The Speakeasy Society "THE JOHNNY CYCLE: Part III - The Living" May 2017

Set amongst the marble hallways of the Mountain View Mausoleum in Altadena, the stunning conclusion to The Speakeasy Society's critically-acclaimed THE JOHNNY CYCLE: Part III - The Living immerses audiences in the mind of an injured soldier as his perception of reality blends with dreams, memories and events from his author's life. Johnny may speak for the dead, but who will listen? 

Inspired by Dalton Trumbo's novel, Johnny Got His Gun, and drawing on several historic and artistic wartime sources, THE JOHNNY CYCLE gives audiences through a personalized, individual, and epic experience examining the costs of war. 

The Johnny Cycle: Part III - The Living runs Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm May 11th to May 27th with two previews May 5th and 6th at Mountain View Mausoleum 2300 Marengo Avenue Altadena, California 91001. Admission is limited. There will be no late admittance. The running time is estimated to be about 90 minutes, but performance lengths may vary. 

General Admission: $65
Purchase Tickets:

Please note - the performance requires audience mobility. The audience will be asked to walk, kneel, and/or stand throughout. It is intended for audiences of 14 years of age and older. 

The beginning:
As a high school student, The Speakeasy Society's Co-Artistic Director Matthew Bamberg-Johnson read Dalton Trumbo's book "Johnny Got His Gun" for the first time. The story of the WWI soldier, Joe Bohnam, made such a lasting impression that almost two decades later, The Speakeasy Society, has dedicated the past three years to bringing the story to life. 

"The novel was a starting point." Associate Artistic Director and Co-author Chris Porter said. "We also drew from actual accounts of WWI soldiers in the trenches, stories from torn families and home life, as well as details from Trumbo's own life. Each first hand account dove a little deeper into the human experience of war." 

"At the core of the novel is the struggle to be heard, not just to be understood, but to believe your thoughts, feelings, experiences, sacrifices can create actual change, can move mankind forward." Julianne Just, co-director said of the larger themes in the Cycle, "We allow the audience, like Johnny, to grapple with questions of choice, nationalism and the larger impact that was has on both those who are asked to fight, and those who are left behind to pick up the pieces. Through the characters, we give a voice to the deceased, and highlight the willful choice not to listen, both as a society and as individuals - particularly about the human cost of war." 

Co-director Genevieve Gearhart adds, "We designed this piece so that it can function both as a stand-alone show and part of a larger exploration and discussion over the full cycle - ranging through memory, trauma, and aftermath. It is important to us that new audience members can still see how the themes and narratives are tied together in the final installment creating a full and rich experience." 

Part III - The Living is the culmination of a passion that began almost two decades ago. The ornate Mountain View Mausoleum provides a complex emotional and physical landscape to explore Johnny's isolation and longing to connect with the world of the living. Hopefully Johnny will find peace at last. 

The Johnny Cycle:
PART I - The Quick and the Dead

Premiered May 2015 at the Pasadena American Legion in Pasadena Named LA Weekly's Best of 2015
Johnny recollects childhood loves, family members, war room generals, soldiers, nurses, and religious figures - who each played their role, intentionally or not, in sending our hero to his destiny. 

PART II - The Shell
Premiered May 2016 at Saint Mark's Episcopal Church in Glendale Named LA Weekly's Best of 2016
A countdown to the impact that destroyed his body, the fragmented mind of our soldier is trapped in wartime memories of the trenches.

PART III - The Living
Premiering May 11th, 2017
Mountain View Mausoleum, 2300 Marengo Ave, Altadena, CA 91001
The stunning conclusion immerses audiences in the mind of an injured soldier as his perception of reality blends with dreams, memories and events from Trumbo's life. Johnny may speak for the dead, but who will listen?  

Details for Calendar Listings for "JOHNNY"

(PREVIEW) Friday, May 5th, 8:00pm
(PREVIEW) Saturday, May 6th, 8:00pm

Thursday, May 11th, 8:00pm
Friday, May 12th, 8:00pm
Saturday, May 13th, 8:00pm

Thursday, May 18th, 8:00pm
Friday, May 19th, 8:00pm
Saturday, May 20th, 8:00pm

Thursday, May 25th, 8:00pm
Friday, May 26th, 8:00pm
Saturday, May 27th, 8:00pm

The Speakeasy Society, named Best Emerging Immersive Theater Company of 2015 by LA Weekly, is an LA based immersive entertainment company creating intimate and epic experiences in unexpected places. We collaboratively create 360-degree worlds providing escape through total engagement - crafting a shared experience where audience interaction becomes a vital aspect of the performance.

Matthew Bamberg-Johnson (Artistic Director) earned his B.A. in Theater and Dance from Trinity College in Hartford, CT, and received his MFA in Acting from the California Institute in the arts, where he gained a broad range of experience in Dramatic and Comedic roles for stage and screen. In addition to his work as a co-artistic direct of The Speakeasy Society, Matthew currently teaches acting, voice, and speech for Celerity Educational Group and New York Film Academy.

Genevieve Gearhart (Artistic Director) is an actor, director, dancer and choreographer, Genevieve's work has been seen at the Getty Villa, REDCAT, the Ohio Theater, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Williamstown Theater Festival, and several found spaces in Los Angeles and New York. She serves as Co-Artistic Director for The Speakeasy Society, an immersive entertainment company creating unforgettable work in unexpected places. Genevieve received her MFA in Acting from California Institute for the Arts and her BA in Dance and Theatre from Manhattanville College. 

Julianne Just (Artistic Director) is a Los Angeles based theater/opera director and co-artistic director of The Speakeasy Society. Directing credits include: Ibsen's Little Eyolf, Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba, Purcell's Baroque Semi-Opera Spectacular - The Fairy Queen, various new operas, plays, and unique site-specific events. She has also done concept development for Creative Entertainment at Walt Disney Imagineering and holds an MFA in Directing from the School of Theater at California Institute of the Arts and a BA in Theater & Literature from Sarah Lawrence College. 

Chris Porter (Associate Artistic Director) is a Los Angeles-based writer, sound designer, and award-winning composer of concert works, film, theater, and other performance events (such as an original piece commissioned for the 2010 GLOW Festival performed on the Santa Monica Pier Carousel). Chris earned his MFA in Music Composition from California Institute of the Arts and a BMA in Music Composition from Baldwin-Wallace University.  He is a frequent collaborator and composer for Independent Shakespeare Co. and the Griffith Park Free Shakespeare Festival.

John Henningsen (Producing Director) is a creative producer with over twenty years experience working in non-profit theatre and over a decade as an arts manager. He has worked on stage and off at Chicago Shakespeare, American Theater Company, Next Theater, HERE Arts Center, Circle X Theatre Co., Boston Court and the Getty Villa. John holds a BFA  from Emporia State University, and a MFA in Management and Producing from California Institute of the Arts. He teaches management and technical theater at Windward School and is Production Manager for The Secret City - LA,, and Founder of the Thymele Arts performing arts center in Hollywood. 

Mountain View Mausoleum 
2300 Marengo Ave Altadena, California 91001
Founded in the nineteenth century, Mountain View is one of the few remaining family-operated cemetery/mortuary properties in Southern California.  The Mausoleum was considered the crown jewel of the more than 80 mausoleums constructed by Cecil E. Bryan. Its features extensive stained glass installations created by the Judson Studios of Los Angeles, CA.