Directed by Aaron Black
Costumes by Amanda Lombardi
Set Deign by Anna Berkin
Lighting by Christina Gutierrez-Dennehy
Staged in the City View Lounge of Ballet Austin
7 Towers’ production of Lanford Wilson’s Burn This has been about 12 years in the making. I first read this script in an undergraduate acting class in 1998 or 1999. I fell in love with the script and became determined to act in it. I have never given up on that dream, despite several obstacles and near misses along the way. Fortunately the formation of this company, the encouragement and support of friends, acquaintances and family, and small acts of blind faith have made it possible.
At its heart, I believe Burn This is a love story. Like Shanley’s Danny and the Deep Blue Sea it tells the story of people who are not perfect. They have problems, some of which don’t seem fixable. For many viewers, it asks for a kind of empathy that may not be easy to give. It challenges audiences, because it does not present a good guy who is all good, a bad guy who is all bad or a heroin who is necessarily always likable. Many pieces of evidence lead me to believe that Wilson wrote these characters based upon real people that he actually knew, who may or may not have been able to conquer their personal demons. At times Wilson also wrote himself, his own words into each of these characters. Burn This is not for everyone and we may get some interesting reactions from audience members, especially since there really is no exit row, apart from the stage itself. Part of the 7 Towers mission is to produce plays that ask difficult questions. We would like to thank the Austin theatre community for affording us a place to take risks.
PRESS AND REVIEWS
Austin Live Theatre
“It’s a riveting evening of theatre: urban souls seeking friendship, sex and one another.”
“For this intimate, powerful urban drama the setting is superb: a balcony-level studio downtown with a kitchen, a vantage point from which one could study passing vehicles, lines of close-parked cars, and pedestrians hurrying to music venues nearby.”
“Aaron Black’s frighteningly convincing portrayal of Pale is monumentally good… In body attitude, phrasing, accent, glare and costume he’s the guy struggling in the urban wastes of New Jersey….[and] Suzanne Balling’s complexity and patent emotion are the center of this conflagration. She is profoundly attractive, both sexually and intellectually. Those qualities arise both from the character and from the actress.”
“According to its playbill, 7 Towers is “motivated by what Martha Graham describes as a ‘queer, divine dissatisfaction, a blessed unrest that keeps us marching and makes us more alive.’” If the sort of innovative qualities the company has imbued Burn This with are to continue to permute its future work, I say, ‘Keep us marching.’”
Promo Spot 1 (Starring Scot Friedman as Larry)
Promo spot 2 (Starring Suzanne Balling as Anna)
Promo spot 3 (Starring Tom Green as Burton)