“Chimpskin” — A Question of Humanity

Hollywood Fringe Festival 2017By Ernest Kearney — The Puckwit Gang’s Chimpskin is a stylishly clever history of Lucy (1964-1987), the chimpanzee raised by Maurice and Jane Temerlin, as a human child.  Lucy was even taught American Sign Language in order to communicate with her human “parents” and would come to use some 140 signs, even arriving at the point where she would use two separate signs to convey new thoughts.

Conceived and directed by Ben Landmesser the show succeeds in both relating the history of the experiment with Lucy and in questioning the morality of doing so.

The ensemble of Christian Gnecco-Quintero, Frannie Morrison, Rebekah O’Kelley and Pablo Fringe Award-Gold Medal-The TVolutionCastelblanco all do solid work, and the music by Nathan Nonhof on the didgeridoo brings a perfect note of the surreal to the experience, but the show succeeds because of Damla Coskun whose commitment to the role of Lucy is so intense that you are blinded to the actress’ humanness and unable to escape the animal’s humanity.


♦    ♦    ♦


Playing During The Fringe at the

Los Angeles LGBT Center
1125 North McCadden
Los Angeles, CA

For Schedule and Tickets


Chimpskin Features:

Damla Coskun

Christian Gnecco-Quintero

Rebekah O’Kelley

Pablo Castelblanco

Frannie Morrison


Nathan Nonhof

Stage Manager:

Meagan Truxal

Director / Producer:

Ben Landmesser

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Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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