Get Involved, Reflection, Upcoming Performance

It’s a Labor of Love

I’m here mainly as an observer. Watching this series of ten-minute plays come together is intriguing. Even as the plays are coming into clarity, Taylor and Tony are spitballing additional creative ideas in the booth. I listen in on what the directors have to say about their interpretations of their chosen scripts. The lighting cues fly over my head, but some of the sound cues have me grinning from ear to ear.

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Taylor tells me that twenty-four hour theatre has a tendency to breed unusual things. She lets me read the scripts and I’m reminded of late nights during college. We’d stay up all night, spitting out lines of poetry and agonizing over whether or not the words we were laboriously cranking out on a friend’s typewriter adequately described our torment, our elation, our early-twenty-something-ness. We’d pull our favorite albums from the same friend’s vinyl collection and dance and laugh and commiserate until, sometime after the witching hour, all inhibition finally left our writing.

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After it all, there we’d be, a huddle of creatives lauding each other’s guts and quoting each other’s perfectly imperfect words. It was, much like Laughing Pig’s twenty-four hour theatre project, a labor of love.

Step behind the scenes at Laughing Pig Theatre and try not to admire everyone involved just a little bit.

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The writers who cranked out tonight’s ten-minute plays in a span of ten short hours left bits of themselves hidden in the scripts. In between the lines, you can see who they are when they have the courage to let go of their inhibitions and roll with the unusual.

The directors have such clear visions for their plays. I’m in awe of the amount of creativity and brain power it takes to look at these scripts in the ways they have. You can see how much they care about this project as they posit scenarios to their performers and give guidance around lines and movements. These are out-of-the box thinkers working under a time crunch and it seems to have only served them well.

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Tonight’s performers are doing an incredible job of bringing the writers’ scripts to life. From the realistic to the absurd, they’re bringing worlds to life right before our eyes. They’re rounding out their characters from top to toe and making every moment believable.

What seemed daunting before has quickly turned into something that seems entirely possible.
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So if you’re in the mood to laugh, to get drawn into story lines generated in the dead of night, and to spend an evening with a group of talented people who want to present to you the results of their labor of love, make some time to come out to the Mesa Arts Center tonight at either 7:30 or 9:00. The product of their hard work will not fail to make your night.

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Alaina Bair wrote this article.

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.

 

Pigpen Profile, Upcoming Performance

Pigpen Profiles: Casey Anderson

Continuing the spotlight on Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All Night Diner by Darcy Bruce, we have the doctor played by the super kind and all around cool guy, Casey Anderson.
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What is your favorite and least favorite part about Dr. Moxi?
I truly wish the Dr. would be more open to communicate his feelings with those around him in a more intelligible manner? Yeah, yeah, if people actually communicated then there goes like 99 percent of all drama, but this is just like a what if, ya know?
 
Why did you want to be involved in this show?
I wanted to be involved with this show because everything Laughing Pig Theatre does is passion driven. Performing like this is new to me and daunting at times and they create a space where I feel comfortable and challenged.
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If you could travel to any time in history, when and where would you want to travel? Why? What would you want to see?
Hands down I’d love to travel to the Manhattan area before colonizers came and mucked it up. I watched A New World by Terrence Malick and yeah he clearly didn’t film then/there but his images of it where gorgeous.
 
What is your favorite type of Pie? Convince us.
Lemon meringue tart. I think that counts as a pie. Anyway, the crust is more substantial than those flaccid apple pies or punkin pies. And the tart lemon custard makes your mouth pucker just a bit and the toasted meringue on top really mellows it out is to die for.
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What is next for you? 
Next I’ll be in another Laughing Pig Theatre production called Shopping and F*$#%ing. It’s gonna be rad. Come check it out
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, Upcoming Performance

Pigpen Profiles: Itzel Romero

Next up in Pigpen Profiles with the cast of Always Plenty of Light in the Starlight All Night Diner, opening this Friday, January 10th. We have the quirky and lovable wunderkind Danni played by the wonderful Itzel Romero.
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Picture credit from Funny for a Girl by Bella Tindall
What is your favorite and least favorite part about them?
My favorite part of the show is watching the romance between Sam and Jessa develop throughout the show. You can see how much they care for and pine fro each other, and then as they come together-! It’s lovely and I really enjoy watching it happen.
My  least favorite part would be the time travelling slow motion- and that’s only because I myself am so bad at keeping the right timing. I always end up in the wrong place- I just feel a little silly when I’m sitting and done and everyone else is still going or vice versa. (。´∀`)ノ
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Why did you want to be involved in this show?
To be honest, I saw the character descriptions and I was like Yup! This is for me! It’s LGBT and got dinosaurs, that’s my whole deal, I’m IN! Then I read the play, and honestly I really loved it. I think it’s a lot of fun and clever and I just got more excited than I did before about this show and the story it tells.
If you could travel to any time in history, when and where would you want to travel? Why? What would you want to see?
Y’know? I never have a good answer to this question. I’d like to see some dinosaurs, but then again I could go to renaissance times and wreak havoc with their perception of mythology…… Ahhh I don’t know! There’s a lot of history out there and I just don’t know where I’d start.
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What is your favorite type of Pie? Convince us.
My favorite pie is lemon meringue. It’s the best pie because it has two of the best elements for a pie: cream/meringue on top & just lemon on bottom. It’s like an edible slice of lemonade, only better. I hear what you’re saying, “But what about other fruit pies? There are a lot that are structured in the way you just described.” Well to that I say; Lemon is the superior citrus fruit and on its own it is delicious, and as a pie! The pie is a perfect mix of sweet and tangy, the perfect refresher as dessert after a meal or even on its own. Lemons are good, pie is good. Together? Preeetttttyyyyyy nice.
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What is next for you? 
I’m not sure yet! I’m finishing my degree by May, so I haven’t been looking for other opportunities to keep focus. But working on a show is so much fun that I should probably just find more, huh?
Handles or anything we should follow?
I’ve only got an instagram, @space.unicron  if anyone would like to follow me there. (◍•ᴗ•◍)❤
Get your tickets now for Always Plenty of Light at the Starlight All Night Diner today, playing Friday-Saturday nights January 10-18 at 7:30 in the Mesa Arts Center Acting Studio. Discounts available for students, educators, veterans and theatre artists!
Reflection, Upcoming Performance

Fearless Vulnerability: a look at Abortion Road Trip by Rachel Lynett

ARTAbortion. It’s a word that puts everyone on edge. Science versus religion. Democrats versus Republicans. Men versus women. Person versus person. The word causes arguments to sling from all sides. Rarely do people stop shouting each other down to actually listen to the scientific research or the logic behind Roe v. Wade. This past weekend, the talented team over at Laughing Pig Theatre held a limited engagement of Rachel Lynett’s Abortion Road Trip. The title itself is a loaded gun, especially in our current political climate, but the show provided the perfect setting to shed light on this pertinent issue and engage the community in an important discussion.

Abortion Road Trip is a thought-provoking work. Three individual women whose three vastly different circumstances all ended with the same decision unknowingly join together for a journey that breaks them down and finally asks them to allow themselves the vulnerability to let their peers be vulnerable as well. Because that’s what vulnerability needs—the willingness of the listener or supporter to also be vulnerable.

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How do we allow ourselves that vulnerability, though? How do we deal with our own tumultuous emotions in someone else’s emotionally charged situation, especially if it’s something that so resembles something we went through ourselves? Vulnerability and honesty beget good relationships—not just relationships of a romantic sort, but relationships of all natures. So if we know those stakes, it’s about finding the strength to trust ourselves with someone else’s heart and allowing them the same chance to accept ours as well.

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That’s what Lynett’s carefully-crafted dialogue leads to. In the deft hands of Taylor Moschetti, Minnie is the big sister and best friend everyone knows. She’s savvy, sassy, and has a big heart. And when she takes the final step to break down her emotional barriers, you feel it. Her vulnerability brings all three women together in a show of solidarity. Without that willingness, Katya Orozco’s Lexa would never realize that she doesn’t just have to draw strength from herself. And Elaine Zimpleman’s Driver provides the unexpected, tentative warmth of a stranger who knows how important it is to never feel alone when you’re in your darkest moments. (Clare Thompson and Lydia Corbin cannot be excluded from this praise. Without Thompson’s Quinn and her erratic, misplaced displays of the wrong kind of support, the audience wouldn’t have the glimpse they needed into the other side of the argument. Corbin’s Mom shows us all how important unconditional love, support, and acceptance are in this world.)

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Under Tony Moschetti’s direction, Rachel Lynett’s play and the following talkback blossomed into an opportunity for understanding. Not only were the actors’ emotions tangible, but the audience’s emotions were tangible as well. The room was charged, electric. Catharsis felt imminent. The vulnerability was fragile. It’s a testament to the directing and the acting that such intense emotions were still felt in the aftermath of the play. It’s a good day when you can sit down in a room full of virtual strangers and talk without the shame or judgment that usually holds us back.

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Laughing Pig Theatre does an amazing job of creating a real, emotional experience for their audiences. If you’re looking for shows with talent and heart by the Mesa Arts Center. Laughing Pig Theatre is unafraid to present material on topics that are toughest. They are unafraid to ask their actors to dig deep. No doubt you’ll be thoroughly impressed by the world premiere of Donald Loftus’ Per. September 20, 21, 27, or 28—save any of those dates and check out another amazing performance from a theater company whose star shines bright across the Valley.

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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.

 

Auditions

Shake-Smash Auditions!

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Our first ever festival of short plays inspired by works of Shakespeare! We have collected ten-minute and one-act plays from writers all over the country that reimagine, reinterpret, and revise Shakespeare’s life and work for a weekend of exciting new theatre.

We will be casting several short plays with unique requirements. Actors will potentially be cast in multiple roles and/or plays.

WHEN: October 15th from 7:00pm-10:30pm

WHERE: Mesa Arts Center’s Drama Studio
On the second floor of Studios South above the Ceramic Studio. Take the elevator or stairwell next to the “Registration Office” and take the skywalk to the the hallway on the left (opposite building than Registration).

WHAT: Please prepare one, one-minute contemporary or Shakespearean monologue, and be prepared for potential cold reading.

HOW: Make an appointment here, and please email a headshot and resume to laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com.

 

If cast, you will receive a small stipend. You may also be cast in multiple pieces. Performance dates include: December 7-9th.

We look forward to seeing you at auditions. For any other questions, email us at laughing.pig.theatre@gmail.com.

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Pigpen Profile

Meet the Performers: Casey Anderson

This week in the pigpen you will get to know the amazing cast of reasons to be pretty, opening this weekend!

 

Casey Anderson is playing the male lead of our production of reasons to be pretty by Neil Labute. Believe it or not, this is Casey’s first time on stage in a fully produced show. We asked Casey about how such a loving and intelligent human takes on the role of GREG, a guy who might think he is more loving and intelligent than he really is.

What made you audition for reasons to be pretty?
C: I auditioned for reasons to be pretty thanks to the generous outreach of Tony, who was my acting teacher a year ago.
How do you relate to your character?
C: I relate to my character in that he can be pretty spineless in his attempt to just please everyone, though I feel he does so in a deceitful manner.
What do you dislike about your character?
C: I really dislike Greg’s reluctance to accept responsibility and to say sorry, even once.
What is your favorite part of the show?
C: My favorite part of the play is the opening scene. It just starts off with such high energy, it’s great.
Who inspires you?
C: The other players really inspire me. They’re naturals that have honed their craft. It’s so great performing with them and playing off their energy. Famous people: Well, Marion Cotillard has just the most beautiful nuanced performances.
How did you first get involved with performing?
C: This. This is how I got involved with performing. In my day-to-day life I’ve always had a more theatrical bent.
What is your dream role?
C: Well, after this I would really, really like to try something with a large cast and one where I have a more supporting role.
If you could only eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
C: Chips and salsa. Back home in Washington we grow a garden and make over 100 gallons of fresh salsa. At peak consumption I was eating a quart of it a day.
What is your favorite fandom?
C: There’s a subreddit called trebuchet memes. Full of a bunch of idiots making really terrible jokes. My people.
What has been your biggest takeaway from this show?
C: Don’t think you can act just ’cause you think you can spot good acting. It’s hard.
Do you have any upcoming projects or social media plugs?
C: Terrence Malick
Just released his opus, The Tree of Life. Everyone should watch it. Not everyone will like it but it is the closest I think I have come to witnessing The Divine. Very difficult to watch. It challenges the viewer and conceptions about film.
Thank you Casey Anderson for your candor. reasons to be pretty opens Friday September 28th at 7:30pm and closes October 6th. Get your tickets today!

 

 

Upcoming Performance

reasons to be pretty

reasons to be pretty by Neil Labute opens September 28th and closes October 6th. Purchase your tickets today.

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Starring Casey Anderson as Greg, Taylor Moschetti as Steph, Clare Thompson as Carly, and Andre Johnson as Kent.

About reasons to be pretty: When Greg makes a seemingly harmless comment about his girlfriend Steph’s “regular” looking face, the information gets back to Steph and sends their relationship over the deep end. Greg’s life spirals out of control when Steph leaves him, and he has to come to terms with what he has said. Greg’s best friend Kent is married to Steph’s best friend Carly, and when things start collapsing in Steph and Greg’s life, Carly and Kent are pulled in for the ride. We see Greg, Steph, Carly and Kent deal with the pressures of what it means to be ‘pretty’, and observe how the four friends manage the infidelity, betrayal and deceit that creeps into their lives.

Reasons

Tickets are $20 for evening performances or $15 for matinee.

September 28, 29, and October 6th at 7:30pm

September 30th at 2:00pm

 

You cannot miss this show!

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