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An endangered little theatre company finds a home

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Crash of Rhinos, an endangered little theater company, has become the new theater company in residence at the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, following on the heels of such previous resident companies as Rorschach Theater and Charter Theater. As the resident theater, Crash will produce a slate of new play readings, short films and one new production in 2014 – many of which will provide behind-the-scenes educational opportunities for the students enrolled in the Conservatory’s accredited acting program.

In announcing the residency, Lead Rhinos Mario Baldessari, Nan Ficca and Doug Wilder, and James Meerdter said in bizarre oral unison, almost as if they had planned it: “Our goal is to produce readings of new plays, short films and the occasional full-scale production whenever we can afford it. But mainly, it’s to have fun.”

Current plans for 2014 include the following:

  • Saturday, January 18. All improv comedy “Crash!” night, directed by Baltimore Improv Group Artistic Director Michael Harris.
  • Monday, February 24. Staged reading of “The Good Devil in Spite of Himself” by Mario Baldessari & Tyler Herman, directed by Tyler Herman.

Last year, during its initial gestation phase, Crash presented:

  • Staged readings of a “Manilogy” of new plays by Mario Baldessari & Chris Stezin, directed by WSC Avant Bard Artistic Director Tom Prewitt.
  • An entry in the DC 48-Hour Film Project (“Le Lait Renverse”) that won the “Best of DC,” Best Cinematography” and “Audience Choice” awards.
  • An entry in the Baltimore 48-Hour Film Project (“Deliverance Boys”) that won the “Best of Genre” award.
  • Staged reading of “Doubting Thomas” by Mario Baldessari at the Kennedy Center Page To Stage Festival, directed by Active Cultures Theater Artistic Director Lee Mikeska Gardner.
  • Staged reading of “Parent Teacher Conferences” by Jessica North Macie, directed by former Charter Theater Artistic Director Keith Bridges.

· Staged reading of “The Good Housekeeper” by Richard Washer, directed by Joshua Dick.
· A sketch comedy “Crash” night directed by Mario Baldessari & Joshua Dick.
· Staged readings of “The Good Devil in Spite of Himself” by Mario Baldessari & Tyler Herman, directed by Tyler Herman.

To see whether the theater company survives or goes extinct, follow them on Facebook: www.facebook.com/crashofrhinosproductions.

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