Local Playwright Assembles Experienced Cast For U.S. Debut Of Original Play “Actress” In Twentynine Palms.


Director/Playwright Josh Lazar, a resident of Twentynine Palms, has assembled a striking and experienced troupe of performers for the United States Debut of his critically acclaimed drama “Actress” at Theatre 29. The play, the second in the Theatre 29 2012 season “Original Play” series, opens August 3rd for a limited two-weekend run.

Mark Colbenson

“Actress” is being offered in addition to the regular 6-show production season, and will run on two consecutive weekends August 3-12 with Friday and Saturday evening performances at 7:00 pm on August 3-4, 10-11 and two Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM on August 5th and 12th.

Lazar, who splits his time between homes in Twentynine Palms and Los Angeles, held auditions in Los Angeles and has assembled a well-rounded array of five talented performers to bring his work to life. They are;

Mark Colbenson (Gene):  A native Minnesotan, Mark has spent 40 years acting and directing. Favorite roles include Joe Keller in “All My Sons”, Megs in ‘Strange Snow”, and title roles in the one-man shows “Einstein, A Stage Portrait” and “Clarence Darrow”.

Claire Burgi

Claire Burgi (Regina) made her professional debut at age ten at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura California in the west coast premiere of Defying Gravity.  Claire has performed in numerous productions in Los Angeles and Ventura County, including Penny in Hairspray, Maisie in The Boyfriend, Terry in Babes in Arms, Ursula in Bye Bye Birdie and Rosa Bud in The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

Anthony Specchio

Anthony Specchio (Jim) grew up in northern Nevada and moved to Los Angeles to study acting. Favorite roles to date include Paul in Barefoot in the Park, Polo in Hatful of Rain, and Valere in Tartuffe. Anthony also has extensive experience in improvisation work and has intensively studied the Meisner technique at the Baron Brown studio.

Veronica Kelly (Bell) is a native to California by way of Montana. She has been in over 50 plays. She had a blast playing Georgie in “Spiked Heels” at KD Studio in Dallas and channeled her inner Marilyn Monroe while playing Cherie in “Bus Stop”. The show closest to her heart is  “I Usually Don’t Do This” which she co-wrote and co-starred and was presented at Stella Adler Theater in Hollywood.  .

Veronica Kelly

Jennie Floyd (HEDDA) makes her debut with ACTRESS. A retired management consultant, Jennie has been acting since 2001 in film & TV as well as on stage. She is a member of the acclaimed SkyPilot Theatre Company, based in North Hollywood, and played leads in their original plays.

“Actress” takes place in a week in May in Cleary Minnesota. Judge Gene and Hedda Morgan are waiting for their younger daughter, Regina, to arrive back home for the first time after she ran away 10 years ago to become an actress. Now a big success with a movie coming out, Regina is coming back with her touring company to put on a play at the town’s small theatre- the same play Regina’s older sister, Bell, starred in at high school. Bell gave up acting after high school to marry

Jennie Floyd

a local farmer Jim, and has not acted since. Bitter about giving up acting, she tells Jim she won’t go to the play’s opening the next night. Bell and Regina have the long simmering battle and Bell says she is still a better actress then Regina. When Regina “calls her bluff” by calling the theatre to tell them Bell will go on in her place, Bell breaks down and explains she gave up acting because she was afraid to go through what Regina has gone through.

The only former production of the powerful original drama “Actress” was at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2010. Previously, “Actress” won the Connecticut Playwrights Festival award after being developed at The Ensemble Community Theater in New York.

Tickets for “Actress” are available online at www.theatre29.org or by calling the Theatre 29 box office at 760-361-4151.  Ticket prices are $12 for adults; $10 for seniors and military; and $8 for students.

Theatre 29, a 501 ( 3 ) non-profit all-volunteer Community Theatre, is located at 73637 Sullivan Road, (right around the corner from Barr Lumber) in the City of Twentynine Palms.

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