THEATRE VALENTINE is the alias for the collaborative theatre work of actress Lorraine Olsen and director Val Hendrickson.
The two met in Monterey, California where he, a transplanted New Yorker, was hired to direct Rafael Lima's EL SALVADOR for The GroveMont Playhouse (now Pacific Reperatory Company) and she, a native Californian, served as stage manager. Subsequently they cut a torrid path through Central Coast theatre when he cast her in Sam Shepard's FOOL FOR LOVE (Netless Theatre, Santa Cruz) and John Patrick Shanley's SAVAGE IN LIMBO (Big Sur Players).
Relocating to San Francisco, their first THEATRE VALENTINE show was the West Coast premiere of Shanley's THE BIG FUNK which enjoyed a sustained run at SOMA's Above Brainwash Theatre. This was followed with the long running THEATRE VALENTINE'S CAFÈ PLAYS, a site specific presentation at Mr. Ralph's Café that spawned two annual sequels at Exit Theatre and were compendium evenings of one act plays with café settings by Shanley, David Ives, William Saroyan, Jane Martin, Edward Allan Baker, Joe Pintauro, Carson McCullers, Howard Korder, Luigi Pirandello, and Eugene Ionesco.
Their commitment to presenting well made plays by contemporary playwrights continued with productions of Korder's THE POPES NOSE, Lee Blessing's ELEEMOSYNARY, Kate Long's ARIEL BRIGHT, Harry Kondoleon's SAVED OR DESTROYED and Cindy Lou Johnson's THE PERSON I ONCE WAS (which was honored with a Best of The SF Fringe Festival Award). Their bawdy adaptation of the Bard's All's Well That Ends Well -- SEX-CLUB SHAKESPEARE -- enjoyed a riotous reception when performed on stage (and atop pool tables) at Killowatt, a Mission District saloon, and in its transfer to a co-production at Theatre Rhinoceros. In association with Calvary Presbyterian Church they staged William Saroyan's MY HEARTS IN THE HIGHLANDS as a benefit for The San Francisco Food Bank and Romulus Linney's great anti-war drama LOVE SUICIDE AT SCHOFIELD BARRACKS as a response to the outbreak of the Iraq war.
Additonally, Theatre Valentine contributed production services to Signal Theatre's presentation of Marlene Meyer's ETTA JENKS and 3rd Set's version of Sam Shepard's SUICIDE IN B FLAT (featuring an all star jazz band of Dred Scott, Kenny Brooks, Marcus Shelby, Josh Jones and Scheherazade Stone).
Olsen and Hendrickson returned to Monterey, acting opposite each other in a Theatre Valentine co-production with Monterey Peninsula College of Shanley's MISSING/KISSING, under the direction of Mark Jackson.
Lorraine Olsen's other acting credits include ABRAHAM LINCOLN'S BIG GAY DANCE PARTY at the New York International Fringe Festival -- originally an SF Playhouse production, for whom she also appeared in RECKLESS, CORONADO, and THE MYSTERY PLAYS. She understudied The Stage Manager in OUR TOWN and multiple roles in THE PEOPLE'S TEMPLE for Berkeley Rep and performed in THE KENTUCKY CYCLE, DEARLY BELOVED, LOST IN YONKERS, AUNTIE MAME, and FUNNY GIRL at The Willows Theatre. Other Bay Area credits: STATEMENTS AFTER AN ARREST UNDER THE IMMORALITY ACT for Eastenders, TOMORROWLAND and ACTS OF PROVIDENCE for Signal Theatre, as well as working at Post Street Theatre, Campo Santo, Art Street Theatre, Magic Theatre, and Theatre Rhinoceros. She co-founded Pacific Playback Theatre for whom she toured nationally, performing for such companies as Microsoft, Lucent Technologies, Fast Company Magazine, and Rosetta Net. In Monterey, she acted in BEYOND THERAPY, COME BACK TO THE 5 AND DIME JIMMY DEAN JIMMY DEAN, THE MAJESTIC KID, MUSEUM and OH COWARD! She has trained in Psychodrama Improv Techniques with Dr. Vic Lovell, Shakespeare with Kay Kostopolous, Voice with Pat Wynne, Auditioning with Meryl Shaw, and with Anne Bogart's Viewpoints/SITI.
Val Hendrickson's other Bay Area directing credits include a collaboration with composer Marcus Shelby for Howard Korder's THE LIGHTS, a co-production of Intersection For The Arts/ ODC; the world premiere of Denis Johnson's HELLHOUND ON MY TRAIL for Campo Santo (Dean Goodman Award: Outstanding Direction); THE YEARS, ACTS OF PROVIDENCE, and SHYLOCK ON VALENCIA STREET (“One of the Year's 10 Best” --SF Weekly) for Signal Theatre; KING LEAR, 450 Geary Studio, LA TURISTA, Exit Absurdist Series; LITTLE MURDERS, City Lights Theatre; A FAIR COUNRTY, Inquiline Theatre, ITALIAN AMERICAN RECONCILIATION, Dean Lesher Center; and OF MICE AND MEN, Netless/UC Santa Cruz. In New York City, he founded The Floating Rep (Villager Downtown Theatre Awards for Outstanding New Company and Direction) for whom he staged plays by Shepard, Strindberg, Beckett, Mamet, Horovitz, Abbott and Holm, Hauptman, and the first plays by Howard Korder -- NIGHT MANEUVER and PLAGUE (the genesis of BOYS LIFE). Other New York credits include WONDERFUL PARTY! for Manhattan Punchline and his adaptation of Ian McEwan's CONVERSATION WITH A CUPBOARD MAN at The Ohio Theatre (which was also produced by the SF Theatre Project at Climate Theatre in San Francisco.) He has written a contemporary stage adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson's THE SILVERADO SQUATTERS and will soon begin shopping it around.
NewK (aka John Newcott) was an original member of Val Hendrickson's Floating Rep in NYC, collaborating with him as both an actor (HEAT & HELD HOSTAGE) and as a musician/co sound-designer (SAVAGE/LOVE, THE ENCHANTED, THE APOLLO OF BELLAC). NewK has also been involved in theatrical presentations in NYC as producer/director/actor/musician, at venues including: the Gene Frankel Theatre; 18th Street Playhouse; Dixon Place. His musical endeavors have spanned multiple genres, from rock to folk, "free" jazz to funk & fusion. NewK has Co-Produced the last 3 recordings by jazz pianist/composer Michael Wolff, and his previous production work includes projects with saxophonist/composer Jane Ira Bloom, and the Wolff/Clark Expedition. His own recorded output includes 2 CDs with the duo Gruft & NewK, and 3 CDs (to date) under his own name. NewK continues to compose music both in song form (music & lyrics) and instrumental works. He has also written music specifically for the theater, and a few of his original compositions can be heard this evening. For more information, please visit: www.newkisms.com .