilogy takes place on Jeff G. Rack’s large, subdued set and features seven skilled actors who breathe impressive life into Siskind’s socially conscious plays, making for a challenging and provocative night of theater.

sweet - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Avatar

The world premiere of Leda Siskind’s thought-provoking, topical The Surveillance Trilogy is perfectly timed—opening the same week that Edward Snowden’s book Permanent Record has been published and the Trump administration is mired in an alleged whistleblower scandal...

sweet - Ed Rampell - People's World - ...read full review


Avatar

The stories that are told are based upon true facts that were later documented, giving this stage play a rather eerie persona. It’s not scary in any sense, but it’s enough to register that something knows more about you that you may realize!

sweet - Rich Borowy - Accessibly Live Off-Line - ...read full review