The Many Phases of the Unfazeable Rain Pryor

The Jewish Women's Theatre will produce the Los Angeles premiere of Rain Pryor's new solo outing FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES at the Braid, beginning February 16th. Actress/comedian/songtress/writer, Rain performs her autobiographical performance piece covering her early years as the bi-racial child of a broken home, through coping with being a comedy legend's daughter, becoming a performer in her own right, and to her very busy present. We had the chance to chat with Rain between her rehearsals for her Braid bow.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Rain!

You're already in rehearsals for FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES?

I am currently in rehearsals five days a week for FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES. Also, trying to conserve some energy for the opening and the six-week run. 

You originally wrote your autobiographical FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES in 2002. Has a lot of your show changed into its present state from its original?

When I originally wrote FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES, I wrote for the purpose of just presenting a showcase of my talents. Over the past 14-15 years, it has become a very poignant piece of theatre. 

How did you come up with the catchy title FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES?

The title, (thanks for saying it's catchy) just popped up after calling my show SWEET POTATO & LATKES. Fried Chicken (although cliché) seemed better to grasp the juxtaposition of two sides of my cultural lives.

Which are you better at making - fried chicken? Or latkes? 

I love to cook. I would say I can do both extremely well. And that the combination is fabulous. 

What was your father's initial reactions to FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES?

My father never got to see me perform this piece. However, I showed him the reviews and asked his permission to play him and do a part of his act in it. 

It was difficult not to have Dad come to a show because he came to every show I have ever had. Even came to set. 

You're referring to your first TV series?

Yes, Head of the Class.

Did you rewrite any specific sections after hearing your father's comments?

I have never rewritten based on my family's input. I write with authenticity, just as Mom and Dad taught me to do. 

What was your mother Shelley's reaction to FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES?

My mother's reaction was, "Ya know, Rain. I don't really talk that way, but as long as you're making money, it's okay. By the way, I'm proud of you." 

Did your mother have you Bat Mitzvahed?

My mom never had a Bat Mitzvahee. My mom Shelley's family did not do Bar and Bat Mitzvahs. They did Shabbat and holidays though. 

When did you realize you wanted to be a performer?

I think I realized I wanted to be a performing around 4 or 5. I was always imitating family and people I met. I loved to sign big band music and could recite the entire The Wizard of Oz

When were you old enough to understand, or even see, your father's comedy routines?

I grew up in the comedy clubs with both my parents. I may not have understood the language, but I knew about what was funny

How old were you when you fully realized how famous and well-loved your father was?

I talk about this in my show. He took me to his Long Beach concert in 1979. I was 9 years old, and 3,000 people were there. I got it - Dad was God! Ha! 

I hear you do a mean Richard Pryor impersonation in FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES. What other characters, real or composite, can the Braid audiences expect to meet?

I do about 10-11 people from my life. I hope I bring a realness and depth to them. 

Since you wrote about real people in your life, was there any particular person (other than your parents), you were apprehensive getting their feedback?

I don't seek approval from the people I portray. I have nothing to hide, because my intention is not mean-spirited. I create realized real versions of the people in my life. I love them, even the bad teen girl in my show. 

You've performed FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES all over the world. Tell us the most surprising response you received from an audience.

I had a show in Harlem where the audience stood up and applauded in the middle of my show. I was taken aback with profound emotion and gratitude. 

Was the Beverly Hills community during your childhood there less racially color-blind/sensitive than they are today in 2017?

1970s - there weren't kids like me in my area of Beverly Hills. My mom was a single white Jewish woman, raising a bi-racial child. We had to face a lot of adversity, anger, hatred. We survived and overcame. That's what strong Jewish women do. We endure. 

Did you find comedy or singing great weapons in your arsenal to use in your growing up?

Comedy and singing were a huge part of life. You can escape any bad mood with a song or a joke. Well, at least, if you're in my family. 

What do you hope your Braid audiences leave with after your curtain call?

I hope the Braid audiences, leave with a sense of hope and action to keep evolving and changing the world for the better. Our kids are the change. 

Thank you, Rain! Looking forward to seeing you do your favorite foods!

FRIED CHICKEN & LATKES plays through April 2, 2017. For ticket availability and further info, log onto www.jewishwomenstheatre.org


Drew Droege Dishes on His Many Faces Leading to His Latest of Charles Busch's Angela Arden

An avid, frequent, and popular staple of in Los Angeles theatre scene, Drew Droege adds to his impressive repertoire of female characterizations with his latest role as Angela Arden, the role Charles Busch wrote and originated in his DIE, MOMMIE, DIE! Drew will be high-camping it up at The Celebration Theatre beginning February 10th.

Thank you for taking the time for this interview, Drew!

My pleasure! Thank YOU!

You will be taking on Charles Busch's iconic role of Angela in his 2007 cult classic DIE, MOMMIE, DIE! at the Celebration Theatre. When did you first become aware of Charles Busch?

I grew up in a small town in North Carolina. However, I had a very well-worn Samuel French catalog and stumbled onto the title PSYCHO BEACH PARTY. I ordered it and immediately fell in love. I desperately campaigned for my high school drama club to produce it, but they had just canceled prom because of freak dancing. So obviously, it was never approved. Instead, we just performed an evening of original and clean poetry. 

Have you seen Charles Busch perform live?

Yes! I got to see him in his play THE THIRD STORY at La Jolla Playhouse in 2008. I was playing his role in RED SCARE ON SUNSET in LA at the time, so the cast drove down to see him and meet him. He is poisonously hilarious to watch live. 

What were your preparations for this role of Angela?

I've watched several Bette Davis, Lana Turner, and Susan Hayward movies to get into the mindset of these women and into the style we're playing. Angela is a blast, because she's equal parts washed-up, drunk, raunchy, vulnerable, glamorous, vindictive, and every inch a STAR! I think it's truly Charles' best character.

You are a fixture of LA Theatre, frequently appearing @ the LA LGBT Center, the Rockwell, Casita del Campo and Celebration. Which gets your creative juices up more, performing live theatre or TV shows and podcasts?

I love doing all of them because they all work different muscles. There's nothing like performing in front of a rowdy LA crowd - I feel so lucky that I get to do stupid fun shows. And, Oh, My God! We all need to get together and laugh - now more than ever. But TV and film are satisfying because I can be a piece of something bigger and try to be somewhat real. And podcasts are just pure raw, sobbing, naked honesty that I also find myself needing now more than ever.

Do you prefer tackling a female role (Miranda Priestley in UMPO THE DEVIL WEARS PRADA, Velda in UMPO TROOP BEVERLY HILLS, Mellie Moleson in PRAIRIE-OKE!) to a male role (BRIGHT COLORS & BOLD PATTERNS)?

I always just look at the character's point of view first. To me, their gender is less interesting than what drives them. I hope that I get to play both men and women for my entire life.

UMPO producer Kate Pazakis told me, once you put on Miranda's wig, you became her. Do costumes make the woman for you?

Oh, my god, absolutely. I have always been that actor who screamed for his rehearsal shoes! And wigs are powerful beasts - put them on and just say, 'Yes!'

Did you 'become' Angela when you first tried on her wig?

I'm still trying wigs, and I'm still finding Angela, so... 

You are infamous for your Chloe Sevigny parodies. What made you pick Chloe in particular to 'do'?

I put on a wig for something else and realized I looked like her. And I've long been fascinated by Chloe and her world. And she has been the gift that has kept on giving. And I debuted her in a sketch comedy show at Celebration Theatre - 15 years ago!!!

What was growing up in South & North Carolina like?

It was perfect for me. Everyone is a drag queen or a sketch character there. And I had a family and very close friend circle, and it was always about love and laughter and FOOD!

Was being funny your defense mechanism?

Yes. And pretending to be possessed by Satan - that created a necessary fear that kept the Carolina bullies at bay. 

When did you decide you could make a career out of being funny?

I'm still figuring that out. 

Who were your comedy idols growing up?

Carol Burnett, Divine, Jan Hooks, Madeline Kahn, Goldie Hawn, Kevin Kline, The Kids In The Hall, The State, Laurel and Hardy, and my Dad. 

Was being part of The Groundlings a major stepping stone for your career? Absolutely! First of all, the training is unparalleled, because it made me create original characters. It made me stop waiting for the phone to ring and create my own career. And it's never about jokes at The Groundlings - it's about what's true to the people you are playing. I was fortunate enough to make it through their program and get to perform there and work with the funniest people in the world. My first legit TV job was on RENO 911!, thanks in many ways to The Groundlings. And my most recent TV job was doing four episodes of IDIOTSITTER, created by and starring brilliant Groundlings friends Jillian Bell and Charlotte Newhouse. I will be forever grateful.

Did you find your NY audience reactions different or similar to your LA audience reactions to your BRIGHT COLORS?

Every audience was wildly different. I guess in general, New York has less regard/respect/reverence for celebrities, so they understood the ridiculous tragedy of my character's obsession with them. Truly, that show is my favorite thing ever, ever, ever to perform. 

What's in store for Drew Droege in 2017?

I'm going to be shooting TVLand's brilliant new Heathers series and writing sporadically for a Netflix show - and hopefully bringing BRIGHT COLORS & BOLD PATTERNS back to New York soon. It all feels so exciting and exhausting at once! Come see DIE, MOMMIE, DIE! The cast is amazing and our director Ryan Bergmann is a genius. We're having a blast, and so will you! 

Thank you, Drew! Looking forward to seeing you transformed into Angela.

DIE, MOMMIE, DIE! plays through March 26, 2017. For ticket info and further info, log onto www.celebrationtheatre.com


Dan Castellaneta on Oscar Levant, Winning Emmys, and Finding His Voice(s)

Dan Castellaneta's latest creative project FOR PIANO AND HARPO world premieres at the Falcon Theatre February 1, 2017. In FOR PIANO AND HARPO, Dan writes about and stars as the renowned 20th century pianist/comedian/actor Oscar Levant. The busy multi-tasker managed to spare us some moments between his The Simpsons responsibilities and FOR PIANO AND HARPO rehearsals to answer a few questions for Better Lemons.

Thank you for taking time out of your crazy, busy schedule for this interview!

When did you first become aware of Oscar Levant?

I had a record album of old comedy bits from radio and television. One of the cuts was of The Fred Allen Show where he interviewed Oscar Levant. He was introduced as a concert piano player, but was really funny. I became more aware of him as my wife had a childhood crush on him. Then I noticed his appearances in many MGM musicals.

What attracted you to Oscar Levant - his off-centered wit? His eccentricities? His uninhibited bon mots?

I love the fact that he was this accomplished musician and composer with one foot in the world of high culture and the other in the world of Broadway and pop culture. He was extremely well-read, but took to talking like a wise-cracking “B” movie gangster.

What made you want to write a piece around Oscar Levant?

I was reading Harpo Marx's biography, Harpo Speaks. There was a chapter about how Oscar Levant crashed a dinner party at Harpo's Beverly Hills home and stayed for a year and a month. I thought a play about these two completely funny, interesting, and different characters living together might make an interesting play. I didn't want it to be a 1930's Odd Couple, so I focused primarily on Oscar Levant's struggle with mental illness and drug addiction and how perhaps memories of his friendship with Harpo helped him cope.

One of my favorite Oscar Levant quotes is "Roses are red, violets are blue, I'm schizophrenic, and so am I." What's yours?

Here's one that he said to his friend George Gershwin. “Tell me, George. If you had to do it all over again; would you still fall in love with yourself?”

You were still a teenager when you realized you had a gift for doing impressions. Yet you initially studied art to become an art teacher. What incident convinced you that comedy could be a viable career for you?

When I was teaching, one of my students was helping me clean up the art class and I started doing voices for him just to make the task a little less tedious. He said to me, “What are you doing here, man? You should be in Hollywood.” It kind of hit home to what I truly felt. So after that, I resolved to pursue acting.

Did you start off doing voice-overs in commercials on radio?  What are some of the first ones you ever did?

I did start off doing voice-overs for radio and television with my wife Deb, in Chicago. We were a male-female voice team, as was the fashion at that time. My first voiceover was for a national TV spot -- I think was for Betty Crocker. It was a picture of a guy looking at a chocolate cake. And I was voicing his thought, which was, “I'm a fool for your chocolate!” I had to say that line fifty different ways until they found the one they liked.

There seems to be major periods of time in between your stage performances - in 1999, you wrote and starred in WHERE DID VINCENT VAN GOGH? Your next stage role was in THE BICYCLE MEN at London's The King's Head Theatre in 2007. Here we are in 2017, and you'll open February 1 in FOR PIANO AND HARPO at the Falcon Theatre. Too busy on your day job passion? Miss being on the boards? What brings you back on stage?

Actually, I've always been performing on stage during that time. Most times, it was doing improv in and around LA. I've also done other plays. Between VAN GOGH and BICYCLE MEN, I was in THE ALCHEMIST Off-Broadway in New York, THE UNDERPANTS at the Geffen in LA, NIGHTHAWKS and TWIST YOUR DICKENS at The Kirk Douglas Theater in LA, and MOONLIGHT & MAGNOLIAS at the Old Globe in San Diego. Since then, I've been more interested in writing plays and using improvisation to create material. I'm doing FOR PIANO AND HARPO because I wrote it and wanted to see it get a production. I was available and I work cheap.

Since Oscar Levant was schizophrenic, I would imagine you portray different characters of him in FOR PIANO AND HARPO. Would The Simpsons fans recognize any voices that you'll 'do' as Oscar Levant?

I'm sure Oscar Levant's quote about being a schizophrenic was more to score a laugh off of his struggles with mental illness, and also because most people mistake schizophrenia with having multiple personalities. As I understand it, Oscar Levant did not suffer from being schizophrenic or having multiple personalities. If he were diagnosed today, he would no doubt be treated for being bi-polar. But in his day, they didn't really have the proper treatment for it. So I only use one voice to do the character – that of Oscar's. I don't know if any Simpsons fans will recognize it.

There's only an elite few who have won multiple Emmys in their respective category. After winning four for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance, does it get old hat each time you get nominated again? Or do you still get that original burst of excitement like the first time you won?

It's not as old hat as you would think, because over the years, the competition has been fierce. There are so many more prime time cartoons. Which means there are many more fine-talented voiceover artists to go up against. Now more than ever, it's a big deal just to get nominated. I haven't won in a while. But the last time was as thrilling as the first because you never think you are going to win.

In your everyday life, do you fall back on certain voices of your treasure trove of voices in the heat of the moment?

I wish I could tell you a fantastic anecdote about how using one of my voices got me out of a tight situation, but alas, the only voice that comes out is shrill and whiny.

What would you like the Falcon audiences to leave with after you take your curtain call for Oscar Levant?

Other than being entertained and emotionally moved, I hope to introduce and spark interest in this fascinating character. He's definitely worth knowing about. He thrived in so many arenas -- pop music, classical music, literature, Broadway, movies, television, radio.  

Thank you, Sir, for taking the time for this interview! 

FOR PIANO AND HARPO plays at the Falcon Theatre February 1 – March 5, 2017; visit www.falcontheatre.com for more information and tickets.


Burt Young Lightly Spars on His Life From Rocky to THE LAST VIG

Burt Young, universally known for his Oscar-nominated role as Paulie in the Rocky film series, will be starring in David Varriale's world premiere of THE LAST VIG beginning January 12, 2017 at the Zephyr Theatre. "Vig," for the majority of us who don't know, means the cut charged by a bookmaker for processing a bet. This actor/writer/painter took some time to answer a few questions for Better Lemons.

What initially attracted you to THE LAST VIG?
To me, it's a slice of life from our bottom fears to the top of our politics. Big Joe is in the middle of it all.

Had you been acquainted with David Varriale before?
No.

If you were to comment on your experience with THE LAST VIG, what would it be?
Solid performances by all. A pleasure to be on the stage with this gang.

What can you tell us about Big Joe, your role in THE LAST VIG, without giving too much away?
Big Joe is a survivor, until he isn't.

Have you been back on stage since your Broadway debut in 1986 in Reinaldo Povod's CUBA AND HIS TEDDY BEAR, with Robert De Niro and Ralph Macchio?
Yes – did a one-man play called ARTIST FOUND.

What prodded you into acting in theatre now?
A lack of attention. And a very exciting true-to-life play.

Are you approachable or receptive to young creatives (writers, directors, producers) who want to work with you?
Of course.

How would you, yourself, define a cast breakdown description of “a Burt Young-type”?
Handsome, articulate, studious, refined. A pleasure to be with.

You've written two stage plays: SOS and A LETTER TO ALICIA AND THE NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENT FROM A MAN WITHA BULET IN HIS HEAD. Any immediate plans to bring them to the boards?
I've had enough trouble with them before.

What memorable incident you experienced with Lee Strasberg studying at the Actors Studio can you share with us?
He laughed at me when I changed my name.

You were a professional boxer winning all of your 14 professional fights. Your boxing expertise must have come in handy in shooting the Rocky films. Were you the go-to guy for quick boxing technical questions? Or was there a separate boxing technical consultant?
No, but it was 17 pro fights. Stallone really choreographed all the movie fights like he had a camera in his brain.

You got to spar with Muhammad Ali for a charity event, becoming good friends afterwards. What do you remember of that once-in-a-lifetime night?
Just that it was a once-in-a-lifetime event for me.

Was your first passion acting or painting?
Painting. Acting was too far removed from me and the neighborhood.

What is on the near horizon for Burt Young?
I hope we take THE LAST VIG to New York.

What would you like your audiences of THE LAST VIG to leave with feeling?
That they saw something strong and honest and worthy of a two-hour visit.

For schedule, tickets and show info, log onto www.plays411.com/lastvig


Escaping and Not Escaping The Tension Experience

Circling the World of the O.O.A.

Until this year, I'd never been to any kind of haunt production. I hadn't heard of Delusion, I didn't know what My Haunt Life was, and (I'm embarrassed to say) I had never even been to Sleep No More. What about an escape room? Nope. Hadn't done that, either.

However, I have been part of live events that push beyond the proscenium of “traditional” theatre, and I love it. I've attended as well as created various types of immersive and interactive productions in several genres and forms. So, when I first heard about The Tension Experience: Ascension, I was instantly riveted.

If you're not familiar, The Tension Experience is a highly-produced, ever-changing, individually-tailored machination of tentacled performances that just released its hold on LA (at least officially, and at least for the moment). It was part theatre and part mythological rabbit hole. It was part puzzle and part interrogation. It was made up of guerrilla mind games and shifting layers of morphing storylines. It also was, and is, a complete obsession for those who stepped into its shadowy waters.

My explanation is a little vague because, well, it would take me about 27 pages to give you my initial take on what actually went down. Also, to be honest, there's a part of me that's still nervous they're tapping my phone and monitoring my email, and if I reveal too much I'll come home to find some masked guy waiting with a coil of rope and a tray of scalpels. If you want to dig into their history, scour the internet at your own risk.

The short version of what happened: a cult called the O.O.A. came to town. They were full of mystery and controversy, popping up all over LA for months to interview people and disperse clues. Then, if you actually bought a ticket and showed up at your appointed time, you might have a chance to learn their secrets and become part of their mission.

Unfortunately, I was broke. So I decided not to go.

That is, until a friend of mine offered to loan me the money. Where did he get the funds? I assume the O.O.A. wired them to his account, and blackmailed him into buying me a ticket for their own nefarious purposes. In any case, we secured our admissions, girded our loins, and finally arrived at the designated alleyway at our appointed time.

Shortly afterwards, the black van pulled up.

Inside the Machine

Again, I'm not going to go into great detail about what went down for the next two or three hours of my life. I can tell you that I was stripped of all my possessions (including my clothes, thank you), questioned by several different people, and put through a battery of physical, mental, and psychic tests.

In nearly no time at all, I knew I had been singled out. I was separated from the rest of the group for most of my journey. I was given tasks that pitted me against my fellow entrants, and I was rewarded with encouraging words as I passed through each new challenge. For a good stretch, it appeared they'd narrowed it all down to me and one other person.

But narrowed it down for what?

Finally, my one remaining companion (enemy?) and I were knelt down. We began a strange and frightening ceremony in total darkness. And the question was posed: which one of us was to go first? I held my breath…and they took him first. Then I was alone. For a long time. Until they came back to get me.

I suppose it was after I woke up in a room full of sand. It was after a woman whispered in my ear that she was “so jealous” of what I was about to feel. It was after they strapped me to a medical chair and someone started swabbing my arm. That's when I started to think that maybe I shouldn't have come.

I learned something that night, though: when someone tells you it's time to say your final goodbyes to everyone you know? It's hard, in that moment, to come up with the right words.

The Tension Experience site is now mostly dismantled remains.

The Experience Continues

Clearly, I'm here writing this, so I didn't wind up dead. But it was close. As often happens with cults, things didn't exactly go as planned, and by the time I managed to get out of there, I was a bit shook up—and covered in blood. So, I did the sensible thing: I decided to write about my escape, publish it for all to see, and call out the O.O.A. on their messy little slip-up.

And you know what? They heard me. The next day I received a special message from the O.O.A. Within the week, I was back at their headquarters to ‘bear witness.' To what? I could only assume it would be a very jarring finale.

It was.

While I was there to witness the final moments of the show, I saw others in attendance that I recognized from The Tension Experience forums. There were people I recognized from events like Screenshot Productions' The Rope. It was a small but highly devoted audience, and a group that was apparently very loyal to this brand of terror-driven immersive experience. Everyone gathered with a particular type of fervor and suspense that I have honestly never seen in the theatre.

The Lust Experience is the next chapter, but very little is currently known about it.

However, despite the closing of the O.O.A.'s doors, this isn't over. We already know that the next chapter of this saga will surface in the form of something entitled The Lust Experience, and after that we'll encounter The Adrenaline Experience. It's hard to say what they have in store.

I have a million questions. Some have to do with the story we know, and some have to do with the chapters to come. Some have to do with my interest as a playwright, actor, and producer: how was this thing assembled? I wonder how many more secrets will be revealed. I wonder how many locked doors will remain unopened as this experience continues to grow.

Then I wonder about the audience. For these next installments, will it be the same fervent group of devotees who adore horror and fantasy? Or will new participants emerge after hearing about the success of this first experiment? Will people be more or less comfortable facing Lust than they were facing Tension? Is this the start of a new LA institution?

As I said, the haunt scene is entirely new to me, but I can't help but think that The Tension Experience is, in many ways, the most memorable piece of theatre I've ever witnessed. It grabbed me in ways I couldn't shake, and now it continues to follow me afterwards. On the one hand, I feel like this kind of production could be the future of live theatre. On the other hand, perhaps it follows the form of the exact thing it claimed to be from the start: a small and devoted cult meant for a select few.

Only time will reveal what comes next. But if you're even the tiniest bit curious, I encourage you to visit The Lust Experience and join the list. Even if you're not a haunt-goer. Even if you're not a theatre-goer. Even if you have to bum some money from a friend down the line. Get involved with this story, because what's going on here feels big. It's a narrative that extends far beyond a 90-minute window or a 99-seat theatre. It's not just another live event. It's a living, breathing, organism. And it's waiting for you.


No 'Fooling' Around

Sacred Fools, the much-beloved and much-awarded pedigreed theatre company, is moving into its 20th Season, with January 2017 marking the one year Anniversary of its residence on Theatre Row. For the two decades before, Sacred Fools had been working in a theatre in East Hollywood, but they jumped at the chance to lease a larger space at the end of last year and hit the ground running in January.

“It was madness,” says Managing Director Padraic Duffy about the fast changeover. “It was exhausting but also invigorating. We're running a professional business here with still a volunteer staff and we're in that transition where we're demanding a lot of ourselves to make this happen.”

From right to left Mark Hamilton Costello as Arthur Taylor Marr as John Jessica Sherman as Alice Photo by Ben Rock

From right to left Mark Hamilton Costello as Arthur Taylor Marr as John Jessica Sherman as Alice Photo by Ben Rock

It's paying off. Since January, Sacred Fools has not only refurbished the theatre spaces that once housed the Asylum and the Elephant, but they've mounted four new plays - PAST TIME, A GULAG MOUSE, SKULLDUGGERY, and MOM'S DEAD (now playing until December 10th), worked with outside rentals, and became a central part of the annual Hollywood Fringe Festival.

“It went really well - we met a lot of wonderful artists, it's financially a boon to the space and you feel like a steward of the theatre - it's been such a center for Hollywood Theatre Row and Fringe and we all just loved keeping the doors open for Fringe. We did 40 productions in the space and probably had room for another 20. We'll probably be able to increase how many shows we have in here.”

In addition to the four theatre spaces, they're in the process of turning one of the smaller front theatre into a bar, complete with small cabaret stage. It's a separate business and co-tenant but they're working closely with Sacred Fools.

Traditional Sacred Fools worked hasn't slowed down since the move either, with the late-night series SERIAL KILLERS continuing on the MainStage on Saturdays and just passing its 300th show! The company also has a one-week Summer Camp for kids as part of their Education program and are working on a Diversity Initiative “with company members and friends of the company to get artists of color and female playwrights and actresses and inject our democracy with this perspectives.”

“A lot of places have struggled in the past and we're trying to turn outward in a lot of ways. It's Come One Come All, “ says Padraic. “We are really trying to engage our community right now. Our company meetings are open to the public and we've been trying to make sure people know that. In a community where tickets prices keep going up, we are trying to figure out how to lower our ticket prices and be a place where the community can come and be here a lot and afford to see shows and be involved.”

The choices of shows to include in the seasons has changed a bit this year, as well. The company of almost 112 Members and countless Associate Members used to have an eight-week window of suggesting shows to the Artistic Directors who would then read and decide the season, but this year, the non-dues paying group is taking year-round submissions. And still, all show auditions are open to the community.

And while he doesn't know the exact story behind the company name (which was nearly named “The Candy Store” when it first started), Padraic thinks it's the perfect moniker. “I just think it really fits what we do, “ he says. “Oftentimes when someone says describe your company thats where I start. We pride ourselves on being foolish but we take it really seriously. That's both sides of our character.”

MOM'S DEAD is now playing.

NOVEMBER 11 - DECEMBER 10, 2016
Fridays & Saturdays @ 8pm
plus Thursdays, Dec. 1 & 8 @ 8pm
Understudy performance Sun, Dec. 4 @ 7pm
Tickets: $20
www.sacredfools.org/onlineboxoffice