written and directed by christian levatino
This year marks the 50th Anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy before a crowd of onlookers in Dealy Plaza on the streets of Dallas, Texas. At the center of it all was Lee Harvey Oswald, arrested that afternoon as the suspected assassin and was murdered himself two days later while in the custody of the Dallas Police, fueling fifty years of fervent debate and controversy. Was Oswald merely a patsy as he claims? Was he part of a larger conspiracy? Sunny Afternoon examines the mysteriously unrecorded 48 hours Oswald was in the custody of Police Captain William Fritz, who has only a limited amount of time to pry the answers from Lee before he is to be transferred from police headquarters to county jail and an appointment with his own destiny.
Sunny Afternoon plays like an 86-minute Twilight Zone episode. Even though we know how things end for Lee, the play, propelled with the force of a locomotive, comes to a startling conclusion.
Conspiracy theorists will kick up their heels with glee: You’re not paranoid if “They” actually are out to get you.
This past summer, Gangbusters mounted a workshop presentation of “Sunny Afternoon” at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, taking home a ‘Best of Fringe’ distinction, as well as Playwriting and Ensemble nominations. Now the company is back, presenting a fresh draft of “Sunny Afternoon” as a fully produced work in a World Premiere engagement at Theatre Asylum in Association with Combined Artform.
The Gangbusters Theatre company is dedicated to "staging the imaginative truth with speed & violence" and “Sunny Afternoon” is certainly no exception.
Christian Levatino (Playwright & Director) is founder and artistic director of Gangbusters Theatre Company. He has directed and/or appeared in twenty-four Gangbusters productions in Los Angeles and New York over the course of the company’s twelve-year history. Favorite Gangbusters projects include: ONE FLEW OVER THE CUKOO’S NEST, STREAMERS (NAACP Award Nominated Best Director), BALM IN GILEAD ( LA Weekly Award Nominated Best Supporting Actor & Revival-Production), TALK RADIO (LA Weekly Award Nominated Best One-Act Ensemble), TRACERS (Ovation Award Nominated Best Ensemble, Backstage Garland Award Nominated Best Ensemble/Best Director). Sunny Afternoon is his second play. His first is a stage adaptation of George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. He is a graduate of University of Connecticut.
Corryn Cummins (Producer) is an award-winning Actress and Producer. She is an ensemble member at Rogue Machine Theatre, with whom she Associate Produced the hit SMALL ENGINE REPAIR ( Ovation, LA Weekly, Garland and LADCC awards for Best Production), and with whom she also received an LA Weekly Award the same year for her work onstage in BLACKBIRD alongside Sam Anderson. Other notable projects include the LA Premiere of KILLER JOE by Tracy Letts (Ovation Awards, Production & Ensemble).
Matthew Quinn (Producer, Combined Artform/ Theatre Asylum) has been involved in theatre production and venue management for well over 20 years in San Francisco and Los Angeles, where he owns and operates Theatre Asylum- Elephant Space. He created Combined Artform in 1998to produce full and co-productions, explore multi-media, including live online internet programming.Stand-out productions include BLINK & You Might Miss Me, and Jane Austen Unscripted (Impro Theatre). He is on the advisory board of the Hollywood Fringe Festival, and in 2010 started the Asylum’s Best of the Fringe and from it has co-produced extensions of Pulp Shakespeare, Pokemusical and now Sunny Afternoon.
The cast includes (in alphabetical order) Giovanni Adams, Jim Boelsen, Patrick Flanagan, Michael Franco, Gil Glasgow, Andy Hirsch, Christian Levatino, Mark St. Amant, Darrett Sanders, Dustin Sisney, Donnie Smith Janellen Steininger, Joseph Valente and Patrick Hume.
Sound design: John Zalewski. Lighting design: Matt Richter. Set design: David Mauer. Costume design: Kaitlyn Aylward. Assistant director: Daniel Coronel. Stage manager: Alyssa Champo. Associate producers: Donald A. Smith. Executive producer: Matt Mann. Art: Nicholas Freeman.