The Year Of Difference

Don Schlossman and Rodney Rincon in The Divine Visitation of Joe Pikelsimer, directed by James Rice. (photo by Mickey Elliot)

Looking for something different to do this month? We have just the ticket! Here at Little Fish we’re in the middle of our annual Pick of the Vine frenzy.

This is, by far, our most popular show, because it’s so different. Instead of enjoying one delightful play, when you buy a ticket to Pick of the Vine, you get eight plays. You can laugh, and cry, and ponder the human condition, in 15-minute (or less) vignettes.

Wondering if you would like the short play experience? It was something our Managing Director, Stephanie Coltrin, wondered as well. This is her first year working on Pick of the Vine. She hadn’t directed one-acts since her college days, and she wasn’t quite sure what it would be like. But, guess what? It turned out to be fun. Everything is fun at Little Fish, Stephanie. You shouldn’t have worried.

And why was it fun? Instead of one set of characters, there were many, many different characters in different situations, saying different things in different ways. There was the same rehearsal time, but it was possible to focus more on all the little details, something that our crazy schedule doesn’t always allow.

We’re presenting 11 shows in 2013. That’s unheard of in a theater of our size. We’re crazy, but in a good way.

Having the extra time actually brought on a different danger – the danger of over-rehearsing; the danger of changing things just because you have the time to do it. There was one more difference: there were other directors to collaborate with and bring things back to sanity. Stephanie says it was fun not being the only person in charge.

So this is our year of differences at Little Fish; different seating configurations, different restroom facilities. And we hope to achieve a different temperature in the theatre this summer. And speaking of different, have you heard about Shakespeare by the Sea’s 2013 season? We’re doing two plays that we’ve never done before, and one of them is King John.

I love King John, and so will you. And so does Stephanie, who will be directing the production. Even if you’re a Shakespeare buff, you might not have seen this play, as it’s not performed very often. Why not, you may wonder. I don’t know. It’s a great story. Do not be afraid of the history plays, they are not dry, boring or confusing. They have fantastic characters and soaring language and will make you laugh, cry and ponder the human condition.

King John is often referred to as the least historical of his history plays. See? You’re starting to like it already. You don’t need to know any history to follow the story. It’s a play about power – who has power, who doesn’t have power, and who wants to make sure someone else doesn’t get power.

In February (but only through the 16th), we offer you eight plays you’ve never seen before for the price of one. This summer, we offer you one play you’ve [probably] never seen before, for free.

Mark your calendars and join us at the park this summer. It’s going to be amazing. spt

Bach is Back at Little Fish

The cast of Bach at Leipzig

For your theater-going pleasure this month, we are running three shows in our little space. We have two mid-week shows in October because it’s time for Twisted, Spooky, Creepy (one-acts in the spirit of Halloween). Only $20, there are only six performances (including Saturday 10/20 at 11 p.m. for some late night heebie-jeebies) that start the week after our other mid-week show, Last Train to Nibroc(a love story for all you lovers out there), closes. I’m sure we’ll have no trouble convincing you to go see those two shows.

To all of you who think Bach at Leipzig, our mainstage show, sounds like something you can miss, let’s talk about that. First of all, it’s a comedy, and you know you need a laugh. Second, it’s an all-male cast, and who doesn’t love to see a bunch of good-looking guys dressed in velvet (let’s hope for cooler weather). And third, it’s got Dave Graham! And you know Dave! He’s been acting and directing for Shakespeare by the Sea since 2003, and he’s been seen earlier this year at Little Fish in The Love List with Bert Pigg (who is also in Bach at Leipzig) and in several other Little Fish shows. We count on Dave for a lot of things besides his creative talents; he maintains our computer network and fixes the little things that break around the theater. He’s not exactly a San Pedro native (he’s from Georgia) and he doesn’t live in San Pedro, but he should probably move here considering how much time he puts in at SBTS and LFT (he’s a Little Fish company member, volunteers as house manager, and is on the Board of Directors for SBTS).

Why does he keep doing it? He says it’s all about the personal relationships he’s formed with the people. When you find a bunch of people who are committed to producing quality work and, besides that, are just fun to be with, you go out of your way to work with them. Plus, he likes the pieces we choose to produce at Little Fish. He comes to all the shows, even if he’s not involved in the production, not only to show support, but because he wants to see them. Bach at Leipzig, he assures us, is not mindless entertainment but will really engage the audience. That doesn’t mean it’s serious. It’s a comedy. It just means that your brain will be as tickled as your funny bone. You don’t need to be a fan of Bach. You don’t even need to know who Bach is. You just need to come down to the theater and let Dave entertain you for a couple of hours.

The rest of the cast members may be recognizable to you, too. Drew Shirley, Garrett Replogle and Cylan Brown have done SBTS shows, and Drew just finished directing No Exit at LFT. Don Schlossman has acted and directed at Little Fish, most recently directing Beyond Therapy. Bert Pigg has done a couple of shows with Dave at LFT. What’s it like working with this cast of big personalities and testosterone? According to director Stephanie Coltrin, “Chaos in the best possible way.” Their personalities work onstage and off, and the show really zings with their great rapport.

By the way, Stephanie recently won a Scenie award (www.stagescenela.com) for directing Panache earlier this year, and Bert won a Scenie for directing Loot in 2011. Both of the casts won Scenies, too. What, you say you didn’t see those shows? Well, now, those were missed opportunities, weren’t they? Here at Little Fish, we’re doing award-winning work, and if Bach at Leipzig wins an award and you miss it, too, you’ll be thinking, “There’s another award-winning show at Little Fish that I could have seen but didn’t.” Don’t let that happen to you. spt

Complete schedule and tickets available at www.littlefishtheatre.org.