Barbra Dillon, Fanbase Press Editor-in-Chief: Collaborative Artists Ensemble recently launched the west coast premiere of the play, Unraveled, at The Sherry Theater in North Hollywood, CA. For readers who may be unfamiliar with the production, how would you describe its premise?
Steve Jarrard: At its core, Unraveled explores the relationship between Joy and her mother Georgette who is currently fighting a battle with cancer and chemotherapy induced dementia. As Joy struggles to hold on to the memory of her mother before the disease, she hires an insightful hospice nurse who tries to help her bridge the gap between the mother she knew and the stranger she is now faced with and to help George be seen and validated in her current state. Jennifer [Blackmer]’s play is beautiful in how she tackles this interweaving it with memory and scientific theories and is able to weave together a story that allows you to get an intimate peak into these women’s lives and history.
BD: As managing director of the ensemble and director of the production, what inspired you to become involved with the show, and how would you describe your process in articulating the development of the characters (created by writer Jennifer Blackmer)?
SJ: We fell in love with the script when we first read it and were excited to explore these characters as they felt like people we either knew or would want to know. The first step was casting the actors who I felt would bring the necessary qualities to these characters. It’s always wonderful to work with actors you know well, and, in this case, Kathy, Carolyn and Meg all knew each other and had worked together previously and were fond of each other which made a much easier starting place for them to begin developing their character’s relationships.
BD: Why do you feel that this play will resonate with audiences, and what do you hope that they will take away from the performance?
SJ: This play is so universally relatable in the sense that dealing with death and the decline of a parent is something that everyone has or will face. Hopefully, people can learn from Joy’s journey and take the message that Young George articulates when she explains the parking lot song to Joy. You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone and nothing lasts forever.
BD: You have quite a talented cast and crew involved with the production. What can you tell us about their creative process in bringing Unraveled to life?
SJ: Each actor has a different process, so it’s a bit like making a stew. This has been a great group to work with, and everyone really seems to complement each other.
BD: Unraveled will be running from November 15 through December 8. What is the best way for our readers to garner tickets for the show?
SJ: Great question. You can purchase tickets online, and you can make a phone reservation at (323) 860-6569.
BD: Lastly, what would you like to tell fans who want to learn more about Unraveled?
SJ: The best way to learn about it is to see it - to watch the actors live it.