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IAMA Theatre Company explores family fault
lines and isolation with world premiere play ‘Radical’
LOS ANGELES (October 16, 2023) —How could I have known you were feeling so alone? IAMA Theatre Company kicks off its ‘Sweet 16’ season of world premieres by Los Angeles–based playwrights with the company’s first production of an IAMA-commissioned play. Radical or, are you gonna miss me? by Isaac Gómez is 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 for a November 16 opening at Atwater Village Theatre, where performances continue through December 11. Low-priced previews begin November 11.
What do you do when the people you call family are the ones who hurt you the most? In Radical, Gómez — recently named by the Los Angeles Times as a member of “LA Vanguardia: The Latino innovators, instigators and power players breaking through barriers” — explores the political divide within one Mexican American family, a personal look at the nuances that exist within communities we often view as single-minded.
When Belinda (Elizabeth Ramos) is bailed out of jail by her estranged sister, Rosalie (Anna LaMadrid), she must reconcile the person she was with the person she feels she’s destined to become — that is, with the help of new friend Erica (Kim Griffin). Ramos has performed off-Broadway at New Light Theater Project, Primary Stages, Classic Stage Company, INTAR and more. An IAMA ensemble member, LaMadrid most recently appeared in Echo Theater Company’s Crabs in a Bucket and recurs on Hulu’s This Fool. Griffin is best known for Cursed Friends on Comedy Central and for her best supporting actress-nominated role in A Lotus Til Reckoning at the Kew Gardens Festival of Cinema.
“I wanted to explore how two sisters could grow up in the same family, yet hold a completely different set of values and political beliefs,” says Gómez. “The pandemic created an opportunity for those of us who didn’t previously have time to sit with our families and learn about them. I found out that my brother is a conservative, and I had a hard time understanding why he held these values. But this is not a play about politicization. It’s about loneliness. And it’s a play about how the antidote to loneliness is love. So many of us find ourselves estranged from our families. How does this happen? Why? We need to stop shouting at each other and start listening.”
“I couldn’t be more proud that our first production of an IAMA-commissioned play is with Isaac,” states IAMA artistic director Stefanie Black. “Their fearlessness and curiosity about what makes us human has made us long fans of their work. We are so grateful to be in partnership with them and Jess McLeod on this important new play.”
The creative team includes scenic designer Nicholas Ponting; lighting designer Josh Epstein; sound designer John Nobori; costume designer Azucena Dominguez; properties designer Stephen Heckel; intimacy director Rachel Flesher; and casting director Jordan Bass. IAMA ensemble member Celia Mandela Rivera is associate director; Adam Matthew is the technical director; and Rebecca K. Hsia is the production stage manager. Quinn O’Connor produces and Katharine Means co-produces for IAMA Theatre Company.
Isaac Gómez (they/them) is an award-winning New York, Los Angeles and Chicago-based playwright and screenwriter originally from El Paso, Texas/Ciudad Juárez, Mexico. They identify as na’wi — the third gender marker of the Rarámuri, a Mexican indigenous community in northern Chihuahua, of which they’re a direct descendant. They are currently under commission with LCT3, Center Theatre Group, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, South Coast Repertory and Denver Center for the Performing Arts. Their plays have been produced and/or developed by Audible Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Primary Stages, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Goodman Theatre, the Alley Theatre and many others. They are the recipient of the 2018 Dramatists Guild Lanford Wilson Award, the 2017 Jeffry Melnick New Playwright Award at Primary Stages, and an inaugural 3Arts “Make A Wave” grantee. Their television credits include the Netflix original series Narcos: Mexico, Apple TV’s The Last Thing He Told Me and Paramount Plus’s Joe Pickett, among others. They have had television series and features developed by FX, Focus Features and others. A proud member of the Writers Guild of America West, Isaac is also a WGA Captain, served as a Strike Captain during the historic 2023 Writers Guild Strike, and was nominated by the union to run for Vice President in 2023. Isaac strives to tell stories that often go untold across all mediums of writing.
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.
Radical or, are you gonna miss me? opens on Thursday, Nov. 16 at 8 p.m., with performances thereafter on Fridays, Saturdays and Mondays at 8 p.m., and on Sundays at 2 p.m. through Dec. 11 (dark Monday Nov. 20 and Friday, Nov. 25). All tickets are $40, except previews, which are $25.
The matinee on Sunday, Nov. 19 will be followed by a live panel discussion with artists, activists and politicians about the issues addressed in the play.
Atwater Village Theatre is located at 3269 Casitas Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90039. Free parking is available in the ATX (Atwater Crossing) lot one block south of the theater.
For reservations and information, call (323) 380-8843 or go to iamatheatre.com.
Details for Calendar Listings
‘Radical or, are you gonna miss me?’
What do you do when the people you call family are the ones who hurt you the most? 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 Theatre Company, Radical or, are you gonna miss me? by Isaac Gómez 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. A personal look at the political divide within one Mexican American family and the nuances within communities we often view as single-minded.
• Written by Isaac Gómez
• Directed by Jess McLeod
• Starring Kim Griffin, Anna La Madrid, Elizabeth Ramos
• Presented by IAMA Theatre Company, Stefanie Black, artistic director
Previews: Nov. 11 – Nov. 15
Performances: Nov. 16 – Dec. 11
• Tuesday at 8 p.m.: Nov. 14 ONLY (Preview)
• Wednesday at 8 p.m.: Nov. 15 ONLY (Preview)
• Thursdays at 8 p.m.: Nov. 16 ONLY (Opening Night) and Dec. 7 ONLY
• Fridays at 8 p.m.: Nov. 17; Dec. 1; Dec. 8 (dark Nov. 24)
• Saturdays at 8 p.m.: Nov. 11 (Preview); Nov. 18; Nov. 25; Dec. 2, Dec. 9
• Sundays at 2 p.m.: Nov. 19; Nov. 26; Dec. 3, Dec 10
• Sunday at 8 p.m.: Nov. 12 ONLY (Preview)
• Mondays at 8 p.m.: Nov. 27, Dec. 4, Dec. 11 (dark Nov. 20)
Atwater Village Theatre
3269 Casitas Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90039
• FREE parking in the ATX (Atwater Crossing) lot one block south of the theater.
• General Admission $40
• Previews: $25
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