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Echo Theater Company to offer four
premieres from important new writers in 2018
LOS ANGELES (Jan. 3, 2018) — The award-winning Echo Theater Company will continue its commitment to original work in the new year, introducing Los Angeles to important, emerging playwrights from across the country.
“Four plays for our time: poignant, disturbing, funny, biting and heart-breaking,” says Echo artistic director Chris Fields. “How do we go on? Playwrights always seem to know the answer.”
The season kicks off on March 16 with the world premiere of An Undivided Heart by novelist, religious writer and playwright Yusuf Toporov, presented as a co-production with like-minded company and co-resident at Atwater Village Theatre, Circle X Theatre Company. Part thriller, part spiritual mystery, Toporov’s beautiful and timely play explores how we go on in the face of unspeakable acts. Developed at the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, where Fields was in the cast, the production will be directed by Fields and will feature Circle X artistic director Tim Wright in the acting ensemble. (March 16 – April 22: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m.; Mondays at 8 p.m.)
Next up will be the West Coast premiere of What Happened When, a dark and provocative memory play in the guise of a ghost story, by New York-based Rattlestick Playwrights Theatre’s Daniel Talbott (Slipping). On a snowy night, three siblings huddle together in the dark with a flashlight and each other for protection — protection from a very real monster roaming the rooms of their house below. (April 11 – April 26: Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at 8 p.m.)
Summer brings the West Coast premiere of Cry It Out by playwright and screenwriter Molly Smith Metzler, who explores the absurdities of new motherhood, the conflict between returning to work and staying home, and how class impacts parenthood and friendship in an insightful and darkly comic drama commissioned by the 2017 Humana Festival of New Work at the Actors Theatre of Louisville. (July 14 – Aug. 19: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m.; Mondays at 8 p.m.)
Finally, closing out the season in September, the Echo will present the West Coast premiere of Gloria, the explosive Pulitzer Prize finalist by MacArthur “genius” Branden Jacobs-Jenkins that took New York and London by storm in 2017 — a razor-sharp, bitingly funny drama about ambition, style, status, success and selling out to the highest bidder. (Sept. 15 – Oct. 21: Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 4 p.m.; Mondays at 8 p.m.)
Founded in 1997 and dedicated to producing new work, the Echo Theater Company is currently nominated for 13 Ovation Awards for its 2017 productions, including a nomination for “Best Season.” The company was anointed “Best Bet for Ballsy Original Plays” by the LA Weekly in its 2014 Best of L.A. issue and was a recipient of a 2016 “Kilroy Cake Drop”– one of only 13 theaters in the country to be surprised by cakes to honor the efforts they are making to produce women and trans writers. Under the leadership of founding artistic director Chris Fields, the Echo has introduced Los Angeles to playwrights such as David Lindsay-Abaire, Adam Rapp, Sarah Ruhl, Adam Bock and Miki Johnson among others. The company is also recognized for its acting ensemble; in the Los Angeles Times, theater critic Charles McNulty wrote, “Echo Theater Company, which has cultivated a community of top flight actors, would be my go-to place in Los Angeles for symbiotic ensemble acting.” KCRW’s Anthony Byrnes stated, “It’s time to start paying attention to the Echo Theater Company… What’s made these choices pay off is the acting and casting has been superb. The company has made bold choices and backed them up.”
For more information about the Echo Theater Company and to find out about special subscription pricing, visit www.echotheatercompany.com.