Colla Voce

A New Play by Larry Klein

“. . . a deep and thought provoking production. . . . Very powerful!” – Gary F.

“. . .the writing and acting brought us to tears more than once.” – Leslie C.

Produced by Pro Audio Voices in collaboration with Riverview Studios

A new play by Larry Klein.

Based on a true event.

In a world filled with trauma, with an estimated 1 in 11 diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lifetime, it’s helpful to witness a way through it.

Colla Voce is based on a true story, in which a young police officer shot and killed a young man, in front of the young man’s mother when he appeared to be threatening her harm. The resulting Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) and Developmental Trauma that both the officer and the mother experience has lead to an unexpected bond between them.

The aftermath and journey forward is the focus of this theatre piece. It is filmed on location as a hybrid blend of film and theatre.

Mother and officer, each of their spouses, and the brother of the young man, all navigate this uncharted territory with a combination of anguish and compassion focused on helping each other.

Performance runs about 1:15

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What people are saying . . .

“My husband and I loved watching this play/film!  Because it is a play that was filmed, there was so much more
that could be done as far as “sets” go, and the settings were quite beautiful.  All of the actor’s were excellent,
and extra props to Becky Parker, who was heart breaking.  This is a seriously emotional play about an important
subject and the writing and acting brought us to tears more than once.  The choice of Chopin, which is an
important element in the play, was brilliant!”

Leslie C.

“What a wonderful performance! Such a deep and thought provoking production. Becky played the part of the mother so very well and I could feel the pain within her as she struggled with losing her identity as a provider and then dealing with her acceptance of herself as she wrestled with her past.  Very powerful!”

Gary F.

A Note about the Story

Colla Voce was inspired by a couple known to the playwright, and by their story. It springs from their obvious love for each other and the compassion they felt for the young police officer who killed their son. Although they inspired it, they are not in it. The circumstances and the characters in the play are purely fictional.

Colla Voce: Definition

A musical term instructing that, if the voice sings freely, the orchestra should follow. The play takes place in a musical environment.

Hope after Violent Death, PTS, Developmental Trauma—and a Way Forward

The story of Colla Voce is that of the poignant journey that follows for each of these characters, and how there can be a way forward for those who have had to face the tragedy of violent death.

Larry Klein
Larry KleinPlaywright, Director

Larry Klein served as Associate Technical Director for the San Francisco Opera for twenty-four years and Technical Director for thirteen. He has worked with internationally renowned opera designers and directors throughout the United States and Europe to bring their ideas to the stage.

As a young man, he obtained an undergraduate degree in theology, thinking that he might follow in his father’s footsteps and become a Presbyterian minister. However, after briefly attending San Francisco Theological Seminary in California, he decided that the ministry was not for him. He didn’t have the necessary personal skills. He was in fact, a bit of a recluse.

But the theatre beckoned. Perhaps the theatre could be his ministry. Could the theatre be a positive influence in people’s lives, open people up to new ideas, create new perceptions? To test this notion, he toured Edward Albee’s Zoo Story , performing in church sanctuaries throughout Kansas in the early 1970’s to judge audience reactions. The results confirmed the hypothesis. What made the difference was the existential nature of the story. In the case of Zoo Story, that human connection was worthy of life itself.

All of Larry’s plays have similar themes. They spring from events, often tragic, that have happened either to him or to people he has known. His hope is that his plays can make a difference—that perceptions can change, that new insights can be gained, or perhaps simply that someone can take comfort, that just as with the people in the drama, their difficult circumstances can be overcome.

Larry’s first wife died suddenly of a brain aneurism while talking to his mother on the phone. She was just twenty-six years old. Out of this experience came The Paradigm which deals with existential loss, and explores the essence of human connection. He met a family whose father committed suicide in front of his eldest son. His second play, Dead Man’s Wake , deals with the importance of loving people for who they are, not for who you might want them to be. Mr. Simon is about a young minister from the Midwest, who is forced to admit to himself that he doesn’t believe in God until he discovers the true essence of God. Colla Voce deals with post-traumatic stress due to a horrific incident that happened to people he knew.

Larry has been happily married for the last 50 years. He and his wife have raised four children. They have eight, soon to be nine, grandchildren, one of whom has a brain anomaly that presents as autism, the subject of his next play.

James W. Parker
James W. ParkerFilm Producer, Director of Photography
Jim Parker, founder and owner of Riverview Studios, is an internationally acclaimed, award winning 42 year veteran filmmaker. He has produced numerous broadcast programs for Public Television including weekly episodes of Reporter’s Roundtable and On the Record with Michael Aron, The Spark with Marie DeNoia Aronson, and he is co-creator of Atlantic City Nights. Clients like Tyco International and Integra LifeSciences have sent him around the world to Singapore, throughout Europe, Canada and the US to document their scientific achievements and success stories, and his non-profit work has taken him to Sarajevo, Albania, India, Kenya and frequently to Uganda.

His travels led him to Uganda where he was inspired to create the Parker Mother and Child Foundation which has earned him many awards for his humanitarian and philanthropic endeavors. Jim is also on the board of trustees of New Jersey Policy Perspective, he is on the steering committee of the New Jersey Main Street Alliance, has been an adjunct professor for Bucks County Community College. Jim is proud to use his business and skills to help many of the area nonprofits, but he also has been honored by the NJ Citizens Action Council for his activism at our state capital to better the lives for all our citizens.

We all know that Jim knows how to tell a story via his camera and editing, but he also converted his 1800’s mill into a working studio with multiple shooting options and a control room himself. Jim runs the IT, builds the sets and storage systems and grid lighting systems, loves a microphone or any opportunity to be an MC (especially if that means wearing a tux), paints (all the studio murals are his), and around the studio are many examples of his skills with a lathe from bowls to lamps.

An avid Explorer, Jim got his pilot’s license in 1999 on a whim when he was working on a video for Mercer County Community College. Jim remarked that it was the first time in his career that he ever received Straight A’s in a college course.

Jim says his glass is always 7/8 full, usually with something delicious. After 42 years of producing documentary films, he says he still learns something new from every project.

Becky Parker Geist
Becky Parker GeistProducer, Director, Dramaturg, Actor: Linda Ludlow
Becky Parker Geist has worked bicoastally Off Broadway in NY and in the San Francisco Bay Area, filling a wide range of production roles. NY credits include Ars Nova Theater, NY Theatre Workshop (including Asst. Props Designer for Hadestown and Props Designer for Nat Turner in Jerusalem), Signature Theatre (Asst Props Designer for John by Annie Baker), Atlantic Theatre, etc., and in the Bay Area: Mountain Play, A.C.T., Marin Ballet, Alter Theatre, etc. Acting film acting credits include Tucker, Smile Again, Jenny Lee and First Morn.

Becky co-founded two theatre companies, EDEN2 Theater Ensemble (children’s theatre) and Chaucer Theatre. She directs, serves as dramaturg, and has performed on stage extensively, including her own one-woman show Joy with Wings: A Daughter’s Tale.

Becky is CEO and founder of Pro Audio Voices Inc, providing audiobook production and marketing as well as podcasting services. Her favorite types of projects are full cast audiobooks where she can bring her extensive theatre production experience to bear.

Committed to leadership, Becky is in her ninth year as President of Bay Area Independent Publishers Assn. Becky’s passion is “to inspire the world through the stories we bring to life through theatre and voiceover.”

She is the author of five published books, three non-fiction and two children’s books and is releasing her first novel: Left Turn: Decision that Split the Universe (book 1 in the Split Universe Series) on July 17, 2022 (audio first).

After 37 years in the Bay Area, Becky now lives in Portland, OR, near two of her three awesome daughters and two young granddaughters.

Dorian Lockett
Dorian LockettDr. Andrew Ludlow

Dorian Lockett was born and raised in Oakland Ca. He’s been acting for over twenty years. He started his journey at Chabot College at the age of 29 and still loves it just as dearly at 50.

He’s also a voice over actor which he can be heard in the Pixar film Soul , video games such as The Walking Dead and NBA 2k and commercials with Shift, ESPN and more. He can also be seen on Netflix in Thirteen Reasons Why as Coach Patrick.

Erica Lamkin
Erica LamkinPatricia Whittington
This beautiful story came into my life when I really needed an escape and I am so grateful. Colla Voce reminds me that people can be incredibly kind and giving even through extremely dark and difficult challenges.

Recently, I flew to Hawai’i to be an OBGYN in an episode of Magnum PI!

Other notable credits include: Criminal Minds, Laure in America (Pilot), Disrupted (Feature Film), Anita in West Side Story (The Mountain Play), Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum).

Big hugs and love to my family and friends (especially those that gave their time and gorgeous faces to be extras in this film!), my very talented husband, Jeff Wiesen, and our kiddos, Natalie & Oliver. A special thanks to my bestie, Samantha Cooper, for thinking of me while casting this film! You are the actual best.

Heren Patel
Heren PatelJohn Whittington

A graduate of San Francisco State University’s Theatre Arts Program and Anupam Kher’s Actor Prepares in Mumbai, Heren has been seen in many stage productions across the Bay Area and has worked with many projects in the Bay’s independent film circuit.

Heren was last seen as the title character in Cinnabar Theater’s A Perfect Ganesh before the pandemic hit. He was also seen in Indra’s Net Theater’s production of Partition as the mathematical genius Srinivasan Ramanujan. Heren is proud to work on Colla Voce , as he is a huge advocate for mental health and family.

Brennan Pickman-Thoon
Brennan Pickman-ThoonMichael Ludlow

Brennan Pickman-Thoon is a Bay Area-based actor who works both on stage and on camera.

Film credits: Election Night, Lost Time . Commercial credits: Grammarly, Zillow, Geomagical. Theatre credits: (Marin Theater Company), The Gentleman Caller (NCTC), Timon of Athens (Cutting Ball Theater), Metamorphoses and The Good Book (Berkeley Repertory Theatre, u/s).

Taylor Altieri
Taylor AltieriOffice Worker
Rowan Williams
Rowan WilliamsWaitress
Frank Levy
Frank LevyPianist

Pianist Frank Lévy has been hailed by audiences and critics alike as an artist of rare poetic insight and communicative powers. A semi-finalist in the Leeds and Clara Haskil international piano competitions, Frank Lévy has an international career as a recitalist performing in Avery Fisher Hall in New York, Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, Gusman Hall in Miami, Royce Hall in Los Angeles, The Gardner Hall in Salt Lake City, and the Stadthaussaal in Winterthur. He has performed under the batons of Louis Langrée, Mehli Mehta, Paul Dunkel, David Josefowitz, Ya-Hui Wang, Martin Stüder and other conductors.

Frank Levy is Professor of Piano at San Jose State University School of Music and Dance in California. Mr. Lévy taught at the Juilliard School Pre-College Division for 13 years (1995-2008) and in the DMA program of the CUNY Graduate Center (2008-2012). He has been Artist/Teacher at the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York City, Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, Beijing International Music Festival and Academy, among others.

Frank Lévy, who grew up in Switzerland, entered the Geneva Conservatory at the age of fifteen and earned the bachelor’s and master’s degrees studying with renowned pianist and pedagogue Louis Hiltbrand, and the doctorate in performance studying with Maria Tipo. After winning the Kiefer Hablitzel Prize, Frank Lévy went to study with Leon Fleisher at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, from which he received the prestigious Artist Diploma. He worked with Emanuel Ax in the post-graduate Professional Studies Program at the Juilliard School; where he also studied chamber music with Samuel Sanders and Margo Garrett. Mr. Lévy also studied with Vlado Perlemuter in Paris, Dorothy Taubman in New York, Radu Lupu and Murray Perahia in London.

Frank Lévy lived in New York City for over 20 years. In January 2011, the Lévy family moved to California. The Levy family lives in Sunnyvale, CA and now includes three children.

Ronit Widmann-Levy
Ronit Widmann-LevySoprano
Ronit Widmann-Levy made her début with the San Francisco Symphony in February 2005 in Schumann’s Das Paradies und die Peri , conducted by Ingo Metzmacher. Since her debut Ronit has regularly performed with Michael Tilson Thomas and the SFS in Carnegie Hall, with the Chicago Symphony
Orchestra, and the New World Symphony Orchestra as well as with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Ms. Widmann-Levy’s interpretation of Arnold Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire has won praise and she has
been invited to perform the piece in Europe and the U.S.A.

Her repertory includes the roles of Violetta,
Constanza, Madama Butterfly, Micaela, Mimi, Liù, Gilda and Freia. Symphonic works include among
others: Carmina Burana, Beethoven’s 9 symphony, Mahler 4 and 2 Symphonies.
She received accolades for her operatic and concert performances throughout
the world.

A versatile artist equally at home on both concert and opera stages. She has sung in opera
houses and festivals in San Francisco, Chicago, Washington, Tanglewood, Cincinnati, Kentucky, Berlin,
Munich, London, Bangkok and Jerusalem. She sang at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago, the Bath and
Dartington Festivals in England, the Jüdische Kulturtage in Berlin, and the America Haus Concert Series
in Munich.

“Soprano Ronit Widmann-Levy’s ethereal upward major-ninth leap before “Blanziflor et Helena” set the
stage for an erotic and sinfully stately chorale-paeon to the pleasures of the flesh…Marvelous”. 21st
century music magazine 2008.
Ronit’s ability to sing with “compelling conviction and warmth with a voice whose naturally extensive
range shows “fine-spun altitudes” (Washington times).
the Sacramento Bee described her performance of the last scene from Capriccio by Richard Strauss: “a
singer of compelling conviction and warmth as well as unusual personal beauty”.

Colla Voce by Larry Klein

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Behind the Scenes

October 5-11, 2021

Stills from the film