Tuesday, December 1, 2009

SCR Presents Chance Theatre's Acclaimed "Jesus Hates Me"

South Coast Repertory will present the Chance Theater’s remounting of its popular production Jesus Hates Me in SCR’s Nicholas Studio Feb. 26-28 and March 5-7, 2010.

Jesus Hates Me is the hilarious and provocative first play from Wayne Lemon, who has written for such television shows as Grace Under Fire and The Torkelsons. It is set somewhere in South Central Texas at the “Blood of the Lamb” Miniature Golf Course. Ethan, an ex-high school football star, is desperate to find identity, sanity, faith and freedom under the gaze of a Wal-Mart mannequin transformed into Jesus on the cross at the 17th hole. The play covers one insightful, unpredictable and hilarious week in Ethan’s life as he tries to escape from his over-zealous, bi-polar mother, a suicidal dishwasher, a pot-smoking cop and a beer-swillin’ good ol’ boy, not to mention the possible love of his life, and, of course, the J-man himself.

“South Coast Repertory is pleased to host this remounting of the Chance Theater’s acclaimed production of Jesus Hates Me,” said Associate Artistic Director John Glore. “This partnership is born of an idea that began to take shape among the members of SCR’s artistic staff almost two years ago, out of a desire to make greater use of the company’s Nicholas Studio (SCR’s former Second Stage), to create stronger ties with other performing arts organizations in Orange County and to offer alternative programming that might attract new theatergoers to both organizations. In presenting this Chance Theater production, SCR has an opportunity to try out an idea which, if successful, may well lead to further collaborations of this kind in the future.”

The Chance Theater’s Artistic Director Oanh Nguyen will again direct Jesus Hates Me, which will feature the same cast that appeared in the 2009 production. Chance Dean plays Ethan, Timothy Covington is Trane, Karen Webster is Annie, Jennifer Ruckman is Lizzy, Dimas Diaz is Boone and Ben Green is Georgie.

"When we presented the West Coast Premiere at the beginning of this year, I was very curious to see what the Orange County audience reaction would be to a comedy called Jesus Hates Me, which has a Wal-Mart Jesus mannequin as one of the central set pieces," said Nguyen. "We definitely heard from people who imagined, just from the title, that it must be sacrilegious. However, the response I heard time and again from those who actually attended was roaring laughter and a feeling that they had watched a personal journey of young people who had lost their way."

The creative team includes Starlet Jacobs (Scenic Designer), KC Wilkerson (Lighting Designer), Erika C. Miller (Costume Designer), Michael Irish (Fight Choreographer) and Tanae Beyer (Stage Manager).

Tickets can be purchased beginning Jan. 15 at SCR, either online at www.scr.org, by phone at (714) 708-5555 or by visiting the box office at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa. Performances run at 8 p.m. on Feb. 26, 27, March 5 and 6, and at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 28 and March 7. Tickets are $35, with discounts available for students, seniors, educators and groups of 10 or more.

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