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labworks 2015 title box

staged reading

written by Tony Foster
directed by Laurel Ollstein 

Freedom is eating the dirt that once was stood upon by her mother.

Cast in Alphabetical Order:
Vince Cusimano, Gloria Garayua, Melanie Jones, Laura Pursell

Skylight Theatre / SkyLab


1. What inspired you to become a writer?Tony Foster

When I was an impressionable youth, I assumed that all actors on stage and screen made it up as they went along. The term playwright was only reserved for Shakespeare who I believe did not have a hit TV show at the time. Then one day, I walked into my cousin's office by mistake. You see, he was a freelance television writer at the time. He had a desk with a typewriter. Behind that was a glorious bookcase filled with scripts whose titles I recognized. And sitting on a mantle across the room, there sat a Groucho Marx hand puppet: my cousin's muse and primary source of inspiration. It suddenly dawned on me that it took other people to put the words into an actor's mouth, much like a puppeteer behind the curtain. That's who I wanted to be.

2. What's the one piece of advice that you were given that's really stuck with you?

Keep your eyes open and your mouth shut.

3. What's your favorite thing about writing for the theater?

The high I get when all the collaborative elements of a productioncoalesce into anemotional, intellectual and spiritual nirvana with the audience. Simply put: If you do it right, no one will want to leave their seat in the theater after the show.

4. What's the best play you've seen in the last year (and where)?

LATC hosted Spain's very own Kulunka Teatro's production of "Andre & Dorine." Performed with no dialogue, three actors play a host of characters using masks to tell the simple story of one family's journey as the mother succumbs to Alzheimer's. A heartbreaking, mesmerizing and truthful account of the human condition.

5. Where's your favorite place to go in L.A?

Why, the theater of course! And if there's a bookstore nearby, that's even better!

LAb WORKS is a festival of new plays by our resident PLAYlab writers performed as workshop productions and as readings in our 'black box' theatre. These are truly new plays; each year the PLAYlab writers begin and complete a new play from scratch. 

Join the creator IN-Konversation immediately following. This moderator assisted chat allows the writer to immediately solicit audience feedback to further advance their project. It's a unique opportunity for the writer to ask pointed questions about what works and what doesn't.

INKubator is our development program and includes:

  • Play Reading Series, works from across the greater Los Angeles area
  • PlayLab, invitation only professional play writing laboratory
  • LAb Works, annual festival of new plays from the PlayLab writers
  • INK Works, extended workshop series 
  • SOLOmojo, solo performance intensive
  • unAUTHORized, writing workshop for 18-28 year olds
  • The Lyric Project, teen lyric writing workshops taught in LA high schools and detention centers culminating in a Concert of new songs