Job Opening

Stage Manager Opening

We are looking to fill a stage manager position for our upcoming production of Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All Night Diner by Darcy Parker Bruce!

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Wonder, science, romance, humor, and dinosaurs – what’s not to fall in love with? Darcy Parker Bruce takes us on a delightfully fun (and heartwarming) sci-fi adventure. This would be a joy to see! ”- Tiffany Antone “ This play has such an amazing heartbeat! In the midst of a very exciting adventure, we see a closeness and honesty that’s rarely explored, even in plays without dinosaurs and time travel. This play is honestly magic. ” -Rachel Lynett A SUPER queer time travel adventure. With Dinosaurs. A cross between Jurassic Park, Back to the Future, and Fried Green Tomatoes.

 

Responsibilities: The Stage Manager has a wide number and variety of responsibilities, which can be broken down into three primary categories:  handling the majority of the administrative duties related to a production, assisting the director during rehearsals, and being responsible for all backstage activity once the show opens.

Rehearsals are Mon-Wed 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM, beginning October 21.

Performances are January 10-11 and 17-18 at 7:30 PM. Pay is a $100 stipend.

 

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Reflection, Upcoming Performance

Per: A New Take on the True Crime Dialogue

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Last night, Laughing Pig Theatre opened the world premiere of Per by Donald Loftus. The playwright flew in specifically for the occasion, the audience was packed, and the dedicated artists at Laughing Pig carried the moment off with all of the momentousness a world premiere demands.

The artists at Laughing Pig Theatre are unafraid to take chances on controversy. This summer, they brought Abortion Road Trip to the Valley. This weekend and next weekend (September 27 and 28th), Laughing Pig Theatre brings to life the story of a young man named Per who has been locked away in Konradsberg insane asylum. From the moment the first act starts, you know this is something new for our theatre company. It feels fresh and experimental. But despite the fact that Per is something of a different direction for Laughing Pig, nothing about it feels contrived or like it’s trying too hard.

As something of a true crime buff, I walked into the opening night of Per with high expectations and I was not disappointed. And having been fortunate enough to sit in on the auditions for the show, I knew this was going to be something special. Erin Cote’s casting choices during auditions left me with chills that carried into opening night. This is her directorial debut, but you’d never guess with her talent for picking the right actor for each role. Her target audience will come for the true crime and get sucked into the gripping reality that she and her actors have created.

Per’s story makes you question what “truth” actually is. There’s perception and there’s reality, and then there’s the way our perceptions mold our realities. Per (Nathan Smith) lives out his days in the Konradsberg asylum, tormented by the ghosts of his executed mother and his murdered wife. As he unravels the story and comes to terms with his demons, the audience watches, enthralled, as corruption bleeds into the stark white set. Dolores E. Mendoza will send chills rattling down your spine right before the climax of the play. I literally leaned back in my seat and stared at her, mouth ajar, wanting to know the truth.

It’s not all blood curdling screams from Natalie Payan’s Mrs. Arnborg (she also plays the nurse) or devastating looks from Eliana Burns’ Hannah, though. Tony Moschetti brings some unexpected levity to the beginning of Per as the church’s father (he also plays a dual role as Per’s doctor).

Per is a different format than we usually get for a true crime. I digest true crime in all ways: novels, podcasts, T.V. shows… Laughing Pig Theatre’s production of this play proves that different is not a bad thing. Loftus’ story is an interesting take on true crime dialogue. Sure, you’re not getting comic relief that’s intended to distract from the horror, and you’re not getting a new tome to add to your true crime library, but what you’re getting is eighty uninterrupted minutes of terror and suspense. There are no streaming platforms asking if you’re still watching this gruesome story, there are no commercials barging in right at the juiciest parts, and there is no one interrupting your quiet reading time. It’s you and the other audience members, held in thrall by Laughing Pig Theatre’s insanely talented cast and crew (no pun intended).

 

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Article written by Alaina Bair

Alaina is a writer who lives in Phoenix. She is a proud feminist and likes to spend her spare time volunteering with women’s rights organizations, reading voraciously, and spending time with her loved ones.

 

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Pigpen Profiles: Natalie Payan

PER OPENS TONIGHT! So wrapping up our cast profiles, our nosy neighbor and nurturing nurse, Natalie Payan.

What is your theatre background?

I have been involved in the performing arts since I was two, but my first experience with theatre was in Costa Rica at the age of 5. High school is when I truly immersed myself into the art and now I am a theatre major at Mesa Community College (MCC). Although I began as an actor, I aspire to be a director in this industry. Being Latina and Female, there will be challenges to get to my career goal, but MCC has given me the knowledge and connections I need to succeed. To this date, I have worked with various theatres in the valley such as Stray Cat Theatre, MCC (Mainstage and Blackbox), Mesa Encore Theatre (MET), and now Laughing Pig Theatre. To round out my education, I have branched out to other areas such as Costume Construction, Improv, Stage Management, Costume Design, and Production Management. As long as I am in the environment surrounded by passionate artists, I am happy 🙂

How do you feel about true crime?

It’s kind of funny considering the theme of Per, but I am very easily scared. I am that person that will watch with my hands over my eyes including just enough space between my fingers to see. I find it intriguing enough to sit through, but I won’t do it often. When I read the script for auditions, I enjoyed the story so much that I decided to get over my fear to be a part of the telling of it.

What is a favorite family memory you have?

I can’t pinpoint an exact moment, but I do vividly remember multiple times where all five of us (two parents, three children) would gather on one bed and just laugh at whatever was happening. It was really goofy. I also appreciate that they all come to support me whenever they can to see the shows I am involved in.

What’s next for you in theatre?

I am actually super fortunate this year to have three shows already lined up. I am currently in the process of Costume Designing for Scapino (MCC), Assistant Directing Dangerous Liaisons in the Spring (MCC), and making my debut at Phoenix Theatre as an Assistant Director for Red (BLK BOX PHX)In addition to these productions, I am also the Improv coordinator for Stage Door Players and work at the MCC Theatre Costume Shop as a First Hand. I love to surround myself with as much theatre as I can get, so more shows will hopefully be added as I audition throughout the season #CastMe

What’s something you love that you wish you got to talk about more?

I can talk theatre all day, but another thing I am really passionate about is travelling. By the end of this year, I will have been to over 30 countries across 4 continents. I am less interested in sightseeing and more about experiencing the area as a whole. I’ve spent a collective of two years living in South America and nothing compares to immersing myself in different cultures and getting to know all sorts of people. The opportunity to taste the flavors of every area I visit is also a plus. Last year I was able to combine my two loves and introduce theatre to children in the Galapagos Islands.

Just for fun: Tacos, Burgers, or Pizza?

Food.
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Get your tickets now for Per, playing Friday-Saturday nights September 20-28 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!
Pigpen Profile

Pigpen Profiles: Tony Moschetti

Like the start of a bad joke, the doctor and the priest step out on stage this week played by our own Tony Moschetti.

What is your theatre background?

I did youth community theatre classes when I was in middle school because my parents wanted me to have a hobby and flag football made me cry. I eventually received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Performance from NAU, and a couple years ago Taylor and I started doing our own productions with some friends.

How do you feel about true crime?

I’m actually fairly indifferent to it. My wife listens to some true crime podcasts and I’ll listen in sometimes, but I don’t seek it out. I get the appeal, I just like fiction more.

What is a favorite family memory you have?

Unlike the dynamic in Per, my parents and my wife do try to get along. I remember once we all went to this orchard in southern Arizona called Apple Annie’s. We had gone as a kid so I built it up a lot and was worried it wouldn’t live up to the hype. But there is something so satisfying and fun about picking fruits and veggies. Where else can you use the word bushel casually?

What’s next for you in theatre?

I will be acting in one of the short plays featured in our Now What? event in October, and then I will be directing Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All Night Diner by Darcy Parker Bruce in January.

What’s something you love that you wish you got to talk about more?

I have a sincere love for James Bond movies, slasher movies, and kung fu movies. I feel like I know people who also like those things, but haven’t been able to really geek out.

Just for fun: Tacos, Burgers, or Pizza?

If I had to pick one, maybe Burgers? If I didn’t have to pick one, I would get 2 huge New York cheese slices, cover them with chorizo, beans and salsa, fold them over, and use them as a bun for a bacon cheeseburger. Yeah.

Get your tickets now for Per, playing Friday-Saturday nights September 20-28 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!

Pigpen Profile

Pigpen Profiles: Eliana Burns

Continuing the spotlight on Per, we have our tragic ingenue (and part-time blood dealer) Eliana Burns.

What is your theatre background?

I have been acting since I was 7 , doing costumes and makeup since I was 13 and directing since I was 16. Some of my favorite roles in the past were Tricia in Parlor Games, Van Helsing in Dracula, #4 in Yellow Boat, and House in Under the Rug/Debajo de la Alfombra. This show is definitely one of my new favorites!

How do you feel about true crime?

I have been obsessed with true crime since middle school. I listen to Crime Junkie or My Favorite Murder on my way to class every day. I’ve seen pretty much every episode of Forensic Files. I also have some very strong opinions about the JonBenet Ramsey and Laci Peterson cases.

What is a favorite family memory you have?

Every year, my mom and I go to see the Nutcracker during the holidays. We’ve been doing this since I was 5, so we always get to compare the differences in each version afterward. The best year was in a smaller venue in Chandler where they incorporated dogs that were up for adoption into the show.

What’s next for you in theatre?

After this, I plan to continue auditioning for shows around the valley!

What’s something you love that you wish you got to talk about more?

I am currently majoring in Sustainability with a minor in Political Science, so I love talking about sustainability and politics, or specifically environmental politics, which is the field I plan to go into. Beyond that, I love talking about my pets or conspiracy theories.

Just for fun: Tacos, Burgers, or Pizza?

Tacos

Get your tickets now for Per, playing Friday-Saturday nights September 20-28 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!

Pigpen Profile

Pigpen Profiles: Dolores Mendoza

Next up in the cast of Per, playing our macabre momma Anna, Dolores Mendoza!

What is your theatre background

I’ve been in and around theatre since middle school, but I’ve loved it even before that.  After being all about theatre in high school, I took a ten-year hiatus to work in corporate America and realized that my life was miserable without it.  I’ve since gone back to study theatre here at Mesa Community College where I’ve been able to act, design, and direct – and adore every minute of everything.  I’ve since been able to step out into the valley theatre community with Stray Cat Theatre and Laughing Pig Theatre – doing acting and properties design.

How do you feel about true crime?

True crime is such a guilty pleasure for me.  I’m strange because the more tame and “everyday” the situation is, the sadder it is for me, and I can’t watch it.  But if it’s over the top, twisted and creepy, I’m super fascinated.  I don’t know what that says about me other than I’m awful.

-What is a favorite family memory you have?

A favorite family memory I have is a New Year’s Eve that we spent in our upstairs living room, which was basically bare aside from a record player, playing with balloons that were filled with homemade confetti and singing and dancing to oldies records all night.  It was my mom, my dad, my older sister and her then-boyfriend (now-husband), my younger brother, and I.  It always makes me smile when I think about it.

What’s next for you in theatre?

Next up in theatre, I’m thrilled to be directing “Made With Love” for Laughing Pig’s “Now What” short play fest!  I can’t wait!

-What’s something you love that you wish you got to talk about more?

I would like to take this opportunity to talk about Cup O’Karma.  It’s a little non-profit cafe that holds a special place in my heart due to where it came from and where it has grown.  It’s located inside the Chandler Public Library at 22 S. Delaware St., Chandler, AZ 85225 and benefits the SEEDs program.  The Support, Education, Empowerment & DirectionS program is a transitional housing project of the National Advocacy & Training Network that helps to address the unmet needs of battered and sexually abused women and their children. The program is a community-based, safe, sober living environment committed to the physical, mental, and emotional healing of women whose lives have been affected by substance abuse and violence.  Not only is the staff lovely, the drinks and food delicious, and do they host great music, but it all benefits a wonderful cause.  Go check it out if you can!

-Just for fun: Tacos, Burgers, or Pizza?

This is like making me choose between my children.  Can we just say that all are beautiful in their own special and unique ways?  (And then just agree to get pizza.  Pepperoni with extra cheese, please.)

Get your tickets now for Per, playing Friday-Saturday nights September 20-28 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!

Pigpen Profile

Pigpen Profiles: Nathan Smith

The Pigpen is open again with the cast of Per, opening this Friday, September 20. To start us off is the man himself, Perses Nilsson, played by Nathan Smith:

What is your theatre background?

I started acting in high school and since then I’ve never considered stopping. I continued performing at Mesa Community College, and these days I am lucky  to be able to focus on improving as a performer with excellent local theatres like Laughing Pig! 

How do you feel about true crime?

I’m conflicted. I think a fascination with darkness is normal, and I love a good documentary no matter the subject. However, I feel the genre has contributed to an unrealistic sense of fear and mistrust. If you pick up a hitch hiker, the odds are probably higher that you’ll kill them in a wreck than that they’ll murder you. Which one are you worried about though?

What is a favorite family memory you have?

I recently said that Ceres was an asteroid and my 3 year old nephew immediately corrected and told me it was a dwarf planet. 

What’s next for you in theatre?

Who really knows? Maybe a meteorite will destroy the human race on closing night. If not, I’m always auditioning for new shows around the valley! 

What’s something you love that you wish you got to talk about more?

The great Pyramid at Giza has 8 sides, not 4. It is built of about 2,300,000 stones weighing from 2-80 tons each, cut and carried from miles away in Aswan and then somehow lifted as high as 140 meters to be placed. It was was painstakingly built upon a non-level surface to incorporate the “subterranean chamber,” and an existing electromagnetic anomaly. It incorporates the values of Pi, and Fi, and the accurate circumference of the Earth into its proportions and while it was coated in limestone, the interior and largest stones are granite- which is among the hardest stones worked by man, and will break copper tools with barely a scratch.

Just for fun: Tacos, Burgers, or Pizza?

Tacos.

Get your tickets now for Per, playing Friday-Saturday nights September 20-28 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!