Coming Up Roses: Meet the Director

Posted: November 4th, 2013 | 1 Comment »


Have you heard the news? L’Enfant Terrible’s Angela Berliner has written an original fairy tale called The Rose Tree. The screenplay has won a few awards and the theatrical stage play will be presented as a workshop production.

What is a workshop production? Well, it isn’t quite a world premiere but it is a few steps beyond a staged reading. Actors are up on their feet performing with a simple set, costumes, and props.

For the who, what, when, where, you can click here. Or, if you can refrain from clicking the link you can keep on reading to meet the director, Efrain.

Efrain Schunior is directing this exciting new work. Efrain met Angela when they were grad students at UCLA. He directed her Adults Only play Mosquito Bites (which starred Yancy Holmes who you will soon see as John Strong in The Rose Tree). Since receiving his MFA Efrain has directed theater, music videos, and short films around Los Angeles. He is also the writer/director of the cult telenovela spoof Stallions de Amor, which is premiering its 2nd season soon.

When did you start directing?
I definitely recall forcing others to be in my choreographed musical numbers based on hit songs from the 50’s. That was before I was even 10.

What bedtime story or fairy tale has stuck with you the most from childhood?
In the Mexican culture they tell of La Llorona, a sort of boogey woman in a white veil who is always crying and searching for her children.

Name three qualities of creative people.
If we are talking creativity then I think passion, talent and drive is the winning cocktail. If we are talking success then I’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) that kindness to yourself and others means so much.

Do you approach directing theater for all ages differently than Adult’s Only theater?
Younger audiences haven’t usually developed that dishonest sit-and-smile mentality that I loathe. If they’re bored you know it and you as a storyteller have to work harder to engage them. It’s a great challenge and so rewarding when you’re successful!

Why The Rose Tree?

I have two beautiful nieces that have changed my life for the better and I really connected with the idea that the Rose Tree is home to lost little girls from all over the world. There’s a sense in this play that there’s a safe place for everyone no matter who you are or where you come from, you just have to find it. I also love stories about non traditional found families and I love on-stage magic.

If you were a music box, what song would you play?
I would play Satie’s Gnossienne #1. It is absolutely the most beautiful piece of music I’ve ever heard and can make me feel such complete joy or pain depending on the day.


The portrait of an artist as a young boy

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