John Pollono Discovers Some Lost Girls at Rogue Machine
by Pauline Adamek | September 12, 2013
Playwright/actor John Pollono is one busy guy. His newest play, the very female-oriented Lost Girls, is set to open this weekend at Rogue Machine Theatre, in its smaller space — the same intimate room where his macho hit Small Engine Repair made its 2011 debut, going on to receive numerous Ovation, LADCC and LA Weekly awards.
For the second half of this year, Pollono’s plate is brimming. After the Lost Girls premiere, he’ll jet off to New York City to commence rehearsals for Small Engine Repair at MCC Theater, once again stepping into the pivotal role of Frank. Then there’s his new web series and a network television series later this year.
Says Pollono, “What I try to do with all the projects that I take on is push myself artistically. I try not to have expectations, and if things work out well then I am pleasantly surprised. And if they don’t, you just keep moving on. Confidence-wise, the more I’ve done and had produced, the more I feel like I’m establishing my voice.”
Using Lost Time to Write Lost Girls
The first draft of Lost Girls was written in the green room of the Ahmanson Theatre, where Pollono was understudying three roles in Theresa Rebeck’s Seminar last year — but never actually playing them in front of an audience.
“I was the worst-case scenario, a human emergency preparedness kit,” he jokes.
“I wrote a lot of Lost Girls backstage. Like Small Engine Repair, it had been gestating for a long time, just percolating, and then once I sat down I ended up writing it in about a week,” he divulges. “The characters were so real, the premise is incredibly simple, and it’s based on specific themes that I feel very strongly about. I just had to nail the characters and work out where they were going. With this one, it was the structure — what was happening and how that was revealed. Of course, the polishing and the further rewrites took a long time after that.”
The rough draft was completed in December, with a first reading and feedback in January of this year, followed by a second reading in February. Rogue Machine’s founding artistic director “John Flynn was like, ‘Let’s do it!’ and we jumped right in and here we are.” Flynn directs, in his fourth collaboration with Pollono.
In Lost Girls, a 17-year-old young woman is missing during a blizzard. Her parents, former high school sweethearts now estranged, are forced to confront their own past decisions.
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Photos by John Flynn.
5041 Pico Blvd., LA 90019.
Opens Saturday, Sept 14 2013.
Sat 5 pm, Sun 7 pm, Mon 8 pm.
Runs through November 4, 2013.
No performances Mondays Sept 23 or Oct 21.