Since its arrival to Atlanta in 2010, Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre has set a high standard in delivering impassioned productions of sharp, trendy scripts. Commitment to new play development is central to Pinch ‘n’ Ouch’s artistic direction, and it is excited to announce the world premiere of Scratching, written by Atlanta native Britton Buttrill. It comes to Pinch ‘n’ Ouch theatre on August 22, and will be directed by Nichole Palmietto. Following Pinch ‘n’ Ouch’s success with Let’s Make It and Assistance, Scratching brings together a stellar team of actors, designers, and artist aiming to explore the very nature of art while questioning the lengths we’ll go to survive.
The show focuses around Christian (Barrett Doyle), a washed out arts school graduate, who after trying to make it in the NYC fine art tattoo scene gets absorbed in drugs, and finds himself back at home in Jackson County Georgia struggling to find a way to scratch out a life illegally tattooing out of his dirty southern apartment. He and his girlfriend, Brianna (Julissa Sabino), a dancer at a strip club, find themselves strapped to pay the bills and begin selling MDMA as a means of survival. Things take a turn for the worse when their old friend and drug dealer, Adrian (Bennett Walton), starts manipulating their lives, and Christian’s ex-fiancé, Tracy (Stephanie Friedman), shows up in town with a new ring on her finger and an emerging soft spot for bad-boy Adrian.
Playwright, Britton Buttrill, speaks to the process of writing this show saying that after six drafts, Scratching has become a play about the people who embody the exploration of art, the exploration of the world, and the exorcism of their own emotional core. On a fundamental level this play offers the audience a chance to question whether or not true human connection is possible in this vicious world by experiencing Christian‘s struggle being a tattoo “scratcher”. Buttrill states that, “The Scratcher, which is the person who tattoos illegally, is someone who is marginalized and rejected by professional tattoo artists, and for good reason. But, aren’t we all marginalized, rejected, and ostracized in our own lives? Don’t we all make horrid decisions to ensure our own survival? Aren’t we all, in some ways, scratching?”
Though the show doesn’t answer these questions directly, it does bring to the forefront feelings and emotions that each and every audience member can relate to. Director Nichole Palmietto comments “I’m aiming to mine out the relationships between these four characters while attempting to tell a truthful story about the struggles that people face every day. At its core this deserves to be a story about real people.” Her direction is complimented by the gritty design team including Chelsea Steverson (Set), Kevin Fraizer (Lights), Cameron Dix (Costumes) and Grant McGowen (Sound).
Scratching opens Thursday, August 22, running Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. until September 15. Preview performances are August 16 and 17. There will be a thrilling talk back session with the writer, director, and performers following the August 23 performance.
*Due to mature content, viewer discretion is advised.