STRAYS

We all feel a little lost sometimes.

Written & Performed by Lisa Wharton
Directed by Lisa Nicole Lennox

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STRAYS

We all feel a little lost sometimes.

Written & Performed by Lisa Wharton
Directed by Lisa Nicole Lennox

BUY TICKETS

ABOUT

STRAYS: We all feel a little lost sometimes, is a heartfelt, funny journey of one woman’s experiences in the animal rescue world as she finds the parallels of her own story having been adopted twice. Through the animals, she faces her own fears of abandonment, the guilt of not being able to protect the ones she loves and finds hope, one rescue at a time.

Whitefire Theatre SoloFest 2018

Friday, February 23rd at 8pm

(1 night only)

Whitefire Theatre

WHITEFIRE THEATRE
13500 VENTURA BOULEVARD
SHERMAN OAKS, CA 91423

(valet parking available at Augustine Wine Bar)

BUY TICKETS

Whitefire Theatre

13500 VENTURA BOULEVARD
SHERMAN OAKS, CA 91423

Lisa Wharton

Writer / Performer

Lisa Wharton has held lead and supporting roles in several independent films including Razor’s Ring, The Light, Teachers and Anarchy TV and Clocking the T.

If you look closely, you might recognize her as PetSmart employee in the PetSmart National Adoption Weekend commercial. This fall, she will appear in Criminal Confessions premiering on the Oxygen Network.

Lisa began her acting training in San Francisco with the acclaimed Jean Shelton and then with her son, Christian Phillips at the Actor’s Theatre before moving to Los Angeles in 2007. Lisa was a company member of the Actor’s Theatre in San Francisco for three years. Her favorite theatre roles include Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and Madame X in Strindberg’s The Stronger and Thelma in A Trip to Bountiful where she shared the stage with Jean Shelton.

Lisa is a passionate animal advocate. She started volunteering with animal rescue organizations 10 years ago. While in San Francisco she volunteered with the ASPCA’s Animal Therapy program. Lisa’s magic-wand wish is to end all animal cruelty in the world.

Lisa currently works as an Account Supervisor for an advertising agency. Think “Mad Men” without the day drinking. She lives in Los Angeles with her three rescue animals.

This show is dedicated to the all the resilient beings that have suffered at the hands of cruelty.

Director

Lisa Nicole Lennox is a film and stage director who worked the theatre circuit in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years.  After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as an actor and casting associate but found directing to be her spark and the best way to share her creative voice. She finds the exploration of the human condition to be fascinating and enjoys delving into the many layers of life on film and stage. She teaches acting at The Young Actors Studio in North Hollywood. Lisa graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Theatre.

Lisa N. Lennox
Lisa N. Lennox

Director

Lisa Nicole Lennox is a film and stage director who worked the theatre circuit in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years.  After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as an actor and casting associate but found directing to be her spark and the best way to share her creative voice. She finds the exploration of the human condition to be fascinating and enjoys delving into the many layers of life on film and stage. She teaches acting at The Young Actors Studio in North Hollywood. Lisa graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Theatre.

NEWS

All About the Stage Review

All About the Stage Review

Originally published on AllAbouttheStage.com on 12/02/17.

STRAYS: WE ALL FEEL A LITTLE LOST SOMETIMES

I know I’m crazy!
— Lisa Wharton

Photos by Claudia Garcia

Poor Lisa Wharton. The woman tries her damnedest to save all the furry creatures in the world with bite and attitude, only to find there are more of them to save. Wharton’s problem is that she cares way too much for animals. She hilariously recalled the time she was on the always congested LA freeway one Friday night trying to rescue a dog from being run over by other vehicles. This animal advocate, got out of her car and starts chasing the dog. He went fast, and she went faster. There was a man on the other side trying to save Freeway, the name she christened the scared pup, when she brought him home to meet Wharton’s dog Ladybug, or LB as she is known on the street, and her cat Boo. She didn’t plan on keeping Freeway. She put up notices around the neighborhood and gave social media a try to locate the owners or attract a new owner. That was the plan, however, as Freeway stuck around the weary owner decided to keep him. He really is a cutie! She miraculously manages to care for all three pets in her one-bedroom apartment. Jesus! That’s devotion, ya’ll! I’m just saying.

Wharton’s affection for animals started as a 10-year old girl who owned a lot of stuffed animals. She had a nightly routine where she moved an animal one space over to provide each one the chance to sit elsewhere for the night. Her “treasure grove of stuffed toys” was her salvation. She educates onlookers on the arrival of each toy by retelling their individual story from childhood to the present. Not all of us are blessed with this sacred skill. Her parents divorced and remarried. She inherited a new step-father, Ronald, and a 40-pound Pitbull, Labrador and other mix dog named Luke. He had a face that a mother won’t be able to forget or can’t help but love. It’s so clear that Wharton has a passion for animals and they love her right back. Her show will move the hearts of animal lovers and haters alike. Wharton is one of those people that genuinely has a pure heart for dogs and cats. She almost got killed for saving one on the freeway, for godsakes. That’s showing real love for creatures who are terribly neglected almost dying in the streets when all it would take to save them are medical attention and lots and lots of love and care. They, too, deserve to have a better quality of life. I predict, one day there will be a monument in her honor demonstrating that all humankind needs a furry creature by his/her side. If not, there should be one erected. I’m just saying.

Get to the theater a good 20 to 30 minutes before showtime to hug and pet the cutest puppies and kittens in the world available for adoption on the spot. About 75% of the proceeds go to featured rescues Claudia Garcia’s Rescue (www.facebook.com/Straystheshow-1507352472686781/) and Cats at the Studio Rescue (www.facebook.com/catsatthestudios). If these loveable creatures don’t grab your heart, then you probably don’t have one. Hug a pup and retain your humanity.

Strays: We All Feel a Little Lost Sometimes ends tomorrow Sunday, December 3rd at 3 p.m., playing at the Secret Rose Theatre located at 11246 Magnolia Blvd., in North Hollywood. For ticket information, reserve online at www.strays.brownpapertickets.com

Arts in LA “Strays” Review

Arts in LA “Strays” Review

Originally published on ArtsInLA.com on 11/17/17.

Strays
The Secret Rose
Reviewed by Dink ONeal

Revealing the innermost workings of her heart and the devotion she has for the fostered and adopted animals she has supported over the years, playwright and solo performer Lisa Wharton’s multilayered Strays is lovingly crafted.Wharton, adopted at just 17 days old and then a second time as a youngster by her stepfather, brings a unique perspective to the unspoken fears and trepidation that must inhabit the mind of a homeless animal.

Her childhood seemed quite perfect at times. And yet, unpredictable betrayals by the fathers she assumed were her support system threw her world into utter chaos. It’s a tribute to Wharton’s inner strength and determination that she now leads a life so well-adjusted, positive, and more than obviously successful.Even more admirable is her ability to transfer that strength into a mission through which she lifts up the lowliest of creatures. As Wharton details her various experiences with rescue animals, she treats her audience to the humor, the frustrations, and even the pathos that comes along with committing one’s time, talent, and treasures to such an undertaking.

Through her various characterizations and with the assistance of photos and videos clips projected on an upstage wall unit, Wharton ingeniously introduces us to her “family.” There’s a darling tabby-marked feline named Boo and a Benji-like dog named LadyBug. Via some pretty funny anecdotes, we learn that these two are presumably in complete control of the Wharton household. And then, one day, along comes “Freeway.” Probably won’t take anyone long to figure out how and from where this little guy came into the picture.
Wharton also regales the fostering of a larger, multibreed dog named Luke she rescued from certain death and nursed back to health and for whom she was able to eventually secure a loving home with a well-vetted family. Here is where we are invited by Wharton to dig deeply into what it takes to raise, nurture, and finally set free another being. It speaks volumes as she parallels it with having finally had the opportunity to meet her own birth mother.

Director Lisa Nicole Lennox clearly has a personal stake in developing her excellent connection with Wharton and her material. Lennox’s set design consists of a number of moveable pylons, which Wharton makes good use of in revealing hidden treasures and creating various locales. Likewise, Donna Willett’s lighting creates a number of uniquely separate playing spaces in this intimate venue.

And finally, lest one think that this production is presented only for the purpose of advancing Wharton’s message, it is noteworthy to add that the benefits will quite literally live on. Wharton, Lennox, and all associated have created this piece as a commendable effort to raise funds and are donating 75 percent of all ticket sales to be distributed to two different animal rescue organizations. What they offer is a touching piece worth seeing and a worthy cause that touches others.
November 17, 2017

Oct 29–Dec. 3. 11264 Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood. Sun 3pm. Running time 1 hour. $28.

Tickets

Map

Harold Held’s “SceneAroundTown” Review

Harold Held’s “SceneAroundTown” Review

Originally published on Harold Held’s “SceneAroundTown” on 11/18/17.

“Speaking of animals STRAYS continues its fun run at Noho’s Rose Theatre written and starring Lisa Wharton and directed by Lisa Nicole Lennox… These animal loving ladies have combined their talents to present a puppy lover’s treasure & a well written heartwarming tale about warm loving creatures with happy wagging talis. STRAYS is funny poignant & insightful &… woof woof a real winner… ”

“Strays” featured in Broadway World

“Strays” featured in Broadway World

Originally published on Broadway World on 10/12/17.

STRAYS: We All Feel A Little Lost Sometimes, is a warm, funny journey through one woman’s experiences in the animal rescue world as she finds parallels of her own story. Twice adopted, Lisa Wharton faces her own fears of abandonment and the guilt of not being able to protect the ones she loves and finds hope, one rescue at a time.

Tickets are $28 and available at Brown Paper Tickets: http://strays.brownpapertickets.com

75% of all ticket sales will be distributed among three different animal rescue organizations. The hour-long performances are at 3 PMevery Sunday, October 29 through Sunday, December 3rd. at The Secret Rose (11264 Magnolia Blvd. North Hollywood, 91601).

Lisa Wharton has held lead and supporting roles in several independent films including Razor’s

Ring, The Light, Teachers and Anarchy TV and Clocking the T. If you look closely, you might recognize her as PetSmart employee in the PetSmart National Adoption Weekend commercial. This fall, she will appear in Criminal Confessions premiering on the Oxygen Network. She began her acting training in San Francisco with the acclaimed Jean Shelton and then with her son, Christian Phillips at the Actor’s Theatre before moving to Los Angeles in 2007. Lisa was a company member of the Actor’s Theatre in San Francisco for three years. Her favorite theatre roles include Honey in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Madame X in Strindberg’s The Stronger and Thelma in A Trip to Bountiful where she shared the stage with Jean Shelton. Lisa is a passionate animal advocate. She started volunteering with animal rescue organizations over 10 years ago. While in San Francisco she volunteered with the ASPCA’s Animal Therapy program and continues to advocate, foster, volunteer as much as she can in her spare time.

Director, Lisa Nicole Lennox is a film and stage director who worked the theatre circuit in the San Francisco Bay Area for eight years. After moving to Los Angeles, she worked as an actor and casting associate but found directing to be her spark and the best way to share her creative voice. She finds the exploration of the human condition to be fascinating and enjoys delving into the many layers of life on film and stage. She teaches acting at The Young Actors Studio in North Hollywood. Lisa graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Theatre.

Straystheshow.com – https://twitter.com/lisaawharton – https://www.instagram.com/lisaawharton/

This show is dedicated to the all the resilient beings that have suffered at the hands of cruelty. And, to the tireless animal rescue volunteers that help make the world a more compassionate place, one rescue at a time.