At Forward Flux, we detest fluff. Especially in the theater. Theater is a place to challenge and be challenged. So, as we search for the next stories Forward Flux will tell, we’re asking ourselves “Why is this story relevant right now?” In short, as we select our seasons, it’s our job to hoist away the mounds of bullshit and bring plays with depth and daring to the forefront.
To distill our 2017 season, we narrowed a field of nearly 100 plays down to a few final contenders. Following the election results, we wondered if this political outcome would affect the type of art and plays being written and produced over the next few years. And, if so, in what way? Will plays become more overtly political and ask the hard questions facing our country and the world? Or will the pendulum swing the other way, rewarding escapism as a welcome alternative to reality? What would these outcomes mean for Forward Flux? Did we need to entirely reconsider the season we had in mind before the election?
So we looked over the crop of plays that we had settled on for our 2017 season, with post-election eyes. And we realized something: a play can provide escape and challenge at the same time. The plays we’d selected were proof of this. Each piece offered a window into another world, whether sensational, fantastic, romantic, or a literal foreign destination. And each piece contained truth that spoke to larger questions about our relationships with other people, places and cultures, and our own identity.
This year, we are proud to present in The Flux Salon series a play about a boy who dreams of Bollywood in the midst of the Mumbai train bombings (Lindsay Joelle’s A Small History of Amal by Amal, Age 7), a play about an L.A. artist who moves in with his older boyfriend to spend his days poolside (Jeremy O. Harris’ “Daddy”), and a play about a pair of sisters living in an English mansion whose lives forever change when a governess arrives under mysterious circumstances (Jen Silverman’s The Moors).
Also this year, we are thrilled to introduce our Studio 45 workshop series. Studio 45 will give a creative team + actors 4 weeks to workshop a brand new play with 5 public performances, working closely with the playwright. The focus of this series will be on acting craft and storytelling, but production elements will also be included (lighting, costumes, sound, etc). Our inaugural Studio 45 production will be Claire Kiechel’s Pilgrims. In this sci-fi thriller, a soldier, a girl, and a robot are quarantined in a spaceship headed to a new planet.
Finally, our double feature productions this fall are Hansol Jung’s No More Sad Things and Benjamin Benne’s Flux commissioned world premiere play las mariposas Y los muertos. Both plays feature live music and singing, and each examine the complicated intersection between culture and identity in deeply moving ways. In No More Sad Things, a woman named Jessiee (with two e’s) takes a trip to Maui and falls in love with a Hawaiian native. In las mariposas Y los muertos, we go backstage to witness the most intimate moments between the members of a buzz band on the verge of a breakout.
We believe that plays should challenge. We believe that plays can offer escape (and don’t we all need a little escape these days?). And we believe that theater, and the community and conversations which it fosters, can give us an essential gift in 2017: the gift of hope.
We look forward to seeing you soon,
Wesley Frugé & Benjamin Benne
Wesley is the Founder + Producing Artistic Director
Benjamin is Producer – Literary & Content
2017 Facts at a Glance:
- This season, half of our plays have been featured on the Kilroys List: The Moors (2014), No More Sad Things (2015), and Pilgrims (2016).
- Four of the six plays are by female playwrights.
- Half of the plays are by a playwright of color.
- Half of the directors are women, and a third are directors of color.