A Life On The Ocean Wave

LIFE-100WA Life On The Ocean Wave
by Nancy Au, Nara Dahlbacka, and Conrad A. Panganiban under the leadership of head writer Carson Beker
EXIT Stage Left, 156 Eddy St, SF
July 6 - July 22, 2017

“A Life On The Ocean Wave” tells the story of Shantywoman, a singer of songs and a teller of tales who may be a goddess no less than Brizo, the famed protector of sailors or just an actress struggling to find her feet again after the end of a romantic relationship. She is joined in her journey by a pair of dead sailors who tell her the story of a pirate captain looking for his lost love, a blind pilot, and a dog that thinks she’s a cat.

A combination of song, poetry, storytelling, and theatre, this anthology of original work sby four local playwrights – Nancy Au, Nara Dahlbacka, and Conrad A. Panganiban under the leadership of head writer Carson Beker – was developed from pieces that premiered at the San Francisco Olympians Festival and is directed by festival creator and EXIT Theatre Resident Artist Stuart Bousel.

Nancy Au (playwright) is a writer and artist living in Oakland. Her stories appear or are forthcoming in FRiGG, Tahoma Literary Review, Lunch Ticket, Pithead Chapel, The Pinch, Beloit Fiction Journal, Hermeneutic Chaos Journal, Smokelong Quarterly, The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts, Liminal Stories, Foglifter, Forge Literary Magazine, Midnight Breakfast, Flapperhouse, Word Riot, Fiction Southeast, Necessary Fiction,Prick of the Spindle, Typehouse Literary Magazine, Identity Theory, among others. With Carson Beker, she was awarded the Spring Creek Project collaborative residency at Oregon State University which is dedicated to artists and writers inspired by nature and science. She has an MFA from San Francisco State University where she taught creative writing. She teaches creative and science writing at California State University Stanislaus and is co-founder of The Escapery. Smokelong Quarterly and The Journal of Compressed Creative Arts nominated her flash fiction for The Best Small Fictions 2017 anthology.
Christina Augello (Shantywoman) has been performing since grade school. Her favorite roles are complicated and independent women who make their own choices, good or bad! Some of these include the Baroness Elsa von Freitag-Loringhoven, the Mama of Dada, in Last of the Red Hot Dadas; the grifter turned social worker Bertha in Boxcar Bertha; Grace O’Malley, the Irish Pirate Queen in A Most Notorious Woman; the courageous and outrageous actress Betty Hutton in Rat Girl; the salty Regina Fredrickson in Confessions of a Catholic Child; Elizabeth I in Clive Barker’s Paradise Street where one critic compared her performance to that of Judy Dench, Bettie Davis and Flora Robson; and most recently herself, the most complicated woman she knows, in Denial is a Wonderful Thing. Christina is also the founder and Artistic Director of EXIT Theatre and the San Francisco Fringe Festival.
Carson Beker (playwright / head writer) is a sailor-hearted writer and teller-of-tales. Their other full-length plays include The Sorrows: Or Deirdre From The Legend Kills Herself In Every Version But That Doesn’t Mean You Always Have To (in development through Custom Made’s Undiscovered Works Series 2016) and Sunflower Suicide Moon (Greenhouse Festival 2015). She co-founded The Escapery: A Writing Unschool with Nancy Au and has an MFA and MA in Fiction and Playwriting from San Francisco State University. His stories have appeared in Foglifter (Pushcart nomination 2016), Gigantic Sequins, and Radar Literary Series. Ze was a Lambda Fellow in Fiction, a Tin House Workshop Scholar, and a San Francisco Olympians Festival 2015 writer.
Stuart Bousel (director) is a writer and director who recently did both for his latest, Twins, at PianoFight. The Director of New Work Development at Custom Made Theatre Company, he has directed their productions of M. Butterfly, The Merchant of Venice, Prelude To A Kiss,The Crucible, Grey Gardens: The Musical, Six Degrees of Separation, andThe House of Yes, as well as dramturging Chess in which he also played Walter. He is a resident artist at EXIT Theatre where he directed The Desk Set, the American premiere of Clive Barker’s Paradise Street, adapted Kristin Hersh’s memoire Rat Girl into a stage play, and played the Pope inConfessions of a Catholic Child. His play Everybody Here Says Hello! was the recipient of the 2014 Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding World Premiere and his play Pastorella was nominated for the same award in 2015. His other plays include Gone Dark, Briankill, Polyxena In Orbit, The Exiled, The Edenites, Housebroken, Speak Roughly, The Age of Beauty,Juno En Victoria and Ceres En Victoria. He co-wrote the Cosgrove-winning short film Insomnia, the Hostelling International mocu-mercial Wish U Were Here, and the novella Dry Country.
Nara Dahlbacka (playwright) is a local playwright and director, born and raised in Oakland. She discovered her love for playwriting as an undergraduate at UC Santa Barbara where she won the first ever Dilling Yang Fellowship in Dramatic Art and where her first two plays (Dayenuand Becky & Dog) were produced, both earning Corwin Metropolitan Theatre Awards. She received an MFA in Playwriting from San Francisco State University where she was one of the first recipients of the Yeah, I Said Feminist Theatre Fellowships and her play Blood under the Bridgewas chosen for the Greenhouse Festival and was a runner up for the Jim Highsmith Award. She directed new works her entire time at San Francisco State University on the mainstage and as part of the Fringe and Greenhouse Festivals. She has also directed for the last three years at the KCACTF Region 7 Festival and last year her play Twinkle Twinkle Little Lamb was a semi-finalist for the John Cauble One-Act Award.
Daphne Dorman (Drippy / Angel)
Linda Huang (stage manger)
Carl Lucania (Drokov / Captain) has always been fascinated by the sea and still prizes the Red Cross sailing certification he got in high school. This was also a period when, thanks to a friend with a night watch job, he spent a lot of time exploring and climbing the riggings of the Balclutha and Thayer at the Maritime Museum - so pretending to be a sailor is not new. He was trained in theater at San Francisco State and has performed with several Bay Area companies, most recently appearing in Custom Made Theatre’s Six Degrees of Separation.
Kyle McReddie (Thirsty / Sailor Song, fight choreographer) is an actor, fight director, and self-taught sea shanty player native of the Bay Area. His recent credits include: Six Degrees of Separation (Custom Made Theatre), Paradise Street (EXIT Theatre), The Morrissey Plays (San Francisco Theater Pub), and Twins (PianoFight). He would like to thank his friends and family for putting up with him and the accordion practice they endure.
Mary Naughton (scenic designer)
Curtis Overacre (lighting designer) is very excited to work on this production with the cast and crew. Up next is a lighting design for Opera Theatre Unlimited in July and then the San Francisco Fringe Festival in September, both at EXIT Theatre. Curtis has been a tech and lighting designer in the Bay Area for the past 15 years.
Conrad A. Panganiban (playwright) is a San Francisco Bay Area based playwright. His work has been performed at San Francisco Playhouse, Bindlestiff Studio, San Francisco State University, A-Squared Theatre Workshop, and CIRCA Pintig in Chicago as well as in Edinburgh, Scotland. He's one of the co-writers (with Drew Stephens and Emmanuel Romero) of the award-winning short film Prinsesa. Conrad earned his MFA in Creative Writing with an emphasis on Playwriting from San Francisco State University. He's a member of The Dramatists Guild of America and Theatre Bay Area.
Cody Rishell (graphic artist) has designed many, many, many posters and programs around the Bay Area theatre scene, working for companies such as Central Works, Anton’s Well, No Nude Men Productions, the San Francisco Fringe Festival, Custom Made Theatre, The Breadbox, the Bay One Acts Festival, PianoFight, and EXIT Theatre. He was the Art Director for all seven years of the San Francisco Theater Pub and is currently the Art Director for the San Francisco Olympians Festival. His work includes the comic strip Clyde the Cyclops and his fine art offerings have been exhibited in Turkey, Italy, and the United States.
Ryan Lee Short (sound designer)
Shirley Smallwood (Grandma / Kraken) was born and raised in Berkeley. She started out training and performing classical music, both vocals and violin, from elementary school through high school. She wrote and sang the Italian aria for the independent film Zoli's Brain produced and directed by Tiffany Schwalain that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. She co-starred as Brenda in She's Got Next produced and directed by Tricia C. Valencia of Flaca Films. She was featured in the Kymora Curve Control Jeans informational that ran nationwide. Shirley selected and performed all the music for Mike and Jeff Nishimura's play Avenues and co-starred in two productions at the New Conservatory Theater Center: The Last Session as Tryshia the Diva and the legendary Bricktop in Red, Hot, and Cole. She appeared as Sister Mary Hubert in Dan Groggins' Messhuga Nuns at the Pacifica Repertory Theater and as the Courtesan in the musical version of A Comedy of Errors at the Marin Shakespeare Theatre. She has performed with many groups as either a featured vocalist or back-up vocalist with Yancy Taylor Quartet, EC Scott and Smoke, BedRock, and Soundwave. She has done numerous TV, film, and voice-over projects including Tiger Balm radio spots as Jerry Rice's mother, music videos with New Power Generation, the rapper Paris, educational videos on spousal abuse, safety, role models for children, and The Little Rock 9. Shirley received her BA in Music from Holy Names College. With deep appreciation and gratitude, she wishes to thank her family and friends for all their love and support.
Kitty Torres (Skippercat / Lin) has had the fortune of working in the Bay Area as both a performer and a member of production since 2013. Working with the EXIT Theatre, No Nude Men Productions, Custom Made Theatre, FaultLine Theater, PianoFight, Central Works, and Quantum Dragon Theatre, she is deeply honored to be joining the cast of A Life On The Ocean Wave. She is grateful to director Stuart Bousel, stage manager (and sentient) Linda Huang, and all the production staff and her fellow cast mates for making this such an incredible experience. She hopes you all enjoy the show!