Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

Theaters Enter Transitional Phase

Artist rendering by Matthew Hill of the Fountain Theatre’s new outdoor space, which will debut soon as part of a larger gradual transition back to in-person theater this spring.

 

We’re heading into summer with a full return to indoor, in-person events still on the distant horizon, but some IRL action is starting to happen. Theater groups have had more than a year to hone their virtual chops and are putting out some pretty great work. Upcoming events run the gamut from virtually bar-raising to jump-right-in to gleefully In Real Life.

Here’s a wrap-up of some worth checking out, starting with creative ways of producing live in-person theater (spoiler alert: that means outdoors).

 

Friday, June 18 at 7:00pm

 

 

The Fountain Theatre inaugurates its new outdoor stage with the Los Angeles premiere of An Octoroon. Previews begin June 11, with opening night set for June 18. The run continues through Sept. 19. Judith Moreland directs Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s deconstruction of a 19th-century melodrama by playwright Dion Boucicault. The Octoroon stars Matthew Hancock as a modern-day Black playwright struggling to find his voice among a chorus of people telling him what he should and should not be writing. For full schedule and to purchase tickets, click here.

 

Now through June 30

 

 

Rogue Artists Ensemble presents Love Note, an interactive, in-person, audio-only experience that guides audiences through a twisted collection of love stories, meditative romance and lost connections. Offered free at Plummer Park in West Hollywood, Love Note, “a collaborative creation exploring the transcendence of love beyond identity, boundaries and definitions,” invites users to bring their cell phones and headphones and explore eight unique stops in the park. Via a secret phone line, each audience member’s own love story becomes part of the archive. The community-contributed stories recorded during the run will then be woven back into the experience to create an ever-evolving tapestry of voices calling out for love and belonging. Love Note is free and open to the public during park operating hours. The idea has some similarity to Fire Season, reviewed last year. Additional information, directions and a download for those who can’t make it to Plummer Park are available here.

 

Thursday, May 20 at 4:00pm

 

 

Crossroads Theatre Company’s annual gala salutes Cicely Tyson. Broadway star Anika Noni Rose hosts the event, which includes performances and tributes by Guy Davis, Blair Underwood, Regina Taylor and the Cicely Tyson School of  Performing and Fine Arts. Tickets start at $42 and are available here.

 

Thursday, May 20 through May 30

 

 

 

L.A.’s Latino Theater Company has partnered with Cara Mía Theatre in Dallas to stream Cara Mia’s world premiere production of Ursula. The show was written, performed and directed by Mexican-born theater artist Frida Espinosa Müller, with original music by Armando Monsivais. Müller plays an unaccompanied minor who becomes separated from her mother after seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexican border. The show, mostly in Spanish with some English and with subtitles, will stream on demand from May 20 through June 6. A moderated online panel will discuss the immigration crisis through the lens of Central America, Mexico and the United States on Tuesday, June 1 at 5:00pm. The show and the online conversation are available for free here, along with a trailer and more information.

 

Sunday, May 23 at 5:00pm

 

 

Skylight Theatre Company in Los Feliz teams up with Housing Works and other organizations to present 10 unique voices sharing their experiences with incarceration and the hard work of staying on the road to redemption. Michael Kearns, who began developing this specific form of docudrama theatre in 1986 with the world premiere of AIDS/US at the Skylight Theatre, created the event. Kearns engaged individuals throughout Los Angeles in a series of writing workshops to explore their stories. Released, Not Free premieres on May 23 at 5:00pm, followed by a live Q&A. The performance and Q&A, with a total running time of about an hour, will be available to stream through May 30 here.

 

Streaming May 23 through June 20

 

 

IAMA Theatre presents The Latrell Show, a dark comedy that explores the mental aerobics of being Black and Queer in America by way of an opinionated talk show host, Latrell Jackson (writer/performer Brandon Kyle Goodman). As Latrell hosts “a very special episode,” matters of the world begin to compromise his relatable persona. Filmed on stage at the Pico Playhouse. The show streams May 23 through June 20; tickets are $15 and up, available here.

 

Saturday, June 12 at 5:00pm

 

 

The Ojai Playwrights Conference presents Connections, a 90-minute virtual celebration and fundraiser. Playwrights, many of whose work has been developed at OPC, will share their work on the theme of deeper human connections. Participants include Luis Alfaro, Jon Robin Baitz, Father Greg Boyle, Bill Cain, Culture Clash, Stephen Adly Guirgis, Danai Gurira, Samuel D. Hunter, David Henry Hwang, Julia Izumi, James Morrison and his son Seamus Morrison, Jeanine Tesori and Charlayne Woodard. The suggested minimum donation is $20. Tickets are available here.

 

June 19

 

 

Finally, Chalk Repertory Theatre launches a new audio play series, Chalk Lines, to illuminate unsung LA landmarks: the Metro Expo Line, Leimert Park, Historic West Adams and Exposition Park. Chalk Lines continues Chalk Rep’s 13-year tradition of revealing the spaces and stories of Los Angeles in all its beautiful, complex diversity. View the show virtually, or augment the experience by visiting each outdoor location and listening on a mobile device. Chalk Lines is free to stream beginning June 19; donations are encouraged. Streaming information and an experience guide are available here.

 

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Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen
Laura Foti Cohen has lived in the Brookside neighborhood since 1993. She works as a freelance writer, editor and consultant. She's also a playwright affiliated with Neo Ensemble Theatre in Hollywood.

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