A theatrical production about homelessness in America.
Guest-starring Lou Beatty Jr. (Betty White’s “Off Their Rockers”), LYMAN is a cleverly-constructed rumination on Life and Fate. It explores the crucial choices the title character, a homeless veteran, makes at key points in his life through stories told from the perspective of those who knew him as a hero. LYMAN features an original music score by the playwright and is performed by an illustrious cast of theatre veterans. Merchandise proceeds benefit the Los Angeles-based homeless charity, Pauly’s Project.
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Anne Johnstonbrown is an actor, songwriter, teacher and author. She has a Master's Degree in Theatre Arts and has worked as an Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts at several Southern California universities, including The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles where she taught Acting, Auditioning and the Business of Acting. As an internationally-renown songwriter, many of Anne's compositions can be heard worldwide, from Canada to Africa, on radio and beyond. She is also the author of several books of varying genres, including children’s and mainstream fiction and non-fiction. Her most celebrated works are The 10 Commandments of Theater and True to archeType: A Guide to Characterization in Comedy, both published by Smith & Kraus, the world's largest publisher of theatre arts books. Of Commandments, Theatre Topics Magazine (Sept., 2008) and American Theatre Magazine (Jan., 2008) each gave the book glowing reviews and highly recommended it to readers learning the art of method acting. It is currently a required text in dozens of theatre arts departments nationwide. Over the past 30 years, Anne has enjoyed an illustrious career on the stage. As an Equity actor, Anne appeared on the famed Kodak Theatre stage (now The Dolby Theatre) as the Narrator in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and has toured the U.S. with other national shows. She is also an award-winning audiobook producer and has released nearly 100 published projects over the past decade, many of which are the works of New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors.
In 2007, Anne had an encounter with a homeless man in Redlands, California, that changed her life forever. Through the inspiration of that one event, altering society’s perception of the homeless became her life's mission. She chronicled her experience in a novel entitled, My Name’s Lyman, which she wrote under her grandmother’s name, Lily-Marie Taylor. Soon, there was demand that she turn the book into a screenplay. However, as Anne’s training was in theatre, she chose to go the theatre route instead. She called the show LYMAN The Musical and got involved with Paul Avila of Pauly’s Project of Los Angeles, feeding and clothing the homeless of Skid Row. She made it her secondary mission to see that this great organization got exposure and the resources they needed to facilitate their most worthy endeavors. As of 2018, the show is preparing for its fifth iteration, having already performed in such notable venues as The Hollywood Fringe Festival, The Long Beach Playhouse, The Grove Theatre and, as of August of 2018, the historic El Portal Theatre in North Hollywood, California.
Just for fun, Anne enjoys teaching kickboxing and recently released a workout intensive DVD under her fitness company name, KBXcel Kickbox Cardio. She is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and the AEA and is the self-proclaimed “biggest Dodgers fan that EVER LIVED!”
When a woman meets a homeless man she thinks she recognizes, she wonders how his life would have changed had he made different choices. Was he really a hero like he claims to have been? If he wasn't on the streets, where would he be? From these questions, we take a journey through the various universes in which Lyman would have existed, and we learn the truth about how choices affect destiny and what it really means to be a hero.
"If we could accept the truth that all homeless people are capable of being heroes and all people are capable of being homeless, then perhaps homelessness could once and for all be solved."
- Anne Johnstonbrown
Robin S. - "Something so much bigger going on here."
Jeannette C. - "Moving and thought provoking."
Connie V. - "It's the sort of art that will inspire folks to take action. So glad to have been in the audience to witness your creativity and gift!"
Bill K. - "You will never know the full effect of what happened in your show last night but it did change some people!"
Michael A. - "My family from Concord N.H. thought it was fantastic. My sister told me that her eyes teared up."
Penny F. - "Fantastic! Compelling! Intriguing! Bravo!"
Nasser I. - "Me and my girlfriend loved this play. I am a homeless x-felon/motivational speaker, student at Chaffey. My friend who stays with me is a homeless vet. Me and her were in tears very emotional."
Dan B. - "Anne, wanted you to know my wife and I THOROUGHLY enjoyed seeing "Lyman" at the Grove Theater in Upland this past Sunday evening. The actors were both dynamic and mesmerizing....Performances to behold indeed. Great work and theme. Thank You for sharing."
It was our honor to be interviewed by famed marketing expert Joie Gharrity for her web show, The Hollywood Spotlight Series, on April 17, 2018. I was joined by LYMAN alum, Veronica Crystal Young, who brilliantly plays Older Marilyn in the show. We discussed our careers in Hollywood, as well as my creative process for bringing LYMAN The Musical to life.
Check out the video! (on the left)
And check out some of our cast members in a follow-up interview with Ms. Gharrity. Click on the link HERE!
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