Showing April 28th and May 6th at 8pm
The Jasper Project kicks off its new theatre project, The Play Right Series, with a staged reading his new play, Sharks and Other Lovers, by Columbia native Randall David Cook. Directed by Larry Hembree, the reading and post-performance audience feedback session will be presented at Tapp’s Arts Center in downtown Columbia at 8 pm on April 28 and May 6. The show is sponsored in part by Jack Oliver’s Pool, Spa and Patio and supported by the Jasper Project Community Producer program.
A resident of Manhattan, Randall David Cook is currently serving as theatre artist-in- residence at Furman University. Cook created two Off-Broadway and several regional premieres and has had work produced at such theatres as Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, New York Theatre Workshop and Neighborhood Playhouse. He is a two-time finalist for both the O’Neill Playwrights Conference and the Sundance Filmmakers Lab.
Sharks and Other Lovers is a dramatic beach comedy about fear: fear of aging, relationships, and of being devoured by a very large fish with an enormous number of teeth. On a quiet day in September, the lives of an aging actress and her writer-husband become intertwined with those of a lifeguard, a psychiatrist and his patient, a librarian so terrified of sharks that she can’t even look at the ocean. When the actress decides to drown herself, much is revealed about all five.
Hembree, who has worked with Cook for over fifteen years, is excited to present two public staged readings of the play. “The process of creating new work is challenging on so many levels,” Hembree says. “The excitement of a staged reading, which gives a taste of what’s to come next in a full production, supplies both the playwright and director enormous information as the next phase of the process is added: an audience.” The last project Cook and Hembree worked on together was a production of Third Finger, Left Hand for Trustus Theatre.
The cast includes Libby Campbell-Turner, Josh Kern, Glenn Rawls, Jennifer Moody Sanchez and Perry Simpson. The production team for the reading consists of costume and hair designer David Swicegood, sound designer Barry Wheeler with Emily Harrill as stage manager.
The Play Right Series is the newest on-going program produced by the Jasper Project. The purpose is to increase opportunities for SC theatre artists to create and perform new works. The Jasper Project supports the series by incorporating Community Producers in the process.
The staged readings will be held April 28 and May 6 at 8pm in the Skyline Room at Tapp’s Arts Center. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.tappsartscenter.com or at the Center, located at 1644 Main Street in downtown Columbia. There will be a cash bar.
For more information on the project, go to jasperproject.org. For more information on the playwright, visit randalldavidcook.com.
The Jasper Project is a project-oriented, multidisciplinary arts facilitator serving the greater Columbia and South Carolina arts community by providing space, resources, and collaborative engineering for emerging artists and new projects by established artists.