Rogue Artists Ensemble’s
”Wood Boy Dog Fish”
returns with added hyper-theatrical magic and terror
Award-winning artists’ collective Rogue Artists Ensemble brings a new-and-improved version of its acclaimed, Ovation award-winning Wood Boy Dog Fish to Burbank this summer. A mature and delightfully macabre reimagining of Carlo Collodi’s “The Adventures of Pinocchio,” the colorfully twisted world of Wood Boy Dog Fish takes over the Garry Marshall Theatre as part of its 2017-18 inaugural season, opening May 18 and running through June 24. Low-priced previews begin May 12. Tickets, starting at $45, are available now by calling (818) 955-8101 or visiting GarryMarshallTheatre.org.
In Wood Boy Dog Fish, the cricket is killed, a blue poltergeist haunts us all, the legendary Dogfish monster preys on our greatest fears and a little wooden puppet struggles to discover what it means to be real. Written by Chelsea Sutton, directed by Rogue’s artistic director Sean T. Cawelti and featuring original music by Adrien Prévost, this new production of Wood Boy Dog Fish is more dangerous and immersive than ever before, with new scenes, music, puppets, masks and special effects. The action is set in the tumbledown town of Shoreside, a tourist trap built around the legend of a terrible sea monster — the Dogfish. The Wood Boy Dog Fish experience begins one hour before show time, just inside the gates of the Garry Marshall Theatre. Audiences are immersed in the mysterious and quirky carnival world with games, food, drink and surprises before they even find their seats.
Wood Boy Dog Fish is a visual feast that combines masks, highly expressive physical performance, dance, interactive sets, multiple puppetry traditions, projected media and sophisticated special effects and illusions — including 3D enhancement — to transport audiences inside an old carnival ride.
The powerhouse ensemble cast features Tyler Bremer as Cat, Lisa Dring as Wick, Tane Kawasaki as Blue, Amir Levi as Fox, Rudy Martinez as the titular Wood Boy, Ben Messmer as Geppetto, Sarah Kay Peters as a puppeteer, Keiana Richàrd as the Fire Eater, Mark Royston as a puppeteer, Miles Taber as the MC of Funland, and Paul Turbiak as the terrible Dogfish and the Cricket.
The creative team includes scenic designers Francois-Pierre Couture and Matt G. Hill, costume designer Lori Meeker, sound designer Steve Swift, lighting designer Joey Guthman, video designer Dallas Nichols, hair and makeup designers Joceyln Pazos and Erica Romero, prop designers Jason Anderson and Victoria Pamlenyi, choreographer Nate Hodges, and puppet and mask designers Greg Ballora, Sean T. Cawelti, Christine Papalexis, Jack Pullman, Morgan Rebane and Brian White.
The original production, which premiered in 2015 at the Bootleg Theater to sold-out houses, was called a “breathtaking feat of theater” and “wildly imaginative” by the Los Angeles Times and “sublimely dark, freaky and contemporary” by Tin Pan LA. This dark and twisted modern take on a classic tale for adult audiences won an honorary 2015 Ovation award for puppet design. It also garnered Ovation nominations for both costume and video design, as well as Stage Raw award nominations for sound design, costume design, production and set design, video design, and playwriting-adaptation.
Rogue Artists Ensemble differs from other theater companies in that it's run by a collective of multidisciplinary artists and designers rather than by actors, writers or directors. By combining ancient storytelling techniques (music, dance, masks, puppetry) with modern technology (digital media, special effects and theatrical illusions), the Rogues cultivate a unique style of live performance unlike any other. They define the combined use of these and other underrepresented art forms as “Hyper-theater.” Since 2002, the Rogues have created nearly 20 original new works and collaborated with hundreds of artists and community members. Past Rogue Artists Ensemble Hyper-theatrical productions include Zen Shorts, adapted from the book by Jon J. Muth, last seen in Tears of Joy Theatre and the Pasadena Playhouse; D is for Dog, produced at South Coast Repertory and designated one of the top-rated productions of 2011 by Bitter Lemons; Gogol Project, adapted by Kitty Felde from three Gogol short stories (Los Angeles Times “Critic's Choice”; Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards for adaptation and design; LA Weekly Award for design); The Tragical Comedy of Mr. Punch, adapted from the graphic novel by Neil Gaiman (recipient of three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Awards and received an entire chapter in the book “Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman”); The Story of Frog Belly Rat Bone, adapted from the book by Timothy Basil; and, most recently, the acclaimed, immersive site-specific theatrical experience Kaidan Project: Walls Grow Thin, based on Japanese ghost stories and produced in partnership with East West Players. In 2018 the Rogues are launching their first writers’ group and development lab and will premiere their next large scale immersive project titled Señor Plummer’s Final Fiesta in October, a project commissioned by the City of West Hollywood to celebrate the namesake of Plummer Park .
The Garry Marshall Theatre is a nonprofit organization providing year-round innovative performances, educational opportunities, and storytelling activities for all ages,. Located in the heart of Burbank and Toluca Lake’s entertainment industry, the critically acclaimed and Ovation award-winning 130-seat theater was founded in 1997 as the Falcon Theatre by Hollywood legend Garry Marshall. Reestablished as the Garry Marshall Theatre in 2017, it continues to cultivate new artists and experiences that spark ideas and build community.
Wood Boy Dog Fish runs May 18 through June 24, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p,m. and 7 p.m. Four preview performances take place May 12 and May 13 on the same schedule, with one additional preview on Wednesday, May 16 at 8 p.m. The pre-show experience begins one hour prior to every performance. Tickets range from $45-$65. The Garry Marshall Theatre is located at 4252 W Riverside Drive, Burbank, CA 91505.
Please note: Wood Boy Dog Fish is rated PG-13; it includes mature content and is not intended for young audiences.
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