This Week in LA Theatre

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

Written by Julio Martinez

Image credit: The 30th Annual LA STAGE Alliance Ovation Awards held at The Theatre at Ace Hotel on January 13, 2020 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Capture Imaging)

 

  • South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa has announced the lineup for the 2020 Pacific Playwrights Festival, in conjunction with the theatre’s new-play development arm, The Lab@SCR.  The 23rd year of the festival includes two world-premiere productions—The Scarlet Letter by Kate Hamill and I Get Restless by Caroline V. McGraw—and five staged readings by Christie Baugher, Anchuli Felicia King, Shayan Lotfi, Tony Meneses and Erika Sheffer. On April 25, prior to the evening performance of Hamill’s The Scarlet Letter, the American Theatre Critics Association (ATCA) will present the Harold and Mimi Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award. It is one of the largest national new play awards of its kind and recognizes the best scripts that premiered professionally outside of New York City. Previous Steinberg Award-winners include Cambodian Rock Band, I & You and Vietgone, all of which were developed, in part, at South Coast Repertory.  PPF runs April 24-26, with morning, afternoon and evening events. 
  • The Los Angeles Theatre Center, celebrating its 34th year, kicks off its 2020 with season with a revival of La Victima, written by El Teatro De La Esperanza, presented in collaboration with students from UCLA’s School of Theater Film and Television and the East Los Angeles College Theater Arts Department. Opens Apr 16.  Also opening Apr 16, running concurrently with La Victima, are two dance/theater productions by Spanish dancer, choreographer and performance artist Marta Carrasco that will play in repertory, Perra de Nadie and Jo, Dona. A Lili Elbe. The season continues with: the Los Angeles premiere of Just Like Us, written by Karen Zacariás and directed by José Luis Valenzuela (May 16); the return of Spain’s celebrated Kulunka Teatro with their Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Award-winning production of André & Dorine, directed by Inake Rikaete (May 21); the premiere of SHE, the coming-of-age drama by Los Angeles-based emerging playwright Marlow Wyatt (June 6); a 30th anniversary production of August 29, named for the date in 1970 when Los Angeles Times columnist Ruben Salazar was killed while covering a large Chicano-led anti-war demonstration in East L.A. (Aug 29); The Last Angry Brown Hat by Alfredo Ramos, four former members of the Brown Berets, a 1960s militant Chicano civil rights organization, reunite after the funeral of a pal (Sep 5); the premiere of Sleep with the Angels, a new play by Latino Theater Company’s resident playwright, Evelina Fernández (Sep 5); and Latino Theater Company’s annual Reading Series, presenting readings of seven new plays over the course of one weekend, titles and schedule TBA (Oct. 23-25). The year ends with the 18th annual La Virgen de Guadalupe, Dios Inantzin, written by Evelina Fernández, directed by Jose Luis Valenzuala returning on Dec. 4-5.
  • International City Theatre in Long Beach has signed on to join #ENOUGHPlays to End Gun Violence, “a national campaign that seeks to spark critical conversations about gun violence by providing middle and high school students with a platform to express themselves through storytelling, foster open dialogue in their communities, and inspire creative action.”  ICT joins a growing list of regional theater companies across the U.S. that are calling for submissions of short plays written by students about gun violence. #ENOUGH will culminate in an evening of staged readings of the most impactful plays, presented simultaneously across the country on Dec 14— the eighth anniversary of the Sandy Hook shootings. The finalist plays will be chosen by a panel of award-winning, nationally recognized playwrights, including Lauren Gunderson and Karen Zacarías, Tony Award winner David Henry Hwang, Academy Award winner Tarell Alvin McCraney and Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan. The student authors of the chosen plays will be brought to the Utah Shakespeare Festival to workshop their scripts in August before their plays are made available to communities taking part in the #ENOUGH nationwide reading

 

  • Victory Theatre Center in Burbank opens its 40th Season with the premiere of Love & Politics, four passionately divergent characters try to make sense of everything from smartphones to career path, immigration, love…and politics, written by Jon Klein.  Stars Kimberly Alexander, Tom Ormeny, Justin Huen and Kathleen Bailey, directed by Maria Gobetti.  Opens Mar 13.
  • Midnight Theatricals announces the West Coast premiere of the hit Off-Broadway and London, Afterglow, exploring the emotional, intellectual, and physical relationships between three men, written and directed by S. Asher Gelman.  Casting TBA. Opens May 16 at the Hudson Mainstage Theatre in Hollywood.  

 

  • The Pack @ The Pico, an evening of staged readings of short new comedies by Drama Desk Award Winner, Eugene Pack, features an ensemble that includes Laraine Newman, Dana Gould, Willie Garson, Bill Smitrovich, Spencer Garrett, Milanka Brooks, Jennifer Grant, Intae Kim, Rebecca Lane, Bruce Nozick, Tim Ransom, Dayle Reyfel, Lynne Stewart, Beth Triffon, Terry Walters and Bradley White. Opens Mar 3 at The Pico in West L.A.

 

  • Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks is hosting Stephanie Satie’s solo show, Silent Witnesses, “recanting of the holocaust through the eyes of the innocent,” directed by Anita Khanzadian. Plays one performance on Mar 8.   
  • La Mirada Theater is hosting a one night only concert by ventriloquist, singer and celebrity impressionist, Terry Fator, winner of “America’s Got Talent” in 2007.  Plays Mar 7 at 8pm at La Mirada Theater for the Performing Arts. 

 

Julio Martinez hosts Arts in Review, celebrating the best in theater and cabaret in the Greater Los Angeles area, airing on KPFK (90.7fm) on Fridays 2-2:30pm, streamed live around the world in real time over www.kpfk.org

An Interview with CTG’s Sherwood Award Winner, Mat Diafos Sweeney

“I think LA theatre is at its best when it’s reaching across forms and reinventing its relationship to a live audience, and at its worst when it’s trying to fit an existing mold or production model that made sense in New York a century ago. LA is the future- our garden is wilder, vaster, and more diverse so it should be tended differently.”

Read More »
Julio Martinez

Julio Martinez

Julio pens the weekly LA STAGE Insider column for @ This Stage Magazine, as well as the monthly LA STAGE History column. He is a recurring contributor to Written By (the monthly publication of the Writer’s Guild of America) and is the TeleVision columnist for Latin Heat Entertainment. On air, he hosts the weekly Arts in Review program for KPFK 90.7 FM. An active journalist for over 30 years, Julio’s articles and reviews have appeared in Los Angeles Times Magazine, Daily Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, L.A. Weekly, Stage Raw, Backstage West, Westways Magazine, and Drama-Logue Magazine, among others.