Road Less Traveled Productions (RLTP) today publicly announced its 2013-2014 Season, which will mark the local theatre company's tenth anniversary of operations. Founded in 2003 by Executive & Artistic Director Scott Behrend and Literary Director Jon Elston (and debuting its first production in January of that year), RLTP has spent the past decade pursuing a mission of developing and producing world-premiere plays by Western New York (WNY) playwrights, engaging a new and youthful WNY audience, and consistently presenting an accurate reflection of WNY's broad multi-cultural composition.
Proclaimed Behrend, "RLTP's 10th Anniversary Season will celebrate our mission through continuing to do what we've done all along: produce world-premiere plays about or of relevance to Buffalo which reflect the interests of our diverse and engaged audience."
The 10th Anniversary Season launches with a world-premiere evening of original, ten-minute plays by WNY playwrights. Buffalo Rises will be "a celebration of the community we live in and love, through the eyes, minds, and hearts of Buffalo's favorite playwrights," said Behrend. RLTP Ensemble members Jon Elston (2012: End Of The Road), Donna Hoke (Seeds), and Darryl Schneider (Clean Break) will be joined by other outstanding local dramatists as they weave provocative, funny, and hopeful tales of the challenges, achievements, and aspirations of this city and its residents. Buffalo Rises opens September 13, 2013, and will run through October 6, 2013.
A recent, Pulitzer Prize-winning play will enjoy the second-slot spotlight of the 2013-2014 Season when RLTP presents the WNY premiere of Bruce Norris' Clybourne Park.This visionary satire - simultaneously a prequel, sequel, and modern commentary on the American theatre classic A Raisin In The Sun - spans 50 years in the history of one much-contested house in a constantly evolving suburb. "In 1959, nervous homeowners scramble to discourage the arrival of the neighborhood's first black family," relaTed Behrend. "The tables turn in 2009, as the now predominantly African-American community struggles to resist a new onset of gentrification." He called the play "a ferocious expose of segregation, white flight, and ever-shifting cultural insecurities" and added that Clybourne Park was also the winner of the Tony and Olivier Awards. "Though set in Chicago, it's a story sure to resonate with Buffalonians." Clybourne Park will run from November 8, 2013 through December 1, 2013.
RLTP rings in New Year 2014 with a new, world-premiere play by an exciting new voice on the WNY playwriting scene. Mark Witteveen's A Very Fine Use Of A Grenade is a mystery that unfolds in the grand tradition of Harold Pinter's Betrayal and Christopher Nolan's Memento. "The play begins with a man and a woman checking out of a rural Midwest motel room, ready to leave their pasts behind them," said Behrend. "Gradually the events that brought them to this point are revealed: a power struggle over an independent feature film, an unusual seduction, and an enigmatic disappearance." Director Doug Zschiegner, who previously shepherded RLTP's smash-hit world premiere thriller Insidious from page to stage, has assembled a cast that Behrend labels "ingenious," including: John Fredo, Renee Landrigan, RLTP Ensemble member Kristen Tripp Kelley, and Insidious star Greg Howze. A Very Fine Use Of A Grenade will run from January 24, 2014 through February 16, 2014.
In Spring 2014, RLTP will unveil a novel and unique theatrical endeavor: the WNY premiere of An Iliad by Denis O'Hare and Lisa Peterson. This one-man show frames the timeless epic about humanity's unshakable attraction to violence, chaos, and self-destruction, as told by Homer himself. The muscular production will revolve around a tour-de-force performance by RLTP Ensemble member Matt Witten; Behrend indicated a portable version of the show will travel to area schools, as part of RLTP's ongoing initiative to engage young theatregoers and inspire future theatre artists. An Iliad will run from March 7, 2014 through March 30, 2014.
The 2013-2014 Season will close with another WNY premiere: the incendiary Race by Pulitzer Prize winner David Mamet. A wealthy executive is charged with assault; two comfortably established lawyers (one black, one white) undertake his defense, with characteristic jaded detachment: an open-and-shut case, business as usual. But the case becomes far more complex when their ambitious young assistant forces the attorneys to confront the role of color in both the crime and also in their perceptions of that crime. RLTP presents the work of master playwright Mamet in this "gripping" new drama, which Behrend says is "resplendent in Mamet's trademark humor, rapid-fire repartee, and unique blend of profundity and profanity." Director Doug Zschiegner will return to the stage to play the role originated by James Spader on Broadway. Race will run April 25, 2014 through May 18, 2014.