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"Gloriously funny but also wickedly insightful, [this] bright new play [...] is never short of laugh lines [...] Lurking beneath the almost farcical hilarity is a bundle of 20th century angst [...] The jokes are beautifully in place, permitting the three gorgeously combative figures to emerge."?- The New York Post
Young Actors Space (YAS) is proud to present Below the Belt by Richard Dresser. The YAS production of the critically acclaimed comedy will be directed by Patrick Day, owner and Artistic Director of YAS.
Below the Belt, Dresser’s 11th published original play, is a hilarious and dark existential status battle set in a soulless corporate world. Of the play, Dresser says, “Below the Belt follows the tale of three American men working as checkers for a mysterious multi-national company. Away from their families and isolated from the other workers on the industrial compound, they are completely dependent on each other. However, their need to compete is as strong as their need to connect, and they guard their territory with baroque, subterranean strategies. The play is about loneliness and the deep existential pettiness of men attempting to work together.” Below the Belt premiered April 1995 at Humana Festival in Louisville, KY., and was voted "Best New Play of 1996" by the Wall Street Journal.
“I’ve been attempting to get the rights for six years,” says Day, who is not only directing and executive producing the play, but is also one of the two actors taking on the role of “Merkin”. “I love this play that much. I like how Dresser combines surreal and absurd elements while keeping it grounded in realism. Although it was written twenty years ago, it’s arguably more relatable today than ever before.” This marks the 30th time Day has directed a play - most recently Beyond Therapy by Christopher Durang at YAS in 2015. As an actor, he starred in multiple independent films, including Cut To The Chase, Favor and soon to be released Cruel Hearts.
This production of Below the Belt features a cast of nine actors sharing three roles in repertory, including an all-female cast. The cast, alongside Day, includes Jason Dolley (Disney’s Good Luck Charlie), Joseph Lushi (ABC’s Detroit 1-8-7), Zach Alden (The Shickles), Melanie Starks (HOARS), Maura Corsini, Jule Nelson Duac, Scott Alan Moffitt, and Rio Thorogoood.
Starks, who is also producing the play, is honored to be a part of the all female cast. “Playing with gender roles is always enlightening and we are doing it here in full force,” says Starks. “A fabulous smart play, written for three men living life in the grueling corporate world, is fascinating, and of course, completely apropos, as performed by our all women cast. I believe people will want to see the show more than once based on these performances and how the show changes as the casts rotate.”
A portion of all ticket sales is being donated to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission, which helps the homeless to obtain food, shelter, and basic life necessities. Tickets are being pre-sold via an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, which can be obtained at www.YAStheatre.net.
Established in 1979, Young Actors Space (YAS) is the original and premier school for performers as young as age five to adults, and is currently celebrating its 38th year of operation in the San Fernando Valley. YAS alumni include Academy Award Winners Emma Stone, Leondardo DiCaprio and Hillary Swank, as well as notable actors Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Shailene Woodley, Tobey Maguire, Elijah Wood, Molly Ringwald, and Jessica Biel. For more information, please visit www.YoungActorsSpace.com.
Below the Belt is presented by special arrangement with SAMUEL FRENCH, INC.
Presenter / Producer: Young Actors Space
Theater > Theatrical Comedy
Event Phone: 818-785-7979
Young Actors Space
5918 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys CA 91401
LA - San Fernando Valley
Performance Dates: 6/2/2017 - 6/25/2017
Fridays & Saturdays - 8PM
Sundays - 7PM
Starting at $25
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