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Playwrights Project presents its 30th annual festival of Plays by Young Writers at The Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in the Conrad Prebys Theatre Center. The festival will feature winning scripts from the California Young Playwrights Contest for ages 18 and under.
Contest winners were selected from 581 plays submitted by students from across the state. Four scripts will receive full professional productions, and four scripts will receive staged readings in this highly regarded festival of new voices. The Festival is divided into Program A (appropriate for ages 11+) and Program B (for ages 16+).
This year's older writers explore family reconciliation, and the younger writers primarily focus on what makes meaningful friendships. Adult audiences will be moved by the sophisticated ideas on the minds of teenage writers, and students will be intrigued by characters grappling with conflicts much like their own.
Almost, Maine, a town that's so far north, it's almost not in the United States – It's almost in Canada. And it almost doesn't exist. Because its residents never got around to getting organized. So, it's just…Almost. One Friday night in the middle of winter, while the northern lights hover in the sky, Almost's residents find themselves falling in and out of love in the strangest ways. Knees bruised. Hearts broken. Love is lost, found, and confounded. And life for the people of Almost, Maine will never be the same. Almost, Maine: It's love. But not quite.
Director Martin Papazian leads his ensemble and audiences through the story of nine couples falling in and out of love in this beautifully poetic and magical love story.
Music, murder and Mozart. This enthralling work weaves an argument between mediocrity and genius into a tale of spectacular dramatic power. Antonio Salieri is the established composer in the court of Austrian Emperor Joseph II. Salieri has given himself to God so that he might realize his sole ambition to be a great composer. But when the greatest musical genius of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, enters, Salieri is confronted with that which is beyond his envious grasp: Genius.
A dazzling piece of silk from Pierre Caron de Beaumarchais. Dr. Bartholo, the old physician, entraps his ward, the beautiful Rosina, conniving to wed her for her fortune. Enter the humble and handsome Count Almaviva and his mischievous servant Figaro. Will she marry him, or will she marry the old fart? I wonder!
Bob's Holiday Office Party - L.A.'s most "hilariously deranged" (Los Angeles Times) seasonal tradition is back for its 19th year! Every year, insurance agent Bob Finhead's whacked out friends and clients stop by his small-town Iowa office for their annual holiday bash. The town mayor, the sheriff, the twin farmers, the stoner, the town floozy and the pastor's wife have already RSVPed for this year's event. But Bob has dreams of a bigger life and wants to escape their narrow-minded thinking. Will he be able to fulfill his dream of becoming a professional inventor and move to the big city, or will he come to realize how much he is the heart and soul of the town? Will any of this matter once the party stars, the bickering and fighting begins, and the drinks hit the floor?
What if your book club was being filmed for a documentary by a famous Danish filmmaker? How would you behave? That's the scintillating set up of The Book Club Play, in which secrets are not only revealed, they're caught on tape in this hilarious new comedy about books, the people who love them and what can happen when friends start reading between the lines. Sprinkled with wit, joy and novels galore - from Jane Eyre and Moby Dick to Twilight and The DaVinci Code - this is a buoyant satire of a contemporary culture that loves a good book as much as a juicy show-all vid, and a testament to the joy of reading. Lights! Camera! Book Club!!
In this inspiring true story, Oded Yosef Kassirer journeys from the deserts of Israel and the Israeli military to the tree-lined suburbs of Los Angeles. On his way, he deals with coming out, relationships, his family and friends, his inner-demons, and finding love in the most unlikely of places. Join us on this journey as Oded faces love, mortality and acceptance, just like the rest of us, in a tour-de-force performance that is both riveting and emotionally-charged. Because no matter who you are, or where you come from, we all deserve a Chapter 2.
"...Sucking-pigs, wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters..." Parson's Nose's annual celebration of the English language when we revel in Dickens' own words, the delicious description of Victorian London we skimmed in high school but now can enjoy over a cup of wine or cocoa. "Scrooge lived in a gloomy suite of rooms, in a lowering pile of a building up a yard where it had so little business to be that one could scarcely help fancying it must have run there when it was a young house, playing at hide and seek with other houses, and forgotten the way out again."
A Reader's Theater Series Production
Sports stadiums, eminent domain, Cuban outfielders and the fight for what's best for the City of Angels — it's time for a return to The Ravine. Celebrating 30 years of theatremaking, Culture Clash — Richard Montoya, Ric Salinas and Herbert Siguenza — delivers new insights with their signature satirical eye as they perform their revised take on Chavez Ravine twelve years after its world premiere at the Mark Taper Forum. Energized with new material and music from The Rodarte Brothers, Culture Clash returns to one of their most beloved plays and reexamines the constantly changing landscape of Los Angeles in the still Wild West.
Experience the action packed adventure of the story of the magical flying car, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! When eccentric inventor Caractacus Potts fixes up a car that his two children, Jeremy and Jemima, want him to save from the junk man he soon realizes it's not just a car but a phantasmagorical machine. With the help of Truly Scrumptious, Caractacus and his children climb aboard Chitty Chitty Bang Bang to rescue Grandpa Potts from the evil Baron Bomburst and find out teamwork and a magical car will work every time!
One of Creating Arts Company's Jr. Broadway series shows designed for children ages ten and up and their families. This show runs one hour and forty-five minutes with a ten minute intermission.
Brimming with music and dance, love and laughter, spectacular special effects and scary ghosts, it's no wonder the critics have called it "The Christmas Carol to see in the Bay Area." Join the thousands who make this theatrical event a part of their annual holiday traditions.
This is ISC's tenth year presenting A Christmas Carol with Charles Dickens. David Melville is also currently appearing as Charles Dickens in The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson.
Saving the world one joke at a time.
The Reduced Shakespeare Company has skewered history, the Bible and the world's most celebrated playwright. Now, they seek to answer one of life's greatest mysteries: What makes people laugh? The "bad boys of abridgement" leave no joke untold as they deconstruct the entire history of comedy in 90 rollicking minutes.
Against her family's wishes, a young Shona girl escapes a forced marriage arrangement by converting to Christianity and becoming servant and student to an African evangelist. However, as anti-European sentiments rise among her people, she must choose between colonial and ancestral ways of life. Recommended for mature teens and up.
"A gutsy, heartfelt & richly complex portrait" - Chicago Tribune
Matt can no longer stomach his job, no matter what it pays. And when he concocts a business plan that will earn him millions while helping those in need, he believes he's discovered his new career. So why does everyone think this venture's even viler than the last? A blend of humor, Hendrix, and hard-core porn, Dirty explores whether there's any place for philanthropy in this cutthroat country called home.
After his beloved dog dies, CB searches for an answer to the question of what happens after people – or pets – die. When his friends provide minimal support for his questions, he turns to Beethoven, a reclusive teenager who has been shunned by his peers and whose only solace is his music. The two teenagers strike up a relationship which spirals into something far more intense than either expect, and the events that follow push everyone to their limits.
This is a benefit produced by Cappricielli, Inc. and the Free Your Mind Projects. All net proceeds via ticket sales and crowd sourcing will be donated to the Trevor Project, a charity focusing on mental health, anti-bullying, and suicide prevention. This is a guest production on the Santa Monica Playhouse Main Stage.
HAIR'itage is an original play about the evolution of the Black Woman's Hair.
The play tells the stories of 6 "Sistah's" and how their hair defined them at certain times in their lives. You may have heard the expression, "Don't touch a black woman's hair" Hair is considered by some women to be their crowning glory. HAIR'itage explores the relationships a black woman has with her hair. The stories are told through scenes, monologues, song and dance
MacArthur "Genius" Award-winning Tarell Alvin McCraney pens a poignant and poetic new play about the journey of family and faith, trial and tribulation. In a dilapidated house near the ever-shifting source of the Mississippi, Shelah's family gathers on a stormy night for her birthday—bringing ghosts and secrets of the past with them. As her roof buckles under the weight of the rain, Shelah's convictions begin to wash away, leaving her to excavate the truths buried below. Directed by the preeminent Tina Landau in her Berkeley Rep debut, the riveting Head of Passes comes to the Bay Area straight from its acclaimed world premiere in Chicago.
A sweeping time-travel romance from master playwright Tom Stoppard, this exquisitely romantic play tells the story of a contemporary English biographer and a young Indian man, who separately attempt to explore the mysteries of the erotic artwork and poetry left behind by a racy, freethinking English poet from the 1930s and the Indian painter whom she has come to love. Through the passion of the poet's writing and letters, they each discover that she held many more secrets in Jummapur, India, than ever before imagined. Full of tender moments, Indian Ink is a brilliant study of the of the emotional and psychological after-effects of British colonialism.
Celebrate the magic of the holidays with Irving Berlin's White Christmas. Veterans Bob Wallace and Phil Davis, a successful song-and-dance duo, follow a pair of beautiful singing sisters en-route to their Christmas show at a Vermont lodge. When they discover their former commander is the owner, and could use their help, the quartet put on a show that make sparks fly as the snow falls. This touching holiday standard promises to be a merry and bright theatrical experience for the entire family!
Conceived as a companion pieces by James McClure, Laundry and Bourbon and Lone Star, constitutes two one acts, a full evening of thought provoking and hilarious theatre.
In Laundry And Bourbon, the action centers on the discontent and very funny gossip of three small-town wives whose marriages have turned out to be less than was hoped for. Lone Star takes place in the cluttered backyard of a small-town Texas bar. Roy, a brawny, macho type who had once been a local high-school hero, is back in town after a hitch in Vietnam and trying to reestablish his position in the community.
An intimate and disarmingly honest play from one of England's most celebrated modern playwrights (and Artistic Director of Baltimore's Center Stage), Let There Be Love tells the story of Alfred, a gruff and complicated West Indian immigrant, recently transplanted to London. Struggling with his new surroundings and his estrangement from both of his daughters, he experiences a new awakening, and a new reckoning with his past, when he comes to know a young Polish caregiver assigned to his case. Filled with the sumptuous jazz standards that pour forth from Alfred's beloved record player, Let There Be Love explores the forces of memory and mystery that lie at the heart of all immigrant experiences—and what can happen when, at any age, we open our minds to the possibility of change.
When choosing how best to protect a child, the wrong decision can lead to tragedy. Veteran social worker Caroline is determined to do what it takes to save baby Luna Gale, but the path ahead is shadowed by hidden motives, long held secrets and moral ambiguity. Powerful and arresting, Luna Gale is an unforgettable tale of conviction and passion.
"Countess, there was a time when garbage was a pleasure."
Girardoux's love note to the vanishing Paris of la Belle Epoque. A prospector, a baron and a corporate boss find oil beneath the Tour Eiffel and the cafes of Chaillot. How could three eccentric countesses, a ragman and a sewerman possibly make the world safe for lovers?
The winds of change blow in when Mary Poppins, nanny extraordinaire, takes a nanny job for the Banks family. While she teaches the children about compassion and understanding, she also teaches their father that quite often the most important things in life are right in front of you. Filled with song and dance, Mary, Bert and the Banks will entertain you while melting your heart.
This is a Creating Arts Company Mini Musical, which is a one hour interactive-cinematic-theatrical-musical experience that is fun for the entire family and will entertain adults as well as children ages 3 and up!
Zombie Joe's Underground Theatre Group proudly presents their all-new holiday production, Morrison Christmas, inspired by the Liberation through Hearing During the Intermediate State, or Bardo Todrol, The Lizard King and the psychedelic blue light of Christmas. Directed by one of ZJU's founding members - critically acclaimed performance artist Josh T. Ryan, who brings a collaborative late night ensemble together in honor of The Living Theatre and Zombie Joe's Underground.
A.C.T. presents the West Coast debut of the outrageous and enthusiastically acclaimed new comedy by Bay Area–born playwright Anne Washburn. The story begins in a dark dystopia, where a group of surviving strangers bond by recreating from memory an episode of The Simpsons. As the story moves decades later, their recollection becomes an almost religious-like fable, elaborately staged for adoring crowds through live theater and opera. A marvelously meta tribute to the pop-culture phenomenon The Simpsons and a paean to the power of storytelling, Mr. Burns, A Post-Electric Play is an ingenious exploration of how we share recollection, memory, and truth.
"You sockdologizing old mantrap!"
Remember in Downton Abbey when the dreadful Canadian is going to take Mary's fortune? Our American Cousin was written in 1852. The American is a big galumphing rube with a heart of gold, and his English hosts are a rapidly declining houseful of eccentrics. The comedy swept America and culminated in a performance in Ford's Theater in Washington D. C. on April 14, one hundred fifty years ago.
Anton Chekhov's The Seagull continues to inspire, bewitch and speak to playwrights, directors, and actors all over the world almost a hundred and twenty years after it was first performed. Taking his cue from the Russian master, David Bucci's Possum Carcass uses The Seagull as a jumping off point but creates something wholly and uniquely his own. A Chekhovian blueprint with a garage rock pulse, a Lower East Side brain, and the timeless, breathtaking ups and hilarious downs of trying to make it as an artist in New York City.
Conrad wants to be a writer with a capital W. He pines for Nina, who pines for stardom. Conrad's mother Mona has already achieved that, as she is a legend of daytime TV. Her paramour, a younger and well established sci-fi writer, Boris, is on the cusp of the big time. Lydia makes videos and sees what nobody else can in Conrad. Except his Uncle Angus, who is a self-taught special effects man.
Proof is an elegant and engaging story of obsession, intellect and family bonding. Twenty-five year old Catherine must establish the authorship of a mathematical proof found in the office of her brilliant but troubled father. Following his death, she must confront her volatile emotions along with the arrival of her estranged sister and a burgeoning romance with her father's former student. When all these forces come to a head, Catherine begins to question whether she's inherited her father's talent…or his madness.
Two-time Tony and Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner makes her Berkeley Rep debut as Molly Ivins, the brassy, sharp-witted political journalist and best-selling author of Bushwacked. Celebrated for her folksy yet barbed humor, Ivins was the rowdy raconteur stirring up trouble in the old boy's club and ridiculing those she deemed too big for their britches—earning her a widely read syndicated column and a seat next to Mark Twain as one of America's beloved satirists. In Red Hot Patriot, Kathleen Turner is all smarts and sass as the redheaded firebrand, recounting her political rants and personal reflections with a liberal dose of piss and vinegar.
When Rudolph, Frosty, the Grinch, Heat Miser, Snow Miser, Jack Frost and a host of other holiday characters come together in one big holiday extravaganza the entire family is in for a good time! Flash back with all of your favorite holiday special characters and watch your children light up with this fun show that has all your favorite songs and characters.
A Creating Arts Company Original Show that is a one hour interactive-cinematic-theatrical-musical experience that is fun for the entire family, children ages three and up!
A lecherous goat, Pentecostals on the radio, a house full of dogs, cats, and Febreze and Daddy's .38 special. These are just some of the ingredients in a delicious and magical stew of stories about a singular childhood in Grady County, written and performed by Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of the hit film Beasts Of The Southern Wild. See a landscape you won't soon forget.
"I set out to write a play about race and ended up writing a play about family," says playwright Julie Hebert about Tree, "About the inescapability of family, of being known over time, of recognizing yourself in others, of continuing relationships after betrayal and suffering. We keep each other honest. Sometimes it's funny, sometimes painful – and so it is with this play."
A comic thriller about a reality TV show where the boundaries between fiction and fact, life and death, are dangerously blurred. Also skewering the effect of the information age on the nature of identity.
The perfect sidesplitting comedy for the holiday season, A Tuna Christmas takes audiences to the "third-smallest" town in Texas during the most hectic time of year. Yuletide activities are in full swing as radio personalities from the local station report on hard-hitting issues such as Joe Bob Lipsey's struggling production of A Christmas Carol and the annual lawn display contest with emphasis on the mysterious "Christmas Phantom" notorious for vandalizing the displays.
This two-man show introduces audiences to a myriad of colorful characters from the tiny town of Tuna through dizzying costume and scene changes. As described by the New York Post, A Tuna Christmas is, "So funny it could make a raccoon laugh affectionately at Davy Crockett... It's far too good for just Christmas."
Written by one of England's leading writers for young audiences, Walking the Tightrope is a sweet and funny story of a grandfather who, while trying to tell his five-year-old granddaughter that Grandma is gone, goes about building a beautiful new relationship with her.
Vivian Bearing, Ph.D., a renowned professor of English who has spent years studying the brilliant and difficult metaphysical sonnets of John Donne, has been diagnosed with terminal ovarian cancer. Her approach to the study of Donne: aggressively probing, intensely rational. But during the course of her illness - and her stint as a prize patient in an experimental chemotherapy program at a major teaching hospital - Vivian comes to reassess her life and her work with a profundity and humor that are transformative both for her and the audience.
Powerful and poignant, heartfelt and humorous, and to celebrate Kwaanza, Santa Monica Playhouse is proud to present a special one-night-only engagement of film, television and stage personality Stogie Kenyatta's acclaimed show about African-American artist-activist Paul Robeson. Robeson – internationally renowned actor, recording artist, concert singer, football player, All-American athlete and Phi Beta Kappa Society laureate at Rugters University, was witness to the artistic wonders of the Harlem Renaissance and the Jazz/Be-bop era, the horrors of the slave trade, the shame of the Holocaust, McCarthyism, blacklists, racism and oppression. His life's work celebrates our common humanity as he fought globally for social justice. "Armed with nothing more than the strength of his convictions and his vision of a world where men live as brothers, his message was his life," says Kenyatta. "He shows us that in spite of our differences, we still have more in common than we do in conflict."
Memory, myth, and football meet head on in this hard-hitting world premiere commissioned by Berkeley Rep and directed by Michael Leibert Artistic Director Tony Taccone. KJ Sanchez's previous play ReEntry, featuring a moving portrayal of Marines preparing for and returning from combat, was an explosive off-Broadway hit. Now she brings us a gripping new docudrama about a love that is generous yet dangerous, life-giving yet lethal—and a passion that borders on addiction yet feels so much a part of our DNA. Dramatically based on brutally honest and heartrending interviews with players, their families, and their fans about traumatic brain injuries and their impact on the game, X's and O's (A Football Love Story) takes an unflinching look at the lives and loves around this singularly American sport—and the lingering questions it asks of us all.