Jan 21 2011

The First UM Press Release: Theater Artists Committed to the Madhouse

Published by at 7:54 am under Uncategorized

Uranium Madhouse is ready to irradiate the Southern California theater scene. Theater director and acting teacher Andrew Utter announces the formation of his new Los Angeles theater company, Uranium Madhouse, inviting discerning theatergoers to “come in and melt down.” Utter will act as Artistic Director and set designer Erik Flatmo has been named Resident Designer.

Already lined up for Uranium Madhouse’s initial offering for June 2011 is Rick Burkhardt’s Conversation Storm.  Named Best New Play at the 2007 San Francisco Fringe Festival, Utter explains “this is the ideal piece with which to introduce ourselves to the Los Angeles community, in that it simultaneously interrogates urgent political matters, the limits of friendship and the theatrical situation itself.”

Noting the recurring theme of “uranium” in the first decade of the 21st century, Utter says “We see ourselves as the custodians of spiritual uranium: through our command of our empathic and critical faculties, we have the potential to unleash chain reactions of personal and social transformation.”  In addition, he sees theater as “a place for madness; that is, for passionate vitality, radical freedom from constraint, and the willingness to see what others cannot or will not.”

The Uranium Madhouse advisory board and the panel of associate artists are composed of a range of theater professionals, including David Chambers, professor of acting and directing at Yale School of Drama and Elisa Carlson, formerly of the Guthrie Theater and currently Resident Director and Associate Professor at the Gainesville Theatre Alliance. Also on board are actors Cris D’Annunzio and Travis Shakespeare as well as playwright Rick Burkhardt, whose New York production of Three Pianos is currently receiving rave reviews.

Utter’s previous directing credits include Syracuse Stage and he has appeared onstage at the Magic in San Francisco.  Flatmo is best known for his work at ACT and Berkeley Rep. He also teaches Theater Design at Stanford University.  Both men received MFA degrees from the Yale School of Drama.  Yolanda Seabourne, Director of Licensing at Vin Di Bona Productions and Fishbowl Worldwide Media, has signed on as the company’s Managing Director.

In addition to looking to current events, the company will seek inspiration from the work of a collection of artists from various disciplines, including music, literature, journalism and performance art.  Utter calls these artists “guiding spirits” or “The Nine Muses of Uranium Madhouse.”  For more information about the company’s Nine Muses, as well as a complete list of the company’s Advisory Board and Associate Artists, visit www.uraniummadhouse.org.

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