New York State of Mind @ The Actors Workout Studio
Written & Produced by Paul Surace
Conrad Dunn, Dolores Aguanno, and Paul Winfield Ehrlich
New York State of Mind is a collection of six short plays, all written by Paul Surace, and all set in his hometown of New York.
Paul Surace is a New York transplant to LA and through his collection we can clearly see his deep connection to the people and the city within these stories and characters.
The stories vary pretty wildly, opening with a touching friendship between an ex student and teacher, and continuing with a wedding in central park, a supposed random reunion between two long lost band mates, a couple reconnecting after a bad breakup, a man determined not to be like his father and a therapist’s very clever manipulation of a couple in crises.
Written with a good deal respect of the characters and their journey, and never cheapening their lives for a laugh, Paul Surace has created a fascinating selection of plays posing very real and poignant questions about all our lives.
Every actor is given the freedom to pursue their own truth in these universal but still intimate and thoughtfully drawn dramas. Their ample skills are only supported by the quality of Mr Surace’s writing.
I must admit to a very real love for short plays, and I have seen other collections at the Actors workout Studio, and have never yet been even mildly disappointed. New York State of Mind has certainly not changed my feelings one iota. The short play is, at it’s best, like a really great 45 record, the kind that only last about 3 1/2 minutes, a couple of verses a couple of choruses and the much anticipated bridge…a small slice of perfection, and one you could put on repeat, or come back to over and over and never get bored.
This collection comes pretty close to that, each play a window into the lives of the characters, a moment we spend with them in their universe, and there can be no doubt that such people, with such interesting and compelling dilemmas could only lead lives well worth the visit.
I urge you to check out this lovely collection, with a theme of not only New York, but of the writer’s very own experiences of it. For after all, there must always be a purpose for drama, a center around which everything revolves…and here that center is Paul Surace.
It’s a short run, so don’t dawdle.
October 14 – 29 at The Actors Workout Studio, 4735 Lankershim Blvd.,, 91602
Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM and Sundays at 3PM and 7PM
Sarah Ambrosio, Devin Caldarone, Mitchell DeGuzman, Roger Gutierrez, Brent Harvey, Paula Lafayette, Holgar Moncada, JR, Maria Moreno, Jessie Navarro-Parks, Gregory Neibel, Paul Surace, Jylian Sy, Allegra Williams, Greg Yoder.
Conrad Dunn – Set design, Jim Niedzialkowski – Tech, Ginny Cheung – Sound Design