Aubrey Plaza - Hot Video: Prom Date with Jason Bateman and Will Arnett

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Aubrey Plaza - Her Company, Small Wonder Productions

It's not every day that you can find so much information on a company that hasn't done anything yet! But Aubrey's found a lot of success lately with her acting career, and that will help her company find success as well...

Aiming at the big time in the Big Apple

If you hear about Small Wonder Productions, a young independent production company, you might guess from the name alone that it has a connection to Delaware. When you go to its Web site -- -- the icon of Rockford Tower makes it clear that this is a Delaware outfit. The two impresarios behind Small Wonder are Delaware natives Aubrey Plaza and Dan Murphy.

Both live in New York and have other jobs in show biz.
Plaza, a veteran in improv and in acting, is in the upcoming Judd Apatow movie "Funny People."

Plaza's story

Plaza, 24, is the daughter of Bernadette Plaza of Woodbrook and David Plaza of Alapocas; and her younger sisters are Natalie and Renee.

She graduated in 2006 from New York University and while living in New York has done a variety of things: A set design internship at "Saturday Night Live," a play (the Natalie Wood role in what she called a bad adaptation of "Rebel Without a Cause" -- so bad that when one character yelled "shoot him," the audience would chime in), a walk-on on "30 Rock," (she was leading a tour, just like she used to do as an NBC page), independent film, work for the Web (such as "Jeannie Tate," a series about a soccer mom with a talk show in her minivan) and live comedy (such as Bombardo, an all-female improv group).

As a comic, Plaza said she was inspired by Janeane Garofalo and used some of her bits early in her career.

Plaza's breakthrough role might be that part in "Funny People": A young Delawarean who improvises and does stand-up comedy (does that sound familiar?).
The cast did some public bonding together, which generated this squib in Entertainment Weekly about "three of its leading actors, Seth Rogan, Adam Sandler, and Jonah Hill. ... The yuksters made two appearances at the L.A. outpost of Upright Citizens Brigade (capacity: 92) along with 'The King of Queens' star Kevin James and newcomer Aubrey Plaza, all so they could hone their stand-up skills."

So what's Plaza like in her stand-up act? She offered this: "I love New York. It's the only city that I'm afraid of getting trash blown into my mouth. Living in New York is like living in the eye of a trash tornado."

She's been to Los Angeles enough to appear before casting directors ("it's like dating") that she cracks wise about that city, too. "I like driving in L.A. At least you have normal thoughts in the morning: 'I hope I'm not late.' In New York, on my way to work in the morning on the subway, I hope that homeless guy doesn't hit me with that mannequin hand."

David Plaza said his daughter "began performing at age 8 at the Wilmington Drama League and never looked back. ... It was clear to us early on [in her teen years] that she would pursue a career in the arts."

He recalled one stunt: While attending Ursuline Academy, one day she followed a favorite teacher -- Kay Gaglione -- home in a cardboard box on Pennsylvania Avenue. "Every time the teacher looked back, she hid inside of it. She did this all the way to the teacher's house. It was hilarious."

Comments Bernadette Plaza: "There is a group of us parents at the Wilmington Drama League who say 'Wow!' about their success."

Murphy said he and Plaza have half-jokingly discussed crafting a video that showcases their cinematic favorites in Delaware: Bellevue Park with the indoor pool in a barn ("very 'Sunset Boulevard' "), Old New Castle, the Brandywine Valley hills and Rockford Tower itself ("such a Hitchcock setting").

Meanwhile, "I have two or three feature-length scripts that I have been working on that I hope to complete and try to get them into the right hands," he said.

The next chapters

Their lives are hectic.

Separately, and with their production company, they juggle lots of ideas, lots of revisions and lots of scripts: A female "Superbad." A Web series starring Plaza as a temp. Being scouted for Montreal's Just for Laughs festival.

She favors comedy; he favors drama; but so far they have not found the right project for their production company.

They find time to visit family and friends in Delaware. But those visits may soon get harder.

Plaza is planning to move to the center of the movie universe -- Los Angeles -- and she wants Murphy to go, too.


Let's explore their company website:

Contact them here:

Here is their news:

1.29.09 Aubrey and Dan were interviewed for an article on Small Wonder for The News Journal's "Crossroads" section. (The article above)

11.07.08 Aubrey is in the December issue of Vanity Fair in a picture and article about Funny People!

11.06.08 Dan and John Milhiser won the Best Dogumentary award for their video for the North Shore Animal League's annual gala.

10.05.08 Aubrey got a mention in this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly. She and other cast members of "Funny People" have been performing stand-up in LA.

9.21.08 Dan premiered his documentary, "Ties That Bind", in Delaware.

9.07.08 Aubrey is heading to LA where she will be shooting a new Judd Apatow film, "Funny People", in which she plays Seth Rogen's girlfriend! Coming to a theater near you July 2009. Hopefully she will keep our LA blog updated!

Dan's new documentary, "Ties That Bind", will premiere in Wilmington on September 21st.

8.30.08 Dan is shooting and Aubrey is appearing in a new webisode series tentatively called "Untitled Hall & Oates Project"

6.08.08 Aubrey is currently in New Hampshire shooting a role in the new film "Mystery Team"

6.05.08 Small Wonder will be shooting two new shorts this summer for Quincy's upcoming shows at Joe's Pub

4.19.08 Aubrey was featured in a NY Daily News Article as one of New York's "Next Funny Ladies"

4.07.08 "The Stranger" will be screening at NYU's First Run Film Festival this Friday, April 11th at 3PM at the Cantor Film Center

1 comment:

  1. Love Aubrey, but she was fired from Rebel before it continued its commercial run off-broadway on 42nd St. The audiences complained she couldn't act on stage. Her stories may be funny and are understandable for someone who was fired, but are not at all true. The show set box office records off-bway. Sorry she feels the need to lie with the success she has achieved. I wish her nothing but the best.


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