[NoHo Arts District, CA] – Interact Theatre Company (ITC) presents the Los Angeles premiere of LIFE SUCKS., written by Aaron Posner and directed by ITC Artistic Director Barry Hein at The Broadwater Main Stage in Hollywood from September 22 – October 29.
A group of old friends, ex-lovers, estranged in-laws, and lifelong enemies gather to grapple with life’s thorniest questions—and each other. What could possibly go wrong? Incurably lustful and lonely, hapless and hopeful, these seven souls collide and stumble their way towards a new understanding that LIFE SUCKS! Or does it? From the mind of Aaron Posner, author of Stupid F*#king Bird, comes this brash and revelatory reworking of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Never has unhappiness been so much fun.
With a stellar cast including John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory, Speechless), Erin Pineda (Apple TV’s Physical), L.A. theatre icon Anne Gee Byrd, and Broadway stage veteran Steve Vinovich, the production also features live musical performances by Dylan Gorenberg and Madison Leinster.
Winner of the 2020 Theatre Alliance Award for Best Play, and praised by audiences and critics alike, the Chicago Sun-Times calls LIFE SUCKS., “Altogether wise, profoundly humane, hilarious, quirky, endearing, and in countless clever ways, brilliantly faithful to its source.”
ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST
AARON POSNER (Playwright) is a theatre director, playwright, teacher, former Artistic Director of two major regional theatres, and a tenured Professor in the Department of Performing Arts at American University. He was the founding Artistic Director of Philadelphia’s Arden Theatre Company, and ran Two River Theatre in Red Bank, New Jersey. He has directed nearly 200 productions at major regional theaters across the country, including Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, Arena Stage, American Repertory Theatre, American Players Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare, The Folger, Ford’s Theatre, Milwaukee Rep, Round House, Seattle Rep, Signature Theatre, South Coast Rep, Studio Theatre, and many more. As a playwright, his re-imaging of Chekhov’s The Seagull, entitled Stupid F*#king Bird, was one of the ten most produced plays in the country in 2015 and has had more than 250 productions worldwide including productions in Australia, Canada, England, Luxembourg, Romania, Sweden and more. His other widely produced and published plays include JQA, No Sisters, District Merchants, Who Am I This Time? (& Other Conundrums of Love), The Chosen, and My Name Is Asher Lev. He has won 20 regional theatre awards, including Helen Hayes Awards, Barrymore Awards, The Outer Circle Critics Award, and the John Gassner Prize.
BARRY HEINS (Director/Producer) is the Artistic Director of Interact Theatre Company (ITC). A graduate of The Juilliard School and alumnus of The Acting Company, Heins has appeared on Broadway, Off-Broadway, at leading regional theaters across America, and in film and TV. Los Angeles stage credits include Much Ado About Nothing at the Ford Theater (Drama-Logue Award, Outstanding Performance) and the critically acclaimed ITC productions of Counsellor-At-Law (Ovation Award, Best Ensemble), Other People’s Money, and Nice Fish. He has worked extensively as a voice-over artist, lending his talents to everything from film trailers to political ads, and has been a dialect consultant on Broadway and for PBS. Heins has served on the faculties of several professional actor training conservatories, including NYU Tisch School of the Arts/Playwright’s Horizons Theater School and SUNY Purchase College. His producing credits include two series of ITC staged readings for the Los Angeles Public Library’s LA Made cultural enrichment program: “The Tony Award® Winners,” which was seen worldwide on BroadwayOnDemand.com during the pandemic, and “The Pulitzer Prize Winners: Ten Plays from Ten Decades” (dir: You Can’t Take It With You and The Great White Hope). Heins produced and directed two impactful short films for ITC (Faultless and Just Another Birthday in Bedlam), which garnered international recognition and received multiple honors at prestigious film festivals, including a 2021 Bronze and 2022 Gold Telly Award. Both films can be enjoyed on ITC’s official YouTube channel, @InteractTheatreCompanyLosAngeles.
The Cast of LIFE SUCKS. features (in alphabetical order): John Ross Bowie as “Vanya,” Anne Gee Byrd as “Babs,” Olivia Castanho as “Sonia,” Erin Pineda as “Ella,” Lily Rains as “Pickles,” Marc Valera as “Dr. Aster,” and Steve Vinovich as “The Professor.”
The Design Team for LIFE SUCKS. is as follows: Scenic Design by Evan Bartoletti; Lighting Design by Carol Doehring; Sound Design by Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski; Costume Design by Michael Mullen, Projection Design by Ly Eisenberg, and the Prop Master is Eric Babb. The Production Stage Manager is Gina DeLuca.
This production is supported in part by grants from The California Nonprofit Performing Arts Grant Program and by the Los Angeles County Department of Arts and Culture, administered through Community Partners, and funded by the LA County Board of Supervisors through the Federal American Rescue Plan Act.
Interact Theatre Company is dedicated to bringing bold and captivating ensemble works to the Los Angeles stage, crafting compelling performances that encompass both revered world classics and groundbreaking new American plays. By fostering partnerships with esteemed institutions such as the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs Performing Arts Division, the Los Angeles Public Library, and the UCLA School of Law, ITC delivers a diverse range of multi-faceted programming, including producing arts education initiatives that foster creativity and empower the futures of underserved youth. To ensure accessibility, most of our programs are either low-cost or free of charge, made possible through the generous support of the public, corporations, and government entities. Since 1992, the company has presented over forty full-scale productions of plays and musicals, resulting in an impressive record of 95 performance and production awards and 168 nominations, including prestigious honors from Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, Stage Raw, Garland, LA Weekly, Telly, and NAACP Awards.
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