LAB Theater Project presents CREATING MONSTERS this month


LAB Theater Project will present Creating Monsters, a new play by Tampa playwright Owen Roberson. Set in 1816, the play explores the turmoil surrounding Mary Shelley that influenced her creation of the monster in her masterpiece, Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus, a story that has thrilled audiences across multiple media for over 200 years.

Playwright, Owen Robertson, is the founding creative director of LAB Theater Project, a company that exclusively produces new work and encourages playwrights to bring their ideas to life. This is his sixth piece to be presented on stage. Creating Monsters is directed by regional director and beloved actor Roz Potenza, and stars local actors Eddie Gomez, Emma Hurlburt, Shaun Memmel, Maurice Parker and Newt Rametta. Costume design is by Caroline Jett, set design by Robertson, set art by Cas Hardy, lighting by Wayne Linderman and sound by Jonah Robertson.

“When I first read Owen’s Creation of Monsters,” said director Roz Potenza, “I was drawn to the story because it wasn’t so much about Frankenstein’s monster as of the woman-child who wrote it Owen brings to life the 18 year-old Mary Shelley’s journey from the emotional harassment of her single family, to the self-satisfied intellectual fervor of the men around her and his own search for purpose in life, to the burst of creative energy that brought us one of the most popular books in history. Getting the chance to direct a strong historical female character is a godsend these days. Owen captures her determination, and I’m thrilled to bring that to life. I had no such ambitions at his age, and I marvel at both his talents and his courage to push his work, into what he clearly shows us to be a man’s world.”

About the play: It’s 1816, the year without a summer, and the greatest ghost story of all time is about to begin. But for that to happen, Mary must overcome her doubts about her femininity, her place as a writer, her conflict with her dead mother and Clara, Clara always present in her life, as well as Percy, Byron and youthful advances. by Dr. John Polidori. Nestled in Byron’s villa in Switzerland, these five people are present at the beginning of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley’s Frankenstein. Discover how a young girl becomes an independent woman, a free thinker for the ages, navigates a complicated love life and emerges as one of the greatest storytellers of all time, not to mention the ultimate bad boy, Lord Byron.

Mary’s own life had all the drama of a Victorian novel. As Robertson says, “In 2013 I was sitting in a Gothic literature class reading Shelley’s 1831 introduction to Frankenstein, where she explained how the book came to be, and in that moment a story began. Two years of research later, I had the first draft of Monster Creation, and there have been many iterations since then.

“This production highlights those days when Mary surrounds herself with the people who pushed her to free her words,” adds Potenza. “That she dared to push the boundaries of ‘decency and morality’ was a testament to her creative genius as well as her need to release her own inner demons. As Mary herself wrote, ‘ Remember that I am your creature, I should be your Adam, but I am rather the fallen angel, whom you drive away from faultless joy. Everywhere I see bliss, from which I alone am irrevocably excluded. I was benevolent and good – misery has made me a demon. Make me happy, and I will become virtuous again.'”

Monster Creation lasts for three weekends, from August 25 to September 11. Live performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinee at 3 p.m. The performances will also be available on demand from September 1 to 15. Audience members who purchase on-demand tickets will be emailed a link to the video site. LAB reserves the right to adjust the number of seats available in response to CDC guidelines, in order to protect the health and well-being of our atdiences, cast and crew.

Tickets are $28 and are available on the LAB website, https://cloud.broadwayworld.com/rec/ticketclick.cfm?fromlink=2190275®id=101&articlelink=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.labtheaterproject.com?utm_source=BWW2022&utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=article&utm_content=bottombuybutton1. For any questions or interview requests, please contact the box office at 813-586-4272 or by email at [email protected].

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