DOWNEY - Local playwright Bill Blush will debut comedic works in "Bill's Shorts: a Brief Evening of One Act Comedies," a staged reading this Sunday, May 19, at Epic Lounge. "I hope if I can make somebody laugh, I can make somebody think," said Blush of his work.
Influenced by Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco, leaders of the absurdist movement, Blush describes his work as quirky comedies with relatable characters who we can either laugh at or with.
The evening introduces three new plays "Large Coffee," "The Unhap-Happiest Season of All," "Edith and Gary Forever?" and features a remount of "A Bad Idea," first performed in 2010.
Blush explains his collaboration with wife Sylvia Blush (producer/director) and prominent local arts group Downey Arts Coalition (DAC) as "... an exciting moment where the community of Downey and surrounding cities are aware of the arts here... it's a good fit for a good place."
He says DAC lit a fire under the husband and wife team encouraging them to showcase his work in Downey.
First studying acting at Cerritos College and under the mentorship of acclaimed professor Kevin Hoggard, Blush first realized he had a creative voice and its potential to reach audiences in a unique way. Hoggard nurtured playwrights like Blush by immersing students in the process similar to that of repertory and summer stock theatre, allowing students to believe in themselves even if they weren't sure what that was.
Notable Downey residents under Hoggards tutelage are The Second City Alum Chris Alvarado, playwright and professor Forrest Hartl, Urban Theatre Movement's co-Founder Paul Tully and his most recognized former student while teaching at Denison University, Steve Carell.
Blush has since written over 10 short plays and tours annually with violinist Linda Rosenthal under the auspices of The Piatigorsky Foundation performing Strings and Stories, a show for young audiences and the young at heart, a position handed down to him by Hoggard.
The husband and wife duo will use a minimal set and challenge the technical aspects of traditional theatre in its unconventional setting at Epic Lounge. With a passion to bring theatre to Downey, they hope to connect the theatre scene in L.A. to the community here. Mrs. Blush, producer, director and arts educator, believes in her husband's talent and voice as a playwright. She is excited to produce his work for the first time.
A one-night only event, "Bill's Shorts: An Evening of One Act Comedies," runs on Sunday, May 19 at Epic Lounge in Downey. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., showtime at 7 p.m., with a reception at 8:15. Tickets are $5, cash only with general seating.
For more information, visit the Downey Arts Coalition website: downeyarts.org.