Peel the Limelight announce Residency and Collaboration with Spark Drama for the 2015/2016 Season
Peel the Limelight are proud to announce their 2015/2016 season, opening this November during the Bangkok Theatre Festival and bringing a total of four new productions – three critically acclaimed contemporary pieces and one classic play by the American playwright Tennessee Williams.
For this season, Peel the Limelight will take up residency and collaborate with Spark School of Dramatics Arts (Spark Drama). All the shows will be performed in English at the Spark Drama Studio. Peel the Limelight plan to hold auditions for each production and cast Thai and international professional artists in every show.
Artistic Director Peter O’Neill said, “We wanted to choose a season that highlights Peel and Spark Drama! The intimacy of the space means our audiences are involved in our pieces. They are part of the event!” Born in New York, with a BA in Theatre from College of the Holy Cross and an MFA in Theatre from CALARTS, by way of London, Peter found himself in Thailand directing “Bent” and “Gruesome Playground Injuries” for Peel the Limelight which he co-founded with Jaime Zúñiga.
Peter has acted, directed and produced for the stage in Los Angeles, New York, London and now Bangkok. “I feel that as theatre artists our role is to challenge our audience. I want them to be a part of it, I don't like the audience to hide! Our job is to move them, change them and make them question what they are experiencing. If we can start a conversation outside the theatre then we have done our jobs!” O’Neill said.
Spark Drama Managing Director Piangpaitoon Satrawaha described the partnership with Peel the Limelight as a new avenue of exploring the possibilities of the space. Piangpaitoon holds an MA in Dramatic Arts from the Faculty of Arts of Chulalongkorn University and works as an acting coach and casting manager for films, TV commercials and video presentations. “Immediately after the premiere of Gruesome Playground Injuries at our space last February we initiated the conversation about future collaborations.” Satrawaha said.
Piangpaitoon has written for the screen for TV series such as “Thida-Dance” (Dancing Daughter) Channel 3 and “Atita” Channel 7. She has worked as acting coach for TV series such as “Sao Noi Roi Lan” (Millionaire Girl) on Channel 3. She has also directed for the stage, most recently the play “Salaryman”. “I was very impressed with the way Peel the Limelight had used the space and created an enticing atmosphere through a smart, creative production design. This is what I also teach my students – the endless possibilities of the theatrical imagination!” Satrawaha said.
The Spark Drama studio is conveniently located a 5-minute walk off the MRT Sukhumvit and BTS Asoke stations, in the 2nd floor of the Jasmine City Building. It hosted the Take Off Festival last year and has welcomed hundreds of aspiring actors to its drama classes. Piangpaitoon herself teaches at the school along with acting coaches Romchat Tanalappipat and Keerati Siwakua. "Many of our Spark students have found their passion and expanded their horizons through our classes. Some have gone on to successful careers in the film and TV industries." Satrawaha explained.
Executive Producer Jaime Zúñiga said, “We are very excited about our collaboration with Spark, because it give us the opportunity to produce a more intimate and honest theatre.” Originally from Nicaragua, Jaime burst onto the Asian theatre scene in 2011 with his colorful presentation of “The Importance of Being Earnest” in Ho Chi Minh City, where he co-founded Dragonfly Theatre Co. He relocated to Thailand in 2013 and co-founded Peel the Limelight with Peter O’Neill.
In May 2014, he appeared as Horst in their premiere production of “Bent” by Martin Sherman and last February in the role of Dougie in “Gruesome Playground Injuries” by Rajiv Joseph. “Our 2015/2016 season will be very unique in the theatre scene of Bangkok in the sense that we have curated a full season of shows that put the spotlight on women in extreme situations. All of these plays present us with strong female characters but each play and each character is totally different from the next one. Each production will be a radically new theatre going experience!” Zúñiga explained.