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L.A. Theatre Works to record 7 plays in 2019-20,
embark on 16th annual national tour
LOS ANGELES (Aug. 13, 2019) — L.A. Theatre Works has announced its 2019-20 season of seven plays, each of which will be recorded in front of a live audience for future radio broadcast and online distribution. Performances take place at the James Bridges Theater, located on the campus of UCLA in West Los Angeles. In addition, the company will introduce audiences to its signature style of radio theater at venues across the country during its 16th annual national tour.
LATW is set to record new plays by Pulitzer Prize winner Ayad Akhtar (Junk); multiple Tony® Award winner Tom Stoppard (The Hard Problem); Olivier Award actor and playwright David Haig (Pressure); Vietnamese American playwright Qui Nguyen (Vietgone); and the world premiere of a new, LATW-commissioned adaption for radio of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein by the BBC’s Kate McAll. Older work will include modern classics by Terence Rattigan (The Winslow Boy) and an acclaimed historical drama by African American playwright Pearl Cleage (Flyin’ West).
The schedule for the 2019-20 season is as follows:
Oct. 4 – Oct. 6:
American premiere of Pressure by David Haig — A Scottish meteorologist locks horns with his American counterpart as both men try to convince General Dwight D. Eisenhower that they can accurately predict the atmospheric conditions needed to launch the greatest amphibious assault in the history of mankind — the D-Day invasion. Martin Jarvis directs Haig’s intense, real life thriller.
Nov. 15 – Nov. 17:
West Coast premiere of The Hard Problem by Tom Stoppard — Hilary is a young psychology researcher who believes fervently that consciousness is more than the sum of our biology. When she receives a position at a prestigious think tank, she develops a novel experiment to prove that humans are intrinsically altruistic — but the results are something she never anticipated. The Hard Problem is presented as part of L.A. Theatre Works’ Relativity Series, presented with major funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, enhancing public understanding of science and technology.
Jan. 24 – Jan. 26
Vietgone by Qui Nguyen — Equal parts buddy story, all-American romance and motorcycle road-trip adventure, this epic new play repurposes pop culture from the last 40 years to tell Nguyen’s hilarious, “probably-mostly-true” version of how his parents met and built a life for themselves in a new land. Set in 1975, just after the fall of Saigon, two Vietnamese refugees meet in an Arkansas relocation camp before setting out on a rip-roaring road trip across America. Directed by Tim Dang.
Feb. 28 – March 1
World premiere of Frankenstein by Kate McAll —Written over 200 years ago, Mary Shelley’s gothic masterpiece retains all of its power to horrify and fascinate. This original L.A. Theatre Works commission is adapted from Shelley’s novel and directed by the BBC’s Kate McAll, who wowed audiences with last season’s A Room with a View.
April 17 – April 19
Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage — A contemporary classic about the strength of black women and their role as pioneers in the settlement of the American West. At the turn of the twentieth century, four African-American women journey west to the all-black town of Nicodemus, Kansas to seek the freedom promised by the end of the Civil War — only to be challenged by the harsh and unforgiving terrain, the social climate of the time and the men who claim to be with them for love.
May 17 – May 19
Los Angeles premiere of Junk by Ayad Akhtar — Inspired by the junk bond scandal of the ‘80s and set in the manic high-stakes trading shark tank of Wall Street, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Akhtar takes us on a whirlwind ride at the genesis of debt financing which was the root cause of the recent housing crisis in this country.
June 26 – June 28
The Winslow Boy by Terence Rattigan — Terence Rattigan’s classic, highly charged moral drama is based on a real-life incident. When a pilfered postal-order leads to a legal case that draws the attention of the nation, a family risks everything to clear their son’s name. Directed by Rosalind Ayres.
From Oct. 12 to April 7, L. A. Theatre Works will travel to 27 venues across the U.S. with its hybrid radio-theater production of Seven, a riveting documentary play by seven female writers — Carol K. Mack (who conceived the play), Anna Deavere Smith, Paula Cizmar, Catherine Filloux, Gail Kriegel, Ruth Margraff and Susan Yankowitz. Based on personal interviews with seven remarkable women who faced life-threatening obstacles before bringing heroic changes to their home countries of Pakistan, Nigeria, Ireland, Afghanistan, Guatemala, Russia and Cambodia, Seven dramatizes their struggles and triumphs over resistance, death threats, entrenched norms and pervasive violence.
L.A. Theatre Works stands apart in its approach to making great theater widely accessible and affordable, bringing plays into the homes and classrooms of millions of theater lovers, teachers and students each year. Each of the performances at UCLA’s state-of-the-art James Bridges Theater will be recorded live in front of an audience for future radio broadcast, distribution on CD, digital download and online streaming. L.A. Theatre Works’ syndicated radio theater series broadcasts weekly on public radio stations across the U.S. (locally, in Southern California, on KPFK 90.7 FM); daily in China and worldwide on the Radio Beijing Network; and weekly on KCRW Berlin 104,1 FM, Berlin’s English language public radio station. Productions from the L.A. Theatre Works catalog can be downloaded as podcasts via iTunes and Wondery.com, or streamed on demand at www.latw.org. In addition, L.A. Theatre Works recordings are distributed, free of charge, along with study guides, to thousands of middle and secondary schools. The L.A. Theatre Works catalog of over 500 recorded plays is the largest archive of its kind in the world. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls L.A. Theatre Works “a national theatrical treasure.”
Performances of L.A. Theatre Works’ radio theater series take place at UCLA’s James Bridges Theater on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with matinees on Saturdays at 3 p.m. and Sundays at 4 p.m., and are recorded live-in-performance (without sets or costumes). The James Bridges Theater is located in Melnitz Hall on the campus of UCLA, at 235 Charles E. Young Dr., Los Angeles CA 90095. Enter UCLA off Sunset Blvd. and Hilgard, and park in Lot 3 on the lower level. Tickets range from $15–$65. Assisted listening devices are available
For more information and to purchase season subscriptions or single tickets, call 310-827-0889. To view the season brochure and order online, go to www.latw.org.