EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR: Resources for the press

By Lauren Gunderson. Directed by Steve M. Boyle.
South Bay Premiere. A dark and delightful revenge comedy!
May 14-June 14, 2015. Thursday-Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sundays (starting May 24) at 2 p.m. One Wednesday show, on June 10, at 8 p.m. No show on May 17.
Download high-res publicity photos. Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on past shows.
[image: "Exit, Pursued by a Bear" cast]

It’s time for bullying husband Kyle (Max Sorg) to learn a lesson, and his wife Nan (Sara Renée Morris, left) and her stripper pal Sweetheart (Laura Espino) are only too ready to teach it. Photo by Mike Ko / siliconvalleydesigns.com.

SAN JOSE, CA (April 20, 2015) – San Francisco playwright Lauren Gunderson’s dark and delightful revenge comedy Exit, Pursued by a Bear comes to the South Bay for the first time this spring, opening at City Lights in May.

Drawing its title from Shakespeare’s famous stage direction, the play is set in Atlanta, where the playwright grew up, and centers on Nan, a young woman who wants to teach her abusive husband Kyle a lesson. With her friend Simon by her side as her emotional cheerleader, and a stripper named Sweetheart along for the fun, Nan tapes Kyle to a chair and forces him to watch as they reenact scenes from the couple’s painful past.

In the pièce de résistance, Nan plans to cover the room in meat and honey, and leave Kyle to be mauled by a bear. Ultimately, Nan and Kyle are both freed from their past after a night of emotional trials and ridiculous theatrics.

Exit, Pursued by a Bear runs May 14-June 14 at City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., downtown San Jose. Details are at cltc.org.

Gunderson, a playwright, screenwriter, and short-story author with an interest in both Shakespeare and science, is drawing raves for her smart and sensitive writing. The San Francisco Bay Guardian described Exit as “a spirited comedy, able and clever,” and the San Jose Mercury News called her play Silent Sky—a script about a 19th-century female astronomer—”a radiant look at celestial gender politics” when it was performed at TheatreWorks last year.

Gunderson’s work also includes her first musical, The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog; and I and You, a poignant play about an unlikely friendship between two high school students, one of whom needs a new liver. City Lights will present I and You in its 2015-16 season.

Steve M. Boyle (Director) has directed off-Broadway, built immersive installations for Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s venture-capital firm Innovation Endeavors, helmed San Jose Rep’s Emerging Artists Lab, and collaborated on San Francisco’s hit immersive experience The Speakeasy. In addition, he has trained in global theatrical techniques across South and Southeast Asia, and run the web and social media aspects of the million-dollar funding campaign that saved Santa Cruz Shakespeare. Last summer, Steve directed Amy Freed’s The Beard of Avon for Santa Cruz Shakespeare. He is CEO of Epic Immersive, which, in association with Silicon Valley Creates and History San Jose, is presenting a large-scale immersive theatrical experience on May 31 at History San Jose, featuring acrobats, aerialists, military re-enactors, classic cars, live musicians, butoh, ballet folklorico, opera, taiko, and installation artists across three immersive worlds: an 1880s World’s Fair, the Roaring 1920s, and The Depression. He has a bachelor of fine arts degree from New York University, with training in India, Thailand, and Bali.

Cast: Sara Renée Morris (Nan), Max Sorg (Kyle), Laura Espino (Sweetheart), Jacob Marker (Simon)

Designers: Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic), Anna Chase (Costumes), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting), George Psarras (Sound).

Sponsors and Supporters: These include Silicon Valley Creates, Applied Materials Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many other individuals, corporations, and foundations.

City Lights’ season continues in July with West Side Story, by Arthur Laurents, Leonard Bernstein, and Stephen Sondheim. The 2015-16 season: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson; Handle with Care by Jason Odell Williams; Tigers Be Still by Kim Rosenstock; The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance; I and You by Lauren Gunderson; and Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT, with music & lyrics by Green Day and book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer.

DETAILS

WHAT: Nan wants to teach her abusive husband Kyle a lesson. With her friend Simon by her side and a stripper named Sweetheart along for the fun, Nan tapes Kyle to a chair and forces him to watch as they reenact scenes from the couple’s painful past. In Exit, Pursued by a Bear, a dark and delightful revenge comedy, Nan and Kyle are both freed from their past after a night of emotional trials and ridiculous theatrics.

WHEN:
May 14-June 14, 2015
Pay What You Can Night: Thursday, May 14, 8 p.m.
$17 Preview Night: Friday, May 15, 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Saturday, May 16, 8 p.m.
Regular showtimes: Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sundays (beginning May 24) at 2 p.m. One Wednesday performance, at 8 p.m. June 10. No performance on May 17.

WHERE:
City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., San Jose, CA 95112

TICKETS:
Regular tickets are $17-$32; discounts for seniors, students/educators, and groups (10+). (There is a $2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases.) The preview is $17, and opening night is $35 general, $30 for seniors, and $19 for students/educators. Tickets for closing weekend are increased by $2.

INFO:
For tickets or more details, go to cltc.org or call 408-295-4200. The theater is wheelchair-accessible.

PRESS:
For press passes or more information, contact City Lights marketing director Rebecca Wallace at rebecca@cltc.org or 408-295-4200. Downloadable high-res photos are online at bit.ly/exitphotos.

Press resources for past City Lights shows