Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On the Edge of a Paper Wing

My thoughts on the upcoming 2016 Season of Paper Wing Theatre!

For the past five years I’ve had a growing relationship with The Paper Wing Theatre Company in Monterey, California. This small, independently run, local theater is one of the last of its kind here on the Central Coast. There’s no board of trustees, there’s no affiliation with some University curriculum, and its two owners (Koly McBride and Lj Brewer) are the sole decision makers with regard to the direction of the company. Paper Wing Theatre is noted for bringing live theater with an “edge” to the local community- it’s the place where “The Rocky Horror Show” has had a home for the past decade or so, it’s where “Killer Joe” saw a run, “Mr. Marmalade”, “Mr. Bruce, Do You Swear”, and a live rendition of “Night of the Living Dead” saw runs on their stages. It’s the place where classic pieces, such as “Macbeth”, “Salome”, and “12th Night”, have been given young blood renditions from upcoming local artists. The theatre has played hosts to comedy events, local fashion shows, and touring musicians like Zoe Boekbinder. Paper Wing is home to a wide array of artists, actors, directors, and writers.

My relationship with the theatre started shortly after their dark production of an “Alice in Wonderland” adaptation with drug dealers, kidnappers, and an S&M club off the darkened alleys of New York City. Through the years I’ve been a constant patron, an actor, a writer, and now a director with the company as we head into our 2016 Season. I’ve passed out flyers, I’ve helped build sets, I’ve painted walls, cleaned toilets, posted my thoughts on shows, and I’ve generally lived and breathed this company for the past several years and I’m as excited now as I was the first day I walked in to deliver my first line in my first show some five years ago.

The Paper Wing Theatre has two locations- the first is their Hoffman stage, otherwise known as the Main Stage where a number of performances include larger musicals and larger cast productions. Their season ended with the production of “Avenue Q” and is set to begin with a February “Burlesque Show” that’s become an annual staple the past several years. It will follow that sultry series of evenings with a family drama, “Other Desert Cities”. The theatre will then play host to the musical, “Songs For a New World” and other shows already announced include “Pippin”, “Repo: The Genetic Opera”, and “Snow White and the Evil Queen”.

Their Fremont location is set to open their 2016 Season with William Shakespeares “The Tempest”, followed by “Believers”, “Mozambique”, and “Knocked up by Satan”(The last of which was written and will be directed by yours truly). A truly eclectic range of tones for the more intimate audience, Fremont is a fully immersive theatrical experience that places the action nearly in the audiences lap and occasionally pushes the limits of the live experience.

Paper Wing has always been Theater On The Edge and 2016 promises to be one of the biggest years to date. If you’re traveling through Monterey for any of the heavily attended local events through the year, a night at the theater may be something you’re looking for. If you’re looking for something to do after a long walk on the beach or a visit with the renowned Aquarium, Paper Wing Theatre has a welcoming atmosphere with a volunteer staff that truly cares about entertaining its audience. If you like laughing till hurts, crying till the weight is lifted off your shoulder, or seeing something you’re not likely to see nearly anywhere else, Paper Wing Theatre will give you a home for a few hours and a good story to talk about with your friends.

My name is Mark Daniel Cunningham- you may see my name in your program and I may be on stage, behind the curtain, in a booth, or lurking somewhere about the audience. I love to hear you laugh, I love to see you react, and I’m excited for the year to come. And I’m even more excited for the audiences who will experience it all.

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