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IAMA Theatre Company announces ‘Sweet 16’
season of boundary-pushing original work
LOS ANGELES (August 21, 2023) — IAMA Theatre Company, L.A.’s premier theater company dedicated to the development and production of new plays, has announced its 2023-24 16th anniversary season. Focused solely on original work by Los Angeles-based playwrights, the lineup includes IAMA’s annual New Works Festival in the fall; world premieres of two new plays, RADICAL or, are you gonna miss me? by Isaac Gómez and Arrowhead by Catya McMullen, and a co-production with Boston Court Pasadena that continues IAMA’s tradition of partnering with other companies to strengthen connections within the L.A. theater community.
“Los Angeles is home to many of the most exciting new voices in the theater today, but too often new plays get stuck in years of development with no sign of a full production ahead,” says artistic director Stefanie Black. “IAMA wants to change this. We want to create a stronger pipeline for our artists and help guide their work from development to production. As we continue to help cultivate new work and deepen the impact of theater in Los Angeles, we remain committed to supporting all the new and underrepresented voices that make up this great city.”
Kicking off the season in September, IAMA will present its 6th annual New Works Festival, workshopping and presenting public readings of six new plays or musicals over the course of two weekends. Going to the heart of IAMA’s mission, the festival invites the community into the creative process, allowing playwrights to hear their developing work in a public forum and welcoming social gatherings and discussions following each reading. New plays developed in prior festivals have gone on to see full productions not only at IAMA (including last season’s world premiere of Smile by Melissa Jane Osborne), but at other theaters in Los Angeles and across the country. (New Works Festival, September 22 through October 1, 2023.)
In November, IAMA presents the world premiere of RADICAL or, are you gonna miss me? by Isaac Gómez. After being bailed out of jail by her estranged sister, Belinda must reconcile the person she was with the person she feels she’s destined to become. Commissioned by IAMA, RADICAL tells the sweeping story of three women on the Mexican-American border who, more than anything, desperately want to be seen — and who will do anything in their power to make themselves known, no matter how great the cost. Jess McLeod directs. (RADICAL, November 16 through December 10, 2023; previews begin November 11.)
Commissioned by IAMA and workshopped as part of last season’s New Works Festival, Arrowhead by Catya McMullen is a tale of love, queerness, identity… and cat trees. Gemma is unexpectedly pregnant. Gemma is also a lesbian. Yeah, it’s confusing. So Gemma does what any unexpectedly pregnant lesbian with a doe-eyed, (potential) arsonist of a girlfriend must: she goes and throws a secret abortion party at a lake house with her straight friends from college. With the arrival of her lesbian best friend and a few other unexpected visitors… what could go wrong? Jenna Worsham directs. (Arrowhead, February 8 through March 4, 2024; previews begin February 3.)
Finally, in May, IAMA will partner with Boston Court Pasadena on a new play still to be determined. Committed to “weaving a thread between ourselves and the entire Los Angeles theater community,” IAMA frequently collaborates with like-minded companies to produce new work, including Center Theatre Group: Our Dear Dead Drug Lord, currently running at the Kirk Douglas Theatre; the Los Angeles LGBT Center: last season’s The Bottoming Process; Pasadena Playhouse: American Hero, A Kid Like Jake; Latino Theater Company: Canyon; Washington, DC’s Woolly Mammoth: Hi, Are You Single?; and New York City’s Queens Theatre: Fly on the Wall series. (Boston Court co-production TBD, May 2 through June 3, 2024; previews begin April 27.)
“Our 2023-24 season is going to blow your minds,” Black concludes. “We’re forging a new path forward with a new leadership team and a renewed sense of purpose to bring the very best new work to Los Angeles. It’s our 16th season and we’re going to be sure to make it a sweet one.”
Founded in 2007, IAMA is a Los Angeles-based ensemble of artists committed to cultivating new voices and creating new works that push boundaries and take risks, while fostering an inclusive community that inspires theater-makers of future generations. IAMA is invested in challenging audiences with an authentic experience that reflects our complex modern world. Designated by Playbill as “one of 20 regional houses every theater lover must know,” the award-winning company is dedicated to developing new plays and musicals by emerging and established playwrights, including over 25 world, West Coast and Los Angeles premieres. The backbone of the company, IAMA’s ensemble members have been featured in numerous critically acclaimed TV shows and films as well as a vast array of theater and live performances on and off-Broadway and across the country. Works developed at IAMA have traveled to off-Broadway, including to Second Stage and Playwrights Horizons, and continue to be performed regionally and internationally.
All performances take place at IAMA’s current home at Atwater Village Theatre, except the co-production in May, which will take place at Boston Court Pasadena.
For more information about IAMA Theatre Company’s 2022-23 season, go to www.iamatheatre.com.
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