Kicking off Horizon’s 30th Anniversary Season, blue collar collides with blue blood in the haves and have nots comedy Elemeno Pea (pronounced L-M-N-O-P) by Molly Smith Metzler. Heralded as “sharply funny and surprisingly emotional,” in its premiere at the Humana Festival for New American Plays, a siblings’ weekend on Martha’s Vineyard goes awry when the younger sister’s boss crashes the party. This three-ring circus send-up of the rich and their wannabe “help” finds both flying without a net. Elemeno Pea runs March 14 – April 13, 2014. Performances are Wednesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 3 PM and 8:30 PM, and Sunday at 5 PM. Tickets are $20-$30. Tickets and information are available at horizontheatre.com or 404.584.7450.
“Elemeno Pea is a fast-paced ensemble comedy with heart and bite by one of America’s hottest young writers,” Lisa Adler, Horizon’s artistic director, said. “It’s a perfect fit for Horizon’s 30th year of bringing the best and brightest new playwrights to Atlanta. Smart, entertaining and a delight for a crack ensemble of talented actors, this upstairs/downstairs comedy looks at class, family and what the playwright calls “the consequences of wanting more—more status, money, love, opportunity.”
Summer’s ending on Martha’s Vineyard, but before everything is shuttered, Simone invites her sister Devon down for a fun weekend. As personal assistant to wealthy and demanding trophy wife Michaela Kell, Simone enjoys a lavish, beachfront lifestyle that these girls never could have imagined growing up in blue-collar Buffalo. But within minutes of Devon’s arrival, Michaela crashes the party. She and her husband have had a fight, and she’s counting on Simone to help her keep from becoming Ex-Wife Number Two. Throw in the disgruntled groundskeeper Jos-B (because there’s already a Jose) and Simone’s delusionally rich boyfriend Ethan, and the lines are drawn between the haves and the have- nots. Worlds collide in this fast and furious comedy about ambition, class, family and the choices that shape who we become.
Horizon Artistic Associate Heidi Cline McKerley, who wowed audiences with her smash hit production of Horizon’s Avenue Q, is back to helm a top notch ensemble cast. Avenue Q won the 2011 Suzi Bass Awards for Best Musical and Best Director. She has directed numerous Horizon productions, including End Days (Suzi nominated), The Watercoolers (Suzi nominated), The Spitfire Grill, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and Cowgirls, among others.
“Elemeno Pea is a very funny affluenza comedy of manners that is going to take the audience on a wild ride,” McKerley said. “This show is full of surprises, and no matter what the class of the characters, they are all striving for something better than what they have—whether they are a have or a have not.”
Playwright Molly Smith Metzler is a rising star in American theatre, and Horizon welcomes her fresh, witty voice to Atlanta. The Brooklyn-based playwright is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School, and her culture clash comedy Elemeno Pea premiered at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2011.
“Personal reasons drew me back to exploring class: Someone I loved very much was being seduced by money, and I was initially very judgmental about it,” Metzler explained. “But then I remembered that summer, in 2000, when I lived in Martha’s Vineyard. I was babysitting in those uber-rich homes! And when my very middle-class family came to visit me, I trotted them around the yacht club, and introduced them to some of my new friends. They were in awe, but also very suspicious, and were eager to tell me that I was a servant, not a friend. They were right—and I had a play. Where else is there an old rich, a new rich, a middle class tourist, and a working class community all on one island, all segregated into their own neighborhoods?”
Metzler’s other plays—including Training Wisteria, Carve, and Close Up Space, —have been presented by Manhattan Theatre Club, Playwrights’ Horizons, The O’Neill Theater Center, The Tristan Bates Theatre (London), and The Kennedy Center, among others. Her honors include two Lecomte du Nouy Prizes (Lincoln Center), three Kennedy Center America College Theater Festival Awards (The Kennedy Center National Student Playwrighting Award, The Mark Twain Comedy Award, The David Mark Cohen Award) and guest residencies at Sundance Theater Lab, Montana Rep, Dayton Futurefest, New River Dramatists, and Williamstown Theatre Festival. She holds an MFA from the Tisch School at NYU and a MA from Boston University.
“Molly Smith Metzler has a grasp on language that harnesses comedic timing in a way that most playwrights are unable to master,” Minnesota Daily reported.
CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM
An outstanding ensemble cast is led by Cynthia D. Barker, who Horizon audiences recently saw as Nura in Third Country. She returns as Simone, the beautiful, caring personal assistant to rich and needy Michaela. Shakespeare Tavern comic favorite (Romeo and Juliet, As You Like It) Tiffany Porter, plays her witty and often blunt older sister Devon. Cara Mantella, last seen at Horizon in Third and in Seminar at Actor’s Express, is Michaela Kell, a new money socialite desperate to save her marriage and her monthly allowance. Michaela’s friend and Simone’s old money boyfriend Ethan is played by Adam Fristoe, who Horizon audiences may remember from End Days. And rounding out this gaggling ensemble is Tony Guerrero, who jumps from his long career as an Atlanta TV, film and Cartoon Network talent to the Horizon stage as Jos-B, the wise-cracking, sarcastic estate caretaker.
Suzi-Award winning set and costume designers Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay (Time Stands Still, The Waffle Palace, Avenue Q) create a chic, luxurious guest house on the beach. “Our award-winning designers Moriah and Isabel are back, bringing all of their trademark detail to this fantastic Martha’s Vineyard beachfront living room,” Adler exclaimed! “They will have you dreaming of a weekend invitation to this seaside escape!” Resident lighting designer Mary Parker (Time Stands Still, The Waffle Palace, Avenue Q) and sound designer Thom Jenkins return as part of the creative team. Props designer Kristen Hunsicker (The Santaland Diaries) rounds out the stellar design team.
BRING YOUR JET-SETTING GROUP! Elemeno Pea is the perfect outing for your friends, family and co-workers! Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. This show contains explicit language and adult content, and is recommended for ages 16 and up. Horizon has a lounge space available for rental for pre-show gatherings. Contact Marketing & PR Manager, Kelundra Smith at 404.523.1477 x111 for more information.
General admission tickets for Elemeno Pea are $20-$30. This show contains explicit language and adult content, and is recommended for ages 16 and up. Tickets may be ordered by phone at 404.584.7450 or online at www.horizontheatre.com. The show runs March 14 – April 13, 2014. Performances are Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday at 8 PM; Saturday at 3 PM and 8:30 PM; and Sunday at 5 PM. Ticket prices are subject to change. Eight percent sales tax will be added to all ticket orders. Internet convenience fee added to all online orders. No refunds, exchanges, or late seating.
Simone Cynthia D. Barker*
Devon Tiffany Porter
Michaela Cara Mantella**
Jos-B Tony Guerrero
Ethan Adam Fristoe*
*Member of Actors Equity Association
**Equity Membership Candidate
Director Heidi Cline McKerley
Playwright Molly Smith Metzler
Artistic Producer Lisa Adler
Scenic & Costume Designers Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay
Lighting Designer Mary Parker
Props Designer Kristen Hunsicker
Sound Designer Thom Jenkins
Stage Manager Julianna Lee*