The tenacious rising theatre company brings playwright Steve Yockey’s little known ethereal dramatic thriller to North Hollywood this fall.
Directed by Steve Jarrard Written by Steve Yockey Produced by Collaborative Artists Ensemble
Ask Managing Director Steve Jarrard what types of shows his L.A.-based theatre company Collaborative Artists Ensemble has built its well-respected reputation on, he’ll say shows that most haven’t seen…but should.
As such, Collaborative Artists Ensemble is thrilled to present afterlife: a ghost story, running October 13 to November 12 at The Avery Schreiber Playhouse in North Hollywood as part of the NoHo Fringe Festival.
As rich in imagery as it is unsettling in tone, afterlife: a ghost story explores the fragility of the human psyche and the lingering effects of great loss framed by a chilling tale. An impending storm forces troubled couple, Connor and Danielle to return to their beachfront home for the first time since they lost their son. While they reluctantly attempt to secure their house and also try to pick up the pieces of their fractured lives, they are welcomed by dead fishes littering the shore, enormous black birds that appear to be waiting and watching and a familiar voice whispering from the waves…calling to them. When the storm hits sooner than expected, they are thrust into a another dimension, where they must confront their tragedy and learn how to cope with the pain of remembering before they are swept away forever. This hauntingly beautiful play asks the question: what do you do when hardest part of living is remembering?
“This marks our 20th production in the last ten years and we have always been drawn to plays that we feel are under-produced or unknown and those that will challenge both the actor and the audience,” Jarrard said. “We hope that audiences will feel moved by Connor and Danielle's journey and maybe a bit surprised by the vastly different second act of the play. As always, we hope that the play will inspire lots of conversation on the car ride home.” Jarrard is also directing the piece, as he has with a number of Collaborative Artists’ shows, including The Food Chain, How I Learned to Drive, Eleemosynary and the West Coast premieres of The Square Root of Wonderful, Lost Generation and Long Way Down.
Afterlife stars Mary Burkin, Georgan George, Buddy Handleson (star of Nickelodeon's Wendall and Vinnie and Bella and the Bulldogs), Joshua James Knightley, Edgar Allan Poe IV, Jael Saran and Meg Wallace.
“First and foremost, we are drawn to great writing and interesting characters, which you certainly find in Steve Yockey's play,” says Jarrard. “Additionally, we love how it intertwines the reality of dealing with a loss with fantastical imagery and a more whimsical second act as the characters come to terms with their ‘ghosts.’ The play really affected us and we hope that it will resonate with audiences in a similar way.”