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Eye on Entertainment Covers Nightsong for the Boatman at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA

“Nightsong for the Boatman” is Written by Jovanka Bach, Produced and Directed by John Stark and Runs from November 19 through December 20, 2010

Los Angeles, CA, November 12, 2010 --( Dawna Lee Heising of Eye on Entertainment interviewed John DiFusco and John Stark of “Nightsong for the Boatman”, a guest production which will open on Friday, November 19, 2010 at 8:00PM at Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd, Los Angeles, CA. “Nightsong for the Boatman” was written by Jovanka Bach and is being produced and directed by John Stark. The show runs from November 19 through December 20, 2010 from Thursday through Sunday. The show will then move to New York in January 2011.

John Stark, the producer and director of “Nightsong for the Boatman”, was married to playwright Jovanka Back for 28 years. Bach was also a physician whose stream of dramas included a trilogy spanning a half-century of turmoil in her family's ancestral homeland of Montenegro. Bach had balanced her two callings for more than 30 years. She emerged as a playwright in 1974, when her first script, ''The Matter of the Heart," about heart surgeons, was a semifinalist for a slot at the prestigious National Playwrights Conference, an annual new-play workshop held at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn.

Stark is an actor, writer, producer and director. His first major success was An Evening with Stephen Leacock, a one-man-show which he performed in Canada, the U.S. and England. RCA recorded the performance at the National Arts Center in Ottawa, and later it was produced as a television special and aired on CBC, Channel 4 London, and other major international networks. It is currently airing on PBS.

As a director, Stark has staged over 40 productions internationally. His most recent play was the off-Broadway staging of Chekhov & Maria, by Jovanka Bach, which is now a major motion picture, directed by Eric Till. The production was a memorial tribute to his wife, Jovanka, who died in 2006 after a lengthy battle with cancer. It is currently airing on Super Channel Canada and coming up soon on BBC TV and PBS. Other successfully staged plays by Jovanka Bach include Sylvie, Mercy Warren’s Tea and the Balkan Trilogy, which garnered positive reviews in the New York Times. As a writer, Mr. Stark’s translation and adaptation of Miroslav Krleza’s Family Glembay trilogy, is the first English version of this acclaimed Croation playwright and novelist’s work. In Agony and Family Glembay have been staged by Stark off-Broadway, in Canada, and Los Angeles. He has also adapted Leacock’s story The Great Election, and staged it as a musical in Los Angeles. Two screenplays, Sons of Freedom and Death of Angelique Vity, have also been recently completed, and they will go into production shortly.

DiFusco returns to the Odyssey stage and Jovanka Bach’s work. He began his professional career at The Odyssey in the 1970’s, acting in several productions, including “Peer Gynt,” ”‘The Kid,” “The Caucasian Chalk Circle,” “The Balcony,” and “Mother Courage”. He created and directed the landmark Vietnam play “Tracers,” which had its world premiere at OTE. He directed the New York Premiere of Tracers at The Public theatre where it was published as one of “The Ten Best of 85/86.” Through most of the 80’s he toured with “Tracers”, both nationally and internationally. “Tracers” continues to be produced around the country and in Los Angeles, most recently at Loft Ensemble.

In the 90’s he directed several plays locally , including “Hair,” “White People,” “Avenue X,” “Joan and the Zulus,” “Will Strip for Food,” “Ali,” and ”Rounds.” In addition he appeared in all three plays of Jovanka Bach’s “Balkan Trilogy.” The 2000’s have included appearing in Murray Mednick’s “Charles Story” as well as numerous solo performances at such events as “Rand and Rave,” “La Lupa Fest,” “Waiting for Jack,” and “Library Girl.” In 07 he performed his autobiographical piece, “Walk’n thru the Fire” at The Hayworth Theatre. The play made LA Weekly’s Ten Best of the Year list. In 09 he was invited to be a “Featured Artist” at The Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Valdez Alaska. This year began with directing Will Manus’ “Just A Song at Twilight” at The Writeact Repertory. John is a member of The Actors Studio Playwright & Directors Unit, The LA Writers Center and Rogue Machine Theatre Company. He has received The NY Drama Desk Award, The LADCC Award, LA Weekly, NAACP Theatre, Drama-Logue, and Valley Theatre League Awards. He also received the USAF Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service in Vietnam. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows. Go to for a full biography.

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About the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble
The Odyssey Theatre Ensemble's mission remains firm: the creation of new work, the revitalization and re-exploration of classical material, consistent experimentation with the most current developments at the forefront of the "state of the art" in the international theatre world, ongoing investigation of the "process" of creating theatre, and continuing development of new acting, directing, and writing talent via the Actor's Laboratory, Play Development Program, and Emerging Directors Plan. Ultimately, the institution moves toward the creation of a larger International Experimental Theatre Center, facilitating the cross-pollination of artists from different countries, cultures and disciplines, and the exposure of this collaborative work to the Southern California audience.

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Eye on Entertainment
Dawna Lee Heising

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