Now in its 10th season of exploring news plays and making it possible for playwrights to see their work fully produced while still in development, LAUNCH PAD brings Alison Tatlock’s “Untitled IV By Ruth Markofsky” to the UC Santa Barbara’s Hatlen Theater for seven performances beginning Feb. 27. An initiative of the Department of Theater and Dance, LAUNCH PAD offers a professional playwright the chance to fully produce an original work with faculty members, guest artists and engaged students who are hungry to learn how new plays are developed.
Directed by Risa Brainin, professor and chair of theater and dance and the driving force behind LAUNCH PAD, “Untitled IV By Ruth Markofsky” is a dark and funny drama, much like real life. It focuses on place and family — the kind we're born into and the kind we build sometimes haphazardly. At the center is Ruth, a Boston native who settled in Joshua Tree, Calif., to make a life for herself and her young son, adopted from Ethiopia. A well-known artist struggling with a big loss, Ruth gathers an eclectic group of characters around her as she reveals her new work and old wounds.
“It’s remarkable opportunity to create a new play in the context of a university, which holds myriad resources and potential partners,” said Tatlock. “LAUNCH PAD offers a unique alternative to the usual development process, which is often rushed and limited. LAUNCH PAD gives writers a chance to incubate a script, to sharpen the language and dig into the story until its guts are truly exposed — and then to cover it up again, if necessary. What a gift!”
The play features performances by UCSB faculty member Anne Torsiglieri, Lit Moon theater company member Victoria Finlayson and student actors Adrian Carter, Zackery Humphries, Tonea Lolin and Skarlett Redd. The design team includes set designer Nayna Ramey, costume designer Devon Painter, lighting designer Michael Klaers and composer and sound designer Randy Tico.
“Untitled IV By Ruth Markofsky” opens on Thursday, Feb. 27, and continues through Saturday, March 8. Show times are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m., with matinee on Sunday, March 2, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $13 for students, UCSB staff and faculty members and seniors; and $17 for all others. They are available online at http://www.theaterdance.ucsb.edu/news/ticket-office. Questions can be directed to (805) 893-3022.