Deli Cats, most simply put, is a comedic play in two acts. It’s funny… and it’s touching… but the most unique and defining challenge that this piece has aimed to tackle has been creating the voices of the four primary girls in the cast. The goal being to give each of them a unique set of distinctly different - and yet decidedly feminine - values.
Why was that a challenge?
Because it was written by a man…
If the voices were anything less than clear and focused, or dropped anything that was feminine - the author knew there would be a line of members of the fairer sex after the show waiting to beat him into a bloody pulp. So… knowing the challenge - and risks of undertaking such an effort - the piece was written very carefully - allowing for real observations to step in and lend their voices… most often when those being observed did not know that they were engaged in just such an activity.
While the script has been described as tremendously witty and clever, funny and often outrageous… the real success of the piece has come from the dedication and performances by the talented cast and director. They’ve taken the ideas and situations in the script and given them the kind of depth that is rare and hard to find at any level of theatre. Of course, the script doesn’t just delve into the “now,” but through the dialog creates a clear picture of why these people are the way they are by showing us the patterns that created their behavior. The show creates a slice of life window into a singular moment that reveals the vulnerability and perseverance of each character.
The culmination of these efforts have resulted in two public readings that were well-attended at Theatre West - a very reputable venue in Los Angeles. At the end of each reading… we’re delighted to report that instead of being greeted in the lobby after the show by a gaggle of women with torture devices or ropes suspiciously tied with a noose on one end and the author’s name on the other… we were instead greeted by women that wanted to meet the cast and author and ask how we managed to get the voices of these women so accurate. Meanwhile - several men came out and in confidence thanked us for creating the show as it’s become a tiny window into how a woman might think… TINY window we said… very tiny. But men will take any information they can get…
The style of the show is what we would describe as a contemporary Blake Edwards. Energetic and slightly outrageous at times… but not at the sacrifice of creating lovable and empathetic characters. Ultimately, we feel this piece is important as it’s a commentary on the state of current values, the development of the female voice and well… it’s just damn funny.
In August of 2010, the play enjoyed a well-received public reading as part of a series of new plays that were work shopped at the same venue. The play was further sculpted and enjoyed an even better reception at a New Year New Works Festival in January of 2011 where the play benefited greatly from the addition of director Don Moore.
This second presentation was a staged reading at the above-mentioned annual event at Theatre West… and although the blocking was limited and we had our paws on only a few props… it was still more or less a glorified reading… as in actors still had scripts in their hands…
It was tremendously encouraging to see that even without a set and a full prop list - we had people falling out of their chairs with laughter… and other emotions as details about the characters were revealed.
Aside from a few very minor adjustments, the play is now ready to enjoy a fully fleshed out production. Including everything from insurance for a rented venue, props, set design, publicity and the like… the production is going to cost approximately $5,750.00.
We are looking to raise at least $3,500.00 through Kickstarter. The author plans on selling his soul to come up with the remainder… although he might have a tough time getting the balance for such an offering! So if we manage to make the $3,500.00 and you still feel like donating to a worthy production… please do!
We could use all the help we could get!
Kristin Wiegand Elizabeth Bradshaw Maria Kress Heather Alyse becker Roger Cruz
The money will be used to rent the venue for both rehearsals and performances, acquire insurance for the event, pay for publicity, promotions, costumes and set elements/construction and peripherals like programs and contingency, as in all of those other unexpected costs that will most assuredly rise up out of a giant stack of ashes that we won’t see until the last minute.
It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be significant and this is a play that’s going somewhere. Please be a part of helping us launch this important work.
The Deli Cats Production Staff
Project location: Los Angeles, CA
Funding Unsuccessful (04/03/2011)