Jonathan Luskin

Jonathan Luskin

Jonathan Luskin worked for 17 years as an animator and technical director at Industrial Light and Magic, Colossal Pictures, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University, among others. He writes, produces, and directs for both film and theatre. Jonathan has directed for many Bay Area theater companies, receiving the Goodman Choice Award for Directing for three productions. His plays have been produced by The...
Jonathan Luskin worked for 17 years as an animator and technical director at Industrial Light and Magic, Colossal Pictures, UC Berkeley, and San Francisco State University, among others. He writes, produces, and directs for both film and theatre. Jonathan has directed for many Bay Area theater companies, receiving the Goodman Choice Award for Directing for three productions. His plays have been produced by The Best of PlayGround, the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, and commissioned by the Magic Theatre. Jonathan is currently developing several full-length works for theater and film.

Plays

  • n of 1
    Will is a lawyer whose slide into dementia is accompanied by a sudden talent for painting dazzling works of art. Even as Will loses his ability to speak and understand language, his creative skills flourish. Julia, his partner, is tormented by Will's increasingly aberrant and violent behavior. She and Gabe, a neurologist, are challenged to control Will's outbursts without quashing his newly discovered...
    Will is a lawyer whose slide into dementia is accompanied by a sudden talent for painting dazzling works of art. Even as Will loses his ability to speak and understand language, his creative skills flourish. Julia, his partner, is tormented by Will's increasingly aberrant and violent behavior. She and Gabe, a neurologist, are challenged to control Will's outbursts without quashing his newly discovered creative abilities--the last expression of his undaunted human spirit.
    Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is a progressive brain disorder that causes dramatic changes in behavior and language. Individuals with FTD may begin swearing in public, overeating, drinking, shoplifting, and making inappropriate sexual comments. Not all patients with FTD lose cognitive abilities in a predictable fashion; some develop a new interest in painting or music and produce remarkable works of art. Thus the juxtaposition of a debilitating change in personality with the emergence of artistic creativity. FTD is thought to be the second most common form of dementia, after Alzheimer's Disease.
    n of 1 explores how the human spirit tenaciously survives, even flourishes, despite extraordinary challenges. The rise of new, creative skills in patients with dementia has forced neurologists to rethink fundamental beliefs about dementing conditions and the care of their patients. Doctors must reimagine their patients as whole people with both strengths and weaknesses and help them cope with their diseases by using art and music. The focus of the play is not a medical condition, but rather how the condition joins artistic expression and neuroscience, what it tells us about the brain, and what it means to be human.
    n is the name of the arithmetic variable used to symbolize a total number of data samples- -the number of patients in a study or the number of brains examined. n is always too small, too few patients or brains. And yet, when confronted by an anomaly, a neurologist must take a leap of faith, despite a sample size of only one. The play juxtaposes the science of neurology with a personal belief that we are more than just neurons and brain matter, the faith, based on our own personal data point, our "n of 1," in the existence of the human soul.
  • Ecce Homo
    A romantic comedy. Troy Steel is an aspiring action movie hero, fired from a reality television show for his inability to lie, and left publicly humiliated but internationally famous. Annabella is a talented actress, too big-boned and brusque for a career on screen, she can only find work performing behind the mask of computer animated characters. When Troy is hired to animate a heroic warrior using a motion-...
    A romantic comedy. Troy Steel is an aspiring action movie hero, fired from a reality television show for his inability to lie, and left publicly humiliated but internationally famous. Annabella is a talented actress, too big-boned and brusque for a career on screen, she can only find work performing behind the mask of computer animated characters. When Troy is hired to animate a heroic warrior using a motion-capture suit, he is unable to perform even the simplest of scenes without suffering a crisis of confidence. The producer coerces Annabella to act Troy’s part for him. The animated pilot is a wild success and Troy and Annabella are bound together by her secret work on his behalf and his unknowing collaboration. Their journey together is perilously guided by therapy sessions with Oona, a plush-toy orca whale, and Troy’s grandparents, famous vaudeville actors who return from the past.