Fuzzy Bottoms Theater Company is Back!

April Littlejohn is the Artistic Director of Fuzzy Bottoms Theater Company, one of
NoHo’s most experimental and fun theatre companies. April started Fuzzy Bottoms in
2017 after her first play was produced in PLAY NOIR.  She decided to create the iconic
LA Horror Stories as a vehicle for her own work and to support the theatre community in
Los Angeles.  LAHS: Vol I, Four Crimes, and Red Meat have been honored with
multiple awards. April is a writer and a director and a staunch supporter of innovative,
local theatre.


Like all theatre companies, she was broadsided by Covid. We wanted to find out more
about her experience over the brutal break, how she came through it, and what happens
next for Fuzzy Bottoms. So, we asked her!


April:
Two and a half years from the start of the Pandemic and I’m still trying to figure things
out. Like most theatre companies, I was shut down in the middle of not one show but
two. Things were going really well for my company and one day, it was all gone. I do
believe there was a lot of value in what I learned from the shut down. I produced several
online shows in the quarantine and was able to raise money to give back to the theatre
community… selfishly though, because I wanted a community to come back to. Those
shows kept me going and allowed me to look at my work in different ways. That being
said, I would never go back to that. Theater is meant to be seen live. If you can enjoy it
though your computer screen, great. Personally, it depresses me. I remember trying to
have a Zoom cast party. It was sad and I ended up alone in my garage with a glass of
champagne.


I reopened officially last December for our first in-person show right between two of the
surges. We really squeezed that show out in the knick of time because a week after we
closed, everyone was closed. And believe me, I was sweating it every night, terrified we
would have to close and refund tickets that I really couldn’t afford. A Very Fuzzy
Christmas
started rehearsals three months early. My shows tend to be complicated with
dance and fights, so we generally need more rehearsal time than the normal six weeks.
With the new regulations and extra precautions, it was better to have rehearsal three
nights a week because it allowed people to get more rest and time off if someone was
exposed.

The web-series we shot gave us the experience needed to begin our first show back.
From the start of auditions, I refused to argue about Covid, but maintained the rules of
the larger theatres and kept my eye on any new regulations. Everyone needed to be
vaccinated, no excuses, and that created a few problems. I had to leave a few people
out of the show that I had been working with for years and deal with the emotions and
the arguments that came with it. Each day was a challenge. I had to have faith in people
to really want to do theatre again. Because it wasn’t just the masks, or the constant
hand sanitizer, or the occasional zoom rehearsal, it was the trauma that none of us
really knew we had. It changed us. People were quick to anger or more sensitive than before. You could only push so hard in rehearsals and had to look the other way when someone smelled of alcohol or acted out from time to time. In the past, I had been a slave driver, demanding excellence, and now I had to become something else. I felt like I was constantly putting out fires, trying to stay positive, but barely able to sleep at night. I underestimated my own self, thinking that if I just worked harder than anyone else that it would be okay. But I wasn’t okay. None of us were. People doubted me and my work, and they had lost faith in themselves. We barely made it to the stage. I could be seen crying in the alley of The Sherry Theater…alone.

But the minute the lights went up, it all came back. We were where we belonged. And
the audiences were amazing, grateful and as excited as we all were. And the
applause… it was needed. I could see it in every actor’s eye and over the masks of each
audience member. Even though we were still in this, we needed to come back. I wept
through every curtain call. And now we are ready to do our Halloween show, Vampire
and things have become somewhat normalized. People really seem to be ready to get
back to work. I catch myself sometimes, sitting in my director’s chair in the hot summer
night, with the cast reciting my lines and popping blood bags, and think… “We did it!
Fuzzy Bottoms is back!”

Check out Fuzzy Bottoms to find out more about the company, their members and up
coming shows.

https://fuzzybottomstheatercompany.com
https://www.facebook.com/fuzzybottomstheater
https://www.instagram.com/fuzzybottomstheater/

Up next for Fuzzy Bottoms Theater Company is Vampire!

nohoarts
Author: nohoarts