RISE, Cal Barnes’s evocative look at ex-lovers adapting to a tainted past amidst the backdrop of the modern-day, American church, won ‘Best World Premiere’ at the 2012 Hollywood Fringe Festival when it was first produced in Los Angeles by Zenith Ensemble.
TRUE GRANDEUR is the tale of Conrad Arlington, a young man who moves to Los Angeles to pursue his dream of becoming a great artist. Within a few short years of his arrival, Conrad’s success as a writer brings him to the attention of Gracie Garrison, a beautiful and alluring socialite whose glamorous lifestyle is just as mysterious as the rumors that surround her. After spending a spirited and adventurous night on the town together – one fueled by an excess of beautiful people, extravagant parties, gallery openings, and the madness of a fallen director – Conrad ultimately falls in love with her, believing them to be destined, however, when he awakes the next morning to find that Gracie is gone, he is distraught, and thus embarks on a relentless journey to find her, resulting in a tumultuous spiral of passion, art, and romance as he searches his soul to uncover the greatest mystery of all – true love.
At its core, True Grandeur is not just a love story, but rather an in-depth character study on contemporary romanticism, of how ideals shape one’s need for individuality and importance, and of how sociological factors such as fame, wealth, and social class contribute to one’s ability to receive – or not receive – true love. It’s a story of what it means to feel deeply, and attempts to accurately illustrate the internal progression of feeling that is the artist’s journey.