[The following information was taken from a press release issued on behalf of The Bellflower Sessions].
The Whitefire Theatre, celebrating its 30th Anniversary Season, presents the world premiere of Andy Bloch’s The Bellflower Sessions directed by Bryan Rasmussen, produced by Scott Disharoon. A timely black comedy about a self-proclaimed victim of the recession and his mentally unstable shrink, it is a train wreck of epic proportions, told with comic brutality. The Bellflower Sessions details the explosive, gut-wrenching journey of an unemployed Everyman who plummets from the final days of his marriage into insanity.
The cast features Kevin Benton, Stephanie Erb, Marshelle Fair, Michael Monks & Rob Nagle.
About the creative team
Andy Bloch aka Rooster Mitchell (Playwright): “The Bellflower Sessions” was recently chosen as Runner-Up in the Sin City Playwrighting Contest (Onyx Theatre, Las Vegas) from a nationwide search of over 300 new plays. Andy is perhaps best known for his darkly comedic stage play, "The Killer and the Comic," published by Original Works Publishing and Smith and Kraus, the longest running play in the history of Chicago’s Mary-Arrchie Theatre, winning two Joseph Jefferson Awards. "Never the Same Rhyme Twice" premiered shortly after also at the Mary-Arrchie. Following successful runs of both plays in Chicago, the shows moved "in tandem" to New York, and were re-named "Buffalo Kill: Two Brutal Comedies". The shows played to packed houses at Off-Broadway’s 29th Street Rep. Other work includes "10 AM in Pittsburgh" (Santa Monica Playhouse, published by Cyberpress), "The Bronx Hebrew School and Sports Book" (published by Smith and Kraus), "Dodging the Bullet" (staged reading with Dan Lauria and Joe Mantegna), "Dear Daisy" (Actors Forum Theatre) as well as an episode of PBS's award-winning series, Crossroads Cafe. The author, a member of Academy Award-winning director/writer/producer Bobby Moresco’s Actors Gym.
Bryan Rasmussen (Director): An award-winning actor as well as a director, producer, teacher, coach, and Artistic Director of the Whitefire Theatre which is celebrating its 30th anniversary season this year! In the eight years he has owned the Whitefire, Bryan has produced over 500 shows, as well as over 50 world premiere. Productions include “Blood Brothers”, “Love Like Blue”, “Mark Twain in the 20th Century”, “Seasons of Change” among others. He recently directed and acted in the world premiere of the critically acclaimed production of “FIREHOUSE” as well as directing the NAACP Best Solo Show of the Year award-winning “BILLIE!...backstage with Lady Day” about the life of Billie Holiday . He directed and starred in the 50th Anniversary production of Harold Pinter’s “The Dumb Waiter” as well as produced and directed the world premiere of “Fetish”, and the world premiere of the kids show, “Old School” as part of his Young Actors School. Bryan founded the famous Itchey Foot Cabaret in downtown LA, and has been a member of South Coast Repertory and trained at ACT in San Francisco . Having acted in over 50 plays, you can also catch him in the critically acclaimed film “Rampart” with Woody Harrelson, as well as in the new Shonda Rhimes primetime hit, “Scandal” on ABC as ‘Howie.’ His new horror movie “Under the Bed “ with Jonny Miller is due out this year, as well as well as the much anticipated “The Bronx Bull” set for release in 2013. Other Film/TV credits: “Sons of Anarchy”, “Prime Suspect”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Southland”, “Bones’, “Big Love”, “24”, among others.
Scott Disharoon (Producer) has a diversified background producing theater, film, and television. He has produced and developed over 20 plays as well as several feature films and television properties. As a partner in the production company entitled entertainment, he developed and produced AURORA BOREALIS, starring Joshua Jackson, Donald Sutherland, Juliette Lewis and Louise Fletcher. Theater credits include the Tony award winning production of LONG DAY'S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT on Broadway, LITTLE HAM off Broadway, Los Angeles productions of HE WHO GETS SLAPPED, ANGELS TWICE DESCENDING and BURN THIS, the James Burke directed WAITING FOR THE PARADE and ELEKTRA as well as the West Coast premieres of Lee Blessing's DOWN THE ROAD, John Bishop's LEGACIES, and the world premiere of David Stevens' THE SUM OF US, for which he served as co-producer.
About the cast
Rob Nagle (Jack Calvin) is a proud member of the Antaeus Company and the Troubadour Theater Company. Regional credits: Denver Center Theatre Company, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Old Globe, Centerstage, San Jose Repertory, and the Shakespeare Theatre. Recent credits in Los Angeles: Macbeth, Peace In Our Time (Antaeus); Two Gentlemen of Chicago, Fleetwood Macbeth, For the Birds (Troubies); Play Dates (Green Beetle); also, Odyssey Theatre, Road Theatre Company, Black Dahlia, Open Fist, LA Theatre Works, Circle X, Falcon Theatre, Shakespeare Festival/LA. Film: New Year's Eve, Fishing Naked, Life As We Know It, The Soloist, Fun with Dick and Jane, Cellular, American Wedding. Television: Castle, Major Crimes, NCIS, Harry’s Law, Mad Men, Lincoln Heights, Cold Case, Without a Trace, Eli Stone,The Middleman, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Everwood, The Guardian, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dawson’s Creek.
Stephanie Erb (Dr. Wendy Bellflower) NY and regional credits include NY's Acting Company, Arena Stage (TWO GENTS), The Cleveland Playhouse (season), Cincinnati Playhouse (STEEL MAGNOLIAS), Pittsburgh Public (LES LIAISONS), Utah (BLITHE SPIRIT, MACBETH) and Dallas Shakespeare Festivals, and more. LA credits include LA Mirada , The Actor's Gang (LA WEEKLY AWARD- MEDEA-MACBETH-CINDERELLA), The Open Fist (LA WEEKLY NOM- STAGE DOOR), Sierra Madre Playhouse, Circus Theatricals, Shakespeare LA, Interact, Moving Arts, Mark Taper Forum, and The Blank, among others. TV recurring roles: TRUE BLOOD, WEEDS, 24, FREAKS AND GEEKS, ELLEN as well as over fifty guest spots. Film credits include THE RING (Verbinski), FEARLESS (Weir), STARSHIP TROOPERS (Verhoeven), LUCKY NUMBERS (Ephron) and the TENACIOUS D movie, etc. www.stephanieerb.com
Kevin Benton (Derek Coles) With nearly thirty years of acting under his belt, Kevin’s early credits include Intent to Kill, No Escape No Return, LA Heat, White Men Can’t Jump and Blue Chips. Other film credits include Man in a Chair (Christopher Plummer), Street Kings (Keanu Reeves), Next Day Air (Donald Faison) and the upcoming independent film ForGiveness (Richard T. Brooks). TV credits include “The Jeffersons”, “Tales From the Crypt”, “Crime Story”, and “The Adventures of Superboy”, as well as numerous commercials. Most recently, Kevin was seen in a well received Los Angeles production of David Mamet’s Glengarry Glen Ross directed by Seth Howard.
Marshelle Fair (Molly Calvin) can be seen in George Hickenlooper’s THE BIG BRASS RING; she was the mysterious skating chimp in James Franco’s play THE APE; played the Ensemble Lead in Blair Witch Co-Creator/Director Dan Myrick’s film/webseries THE STRAND; a Guest Star in NO GAME directed by Sean Patrick Flanery. Marshelle is currently a Series Regular in Larry Kennar’s (Creator/Executive Producer of THE L WORD) new series, DTLA which will Air in Canada in October, US distribution to be announced soon.
Michael Monks (Grant Lerner) last appeared on stage in the 2008 Los Angeles Glengarry Glen Ross. He studied acting with Sanford Meisner, and currently studies and teaches at The Ivana Chubbuck Studios. Michael has acted in over one hundred feature films and television shows. He is probably most recognized for his long run on The Practice, playing the cross-dressing serial killer, ‘George Vogelman’. Look for Michael in at the movies in “End of Watch”, opening Sept. 28th, and soon in “Duke and The Vortex”. Next up Michael begins shooting “Manson Girls”.
The Bell Flower Sessions September 8 - October 13. Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm. Tickets available at www.brownpapertickets.com. 13500 Ventura Blvd.