Circle X Theatre Co. is thrilled to announce the world premiere musical, Bad Apples, book by Jim Leonard, music and lyrics by Rob Cairns and Beth Thornley, directed by John Langs, choreography by Cassandra Daurden, and musical direction by Rob Cairns and Beth Thornley. Bad Apples will begin previews on Friday, September 28 and will open on Saturday, October 13 and will perform through Saturday, December 1 at Atwater Village Theatre, 3269 Casitas Ave. in Los Angeles.
Bad Apples is a world premiere rock musical inspired by the real-life prisoner abuse scandal at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. Bad Apples seeks to answer the simple question: How in God’s name did this happen? Two soldiers ended up pregnant by fellow soldier Charles Graner; both women wanted to marry him, competed with each other to win his love, and enthusiastically tortured prisoners together, documenting most of it in pictures that later leaked and shocked the world.
Who were the victims? Who were the villains? Is sadism part of being human? Normal for war? Normal for love? Was Abu really an aberration brought on by a few “Bad Apples” or does it speak to something deeper in our national psyche? Bad Apples is not a history play. It digs deeper than the facts, exploring a twisted theatrical world inspired by a fictionalized Abu Ghraib.
John Langs (Director): Langs’ 15 year freelance career has afforded him the opportunity to work with many great artists at prestigious theatre companies across the country. He has directed productions at Playwrights Horizons NY, Ensemble Studio Theater NY, The Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, The Lookingglass Theater Company in Chicago, Circle X Theatre Co. in Los Angeles, The Resident Ensemble Players in Delaware, A.C.T, The New Century Theatre, Washington Ensemble Theaters of Seattle and The Seattle Shakespeare Company where he is an Associate Artist. John received his directing degree from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts where he returns annually to prepare a new crop of actors for a career in the theater. Over the course of his career he has enjoyed directing a wide variety of productions. Some of his favorites include King Lear (Seattle Footlight Award for Best Production of the Year), The Shaggs: Philosophy of the World (Los Angeles Drama Critic Circle Award for Best Original Musical, Backstage Garland Award for Best Direction), Brothers Karamazov (seven LADCC Awards including Best Production of the year and Best Direction). John received the first annual Seattle Gregory Award honoring excellence in direction for The Adding Machine. A dedicated fan of original work, John has shepherded over a dozen projects to their premiere production. This past year, the original musical The Shaggs, for which he served as co-creator and director, was nominated for Lucile Lortel and Drama Desk awards celebrating excellence Off Broadway.
CASSANDRA DAURDEN (Choreography) began her professional career in Arizona, where she received a B.F.A. in Dance and Theater from Arizona State University. She was a member of Desert Dance Theater, Dance Arizona Repertory Theater, Adzido African Dance Company and Childrens Playhouse. She performed in Broadway musicals A Chorus Line, Guys and Dolls, Eating Raoul and Little Shop of Horrors. After touring she became Director of Summer Stock Musical Theatre Camp in Orlando, Florida and Artistic Director/Choreographer for several theatre companies. TV & Film credits include Days of Our Lives, City of Angels, Within, and The Bold & The Beautiful. Cassandra is currently Artistic Director of Glee Summer Camp, Rock Sugar Kids Repertory Theatre, Daurden Contemporary Dance Theatre and Co-Host of LA Kids Talk Live Radio.
ROB CAIRNS (Music & Musical Direction) was born and raised in Detroit and studied film composition at Berklee College of Music. He now lives and works in Los Angeles. When he's not producing a Beth Thornley album, he spends his time composing for film and television. TV credits: Dallas (TNT), Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (ABC), The Bachelor (ABC). He worked with Jim Leonard previously on Thieves (ABC) in 2001.