Reflections on SCINTILLA at Road Theatre Company!

Q&A by Hannah Gumpert, TeenTix LA Intern

Screen Shot 2023 06 05 at 4 19 32 PM

With global warming worse than ever and wildfires becoming a yearly occurrence in California, SCINTILLA, recently performed by the Road Theatre Company, is a timely and necessary play about the effect we have on our world. The play follows Michael and Nora as they travel to California's Wine Country to visit his mother, Marianne. As a raging California wildfire approaches Marianne's home, Michael struggles with his mother's refusal to leave, two unexpected visitors, and a complicated family history. SCINTILLA brings up the ultimate question of our very survival on Earth. Fortunately for us, we were able to hear from Danna Hyams, the show's producer, and go deeper into the process and production of SCINTILLA.

  • Why did you choose to put on this show?

I was invited to hear the play read at the playwright's home in the fall of 2019. It was beautifully written and I was completely taken in by the different themes in the story. An extremely well drawn family conflict, juxtaposed by the outward immediate threat of fire and ultimate threat to the planet. I wanted to make this happen and I submitted it to The Road. I was thrilled when they decided to produce it for a Spring 2020 opening. But, of course, we all know what happened in March of 2020. So, we had to put the production on hold. It took three years, but I am very happy that we were able to present it now.

  • What message do you want your audience to take away?

That we have a chance to address these challenges. On a personal level as well as the global.

  • What was the process of putting on the show?

Even with the three year break, this was a smooth and magical experience throughout the production process. Back in 2019, we brought Ann Hearn Tobolowsky on board to direct. I brought the play to The Road for Taylor Gilbert to play Marianne, so that role was cast. We put together our design team and cast the remaining four roles. A lot had been done by the middle of March when we had to shut down. The actors continued to rehearse on Zoom for a little while, until we realized that this was not going to be a short break. In the fall of 2022, we geared back up for an April, 2023 opening. Except for lighting, we had to replace the set, sound, costume and projection designers. And we had to recast two of the roles. But everything fell into place and we were on our way. Eight weeks of rehearsal and we opened on April 14th.

  • What did you personally take away from the experience and the show?

I love the process. And this was a particularly wonderful experience. I always come away from a production feeling like we have formed a great bond creating something special. The journey of putting all the layers together is amazing. I am grateful for the critical response and the audience reaction. Very moving.

TeenTix Logo
Sign Up


Create an account | Reset your password