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The New Play Reading Festival presents readings of exciting new works-in-progress that are in keeping with Boston Court's mission, which urges artists to fearlessly and passionately pursue their unique voice and vision. Play selection encompasses a wide variety of genres, with a special emphasis on works that are inherently theatrical, textually rich, and visually arresting.
Danny and Laura are a typical modern couple; she is a dedicated, hard-working lawyer, while he, an underemployed actor, is a stay-at-home dad. Their marriage has been shifted to autopilot as both of them strive for the American dream. But all is brought to a dead, frightening stop when their seven-year-old daughter's teacher suggests that the child is most likely transgender. What follows is a fierce and sometimes hostile battle with Danny and Ms. Spencer advocating acceptance and pre-emptive reassignment and Laura adamantly refusing either action. This highly relevant issue of our time is the battleground for this emotional and heartbreaking story of fierce love and dreaded loss.
It's the night of the Oscars, and a working actor-turned-Oscar nominee knows that his life is about to change — he just doesn't know how profoundly. His transgender nephew has plans for his speech, his young agent has plans for his future, his unstoppable mother has plans for the catering, and his partner is nowhere to be found. Obie-winning playwright and master satirist Paul Rudnick blends deep humanity with hilarity in this play about family and fame, the personal and the political, and the drive to stand up and speak out.
Join the second annual Center Theatre Group Block Party and discover exceptional new theater from the past year that you may not even know you missed.
Every night, performers take the stage at over 250 theaters across Los Angeles. The abundance of talent and innovative work being produced is a theater lover's dream. To celebrate all that L.A.'s intimate theater scene has to offer, CTG is once again presenting encore productions from three outstanding companies — showcasing their remarkable work at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
The plays selected for the inaugural Block Party were Coeurage Theatre Company's production of Failure: A Love Story by Philip Dawkins, the Echo Theater Company's production of Dry Land by Ruby Rae Spiegel, and the Fountain Theatre's production of Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine and adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs.
Debra Jo Rupp (That '70s Show) stars as Della, a baker who makes cakes, not judgment calls — those she leaves to her husband (Joe Hart, recently seen on Broadway in Bonnie and Clyde). But when Jen, the girl Della helped raise (Shannon Lucio of American Horror Story), comes back home to North Carolina to get married and the fiancé turns out to be another fiancée (A Noise Within resident artist Carolyn Ratteray), Della's life gets turned upside down. She can't really make a cake for such a wedding, can she? For the first time in her life, Della has to think for herself.
A Noise Within's delightfully festive, musically merry holiday tradition returns. Families love the inspirational story of Bob Crachit, Tiny Tim, and Scrooge — the perfect burst of boundless good cheer for the season.
Producing artistic directors Geoff Elliott (who adapted the play directly from the Charles Dickens' novella) and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott codirect this masterpiece about the redemptive and transformative power of love. In this production, Dickens' poignant tale is matched by evocative original music by composer Ego Plum.
Roland is a beekeeper. Marianne is a quantum physicist. What are their odds of falling in love? With infinite moments that can change the trajectory of a life, it's anyone's guess how cosmic collision is possible. Nick Payne's Olivier and Drama League-nominated hit is a charming, devastating, and profound exploration of the universal truth of finding and losing love. A play that balances on the question of "what if," Constellations is, at its core, a poignant picture of "what is."
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a Tony Award-winning play by Simon Stephens, adapted from Mark Haddon's best-selling novel and directed by Tony winner Marianne Elliott.
Fifteen-year-old Christopher has an extraordinary brain; he is exceptionally intelligent but ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. When he falls under suspicion of killing his neighbor's dog, he sets out to identify the true culprit, which leads to an earth-shattering discovery and a journey that will change his life forever.
Winner of five 2015 Tony Awards, including Best Play!
Audience advisory: This production features moments of loud music, bright lighting, and strobe effects. Please also be aware that the show contains some adult language and themes.
Partners in life and on canvas, Marc and Bella Chagall are immortalized as having one of the most romantic marriages of the 20th century. The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk traces the young couple as they navigate the pogroms, the Russian Revolution, and each other. Following the artistic heights of Brief Encounter and 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips, the Kneehigh theater company and director Emma Rice return to the Wallis with a production that combines the visuals of Chagall's paintings with the music and dance of the Russian Jewish tradition.
DANTE, a contemporary hip-hop adaptation of Dante's Inferno, is the coming of age story of a kid in LA facing all of the modern temptations the city has to offer.
DANTE mixes classic poetry, spoken word, music, and choreography to engage with the past and delve into timeless themes of greed, love and longing… with inspiration from Hamilton's and Get Lit's former mentor, Daveed Diggs. DANTE is written by and stars the Get Lit's Literati Fellows, a troupe of young poets who serve as ambassadors for education and arts empowerment across Los Angeles and beyond.
An astonishing, deeply moving new drama about family, acceptance, and the power of faith from MacArthur "Genius Award"-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (The Brother/Sister Plays), featuring Tony Award® winner Phylicia Rashad. At the mouth of the Mississippi River, Shelah's family and friends have come to celebrate her birthday and save her from a leaking roof. But in this contemporary parable inspired by the Book of Job, unexpected events turn the reunion into the ultimate test of faith and love. As her world seems to collapse around her, Shelah (Rashad) must fight to survive the rising flood of life's greatest challenges in this poetic and piercing new play.
A classic tale goes rogue in Vesturport's bold new twist on the world's most infamous outlaw. Forget everything you ever knew about Robin Hood. In writer David Farr (The Night Manager) and acclaimed directors Gisli Örn Gardarsson and Selma Björnsdóttir's reimagining, Robin and his unmerry gang of cutthroats steal from the rich, but it's never occurred to them to give anything back to anyone. When wicked Prince John threatens all, bold Marion steps in to protect the poor and transform a thuggish Robin from hood to good.
Note: This show is suitable for ages 10 and up.
Amid the bustle of a crowded London train station, Georgie spots Alex, a man much older than she is, and plants a kiss on his neck. This encounter thrusts the two strangers into a fascinating and life-changing game. Heisenberg brings to life the uncertain and often comical sparring match that is human connection. This production of Tony Award winner Simon Stephens' new play stars Denis Arndt and Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award winner Mary-Louise Parker. Drama Desk Award winner Mark Brokaw directs.
The dogs of war are unleashed, and a charismatic warrior king emerges in Shakespeare's breathtaking depiction of the Battle of Agincourt. But the events before and after the decisive victory temper the fervor of nationalism — and paint a nuanced portrait of the introspective Henry, who learns that the attributes that make an inspirational leader often come into conflict with those that make a good man.
Henry V, the history play by William Shakespeare written around 1599, tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II; Henry IV, Part 1; and Henry IV, Part 2. Audiences may know the title character from Shakespeare's earlier Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined lad called "Prince Harry" or "Hal."
Stephen Karam's The Humans is an uproarious, hopeful, and heartbreaking play that takes place over the course of a family dinner on Thanksgiving. Breaking with tradition, Erik Blake has brought his Pennsylvania family to celebrate and give thanks at his daughter's apartment in Lower Manhattan. As darkness falls outside the ramshackle prewar duplex and eerie things start to go bump in the night, the Blake clan's deepest fears and greatest follies are laid bare. Our modern age of anxiety is keenly observed with humor and compassion in this new American classic that won the 2016 Tony Award for best play.
A smart bomb destroys a village. A middle name sends up a red flag at the airport. A teacher goes postal. A husband and wife come clean. Dancing the eternal dance of lies and truths, hiding behind walls of our own making, battling the ever-present prejudice that threatens to drown our sensuality, our search for intimacy, and our very souls — how do we find our place, our position, our passion in a maze as vast as Los Angeles or as intricate as the highways and byways of our own inner being? In Search of Intimacy: Make Love, Not Walls is a provocative theater event that fuses poetry, prose, movement, and video imagery, taking audiences on a sometimes tantalizing, sometimes titillating, often terrifying look at the human search for fulfillment and the desperate desire for completion that hovers always at the edge of awareness.
For nearly 20 years, playwright Lauren Yee's father Larry has been a driving force in the Yee Family Association, a seemingly obsolescent Chinese American men's club formed 150 years ago in the wake of the Gold Rush. But when her father goes missing, Lauren must plunge into the rabbit hole of San Francisco Chinatown and confront a world both foreign and familiar. At once bitingly hilarious and heartbreakingly honest, King of the Yees is an epic joyride across cultural, national, and familial borders that explores what it truly means to be a Yee.
Ted L. Nancy is a customer in need of service. He writes to the city of Huntington Beach requesting a permit for operating his Electronic Nose Blowing Machine, invites Czechoslovakian President Václav Havel to become Treasurer of Ted's Vacuum Club, asks Nordstrom about buying a mannequin that looks like his deceased neighbor to present to the grieving widow, and more. Time after time, well-meaning representatives offer earnest replies to his letters. Nancy brings his madcap collection of correspondence to the Geffen stage for a one-of-a-kind show that is both outlandish and uproarious.
In this scathingly funny look at a family in crisis, the Lyons family is falling apart just when it needs to pull together. Rita Lyons, in a heroic effort to keep the family united while her husband, Ben, is dying of cancer, has called their grown children together to say goodbye around his hospital bed. In the ensuing maelstrom of kvetching, guilt-giving, and recriminations, they discover that despite being a family, each of them is utterly isolated. Afraid of closeness and afraid of solitude, the Lyons are unexpectedly propelled into foreign territory — human connection.
The Madwoman of Chaillot is a two-act play, a poetic satire by French dramatist Jean Giraudoux. It was written in 1943 and first performed in 1945, after his death. The story concerns an eccentric woman (Countess Aurelia), her coterie of eccentric friends who live in Paris, and her struggles against the straitlaced authority figures who want to drill oil wells and destroy the City of Light, the center of culture. Stephanie Shroyer, who recently gave A Noise Within audiences a comic You Never Can Tell (spring 2016) and a dark The Maids (fall 2016), directs the production.
Mrs. Warren's Profession, written by George Bernard Shaw in 1893 and first performed in London in 1902, is about a prostitute-turned-madam who attempts to come to terms with her disapproving daughter. The daughter, Cambridge-educated Vivie, lives a comfortable middle-class life shielded from her mother's source of income. Vivie envisions herself a pragmatic and open-minded 20th-century woman until she discovers that her entrepreneurial mother, Kitty, is an unapologetically successful madam. Sensibilities clash in this character-driven dramedy about the business of pleasure, the economics of necessity, and the ties that bind…or don't.
A Noise Within's most requested production returns! ANW favorites are ready to rein in the chaos of this joyfully out-of-control British farce about the auspiciously titled play-within-a-play Nothing On. Noises Off invites the audience to step backstage and meet the under-rehearsed, overworked cast and crew with a penchant for drama more personal than professional. As the production progresses, the bumbling cast brings down the house — literally!
The Pride is a gorgeously-drawn drama alternating between two very distinct time periods and sets of characters whose fate is written by their eras. In 1958, Philip is married to Sylvia, but is secretly attracted to her colleague Oliver. In 2008, Philip lives with his boyfriend Oliver, who continually destroys their relationship with his addiction to casual sex and turns to their friend Sylvia for guidance and support. As the past and present worlds collide, The Pride's complex love triangle provides a provocative, humorous and insightful look at fidelity and forgiveness.
In A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, which debuted on Broadway in 1959, the prospect of life insurance money from their late father offers life-changing options to the Youngers, an African-American family living in a cramped apartment on Chicago's South Side. However, competing visions of how to use the money — for the grandmother Lena, her son Walter (with wife Ruth and son Travis), and her daughter Beneatha — threaten to tear apart a family already facing a pre-civil-rights-era America.
On a cool Cape Cod night, Ben, an aspiring writer, pulls a mysterious woman out of the ocean near his beachfront cottage. When she awakens on his couch, her restless disposition and suspicion of others rapidly surfaces. As they become acquainted, another thing becomes evident: the mutual attraction is undeniable.
Can Tracy learn to trust despite her painful past and allow herself to be loved? Can Ben weather the tumultuous nature of their relationship and Tracy's instinct to constantly spar? The challenges of relationships, love, and trust are explored in this play by Don Nigro.
In the overwhelming quiet of the woods, six runaways from city life embark on a silent retreat. As these strangers confront internal demons both profound and absurd, their vows of silence collide with the achingly human need to connect. Filled with awkward humor, this strange and compassionate new play asks how we address life's biggest questions when words fail us.
Adapter Mike Poulton has given the theater a bold, fast-paced dramatization that deftly transforms Charles Dickens' epic story into a taut political thriller. His A Tale of Two Cities gives a new sense of urgency to the intertwined fates of two men during the bloody, turbulent time of the French Revolution.
The original A Tale of Two Cities (1859) is a novel by Charles Dickens, set in London and Paris before and during the French Revolution. The book depicts the plight of the French peasantry demoralized by the aristocracy in the years leading up to the revolution, the corresponding brutality demonstrated by the revolutionaries toward the former aristocrats in the early years of the revolution, and many unflattering social parallels with life in London during the same period.
Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is Russia's most famous composer and one of the greatest composers of all time, known for his beautiful lilting melodies from the ballets Romeo and Juliet, Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, The Nutcracker and the ferocious brilliance of his symphonic works. At the age of 53, Tchaikovsky conducted the premiere of his enigmatic Symphony No. 6, "Pathétique," of which he said, "Let them guess what it means..." Nine days later he was dead. To this day, how and why he died are still a mystery. The extraordinary Hershey Felder returns to The Wallis for the Los Angeles premiere of his newest work, Tchaikovsky, which unveils the life of one of the most beloved and tormented composers of all time.
Turn Me Loose is a new comedic drama about the extraordinary and explosive life of Dick Gregory — starring Tony Award winner and Scandal star Joe Morton — that shines a light on the first black comedian to expose white audiences to racial comedy. Gregory confronted bigotry with shockingly disarming humor, marched alongside Martin Luther King Jr., and deeply influenced comics from Richard Pryor to Chris Rock. He was a prolific writer, muckraker, provocateur, and candidate for mayor of Chicago as well as for president of the United States. He was singled out by President Obama as one of his all-time favorite comedians. Experience the comic genius of Dick Gregory and the poetic final words of his mentor, the slain civil rights activist Medgar Evers: "Turn me loose."
Note: This show contains strong language.
When a reclusive librarian discovers a 113-year-overdue book in the night slot, curiosity compels him to pursue the borrower. His search for answers leads to a worldwide whirlwind journey, during which he discovers instead the great mysteries of humanity. Glen Berger's Underneath the Lintel reminds viewers that the joy is in the journey itself.
A janitor. A software mogul. A college grad. An IRS paper-pusher. Although they live thousands of miles apart, these four people share a secret: they're recovering addicts who have found a safe haven in an online chat room. There, with liberal doses of jokes and bullying, they help each other navigate the broken terrain of their lives. But when an Iraq War veteran's tragedy spills over into their cyberhome, everything changes. In this fearless Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Quiara Alegría Hudes (In the Heights), worlds virtual and real unfold onstage, challenging our notions of family, forgiveness, community, and courage.