Beyond the Beyond, Los Angeles (performer, puppeteer, dramaturg)

In April 12th, 2007 Beyond the Beyond: The Gay Futureworld, in which I was a performer and puppeteer was presented by Cornerstone at the Lilly Tomilin/ Jane Wagner Cultural Arts Center, part of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. Directed by Paul Zaloom, Beyond the Beyond was a wild, episodic sci-fi romp through the next 1000 years of humanity that explored civil rights, queer history and the queer world of the future through personal stories gathered, scripted, workshopped and performed by GLBT youth, seniors and professional artists.

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In Beyond the Beyond, I performed the shadow puppets in a flashback sequence directed by Lynn Jeffries, assisted Paul Zaloom and Lynn Jeffries with the script dramaturgy, and performed in a number of roles. There were 8 shows between April 12th-22nd, 2007.

Synopsis

Forget your cares and woes! Step into a wild, plushy, sparkly and very funny sci-fi fantasy about what gay life will be like in the near and distant future. Conceived by Cornerstone Ensemble member Lynn Jeffries…come meet the first gay Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff! Witness the amazing Gaydar Detector do its detecting! Marvel at the trials and tribulations of the last homophobes on earth… and more! And, they’ll be joined by a cadre of puppets!

Staff

Written by Paul Zaloom, Lynn Jeffries, and the cast
Directed by Paul Zaloom
Produced by Jon Imparato and Laurie Woolery
Scenic Design & Dramaturgy – Lynn Jeffries
Lighting Design – Kerry Farmer;
Sound Design – Benajah Cobb
Costume Design – Elizabeth A. Cox & Garry Lennon
Stage Manager – Alejandra Navarro

Cast:

Grant Cornish – Mission Control
Travis Costello – Reporter, Bus Passenger, Fan Dancer, Young Person
Marsian De Lellis – Bus Passenger, Phone Model, Turkey Baster Model, Fan Dancer, Scientist, Puppeteer, Chairperson, Baby, Cadaver
Peter Howard – Announcer
Lynn Jeffries – Puppeteer, Musician
Joan Larsen – Pope, Bus Passenger, Chiarperson, Phone Model, Abe Lincoln, Professor
Alejandra Navarro – Mission Control
Jefferson Nieto – Reporter, Bus Passenger, Fan Dancer, Martian
Debra Pasquarette – Reporter, Petunia, Fan Dancer
Dee Dee Robinson – Dog Groomer
Loraine Shields – Reporter, Bus Passenger, Fan Dancer, Scientist, Bartender
Dahlia Turnbull-Callan – Puppeteer, Pedestrian, Fan Dancer, Herself, Neighbor
Nancy Valverde – Woman in the Moon, Fan Dancer, Herself, Neighbor
Joz Wick – Reporter, Pedestrian, Tomato Model, Fan Dancer, Scientist, Barber
Deb Piver – Understudy

Lynn Jeffries has been a member of Cornerstone Theater since 1986, and has designed sets, costumes or puppets for over 60 Cornerstone productions. Her regional theater work includes designs for Arena Stage, The Guthrie, Long Wharf Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, South Coast Repertory, and TheatreWorks. In an ongoing collaboration with puppeteer/performance artist Paul Zaloom, she has built puppets, dramaturged, designed, and puppeteered on numerous projects, including The Mother of All Enemies, The Abecedarium, The Adventures of White-Man, and the film Dante’s Inferno. She also performs solo shadow puppet shows in nightclubs with the neo-vaudevillian folk/jazz band, The Ditty Bops. Other recent puppet designs include Culture Clash’s Peace at the Getty Villa, Project Wonderland and The Gogol Project at the Bootleg Theater, and To Kill a Mockingbird and Don Quixote at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Lynn has won a Theatre LA Ovation Honor and a Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for puppet design; a Backstage West Garland Award and a Drama-Logue Award for scenic design; and a Backstage West Garland Award for costume design.

Paul Zaloom is a comedic puppeteer, political satirist, filmmaker, and performance artist who lives and works in Los Angeles and tours his work all over the world. Zaloom has written, designed and performed 14 full length solo spectacles, including Fruit of Zaloom, Zaloominations, Sick But True, Velvetville, The Mother of All Enemies and the current spectacle, White Like Me: A Honky Dory Puppet Show.

Cornerstone Theater Company makes new plays with and about communities. For over 30 years, Cornerstone has brought together an ensemble of professional artists of the highest caliber with people who would never think of themselves as artists to produce works of excellence based on the stories, concerns and issues of a given community. Their plays celebrate many voices, and are staged in theaters and in parking lots, in factories, schools and subway stations. They strive to include people who have not been on stage or even seen theater. Cornerstone has taken up residence in small towns and urban neighborhoods, collaborating with locals from start to finish to tell their unique stories through theater. By combining the artistry of people with many levels of theatrical experience, Cornerstone acts upon the conviction that artistic expression is civic engagement and that access to a creative forum is essential to the wellness and health of every individual and community.

 

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