Odyssey Theatre Ensemble has scheduled an additional performance of the company’s currently running production, Kiss, to raise funds for refugees, immigrants and displaced American families. All proceeds from the performance on Wednesday, June 14 at 8 p.m. will go to Santa Ana-based TIYYA Foundation.
Kiss is a provocative new work by Chilean playwright Guillermo Calderón that attempts to break open cultural barriers in the wake of the ongoing Syrian conflict. The play challenges us to confront the limits of our own understanding, and exposes the suffocating effect of living under an oppressive, omnipresent regime.
According to Los Angeles Times theater critic Charles McNulty, “The questions posed by the play are profound. How can one culture ever know the circumstances of another?… Can the trauma of war be shared?”
Stage Scene LA’s Steven Stanley calls Kiss “a surreal, meta-theatrical commentary on love and war and loss and hope in a country gone mad, on our inability as Americans to understand a world so far removed from our own, and on the power of theater to bridge the gap between diametrically different lives.”
Kiss is directed by Bart DeLorenzo and stars Natali Anna, Kristin Couture, Max Lloyd-Jones, Kevin Matthew Reyes, Nagham Wehbe and Cynthia Yelle.
The benefit performance will be followed by a reception and post-performance discussion with DeLorenzo and the actors.
The mission of the TIYYA Foundation is to provide community support and educational opportunities for refugees, immigrants and displaced American families and to foster the development of self-sufficiency so that participants can overcome obstacles and actively participate in society. Tiyya was co-founded by Owliya Dima and her daughter Meymuna Hussein-Cattan, who are refugees from Ethiopia. Meymuna was born in an Ethiopian refugee camp in Somalia, and her father was resettled in Southern California in 1983. In 1984, the family reunited. Since then, they have made an enormous impact on supporting and raising awareness about multicultural refugee communities in Orange County. Prior to founding Tiyya, Owliya volunteered in assisting newcomers with the challenging process of resettlement for over a decade. In 2010, her volunteer efforts shifted into Tiyya (Meymuna’s thesis project in graduate school), creating a powerful organization that has provided assistance and accommodation to individual refugees and families for the past seven years. For more information, visit www.tiyya.org.
The benefit performance takes place on Wednesday, June 14 at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $15 – $25. All proceeds go to the TIYYA Foundation. The Odyssey Theatre is located at 2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd., West Los Angeles, 90025. For reservations and information, call (310) 477-2055 or go to OdysseyTheatre.com.