Thursday, July 6, 2017

Playwrights' Festival's Jason Karasev

The Road Theatre Company Proudly Presents
The Eighth Annual

8 Days! 30+ plays!
Receptions and live music nightly!
This year’s festival will include a 50/50 parity of male and female playwrights and runs Sunday, July 3Oth through Sunday, August 6th at The Road on Lankershim, in the Historic Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood at 5108 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood  and at The Road on Magnolia at 10747 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood  at the NoHo Arts Colony!
 We will feature spotlights on all the playwrights of full length plays over the next few weeks. This week the spotlight shines on Jason Karasev, author of Death House*.
What is your familiarity with The Road and the Playwrights Festival? If you have been here before how would you rate your experience? If not, why did you choose to bring your play here? Have you seen work produced here?

My exposure to The Road came when I initially moved to Los Angeles from Chicago. I was made aware, as I auditioned as an actor around town, of an incredible company that put new work, artists, and community first. Coming from a strong theatre community in Chicago, I was hoping to find the same commitment and openness that I had seen there. Some had said that was hard to come by in LA, but The Road immediately dispelled that. Their bold new work and diverse group of company members have always been a touchstone for my Los Angeles Theatre experience. And this is why now, as a Playwright, I am honored to have my work directed, acted, and nurtured by this incredible group of Artists. 

What is your process for writing and rewriting? Anything you care to share here as advice for other playwrights would be welcome.

My process for writing has been ever-evolving and ever-changing. What remains the same for me is that I will begin with an idea that usual comes through the vessel of human experience, as well as disparate images that inspire me-- random scenes, music, moments, pieces of dialogue; from here I will begin to get energized about a project. After that, I will usually physically improvise with myself, taking on the role(s) of all the characters and begin to shape more concrete scenes for the piece as a whole. At the moment, I aim to keep the outlining process minimal, loose and open to theatrical, outside the box ideas. As a bourgeoning writer, the only real advice I feel equipped to give is: push through. It is easy to be excited about something at the start, but even easier for things to fizzle away when it gets tough. Push through, and you will get to the point of completion. 

What is the value of having your work done here at The Road in California? What are your expectations and hopes for your play for the future?

To have my work at The Road is incredibly powerful. I know that they are open to delving into difficult to discuss and dark subject matters, characters that are greatly conflicted, and worlds we may not always want to explore. This is very present in my play Death House and I know it is, therefore, in good hands. I also feel proud to be a contributor to new work in my home of Los Angeles.

Additionally, I have always hoped for this play to be translated and performed globally, as well as in the prison system. To see this play performed all over the country/world, where I believe this discussion needs to be had, would be a dream. But there is no way for this dream to be realized other than to immerse myself into a diversified, talented community that can not only directly shape the play, but also shape me as an individual who is creating theatre with such issues. I know my experience with the summer festival at The Road will provide this community, as well as be a key element in shaping the path for the future Death House.  

Remember: The Road on Lankershim is located in the Historic Lankershim Arts Center in North Hollywood at 5108 Lankershim Blvd, North Hollywood  and The Road on Magnolia at 10747 Magnolia Blvd, North Hollywood  at the NoHo Arts Colony! There is street parking available in both locations, but come early, at least a half hour before curtain.

Because SPF8 is a fundraiser, tickets are by donation only and are only available at the door! Suggested donation for a single performance is $15 –or this year, try a weeklong festival pass for the suggested donation of $50! 

*To be read Sunday August 6 at 2 pm at Lankershim.

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