Saturday, August 4 @11AM
The Road on Lankershim – GALLERY
5108 Lankershim Blvd.
North Hollywood, CA 91601
(Street parking or paid lot parking at 5125 Lankershim Blvd)
Where’s The Rest of Me?
By David E. Tolchinsky
Directed by Ryan McRee
DAVE- Robert Beddall
MARSHALL EDELSON- John Gowans*
SPALDING GRAY-Albie Selznick
WOMAN- Emily Jerez
STAGE DIRECTIONS- Tally McCormack
*Appears courtesy of Actor’s Equity Association
Poster design by Rob Lees
A screenwriter wrestles with his relationship to Spalding Gray, his psychiatrist father and the classic movie, King’s Row. A dark and funny journey through movies, monologues and mental illness.
No reservations or advance tickets. Admission is by donation ($15 suggested).
MEET YOUR PLAYWRIGHT
DAVID E. TOLCHINSKY** is the founder/director of Northwestern University’s MFA in Writing for the Screen+Stage program, a longtime screenwriter/producer, and a fairly new playwright. Lately, his work has been centering on health and illness in the modern world, especially illnesses that are not easily explainable. In 2015, he was voted Best Director for the New York production of his play, Where’s the Rest of Me? (which was nominated for Best Play), and his play Clear, was published in Issue 3 2015 of Proscenium Journal. In 2016, he cocuratedSick by Seven, seven plays/films about health and illness at A Red Orchid Theatre in Chicago as part of their Incubator series. In 2017, he was no. 7 on New City’s Film 50 2017: Chicago Screen Gems. And this fall he will be directing his new play, An Attempt to Heal in the Contemporary World, at the NY International Fringe Festival. His film credits include Creature Companion (producer, world premiere 64th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany, winner, Special Mention of the International Jury; US premiere BAMCinemafest, Brooklyn Academy of Music, Brooklyn, NY, June 30, 2018); Cassandra (writer/director, currently in post production), Fast Talk (co-producer, on iTunes), The Coming of Age (screenwriter/producer, Silver Award Recipient, Los Angeles Film Review), Girl (screenwriter/assoc. producer, from Sony, starring Selma Blair and Tara Reid, on iTunes), and St. Catherine’s Wedding Ring (co-director/co-producer, premiered at Sundance). He is a graduate of Yale College (BA) and USC School of Cinematic Arts (MFA). More at http://davidetolchinsky.com He’s excited to have Ryan McRee directing his play and to be part of this festival.
**Member of the Dramatists Guild
MEET YOUR DIRECTOR
RYAN MCREE graduated from the University of Southern California in 2017 with a B.A. in Theatre and Narrative Studies. Since then, he has worked as an assistant director on Stupid Kid (Road Theatre Company), bled for the household truth (Rogue Machine Theatre) and Two Fisted Love (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble), and recently directed and produced Ruth Fowler’s The Woman Is Perfected for the Hollywood Fringe Festival. Other directing credits include Six Degrees of Separation, Much Ado About Nothing, and Equus with the Aeneid Theatre Company at USC, where he was the founding Artistic Director.
An Interview with Playwright David E. Tolchinsky
1: What is the name of your play?
Where’s the Rest of Me?
2: What was your first job in the theatre?
writing plays, unless you count being a legal secretary out of film graduate school for a medical malpractice law firm where I typed medical disaster stories all day long as theatre Jor writing screenplays for Hollywood studios as theatre or attending (and sometimes running) faculty meeting at Northwestern University as theatre. Yes, I’m a longtime screenwriter (i.e. Girl starring Selma Blair and Portia di Rossi, from Sony) and professor of screenwriting at Northwestern University, but a new-ish playwright (thanks to the evil influence of my inspiring playwright colleagues Zayd Dohrn, Rebecca Gilman, Thomas Bradshaw, Erik Gernand, Brett Neveu and everyone else that I’m lucky to work with). Exciting to be trying my hand at something so new but strangely familiar. . .
3: Do you ever model characters after real life people?
Sure, Where’s the Rest of Me? is modeled after real people. Myself. My psychiatrist father Marshall Edelson. The monologist Spalding Gray. And my new play, An Attempt to Heal in the Contemporary World, is about the rogue psychologist Wilhelm Reich, as well as Freud, Einstein, and strangely me and my father – not sure what these people are all doing together in play but hey, why not, I paint what I see.
4: As an artist, what subjects tend to draw your interest?
Psychiatrists. Mental illness. Mad scientists. Illnesses that can’t be explained. Comedy. Horror. Dystopias. Especially teen dystopias. Teenagers since everything is so big, such a crisis. Closed (and usually LOCKED) doors that need to be opened.
5: Do you have other passions aside from playwriting?
Boxing classes. Searching for the perfect apple pie as I drive across the country. Pizza from New Haven or from Napoli. Lately pizza from Detroit. Screenwriting. Producing. Curating. Running the Northwestern University School of Communication MFA in Writing for Screen+Stage. Attacking my unsuspecting children with terrible dad jokes. Collaborating with my spouse, the amazing filmmaker/curator Debra Tolchinsky, whenever she’ll let me.
6: Are you currently working on any new projects?
I’ve written, directed, and am now creating the sound and music for a scary psychological thriller film, Cassandra, about the psychiatric memory recovery movement of the 90s. And I’m about to direct my feature length play, An Attempt to Heal in the Contemporary World, at the New York International Fringe festival, a dark screwball comedy about Wilhelm Reich. And I’m an associate producer on my spouse Debra’s documentary, True Memories and Other Falsehoods, about memory contamination in regards to the criminal justice system.
7: Here’s a fun question! What is your favorite dessert?
That’s not a fun question. That’s a serious question about who we are and what we value. It’s at the core of our existence and philosophy 🙂 My answer: apple pie. With sour cherry pie being a close second. Both simple yet hard to pull off well.
8: Any acknowledgements or words of encouragement?
To my family: Thanks for putting up with me, my OCD, and for your endless support of my Noah-esque visions – Noah who made his family help him realize his weird arc vision; if it hadn’t rained, he would have been a mad man; but it did rain, so he got to see his artistic vision realized and say I told you so; too bad the world had to end, too bad his family was forced to partake in it all.
Advice to myself: Be Noah! We have no choice but to follow our madness and build our arc’s, but try not to involve your family if you can avoid it!
Write doors! To me, writing is about prying open that locked door, that forbidden door, that door that was there all the way time but you didn’t notice. So write stories about doors. Heck, just write about doors. As many kinds of doors as you can imagine.
And mostly know that the rain will come meaning your story/vision is not crazy even if everyone tells you that it is. But also know that having a vision is a burden. . . who wants to be the one to be right about the end of the world. Who wants to bring insanity into the world? Writing is joy. Writing is pain and loneliness, even when everything turns out the way it should. I’m sorry and I’m happy for you if you are infected the way I am. . .
As a postscript here’s what I told the interviewer at Proscenium Journal (still sounds like the best advice I can imagine) Be fearless. Be persistent. Be a nice person in real life, but be a total monster in your writing. Write monsters. Write monstrously. Write the scene you can’t see in real life but it would be great to see. Write a dark wish. Write something that will change the world. Write something that you get up in the middle of the night to reread. And reread and reread. And don’t let the bastards get you down.
9: Describe your play in 3 words!
Movies. Monologues. Mental-illness. (OK, I cheated and made mental-illness one word 🙂 )