Tragedy and Farce Collide in CalArts Original Musical 'Ruins'
November 1, Valencia, CA–The California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) School of Theater presents Ruins, a new musical by Brittany Knupper, directed by Holly Derr. Playwright Knupper tells the story of a family on the verge of collapse as seen through the eyes of Wendy, its alcoholic matriarch. Fusing multiple theatrical with music by Tyler Gilbert, Knupper takes a dark yet comedic foray into family dynamics.
Ruins will be performed at the CalArts Butler Building 2 (BB2) performance space, 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA, 91355. Performance dates are Friday, November 19 at 8:00pm, Saturday, November 20 at 3:30pm and 8:00pm and Monday, November 22 at 8:00pm. Admission is free, and by reservation only. For reservations, please visit www.calarts.edu/calendar.
In Ruins, the Yardley family is reunited for the birth of their newest member and unceremoniously confronted by secrets they had previously fought to contain. Sibling rivalries explode and long-buried skeletons are unearthed as Wendy loses her grip on reality. As chaos and drama reign, Wendy stumbles between this stormy present and her techno-colored past—the two growing indistinguishable over the course of the play.
Brittany Knupper is a second year Master of Fine Arts candidate in the CalArts School of Theater’s Playwriting program, and Ruins marks her CalArts theater debut. Past productions include: Perfect (winner of the 2006 Dharma-Grace award), Stiff, Finding New Beginnings in the Right Corner of the Fifth Circle, or What Happened to Dennis and The Curtain Call. Her directing credits include productions of Venus by Suzan-Lori Parks and Waiting for Philip Glass by Wendy Wasserstein.
Director Holly Derr spent seven years in New York working in theater administration, running her own non-profit theater company, and earning an MFA in theater directing from Columbia University. Derr later taught and directed at Marlboro College, Smith College, the American Repertory Theater Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University, and the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Company Consortium. Following her recent move to Los Angeles, she will show excerpts of her play American Medea at the Ensemble Studio Theater/LA in December, and will direct Twelfth Night at the University of California at Riverside in February 2011. Past productions include Cymbeline, In the Penal Colony, When We Dead Awaken, The Vagina Monologues, Speak, The Time of Your Life, Golden Girls, The Front Page, and new plays by Gregory Moss, Ann Marie Healy, Timothy Braun, and Colin Denby Swanson.