[image-1] It was the first play I reviewed for City Paper, so maybe I’m biased, but The Transcendents, a heady show about a drifter showing up in L.A. searching for a band (The Transcendents, no less), is something you see that you don’t forget. The play was commissioned by Village Repertory Company from lauded New York playwright (and founder of NYC’s theater company The Amoralists), Derek Ahonen, who developed a strong working relationship with Village Rep artistic director Keely Enright and the rest of the theater company team after the company staged his play, Happy In the Poor House.
Ahonen served as an almost-playwright-in-residence while he wrote The Transcendents. In a 2015 article, Ahonen told City Paper, “They [Village Rep] trusted me to write something from where I am in life right now.”
In a 2015 review of The Transcendents, I wrote, “If anything, the captivating, disturbing, and surprisingly uplifting play disappointed only in its turnout. A play like this deserves a packed house.”
So The Transcendents‘ premiere in Charleston wasn’t earth-shattering — but it did happen to make more than just an impact on my fledgling arts-writer memory. Today The Sarasota Film Festival announced its full lineup, which includes the film, The Transcendents, written and directed by Ahonen. So yeah, that play, written in Charleston, is now going to be a movie.
In a sparse IMBD page, The Transcendents‘ summary is probably as helpful as my amateur critic’s review, but here it is anyway: “The Transcendents tells the story of Roger, a Rasputin-like drifter arriving in the underbelly of a mysterious city in search of the elusive band The Transcendents. Dealing with a host of issues from childhood trauma and manufactured memories to intellectual property and murder, The Transcendents unfolds as a modern day rock n roll mystery, with unfathomable discoveries, revelations and ultimately transcendence.”
Village Rep appears to be on a streak with plays-becoming-films. While we have you here it’s worth mentioning that another Sarasota Film Fest film, Marjorie Prime, is currently on the stage at Woolfe Street Playhouse. Cool, right?