The Flats

THE FLATS artwork by Elizabeth Lada

Released October 23, 2020


Top Bay Area playwrights Lauren Gunderson, Cleavon Smith, and Jonathan Spector team up to create an original audio drama, The Flats, for Aurora Theatre Company. Aurora Artistic Director Josh Costello directs actors Lauren EnglishAnthony FuscoKhary L. Moye, and Rebecca Schweitzer in this new story that speaks directly to our present moment in all its complexity.

The residents of a Berkeley triplex are thrown together by a shelter-in-place order due to a mysterious threat. Brooke is a Black man navigating the white world of supposedly liberal Berkeley. Harmony is a white suburban mom away from her kids for the first time in years. Leonard is an aging hippie with a theory that might change everything. When the old system is thrown into chaos, how do we build a new world together?


PLAYWRIGHTS

Lauren Gunderson has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015 topping the list twice including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for I and You and The Book of Will, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. She co-authored the Miss Bennet plays with Margot Melcon, and her play The Half-Life of Marie Curie is available on Audible.com. Her work is published at Playscripts (I and You; Exit Pursued By A Bear; The Taming and Toil And Trouble), Dramatists Play Service (The Revolutionists; The Book of Will; Silent Sky; Bauer, Natural Shocks, The Wickhams and Miss Bennet) and Samuel French (Emilie). Her picture book Dr Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon is available from Two Lions/Amazon. LaurenGunderson.com
TheatreFIRST’s playwright in residence Cleavon Smith’s credits include Vs. and The Last Sermon of Sister Imani as well as the one-act, “Just One Day” featured in the compilation Between Us. He’s won a PlayGround Emerging Playwright Award and had work featured in UC Berkeley’s New Play Reading Series, the Ohlone College Playwrights Festival, and two Utopia Theatre Project productions. He is the artist mentor for Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Young Writers of Color Collective and teaches English at Berkeley City College.
Jonathan Spector’s play Eureka Day was commissioned by and premiered at Aurora Theater, and received all of the Bay Area’s new play awards: Glickman Award, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award, Theatre Bay Area Award & Rella Lossy Award. It later had a sold out run in New York City with Colt Coeur, where it was New York Times “Critics’ Pick.” Other plays include This Much I Know (PlayPenn, New Harmony, Berkeley Rep’s Ground Floor), Good. Better. Best. Bested. (Custom Made Theatre, Bay Area Playwrights Festival), What Comes Next (Portland Stage’s Little Festival of the Unexpected), Siesta Key (Bay Area Playwrights Festival) and In From The Cold (Just Theater, Aurora Theatre’s Global Age Prize). His work has also been developed and produced with Roundabout Theatre Company, South Coast Rep, Mosaic Theater, InterAct, Mugwumpin, San Francisco Playhouse, Crowded Fire, and Theatre of NOTE. He is a recipient of South Coast Rep’s Elizabeth George Commission, has been a MacDowell Colony Fellow, a Resident Playwright at Playwrights Foundation, and is currently a Core Writer at The Playwrights Center in Minneapolis. Jonathan is also the Co-Artistic Director of Just Theater.



CAST

Lauren English (She/Her/Hers) (Harmony) was most recently seen playing the title role in Gloria at A.C.T. directed by Eric Ting. Other elected local credits include: Cry It Out with Just Theatre, Nassim, The Baltimore Waltz and Why We Have a Body at The Magic Theatre, Henry IV & V, A Mid Summer Night’s Dream at Cal Shakes, Talley’s Folly at The Aurora Theatre Company, Lasso of Truth at Marin Theatre Company.  She has worked extensively with San Francisco Playhouse where she is a founding company member and Artistic Associate. Favorite onstage SF Playhouse credits include: reasons to be pretty, Seminar, The Glory of Living and Our Town. In New York she worked with The Actors Company Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, The Public Theater, Ensemble Studio Theater, Lark Theatre and Playwrights Realm. Lauren holds an MFA from NYU’s Graduate Acting Program.



Anthony Fusco (he/him) (Leonard) a professional actor since 1983, Anthony moved to San Francisco in 1999, and has been fortunate to be one of the Bay Area’s busiest actors ever since. He was a member of the “Core Company” at A.C.T. where he has appeared in more than 40 productions including A Christmas Carol (for 16 years) Love and Information, The Three Sisters, The Homecoming, November, At Home at The Zoo, Napoli!, and Hedda Gabler. Other local credits include: 14 productions at Cal Shakes, most recently Good Person of SzechwanThe Christians and Born Yesterday for SF Playhouse; Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike and The Intelligent Homosexual’s Guide to Capitalism and Socialism with a Key to the Scriptures at Berkeley Rep, Marjorie Prime at Marin Theatre Company, and most recently They Promised Her The Moon at TheartreWorks Silicon Valley. Anthony’s New York credits include two shows on Broadway (The Real Thing, The Real Inspector Hound), as well as several off- and off-offBroadway. He’s performed at many of America’s major regional theaters as well. He trained at The Juilliard School and with The Barrow Group. www.anthonyfusco.actor

Khary L. Moye (Brooke) was last seen understudying the roles of Stretch, King and Woody for the production of Toni Stone at  A.C.T. Other Bay Area Credits include A Streetcar Named Desire with African American Shakespeare Company, Clybourne Park at Altarena Playhouse, and Six Degrees Of Separation at Custom Made Theatre. Film and Television credits include The Dave Chappelle Show and Sense 8. He is pleased to be making his debut with Aurora Theatre as well as his first Audio Drama! He is honored to be working with such esteemed playwrights Cleavon Smith, Jonathan Spector and Lauren Gunderson! Blessings to all during these trying times and thank you for supporting the arts!! Instagram: KharyLMoye
Rebecca Schweitzer (Officer/Voice) is thrilled to be back at the Aurora.  She has also appeared at Center Rep, SF Playhouse, Marin Theatre Company, PCPA, Playhouse West. Favorite roles include Pilgrims Musa and Sheri in the New World, Bull in a China Shop, Rapture Blister Burn, Book Club Play, Tigers be Still, Coronado, The Story, the West Coast Premiere of Craig Lucas’s Small Tragedy, as well as the world premieres of The First Grade and Love.  Her voice can be heard on various video games (The Walking Dead, Back to the Future, World of Warcraft: Legion, League of Legends, Rift, SimsCity, CSI Hard Evidence, CSI Deadly Intent) TV and radio commercials, corporate videos, and reservation hotlines (CSAA, Disney). This, along with all endeavors, is dedicated to her mother and grandfather whose love and support have been the foundation for her success.

 



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