Broken Nose Theatre is pleased to announce casting for its world premiere of Eric Reyes Loo’s terrifyingly timely drama This is Only a Test, directed by Toma Langston. The cast includes ensemble members RjW Mays* and Aria Szalai-Raymond* with guest artists Zhanna Albertini, Trevor Bates, Shane Rhoades and Austyn Williamson. Understudies include Tatyana Chante, Liz Coin, Jeremiah Davis, Tim Huggenberger, Toma Lynn Smith and Ben Weiss.
This is Only a Test will play May 1 – May 30, 2020 at The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave. in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 16 at www.brokennosetheatre.com. Tickets for all Broken Nose Theatre productions are available on a “pay-what-you-can” basis, allowing patrons to set their own price and ensuring theatre remains economically accessible for all audiences. The press opening is Monday, May 4 at 7:30 pm.
Nowadays, it could happen anywhere, at any time, and the faculty at Washington High have decided to take "being prepared" to a whole new level: through a series of cutting-edge Active Shooter Drills, their students will be trained on how to fight back, just in case their school is the next to hit the news cycle. But as they’re asked to quell violence by responding violently, four teenagers begin to wonder: if we’re so prepared, why do we feel even more unsafe?
BNT Artistic Director Elise Marie Davis comments, "It's impossible to deny that school shootings are like an infection that has seeped into the very bones of our nation. Gone are the days where we ask if it'll happen again. It has become the devastating and ever-present question of ‘where’ and ‘when.’ When the students at the center of this play are asked to accept fighting back as the best solution to a problem adults have created, they rightly begin to question this new normal, and with sometimes devastating results. This is Only a Test is a darkly satirical new play that unflinchingly looks at this epidemic, and at the proposed solution at its core and asks, 'How did we get here, and why do we believe this is a viable response?' We're thrilled to have Toma Langston at the helm, after seeing his incredible work on The Light at The New Colony two seasons ago. Like all of the best Broken Nose Theatre productions, we believe this world premiere will take audiences on deep journey into our personal beliefs, all the while sparking tremendous debate."
The production team includes Jessie Baldinger (scenic design), Satoe Schechner (costume design), Conchita Avitia (lighting design), Steve Labedz (sound design), Devon Green* (props design), Chris Smith (fight director), Sarah Scanlon (intimacy director), David Weiss* (dramaturg), Ben Locke (assistant director), Rose Hamill* (production manager), Liz Gomez (master electrician) and Adriana Rodriguez (stage manager).
* Denotes BNT ensemble member
Title: This is Only a Test
Playwright: Eric Reyes Loo
Director: Toma Langston
Cast (in alphabetical order): Zhanna Albertini (Selma), Trevor Bates (Kramer), Shane Rhoades (Man), Aria Szalai-Raymond* (Lenore), RjW Mays* (Woman) and Austyn Williamson (Wynn).
Understudies: Tatyana Chante, Liz Coin, Jeremiah Davis, Tim Huggenberger, Toma Lynn Smith and Ben Weiss.
Location: The Den Theatre (2A), 1331 N. Milwaukee Ave., Chicago
Dates: Previews: Friday, May 1 at 7:30 pm and Saturday, May 2 at 7:30 pm
Opening: Sunday, May 3 at 7:30 pm
Press Opening: Monday, May 4 at 7:30 pm
Regular run: Thursday, May 7 – Saturday, May 30, 2020
Curtain Times: Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 pm; Sundays at 3 pm
Industry night: Monday, May 18 at 7:30 pm
Understudy night: Wednesday, May 27 t 7:30 pm
Tickets: Pay-what-you-can. Tickets go on sale Monday, March 13 at www.brokennosetheatre.com.
About the Artists
Eric Reyes Loo (Playwright) is a Los Angeles-based playwright and television writer. He writes for the upcoming Netflix series A.J. & the Queen. Eric’s plays have been developed at LA theatres including Rogue Machine, Moving Arts and East West Players. Eric helps run new play development at Chalk Repertory Theatre, where he is also a company member. His play, Death and Cockroaches was produced by Chalk Rep in Fall 2018. Eric received an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and attended undergrad at Santa Clara University. His mother would want you to know that he’s a product of a prestigious Jesuit education.
Toma Langston (Director) is a freelance theater director. Theo Ubique Cabaret Theatre: Hedwig and The Angry Inch. The New Colony: The Light (2018 Joseph Jefferson Nomination for Director – Play). Victory Gardens: 2015 Directors Inclusion Initiative Director Fellowship (Assistant Director) Sucker Punch. Jackalope Theatre: (Assistant Director) 1980 (or Why I’m Voting for John Anderson). Sideshow Theatre: (Assistant Director) truth and reconciliation and Give It All Back. Other directorial credits include The Last Five Years, The Shadow Box, For Colored Girls Who Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf.
About Broken Nose Theatre:
Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can theatre company. Founded in 2012, BNT was the 2018 recipient of the Emerging Theater Award, presented by the League of Chicago Theatres and Broadway in Chicago. The company has produced and developed 20 full-length plays (including 12 Chicago or world premieres) and over 50 new short plays through our annual Bechdel Fest. We strive to spark conversation, cultivate empathy, and amplify underrepresented voices, and are committed to making new, exciting and relevant theatre that is economically accessible to all audiences. For more information, please visit www.brokennosetheatre.com.
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