The ABC Project is a series of 26 site specific pieces of interactive theater, each at a location starting with a different letter of the alphabet. All written and directed by Anne Katherine Lesser (...please, call me annie). ABC Project is part of LA Weekly's Best of LA 2016 in the Arts and Entertainment as Most Extreme Audience Immersion.
Annie is an international award-winning poet and playwright. Her first interactive theater piece Getting to Know You: An Experiment in Intimacy premiered in June 2015 at the Hollywood Fringe Festival where it won the Freshman Spirit of the Fringe Award and was called by Anthony Byrnes on KCRW, "An inspired combination of speed dating and relationship time travel."
Interactive theater is difficult to produce. It cannot receive massive crowds unless it has the help of outside funding to run fulltime. There are the costs of insurance, production design and paying actors/production staff. Annie currently is paying for all of this out of pocket and going into great credit card debt over it. She would like your help for her to be able to safely put on all 26 theater pieces and not give up due to financial hardship.
She will use every dollar towards paying staff, extending runs for extra performances, paying for insurance, and increasing the production value of the shows.
Annie is so thankful for any support you are willing to give and wants to just put on the most intriguing and exciting theater possible over the next 4 years.
A(Partment 8) was the first theater piece in the series and premiered in June 2016 at the Hollywood Fringe Festival. More info here: http://hff16.org/3822.
LA Weekly: "It's difficult to express the exhilarating sense of the uncanny produced by an Annie Lesser immersive stage show. Since her L.A. debut at the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival, the experimental theater auteur has fearlessly explored a densely poetic, deeply intimate and intensely personal dimension of the actor-audience relationship where few other directors have dared to go."
Stage Raw: "In the few years since she landed in Los Angeles, experimental playwright-director Annie Lesser has firmly established herself as one of the most fearless and adventurous forces in the city's emerging immersive scene."
Critics on B(arbershop) (November 2016)
"B(arbershop) is a step back from the precipice of the irrational violence that so charged A(partment 8) with its sense of audience-implicating danger, what continues to be exciting is seeing Lesser fearlessly experiment without the firewall of the physical and figurative distance between spectator and performer that mediates the traditional drama. Even when its fireworks prove less than incendiary, the ABC Project provokes an introspective self-awareness all too rare for the stage."
"With any immersive piece the moment you make me forget I'm in a play, that I'm in something theatrical, and I treat it as if it's real, it's job well done you've got me. And that's what happens and that's what happens with this."-MY HAUNT LIFE
Critics on A(Partment 8) (June 2016)
"Lesser not only successfully implicates audience members in their own sundry crimes of the heart but opens a space between empathy and horror for something more critically and morally contemplative." - Stage Raw
"Those looking for a darkly original work that sticks with you long after it's finished, A(partment 8) is worth the admission price."-LAist
"Annie Lesser has a small wonder on her hands, and actress Keight Leighn pretty much defines the term fearless at this point." -No Proscenium
Nov 10th and 11th
Nov 17th, 18th, 19th and 20th
Will be performed at LA Native Barbershop
4304 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90004
Tickets On Sale Oct 23rd
Guaranteed Tickets and Presale Access available to GOFUNDME donors only.
Because of this we are going to have a special 1 night encore on Monday June 27th. The 12 tickets to that evening's performances will be given to the top 12 donors to our Go Fund Me between tomorrow, June 14th at 12:01 AM PST and Sunday June 26th. 11:59 PM PST.
Another way to still get tickets is to try waiting on standby. Standby wait list opens every night of performances at 8pm. We try and fit at least one person off standby.
The remaining performance nights (outside the special encore) are June 14, 21, 23 and 25.
REVIEW HIGHLIGHTS BELOW:
“Lesser not only successfully implicates audience members in their own sundry crimes of the heart but opens a space between empathy and horror for something more critically and morally contemplative.” – Stage Raw
“Those looking for a darkly original work that sticks with you long after it’s finished, A(partment 8) is worth the admission price.”-LAist
“Annie Lesser has a small wonder on her hands, and actress Keight Leighn pretty much defines the term fearless at this point.” -No Proscenium
“This could be one of the most intimate, visceral experiences ever created… It is a transformation. You walk in one person and walk out another.” -Gia On The Move
“Writer Annie Lesser has created a wild and unsettling experience that will haunt you for days.” – Pearls Before Swine
“Lesser’s direction doesn’t coddle you into your new skin, once you’re in- you’re in…do yourself a favor and take a chance; go #SeeItLA and immerse yourself into someone else.” – See It or Skip It
“If you’re “Twin Peaks” rather than “Happy Days”,
“Eraserhead” rather than “Forest Gump”,
Kafka rather than Barbara Pym,
Das Grauen rather than The Beach Boys, then you might be a candidate for (A)partment 8).” – TheTVolution.com
“This was one of the most impactful theatrical experiences I’ve ever had. I am still trying to deal with the feelings this piece gave voice to. Annie Lesser is a creative genius. She is crafting the bleeding edge of theater.” JOHN B
“On a scale of 1-10 it was like 300.” -Mikie B
“GO TO THIS!!”- MATT R
“I’ve seen well over a thousand plays in my life time, but this one impacted me the most.”- GREGORY C
“Go. Just go. No spoilers. And, do yourself a favor – go all in.”-HEATHER T
“This is the stuff I wanted to do since I began studying directing and writing, but Annie has had the balls to do it. And do it in a ground-breaking way that resembles the likes of Grotowski, Brecht, Chekov, the Open and Living Theatre and Miranda…(A)apartment 8 is the must-see event of HFF16.” -BENNY L
“A fascinating journey through our sensory perception.”- BRIAN K
“This is EXACTLY what is at the “Fringe” of theater. And everyone—everyone—should go.” -ERIK B
“Simply incredible. A haunting, enveloping experience that stays with you long after the show has finish.” -JEFFREY L
“Fantastic show. Not much I can say without giving spoilers but can’t recommend it enough. Truly unique, intense and challenging experience.” THOMAS M
“I almost don’t want to tell you how fascinating this show is, because I want my friends to be able to snatch up the few remaining tickets so that I have people to discuss it with. Unlike any theatre I’ve ever seen.” ANGELA S
“…completely different than anything I’ve seen so far…”-SPENCER F
“… a fantastic, moving, mysterious, challenging, intensely theatrical experience…” -DAVID W