Friday, May 23, 2014

Pepperdine Scotland Returns to Fringe with Devised Play

Forget Fire
Devised by the company with J.C. Marshall

We needed somewhere to put everything we have now. And everything we might create later."

Layers are put upon layers. Myriad sources contribute irregular pieces. Can we make a structure that will last?

Malibu, Calif., 23 May--Following the Fringe success of 2012's Why Do You Stand There In The Rain? and its subsequent 2013 tour, Pepperdine Scotland returns to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe with another Scottish-American world premiere.  This year's exchange explores additional new territory by partnering with playwright J.C. Marshall to devise an original work together as a company.

Initial exploration and development with the company took place in Malibu in February, searching for the root philosophical challenges in our rapidly changing relationship with technology and with each other via technology and through the ages.

Now, under the leadership of J.C. Marshall and director Cathy Thomas-Grant, the cast and design team will come together at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow to create an original piece of magical realist theatre inspired by the company's personal experiences and philosophical ideas.

The production's pursuit of truthfulness and solidarity in the age of the internet moves through the crossing-over places and along the paths and walls between worlds. It seeks sentries in this strange new landscape and explores whether technology creates new challenges or just intensifies age-old struggles.

Building on the success of the past two years, Forget Fire will draw on the strengths of both Scottish and American theatre tradition, continuing Pepperdine Scotland's commitment to international collaboration through co-creation by artists from both sides of the exchange.

Notes to Editors
J.C. Marshall
J.C. Marshall is has written for numerous theatres including the West Yorkshire Playhouse (‘The Worm Collector,’ 'Tender Dearly,’ ‘Non Contact Time’); The Tron (‘Plume’) and Visible Fictions (‘The Hunted.’) As part of Slung Low she won the Oxford Samuel Beckett Award with the show 'Helium.' She is currently exploring the role of 'Artist As Public Witness' by being attached to both political campaign trails in the lead up to the Scottish Independence referendum, as well as writing a play for Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) Young Persons Company and the American Conservatory Theatre (ACT) in San Francisco. Her work explores how theatre can engage with ethics and philosophy.

Cathy Thomas-Grant heads the Pepperdine Scotland exchange and has served as director of Pepperdine's endeavours in Scotland since 2000. Edinburgh Festival Fringe directing credits include Mr. Happiness/The Water Engine by David Mamet (2002), Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets (2006) Robert Shenkkan's The Kentucky Cycle (2008), Karen Sunde's The Fastest Woman Alive and Naomi Iizuka's Language of Angels (2010), Why Do You Stand There In The Rain? (2012) and Musical Direction for The Grapes of Wrath (2004).

Pepperdine Scotland is the award-winning cultural and artistic exchange between Pepperdine University's Department of Theatre and leading members of the Scottish Theatre Community. Pepperdine has been performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since 1985, and is proud to have expanded its presence in Scotland since 2012 with this exchange, developed with support from Playwrights' Studio Scotland and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Pepperdine University is an independent, medium-sized university enrolling approximately 7,700 students in five colleges and schools. Seaver College, the School of Law, the Graduate School of Education and Psychology, the Graziadio School of Business and Management, and the School of Public Policy are located on the University's 830-acre campus overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Malibu. Courses are taught in Malibu, at four graduate campuses in Southern California, permanent programme facilities in Washington, D.C., and at international campuses in Germany, England, Italy, Switzerland, Argentina, and China.

The University was founded in 1937 by George Pepperdine, a Christian businessman who founded the Western Auto Supply Company. For the first 30 years of its life, the institution was a small, mostly undergraduate college. University status was achieved in 1970 as the institution added graduate and professional schools. In 1972, the University opened its new campus in Malibu.