It’s time to shine some love on our Los Angeles Directing team!
I met Mary Jo DuPrey when we were both graduate students at UCLA. Mary Jo directed my thesis production of In the Company of Jane Doe – and she knocked my socks off with her grasp of the visual, the psychological, and the absurdity in my weird little world. We’ve been fast friends ever since. I’ve watched in awe as Mary Jo has impressed Los Angeles audiences with her visceral and insightful style of direction, and I am SO excited to have her co-producing and directing this reading of our Planting the Seed Finalists!
Mary Jo DuPrey is a faculty member at the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television where she directed “MGM: My Visits with My Grandmother Marta,” “In the Company of Jane Doe,” Charles Mee’s “Big Love,” “Who is Selma Teller?,” “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” and an original musical, all female version of “Lysistrata.” Other Productions: World Premiere of “Arroz Con Pollo” at The Complex, “Jane Doe” for The Blank Theater’s Living Room Series, and the World Premiere for the Los Angeles Theater Ensemble. Last Spring, “What May Fall” for Theater of Note, LA Weekly Pick of the Week. Most recently, an acclaimed production of Jeffrey Archer’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” included in Bitter Lemon’s Best Productions of the Year and part of the Actor’s Co-Op’s LADCC’s Polly Warfied Best Season in Los Angeles Award. Readings for the Marianne Murphy series include “Anna in the Closet,” “Dolley,” and “Lost Cause.” Associate Producer: the Indie Festival Award winning film “Nothing Special,” with Karen Black. Mary Jo is a graduate of Vassar College. She earned her MFA in Directing from UCLA, is a recipient of the NYU Professional Certification in Filmmaking, and an Associate Member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.
I met Sara as a fresh-out-of-grad-school playwright, hungry for professional feedback an production opportunities. Strangely enough, it my thesis play (In the Company of Jane Doe) that again connected me to a fabulous director and artist – Sara had selected the play for a staged reading through a theatre she was working with. She invited me to coffee and I immediately added her to my list of awesome female artist pals! Producer, director, playwright, screenwriter… Sara has worn many hats! And we are so happy to have her on board as a director for Planting the Seed!
Sara Israel’s introduction to the world of theater came when she was cast in the title role of a kindergarten play, The Magic Letter E (cap to cape, fad to fade). She has been engaged by words-in-space ever since. As an award-winning playwright and theater director, Sara’s work has been seen around the country—productions that have allowed her to collaborate with an amazing range of talented artists, ages 11 to 85, including Spirit Award winners, television icons, and the finest classically trained actors. In the camera world, The Happiest Person In America, which she wrote and directed, stars Liza Lapira, Shiri Appleby, Steve West, with Dale Dickey and Michael Paul Chan, and made its world premiere at the Oscar-qualifying Los Angeles International Shorts Festival. It continues on the festival circuit while also being screened at national academic conferences and private corporate events (www.TheHappiestPersonInAmerica.com). Sara is a graduate of Dartmouth College, an alumnus of Directors Lab West, and a proud member of the Writers Guild of America and the Dramatists Guild of America. For more, please visit www.SaraIsrael.com.