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World premiere black comedy ‘One of the Nice Ones’
is anything but nice at Echo Theater Company
LOS ANGELES (June 14, 2016) — True to its LA Weekly-given moniker as “Best Bet for Ballsy Original Plays,” Echo Theater Company’s next offering is a cringe-worthy black comedy about sexual politics in the workplace that will leave audiences howling with laughter in spite of their better selves. Echo artistic director Chris Fields directs the world premiere of One of the Nice Ones by Erik Patterson for a July 16 opening at Atwater Village Theatre.
As the most recent hire at Tender Form Weight Loss Systems, wheelchair-bound Tracy will stop at nothing to avoid being laid off by high-handed boss Roger. Perhaps it’s her disability that makes her so keenly aware that no one gets ahead by being “one of the nice ones.” Soon, hapless co-worker Neal and weight loss client Colleen find themselves caught in the lethal crossfire of a workplace battle zone.
“Erik has penned a take-no-prisoners, completely outrageous black comedy that addresses serious issues about body image and objectification,” says Fields. “He’s a modern-day Joe Orton. This is a dark, twisty, sexy play and it’s going to be a blast.”
One of the Nice Ones stars Rebecca Gray, recipient of the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award for her performance in Echo’s multiple award-winning production of Firemen, as the duplicitous Tracy; Graham Hamilton, recently seen in Antaeus Theatre Company productions of Cloud 9, The Liar and Peace In Our Time, as cocky head salesman Roger; Rodney To of Fox’s Rosewood and NBC’s Parks and Recreation as deer-in-the-headlights Neal; and Tara Karsian, best known as Lucille on Comedy Central’s Review and social worker Liz Dade on season four of ER, as Colleen.
Set design is by Amanda Knehans; lighting design is by Chris Wojcieszn; sound design is by Jeff Gardner; costume design is by Elena Flores; graphic design is by Elizabeth Hale; and production photography is by Darrett Sanders. The production stage manager is Emily Burst, and Chris Fields and Jesse Cannady produce for The Echo Theater Company.
Erik Patterson’s other plays include Tonseisha; Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose (Backstage West Garland Award for best play); Red Light, Green Light (Ovation Award nomination for world premiere play); I Wanna Hold Your Hand (Stage Raw Award nominee for playwriting); He Asked for It (GLAAD Award nomination for outstanding theater, Ovation Award nomination for world premiere play); and Sick (LA Weekly Award nomination for playwriting). His plays have been produced by Playwrights’ Arena, the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Theatre of NOTE, Evidence Room and the Actors’ Gang, and developed through the Lark Play Development Center, Moving Arts, Black Dahlia, Naked Angels and the Mark Taper Forum. He is a founding member of the Splinters, a writers’ collective of Los Angeles-based playwrights. Erik is a graduate of Occidental College and the British American Drama Academy.
Dedicated to producing new work, the multiple award-winning Echo Theater Company was anointed “Best Bet for Ballsy Original Plays” by the LA Weekly in its 2014 Best of L.A. issue and was a recent recipient of the “Kilroy Cake Drop”– one of only 13 theaters in the country to be surprised by cakes to honor the efforts they are making to produce women and trans writers. Under the leadership of founding artistic director Chris Fields, the Echo has introduced Los Angeles to playwrights such as David Lindsay-Abaire, Adam Rapp, Sarah Ruhl, Tommy Smith and Miki Johnson among many others. The company is also recognized for its acting ensemble; in the Los Angeles Times, theater critic Charles McNulty wrote, “Echo Theater Company, which has cultivated a community of top flight actors, would be my go-to place in Los Angeles for symbiotic ensemble acting.” Following a two-decade itinerant existence, the Echo moved to Atwater Village Theatre in 2014 – its first permanent home.
One of the Nice Ones runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., July 16 through Aug. 21. There will be three preview performances, on Wednesday, July 13, Thursday, July 14 and Friday, July 15, each at 8 p.m. Tickets are $30, except previews which are pay-what-you-can. Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Ave in Los Angeles, CA 90039. On-site parking is free. For reservations and information, call (310) 307-3753 or go to www.EchoTheaterCompany.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘One of the Nice Ones’
One of the Nice Ones — The world premiere of a cringe-worthy black comedy about sexual politics in the workplace that will leave audiences howling with laughter in spite of their better selves. As the most recent hire at Tender Form Weight Loss Systems, wheelchair-bound Tracy will stop at nothing to avoid being laid off by high-handed boss Roger. Perhaps it’s her disability that makes her so keenly aware that no one gets ahead by being “one of the nice ones.” Soon, hapless co-worker Neal and weight loss client Colleen find themselves caught in the lethal crossfire of a workplace battle zone.
• Written by Erik Patterson
• Directed by Chris Fields
• Starring Rebecca Gray, Graham Hamilton, Tara Karsian, Rodney To
• Presented by The Echo Theater Company
Previews: July 13 – July 15
Performances: July 16 – Aug. 21
• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: July 13 ONLY (preview)
• Thursday at 8 p.m.: July 14 ONLY (preview)
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: July 15 (preview), 22, 29; Aug 5, 12, 19
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: July 16 (opening night), 23, 30; Aug. 6, 13, 20
• Sundays at 4 p.m.: July 17, 24, 31; Aug. 7, 14, 21
• Sundays at 7 p.m.: July 17, 24, 31; Aug. 7, 14, 21
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039
General admission: $30
FREE in the Atwater Xing lot one block south of the theater.