A Play That Goes Underground

A Play That Goes Underground
Posted on 10/21/2019
After the Blast goes underground in an exciting new play.

Seating is limited in this Black Box Theatre production. Click here for tickets. If you’d like to see a preview, here is a video that a student created for the show >>.

Zoe Kazan’s latest play, After the Blast, is set to take the Black Box Stage as part of the new Firestone Theatre season. The play, under the direction of theatre director Mark A. Zimmerman, explores a world in the wake of total environmental disaster, where the human population has retreated underground. Experience is simulated. Fertility is regulated. And Anna and Oliver have one last chance to have a baby. Performances of After the Blast will be held at 7 p.m. October 24-26, 2019. Matinee performances will be held at 2:30 p.m. on October 26-27, 2019. Tickets to After the Blast are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. All tickets are general admission, and seating is limited. All tickets are currently available online and at the door on the night of performance. These performances of After the Blast represent the first appearance of this play on any stage in the area and may very well be the first high school production altogether.

The cast of After the Blast is led by seniors Abigail Lyman (Anna) and Martin Whitley (Oliver). They are supported by seniors Ariel Brinker (Carrie) and Christian Douglas (Patrick); juniors Connor McFalls (Lowes) and Marlen Muratbekov (Sam); and sophomore Arawen Hernandez (Margarita). Senior Alexandria Meyer serves as the stage manager. She is assisted by freshman Frances Whitley. Sophomore Avery Linn is designing costumes for the play. Senior Grant Crawford serves as the lighting designer. Senior Ethan Korvne serves as the sound designer. Senior Airiauna Weber serves as the props designer. Junior Sofia Zetts serves as the hair and make-up designer. James Welch serves as the technical director. Elynmarie Kazle serves as the production manager and props mentor. FHS alumnae Marisa Jones serves as the costume mentor.

Mark A. Zimmerman has served as the theatre director at the Akron School for the Arts since 1995 and has been the guiding force for the educational theatre program that has been named an “Outstanding School” by the Educational Theatre Association (2013). Shows under his direction have so far earned seven Dazzle Awards from the NE Ohio Musical Theatre Competition including "Best Musical" in 2018. Zimmerman has been among the first area directors to present many musical productions including The Little Mermaid (2016), Ghost the Musical (2015), Mary Poppins (2014), Monty Python’s Spamalot (2013), The Color Purple (2012), Legally Blonde (2012), Hairspray (2011), The Producers (2009), Side Show (2008) and Urinetown (2007). Mark’s local directing credits include productions at the Akron Civic Theatre/All-City Musical (Mary Poppins, Beauty and the Beast, Shrek, Bye Bye Birdie, Ragtime, Hairspray) as well as productions at the Cleveland Public Theatre, Weathervane Playhouse, Stow Players, the Western Reserve Playhouse, Coach House Theatre and The University of Akron. He has recently started screening shows for the International Thespian Festival.

Zoe Kazan is an actress and playwright whose first full-length play, Absolum, was performed at the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville as a part of the 2009 Humana Festival. Her second play, This Thing of Darkness, was commissioned by Manhattan Theatre Club. She has also written the plays We Live Here, Trudy and Max in Love, as well as the screenplay for the film Ruby Sparks. As an actress, Zoe has appeared on Broadway in A Beheading in Spokane, Come Back, Little Sheba, and The Seagull, which garnered her a Drama Desk Award nomination. Her Off-Broadway acting credits include Angels in America (part 1 and 2); The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Cynthia Nixon; Things We Want; and 100 Saints You Should Know (Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel nominations). Her film work includes “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” “The Big Sick,” “Revolutionary Road,” “The Private Lives of Pippa Lee,” “Me and Orson Welles,” “It’s Complicated,” “HappyThankYouMorePlease,” “Meek’s Cutoff,” and “The Exploding Girl” (Best Actress, Tribeca Film Festival). Zoe received a BA from Yale University.

The next performance on the 2019-20 season -- Hamlet by William Shakespeare under the direction of Tess Burlger -- will be held in the Linda B. Kersker Auditorium at Firestone CLC. Curtain times for Hamlet are set for 7:30 p.m. on November 21-23, 2019. Tickets to Hamlet are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, and $12 for reserved, VIP seating. All tickets are currently available online and at the door on the night of performance.

A reasonably priced subscription continues to be available for the remaining season. An adult subscription can be purchased for as little as $30 which represents a 50 percent savings for the season. A student subscription can be purchased for the ridiculously low price of $20. A VIP subscription can be purchased for $50 and includes a reserved seat for each of the main stage shows, entry to all Black Box Theatre performances, and access to a special VIP room before and at intermission of each Kersker Theater performance. Subscriptions and single tickets can be purchased for all Firestone Theatre productions online at FirestoneTheatre.com and at the door on the night of performances. Advanced tickets will be available at the school from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. school days the week of each performance. Details about the 2019-20 theatre season can be found online at FirestoneTheatre.com.

Firestone Theatre provides an excellent audience experience as well as student-centered performances designed to challenge and entertain a discerning audience. The exciting new season includes plays set to appear in the beautifully appointed Kersker Theater with its exquisite acoustics and state-of-the-art lighting as well as even more impressive plays in our intimate Black Box Theater which features new seating risers to improve sightlines for all patrons.

Firestone Theatre is the award-winning play and musical-production component of the Akron School for the Arts housed at Firestone Community Learning Center. Firestone Theatre was named an “Outstanding School” by the Educational Theatre Association in 2013. The curricular track of Firestone Theatre is accessible to all rising ninth-grade students via open enrollment and a formal audition.
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