I am currently making coffee so I can launch into rewrites of Litter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets
starring the ACT class of 2011. I'll share a little more later but I actually need to rewrite a scene, so instead I give you the ACT PRESS RELEASE:
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Comedy Litter Takes On The Multiple Births Craze
Thursday, February 3, 2011Mark Rucker directs the world premiere of a play created specifically for
the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program class of 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, CA, February 3, 2011—The American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) Program presents the world premiere of acclaimed San Francisco writer Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Litter: The Story of the Framingham Dodecatuplets, directed by A.C.T. Associate Artistic Director Mark Rucker. Created with and tailored to the dynamic talents of the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program class of 2011, this irresistible new play takes a sharp, entertaining, and darkly comic look at the frenzy surrounding multiple births. After 12 siblings are born simultaneously during a greedy corporation's experimental procedure, their exploitative handlers propel them to instant childhood stardom as the Framingham Dodecatuplets, a pop sensation. But now that they are in their 20s and their cute act has lapsed into a cheap gimmick, how will this modern "family" navigate the world together—or apart? Brought to life by the wildly inventive imagination of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, author of boom and the Bay Area hit comedies T.I.C. and Hunter Gatherers, Litter whirls through a singular world of song and dance, taking the notion of sibling rivalry—and revelry—to astonishing extremes. Litter runs March 3–19, 2011, at Zeum Theater (Yerba Buena Gardens, Fourth and Howard streets, San Francisco). Opening night is Saturday, March 5, 2011, at 8 p.m., and reviews will be allowed for this production. Tickets are $10–$15 and are available at www.act-sf.org or by calling the A.C.T. Box Office at 415.749.2228.
Nachtrieb, whose play boom was the most performed play for the 2009–10 theater season in the U.S.—racking up the most productions of any kind of play, excluding only holiday-themed shows and works by Shakespeare—was commissioned to write a play specifically for the members of the class of 2011 and created Litter after a yearlong workshop process with the actors. Each character was inspired by and tailored to the unique personas and talents of each performer. Nachtrieb said of the process: "I wanted to write a play that would showcase these 12 talented actors in perhaps a bigger and crazier way than they can demonstrate during A Christmas Carol. It has been a fun and challenging process to start with essentially nothing other than a broad idea and the people in the room and let that spark into a bizarre and compelling story about what it means to be part of a modern family. I think the end result is pretty funny, a little sad, and hopefully a wonderful chance to witness the family that is the class of 2011."
Rucker, who most recently directed Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet at A.C.T. and a critically acclaimed production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at South Coast Repertory, has been working with Nachtrieb and the actors throughout the process. He speaks to Nachtrieb's comedic talents and the unique process that gave birth to this play: "Collaborating with Peter in creating this play has been fascinating. He has put his background in sketch comedy to amazing use. We started with a series of interviews, which gave way to theater games to generate material. Then he was able to shape those improvisational exercises into slightly scripted episodes, and now we have turned those episodes into a complete play." The members of the class of 2011, which consists of actors of many ethnicities and backgrounds (including one actor who is from Britain, and whose character inexplicably speaks in a British accent in the play), were given roles that match their strengths. Rucker adds about the size and scope of this play: "Writing a play for 12 characters that gives equal weight to all of their stories is a unique challenge in itself, and Peter has done beautifully in creating this crazy world."
The design team bringing the world of this unique play to life includes scenic designer Liliana Duque-Piñeiro, lighting designer Ben Wilhelm, costume designer Callie Floor, sound designer Ted Crimy, and composer Niko Tsakalakos. Litter is made possible by a generous grant from The Bernard Osher Foundation. Additional support is provided by The William G. Gilmore Foundation and donors to A.C.T.'s season gala, June 1, 2011.
Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is a San Francisco-based playwright whose works includeboom (which was TCG's most-produced play during the 2009–10 season), T.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common), Hunter Gatherers (2007 ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, 2007 Will Glickman Prize), Colorado, and Multiplex. His work has been seen off Broadway and across the country at Ars Nova, Summer Play Festival, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Cleveland Public Theatre, Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre, Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theatre, Dad's Garage Theatre, and in the Bay Area at Encore Theatre Company, Killing My Lobster, Marin Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His newest plays are BOB, originally a South Coast Repertory commission and a part of Actors Theatre of Louisville's 2011 Humana Festival lineup, and Litter, a commission for American Conservatory Theater. Nachtrieb holds a degree in theater and biology from Brown University and an M.F.A. in playwriting from San Francisco State University. He is a member of New Dramatists and a resident playwright at the Playwrights Foundation, San Francisco.
Mark Rucker has directed Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet, The Rainmaker, and The Beard of Avon at the American Conservatory Theater and A.C.T.'s production of Luminescence Dating at Magic Theatre. He is an associate artist at South Coast Repertory, where he has directed more than 20 productions, including world premieres by Richard Greenberg, Christopher Shinn, Annie Weisman, and Culture Clash. Other regional theater credits include work at Yale Repertory Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, Intiman Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage, The Old Globe, Ford's Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, The Acting Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, and Asolo Repertory Theatre. Rucker's feature film, Die, Mommie, Die! won a Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Ranked as one of the top programs in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program was the first theater training program in the country not affiliated with a college or university accredited to award the master of fine arts degree. The M.F.A. Program functions as the cornerstone of the A.C.T. Conservatory, which also includes the Summer Training Congress, Studio A.C.T., and the Young Conservatory. The third and final year of the program is designed to give students the opportunity to focus primarily on performing for a public audience. Past M.F.A. Program third-year productions have included works by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Christopher Durang, Charles Busch, Marc Blitzstein, Georg Büchner, Caryl Churchill, George Farquhar, Henrik Ibsen, Robert O'Hara, Harold Pinter, William Shakespeare, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Maxim Gorky, and Bertolt Brecht.
A.C.T.'s stage at Zeum Theater, a venue distinct from the American Conservatory Theater on Geary Street, is dedicated to the development of new works, new translations, new forms, and new artists. A.C.T.@Zeum was launched in October 2001 with the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program's world premiere staging of Marc Blitzstein's No for an Answer, directed by A.C.T. Artistic Director Carey Perloff. This unprecedented community partnership gives A.C.T. an additional stage for readings, workshops, rehearsals, and other aspects of new play and production development.
LITTER: THE STORY OF THE FRAMINGHAM DODECATUPLETS
Created with and tailored to the dynamic talents of the A.C.T. M.F.A. Program class of 2011, this irresistible new play takes a sharp, entertaining, and darkly comic look at the frenzy surrounding multiple births. After 12 siblings are born simultaneously during a greedy corporation's experimental procedure, their exploitative handlers propel them to instant childhood stardom as the Framingham Dodecatuplets, a pop sensation. But now that they are in their 20s and their cute act has lapsed into a cheap gimmick, how will this modern "family" navigate the world together—or apart? Brought to life by the wildly inventive imagination of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, author of boom and the Bay Area hit comedy Hunter Gatherers, Litter whirls through a singular world of song and dance, taking the notion of sibling rivalry—and revelry—to astonishing extremes.
by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb
Directed by Mark Rucker
Callie Floor (costume designer), Liliana Duque-Piñeiro (scenic designer), Ted Crimy (sound designer), Niko Tsakalakos (composer), Ben Wilhelm (lighting designer)
Featuring members of the A.C.T. Master of Fine Arts Program class of 2011:
Shinelle Azoroh (12), Dan Clegg (8), Stephanie DeMott (3), Marisa Duchowny (6), Brian Jansen (5), Jenna Johnson (4), Richardson Jones (2), Patrick Lane (9), Richard Prioleau (7), Joshua Roberts (10), Max Rosenak (11), Ashley Wickett (1)
Yerba Buena Gardens, Fourth and Howard streets, San Francisco
March 3–19, 2011
Thu.–Sat. at 8 p.m.; Sun. at 2 p.m.;
Additional 2 p.m. performance on 3/19
HOW MUCH: $10–$15
TIX & INFO: 415.749.2228 | www.act-sf.org