"Never Give Up!"
Written & Performed By: Steve Spiro
Directed By: Ann Bronston
Stage Manager: Daniel Coronel
DANIEL CORONEL (Stage Manager) has been a theatre artist for the better part of 10 years. He stage-managed the first run of U.K. Underdog . . . and the second, and the third, and now the 4th! Clearly, his attempts at social distancing from Steve Spiro have been futile. Nevertheless, he's thrilled to be working with the whole UK Underdog team again!
U.K. UNDERDOG is based on true events in a London, Jewish boy’s life. Bullied and humiliated at school, Steve Spiro realizes his strength to move forward; but that ultimately comes at a price. Told with humor and plenty of chutzpah, Steve reveals how the struggles of our past can be a gift to the future and that . . . no matter what . . . never give up!
Steve Spiro was born and raised in London, England and has appeared in both film and theatre. His claim to fame was being booed off at the famous Comedy Store in London, England, after only 33 seconds, when he was 17. He came away unscathed! U.K. UNDERDOG began as a story exercise in acting class with Larry Moss back in the late 1990’s and has developed (a lot) over the years. Steve has enjoyed the collaboration with his Director, Ann Bronston, and Stage Manager, Daniel Coronel, who have a brilliant sense of humor and have been an important part of the show's journey. They were given the good news that U.K. UNDERDOG was being sponsored for a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival this year.
But then a virus hit! Bring on Edinburgh 2021! Steve has written several screenplays, including the life and times of early 20th Century fighter Sam Langford (based on the book by Clay Moyle), who was regarded as the greatest fighter never to have fought for a title. Steve is also a co-writer/producer of the 30-minute dark comedy called BONED . . . Where Everyone Needs to be RESCUED, which he and his partners (Sylva Kelegian and Alison Eastwood) are currently trying to sell: bonedtheseries.com. Steve is a co-founder of START Rescue, a nonprofit animal transport and spay/neuter group. Since its inception in 2011, START has transported over 13,500 dogs/cats from high-kill California shelters to loving “forever homes” in the Pacific Northwest and funded over 11,000 spay/neuter surgeries for low-income households. Steve’s a huge pit bull fan, which inspired START’s formation. The START team has rescued over 1,000 pit bulls/mixes, many who have become service dogs and treasured family members. START also has its own nonprofit resale store assisting in its effort to raise funds for the animals (START Rescue Resale Store, 4521 Van Nuys Blvd., Sherman Oaks, CA 91403). All proceeds go to START's life-saving programs. To learn more about START or to sign up for their PAWsome newsletter or to DONATE, please visit START at STARTrescue.org.
ANN BRONSTON (Director) is an active member of City Garage Theatre, RogueMachine Theatre and Pacific Resident Theatre. She has performed in many plays throughout Los Angeles, including the West Coast premiere of Wally Shawn’s Marie and Bruce at the Odyssey Theatre and the world premiere of John Pollono’s Lost Girls at Rogue Machine Theatre. She directed the West Coast premiere of Bryon Lavery’s Dirt at the Raven Playhouse and numerous productions at the Pacific Resident Co-op. She has guest starred in television shows and movies of the week. Her award-winning short stories have been published in literary reviews. U.K. Underdog grew out of a co-op production at Pacific Resident Theatre.
Directing a one-person show is tricky, as the stage can feel very empty. But Ann knew they were in good shape when she said to Steve: ‘When Nana is talking to you, could you take a few steps back,’ totally forgetting that there’s only one actor on stage, playing with a full cast of characters!