Making Friends by Tom DeTrinis

Don’t touch the merchandise! A new, “gaytastic” comic solo play, written and performed by self-confessed rage-aholic Tom DeTrinis, will be filmed live at L.A.’s Pico Playhouse for digital release by IAMA Theatre Company. Directed by Drew Droege, Making Friends will be available for viewing beginning Dec. 17 and continue streaming through Jan. 11, 2021. Tickets, which start at $15, will be sold in weekly blocks and include access to a variety of supporting live events. For more information on ticketing and streaming, go to www.iamatheatre.com.  

 

Tom DeTrinis is a quick-witted, angry actor/writer/director/producer who just wants to be your friend. Growing up, he was an overly-sensitive child whose large, Long Island, NY family — five siblings, 15 aunts and uncles, and over 30 first cousins! — would have preferred he keep his emotions on a leash. “Everyone thought they knew how to raise me better than my mom and dad,” he says. “I think it was all the mixed messages I was getting that triggered my anger while I was still very young.”

 

And boy, did he get angry. Making Friends offers up a non-stop, hilarious litany of grievances, unmasking DeTrinis’s singular views on everything from cheese (“vile f***ing spoiled milk!”) to New York City (“its clutches grab you from the moment you enter until it squeezes the very last ounce of joy out of you right before you shrivel and die slash leave out of JFK/Newark or GOD FORBID LAGUARDIA?!?!?!”).

 

“But seriously,” he says, “I think it’s important to talk about anger. Especially coming off of this presidency. We are all so angry, and we need to start recovering. For me, this show is about healing.”

 

Making Friends is the first in IAMA Theatre Company’s 2020-21 season of new solo work, a season that looks toward the future by elevating voices that promote change in our world. IAMA hopes to illuminate that path by supporting diverse voices that break down the walls of isolation and encourage connection and community.

 

According to IAMA co-artistic directors Stefanie Black and Katie Lowes, “There is no better voice to lead the charge this season than Tom's. Get ready, L.A. and beyond!”

 

DeTrinis is no stranger to the stage, either on or off. From producing, directing and performing in theater to working in television, film and on the web, he has enjoyed being stupid and making others laugh at his own expense. Favorite theater credits include Found (IAMA), Die, Mommie, Die! (CTG/Celebration), The SantaLand Diaries (Virginia Stage Company 2018, 2019) and 30 Minute Musicals (All 16+ of them). You’ve seen him on TV in 90210, Switched at Birth, Greek and Community; on the big screen in Squirrel (New Hampshire Film Festival Best Narrative Feature), 12 Hour Shift, Wedding Dance and Adjust-a-Dream; and on the Web in Finding the Asshole Series (co-creator/producer/actor – Official Selection of Slamdance 2019), Edgar Allen Poe's Murder Mystery Party and Fig and Ford.

The creative team for Making Friends includes Crazy Ex-Girlfriend choreographer Kathryn Burns, lighting designer Donny Jackson and stage manager Estey DeMerchant. Donna Simone Johnson and Melissa Stephens co-produce for IAMA Theatre Company.

 

Tickets to Making Friends start at $15. For more information on ticketing, streaming and satellite events, go to www.iamatheatre.com.

About Tom DeTrinis (Writer/Creator/Star) 

Originally from Long Island, Tom came to Los Angeles by way of Buffalo - where he received his BFA in Music Theatre from University at Buffalo. He has been performing on the stage since he was 8 and has been involved in many productions as producer, director and actor, including Found, the Musical, Die, Mommie, Die!, The SantaLand Diaries, 30 Minute Musicals. On screen he can be seen in many titles including 90210, Community, Finding the Asshole Series (Slamdance 2019), and many more. He directed Tom Lenk in Tilda Swinton Answers an Ad on Craigslist (LA, NYC, San Fran, Scotland, London); Ravenswood Manor by Justin Sayre (LA), Happy Birthday Doug by Drew Droege (LA, NYC) and The Midnight Movie Collective with Justin Sayre (online). 

 

About Drew Droege (Director) has directed and taught at The Groundlings since 2006. He’s also directed plays, sketch and solo shows at Upright Citizens Brigade, Comedy Central Stage, and Casita del Campo. He’s written and performed several solo shows Off-Broadway, including his most recent, HAPPY BIRTHDAY DOUG, directed by Tom DeTrinis. 

 

About Donna Simone Johnson (Co-Producer) is a Black, queer artist (and Mama) who celebrates, liberates, and disrupts as a form of activism. She serves on the Ovation Rules Committee, on the IDEA committee for LA Stage Alliance, on CTG's EDI Advisory Board, and is on the Artistic Board of Watts Village Theatre Company and Los Angeles Poverty Department.  Currently, Donna is working with nonprofit HowlRound to craft curriculum towards a revised theater canon with attention to BIPOC and LGBTQ+ stories that seek to revitalize and redefine what constitutes American storytelling in (what she hopes is) a brave new world. 

 

Melissa Stephens (Co-Producer) is a comedian, writer, and director from the Peach State. Melissa is a founding member of IAMA Theatre Company, has been a member of Groundlings’ Sunday Company, and regularly performs stand-up around Los Angeles. She has written, and will be performing her one-hour special, “Some Assembly Required”, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2020. Her directorial debut, Peen, was a Vimeo Staff Pick, and the short series she has written and directed, Finding The Asshole, was chosen to show at Slamdance and is currently in development with Leslye Headland (Russian Doll) producing. Melissa is a writer for the AMC series For Life, which comes out in 2020 and is excited to direct her first feature this year, along with all of her other irons in the fire. 

 

About Kathryn Burns (Choreographer) aka Kat Burns, is a two-time Emmy winning choreographer for her work on Crazy Ex-Girlfriend.  She has choreographed over 150 episodes of TV including Key & Peele, Why Women Kill, The Morning Show, Drunk History, James Corden, Bill Nye Saves The World, Two Broke Girls, The Other Two, Better Things, Teachers, Comedy Bang! Bang!, Children’s Hospital, Another Period, Garfunkel & Oates, Stuck In The Middle, and Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp to name a few. (Choreographer)

 

About IAMA Theatre Company:

Designated by Playbill as “one of 20 regional houses every theater lover must know,” IAMA is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to invigorating live performance for a streaming generation. Through cutting-edge, cool and hyper-modern stories, IAMA is invested in the immediacy of production and strives to bring audiences out of their personal space and into a shared experience. The Ovation award-winning company has seen many plays generated at IAMA travel to off-Broadway, Second Stage and the Roundabout Underground, then go on to be performed regionally and internationally. Recent productions include West Coast premieres of A Kid Like Jake by Daniel Pearle and Found, a new musical based on the Found books and magazines by Davy Rothbart, featuring a book by Hunter Bell and Lee Overtree and music and original lyrics by Eli Bolin. IAMA members have been featured in numerous critically acclaimed TV shows and films as well as in a vast array of theater and live performances all over the country, including off-Broadway and Broadway. IAMA has been dedicated to developing plays and musicals by new, emerging and established playwrights since 2007.

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