[NoHo Arts District] – Diversity Entertainment, producer Jessica Orcsik, and playwright Laneikka Denne are thrilled to present the international premiere of “Dead Skin” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
“Dead Skin” is told from the perspective of 17-year-old Andie. She is a human sponge for connection, unaware of the neglect she’s endured from all spheres of her life, causing her immense intimacy issues; a simple touch to her hand sends Andie into a spiral of hyper sexuality and self hatred simultaneously. Approaching her 18th birthday, Andie decides that she needs to find her mother to cure her maternal pain. Andie sees visions of her mother everywhere and plays out how her mother and father met in the convenience store she works at. This plot is mirrored by Andie falling for her best friend Maggie, her first queer love, in the same convenience store.
Her dad’s younger wife, Audrey, tries to help Andie navigate this journey of self discovery, but Andie refuses to see the humanity masked underneath Audrey’s bimbo bravado. As these visceral, parallel love stories progress, Andie’s romanticized vision of those around her begins to crackle. At the crux of Andie meeting her idealized vision of her mother, Andie’s whole world explodes when she discovers her mother is dead. Her understanding of the world is actually a skewed hallucination of what she wanted it to be. Andie is left in the aftermath of her first psychotic break. In her psychosis, with no one, except Audrey, the one person who genuinely loves Andie. Andie is forced to choose whether she will fall into a cycle of self-destructive psychosis or if she will deal with her mental health and discover true, raw, visceral love for the first time in her life; Andie’s own sense of self.
About the Team
“Dead Skin” is written by and stars Laneikka Denne and directed by Peter Blackburn.
Laneikka Denne is an award-winning writer from Western Sydney. She wrote her debut play “Dead Skin” at 17, which was awarded the State Theatre Company x Flinders University Young Playwright’s Award and premiered at Kings Cross Theatre in 2021, published by Australian Plays. Laneikka is the recipient of the Diversity Entertainment Creative Mentorship 2022, within this program her play “Dead Skin” will be performed in Hollywood Fringe and Off-broadway in New York while she works on a feature film adaption of the play for Diversity Entertainment, LLC. She has also been shortlisted for the Emerging Playwright Canberra Commission. In 2021, her debut short MITSUKU was selected by ScreenJam Productions in the UK to be produced in 2022, along with her short OI in pre-production with Office Dog Productions. She writes for SBS and is producing a program called ”The Monologue Collective” where teenagers write monologues for teenagers to perform for the HSC, supported by Create NSW, the Rodney Seaborn Foundation, Australian Plays Transform, CWA NSW, PYT Fairfield, and KXT. Young queer women are at the heart of all of her work, as she seeks to represent real women with agency and intrigue. www.laneikkadenne.com
Peter Blackburn (director) is a prolific, award-winning theatre director, teacher, coach and filmmaker renowned in the Australian scene. His expertise sees him oscillate between directing for screen, stage and multimedia , while also coaching and teaching professional and emerging talents at home and abroad. Peter has worked alongside – and been taught by – some of the world’s most spectacular industry minds, including Larry Moss, Noni Hazlehurst, Ellen Burstyn, Peter Evans, Mike Alfreds and many more. After collaborating with renowned acting coach Larry Moss on “Holding the Man” in 2014 for the Australian Theatre Company (Los Angeles), Peter gained his Masters of Directing from the Victorian College of the Arts (Melbourne University), where he soon after taught full-time students of the school’s renowned actor’s program. In 2019, he was awarded a Mike Walsh Fellowship for Directing through NIDA and the Hayden Group for his contribution to theatre in Australia. His staging of Brendan Cowell’s “Ruben Guthrie” for the Australian Theatre Company (Los Angeles) in 2016 won the LA Scene Award for Best Comedy, Best Director, and Best Ensemble in the Intimate Theater categories. Since emerging as a director on the independent theatre scene in Melbourne in 2011, Peter has contributed to upwards of 30 productions. He became a member of Bitten By Theatre Company in 2021, after helming their breakout festival success “The Trial of Dorian Gray” by Gabriel Bergmoser in 2019 and re-teaming for the web series “The Pact”in 2020. This production, Peter’s first foray into the digital arena, was conceived, produced and shot by the Bitten By team remotely – in complete isolation – as a creative solution to Melbourne’s first year of lockdown, and gave much-needed work to writers and actors during a difficult time. As such, it remains his single most rewarding contribution to the arts community. www.peterblackburn.com.au
“Wonderful to see such innovative work from a refreshingly queer perspective… here queer love is presented from a distinctly Gen Z perspective, with an ease and acceptance.” – The Queer Review
“A furious and urgent work that shatters the cobwebs off the stale queer narrative. This blistering new work is staggering in it’s emotional depth and raw with it’s honesty. Nothing is held back as the story thunders and cracks upon the stage.” – Arts Review
“A brilliant, multi-coloured sparkler!” – Stage Whispers
“A roiling urgency… there’s something that burrows in, like a reminder of a younger self, a study of dangerously open hearts. Keep an eye out for Laneikka Denne.” – Sydney Morning Herald
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