I had the great pleasure of spending New Year’s Eve with Orville Mendoza, who is having a blast playing the teacher in the National Tour of the Obie Award-winning Small Mouth Sounds, by Bess Wohl. The next stop on the tour is The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St, Santa Monica, CA 90401, from January 11 – January 28, 2018. Click here for tickets.
Helmed by Rachel Chavkin, a 2017 Tony Award nominee for Best Direction of a Musical (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Small Mouth Sounds features (in alphabetical order): Connor Barrett (Jan), Ben Beckley (Ned), Edward Chin-Lyn (Rodney), Orville Mendoza (Teacher), Brenna Palughi (Alicia), Socorro Santiago (Joan), and Cherene Snow (Judy).
Under the eye of an unseen guru, six wildly disparate urbanites looking for life balance gather for a weeklong silent retreat in the woods. As they listen to their leader’s ruminations (and struggle to meditate while clumsily fighting their most primal of urges), they learn that silence can indeed be golden. It can also be funny, frustrating, erotic, comforting, and profoundly passive-aggressive.
The original design team from the off-Broadway production of Small Mouth Sounds is on board and includes Obie Award winner Laura Jellinek (Scenic Designer), Tilly Grimes (Costume Designer), Mike Inwood (Lighting Designer), Lucille Lortel Award nominee Stowe Nelson (Sound Designer), Andrew Schneider (Projection Designer), and Noah Mease (Prop Designer).
The inspiration from the play came from Wohl’s own personal experience. Surrounded by people who were looking for a way for their lives to be changed or healed, Wohl decided that this was fertile subject matter for a play. “What I loved about that for a play is that what’s necessary for any play is that all the characters really need something. This is such a great environment: a play where there is this automatic need,” Wohl said in an interview. “I think the central question of the play is should we seek peace or not, and if so, how?” Obie Award-winner Chavkin told Slant Magazine in a 2016 interview.
Small Mouth Sounds played a record-breaking run at Ars Nova in 2015 and an acclaimed and extended commercial production at the Pershing Square Signature Center’s Romulus Linney Theater in 2016. Small Mouth Sounds is booked for 24 weeks in multiple cities, making it one of the longest tours for an Off Broadway show of this size in recent memory.
The New York Times called Small Mouth Sounds “an enchanting new play… as funny as it is quietly moving… a model of ingenuity” and the show was chosen as a “Best Of” Theater Pick in the New York Times, New York Magazine, The Hollywood Reporter, New York Post, and many more.
For more information on additional cities and about the Small Mouth Sounds National Tour, visit www.smallmouthsounds.com.
The current National Tour Schedule is as follows:
February 1 – February, 11, 2018
AT&T Performing Arts Center
February 16 – March 4, 2018
March 13 – April 1, 2018
Philadelphia Theatre Company
CSC’s PACIFIC OVERTURES Featuring George Takei, Ann Harada, Thom Sesma, Orville Mendoza, Steven Eng and More, Ends Extended Run on June 18
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Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers, musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Examiner.com, Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.
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