Two obsessive linguists and a 9-year-old zealot meet head-on with the magnetic leader of an est-like group training seminar in Complete, a new, fast-paced comedy by Andrea Kuchlewska, opening Saturday, Feb. 23, at the Matrix Theatre in West Hollywood. Culture Spot LA readers can enter to win a pair of tickets to the Sunday, Feb. 24, show at 2 p.m. Please email email@example.com by noon on Friday, Feb. 15, to be entered into a drawing.
Complete is a time-splitting wrangle over the power and perversion of language inspired by the scientific study of syntax and semantics, as well as the playwright’s own experience at the age of 9 with est training. Developed by Werner Erhard, est is a system of experiential philosophy that was popular in the 1970s and ’80s and was accused by some of being a cult.
Jennifer Chambers (Play Dates at the Asylum, The Muscles in Our Toes at the El Portal) directs the West Coast premiere, which stars Meredith Bishop (L.A. Drama Critics Circle Award for Eleemosynary, four seasons on Nickelodeon’s The Secret World of Alex Mack); Scott Kruse (South Street at the Pasadena Playhouse, When Garbo Talks at International City Theater), Scott Victor Nelson (Build at the Geffen Playhouse, narrator on TLC’s documentary series My Crazy Obsession) and 9-year-old Hannah Victoria Stock (soon-to-be-released feature The Ganzfeld Experiment, LA Opera’s The Two Foscari).
A finalist for the Princess Grace Award, Complete was developed in the Z Magic Monday reading series at Magic Theatre in San Francisco, in the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and at The Z Space Studio, where Kuchlewska is an artist in residence. It was read at The Barrow Group Theatre Company in New York prior to a production at FringeNYC 2009, where it was labeled a “Critic’s Pick” by Backstage and subsequently selected for the FringeNYC Encore Series.
Complete runs Feb. 23 through March 30 (with previews Feb. 21-22) at the Matrix Theatre, 7657 Melrose Ave., LA 90046. For tickets, call (323) 960-7822 or visit www.plays411.com/complete.