Vampingo…a comedy with bite, performed and co-written by Ariana Johns, and directed and co-written by Jolene Adams, debuted at Actors Art Theatre in Los Angeles, where it had a four month run. Subsequently, it was featured in the New York International Fringe Festival, and it had a special engagement at The Lodestar theatre, NYC.
Vampingo is a dark comedy about a woman who is finding her way through her own hall of mirrors, trying to see through and into the shadows. Having used various ‘coping tools’ to help her through the rough patches, i.e. cutting, drinking, taking the odd pill now and again, she’s now finding that her demons have come out to play. She’s taunted by two small lizardy creatures, seduced by a fiendish lothario, and serenaded by a giant eel, leading her to a series of ‘Suicidal Tendencies’ meetings, with its own collection of characters. There, she learns to embrace the delicious absurdity of life…aided by a very strange, heroic flamingo.
Although ‘Vampingo’ utilizes a sense of magic and the surreal, it’s a very human story. Alwyn’s particular world-view may seem peculiar to some, but our experiences are inevitably intertwined. The show explores human foibles and the fragile nature of our dreams with humor, serving as a reminder that laughing through, in spite of, and at our pain opens the door to becoming whole. When adversity strikes, it’s our connection with each other that gives us strength, and creativity—the fertile soil of imagination—is a power to be embraced and integrated, so that empathy can flourish.
By sharing my story, I’m looking forward to connecting with my audience, moving others to be open and compassionate, and to demonstrate that the delicious absurdity of our journey here is a wonderful, layered gift of Love & Laughter.
Jolene Adams (Director, co-author) is the Artistic Director of AAT (a member of The Los Angeles Stage Alliance), which she founded in New York City. Jolene produced her first Equity production, THE RUNNER STUMBLES, at the Collective Actors Theatre in NYC and has since produced and directed over fifty productions. She produced, developed and starred in the Drama-Logue Award winning ADAM & EVA MARIE at Actors Art Theatre. She developed and directed the critically acclaimed, Ovation Award nominated hit, BOILER ROOM by Dan Fante at both AAT in LA & The Pantheon in NYC. (Selected as one of the most notable plays of the year by Don Shirley of The LA Times), Cathy Ladman’s solo show, SCARDEYPANTS for HBO Independent Productions/The US Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen. In addition to VAMPINGO, she directed and co-wrote AAT’s last four productions, F BUDDY(BackStage West Critic's Pick), RESIGNATION (featured in DailyCandy and recommended by the LA Weekly) and ONE CRAZY LADY, Jenica Bergere’s ("Drew Carey Show", "Men Behaving Badly") solo show and developed Mike Dugan's (Emmy Award winning comedian) MEN FAKE FOREPLAY. Jolene starred as ‘Dolores’ in the critically acclaimed, world premiere of Edward Allen Baker’s CRYING ROCKS at The Laurelgrove Theatre and ‘Gretty’ in GRETTY GOOD TIME at The Falcon Theatre, directed by Joe Regalbuto. She’s featured in Larry Silverberg’s book, GUIDE TO QUALIFIED ACTING COACHES and taught for the NYU Theatre Program at the Harold Clurman Theatre. She is very happy to have gone on this magical journey with Ariana and looks forward to wrangling any other stray demons we can find!
The Dreamer's Guide to the Galaxy and The Dreamer's Guide to Love in the Galaxy
A cabaret sung by Ariana Johns, with Musical Direction/accompaniment by Darryl Curry
First performed at Don't Tell Mama, NYC, October 2013.
Dreamer's Guide is an eclectic mix of songs straight from Arianaland, to tickle your fancy and stir your soul. Darryl has created some wonderful arrangements of songs ranging from Dreamer's Holiday to Something Cool, Our House, Lucy & Jessie, It Might as Well Be Spring... to the outer limits with a burst or two of Ariana's original prose. The second show in the series, A Dreamer's Guide to Love in the Galaxy was performed in Fall 2015, and included Lovecats, Blondie's Dreaming, Isn't it a Lovely Day...and much more, including a sneak peek from Buzz...Son of a Bee.
DARRYL CURRY (Musical Director), a member of the Dramatists Guild, works as a composer, lyricist, playwright and musical director. He wrote incidental music for the 1999 20th Anniversary production in New York of The Elephant Man, and has had two musical works commissioned - “The 46th Street Mass,” commissioned by St. Clement's Episcopal Church in New York, and the sung ballet “My Shadow,” based on the Robert Louis Stevenson poem, commissioned by the Staten Island Ballet. Previously he was a playwright/composer-in-residence at The Third Step Theatre Company in New York from 1989 to 1992. Third Step produced his musical THE ELEPHANT PIECE and QUITTERS. He has two unproduced full-length plays, BLUE SKIES and HEAVENLY SUNLIGHT, and a performance monologue called 'Time's Here' which received a production in Atlanta by The Parenthesis Theatre Club. In 2007 he had concert readings of his musical Dorian Gray at the Theatre @ St. Clements in New York City; his musical GEORGE Q (with book and lyrics by MK Wolfe) was staged at St. Clement's in 2000 and was excerpted at NJ Rep’s Theatre Brut Festival in 2006; and MESMERIZED (with lyrics by MK Wolfe and book by Al D’Andrea) was staged at The Playwrights’ Group in Los Angeles in 2004 and the PortFest Fringe Festival in Portland, Maine in 2012. Also in Portland, April 2014, his musical THE ELEPHANT PIECE was produced by the Snowlion Repertory Company. Mr. Curry is a graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music; he got his M. M. from Temple University and he is a graduate of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York. He has been the director of music at St. Clement’s Episcopal Church in New York since 1996 and is the studio accompanist for Annette Hunt's class "Acting the Song."