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Echo Theater Company mentorship program culminates with
‘National Young Playwrights in Residence Festival’ of new work
National Young Playwrights in Residence Festival — Echo Theater Company’s innovative ’’National Young Playwrights in Residence” program culminates in two days of public staged readings. Created to nurture the next generation of playwrights, NYPR paired six young writers, ages 18-25, from across the U.S. in year-long mentorships with established professional playwrights. Each student/mentor pair worked together to create a new play; students and mentors not located in the same geographical area collaborated via video chat and voice calls. This month, the Echo Theater Company brings Cambria Denim of Texas; Zoe Jovanovich of Western Washington; Imani A. Redman, originally from New Jersey and currently a junior in the BFA program at Ohio University; Andrew Siañez-De La O from El Paso, Texas; Dayna Smith from Boise, Idaho; and Jorrell Watkins from Richmond, Virginia to Atwater Village Theatre for five days of rehearsals, receptions and public staged readings of the new works they created.
Saturday, June 23 at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 8 p.m.:
• 2 p.m.: A Land of Plenty written by Dayna Smith, mentored by Jacquline Wright, directed by Teagan Rose — A group of pioneers is trapped in the Sierra Nevada mountains as winter approaches in this story of determination, responsibility and the American dream.
• 5 p.m.: Borderline written by Andrew Sianez de la O, mentored by Daria Polatin, directed by Alex Alpharao — A creature lurks in the shadows of Socorro, Texas.
• 8 p.m.: Hit the Pavement or Hoboloboactive written by Imani Redman, mentored and directed by Mike Batistick — Dive into the world of homeless street crew, The Mysfits, in this fusion of music, dance and poetry that explores what keeps us going when we are at the lowest of lows.
Sunday, June 24 at 1 p.m., 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.:
• 1 p.m.: Daughter of God written by Zoe Jovanovich, mentored by Mary Laws, directed by Abigail Marks — A whimsical take on Christianity that asks: What happens when Paradise isn’t perfect?
• 4 p.m.: Lark and the Dark written by Cambria Denim, mentored and directed by Charlotte Miller — A grown-up fairy tale about Alzheimer’s disease heavily influenced by the films of Hayao Miyazaki.
• 7 p.m.: Our Garden written by Jorrell Watkins, mentored by Dominic Finocchiaro, directed by Ahmed Best — The estranged members of a large, Southern black family must band together when their matriarch dies.
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039
(FREE parking in the Atwater Xing lot one block south of the theater.)
• Advance reservations: $10
• At the door: Pay-What-You-Can (subject to availability)