Los Angeles Post
Q&A with Alex Lyras by Dan Berkowitz
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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World premiere play ‘Plasticity’ takes audience inside human consciousness
LOS ANGELES (Dec. 15, 2016) — A comatose man re-emerges into consciousness in a multilayered, multimedia theatrical event about the miraculous power of the brain to re-wire and heal itself. The world premiere of Plasticity, written by Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and LA Weekly award-nominated co-writers Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill (The Common Air), opens January 28 for an eight-week run at the Hudson Guild Theatre.
McCaskill and Lyras team up with two-time Grammy Award-nominated composer Ken Rich, visual artist Corwin Evans and three-time Emmy Award-winning editor Peter Chakos (The Big Bang Theory) to create a profound, humorous and highly ambitious tour of the collective unconscious.
Blending cutting-edge science with masterful storytelling, Plasticity takes the audience deep inside the mind of David Rosely, even as he lies in a coma. A hovering circle of doctors and loved ones, including David’s twin brother Grant, are all played by Lyras in an unusual solo performance: the actor not only creates multiple characters, but interacts with them on stage through the use of integrated projections.
Lyras and McCaskill, who directs, extensively researched the science of brain plasticity, conducting multiple interviews with doctors and scientists before committing the script to paper.
“The latest neuroscience informs the show’s exploration of how the brain heals itself and ultimately creates the mind,“ Lyras says. “David’s attempts to piece together his consciousness as he emerges from the coma are represented visually, using multiple projectors to create 3D effects.”
“It’s a pleasure consulting with writers committed to getting complicated science of the brain right,” says Clinical Professor of Neurology at NYU’s School of Medicine Zuzana Belisova-Gyure.
Brain plasticity (from the Greek word “plastos” meaning molded) refers to the extraordinary ability of the brain to modify its own structure and function following changes within the body or in the external environment.
The play also examines important end-of-life issues, as David’s friends and family consider whetheror not to “pull the plug.”
Plasticity is written by Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill; directed by Robert McCaskill; and stars Alex Lyras. The creative team includes video designer Corwin Evans; editor Peter Chakos; composer and sound designer Ken Rich; and set and lighting designer Matt Richter.
Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill have collaborated on multiple projects for the stage. The Common Air, a dramedy linking six disparate characters during an airport delay, was produced in Los Angeles where it received multiple award nominations, then transferred off-Broadway to 45 Bleecker Street for a nine-month run. Their previous effort, Unequalibrium, was produced in both New York and L.A. and was selected for publication in “New Playwrights: Best Plays” as well as in “Best Men’s Monologues for the Twenty First Century.” Desperelics, their maiden collaboration, was also produced on both coasts. As a writing team, they have sold pilots to NBC and FOX in addition to developing pilots for Jerry Bruckheimer and Joel Silver. They have produced two feature films, Mona, and Heterosexuals, which McCaskill wrote and directed. This spring, Lyras will direct his first feature, How To Address An Envelope, which he also wrote. Lyras is the recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation grant supporting narrative projects that tell compelling stories about science and technology for his screenplay Alva.
Plasticity runs Jan. 28 through March 13 with performances on Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 7 p.m. and Mondays at 8 p.m. In addition, there will be one preview, on Friday, January 27 and one Friday performance on March 10, both at 8 p.m. Tickets to all performances are $30, except the preview which is $20. The Hudson Guild Theatre is located at 6539 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90038. For information and to purchase tickets, (323) 960-7787 or go to www.plasticitytheplay.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
World premiere of Plasticity — A comatose man re-emerges into consciousness in a multilayered, multimedia theatrical event about the miraculous power of the brain to re-wire and heal itself. Blending cutting-edge science with masterful storytelling, Ovation, Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle and LA Weekly award-nominated co-writers Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill (The Common Air) team up with two-time Grammy Award-nominated composer Ken Rich, visual artist Corwin Evans and three-time Emmy Award-winning editor Peter Chakos (The Big Bang Theory) to take the audience deep inside his memories, even as a hovering circle of family members and loved ones (all played by Lyras) divide into scheming camps over critical neurological decisions. A profound, often comedic tour of the collective unconscious.
- Written by Alex Lyras and Robert McCaskill
- Directed by Robert McCaskill
- Performed by Alex Lyras
- Video design by visual artist Corwin Evans
- Editing by Emmy Award-winning editor Peter Chakos
- Original score by Grammy Award-nominated composer Ken Rich
- Set and lighting design by Matt Richter
Preview: Jan. 27
Performances Jan. 28 – March 13:
- Fridays at 8 p.m.: Jan. 27 (preview) and March 10 ONLY
- Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Jan. 28 (opening); Feb. 4, 11, 18, 25; March 4, 11
- Sundays at 7 p.m.: Jan. 29; Feb. 12, 19, 26; March 5, 12 (dark Feb, 5)
- Mondays at 8 p.m.: Jan. 30; Feb. 6, 13, 20, 27; March 6, 13
Hudson Guild Theatre
6539 Santa Monica Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90038
- (323) 960-7787 or www.plasticitytheplay.com
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/alexlyras
- Twitter: @lyrasalex
- General Admission: $30
- Preview: $20