Friday, March 27, 2015 5-7 PM
Get Your Geek On!
Geek out with playwrights Crystal Skillman (GEEK!, KING KIRBY), Qui Nguyen (SHE KILLS MONSTERS, SOUL SAMURAI), and Adam Szymkowicz (CLOWN BAR, HEARTS LIKE FISTS) as they share personal favorites from their new and upcoming plays! Includes a sneak peek into Vampire Cowboys Theatre Company’s new show SIX ROUNDS OF VENGEANCE.
As Geek theater continues to find its way onstage downtown, uptown, and regionally, it’s time to let your Geek flag fly with some of your favorite “Geek” playwrights as we celebrate a brand new season of theater Geekery! From 5-6 PM, snippets will be shared from Crystal Skillman’s GEEK! produced by Vampire Cowboys Theater Company (just out from Samuel French), Qui Nguyen’s new play SIX ROUND OF VENGEANCE, opening this April with Vampire Cowboys Theater Company, and Adam Szymkowicz’s CLOWN BAR, currently running at Pasadena Playhouse redwhite+bluezz. Followed by a brief Q & A, and book signing with wine as well as special geek refreshments upstairs! Join us and Get Your Geek On with three of the hottest playwrights finding inventive ways to explore genre on stage today.
Crystal Skillman is an award winning Brooklyn based playwright. Her recent plays King Kirby, co-written with Fred Van Lente, Geek!, and Cut, all earned Critics Picks from the New York Times. Her first produced full length The Vigil or The Guided Cradle won the 2010 New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Full-Length Script. Wild, following its debut in Chicago, premiered in New York last year where the play was nominated for three NY IT Awards. Another Kind of Love, her drama about a family of punk rock singers, has been developed at NY Stage and Film, as part of the Lark Play Development Center’s retreat, and will be produced this Spring in Chicago with InFusion Theatre Company. Drunk Art Love, her comedy set in art school, is a new web series released online. Currently, Crystal is co-writing with award-winning composer Bobby Cronin the book for their musical (Un)Lucky in Love (Formally Concrete Jungle), and she is thrilled to be a part of the creative team of the musical of Mary and Max. Crystal is represented by Amy Wagner and Ron Gwiazda at Abrams Artists Agency in NY, and James Beresford with Shepard Management in the UK.
ADAM SZYMKOWICZ’s plays have been produced throughout the U.S., and in Canada, England, The Netherlands, Germany and Lithuania. His work has been presented or developed at such places as MCC Theater, Ars Nova, South Coast Rep, Playwrights Horizons, LAByrinth Theater Company, Primary Stages, The New Group, Southern Rep, Rising Phoenix, The Lark, Kitchen Dog, Chicago Dramatists and Studio Dante among others. Plays include Deflowering Waldo, Pretty Theft, Food For Fish, Hearts Like Fists, My Base and Scurvy Heart, Herbie, Incendiary, Old Fashioned Cold Fusion, Bee Eater, Clown Bar, Fat Cat Killers, The Why Overhead, Elsewhere, Where You Can't Follow, A Thing of Beauty, UBU, Mercy, Rare Birds and Nerve. His plays are published by Dramatists Play Service and Samuel French. Adam received a Playwright's Diploma from The Juilliard School's Lila Acheson Wallace American Playwrights Program and an MFA from Columbia University where he was the Dean's Fellow. Szymkowicz is a two-time Lecomte du Nouy Prize winner, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Writer's Guild of America, Primary Stages' Dorothy Strelsin New American Writer's Group, the MCC Playwright's Coalition and was a founding member of the Ars Nova Play Group. He was the premiere Resident Playwright at The Chance Theater in Anaheim, CA and the first playwright to participate in Bloomington Playwrights Projects' Square One Series. He has been to The Orchard Project, served twice as Playwright in Residence at the William Inge Center, received a grant from the CT Commission on Culture & Tourism, and was commissioned by South Coast Rep.
Qui Nguyen is a Co-Founder of the OBIE Award-winning Vampire Cowboys. His work, known for its innovative use of pop-culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, has been described as "Culturally Savvy Comedy", "Infectious Fun", and "Tour De Force Theatre" by The New York Times, Variety, and Time Out New York, respectively. Scripts include She Kills Monsters (The Flea, Buzz22 Chicago/Steppenwolf, Company One); Krunk Fu Battle Battle (East West Players); Bike Wreck (Ensemble Studio Theatre); Trial By Water (Ma-Yi Theater); Aliens Versus Cheerleaders (Keen Company); Soul Samurai; The Inexplicable Redemption of Agent G (Ma-Yi Theater & Vampire Cowboys); and the critically acclaimed Vampire Cowboys productions of Alice in Slasherland; Fight Girl Battle World; Men of Steel; and Living Dead in Denmark. His scripts are published by Samuel French, Playscripts, and Broadway Play Publishing. He is a proud resident artist at New Dramatists and a member of The Playwrights’ Center, Ensemble Studio Theatre, and The Ma-Yi Writers Lab. Currently, he's working on commissions for South Coast Rep (Vietgone), Children's Theatre Company (Samantha Rai & The Shogun of Fear), and Waterwell (Begets: Fall of a High School Ronin). His company, Vampire Cowboys, often credited for being the pioneers of "geek theatre", holds the unique distinction of being the first and currently only professional theatre organization to be officially sponsored by NY Comic Con. They are currently in-residence at The New Ohio Theater and IRT where Qui’s newest show, Six Rounds of Vengeance, will premiere this April 24 - May 16, 2015. More info at vampire cowboys.com
With pissed-off Pikachus, steam punk armies, stood-up Sailor Moons and roller-blading monsters on the prowl, it's easy to get lost in the Inferno-esque anime convention where the fans, the otakus, and the geeks prowl. But to score a rare meeting with their comic book idol, teenage outcasts Dayna and Honey will take on obsessive magic players, Jedis and elfs, cosplayers and convention guards - through all nine flights of Ohio's Dante's Fire-Con. But when the dark nature of their quest breaks through the fantasy of these girls cos-playing - they find that no game can mask the deep loss they’ve recently shared ... unless they truly discover who they are.
"CRITICS PICK! Compared with 'Cut,' Ms. Skillman’s lean, eviscerating 2011 takedown of reality television, 'Geek!' is a riot of visual invention ... But beneath the plumage lies a story that only grazes larger themes: parallels between theater and cosplay (shorthand for the costumed play of fandom), and the agonizing consequences of receding youth. Now Ms. Skillman is ready to dive into the deeper, darker waters of adulthood." - New York Times, Read More
"CRITICS PICK! Underneath the obscure pop-culture references, broad humor and eye-catching costumes lies something more impressive: genuine heart ... Crystal Skillman’s script goes beyond the superficial snark and touches on topical issues such as bullying and suicide, without seeming preachy or ripped from the headlines. It’s an honest and often hilarious exploration of the complicated, fantasy-fueled, online world some teens inhabit today." - Time Out New York, Read More
"Geek! is a celebration of the imagination. It revels in a subculture dedicated to living life according to their own rules and while managing not to poke fun at anyone for enjoying some role play it actually tells a great story about how we relate to the world and to those closest to us. The dialogue is screwball comedy fast and as sharp tongued as can be. Skillman is a master of wit and character who knows the value of fast action and the honor of good versus evil." - nytheatre.com, Read More
"I’m a fan of Crystal Skillman. I’ve watched her tear it up in the downtown scene for years. Her voice is both irreverent, but yet also incredibly moving. What amazes me about her talents is she has the ability to find the humanity in even the quirkiest of characters and makes her audience absolutely fall in love with them...Get ready to laugh. And cry. And geek. Using a bit of Crystal Skillman's patented slang, [Geek!] is 'amazeballs!'" - Qui Nguyen, Author of She Kills Monsters
Geek! was first produced by Vampire Cowboys Theater Company at Incubator Arts Project in New York City on March 21, 2013.
About SHE KILLS MONSTERS
WINNER! 2013 AATE Distinguished Play Award
A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games, She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans as she leaves her childhood home in Ohio following the death of her teenage sister, Tilly. When Agnes finds Tilly’s Dungeons & Dragons notebook, however, she stumbles into a journey of discovery and action-packed adventure in the imaginary world that was Tilly’s refuge. In this high-octane dramatic comedy laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres, and 90s pop culture, acclaimed young playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all.
"Deceptively breezy and rather ingenious. The whole enterprise is kind of dopey and kind of invigorating and kind of remarkable. It will slash and shapeshift its way into your heart." —The New York Times
"Packed with action, wit, and a sizable nerd-quotient, the production is a delight from start to finish" - Theatremania
"Positively slays the audience. Delightfully farcical."- Stage & Cinema
"Nguyen is a refreshing, break-the-rules writer — he has a ready embrace of pop culture, high-school speak and 'High Fidelity' cool, and he also has a mission to redeem gaming geeks everywhere...She Kills Monsters, delivers exactly what it promises, is generally a blast" - Chicago Tribune
She Kills Monsters premiered at the Flea Theater on November 4, 2011
About CLOWN BAR
A clown noir play about a former clown named Happy who has returned to the seedy underground crime world to find his brother’s killer.
Happy's junkie brother Timmy is found dead. Now Happy must return to his former life as a clown to ask a few questions. But will Happy be able to go home again without getting sucked into the seedy clown underbelly of vice and violence?
“Adam Szymkowicz’s script is unabashedly funny but also shrewd.” —Ken Jaworowski, New York Times Critics Pick
“…hilarious and ebullient…devastating and pitch-perfect.” —Julia Hochner, New York Theatre Review
“…a perfect storm of ridiculousness…it’s weird how well this works.” —Regina Robinns, Theatre is Easy
“…the team responsible…should be hired by everyone for everything all the time immediately.” —Mary Notari, nytheatre.com
"Clown Bar...[does] things with [its] genre that I have never seen on stage before." —HowlRound
Clown Bar premiered in New York City with the Pipeline Theatre in April of 2013 under the direction of Andrew Neisler.