Currently, Dan Froot and Company are touring Pang!, an evening of three short plays based on the oral histories of families from around the country who are living with food insecurity. The New York Times-featured Pang! Podcast in the midst of its first season.
We conduct book-length oral histories of families in each of the project’s three home cities. Then we adapt one of those oral histories from each locale into a short theater piece (in consultation with the families themselves).
We aim for a constellation of stories that represents diverse scenarios, themes and perspectives on guns and related issues. The theater pieces are produced as a season of podcast episodes, and are then staged as live performances in the form of audio theater, or radio plays.
Meet the Team
DAN FROOT (producer, performance artist, writer, composer, dancer, saxophonist) received a New York Dance & Performance Award (a.k.a. BESSIE) for the creation of his music/theater work SEVENTEEN KILOS OF GARLIC; and a City of Los Angeles Individual Artist Fellowship (a.k.a. C.O.L.A.) and a playwriting commission from the National Foundation for Jewish Culture for the creation of his gangster-vaudeville, SHLAMMER.
Dan's music concerts, theater pieces, and performance events have been presented by leading art centers across the U.S., and in Europe, Africa and South America. He has collaborated with choreographer David Dorfman on LIVE SAX ACTS, a series of dance/music/theater duets, and with puppet artist Dan Hurlin on WHO’S HUNGRY, a series of puppet plays based on the live stories of homeless and hungry individuals.
Dan has composed numerous scores for dance and theater companies, has taught performance workshops around the country, and has danced, acted and played music nationally and internationally with the likes of Victoria Marks, Ralph Lemon, Yoshiko Chuma & The School of Hard Knocks, Mabou Mines, David Cale, Ping Chong, and the legendary Jeff Weiss. From 1992-1996 he was the Director of the Bennington July Program, an intensive academic and cultural enrichment experience for teens at Bennington College, and was a member of the Program's drama faculty 1984-92. Dan teaches at UCLA's Department of World Arts and Cultures/Dance while he continues to create and tour his work.
Dan’s work has received major support from MAP Fund, Doris Duke Charitable Trust, National Performance Network, The Jim Henson Foundation, Los Angeles County Arts Commission, UCLA Center for Community Partnerships, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts, The National Endowment for the Arts, The City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, The City of West Hollywood, AEPOCH Foundation, Jerome Foundation, Meet The Composer, National Foundation for Jewish Culture, The Durfee Foundation, The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The Vermont Community Arts Foundation, The New England Foundation for the Arts, The Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust, and Reader's Digest.
NATALIE CAMUNAS is a native Los Angeleno, USC graduate, queer second-generation Latinx actor, playwright, and voice-over artist. Natalie works regionally in theatres across the country, favorites include Mother Road at Arena Stage in Washington D.C., Native Gardens at the Cleveland Playhouse and originating the role of “Gabby Orozco” in the World Premiere co-production of American Mariachi at the Old Globe Theatre & Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Recent TV credits: Goliath opposite Billy Bob Thornton on AMAZON & Speechlesson ABC. As a voice over artist, you can hear Natalie’s voice in promo spots for Fox’s 911 and in the New York Times recommended podcast PANG! (@pangpodcast) available on iTunes. As a playwright, Natalie’s plays have been produced in Los Angeles, New York, and Ireland. nataliecamunas.com
DONNA SIMONE JOHNSON is a LA Native, actress, choreographer and liberator. Deeply rooted in arts leadership and activism, she is the Co-Founder of Hardcorps (an arts organization providing training to under-resourced artists) and leads various community organizing activations, including work with the LA Poverty Department, Watts Village Theater Company, We Charge Genocide, Calling Up Justice and Equity and Diversity Initiatives for Center Theater Group. An LA Native, she attended New York University, where she earned her MA in Dance Education and CalArts, where she received her MFA in Acting. Since then, she has enjoyed a vibrant career working in commercials, voiceover, on screen and international stages. She is a series regular on Y'all Family, premiering this fall and a Company Member in Oregon Shakespeare Festival's 2020 Season, playing Somerset in the Henry VI adaptation, Bring Down The House, (Parts 1 & 2). TV/Film credits include: The Inspectors, Agent X, and Dreamland and NETFLIX's animated Super Drags(recurring). She won the NAACP Award for Best Lead Actress for her work in Broken Fences at The Road Theatre and has worked regionally at The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Pantages, Portland Center Stage, Virginia Stage, Playwrights Arena, African American Shakespeare, Co. The Broad, The Royal George and Off-Broadway's Union Square NYC to name a few. International credits and tours include CITIZENSHIP in Kampala, Uganda, Echoes of a Thousand Hills (alongside Mashrika and Center for New Performance, Kigali, Rwanda), and with the award-winning CLOUD 9 (RITu, Liege, Belgium). At a time where the power of the collective is being alchemized into tangible change and liberation, Donna is more energized than ever to continue the work with Dan Froot and Co towards empathy, change and harnessing the power of the collective. @dsimonejo across all platforms for joy and activism alike!
CHRISTOPHER RIVAS is an actor, author, podcaster, and storyteller best known for his on-screen work on the Fox series, CALL ME KAT. In addition, he hosts two podcasts on SiriusXM's Stitcher: Rubirosa, a limited series about the life of Porfirio Rubirosa, and a weekly show, Brown Enough. Rivas is simultaneously authoring a book, BROWN ENOUGH that Row House Publishing is slated to release on October 11, 2022. He is a Ph.D. Candidate in Expressive Arts for Global Health & Peace Building from The European Graduate School and a Rothschild Social Impact fellow.
BOBBY GORDON (Dramaturge) is a theater maker, photographer, and Theater of the Oppressed multiplier committed to the arts for social justice. Recent dramaturgical credits include Free Mind Free Style (Versastyle Dance Company at the Ford Amphitheater) 2021, and Pang! with the Dan Froot & Company (Various Venues, 2017). A 2016 Drama For Life Artist in Residence at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg, South Africa) Gordon has a M.A. in Applied Theater Arts from the University of Southern California, and has been a longtime collaborator with the Center for Theater of the Oppressed in Rio de Janeiro. As a performer, he has presented work across the United States, Brazil and Southern Africa and is a founding member of the Melrose Poetry Bureau, an interactive performance poetry collective. Gordon is the former Assistant Director of UCLA’s Art & Global Health Center where he co-founded the UCLA Sex Squad, a theater troupe that tours Los Angeles high schools with interactive and inclusive sex education performance.