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West Coast premiere of
“Walking the Tightrope”
24th Street Theatre’s LAb24 debuts with a unique experience
for families that plays to adults and kids on multiple levels
Los Angeles, Calif. – Unveiling the centerpiece of its 2012-13 season of sophisticated and provocative theater that appeals to and is appropriate for kids while maintaining the look and emotional depth of adult theater, 24th STreet Theatre presents the debut production of its LAb24 resident experimental theater company.
Directed by 24th STreet artistic director Debbie Devine, and starring Mark Bramhall, Tony Duran, Michael Redfield and Paige Lindsey White, Walking the Tightrope utilizes poetic language, live music and multi-media to explore themes of love and loss in a highly theatrical nd stylized production.
The deceptively straightforward story concerns young Esme, who visits her grandparents every summer at a seaside resort and is left to wonder why, this year, Nanna isn’t there. On a more complex level, Tightrope explores the deep grief experienced by her grandfather over the death of his wife, and his redemption through the innocence and inherent joy of a young child.
“We have created a piece of art that parents can discuss with their children,” says director Debbie Devine. “Adults and kids get this play on different levels, and that’s the beauty of it. At 24th STreet, we believe that theater for families does not need to be sugarcoated. Too often we underestimate the kinds of material kids are capable of absorbing and appreciating.”
Walking the Tightrope continues the groundbreaking work that earned 24th STreet Theatre last season’s national TCG Peter Zeisler Award for risk taking and innovation in the American theater.
The highly lauded creative team includes set designer Keith Mitchell, sound designer John Zalewski, lighting designer Dan Weingarten, costume designer Ela Jo Erwin and video designer Matthew Hill.
“These artists are acclaimed for their design work in theater, opera, film and TV, but they clearly ‘get’ what needs to be done to engage young audiences as well,” says Devine.
Debbie Devine is a multiple award-winning theater director and the co-founder/artistic director of 24th STreet Theatre. Named “one of Los Angeles’ most fascinating people” in the LA Weekly People 2012 issue, Debbie has been a respected leader in the field of arts education for over three decades. She has held the position of Drama Department Chair of the Colburn School of Performing Arts for over 20 years and is also a theatrical director with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Debbie’s work as an actor has earned her three Drama-Logue Awards, an LA Weekly Award, a Robby Award, LA Parent magazine’s Best Westside Children’s Theatre Award and the Women In Theatre Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Los Angeles Theater. She recently earned the Los Angeles County Arts Commission’s Professional Designation in Arts Education, is the recipient of the USC Rossier School of Education’s Innovation and Leadership Award, and won Los Angeles County Music Center’s 2001 Bravo Special Mention for her work in Arts Education. She is also the proud recipient of the 2011 Inspiring Women Award, presented by the L.A. Sparks and Farmers Insurance.
Mark Bramhall (Stan) began acting professionally in 1966, in the original company of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre. He has performed off-Broadway and at regional theaters nationwide, including 34 productions at A Noise Within, where he is a resident artist. Favorite roles include Harpagon in The Miser, Virgil in Bus Stop, Howard in Picnic, Lucky in Waiting For Godot and (in separate productions) Benedick and Dogberry in Much Ado About Nothing. Most recently, he has starred at Sacred Fools Theatre, The Lillian Theatre, Son of Semele and The Pico Playhouse, and understudied three of the four major roles in CTG’s Waiting For Godot at the Mark Taper Forum. Accolades include L.A. Drama Critics Circle, Ovation, Garland, LA Weekly and Drama-Logue honors, as well as numerous awards for his audiobook narrations. Among his many film and TV credits are Star Trek, Vanilla Sky, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge, Nip/Tuck, Weeds, 24, ER and Alias.
Paige Lindsey White (Esme) earned her MFA in Acting from UCLA. She is a member of Los Angeles Theater Ensemble, Ensemble Studio Theatre LA and The Actors’ Gang, with whom she toured internationally with The Trial of the Catonsville Nine. Most recently, she starred as Myra in the critically acclaimed West Coast premiere of Michael Hollinger’s Ghost-Writer at International City Theatre and as Sister/Woman in the Sundress in The Theatre @ Boston Court’s world premiere production of The Children. Other favorite roles include Beth in Wounded, Anna in The Good Prisoner, and Marguerite in Trog and Clay (in both Los Angeles and Edinburgh). Television credits include Shameless, Days of Our Lives and TV Funhouse.
Tony Duran (Clown) is a Mexican artist living in Los Angeles. He appeared in 24th STreet Theatre’s 11-month run of La Razon Blindada (2011 LA Weekly Production of the Year) as well as in the revival at the Rubicon Theatre in Ventura. He was recently seen in Tsunami and The Traveling Towers at Meet Me At Metro. Other theater credits include The Angels of McArthur Park and Guaría del Desamor, both directed by Jorge Folgueira. Tony performed and co-created Olin and the solo work El hombre de las suelas de viento, which was presented at the 2005 FITLA International Latino Theatre Festival of Los Angeles, and in Fábula de un país de cera with Mexican theater troupe Mexicali a Secas at FITLA 2006. In 2007 he led an International Workshop with actors and dancers from various Latin American countries through the project Teatro Amigo at the Los Angeles Theatre Center. He attended the XXXI Workshop of the International School of Theatre of Latin America and the Caribbean (EITALC). Tony is a professor at California’s Latino Academy of Dramatic Art where he teaches courses on corporal expression, dance, theater and scenic movement.
Michael Redfield (Musician) most recently starred in and scored the feature film Chasing Home, which premiered this fall at festivals in Tucson and New York City. He is a member of Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice and Rogue Machine Theatre, where he appeared in Small Engine Repair. Other local theater credits include The Browning Version, Small Tragedy (Odyssey Theatre), My Antonia (Rubicon Theatre), When They Speak of Rita, Time of Your Life, Of Mice and Men. Film/TV work includes Bewitched, Hannah Montana, Days of Our Lives.
24th STreet Theatre is known for being a leader in arts education and community outreach as well as for presenting quality professional theater for young and old alike. Using art as a tool to positively impact the world around them, 24th Street’s programming includes free after school enrichment programs, Teatro Nuevo Latino Initiative projects, a music series, outreach programs for at-risk teens, free community events, professional development programs for teachers, arts-ed school workshops, gallery exhibits and international touring in addition to critically acclaimed season productions geared for both adult and family audiences.
Walking the Tightrope continues through May 18 with performances every Saturday @ 2 pm and @ 7:30 pm. (There will be no 2 pm matinee on May 4 or May 18.) Tickets are $24 for adults; $10 for kids under 16; $15 for students, seniors and teachers; and 24 cents for residents of the theater’s surrounding North University Park neighborhood. 24th STreet Theatre is located at 1117 West 24th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007 (at the intersection of 24th and Hoover). Secure parking is available for $5 in the lot on the southwest corner of 24th and Hoover. The theater is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. For reservations and information, call (213) 745-6516 or go to www.24thstreet.org. For adults and kids (6 and older).
Details for Calendar Listings
“Walking the Tightrope”
extends through May 18
Walking the Tightrope – 24th Street Theatre extends its acclaimed production through May 18. Young Esme arrives to stay with her grandparents at the end of summer, just like she does every year. But this time, something’s different: Grandma’s not there. This magical play, full of moments of remembered childhood, celebrates the special bond shared by grandparents and grandchildren. Appropriate for ages 6+.
Written by Mike Kenny
From an original idea by Gavin Stride
Directed by Debbie Devine
Starring Mark Bramhall, Tony Duran, Michael Redfield and Paige Lindsey White
Presented by LAb24, 24th STreet Theatre’s resident experimental theater company
Produced by Jay McAdams
Performances continue through May 18:
Saturdays @ 2 pm: March 23, 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 11 (no matinees May 4 or May 18)
Saturdays @ 7:30 pm: March 23, 30; April 6, 13, 20, 27; May 4, 11, 18
24th STreet Theatre
1117 West 24th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007-1725
(213) 745-6516 or www.24thstreet.org
Join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/24thST
Follow us on Twitter @24thST
Twitter Hashtag: #TightropePlay
Under 16: $10
Seniors, Students and Teachers: $15
North University Park residents: 24 cents
Secure lot on the southwest corner of 24th and Hoover: $5