This award winning and published play has been accepted into the prestigious New York International Fringe Festival! HELP US GET THERE!
About this project
Why is this festival a big deal?
Bonnie’s Future Sisters debuted in Los Angeles and has recently been invited to the New York International Fringe Festival! Accepting only 20% of those that apply, this festival has launched such shows as Broadway’s Tony-winning musical “Urinetown,” Mindy Kaling’s “Matt and Ben,” and the LA hit “Jersey Shoresical.”
Although the festival covers thousands in costs, there are many expenses that aren’t covered — airfare, lodging and ground transportation for the actors, set, props, and additional marketing necessary to set our show apart from the others!
Now we need to raise $10,000 to help get this play OFF THE GROUND!!
CAN YOU HELP?!
So what’s this thing about?
SO MANY THINGS!!
- Self. Help.
- Board Games.
Bonnie, a human resources professional, has had overnight success with her motivational book “Keep Your Glasses On: A Girl’s Guide to Success in the Workplace.” Her older sister Corey, who fled her hometown the moment she got into college, has been laboring over a memoir for nearly a decade.
When Bonnie invites Corey to her engagement party, Corey heads home to try to rekindle her friendship with her younger sister—only to find that Bonnie is much more excited about her future sisters-to-be, Kayleigh and Larissa. Despite Bonnie’s best and meticulously planned efforts, her party threatens to be a total bust– especially when one of the sisters goes missing.
So wait, is this play any good? Looks like it’s about a bunch of women getting drunk and yelling at each other!
Yes and yes! But it’s so much more. Just ask the people over at Original Works! They published it!
“Bonnie’s Future Sisters is the most deliciously self-aware brand of Awkward. The show is full of laughter and honesty, and the lead, Sascha Alexander, was utterly captivating to watch.” – Neel Upadhye – Writer/Director of Award Winning Indie, Dating Daisy
“Crisp, funny writing, strong, specific acting all the way around, polished technical elements — I just can’t say enough. Breezy, fun, grounded, witty, wise, and just a really good time.” – Ben Moraski, LA Audience Member
Ok… Now I’m pumped! How did these actors get involved?
Hi! Meghan here. It’s been me the whole time!
As a writer, if you are lucky enough to meet actors who’s talent you admire — who make you want to write better and more, that is a very special thing. In this case, I really wanted to write something for my friends.
Sascha auditioned for one of my plays in 2007. I was struck by her exuberance — she was literally like a rocket even during the audition and I thought, “I should write something for her one day.” After casting her we became fast friends. Five years later we performed our solo shows together – Naked and Crazy, that ran for three summers in a row in LA & NYC. But all the while I was biding my time trying to figure out what to do with this bundle of brilliance.
Sarah and I met in Colorado in 2005 working on the Colorado Shakespeare Festival – both of us just out of college. We actually barely talked – she was out of my league in the cool department, but I remember thinking: hey she seems fun! I had no idea she’d been on Road Rules and it wasn’t till almost a decade later I watched the footage of her winning the Gauntlet Challenge and realized she’s kind of a gladiator. Two years after Boulder, I ran into her in my local coffee shop in LA. She was a barista, and I was like; hey, didn’t you live in Boulder that summer… and she was like, yes! We became friends, she even came to study acting with my mentor, Joan Darling. In 2011, Sarah was cast in a short play of mine that involved repeated performances (sometimes 10 in a night) as part of The Car Plays. It ran off and on for three summers.
Kristen rolled up on LA in 2009 and that same week auditioned for another play of mine. I was very impressed with her comedic genius and strong jawline. She was cast in my play, Happy Birthday, Mom which ran in LA and NYC in 2010. Turned out we were neighbors too, so we started hanging outl!
When I was sitting down to write Bonnie’s Future Sisters, I knew I wanted to write something for Sascha and Kristen. I wanted to capitalize on Sascha’s effervescence and Kristen’s sarcasm. As I was writing I thought hey, Sarah would be great in this too! I pumped it out and then said, hey ladies! I’ve got something for you!
I needed a producing partner. I reached out to Jeanne Petrone Arzubiaga, an efficient and pragmatic human who’d gotten me first job on a network show. She hired me when I was 22 and taught me everything from how to negotiate a salary (always let them throw out a number first) to how to use a computer program commonly referred to as Excel. Jeanne had all the practical skills and experience I didn’t and we began working on getting the play off the ground. Despite our massive age difference Jeanne made up for it by being a total babe and we became fast friends. Since she’s Italian and I’m full pasty white, we’re aging at about the same rate.
First order of business was finding an actual living breathing teenager for the part of Larissa. I wanted a real teenager, someone actually born after 1995. Where could one find such a unicorn? The Galleria? No. LA casting. After setting up a casting session and meeting dozens of lovely young women, several very qualified, Emily walked into the room – tan skin, white teeth, the giggling innocence of someone who’d never experienced the stress of memorizing a phone number. She was the one. The chemistry with the others was perfect and we finally had our cast.
Riveting synopsis. Have they been in anything? Where can I learn more about these actors?
Yes! These actors have collectively appeared in everything from Road Rules, to Nickelodean, Masters of Sex, to Law and Order to Comedy Central and the UCB Stage. Click on their photos below to learn more about them!
How did this story come about?
Several years ago I was looking to write something new but I wasn’t quite sure what. I knew it would be about family… women… adulthood… pretty broad themes that seem to repackage themselves throughout my work. It also seemed I couldn’t shake a stick (something i do regularly) without hitting an article about gender parity in this business. We’re underrepresented, we don’t make any money, our stories are inferior to men’s stories, our box office worth is questionable. The press on this is everywhere a constant din in the head of this female writer. How are you going to fix the problem? What can you do to level the playing field?
I attended a bachelorette party, something i had never done at the time (and have only done once since) and was struck by the sort of frenetic, no holds bar energy of the things — as if the inner high schooler was unleashed in all of us — there were fights, tears, truths, scandal, bonding, and just… fun. I hadn’t been around a group of women that large and that ready to party since… college. It felt great.
Since that party I’ve gone to about a dozen weddings and am always struck by the raw nature of these events, how the wedding is, yes about the bond between the husband and wife, but also about family, the taking on of people we didn’t necessarily choose, the hierarchy of siblings, the abundance of events leading up to the wedding (the good ole days of just a wedding ceremony are long gone) and the stress that compounds these momentous events. I wanted to write something that had to do with the bride, but was much more about her navigating not her relationship with the groom, but with the siblings she is taking on, in this case, his sisters.
In this story, Bonnie’s success is “accidental” while her sister Corey’s efforts have been marathon-like, a steady exertion over her entire life. I am fascinated by the dynamics between women specifically in terms of balancing career and family and the ever-elusive definition of success. How do you look someone in the eye who’s effortlessly achieved something you’ve hinged your identity on and not feel…envious? Bonnie is successful, but, is she any good? And does that even matter?
While Bonnie turns people off with her intensity and desire for approval, Corey, is effortlessly smart, sarcastic, interesting, confident. Her social currency is immeasurable and this is the arena in which Bonnie cannot win. Similarly, Kayleigh, Bonnie’s future sister in law, has a charisma that Bonnie can only dream of, and, has a very solid relationship with her little sister, Larissa – a stark contrast to Bonnie and Corey.
So, about a year passed after the initial production of Bonnie’s Future Sisters in 2014. It went well. It got extended, it was well received and the show made me very happy.
I had sent it to some publishing companies and forgotten about it and then one day got an email from Smith & Kraus saying they’d like to put a monologue from it in an anthology. A follow up note, said hey this play is pretty good, why don’t you try to get it published.
At the same time I had submitted it to Fringe. My first play premiered there 10 years ago and went on to be made into a feature film. How cool would it be to take another show, ten years later, for their 20th anniversary festival?! I had also devoted part of this year to buckling down and finishing the screenplay version of Bonnie’s Future Sisters. So here I am, halfway through 2016 and the play has two publications, a production on the way and finally, a film script as the ultimate goal is to make it as a feature film.
If you’ve made it this far it’s probably because you’re related to me. Please help us make the NYC premiere a reality! I am ready to put it out into the world, and see what the next phase of Bonnie will be! Thank you for supporting this project!! We’ll… see you in NEW YORK!
Risks and challenges
There are so many moving parts with any project, but especially one that is traveling, relying on many people coming together to perform and there actually being an audience to perform for! With any theater production there is a risk of not having everything come together for opening night. Even though we’ve done this show in LA, we’re relying on travel, tech, health of cast, and the hope that we get to do the show we want for as many people as possible.