Open Fist Theatre Company

And If I Don’t Behave Then What

If I resist, if I cross that line, if I don’t conform …what then? Open Fist Theatre Company presents the West Coast premiere of the 2021 Eurdram English-language Committee Award-winning And If I Don’t Behave Then What by Berlin-based Serbian playwright Iva Brdar, translated by Ana Brdar and directed by Beth F. Milles. Performances take place January 28 through March 4 at Atwater Village Theatre.

A provocative, explosively funny and moving exploration of how “being good” can shape our lives, And If I Don’t Behave Then What takes the audience on a lyrical and bracingly pungent journey.

“There is an ethereal elegance, a luminescent essentialism at the core of each scene,” says Milles, who previously staged the 2018 world premiere of Brdar’s Rule of Thumb at The Cherry Arts in Ithaca, NY. “Iva is a dynamic truth teller — her stories move, they shift, they evolve. Her words and images deftly surprise and delight, revealing and unveiling deeper questions about the complicated nature of our lives as women, as daughters and as mothers.”

The Open Fist production stars Cynthia EttingerCarmella JenkinsHoward Leder and Debba Rofheart. The creative team includes set designer Richard Hoover, lighting designer Russell Champa, composer and sound designer Marc Antonio Pritchett, projection designer Gabrieal Griego, costume designer Mylette Nora, properties designers Bruce Dickinson and Ina Shumaker, and graphic designer Liam Carl. The assistant director is Taylor Bazos, the rehearsal stage manager is Jennifer Palumbo, and the production stage manager is John Dimitri.

Brdar’s other plays include Rule of Thumb, Geraniums Can Survive Anything and Tomorrow Is (For Now) Always Here. She is the recipient of the Brücke Berlin Award and the Sterija Award, and the winner of Heartefact’s Competition for the Best Contemporary Full Feature Drama Text. Her plays have been staged at Schauspiel in Stuttgart, the Kosmos Theater in Vienna and Cherry Arts in Ithaca, New York, with readings at New York Public Library, Théâtre du Nord in Paris, and Berlin’s Deutsches Theater. She has a Masters in theater studies from the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.

Performances of And If I Don’t Behave Then What take place January 28 through March 4 on Saturdays at 8 p.m. andSundays at 3 p.m. There will be one additional performance on FridayMarch 3 at 8 p.m. General admission to all performances is $20, with $15 tickets available to seniors and $10 tickets available to students with valid ID.

Every Thursday

The Open Fist Theatre Company stands with the BIPOC community, including the AAPI people within it. We believe it is every human being’s right to participate equally in our institutions and communities – to be treated equally, to have their voices heard, and to have access to equal justice.

We are committed to being a part of the radical change that is needed to dismantle oppressive systems for good, specifically the system of white supremacy. We take a firm anti-racist stance and will not tolerate anything less than that in our role as storytellers and theatre-makers.

We are also committed to celebrating, uplifting, and centering the voices and stories of people of color, with the understanding that the theatre arts serve an important role in the movement towards inclusivity and liberation.


OFTC Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Statement


Open Fist Theatre Company believes it is every human being’s right to participate equally in our institutions and communities, to be treated equally under the Law, and to have access to equal justice. This is reflected by the company’s name, which combines the notion that an open spirit — embracing all people and ideas — is essential, with the idea that determination — signified by a fist — is necessary, if the theater is to remain a vital voice for social change and awareness. We are committed to being a part of the radical change that is needed to dismantle oppressive systems for good. Our policy is to take a firm anti-racist stance and will not tolerate anything less in our role as storytellers and theatre-makers.


Open Fist recognizes that past productions did not fully embrace or foster the diverse community we strive to create. We are addressing and correcting these inequities by becoming more deliberate in our inclusion of diverse artists and sharing these perspectives through the work we create. We continue to seek diverse voices for our Board and staff and challenge ourselves to speak to broader audiences. We have adopted a continuous learning mindset and understand that our racial equity work will evolve as we grow.


Open Fist Theatre Company remains committed to the creative empowerment of all its writers, directors, actors and designers; to sustaining a community that practices authentic inclusivity with the greatest possible diversity of age, race, ethnicity, ability, gender, sexual orientation, and socio-economic backgrounds; and to engaging an audience of similar diversity in order to unlock the potential of imagination and storytelling to build a better world. Together, the Company and its patrons strive to nurture empathy by embracing and celebrating differences, and by affirming the value and agency of all human beings.

OFTC COVID Safety Protocols:

As Open Fist Theatre Company returns to live performances at Atwater Village Theatre, we want our patrons to know that their safety is our top priority. All of our artists and production staff have been vaccinated and the production schedule at the facility has been coordinated so that audiences will arrive at separate times.

* Proof of vaccination will be required of all patrons, and masks required throughout the performance.

* Admittance is limited to ages 12+.

* Theater ventilation systems have been upgraded to the industry standard for COVID-19 protection. (For those who want details: our HVAC system now runs with MERV 13 filters and increased outside air. Supplemental HEPA13 air purifiers backstage and in the auditorium ensure at least 6 air changes per hour)

* As long as the rate of COVID transmission in Los Angeles County remains “substantial,” household groups will be separated by six feet on all sides.

For up to date announcements about our future plans, and opportunities for virtual engagement with our members, please subscribe to our weekly newsletter.
We look forward to welcoming you back to the theatre!

Thank you for your support of the Open Fist Theatre Company.