BASH: Latter-Day Plays by Neil Labute

Wednesday September 14, 8pm – Tickets: $15; Students $10Theater

Friday September 16, 8pm

Saturday September 17, 8pm

BASH: Latter-Day Plays by Neil Labute

Starring Joe Matyas, Pascale Smith & Josh Totora; Directed by Pascale Smith

BASH is a collection of three darkly brilliant one-act plays, a trio of confessions that echoes works by the classical Greek playwright Euripides. In Iphigenia In Orem, a Utah businessman in a Las Vegas Hotel room confesses a horrifying crime; in Medea Redux, a young woman recounts the tragic consequences of her relationship with her middle school English teacher; in A Gaggle of Saints, a young Mormon couple recreate the shocking and violent consequences of a getaway weekend in New York. Join us for an intimate evening of theater as three daring and talented young actors take the audience on a trip through this trio of personal accounts that challenge the viewer to examine and re-examine the complexities of evil in everyday life.

“Neil LaBute is not one to shy away from the darker aspects of life, as exhibited in his work. His 2000 play Bash: Latter-Day Plays is certainly no exception. Composed of three one-acts, this play illustrates the evil inherent in everyday life through four characters: a charismatic young business man, a disturbed mother, and a beautiful couple. Each character confesses to a horrible crime, and while the events recounted are violent and shocking, the most terrifying aspect is the plausibility. The characters are so realistic and ordinary they create an unsettling intimacy, both physically and dramatically. As each actor address the audience directly in a small, bare theater, there is a tension of truth created in the atmosphere.

Probably one of the most interesting aspects of this play is the author. Neil LaBute studied theater at Brigham Young University; a college in Utah owned and operated by The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints. While at BYU, he converted to the Mormon faith. He then went on to numerous plays that pushed the envelope in terms of what was accepted in such a conservative religious school. Some of his plays were shut down after their premiers. On one occasion, college authorities locked the theater to prevent a performance. In Bash, his depiction of three essentially good members of the Mormon Church committing violent crimes got him “disfellowshiped” from the church, after which he formally abandoned his relationship with the faith.

This play is one that will make you think. Each character gives you a human face to the monsters shown in news stories—the person who attacks another based on ethnic, religious, or sexual differences, the parent who kills their children, the person who chooses to sit back and watch these crimes manifest. This work makes you wonder—is we all capable of excusing an atrocious act? “— Director Pascale Smith, August 14, 2011

Pascale Smith made her film debut in M. Night Shyamalan’s The Village (2004) and has since appeared frequently on stage and screen. Awards include Best Lead Actress in Drama for her performance in the role of the Stage Manager in Thornton Wilder’s Our Town and Best Major Supporting Actress in a Drama as Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, both at Stagedoor Manor.

Pascale is a member of Philadelphia’s Outside the Box Theater Company where she recently performed the role of Amanda in Timothy Mason’s The Less-Than-Human-Club, and of Tangle: Movement Arts, where she will appear as an aerialist in their 2011 Philadelphia Fringe Festival production of Amersand. She makes her directing debut in her 2011 Fringe Festival production of Neil Labute’s BASH. She has performed her original songs throughout the Philadelphia area at venues such as Ardmore’s Milkboy Coffee and Triumph Brewing Company in Old City.

Pascale studies acting privately with Lisbeth Bartlett and Melissa Dunphy, and at the Actors Center in Old City, Philadelphia. She studies songwriting and guitar with Judah Salem Kim of the popular band Stonethrown. She trains aerial acrobatics at the Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, where she specializes in Lyra. When not performing, Pascale enjoys writing plays, singing close harmony with her three sisters, and baking.


Posted in Moonstone Arts Center Events, Performance