LOS ANGELES: Center Theatre Group has announced a season of new and local work for its Culver City space, the Kirk Douglas Theatre.
“This is an exciting season of firsts,” said Michael Ritchie, artistic director of CTG, which also programs the downtown L.A. venues the Mark Taper Forum and the Ahmanson Theatre. “We have filled our 13th season at the Douglas with premieres—five world premieres and one American premiere. And, as we celebrate Center Theatre Group’s 50 years of creating theatre in Los Angeles, we also want to turn the spotlight on some of the remarkable work being done on the other stages throughout L.A. with our inaugural Block Party, featuring three plays chosen from the many amazing works done by our fellow theatre companies over the last two years.”
The season begins with Lucy Alibar’s Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up (Sept. 10-Oct. 2). This play by the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Beasts of the Southern Wild revisits her wild childhood in Gracy County, Fla. It will be directed by CTG associate artistic director Neel Keller.
Next is Jon Robin Baitz’s Vicuña (Oct. 23-Nov. 20), about a brash political candidate on the rise and the famous tailor whose work may sew up electoral victory. Directed by Robert Egan.
The solo show The Wholehearted follows (Dec. 2–11). Conceived and created by Stein | Holum Projects, it’s written and codirected by Deborah Stein and performed and codirected by Suli Holum, with original songs by Obie-winning composer and sound designer James Sugg. Produced in association with La Jolla Playhouse, the play is set in a boxing gym where female boxing phenom Dee Crosby is preparing for a whole new fight.
Following is Tim Crouch’s Adler & Gibb (Jan. 17-29, 2017), a co-commission by CTG and London’s Royal Court Theater. Written by Tim Crouch and directed by Crouch, Andy Smith, and Karl James, the play follows two fictional female conceptual artists in late 20th-century New York City.
Ngozi Anyanwu’s Good Grief is next (Feb. 26-Mar. 26, 2017). Winner of the 2016 Humanitas/Center Theatre Group Playwriting Prize, the play represents the playwright’s first professional production. Directed by Patricia McGregor, the play follows a Nigerian-American girl’s coming-of-age story in suburban Pennsylvania.
CTG will next celebrate its local theatremaking peers with the first annual “Block Party: Celebrating Los Angeles Theatre,” April 14-May 21, 2017. While it has a history of collaboration with local companies, ranging from Deaf West Theatre to Ebony Rep, Burglars of Hamm to the 24th Street Theatre, CTG will open this six-week festival up to three auspicious recent productions from local theatre companies.
The season closes with Lauren Yee’s King of the Yees (July 9-Aug. 6, 2017), a comedy about a daughter’s search for her missing father in the rabbit hole of San Francisco’s Chinatown and the California’s Gold Rush history. Directed by Joshua Kahan Brody, it is produced in association with the Goodman Theatre.
Center Theatre Group, one of the largest and most active theatre companies in the nation, programs subscription seasons year-round at the 736-seat Taper, the 1,600- to 2,000-seat Ahmanson, and the 317-seat Kirk Douglas, which is celebrating its 13th year of operation.
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