Let it Snowden

cana of galilee

june 2014.

ellie marissa ruttenberg
nell bang-jensen
mckenzie jones
sarah knittel. 

Let it Snowden

a new short play coming this December as part of the Nice and Fresh Series in Mt. Airy, produced by Smokey Scout Productions. www.smokeyscout.com

Final weekend

Both shows are at 1714 Sansom Street in Center City.  Show starts at 2pm.  If you want to see the show, email hellafreshtheater@gmail.com. 

Now playing- Hannah

Hella Fresh Theater presents


A new play written and directed by John Rosenberg

1995.  San Francisco.  Part-time Berkeley students/full-time ravers, Christina, Hannah and Anders live by the covenant of Goa Dance Trance---a party scene devoted to collective consciousness, sensitivity, awareness, compassion, and mind-altering synthetic drugs.  In the middle of the night, in filthy San Francisco warehouses, in the fleeting trance dance moment, they arrive at the door of their spiritual quest to the ethereal essence of Goa Dance Trance. 

Fueled by crystal meth ecstacy, DMT, liquid acid and whatever they just snorted, Anders, Christina and Hannah totter through life and school, waiting for the next party/the next gathering/the next trance dance.  In the pursuit of the ethereal essence of Goa Dance Trance, Anders, Christina and Hannah find the reality they seek in the mind-altered state of dance parties.  After the gatherings, when the sun comes up and the drugs wear off, the trio argues who loves the dj most, use glitter as a weapon and fall out of love.  They must wait for the life affirming next party to rediscover joy and love.  Except each next gathering seems just a little less truthful, more synthetic.  Soon, Anders, Christina and Hannah find themselves collectively---consciously---doing their best to destroy one another.  

Starring Francesca Piccioni, Laura Sukonick and Ben Grinberg.

Hannah runs October 12th through November 3rd.

All shows are Saturday and Sunday at 2pm. All tickets are $10.

First three weekends at the Papermill Proving Ground, 2825 Ormes Street in Kensington, USA.

Final weekend at the Papermill Theater Center City, 1714 Sansom Street.

Press comps available for any show requested.

John Rosenberg has written and directed The Gambling RoomAlp’D HuezAutomatic Fault IsolationQueen of All WeaponsCalifornia Redemption Value, Jericho Road Improvement Association and Use Both Hands.

“An impetuous playwright who takes a radical approach to independent Philly theater.” -City Paper.

A playwright with a ferocious amount of talent.” -Philadelphia Weekly

For more information and tickets, visit www.hellafreshtheater.com or call 510-292-6403.

Ben Grinberg asks twelve questions of the dude who wrote hannah

How long have you been a playwright?
i have been writing plays for about 6 years but I don’t think of myself as a playwright yet. If someone asks me what I do I say I am a monkey with an office job.

How long have you been working on “Hannah”?
I was finishing Alp d'Huez last october and I knew I wanted to do something about this girl I knew in Berkeley, but didn’t know what it was. But i guess my brain was thinking about it. In the meantime I wrote a play called Gambling Room. I finished the production of The Gambling Room in early June this year and then got married two weeks later. I wrote a scene about a crazy girl bringing a guy home from a bar. Laura and Dan Tobin (who was in The Gambling Room) read together and it didn’t work. No reflection on them at all, it just was garbage on my end. Laura Arielle Sukonick was really great, but it just didn't seem interesting a play about a dude dealing with a crazy girl. Josh McIlvain sat in on the audition told me to go a different direction I had read with Francesca Francesca Piccionididn't like her for the main part of Hannah but got the idea of it being a love story between two girls instead of guy/girl. So the guy became christina. I liked that idea and so did Josh so went with that. Josh said it needed a third character so I thought up Anders. I met you, Ben and you were the shit so that was that. I got the cast and it was righteous and i wrote the play in july and august and we started rehearsing in september.

Do you like theatre?

When I am in a theater I feel like I am home. My mom is a drama teacher. But I don’t fuck around seeing too much stuff, which infuriates my mom and mystifies my wife. I am a punk. I always learn something everytime I go see something, so I should go more.

What inspired you to want to be a theatre maker?
My mom is a drama teacher and i grew up watching her. She gave me integrity and drive to write plays and produce them and not expect anyone else to do it for me.

I notice a pretty big distinction for you between the “writing” phase and the “directing” phase. You even refer to yourself as “whoever the fuck wrote this” when you direct. Could you speak a little bit about that distinction, how it serves your process and how you came to start doing that?

I think it is important to let actors know i don't give a shit about what i wrote in a good sense. If i say fuck that guy, they might be more comfortable to point out moments that dont work or could be better. It is nice to sit down and write something, but that shit changes so much for the better once actors get involved. And that is what is so important for me, being able to build characters around actors. The day i got the three of you together to read, it was just pure joy. And I was able to meet with you guys two or three times to read the drafts and you helped me figure out what the play wasn’t. Your feedback was clean as fuck, because no one wants to watch actors do shit or say shit that makes them uncomfortable. Hella most of the time, actors come up with shit I never saw coming and you proving to me what something isn’t until we are left with what it should be. That is why I hate stage directions and shit. The thing comes to life with actors and they make it what it becomes. So for me, it is always fuck whatever the dude wrote this was thinking when we find a better way.

Do you have a day job?
hellllll yes.

What is your dream, your ultimate, pie-in-the-sky goal for yourself as an artist? Broadway?
Being able to support my wife so she can quit her job and do whatever the fuck she wants to do.

Do you have any desire to publish your work?
hahahahaha, the question is does anyone have any desire to publish my bullshit.

If you had an unlimited budget, what would you make a play about?
Build the Presidential Palace of South Vietnam and recreate the coup that overthrew President Diem in 1963.

Have you ever done ecstasy?
swallowed, snorted, smoked.

What is the moment when you get an idea, and what is the connection between that moment and when you actually start to write?
I get ideas and I like them and then think about them and then they do something. But, usually when I put up a play, at some point the actors give the performance where they take complete ownership of the play and it isn’t mine anymore, it is theirs and I literally don’t care about the play anymore in a good way and I can start thinking about the next one.