by Jami Brandli
Josh is an attractive and charming novelist who’s just signed a deal to publish his first novel. George, his childhood friend, and Liz, his literary agent and old college “friend with benefits” are both madly in love with Josh and throw him a big party. Their cozy arrangement is turned upside down when Candi, Josh’s sexy and ambitious writing student and a mysterious gun turn up the next morning. Hostages are held, dark truths are revealed, and eventually a trigger is pulled.
Candi - Erica Feldman
Liz - Aarya Sara Locker*
George - Rusty Gunther
* represents members of Actors' Equity, the union of professional actors and stage managers
2010 Kevin Kline Award Nominations:
Best New Play
About the Playwright: Jami Brandli has had plays produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, and Washington DC and was a contributing writer for both stage and screen for the Elliot Norton awarding winning production of PS: Page Me Later. She received a literature fellowship from SAC/Massachusetts Cultural Council and was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O’Neill Center (2007). In addition, her plays have been published in the Smith & Kraus The Best Ten-Minute Plays Anthologies, 2007and 2008. Most recently, she was a finalist for Disney ABC’s 2008 TV Writing Fellowship. She now lives in Los Angeles with her husband where she’s at work on scripts for both stage and screen and a novel. Jami does the bi-coastal thing by teaching dramatic writing at UCLA Extension and Lesley University’s low-residency MFA program.
About the Dramaturg: Erica Nagel has worked as a dramaturg, community-based artist, and arts educator at theatres and arts organizations throughout the country since 2002. She most recently served as a freelance dramaturg at theatres including HotCity Theatre, Provincetown Playhouse, Salvage Vanguard Theatre, The David Mark Cohen New Works Festival, New Century Theatre, and the Weird Sisters Theatre collective, where she developed work with playwrights includingGeorge Brant, Cory Hinkle, Eve Tulbert, and Suzan Zeder. Erica has worked in the literary offices of McCarter Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Geva Theatre Center where she worked on productions including Anna in the Tropics, (dir. by Emily Mann), Candida, (dir. Lisa Peterson), Wintertime, (dir. David Schweitzer), My Fair Lady (dir. by Gary Griffin), and The Cherry Orchard (dir. Michael Grief), and participated in developmental workshops with writers including Beth Henley, Marc Wolf, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Michele Lowe, and James Still.
As though dramaturgy weren’t hard enough to explain at cocktail parties, Erica holds an MFA in Performance as Public Practice (which she’s happy tell you more about over breakfast tacos) at the University of Texas-Austin, where she was a recipient of a 2007-2008 University Continuing Fellowship for her thesis project, Collaboration, Context, and Common Ground: A Model for Community-Engaged Dramaturgy.
... Director Annamaria Pileggi keeps the mood taut, Locker and Gunther give rich, entirely naturalistic performances.
... it's an absorbing new work, the kind of thing you're more apt to see someplace like the Humana Festival in Louisville, Ky., than in St. Louis. That's a fun way to go to the theater. Last spring, "The Sinker" won HotCity's fourth annual Greenhouse New Play Festival.
- Judy Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Jami Brandli demonstrates courage as a playwright by using The Sinker as a title. If the play weren't any good, it would be tempting to make the second letter a "t." But that's not going to happen here. Brandli has written an absorbing piece, well acted by a cast of three and directed by Annamaria Pileggi. It is this season's fully mounted presentation chosen from among the 2009 GreenHouse Series 300-plus entries. HotCity sponsors Greenouse to solicit and develop new plays and have been rewarded with Kevin Kline nominations (and two wins) during the past five years.
... it does keep us enrapt for at least the final 20 minutes. I couldn't even hear anyone in the audience, breathing, coughing or making any other human noises until it was time for a hearty round of applause.
The actors fully inhabit their characters. Gunther is back where he belongs in a contemporary, colloquial piece. Gunther has cornered the market on loveable schlubs at HotCity, and while this isn't the home run he got in The Dead Guy, it's a triple.
... From her bio, it appears that Erica Feldman isn't an actor, but she should be. She credibly strikes the right notes of superiority and chutzpah, even when she's in a tight situation.
... Pileggi's direction is precise and she seems to work well with this group of actors. Sean Savoie and Maureen Hanratty get set and light credits.
- Andrea Braun, KDHX Radio