Stephen Sachs

Stephen Sachs

Stephen Sachs is an award-winning playwright and director and the co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre, which he co-founded with Deborah Lawlor in 1990. He is the author of thirteen produced plays, including Dream Catcher, his recent adaptation of Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric (world premiere Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles), Heart Song (Fountain Theatre and Florida Rep), Cyrano (LA...
Stephen Sachs is an award-winning playwright and director and the co-Artistic Director of the Fountain Theatre, which he co-founded with Deborah Lawlor in 1990. He is the author of thirteen produced plays, including Dream Catcher, his recent adaptation of Claudia Rankine's Citizen: An American Lyric (world premiere Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles), Heart Song (Fountain Theatre and Florida Rep), Cyrano (LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Best New Play) and Bakersfield Mist (2012 Elliot Norton Award, Best New Play) which just completed a run on London’s West End starring Kathleen Turner and McDiarmid and is now being translated into other languages and being performed worldwide. His other plays are Miss Julie: Freedom Summer (Fountain, Vancouver Playhouse), Gilgamesh (Theatre@Boston Court), Open Window (Pasadena Playhouse, Media Access Award), Central Avenue (PEN USA Literary Award Finalist), Sweet Nothing in my Ear (PEN USA Literary Award Finalist, Media Access Award), Mother's Day, The Golden Gate (Best Play Award, Dramalogue), and The Baron in the Trees. He wrote the teleplay for Sweet Nothing in my Ear for Hallmark Hall of Fame which aired on CBS starring Marlee Matlin and Jeff Daniels. Directing credits include the Los Angeles Premiere of My Name is Asher Lev, the US Premiere of Athol Fugard's The Blue Iris, Bakersfield Mist (World Premiere), Completeness by Itamar Moses starring Jason Ritter; Warren Leight's Side Man starring Christine Lahti and Frank Wood; a 3-city China tour of Top Secret (LA Theatre Works), the US Premiere of The Train Driver by Athol Fugard, Conor McPherson's Shining City (LA Premiere), the West Coast Premiere of Athol Fugard's Coming Home (Best Director, LA Weekly Award), the U.S. Premiere of Athol Fugard's Victory (NAACP Award for Best Director); the world premiere of Miss Julie: Freedom Summer at the Fountain and Canadian Stage Company in Toronto and the Vancouver Playhouse; the world premiere of Fugard’s Exits and Entrances at the Fountain (Ovation Award and LA Drama Critics Circle Award, Best Director) and Off-Broadway at Primary Stages in New York, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland, the LA premiere of Fugard’s The Road to Mecca, Arthur Miller's After the Fall (Ovation Award, Best Director), Sweet Nothing in my Ear (Fountain Theatre, Victory Gardens Theatre in Chicago, Mixed Blood Theatre in Minneapolis), Hippolytos inaugurating the Outdoor Classical Theater at the Getty Villa in Malibu, and many others. Sachs has twice been nominated for the SDC Zelda Fichandler Award, recognizing an outstanding director who is making a unique and exceptional contribution to theatre in their region.

Plays

  • Dream Catcher
    Inspired by a true event. Solar power confronts spirit power in this new drama about climate change, cultural change and the moral consequences of personal choice. Roy is the youngest member on a team of high-level engineers brought in to launch the most important project of his young career: the construction of a $1-billion dollar solar energy plant in the middle of the Mojave desert. But Roy suddenly finds...
    Inspired by a true event. Solar power confronts spirit power in this new drama about climate change, cultural change and the moral consequences of personal choice. Roy is the youngest member on a team of high-level engineers brought in to launch the most important project of his young career: the construction of a $1-billion dollar solar energy plant in the middle of the Mojave desert. But Roy suddenly finds himself thrust into the center of a crisis when the discovery of long-buried Native American artifacts threaten to bring the entire billion dollar operation to a halt. The disaster gets deeply personal when the whistle-blower turns out to be Opal, the fiery and unpredictable young Mojave Indian woman with whom Roy has been having an affair. World Premiere at Fountain Theatre, Los Angeles, January 2016. Video trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dOgwG_mg-aw
  • CYRANO
    A modern day reimagined deaf/hearing version of the classic “Cyrano de Bergerac”. The setting is present day. Cyrano is a brilliant deaf poet in a modern day city. He is hopelessly in love with a beautiful hearing woman, Roxy. But she doesn’t understand sign language and instead loves his hearing brother, Chris. Can Cyrano express his love for Roxy with his hands? Or must he teach Chris to “speak his words” for...
    A modern day reimagined deaf/hearing version of the classic “Cyrano de Bergerac”. The setting is present day. Cyrano is a brilliant deaf poet in a modern day city. He is hopelessly in love with a beautiful hearing woman, Roxy. But she doesn’t understand sign language and instead loves his hearing brother, Chris. Can Cyrano express his love for Roxy with his hands? Or must he teach Chris to “speak his words” for him, to woo her? ASL becomes the language of love in this modern sign language spin on a classic love story.
  • Miss Julie: Freedom Summer
    A re-imagined adaptation of August Strindberg's masterpiece, set in Mississippi on the night of July 4, 1964, during the explosive "Freedom Summer" of the Civil Rights Era. The white Miss Julie and her black chauffeur, John, struggle for independence and freedom from the personal and social demons that bind them. This sexually-charged social drama explores racial and sexual tensions in a riveting...
    A re-imagined adaptation of August Strindberg's masterpiece, set in Mississippi on the night of July 4, 1964, during the explosive "Freedom Summer" of the Civil Rights Era. The white Miss Julie and her black chauffeur, John, struggle for independence and freedom from the personal and social demons that bind them. This sexually-charged social drama explores racial and sexual tensions in a riveting struggle for power, freedom and social change.
  • Heart Song
    In this funny and touching comedy/drama, Rochelle is a middle-aged Jewish woman in New York City in the middle of a life crisis. Lost and alone, her life is suddenly changed when she is convinced to take a Flamenco class with other middle-aged women. The Flamenco class and its unforgettable circle of women — all shapes, sizes and colors — lead Rochelle on a journey of sisterhood, faith and discovery of her own...
    In this funny and touching comedy/drama, Rochelle is a middle-aged Jewish woman in New York City in the middle of a life crisis. Lost and alone, her life is suddenly changed when she is convinced to take a Flamenco class with other middle-aged women. The Flamenco class and its unforgettable circle of women — all shapes, sizes and colors — lead Rochelle on a journey of sisterhood, faith and discovery of her own deep inner voice.
  • Citizen: An American Lyric
    The world premiere stage adaptation of the internationally acclaimed and award-winning book of poetry/prose by Claudia Rankine about race in America. This powerful and thought-provoking fast-moving stage adaptation fuses theatre, music, movement, and video imagery. Snapshots, vignettes, a meditation on the acts of everyday racism. Remarks, glances, seeming slips of the tongue. Those did-that-really-just-...
    The world premiere stage adaptation of the internationally acclaimed and award-winning book of poetry/prose by Claudia Rankine about race in America. This powerful and thought-provoking fast-moving stage adaptation fuses theatre, music, movement, and video imagery. Snapshots, vignettes, a meditation on the acts of everyday racism. Remarks, glances, seeming slips of the tongue. Those did-that-really-just-happen-did-they-really-just say-that slurs that happen every day. And the larger incidents that become national firestorms. As Rankine writes, “This is how you are a citizen.” Winner of the 2015 National Book Award, the 2015 Los Angeles Book Award, and the PEN Award.
  • Bakersfield Mist
    Maude, a fifty-something unemployed bartender, has bought a painting for a few bucks from the thrift store. Despite almost trashing it, she now thinks it’s a Jackson Pollock worth millions. But when world-class art expert, Lionel Percy, flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he has no idea what he is about to discover. Inspired by true events,...
    Maude, a fifty-something unemployed bartender, has bought a painting for a few bucks from the thrift store. Despite almost trashing it, she now thinks it’s a Jackson Pollock worth millions. But when world-class art expert, Lionel Percy, flies over from New York and arrives at her trailer park home in Bakersfield to authenticate the painting, he has no idea what he is about to discover. Inspired by true events, this sparkling and colorful new comedy-drama asks vital questions about what makes art and people truly authentic. WINNER! Elliot Norton Award, Best New Play! "Not to be missed! [BAKERSFIELD MIST] tackles large creative questions with well-timed zingers.” —Vanity Fair. “Thoroughly entertaining…Put a smile on my face and kept my brain buzzing for a good while afterward." —The Times (London). “Wonderfully funny! Entertaining…one of the best plays on now in London. Terrific! Definitely the genuine article.” —The Telegraph (London). “Sachs’ short, clever play is a battle of wits.” —The New York Times. “It’s exhilarating in the extreme when a play strikes rich on every conceivable level. A wry two-hander that handles highbrow artistic issues while zinging in plenty of uproarious one-liners. A perfect marriage of emotion and ideas that is rare indeed.” —Los Angeles Times. “A triumph! Hugely gratifying! An absorbing, hilarious two-hander about the nature of art and the vagaries of human perception.” —Backstage. Go to www.bakersfieldmist.com