Outtakes: My night at the Local Lab New Play Festival in Boulder
By John Moore
March 19, 2013
Opening No. 44, Local Lab New Play Festival: The Local Lab is an annual weekend of three new American play readings at the picturesque Chautauqua Community House in Boulder. I was happy to lead a spirited post-show discussion after Saturday’s offering, “Informed Consent,” along with visiting playwright Debrorah Zoe Laufer, who also wrote Curious Theatre’s 2008 staging of “End Days.”
Friday’s festival offering was Kate Tarker’s Ovidian “An Almanac For Farmers And Lovers In Mexico.” A young American woman named Flora is days away from marrying her Mexican fiancé in San Cristobal. Unfortunately, her fiance has turned into a bird. Arriving wedding guests find themselves undergoing unexpected transformations of their own. Directed by Pesha Rudnick. Featuring Anthony Bianco (Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Three Musketeers”), Meridith Crosley Grundei (The Catamounts’ “Messenger #1”), Laura Norman (Boulder Ensemble Theatre Company’s “Ghost-Writer”), Jamie Ann Romero (Colorado Shakespeare Festival’s “Romeo and Juliet”), Jake Walker (Denver Center Theatre Company’s “When We Are Married”), Gabriella Cavallero (founder of Modern Muse) and visiting New York actors Lorenzo Gonzalez and Belita Moreno.
Saturday’s festival offering was Laufer’s “Informed Consent.” It’s based on a complaint by the Havasupai Indians that a geneticist from Arizona State University ran DNA tests on tribal members without fully disclosing how the DNA would be used. In the play, a well-intentioned woman eager to unlock genetic clues that may cure Alzheimer’s and other diseases is accused of steamrolling a people’s culture in the process. Knowledge is power – but is that always a good thing? Directed by Mare Trevathan. Featuring Rachel Fowler (Curious’ “Rabbit Hole”), Pun Bandhu (Denver Center Theatre Company’s “The Catch”), Lorenzo Gonzalez, Belita Moreno, Meridith Crosley Grundei and visiting Minneapolis actor George A. Keller.
Sunday’s festival offering was “Concealed Carry,” by Joshua Rollins. After seven students die in a shooting, a college in Colorado becomes ground zero for the concealed carry debate. Directed by Christy Montour-Larson. Featuring Pun Bandhu, Anthony Bianco, George A. Keller, Laura Norman, Jamie Ann Romero, Mare Trevathan and Jake Walker.
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Actors Anne Sandoe, center, and Jake Walker watch intently from the balcony of the Chautauqua Community House as Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “Informed Consent” is read. Walker participated in the festival’s other two readings.
Pun Bandhu, who read from Deborah Zoe Laufer’s “Informed Consent,” is known to Denver Center Theatre Company audiences for “The Catch.” Not as many realize he was also one of the original producers of the Broadway musical, “Spring Awakening.”