The first production to be mounted since Founding Artistic Director Jordan Friend’s departure from his leadership of 4615 Theatre Company sees a return to the repertory programming with which the company made its name: paper backs by Tristan B. Willis (DC-area premiere) and Life Jacket by Caridad Svich (world premiere).
The two plays will be performed back to back in a single evening, creating both exciting contrasts and intriguing synergy. While Willis’ paper backs takes place in a shared apartment, Svich’s Life Jacket is set on the ocean. The two are united, however, by an exploration of the relationship between their respective characters, and also their relationship to the world they occupy.
4615 Resident Director Stevie Zimmerman, who will be directing paper backs, says, “I have lived with this beautiful, tender story of the cyclical nature of love and art for over a year now, since it was shut down by COVID in 2021. I can’t wait to get back into the rehearsal room and rediscover its subtleties and surprising depths with these two remarkable actors.”
Jordan Friend returns as a guest director to helm the world premiere of Life Jacket. Having previously directed Caridad Svich’s work for the Housewarming Theatre Festival, Friend is both honored and excited to again tackle the playwright’s remarkable language and vision. In playwright Svich’s words, the play is “a tale of the ties that bind, the stuff in our lives that fray the social fabric, and how two friends weather a storm.” She adds: “Life Jacket‘s premiere at 4615 brings one of the plays that are part of my seven-play cycle, American Psalm, to life. It’s a joy to share this working-class story of love and survival with audiences at a time when so much in society feels and/or is broken. A play that seeks to both expose societal wounds and offer spiritual healing, with humor and a dynamic approach to characters, Life Jacket is a metaphorical safety net for those without one.”
Running Time: Approximately two hours, including a 15-minute intermission between the one-act plays.
paper backs/Life Jacket plays February 9 to 26, 2022, presented by 4615 Theatre Company performing at The Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD. Tickets (which grant admission to both plays) are $20. A limited number of Pay-What-You-Can tickets are also available. They can be purchased at 4615theatre.com/tickets
About the venue: The Writer’s Center has metered parking across the street, which is free on Sundays. The venue is a 10- to 15-minute walk from the Bethesda Metro stop on the Red Line. The front entrance of The Writer’s Center features an ADA-compliant ramp.
COVID Safety: All audience members must be masked at all times in the performance venue.
4615 Theatre Company began when a group of emerging artists staged a 17th-century tragedy in multiple rooms of a house. The company began producing full-time in 2017 and, in just a few years, has rapidly expanded from backyards and basements into a thriving professional theatre; a hub for both reinvigorated classics and daring new works, and for exploring the connections between stories from across the ages. The company has hosted numerous world and regional premieres, and frequently produces large-scale, narrative-driven work in intimate settings and found spaces. In 2020, the company won the John Aniello Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre.
4615 Theatre announces transition to shared leadership (news story November 18, 2022)