In honor of Black History Month, check out one or more of these moving works from local theater companies.
Theatre West Presents Who I Am
In Who I Am, A celebration of African American Heritage from Theatre West, seven actor-writers share their stories in a powerful 30 minutes. From an unlicensed school bus driver to dedicated churchgoers, their parents and grandparents infused a moral core, a work ethic and a sense of heritage. They repay their ancestors with these loving tributes. Free on YouTube, but be sure to donate here.
Not a Moment, But a Movement from CTG
Not a Moment, But a Movement is a series of events that amplify and center Black artists. Available on Center Theatre Group’s Digital Stage Plus, the first episode is introduced by Vanessa Williams and hosted by Bruce A. Lemon, Jr. It features a reading of Angelica Chéri’s one-person play “Crowndation; I Will Not Lie to David” performed by Sheria Irving. In it, 29-year-old Fatima Seed, the same age as her mother when she died of breast cancer, battles her inner-contradictions, yanked in multiple directions by her faith, her sexuality, her purpose and a secret before her time runs out. It’s available on demand through March 22 free to Center Theatre Group subscribers and supporters and $10 for all others. Click here to watch.
Surviving 2020 from Towne Street Theatre
Towne Street Theatre brings back its” In Response” play festival with live streamed performances. In Response: Surviving 2020 doesn’t shy away from controversy. Its short plays that range from the deeply serious to the delightfully comedic, connecting racism’s consequences through historical context and the present moment. There are four performances: Sat., Feb. 27 and March 6 at 7:00 PM and Sunday, Feb. 28 and March 7 at 4:00 PM. Tickets are “pay what you wish” and are available here.
Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue from CTG
Christa McAuliffe’s Eyes Were Blue follows Bernard and Steven Gentry, twins who have lived starkly different lives. One is plagued by racism because of his dark skin while the other passes as white. The reading, part of CTG’s L.A. Writers’ Workshop Festival: New Plays Forged in L.A., is available to stream through April 4, through CTG Digital Stage Plus. It’s free to Center Theatre Group subscribers and supporters or $10 for all others.
Judgment Day for Whitefire
Actor and playwright Juliette Jeffers performs 20 different characters in her solo show Judgment Day that asks the question, can humanity hold God accountable? The show is an Official Selection of Solofest 2021 at the Whitefire Theatre in Sherman Oaks. Judgment Day originally premiered as a full-length work in Atlanta in 2017. In its current form, it includes references to news events that have occurred since then. A Vimeo screening onSunday, Feb. 28 at 1:00 pm. is followed by a live Q&A with Juliette Jeffers via Zoom. Tickets are $15.99 and are available here.
More Theater Notes
Neo Ensemble Theatre (of which I am a member) presents Hindsight:2020 on Feb. 20 at 4:00 pm. A fast-paced collection of eight monologues and short plays promises to serve as a final kick in the pants and a final good riddance to the Voldemort of years. Join us on Zoom!
The 11th annual Hollywood Fringe Festival has been rescheduled for August 12-22, 2021. Organizers describe “a digitally driven, community-focused Hollywood Fringe Festival” and add, “While digital shows will certainly make up the bulk of Fringe this year, the postponement allows for the increased possibility of safely presenting in-person shows according to public health guidelines. We’re hopeful that the delay will allow more time for the public to be vaccinated and restrictions to be loosened.”