Ira lawrence

IRA LAWRENCE GAMERMAN plays a haunted electric mandolin that belonged to his estranged grandmother. His immersive theater piece GHOST ROOM will premier at Chashama’s Art Is Everywhere Gala in June of 2017. 

Ira’s theatrical work has been performed at The Kennedy Center, Samuel French OOB, #Serials @ The Flea, Ensemble Studio Theater, Short & Sweet Sydney, Collaboraction (@ the Steppenwolf Garage), F*It Club, Source Festival, Single Carrot, The Australian Broadcast Corporation, and The Chicago New Media Summit (among many other places around the globe). In 2006, City Paper voted Ira “Best Playwright Of Baltimore”. In 2009, Dated: A Cautionary Tale For Facebook Users was a New York Innovative Theater Award nominee for best short play.  Ira has received playwriting grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and Chicago Union League. BILLY BITCHASS  is published in THE BEST 10 MINUTE PLAYS OF 2016 by Smith & Kraus.

In summer of 2017 Ira will lead a Music Ascension program- teaching songwriting and recording techniques to elementary through high school students at Indian Head Camp. Ira has taught undergraduate theater and writing classes at Ohio University and Kingsborough Community College in Brooklyn.  He has also worked as a development associate at The Keswell School- helping children with Autism.  Ira has mentored Young Playwrights Festivals at Atlanta’s Horizon Theater and Baltimore’s Center Stage. In Manila, Ira taught theater games to impoverished youths with Project Pearls and lead workshops on musical writing at the Karnabal Festival.

Ira has shared the stage with Blue Oyster Cult, The Twilight Sad, and Cee Knowledge (Of Digable Planets).  Ira’s debut EP “Elegant Freefall” was voted Independent Clauses #9 Best EP of 2015. Ira shot the music video for “Jeremy Crackers” on a broken I-phone and edited it in a Baltimore hospital. It features a collection of Chicken memorabilia. His self recorded debut album “MAPAGKAWANGGAWA” received critical praise in 2016, and his new album “Young & Paranoid” will be out soon.

Internationally, Ira is 1/4th of AustraliAmerican Theater Collective Everything Everywhere  (2 Aussies 2 Americans 2 gals 2 dudes 2 goys 2 Jews 2 legit 2 quit) whose new performance "Everything Is Everywhere Lie To Your Face" made it's debut at the 2015 Karnabal Festival in the Philippines.

Ira’s podcast work has been produced by Radiotopia’s THE TRUTH where "Biological Clock" won a 2013 Mark Time Award and "Sweets For The Cheat" was a 2013 Audio Verse Awards finalist. Both episodes have been downloaded over 150,000 times.

Ira co-created, co-produces, and co-hosts DANGEROUSLY UNQUALIFIED: A PODCAST ABOUT LOVE (The original serialized Baltimore-centric podcast from Ira G and America's Favorite Amateur Dating Coach: Ryan Dowler).  

Ira holds a BA in Theater from Towson University, an MFA in Playwriting from Ohio University, and studied Devised theater at the (now defunct) Dartington College Of Art in the UK.  He has been a script consultant for Serbian Filmmaker Milica Zec (Sundance New Frontiers 2015). Ira has been published by Consequence Of Sound, High Times, Eleven Magazine, and Howlround. His work on The Wire remains his favorite acting gig to date.

 

-MAPAGKAWANGGAWA Album Art.JPG

MAPAGKAWANGGAWA

by Ira Lawrence

"That mandolin does sound haunted in a very good way.” –Jens Lekman

Ira Lawrence is an internationally produced playwright who inherited a haunted electric mandolin from his estranged grandmother in 2014. After releasing his acclaimed debut EP "Elegant Freefall" (Independent Clauses #9 Best EP of 2015), he left Brooklyn for the Philippines with his AustraliAmerican Theater Collective EVERYTHING IS EVERYWHERE (2 Aussies 2 Americans 2 gals 2 dudes 2 goys 2 Jews 2 legit 2 quit) to write, teach, and perform at Sipat Lawin's Karnabal Festival of performance and social innovation. 

DEBUT ALBUM OUT NOW! BUY IT HERE: iralawrence.bandcamp.com

WATCH SIPAT ON CNN: http://cnnphilippines.com/life/culture/arts/2016/09/14/independent-theater-in-the-philippines.html


While in The Philippines, Ira visited bombed out hospitals on the island of Corregidor, a sunken cemetery on the island of Camiguin, and almost got cast as a lead in a Filipino soap opera. MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, his debut album, is a self-recorded 11-song musical travelogue informed by Ira’s adventure abroad- exploring alienation from friends, the excitement of being immersed in a new culture, and America’s tenuous history with The Philippines (which at one point was on track to be America’s 51st state). 

Ira’s theatrical work has been performed at The Kennedy Center, Flea #Serials, Samuel French OOB, Ensemble Studio Theater, Short & Sweet Sydney, Collaboraction (at the Steppenwolf Garage), F*It Club, Source Festival, Single Carrot, The Australian Broadcast Corporation, and The Chicago New Media Summit (among many other places around the globe). In 2006, City Paper voted Ira “Best Playwright Of Baltimore”. In 2009, Dated: A Cautionary Tale For Facebook Users was a New York Innovative Theater Award nominee for best short play. Ira has received playwriting grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and Chicago Union League.

MAPAGKAWANGGAWA is also a Tagalog word for charitable and philanthropic. So, upon the album’s release in Fall of 2016, one dollar of every album sale will be donated back to The Sipat Lawin Ensemble- the vibrant and audacious Filipino theater company behind Karnabal. The album was self recorded in Brooklyn at Ryan & Molly's apartment between Christmas and New Years 2015 and mixed and mastered by John Jagos aka Brothertiger in Greenpoint.


NO SYNTHS
NO GUITARS
NO DRUMS
ONLY IRA LAWRENCE'S HAUNTED MANDOLIN

CRITICAL PRAISE:

“A stringed instrument on an acid trip, being played within a haunted house.”- Soundwaves Review 

“MAPAGKAWANGGAWA, is an album of unique and unforced style that cements Lawrence as an artist to be watched“- Artist Direct

"There’s a lot to be proud of on this album:  the rhythm, mixing, and the many, impressive sounds Lawrence is able to create using just one instrument are all reason for exuberant celebration.   That experimentation is a force to be reckoned with." - The Knockturnal

"These homemade quirks are not merely for show – rather, they help inform the impressive songwriting and musicianship that has gone into this entire work, which speaks volumes of Lawrence’s genuine artistry.  Indeed, the lyrics are simple yet poetic, full of meaning to which anyone can relate.  Meanwhile, the music is full of hooks, buzzy distortions, and memorable melodies.  Accompanied only by his haunted mandolin, Lawrence’s vocals are strong and clear; unaffected and blatant, yet somewhat bent, biting out catchy tunes and anxious, angsty, and optimistic lyrics...It somehow feels old and new, familiar and other worldly, all at the same time. "-  NY Theatre Guide

"Fuzzy Mandolin-folk which nestles into the corners of the room a like a happy pet dog gazing in the hope of supper."- Emerging Indie Bands