'Talking Art' With Philip Jayson Lasker And Philip William McKinley

Aug 2, 2018

Beginner’s Luck, a play written by Emmy Award-nominated Philip Jayson Lasker, will premiere Friday, Aug. 3, 2018, at the Brunner Theatre Center on the Augustana College campus.

Performed by the Mississippi Bend Players (MBP), the comedy portrays Harold, a young man in his 20s, who is dealing with the loss of fame following his childhood acting career. His life has careened off course, and he copes with this through a series of hilarious conversations with his alternate self, Harry. The two selves are played by real-life brothers Keenan and Tristan Odenkirk.

Listen to our conversation here with the playwright, as well as with the play's director, Phillip William McKinley, who is the Executive Artistic Director of the MBP. We discuss their careers in the artistic worlds of writing, directing, theatre, film, and television.

Lasker is a co-producer of The Golden Girls who has had an extensive career in television, film, and now theater. Among other projects, he wrote for the television series Barney Miller, and wrote the screenplay for the 2001 film The Man from Elysian Fields, and his latest screenplay entitled The Man Who Saved Paris, which will star Stanley Tucci and Kristin Scott Thomas. Filming is set to begin this fall.

Performances will be Friday, Aug. 3 and Saturday, Aug. 4 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Aug. 5 at 2:00 p.m. Directly after the Friday and Saturday performances, a "talk-back" session will be held with Lasker and McKinley.

The play will also be performed the following weekend, Friday, Aug. 10 and Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Aug. 12 at 2:00 p.m., with "Show after the Show" performances following the Friday and Saturday night productions to showcase the talents of the MBP cast.

Tickets can be purchased online, in person at the Brunner Theatre Center, or by calling (309) 794-7306.