Saturday, January 27, 2018

Insignificance: Einstein's Theory of Relativity

One of the centerpieces of the play Insignificance is a pretty great discussion of Albert Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

If you need to brush up on it, National Geographic has a great break down of the theory and how Einstein came up with it.

What struck me upon reading this summary is how incredibly creative Einstein's process was. I think we sometimes forget how similar the artistic and the scientific thought process really can be.

Be sure to check out the video for a visual representation of the theory.

Get tickets for Insignificance online at - it's a funny, thoughtful story that will leave you thinking about it for days.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Insignificance: About the Playwright

Terry Johnson (born in 1955) is a British dramatist and director working for stage, television and film. Educated at Birmingham University, he worked as an actor from 1971 to 1975, and has been active as a playwright since the early 1980s.

Johnson's stage work has been produced around the world. He has won nine British Theatre awards including the Olivier Award for Best Comedy 1994 for his play Hysteria, and in 1999 for his play Cleo, Camping, Emmanuelle and Dick, Playwright of the Year in 1995, the Critics' Circle Theatre Awards for Best New Play in 1995 for Dead Funny, two Evening Standard Theatre Awards, the Writers Guild Award for Best Play in 1995 and 1996, the Meyer-Whitworth Award 1993 and the John Whiting Award 1991.

He has had many West End productions as director and/or writer including: One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (director, featuring Alex Kingston and Christian Slater), Hitchcock Blonde (writer/director featuring Rosamund Pike), The Graduate (writer). Johnson won the 2010 Tony Award for Best Director of a Musical for La Cage aux Folles.

He has worked with Chicago's Steppenwolf Theatre, directing John Malkovich in The Libertine (nominated for five Joseph Jefferson Awards including Best Production) and Lost Land, both plays by Stephen Jeffreys.

He has written and directed television drama that has been broadcast worldwide, most recently Not Only But Always for Channel 4, which won five International Award nominations, Best Film at Banff, and a BAFTA for Rhys Ifans.

The film version of his play Insignificance (directed by Nicolas Roeg) was the official British entry at the Cannes Film Festival in 1985.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Insignificance: Meet the Design Team

Laura Jane Bailey (Director) previously directed Marvin’s Room for Dragon Productions and is happy to be back directing Insignificance. Dragon audiences have seen Laura Jane's acting in For The Love Of A Pig, Cloud Nine, Chekov In Yalta, Smell Of The Kill, The Memory Of Water, Bad Dates Les Liaisons Dangereuses, and Fiction. She has worked at several Bay Area theaters including TheatreWorks, Aurora Theatre, Crowded Fire, SF Playhouse and City Lights. Back in Chicago, Laura Jane served as Artistic Director for cobalt ensemble theatre and taught the Meisner technique at The Actors’ Center of Chicago.

Christina Bauer (Production Stage Manager) is thrilled to be working her first production with Dragon Productions. Previous credits include The Monster Builder, Dear Master and Temple with Aurora Theatre Company; Into the Beautiful North with Central Works; Love Sick with Jewish Circle Theatre; Antigonick and The Village Bike with Shotgun Players; Orlando and Escanaba in da Moonlight with TheatreFirst; Shrek: The Musical with Berkeley Playhouse; The Taming of the ShrewHamlet, and The Merry Wives of Windsor with Livermore Shakespeare Festival; Guys and Dolls, Les MisĂ©rablesCatsThe Wizard of OzHONK! and Beauty and the Beast with Star Struck Children's Theatre. She is proud to have worked as a teacher for Arts Academy and Pleasanton Drama Camps. She holds a degree in anthropology, theatre, and political science from James Madison University.

Jonathan Covey (Sound Designer) is an aspiring sound designer and broke musician. A perfect fit for Dragon Theatre! This is the fourth play that Jonathan has made noise for with Dragon, the other three being Miss Reardon Drinks a LittleRich & Famous and Caeneus & Poseidon. Covey also worked in the stage crew for the Palo Alto Theatre Company’s productions of Zombie Prom and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, was the assistant director for Crystal Springs Player’s production of The Bible: Abridged, and even tried his hand at acting, playing Detective Sargent Trotter in Crystal Springs’ production of Agatha Christie’s The Mouse Trap. But in the end, he felt much more comfortable alone in a dark room with a microphone and a guitar then on a lit stage in front of a few too many people.

Beth Covey-Snedegar (Properties Designer) has been on the stage and off since she was a little girl. Her passion for theatre inspired her to become a theatre arts instructor, teaching musical theatre, dance and acting to kids of all ages. In her off time, she is a mom and owns her own floral design and special events company, Sassy Diva Designs and Events. Her past Dragon credits include When the Rain Stops Falling.

Steaphen Fick (Fight Choreographer) Insignificance marks the first production with Dragon Production Theatre Company. He has performed on the History Channel for the episode of ‘Built By Hand’, he worked with Mike Rowe on ‘Somebody’s Gotta Do It’ and choreographed fight sequences for Dawnrunner Productions of ‘Terra’, ‘FIGHTCRAFT’ and ‘DORKCORE’. He has also worked with Galatia Films on ‘Reclaiming the Blade’, and Disney music video for the band Allstar Weekend. Steaphen also has worked with students at Milpitas High School on some of their productions. Steaphen has also choreographed fight sequences for multiple Renaissance Faire productions, taught at conventions in Michigan, Las Vegas, Chicago, New York, Mexico, Canada, the UK, and Holland. Steaphen has trained with fight directors from New York, Australia the US and Canada and is excited to bring that experience to the Dragon Production Theatre Company. 

Katie Forrest (Rehearsal Stage Manager) is delighted to be working with Dragon Productions Theatre Company for the third time. The last Dragon production Katie stage managed was Cirque Exotique du Monde. She has worked behind the scenes and on stage for many previous shows. Most of her work was done at Woodside High School, taking on various roles in productions. She is also studying at Canada College to obtain a double major in Business and Theater.

Eric Johnson (Scenic Designer) is thrilled to be making his Dragon debut with scenic design for Insignificance. Eric is also the new resident stage manager and props designer for Broadway By The Bay (Smokey Joes CafĂ©Next To NormalSingin’ in the Rain), the resident Props Designer for SAN Francisco Opera’s Merola Arts Program (TransformationsLa CenerentolaLa Finta GiardinierThe Marriage of FigaroPostcards From MoroccoThe Rape of LucretiaThe MediumDon Pasquale, and five seasons of the Schwabacher Summer Concert Series). Eric is also a freelance designer and stage manager for many companies around the Bay Area. Look for Eric’s work in upcoming productions of Music ManMillion Dollar QuartetSaturday Night Fever, and Aida with Broadway By The Bay. Special thanks to Kelly Tighe, his family, and the wonderful Marty Stauffer!

Edward Liptzin (Lighting Designer) is excited by the opportunity to bring Insignificance to life. He has previously worked as a Technician at The Dragon Theater for their Monday Night Play Space series and is looking forward to furthering his exploration of design. He has previous experience as Lead Electrician on California Shakespeare Theater’s Black Odyssey, Assistant Lighting Designer on TheatreFIRST’s HeLa, and Lighting Assistant on Ubuntu Theater Project’s To the Bone, in addition to doing various lighting design throughout college. From this production, Edward reflects upon these words of The Professor: "If I say I know, I stop thinking, but so long as I think, I come to understand, I might approach some truth."

Kathleen Qiu (Costume Designer) is excited to be returning to Dragon Productions for Insignificance after working on Cirque Exotique du Monde. Previously in the Bay Area, she has designed at Pear Theatre (Enemy of the People), Custom Made Theatre Co (The House of Yes, How I Learned to Drive), the SF Playhouse (You Mean to Do Me Harm), Palo Alto Players (The Graduate), and Tri-Valley Repertory Theatre (In the Heights, Jesus Christ Superstar). Her other credits include Pirates of Penzance, Steve Martin’s The Underpants, Dracula, War of the Worlds, and Picture Imperfect, among others, with a variety of theatres in Tallahassee and Chicago. She graduated from the University of Chicago with degrees in Chemistry and Psychology. She would like to thank the production team for this opportunity and her family and friends for their continued support.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Insignificance: Meet the Actors

Jim Johnson (The Professor) - Jim Johnson has appeared in the following shows at the Dragon - Waiting for Godot, Becky's New Car, Marvin's Room and Sideman.  He has also appeared in many shows at the Pear Theater, most recently in What You Will and Geeks vs. Zombies. He has also done shows with Los Altos Stage, Renegade Theater Experiment, City Lights and Epic Immersive Theater.

Jessica Lea Risco (The Actress) - Jessica Lea Risco is so excited to be working with The Dragon Theatre Company for the first time! She has worked in Minneapolis, New York City, Tucson, Dublin, Honolulu and now the San Francisco/Bay Area, which has become her home. Locally, she has worked with Golden Thread, Berkeley Rep, San Francisco Playhouse, The Playwright's Foundation, The O'Neill Foundation and Boxcar Theatre where she originated the role of Dorothy in The Speakeasy, performing over 100 times. Thank you to Laura Jane for being an amazing mentor and director!

Nick Mandracchia (The Ballplayer) - Nick is thrilled to be making his debut with Dragon! He was seen most recently seen playing Robert E. Lee and others in A Civil War Christmas at Town Hall Theatre Company, and Rochefort in Three Musketeers at Marin Shakespeare Company. Regional credits include Amadeus and Frankenstein at City Lights Theatre Company, The Kid Thing at New Conservatory Theatre Company, The Beard of Avon at Santa Cruz Shakespeare, The Little Mermaid at Palo Alto Players, and many more. Next, he will be seen playing Salerio in The Merchant of Venice at City Lights Theatre Company. Nick is a proud member of the Equity Membership Candidacy Program.

Gary Mosher (The Senator) - Gary recently appeared on the Dragon stage in The Columnist, at The Pear Theatre in August, Osage County and The Quality of Life. Gary spent many years in Los Angeles on stage and screen, appearing in films Jack of Hearts, Maximum Justice, Ordinarily Madness, Forgive Me Father and many others. Gary first appeared on stage in Jack and the Beanstalk at the age of 6.