Photos by Jessica Sherman
 

BILL & JOAN

(2014) Director, Dramaturg and Production Designer

 

WORLD PREMIERE!  Inspired by the conflicting accounts of what truly happened in 1951 when William S. Burroughs shot his wife Joan...

 

1951. Mexico City. Writer William S. Burroughs awakes to find himself in jail, being questioned about the shooting of his wife Joan Vollmer. Their drunken game of “William Tell” went horribly wrong, and now the Mexican detectives are probing Burroughs’ heroin-hazed, tortured mind for the truth. Filled with Burroughs’ hallmark vulgarity, voracious wit and provocative characters, Jon Bastian’s Bill & Joan is a phantasmagorical journey in search of what truly happened on that night when a speed freak and a junkie walked into a metaphorical bar, but only one walked out.

 

Warning: This production contained the use of live gunfire, nudity, profanity, strong sexual references and disturbing content.

PRESENTATIONS

Sacred Fools Theater Company

Los Angeles, CA 

January 24–March 1, 2014

PRESS

"Diana Wyenn directs with a sure hand (and contributes a handsomely effective production design) ... The resulting pastiche is certain to mystify those unfamiliar with the pioneering master of transgressive postmodernism" —LA Weekly
 
"This scorching drama is for the theatergoer who prefers his/her live stage productions to be edgy, imaginative and adventurous ... Director Diana Wyenn, who is also the production designer, does yeo(wo)man’s work in pulling everything together—including performances by nine actors, some of them in multiple roles" —Hollywood Progressive
 
"Excellent ... Director Diana Wyenn’s intense and unexpectedly touching production achieves what you’d expect would be impossible; you come away with absolute sympathy for this pair of dueling, drug-addled, married disasters." —Stage and Cinema
 
"A stellar production ... A really good depiction of the time period, great acting and expert directing by Diana Wyenn, and combined with the noir setting makes this hard-edge story a sheer joy to watch."
—Los Angeles Post
 
"The [20 year] delay [of Bill & Joan's premiere] ... meant that director Diana Wyenn, in grade school when Bastian began, was available to give the production the continual sense of restless invention that bubbles beneath the Spartan staging and makes it such a success." —theatretimes.org

CREDITS

 

Jon Bastian, playwright

Diana Wyenn, director, dramaturg, production design

Matt Richter & Christina Robinson, co-lighting design

Mark Corben & Chet Leonard, co-sound design

Lauren Oppelt, costume design

John Burton, special effects design

Will McMichael, fight choreographer

Aaron Saldaña, assistant director & properties design

J Warner, assistant director & dramaturg

David Mayes, producer

Abraham Benrubi, associate producer


Curt Bonnem (William "Bill" Burroughs)

Betsy Moore (Joan Vollmer)

Bart Tangredi (Clem Snide/Dr. Wiggers)

Matt Valle (The Kid/Marco/Young Bill/Lucien)

Will McMichael (Kim Carsons/Herbert/ David)

Donnelle Fuller (Willy Lee/Billy)

Lauren Campedelli (Lilly Lee)

Richard Azurdia (Enrique "Kiki" Armario)

Alexander Matute (Roberto "Tito" Gil)

Dana DeRuyck (Swing)

Scot Shamblin (Swing)

Rick Steadman (Swing)

 

Additional Links

Bill & Joan Webpage