Tag Archives: Missing Piece Theater

“Stories on the Rocks” Makes World Premiere at Missing Piece Theater in Burbank

In just four months, Miserable Brilliance Ensemble (MBE) has self devised their second production, “Stories on the Rocks.” After a surprisingly successful run of their first production “Bench Stories,” performed at the ACME Theatre in Los Angeles, the group of self-starting newcomers continue to bring their original and unique blend of humor, absurdism, and tragedy to life.

miserable brilliance ensemble MBEAt the start of “Stories on the Rocks,” the audience will realize that what they are seeing is quite untraditional; experiencing six, 10-minute plays where redemption, revenge and reconciliation become the alcoholic mixture in the relationship cocktail. It is a show that will have you laughing, crying, cringing in your seat, and possibly heading for a stiff drink afterwards.

MBE prides itself on leaving “Nothing to Chance”. They saw their success in Bench Stories as proof that what first started off as an alumni scene study class at the New York Film Academy, now had the potential to become a professional theatre company. This group of actors set in motion, the creation of MBE, writing, directing, and producing original plays and ultimately allowing them to take control of their own destinies.

“By acting in our own works that we truly believe in, our mission is to leave the audience feeling as if they have just looked through the keyhole of life” states Artistic Director, Anthony Montes. Stories on the Rocks is produced by Meghan Anne Riley, starring Sara Blindauer, Kika Cicmanec, Michael Dvorak, Alex Genther, Desi Ivanova, Valentina Kolaric, Sam LaFrance, Won Lee, Roxanna Medina, Anthony Montes, Sophia Monti, Charlotte Plummer, Adam James Shirley, William Smith Walker, and artistically associated with Yoshua Shelton and Tina Fy, leaving room for an interesting mix of personalities and talents to bring the show together.

Stories on the Rocks will run February 9th through March 17th, 2013 every Saturday at 8pm and every Sunday at 7pm at the Missing Piece Theater in Burbank, CA and tickets can be purchased for $12 on their website, www.MBEnsemble.Wix.Com/Home.

12’x9’ Brings Compelling Prison Drama to Missing Piece Theater

Life in prison is a hard reality for over two million American citizens. It’s a reality that seems


missing from the streets of Burbank, hidden away in the hearts of those few who had endured the hell of confinement. But within the intimate space of The Missing Piece Theater, an unsparing light reveals the prison un-life in the gripping drama 12’x9’.

Model prisoner Townsend (played by MAURICE G. SMITH) finally has a cell of his own, which he hopes will make the final five years of his 25-year sentence bearable. That, and the enduring love of his loyal wife. But a prison fire packs two inmates in his cell. One of them is Jasper (played by DAMIEN D. SMITH), a pious man who can’t face the truth of his crime; the other is Train (played by FRED THOMAS JR.), a scheming sociopath and a “Train wreck” waiting to happen.


All three actors masterfully portray their characters, making us see the good that is (or could have been) in them, without sugarcoating the bad. The gritty details of modern prison life, presented in the context of today’s growing prison-industrial complex, reveal themselves organically. Like a good Dickens novel, 12’x9’ makes you feel the wrongness of a system far too simplistic for the complex, if flawed, characters trapped within it.


Writer/director/producer FRED THOMAS JR. has crafted a play that elevates as well as entertains. I left the theater with more insight than when I entered. And isn’t this one of the most magical things about first-rate theater: to make us just a bit wiser about life without having to pay the steep tuition of experience.

BTW, the sweet soundtrack features Tupac, DMX, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes and other greats.


12’x9’ continues through June 3 at The Missing Piece Theater, 2811 W. magnolia Blvd., Burbank 91505. Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. Sundays at 6 p.m. Adult content. Tickets $15. Call the 24/7 hotline 800-838-3006 or contact Surmigivens@me.com for information.