IAMA FEST is a festival of orginal one act plays being put on at IAMA Theatre Company.
Adam stars with Laila Ayad in Ilene Rosensweig and Rick Marin’s “Neighborhood Watch”, directed by Joe Perrachio.
Here’s a review of 2010’s IAMA Fest from FineArtsLA:
“…Last week, for instance, I had the privilege to see a local show that took on both forms of this artist/audience relationship—the literal and the empathetic—and the power of the relationship was reflected in its opening weekend numbers (full houses). It was the IAMA Fest 2010, which is an annual festival of one-act plays written, directed, designed, and performed by members of the IAMA Theatre community—and it runs until April 11th at the Working Stage Theatre in West Hollywood.
This year’s result is a wonderful collage of twenty-minute vignettes, interspersed with short video introductions, all which take place within this city’s limits, and involve some sort of automobile. There’s “Canyon,” written by Christian Durso: a somber, unnerving piece about two old friends, a truck, a canyon, and a particularly violent shared memory. After that is “Neighborhood Watch,” a delightful throwback to the screwball comedies of the 1940’s and 50’s, written by Rick Marin and Ilene Rosenzweig. This one follows a yuppy pair of over-eager, Prius-posing neighborhood-watchers, and what happens when they get bored. “Penelope,” the third piece of the quatrain, is by far the best. It’s a long monologue from scribe Louise Munson, which takes the audience by the hand and leads them through the sexual and emotional exploits of a 20-something female, lost in LA, but mostly in her own head. The fourth and final one-act is a preview of the upcoming play, Accidental Blonde, the sixth installment of the “Seven Deadly Plays” from writer—and basic fuel of the company—Leslye Headland.
The scripts didn’t simply speak for themselves though; one of the strongest connection points between artist and audience—in almost any medium—is that of an actor and viewer. The reason for this is because acting is essentially a hyper-conscious form of life; the artist, at least superficially, is doing nothing that the audience doesn’t do themselves already. Thus, when an actress like Amy Rosoff, who plays the sole character in “Penelope,” stands in front of you, and spills her guts out onto the stage, allowing for only passing hints of her true self, it’s a form of confession. And when she’s done, you care about her. You care for her. On the other side of the coin are those more physical, classical performers like Adam Shapiro and Laila Ayad, stars of “Neighborhood Watch.” With them our reality is heightened just far enough from ourselves that we can believe it, yet still laugh.
As far as the set was concerned, the running motif of the car in is no accident. To me, it’s a brilliant metaphor for local, LA theatre itself. Because theatre, like a car in Los Angeles, is a pretty necessary item. They both move us, yet we don’t move while we’re in them. They’re also intensely personal spaces, but still relatable to almost anyone. Also, theatre, like a car, needs fuel to run, but it helps fuel the economy of Los Angeles at the same time. And yes, there’s a future, more fuel efficient theater on the horizon, but for now, we have to deal with the one we have, broken lights, squeaky frames and all. Every day there’s a car crash, and yet we keep on driving. Why? For the same reason that places like IAMA and Theatre Unleashed keep pumping out great work. Because Los Angeles does have a community, an audience if you will. It’s just an audience of cars.