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plays by

: Full-Length Plays

He Asked For It

It's an era when HIV hides from sight behind the closet door. It's an emotional AIDS cocktail of love, sex, and death that pours forth in a dark ride through Internet chat rooms, Hollywood back rooms and nightclub bathrooms. How far will you go for love? How much will you forgive?

Character Breakdown: 6M, 1F

Running Time: Full Length (2 hours)

Awards:

NOMINEE, Outstanding Los Angeles Theater, 2009 GLAAD Media Awards

NOMINEE, World Premiere Playwriting, 2008 Ovation Awards

WINNER, Backstage West Garland Award, Best Lead Performance

NOMINEE, Best Lead Actor, 2008 Ovation Awards

3 LA WEEKLY AWARD NOMINATIONS: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Ensemble

NOMINEE, Best Lead Actor, LADCC Awards

TOP 10 PLAYS OF 2008: Frontiers Magazine

Production History:

Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, 2008 -- Directed by Neil Weiss

Reviews:

"He Asked for It is a virally gay-centric play, very out there, and sometimes an eye-opener in its frankness and language. Despite the heated sex talk, unbelievable but apparently true practices, and porn-bespattered dialogue, its shock value is in the realization that rather than merely casual sex, most wish lists include a universal desire for identity, acceptance, and connection...Director Neil H. Weiss keeps things moving at a lively pace, getting excellent performances on the simple set...Patterson's world premiere play is funny, wicked, and a bit shocking, moving quickly from comedy to drama."

Back Stage West, Madeleine Shaner

"Frequent flashes of potent behavioral truth... Patterson's brightest gifts -- authentic idiom, sharp humor, beautifully layered dialogue -- are on display, and the players embrace the swerving stakes...This is a brave, worthy take on a difficult topic."

Los Angeles Times, David C. Nichols

"Writer Erik Patterson has written an AIDS play with a difference. His take on the subject is fresh, provocative and unpredictable, his characters are engagingly human, and he finds plenty of comedy along the way."

LA Weekly, Neal Weaver

"Gay-themed dramas charting thematic territory that feels truly new are rare, and those that pack a knockout dramatic punch are even harder to come by...Erik Patterson's gripping and intelligent new play feels like a watershed piece. This is a frank and eye-opening view of contemporary urban gay culture that's hard-hitting without being exploitative. It's as funny as it is tragic, eloquently reflecting the bittersweet contradictions of life...this is a vital new work deserving strong audience support...There's much to celebrate here, including Neil H. Weiss' crisp and finely nuanced direction and Egender's charismatic and heart-wrenching portrayal. There are sterling contributions from Morehouse, Neiman, Scher, Sigl and other supporting performers. A splendid production design, with a sophisticated high-tech feel, enhances the crackling dramatic tension."

IN LA Magazine, Les Spindle

"The show is really a treat: sexy, provocative, controversial and hilarious to boot... brave and brazen."

BeOneCity.com

"An amazing play...a phenomenal play...It was funny and sexy and dirty and smart and hilarious and sad and painful and thought-provoking and amazingly moving...I walked out of He Asked for It and into the cold rain simply thrilled with the whole experience. As I drove home, I said to myself, 'This is why actors need to do really great theatre. This is why casting directors need to get their asses out there and see really great theatre.'"

showfax.com, Bonnie Gillespie

Development:

Lark Play Development Center, Roundtable Reading - Directed by Jimmy Bohr

The Blank Theatre, Living Room Series, staged reading - Directed by Jessica Hanna

LA Gay and Lesbian Center, staged reading -- Directed by Darin Anthony

Naked Angels, developed through Tuesdays@9 Reading Series

More on He Asked For It:

http://www.heaskedforit.com


 

Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose

Part One of An American Family Trilogy

Elliot has gotten lost in a world of sex workers--late night house calls from hustlers and phone calls with call girls.

Becky is torn between two worlds. Her day job as a stripper is nothing compared to the role-playing required for her main profession: raising fifteen-year-old Rose, a Goth-obsessed girl who wants nothing to do with her mother.

And then there’s their youngest sister Little B, whose stripped away every piece of herself until all she has left is her biggest teenage obsession: she now thinks she’s the Icelandic pop singer Bjork.

Their shared past holds unspeakable horrors. YELLOW FLESH/ALABASTER ROSE follows these siblings as, after fifteen years of estrangement, they're finally able to come back together and begin the healing process.

Character Breakdown: 4M, 5F

Running Time: Full Length (2 hours, 30 minutes)

Awards:

WINNER, Best Playwriting, Backstage West Garland Award

WINNER, LA Weekly Award, Best Supporting Actress

Production History:

Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, 2003 - Directed by Miguel Montalvo

Reviews:

"Erik Patterson’s strange new play is one that takes you by surprise and ravishes you...he’s clearly a playwright with more on his mind than the naturalistic details and fraught comedy of dysfunctional relationships, both of which he nails when he gets around to it; it’s the getting-around-to-it part that shows Patterson’s formal and philosophical ambitions..."

Backstage West, Rob Kendt
>Full Review

"'Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose' is so bold and imaginative and clever in the way it, and the characters, transcend the horror [of childhood sexual abuse] that it comes off, triumphantly, as real. The playwright Erik Patterson has a wonderful ear for dialogue, and his characters never sound phony, even in their kinkiest moments...[The play is] an eloquent testament to the redemptive power of truth, and the tyranny of secrets and lies."

IN Los Angeles Magazine, Greg Owen

"Packs a considerable emotional wallop, not to mention a hefty quotient of mordant wit."

Los Angeles Times, F. Kathleen Foley

"Daring in its frank approach to the subject matter and mesmerizing in its skillful blend of ironic humor and stark tragedy."

Frontiers Magazine, Les Spindle

"[A] sublime meditation on the psychic injuries of incest, and how to heal them…An effortless intermingling of introspective drama and very funny comedy."

LA Weekly, Martin Hernandez

"Patterson manages to grip us with the obvious pathos while, at the same time, daring us to laugh; and we do, a lot. The drama of the piece is filled with embarrassed laughter, scandalized snickers, comic relief, chuckles of disbelief, and just plain humor - all of it dark."

ShowMag.com, Dave DePino

"Uncomfortably beautiful."

Santa Monica Mirror, Anne Kelly-Saxenmeyer

Development:

Theatre of NOTE, 2002 NOTEworthy Series workshop production

Honors:

FINALIST, PEN Center Literary Award

FINALIST, Lark Play Development Center Fellowship

LA Weekly Pick of the Week

Backstage West Critic’s Pick


 

Red Light, Green Light

Part Two of An American Family Trilogy


Mandy Freund as Little B and Trevor Olsen as Caleb

A gay clown. Two lesbian strippers. A pregnant Goth teen. A deadbeat dad. A horny mother. And a girl who thinks she's Bjork...but she's starting to suspect otherwise.

Part 2 in the ongoing tragicomic lives of the Silverstein family.

(Note: The play can be performed in repertory with the rest of the American Family Trilogy, but it can also stand alone--it's not necessary to be familiar with Part One to be able to follow Part Two.)

Character Breakdown: 7M, 6F

Running Time: Full Length (2 hours, 30 minutes)

Awards:

NOMINEE, World Premiere Playwriting, 2004 Ovation Awards

Production History:

Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, 2004 - Directed by Miguel Montalvo

Evidence Room, Los Angeles, 2004 (Theatre of NOTE extension) - Directed by Miguel Montalvo

Reviews:

PICK OF THE WEEK: "Patterson weaves a heart-wrenching tale that director Miguel Montalvo and his sterling ensemble portray with earnest emotion and comic aplomb."

LA Weekly, Martin Hernandez
>Full Review

"Take an ordinary, screwed-up family--okay, maybe not so ordinary but definitely screwed up--and allow them to be honest with each other for the first time, and you have a powerful evening of love, American style. A mother researches every nuance of gay life (from sex toys to Matthew Shepard) in order to understand her son; a sister becomes Bjork to deal with abuse trauma; a daughter/mother/lap-dancer finally finds herself; a brother falls in love despite his tortured past. Every member of this extended family steals your heart as they daringly begin to recognize their own. Dark, funny, and searingly insightful, playwright Erik Patterson is on the road to great renown."

Flavorpill.net, Lee Bradley

"With last year's 'Yellow Flesh/Alabaster Rose,' Erik Patterson emerged as a compelling new voice who could fashion strangely seductive drama and mine richly moving comedy from the deep domestic trauma of a broken family as it pieced itself back together...In his new sequel, 'Red Light Green Light,' Patterson's complicated empathy for his flawed characters, as well as his disarming wit, are in full effect."

Los Angeles Times, Rob Kendt

"Erik Patterson is a mere 26, but may very well be the next great American playwright. His keen insight into the human condition comes alive in the second installment of his American Family Trilogy...You will come away uplifted and full of hope."

NoHo LA, Don Grigware

"Effectively juxtaposes the ugly realities of the subject matter against a redemptive sense of humor."

Frontiers Magazine, Les Spindle

"Patterson's play is a complex, non-linear affair...The work is an uplifting piece, peppered with marvelous speeches, economical writing, and lightning fast exchanges. I can't wait for the final installment in the trilogy."

OUT Magazine, Matthew Breen

Development:

Lark Play Development Center, New York, Playwrights' Week 2004 - Reading Directed by Steven Williford

Moving Arts Theater, Los Angeles, Staged Reading, 2004

Theatre of NOTE, 2003 NOTEworthy Series workshop production

Honors:

LA Weekly Pick of the Week


 

Sick

Hypochondriac mother Pamela has gradually retreated into a frightening--but oddly soothing--world of fear and illness.

The people in her life are also sick in their own ways: David, tired of carrying the weight of both parents, becomes entranced with his sister-in-law, Carla, who has just managed to kick her coke habit and has taken up God. Carla has also kicked her husband, Pamela’s brother Gary, out of the house--so now he’s living with his sister and her family. Even though Gary is still hooked on drugs and alcohol, he manages to see more clearly through the haze of addiction than his sister, who’s so obsessed with her anxieties about disease that she’s unable to ease her own son’s fears when he is diagnosed with leukemia. That’s a lot of sickness going around--and all of their lives are beginning to buckle under the strains of real and imagined illness. Will 10-year-old Michael get lost in the shuffle, or will his family come through for him when he needs them most?

Character Breakdown: 4M, 3F

Running Time: Full Length (1 hour, 30 minutes)

Development:

Naked Angels, Tuesdays@9 reading series, 2005

Evidence Room, staged reading - Directed by Geoffrey Nauffts


 

: One-Act Plays

Tonseisha


Fay Kato as Akiko, David Conner as Robert, Hugo Armstrong as Richard Brautigan

A young Japanese woman is haunted by the loss of two men: her father, whom she barely knew, and cult novelist Richard Brautigan, whom she's never met. Akiko plays out her father/Richard Brautigan fantasies with a new man nearly every night. Each one of her relationships begins in a bar and ends in a bedroom, and she's never satisfied. She's so lost...can she ever be found?

Tonseisha: The Man Who Abandoned the World. A play written mostly in haiku verse.

Character Breakdown: 5M, 1F

Running Time: 1 Hour

Production History:

Theatre of NOTE, Los Angeles, 2001 - Directed by Tim Hanson

Reviews:

"Erik Patterson's Tonseisha is the highlight of the triple bill, an odd story of how a Japanese woman’s obsession with the writer Richard Brautigan both enriches and destroys her life. Patterson’s writing is original, poetic and funny..."

LA Weekly, Terry Morgan

"A strong theatrical heartbeat."

Backstage West, Brad Schreiber

Development:

The Actors’ Gang, Staged Reading - Directed by Marjie Gumm

The Black Dahlia, Sunday Salon Reading - Directed by Matt Shakman

Honors:

NOMINEE, 2002 Ovation Awards -- Best Actress


 

: Ten-Minute Plays

Tip of the Tongue

Mr. Nichols just wants Jordana to shut up and read a book, but Jordana...she wants something more from Mr. Nichols. A harrowing comic play about how inappropriate high school can sometimes be.

Character Breakdown: 1M, 1F

Running Time: 10 minutes

Production History:

Theatre of NOTE (as part of their evening A Lick and a Promise), Los Angeles, 2006