LRS wins Wolfson Award!

On Monday, October 14th at Theatre Philadelphia’s 25th annual Barrymore Awards ceremony, Lightning Rod Special won the June and Steven Wolfson Award for an evolving theatre company!

The June and Steve Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company recognizes, promotes, and rewards the creativity, growth, and excellence of evolving theatres within the Greater Philadelphia community. The award is intended to help foster interaction within the theatre community, increase the community’s richness and diversity, and focus public awareness and accessibility to the most vibrant professional theatre community in the nation. Generously funded by the June and Steve Wolfson Family Foundation, this special Barrymore Award includes a $10,000 cash prize for the recipient.

Thank you for seeing something special in a company that consistently asks actors to play animals on stage unironically.

-Alice’s acceptance speech

We are so thrilled and honored! It means so much to be recognized in this way and to be seen in our community.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!

Brett Ashley Robinson (“The Cute Fetus”) was awarded the Barrymore for Outstanding Supporting Performance in a musical! We couldn’t be more proud of her. She gave a big shout out to Women’s Medical Fund in her acceptance speech, imploring folks to donate and support their good work. If you can’t donate, she said, “say the word ‘abortion’ out loud. Destigmatize it. It’s a human right.”

Well said.

You can continue to support our growth and evolution by making a donation today! We do what we do FOR you and we can’t do it without it.

And thank you thank you thank you!!!!

EIGHT Barrymore Nominations!

WOW!

We were just nominated for an astounding EIGHT Barrymore Award nominations, including SEVEN for “The Appointment” and one for Lightning Rod Special. They are:

Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Musical, Brett Ashley Robinson

Outstanding Direction of a Musical, Eva Steinmetz

Outstanding Original Music, Alex Bechtel

Outstanding Ensemble in a Musical

Independence Foundation Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical

Outstanding Overall Musical

Brown Martin Philadelphia Award

and

Wolfson Award for an Evolving Theatre Company

The Brown Martin Philadelphia Award recognizes a production that enhances public awareness of an underserved or unrecognized community and comes with a cash prize of $25,000. The Wolfson Award recognizes a Philadelphia theatre company that is changing the game and comes with a cash prize of $10,000. We are over the moon excited and humbled to be nominated for each of these awards.

Many congratulations go out to our dear collaborators, Alex, Eva, and Brett, on their individual nominations. We are so proud of the work they put in to this show!

Awards are announced on October 14th at the big ceremony (everyone calls it “theatre prom”). Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Alice wins Best of Philly!

Congratulations to Alice who was named Philadelphia’s BEST THEATER TALENT by Philly Magazine!

Every summer Philadelphia Magazine releases their much-anticipated Best of Philly list, an exhaustive compilation of Philadelphia’s best restaurants, retailers, experiences, and offerings. They mix up the categories every year so you can always count on being introduced to the things that make Philly as special as it is.

Here’s what Philly Mag had to say about Alice:

(Click image to see it on the Philly Mag website)

She joins an exciting and growing rank of the LRS community: company member Katie Gould was awarded Best Personal Trainer in 2017 and LRS godmother Ali King was awarded Best Stationery for her company Groundswell Greetings in 2017.

We are so proud and excited for Alice! We think it is highly deserved.

Best Theatre Talent: Alice Yorke

One More Week in Philly!

And so many exciting announcements to make!

THE APPOINTMENT is Barrymore Recommended!

That means, for the first time ever, one of our shows is eligible to be nominated for a Barrymore Award. We are really honored to participate in a beloved hometown tradition.


Reviews are coming in!

Philly Life and Culture says, “Just as you are belly-laughing… you are sucker punched into reality.”

Philadelphia Dance says, “The laughter that the show provokes becomes the glass of water we drink to digest the bitter pills the show prescribes.”

Broad Street Review calls the show “genius,” “pitch-perfect,” “by turns hilarious and devastating,” and says, “Women are somehow both at the center of America’s obsession with abortion, and completely irrelevant to it. We’re infantilized and sexualized; glorified and stripped of agency. I hate to legitimize opposition to abortion access as a healthcare “debate.” The Appointment is not a debate. But it does confront, surprise, challenge, and entertain its audience.”


Take Us to New York!

Have you heard? THE APPOINTMENT got a last-minute offer to perform in New York Theatre Workshop’s Next Door Series just two weeks after we close in Philly! We need you to help us make it happen. If you enjoyed the show, please make a contribution in support of our tour. If you’re unable to see it, we suggest donating the price of your ticket!

This Week!

We still have six shows left in Philly and we don’t want you to miss out! Wednesday’s performance will be followed by a conversation with our partner organization, Allentown Women’s Center, about how they balance abortion care with comprehensive trans health care. We love the folks at AWC and can’t wait for our audience to hear about the amazing work they do.

Then on Friday night, stick around after the show for SEX ED TRIVIA NIGHT. Hosted by Dr. Timaree Schmit, with prizes donated by the Sexploratorium, and **free drinks** this is one time you’re gonna wanna get schooled.

Thanks for your support!

With love and lightning,

Alice, Scott, and Lightning Rod Special

LRS STRIKES NYC!

Holy moly, Batman! We got a LAST MINUTE offer from New York Theatre Workshop to perform THE APPOINTMENT as part of their Next Door Series in April and May. Yes, that’s right– two weeks after we close the show in Philly, we’re going to New York!

This is an incredible opportunity for us. There will be a lot of visibility on the company as we return to New York after the success of “Underground Railroad Game.” We believe this show, which gets more timely every day, is poised to make a big splash.

But we need your help to make it happen.

We have already raised $90,000 for this rolling, two-city presentation. We need $13,200 more to get us to the finish line.

Will you make THE APPOINTMENT?


As though that wasn’t exciting enough, WE OPEN THE SHOW IN PHILLY THIS WEEK! We hope you’ll get your tickets and join us as we lift this project off the ground. Click the image below for tickets:

http://fringearts.com/event/the-appointment/2019-03-20/
Continue reading

THE APPOINTMENT premieres at FringeArts!

We are so excited to announce that this March, after three years of research and development, THE APPOINTMENT will premiere at FringeArts. THE APPOINTMENT is a dark satire with original music about the hypocrisy, misogyny, and absurdity surrounding the abortion debate in America.

After raising almost $5,000 for safe abortion access at our work-in-progress showing in August 2017 (titled “Unformed Consent”), this premiere will feature a bunch of awesome activities to help connect the content of the show with reproductive justice work that happens every day in Philly. Details of the events are to be announced, but will include conversations with Women’s Medical Fund, Puentes de Salud, and more organizations to come!

We are so proud of this show and where it’s come since that early showing. We hope you’ll join us at the premiere in March! Get more info HERE.

Wednesday, Mar 20 at 8pm* (preview)
Thursday, Mar 21 at 8pm (opening!)
Friday, Mar 22 at 8pm
Saturday, Mar 23 at 2pm
Saturday, Mar 23 at 8pm
Sunday, Mar 24 at 3pm
Wednesday, Mar 27 at 8pm
Thursday, Mar 28 at 8pm
Friday, Mar 29 at 8pm
Saturday, Mar 30 at 2pm
Saturday, Mar 30 at 8pm
Sunday, Mar 31 at 2pm

!!!

We are deeply humbled to announce that UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME was named #21 of the 25 best plays of the last 25 years by the New York Times.

Better 25

From the article:

Physical-theater artists who wrote this daring show for themselves to perform, Ms. Kidwell and Mr. Sheppard are accustomed to making work that’s rooted in the body. “Underground Railroad Game” is more text-based than they’re used to, yet it’s rooted in the body, too — the black body and the white body, female and male, locked in a poisoned dynamic of scarring damage and enormous pain.

Read it HERE.

We have been working on this piece since 2013, for all five years of our life as a company. From the cramped RV we drove down to New Orleans that fall, to the esteemed OBIE Award ceremony last spring, we have been bowled over by reception to this work. To find our show on this list, amongst plays like “August: Osage County,” “The Laramie Project,” “The Vagina Monologues,” and “An Octoroon” is more than we could ever have dreamed of.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME stands as a testament to the continuing power of live theatre. If you have been moved by the show and believe in our mission of exploding complex questions with precision and play, we urge you to secure the future of Lightning Rod Special’s work:

Donor.jpg

Make a donation here.

Your tax-deductible donation ensures that we can maintain our commitment to creating intelligent, considered work that provokes the cobwebbed corners of our audiences’ minds. Donations of all sizes have a huge impact. If you are interested in making a donation of $2,500+ or in becoming an honorary producer of our future work, please contact Alice@lightningrodspecial.com.

Thank you.

Thank-you-gif

For more information about the UNDERGROUND RAILROAD GAME tour and art book/script, click HERE.

To stay up-to-date on all things LRS, click HERE.