Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Congratulations on the recent opening of your production of Threat at The Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks, CA. For those who may be unfamiliar, what can you tell us about the premise of the show?
Bree Pavey: The Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida, marked the 34th mass shooting incident of 2018, less than two months into the year. While this type of event is no longer new, the frequency with which they occur and the severity of weaponry involved continues to evolve.
Threat is a story of a psychotherapist who tries to control a bipolar, brilliant, and dangerous maniac in order to save innocent lives but finally is forced to a make a bold choice between honoring her oath and protecting others. It asks the question of whether a psychotherapist treating a troubled student could have prevented the carnage we've seen time and time again at schools across America. Full of suspense and catharsis, Threat is a tense exploration of narcissism, risk and self-realization.
BD: What encouraged you to stage this production, and what do you hope that audiences will take away from the show?
BP: Gun debates rage, but nothing changes. Yet both sides of the gun debate seem to agree that mental health services are woefully lacking. What I find intriguing and timely about this particular script, is that it raises the question of whether there are some patients who simply cannot be treated effectively, and whether violence begets violence, even when the intention is honorable.
Our director, Asaad Kelada, said, "Threat deals with subjects that are on everyone's mind today. Is anyone safe anymore? Where will the next threat come from? What is the collateral damage that is sustained after an act of carnage is perpetrated?"
Audiences can expect an intelligent and suspenseful psychological thriller with Threat. The central figure, Margaret, is strong, focused, confident and faced with resolving a tragic situation that unfolds through a confidential session. The audience can expect to be uncomfortable, and perhaps uncertain about whether they know who is the real villain.
BD: What can you share with us about the talented cast and crew behind Threat, and how would you describe your collective creative process in preparing for the production?
BP: Threat is performed on a near bare stage, but with striking projections and sound design by award-winning designer Matthew Richter. The look and feel of the show add to the heightened tension that comes with such a delicate and relevant subject matter. Our cast is top notch.
Director Asaad Kelada was a long-time TV director, having directed episodes Rhoda, Benson, WKRP in Cincinnati, The Facts of Life, Family Ties, and Who's the Boss?, before returning to his first love, the theatre.
Playwright Louis Felder is a long-time actor, as well as a published playwright and author of the novel, Rocky Libido in San Francisco.
Tackling the three challenging roles are actors Mason Conrad, John Posey, and Pagan Urich.
Mason Conrad (David) was born and raised in Texas and later received his BFA in Acting from the Webster Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis. In LA, he has worked proudly with Just Fix It Productions in The Willows, LORE, and CreepLA:Entry. Other theatre credits include Door Shakespeare, Nashville Shakespeare Festival, The Peterborough Players, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and XVI Havana Theatre Festival in Cuba. Past favorite roles include: Romeo in R&J, Sebastian in Twelfth Night, and Sherlock Holmes. Mason is represented by Mills Kaplan Ent. and commercially by BBA.
John Posey (Dr. Westbrook) is an Actor, Writer and Playwright who was also a co-founder of the comedy group COMEDIA in Atlanta. He has since built an extensive 30-year body of work in theater, film and TV, including the HBO mini-series FROM THE EARTH TO THE MOON. Since 1993 John has performed his critically acclaimed solo show FATHER, SON & HOLY COACH, throughout the U.S., portraying over 20 characters in the 90-minute production. Other L.A. theatre includes Rogue Machine’s WHERE THE GREAT ONES RUN and the 2018 world premiere of BENCHES at L.A.’s Broadwater Theatre. As a Screenwriter, John’s work has been carried by SONY, Disney and HBO, including the 2010 feature script LEGENDARY, starring Patricia Clarkson, Danny Glover and Tyler Posey. Married to Cyndi for 24 years, prior to her passing. Dad to actors Tyler (Teen Wolf) and Jesse Posey. www.johnsposey.com
Pagan Urich (Margaret) is an Associate Member of Sacred Fools Theatre Company where she has been a part of Serial Killers, Fast and Loose and A Gulag Mouse, the first production by Sacred Fools in the former Elephant Theater Company space. Pagan was a writer, producer and actor with The Elephant Theatre Company. Back in NYC she performed with Temporary Distortion, Object Collection, and many modern dance choreographers. BA: Columbia University, MA: Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. Pagan is an arts teacher in public elementary schools, a mom to 2 boys and a member of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
Matt Richter is an award-winning designer based in Los Angeles. He is the resident designer for the LA LGBT Center, where he also works full time. Recent designs include Hit The Wall (LADCC Award and Ovation Nomination) and The Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life in the Universe Revisited (Ovation Nomination), both for the LA LGBT Center, A Gulag Mouse (Ovation Nomination), Astroboy and the God of Comics (Stage Raw nomination), and Mr. Burns: A Post Electric Play for Sacred Fools, Rio Hondo (Stage Raw nominations) for Theatre of Note, and Plasticity at the Hudson.
Derrick McDaniel is an award-winning lighting designer has worked in live theater for over 20 years, both in Los Angeles and New York. From Romeo and Juliet to Guys and Dolls, Derrick designs for many plays, musicals, and events. Lighting credits include: Mercy Seat (2012 LA Weekly Award Winner) at Inside the Ford Theater, Through The Eye Of A Needle at the Road Theatre, The Crucible at Madrid Theater; Freud’s Last Session at the Odyssey Theater, and recently the musical Spring Awakening here at the Whitefire. For the 2017-18 award season, Derrick was nominated for an Ovation Award for Les Blancs at Rogue Machine Theatre, as well as, two Broadway West lighting nominations for 2017.
Makeup design by Angela Santori Merritt.
Scenic design by Madylin Sweeten.
The creative process for this show was completely collaborative. Everyone brought new ideas into the room. Based on meetings and script work with Lou, Asaad had an idea of how he wanted the show to look and feel, and then invited all of the designers to use his ideas as a launch point. The actors were also heavily involved in deeply exploring the relationships and histories of their characters and worked together with Asaad to create complex and intriguing individuals. Altogether, the contributions of each member of this team yielded a sleek, tense, challenging, and provocative piece of theatre.
BD: Why do you feel that The Whitefire Theatre is the perfect home for the production?
BP: The Whitefire is a surprising large venue that retains the intimacy of a smaller space. It allows a staging that keeps the action and intensity of the characters' relationships accessible to the audience while creating greater staging opportunities. The technical capabilities of the space also serve this particular production well, as the entire upstage wall is a projection surface. That allowed video designer Matt Richter to really enhance design details, allowing the projections and video to really enhance and fulfill the tone and vibrancy of the production. The team at the Whitefire is really wonderful, and we are so grateful to the assistance and support provided by Bryan, Derrick, and Brandon!
BD: Are there any other upcoming shows or projects that you would care to share with our readers?
BP: Upcoming, I am directing and producing The Columbine Project for Loft Ensemble and also in Sherman Oaks.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell readers who want to learn more about Threat and purchase tickets?
BP: Performance dates and times
March 29 – May 4
Thursdays and Fridays at 8pm
For tickets - https://www.threatplay.brownpapertickets.com
$25 General Admission
$15 Students with ID
All performances are at:
13500 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423