Author Archives: Administrator

A few last memories…

Kate Danley here!  When the curtain comes down on a show, there is still plenty of work to be done.  I thought I’d take you behind the scenes during strike for some of the inside jokes and hidden treasures of this Building Madness world.  Click on any of the pictures to view them larger!


We ended up renting many of the furniture and props from a place called the LA Stage Warehouse.  It is a special co-op where theaters pay a monthly fee and can both store their costumes, props, furniture, and set pieces and, for that same monthly fee, you can borrow all the costumes, props, furniture, and set pieces your little heart desires.

One item we borrowed was this Remington typewriter.  Isn’t she a beauty?


Trixie has a joke about the keys sticking, but 9 times out of 10, the keys actually were.

I also just loved this phone.


There is a way you can rig these old phones to actually still ring, but I’m afraid the cord on this one was just too cracked and old.  It was tucked into a drawer in the hopes the audience wouldn’t notice it wasn’t connected to anything.


Don’t you just love that hall tree?!  Originally, we were just going to track down a hatstand, but the Warehouse was plumb out.  Overnight, this piece came in and it was more perfect than we could have hoped for.  Not only able to hold hats, it was just the right size for that old radio from the GTC’s own collection.  One of my life goals is to have a hall tree just like this one!


Ah!  Trixie’s mug!  It was purchased for only $1 at the 99-Cent Store in Burbank.  Originally, it was just supposed to be a stand-in prop for rehearsals, but it ended up making its debut in the show and sticking around.


Vito is supposed to hand Trixie a list of supplies to buy.  During rehearsals, Matt Jayson would hand me random shopping lists he had concocted:  dog food… cheese… dumpsters…


The box under Trixie’s desk.


This is the check that Gwen uses to save the day.  Kevin hunted down old check images and printed out two.  It was always a challenge before each show to figure out where “Trixie” had filed it the night before.


Every night, one of the characters gets tangled up in string.  We were stuck with mountains of twine and it felt bad to just chuck it.  So, we decided that Trixie had a thing for orphaned, unwanted string and would find little places all over the set to create string nests.


This is the gargoyle blueprint Max presents to Gwen (created by Kevin Cochran.)  It made us giggle.  We’ve decided in future productions to make it one big gargoyle that looks suspiciously like Gwen’s father…


This is my grandfather’s briefcase.  After his death, it needed a home and this show ended up being the perfect place!  I loved having a little bit of him around.


This is the pass thru we’d have to squeeze behind to get from one side of the stage to the other.  There is a clean line across the back wall at just chest height from the nights I accidentally wore my push-up bra.

So, there’s a rather vital moment when Vito’s briefcase is needed onstage.  After two shows where I completely space cadetted and the cast found themselves onstage scrambling, I left myself this note:



Kevin went to great lengths to print out designs that TF Acrhitects had built.  This is Paul’s design for the retirement home… sans Max’s gargoyles…


Kevin built this drafting table from scratch.  I went and saw another show set in the same era and I gotta say, he got it spot on…


For on $20 on Amazon, this little beauty can be yours!  (You have NO IDEA how hard it is to find affordable roulette wheels…)  It spins like a dream, though.  Colin started a game where he would start it spinning before a scene and see if it was still going by the time the next scene rolled around.  So to speak.


Coins are this show’s glitter.  Max throws coins in the general direction of the desk.  Just when you think you’ve found them all… you discover you haven’t…  There are a few that have already been painted into the floor.


There was a prop left behind by another show and our lighting/sound designer would move him around the theater to see how long it would take for someone to notice.


Trixie’s engagement ring!  Handmade of 100% paperclips by Colin Simon and Kevin Cochran!


We gathered up all of the papers left scattered around the set and this is what they added up to.  Strangely, it isn’t too much bigger than the stack of filing I had back at my day job…


To try and make me giggle, Colin made up all of the fake project names on the center files and handed them to Trixie one night.  I followed up with all of the fake project names on the left.  Because I’m a lady.


David Darwin really is a lighting god.  He went out and found these practical overhead lights to hang from the “office ceiling” (please note: there are no ceilings in theater) to give the stage the feeling that we really were in an office.


This is our 100%, totally authentic, 1920s Dictaphone found in a barn.


This is the crash pad that Matt would fall onto each night.  It originally was our director’s bed… and then our producer’s bed…  I have no idea where either of them have been sleeping for the past six weeks…

And then the truck arrived and official load-out began.


Oh dear…


Goodbye, furniture!  And props!  And costumes!


And with that, the walls began to come down.  Before we left, the new group had started setting up for the next production and the epoch of Building Madness had come to an end.


Thank you for being along for this journey!

GTC Burbank January – February 2016


Building Madness

Directed by Kevin Cochran

A Special Presentation of the
GTC New Play Initiative

January 21-February 14, 2016

Fri. & Sat. at 8:00 p.m.

Sun. at 3:00 p.m.

The Grove Theater Center
1111-b West Olive Ave
Burbank, CA 91506


Follow the event on Facebook


DSC_0769-webAlexandra Wright (Gwen Gladwell) – Alexandra is thrilled to make her debut at GTC. Favorite roles include: Bec in 4000 Miles (LA premiere at Sierra Madre Playhouse), Kali in The Avenue of Saints (Skylight), Helena and Hippolyta in A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Igraine/Edmund in Lear (Theatricum Botanicum), Rosalind in As You Like It (ART). Favorite TV credits:Gilded LilysTrendingGreek. Film credits: AbducteeCaptiveValentine’s Day. Acting has given her the opportunity to work with Neil Gaiman, Scott Zigler, and Neil Patrick Harris, as well as work in London, Paris, and Moscow. She holds a BA from the University of Southern California (Best Actress award), and an MFA from the Moscow Art Theater/Harvard University.

ColinColin Simon (Max Marshall) – Southern California native and a member of the Actors’ Equity Association, Colin is a founding member of Savage Players. His theatrical credits include Merlin (King Arthur), Measure for Measure (Claudio), and Richard III (Catesby) at Theatricum Botanicum (Topanga, CA); American Drag (James) and A Streetcar Named Desire (Pablo) at Ion Theatre (San Diego, CA). He also had the pleasure of understudying 33 Variations, directed by Moisès Kaufman, at the La Jolla Playhouse. Colin earned his MFA in Acting from UCLA and his BFA in Acting from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Sean Faye headshotSean Faye (Paul Fielding) – Sean is incredibly proud to make his debut at the Grove Center Theater!  Sean was most recently seen in the remounted and extended version of the 2015 Hollywood Fringe Festival hit, “Breaking Bard” with the Porters of Hellsgate.  Some favorite roles include Crumpet in “The Santaland Diaries,” The Vice President in “The Apollo of Bellac,” and Touchstone in “As You Like It.”  Sean is a Producer and Resident Artist with The Porters of Hellsgate and an Associate Member of Sacred Fools.   

Sarah Lilly bbSarah Lilly (Ruby Deleoni) – graduated from Northwestern, UCLA and the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.  Most recently onstage she was the Spider Queen in SPIDERPOCALYPSE at the Fringe, Charlie Gordon’s Mother in FLOWERS FOR ALGERNON at Deaf West and at Theatre of NOTE, Tamora in TITUS ANDRONICUS.  Big screen stuff includes NEGATIVE PROOF, VALENTINE’S DAY, FAILURE TO LAUNCH as well as small screen GREY’S ANATOMY, RAY DONOVAN and THE RELUCTANT NANNY.  Check her out in the cult faves – AMAZON WOMEN ON THE MOON and THE MANGLER REBORN.  Represented by Angel City Talent and Melanie Sharp Mgt. She also shows up on IMDB and Facebook.

katedanleyKate Danley (Trixie Taylor) – GTC credits include A Christmas Carol, The Adding Machine, and the Ovation winning Blake… da Musical!  She portrayed Dr. Livingstone in the ACT Award winning production of Agnes of God at Dominion Stage.  She was named a Maryland Distinguished Scholar in the Arts.  TV credits:  Parks & Recreation, America’s Most Wanted, and Homicide: Life on the Street.  She performed improv for many years at the Acme Comedy Theatre as part of their main company. She performed her original stand-up at such clubs as The Comedy Store and The Icehouse and wrote sketch for a weekly show in Hollywood. She trained in puppetry with Mr. Snuffleupagus and played the head of a 20-foot dinosaur on an NBC pilot. She has over 300+ film, theatre, and television credits to her name. She lost on Hollywood Squares.

Matt Jayson _PS Headshot-2Matt Jayson (Vito Deleoni) – In New York, he received the Jean Dalrymple award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Edward De Vere in Shakespeare Undiscovered with the American Theater of Actors. In Los Angeles he played Garcin in No Exit at The Odyssey and Mordechai Anielewicz in a staged reading of For Honor, a new play at the Zephyr Theater about some of the heroes who helped save lives during the Holocaust. Films: Dysfunction and The Perfect 46. TV: The Fosters, CSI Miami, Chuck and Sex and the City. Soaps: The Young and The Restless, The Bold and The Beautiful, Days of Our Lives, All My Children, The Guiding Light, One Life to Live and As the World Turns. He has voiced multiple characters in the video game franchise: The Elder Scrolls Online. He can also be heard in the new documentary Remember The Sultana starring Sean Astin. Originally from New York, he now lives in Silverlake.

Kevin Cochran (Artistic Director/director) co-founded Grove Theater Center in 1994.  Plays he has directed at GTC include Blake… da Musical (Ovation Award for Best New Musical, Ovation and LA Weekly nominations for Best Director); Film Chinois (Ovation Award for Best New Play, selected for the TRU Voices series in NYC and published by Samuel French); R.R.R.E.D. (LA Weekly Nomination for Best Director); The Adding Machine (OC Weekly Award for Best Production); Straight Up with a Twist (Ovation nomination for Best Production) and The Beckett Project II (OC Weekly nomination for Best Director).  Kevin wrote and directed Bobby & Matt (Pick of the Week in Backstage NY) and A Christmas Carol (Ovation Recommended.  He directed the Off Broadway premiere of Eternal Equinox by Joyce Sachs at the 59E59 Theaters (the play was presented at GTC Burbank in 2010) and the Ovation Recommended Premiere of Henry Ong’s Sweet Karma.  Kevin graduated as a Scholar of the House in theater, design, and circus arts from Yale University.  He also serves as Producing Director for The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY and as the Producing Artistic Director for the Moss Hart & Kitty Carlisle Hart New Play Initiative.

David Darwin (lighting & sound design) has been active within the field of entertainment lighting for over 30 years.  He has designed for such organizations as Grove Theater Center, Grove Shakespeare, Shakespeare Orange County, A Noise Within, Western Maryland College, and Chapman University.  Event design work includes the Volvo World Cup Dressage and benefits for Santa Monica’s Crossroads School for Arts and Sciences.  David has received multiple Dramalogue awards for scenic and lighting design and recently an Ovation Award nomination lighting GTC’s A Christmas Carol.  In addition to theater, David has been involved in television and film productions such as HBO’s Six Feet Under, ABC’s Nashville, and Paramount’s Freedom Writers.  David is a proud member of IATSE Local 728, Studio Electrical Lighting Technicians, Los Angeles.

Charles L. Johanson (Executive Director) started his theatrical career working for Theatrical Consultants, ltd. in NYC as a casting director for regional theaters.  In 1984, he was hired by the Ensemble Theatre Company (ETC) of New Haven, Connecticut (where he first met Kevin Cochran).  At ETC, Charles produced four seasons of theater (over 21 productions).  In 1991, Charles joined the staff of Grove Shakespeare where he served as General Manager under three different artistic directors.  He co-founded Grove Theater Center with Kevin Cochran in 1994.  As an independent producer/promoter, Charles has produced productions at the Los Angeles Theater Center (world premiere of Pigs on Passion and Charles Bukowski’s Short Hairs and Long Shots), Moon over Madness for the Los Angeles Physical Theater Company at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, and concerts at UCLA’s Royce Hall, The Wiltern, Bridges Hall in Claremont, The Alex Theater, OC’s Irvine Barclay Theater, and NYC’s Carnegie Hall.

‘Building Madness’ builds laughter at Grove Theater Center in Burbank


“If you love those great old screwball comedies from Hollywood’s Golden Era of the 1930s, you will love Building Madness…Featuring a picture perfect cast performing in the sophisticated style and rapid-fire word play of those classic films and seeing it all done live is a treat…Everyone gets their share of clever lines and physical comedy. The ensemble plays together like the pros they are.”

Check out the rest of John K. Adams’s fantastic review.


“Max and Paul are just trying to keep their architecture company afloat, but they accidentally hired the mob to build a police retirement home.  They may never get the project done in this screwball comedy, but they are most definitely building madness.”

Love the script and wish you could relive the play OVER AND OVER AGAIN?  Well, my friends, you can!

Kate Danley (1)


Building Madness - eBook small


Apple Books



Google Play

Other Vendors

Want a test drive?  Click here to read Act I, scene i.

Please note that this is the reading edition.  For theaters interested in potentially licensing Building Madness for production, please contact Kate Danley at for a review copy.

Also available to read on the New Play Exchange.