The “Bootleg Theatre” Keeps It Edgy by Rose Desena

As my readers are well aware of, I love a good psychological thriller! So, on my 2014 calendar of “must see” productions, I begin with the world premiere of Eric Rudnick’s “Day Trader,” opening at the boundary-defying Bootleg Theater on January 11th. It sounds perfect for LA audiences because it involves the “biz” and a comedy writer, in a career free fall, who decides that he deserves more (don’t we all?). He sets out to write his own Hollywood ending.


ER B&W cropped2Playwright Eric Rudnick came to Los Angeles (from New York) to get involved with the vibrant theatre community, and wound up with his first job being in the television industry. It worked out quite well for him, helping to support his theatre habit. A man of many talents (producer, actor, director), I wanted to find out more about him and his latest work.


Rose: Your new play “Day Trader” is described as “a twisted tale of comic noir that leaves no one unscathed.” Are you referring to the stock market and it’s effect on those who trade securities?


Eric: There is a bit of that, and the stock market is a metaphor for the risks that people take when they embark on a career in show business.


Rose:  What attracted you to the “psychological thriller” genre? Are there any writers you look to for inspiration?


Eric: This has been a fun challenge to work towards keeping the audience in a state of suspense. I love Hitchcock and any play or film that keeps me engaged in a way that hooks my imagination.


Rose: What do you want the audiences to get from the experience?


Eric: This is a play that someone watching may feel differently about from the person sitting in the next seat. If we do our job, then everybody will feel engaged and invested, in a personal way, in these four characters. Ultimately, I’d love for people to feel like they’ve seen an original story, told well.


Rose: Stephen King once said, “You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.” Has it been done to you, and if so, would you give us an example or two?


Eric: There are so many times I’ve been blown away – overhearing an argument one time at a video store in New York changed how I look at people and their innermost thoughts. As far as fiction goes, Albee, Kushner, and Williams are some of the writers that do it for me.


Rose: I know that you have a lot in the works, including a web series. I love live theater, but I see that things are changing quickly this past decade. Do you think that the growing web entertainment content is going to pull a significant percentage of audiences away from TV and live theater…or replace it?


Eric: There is now a way for almost anyone, anywhere, to put out original content that will be seen by an unlimited audience. I think it adds to the cultural mix of the world, that I can watch something on my computer made by a 12 year-old kid half a world away. But there will always be a desire for people to sit in the dark with their neighbors and watch live theatre – I’m kind of betting on it, actually.


Thanks Eric, I am looking forward to opening night.
Break a leg.



Opens Saturday, January 11th at 7pm

Thursdays-Saturdays at 7pm, and Sundays 2pm though February 16, 2014

The Bootleg Theatre

2220 Beverly Blvd. Los Angeles CA 90057

Tickets are $25

For more information call 213-389-3856 or


Rose Desena

Entertainment Reporter




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